By Drew Wilson
Law and lobbying firm Becker announced Monday that Katie Edwards-Walpole is joining the firm.
The former state Representative will serve as a Senior Attorney in Becker’s Government Law and Lobbying group in West Palm Beach, where she will focus on agricultural, water, environmental and land use issues.
“We are so happy to land Katie,” said Bernie Friedman, who chairs the Government Law and Lobbying practice. “Her keen legal skills, extensive government background, knowledge of regulatory process and procedures and large network of contacts throughout Florida will be of great value for Becker and our clients, especially those in the agricultural, environmental and water industries.”
Edwards-Walpole is known for her representation of agricultural landowners, whether resolving code enforcement violations for farms and nurseries of all sizes, securing agricultural classifications before county property appraisers and value adjustment boards or guiding equestrian property owners through the building and site development process.
She also performs due diligence in multi-million-dollar real estate acquisitions and secures land use entitlements and variance for their projects. She has successfully negotiated franchise fee agreements with local governments on behalf of pipeline operators.
Her work before the South Florida Water Management District spans her career which began as the Executive Director of the Dade County Farm Bureau. She has a deep understanding of water policy and permitting that has resulted in successful representations for her clients including a water bottling facility, cattle grazing leases and the acquisition of surplus District lands.
“I’m excited to join Becker’s innovative and highly-regarded Law and Lobbying team, who I know well and have worked with for several years,” she said. “I think it will be a good fit and look forward to using my varied skill set while helping clients navigate Florida’s often confusing development, permitting and regulatory processes.”
Edwards-Walpole served in the Florida House from 2012-18, where her contributions were recognized by the Florida Association of Counties, Florida Home Builders Association, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Florida Water Environment Association Utility Council, and the Florida Farm Bureau Federation.
Most recently, Edwards-Walpole was counsel at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. There, she quarterbacked a team of environmental engineers, consultants, and lawyers to convey land needed for the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands environmental project in exchange for an easement on District land needed for the relocation of the WIOD-AM radio antennae.
Becker said her skilled advocacy and outreach efforts were instrumental in securing a 5-2 approval from the District’s Governing Board on a complex, multifaceted project.
Edwards-Walpole earned an undergraduate degree in agricultural and applied economics from Clemson University and a law degree from Florida International University.