Firm: Nixon Peabody
Angelica Valencia modestly attributes her fluency in Spanish for her leading role in her firm’s work in Puerto Rico.
“I speak Spanish which, if you are working with Puerto Rico, is a huge plus," Angelica said.
Being bilingual may have drawn her into deals involving the U.S. territory when she first joined the law firm, but she is now a key player there as well as being involved in some of the firm’s largest transportation projects.
It has been an exciting year for Angelica, who was named partner in February.
“I was very flattered to be named a Rising Star,” she said. “It’s always nice to have someone recognize the work you are doing.”
In the last 12 months, Angelica has been involved in a number of high-profile projects, including serving as bond counsel to the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corp. (COFINA) in the restructuring of more than $17 billion in outstanding bonds.
She specializes in complex financing deals involving multiple asset classes, including multifamily housing, public utilities, transportation systems and nonprofit and higher education institutions.
She also played a pivotal role in the Los Angeles International Airport automated people mover project, which will ferry up to 30 million travelers per year between terminals and connect to the city’s light rail system. The $1.2 billion financing earned the Far West Deal of the Year in 2018.
Most of Angelica's nine-year legal career has been at Nixon Peabody, aside from a short time volunteering at Public Counsel, the largest pro bono law firm in the nation, she said.
She works on the team that provides counsel to the Build America Bureau, an organization within the U.S. Department of Transportation overseeing such financing programs as the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.
“Angelica is an integral part of our California and Puerto Rico practices, as well as our national transportation and P3 teams, with leadership experience in each of those practice groups,” Ken Lind, head of Nixon Peabody’s Project Finance and Public Finance group, said when she was named partner.
She also heads the Los Angeles office pro bono efforts, which is working on how the law firm can help with Los Angeles’ homelessness problem.
For fun, she practices kickboxing and krav maga, an Israeli martial art.