Legal Business Blogs

Dentons hires Inter-American Development Bank GC as Latin American chief executive aiming for mergers

Global 100 firm Dentons has made a key strategic hire to enhance its offering in Latin America and the Caribbean, appointing the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) general counsel (GC), Jorge Alers, to be chief executive officer for the region.

A dual citizen of Costa Rica and the US, Alers was appointed GC and of the IADB’s legal department in March 2012. Prior to this he headed the Latin America practice group at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, and prior to this led the Latin America practice for Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington DC.

Having long expressed its interest for growth in the region, the firm said the ‘strong upward momentum of Latin American economies presents public and private companies with tremendous opportunities.’ As such, the firm said the appointment of Alers will ‘help Dentons meet its goal for whole firm combinations in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, building on the firm’s current client service reach throughout the region’.

Dentons’ global chief executive Elliott Portnoy said: ‘The combination that created Dentons provided the firm with a presence in every major region of the globe except Latin America and the Caribbean. A meaningful presence throughout the region will further our goal of providing clients with the highest calibre legal counsel wherever they need it.’

Global chair, Joe Andrew, added: ‘We believe Jorge combines the necessary talent and experience uniquely suited for success in Latin America and the Caribbean’.

Others to pursue growth in Latin America in recent months include Norton Rose Fulbright which in February announced 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 while Hogan Lovells expanded its Latin American footprint that same month by launching a second office in Brazil, and hiring former Clifford Chance (CC) partner Isabel Costa Carvalho. Last week [9 September], Iberian leader Uría Menéndez confirmed it had acquired a 30% stake in the merger of its best friend firms and national heavyweights, Philippi and Prietocarrizosa, in a union that would consolidate its commitment to the region.