PUBLISHED:April 10, 2008

International legal practice symposium on Latin American Law held April 4

April 4, 2008 – The inaugural international legal practice symposium on Latin American Law brought speakers from top law firms and organizations to Duke Law on April 4 to discuss the legal risks and business opportunities in Latin America.

The half-day symposium was initiated by Carlos Kaplan LLM ’08, after attending ESQ, Duke Business Law Society’s annual career symposium in February. Kaplan, a corporate lawyer from Argentina, formed the idea of hosting a similar symposium where people interested in Latin America can tap into the knowledge and experience of Duke LLM's who were attorneys in that region before coming to Duke.

The symposium was designed to not only increase knowledge of Latin America, but also to provide an opportunity for networking and partnership between Duke students and practitioners interested in working on legal and business issues related to Latin America. It is the first symposium at Duke Law School primarily organized by LLM students.

The symposium presented three panel discussions, starting with a general overview of the legal system and risks of Latin America by Sebastian Kielmanovich, who taught Latin American Business Law at Duke, followed by discussion of conflict resolution and enforcement of U.S. judgments in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico by lawyers from Skadden Arps and Smith Moore. Issues in relation to Latin American capital markets were presented in the second panel, where practitioners from law firms and asset management companies discussed mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and hedge fund investment in Latin America. The last panel discussed financing opportunities and challenges in Latin America.

Over 50 individuals attended the symposium, including students from Fuqua School of Business, local business representatives, and consulting professionals.

This symposium was chaired by Duke Latin American Business Law Association and co-sponsored by Cleary Gottlieb, Forum Asset Management LLC, Jones Day, Smith Moore, Marvel O’Farrell & Mairal, Simposon Thacher & Bartlett, Skadden Arps, along with the Law School's Office of International Studies, the Career Center, and the Center for International and Comparative Law.

Organizers of the symposium would like to thank the following alumni and friends who shared their expertise:

Andrea Carska-Sheppard, Smith Moore
Sebastian Kielmanovich ’04, Duke Law School
Gordon Kingsley ’86, Forum Asset Management LLC
Teresa Maurea Faria, Inter-American Development Bank
Gabriel Mesa, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Alejandro Radzyminski, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
Marco Schnabl, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom