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Karina DuQuesne

Karina DuQuesne is a seasoned attorney and executive at the intersection of business, law, and technology. In addition to serving as Partner at Caldera Law, she is the founder and managing principal of Valia Partners, an AI-powered advisory firm servicing high growth companies and startups in the realms of legal, operations, and leadership development.

At Caldera Law, Karina focuses her practice on representing high-growth and early stage companies and their investors in connection with the full lifecycle of their investments.  Karina routinely serves as outside general counsel to early stage and high growth companies in connection with a wide range of legal matters.  Karina is highly experienced in representing both issuers and investors in the financing of private companies, as well as assisting both buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions. Karina has extensive experience representing clients outside of the US, including emerging companies and venture capital funds operating in Europe and Latin America. 

Her journey as an operator, legal professional, and investor imparts her with a distinct perspective, enabling her to offer practical and innovative counsel to founders and investors alike.​ In addition, she has been instrumental in closing over 15 leveraged buyout transactions, amounting to over $2 billion in enterprise value across diverse sectors. This includes several acquisitions financed through syndicated debt offerings.  

Over the past decade, Karina has worked at prominent law firms including, Arnstein & Lehr (now known as Saul Ewing LLP) and DLA Piper LLP.  During her time at DLA Piper LLP, Karina was a key attorney for the firm's Nest Program — an initiative dedicated to supporting high-growth technology companies at every stage of their lifecycle.  

Following her tenure at DLA Piper, Karina spent over five years serving as General Counsel and Chief People Officer at Mi9 Retail, ThryveAI (a division of Mi9Retail), and Ironhack. During her time at Mi9Retail and ThryveAI, Karina adeptly managed a critical merger involving comprehensive legal and operational restructuring across six countries. Serving initially as outside counsel and later as General Counsel at Ironhack, Karina provided strategic legal and operational leadership from Seed to Series B, across eight different countries.  

She has played a leading role in the Women in Tech movement in Miami, notably through establishing the Women in Tech Collective at Ironhack to tackle the gender gap in technology, and as a member of the Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade County.  Her dedication to this cause is further highlighted by her involvement in numerous speaking engagements, where she has been a vocal advocate for the importance of women in the workplace, especially within the technology industry. She is currently a fellow in the inaugural MDFAWL Leadership Academy. 

Karina earned a Juris Doctor and Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Cuba Study Group, has been recognized by The Daily Business Review as Counsel on the Rise, and is a recipient of the Attorney Ad Litem Award for Lawyers for Children America. She is also an active angel investor.