San Francisco – February 21, 2006 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network -…

San Francisco – February 21, 2006 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Holland & Knight LLP announced today that William B. Piels has been named Executive Partner of the firm’s San Francisco office. Piels, a partner who practices in the firm’s Business Section, brings wide-ranging legal expertise and leadership skills to his new role.

Piels is replacing current San Francisco Executive Partner Thomas A. Zimmer, who will be assuming the new role of Deputy Section Leader for the firm’s Business Section, consisting of over 400 lawyers throughout the firm’s 25 offices.

“With his new appointment, Tom Zimmer will be focusing his administrative responsibilities more directly in his practice area, while continuing to service his equipment finance and corporate clients. Holland & Knight needs a leader in San Francisco who will bring the same expertise as Tom – and Bill Piels is that person,” said Howell W. Melton, Jr., Holland & Knight’s managing partner. “Bill’s focus will be on strategic growth of key practices and lateral recruiting for the San Francisco office, as well as continuing to serve clients as one of the leading aircraft finance attorneys.”

Piels has 20 years of experience in aircraft lease and financing transactions and has represented some of the world’s largest aircraft operating lessors and international financial institutions. He is a frequent lecturer and author, and is listed in the Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers, Euromoney’s Best of the Best Aviation Lawyers and the International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers.

Piels earned a J.D., Order of the Coif from the University of Oregon School of Law and his a B.A. cum laude from Macalester College. He is a member of the Subcommittee on Aircraft Finance and Contracts of the American Bar Association.

Zimmer has over 20 years of experience in equipment leasing and finance, with an emphasis on aircraft finance transactions. He is also a frequent lecturer and author, and is listed in the Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers and in Best Lawyers of America® 2006 as one of the leading Equipment Finance lawyers in the United States. He is a member of the Aircraft Finance and Contracts Division of the American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space, the Aircraft Financing Subcommittee of the American Bar Association Business Law Section, and the Leasing Subcommittee of the American Bar Association Uniform Commercial Code Committee.

Mr. Zimmer earned both his J.D. (Magna Cum Laude) and B.A. in Economics (High Honors with High Distinction) from the University of Michigan.

About Holland & Knight LLP: Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,250 lawyers in 25 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, real estate and governmental law. 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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