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Nyka M. Scott

Counsel/Client Development Liaison
New Orleans
T: 504.566.5269
F: 504.636.4000

Nyka Scott advises clients on complex legal and policy matters in the disaster recovery, energy and maritime industries.

Professional Biography

Overview

Nyka works with Baker Donelson's Disaster Recovery and Government Services Team representing clients in legal matters involving the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and with federal grant issues, including compliance reviews and administration appeals of grant disputes. She helps clients navigate FEMA insurance-related issues and denials and FEMA arbitrations. Nyka also provides public policy advice to clients, representing them before various local and state governmental entities.

Prior to rejoining Baker Donelson, Nyka served as executive counsel for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, where she represented the board of directors and all of its member Levee Districts in Orleans, East Jefferson, and St. Bernard Parishes. Nyka oversaw all matters handled by the legal department, worked with the chief administrative officer and board president to regionalize the agency, and managed the human resources, grant writing, and governmental affairs departments on an interim basis. She was also responsible for:

  • Managing litigation involving construction companies and/or engineering firms regarding breach of contract issues, delay claims, and bid disputes, including review of plans/specification and project time lines;
  • Drafting and implementing the Authority's employee handbook, new policy initiatives, disciplinary matters, and representation before the Louisiana Civil Service Commission;
  • Negotiating and drafting cooperative endeavor agreements and other similar agreements between governmental entities;
  • Working with various city and state officials regarding changes/implementation of new laws impacting the agency;
  • Drafting, reviewing and revising contracts with outside vendors, contractors, engineers and outside counsel providing services to the Agency; and
  • Participating in the review of insurance policies/coverages and safety/risk assessment for the Agency.

Before serving as executive counsel, Nyka was an attorney with Baker Donelson and concentrated her practice in counseling clients on matters involving public utility regulation, maritime collision and personal injury, marine insurance coverage disputes, oil pollution, public policy, and governmental affairs. She has provided public policy advice to and represented clients before governmental agencies. She has also represented the London Insurance Market involving class actions and large-scale litigation, including the sinking of the DB269 during Hurricane Roxanne, the Deepwater Horizon incident, and multiple Hurricane Katrina related-matters filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, including serving as liaison counsel for dredging defendants in the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) litigation.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Chair and Board Member – Alcohol Beverage Control Board, City of New Orleans (2006 – 2018)
  • Board Member – State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (2015 – 2016)
  • Chair and Board Member – Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority (2010 – 2014)
  • Past President and Board Member – Young Aspirations/Young Artists (2011 – 2014)
  • Member – Coastal Levee Consortium (2013 – 2014)
  • Past-President – Women's International Shipping and Trade Association, New Orleans Chapter (2003 – 2004)
  • Founder – Rabouin High School Mentoring Program
  • Recipient – The Allstate Foundation 2009 Community Service Award
Speaking Engagements

Education

  • University of New Orleans, M.B.A., 2017
  • Loyola University School of Law, J.D., Certificate in International Law, 2003
  • University of New Orleans, B.A., 1996

Admissions

  • Louisiana, 2003
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2003

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