US firm Baker Botts has promoted two global projects lawyers in London as part of a 15-strong promotions round, with at least one of the City associates expected to help staff the firm’s anticipated Brazilian office.
Although the exact date of launch is yet to be announced, the firm confirmed plans to open an office in Brazil’s second-largest city earlier this year (23 October 2012) with London project finance partner John White tipped to be in charge. In October it was understood that one or two other lawyers were to relocate to Brazil, a consideration reflected in this promotions round as senior associate Hannah Longley is promoted to the partnership in both London and Rio.
Previously an in-house counsel at the BG Group, Longley specialises in the energy sector and has advised on a number of upstream oil and gas projects. She joins the partnership alongside City lawyer Stuart McIntyre, who also specialises in energy and infrastructure projects. He counsels lenders and sponsors on projects in the UK, Europe, Russia and the Middle East and is not expected to relocate, or be involved in, the firm’s foray into Latin America.
The remaining promotions (listed below) are predominantly US based, with one corporate associate promoted in Moscow.
The decision to open an office in Rio rather than the country’s financial centre São Paulo is a growing trend among international law firms. In February Hogan Lovells announced its plans to launch in the city in a bid to take advantage of the influx of project finance work related to the Fifa World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016 (27 February 2012). In spite of growing restrictions placed on foreign law firms by the Brazilian Bar Association, there are a growing number of firms looking to establish a presence in what is now considered the sixth largest economy in the world (6 February 2012).