DLA ramps up in Brazil as two partners gain local licences

DLA Piper is stepping up its operations in Brazil, shortly after entering into a cooperation agreement with local firm Campos Mello Advogados (CMA).

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 have both been licensed as foreign consultants by OAB-SP – the Sao Paulo bar assocation. The firm is also in the process of applying to become a foreign consultancy, enabling it to act on international aspects of Brazilian deals.

Associate firm CMA, which has its largest office in Rio de Janeiro, has been on a hiring spree to grow its operation in Sao Paulo – South America’s largest city and Brazil’s financial hub.

CMA has hired project finance partner Roberto Barros from Linklaters, three corporate partners from Machado Associados – René Gelman, Martim Machado and Adriano Chaves – and tax litigator Fernando Salvia, from an independent firm.

Berkson commented: “It’s clear that as we were trying to work through the cooperation agreement [Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo] were cities where we needed to be present. CMA has always had a presence in Sao Paulo, [the cooperation agreement] gave them an incentive to move the process forward.”