Allison McCarthy

Allison McCarthy


Allison McCarthy is a real estate and hospitality lawyer in Florida based in Holland & Knight's Fort Lauderdale office. As a member of the firm's Hospitality, Resort and Timeshare Group, Ms. McCarthy's practice focuses on commercial real estate and commercial lending, with a strong emphasis in hotel and resort development, and hospitality law. This includes hotel acquisitions and dispositions; development and finance; mixed-use development projects; hotel management agreements; branded residential projects; restaurant and spa agreements; and general hotel operation matters throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. Ms. McCarthy has a thorough understanding of the legal intricacies that affect the hospitality industry, and represents owners, developers and international hotel companies in sophisticated and complex hospitality transactions.

In addition to the negotiation of hotel management and franchise agreements, as well as assistance in a wide range of operational matters for hotel clients, Ms. McCarthy's hospitality law practice includes the acquisition and disposition of projects ranging from full-service hotels to expansive resorts, as well as the development and structuring of hotel, resort and mixed-use hospitality projects. She has also worked on behalf of hotel companies to structure joint venture relationships with developers and investors to accomplish various goals, including to expand the footprint of an emerging brand in the limited service sector.

During the U.S.'s 2008-2010 economic downturn, Ms. McCarthy dedicated a substantial portion of her practice to assisting owners, operators and lenders in resolving issues faced by distressed hotel and resort projects, including the representation of lenders who became first-time hotel owners as a result of a deed-in-lieu or foreclosure transaction. 

She is a graduate of the Rising Star Program, an intensive year-long leadership program sponsored by Holland & Knight's Women's Initiative program. Ms. McCarthy also regularly speaks and writes about hospitality industry issues.


  • Hospitality counsel for purchaser of flagship luxury Manhattan hotel, including the negotiation of a hotel management agreement for the hotel to be branded and operated by a newly established luxury brand
  • Hospitality counsel for bidder in the bankruptcy auction of a South Florida luxury spa and resort, including advising the client regarding project structure issues and other hotel operational aspects
  • Negotiated hotel management and related agreements on behalf of an international hotel company for a luxury resort comprising part of a South Florida mixed-use development
  • Negotiated restaurant, spa, retail and talent management, consulting and license agreements for luxury resort and mixed-use projects, including new celebrity and lifestyle concepts
  • Counsel for an international hotel company in formulating a strategy to retain certain hotels within its brand system through its right of refusal rights
  • Led a team of attorneys and other professionals in the review of hundreds of management agreements for an international hotel company
  • Led a team of attorneys and other professionals in the due diligence review of a South Florida luxury resort with golf, marina, residential and beach components
  • Counsel for seller of a South Florida luxury resort with a private club, golf, marina and beach components
  • Counsel for developer of an upscale, mixed-use, island resort located in the Bahamas with private club, golf, marina and residential components
  • Counsel for developer of a 2,000-plus-acre, mixed-use resort with spa, beach and residential components
  • Counsel for purchaser of historical, luxury resort located in Arizona

  • Counsel for asset manager in the sale of an office tower owned by a tenants-in-common (TIC) structure with more than two dozen direct and indirect owners
  • Counsel for developer of a luxury, multi-family development, included advising on a joint venture arrangement with the land owner
  • Counsel for seller of a former corporate headquarters, including assisting on structuring issues arising in connection with the subdivision of the office campus
  • Counsel for purchaser/lessee in the sale, development and leaseback of a regional call center
  • Counsel for purchaser in the forward acquisition of an industrial warehouse facility being developed in Phoenix, Ariz.


  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • University of Florida, B.S., Accounting, summa cum laude
  • University of Florida, MAcc
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
  • Commercial Real Estate Women, Fort Lauderdale/Boca Raton Chapter, Immediate Past President
  • Boys and Girls Club of America, Women on the Verge
Honors & Awards
  • Top Lawyer, South Florida Legal Guide, 2017-2019 
  • The Legal 500 USA, Real Estate & Construction: Real Estate, 2016
  • Top Dealmaker of the Year Finalist, Hotel, Daily Business Review, 2016
  • Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, Rising Star, 2015
  • South Florida Legal Guide, Up and Comer, 2015
  • Rising Star, Daily Business Review, 2014
  • 40 Under 40, South Florida Business Journal, 2014
  • Rising Star, Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2015
  • University of Florida's Outstanding Young Alumni Award, 2013


Speaking Engagements