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Offshore firm Conyers Dill & Pearman has shut its São Paulo office, although the firm is maintaining an on-the-ground presence in Brazil through a representative lawyer.
The news follows the firm’s decision to withdraw from Moscow earlier this year (24 June 2013) after five years.
Conyers launched in Brazil in 2008 (1 December 2008), moving partner Alan Dickson to head up the office. Dickson has since moved again and currently heads up the firm’s Singapore office.
Firm co-chairs David Lamb and Narinder Hargun said in a statement: “Our approach to the market in Brazil changed in February 2013 as a result of the regulatory environment and two lawyers were relocated to other offices in line with current market demand.”
The duo said one lawyer - Gabriela Romano - remains in Brazil as a representative, although the firm no longer runs its office there. The model is more akin to that employed by Harneys, which two years ago hired a Brazilian lawyer as local business development head (15 March 2011).
The two firms are the only offshore firms to have a presence on the ground in Latin America at present, although Channel Islands-headquartered Ogier ran an office in Uruguay for a short time.
Hargun and Lamb added: “We also continue to be committed to serving our clients based in Latin America through our other offices around the world. Lawyers from our offices visit Latin America on a regular basis in line with client needs.”
Brazil remains one of the tougher countries for foreign lawyers to practise law in, with strict rules governing the establishment of offices there.