Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) is putting Latin America at the heart of its strategy with a formal association with São Paolo boutique insurance law firm JBO Advocacia.
Senior partner Danny Gowan told The Lawyer he hopes the alliance will be a precursor to something closer.
“We’ve been interested in having a presence in Brazil for a long time, but it’s difficult because of the regulatory situation,” he said. “At the moment we still have to have separate organisations, but we’re ruling nothing in and nothing out.”
The Brazil alliance has grown out of the firm’s existing offices in Madrid, which opened in 1989, and Mexico City, where it launched in 2003, becoming the first UK firm to have a presence in the latter.
Gowan said: “Historically we’ve received a lot of work in Latin America because of our successful office in Madrid, which has given us a competitive edge.”
Brazil is increasingly attractive for insurance firms, with both Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Clyde & Co maintaining offices in the jurisdiction.
Gowan added: “In many areas Brazilian regulation has changed to allow more foreign ownership and investment. It’s not like the Middle East or the Far East, where it’s heavily lawyered.”
The two firms share a number of clients, including QBE, Axa, Aon and Mapfre, plus other London market reinsurers.