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Brazilian hat trick – NRF launches third Latin America office with hire of BP’s Andrew Haynes

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) is to expand its Latin American footprint as it today (19 February) announces the launch of an office in Rio de Janeiro and the hire of BP’s global corporate assistant general counsel Andrew Haynes as office co-head.

The new office in Brazil, which will be also be run by current head of Colombia, Glenn Faas, will be the LB100 top ten firm’s third in the region after Venezuela (Caracas) and Colombia (Bogotá), and its 55th office worldwide.

The Rio team will practise English, Canadian and US law, and specialise in M&A, joint ventures, securities and project finance transactions, as well as anti-bribery and corruption and investigations, restructuring, and international arbitration and disputes.

The industries it will target include oil & gas, energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities M&A, and aviation and shipping finance.

Haynes joined NRF at the start of February from BP, where as assistant general counsel global corporate he oversaw all M&A legal work for BP globally. Prior to joining BP in 2003 he was deputy general counsel at British Gas (now BG Group), prior to which he was a corporate lawyer with legacy Herbert Smith.

Global chief executive Peter Martyr noted the 2,660-lawyer firm’s clients had been ‘asking us to open in Brazil for some time.’

He added: ‘This represents the successful completion of a major strategic objective for us. We will be able to provide our clients with on-the- ground international legal support for in-bound and domestic activities in Brazil, as well as assist our Brazilian clients with their outward investment activities.’

Head of Latin America Elisabeth Eljuri said: ‘Our Brazil practice will play a key part in our strategy to target mandates across Latin America, including the ‘Southern Cone’ of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay, and to capture intra-Latin American transactional work.

‘We will also seek to represent other Latin American corporates and financial institutions investing abroad, a trend which we believe will accelerate. International capability on the ground in Brazil will help us advise on in-bound work to the region including disputes and regulatory.’

Other firms to enhance their Latin American capabilities of late include Hogan Lovells, which launched a second office in Brazil in January with the hire of former Clifford Chance partner Isabel Costa Carvalho.

The transatlantic firm’s new São Paulo office will operate as a foreign legal consultancy, offering services to local and international companies and banks after the Brazilian Bar Association awarded it a licence to practise in the region in July 2013.