Latin America Top News

Ricardo Martinelli.

Miami Judge Set to Rule on Extradition for Panama's Ex-President

By Celia Ampel |

The Panamanian government requested Ricardo Martinelli's extradition after his June arrest in Coral Gables on charges of using public funds to buy sophisticated wiretapping equipment.

Jones Day, Atlanta Headquarters, July 2016.  Photo by John Disney/Daily Report.

Jones Day and Kilpatrick Townsend Advise on $125M Wireless Cell Tower Deal

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Jones Day and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton are lead advisers on the $125 million cash deal in which Telefonica Celular del Paraguay S.A., a Millicom International Cellular subsidiary, is selling 1,400 wireless communication towers to a subsidiary of American Tower Corp. (ATC) , the largest tower operator in Latin America.

Michael D. Jones of Kirkland & Ellis.

Kirkland Partner Survives Gunshot Wound During Turks and Caicos Getaway

By Scott Flaherty |

A Washington, D.C.-based Kirkland & Ellis litigation partner, Michael Jones, was shot while on vacation in Turks and Caicos Islands amid a suspected burglary on Friday night, according to the firm and police.

Burford Claims Almost Half of $324M Argentina Arbitration Win

By Ben Hancock |

Litigation funder Burford Capital has announced a win in one of its earliest investments in an international arbitration, saying that it stands to take home roughly $140 million from a $324 million recovery against the government of Argentina.

James Meyer of Harper Meyer.

For US Lawyers, It's the Cuban Business Revolution That Wasn't

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

U.S. lawyers whose Cuba practices picked up after the Obama administration loosened trade restrictions now see a drop in business with changes in attitudes by the Trump administration.

Nick Grabar and Francesca Odell of Cleary Gottlieb

Latin American Dealmaking Feeds Workload for Transactional Attorneys

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Three of the region's biggest players—Argentina, Brazil and Mexico—have seen an increase in transaction activity this year, lawyers say.

Benjamin Aguilera

Mexico
After 10-Year Hiatus, An Ex-Greenberg Traurig Partner Returns

By Meghan Tribe |

Greenberg Traurig has absorbed the small Phoenix-based shop of Benjamin Aguilera, a former partner specializing in cross-border transactional work who left the firm in 2007.

Chiquita to Human Rights Groups: Sorry, But No Thanks

By Sue Reisinger |

Chiquita Brands International again has offered its “condolences” to thousands of Colombians whose loved ones were slain, but the company maintains that it was morally right in financing right-wing terrorists until 2004.

Daniel Fridman of White & Case.

Scandal-Ridden Brazil Company Hires Compliance Chief, White & Case Partner

By Sue Reisinger |

JBS SA, the world’s leading meat processer caught up in the spreading corruption scandal in Brazil, has named lawyer and professor Marcelo Proenca as global head of compliance. The board also hired White & Case partner Daniel Fridman as outside counsel to work with Proenca.

Philip Abelson, left, and David Turetsky

White & Case Bankruptcy Group Grows on Junior Creditor, Brazil Work

By Christine Simmons |

White & Case is bulking up its restructuring practice, amid increasing work in cross-border restructuring and junior creditor representation.

Panama City

Panama
Littler Names New Panama Leadership

By Brian Baxter |

Yeris Nielsen, who has held several key positions in the public and private sector in Panama, joins the global labor and employment giant after its three partners in the country’s capital left the firm in late May.

Defending Noriega: Two South Florida Lawyers Remember a Client Who Blew the 'Perfect Exit Strategy'

By Catherine Wilson |

Attorneys Frank Rubino and Jon May had a world-famous client who turned down the “perfect exit strategy” to become the only leader of a foreign country seized for trial in the United States.

Dentons to Launch in Peru, Cuts Some UK Lawyers

By Rose Walker |

Dentons is set to launch in Peru through a proposed combination with 20-lawyer local firm Gallo Barrios Pickmann. The move comes as the global legal giant slashed five lawyers from its office in Watford, England, one that Dentons picked up last year after absorbing the bulk of Matthew Arnold & Baldwin.

