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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

New York

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP - New York
  • 919 Third Avenue
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10022
  • Managing Partner: Michael W Blair
  • Number of partners: 135
  • Number of other lawyers: 497
  • Offices  
  • USA New York, Washington
  • INTERNATIONAL OFFICES Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow
  • Website: www.debevoise.com

THE FIRM: Debevoise has been active in Latin America for more than 50 years, and over the past decade has worked on hundreds of completed transactions and international disputes including some of the largest and most challenging matters across the region. Debevoise’s Latin American practice is based in New York and draws support from the firm’s European and Asian offices. The firm is a recognised leader among international law firms active in Latin America and has a large number of lawyers who spend a significant amount of time on Latin American matters and most of them speak Spanish and/or Portuguese. The firm invests heavily in its international intern program, employing some of the best-performing lawyers in the region. In 2013, Debevoise’s work in Latin America led it to win two first prizes in The American Lawyer’s Global Legal Awards program. The firm won for Global M&A Deal of the Year, Chile, for its representation of Mitsui & Co. Ltd. in its joint venture with Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco), and for Global Dispute of the Year, Investment Arbitration, for its work in Occidental Petroleum v. Ecuador.

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE:  

Corporate M&A:
Recent representation highlights include:
•Assurant in its investment in Iké Asistencia, a services assistance business with operations in Mexico and other countries in Latin America
•AXA in its acquisition of 51% of Mercantil Colpatria’s insurance operations in Colombia for COP 672 billion
•Capital Group in its $200 million minority investment in Tanner Servicios Financieros, a Chile-based financial services company
•PVDC, a subsidiary of Barrick and Goldcorp, in connection with a renegotiation of the terms of the Pueblo Viejo Special Lease Agreement with an estimated NPV of $1.5 billion
•Mitsui in its acquisition of a 20% interest in VLI, a Brazilian integrated general cargo logistics company wholly-owned by Vale, for R$1.5 billion
•Capital International and Acon Investments in their acquisition of Vetra Energia, S.L., an oil and gas exploration and development company operating primarily in Colombia
•Eutelsat Communications in its $1.14 billion acquisition of Satélites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V.

Private Equity/Fund Formation:
•The firm’s private equity funds practice is one of the largest in the world and the firm has consolidated its role as the go-to-counsel to work on the highestprofile, and largest, funds raised in Brazil, and the rest of Latin America, in the recent past
•Clients include both large global firms, such as Carlyle, which recently raised Carlyle South America Buyout Fund, a $1 billion fund, and Carlyle Peru Fund, a $308 million fund, extending the South America investment presence Carlyle established five years ago, and leading asset managers based in Latin America, such as Gávea Investimentos and Vinci Partners
•Other notable clients active in the region include Brookfield Asset Management, Capital International, Gramercy, Och-Ziff Capital and Tishman Speyer

Capital Markets:
•The Latin America capital markets practice continues to expand its presence in the region while fostering relationships with existing clients; the firm currently represents Itaú Unibanco in its international financing programs, including takedowns under its MTN program and its SEC reporting and US securities law compliance matters

Project Finance:
•Debevoise’s infrastructure and project finance group has extensive experience in the infrastructure sector in Latin America, including transactions taking the form of public-private partnerships (“P3s” or “PPPs”); sectors in which the firm has acted include transportation, energy, mining and natural resources, power generation and communication
•Award winning non-P3 projects on which the firm acted include the Refinaria Henrique Lage (REVAP) project in Brazil which was awarded the “Latin American Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International
•The firm has also played a leading role in the development of privatisation and P3 structures in Latin America, having been involved in most of the P3 projects in Chile and many others in Mexico and elsewhere in the region; examples include the Ruta de la Araucania and Autopista del Maipo toll roads in Chile, each of which was awarded the “Transportation Deal of the Year, Latin America” by Project Finance Magazine, and Autopista de Nuevo Leon in Mexico which was awarded the “Infrastructure Deal of the Year in the Americas” by Project Finance International

International Arbitration:
•Representation of Abilio Diniz, the Brazilian billionaire who founded and is a shareholder of Grupo Diniz, owner of one of the largest food retail businesses in Brazil, in three ICC arbitrations in São Paulo and litigations in both Paris and Brazil
•Occidental Petroleum Company and Occidental Exploration and Production Company (“Occidental”) in an ICSID arbitration, winning what is believed to be the largest ever BIT award, US $1.8 billion (US $2.3 billion including interest). Global Arbitration Review (GAR) named the Occidental award “The Most Important Published Decision of 2012”
•Perenco Ecuador Limited in its BIT and contract claims against the Republic of Ecuador

CLIENTS The firm’s client base includes many of the most prominent companies and families in Latin America as well as multinational corporations and private equity funds investing in the region. Its clients roster in the region include: Ambev S.A., Antofagasta, Barrick Gold, BM&FBOVESPA, Brookfield, The Capital Group, The Carlyle Group, Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração (CBMM), Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, Itaú Unibanco, Mitsui, Occidental Exploration and Petroleum Company, Organizações Globo, Phelps Dodge, Prudential Financial and Vinci Partners.

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