Latin America

As global businesses continue to expand their operations in Latin America – and as Latin American firms look to invest in markets across the Americas, Europe and Asia – we have the resources necessary to meet client needs for high-caliber legal counsel, political and business advice.

Why choose us

Clients of our Latin America Practice benefit from six core strengths that provide them with the insight, counsel and advice they need to succeed:

  • More than 60 lawyers in practice groups around the world who have practiced in the region, represented clients in Latin America matters, and worked in business and government positions in the region. These multilingual lawyers offer decades of experience working on behalf of clients in Latin America in areas including corporate/M&A, infrastructure development and finance, banking and finance, dispute resolution, public policy, maritime, life sciences, trade and competition, Antitrust, FCPA/UKBA, tax and foreign investment, insolvency and restructuring, and immigration.
  • Country Desks of lawyers who dedicate their practices to multinational clients and Latin America-based businesses. They have intimate knowledge of the local environment and understand the unique aspects of distribution networks, government procedures, employee benefit plans, environmental laws, and tax, customs and legal systems. They also serve to connect Latin American multinational companies to services provided outside of Latin America to the firm’s worldwide offices. The Country Desks are Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia/Chile, Peru, Cuba and Panama/Central America. We also have experience and relationships with firms in countries across the region.
  • A full-service legal office in the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo) that boasts a staff of US-trained and highly qualified lawyers with experience representing financial institutions, energy companies, real estate investors and developers, public-private partnerships, entertainment venues, retail operations and nearly a dozen Major League Baseball teams.
  • We have focused efforts on Asia-Latin America and Europe-Latin America trade and business, including Asia inbound and Latin America outbound work and sector opportunities leveraging our strong European presence in telecommunications, energy and banking. In particular, our Miami, Houston, Washington DC, Madrid and New York offices provide a strong link to Latin America business.
  • A preeminent Public Policy Practice that is consistently recognized as the leading US offering in the areas of public policy, lobbying and the representation of sovereign governments and entities across the region and around the globe.
  • A long history of representing sovereign governments in the region on a variety of matters, including general representation, free trade agreements and various trade acts. These include Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Guatemala. We also represented the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI, consisting of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras) on NAFTA parity matters.

Explore

Arbitration

Disputes involving multiple countries and legal systems in Latin America present complex challenges, which require a deep understanding and practical experience with the applicable rules and practices of multiple jurisdictions. Our International Dispute Resolution Group has been ranked by numerous publications as one of the top international arbitration practices in the world. We are counsel in some of the largest investment-treaty disputes around the globe, and have recorded two of the top 12 arbitral awards in the world within the last decade.

We have long-established practice groups throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia immersed in the dispute resolution practices specific to each region. Our award-winning practice sets itself apart by finding innovative and practical solutions and employing strategic techniques including early case evaluation; screening for appropriate dispute resolution procedures; billing and status-reporting flexibility; and a range of technology tools, combined with professionalism and commercial awareness. Our lawyers are highly experienced in all forms of dispute resolution including:

  • Adjudication
  • Advocacy
  • Arbitration
  • Dispute prevention
  • Expert determination
  • Litigation
  • Mediation

Banking and Finance

Our banking and finance experience in the region ranges from advising the shareholders in the largest deal to date in the Dominican Republic’s financial sector and acting as local counsel on the issuance of billions of dollars of secured notes to providing representation of banks in syndicated loan and complex loan restructuring efforts to offering legal advice on financial issues for the implementation of mobile payments systems in the region.

We assist multinational clients in the structuring and placement of foreign direct investments in different sectors of the region’s economy and advise them while negotiating, executing and securing international financial transactions including institutional private lending, asset-based lending, project financing, bond issuances and securitizations. Our lawyers have provided assistance and advice in the drafting, negotiation and execution of syndicated loan agreements, promissory notes and related collateral documents, including various mortgage agreements, bank account pledge agreements, insurance policy assignment agreement, relevant contracts assignment agreements and chattel mortgages over equipment and furniture.

Business Diplomacy

We assist businesses to strategically enter foreign markets and overcome obstacles that can arise when operating there. We work as a partner to businesses in developing their market entry strategy and identifying proper resources, including on-the-ground support and home government assistance. We also resolve challenges that may arise, employing legal remedies (such as arbitration or local legal action), trade remedies (found in multilateral or bilateral agreements) and political solutions.

