Katie Edwards-Walpole is a Senior Attorney in Becker’s Government Law & Lobbying Practice. A former member of the Florida House of Representatives, Katie’s experience building consensus among competing parties, coupled with her working knowledge of development, permitting and regulatory processes, makes her an effective advocate for clients facing complex legal issues.
Katie focuses her practice in land use, agribusiness, real estate, energy, environment and natural resources matters. She has performed due diligence and entitlement work for over $1 billion in real estate transactions across Florida. She continues to assist clients with due diligence support for multi-million-dollar real estate acquisitions and securing land use entitlements for those sophisticated projects.
No stranger to local governments and water management districts, Katie has successfully negotiated franchise fee agreements and exchanges of real property interests. She also represents clients before the South Florida Water Management District facing a variety of challenges, including the negotiation of cattle grazing lease agreements for ranchers, the purchase of surplus government lands, the drafting of design-build contracts to complete environmental and water infrastructure projects, the transfer and application of Water Use and Right of Way permits, and the exchanges of interests in real property.
Katie also represents agricultural landowners before county property appraisers and Value Adjustment Boards on property classification and taxation matters throughout the state with successes in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Hillsborough counties. Other clients include a publicly traded liquid petroleum distribution and logistics corporation, a biosolids processing firm, a fertilizer manufacturing company, real estate developers, marinas, farmers, ranchers, aquaculture operations and equestrian businesses.
Katie served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2012-2018, where her contributions to the law have been 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.
- Served as counsel to a lender to a Fixed Base Operator at a county airport and assisted in resolving an eviction suit against the FBO.
- Resolved an administrative action by the USDA against a large-scale nursery grower in South Florida.
- Performed due diligence for buyers and other law firms in connection with over $500 million in real estate acquisitions across Florida.
- Negotiated and lobbied for the approval of an easement on public land for use of an unmanned radio broadcast facility.
- Provided joint representation to a surety company and a South Florida construction company in successfully resolving a contractual dispute with a water management district on a multimillion environmental project.
- Represented a South Florida parimutuel before the Value Adjustment Board, leading to a reversal of the property appraiser’s denial of Greenbelt on land used for horse training.
- Secured the water use permit and land use approvals for a water bottling company in Central Florida.
- Handled the deannexation of property from one city and subsequent annexation of the property into the neighboring city.
- Providing land use and permitting counsel to family farms who want to engage in agritourism.
- Represented dozens of agricultural property owners around the state in applying for the agricultural classification (“Greenbelt”).
PROFESSIONAL / COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
- Florida House of Representatives
- Member, 2012-2018
- Dade County Farm Bureau
- Executive Director, 2002-2010
- Florida Association of Counties Champion of Counties Award Recipient, 2015
- Florida Farm Bureau Federation Lawmaker of the Year, 2015
- Florida Farm Bureau Federation Champion of Agriculture, 2013, 2014 and 2015
- Florida Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Advocate Award Recipient, 2015
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Linda C. Cox Champion of Justice Award Recipient, 2013 and 2014
- Florida Health Care Association’s Champion of the Elderly, 2013
- Recognized in the United States House of Representatives by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart with a tribute from the floor and a flag flown over the Capitol, April 2007
- American Agri-Women LEAVEN Award, President’s Award, November 2006
- Awarded a Florida House of Representatives Tribute from Rep. Juan Zapata, January 2005
- Awarded a Proclamation from Miami-Dade County Commission, February 2005
- Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculturist of the Year, January 2005
- Proclamation of Katie Edwards Day from Commissioner Katy Sorenson, November 2009
- Tribute from Florida Senator Larcenia Bullard, April 2008
- Certificate of Appreciation from Rep. Dwight Bullard, November 2009
- Miami-Dade County Farmworker Jobs and Education Project Award, November 2009
- Dade County Farm Bureau Hall of Honor, April 2008
- Certificate of Appreciation from City of Homestead, November 2009