Ricardo “Rick” Martinez, co-leader of the trade and export finance practice at Haynes and Boone, has joined Hogan Lovells as a banking and finance partner in New York.
“I was attracted to the unique assets that Hogan Lovells has,” Martinez said of his move to the global firm, which was formed in 2010 following a trans-Atlantic tie-up between Washington, D.C.-based Hogan & Hartson and London-based Lovells. “As opposed to many firms that have a big global footprint and a strong finance practice, [Hogan Lovells also] has a very good domestic U.S. practice. Those things combined in one place just made this opportunity irresistible.”
Martinez represents lenders and borrowers on complex cross-border finance and transactional matters, particularly within African, Asian, European and Latin American markets. Many of the clients that Martinez already represents across the globe already know and work with Hogan Lovells and he is eager to use the firm’s platform—one that has shown steady financial growth over the past seven years—to enhance his own practice.
“To connect with colleagues in other parts of the globe I think will be important for my clients and my practice,” said Martinez, who primarily works with lenders. He declined to discuss specific clients or identify the legal recruiter he used to make the move to Hogan Lovells.
Martinez (pictured right) began his legal career in 1997 as a summer associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. In 2002, he left for Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy, where he remained for six years, a time that included an intermittent three-year period in which he served as senior vice president and associate general counsel for Citibank N.A., where he was one of two in-house lawyers responsible for the financial services giant’s trade finance products in North and South America.
“[Martinez] is a great fit for our finance team, which often collaborates with attorneys in our Latin America offices on many significant cross-border matters,” said Hogan Lovells partner Oliver Armas, a lateral recruit from Chadbourne & Parke in 2013 who became head of the firm’s New York office in 2015. “Deepening the bench of the New York finance practice has been a strategic priority of ours, and we are continuing to actively recruit in this area.”
While the U.S. is poised to open discussions on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Martinez thinks it is still too early to tell what implications such negotiations could have for global trade. However, he is optimistic that there will be increased trade and global commerce, notwithstanding recent political events in the U.S. and U.K.
“I think that overall the trend lines keep pointing in that direction,” said Martinez, who advises clients investing in infrastructure projects in emerging markets like Brazil, Mexico and Peru. “You might see ups and downs in the short term, but in the long term I think you’ll see kind of a trending line that continues to move upward.”
Martinez, who in 1992 served as a speechwriter and translator for Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Prize recipient, heads to Hogan Lovells a month after longtime partner Ty Cobb left the firm’s office in Washington, D.C., to join the legal team of President Donald Trump. Keith Larson, head of Hogan Lovells’ infrastructure, energy, resources and projects practice, also left the firm’s inside the Beltway base last month to become general counsel at Venture Global LNG Inc.
Despite those departures, Hogan Lovells has been busy on the recruiting front in 2017, the firm’s first year following the retirement of former CEO J. Warren Gorrell Jr.
Hogan Lovells opened a Boston office after absorbing local litigation boutique Collora in June, a month that also saw the firm land corporate and M&A partner Christopher Moore in Silicon Valley from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, a firm it had raided a few weeks prior for a prominent technology transactions team. In July, Hogan Lovells launched a financial services consulting arm in the U.K. after adding Steve Murphy, a former director at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Earlier this month, Hogan Lovells brought on Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer investment funds partner Jonathan Baird in London, a move that came shortly after its hire of Lawrence Sussman in Beijing, where he headed the local office of O’Melveny & Myers. Sussman’s move came after two senior partners in Hogan Lovells’ intellectual property practice in Asia announced plans to leave the firm, which saw its former China patent head William “Skip” Fisher decamp for DLA Piper in April.
But in March, Hogan Lovells landed aviation finance partner Matthew Leigh in Singapore from Norton Rose Fulbright. Hogan Lovells, which saw its gross revenue rise in 2016, also expanded into the public relations arena in February. In a feature story earlier this year, The American Lawyer looked at how Hogan Lovells has steadily expanded since its formation in 2010.