Latham ramps up Latin American disputes team with Shearman hire in Paris

Latham & Watkins has hired Shearman & Sterling partner Fernando Mantilla-Serrano to co-chair its global arbitration practice and boost its capabilities in Latin America. 

Joining Latham’s office in Paris where he is currently based with Shearman, Mantilla-Serrano will jointly lead the international arbitration group alongside Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert in the Hamburg office and Claudia Salomon in New York.

A specialist in Latin American disputes, qualified in Madrid, Spain, Paris and Colombia, Mantilla-Serrano advises companies, governments and SOEs on highly complex commercial and investor-state disputes, and in particular those concerning banking and joint ventures.

Sector-wise his focus is on oil and gas, power, natural resources, construction, manufacturing and automotive disputes, where he regularly serves as tribunal chairman, sole arbitrator or party-appointed arbitrator.

He joined Shearman in Paris in 2003 from Spanish firm Garrigues, just a month after the US outfit opened a Sao Paulo office.

Also previously a counsel at the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, he was tasked with boosting the firm’s Latin American client base and focusing on Spanish-related disputes as it looked to break into Spanish law.

His hire by Latham follows several additions to the firm’s arbitration practice globally since the beginning of 2013.

Joining in New York was DLA Piper Salomon last January from DLA Piper, while Asia arbitration partner Ing Loong Yang moved across from Sidley Austin in Hong Kong last March.

In May automotive and manufacturing disputes expert Markus Rieder also joined the firm’s Munich office from Shearman, alongside Duesseldorf corporate partner trio Harald Selzner, Rainer Wilke and Martin Neuhaus.

Related: Latham boosts Hong Kong disputes team with senior Sidley hire