Clyde & Co and Squire Patton Boggs have flagged their interest in the Latin American market with strategic moves. Clydes has forged an alliance with 10-partner Chilean firm Grasty Quintana Majlis while Squire Patton Boggs has appointed a Latin American practice head as part of a review of its strategy for the region.
Clydes' alliance with Grasty formalises an existing relationship between the two firms. Clydes, which has offices in Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico, hopes the arrangement will boost its traction in Chile, which has one of Latin America's fastest-growing economies.
Lee Bacon, chair of Clydes' Latin America strategy group, said: "The association is in line with our broader strategy in Latin America, with an incremental improvement to our regional network with a high quality, trusted partner firm in a key jurisdiction."
Juan Turner, managing partner of Grasty Quintana Majlis, added: “We have had a longstanding professional relationship and have long-admired the work that Clyde & Co does in Latin America.”
Meanwhile, Squire Patton Boggs has appointed Alejandro Peña-Prieto as head of its Latin American practice. He will lead a 20-partner executive committee tasked with growing the firm's practice in the region, where it has one office, in Santo Domingo.
Peña-Prieto has a braod practice covering M&A, energy, finance, taxation, government relations, contracts and regulatory issues. He served two two terms as president of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic and one as vice chair of the board of governors of the Association of American Chambers of Commerce of Latin America.
Like many US firms Squire Patton Boggs bases many of its Latin American specialists in the US. It operates three country desks, targeting Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean/Central America, while its executive committee is made up of partners from across the firm's network of offices in the US, the Dominican Republic - where Peña-Prieto is office managing partner - and Madrid.
Clyde & Co lays claim to being the first UK-based law firm to open an office in Latin America where it has had a presence for 30 years. In May 2017, it acquired 23-lawyer Garza Tello, which specialised in insurance, marine and energy law.
Earlier this month, leading Spanish independent law firm ECIJA gained a Mexican office with the acquisition of Chacón & Rodríguez.