Allen & Overy Sues Project Finance Client Over Unpaid Legal Fees

By Christine Simmons |

Allen & Overy is suing a former client for $343,448 arising out of its work for the development and financing of a solar power facility in Panama.

Dentons Continues Push in Latin America, Forming Alliance with Firm in Brazil

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The global legal giant, having recently announced agreements with firms in Costa Rica, Hawaii and the Netherlands, now plans to form an alliance with the Brazilian firm Vella Pugliese Buosi Guidoni in São Paulo.

Mexico
Another Big British Firm Inks a Combination in the Americas

By Alex Berry |

London-based legal giant Clyde & Co announced Wednesday its merger with Mexico's Garza Tello & Asociados, a 23-lawyer firm specializing in energy, insurance and maritime work.

Jose Andres Monge Calderon, Fragomen’s associate general counsel for Latin America.

Two Fragomen Employees Accused of Stealing $500,000 from Law Firm

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Criminal and government administrative investigations are still underway in Costa Rica, a year and a half after the firm discovered the scheme and fired the father, a messenger, and his son, an office worker.

Todd Toral

Jenner & Block Bags DLA Piper's Cross-Border Litigation Chair

By Rebecca Cohen |

Todd Toral, chair of cross-border litigation for the Americas at DLA Piper, is joining Jenner & Block as a complex commercial litigation partner in Los Angeles.

DLA Piper Advises Putney Capital on Acquisition of Colombian Steel Mill

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

DLA Piper represented Putney Capital Management in its acquisition of a 50-percent interest in a Colombian steel mill owned by a major steel manufacturer based in Brazil.

Wall or No Wall, Cross-Border Pipelines Keep Texas Lawyers Busy

By Miriam Rozen |

"A bunch of the anti-Mexico rhetoric that you heard from the president has now faded," says King & Spalding's James Bowe.

Azul Brazilian Airlines at Curitiba Airport (CWB) in Brazil.

Brazil
Brazilian IPOs a Boon to Shearman, Simpson Thacher

By Brian Baxter |

The two Wall Street firms are advising this week on a pair of initial public offerings by Brazilian airline Azul SA and Latin American e-commerce giant NetShoes Ltd. that have raised nearly $800 million for both companies and generated millions in legal fees.

Azul Brazilian Airlines at Curitiba Airport (CWB) in Brazil.

Brazil
Brazilian IPOs a Boon to Shearman, Simpson Thacher

By Brian Baxter |

The two Wall Street firms are advising this week on a pair of initial public offerings by Brazilian airline Azul SA and Latin American e-commerce giant NetShoes Ltd. that have raised nearly $800 million for both companies and generated millions in legal fees.

A Decade in Turmoil: Where Chiquita's GC Steered His Company Wrong

By Sue Reisinger |

In 2003 Chiquita Brands general counsel Robert Olson had to advise the company on whether to keep making "security payments" to known terrorists in Colombia. He told executives to keep paying.

Cleary Advises on Latin America Bond Deals

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

In Chile, the law firm represented two companies in a $364.4 million first-of-its kind bond restructuring. Another Cleary team advised the government of Mexico in a dollar-denominated bond offering of $3.15 billion.

DLA Piper Continues to Expand in Latin America—This Time in Peru

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The global legal giant has established another cooperation agreement in Latin America with Peru's Pizzaro, Botto & Escobar.

Capitol of Puerto Rico, in San Juan

Puerto Rico's Sole Deal With Bondholders in Jeopardy

By Danica Coto |

The sole tentative debt restructuring deal that Puerto Rico reached after two years of negotiations is in jeopardy after federal control board officials said they would support the U.S. territory's push to amend the agreement.

Covecastles Resort

Owners of Caribbean Resort Found Not Liable for Child's Assault

By Joel Stashenko |

The owners and operators of a luxury resort on the Caribbean island of Anguilla cannot be held liable for an attack on a guest family's 12-year-old child for which a gardener at the resort was arrested, a state judge has ruled.