Corporate

Our lawyers regularly advise global public and private companies on international mergers and acquisitions and securities law matters in the region. This includes advising multiple companies in spinoff and carve-out transactions of manufacturing and sales operations in Latin America and serving as primary outside securities compliance and governance counsel to several foreign private issuers. Our lawyers’ specific capabilities in this area include: 

  • Joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions – Structuring and establishing joint ventures, including preparing and negotiating letters of intent, teaming agreements, joint development agreements, partnership agreements and shareholders’ agreements. We have also structured mergers and acquisitions within the Latin American oil and gas industry.
  • Project assessment and due diligence – Performing on-site project due diligence, conducting risk assessments, and preparing and negotiating confidentiality agreements.
  • Bid evaluation and preparation – Analyzing bid requirements, preparing and analyzing bid questions and answers, structuring and negotiating bid bonds, preparing bids and participating in post-bid clarification conferences with government entities.
  • Corporate formalities – Evaluating and implementing Latin American corporate requirements and procedures as well as tax structures. We have experience in structuring and negotiating Latin American consortium and corporate documentation including documentation used in the formation of Latin American sociedades anónimas, sociedades de responsabilidad limitada and similar structures. We also have experience in forming project companies and in drafting and legalizing corporate documentation including organizational charters, corporate authorizations and powers of attorney. We are also familiar with international notarization and legalization procedures. 

Energy & Natural Resources

We have exceptional experience providing legal services in connection with energy-related matters in Latin America. Our energy lawyers have worked extensively in the region, and many are capable of counseling, negotiating, drafting and providing other legal services in Spanish and Portuguese. Our energy lawyers have worked on projects in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.

Throughout Latin America, we have represented developers and contractors in all aspects of the development and financing of energy projects including power plants, pipelines, processing facilities and transmission lines. We have also represented a variety of major investors, financial institutions and other entities in analyzing and responding to public tenders for Latin American energy projects, negotiating concession documentation, and negotiating and preparing the full range of project documentation including project company contracts, equipment, procurement and construction contracts, operation and maintenance agreements, power purchase agreements and fuel supply agreements. Our finance experience includes non-recourse and limited-recourse financing, as well as more traditional corporate-credit transactions. We have provided corporate, tax and dispute resolution counseling for such projects.

Investigations & White Collar

Our Investigations & White Collar practice offers formidable and highly organized resources around the globe to effectively represent clients faced with potential investigations and any parallel civil and criminal prosecution. Our experienced team includes former senior-ranking litigation and trial lawyers from the US Attorney Offices and the US Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury who have been involved in four of the 10 largest DOJ, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) UK Bribery Act and Anticorruption investigations. We also have deep experience in virtually all phases of the financial sector, including, among others, Anti-money Laundering and Bank Secrecy and Patriot Acts, Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and various securities statutes and rules, including SEC Rule 10b-5 and Sarbanes-Oxley. We also provide clients with insight and counsel from former US Ambassadors, US Senators and former senior ranking members of the FDIC, CFTC, OCC and other US government agencies.

Labor & Employment

Our Labor & Employment Practice assists numerous multinational and local clients with their business operations in the Dominican Republic and across the Latin American region. We have deep experience providing general legal assistance and advice to clients entering into, interpreting or terminating labor agreements in the Dominican Republic. We also provide pre-litigation assessment and advice to clients, and represent them in labor claims usually filed by the employees before Dominican courts. Very often, our team is engaged to assist in the hiring or separation of high-level executives and advisors, acting in a discrete and effective manner.

We have also assisted clients with the transfer and relocation of executives and employees, and have advised them on the sometimes complex cross-border legal issues originating from such decisions. Our team also engages in extensive due diligence processes leading to the merger with or acquisition of companies operating in different sectors or segments of the Dominican economy. Dominican Republic labor laws offer employees considerable termination benefits, so the labor and employment part of the due diligence process is critical.

Projects

We have one of the most highly-regarded infrastructure finance legal practices in the world, with more than 60 lawyers who specialize in this area of work. We are ranked among the leading firms in Latin America in IFLR 1000’s Energy and Infrastructure: Latin America 2013 for project finance, corporate and dispute resolution. In the area of highways, roads, rail and bridges that form basic transport infrastructure, we have designed and participated in many government sponsored financings, and are involved in privately financed public sector projects throughout the world. Our work includes advising a consortium to construct an underwater cable system between and among Angola, Brazil, Uruguay, the US and Portugal.

