Latham & Watkins is hiring two partners from Clifford Chance as the firm boosts investment in its capital markets practice following a record 2020 for initial public offering values.
The partners, Gianluca Bacchiocchi and Guido Liniado, are based in New York and advise clients on energy and infrastructure transactions throughout Latin America.
Big law capital markets practices saw record levels of activity last year, driven by big-ticket IPOs and a flood of financing that helped businesses ride out pandemic-related interruptions. Latham’s corporate leaders told Bloomberg Law earlier this month they would continue to invest in the practice after a record year.
In the U.S., the value of IPOs priced in 2020 hit nearly $150 billion, up 43% from the prior year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There were nearly $2 trillion worth of investment grade corporate bonds issued in 2020, up almost 60% from 2019.
Latham’s Latin America-focused additions follow the firm’s re-hiring in November of David Penna, who served as senior vice president in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. Penna’s finance practice focuses on infrastructure projects, including in Latin America.
Bacchiocchi and Liniado advise banks, institutional investors, development finance institutions, sponsors and corporate entities in a wide range of financing matters.
Bacchiocchi joined Clifford Chance in 2015 from DLA Piper, and Liniado was promoted to partner at Clifford Chance last year. Clifford Chance’s New York-based Latin America finance practice also saw the departure of partner Jay Gavigan to Morrison & Foerster in November.
“We thank Gianluca and Guido for their contributions to the Firm and wish them the best for the future,” Evan Cohen, Clifford Chance’s regional managing partner for the Americas, said in a statement. He added that the firm’s 90-lawyer Latin America practice will grow “in line with the needs of our clients.”
Many Big Law commentators expect this year will be marked by an especially busy lateral market after the pandemic subdued activity in 2020. Firms that performed the best last year are well-positioned to fortify their practices with major hires.