Shearman loses Latin America partner to Linklaters

Shearman loses Latin America partner to <a class=Linklaters” />Alberto Luzárraga, a partner in Shearman & Sterling’s Latin America practice has quit the firm for Linklaters.

Shearman senior partner Rohan Weerasinghe announced Luzárraga’s departure last night (Wednesday 29 October). He is expected to start work at Linklaters on Monday (3 November), where he will join New York corporate and capital markets partner Ray Fisher, who returned to the US from Germany earlier this year.

“This is a crushing blow for Shearman in its sweet spot,” said a source close to the firm. “There has been a lack of support from the firm to build a Latin America practice, plus Shearman never hit the $2m per partner mark at a time when money was being made. Now the tide has gone out.”

The departure of such a high-profile M&A partner follows a series of exits for Shearman in Germany and the UK. This year alone Shearman has lost former global corporate head Rolf Koerfer, tax partner Gottfried Breuninger and M&A partner Astrid Krüger for Allen & Overy in Germany along with its 30-strong Mannheim office.

It also lost London corporate partner Peter King, who quit for Weil Gotshal & Manges over the summer.

New York M&A partner Creighton Condon, who takes over as European managing partner at Shearman in January, said there was no question over the firm’s commitment to Latin America despite Luzárraga’s departure.

“Alberto was one of a dozen partners in that practice and we have just moved our third partner, Rob Ellison to Sau Paulo,” Condon said.

Luzárraga, a partner in Shearman’s M&A group has extensive experience in public and private acquisition transactions and international joint ventures, privatisations and financing transactions.

His clients include Banco Itaú, which he advised in its $2.2bn acquisition of Bank of America’s operations in Brazil and BASF which he advised in its $5.6bn hostile acquisition of Engelhard Corporation. Other clients include Citigroup, Banco Internacional del Peru and Bell Canada International.

Luzárraga joined Shearman in 1986 and became a partner in 1995.