Karen D. Walker
Government Section Leader
Karen D. Walker is an attorney who is a partner in the Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., offices of Holland & Knight, where she leads the firm's Government Section and oversees the provision of government affairs and regulatory services to firm clients.
Ms. Walker represents clients in all aspects of state and local government procurement, including analyzing potential contracting opportunities, assisting clients in responding to competitive solicitations, contract negotiations, bid protests, contract implementation and performance issues, contract disputes and compliance matters. She has extensive experience in bid protests before state and local governmental entities in Florida, as well as throughout the United States. Ms. Walker also represents clients in civil litigation and appellate matters relating to state and local government procurement and contracting issues. She has long been active in the American Bar Association Section of Public Contract Law State and Local Division and has twice chaired the Section's Annual State and Local Procurement Symposium.
Ms. Walker's practice representing clients in matters involving state and local governments often involves work relating to public records and open meetings laws. She has particular experience assisting clients seeking to prevent disclosure of their trade secrets in response to public records requests made to various state and local governmental entities throughout the country. Ms. Walker has litigated public records disputes in state trial courts, and has also represented clients in appeals relating to public records and open meetings laws.
In addition, Ms. Walker represents clients in various administrative law and regulatory matters, including rulemaking, rule challenges, licensing and disciplinary proceedings, before state and local regulatory agencies as well as in administrative litigation before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. Her work includes providing advice and counsel regarding ethics and campaign finance laws, and representing clients in proceedings before the Florida Elections Commission and the Florida Commission on Ethics.
Ms. Walker's representative matters include:
- successfully defending a Medicaid-managed care contract award valued at more than $1 billion in Florida bid protest litigation before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings
- successfully defending a contract award for processing and disbursing child support payments through bid protest administrative litigation, open meetings law litigation in state court and two appeals
- successfully representing a red light camera company in local government bid protests before local governments in Florida and Virginia
- successfully representing a managed care company in protesting a Medicaid-managed care contract award in Nebraska, and then defending the new award through bid protest proceedings and litigation in Nebraska federal court
- successfully representing a provider of educational contracts and services in defending a bid protest in New Mexico and subsequent appeal in New Mexico state court relating to a contract award for a multistate educational assessment procured through a multistate cooperative purchasing consortium
- successfully representing a property insurer in protecting its trade secret information required to be filed with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation from disclosure under Florida's public records laws in an appeal from a state court decision
Ms. Walker has held numerous leadership positions at Holland & Knight, including serving as executive partner of the firm's Tallahassee office, the liaison for the executive partners of all of Holland & Knight's offices to the firm's senior management, and two terms on the firm's Directors Committee. She is also active in her community, where she has long been involved with the United Way of the Big Bend, Kids Incorporated of the Big Bend and legal services organizations.
Resident in the District of Columbia office solely to provide law-related services, and not engaged in the general practice of law unless under the supervision of a lawyer licensed to practice in the District of Columbia.
- University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D., with honors
- Florida State University, B.S., Communication Studies, magna cum laude
- All State Courts in Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- American Bar Association, Section of Public Contract Law, State and Local Division, Former, Division Vice Chair; Former Florida State Chair
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow
- The Florida Bar, Administrative Law Section; Governmental & Public Policy Advocacy Committee; Special Committee on Opportunity in the Practice of Law in Florida
- Leadership Florida Class XXVII
- Leadership Tallahassee Class XVI
- Tallahassee Bar Association
- Tallahassee Women Lawyers
- Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists
- United Way of the Big Bend, Women United Steering Committee
- Kids Incorporated of the Big Bend, Board of Directors
- Club 25
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Administrative/Regulatory Law, Commercial Litigation, Government Relations Practice, 2006-2022; Government Contracts, 2022
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Tallahassee Government Relations Practice Lawyer of the Year, 2022
- Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Tallahassee Administration/Regulatory Law Lawyer of the Year, 2017
- Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2021
- Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend magazine, 2009-2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
- 25 Women You Need to Know, Tallahassee Democrat, 2016
- Joy Aukema Taps Children Advocate of the Year Award, 2015
- Women of Distinction Award, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle Inc., 2012
- Corporate Counsel Edition, Super Lawyers magazine, July 2009
- Who's Who In America
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
- Florida Law Review, Senior Managing Editor
- Order of the Coif