City focus: Miami in Latin America: International firms

As a genuine gateway to Latin America, Miami is not short of cultural affinity with the region; it houses numerous communities with Latin American heritage, notably Cuban, Colombian, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan, and Spanish speakers outnumber English speakers within the city limits; there is also a growing Brazilian population. Indeed, several firms, such as Akerman LLP and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, now have thriving Brazil-facing practices in Miami, led by Brazilian natives. Reed Smith LLP joined this growing group with its June 2020 hire of Brazil native Felipe Berer, the former chair of the Brazil practice at Akerman LLP. As a legal hub, Miami naturally offers a range of specialist skills to Latin America-based entities and those that have Latin America interests. From Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance to wealth management, international arbitration and sovereign debt, the Miami legal market covers almost all the bases, although it should be said that -unsurprisingly- capital markets expertise remains largely centred in New York. The breadth of the array of corporate legal services that Miami firms deliver to Latin America contrasts with a market that is -if not shallow- limited in size. For that reason, while the firms listed are recommended, they are not ranked - although, obviously, the editorial analysis seeks to distinguish primary areas of strength and expertise, and the work highlights provide an insight as to the sophistication of the work handled. The possibility of ranking the City focus: Miami section will be reviewed annually with our research.

Akerman LLP

Akerman LLP reinforced its Brazil credentials with the hire of cross-border M&A specialist Otavio Carneiro from Veirano Advogados' Rio de Janeiro office in October 2019. His arrival comes at a time when the firm is achieving considerable growth in Brazilian transactional, litigation and regulatory work. The firm has worked on a series of US Chapter 15 bankruptcy cases involving Brazilian corporates. It is also active in Brazil-related trade, export controls, white-collar crime and compliance, labour, immigration, tax and antitrust matters. While the firm is primarily focused on the middle market in the US, it actually represents some of the biggest corporate names in Brazil. Beyond Brazil, the firm remains noted for its Cuba regulatory and trade work thanks to the presence of Pedro Freyre, who chairs the firm's international practice; the firm has acted for big-name clients in a series of Cuba law suits under the Helms-Burton Act. It is also active in cases linked to Chile along with Venezuela sanctions work, while Ecuador and Peru are key markets too. Moreover, international arbitration is a growing element of the Latin America practice; however, Brazil disputes specialist Felipe Berer joined global heavyweight Reed Smith LLP in June 2020.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP singled out its Miami office as its principal US-based hub for Latin America in September 2019. Since then it has made a series of senior lateral hires to reinforce its Latin America credentials and the office is deepening its integration with New York and other branches in Latin America itself. John Murphy, a power and infrastructure specialist who handles both project development and project finance, joined from DLA Piper LLP (US) in February 2020. Two senior tax specialists, Jeffrey Rubinger and Summer LePree joined from Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP in January 2020 to reinforce the firm’s Latin America-facing tax planning practice. In addition, Federico Cuadra Del Carmen re-joined the firm as counsel from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP to strengthen the Latin America M&A, private equity and venture capital side of the practice; subsequently he was part of a multi-office team that advised China Yangtze Power Company on its $3.59bn purchase of Sempra Energy's Peruvian businesses, including its 83.6% stake in Luz del Sur, a utility company serving the southern region of Lima. The Miami office is also well considered for litigation, compliance, regulatory enforcement and investigations thanks to the presence of Daniela Fonseca Puggina. International trade, trade finance and financial services are also growth segments for the Miami office.

Work highlights

  • Advised China Yangtze Power Company on its $3.59bn purchase of Sempra Energy’s Peruvian businesses, including its 83.6% stake in Luz del Sur.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP has a consistent flow of arbitration cases linked to Latin America, particularly investor-state disputes; it has represented sovereign nations such as Dominican Republic and the Republic of Ecuador, and also frequently acts for investors against Latin American states. Pedro Martinez-Fraga is co-leader of the firm’s international arbitration team. Miami managing partner Ryan Reetz is also a big name in Latin America-related arbitration and litigation, as is Domenico di Pietro. Former corporate partner Mario Fontes has joined Saul Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr.

