24 Jan 2022

Dentons names Uruguay-based executive as new Latin America and Caribbean CEO

Paloma Gomez will replace Jorge Alers, who led the firm’s expansion in the region

Formal headshot of Paloma Gomez

Paloma Gomez

Dentons has named Paloma Gomez as its next Latin America and Caribbean region CEO, replacing Jorge Alers, who is stepping down from the role almost six years after the firm first entered the region.

Gomez, who takes over on 1 February, will be tasked to build on Alers’ work of taking Dentons from zero Latin America and Caribbean offices in 2016 to now having a presence in 28 countries across the region.

Gomez joined the firm’s Bogotá office in 2018 as a partner from Mexican firm Sánchez DeVanny Eseverri, first becoming regional business development director and later chief clients and markets officer for Latin America and the Caribbean. She is currenlty based in Montevideo, where the firm operates as Dentons Jiménez de Aréchaga. 

Elliot Portnoy, global CEO of Dentons, said: “This transition has long been planned and I have confidence in Paloma whose understanding of the dynamic needs of our clients, coupled with her experience as both lawyer and leader, position the firm well as we continue to build an even more integrated region that will drive benefits for every other region of the firm.”

Alers – who joined Dentons in 2014 from the Inter-American Development Bank, where he was GC, and is based in Washington DC – will continue to play a leadership role at the firm globally, said Portnoy. 

Joe Andrew, global chairman of Dentons, said: “When we set out our strategy to become the only pan-Latin American and Caribbean law firm, we made the decision to hire the CEO first and in doing so we found Jorge Alers – the perfect person to lead our efforts. On May 1, 2016, Dentons had no offices anywhere in Latin America or the Caribbean and today we are the only pan-Latin American and Caribbean law firm with 34 offices in 28 countries. This is a historic accomplishment that would not have happened but for Jorge Alers.” 

Last year, Dentons became the first global firm to establish a presence in Bolivia following its combination with local firm Guevara & Gutiérrez. Other combinations last year included a tie-up with Ecuadorian firm Paz Horowitz, while its tie-up with Buenos Aires firm Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena went live in May 2020.

Alers said: “From the outset, Paloma has been a fundamental part of the strategic planning in the LAC Region. Her appointment as LAC Region CEO is a testament to her tremendous contributions to date and to her ability to position the region for even greater success.”

Earlier this month, Dentons appointed Sonia Martin, former managing partner of its San Francisco and Oakland offices, as chief executive of its US arm. She assumed the post six months after the former incumbent, Mike McNamara, stood down mid-way through his term.

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