Latin America Top News

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

Panama Papers Firm Founders Face Money Laundering Charges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

Interactive Chart: U.S. Firms Abroad

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dispute Involving Dentons' Mexican Affiliate Continues

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.

Chevron in Ecuador: Is the End in Sight?

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Now that the Second Circuit has fully embraced Chevron Corp.’s view—that the $9.5 billion Ecuadorean judgment against it was rotten with fraud—is there any chance that either side will give up their case? Don't hold your breath.

Applebee's in a mall in Qatar (Photo courtesy of DineEquity).

How In-House Lawyers Brought IHOP to Panama

DineEquity Inc., the parent company of IHOP and Applebee's, has been expanding into markets like Panama, Kuwait and the Philippines. Overseeing the overseas push has been a team of 11 in-house lawyers led by general counsel Bryan Adel.

Baker & McKenzie offices in New York.

Baker & McKenzie Posts Big Gains in Revenue, Profits

Despite uncertainty in key international markets, the firm saw an 8 percent revenue rise in 2015-16, as profits per equity partner surged 13 percent.

How Key Energy Got the SEC to Go Easy

When the Securities and Exchange Commission approached Key Energy Services Inc. about bribery allegations in Mexico, the company went into high gear. It launched a major internal investigation and reformed its compliance efforts, including shaking up its legal department.

An miner shouts slogans during a protest on the outskirts of El Alto, Bolivia, where protestors have placed stones on the highway to block traffic, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. Hundreds of independent miners have placed large stones on three principal highways blocking traffic that leads into Bolivia's capital city. Independent and state miners have been staging rival protests for months for control of the Colquiri tin mine, which is 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of La Paz. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Bolivia
Glencore Begins Arbitration Against Bolivia Over Mine Nationalization

The global mining and commodities producer has begun arbitration proceedings against Bolivia for its nationalization of properties since 2007.

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio De Janeiro. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Brazil
DLA Piper's Brazil Affiliate Hires 11-Lawyer Team

Campos Mello has hired the lawyers from Mayer Brown's affiliate and a solo practice.

Alan A. Lips,  partner, Gerson Preston Klein Lips Eisenberg Gelber.

Argentina
Argentina's Tax Amnesty: A Q&A With Gerson Preston's Alan Lips

An impending December tax amnesty deadline for Argentine residents to declare previously undisclosed assets has some legal and tax professionals scrambling to prepare balance sheets.

DLA Piper in Talks With Chile Firms as Latin America Expansion Drive Continues

By James Booth |

The firm, which already has Latin American offices in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, is looking at further expansion in the region, with Chile identified as a key target.

Hogan Lovells associate Caetano Altafin ran with the Olympic torch in Rio de Janeiro.

After Crossing Atlantic, Hogan Lovells Associate Carries Olympic Torch

Caetano "Cae" Altafin, an associate at Hogan Lovells in Rio de Janeiro, didn't spend the day of the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympics in his office. Thanks to a transatlantic journey a year ago, he was busy running outside the stadium.

The Second Circuit Makes Chevron v. Donziger Simple

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

On Monday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit laid it out with admirable clarity. Steven Donziger lied and cheated his way to a multibillion-dollar Ecuadorean judgment against Chevron.

Venezuelan Currency

Venezuela Central Bank Drops Appeal in Case Against Financial Website

Venezuela's central bank has withdrawn its appeal of a lawsuit it filed against an online publication that publishes the Venezuelan black market exchange rate.

Bill Carvalho, in-house counsel of Yahoo!

Latin America Spurs South Florida In-House Counsel Network

South Florida in-house counsel do more cross-border work with Latin America than most of their U.S. counterparts. And that's not always easy. But with the help of a growing in-house counsel network, they are sharing information, offering one another their international expertise and collaborating in ways that help their companies and their individual careers.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse.

Second Circuit Rules for Chevron in $9B Environmental Case

The appeals court on Monday affirmed the trial judge’s finding that a 10-figure judgment against Chevron was tainted by fraud and judicial corruption in Ecuador.