Carlton Fields

Carlton Fields has a lengthy track record with Brazil, particularly in relation to inbound transactions into the US, along with deal flow the other way. Much of the firm's work centres on investment structuring, private client, real estate, sanctions, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations and white-collar crime advice. The firm advises a range of entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses in the Latin America region, particularly those with US interests. Robert Macaulay has some 30 years' experience with Brazil and Andrew Markus is another experienced figure for Brazil-related investments, joint-ventures and real estate transactions. Michael Pasano is a key name for sanctions, white-collar crime and FCPA investigations. Beyond Brazil, the firm is making inroads into the Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico markets. Prominent Brazil-focused corporate lawyer Giovanni Biscardi joined Greenberg Traurig LLP in January 2020.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has a strong association with Latin America, with the firm's Miami office playing a key role in developing its business there. International arbitration partner Ricardo Lewandowski splits his time between London, Miami and Sao Paulo. Caracas partner Aurelio Fernandez-Concheso spends much of his time in Miami, working on cross-border investments involving Latin America.

Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance

Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance has a phenomenal presence in white-collar crime and FCPA investigations. It has a rich track record in financial fraud, international asset recovery, anti-money laundering, and OFAC compliance. In addition, the firm is achieving further growth in immigration and Latin America corporate transactions, especially those involving large family-owned businesses. Key markets include Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala and Honduras. It is well known for representing foreign governments, state-owned enterprises, public officials, financial institutions, multinationals and high net worth individuals. It has a fine record in handling and avoiding criminal indictments and negotiating with US law enforcement agencies; this includes in relation to Latin American jurisdictions that are perceived to be national security threats to the US. Moreover, the firm is making a significant impression in international arbitration involving Latin American entities. Global managing partner Michael Diaz has an outstanding reputation in FCPA and OFAC cases, financial fraud investigations, asset-tracing and general white-collar crime matters. Founding partner Robert Targ is also highly reputed for white-collar crime and investigations, while Gary Davidson is the key partner for international arbitrations. Marta Colomar-Garcia is also has a growing practice in Latin America litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Michael Diaz

Key clients

Midway Labs

Midway Labs-EXICON

Ruben Idler

TCB Advisors / Inversiones Mirko

Humberto Araque Tamayo

Leite

Victor Planchart

Warren Barthes

Domenico Crugnale

Alvaro Saenz (Unimark)

Work highlights

  • Representing Midway Labs, as defendants, in a US$40m lawsuit brought in the Complex Business Litigation division of Miami-Dade County State Court system, by Brazilian e-commerce company, Netshoes, alleging various claims arising from a distributorship arrangement between Netshoes and the Midway entities.
  • Representing the defendant in a $500,000 case filed in Broward County, Florida where the Plaintiff alleges the Plaintiff and Defendant entered into an oral contract to process, package, and sell fish through Venezuelan entities.
  • Represents Inversiones Mirko in a $3m suit against IUB Puerto Rico Bank.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)'s Miami office is at the forefront of the firm's thriving Latin America practice. The team works especially closely with New York-licensed colleagues in Puerto Rico. Key markets for the Miami-based team are Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, Peru and Chile, the latter three driving particular growth. The Miami group represents a number of multinationals that are headquartered in the city and elsewhere, along with a range of Latin American family offices and their portfolio companies; previously the office advised QBE Insurance Group (which has its Latin America headquarters in Miami) on the sale of its Latin America business to Zurich. Francisco Cerezo is co-chair of Latin America corporate and finance and has a prominent reputation in headline Latin America transactions for both multinationals and multilatinas. Of counsel Diego Figueroa-Rodriguez is experienced in infrastructure-related capital raisings with strong tax-driven components; he has a particularly fine record in Puerto Rico matters. Well regarded 2018-hire Lida Rodriguez-Taseff is a commercial trial lawyer with an active practice in Latin American disputes and investigations. However, power and infrastructure expert John Murphy moved to Baker McKenzie LLP's Miami office in February 2020; and highly regarded international tax specialist Michael Silva joined McDermott Will & Emery LLP as co-chair of its Latin America practice the following month.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Cerezo; Roger Meltzer

Testimonials

With the addition of Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, DLA Piper is the strongest US based firm serving Latin America in commercial litigation and international arbitration.

Lida Rodriguez-Taseff is a gifted bilingual attorney with a sharp mind and a dogged since of getting justice for her clients. She is brilliant in the courtroom and highly efficient with her time management. She is highly ethical and trustworthy.

Harout Samra – experienced lawyer, provides practical advise and is proactive.

Key clients

Putney Capital Management, Basic Energy (BVI) nd Snapper Investments.

