Spanish law firm Cuatrecasas has picked up high-profile partners in Chile and Colombia to strengthen its corporate tax and international litigation and arbitration capabilities.
Rodrigo Stein joins in Santiago de Chile, where he was a tax partner with KPMG for nearly 12 years, while Alberto Zuleta joins in Bogotá from Holland & Knight, where he was a partner in the arbitration and litigation practice for five years.
Cuatrecasas said tax veteran Stein has migrated with a team, but did not specify the number of lawyers or support professionals that have followed him to the Spanish firm.
Chile is rolling out a series of taxes—on life insurance payouts, capital gains, luxury goods such as yachts and professional services—that have law firms scrambling for knowledgeable tax experts.
At the same time, wealthy Chileans have been shuttling billions of dollars offshore since December, when the country elected a leftist and former student protest leader, Gabriel Boric, to be Chile’s next president.
Cristian Conejero, managing partner of the Cuatrecasas office in Santiago de Chile, noted that the Spanish firm has a long track record in advising companies and family groups on national and international taxation.
“The arrival of Rodrigo and his team at our office in Chile is a major milestone, not only because it enables us to incorporate this highly relevant practice area, which is of particular value in current times and with the coming reforms, but also because we are doing it under Rodrigo’s leadership,” Conejero said in a statement, adding that Rodrigo is a widely recognized expert in Chile who has advised diverse national and international groups in varied industries.
The office in Bogotá, meanwhile, has quickly become one of Cuatrecasas’ cornerstones in Latin America, the Spanish firm said. The firm lists 28 lawyers based in Colombia who provide advice on transactional matters, financing, capital markets, M&A, project finance, and with the hiring of Zuleta, project finance.
Zuleta, who will lead the arbitration and litigation practice in Colombia, has handled proceedings at all court levels in the South American country, as well as with public administration and oversight entities. He has also shepherded cross-border proceedings under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and arbitration centers in Colombia.
“The addition of a lawyer with Alberto’s experience, recognition and talent to lead our arbitration and litigation team is a clear indication of our proposed objective and the value proposition we want to deliver to our clients,” Manuel Quinche, managing partner of the Cuatrecasas office in Bogotá, said in a statement.
A spokesperson at Holland & Knight said, “We wish Alberto all the best in his new endeavors and appreciate his contributions to Holland & Knight.”
Law.com International also reached out to KPMG Chile for comment.
Under conservative governments in recent decades, both Chile and Colombia have been a strong source of deal activity and cross-border investment for corporate lawyers dedicated to Latin America.
The region is vital to Cuatrecasas, which in December recruited nine partners across Chile, Colombia and Mexico from firms such as Baker McKenzie and Big Four firm EY. Cuatrecasas also has an office in Peru.
The Spanish firm, which according to its website has nearly 80 lawyers based in Latin America, doesn’t disclose revenue by region.