Holland & Knight LLP
Steven D. Lear, a Partner in the Corporate & Securities Group, offers more than 25 years of complex legal, tax and business experience representing top national companies in the areas of mergers & acquisitions and joint ventures. As a licensed CPA with a masters degree (LLM) in tax law, combined with work experience as chief in-house counsel of two major mulit-faceted companies, Steve offers an extraordinary range of skills for structuring, negotiating, documenting and closing sophisticated transactions. He leads the group's joint venture practice and has closed many large, innovative joint venture deals. His transactions have garnered national press and some are valued in the billions of dollars.
With many years of experience counseling clients seeking to adapt to changing markets, Steve assists companies in successfully navigating through some of the most complex legal, tax and business considerations. His knowledge in the areas of accounting and tax adds significant value to his representation to clients. In addition to mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, his transactions include work-outs, debt and equity financing (including private placements and initial public offerings), corporate governance (including implementing anti-takeover measures in a takeover attempt of a public company), and most other facets of corporate, partnership and LLC commercial transactions. Steve represents both public and privately-held companies in a variety of industries including homebuilding and real estate development. Steve has a reputation for providing a high level of service to clients in a cost-effective manner.
Prior to joining Bilzin Sumberg, in addition to working at national law firms, Steve headed the legal departments of two large Florida companies. As Vice President of Legal Affairs and Tax for Lykes Bros., he managed the entire array of legal and tax issues involving a group of more than 50 business units whose commercial interests ranged from energy, shipping, citrus cultivation, juicing and distribution to insurance, trucking, fertilizer, sugarcane, agriculture, cattle and timber. As Director of Legal Affairs for U.S. Sugar Corporation, he managed the legal matters for the largest sugar grower and producer in the country, with vegetable, railroad, plastic manufacturing and citrus growing and processing subsidiaries.
Steve is an active member of the Florida Bar and currently serves as Reporting Secretary on a committee rewriting legislation governing Florida limited liability companies.
Steve is a Certified Public Accountant.