THE FIRM For several years Cleary has had an office in Buenos Aires, and in August 2011 it opened its second Latin American outpost in São Paulo, boosting its regional presence as well as supporting the core team in New York. The group handles a wide range of finance, capital markets, and M&A matters. A transaction of particular note was advising Grupo Bimbo and its US subsidiary, BBU, regarding the acquisition of North American Fresh Bakery from Sara Lee. It also advised Amgen on its acquisition of Laboratório Químico Farmacêutico Bergamo, a Brazilian pharmaceuticals business.
Sources say: "Has the combination of dedication and expertise. I don't see anyone who matches them." "Very easy to work with and clearly understands the various Latin American markets."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nicolas Grabar acted as lead counsel to Petrobras regarding its equity offering of $67 billion, intended to fund the company's acquisition of offshore drilling rights from the Brazilian government.
Another of the practice's leading lights, Richard Cooper is described as "a good mediator - even in complicated deals where the parties have very extreme positions, he can bring them to the table and find a good compromise."
Peers commend Jeffrey Lewis as "a spectacular lawyer" who is "delightful to work with." One source went on to add: "He gets to the core of the deal and doesn't create unnecessary issues."
Work highlights of Francesca Odell include advising the underwriters' syndicate - comprised of Credit Suisse and several other leading financial institutions - in the BRL401.3 million IPO by Brazilian watchmaker Technos.
Carmen Amalia Corrales is advising the Argentine Republic on the restructuring of its external debt, estimated at $100 billion.
Jorge Juantorena's experience spans finance and capital markets as well as M&A, and his clients include Mexican mortgage loan provider Hipotecaria Su Casita. Interviewees regard him as "very business-minded."
Wanda Olson is an expert in securities and international finance law, whose work includes advising a state-owned Mexican utility on its debut senior notes offering, valued at $1 billion.