The dedicated attorneys in Ropes & Gray’s Latin America practice have extensive experience in the region. Comprised of approximately 100 Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking attorneys, the team spans several practices, including anti-corruption & international risk, antitrust, asset management, business restructuring, finance, government enforcement/white collar criminal defense, hedge funds, mergers & acquisitions, private equity transactions, special situations, and tax. Leading industry publications such as Chambers, The Legal 500 and Latinvex have recognized the team’s—and the firm’s—work in Latin America.
Anti-Corruption & International Risk
Ropes & Gray’s anti-corruption & international risk group was the firm’s first practice to put down roots in Latin America. Since then, our attorneys have developed a reputation for successfully guiding clients in Latin America through an ever-changing legal landscape. Ropes & Gray has handled more than 580 anti-corruption matters in countries and territories such as Anguilla, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela, among others. Our Latin America specialists regularly work with clients to identify and mitigate risks, ensure compliance, and defend against government investigations. These clients include aerospace, airplane manufacturing and aircraft companies; medical device and pharmaceutical companies; multinational conglomerates; financial institutions; and private equity and real estate firms, as well as their officers and directors.
Dedicated resources and a thorough understanding of the anti-corruption environment in the region allows Ropes & Gray’s Latin America practice to stay ahead of clients’ growing needs in an increasingly shrinking world. Close collaboration between our anti-corruption & international risk attorneys and our leading practitioners in life sciences, FDA, government enforcement/white collar criminal defense, securities and futures enforcement, private equity transactions, mergers & acquisitions, and asset management ensures that we provide the specific knowledge and experience clients require on every matter.
Home to some of the world’s largest emerging markets and global enterprises, Latin America presents a unique set of legal issues for companies and investors. The attorneys who work on Ropes & Gray’s Latin America Initiative have deep market knowledge that spans key financing segments. They represent clients across all industries in their pursuit of business-critical transactions, and have significant experience in M&A deals for Latin American companies. They also lead matters for international and local private equity firms and their portfolio companies investing in the region.
Our Latin America attorneys are well versed in cross-border transactions. Working alongside attorneys in the firm’s 11 offices around the world, they seamlessly coordinate filings and obtain merger clearances across the globe. They are also intimately familiar with the special tax and structuring issues involved with many types of funds and investments—including natural resources, leveraged buyouts, real estate, energy, infrastructure, hedge funds and co-investment funds—spanning Latin America, including Brazil, the Caribbean, Colombia and Mexico.
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Ropes & Gray has represented clients on matters ranging from transactions to financings to government investigations throughout Latin America. Our recent experience in the region includes:
- Advising a publicly traded multinational travel services provider in an internal investigation linked to its operations in Mexico, related to corrupt acts by former executives. After reviewing operations in five countries, we determined that there were potential risks under a new anti-corruption law in Mexico, and made a proactive self-disclosure to the Mexican authorities that resulted in a favorable settlement for our client.
- Representing one of South America’s largest airlines with respect to an FCPA investigation into a business practice.
Energy, Oil & Gas
- Represented a large energy company specializing in LNG-related business in internal investigations and advised on anti-corruption diligence issues in connection with potential transactions around the world, including higher risk deals in Brazil involving public companies and utilities. Ropes & Gray serves as global anti-corruption counsel for the company.
- Represented one of the world’s largest offshore drilling contractors in an internal investigation into allegations regarding the company’s Brazil marketing agent, stemming from the Operation Car Wash investigation.
- Advised a U.S.-based Fortune 500 engineering and energy company in an internal investigation linked to its operations in Colombia. Following this investigation, the company also hired Ropes & Gray to advise regarding alleged corrupt conduct involving employees and business partners in the United States and Venezuela relating to business in South America.
Food & Beverage
- Retained to conduct an internal investigation for a Chilean salmon farmer following accusations that the company had been reporting false mortality figures to regulators.
Health Care & Life Sciences
- Conducted an internal investigation, including onsite interviews of key personnel and distributors, for a U.S. multinational medical device company following allegations of improper benefits provided to hospital employees.
