Overview

Grant E. Schnell is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Atlanta office. Mr. Schnell is experienced in handling civil commercial litigation and arbitration matters throughout the country, advising on business disputes and compliance issues, business torts, trade secret and noncompete litigation, director and officer disputes, disputes between competitors, and on complex contract claims. He has extensive experience in class and collective actions, as well as defending clients in multidistrict litigation claims.

Mr. Schnell has served as first-chair trial counsel in dozens of cases tried to a final verdict. He has also argued motions and appeals at nearly every level in the state and federal trial and appellate courts in Georgia and Florida.

Mr. Schnell is well versed in litigation matters for the insurance and banking industries; securities actions initiated under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; commercial claims such as breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligence, and unfair and deceptive trade practices; and various statutory consumer claims such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Mr. Schnell has prosecuted and defended numerous claims brought under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, Georgia's Trade Secrets Act, Georgia's Fair Business Practices Act and Georgia's Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Additionally, Mr. Schnell practices in the areas of state and local government procurement, government contracts, bid proposals, bid protests, and procurement appeals. He is well versed in representing and advising local, national, and international businesses that interact with states and local governmental entities in the fields of transportation, technology, healthcare and food services. Mr. Schnell has extensive experience prosecuting and defending bid protests and bid proposals in these fields.

Mr. Schnell dedicates part of his practice to doing pro bono work. He has worked on multiple cases with Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), which is the leading organization for the protection of children who enter the U.S. immigration system as unaccompanied minors. He also served with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF), which helps connect attorneys to low-income families to assist with their basic civil legal needs.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Schnell served for two years as a law clerk to the Honorable Anne C. Conway of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

During law school, Mr. Schnell served as the editor-in-chief of the University of Florida's Journal of Technology Law & Policy. He also was a student member of the Gerald T. Bennett Inn of Court and the University of Florida Levin College of Law Faculty Appointments Committee.

Experience

Class Action Litigation and Arbitration

  • Successfully defended an officer and director of a publicly traded company against class action allegations of securities violations made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
  • Tried multiple arbitration cases to final decision involving consumer claims that a national telecommunications client violated Georgia's Fair Business Practices Act
  • Defended multiple consumer protection statute class actions across the country in state courts, federal courts, and arbitration

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Disputes

  • Prosecuting claims for multinational textile manufacturer for multiple breaches of share purchase agreement involving allegations of material misrepresentations in the selling company's financial statements
  • Tried an arbitration case to final decision after week-long hearing on breach of representation and warranty claims arising out of asset purchase agreement
  • Obtained more than $500,000 in costs and fees for client incurred in investigating possible breaches of asset purchase agreement
  • Advised healthcare company regarding rescission of hospital purchase after discovering apparent financial misrepresentations and fraud made after the acquisition

State and Local Government Procurement

  • Advise multiple public and private clients on issues concerning Minority Business Enterprise, Women Business Enterprise, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certifications and compliance
  • Obtained a substantial victory for a client by securing a $25 million contract in a bid protest raised by a competitor after formal hearing in front of the deputy commissioner of Georgia's Department of Administrative Services
  • Advised multinational corporation on various state and local government compliance issues relating to conflicts of interest, gift rules and lobbying restrictions, and represented corporation in prosecuting and defending numerous government contracting protests
  • Advised potential acquirer of company with large government contracting portfolio regarding potential issues relating to suspension and debarment of former employees
  • Advised and filed bid protest on behalf of public transportation company raising conflicts of interest and appearance of impropriety issues, which ultimately led to successful rebid of government contract
  • Advised and filed bid protest on behalf of transportation client involving allegations of impropriety and arbitrariness of evaluation procedures

Hospitality, Resort and Timeshare

  • Assisting multinational hotel company as national counsel in defending multiple actions filed in numerous jurisdictions across the United States
  • Defending hotel and resort client against putative class action filed in the District of Puerto Rico concerning alleged improper resort fees
  • Obtained successful result for hospitality company defending against allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and fraud in California federal court

Construction

  • Defending engineering and construction design firm on claims made against client related to subsurface filling and grading
  • Obtained successful dismissal of claims against engineering firm related to its construction management agreement with state entity

Healthcare

  • Successfully defended a hospital against emergency motion for temporary restraining order arising from allegations that the hospital violated its bylaws in confidential peer review proceedings
  • Successfully obtained a summary judgment in trial court in favor of a hospital client against claims that it violated Georgia's Hospital Acquisition Act
  • Defending a healthcare company against breach of contract claims brought in state court and arbitral fora simultaneously

General Litigation

  • Successfully tried multiple cases to favorable final judgment for a multinational e-commerce firm client
  • Member of trial team that obtained a preliminary injunction to prevent a former senior executive from working for a direct competitor in first case decided under the Georgia Trade Secrets Act to explicitly apply the "inevitable disclosure" principle
  • Obtained summary judgment for large real estate investment firm on affirmative claims for breach of contract and on counterclaims asserted against it
  • Represented a publicly traded company in uncovering claims of potential fraud in the amount of approximately $70 million through formal and informal discovery across multiple jurisdictions
  • Represented a multinational conveyor belt manufacturer and successfully negotiated a favorable resolution in complex civil dispute with a competitor
  • Advised international telecommunications company on possible breach of contract and fraud claims relating to improper rerouting of telecommunication interconnections on company network
  • Obtained favorable resolution for large ride-sharing company against claims of copyright and trademark infringement
  • Assisted in obtaining complete dismissal of claims against sports franchise relating to allegations that state entity improperly classified taxable status in related stadium property

Credentials

Education
  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Central Florida, B.A., Digital Media, cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
  • Georgia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • All State Courts in Georgia
  • All State Courts in Florida
Memberships
  • USA Roller Sports, Compliance Committee, 2020; Ethics Committee, 2018-2019; Bylaws Committee, 2017; Board of Directors, 2015
  • United States Olympic Committee, Athlete Advisory Council, 2015
  • Florida Blue Key
  • College Leadership Florida, Class XIII
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • State Bar of Florida
  • American Bar Association
Honors & Awards
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2017-2019
  • Order of the Coif
  • Book Award: Evidence, University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • Journal of Technology Law & Policy, Best Case Comment: "Court 'Opts Out' of Google Books Settlement," 2011

Publications