Ecuador
Second Circuit Rules for Chevron in $9B Environmental Case

By Mark Hamblett |

The appeals court on Monday affirmed the trial judge's finding that a 10-figure judgment against Chevron was tainted by fraud and judicial corruption in Ecuador.

Mexico
Pemex Loses U.S. Appeal of $406M Arbitration Award

The Second Circuit has upheld a $406 million arbitration award that had been set aside by a Mexican court.

Panama
Why Do the Panama Papers Name So Few American Clients?

U.S. citizens get relatively few mentions in the Panama Papers. The explanation might be aggressive American tax enforcement—or inadequate U.S. measures to counter money laundering.

Aymee Valdivia, with Holland & Knight.

Cuba
Cuba-Trained Attorneys in US Help Navigate Deals as Relations Thaw

Cuban lawyers who have pursued additional U.S. law degrees say their legal experience in Cuba offers value to U.S. clients.

Chile
White & Case Advises on Financing for Solar Project in Chile

SunPower has raised $200M to build a solar power plant that will power Santiago's subway system.

Argentina
Infrastructure Projects in Latin America Get Funding

A development bank owned mostly by Latin American countries and private banks has approved $1.865 billion in loans for infrastructure projects in Argentina, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago and four other nations.

LAN passenger jet airplane at the airport of El Calafate in Patagonia.

Argentina
LAN Airlines Pays $22M to End FCPA Probe

The agreement resolves parallel SEC and DOJ investigations into a $1.15 million payment that the agencies said went to bribe union leaders in Argentina.

Mexico
Walmart Defeats Shareholder Suit Over Mexico Bribery Scandal

The Eighth Circuit on Friday sided with the mega-retailer and shut the door on a shareholder class action.

Oil rigs.

Argentina
Jones Day Plays Role in Latin American Loan Deal

The Argentine subsidiary of a Chilean energy company has taken a $150 million loan to expand offshore oil and gas exploration and production in Argentina. The banks were advised by Jones Day.

Mexico
Mexico Strengthens Anti-Corruption Laws

Mexico made amendments this week to its anti-corruption laws that will affect those doing business in Mexico and strives to change the way its people, and the world, perceive how business works there.

A shopkeeper displays two packs of cigarettes with newly-released warning labels against smoking in Montevideo, Uruguay. (AP Photo/Marcelo Hernandez)

Uruguay
Plain Packaging and Stricter Tobacco Labeling Expected to Spread in Latin America

Latin American countries may be more emboldened to enact bolder anti-tobacco legislation after Uruguay succesfully defends itself against tobacco company investment lawsuit.

Sean Pavone/iStockphoto

Amid Puerto Rican Debt Crisis, DLA Piper Sees Opportunity in San Juan

DLA Piper may be the first full-service Am Law 100 firm to open an office in Puerto Rico.

Francisco Cerezo.

Hispanic Attorneys in Miami Rise to Prominence in International Practice

Hispanic Miami attorneys have risen to prominence in international work and are handling high-end international transactions once handled almost exclusively in New York.

American Lawyer Announces its Fourth Annual Global Legal Award Winners

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

All winners will be honored at the Global Legal Awards dinner on Sept. 26, 2016, at Gotham Hall in New York City, where we will also reveal the four grand prizes.

Venezuela
Berger Singerman Forms Immigration Practice With Venezuelan Bar Head

Berger Singerman is making its first formal foray into business immigration work with the hire of the incoming president of the Venezuelan National American Bar Association.

Argentina
Cleary Gottlieb, Holland & Knight and Cabanellas Etchebarne Advise on Argentina's Latest Bond Deals

On the heels of the Argentine Province of Buenos Aires closing its second $1 billion bond offering this year, the Province of Salta closed a $300 million offering last week, as the nation's provinces look to capital markets to improve ailing infrastructure and restart the economy.

07/07/16- Miami- E. Adriana Kostencki, with Moreno Kostecki Law Firm.

