Davis Polk signs up Mayer Brown partner duo for Brazil launch

Davis Polk & Wardwell has hired two partners from Mayer Brown as the New York firm gears up to launch in Brazil.

Banking and finance partners James Vickers and Stephen Hood, the head of Mayer Brown’s Sao Paulo base, are set to join Davis Polk in the coming months to help the firm launch in Sao Paulo, with the departures leaving Mayer Brown with just one partner in Brazil – securities lawyer Ricardo Gonzalez.

Vickers, who joined Mayer Brown in 2007 from Clifford Chance’s (CC’s) Sao Paulo office, specialises in global projects, infrastructure and asset finance work and will join Davis Polk as a partner.

Hood, whose practice covers corporate, securities and finance matters, also joined Mayer Brown in 2007 from CC, where he headed the magic circle firm’s local office. He will join Davis Polk as a counsel.

Davis Polk announced its plans to open in Sao Paulo in February, with the firm stating at the time that corporate partners Manuel Garciadiaz and Maurice Blanco would lead the office when it opens. The office will offer cross-border M&A, private equity, capital markets and structured and project financing advice.

Commenting on the partner departures, Mayer Brown said in a statement: “We wish Stephen and James all the best in their future endeavours. Since we opened the Mayer Brown office in Sao Paulo our offering has evolved with a successful association with Tauil & Chequer (T&C) Advogados (see story).

“T&C will continue to advise clients on matters governed by Brazilian law and the Mayer Brown Latin America team will continue to counsel clients on US and UK law. Most importantly, our clients will continue to enjoy the same level of service quality they have come to expect from Mayer Brown.”