Holland & Knight Hklaw Acquires Thompson & Knight

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Law firm Holland & Knight Hklaw has expanded by acquiring Texas-based Thompson & Knight. The combined firm will have nearly 1,600 employees across 31 state offices. Leslie Zuleta heads Hklaw’s Colombia office. Below are some highlights of the recent changes at the firm. The company also welcomed new partner Jack Siegel to its ranks. To learn more, read on. Also, read on for information about Leslie Palma and Jack Siegel.

Leslie Palma joins Holland & Knight

Greenberg Traurig has added a labor and employment team in Mexico. Leslie Palma, a shareholder and counsel, has joined from Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office. Before joining the firm, Palma was the head of human resources at Lottus Education. Palma will lead the firm’s new Mexico City practice. She will bring with her 20 years of legal experience in employment matters.

Before joining Holland & Knight, Palma spent nearly nine years in Mexico at Basham, Ringe y Correa and the Mexico City office of Thompson & Knight. She advises multinational and Mexican clients on labour management and employment issues. She also advises Lottus Education on its workforce reductions and other issues related to labour management. Before joining Holland & Knight, Palma worked in-house at Lottus Education for eight years. She will support Jorge Andazola’s work, handling the labour aspect of transactional operations and conducting labour-law compliance audits.

In addition to expanding its Mexican practice, Holland & Knight also added a partner to its Mexico City office. Boris Otto, who formerly worked at rival law firm Chadbourne & Parke, has joined the firm. Holland & Knight began operating in Mexico in 1998 through a joint venture with Gallastegui y Lozano SC. The joint venture ended, and the firm has since poached the entire slate of attorneys and four associates from Chadbourne & Parke.

Jack Siegel joins Holland & Knight

Attorney Jack Siegel dies after more than 50 years at the firm. The firm said that the Chicago-area resident had worked at the firm for 15 years, but his death was a result of complications from cancer. Steven Elrod, executive partner of Holland & Knight’s Chicago office, said that Siegel was “a soft-spoken intellectual who became a tenacious litigator.” Born in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Siegel joined the Navy after high school. He spent his officer training stateside before returning to Chicago to practice law.

In 2001, the firm ranked fifth among U.S. law firms, with a majority of African-American partners. It helped pioneer the right to provide spousal benefits for gay employees, and it was a major supporter of pro bono work. In 1983, the firm opened an office in Orlando, Florida. In the process, the firm added a third office to its existing three. Now, the firm has six offices in nine states, which includes Washington, D.C.

A renowned political lawyer, Jack is also a member of the firm’s employment law department. He has vast experience in dealing with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal and Appeal Resolution Officers. His litigation practice also includes employment law matters before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and Grievance Arbitration Board. Jack has extensive experience in employment and labour law, including wrongful dismissal actions, regulatory hearings, and judicial review applications.

Leslie Zuleta heads Hklaw’s Colombian office

Mr. Leslie Zuleta heads Hklaw’s Colombian office. He has over two decades of experience in dispute resolution, including handling proceedings before Colombian courts at all levels. He also has extensive experience in arbitration, including both domestic and cross-border matters. Previously, Mr. Zuleta headed the litigation department at a large Colombian law firm. He joined Hklaw in 2008.

The Colombian office’s team includes lawyers with a wide range of experience and expertise. Carlos Ochoa specializes in the energy sector. Gabriel Ruiz handles administrative and corporate design work for clients in the energy sector. Selene Espinosa focuses on corporate law and energy projects, while Aldo Gonzalez Melo works on banking and finance matters. Several lawyers from other law firms are also based in the Colombian office.

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