Q2 2019

Latin Lawyer Elite / José Eduardo Queiroz / Public M&A

From the financing of Bogotá’s inaugural metro line, to the first Latin American biotech company to list on the New York Stock Exchange, to the culmination of the largest private sector bankruptcy in Latin American history, the winners of Latin Lawyer’s 13th Annual Awards showcased the ever-deepening complexity of dealmaking in the region. We share pictures from the night and publish the full list of winners in this issue.

One of the night’s winners was Italian utilities company Enel’s purchase of Eletropaulo, the first successful hostile takeover in Brazil. On these pages, we consider what makes public M&A deals like Enel’s such a rarity in Latin America.

Our awards ceremony also recognises the achievements of individuals. José Eduardo Carneiro Queiroz won the Law Firm Leader of the Year Award for his forward-thinking approach to law firm management, which has helped position Mattos Filho as a role model for growth in the region.

Latin Lawyer Elite firms lead the way both on account of the excellent work they do for clients, but also because they invest significant time and effort into maintaining their competitive edge. Each year we research the firms that fit this bill, evaluating them in core metrics to establish a list of 40 firms at the top of their game. The 2019 Latin Lawyer Elite firms are published here, accompanied by a look at what they are doing to assure their longevity.

Also in this issue, panellists at Latin Lawyer-GAR Live 3rd Annual Arbitration Summit reveal why investor-state arbitration is here to stay.

  1. Law firm leader of the year: José Eduardo Queiroz

    José Eduardo Carneiro Queiroz is in his second term as managing partner at Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados. He reflects on what it took for the firm to reach the top and how he plans to lead it into the future.

  2. Big fish in small ponds

    It’s no secret that many of Latin America’s largest companies remain controlled by small, concentrated groups reluctant to relinquish control, limiting these entities’ ability to tap into a bigger pool of resources through the capital markets. This status quo makes public M&A deals a rarity in the region. Christina McKeon Frutuoso considers the challenges faced by lawyers when such transactions do arise.

  3. Here to stay

    The rise of nationalism first cast doubt on the future of investment treaties and investor-state dispute settlements in Latin America more than a decade ago. But despite international trade agreements now appearing to fall out of favour in the US, such pacts and the investment arbitration they endorse look set to stand the test of time in Latin America.

  4. A reformed Mercosur? Don’t hold your breath

    The governments of Mercosur’s member states have been vocal advocates of modernising the restrictive economic alliance. Esteban Rópolo of Baker McKenzie (Argentina) and Marcelle Silbiger of Trench Rossi Watanabe in Brazil explain what stands in the way.

  5. Strategic thinking

    The market for legal services is a crowded one worldwide, including Latin America. Silvia Coulter, principal at law firm consultancy LawVision, outlines the need for strategic accounts to protect firms’ revenue stream.