Venezuela
As Venezuela's Legal System Suffers, Its Attorneys Look to Move to U.S.

As practicing law in Venezuela becomes increasingly difficult, some Venezuelan attorneys have had enough.

Panama
The Global Lawyer: Will DOJ Indict Panama Papers' Lead Partner?

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Vulture fund Elliott Associates is testing the viability of Panama Papers prosecution.

Latin America Won't Escape Brexit Impact

By Monika Gonzalez Mesa |

One anticipated consequence of the U.K.'s vote to leave the EU is a decline in European trade with Latin America.

A Havana Club rum truck drives through the main highway in Varadero, Cuba.  It supplies the resort in the area.  Havana Club was established in 1878 and was nationalized by the Cuban government after the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Cuba
Demon Rum and the Havana Club Trademark Saga

The U.S.-Cuba rapprochement adds a wrinkle to the Havana Club trademark saga.

Argentina
Argentina's Bond Offering, Weyerhaeuser Asset Sale and Other Deals

With its epic bondholder litigation nearing resolution, Argentina called on longtime counsel Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton to guide its re-entry into global capital markets with a $16.5 billion bond offering.

Panama
Expert Analysis: What the Panama Papers Should Teach Companies about Money Laundering

The release of the Panama Papers shines a light on dirty money overseas.

Enrique Pena Nieto

Mexico
Open Trials Come to Mexico After Yearslong Justice Reforms

It would have seemed routine in many places: A defendant accused of illegally possessing a gun sat across a gleaming courtroom from the judge who accepted his guilty plea and would pronounce his sentence. For Mexico, though, it was a remarkable change from a century-old judicial system of paper-shuffling court cases in which defendants rarely actually testified before the judge ruling on their fate from within a cramped, bureaucrat's office. As of Saturday, the open, oral trial will be the norm nationwide as part of a sweeping judicial reform.

The Toronto skyline.

United Kingdom
EY Hires Norton Rose Fulbright Partner As Big Four Continue Push Into Law

The Big Four accounting firms are continuing to invest heavily in their legal services arms, expanding their presence in the Americas even as their footprint grows in the United Kingdom.

People line up expecting to buy food outside a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela (Ivan Alvarado/REUTERS/Newscom).

Venezuela
Foreign Law Firms on Edge as Venezuela Teeters

Amid food shortages and rising political unrest, major firms in Caracas are doing what they can to weather the storm.

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio De Janeiro. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Brazil
Brazil's Pre-Olympics Emergency Declaration Raises Legal Questions

A Brazilian state governor's declaration of a state of emergency and request for federal money to meet obligations in hosting the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is being questioned on constitutional grounds and may lead to lawsuits, lawyers say.

dolphinphoto/iStockphoto

Argentina
Am Law 100 Duo Advise on First Argentine IPO in Six Years

A month after a settlement smoothed the way for Argentina's return to the global capital markets, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Davis Polk & Wardwell led the way on a $280.5 million initial public offering by a Buenos Aires-based bank.

Jerry Brodsky of Peckar & Abramson.

Infrastructure Deals Show Legal Quirks in Latin American Construction

U.S. contractors face different legal challenges in Latin America, but there are strategies that can help.

Brazil
Luck Turns for Brazilian Tourist Suing Security Guards

A Brazilian tourist's case against Miami Beach security guards is reinstated after he shows he made a good-faith effort to return to the U.S. for the civil assault trial.

Cuba
Cuba Cancels International Bar Meeting in Havana

Cuban officials canceled an Inter-American Bar Association conference planned for Havana next month, citing concern about speakers on the agenda.

Mexico
Rift Among Rainmakers Complicates Dentons' Mexico Deal

The legal giant's latest expansion effort south of the border involves a dispute between two former colleagues and offers clues about Dentons' other global affiliations.

