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Staying put: A&O Brazil partner remains at the firm having been set for Paul Hastings

Banking partner Bruno Soares, who decided to leave Allen & Overy’s (A&O) Brazil offering to join US firm Paul Hastings and help establish its Sao Paulo office in March, has made the unusual step of reversing his decision.

A&O has confirmed that Soares will retain his position as the sole partner of A&O’s Sao Paulo office, which also houses two associates. Three months ago Paul Hastings hired a trio of US and Latin America-based partners from A&O – New York-based Robert Kartheiser, who served as co-head of A&O’s Latin America practice, and capital markets specialist Cathleen McLaughlin, who served as head of the firm’s New York office’s international capital markets group – alongside Soares.

At the time, A&O thanked the trio for their contribution and wished them well for the future. Both Kartheiser and McLaughlin will be remaining with Paul Hastings as intended.

A spokesperson at A&O said: ‘We are all very pleased that Soares is staying with the firm.’

Paul Hastings said in a statement: ‘Individuals sometimes change their minds, which has happened here. We wish Bruno well, and we remain focused on the expansion of our Latin American business, including implementing a new office in Sao Paulo.’

Soares joined A&O as a partner in its banking, projects, energy and infrastructure group in 2010. He recently advised on a $3bn Brazilian steel mill project financing in what was the largest investment by Korean financiers in Brazil. For this, A&O represented the Brazilian project company Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém and its controlling shareholders Brazilian metals and mining corporation Vale and Korean steel manufacturers Dongkuk Steel Mill and POSCO.