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In a move to fortify its international practice, Hogan & Hartson in Miami has snared a pair of Akerman Senterfitt’s corporate attorneys who will focus on the firm’s Latin American business and multinational clients. With the addition of Carlos Deupi and Luis Perez, Hogan & Hartson’s Miami practice is now about one-third devoted to work in Latin America. The firm has about 30 lawyers in Miami. Hogan & Hartson Miami managing partner Parker Thomson says Deupi and Perez will be key to expanding the firm’s international practice. In the past, Hogan & Hartson has focused on helping U.S. companies venture into foreign markets. The arrivals of Deupi and Perez signals a new direction for the firm, which plans to increase its involvement with foreign companies who want to invest and do business in the United States. Deupi and Perez’s “work has been more of an inbound transactional practice, while our firm has been doing more outbound work,” Thomson says. “They also tie together another important portion of the Miami practice, the international arbitration practice.” NOT ALONE Hogan & Hartson is not the only Miami firm jockeying for a share of the international legal work expected to hit Florida. Tew Cardenas announced last week the addition of nine attorneys to its international practice group, seven of whom will be based in Miami. Greenberg Traurig is also angling for more prominence in the international law arena. The firm recently entered an alliance with a Japanese firm to expand into Asia. Hogan & Hartson has long used Miami as a platform for deals in the Caribbean Basin and Latin America. The Miami office represented Mexican state-owned Pemex Petrochemical in helping attract foreign investors to build a $2 billion industrial complex. The office also handled a $50 million bond offering by the Central American Bottling Corp., a Guatemalan company. With the new hires, Thomson hopes to expand Hogan’s expertise, which primarily has been in outbound work. The office has been handling complex transactional and arbitral matters throughout Spain and Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean. “The concentration has been U.S. companies going into foreign countries, plus direct work for companies like Telex in Mexico,” Thomson says. “It’s not been so much foreigners investing in the U.S.” Thomson anticipates foreign investment in Florida will continue growing, creating legal work for those who can handle it. “Florida is going crazy economically,” he says. “We sit � to use the vernacular � where it’s at. It used to be that international practice was mainly real estate, but it’s gone far beyond that.” Thomson cites Spanish telecom Telefonica’s move into the Florida market, and the company’s purchase of BellSouth services as an example of the new direction of international business in Florida. Hogan & Hartson was not involved in that deal. “I think that’s a small example of what’s going to happen,” he says. “The focus on Miami is just going to expand.” Perez’s specialties are corporate and international law, and mergers and acquisitions. Deupi’s focus has been on domestic and international transactions. THE RIGHT FIT Perez says the decision to jump ship from Akerman was based on client needs. “A number of my clients and prospective clients were multinational and were looking at law firms with a multijurisdictional profile,” Perez says. “I thought Hogan & Hartson fit that.” Perez describes his clients as a mix of Europeans and Latin Americans. In addition to Latin American and European work, Thomson also expects China to become a player. “China is the major new economic force in Central and South America today,” he says. “It’s become a very, very mobile world. I think that this is the area of the future for Miami.” Jessica M. Walker is a reporter at the Daily Business Review, the ALM newspaper in Florida where this article first appeared.

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