On Feb. 15, Parsons Behle & Latimer (Parsons) attorney Emily D. Holt was honored as one of Utah Business Magazine’s 2024 “Forty Under 40” professionals. Holt is a shareholder in Parsons’ Salt Lake City office and was chosen in 2022 as the chairperson of its banking and financial services practice team. Parsons’ 28-attorney banking and finance team has assisted clients of all sizes with complex transactions, loan documentation, contracts, litigation, appeals and corporate restructuring for more than 100 years. Holt specializes in the transactional side of banking and finance and has been an attorney for 11 years.

Parsons’ Vice President and Treasurer Bruce H. White says, “Emily knows finance and lending. She is the go-to lending lawyer that I refer all my clients to who have lending needs (no matter the size of the transaction), not just locally, but across the country. She is that good.”

Holt says she chose to practice in the banking and financial services vertical in the legal industry because of her colleagues and good mentors in the early years of her career. Later, she was drawn to the space simply by the nature of the work and the clients.

Holt says the most satisfying part of her work involves complex transactions that allow her to leverage the skills of a multidisciplinary team within Parsons to assist clients to reach their goals. She refers to a client whom she initially assisted with a small financing, then helped them weather the pandemic, took them through several rounds of financing and ultimately assisted with the sale of their business. Holt says, “Watching this client grow from a $10M line to a $200M line through different financings, and seeing their success was wonderful. The thought that I was able to help with that, in some small fashion, is very satisfying.”

Holt says she also enjoys the creativity of assisting clients, always in different ways, to meet their unique business needs. “There is a comfort in repeatedly using the same skills sets – financing transactions can be very repetitive – but each deal or loan is also a little different, and provides a constant learning opportunity,” she says.

In the future, Holt sees the banking and finance legal industry becoming much more automated, although she says personal interaction will never be replaced as attorneys bring a skill set that can’t be captured by automation. “We’re trained to investigate the details and diligence of transactions. The human aspect allows us to see the situation as a whole – ‘We can give here, tighten things a little there’ – not just providing a plug and play,” she says. “Attorneys provide guidance and counseling and assist clients when things are going badly or when they find themselves in difficult business situations, which is often the case.”

Ultimately, Holt says she loves her work because of her clients and the people she works with. “Everyone’s working toward a good and common goal. Borrowing money to build a development or a new business – building good things that help people’s lives. It’s rewarding to be part of that,” she says.