Firm / Organisation

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

This content is provided by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Managing Partner: Michael W Blair
Number of partners: 144
Number of other lawyers: 741
International Offices: New York, Washington DC, Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Tokyo

Firm Overview:
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. Clients look to us to bring a distinctively high degree of quality, intensity and creativity to resolve legal challenges effectively and cost efficiently. The firm brings clear commercial judgment to every matter and we draw on the strength of our culture and structure to deliver the best of the firm to every client through true collaboration. The Latin America Group combines broad transactional capabilities, top-tier litigation and arbitration skills and a savvy understanding of the region. The group works with some of the most sophisticated and respected international investors in the region, as well as local conglomerates, corporations and families in Latin America, with relationships dating back as long as 50 years. The firm has a multilingual, multicultural team, with dual US– and English-law capabilities as well as civil law expertise. The group has built strong connections with top local law firms, bankers and business people over many years of working in the region and through the firm’s international associate program, which regularly brings the most promising individuals from leading regional law firms and clients to work at Debevoise on a rotating basis.

Main Areas of Practice:

M&A:

■ Debevoise is recognised by Chambers Latin America as a leading firm in Latin America in 'Corporate/M&A.' With a keen focus on designing commercially savvy and creative solutions for clients, the M&A Group consistently leads complex transactions in a broad variety of sectors and geographies. Leveraging the firm’s expertise in white collar crime, the M&A Group has developed a market-leading reputation as the go-to team for identifying, evaluating and mitigating corruption risk in M&A transactions. Similarly, Debevoise’s stellar Global Arbitration team allows the M&A Group to craft deals out of disputes and design settlement mechanisms tailored to the LatAm markets. The Group has special strengths in several sectors including infrastructure, consumer products, insurance, media and telecom, and healthcare
■ Clients include large Latin America-based conglomerates doing cross-border M&A and joint ventures, strategic investors making inbound investments, private equity firms (both Latin American and international) and family groups. The firm’s client base includes names such as: Ambev, Antofagasta, B3, Cambuhy Investimentos, Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração (CBMM), Organizações Globo, Mitsui, Prudential Financial, Prumo Logistica; and private equity firms and investors such as Brookfield, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Capital Group, The Carlyle Group, Gávea and GP Investments

International Arbitration:
■ Debevoise is widely regarded as the premier firm for international disputes involving Latin America with an award-winning practice and an outstanding track record. For several years running, Debevoise has been the only firm in the world to be ranked by Chambers Global in Band 1 for both International Arbitration and Public International Law. Debevoise has received the Chambers Latin America Award for Excellence in International Arbitration three times — more often than any other firm — and was named ‘International Arbitration Firm of the Year’ by Benchmark Litigation United States 2019 in four of the past six years
■ The group has won some of the largest, most significant awards for its clients in the region. Examples of two complex and groundbreaking cases are: One of the largest-ever BIT awards — $1.4 billion, including interest — for its client, Occidental Petroleum, against the Republic of Ecuador, a win recognized as Global Arbitration Review (GAR)’s 'Most Important Published Decision' of 2012 and The American Lawyer’s 'Global Dispute of the Year, Investment Arbitration' of 2013; and representation of Abilio Diniz, the founder of one of Brazil’s leading retail businesses, in three ICC arbitrations governed by Brazilian arbitrations seated in São Paulo, leading to a favourable settlement that was awarded 'Deal of the Year' by Latin Lawyer in 2014

Compliance & Investigations:

■ Debevoise is recognised globally and regionally as a leader in corporate investigations, ranked in the top band for “Fraud & Corporate Investigations – Latin America-wide” (Chambers Latin America 2018)
■ Across the Americas, Debevoise conducts internal investigations of potential wrongdoing and defends companies and executives in connection with prosecutorial inquiries and enforcement actions. Some engagements relate to high-profile matters in Latin America including Operation Lava Jato in Brazil and the FIFA corruption scandal. The firm also works with leading companies on assignments ranging from conducting compliance risk assessments and enhancing internal compliance programs to performing anti-corruption and anti-bribery due diligence in connection with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other transactions

Private Equity Funds:
■ The private equity funds practice is one of the largest in the world, whether measured by the number of funds, total committed capital or resources devoted to private equity fund formation
■ The practice represents the full range of private equity firms, from first-time funds to independent boutiques, institutionally sponsored private equity businesses, and to multi-strategy alternative asset firms investing in the region
■ The group has advised private equity firms and investors pursuing a variety of investment strategies, including buyout/growth capital, real estate and infrastructure, media and telecommunications, healthcare, energy and other sector funds. It recently represented, or currently represents, firms such as Brookfield, The Carlyle Group, Gávea, Vinci Partners and Tishman Speyer, among others

Infrastructure & Project Finance:
■ The group has extensive experience in the infrastructure sector in Latin America, including privatisation transactions in several countries in the region. The group's sectors include transportation, energy, mining and natural resources, power generation, and communication. Members regularly work very closely with the international dispute resolution group both in the negotiation of new transactions to incorporate lessons learned and in the negotiation of restructuring of transactions or settlement of disputes in energy or other infrastructure projects
■ The firm has also played a leading role in the development of privatisation and P3 structures in Latin America, having been involved in most of the P3 projects in Chile and many others in Mexico and elsewhere in the region; examples include the Ruta de la Araucanía and Autopista del Maipo toll roads in Chile, each of which was awarded the ‘Transportation Deal of the Year, Latin America’ by Project Finance Magazine, and Autopista de Nuevo León in Mexico, which was awarded the ‘Infrastructure Deal of the Year in the Americas’ by Project Finance International

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