Haina Investment

Paulo Mendonca

Inicia Group

Work highlights

  • Representing Putney Capital Management, Basic Energy (BVI) and Snapper Investments in a breach of contract dispute against Ikana Holdings, currently pending in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the High Court of Justice in the British Virgin Islands.
  • Representing a former CEO of OGX, a Brazilian oil and gas firm formerly associated with Eike Batista, in litigation in the Eleventh Circuit of Florida asserted by former bondholders in OGX.
  • Representing Haina Investment in a $15m breach of contract dispute against InterEnergy Group; currently pending in Connecticut Superior Court, it concerns failure by the defendants to comply with an indemnification provision.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig LLP was affected by a number of senior level departures in 2019, including former firm vice president and Latin America practice head Patricia Menéndez-Cambó who became deputy general counsel of SoftBank Group International and the general counsel of SoftBank Innovation Fund. Former senior figure Randy Bullard and a team also departed to launch Morrison & Foerster LLP 's new Miami office. The firm's Miami office nevertheless remains integrally linked to Latin America through key partners, including co-managing shareholder of the Miami office Yosbel Ibarra; M&A partner Antonio Peña, who is also licensed to practice in Mexico; and Emilio Alvarez-Farré, who covers both corporate and financing transactions. The office remains best known for its work in Mexico and Central America, but is credible across Latin America, notably advising regional clients on a number of cross-border investments into Spain; it has also advised on a series of Chile outbound transactions. Moreover, the Miami office has deepened integration with other offices -notably Chicago- to further its penetration of Latin American markets; while the firm's internal changing-of-the-guard has also been taken as an opportunity to further integrate the Mexico office. In Miami, the firm has a number of Spanish-speaking litigators and has upped its emphasis on Latin America compliance and investigations; former US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Benjamin Greenberg joined the office in December 2019. In the energy and infrastructure projects sector, Spanish-speaker and former associate general counsel at Duke Energy International, Robert Downing is active in projects across Latin America. In addition, the large office boasts a number of real estate and tax planning specialists that advise on Latin America matters; in this regard Ozzie Schindler is noted for international tax planning. Brazil-focused corporate lawyer Giovanni Biscardi joined from Carlton Fields in January 2020.

GST LLP

GST LLP has a rich history in representing sovereign states in Latin America, particularly in the public international law field. Some 60 to 70% of the firm's practice relates to Latin America disputes, particularly international arbitration: the firm has represented the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and state oil and gas entity Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), on a number of occasions. Bolivia and the Republic of Ecuador have also engaged the firm. Now it represents a broader array of states and investors in commercial and investment disputes. Peru is a growth jurisdiction for the firm. It continues to operate frequently in the investment treaty dispute sphere, including cases linked to infrastructure projects (notably mining, power generation and port developments), along with oil and gas matters. Partners Ignacio Torterola, Diego Gosis and Quinn Smith all have profound experience in Latin America disputes.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP's Miami office has an illustrious connection and history with Latin America. It operates at the top of the market in key areas such as international arbitration, project development and project finance, sovereign finance and M&A. It has the largest team of Latin America-focused arbitration practitioners in Miami, all of which are trial lawyers that handle their own advocacy. The arbitration team acts for both governments and investors, including representing the Republic of Panama in investor-state ICSID proceedings in Washington DC. The arbitration group has a fine record in infrastructure and energy disputes, along with telecoms, financial services and technology cases; investment treaty arbitrations are a growth area. In the transactional field, the firm has an extensive record in the energy and infrastructure sectors, including power, oil and gas, telecoms and transport infrastructure. In project development and project finance, the firm is closely associated with the Ecuador and Central America. It has advised the Republics of Ecuador and Panama on key metro projects and also has an extensive record in sovereign financings and a track record with state-owned energy companies such as PetroEcuador, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). In M&A, it has successfully targeted the multilatina segment, which has led to a number of headline engagements. Moreover, the office has played an anchor role for clients in FCPA investigations, including those linked to the Operação Lavo Jato scandal in Brazil. Miami based Daniel González is global head of arbitration and has a major focus on Latin America, as does Richard Lorenzo, another big-name disputes figure. José Valdivia is an experienced and prominent actor in power and infrastructure projects. Jorge Diaz-Silveira is managing partner of the Miami office and another key name in projects and infrastructure, while also being active in M&A for multilatinas and other international clients. Rafael Ribeiro is an emerging talent for anti-corruption and FCPA investigations.

