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Clifford Chance

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Regional coverage

Americas

We work with domestic, regional and international clients in the US and across Latin America. We advise on in-bound and out-bound capital markets, M&A and finance work in Brazil, have a growing international arbitration practice, and have broadly advised Latin American clients for more than 30 years.

We work for clients across and beyond the Americas region

Our offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and São Paulo give our clients ready access to the financial and political centers of the US and an expanding number of opportunities in Latin America. We have a team of nearly 300 lawyers and a thorough understanding of US, Latin American and global markets.

We have worked on thousands of transactions across the Americas and on significant cross-border deals where investments flowed within and outside the region.

In Latin America, we represented international lenders in the $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal. We also worked on the complex airline merger of LAN in Chile and TAM in Brazil that in 2013 created LATAM Airlines, one of the largest carriers in the world. In the US, we advised Kraft on its $19.5 billion acquisition of Cadbury and are advising the owners of the Empire State building on its planned IPO. To find out more about our work with clients in the US, follow the country links above.

We have achieved several firsts in Latin America

We were the first international law firm to open an office in São Paulo (1998). More recently, we advised on the IPO of the first Mexican REIT, Fibra Uno, and two follow-on offerings totalling nearly $2.5 billion – an enormous sum in any market for a new product offering. We also advised a syndicate of 13 international banks and a consortium of Mexican banks on the Eurus wind project in Mexico – the financing represented the largest loan package ever for a renewable energy project in Latin America.

Clifford Chance is a "go to" firm for international M&A, Capital Markets and Projects work across Latin America. For example, we advised on Rodoanel Oeste, part of the 110-mile São Paulo metropolitan beltway project – one of the largest infrastructure projects Brazil has ever undertaken. We also advised on the expansion and upgrade of the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica, and on numerous hydro, gas, wind and other types of power plant projects across the region.

In a 28-day period in 2012, our Latin America practice advised 12 clients on eight debt deals totalling nearly $4 billion One deal in particular – Clifford Chance's representation of Banco do Brasil on its issuance of $1 billion in securities – stands out for being one of the first bank offerings in the world to contemplate the Basel III guidelines.

Additionally, Chambers Latin America continues to rate us Tier One for both Corporate/M&A: International and Capital Markets; International in Brazil, and for Projects Latin America-wide.

To find out more about our work with clients in the Americas, follow the country links above.

Recent highlights

Awards and milestones

  • Latin American M&A Deal of the Year: The American Lawyer and Latin Lawyer for our work on the LAN-TAM merger to create LATAM Airlines, which has a fleet of 310 aircraft and more than 51,000 employees
  • We advised on 10 aircraft finance-related Deal of the Year transactions in 2012 – more than twice the number of the second-best firm
  • More than half of our US partners and counsel were recognized by The Legal 500 United States in its 2013 National Elite rankings – one of the best showings of any large firm in the US
  • We advised on four Deal of the Year: Latin Finance, 2013, including cross-border M&A, Financing Innovation, Project/Infrastructure Financing, and Structured Financing
  • North America Law Firm of the Year for Funds Formation: Private Equity Real Estate
  • We were honored by ISLP as one of only two Global Pro Bono Visionary Law Firms in recognition of our pivotal work and commitment in providing international pro bono legal services.

Recent assignments

Examples of work include advising:

  • the owners of the Empire State Building on its planned IPO
  • on the first transitional loan financing to tap the CMBS market since the financial crisis, and the first actively managed commercial real estate CDO in the US since 2007 
  • on the IPO of the first Mexican REIT, Fibra Uno, and two follow-on offerings totalling nearly $2.5 billion
  • MasterCard on its strategic partnership with mobile wallet and transactions platform provider, C-SAM
  • General Motors Asset Management in the restructuring of the group annuity contracts of the GM Pension Plans
  • Banco do Brasil on a $1 billion issuance – one of the first perpetual bond offerings to contemplate Basel III guidelines
  • Hearst in its purchase of Lagardère's international magazines unit, which included popular titles such as Car & Driver, Elle and Woman's Day.

Directory listings and client comments

Directory listings

  • More than half of our US partners and counsel were recognized by The Legal 500: United States, 2013 National Elite rankings – one of the best showings of any large firm in the US
  • In Chambers: Latin America, 2014, Clifford Chance is the only international firm to be ranked in Tier One for Brazil in all three transactional categories. Clifford Chance is also ranked Tier One, Latin America-wide for Projects.

Chambers USA, 2013

  • Tier One in Capital Markets: REITs- Nationwide 
  • Seven additional practice areas ranked Tier Two or Three
  • Twelve Tier One or Two rankings for US partners

Legal 500: United States, 2013

  • Tier One in Asset Finance and Leasing 
  • Tier One in REITs 
  • Tier One in Tax - Financial Products 
  • Five US partners identified as Leading Lawyers

Chambers: Latin America, 2014

  • In Brazil, advising as a Locally Based International Counsel:
    • Tier One in Banking & Finance 
    • Tier One in Capital Markets 
    • Tier One in Corporate/M&A 
  • Tier One in Projects - Latin America-wide 
  • Tier Two in Banking & Finance - Latin America-wide 
  • Tier Two in Capital Markets - Latin America-wide 

Legal 500: Latin America, 2014

  • Tier One in Projects - Latin America-wide 
  • Tier One in Corporate/M&A - Latin America-wide 
  • Tier Two in Banking & Finance - Latin America Wide 

Client comments

  • "Clifford Chance is a dominant player in the REIT capital markets space…"
    Legal 500: United States, 2013
  • Clifford Chance "is our go-to firm for all major transactional work in Latin America and elsewhere. The lawyers we work with are very knowledgeable and creative. More so than other firms, it is extremely responsive and commercial and it represents good value."
    Legal 500: Latin America, 2014
  • "This firm stands out for its high level of experience on cross-border securitization transactions. Sources speak with particular admiration of the team's capabilities on regulatory issues."
    Chambers: USA, 2013
  • "The lawyers have a lot of experience and it shows; they remain calm, no matter what. We had some serious problems as first-time issuers but they were solution-oriented. The entire team is very dedicated."
    Chambers: Latin America, 2014
  • "Aviation finance is a core focus for Clifford Chance… The highly esteemed New York practice…is considered 'among the best' for innovative cutting edge financings, particularly when it comes to bond underwritings and asset-backed securitization (ABS)."
    Legal 500: United States, 2013
  • "Its (funds formation) lawyers are recognized for their strength in the niche of private equity real estate and for their proactive approach in keeping ahead of the curve in terms of market knowledge."
    Chambers: USA, 2013
  • "This firm is right at the top of the projects tree. The team closes deals successfully and in accordance with the agreed timetable..."
    Chambers: Latin America, 2014
  • "The team at Clifford Chance is widely applauded as a 'top choice for complex and cross-border restructurings,' not least because it can 'marshal appropriate resources across the globe very quickly'."
    Legal 500: United States, 2013
  • "The firm's strengths are regulatory knowledge, professionalism, responsiveness and willingness to take ownership of the deal."
    Chambers: Latin America, 2014