Jones Day Opens Office In Brazil, Welcomes Joan E. McKown

Monday, December 6, 2010 - 01:00

Jones Day has announced that it will open an office in São Paulo, Brazil. This will be Jones Day's 33rd office and its second in Latin America after Mexico City.

The office will launch as a foreign legal consultancy, as required by the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), and will open as soon as all regulatory approvals are obtained. Jones Day will open its own office, with no association or alliance with any local law firm.

Jones Day São Paulo will focus on supporting global clients with inbound investments into Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America, working together with the best local independent firms, as well as providing legal counsel to Brazilian companies in their international operations. The São Paulo office will concentrate on cross-border M&A, private equity, banking and finance and project finance/infrastructure transactions, as well as energy and capital markets.

Luis Riesgo, Chair of the Latin American practice, will move to São Paulo to serve as Partner-in-Charge of the new office. Mr. Riesgo, who served as Partner-in-Charge of the Madrid office of Jones Day for the last five years, is ranked by Chambers as a leading lawyer in Latin America in Corporate/M&A, and was recently identified as one of the top 30 foreign lawyers in Latin America by Latin Business Chronicle.

Mercedes Fernández will take over from Luis Riesgo as Partner-in-Charge of the Madrid office. Ms. Fernández is Chair of the International Litigation & Arbitration practice in Madrid. Her practice focuses on civil law procedure, and encompasses arbitral and judicial proceedings. She has been ranked both as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global 2009 for her work in international arbitration in Latin America, as well as by Chambers Europe 2009 for her work in Litigation in Spain. Ms. Fernandez is also recommended in PLC Which Lawyer? 2009 and is a board member of the Spanish Arbitration Club. Ms. Fernández' litigation experience is centered on disputes arising from construction contracts and large civil engineering projects, construction defects, energy projects, distribution, and merger and acquisition transactions.

Mr. Riesgo will be joined in São Paulo by Sanjiv Kapur and S. Wade Angus, corporate partners in Cleveland and New York respectively, each with extensive experience working with clients on transactions in Brazil and throughout Latin America. They have developed a practice that includes mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, infrastructure, mining and energy transactions, pharmaceutical, technology outsourcing and other strategic alliances, as well as banking and finance and capital markets. All of them are following the process required to be admitted as consultants on foreign law in São Paulo.

Jones Day, which will run its Latin America practice from Brazil, has represented clients in the region for decades, and is amongst the very few law firms that will have offices in São Paulo, Mexico City, New York and Madrid, and the U.S. and Asia business and finance hubs.

Joan E. McKown, former Chief Counsel of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, has joined Jones Day's Washington office as a partner in its Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement Practice.

In her role as Chief Counsel for the past 17 years, Ms. McKown worked closely with the Commission and senior SEC staff.Her substantive experience extends across the full range of Enforcement Division matters. She reviewed all enforcement recommendations sent to the Commission and actively participated in the Commission's consideration of all enforcement cases during her tenure. Ms. McKown oversaw the drafting of the Enforcement Division Manual, and has played a significant role in the recent organizational changes in the Division.

Ms. McKown also served as a key liaison between the Enforcement Division and other SEC staff and regulatory authorities.She had primary responsibility for formulating the Enforcement Division's legislative priorities, as well as on rule proposals and other important policy matters. She frequently represented the Division in dealing with other regulators, including the Commodities and Futures Trade Commission, federal banking regulators, and state securities regulators.

Jones Day ranked #1 globally in M&A league tables for the first nine months of 2010, maintaining a position it has held for 40 consecutive quarters.

Jones Day led all law firms in Thomson Reuters' league table based on number of completed deals worldwide in the first nine months of the year, with 253 transactions. It also captured the #1 position in Thomson's ranking based on transactions with U.S. targets, with 145 completed deals.

In Bloomberg's M&A rankings based on number of announced deals, Jones Day ranked #1 in five and in the top ten in 14 of the 21 total. The Firm took the top ranking for number of announced deals worldwide, with 277 transactions, and for number of transactions with any U.S. involvement, with 201 announced deals.

Jones Day has maintained the #1 worldwide ranking for number of deals in both the Thomson and Bloomberg tables every quarter since year-end 2000.

The firm also captured the #1 ranking by deal count in Mergerstat's Q3 2010 league tables, which are based only on announced deals involving U.S. companies. The Firm has held this Mergerstat ranking for 30 successive quarters.