Sandra M. Upegui is currently Senior Legal Counsel with Dufry, a leading global travel retail company publicly listed on the swiss stock exchange with operations in 65 countries. Ms. Upegui currently oversees litigation and human resource matters for Dufry worldwide. She has also handled a variety of transactional matters for the company in multiple countries throughout Latin America, the Middle East and Australia, including acquisitions, corporate matters, concessions and various other contractual matters.
Ms. Upegui started her career at Shutts & Bowen LLP as a summer associate and upon graduating from Florida State University College of Law she returned full time to Shutts & Bowen LLP as an associate in the litigation department. She eventually became a litigation partner in the International Litigation Practice Group focusing her practice in various industries, including banking, real estate, insurance and healthcare.
After 9 years with Shutts & Bowen LLP, she decided it was time to make a career change and she joined the University of Miami as Assistant General Counsel. At the University of Miami, Sandra Upegui advised senior management in various legal matters, including privacy and security, healthcare, contracts and litigation. She stayed with the University for 5 ½ years and then decided it was time to take a world sabbatical for a year and traveled to 17 different countries during that time.
Upon her return, Ms. Upegui opened her own solo practice representing various companies on a diverse range of business legal matters, including corporate law, contract negotiation, employment matters and litigation. She acted as general counsel for a high-end jewelry company during this time and eventually decided to join the Dufry Group legal team.
Lorna R. Simms is Assistant General Counsel, Securities and Transactions of Office Depot, Inc. In this role, Simms has responsibility for the company’s securities and compliance matters, including SEC periodic reports, Section 16 filings, annual proxy statements, annual reports, earnings releases/calls, investor presentations, and compliance with the Nasdaq requirements. She assists with matters related to meetings of the Board of Directors and its committees, including the preparation of meeting materials, resolutions and minutes. She advises on Regulation S-K, Regulation FD, non-GAAP measures disclosures, insider trading programs and policies, related party transactions matters, and governance matters, including Delaware corporate law questions. She also assists other Legal team members and internal business owners in connection with M&A and other strategic transactions, structuring, drafting, reviewing and negotiating a variety of commercial agreements, and providing timely and practical commercial legal guidance on a broad range of business topics. Prior to her current position, Simms served as Vice President, Chief Securities Counsel and Corporate Secretary of The ADT Corporation, Senior Counsel and Assistant Secretary of The Williams Companies, Inc., Senior Corporate Counsel of UST, Inc., Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of Blyth, Inc., as well as an associate for several New York City law firms. She is a member of Corporate Counsel Women of Color, the National Bar Association and the Society of Corporate Governance. Simms received her B.A. from Boston University, cum laude, and her J.D. from the New York University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in the state of New York, the District of Columbia and authorized in-house counsel in Florida.
Shelly Northover is the Vice President, Risk and Compliance Officer and Privacy Officer for Orlando based Holiday Inn Club Vacations, a fast-growing hospitality company in the timeshare space. She oversees their corporate Ethics, Risk and Compliance and Privacy programs and is responsible for restructuring and embedding the Enterprise Risk Management Program into the culture of the organization. She is the Chair of the Risk Committee and works closely with the Executive team and business units to establish best practice standards, set up effective and efficient controls and processes, develop policy, facilitate mitigation and remediation of risk and compliance issues related to both legal and regulatory matters, while driving organizational change and supporting the compliant culture within the organization.
Before Joining Holiday Inn Club Vacations in 2018, Shelly spent over 24 years in the Insurance industry working in various roles. For over 12 years Shelly has brought her depth of experience and knowledge in risk and compliance to companies like Nationwide Insurance, Kemper Property & Casualty, both in Texas, and Esurance, located in California, before moving to Florida.
Shelly has an undergraduate degree from Rice University and obtained her JD from South Texas College of Law, both in Houston Texas. She was as a Prosecutor with the City of Houston in Texas and is a former NCAA Collegiate track and field athlete.
