Greenberg Traurig has named a Miami-based shareholder as co-chair of its Latin America practice to broaden the geographic scope of a thriving group within the firm.
Antonio Peña, who is licensed to practice in Florida and Mexico, joins Mexico City-based José Raz Guzmán and New York-based Marc Rossell to form a trifecta of leadership for a firm that’s increasingly advising clients in Latin America.
“We’ve had a strong Latin America practice—I think we have a great brand in the region—and historically a lot of that brand filtered through Miami for obvious reasons,” Peña told Law.com International.
Money and talent has poured into Miami from Latin America in recent years as political shifts inspire wealthy individuals from the region to diversify their assets. Investments streamed in during 2021, when first Peru and then Chile elected leftist presidents who vowed to overhaul their countries.
Now Peña says calls about investment abroad are on the rise from Colombia, where leftist Gustavo Petro is strongly favored to win the presidency when voters head to the polls in May.
Greenberg Traurig is well-positioned to capture that associated workflow. Founded in Miami, the firm has expanded across the U.S. and opened offices in Europe, Asia, Israel and Mexico. But Miami remains the firm’s nerve center, and business interests in Miami frequently intersect with those of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Work in the Latin America practice is well-balanced between inbound and outbound investment, Peña says, with the Miami office handling many regional deals governed by New York and, increasingly, Delaware law.
“We thought it made sense to have the Greenberg Traurig national platform have the Miami office with a specialized team of individuals focused on the [Latin America] region who understand the culture, who understand the language and who understand the law,” said Peña.
Peña said the last two or three years have been exceptionally strong for the firm’s Latin America practice. “There’s significant demand. We cannot keep up, to be honest. It’s a good thing,” he said.
Greenberg does not disclose revenue by practice area. However, the firm reported record-high total revenue in 2021 as transactions and other work flowed in.
As Greenberg’s Latin America-related business grows, the firm has drawn on resources from offices in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere around the world, bringing together a multidisciplinary team of more than 120 lawyers, the firm said.
It also sponsors a foreign associate program in which Latin American lawyers are invited to practice in the U.S. That program is overseen by Peña. Currently, Greenberg has four international lawyers based in Miami, two in New York, and one each in Chicago, D.C. and Houston.
Those lawyers, who typically work in the U.S. for at least a year after completing their LLMs, form part of a rich referral network across the region, Peña said.