A screenshot shows the website of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca on April 4, 2016.

Panama Papers Firm Founders Face Money Laundering Charges

By Brian Baxter |

Ten months after a hacking scandal hit one of Panama's top law firms, prosecutors in the Central American country have arrested Mossack Fonseca name partners Ramon Fonseca Mora and Jurgen Mossack in connection with a massive bribery scandal at a Brazilian conglomerate.

The Atlantis Paradise Island resort, located in the Bahamas.

Three Firms Pump Fees From Bankrupt Bahamian Oil Shipper

By Brian Baxter |

Ultrapetrol Bahamas Ltd., a company that floats energy boats throughout South America, filed for bankruptcy in New York on Feb. 6. Zirinsky Law Partners, a firm formed last year by a former top bankruptcy partner at three Am Law 100 firms, is advising Ultrapetrol along with Hughes Hubbard & Reed and Seward & Kissel.

Hector Velasco Perroni, Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office as senior counsel

Greenberg Traurig Environmental Law Expert in Mexico Joins Holland & Knight

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The senior associate who was at the head of Greenberg Traurig's Mexico City office's environmental practice has moved to Holland & Knight to begin the environmental practice there.

Dentons Continues Latin America Push With Barbados, Monterrey Offices

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Dentons, which has made a big push into the Latin American and Caribbean markets in the past year, has expanded its web of verein-style partnerships to Monterrey, Mexico, by combining with local firm Canales Zambrano y Asociados and forming an affiliate on the island of Barbados after taking on three lawyers from Canada's BCF.

Oil Drilling Gulf of Mexico.

Mexico’s Energy Reforms Mean Billions in Investment and More Work for Lawyers

By Susan Postlewaite |

Sweeping reforms in Mexico's energy sector are luring billions in investment, keeping lawyers busy.

China
China Seizes Opportunities in Latin America

By Carlos Harrison |

As the U.S. talks of walls, China is building bridges in North America's backyard.

Teva Agrees to Pay $520M Over Bribes to Foreign Officials

By Charles Toutant |

Generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has agreed to pay more than $283 million to resolve criminal charges and fines over bribes to government officials in Russia, Ukraine and Mexico, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

A Braskem petrochemical plant in Brazil

Brazilian Company to Pay Record $2.6B Fine to Settle Foreign Bribery Case

By Mark Hamblett |

Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht SA pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to violate provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a sweeping deal with U.S. prosecutors and authorities in Brazil and Switzerland.

DLA Piper Expands to Chile

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

DLA Piper has established a cooperation agreement with the Chilean law firm Bahamondez, Alvarez and Zegers, which will now operate under the name BAZ/DLA Piper.

Emilio J. Alvarez-Farre of Greenberg Traurig

Greenberg Traurig Advises on Two Mexico Deals

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Greenberg Traurig has been working on a couple of major deals in Mexico: a $409 million two-currency credit facility for a paper producer, and a joint venture that will have to be approved by Mexican regulators.

Mexico
Cleary Gottlieb Advises on Pemex Debt Securities Offering

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Cleary Gottlieb represents Mexican state oil company Pemex in a $5.5 billion debt securities offering in U.S. dollars.

Jose Ferrer, left, and Andrew Hall, right.

Victims of State-Sponsored Terorrism To Begin Receiving Payouts in Early 2017

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

A fund for Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism will pay part of court judgements, including against Cuba and Iran, and turn the paid debt into a U.S. government negotiation bargaining chip, possibly easing a trade obstacle.

Human Rights Claims Against Chiquita for Funding Colombian Paramilitaries Will Proceed in U.S. Court

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

A decade-old case alleging that Chiquita Brand International financed Colombian death squads will move forward in U.S. courts after a federal judge on Tuesday rejected the company's argument that lawsuits filed against it by thousands of victims of Colombia's violent paramilitary groups should be heard in Colombia.

