MIAMI (April 11, 2017) – Global law firm Reed Smith today announced the opening of an office in Miami with the addition of the seven-lawyer International Arbitration and Litigation Practice from Astigarraga Davis. These new additions join Reed Smith’s leading International Arbitration Practice, as well as its growing Latin America Business team. With this new location, Reed Smith now has 27 offices worldwide.
“Our growth strategy is to establish a strong presence in regions important to our clients and to the industries in which they compete,” said Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner. “This move is ideal for us in two ways: Miami is the gateway to Latin America, where many of our clients have operations, and our global clients rely on international arbitration. The Astigarraga Davis lawyers are top-ranked in the field and are an exceptional addition to our existing leading arbitration practice.”
Having handled matters in the region for years, the Astigarraga Davis name is well-known and highly regarded in Latin America, adding further strength to Reed Smith’s 50-strong Latin America Business team. With lawyers in offices around the world, the team provides legal services in Spanish and Portuguese to clients throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America. The Miami office and the addition of the Astigarraga group will elevate the firm’s profile, positioning it well to attract top talent in the competitive legal market serving companies doing business in Latin America. The group is highly ranked in Chambers Global, Chambers USA and Chambers Latin America, Legal 500, U.S. News/Best Law Firms and Latin Lawyer.
Asked about the move to Reed Smith after years in independent practice, José Astigarraga, who will serve as the leader of the firm’s International Arbitration Practice, said, “Over the years, we’ve been approached by many outstanding firms about joining, including firms where we have very good friends, and we always resisted the temptation. But in the case of Reed Smith, the platform was a perfect fit. Our firm’s motto has been the ‘Power of Focus’ – Reed Smith’s business model is built around exactly that concept: they focus on five key industry groups, all of which rely on arbitration and do extensive business in the Americas. We see tremendous possibilities and are looking forward to joining Reed Smith’s outstanding group of arbitration lawyers.”
Ed Mullins, who will serve as managing partner of the Miami office, added, “The combination of our group with Reed Smith is a natural. We’ve worked with Reed Smith many times in the past, have many ongoing cases together now, and a number of our clients are also clients of Reed Smith.”
“One-third of our top 250 clients conduct business in Miami, as do half of our top 50 clients,” said Michael Pollack, Reed Smith’s Managing Partner for the Americas. “We look forward to expanding these important relationships and building new ones, especially around our five core industry sectors – financial services, health care/life sciences, entertainment and media, shipping, and energy and natural resources – all areas that are key industries in Miami, and in which we have well-established global capabilities. We look forward to growing the office on a targeted basis to serve our clients in these industries.”
The new group establishing Reed Smith’s Miami office, located at the 1001 Brickell Bay Tower in downtown Miami, includes partners José I. Astigarraga, M. Cristina Cárdenas, and Ed Mullins; counsel Eduardo J. De la Peña; and associates Ana Maria Barton, Sujey S. Herrera and Marianne I. Maldonado. In addition to the seven attorneys, seven staff members from Astigarraga Davis will join the new Miami office.
Almost all members of the group are multi-lingual, allowing them to provide enhanced service to clients throughout Latin America. Members of the team have held leadership roles in top arbitral organizations, including the ICC Commission on Arbitration, London Court of International Arbitration, the International Bar Association’s worldwide Arbitration Committee, the Institute for Transnational Arbitration, and the American Bar Association’s International Law Section’s International Litigation and Arbitration Committees.
Reed Smith’s Miami Lawyers
José I. Astigarraga (Partner) is one of only 12 lawyers in the United States ranked in the top band of leading arbitration practitioners by Chambers USA, which quotes sources who describe him as “‘a brilliant strategist who always has absolute command of the subject matter and is always prepared….’”
