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10 July 20224 minute read

DLA Piper expands its Litigation Practice in Puerto Rico

DLA Piper is expanding its Litigation Practice with the addition of Nereida Melendez-Rivera and Sonia Torres-Pabon who focus their practice on white collar defense and corporate investigations. They arrive as partners in the firm’s San Juan office in Puerto Rico.


“Our white collar and global investigations practice is growing throughout Latin America, which makes Nereida and Sonia’s move an excellent match,” said James Brogan, DLA Piper’s global co-practice group leader for Litigation & Regulatory. “A significant portion of their legal work originates from outside of Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America, and we are excited to offer their experience to our clients in Puerto Rico and across our international platform.”


Melendez-Rivera is a seasoned investigator and trial attorney who focuses her practice on corporate internal and regulator-driven investigations, white-collar defense, business litigation and regulatory enforcement. She previously served as an Assistant US Attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico and the former Deputy Chief of White Collar Crime. During her tenure as a federal prosecutor, she investigated and tried cases in areas including healthcare, federal program fraud, mail and wire fraud, securities fraud, financial crimes and environmental crimes.


Melendez-Rivera has coordinated legal strategies for corporations and individuals facing multiple criminal and regulatory enforcement actions, representing clients in investigations and proceedings before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Her civil litigation experience includes products liability, torts, class actions and contractual disputes.


Torres-Pabon focuses her practice on corporate internal and regulator-driven investigations, complex civil litigation and defending corporations and individuals in criminal, regulatory and forfeiture proceedings. She represents brokerage houses and brokers in FINRA complaints filed by investors, and she has helped clients respond to subpoenas by the Securities and Exchange Commission. She has past experience as the former Chief of the Criminal Division for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico where she investigated and tried white collar, violent crime, money laundering and drug cases. Torres-Pabon has argued many appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.


Torres-Pabon has successfully represented clients charged with conspiracy, honest service fraud, mail fraud, healthcare related offenses and money laundering. Torres-Pabon has represented clients before the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, FINRA, the EPA, the Puerto Rico Public Service Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.


Melendez-Rivera and Torres-Pabon are seasoned investigators who have conducted significant investigations related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and corporate investigations across Latin America in countries spanning Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, among others.


“We are very excited to expand the service offering available from DLA Piper’s Puerto Rico office to clients throughout the Americas. Nereida and Sonia are widely-recognized in Puerto Rico as leading practitioners in corporate investigations and white collar proceedings, and as former federal district attorneys who are fully bilingual and have a robust practice conducting corporate investigations in Latin America, will complement our already strong teams in Latin America and the United States,” added Nikos Buxeda and Miriam Figueroa, managing partner and deputy managing partner, respectively, for DLA Piper’s Puerto Rico office.

DLA Piper Latin America's Team offers full-service business legal counsel to domestic and multinational companies with interests in and operations throughout the region. Our integrated approach to serving clients combines local knowledge with the resources of the DLA Piper global platform. With over 400 lawyers practicing throughout Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Puerto Rico, our teams frequently work with our professionals throughout the LatAm region, Iberian Peninsula, and around the globe to ensure our clients receive the depth of service they require to meet their legal and business objectives.