Cuban spy Juan Pablo Roque at his home in Cuba in 2012

Judge Won't Order NYS to Release Cuban Funds to Woman Duped by Spying Spouse

By Joel Stashenko |

A federal judge in Albany ruled Nov. 21 that a woman who unknowingly married a Cuban spy cannot collect a Florida default judgment of $7.17 million against the Cuban government and the former spouse from accounts held as abandoned property by New York state using the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Dentons chairman Joe Andrew and CEO Elliott Portnoy

Dentons Continues Global Expansion with Central America Tie-up

By Rose Walker |

World's largest firm set to add bases in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.

Mexico City, Mexico.

Lawyers Say Killing NAFTA Will Have Repercussions for U.S. Businesses

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Proponents for a change in NAFTA argue that Mexico has been its primary beneficiary, but leaving the pact altogether would hurt U.S. trade for a multitude of reasons.

Latin America's Continued Cooperation with the U.S. Hinges on Election

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The United States' relations with Latin America will pivot on Tuesday's U.S. election, a Brookings Institution foreign policy expert said Monday.

Citibank Sells its Guatemalan Consumer Banking Assets to Grupo Promerica

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Citibank has sold its consumer banking business in Guatemala to Grupo Promerica as it continues to shed Latin American assets.

Law Firms See Bright Future in Latin America's Booming Renewable Energy Sector

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

From Mexico's northern border to the southern tip of South America, the push for solar and wind energy generation in Latin America is flourishing.

Law Firms See Bright Future in Latin America's Booming Renewable Energy Sector

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The big flashy solar projects were a clue that Latin America's renewable energy sector is booming. Growth in Mexico is a example of what is happening in the region.

K&L Grabs International Arbitration Partners From Cozen O'Connor

By Lizzy McLellan |

Martin Gusy and Matthew Weldon joined K&L Gates in New York, the firm announced Monday. Gusy had chaired the international arbitration group at Cozen O’Connor.

Court Orders $21M to Venezuelan Hospital Over Deception

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The Eleventh Circuit awards a Venezuelan hospital a $21 million judgment against a group that the court found conspired to deceive it.

Foley Hoag Launches U.N. Practice Group

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Already a regional power in public international law, Foley Hoag has launched a United Nations practice group, thought to be the first of its kind at an Am Law 200 firm.

When Bad Things Happen to Bad Companies

By Michael D. Goldhaber / The Global Lawyer |

In case after case, the bogeymen of arbitration are going up in smoke, The Global Lawyer writes. But do critics rejoice when bad things happen to bad companies? No. Rather than celebrate good arbitral judgment, they insist the system remains broken.

Brazil-based Partner Simone Musa to Chair Baker & McKenzie's Global Tax Practice

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Baker & McKenzie has elected its Latin America tax practice regional chairwoman Simone Musa to head the firm's global tax practice. She's the first woman to be appointed to their global tax practice chairmanship.

Embraer facility at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

Brazil's Embraer Agrees to $205M Penalty for Foreign Bribery Scheme

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer S.A. has agreed to pay more than $205 million under an agreement with U.S. regulators over allegations it bribed officials in the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia and Mozambique to win government contracts.

Starwood's Former Director of Compliance Joins Squire Patton Boggs

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Jose Martin Davila, director of compliance for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in the Americas and French Polynesia, has joined Squire Patton Boggs as of counsel in the firm's government investigations and white collar practice in Miami.

Eduardo Leite of Baker & McKenzie

Baker & McKenzie's Leite Stepping Down as Firm Chairman

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Eduardo Leite, who has served as chairman of Baker & McKenzie's executive committee for the past six years, will step down from that post at the end of October to focus on the firm's growth in Latin America and New York.

Jones Day Adds Partner to Financial Institutions Litigation and Regulation Practice in Miami

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Sergio Alvarez-Mena, the former head legal counsel for the 11 U.S.-based private bank offices of Credit Suisse Securities, has joined the financial institutions litigation and regulation practice at Jones Day's Miami offices.