Public Policy

Our public policy practitioners are trusted advisors to sovereign governments on how best to advance their objectives in Washington DC, Brussels and beyond. As developing markets mature, so does the demand for legal services from both government and business. The enduring relationships we have formed with government offcials in capitals across the region, in Washington DC and around the world enables us to successfully engage on behalf of private businesses operating abroad to help overcome challenges, whether they involve routine contracts, multibillion dollar infrastructure projects or critically sensitive matters of national security.

Real Estate and Hospitality

Our Latin America practitioners in real estate and hospitality assist a wide variety of local and international clients, ranging from high-end tourism development projects to Major League Baseball teams and the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean. The team regularly assists clients with the negotiation and drafting of complex real estate and related financial documents, comprehensive due diligence processes and cross-border legal issues frequently faced by multinationals in the country. They are also frequently engaged in large mergers and acquisitions to evaluate the associated real estate risks.

Sovereign Advice and Counsel

We have served as trusted legal and political advisors to more than 100 sovereign governments and entities around the world, with deep experience in Latin America trade, finance and general matters. We also have years of experience helping governments address the numerous Congressionally-mandated annual reports from the US Department of State and other federal departments and agencies that contain country-specific reviews, which, if negative, can carry considerable consequences. More broadly, our defense, trade, financial and national security experts liaise with the Departments of Defense, Commerce, Treasury and State – and the congressional committees of jurisdiction – to address our clients’ foreign policy-related needs and concerns. We have also assisted clients with the transfer and relocation of executives and employees, and have advised them on the sometimes complex cross-border legal issues originating from such decisions. Our team also engages in extensive due diligence processes leading to the merger with or acquisition of companies operating in different sectors or segments of the Dominican economy. Dominican Republic labor laws offer employees considerable termination benefits, so the labor and employment part of the due diligence process is critical.

Labor and Employment

Our Labor & Employment Practice assists numerous multinational and local clients with their business operations in the Dominican Republic and across the Latin American region. We have deep experience providing general legal assistance and advice to clients entering into, interpreting or terminating labor agreements in the Dominican Republic. We also provide pre-litigation assessment and advice to clients, and represent them in labor claims usually filed by the employees before Dominican courts. Very often, our team is engaged to assist in the hiring or separation of high-level executives and advisors, acting in a discrete and effective manner.

We have also assisted clients with the transfer and relocation of executives and employees, and have advised them on the sometimes complex cross-border legal issues originating from such decisions. Our team also engages in extensive due diligence processes leading to the merger with or acquisition of companies operating in different sectors or segments of the Dominican economy. Dominican Republic labor laws offer employees considerable termination benefits, so the labor and employment part of the due diligence process is critical.

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Our Country Desks are teamed with lawyers who dedicate their practices to multinational clients and Latin America-based businesses. They have intimate knowledge of the local environment and understand the unique aspects of distribution networks, government procedures, employee benefit plans, environmental laws, and tax, customs and legal systems. They also serve to connect Latin American multinational companies to services provided outside of Latin America to the firm’s worldwide offices. 

We also have experience and relationships with firms in countries across the region. For opportunities within the region where no Country Desk is listed please contact Al Cardenas or Jorge Fernandez.


More than 60 lawyers around the world who have practiced in the region, represented clients in Latin America matters, and worked in business and government positions in the region, form our Latin America Practice. 

These multilingual lawyers offer decades of experience working on behalf of clients in Latin America in areas including Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Infrastructure Development and Finance, Banking, International Dispute Resolution, Public Policy, Maritime, Life Sciences, International Trade, Competition-Antitrust, FCPA/UKBA, Tax and foreign investment, Restructuring & Insolvency, and Immigration.

The team is led by an Executive Committee. Members are:



IFLR 1000:

  • “Recommended” Latin American project finance practice 
  • “Recommended” corporate practice 
  • “Highly recommended” IDR practice  
  • Paul O’Hop, Michele Connell and Alvaro Mestre recognized as Leading Lawyers in Latin America 

Latin Vex   

  • Recognized as one of the top 30 international law firms in Latin America 
  • Awilda Alcantara Bourdier recognized as one of the Top 50 women lawyers in Latin America 
  • Alex Peña-Prieto recognized as one of the Top 100 lawyers in Latin America

Our Santo Domingo office has been recognized as one of the top firms in the Dominican Republic by IFLR, Latin Lawyer 250, Chambers Global, Chambers Latin America and Legal 500.