U.K.-based Clyde & Co is establishing a permanent presence in Chile through the merger with two local firms with expertise in corporate and transactional law, litigation, tax, labor, projects and construction.
Partners at Grasty Quintana Majlis, a Chilean firm that has been in association with Clyde & Co since January 2020, have agreed to combine with leading Chilean projects and construction lawyers Juan Pablo Halpern and Arturo Pino.
The new firm, to be called Clyde & Co Chile, will have 11 local partners who will lead a team of 40 lawyers.
The office in Santiago will serve as a regional hub for Clyde & Co to connect with other markets. In Latin America, the firm already operates offices in Mexico City, São Paulo and Caracas, having been in the region for more than 25 years.
Lee Bacon, chair of Clyde & Co’s Latin America strategy group and member of the Clyde & Co Chile management board, said the opening is in line with the global firm’s broader strategy in Latin America—of steady expansion with teams of sector-leading and well-known experts.
“Chile is an important market for clients operating in our core sectors and continues to be one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America,” Bacon said in a statement. “It is a fantastic springboard to support clients across the region wherever they need us. I’m looking forward to working on the ground with our team in the country, in expanding our insurance capabilities in particular, and doing so alongside our growing and diverse team of next-generation lawyers in the region.”
The expansion in Chile comes as the South American country is expecting big changes after electing a young, leftist protest leader as president in late 2021. Other global firms have been adding tax and litigation expertise in the country, in expectation of rising disputes, while several Chilean firms have launched offices in Miami to attend to wealthy Chileans looking to store assets overseas.
The integration of the firms will be led by the new managing partner of Clyde & Co Chile, Franco Acchiardo, and fellow partners Mónica Justiniano (Tax), Jorge Meneses and Marcelo Guerrero (Litigation and Arbitration), Christian Alvarado (Labor), Hugo Prieto and Arturo Pino (Corporate/M&A/Real Estate) and Juan Pablo Halpern (Projects & Construction).
Alejandro Quintana, a partner at Grasty Quintana Majlis, said the Chilean partners were keen to enhance their regional reach via a merger, while also giving their legal professionals the possibility to develop within a global firm.
Matthew Kelsall, CEO at Clyde & Co, said: “The addition of these leading teams in our core sectors is in line with our recent steady expansion in the region and further afield.”
The Santiago office opening is the latest in a period of significant growth for Clyde & Co. Over the past year, the firm has opened offices in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver in the U.S. — as well as an office in Vancouver, Canada through a merger with SHK Law Corporation. In July, Clyde & Co’s merger with U.K. and Ireland law firm BLM went live, reinforcing the firm’s position as a leading legal adviser in the insurance sector.