Cigars, Rum and Contingent Contracts: U.S. Eases Cuban Embargo Restrictions

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The U.S. further loosened its embargo of Cuba on Friday, lifting the cap on the value of merchandise that Americans can bring back from Cuba for personal use—including rum and cigars. But for attorneys in the U.S., a more significant change is that Americans and their companies can now enter contingent contracts with Cuban entities.

Andrea Miles Simonton is a federal magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

‘Jane the Virgin’ Ruling Addresses Copyright Ownership of Foreign Works

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

A judge has determined the copyrights to the telenovela that gave birth to the current U.S. television series "Jane the Virgin" belongs to RCTV networks and not to a screenwriter who wrote it over a decade ago in Caracas, Venezuela.

Jaime Trujillo, Baker & McKenzie, and Julian Santos Rubino, a partner in Holland & Knight’s Bogota office

Will Colombia’s ‘No’ Vote on FARC Peace Referendum Hurt Economic Growth?

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The Colombian peace agreement would have brought a formal end to half-a-century of bloodshed and a boost to the country's economy. The voters' rejection may make it harder to pass tax reforms that some say are needed to fund projects to grow the economy and integrate regionally.

U.S Firms Abroad: An Interactive Road Map

By Meghan Tribe |

American law firms continue to spread all over the world, but some markets are more appealing than others. A look at the hot spots (and the not-so-hot spots).

(l-r) Ed Arista, partner with Arista Law, Aliette Del Pozo Rodz, chairwoman of Shutts & Bowen Cuba Task Force, Aymee D. Valdivia, Holland & Knight associate and a licensed attorney in Cuba, and Antonio Rodiles, Cuban dissident and founder of Estado de Sat.

Cuban American Bar Association Discusses Doing Business in Cuba

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The Cuban American Bar Association held its first conference addressing doing business in Cuba.

An illustration of Mexico City New International Airport

Jones Day, Cleary Gottlieb, Paul Hastings on $2B Bond Offering for Mexico City's New International Airport

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The $2 billion bond offering is the biggest initial bond offering for an airport in Latin America's history.

The Forecast for Big Law in 6 Key Markets

By Nicholas Bruch, senior legal analyst, ALM Intelligence |

International firm leaders are adjusting expectations and taking a more nuanced approach to global expansion.

Interactive Chart: U.S. Firms Abroad

By Meghan Tribe |

American law firms have established themselves all over the globe, but some markets are more vibrant than others, our data shows.

Felipe Arias and his family

Colombia
Colombian Politician Fighting Extradition Seeks Release on Bail

By Samantha Joseph |

Former Colombian presidential candidate and former Minister of Agriculture Andres Felipe Arias is fighting extradition in Miami.

Chile
After 19 Years, Chile Wins Arbitration Over Newspaper Seized by Pinochet

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

An arbitration stemming from Chile's 1973 expropriation of a newspaper during the coup d'etat that toppled then-Chilean President Salvador Allende has concluded with an arbitral tribunal siding with the current Chilean government.

Carlos Vejar, Mexico's former general counsel for international trade, now with Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office as senior counsel.

Mexico's General Counsel For International Trade Joins Holland & Knight

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

The former general counsel for international trade in Mexico's Ministry of Economy has joined Holland & Knight's Mexico City office as senior counsel.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Cleared on FCPA Claims, but Tax Probe Looms

By Sue Reisinger |

There was good and not so good legal news this week for Cisco Systems Inc.

Marlene Gordon of Bacardi.

Self-Determination and Drive Take Gordon to Top Legal Post at Bacardi

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

Growing up in rural Jamaica, Bacardi North America Vice President and General Counsel Marlene Gordon found inspiration in her overachieving mother.

Mayer Brown Expands Mexico City Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Mayer Brown hires Ariel Ramos for the firm's Mexico City office, along with two associates.

Dispute Involving Dentons' Mexican Affiliate Continues

By Julie Triedman |

Since June, Dentons' Mexico City unit has been embroiled in a bitter "business divorce" dispute between the predecessor firm's co-founders over allegedly stolen client information and false marketing. The suit, filed in Mexico City, isn't starting out so well for Dentons.