BEST LAW FIRM -- LATIN AMERICA/MEXICO

Jan 1, 2011

New York-based Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is no stranger to megadeals.

For instance, it provided legal advice for Petrobras’ $67 billion equity offering, the largest of its kind ever. It was also instrumental in large cross-border M&A, including the $7.4 billion transaction between Mexico’s Femsa and Dutch brewer Heineken.

In addition, Cleary has been involved in a majority of the LatAm restructurings, including Mexico’s Cemex and Vitro and Brazil’s Independência and Aracruz, according to partner Richard Cooper. The law firm claims to be currently or recently involved in restructuring more than $120 billion of private and public sector debt in LatAm, which it says is more than any other law firm.

Cleary’s partners are understandably chuffed about their role representing Petrobras. The Brazilian oil producer raised $67 billion at a mere 2% discount, roughly $7 billion shy of the maximum targeted volume.

Cleary partner Francesca Odell, who worked...

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“The crisis has been a setback for reserve diversification."

Jan Dehn, Ashmore Investment Management