Hogan Lovells takes Chadbourne US partner trio as Mexico interest grows

Hogan Lovells has recruited a three-partner team from US firm Chadbourne & Parke to strengthen its litigation and arbitration practice in New York, as the firm continues to keep a close eye on the fast-growing Mexico market.

The hires include Oliver Armas, the co-head of Chadbourne’s international arbitration group and Phoebe Wilkinson, the co-head of the firm’s product liability group, who are joining Hogan Lovells in New York.

Meanwhile, the third partner, litigation and arbitration specialist Luis Enrique Graham, will split his time between working remotely in Mexico City and the firm’s New York office.

The hire of Graham comes after Hogan Lovells last December confirmed it was considering opening up in Mexico and was looking at a number of options for a local launch including an acquisition, an alliance or a joint venture.

In a statement, the firm said that it has handled a significant amount of Mexico-related work for many years, and that a limited presence there “presents an opportunity to further enhance our practice and explore how best to serve our clients in this market”. The firm added that establishing a permanent base in Mexico remained an option under consideration.

Daniel Gonzalez, the co-head of Hogan Lovells’ international arbitration practice said: “This group is a perfect fit for us and enhances our international arbitration and Latin American practices while also providing a strengthened focus on life sciences and products liability in New York.”

The exits from Chadbourne come after Herbert Smith last year took a six-partner litigation team from the firm for its US launch, including litigation head Thomas Riley. Herbert Smith subsequently took on an additional 15 lawyers from Chadbourne when its New York office went live in September 2012, comprising three counsel, eight associates and four other fee earners.

In a statement, Chadbourne said: “In the past year, we have seen tremendous growth and success in our international arbitration and Latin America practices. The addition of Mark Beckett, Rachel Thorn and their elite team in December from Latham & Watkins has expanded and enriched the breadth and depth of the international arbitration matters that we handle for our clients. We have also expanded our Latin America practice with the addition of three new partners during the past year. Our Latin America practice has a deep bench, and we will continue to provide high calibre service to our clients in the region.”

Separately, Chadbourne has appointed four new leaders to offices in the EMEA region, including insurance partner Adrian Mecz, who has been promoted to London managing partner. Mecz, who is both English and New York-law trained, replaces Claude Serfilippi, who moves to Moscow, where he will fill the role of managing partner.