Simpson Thacher joins rush from New York to Brazil

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is set to become the latest major US law firm to enter the Brazilian legal market when it opens its first office in Latin America later this year.

The firm confirmed it will open an office in Sao Paulo this autumn. The launch will be spearheaded by New York partners Todd Crider and Jaime Mercado and will see five lawyers based permanently in Simpson’s new Brazil office.

Crider told The Lawyer: “Brazil’s deal environment and execution have changed dramatically over the last five years. Previously we were able to serve clients in Brazil from New York, but with the deal dynamics driven by mostly locally based investment banking teams, in my view, firms without a local presence are likely to be increasingly disadvantaged.”

The new office will focus primarily on private equity, M&A, capital markets and project finance. Crider added that capital market activity had increased dramatically in recent years, prompting investment banks and law firms to focus more heavily on the region.

Simpson’s launch comes after the news, exclusively revealed by The Lawyer last week (, 5 June), that Chadbourne & Parke is also opening in Sao Paulo later this year.

Chadbourne also opened a new office in Mexico in March this year, which saw it hire around 20 attorneys in Mexico City, including three partners, and take on ;six ;lawyers ;in ;its Latin America practice in New York, including two partners.