Brazilian firm Veraino has been welcomed into the Simmons & Simmons network through a formal joint venture with the latter's Lisbon office
Veraino is a top-five Brazilian firm with 170 lawyers and six offices. It is well known for technology, media and telecoms (TMT) and energy and finance work. Simmons' London office will play a large part in the joint venture, although its relationship with Veraino has a complex structure. Due to local bar rules, Simmons' Lisbon office is itself managed as a joint venture, named Grupo Legal Português, between the UK firm and Portuguese lawyers Castelo Branco Rebelo de Sousa. The Brazilian association is managed as a joint venture between Castelo Branco and Veraino. Simmons has a New York office, but sees the Portuguese-Brazilian link up as another way into the South American legal market. In London, Simmons' TMT department will be closely involved with Veraino. Simmons, Grupo Legal and Veraino have various common clients in the areas of TMT and energy, most notably BP and Spanish telecoms company Jazztel. The three firms have decided to pursue joint marketing initiatives on this basis. Simmons is the latest in a flurry of major City, US and European firms to descend on the Brazilian market. Linklaters formed an alliance with Brazilian M&A firm Goulart Penteado Iervolino e Lefosse in June 2001. In September 2001, magic circle Spanish firm Cuatrecasas opened in SãPaulo in the same premises as its Brazilian formal alliance partner Machado Meyer Sendacz e Opice. In November 2001, US firm Jones Day Reavis & Pogue formalised its relationship with long-time Brazilian friend Lobo & Ibeas, while in December 2001, US firm Baker & McKenzie opened its fourth Brazilian office.