Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today a proposed new office in São Paulo, Brazil and the addition of three prominent Latin America and Project Finance partners from Allen & Overy. The team includes Robert Kartheiser, who joins Paul Hastings as chair of the Global Project Finance practice; Bruno Soares, who has an extensive Brazil based project finance practice and will be in New York until final regulatory approval is granted for him to be based in São Paulo; and Cathleen McLaughlin, who headed Allen & Overy’s New York office International Capital Markets group and will continue to focus on Latin American capital markets transactions within Paul Hastings’ Corporate practice.

“We’ve made significant strides in Latin America and with the addition of these leading lawyers, we’ll take another big step to help our clients capitalize on the opportunities in this large, diverse and dynamic market,” said Seth Zachary, chairman of Paul Hastings. “This investment complements our strategy to build and extend our leading finance, capital markets and energy-related practices, including in Latin America, where the firm has made significant and successful investments,” he added.

“Paul Hastings’ Latin America practice partners have participated in structuring some of the region’s most innovative deals and have worked on some of the largest capital markets, M&A and infrastructure transactions in the region. While we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished since joining Paul Hastings, our new partners will assist us in seizing opportunities to do more for our clients,” said Michael Fitzgerald, chair of the Latin America practice, who joined the firm along with Taisa Markus, Joy Gallup and Arturo Carrillo, approximately three years ago.

“This top-ranked project finance team brings a wealth of energy and infrastructure experience across the key LatAm economies over the past 25 years. It will give our clients access to leading experts to tap the opportunities in financing, developing, buying and selling infrastructure and energy assets, and beautifully complements our leading Capital Markets, Leveraged Finance and Merger and Acquisition practices. With this added dimension we are taking our Latin American game to the next level. We expect to continue to build in the LatAm space, and in the energy arena across the Americas,” he added.

Robert Kartheiser

Mr. Kartheiser co-chaired A&O’s Latin American practice and the Americas Projects practice. He acts for both lenders and for borrowers in financings and development of energy, mining and infrastructure, including a significant focus on the emerging markets (particularly Latin America). He has done this both as a lawyer and as an investor (he led an independent power producer’s Latin American development group for six years). 

Mr. Kartheiser is noted for his "mind-boggling language flexibility" and his "balance of commercial and detail orientation," in Chambers and Partners, which has ranked Mr. Kartheiser as a Band One practitioner for each of the past five years. "The fact he represents sponsors and lenders gives him a good perspective and he has the ability and experience to try and come up with solutions rather than just seeing through one lens," says one market observer, according to Chambers. Mr. Kartheiser and his team regularly conduct business in Spanish and Portuguese.

Cathleen McLaughlin

Ms. McLaughlin founded A&O’s Latin America Group. Her U.S. capital markets experience includes varied transactional and advisory securities experience relating to SEC-registered and unregistered (Regulation S and Rule 144A) debt and equity offerings by U.S., Latin American and other foreign issuers. She has extensive experience in sovereign, corporate and infrastructure-related financings involving Latin American, Caribbean and European borrowers. A long-time leader in the LatAm capital markets space, Chambers and Partners notes that “Cathleen McLaughlin is ‘extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of complex finance matters’.”

Bruno Soares

Mr. Soares has over 15 years of experience doing business in Brazil, other jurisdictions in Latin America and Africa. His expertise extends to a wide spectrum of transactions including banking, projects, M&A and capital markets matters. Legal 500 Latin America ranks Mr. Soares in its top tier of attorneys and notes that Mr. Soares is "excellent at negotiating with other parties and finding common ground." Mr. Soares has worked on many of Brazil’s most prominent mining, oil and gas and energy transactions over the last 15 years.

The arrival of this group follows the additions of David Shine, who joined the firm from Fried Frank, as a partner and chair of the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice in New York, and Samuel Waxman, who was previously an M&A partner and co-chair of Shearman & Sterling’s Intellectual Property Transactions practice and joined Paul Hastings as a partner in New York.

Paul Hastings is a leading global law firm with a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Through a collaborative approach, entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to client service, the professionals of Paul Hastings deliver innovative solutions to many of the world’s top financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.