Vice President & senior counsel
Kathi Borkholder serves as the Vice President & Senior Counsel within the Law Department at Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation, a proven leader and innovator in the vacation industry, with locations and customers around the globe.
Describe your role/time with Lowndes.
I was with Lowndes for almost 12 years after practicing 5 years at a North Carolina firm. Due to my prior experience I didn’t go through the firm’s full rotation process and instead focused on real estate acquisitions, commercial leasing, development and finance. I was fortunate to work with very smart, hard-working attorneys, and along with great clients such as Hughes Supply, Nationwide Life Insurance Company, CNL and Coca Cola.
Share a favorite memory of your time at Lowndes.
I have many fond memories from Lowndes and left the firm with awesome friendships (I will always miss Meredith Level – she was the best!). The attorney retreats were pretty legendary, especially the associate skits.
Describe your current role/practice/adventure outside of Lowndes.
In 2006, I transitioned from Lowndes to join the timeshare division of Marriott International, which was a division spun off as a separate public company and in 2011 became Marriott Vacations Worldwide. Currently, I work in the Law Department’s Global Marketing & Sales team, providing support for the Company’s various brands (the Marriott brands as well as Hyatt Vacation Club acquired in 2018), particularly license related matters. I do a lot of new project work, collaborating with fellow attorneys and multiple business clients in bringing projects to life. I enjoy working with many of the Company’s teams, including A&C, Business Planning, IT, Brand, Marketing & Sales, Owner Services, etc. All teams play a role in bringing a project across the finish line.
What have been some of the biggest challenges or opportunities you’ve found in your current role?
MVW’s Law Department is relatively large having over 30 attorneys with most in our Orlando office, plus the many paralegals and support staff. Given that size, we do not rely heavily on outside counsel. Our attorneys work hard and there’s never a worry about not being able to fill your day. But because our clients also work for the same company, competing demands can be prioritized at the company level, a luxury most law firm attorneys do not have (no client ever wants to be told that their work isn’t a top priority).
What is one of the most interesting projects on which you’ve worked?
Among recent projects, I really enjoyed working on our new Marriott project in Costa Rica. The structuring was unique, and the regulatory landscape very different from that in the U.S. Looking back, MVW’s spin-off from Marriott International was one of the most challenging projects of my career; the Law Department was all-hands-on-deck for close to a year. I was fortunate to be on the closing team that traveled to MI’s headquarters in Bethesda for the multi-day closing, which was very stressful but rewarding.