A. Vicky Leiva

Of Counsel
Hablo Español
Area of Focus: Land Development & Government Relations
"She is very in tune with coordinating between neighborhoods, cities and developers."
- Chambers USA source
A. Vicky Leiva
Of Counsel
As a former Assistant Attorney for the City of Miami, Vicky has been instrumental in the growth of Miami, offering counsel to commercial developers, engineering firms, and architects seeking to obtain government contracts and land use approvals for construction and development projects.

Actively involved in the local community, Vicky holds leadership positions in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Builders Association. A fluent Spanish speaker, Vicky is involved in the Cuban American Bar Association and the Latin Builders Association.
Q & A
How do you counsel clients through the governmental approval process?
Most of my clients are very concerned about their project timelines, and my experience working with the city allows me to be realistic about timing. Knowing, having been through, and having seen the process and its challenges allows me to determine where the hurdles will be. It helps me manage my clients' expectations and leads them to a successful outcome.
Why do so many international businesses turn to you for advice?
I can go through the entire building process with a client in Spanish, and that’s very important because much of land use and building terminology doesn't have a translation. These legal concepts don’t exist in some foreign countries, and so translating and explaining how their local process is different than ours is essential. Doing so in their own language, in a way that's uncomplicated, is very helpful to my foreign clients.
Why is it important to have strong local knowledge in your practice?
Understanding the nuances of development in Miami is imperative to the success of a project. The City of Miami, for example, adopted Miami 21 as its building code in 2010. The terminology that is used in Miami 21 is different than the standard terminology used in zoning throughout the United States. Therefore, it requires not only understanding what a form-based code is, but also appreciating that whatever project is going to be done, it’s really controlled by the architectural design of the project. It particularly requires a great deal of preliminary work with the architect in order to do the best work for the client.
  • St. Thomas University, J.D., 1987
    Florida International University, M.S., 1979
    Barry University, B.A., 1973
  • Cuban American Bar Association
    Dade County Bar Association
    The Florida Bar
    Florida International University
    Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce

    Board of Directors, 2015, 2018
    Of Counsel to the Board of Directors, 2014 - 2015
    Real Estate Committee Chair, 2012 - 2014
    Vice-Chair, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, 2017 - present

    Latin Builders Association
  • Florida
  • Band 3, Chambers USA, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, 2010 - 2012, 2015 - present

    Building Association of South Florida, President's Award, 2021

    Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyers - Public Interest finalist, 2015

    Daily Business Review, Top Dealmakers of the Year - Mixed Use finalist, 2014

    Florida Super Lawyers, 2013 - 2020

    The Best Lawyers in America, Administrative/Regulatory Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, 2010 - present

    Florida Trends Legal Elite, 2008

    AV® Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

  • Spanish