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Over the last five years, Patricia Menendez-Cambo has supervised some of the biggest corporate transactions in Latin America, guiding two $1 billion deals that created a digital empire for the Spanish telecommunications powerhouse, Telef�nica S.A. In 2000, Menendez-Cambo took a leave of absence from her home at Greenberg Traurig and spent the next two years working as U.S. general counsel for Telef�nica S.A. She arrived at a crucial moment for the company, helping it to scoop up cellular networks and Internet services in Latin America. During her tenure, she led the teams that inked two crucial deals: a $1.36 billion purchase of Pegaso Telecomunicaciones S.A. and another $1 billion dollar purchase of Motorola Inc.’s Mexican assets. When Menendez-Cambo returned to Greenberg Traurig two years later, Telef�nica had become the second-largest cellular phone provider in Mexico and a major player in Latin American telecommunications. Menendez-Cambo thrives on these complex transactions, and is proud of the invigorated competition, technological growth and infrastructure improvements that these corporate maneuvers produced in Mexico. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with clients who continuously impact the international business landscape,” she said. A first-generation Cuban-American, Menendez-Cambo zoomed through college, graduating from the University of Miami with an economics degree at 19, and earning a degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School at 22. The young lawyer wanted to work in international transactions, and took a big risk in settling in Miami. “In the late ’80s, most of that work was outsourced to New York. It would have been a lot easier to take one of my New York offers,” she said. Instead of moving, she spent a few years at Hornsby & Whisenand, a now-defunct Miami firm that was branching out into Eastern Europe. On an early assignment, Menendez-Cambo helped a team of lawyers organize one of the first privatization transfers in Poland. Luckily, the young lawyer in law school had written a thesis about Eastern European business transactions. “The Iron Curtain is crumbling as we speak,” she said, “And I am the only person in the room that had spent two years reading Polish laws.” Menendez-Cambo spent the next few years exploring international mergers and acquisitions in a post-Communist world. In 1994, she joined Greenberg Traurig, where she specialized in privatization and mergers in the newly formed international division. Menendez-Cambo kept looking toward the “next niche” in her field, studying the potential of Spanish multinational corporations in sectors like aviation, telecommunications and luxury goods. Her fluent Spanish and sharp corporate sense impressed Telef�nica, and in 2000, the company invited Menendez-Cambo to serve as general counsel in the United States, where she cemented her reputation as an innovative and powerful leader. In 2002, Menendez-Cambo returned to Greenberg Traurig and was appointed chairwoman of the firm’s international group. She hasn’t stopped traveling, since more than 50% of her clients have offices outside the United States. Her time at Telef�nica S.A. gave Menendez-Cambo a rare look inside the multinational corporations that she advises at Greenberg Traurig. “To see this change from the top is an amazing perspective,” she said. “Even in the best of relationships, you come from an outside-counsel perspective.”

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