Overview

Aymee D. Valdivia is an attorney in the International and Cross Border Transactions Practice of Holland & Knight's Business Section and a member of Holland & Knight's Cuba Action Team. Ms. Valdivia focuses her practice on corporate and transactional matters, representing foreign and domestic clients in joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and a broad variety of commercial transactions, with a focus in Latin America and Cuba. Her background and legal education in both common and civil law systems provides Ms. Valdivia with the ability to advise clients on transactions and projects involving multiple jurisdictions, legal systems and cultures, including the drafting and negotiation of contracts in English and Spanish.

Ms. Valdivia advises domestic and foreign clients on the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), which are administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), concerning their business ventures in Cuba, as well as regulatory compliance. Her experience practicing law in Cuba for several years provides Ms. Valdivia with extensive knowledge of the Cuban legal system, especially in the areas of foreign investment, financing, regulatory compliance and immigration. She is a native of Cuba and has an in-depth understanding of the business culture in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.

Throughout her practice, Ms. Valdivia works directly with foreign in-house counsel law firms in serving clients on multijurisdictional projects. Ms. Valdivia has experience in international commercial arbitrations in which she has served as assistant to one of the parties or the arbitrator.

Ms. Valdivia has also handled a number of pro bono matters, including successfully representing two Cuban nationals in unblocking nearly $1 million in funds frozen by OFAC, representation of a Cuban independent entrepreneur against a Florida travel agency in connection with unpaid invoices for services provided, and representation of foreign nationals in immigration matters.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of a U.S. airline in obtaining landing and operating permits from the Cuban aviation authority, starting regular services to three Cuban airports and registering a local branch office in Cuba
  • Representation of a U.S. client in the financial services sector in the evaluation and negotiation of a business project in Cuba
  • Representation of U.S. cruise companies in the application process for obtaining the required licenses and permits from the Cuban government in order to operate in Cuba, and in the negotiation of contracts with Cuban entities
  • Representation of a U.S. cancer treatment and research center in connection with joint research projects with Cuban counterparts

  • Representation of Puerto Rico financial institution in the filing with U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of voluntary self-disclosure in connection with potential violations of the Venezuelan-related sanctions
  • Representation of a Spanish company and a U.S. subsidiary in the shipping and freight-forwarding business in connection potential violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Exports Administration Regulations (EAR) due to re-export of U.S. products through a Panamanian subsidiary to Cuba
  • Representation of a Panamanian company in the electronic equipment manufacturing business with operations in the U.S. and Cuba in connection with OFAC sanctions regulatory advice
  • Representation of a Spanish group in the food productions and marketing business with operations in the U.S. and Cuba in connection with OFAC sanctions regulatory advice
  • Representation of multiple U.S. banks and financial institutions in connection with sanctions regulatory advice, and in the preparation and filings of voluntary self-disclosure and responses to OFAC subpoenas under OFAC sanctions regulations

  • Representation of an Irish parent company, through its subsidiaries, in the purchase of a pineapple farming and marketing business in Costa Rica, including the land, packing facilities and other assets, and in the sale of a pineapple farming business in Panama, including the land and equipment
  • Representation of a multinational buyer with headquarters in Luxemburg in the acquisition, through its Dutch subsidiary, of exclusive franchise rights of five large food restaurants in Central America
  • Representation of a U.S. leading provider of specialty consumer financial services in the acquisition of a 60 percent ownership interest in a specialty consumer finance company that is headquartered in Mexico City and is one of the top three – and fastest growing – providers of payroll deduction loans in Mexico

  • Representation of an Indian company in the mobile app and marketing business in connection with operations in 16 jurisdictions in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Representation of a multinational service corporation in post-spinoff restructuring of its business operations in 15 jurisdiction in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Representation of a U.S. distribution company and its foreign subsidiaries in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador in connection with transactional, corporate and compliance matters in Central America
  • Representation of a Japanese multinational corporation and its U.S. subsidiary in establishing a new corporate structure for their power plant manufacturing, installation and maintenance business operations in Latin America

  • Represented a coal company in an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration among the shareholders in the concessionaire of a railway in Colombia
  • Assisted chair of International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) Arbitration Panel in dispute concerning the sale of an interest in Venezuelan financial business resulting in award of $25 million; the language of the arbitration was Spanish; the award was confirmed by a U.S. federal court in 2013
  • Cuba expert counsel in the representation of Chilean businessmen in arbitration proceedings in connection with breach of international joint venture contract under Cuban Foreign Investment Law; the language of the arbitration was Spanish

Credentials

Education
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • Universidad de La Habana, Licenciado en Derecho (J.D. equivalent), diploma de oro (magna cum laude equivalent)
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Cuba
  • Florida
Memberships
  • Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University
Honors & Awards
  • Top 100 Female Lawyers in Latin America, Latinvex, 2020, 2022
  • Chambers Global – The World's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Cuba: General Business Law, Associate to Watch, 2018, 2019; Cuba: General Business Law, Up and Coming, 2020-2022
  • Chambers Latin America – Latin America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Cuba: Corporate/Commercial, Associates to Watch, 2017-2019; Up and Coming, 2020-2022
  • Rising Star, Class of 2016, Holland & Knight Women Initiative
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News