Five years ago, Jones Day partner Pedro Jimenez relocated from New York to Miami to help the global firm set up shop in South Florida.

Jimenez is now headed back to the Big Apple, with Paul Hastings poised to announce his hire as a partner for its corporate restructuring practice in New York.

“I’m actively looking at the Labor Day sales for the coat that I’m going to have to buy for this upcoming winter,” joked Jimenez, a Miami native.

Jimenez began his legal career two decades ago at White & Case in Miami. In 2006, he moved to Manhattan to join Jones Day, where he made partner two years later. But in early 2013, Jimenez was summoned back to South Florida to help Jones Day build out a new office in Miami in order to capture business emanating from Latin America.

Jones Day, under the local leadership of Jimenez and former Greenberg Traurig partner Enrique Martin, gradually grew its Miami office to 35 lawyers, including notable lateral hires such as ex-Hunton & Williams litigator Paul Huck Jr., international arbitrator Carlos Concepción and former Weil, Gotshal & Manges complex commercial litigation partner Christopher Pace.

Pedro Jimenez

“I obviously will greatly miss the people in that office,” Jimenez said. “But this was just too good of an opportunity for me to pass up.”  

Jones Day announced in mid-August that Antonio Dias, a longtime partner and co-leader of the firm’s financial institutions litigation and regulation practice, would relocate from Washington, D.C., to become its new partner-in-charge for Miami.

For two decades, Jimenez has built a practice counseling clients on bankruptcies and restructurings in Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court proceedings primarily focused on cross-border transactions involving Latin America and Asia. He has had a role in some of the most high-profile restructuring matters in recent years, including U.S. automaker Chrysler’s 2009 bankruptcy and Indonesian shipping company PT Arpeni Pratama Ocean Line’s Chapter 15 filing in 2012.

In recent years, Jimenez has had a role advising Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Corp. in the Chapter 11 case of scandal-plagued air bag manufacturer Takata Corp., as well as Spanish construction and industrial services company Isolux Corsán in a $2.2 billion debt restructuring.

But earlier this year, Jimenez met with Paul Hastings’ global restructuring leader Luc Despins, who joined the firm a decade ago from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, and other partners and learned that Paul Hastings was in the market for someone with his skill set and practice.

“[I] was just incredibly impressed with the team that Paul Hastings has been able to put together, both not only in the U.S. but [in] dealing with Latin America and Asia,” Jimenez said.

In 2012, Paul Hastings hired a high-profile Latin American transactions team from now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf led by partner Michael Fitzgerald, a former chairman of the Latin American practice at Milbank. In late 2015, Paul Hastings also opened an office in Brazil.

The firm has also made moves in recent years to shore up its restructuring bench. In March, the firm hired Kirkland & Ellis debt finance partner Andres Mena for its leveraged finance group in New York, roughly a month after welcoming aboard DLA Piper finance partner Richard Davis in Washington, D.C. In late 2017, Paul Hastings hired White & Case restructuring partner David Manson in London.

“This was just one of these situations where [it was the] right place at the right time with the right firm,” Jimenez said. “I’m really looking forward to contributing to Paul Hastings and their overall growth and expansion into Latin America and Asia. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for me.”

Paul Hastings, which saw gross revenue and partner profits hit new highs in 2017, recently picked up a pair of new capital markets partners in Hong Kong.

Jimenez heads to the firm’s New York office a week after Morgan, Lewis & Bockius brought on financial restructuring partner Craig Wolfe in the city from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, which he joined as a partner from from Kelley Drye & Warren in 2014.