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International law firm Clyde & Co has formed official links with Rio de Janeiro firm Prates & Carneiro to coincide with the return of its partner in Venezuela to the London office.
Stirling Leech has been based in Brazil and Venezuela since 1990 and will continue to be responsible for the firm's South and Central American projects.
This means he will also continue to manage the practice's office in Caracas, which has six lawyers, and oversee the link with Prates & Carneiro.
Leech said it would be better to direct operations from London where many of its clients were based.
Senior partner Michael Payton said that Clyde & Co had already worked with Prates on various projects and that this co-operation agreement constituted a "deepening of the relationship".
Leech said the potential of the energy market in South America had provided impetus for the link. "Latin America continues to be a very promising area, particularly in the areas of oil and gas," he explained.
Leech handles marine work, transportation, insurance and reinsurance, and litigation and arbitration for Clyde & Co. He has been with the firm since 1979, when he joined as an assistant solicitor.