BLP lays groundwork for move into Latin America

Berwin Leighton Paisner has created an 11-strong panel of Latin American referral firms, laying the groundwork for it to open its own office in the region.

BLP lays groundwork for move into Latin AmericaBerwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has created an 11-strong panel of Latin American referral firms, laying the groundwork for it to open its own office in the region.

The roster comprises firms ;from ;Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Vene­zuela and Central America with expertise in climate change, competition, corporate finance, employment, gaming, hotels, IT and IP.

Adam Rose, BLP’s jurisdiction partner for Brazil and head of the business and technology services group, said: “Client demand for services in Latin ­America is regularly called upon. These economies have come through a period of ;dictatorships ;and ­economic ­turmoil and ­European businesses see the opportunities.”

International director John Taylor said BLP would consider opening an office of its own in Latin America.

“The strategy of having one or two non-exclusive referral firms has worked well in advanced jurisdictions,” he added, “but in some emerging markets clients want something ­different – whether it’s that they want the comfort of English law or like the idea of the firm name.”

Taylor dismissed the view that the global downturn obviates the need for such a panel. “It’s a good time to launch this in line with the activities of other firms,” he said. “There’s not as much work as two years ago, but strategically we think it’s good to be well-positioned for when the upturn comes.”

BLP works with preferred firms in 70 jurisdictions in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and North America. It has ­foreign offices in Brussels, Paris, Singapore and, as of this month, Abu Dhabi.

The firm is also launching in Moscow with 69 lawyers from Pepeliaev Goltsblat
& ­Partners.