Work highlights

  • Advised the Republic of Ecuador on a series of transactions to manage its outstanding debt obligations in its efforts to strengthen its finances.
  • Advised the Republic of Ecuador on the issuance of a $400m sovereign social bond on the international markets.
  • Assisted Generadora San Andrés and Generadora San Mateo with the development, construction and financing of two hydroelectric projects in Guatemala.
  • Represented Playa Hotels and Resorts  in the development and construction of Playa Hotel & Resort in the Dominican Republic.

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP has a noteworthy Latin America practice with the Miami office playing an integral role in its increasing prominence. The wide-ranging Miami-based practice includes M&A and FDI, finance and projects, international arbitration, compliance and investigations, and financial services matters. Roberto Pupo is chair of the Latin America Practice Group and a key figure in cross-border corporate transactions; in 2019, he led the team that advised Canadian value retailer Dollorama on its acquisition of a 50.1% interest in Latin America's Dollarcity. George Mencio is another senior M&A specialist with a fine record in Latin America; he serves as firmwide co-leader of the corporate, M&A and securities practice. Norberto Quintana has an outstanding reputation for Latin America financings, including major project and infrastructure financings. Wilfredo Ferrer chair's the firm's global compliance and investigations practice and has extensive experience in Latin America. Andres Fernandez is co-leader of the firm’s financial services regulatory team and heads the Cuba action group. Jose Sirven is another senior name with a significant focus on Latin America, covering a range of financings, M&A and other cross-border transactions. Adolfo Jimenez leads the firm's arbitration and litigation team, frequently handling disputes involving Latin America. Emil Infante left the firm to launch a new Latin America practice at Polsinelli PC, in Miami, in March 2020.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP's Miami office is routinely applauded for its strength in bilateral and syndicated finance thanks in large part to the presence of Amy DulinMark Denham provides additional expertise in aviation finance. Beyond the finance segment, the firm has a strong connection to the Republic of Paraguay, where it has advised the government on a series of sovereign bond issuances, infrastructure projects and PPP programmes. It is also a major player in corporate transactions thanks to the presence of Ruben Diaz and Federico Goudie. The team has attracted a number of key engagements from multilatinas and other Latin American businesses. A case in point saw it advise the shareholders of BAC Florida Bank on its sale to Brazil’s Banco Bradesco; the Coral Gables-based BAC Florida Bank is controlled by Grupo Pellas, based in Nicaragua. In the M&A field, the firm has a particularly strong record in Central America followed by Colombia, Paraguay and Brazil. Venture capital and private wealth work is also an important element of the Miami group's Latin America caseload. In international arbitration, Luis O’Naghten is making an ever greater impression, including in Spanish language arbitrations in the region.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has strong links to Latin America, primarily through its sizeable Miami office. The team there is known for corporate transactions, financings and projects, including cable infrastructure projects.  The firm advises a number of key financial institutions that are based in or active in the region, and has close connections to the telecoms and subsea cables industries. It is also seeing growth in real estate matters, notably hotel construction and large residential projects in Florida for Latin American clients. Real estate partner Jonathan Kurry is key to growth in this area and his practice is now primarily Latin America-facing. The Latin America team is also seeing growth in oil and gas and power projects, and is picking up additional engagements from multilaterals in project development and project finance. Sanctions, cross-border disputes, compliance and investigations are other burgeoning areas with Gustavo Membiela to the fore. Cuba sanctions and litigation is a key area of strength. Fernando Margarit remains a market leader in cable infrastructure programmes and Uriel Mendieta remains noted for cross-border corporate transactions and financings. Chairman of the Latin America practice Fernando Alonso has an outstanding record in Latin America M&A and financings.

Practice head(s):

Juan Enjamio

Testimonials

It is a firm with excellent service and extensive legal knowledge for Latin America. What makes this firm unique is its commitment to clients and its knowledge of commerce and culture in the Latin American region.’

Excellent attention, very professional and very capable. They are “business minded”.

Its the best team: knowledge and experience.

Work highlights

  • Represented Banco de la Producción, Produbanco, as borrower, in connection with a $80m bilateral loan from IFC.
  • Represented Banco Sabadell in connection with a $190m syndicated mortgage loan to refinance Secrets and Breathless Resorts in Jamaica.
  • Advised a majority shareholder in acquisition and financing of minority shareholders’ interests, as well as on the reorganization of the group companies and additional investments by a new group of minority shareholders.

