Holland & Knight adds 17-lawyer team in Mexico from Sánchez DeVanny

US firm hails ‘transformational  moment’ for LatAm practice as seven partners and team bolster Mexico City and Monterrey offices

Gerardo Prado Hernández (l) and Roberto Pupo Images courtesy of Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight has added a 17-lawyer team from Mexican firm Sánchez DeVanny to its offices in Mexico City and Monterrey, in a move the US firm has described as a ‘transformational moment’ for its Latin America practice. 

The team includes seven partners, two senior counsel and eight associates; the lawyers practise across areas including corporate law, international trade, labour, social security, compliance, FCPA and environmental law and ESG. 

“This is a transformational moment in the history of our firm’s Latin America practice,” said Roberto Pupo, head of Holland & Knight’s Latin America practice group. “The addition of this talented group of lawyers gives our Mexico practice a broader reach and in-depth knowledge in practice areas that are experiencing significant growth in Mexico, and it allows us to offer services to our clients wherever they are doing business – whether in the US, Mexico or throughout the hemisphere. In addition, our new lawyers in Mexico also bring decades of collective leadership experience, which will be put to good use as we continue to build our brand in Mexico.”

The team hire will significantly boost Holland & Knight’s Monterrey office, which the firm added through its 2021 merger with Dallas-based firm Thompson & Knight. Corporate/M&A partner trio Gerardo Prado Hernández, Francisco Andrés Gámez Garza and Jaime Israel Moreno Treviño have joined the office alongside partners Humberto Morales Barrón (regulatory), José Ricardo Ibarra Córdova (tax) and Oscar Alejandro Quiroz Chávez (restructuring, M&A), a senior counsel and six associates, bringing the office’s lawyer headcount to 18.

"The timing of the group’s arrival couldn’t be better,” said Gabriel Ruiz, executive partner of Holland & Knight’s Monterrey office. “Mexico is the beneficiary of a global push for companies to nearshore their operations and Monterrey, specifically, is experiencing considerable economic growth as a result. The expansion of our office will directly benefit the firm’s global clients who are considering investments in Mexico.”

Meantime, partner Turenna Ramírez Ortiz, who led Sánchez Devanny’s Mexico City office and headed its international foreign trade and customs group, has moved over in Mexico City with a senior counsel and two associates. 

Following the team’s arrival, Holland & Knight will have 62 lawyers based in Mexico, where the firm’s key corporate clients include BHP, Telefonica and Amazon. The Mexico team works as part of a Latin America practice group that houses almost 200 lawyers working in cross-border M&A, joint ventures, private equity, financing transactions and business disputes. 

Prado Hernández described Holland & Knight as a “good fit both economically and culturally".

“The firm’s international platform and its sharp focus on Latin America is distinctive in the market," he added. "This move will allow our team to develop our practices and offer a more comprehensive set of services to clients, especially those with interests in the US.”

The team hire follows Holland & Knight adding a six-strong capital markets team in Mexico City from DLA Piper last spring, as the firm moved to bolster its corporate offering in Mexico. 

For its part, Sánchez DeVanny said it had been making changes to its operating structure since 2021 to make it more client-centric, which ‘implied a significant shift in the partners compensation formula’.

The firm said that 80% of its partners had agreed on the new model, but added that ‘as in all organisations, change entails the reaction of some team members who do not share this new work philosophy. To those who decided not to embrace it, we wish them well in their professional careers and thank them for their years of service at the firm’. 

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