Washington, DC – March 29, 2005 – Holland & Knight LLP today announced…

Washington, DC – March 29, 2005 – Holland & Knight LLP today announced that Leigh-Alexandra Basha, Melinda Merk and Stephanie Bagot have joined the firm’s Private Wealth Services practice from Peterson & Basha, PLC. Basha joins as a partner, Merk joins as senior counsel and Bagot joins as an associate.

“We are delighted to welcome these three talented and versatile attorneys to Holland & Knight,” said Ed Koren, Private Wealth Services Section Leader. “Their arrival reflects our strategic emphasis to serve a widening circle of sophisticated clients in the key mid-Atlantic region and materially strengthens our Private Wealth Services practice, both in the U.S. and internationally.”

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Basha was a partner of Peterson & Basha, PLC and its predecessor Peterson & Pesner, PC, which she joined in 1985. Her practice focuses on domestic and international tax and estate planning, estate administration, and business law for individuals, families and business owners. Basha is a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has spoken extensively both nationally and internationally. Basha received an AB from Georgetown University, a JD from American University and an LLM in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center and is admitted to practice law in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, US Tax Court, and US Supreme Court.

Merk was a senior tax associate at Peterson & Basha, PLC prior to joining Holland & Knight. Her practice focuses on domestic and international tax planning, estate planning, estate administration, and business law for individuals, families and business owners. Prior to joining Peterson & Basha, Merk was a member of the Personal Financial Counseling Group at Ernst & Young’s National Tax Department. Merk received a BS cum laude from Shepherd College, a JD from Duquesne University School of Law and an LLM with distinction from Georgetown University Law Center. Merk is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia and is a Certified Financial PlannerTM.

Bagot joined Peterson & Basha in 2002 as an international business and estate planning associate. Prior to Peterson & Basha, Bagot was employed by Deloitte & Touche as a mergers and acquisitions associate in the firm’s Paris-based Venture Capital Department. Bagot received a Master of Law from the University of Paris-X and an LLM in International Business Transactions from American University. She is admitted to practice in New York and France.

About Holland & Knight’s Private Wealth Services Section: Holland & Knight’s Private Wealth Services Section serves clients with needs that often span personal, business and nonprofit matters by taking a comprehensive, integrated approach to the areas of sophisticated estate planning, trust and estate administration and fiduciary litigation, nonprofit organizations, charitable gift planning, and family and private businesses. With more than 20 lawyers who are Fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Holland & Knight has the highest number of any law firm in the country.

Contact: Elizabeth Fogerty
Rubenstein Associates
212-843-8071
[email protected]

About Holland & Knight LLP: Holland & Knight is a commercial law firm with more than 1,250 lawyers in 26 offices in the United States. Internationally, offices are located in Mexico City, Tokyo, Beijing, and London with representative offices in Helsinki, Caracas and Tel Aviv, and strategic alliance relations in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Holland & Knight is among the 15 largest firms worldwide, providing representation in all major areas of law. www.hklaw.com

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