Renee Lewis is a partner in Holland & Knight's Chicago office and a member of the firm's Financial Services Practice Group. She advises company executives and owners on strategically structuring complex financing transactions. Her practice focuses on counsel for financial institutions, privately held companies and trustees in the structuring, negotiation and documentation of ESOP transactions, which may entail leveraged buyouts, equity repurchases and corporate reorganizations.

Ms. Lewis's substantial corporate compliance and transactional experience includes:

  • providing legal support on domestic and international restructuring initiatives
  • analyzing complex tax, fiduciary and other issues related to employee benefit programs
  • leading all aspects of corporate transactions, including financing considerations, budgeting, document production and legal due diligence conducted by various attorney specialists
  • managing general corporate legal matters, such as organization and dissolution, limited liability company operating agreements, corporate structuring, organization and governance issues, employment agreements, deferred compensation plans and business contracts
  • advising company executives and owners on transactional strategies, helping to ensure successful closings following appropriate due diligence
  • providing structured financing documentation related to corporate credit facilities, ESOP loan transactions and asset-based financing vehicles for lenders and borrowers

Representative Experience


  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D.
  • DePaul University, B.S., Accounting
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Illinois
  • The ESOP Association, Illinois Chapter, Vice President of Government Relations, 2020-2023
  • The ESOP Association, Public Policy Council, Founding Member, Executive Committee
  • The ESOP Association, Legislative and Regulatory Advisory Committee
  • Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA)
  • Private Directors Association
  • The National Center of Employee Ownership (NCEO)
  • The Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center (RMEOC)
  • Holland & Knight Women's Initiative, Chicago Office Co-Chair 2019-2022
Honors & Awards
  • Debt Financing of the Year, 20th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, 2021
  • Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year, 18th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, 2019
  • ESOP Deal of the Year ($100 Million +), 2nd Annual U.S.A M&A Atlas Award for Middle Markets
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020


Speaking Engagements