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Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has secured permanent office space for its launch in Brazil.
Last year, The Lawyer revealed Simpson’s plans to launch in Sao Paulo with partners Todd Crider and Jaime Mercado spearheading the initiative (9 June 2008).
But last month, The Lawyer revealed that the firm’s Brazilian launch had been delayed while it searched for permanent office space. In the meantime, Simpson has rented temporary space for its three associates in Sao Paulo (28 Jan 2009 ).
Now the US firm has signed a lease on an office in Sao Paulo and plans to move in this April. As part of the launch, Crider will spend three-quarters of each year in Sao Paulo while Mercado will also be on the ground for part of the year.
Crider said that Simpson was not looking to hire laterally for its newest office.
“Several associates in New York are available to move to Brazil but at first we will limit the office to one partner and three or four associates on the ground,” Crider said. “As the markets recover we will consider increasing our staffing levels in Sao Paulo. Since our Sao Paulo office will work closely with New York, we have a lot of flexibility.”
The new office has room to accommodate growth with space for a further five associates and one more partner.
Crider added: “This is a challenging environment but we view this as a long-term commitment and investment.”