- Represented a large pharmaceutical company in an internal investigation into potential exposure with U.S. authorities. The matter involved parallel investigations by state and federal authorities in Brazil that concerned the company’s role in assisting patients to petition the government to purchase a certain drug, which to date remains unapproved in Brazil.
- Advised a multinational medical device company in an investigation regarding a Chilean public tender alleged to have been improperly influenced by a member of the evaluation committee.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a global biopharmaceutical company in relation to allegations of misconduct in Colombia, including violation of the company’s travel and expenses policy, and delivery of potentially inappropriate benefits to Colombian distributors and health care practitioners in exchange for sales and prescriptions of pharmaceutical products.
- Conducted several internal investigations, including onsite interviews and audits, for a U.S.-based multinational medical device company involving anti-corruption issues in Latin America.
- A Brazilian manufacturer engaged Ropes & Gray to serve as independent corporate compliance monitor for a three-year term as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Energy, Oil & Gas
- Representing the former CFO of a multinational oil and gas company during a DOJ and SEC investigation into the company’s activities in Argentina through a joint venture company for FCPA violations.
Health Care & Life Sciences
- Represented a large medical device manufacturer in connection with the DOJ and SEC’s industrywide FCPA investigation focusing on the medical device industry. After successfully developing a revamped compliance program for the company, we secured a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ and a consent agreement with the SEC covering issues in several countries around the world, including multiple countries in Latin America.
- Representing a biopharmaceutical company in a joint civil/criminal investigation by USAO and an SEC inquiry into the company’s commercial activities in Brazil.
- Representing a multinational medical device manufacturer in connection with a government investigation alleging improprieties by company employees in Mexico and Brazil.
Asset Management & Private Equity
- Representing a major private equity firm to conduct pre-acquisition due diligence related to various energy deals across Mexico.
- Regularly conduct pre-acquisition anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and sanctions due diligence of targets in high-risk markets in Latin America and the Caribbean for large private equity firms in several countries, including Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and the Dominican Republic.
- Retained by a global private equity firm to implement a global anti-corruption compliance program. We also address specific corruption and trade sanctions-related questions from its portfolio companies and represent the private equity firm in connection with anti-corruption deal diligence for potential acquisitions across Latin America, Asia, the United States and Europe.
Energy, Oil & Gas
- Conducting a global anti-corruption risk assessment, developing a best-in-class compliance program and interim risk-based protocols, and conducting third-party diligence for a global energy company.
- Advising a major wireless infrastructure provider, with sites throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, on the development of a global anti-corruption program. We also advise on pre-acquisition due diligence, and provide legal advice for internal reviews into related issues.
- Assisting one of our client’s portfolio companies, a hotel in Argentina, with the restructuring of its anti-corruption compliance program.
- Represented Dosicolor Argentina S.A., an Argentina-based specialty chemicals company, in its sale to Colormatrix Corporation.
- Represented Advent in its acquisition of Walmart Brazil.
- Advised a global private equity firm on the sale of a portfolio of Brazilian precatórios to a conglomerate of foreign and domestic investment funds through a multitier, multistage transaction involving seven distinct parties with varying interests.
- Represented Audax Group in its sale of Southern Equipment Co. Inc. to Cementos Argos, a Colombia-based producer of concrete mixes.
- Advised a group of secured bondholders who served as lead equity investors in the recapitalization of Satélites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V., a leading provider of fixed satellite services in the Americas.
- Represented Liberty Global plc on the financing in connection with its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Communications, a leading communications provider operating in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Chambers Latin America (2018 - 2022): Ranked as a leading international firm in “Latin America-wide: Corporate Crime and Investigations.”
- Latinvex Latin America's Top 100 Law Firms (2016 - 2021): Ranked 11th out of more than 100 international law firms, and in the Aviation, Corporate/M&A, FCPA, Fraud & Investigations, Labor, Tax, Trade & Sanctions, and Real Estate subcategories.
- The Legal 500 Latin America (2021): Earned a debut ranking in “Latin America-wide: Compliance & Investigations.”
- The Legal 500 Latin America (2016 - 2021): Ranked as a leading international firm in “Latin America-wide: Corporate and M&A.”