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In-house counsel interview: W Davis Smith


W Davis Smith, general counsel at San Diego Gas & Electric - part of the Sempra Energy group - gives his views on annulment committees and the future of ICSID.

Key practitioners head to Chile for pro bono conference

On 7 and 8 April, the city of Santiago will play host to renowned law practitioners from across the Americas for the International Conference on Strengthening Access to Justice, organised by Chile's Fundación Pro Bono and the Cyrus R Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar Association.

“Leading strategy is my favourite thing about being an in-house lawyer”

Members of the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association who met in Buenos Aires this week agreed that their ability to help influence and decide commercial strategy was one of the main advantages of working in-house.

GCs talk M&A in São Paulo

LATIN LAWYER's recent M&A conference in São Paulo included a high-profile session with general counsel reflecting on relations with outside advisors in M&A deals. Chaired by Francisco Müssnich of Barbosa, Müssnich & Aragão, the interactive session featured the views of Pedro Mariani (AmBev), Bruno Ferla (Camargo Correa), Alexandre d'Ambrosio (Votorantim), Fernando Morães (Louis Dreyfus) and Marcos Lessa (CSN).

Here to help

Varlín Vissepó

Ever wondered why in-house lawyers do less pro bono than their counterparts in law firms? Varlín Vissepó, corporate legal counsel of software company Diebold's Latin America division considers the barriers, and explains how he overcame them

'Diversity is an issue of justice'

From left to right, Daniela Anversa Sampaio, Josie Jardim, and Cherie Booth-Blair QC

Equality is a fundamental part of both justice and democracy, Cherie Booth-Blair QC, wife of former UK prime minister Tony Blair, told a group of women lawyers in Brazil yesterday.

Stability key for Canadian investment

Latin American lawyers should look for ways to "mitigate the scariness" of making a financial investment in their jurisdictions according to the in-house counsel of a Canadian mining company.

Vale’s in-house team secures US$1.2bn Chinese loan

Vale's in-house team in Shanghai has steered the company through a US$1.2 billion loan deal with the Export-Import Bank of China and the Bank of China.

LatAm GC disappointed in ECJ ruling

Nestlé's general counsel for Latin America joins other in-house lawyers in their disappointment with the decision from the European Court of Justice that legal privilege does not extend to the advice of in-house lawyers in antitrust cases.

Brazil still an inscrutable market to US lawyers says analyst

Bruce MacEwen

Speaking ahead of his appearance at recruiters Hudson Legal's Law Firm Business Strategy and Client Development Seminars in São Paulo tomorrow, legal consultant Bruce MacEwen says there is still a concern in the US that the 'perennial forecasts pitting Brazil as the next big thing will once again prove premature.'

Brazil private equity fundraising surge "backed by talent and maturity"

With private equity funds across the region busy raising billions of dollars in preparation for a surge of investments and buyouts, a speaker at Latin Lawyer's Private Equity Conference says local funds and fund managers have the skills to maximise the investment potential.

Ex-Sadia GC joins JBS

The former general counsel of Sadia, Romeu Amaral, has joined another of Brazil's food conglomerates, JBS, as executive legal manager.

Chevron gains new legal manager

Francisco Romano has been appointed legal manager at Chevron San Jorge SRL (Argentina). He joins from Pan American Energy LLC, where he was senior legal attorney since the company's formation in 1997. Before that he was a senior associate at Klein & Mairal, and after that at Le Pera & Lessa, where he worked in oil & gas, and banking and finance law. Last year he worked on a significant bond issue by Pan American Energy, the first international bond issue following the Argentine crisis.

Nestlé appoints Chilean as worldwide GC

Cortés-Monroy says his Latin genes will help in his new role as global GC

The Nestlé Group's Latin American general counsel, Ricardo Cortés-Monroy, is to become its global legal head, for which he expects his Latin entrepreneurialism and creativity to put him in good stead, as the company makes a play for emerging markets.

Internal investigations: "the next big challenge for in-house resourcing"

As the scale and severity of regulatory oversight in the US increases across the board, Latin American GCs are facing the next significant compliance challenge - conducting rigorous internal investigations which don't cost the earth.

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