Tuesday’s announcement by Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle of its strategic alliance with Argentina’s Fernandez Quiroga Ayarragaray & Ocampo Abogados comes as little surprise, given the New York-based firm’s extensive and longtime work in Latin America.

The 200-lawyer firm became one of the first international law firms to launch a Mexico City office, in 1991, representing, among other clients, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state oil company. As The American Lawyer‘s Daphne Eviatar reported in the June issue, managing partner George Kahale “has developed a growing and increasingly lucrative specialty representing resource-rich governments under intense political and economic pressure,” including the governments of Venezuela and Bolivia.

And, says New York-based, Argentine-born partner Guillermo Ulke, there’s also a long-standing practice in Argentina (the firm once maintained an office in Buenos Aires in the 1920s). According to its Web site, Curtis Mallet has advised several major Argentine companies, including CTI, formerly the country’s largest cell phone service provider. Ulke says he’s handled many project financings, debt restructurings and acquisitions involving Argentine companies, work that is, as he describes it, “part of the core practice of Fernandez Quiroga.” (Curtis Mallet ranked 193rd on this year’s Am Law 200 survey, earning gross revenues of $110 billion in 2007; profits per partner were $920,000.)

Curtis Mallet approached Fernandez Quiroga about a formal alliance a year ago, though the two firms have worked together informally since the Buenos Aires-based firm opened in 1997. The alliance will create a more “focused relationship, with both firms working together on marketing, training and other areas, and aiming to provide services through integrated teams,” says Ulke.

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