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.
- 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. Katie’s skilled advocacy and outreach efforts helped secure a 5-2 approval from the District’s Governing Board on a complex, multifaceted project.
- Performed due diligence work for a bank in connection with the financing of one of Miami’s most expensive residential developments.
- Secured land use and permitting approvals for a water bottling facility in Florida.
- Resolved an administrative action before the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a large-scale nursery grower.
- Represented a large racetrack to secure property tax savings for bona fide agricultural activities.
- Handled variance approvals for commercial landscape businesses and petroleum logistic companies.
- Secured settlements on contract disputes for an international design-build firm and an aviation logistics company.
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