The office will launch as a foreign legal consultancy, as required by the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), and will open as soon as all regulatory approvals are obtained. Jones Day will open its own office, with no association or alliance with any local law firm.
Jones Day São Paulo will focus on supporting global clients with inbound investments into Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America, working together with the best local independent firms, as well as providing legal counsel to Brazilian companies in their international operations. The São Paulo Office will concentrate on cross-border M&A, private equity, banking and finance, and project finance/infrastructure transactions, as well as energy and capital markets.
Stephen J. Brogan, Managing Partner of Jones Day, said "Brazil is a dynamic, expanding economy, and one of the world's key emerging markets. It is a significant commodity producer, a world leader in energy, and home to some of the most important worldwide infrastructure projects undertaken in recent years. With Latin America's largest and deepest stock market, massive inbound investment, and soon-to-be-massive outbound investment, Brazil has been identified by many clients as central to their global strategy. It is the biggest market in the world where Jones Day does not have a presence, and its importance will only increase in future years, making Brazil an ever more important economy for our clients."
Luis Riesgo, Chair of the Latin American practice, will move to São Paulo to serve as Partner-in-Charge of the new office. Mr. Riesgo, who served as Partner-in-Charge of the Madrid Office of Jones Day for the last five years, is ranked by Chambers as a leading lawyer in Latin America in Corporate/M&A, and was recently identified as one of the top 30 foreign lawyers in Latin America by Latin Business Chronicle. He comments, "We feel that having a physical presence in Brazil would allow us better to serve our clients, and my relocation to São Paulo underscores Jones Day's commitment to serve them in Brazil and Latin America."
Mercedes Fernández will take over from Luis Riesgo as Partner-in-Charge of the Madrid Office. Mercedes is Chair of the International Litigation & Arbitration Practice in Madrid. Her practice focuses on civil law procedure, and encompasses arbitral and judicial proceedings. She has been ranked both as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global 2009 for her work in international arbitration in Latin America, as well as by Chambers Europe 2009 for her work in litigation in Spain. Ms. Fernandez is also recommended in PLC Which Lawyer? 2009 and is a board member of the Spanish Arbitration Club. Ms. Fernández' litigation experience is centered on disputes arising from construction contracts and large civil engineering projects, construction defects, energy projects, distribution, and merger and acquisition transactions.
Stephen J. Brogan, Managing Partner of Jones Day, said "Jones Day can never have enough leaders. The leadership appointments that we are announcing today are a tribute to Mercedes and Luis' great work and commitment to the Firm, as we continue developing the next generation of leaders worldwide."
Mr. Riesgo will be joined in São Paulo by Sanjiv Kapur and S. Wade Angus, corporate partners in Cleveland and New York respectively, each with extensive experience working with clients on transactions in Brazil and throughout Latin America. They have developed a practice that includes mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, infrastructure, mining and energy transactions, pharmaceutical, technology outsourcing, and other strategic alliances, as well as banking and finance and capital markets. All of them are following the process required to be admitted as consultants on foreign law in São Paulo.
Jones Day, which will run its Latin America practice from Brazil, has represented clients in the region for decades, and is among the very few law firms that will have offices in São Paulo, Mexico City, New York and Madrid, and the U.S. and Asia business and finance hubs.
Jones Day is a global law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers, including over 400 in Europe and 200 in Asia, located in 32 centers of business and finance throughout the world. Ranked among the world's best and most integrated law firms, and perennially ranked among the best in client service, Jones Day acts as principal outside counsel to, or provides significant legal representation for, more than half of the Fortune Global 500 companies. Jones Day has held the #1 ranking for number of deals worldwide in both the Thomson and Bloomberg league tables every quarter since year-end 2000.