NEW YORK – November 7, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Net…

NEW YORK – November 7, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Holland & Knight, one of the nation’s leading law firms, has named veteran business leader Darrell Kelley as its Chief Operating Officer. This appointment further enhances the firm’s strategic focus on exceptional client service.

Kelley brings Holland & Knight a wealth of experience in economic development and business innovation in both the public and private sectors. In his most recent role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), he led the public-private partnership in its statewide economic development efforts, which included marketing Florida to U.S. and global businesses.

“Darrell’s exceptional reputation for client service, relationship building and commitment to high values make him a perfect fit for our firm,” said Managing Partner Howell W. Melton, Jr. “He brings with him significant expertise in business generation and client service, which will compliment Holland & Knight’s approach to the delivery of legal services.”

Holland & Knight’s announcement follows directly on the hiring this September of legal and finance veteran Michael R. Marget as Chief Financial Officer. “The addition of Darrell and Mike strengthens the Holland & Knight team,” Melton said. “Both are proven business leaders who, throughout their careers, have successfully managed and operated significant businesses in several states.”

“In today’s competitive marketplace, it is essential for law firms to partner with their corporate clients and to understand their businesses in order to meet the growing expectations of those clients,” added Melton. “At Holland & Knight we take those expectations seriously. The addition of Darrell to our management team underscores that commitment.”

At EFI, Kelley helped diversify Florida’s economy by attracting innovative, high-growth industries to the state. His efforts resulted in a 70% increase in EFI’s private sector investment. At the request of Governor Jeb Bush, Kelley, along with Secretary of State Glenda Hood and Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Susan Pareigis, chaired the development of “The Roadmap for Florida’s Future,” a statewide strategic plan for further diversifying Florida’s economy.

In partnership with Governor Bush and statewide leaders, Kelley helped craft and lead Florida’s economic development strategy, promoting a dynamic vision for Florida’s future as a center of innovation, research and the knowledge-based economy.

During a 38-year career in the telecommunications industry, Kelley served as president of three separate Sprint companies in Ohio, Texas, and Florida. He also earned a national reputation as an economic development thought-leader during terms as an EFI board member and as president and CEO of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.

“Having worked with Howell Melton as a committee chair and member of the EFI Board and during his term as Chairman of the Metro Orlando EDC, I know him to be an exceptional leader with whom I share common values,” Kelley said. “I look forward to joining Howell at Holland & Knight, a firm whose national platform offers many great business opportunities.”

Kelley’s leadership of the Metro Orlando EDC, which is regarded as one of the foremost regional economic development organizations in the country, included the launch of a $17.4 million campaign to promote Metro Orlando as a high-tech business center.

Kelley’s broad civic involvement has resulted in public recognition, including the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Ohio Senate. At the request of Ohio Governor George Voinovich, Kelley assisted in the formation and oversight of a task force charged with streamlining state government. In Florida, he served on the Government Accountability to the People Commission. Mr. Kelley earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Kelley will be based in the firm’s Orlando office.

About Holland & Knight LLP: Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,250 lawyers in 26 U.S. offices. Other offices around the world are located in Mexico City, Tokyo and Beijing, with representative offices in Helsinki, Caracas and Tel Aviv. Holland & Knight is among the world’s 15 largest firms, providing representation in litigation, business, governmental law, real estate and private-wealth services. Our interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams ensure clients have access to attorneys with the best expertise, regardless of location.

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