NewsCMS expands in Latin America

  • Latin American firms Carey & Allende (Chile), GRAU Abogados (Peru) and Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados (Colombia) join international, full-service law firm CMS
  • The three new firms add to CMS’s existing presence in Brazil and Mexico, significantly expanding the firm’s footprint in Latin America
  • CMS now has 65 offices in 38 countries, with over 6,000 staff and more than 880 partners, making it one of the most global law firms worldwide

Frankfurt, 16 January 2017 – CMS, one of the top international law firms, has significantly expanded its presence in Latin America. From today, Carey & Allende (Chile), GRAU Abogados (Peru) and Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados (Colombia), all well-known, high-quality firms in their respective markets, have become part of CMS. The firm has been active in the region for a number of years, with well-established offices in Brazil and Mexico.

CMS now has 65 offices in 38 countries and more than 880 partners and 6,000 total staff. The new firms will trade as CMS under the names CMS Carey & Allende, CMS Grau and CMS Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados.

As a result of this expansion, CMS will be able to link clients in the region with leading legal experts worldwide, supporting their internationalisation and participation in cross-border transactions. At the same time, the CMS offices in five of Latin America’s most dynamic economies will be connected to offer a seamless regional solution.

With this move, CMS, already the largest law firm in Europe, continues to extend its global reach. Recently, the firm opened offices in Hong Kong and Tehran. In the UK, CMS will merge with the law firms Nabarro and Olswang, creating a new firm that will be the sixth largest in the UK by revenue. Additionally, CMS has a well-established presence in Africa, China and the Middle East, and is growing in Asia.

Cornelius Brandi, Executive Chairman of CMS, commented, “Geographic expansion is often a part of our clients’ growth strategy. So, we move primarily into regions where we expect that there will be future opportunities for them. Latin America is a region with great potential and steady growth, making it attractive for international business.”

Ramón Valdivieso, Managing Partner at CMS Carey & Allende, added, “Globalisation has also manifested itself in the legal services market, which is only beginning to be experienced in Chile. In the face of this, Carey & Allende has made the strategic decision to be part of a global firm that provides us with the best practices worldwide for the benefit of our existing clients. At the same time, we continue to drive our growth through work from the huge number of jurisdictions where CMS is present. This gives us an unmatched competitive advantage in Chile and is also a very attractive proposition for our lawyers.”

Juan Carlos Escudero, Managing Partner at CMS Grau, added, “This is an excellent opportunity for our firm. We are developing strong ties with our natural partners in the region (Chile and Colombia) and will be part of a top tier global firm with a presence in new regions such as Europe and Asia.”

Sergio Rodríguez Azuero and Guillermo Villegas, partners at CMS Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados, added, “Latin American clients are expanding their businesses into different jurisdictions all over the world and a significant number of foreign clients are increasingly entering the Latin American market. Joining CMS and becoming part of this impressive global firm allows us to better serve our clients’ global needs.”

Clients benefit from the advice of the expanded firm’s lawyers, who share a global vision and local experience that sets CMS apart – whether they are considering inbound investments into the region or are Latin American companies looking to grow internationally. With an increased presence in Latin America, CMS clients will be able to rely on a trusted partner with a full service offering across multiple markets worldwide:

  • CMS is a full-service top 10 global law firm that provides clients with specialist, business focused advice in law and tax matters.
  • CMS Carey & Allende currently has a 70-person team with more than 13 practice areas and has received industry recognition for its transactions and high quality service.
  • CMS Grau currently has more than 100 lawyers covering over 17 practice areas with a team that provides advice on all legal matters, including regulatory issues, transactional work and project development.
  • CMS Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados currently has a 65-person team, based in Bogotá and Medellin. Their expertise in Banking and Finance Law is widely recognised, not only nationally but throughout Latin America.

CMS Carey & Allende, CMS Grau and CMS Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados will bring their experience as well as specific knowledge of their local markets to the 19 practices areas and sector groups at CMS.

The three new firms have recognised expert teams in areas such as Financial & Banking Law, Capital Markets & Securities Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial & Civil Law, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, Natural resources: Mining and Oil & Gas, Real Estate, Environmental Law, Projects and Infrastructure, Restructuring and Insolvency, Compliance, Risk Management, Prevention of Money Laundering, Combatting the Financing of Terrorism, Corruption and Smuggling of Goods, Litigation and Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, amongst others.

Worldwide, CMS holds a leading position in sectors such as energy, telecommunications, infrastructure and financing, construction and real estate that are growth sectors in Latin America. With the integration of the new firms, CMS’s sector expertise will be deepened and expanded, both in Latin America and worldwide.

CMS Carey & Allende, CMS Grau and CMS Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados will fully integrate into CMS, providing them with access to CMS resources and clients worldwide. CMS member firms share know-how, standards, processes and a central services unit. As part of CMS, they will jointly develop and pursue business opportunities with CMS colleagues worldwide.

Duncan Weston, CMS Executive Partner for Global Development, added, “Our aim is to integrate leading firms that share our strategic vision which is based on a client-centric approach – in-depth knowledge of our clients’ businesses and an understanding of their specific needs. We are very pleased to welcome our colleagues from Carey & Allende, GRAU Abogados and Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados to CMS. With our combined expertise, we will offer our clients high-quality service, across all sectors and around the world.”

Jorge Allende, Senior Partner at CMS Carey & Allende, added, “The integration of Carey & Allende into CMS is the result of a fruitful and long relationship with CMS Spain. We are honoured by the invitation we received to join this global firm and to initiate the incorporation of firms in Peru and Colombia as well, which add to the current presence of CMS in Mexico and Brazil. CMS will continue to identify new jurisdictions in Latin America, all of which leads us to be a better firm and to serve our clients in a more integral and effective way.”

Juan Carlos Escudero added, “Our incorporation into CMS will benefit not only our clients but also our associates, counsels, partners, IT team and the whole staff of our firm, who will immediately profit from CMS´s international expertise and technological platform.”

Sergio Rodríguez Azuero and Guillermo Villegas added, “This integration not only allows our firm to be part of the Pacific Alliance with CMS offices in Mexico, Peru and Chile but also to gain a foothold in Brazil. In addition, we will be present in all European capitals and in major business centres in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our firm is now truly global.”