Q2 2018

Deal dynamics / The view from London /José Luis De Salles Freire

Top-tier firms pursue transactional work because it allows them to demonstrate their high value, and so charge the high fees necessary to pay the best talent. They shape their strategy around building a healthy list of transactions that evidences their skills and market share.

After an extensive research process that uncovered over 1,000 deals amounting to US$130 billion in 2017, Latin Lawyer has sought to produce a comprehensive report of deal activity in Latin America that looks at the busiest firms in the region’s biggest markets. We found that most deals were handled by a comparatively small group of law firms. We examine their working relationships with each other and ask how a firm’s international strategy can affect its deal volume. Alongside that, we consider IPO activity over a period of 17 months. While the capital markets continue to experience a period of volatility, there have been some clear front runners in terms of firms winning the work.

Some of the deals mentioned in our report were recognised in our most recent Deal of the Year Awards. Lawyers from around the region convened at São Paulo’s Hotel Unique for our annual charity awards ceremony, where we celebrated the winners. We look back at the highlights of the evening, which was all in aid of pro bono clearing houses.

Meanwhile, as the presidential elections taking place across Latin America highlight the changing shape of its political climate, the United Kingdom is also undergoing a transition as it prepares for Brexit. In this issue, we ask how withdrawal from the European Union might affect the London legal market’s relationship with Latin America. As the United Kingdom explores different trading routes, are its lawyers taking a closer look at opportunities in this region?

  1. Latin Lawyer Special Report: M&A and capital markets deal activity

    An in-depth look at M&A and IPO transactions in Latin America and the law firms behind them.

  2. Playing to win

    There are some clear front runners in the M&A space, as our country league tables illustrate. With big global firms still featuring in the large majority of high-value transactions in Latin America, how does a local firm’s international strategy affect its referrals and deal flow?

  3. IPO league tables

    Based on Latin Lawyer’s data, some US$12.28 billion was raised through 20 IPOs in Latin America last year, but 2018 is looking less promising.

  4. Looking ahead

    Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partner Filipe Areno and counsel Hilel Pohulanik consider how the region’s political and economic outlook will influence deal activity.

  5. Mergers & Acquisitions: Argentina
  6. Mergers & Acquisitions: Brazil
  7. Mergers & Acquisitions: Chile
  8. Mergers & Acquisitions: Colombia
  9. Mergers & Acquisitions: Mexico
  10. Mergers & Acquisitions: Peru
  11. Mergers & Acquisitions: International
  12. Latin Lawyer M&A special report: methodology
  13. Lifetime Achievement Award: José Luis de Salles Freire

    The winner of Latin Lawyer’s Lifetime Achievement Award, José Luis de Salles Freire, built TozziniFreire Advogados into an elite institution. He reflects on how he embarked on a new approach to rendering legal services.

  14. Linking up

    A planned takeover of the Buenos Aires metro system by Transport for London is one way the UK could strengthen its commercial relationship with Latin America as it prepares to leave the European Union. The country’s place in the world is set to change, but will Brexit reduce or increase the distance between London and Latin America?

  15. Under threat

    Observers say 2018 could be a transformative year for Latin America. The rise of outside candidates in presidential and legislative elections may create a new, riskier environment for investors, meaning they may no longer rely on the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to resolve claims. By Ricardo H Puente and Andrew J Turnier.