Sidelined senior official leaves H&K

In 1 on January 21, 2009 at 10:59 am

A top-ranking Holland & Knight official who was demoted this year to make room for accused sexual harasser Douglas A. Wright has resigned.

Chief financial officer Herb Albritton, who joined the giant law firm in 1981, is leaving the Tampa Bay area to become chief operating officer of a Charleston, S.C., law firm.

Albritton, 52, was named Holland's executive director in 1990. He remained its No. 1 nonlawyer until March, when managing partner Howell Melton Jr. fired the firm's previous CFO, demoted Albritton to that position and named Tampa lawyer Wright to the new role of chief operating partner. The reshuffling put Wright atop several business operations Albritton had managed, including human resources, and made him Albritton's boss

Wright's tenure as COP was short-lived. After local newspapers reported in late March that he had been reprimanded in 2004 for harassing young female colleagues, Wright quickly resigned the post. He remains a partner in the Tampa office.

But Albritton, who works out of Holland's administrative offices in Lakeland, was not reinstated to his prior role. His departure this month will leave Holland without a CFO, an executive director or a chief operating partner.

"(Managing partner Melton) has every right to appoint anyone he wants to serve the firm," Albritton said in an e-mail. "I am certain that he makes those decisions with the best interest of the firm in mind."

Albritton was raised in Bartow and received his bachelor's and MBA degrees at the University of South Florida and Florida Southern, respectively. He said his entire family lives in central Florida.

"I still love (Holland) and wish it continued success," Albritton wrote. "(But) this opportunity was simply too good to pass up."

Melton declined to comment on Albritton's resignation Tuesday. John Phillips, a former executive partner at Holland's Tampa office who left this spring to join a rival firm, praised Albritton.

"Herb always did a very good job," he said. "What made him decide to leave at this time, and why, I really don't know."


Posted via email from HKLaw Investigation


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