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05 August 2015

McDermott opens Cuba desk through accord with Spanish firm

McDermott Will & Emery is to work with a Spanish firm, Olleros Abogados, to provide 'broad-ranging legal advice to American, European and Cuban clients on Cuba-related matters'.

By Neasa MacErlean

McDermott set toopen in Cuba through accord with local firm lazyllama

The 1,100-lawyer, Chicago-based international practice expects to be working on inbound and outbound work from the island and sees Cuba as 'a major opportunity in both respects', according to partner David Goldman. Olleros previously had a relationship with Dewey & LeBoeuf. Olleros’ founding partner Jaime Olleros says that his firm is committed to opening an office in Havana. He says that this will happen 'as soon as the Cuban system allows international law firms to establish offices in the country'.

Increased focus

McDermott joins a growing number of lawyers focusing on Cuba. A 37-strong delegation from the 100,000 member Florida Bar went to Cuba recently to explore emerging business opportunities, from telecommunications to banking. The group spent three days in Cuba meeting with government officials and counterparts from the Cuban bar. Other law firms that are also looking at Cuban business opportunities include Canadian firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson. 

Infrastructure

In terms of sectors, the 22-office firm expects to focus in particular on instrastructure, healthcare, agriculture, leisure and food and beverages. 

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