The Firms

June 21, 2011 4:34 PM

Duane Morris Strikes Mexico City Alliance

Posted by Ed Shanahan

By Hannah D'Apice

Duane Morris is now looking to Latin America as it extends the firm name internationally. On Tuesday, the firm announced it has struck a formal alliance with Mexico City-based firm Miranda & Estavillo.
The Legal Intelligencer, a sibling publication, reports that the alliance will include sharing fees on common clients; publishing information about the other firm on each firm's Web site; and having partners of the two firms join together for firm meetings and events, according to Duane Morris chairman John Soroko. The affiliation took effect on May 19.
Duane Morris and Miranda & Estavillo were first introduced in 2004 by Eduardo Ramos-Gomez, a partner at Duane Morris and former associate at Miranda & Estavillo. The deal is a formal continuation of a relationship of "friendship, resources, and referrals," the Intelligencer said. Soroko told the paper that such joint ventures between firms are more cost effective than wholesale international acquisitions.
The deal comes eight months after Duane Morris finalized a joint venture agreement with Singapore-based Selvam to form Duane Morris & Selvam, the Intelligencer reports. "We believe this gives us an excellent platform from which to grow, not only in Singapore itself, but also in the region more generally, including markets like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and India," Soroko said in a statement in October, when the firm announced the arrangement.

The agreement with Miranda & Estavillo is less formal than the one with Selvam, the Intelligencer notes, as it does not include a joint practice. But Soroko said he doubts the Mexico alliance would be Duane Morris's last effort in Latin America.
The deal "reflects our view that Latin America, with its economies that are enjoying growth rates higher than our own, are going to be very significant areas of investment and growth opportunities for U.S. companies," Soroko said.

According to this year's Am Law 100 ranking, Duane Morris saw gross revenue increase 6.1 percent in 2010, to $411 million, while profits per partner increased 9.9 percent, to $830,000.

Click here for the full report from The Legal Intelligencer.

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