Covington & Burling has appointed an arbitration partner with roots in Chile to lead its Latin America initiative after the group’s former regional practice head decamped for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Nicole Duclos will coordinate efforts related to the region alongside the co-chairs of Covington’s Latin America practice: Gabriel Mesa (corporate), Verónica Yepez and Don Ridings (white collar), Kimberly Breier (public policy) and Miguel López Forastier (arbitration).
Duclos has worked in Latin America for over two decades and has been a member of Covington’s Latin America initiative for nearly a decade. She is based in New York.
“In addition to further expanding our pre-eminent corporate, arbitration, white collar and public policy practices in the region, we will be working with other practice areas that have seen a dramatic increase of work demands from Latin America,” Duclos told Law.com International.
Practitioners at Covington, Duclos said, have recently seen an uptick in Latin America-related work pertaining to regulatory matters, technology, intellectual property, food, healthcare, trade sanctions and life sciences.
“Latin America is experiencing profound political, economic, and regulatory changes, and these changes present both challenges and opportunities,” she said.
The shuffling of leadership came after former Covington M&A partner Sergio Urias, who coordinated the Latin America group, joined the private equity practice at Akin Gump’s New York office.
In naming Duclos to head the group, Covington joins just a handful of Am Law 100 firms with female partners heading their Latin America efforts. Other large firms with women leadership in Latin America include Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Morrison & Foerster and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Duclos has a law degree from Chile’s Universidad del Valparaiso and an LLM from Harvard Law School. She’s admitted to practice in Chile and New York.