One of only seven lawyers worldwide ranked in Chambers’ top band of leading arbitration practitioners for Latin American business disputes, Astigarraga has handled disputes from throughout the region. He was one of the 10 Americans first appointed by the U.S. government to advise the NAFTA Commission on the development and promotion of international arbitration and dispute resolution in the region, and he was invited by the U.S. Department of State to serve as expert for its delegation to the Organization of American States’ private international law conference.
Astigarraga served as vice president of the London Court of International Arbitration for much of his 10 years on the Court. He currently serves on the ICC’s Commission on Arbitration, co-chairing one of its task forces, and previously led the International Bar Association’s worldwide Task Force on the Guidelines for Arbitrator Conflicts of Interest. A frequent speaker on international dispute resolution, Astigarraga has also been active in efforts to promote commercial law reform and modernization in the Americas.
Ed Mullins (Partner) focuses his practice on international commercial litigation and arbitration. He brings broad experience in litigating and arbitrating numerous disputes involving various issues, including distribution agreements, joint venture agreements, and energy and construction disputes, and he has handled numerous investor-state arbitral disputes. He has also handled significant matters involving financial institutions, manufacturers, and other corporate entities in litigation and class action cases on federal and state claims. In addition, Mullins serves as an arbitrator, and is a member of the commercial panel of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Mullins also serves as co-chair of the International Litigation Committee of the Section of International Law of the American Bar Association, and he is a former co-chair of the International Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees of the Section of Litigation of the ABA. He is the former chair of the Florida Bar International Law Section and of the Appellate Rules Committee as well. Mullins is a 1990 graduate of the University of Florida College of Law (Order of the Coif and valedictorian), where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Law Review.
M. Cristina Cárdenas (Partner) is a native Spanish speaker who was selected by Latinvex as one of Latin America's “Top 50 Female Lawyers” in 2015. A 2003 graduate of the University of Florida School of Law, Cárdenas also earned an LL.M. in International Law from the University of Miami in 2004. She currently serves as Chair-Elect of the Miami International Arbitration Society, and is ranked by several leading publications, including Chambers Latin America 2017 and Chambers USA 2016, as a leading individual in international arbitration.
Eduardo De la Peña (Counsel) is a dual-licensed attorney admitted to practice in both Mexico and the United States, with full juris doctor degrees in both countries. He represents companies and entrepreneurs in a variety of international business-related disputes, including complex international arbitration proceedings conducted both in English and Spanish, and involving the application of both U.S. and foreign law. He also serves as counsel to investors in connection with their claims against Latin American governments, and coordinates and oversees work of local counsel in connection with litigation proceedings throughout Latin America. His work has been recognized by Chambers’ Global, Latin America, and USA guides, Legal 500, and other publications. He was recently named by Latinvex as a Rising Legal Star in Latin America.
Ana Maria Barton (Associate) received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law. After clerking at the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, she returned to her hometown of Miami, and her practice has been concentrated in international commercial litigation matters. In law school, Barton won a national moot court competition and was published in FSU’s Journal of Transnational Law & Policy. She is an active member of the Florida Bar’s Section of International Law.
Sujey S. Herrera (Associate) is a graduate of the Florida International University College of Law. Currently, she is vice-chair of the International Arbitration Committee of the ABA Section of International Law, as well as co-chair of the nominations committee of the Organization of Women in International Trade’s International Business Woman of the Year Awards.
Marianne I. Maldonado (Associate) focuses her practice in international arbitration. Maldonado graduated magna cum laude from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law. Her experience includes handling commercial disputes, with emphasis in contractual, securities and regulatory matters. In Puerto Rico, she was a member of the team defending hundreds of highly contested matters before FINRA relating to millions of dollars invested in numerous closed-end funds. Maldonado is licensed in Puerto Rico and Florida. She is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese. She has a Master’s in Spanish Literature and worked as a journalist prior to becoming an attorney.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,700 lawyers in 27 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute-resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, entertainment and media, shipping and transport, energy and natural resources, real estate, manufacturing, technology, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com.
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