DLA Piper breaks into Latin America

According to local sources, the firm is expected to open an office in São Paulo in the coming months, once regulatory approval is obtained from the Brazilian bar, the Ordem dos Advogados.

Joint CEO Nigel Knowles said: “DLA Piper has a very active Latin America practice and we’ve been exploring opportunities to open an office in Brazil for some time. We look forward to opening an office there in the near future, which will serve as the base of operations for the regional practice.

“We expect that this will complement a number of our core practices and ­sectors, including energy, projects, corporate and finance, tax and hospitality.”

DLA Piper’s regional expansion plans are being driven from its US offices. Key to the ­initiative are Chicago-based partner and chair of the firm’s Latin America ­practice Stuart Berkson and New York-based partner and global co-chair of the energy practice Robert ­Gruendel.

Tampa-based partner and former Republican senator for Florida Mel Martinez is also instrumental.

News of DLA Piper’s launch follows recent plans from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to open in São Paulo, as well a ­commitment to office space there from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.