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Latin M&A’s: U.S. Law Firms Jump

Several U.S. law firms dramatically boost their Latin American M&A business, but Mattos Filho still leads the way.


U.S. law firms like Skadden Arps, White & Case and Shearman & Sterling have reason to be happy with their Latin American M&A performance last year.

Skadden Arps, for example, doubled the rank value of its Latin America M&A deals from $7.1 billion in 2007 to $15.0 billion in 2008 and jumped one spot to fifth place on the ranking of Top 25 legal M&A advisers in Latin America last year, according to the latest ranking from Latin Business Chronicle and Thomson Reuters. Skadden Arps, which was involved in nine Latin American M&A deals last year, achieved a market share of 10.1 percent.


"Latin America has been a critical practice area for us for nearly two decades and weve built a terrific team," Paul Schnell, an M&A lawyer who is head of the Latin America practice at Skadden. "That experience and resources, along with our leading role in M&A transactions around the world, put us in a strong position to handle deals as the economies in Latin America, particularly Brazil, matured and then rapidly accelerated over the last five years."

Skadden Arps was one of the legal advisers for Bovespa, the Sao Paulo stock exchange, which merged with BM&F last year. The $10.3 billion deal became the second-largest in Latin America last year, according to Latin Americas Top 100 M&As 2008 from Latin Business Chronicle. It also advised Japan-based Marubeni Group in its $1.3 billion deal to purchase stakes from UK-based Antofagasta in the Esperanza and El Tesoro mines in Chile (the 21st largest M&A deal last in Latin America last year)  and Brazil-based Aracruz on its $1.2 billion sales to Brazil-based Votorantim (the 25th largest M&A deal).


Also Shearman & Sterling has reason to be pleased. It ended up in third place on the 2008 ranking compared to...

Keywords: Baker Botts, Banco Itau, Barbossa Mussnich, Cleary Gottlieb, Davis Polk, Linklaters, Mattos Filho, Shearman & Sterling, Sullivan & Cromwell, White & Case

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