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DLA Piper expands litigation practice in Puerto Rico
Global law firm DLA Piper has announced the expansion of its litigation practice in Puerto Rico with the addition of Nereida Melendez-Rivera and Sonia Torres-Pabon as partners.
Both of the new partners focus their practice on white collar defense and corporate investigations and will be based in the firm’s San Juan office.
Melendez-Rivera is a seasoned investigator and trial attorney who focuses her practice on corporate internal and regulator-driven investigations, white-collar defense, business litigation and regulatory enforcement. She previously served as an assistant US attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico and the former deputy chief of white collar crime.
During her tenure as a federal prosecutor, she investigated and tried cases in areas including healthcare, federal program fraud, mail and wire fraud, securities fraud, financial crimes and environmental crimes.
Melendez-Rivera has coordinated legal strategies for corporations and individuals facing multiple criminal and regulatory enforcement actions, representing clients in investigations and proceedings before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Her civil litigation experience includes products liability, torts, class actions and contractual disputes.
For her part, Torres-Pabon focuses her practice on corporate internal and regulator-driven investigations, complex civil litigation and defending corporations and individuals in criminal, regulatory and forfeiture proceedings.
She represents brokerage houses and brokers in FINRA complaints filed by investors, and she has helped clients respond to subpoenas by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
She has past experience as the former chief of the criminal division for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, where she investigated and tried white collar, violent crime, money laundering and drug cases.
Torres-Pabon has argued many appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
She has successfully represented clients charged with conspiracy, honest service fraud, mail fraud, healthcare related offenses and money laundering, as well as clients before the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, FINRA, the EPA, the Puerto Rico Public Service Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service.
Both of the new partners have conducted significant investigations related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and corporate investigations across Latin America in countries including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
“We are very excited to expand the service offering available from DLA Piper’s Puerto Rico office to clients throughout the Americas,” Nikos Buxeda and Miriam Figueroa, managing partner and deputy managing partner, respectively, for DLA Piper’s Puerto Rico office, said in a statement.
“Nereida and Sonia are widely-recognized in Puerto Rico as leading practitioners in corporate investigations and white collar proceedings, and as former federal district attorneys who are fully bilingual and have a robust practice conducting corporate investigations in Latin America, will complement our already strong teams in Latin America and the United States,” they added.
DLA Piper Latin America team comprises more than 400 lawyers practicing throughout Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Puerto Rico.
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