Law Firms

A Holland & Knight First: Black, Female Leader


Kelly-Ann Cartwright is something of a trailblazer.

She has been named executive partner of Holland & Knight in Miami, the first black woman to lead one of the firm’s offices and the only black woman to lead a large law firm in South Florida, the Daily Business Review reports.

Cartwright will replace Peter Prieto, who is resigning to head the firm’s national litigation section.

Cartwright says minorities and women have progressed in the firm due the efforts of firm founder Chesterfield Smith, also a mentor for past ABA president Martha Barnett, the first woman hired at Holland & Knight. The late Smith is also a past ABA president.

Cartwright says Smith helped foster diversity and community service at the firm.

“Holland & Knight is committed to diversity and to do that, you have to do more than say you are being committed, you have to do it,” she told the Business Review. “And by placing people like me in leadership positions you do that.”

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