News & Articles

Important Announcement for Travelers Using the Visa Waiver Program

As of April 1, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that they will no longer accept passports without an electronic chip for travelers participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Secretary Jeh C. Johnson explained that electronic chip passports, or E-Passports, facilitate the identification of the traveler and are in general use in most countries.

We advise all of our clients to please check their passports immediately to determine if it meets this new criteria. If you possess a passport without an electronic chip, you should apply for a new passport and revise the data in your ESTA registration with the US Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). If, for any reason, you cannot secure an E-Passport, you will have to apply for a Visitor’s Visa to the US.

We’d also like to remind our clients that upon entry to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program, you must also possess a confirmed ticket for return or continuing travel within 90 days of arrival. A confirmation notice on a smartphone or tablet may not be accepted by the CBP officer at the Port of Entry, so we suggest that travelers print out their electronic tickets and have them on hand to present to the officer upon entry.


If you have any questions regarding the new policy or any aspect of US immigration law, please contact:

Aida Diaz-Silveira at, or +1-305-740-1946, or

Jim Stillwaggon at, or +1-305-740-1951.

Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira Announce Promotion of Brian Canida to Counsel

Canida will lead firm’s newly-launched Venture Capital group

January 12, 2016 – MIAMI – Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP (AADS), a Miami-based corporate boutique law firm specializing in international and domestic M&A, finance, real estate, immigration and private wealth services, announced the promotion of Brian Canida to counsel and head of the firm’s Venture Capital group.

“We are thrilled to have Brian lead our growing Venture Capital practice during such an exciting time for the tech industry here in Miami,” said Albert Diaz-Silveira, one of the firm’s founders. “Brian’s broad exposure to venture capital transactions – both here in South Florida and in the key startup hubs domestically and abroad – has allowed the firm to stay current with market terms and trends.”

Brian regularly represents emerging companies and investors on both ongoing and transaction-specific matters, including those related to corporate and securities law, venture capital financing, mergers and acquisitions, and technology transactions. He is also a venture capital investor and heavily involved in supporting the technology and venture capital ecosystem in South Florida and Latin America.

Prior to joining AADS, Canida was a corporate associate in the New York office of the international law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP for several years.

“I could not imagine a better opportunity than being able to counsel clients in such a dynamic field at a firm which is itself young and emerging,” said Brian Canida. “I look forward to continuing to help clients navigate the constantly changing venture capital industry.”

Canida graduated from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in 2007 with a B.S.F.S. in International Economics. After completing an investment banking internship with Deutsche Bank AG, Brian continued his post-graduate studies at Georgetown and graduated with a J.D. from Georgetown Law in 2010, while also receiving a Certificate in Emerging Markets and Country Risk Analysis from Fordham University’s Graduate International Political Economy & Development Program.

In addition to serving as an active member of the Cuban American Bar Association, Brian also provides services to the Dade Legal Aid Venture Law Project, a pro bono legal services clinic for local entrepreneurs. He is fluent in both Spanish and English and is admitted to practice law in the states of Florida and New York.

Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira Represents City of Miami Beach in Historic Convention Center and Hotel Deal

December 4, 2015 – MIAMI – Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP (AADS), a Miami-based corporate boutique law firm specializing in international and domestic M&A, finance, real estate, immigration and private wealth services, announced the successful completion of two historic deals on behalf of the City of Miami Beach related to its Convention Center and forthcoming hotel.

AADS advised the City of Miami Beach on a $500 million contract with Clark Construction to renovate, remodel, and expand the existing Miami Beach Convention Center. AADS also negotiated a development and ground lease agreement between the City and an affiliate of Portman Holdings for the ground lease and development of the proposed Miami Beach Convention Headquarter Hotel, which remains subject to a voter referendum currently expected in March, 2016.

Attorneys H. William Walker, Jr. and Lauren M. Hunt led the deals in conjunction with the City Attorney’s Office for the City of Miami Beach. The duo were originally selected to assist on the ground lease agreement with Portman Holdings, and after working together, the City decided it would be well-served to have AADS represent it on the Clark Construction project as well.

“We were very honored and proud to represent the City on these high profile projects,” said partner Lauren Hunt.

The projects are slated to be completed by 2018, just in time for Art Basel.

Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira Announces New Partner, Colleen Grady

December 3, 2015 – MIAMI Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP (AADS), a Miami-based corporate boutique law firm specializing in international and domestic M&A, finance, real estate, immigration and private wealth services, has announced the promotion of Colleen Grady to partnership.

“For our firm, having Colleen join us was an exceptional opportunity to add a highly regarded lawyer and a true leader to our team,” said Pedro “Tony” Alvarez, one of the firm’s founders. “Today, we count ourselves as fortunate to have her with us and very much look forward to her contributions as a member of our partnership,” he added.

Grady focuses on corporate matters with an emphasis on cross-border and domestic M&A transactions. She regularly represents clients with business and investment interests throughout Florida, the Caribbean Basin and Latin America, and has a growing practice representing clients with origins and interests in Scandinavia. She is a seasoned M&A professional with broad experience in joint ventures and complex financings.

Most recently, Grady was part of the team that represented a $150 million purchase of a liquid natural gas processing plant in Trinidad and Tobago, which received the Daily Business Review’s 2015 Top Dealmaker of the Year award in the Industrial category. Grady has been recognized in the past year by the Daily Business Review for several transactions, including the acquisition and financing of the largest wind farm in Central America, and negotiating a Colombian micro-lender’s $50 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Prior to joining AADS, Grady was a corporate associate in the Miami, Stockholm and Helsinki offices of the international law firm White & Case LLP for a number of years before teaching at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center from 2005-2014.

“In coming back into the private practice of law from academia, I was thrilled to join a young and growing firm in my chosen area. Now, I look forward to working with my partners to assure its continued success and excellence,” said Grady.

Grady is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, from which she received her J.D., magna cum laude and was inducted into the Order of the Coif in 1997. She is admitted to practice law in both Florida and New York.

Getting Bank to Try Different Kind of Financing, is Exactly What These Two Did

By: Mary Hladky, Daily Business Review


The Dealmakers: Pedro “Tony” Alvarez and Colleen Grady
The Deal: The Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira attorneys represented Bayport Colombia in securing a $50 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to finance micro-loans that will be made to lower income government workers and pensioners in Colombia. The loan was funded on June 17.
Details: The deal marks the first time the IDB, which provides financing for development in Latin America and the Caribbean, has given a financing package to a micro-lender.

Headquartered in Bogota, Bayport Colombia is a subsidiary of Bayport Management Ltd., which also operates in seven African countries and Mexico.

The nonbank financial services company provides loans to people who have limited or no access to banking services, with the intent of enabling them to improve their lives. Loan payments are made through payroll deductions.

Bayport estimates the $50 million will allow the company to provide loans to 110,000 Colombian families, with the minimum loan amount the equivalent of $500. The loans are typically used to pay for education, home improvements, health care, and launching or expanding small businesses. According to a project description submitted by Bayport, the annual interest rate was to be 23.8 percent.
Bayport is a new client for Alvarez and Grady. The company’s financial adviser knew them from other deals they had done in the region and recommended them to Bayport.
“We think it is very exciting because everything that is about accessing banking services and financial services in Latin America is growing very fast,” Alvarez said. “The unbanked piece of that market is very large. There is huge potential there to bring these services to people all over the region. Smaller borrowers don’t have much access yet to commercial lenders.”


Read the full story on the Daily Business Review.

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