26 Jan 2021

Vinson & Elkins bolsters Latin America focus with M&A partner hire from Linklaters

Departure of Gabriel Silva in New York follows Latham's hire of two Lat Am-focused partners from Clifford Chance

Vinson & Elkins (V&E) has hired M&A lawyer Gabriel Silva from Linklaters as it seeks to expand its cross-border transactions capabilities, particularly in Latin America.

Silva joins as a partner in New York where he will focus on M&A and private equity deals, with an emphasis on the digital infrastructure sector such as telecommunication towers, data centres and fibre optics.

He is the third New York-based partner at a Magic Circle UK firm with a focus on Latin America to move to a US rival this month following Latham & Watkins' hire of the capital markets duo Gianluca Bacchiocchi and Guido Liniado from Clifford Chance.

Keith Fullenweider, co-head of V&E’s corporate department, said Silva had a "strong blend of digital infrastructure, Latin America and general private equity experience”.

He added: “We have also invested recently in adding experienced lawyers with strong connections and deal experience in Latin America, which Gabriel will certainly enhance.”

Silva – who is qualified to practice law in both New York and Brazil – spent more than 13 years at Linklaters, where he had been a partner since May 2019. Prior to joining the firm as a trainee, he held junior roles at firms in Sao Paulo, including Suchodolski Advogados. 

Jim Fox, co-managing partner of V&E’s New York office, said: “Gabriel is well-recognised as a leader in infrastructure M&A for a reason – he’s excellent – and we’re excited to have him here at V&E. His extensive experience in infrastructure will create new opportunities as we continue to expand our infrastructure practice, while also enhancing our capabilities to serve clients pursuing investments in Latin America.”

Recent matters Silva has worked on include advising Digital Colony Partners on a number of acquisitions in Latin America, including in Brazil and the Andean region. He also advised Brazilian food processing company Marfrig Global Foods on the $2.4bn sale of its US and Asia chicken business to Tyson Foods.

Linklaters, meantime, said it was continuing to invest in Latin America despite Silva’s departure, noting the arrival of finance partner Alejandro Gordano in its Latin America group in February last year. The former lawyer at biotechnology firm Sarepta Therapeutics joined as a counsel.

Further reading:

Cleary Gottlieb tops Latin America capital markets advisory league tables in 2020