Davis Polk scoops Mayer Brown duo for Brazilian launch

US firm Davis Polk has raided Mayer Brown for two of its three Sao Paulo-based partners as it prepares to launch its own office in the Brazilian city.

Mayer Brown corporate partners Stephen Hood, who was head of the firm’s Sao Paulo office, and James Vickers will move across to Davis Polk’s new office, which is expected to open in Sao Paulo within the next month.

The raid leaves securities lawyer Ricardo Gonzalez as the sole remaining partner in the Mayer Brown office, alongside two associates.

Davis Polk first announced its intention to launch a Sao Paulo office in February, three months after Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton revealed similar plans for the Brazilian financial hub.

Corporate partners Manuel Garciadiaz and Maurice Blanco will co-head the new office, while Vickers will join as a partner and Hood will come on board as a counsel.

Hood joined Mayer Brown in 2007 after spending 30 years at magic circle firm Clifford Chance, where Vickers also previously worked.