Danielle Kirby currently serves as in-house Legal Counsel for all mergers and acquisitions, business development, and project finance for Sonnedix USA Services Limited which, together with its affiliates, forms part of the Sonnedix Group. The Sonnedix Group is an Independent Solar Power Producer in the global solar PV industry with a significant combination of energy production in operation and under construction, development, and/or documentation in eight countries. Prior to Sonnedix, Danielle spent her career at Holland & Knight in New York practicing in the International and Cross Border Group, with primary focus on domestic and cross-border mergers, asset acquisitions, private equity and joint venture transactions in Latin America, Europe and China across a wide range of industries. Danielle previously served as a coordinator of Holland & Knight’s Women’s Initiative in the New York Office; an executive member of the New York Bar Association Corporate Law Committee; and associate editor of the Hofstra Law Review. Prior to joining Sonnedix Danielle also briefly spent time as Senior Legal Counsel with the Dufry Group in Miami advising on all legal matters relating to the group’s operations in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia.
Nisha Bhatia serves as General Counsel for Pensam Residential. Nisha first joined the firm as an intern in 2009. Nisha’s responsibilities include: ensuring internal corporate regulatory compliance, drafting and reviewing loan documents, corporate structuring, and assisting outside counsel in transactional work, including conventional mortgage loans, mezzanine financing, loan assumptions, loan structuring, and real estate acquisitions.
Nisha is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2007. She earned a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Miami School Of Law in 2010. While at the University of Miami School of Law, Nisha served as a member of the Student Bar Association, the Admissions Committee and the Orientation Committee.
Nisha is a member of the Florida Bar.
Carolyn is chair of the firm’s Hospitality Practice Group and former co-chair of the Labor and Employment Department. Her practice largely consists of representing and counseling employers in the hospitality industry, specifically restaurants, hotels, caterers, night clubs, lounges and fitness centers. In particular, Carolyn has extensive experience litigating wage and hour class actions, restrictive covenants and employment discrimination cases. She also counsels clients extensively with respect to workplace issues such as the hiring process, diversity awareness training, union avoidance, employee handbooks and other policy initiatives.
Carolyn is also counsel to a number of employers in the retail, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing industries. She frequently provides union avoidance and sexual harassment training, and represents employers before a variety of state and federal agencies.
In 2019, Cornell University’s ILR School awarded Carolyn the Judge William B. Groat prize, the school’s highest honor.
Increasingly, Carolyn is called upon by her peers in the legal community to mediate difficult disputes in the wage and hour and discrimination areas. The respect she enjoys on both sides of the bar and her deep understanding of the legal issues and needs of all parties for practical solutions has made her a sought-after mediator.
Nellie Camerik is a partner in Weil’s Real Estate practice and is based in Miami. Ms. Camerik has extensive experience in representing financial institutions, corporations and other institutional clients in a broad range of real estate and public finance transactions and in a variety of capacities including as borrowers, lenders, owners, agents, participants, credit enhancers, joint venture partners, bond purchasers and underwriters.
Ms. Camerik is recommended for Real Estate by Legal 500 US. Her experience in real estate transactions includes the acquisition, sale, financing, development, leasing and management of all types of commercial real estate and in all kinds of commercial real estate transactions including the creation of joint ventures, mortgage and mezzanine financing, loan syndications and participations, restructurings and workouts, real estate acquisitions and dispositions, section 363 sales and other bankruptcy restructurings, portfolio and multi-asset transactions. She has extensive experience representing clients in public finance matters including the credit enhancement of tax-exempt bonds, the purchase and sale of bond-financed projects and the workout and restructuring of defaulted bond issues, both in and out of bankruptcy court proceedings. She has also been involved in numerous significant bankruptcy and restructuring matters.
Zamira Zapata Valdés is the Vice President and General Counsel for Diageo’s Central America, Caribbean, Free-trade zone and Border business, and in addition to overseeing corporate security and brand protection, she leads the company’s compliance team in this region. She also plays a relevant role on the CCA Executive Committee and the Executive Committee for the Zacapa business.
Prior to this role, she was the VP and General Counsel for Diageo’s Mexico branch. During her assignment in Mexico she led the legal team, and was a key member of the Executive Committee and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Mexican companies.
Before joining Diageo she was the Legal Corporate Director in Genomma Lab, a leading Mexican public company in the pharmaceutical and personal care products segment, with an increasing international presence in the U.S.A. and Latin-America. Zamira has also worked for Mexico’s federal government. Later she served as Head of the Unit for Promotion of Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Economy.
Ms. Richardson brings over 25 years of life sciences and agriculture experience to Anuvia. She has served as General Counsel for Qualitest, Jubilant Life Sciences and Schwarz BioSciences. Ms. Richardson brings a strong science and operations background that allows her to provide results driven legal advice. Ms. Richardson has previously served as President of the Alabama Chapter of The Association of Corporate Counsel and Chair of the ACC Health Law Committee.