Panama
Judge Reverses Ship Seizure, Awards $1.2 Million in Damages

A Dania Beach lawyer wins a defense judgment and $1.2 million in damages for a Hollywood company whose ship was seized in Panama at the behest of an Orlando shipping company.

Mexico
Judge Tosses Shareholder Suit over Wal-Mart Bribery Claims

Attorney Stuart Grant must be spitting nails after a Delaware judge dismissed his shareholder suit against the directors of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over the allegations of bribery in Mexico, because an Arkansas court—without the documents Grant turned up—has already ruled.

The Venezuelan government is trying to silence website dolartoday.com, based in Delaware, that publishes that nation’s black market currency rate. Publication of unofficial exchange rates is a crime in Venezuela..

Venezuela
Venezuelan Suit Dismissed Against Financial Website

A Delaware federal judge dismisses the central bank of Venezuela's lawsuit against a U.S. website publishing exchange rates and Venezuelan opposition news.

The Miami skyline in 2014 with Brickell on the left and Downtown to the right.

UK Real Estate Shoppers Focus on South Florida

Colombia leads all foreign nations in searching for Miami real estate online, interest from the U.K. strengthens to a record high, and Brazil drops to No. 5.

77.69 acre lot at 5001 Vanguard St. in Orlando, sold in 2005 for $16.6 million.

Ecuador
Ecuador Wins $4 Million Award Against Company With Orlando Real Estate

Ecuador is entitled to $4.3 million from a company that owns a 77-acre Orlando property linked to a 20-year-old bank fraud case.

Brazil
Controversy Erupts Over Brazil’s Temporary Blockage of WhatsApp

‘We will be having similar debates in the U.S. before long,’ warns Stanford’s Vivek Wadhwa.

Sitting, Mark Lopez, shareholder and Yosbel A. Ibarra, Shareholder; Co-Chair, Latin American and Iberian Practice Miami Greenberg Traurig. Standing are the firm’s Foreign Law Clerk Program participants. From left, Luciano Aguilera, Francisco Lombardi, Andres Parker, Cecilia Canepa, Carla Gonzalez, Victoria Burt and Vitor Araujo.

Greenberg Traurig Offers Training Program in Miami for Foreign Lawyers

The one-year foreign law clerk program helps Greenberg Traurig expand its contacts in Latin America and gives foreign attorneys a leg up on a partnership at home.

Argentina President Cristina Fernandez

Argentina
Argentina Prosecutor Asks Probe of Ex-President and Son

A federal prosecutor asked that former President Cristina Fernandez and her son be investigated for possible illegal enrichment in connection to two businessmen accused of money laundering and tax evasion.

Latin American Companies Back New US Trade Secrets Law

A new Defend Trade Secrets law may give Latin American companies reason to move computer servers to the United States.

H-1B Visas: A Scarce (Human) Resource

It should come as no surprise that H-1B visas have been used up — yet again. If nothing changes, this is likely to be repeated next year, writes attorney Nicolas Watkins.

Annie Hernanadez, CABA president, Holland & Knight

Cuba
New Cuban American Bar Association President Talks Re-Engaging Membership, Visiting Cuba, Promoting Diversity

The Holland & Knight partner leading the CABA discusses the organization's goals, including a conference on Cuba that aims to draw businesspeople from across the country.

Cuba
Carnival Lawsuit Dropped After Policy Change on Cuba Cruises

Two Cuban-American are dropping their discrimination suit against Carnival Corp. after the cruise operator lifted a ban on bookings by U.S. citizens born in Cuba.

Navio Joao Candido, Petrobras Oil Tanker

Brazil
Amid Scandal, Brazil Overhauls Its Anti-Corruption Toolkit

Brazil's leniency program needs work. Will proposed reforms do the job? The country must balance purity and pragmatism, writes The Global Lawyer.

Colombia
Ex-Informant Who Won $1.9M From Feds is Sued Over Legal Fees

Washington, D.C.-boutique Alvarez Martinez Law Firm claims that a former confidential informant for U.S. law enforcement in Colombia is refusing to safeguard $731,500 in contested legal fees from a $1.9 million settlement reached last month with the feds.

