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Hogan Lovells has opened the doors to its São Paulo office with the hire of Clifford Chance’s international capital markets chief Isabel Costa Carvalho.
The move follows approval from the Brazilian Bar Association last July that Hogan Lovells could set up shop in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
While most foreign law firms have initially opened offices in the country’s financial centre São Paulo, the firm opted to open in Rio first - a decision believed to have been promoted by the influx of project finance and other related work taking place in the city as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics in 2016.
Both of the firm’s Brazil offices are led by women, with finance partner Claudette Christian in charge of the Rio base and former Clifford Chance (CC) partner Isabel Costa Carvalho leading São Paulo. Carvalho has led the magic circle firm’s capital markets practice in São Paulo since 2007.
Christian said in a statement: “We continue to see interest in Brazil from existing global clients as well as companies that are entering the market for the first time, and we wanted to be able to offer clients a full breadth of expertise in equity and debt capital markets, private equity, infrastructure development and finance, and corporate transactional work across Brazil.”
Elsewhere in Latin America, the firm has an office in Caracas, which was launched in 2005 by legacy firm Hogan & Hartson. The firm has a strong offering in energy & natural resources and large-scale project finance work which will complement well with the firm’s new Brazilian hub.
In spite of growing restrictions placed on foreign law firms by the Brazilian Bar Association, there are an increasing number of law firms that have set up shop in what is now considered the sixth largest economy in the world (6 February 2012).