Juan Picon, co-leader of Latham & Watkins’ Latin America practice and a former global co-chair of DLA Piper, has died following a battle with lymphoma.
Picon, regarded as one of Spain’s leading rainmakers, was also the managing partner of Latham’s Madrid office. He joined the firm in 2017 after more than a decade at DLA Piper.
“Juan was a gifted lawyer, visionary leader, and incredibly thoughtful person who touched the lives of so many at the firm and throughout the profession,” Rich Trobman, Latham’s chair and managing partner, said in a statement. “He will be remembered for his generous spirit, boundless energy, selfless leadership, tremendous courage, and inner strength.”
Picon’s move to Latham was a rare example of a Big Law leader departing a firm in the middle of a term. Picon had served as senior partner of DLA Piper’s international operations for about 18 months before he left.
Shortly after Picon’s move to Latham, former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar left his post as a special advisor to DLA Piper’s board and became a special advisor to Latham.
Picon had served as the Madrid managing partner of Squire Sanders & Dempsey before joining DLA Piper. He got his start in Big Law as an associate at Clifford Chance from 1993 to 1997 in Madrid and London.
Picon led Latham deal teams this year representing Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica in the sales of its Central American operations, valued at nearly $2.3 billion.
Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reported last week that Picon had informed his office last summer of an “unforeseen health issue” he was facing.
Trobman’s statement called Picon “a giant” and an “inspiration to all who knew him.”
“He will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as we mourn the loss of a truly special individual,” Trobman said.