Jacqueline M. Brettner, a partner in the Carver Darden law firm in New Orleans, has temporarily stepped away from her role as general counsel to Panama Gateway to serve as the newly elected Chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana (HCCL). The change in roles was effective January 1.

Brettner, a dedicated member of the Chamber who has been a member of its Board and Executive Committee for many years, most recently as vice president/corporate, will serve a two-year term in her new role as HCCL chair. The workload associated with HCCL’s top leadership position and my continuing responsibilities at Carver Daren necessitated the decision to relinquish my Panama Gateway duties, said Brettner. She added that she plans to return to Panama Gateway’s Executive Committee when her term as HCCL chair expires.

Jackie Brettner
HCCL is a non-profit organization that promotes the economic growth, development, and interests of Hispanic-owned businesses throughout Louisiana. Its goals are to locally foster growth through, among other things, education and workforce development, while boosting trade relations internationally to enable small to medium businesses to bring their products to the world market. In October, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) honored the organization with the Chamber of the Year Award.

“Jackie has been instrumental to our development in many ways,” said Panama Gateway Chairman John Wallace. “She is Panamanian and passionate about being so. She knows that Panama Gateway has the potential to have a major impact on business awareness between our countries. As an example, she championed the Focus Forward event in New Orleans in 2016. That event brought together significant business and cultural entities in Louisiana with their peers from Panama and solidified Panama Gateway as a forward-thinking international organization.

“Jackie has been a confidant on internal matters for the organization, from by-law construction and modification to proper insurance coverage recommendations. Her leadership, passion and enthusiasm will be missed, but we look forward to building on this relationship with her new appointment. Working with Jackie at HCCL will further broaden Panama Gateway’s reach into Louisiana and its varied industries.”

While Jackie will not be on the Panama Gateway Executive Board for now, Wallace pointed out that the organizations is fortunate to have a deep bench to call upon for the critical role of General Counsel. He hopes to make an announcement about a new general counsel soon.

At Carver Darden, Brettner practices in the areas of insurance coverage and insurance litigation, commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution and class action litigation.

She represents individual and corporate policyholders in complex insurance coverage disputes and has experience opining on, and litigating, coverage questions in the state and federal courts of Louisiana and Texas as well as in arbitration and mediation proceedings. Since joining the firm, her practice has included extensive litigation of oil and gas “package” policies, including well control insurance, and in assisting policyholders in resolving complex professional liability claims with insurers.

Brettner also provides advice on partnership formation and structuring, director and officer responsibility, commercial contracts and professional services agreements. In addition, she provides contractual, risk management, and other general business advice.

Originally from the Republic of Panama, Brettner is fluent in Spanish and regularly counsels her clients on general business matters in her native language. Prior to joining the Carver Darden law firm, she counseled certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, certain London market insurance companies and numerous other international and domestic insurers. A registered mediator with the Louisiana Bar Association, Brettner is admitted to practice in the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana as well as all state courts in Texas and Louisiana.

In addition to having served as general counsel to Panama Gateway, she also serves as Vice Chair of the International Section and is a member of the ADR Council for the ADR Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

Her awards include the “AV Preeminent” Peer Review Rating by Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating for ethical standards and legal ability. She was also honored as one of New Orleans’ “40 Under Forty” and was named one of the Top Female Achievers by Gambit Weekly and New Orleans Magazine in 2013 and 2014 respectively.