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Carlos Kelly Named Chair of Henderson Franklin’s Business Litigation Department

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., is pleased to announce that stockholder Carlos Kelly has been named chair of the Business Litigation Department. He succeeds Douglas Szabo, who will assume the role of Henderson Franklin’s managing stockholder in May. Szabo shares:

“I have had the honor and privilege of working extensively with Carlos for nearly 25 years. I have watched him grow and become an outstanding lawyer. He is bright, detail-oriented, and driven to do his best for his clients. I have no doubt these same skills and traits will serve him, the firm, and the Business Litigation Department in his new role as chair.”

Kelly is a zealous advocate for his clients and assists in helping them protect their business and real estate interests. More specifically, he helps his business clients in the areas of partner/shareholder claims, creditors’ rights, and other contract-based claims. A large part of Kelly’s practice involves contested real estate matters, including eminent domain, inverse condemnation, private property rights protection act claims, purchase and sale disputes, real estate broker/agent defense, and landlord/tenant claims. Commenting on his new role, Kelly shares:

“Our clients, and our staff and lawyers, are the most important contributors to the success of our Business Litigation Department. Our most recent chair, Doug Szabo, helped build on that mentality, which John Noland fostered during his many years of service to our Department as its first chair. Both John and Doug have provided outstanding examples of hard work, dedication, and leadership. I hope to follow their example as chair, as our Department grows to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients.”

Kelly is a sought-after speaker on a multitude of eminent domain aspects, including best practices to prepare an appraiser witness for trial in condemnation cases. He is co-chair of Lee County Bar Association’s General Civil and Business Litigation Practice Section, is Board Chair of The IMAG History & Science Center, and serves on SalusCare, Inc.’s Finance Committee. He has also been a long-time member of the Association of Eminent Domain Professionals, the Real Estate Investment Society, and The Florida Bar’s Eminent Domain Committee.

Kelly received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University, magna cum laude, and his J.D. from Emory University. He may be reached at or by phone at 239-344-1326.

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