Jones Day

Jones Day has a flourishing Latin America practice, for which the Miami office plays an anchor role. The Miami team represents a range of European and North American multinationals in their regional interests; notably it advises a number of Spanish businesses in the energy, infrastructure and construction fields. Moreover, it is widely recognised for its experience in cross-border M&A and private equity; the Miami team was involved in advising ENGIE on its $8.6bn acquisition of 90% of Transportadora Associada de Gás, the largest natural gas transmission network owner in Brazil, from Brazilian state oil company Petrobras. The Miami office is also building its presence in litigation, white-collar crime and investigations: Cristina Pérez Soto is prominent in cross-border investigations, including those involving the US federal and state courts. Ricardo Puente is also recognised for litigation involving Latin American entities. Enrique Martin and Nicholas Rodríguez have a fine record in Latin America M&A and private equity. Fradyn Suárez is a key name for project finance in the region, including fourth generation (4G) toll roads in Colombia. Richard Puttré is global head of projects and infrastructure, and is at the forefront of renewable energy projects in Latin America, particularly in the solar power segment; he and Rodríguez recently advised JinkoSolar, a leading solar panel manufacturer, on the sale of two solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in Mexico to White River Renewables.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates's Miami has a fine record in Latin America transactions and contractual agreements. Christopher Tillson has a significant focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, frequently advising international clients on distribution, manufacturing, licensing and sales agreements in Latin America.

Kennedys

Kennedys now has over a decade in Miami, bringing its leading insurance expertise and deep Latin America experience to the market. Using the Miami office as a hub for Latin America. Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina are its primary markets. The firm has six further offices in the region itself, along with further associate offices in other jurisdictions. The Miami team works frequently with colleagues in London and across the US and is especially active on behalf of London-based clients, particularly in the fields of directors and officers (D&O) liability, financial lines, construction and engineering insurance and cyber insurance work. Broker negligence, compliance and regulatory work are also core specialisations of the Miami team; a case in point of the latter being its ongoing assistance to a range of insurers to establish new businesses in individual Latin American jurisdictions. It is also advising a number of insurers on the continued fall-out from the Operação Lava Jato scandal in Brazil, which has spread across the region. In Miami, it continues to advise many of the large international reinsurers, including those that have a presence in the city, along with a number of smaller players and syndicates. Anna Weiss is deputy head of Latin America and leads the construction and engineering side of the practice. Alex Guillamont leads the Latin America team and has wide experience including recent hurricane-related losses, cyber claims and political and trade risks.

Practice head(s):

Alex Guillamont

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

McDermott Will & Emery LLP established a highly credible Latin America-facing tax practice in 2020 with the hire of Michael Silva and a team from DLA Piper LLP (US). Building on the firm's international standing in tax, the new group advises a range of multinationals, family offices and high net-worth individuals on cross-border tax issues, fund-related matters, pre-immigration concerns and tax treaty planning. The team has extensive experience in expatriation, the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA), the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The group has a fine record in fund-related matters, including investments into US-based private equity and real estate funds. Silva, himself, is noted for representing family offices and fund formation issues; much of his practice centres on representing Latin American investors on US real estate projects and establishing a business presence in the US.

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster's Miami office was launched in 2019 with the hire of a team from Greenberg Traurig LLP. The group, led by Randy Bullard, who is co-chair of the Latin America desk, has maintained much of its legacy practice while frequently advising new anchor client SoftBank Innovation Fund -where former colleague Patricia Menendez-Cambo is general counsel- on Latin America deals. Much of the team's work centres on M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions. The group has a strong record in telecoms-infrastructure transactions and is a growing force in fintech, real estate and hotels and leisure. Its client base is largely multinationals with a sizeable number of multilatinas. Mexico, Central America and the Southern Cone are its key regions, although it has a growing number of Brazil deals thanks to the SoftBank relationship. Juan Delgado and Alexandra Aguirre are also key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Randy Bullard

