Harneys follows Uruguay launch with Brazil opening

Harneys has become the second offshore firm to establish a foothold in Brazil, following in the footsteps of rival Conyers Dill & Pearman.

The firm announced the hire of Brazilian lawyer Maria Pia Buchi, who will act as Harneys’ business development head in the Latin American country. The appointment follows the opening of the firm’s Uruguay office last year (2 December 2010).

Buchi was previously in-house counsel at Brazilian investment companies Triscorp Investimentos and Opus Gestao de Recursos. She will not practise law, instead acting as a client relationship manager.

Latin American practice head Marco Martins said Harneys had considered opening in Brazil several years ago, but had decided to concentrate its physical presence in Uruguay instead. He said Buchi’s experience as a lawyer meant she would be able to talk knowledgeably about investment products used by investors and other businesses in Brazil.

“There’s huge demand in Brazil for international solutions,” said Martins. “Maria Pia’s role in Brazil is to solidify our relationship with the intermediaries.”

Martins added that he had been hoping to find a role for Buchi within Harneys since he first worked with her as a client.