Mauricio Macri

Argentina
Cleary Takes Lead on Argentina’s $16.5B Market Re-Entry

Cravath may have stepped in to help Argentina end its legal battle with bondholders, but the country turned to its longtime counsel at Cleary Gottlieb to guide its reentry into global capital markets.

Mexico
Attorney Uses the Fifth Circuit to Get U.S. Documents for Mexican Lawsuit

The ruling comes after Grupo Mexico chased an evasive litigation investment company all over the United States with a federal subpoena.

Cuba
Expert Analysis: To Protect Trademarks in Cuba, Act Now

Companies or individuals should consider registering now in Cuba if they have any interest in marketing, sourcing, distributing or selling there. Otherwise, it could be problematic for their brand if an unauthorized third party files for registration first.

Cuban flag

Cuba
U.S. Exports to Cuba Could Triple if Sanctions Lifted

At the request of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. International Trade Commission has been researching the impact lifting economic sanctions on Cuba will have on American businesses.

Jeremy Alters

Cuba
Miami Attorneys Fight Over Fees on $2.87B Award Against Cuba

Two Miami attorneys, once friends, are locked in a bitter battle over legal fees in a case against the Cuban government dating back to a 1959 suicide.

Jeffrey A. Neiman

Panama
Tax Attorneys See Reason for Clients to Worry About Panama Papers Inquiries

Some offshore account holders are concerned that their accounts may get more U.S. Treasury Department scrutiny in the wake of the Panama Papers leak.

A security guard sit outside the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Sunday, April 3, 2016. German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung says it has obtained a vast trove of documents detailing the offshore financial dealings of the rich and famous. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism says the latest trove contains includes nearly 40 years of data from the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The company didnít immediately respond to a request for comment. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

Panama
Reports: Panama Firm Usurped Name of Red Cross to Hide Money

The law firm at the center of the Panama offshore accounts scandal routinely usurped the name of the Red Cross and other charities to help obscure the origin of millions of dollars in questionable funds, two newspapers involved in the investigation reported Sunday.

Panama
Trade Secrets Bill Likes Quiet Whistleblowers, Not News Hogs

A trade secrets bill moving through Congress safeguards whistleblowers from liability unless they take their concerns to the news media.

 From left to right: Austin Cheung, Steven Gong, Aven Zhang, Chens Chen and Alice Teng.

China
Mossack's China Connection

By Anna Zhang |

The Panamanian law firm at the center of an unprecedented document leak has found China to be a rich source of business.

<b>HAVANA SPRING:</b> At least six law schools have sent students to Cuba this semester.

Cuba
Charting a Course for Cuba

At least six law school classes have gone to Havana so far this semester and more schools are planning visits now that the U.S. government has eased travel restrictions and renewed diplomatic relations.

Panama
Who Will Represent the Firm Behind the 'Panama Papers'?

Mossack Fonseca says it hasn’t yet hired outside counsel. What kind of lawyers will it need?

Rio De Janeiro.

Brazil
Amid Corruption Scandals, Hughes Hubbard Inks Alliance with Brazilian Compliance Firm

With dozens of high level Brazilian executives and politicians under investigation as part of a broad corruption probe, Hughes Hubbard has joined forces with a local anti-corruption lawyer.

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. January 10, 2012. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

DOJ Sweetens Rewards for FCPA Cooperation

The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday launched a pilot program that could significantly reduce the criminal penalties for companies that self-report violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Panama
Panama Rejects Money-Launder Label Following Documents Leak

Panamanians have long shrugged off their country's checkered reputation as a financial haven for drug lords, tax dodgers and corrupt oligarchs. If they're crooks, they've learned from the world's wealthy nations, they like to joke.

