05 March 2020

Baker McKenzie expands Latin America focus with new round of Miami hirings

Photograph of Latin America from space

Partners John Murphy and Rebecca Leon will enhance the firm's transactions and regulatory capabilities in the Americas

Baker McKenzie has bolstered its US-based Latin America practice with the addition of two partners to its growing Miami office.

Corporate partner John Murphy joins from DLA Piper while regulatory partner Rebecca Leon joins from Holland & Knight, the latest recruits to the Miami team following the appointments of tax practitioners Summer LePree and Jeffrey Rubinger in January.

Bakers launched its Miami-centred Latin America practice in September last year to provide a gateway for US clients to pursue deals and opportunities across the Americas, and to support its 15 local offices in the region.

Scott Brandman, managing partner of the firm’s New York and Miami offices, said: “We have seen a vast amount of interest from our clients and the legal market since announcing the expansion of our US-based Latin American practice. We are excited to have John join the firm as we continue our rapid growth with highly talented Miami-based attorneys. John will be key to our growth strategy, providing multinational clients top quality service on cross-border legal issues.”

Murphy has more than 20 years of experience advising clients on international project development and financings, capital markets transactions, and mergers and acquisitions across North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Colin Murray, Baker McKenzie’s chief executive officer for North America, said: “I can't think of a better fit for our growing Miami practice than John Murphy. He brings the perfect combination of experience with complex transactions in the power and infrastructure sectors and deep roots in the Miami, New York and Latin America business communities.” 

Leon’s regulatory experience includes advising broker-dealers and other financial services companies on securities law issues, as well as structuring and developing their global operations.

Brandman said: “We’re excited to welcome another exceptional lawyer, as we continue advancing our growth plan in Miami. Rebecca’s practice fits perfectly with our strategy to build our Miami-based cross-border and Latin America services.”

In addition to the Miami hirings, the firm has taken on regulatory partner Jennifer Connors in New York and senior counsel Mark Fitterman in the firm’s litigation and government enforcement practice in Washington DC. Connors also joins from Holland & Knight, while Fitterman arrives from Morgan Lewis.

Last month, Clyde & Co, Squire Patton Boggs and Spanish independent ECIJA flagged their interest in the Latin American market with strategic moves. 

Clydes forged an alliance with 10-partner Chilean firm Grasty Quintana Majlis, Squire Patton Boggs appointed a Latin American practice head as part of a review of its strategy for the region and ECIJA gained a Mexican office with the acquisition of Chacón & Rodríguez.

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