Norton Rose Fulbright moves into Brazil with Rio launch

Norton Rose Fulbright is set to open its third Latin American base in Rio de Janeiro with the hire of a senior in-house lawyer from BP.

The firm has hired the assistant general counsel of BP’s general corporate arm, Andrew Haynes, to co-head the office. He will lead the project alongside Glenn Faass, who currently heads the firm’s Colombian team from Bogota. 

Prior to joining BP, Haynes served as deputy general counsel for the BG Group overseeing the company’s global M&A. He also spent a period working as the BG Group’s chief counsel for South America, based in Brazil.

Corporate partner Faass has experience of the South American market, having launched the Venezuela office of legacy Macleod Dixon in 1997 prior to the firm’s tie-up with legacy Norton Rose in January 2012 (4 October 2011). He has since headed up offices in Russia and Kazakhstan as well as Venezuela.

Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers in Rio de Janeiro will practise English, Canadian and US law, working across a range of practice areas including corporate, finance and disputes. The office will focus primarily on energy, infrastructure and financing work.

Haynes and Faass will work alongside the firm’s existing Latin America group, which comprises more than 100 lawyers and is headed by corporate partner Elisabeth Eljuri from the firm’s Caracas base.

In addition to providing on-the-ground legal advice, it is hoped that the office will bolster the firm’s mandates for inbound, outbound and domestic work relating to the jurisdiction.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s global CEO Peter Martyr said in a statement: “Our clients have been asking us to open in Brazil for some time and this represents the successful completion of a major strategic objective for us.”

Eljuri added: “We will also seek to represent other Latin American corporates and financial institutions investing abroad, a trend which we believe will accelerate.”

The office will become the firm’s 55th office worldwide, and its third in Latin America alongside its 11-partner outpost in Caracas and its four-partner practice in Bogota, Colombia. 

Norton Rose Fulbright joins an increasing number of firms in Brazil, with recent entrants to Rio including Baker Botts (23 October 2012) and Hogan Lovells (27 February 2012).