A security guard sit outside the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Sunday, April 3, 2016. German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung says it has obtained a vast trove of documents detailing the offshore financial dealings of the rich and famous. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalism says the latest trove contains includes nearly 40 years of data from the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The company didnít immediately respond to a request for comment. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

Panama
Firm Linked to Panama Papers Targeted in Brazil, Could Face US Probe

Mossack Fonseca, whose client records of offshore accounts are international media fodder, has been targeted by Brazil's anti-corruption investigators and may be open to U.S. inquiries.

'Panama Papers' Put Spotlight on Law Firm Data Security

Partners and security experts reacted with alarm to news of the massive document leak from Panama offshore firm Mossack Fonseca.

Panama
The Global Lawyer: The Money Laundering Mills of Panama and You

What does the 'Panama Papers' scandal mean for the republic of American lawyers?

Streets of Old Havana, Shortly after sunset, 2016.

Cuba
Expert Analysis: U.S. Companies Should Proceed Cautiously Into Cuba and Iran

U.S. businesses are wasting no time rushing into these new markets. But despite recent easing, most of the trade restrictions against Cuba and Iran remain in place.

Yahoo! Inc. headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.

Mexico
Baker & McKenzie, Yahoo Dodge Suit Alleging $2.7 Billion Bribery Scheme

Ideas Interactivas, a Mexican phone book publisher, had accused Yahoo and its lawyers of bribing a judge to escape a massive court judgment.

Venezuela
DLA Piper Cuts Ties to Venezuelan Alliance Firm

By James Booth |

The split with Venezuela's InterJuris leaves the international giant with three bases in the region.

Dilma Rousseff

Brazil
Brazil Ex-President Silva Says Rousseff Can Stop Impeachment

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he believes his embattled successor and protege can survive mounting pressure in Congress for her impeachment.

Rene Romer, ceo and managing director of the Dutch Caribbean Stock Exchange

Antigua & Barbuda
Curacao Stock Exchange Seeks International Startups

The Dutch Caribbean Securities Exchange is pitching itself as an affordable venue for Latin American startups.

Capitol building in Havana

Cuba
Unusual Dissent Erupts Inside Cuban Communist Party Ranks

Days after President Barack Obama's historic visit, the leaders of Cuba's Communist Party are under highly unusual public criticism from their own ranks for imposing new levels of secrecy on the future of social and economic reforms.

Paul Ryan.

Puerto Rico's Delegate Demands Changes to Debt Crisis Draft Bill

Speaker Paul Ryan promised that House Republicans would have a plan to help Puerto Rico deal with its $70 billion debt by the end of March, yet some island officials are finding the emerging draft difficult to swallow.

Burford Boasts Big Year, Invests $100M in Law Firm Portfolio

Burford Capital LLC announced Wednesday that its earnings topped $100 million in 2015, with commitments of $206 million, both new records for the publicly listed litigation financier, which has invested another $100 million in a law firm's litigation portfolio.

Cuba
Miami Attorneys Join Cuba Trip During Obama Visit

A handful of Miami lawyers are in Cuba for President Barack Obama's visit, while others decided to stay home.

James Meyer, with Harper Meyer Perez Hagen O'Connor Albert & Dribin LLP

Cuba
Running in Tandem: US-Cuba, Colombia-FARC Talks in Cuba

As President Barack Obama visits Cuba and prepares to address the Cuban people Tuesday on the anniversary of Patrick Henry's famous "give me liberty or give me death" speech, relations with Cuba aren't the only items on the U.S. agenda.

Mexico
Mexico Nabs Alleged Cartel Leader Tied to Border Shootouts

A suspected drug cartel boss linked to a string of deadly weekend gun battles in a northern border city was arrested at a horse racetrack in the capital, Mexican officials said.

Santiago, Chile.

Spain
Spain's Garrigues Broadens Latin American Reach

The Iberian legal giant has finalized a deal to integrate Chilean firm Avendaño Merino into its global network. Amid a shrinking market for high-end legal services in Spain, many of the country's top firms are looking to opportunities in Latin America.

