Senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, Carnival Corp.
Carnival Corp. is the world’s leading cruise ship oper-
ator, carrying approximately 6.3 million passengers on
12 cruise lines comprising more than 75 vessels. In
addition to its flagship Carnival Cruise Lines, Carnival
Corp.’s holdings include the Princess Cruise Line and
the Holland America and Seabourn units, as well as
the fabled Cunard Lines’ Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen
Mary 2. Its Costa Cruises out of Genoa, Italy, and P&O
Cruises provide service to European passengers. The
publicly traded Miami firm, whose foundation was laid
in 1972, employs 69,500 on land and sea. It reported
2004 revenues in excess of $9.7 billion.
Perez supervises all legal affairs of Carnival Corp.,
apart from personal injury cases involving crew or
passengers. A separate department comprising eight
attorneys concentrates on such incidents. Carnival’s
subsidiaries maintain their own in-house legal groups
as well, each with essentially a dotted line connection
to the general counsel and his office. Immigration and
fuel purchasing, unless they spawn legal issues, are
handled separately under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and fuel-acquisition
specialists. Perez, at this stage definitely a generalist,
lately has focused his efforts on corporate governance
issues related to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and
relations with the company’s board of directors. He participates in some transactional and litigation matters.
Perez’s legal department is steeped in maritime law.
He interacts on a regular basis with officials of the
He works with comparable foreign authorities
where appropriate. Port,
POLARIS INDUSTRIES INC.
passenger and ship security issues receive Coast
Guard and DHS scrutiny, and Perez engages in discussions with their representatives concerning matters
of security. An issue now under review by a special
task force is whether cruise companies or the federal
government should pay a per-passenger fee to help
cover increased port security costs in South Florida.
The charging of an extra fee for container boxes is
also being worked out by port and shipping officials.
Vessel registration is another legal and administrative responsibility. Carnival’s government relations
department performs most lobbying activities for the
firm, but Perez occasionally journeys to Washington
for meetings with federal officials. Recently, he met
with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
staff to discuss a six-month plan to provide shelter for
relief workers and displaced Hurricane Katrina victims
on three ships chartered from the Carnival fleet.
Perez became immersed in the nuances of federal
contracting when the management of Carnival Corp.
decided to participate in the Katrina relief effort in
New Orleans. There was an initial flurry of legal work
due to the cruise line not being a federal contractor,
but the transaction came together in a very short
Kaye Rose & Partners; Mase, Gassenheimer & Lara; Holland & Knight