Hogan Lovells widens government focus with launch of sovereigns practice

Global team will be led by London-based infrastructure partner Jeremy Brittenden

Hogan Lovells has launched a global sovereigns practice as the firm continues to invest in what it sees as strategic markets.

The new practice will be led globally by London-based infrastructure partner Jeremy Brittenden and a core team with extensive experience advising clients in sovereign matters around the world, including Houston-based Bruno Ciuffetelli, senior regulatory counsel Norm Coleman in Washington, arbitration partner Laurent Gouiffès in Paris and competition partner Ciara Kennedy-Loest, also in London.

Brittenden said: “Sovereigns play a leading role in creating, stimulating, and stabilising markets and will be fundamental in driving economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. In a sense they ‘make the weather’. The breadth of our practice means that we are uniquely positioned to advise and support sovereigns and their private sector partners as they navigate this challenging environment, and seek to deliver positive outcomes for the economy, society and the environment.”

The group will coordinate partners advising on a whole range of sovereign matters including debt issuance, infrastructure development and public private partnership projects, as well as management of sovereign resources. The firm already counts among its clients government-owned banks in Iceland, Brazil and China and central banks and finance ministries across Latin America and North and West Africa.

Work cited by the firm includes advising long-time client the Republic of Ecuador on the restructuring of its $17.4bn of international bonds last August, a deal that involved lawyers based out of New York, Miami, Houston, London, Mexico City and WashingtonDC. Last November, Hogan Lovells was one of six firms that assisted with a review of the UK’s new sanctions statutory instruments to apply post-Brexit.

CEO Miguel Zaldivar, whose own project finance practice involved advising on sovereign debt, said the new group reflected the firm’s focus on advising on legal issues arising from the intersection of business and government in key financial centres and emerging markets.

Earlier this month, the firm made a series of lateral hires in its London office to strengthen its UK corporate and litigation practices. Patrick Sarch joined as co-head of the firm’s London M&A practice from White & Case, while it also hired a quartet of disputes lawyers from Debevoise & Plimpton.

Also this month, the firm announced that Paris-based IP lawyer Marie-Aimée de Dampierre will become its next chair, replacing Leopold von Gerlach at the start of May.

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