Akiesha Gilcrist Sainvil



Akiesha Gilcrist Sainvil is an associate and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. She is a member of the firm's Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice.

Akiesha represents and counsels clients in high-stakes business and complex litigation matters, with special emphasis on commercial litigation, product liability, healthcare and financial services matters. She has litigated cases on behalf of clients across varying industries, including major retailers, pharmaceutical companies, product manufacturers, financial and healthcare institutions, among others, in both federal and state courts across the nation and in arbitration. 

Prior to entering private practice, Akiesha served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable D. Michael Fisher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. While in law school, Akiesha interned for the Honorable David S. Cercone of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She also served as a certified legal intern in University of Pittsburgh’s immigration law clinic, where, in immigration court, she represented immigrants seeking asylum and facing removal from the United States.

Akiesha has always devoted herself to promoting diversity in the legal community through her service as a mentor and advocate for law school students. In 2017, Akiesha was selected to join the Pathfinder class within the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) organization, an organization with that exact goal in mind. She currently serves as a City Lead for the LCLD for Miami. Akiesha is also actively involved with fundraising efforts for the Miami Children's Museum.

Representative Experience

  • National coordinating counsel for Fortune 50 transportation company
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a multinational retailing corporation in contract dispute in federal court
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of international banking and financial services institution in vehicle repossession class action in federal court
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of vehicle loan service provider in state court declaratory judgment action
  • Representation of product manufacturer in product liability actions in state and federal courts
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of restaurant franchisee in EEOC proceedings
  • Representation of § 1983 plaintiff in civil rights action in federal court
  • Received monetary judgment for pro bono client in landlord-tenant action at arbitration


Akiesha received her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D., 2013), where she served as the senior topics editor for the Law Review. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh (B.A., cum laude, 2010).


  • Recognized in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch for Commercial Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Recognized in the “40 Under 40: Black Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” issue of Legacy magazine
  • Named a City Lead for Miami for the LCLD program for the 2020-2021 program year
  • Named as a “Top 40 Under 40” attorney in Florida by The National Black Lawyers in 2020
  • Selected to participate in the LCLD Pathfinders Program in 2017 

Selected Publications

  • Author, “Undocumented Immigrants: Lack of Equal Protection and Its Impact on Public Health,” Journal of Legal Medicine (2013)


Akiesha is admitted to practice in Florida, Pennsylvania and before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.