International Law

Baker & McKenzie 1st BigLaw Firm to Open Peru Office, Acquires 100-Lawyer Lima-Based Partnership

Baker & McKenzie has announced that the megafirm has become the first global law practice to open an office in Peru; a Reuters article calls it the first major United States-based law firm to do so.

The 4,000-attorney international megafirm has acquired a 100-attorney South American practice based in Lima, Estudio Echecopar, whose mining industry expertise will also bolster the firm’s capabilities in that area, reports the news agency.

By acquiring the 62-year-old Estudio Echecopar firm, Baker & McKenzie will have offices in all three corners of the so-called Andean triangle (the other two are Chile and Colombia), the article notes. It now has 15 offices in South America, and over 70 offices in 45 countries worldwide.

The intertwined economy of Chile, Colombia and Peru is expected to have greater growth than Brazil and Mexico, said Eduardo Leite, who serves as chairman of Baker & McKenzie. Although other global law firms have also entered the three-country region, he said his is the first in Lima. Peru has hitherto been less attractive to major international firms because of political instability and a smaller, more domestic economy, Leite said, but the country became more of a magnet to outside law firms under former president Alan Garcia. An Encyclopedia Britainica entry notes that Garcia earned a law degree in 1971 from the Main National University of San Marcos of Lima.

A law firm press release provides additional details about the acquisition of Estudio Echecopar.

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