Gibson Dunn prepares ground for Sao Paulo launch

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is gearing up to launch an office in Sao Paulo and will relocate one New York partner to Brazil.

The US firm will transfer New York corporate partner Lisa Alfaro and one associate to launch the office, which is yet to gain approval from the Brazilian Bar.

New York-based corporate partner William Campbell and Gibson Dunn Latin America co-chair Kevin Kelley will work closely with the new office from New York.

Kelley said: “We’ve been working on a range of Brazilian matters for a long time now. Lisa has great experience with the Brazilian market and we think now is the time to launch on the ground despite the downturn.”

Last year a number of US firms launched offices in Sao Paulo, including Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (24 March 2008). the firm suffered a set-back at the end of the year when its only Sao Paulo partner defected to Brazilian company Banking and Trading Group (BTG) (10 December 2008) but later hired Shearman & Sterling finance partner Dick Aldrich to head the office (9 February 2009).

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett also launched in Brazil with New York partners Jaime Mercado and Todd Crider leading the firm’s push into the region (28 January 2009).