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP significantly augmented its Latin America practice with the hire of a team led by Jackson Hwu from CKR Law. The group includes partner Leandro Molina and Caio Prado; all three are Brazil-qualified lawyers and are principally focused on Latin America's largest economy. Much of the new group's emphasis is on tech M&A, venture capital investments, private wealth and real estate. The team's expertise links into the firm's strengths in tech and venture capital in the south-eastern US. Since joining, the new group advised Sao Paulo-based construction business Decorati Building Tech and its founders on the sale of control of the company to Loft Holdings. Additionally, the Miami-based Latin America practice is making further headway in fund formation, with additional support from the New York office. The wider Miami group features a number of New York qualified lawyers enabling it to compete for Latin America projects, capital markets issuances, international financings and other corporate transactions. John Haley, in particular, is noted for infrastructure and project financings in Latin America, including PPP projects. John Sale is a key name for FCPA investigations and white-collar crime engagements in Latin America and Carlos Loumiet is another key figure for projects and infrastructure matters. Former private wealth and tax specialist Mauricio Rivero joined Akerman LLP in February 2020.

Polsinelli PC

Polsinelli PC established a credible Latin America practice with the hire of Emil Infante from Holland & Knight LLP in March 2020. He and his team have a varied focus, covering corporate and M&A, disputes and investigations. The group's work centres on Central America, notably Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Mexico, although South America is also very much part of the wider practice. Infante has continued to represent the Republic Guatemala in a breach of contract construction arbitration under ICSID rules. Milton Vescovacci is also noted for corporate transactions and disputes in the region.

Practice head(s):

Emil Infante

Testimonials

The incorporation of Emil Infante will definately boost the firm’s Latin American practice. Emil is an outstanding lawyer who’s knowledge of Latin American legal, social and political affairs is unsurpasable.

Work highlights

  • Represented the Republic of Guatemala, as defendant, in a claim of breach of contract of an International Investment Agreement under CAFTA-DR.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP has built a strong reputation in the arbitration field, following the launch of a Miami office in 2017. Jose Astigarraga is a hugely experienced arbitration specialist and is a recognised leader in Latin America disputes. This includes investment, construction and energy cases, and he is particularly recognised for his advocacy skills. Cristina Cárdenas and counsel Eduardo De la Peña are also key individuals in the arbitration group. Felipe Berer, a Brazil native and dual-licensed in Brazil and the US, joined the firm from Akerman LLP in June 2020; he specialises in Brazil-related disputes and insolvency proceedings.

Shutts & Bowen LLP

Shutts & Bowen LLP is noted principally for private client, wealth planning and tax matters connected to Latin America, with real estate and additional key segment. Much of this is related to inbound activity from Latin America, including pre-immigration tax planning and real estate investments into the US, with the firm seeing growth in engagements coming from Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. Additionally, the firm has an established Cuba desk and also represents a number of Major League Baseball players from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Peter Lagonowicz leads the Latin America practice and advises a range of Latin American private clients and family offices. Ricardo Souto and Francis Rodriguez are also noted for Latin America tax matters, while international tax planning and compliance specialist Logan Gans was elevated to partner in January 2020. Roland GallorFlorentino Gonzalez and Rafael Aguilar are key names for real estate investments by Latin American clients.

Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson PA

Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson PA's Latin America practice has a long track record in real estate investments and development, along with litigation and arbitration connected to Latin American businesses. The practice is building its presence in international tax and estate planning for high-net worth individuals and families, following the arrival of Gustavo Oliveira, a Portuguese and Spanish speaker who is helping to develop the firm's Brazil-related business. Carlos Canino founded the Latin America practice and is an experienced figure in litigation and arbitration connected to the region. He has represented a range of Latin American entities in US contentious proceedings, including the Republic of Honduras in a $11m breach of contract lawsuit in US federal court and appeal to the Eleventh Circuit.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has a substantial Miami office with about a third of attorneys focused on Latin America. Moreover, the firm's head of Latin America, Carlos Viana, is based there. It also continues to expand with the 2019-hire of international arbitration partner Silvia Marchili from King & Spalding LLP; she has initially joined the Houston office before transferring to Miami. The office is best known for finance, energy, projects and infrastructure, although it is a growing force in white-collar crime investigations and enforcement matters through Michael Garcia and Maria Beguiristain. In the energy, infrastructure, projects and finance segments, the Miami office fields a sizeable team with Carlos VianaSean Goldstein, Anna AndreevaJeannine Acevedo forming a formidable team, with Christian Hansen impressing on the aviation finance side, while Richard Kebrdle is a recognised force in restructurings in Latin America. Mark Bagnall is a key name for capital markets deals in the region, including for Brazilian issuers. Fernando de la Hoz and Victor Mendoza are senior generalists that continue to work on significant matters in the region. Thomas Pate has transferred to New York.