Housing in Havana, Cuba

Cuba
Obama Trip to Cuba Shows Move Away From Focus on Dissidents

President Barack Obama is wagering that reforging links between the U.S. and Cuba will do more to change Cuba's single-party government and centrally planned economy than a half-century of confrontation.

Peter A. Quinter

Attorneys With Cross-Border Practices See Value in Trade Agreements

Trade agreements are global political tools that affect more than the domestic job market, attorneys with cross-border practices say.

Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela
Maduro Withdraws Venezuela's Top Diplomat in Washington

President Nicolas Maduro announced that Venezuela's top diplomat in Washington would be called back to Caracas to protest the decision to renew a U.S. decree imposing sanctions on several top officials from the South American country.

Joseph Sigelman, indicted former chief executive of PetroTiger Ltd.

Colombia
Quinn Emanuel Sued Over Legal Fees in Major Foreign Bribery Case

Last year the firm touted its success for oil company CEO Joseph Sigelman, but now the former client is saying he’s been overcharged.

View of Bogota center with the Santamaria bullring and the Andes mountains in the background.

Colombia
Holland & Knight Team Advises Colombia on Toll Road Financing

The legal team led by Miami's Norberto Quintana advised on a line of credit for construction of a toll road in the Colombian Andes.

Whistleblower Gets Redemption—And a Fortune—in Olympus Bribery Case

When John Slowik, the new chief compliance officer at Olympus America Inc., discovered the company was paying bribes to win business, he reported it to his bosses. Their way of fixing the problem: they fired him.

Top Latin American Consultant Offers The Ins and Outs of Due Diligence

BRG's Frank Holder says demand is on the rise for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act due diligence.

Cuba
Professor: Cuban Remittances Feeding Racial Divide

About 90 percent of U.S. remittances to Cuba are going to the white population, leaving blacks and mulattos out of the economic upsurge, a University of Miami researcher reports.

Second national wave of Operation Cross Check, an effort by ICE to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants with criminal records. Over 2,900 people were arrested and 18 weapons were confiscated. September 2011. Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Wikimedia Commons.

Report: Subpar Care in Immigration Detention Leads to Deaths

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has for years provided inadequate medical care at its detention facilities, leading to in-custody deaths, according to a report by a coalition of advocacy groups.

Mauricio Macri points as he rides in an open top car towards the presidential palace after he was sworn in as Argentina's new president in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015.

Argentina
Deal Watch: Cravath on the Warpath for Argentina and Yahoo

The vaunted Wall Street firm picked up two key roles for the South American nation and the multinational technology giant.

Argentina
Lawyer: 15-Year Dispute With Argentina Near $5B Settlement

A lawyer for large U.S. hedge funds owning Argentine bonds said his clients have nearly settled on a $5 billion deal with Argentina to end a 15-year-old dispute that has interfered with the South American nation's efforts to end a debt crisis and gain a healthier footing in the world's financial markets.

Cuba
Cuba Gives Well-Known Dissidents Permission to Travel Abroad

The Cuban government has loosened travel restrictions on some of the island's best-known dissidents, granting them one-time permission to travel abroad ahead of President Barack Obama's trip to the island, activists said.

Oil rigs.

Mexico
Energy Experts Sought for US-Mexico Business Council

The U.S. is seeking nominations for a new energy business council focusing on expanded trade and investment in renewable and nonrenewable energy.

Havana, Cuba.

Cuba
Akin Gump Boosting its Cuba Practice

As firms position themselves to take advantage of improving U.S.-Cuba relations, Akin Gump has hired former Cargill executive Devry Boughner Vorwerk to help speed the thaw.

Dominican Republic
DLA Piper Miami Legal Team Advises on Dominican Fuel Sale

DLA Piper represented a company selling the majority stake in a chain of 130 gas stations and other fuel interests in the Dominican Republic.

U.S. Department of Justice

Kazakhstan
Expert Analysis: Feds Expand Strategy to Trace Bribery Funds

Recent anti-kleptocracy cases highlight the Justice Department's new approach to fighting corruption.