Kim Gerber is General Counsel of the Supply Chain Division of Ryder System, Inc., a Fortune 500 transportation and logistics company. Ryder employs more than 36,000 people, manages a fleet of more than 250,000 commercial vehicles, and operates more than 50 million square feet of warehouse space. As general counsel of the business unit, Kim oversees all legal functions and works closely with company leadership. She leads cross-functional deal teams in strategic acquisitions, drafts and negotiates customer contracts and vendor agreements, engages outside counsel, and participates in dispute resolution. She is also responsible for numerous regulatory matters, including compliance with food safety laws, government contracting regulations, and various cross-border matters in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Prior to going in-house in 2012, Kim worked as a corporate and securities associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York and at Stearns Weaver Miller in Miami. Kim is a summa cum laude graduate of Duke University and obtained her J.D. from NYU Law. She is active in her community and volunteers with a number of organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami and United Way of Miami-Date.
Katherine M. Paisley is General Counsel & VP of Compliance for Exacta Systems, the leading producer of historic horse race wagers and terminals across the United States. Katherine graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a degree in English, which prepared her for both nothing and everything. While at the University of Kentucky College of Law, Katherine participated in mock trial events, winning her regional tournament, and participating in the American College of Trial Lawyers’ national competition in Austin, TX. Katherine segued her advocacy skills into five years of criminal trial practice, first as a felony prosecutor and then as a criminal defense attorney. During that time, Katherine tried thirteen cases with a record of 11-1-1, and earned a reversal of a client’s conviction with a unanimous ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court. Subsequent to trial work, Katherine was appointed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear as Deputy General Counsel for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, during which much of her work focused on the legality of historic horse racing. Through that work, Katherine became a leading expert in the niche market of historic horse racing and now serves as counsel for the leading company in the field.
Provides legal advice on all corporate matters, regulations, internal policies, risk management and minimization, business initiatives, new projects, investment agreements, joint ventures, financing and monitor judicial and extrajudicial litigation for USA, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean (except for Cuba).
Pandora Strasler is General Counsel of PPI Technologies Group, a global manufacturer of StandUP pouch and end of line machinery, contract packaging, liquor distribution and consumer natural wellness products. She has extensive experience in corporate commercial law with a special emphasis upon corporate finance and merger transactions. She is qualified to practice law in New York and Ontario, is a member of the Roll of Solicitors of England & Wales and Florida Bar Authorized House Counsel. She has a distinguished career and prior to joining PPITG, practiced law at Latham & Watkins LLP in New York City and Osler Hoskin LLP in Toronto. Ms. Strasler is a contributing author to the Lexis Practice Advisor. At PPITG, she is responsible to oversee all legal matters, including risk assessment and commercial arrangements of the organization. She also serves on the Management Committee. She supports pro bono legal activities for our brave Veterans.
Geralyn practices primarily in the area of commercial and complex business litigation with an emphasis on representation of directors and officers, agents and brokers, lawyers and others in professional liability and community association matters. She also handles complex personal injury, toxic tort defense and wrongful death actions, as well as construction and employment liability matters.
Geralyn has tried more than 50 cases to verdict, including four trials in the year 2013, and is also an Arbitrator in consumer and commercial dispute matters through the American Arbitration Association.
Geralyn was recruited by Litchfield Cavo LLP to open its new Fort Lauderdale office in February 2009. Currently, she is chair of the Firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Kathleen brings more than 25 years’ experience to her practice in complex commercial litigation, commercial and residential construction, consumer fraud, mass toxic tort, premises liability, environmental matters, and commercial and personal automobile.
A substantial part Kathleen’s practice includes the defense of employers, malls, restaurants, retail establishments, rental car companies and manufacturing entities with a world-wide presence. She has engaged in a multi-state civil litigation practice with an emphasis on defending all types of claims from initial filing to trial and appeal.
Kathleen is national counsel for a top manufacturing company with a presence in the US and internationally and she has experience with international treaties in relation to her defense of multinational corporations. Kathleen has been involved in several high profile matters ranging from fatalities to defending against a religious discrimination claim which was monitored by national and international groups.
Kathleen is a current member of Litchfield Cavo LLP’s Executive Committee.