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Latin America Partners and Counsel

William B. Brentani - Partner - Headshot
William B. Brentani - Partner

Based in the heart of Silicon Valley and the Head of our Palo Alto office, Bill Brentani is a leading capital markets lawyer whose practice focuses on corporate finance and general securities and corporate matters.  Bill regularly works for issuers and underwriters in connection with a broad range of public and private equity and equity-linked and debt offerings. Bill was named a 2021 Healthcare “MVP” by Law360 and has been recognized as a leading lawyer for a number of years by Chambers USA, which describes him as “highly sought after for his expert counsel on transactions in diverse sectors, including healthcare, technology and retail.” Clients laud him as “highly technically knowledgeable” and “great to work with” and, tellingly, that “our needs are his needs.” He currently serves as Head of the Firm’s Palo Alto office, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Opinion Committee, and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. 

Grenfel S. Calheiros - Partner - Headshot
Grenfel S. Calheiros - Partner

Head of the Firm’s São Paulo office, Grenfel Calheiros advises clients on capital markets and M&A transactions, with a primary focus on Latin America and especially Brazil. His clients have included a range of leading companies, private equity sponsors and investment banks in IPOs and other securities offerings, cross-border acquisitions, and other complex corporate matters. Recently, he has been involved in the SEC-Registered IPOs of VTEX, Zenvia, Patria Investments, Vasta Platform, MercadoLibre, Linx’s ADS, and the re-IPO of CPFL Energia; Braskem, BRF and Unigel in numerous bond offers; Technology Crossover Ventures’ investment in Nubank; several investments by Softbank in Latin America; Netshoes’ merger with Magazine Luiza; multiple IPOs and follow-on offerings on the São Paulo Stock Exchange; several transactions by Blackstone Real Estate Partners, including the R$1.4 billion acquisition of Alphaville; the $4.8 billion acquisition of Sadia by Perdigão and the related $2.4 billion SEC-registered equity offering by BRF S.A.; and bond offers by BTG Pactual, Embraer, Stoneco, Tupy, Iochpe-Maxion and FS Bioenergia as counsel to the initial purchasers. Grenfel spent the first nine years of his career in Simpson Thacher’s New York office. He is fluent in Portuguese.

S. Todd Crider - Partner - Headshot
S. Todd Crider - Partner Head of the Firm’s Latin America Practice, Todd Crider advises clients in international corporate finance transactions, mergers and acquisitions and project finance. He divides his time between New York and São Paulo, Brazil. In corporate finance, Todd has led transactions in Latin America and Europe, including advising on equity and debt offerings by issuers from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, as well as Spain and Portugal. He has handled matters for clients including BAML, BTG Pactual, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. In M&A, Todd has represented KKR, Apax, Carlyle, Patria, Riverwood and SoftBank, as well as the principals in strategic transactions, including The Boeing Company’s $4.3 billion acquisition of Embraer. In project finance, he has represented sponsors and lenders in hydroelectric projects, airport expansions, toll-road projects and gas-fired generation facilities. A frequent speaker on capital markets, private equity and emerging markets, Todd is also a leader in pro bono activities. He is a member of governing body and executive committee of the Cyrus R. Vance Center of International Justice (where he was founding chair). He also serves as the Vance Center representative to the boards of the Pro Bono Network of the Americas (Red Pro Bono de las Americas) and the Lawyers Council for Civil and Economic Rights of the Americas. Todd is also the Vice-Chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the Rainforest Foundation US and a member of Advisory Board of Howard College of Arts & Sciences of Samford University. 
Paulo Fernando de Menezes Cardoso - Partner - Headshot
Paulo Fernando de Menezes Cardoso - Partner

Based in the Firm’s São Paulo office, Partner Paulo Fernando de Menezes Cardoso regularly advises on global securities transactions, including SEC-registered and locally registered initial public offerings, follow-on offerings and investment grade and high yield bonds, as well as on mergers and acquisitions, mainly with a regional focus on Latin America and Brazil. Paulo represents corporate issuers, investment banks and private equity sponsors alike on domestic and international equity and debt offerings as well as mergers and acquisitions across a unique mix of industries including fintech, education, e-commerce, software, infrastructure (including digital infrastructure), communications and telecoms, as well as more traditional sectors such as energy, logistics, oil & gas and minerals. He also advises clients on SEC-reporting matters, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and other complex corporate matters, advising clients on the full life-cycle of their businesses.

Ismael Duran - Partner - Headshot
Ismael Duran - Partner

A Partner in the Firm’s Banking and Credit Department, Ismael Duran advises lenders, financial sponsors and corporate borrowers in connection with tailored, complex bank syndicated leveraged finance and other commercial lending transactions, including acquisition, bridge, asset-based and other corporate financings. Admitted to practice in New York and Spain, Ismael also frequently represents financial institutions, sponsors and corporate borrowers in connection with financings in the Latin America region.

John C. Ericson - Partner - Headshot
John C. Ericson - Partner John represents underwriters and issuers in a wide variety of capital markets offerings. His extensive corporate finance experience includes high yield and investment grade debt offerings, IPOs and secondary offerings, acquisition finance and restructurings. John’s transactional work spans several industries, including the healthcare, consumer/retail, industrials/manufacturing, hospitality and tech/media/telecom sectors.
Jeffrey H. Knox - Partner - Headshot
Jeffrey H. Knox - Partner

Jeff Knox, former head of the U.S. DOJ Fraud Section, is Co-Managing Partner of Simpson Thacher’s Washington, D.C. office and Global Co-Head of the Firm’s Government and Internal Investigations Practice. He represents multinational corporations and independent board committees in high-stakes investigations by the DOJ, SEC, CFTC, and other federal and state enforcement regulators. He has advised some of the world’s leading financial institutions, energy companies, life sciences companies, and technology firms in navigating criminal and civil investigations relating to the FCPA, securities and accounting fraud, market manipulation, False Claims Act, antitrust, international money laundering, economic sanctions, and environmental crimes. Jeff also represents senior executives, in their individual capacity, who are subjects of enforcement investigations. Jeff has served as a government-appointed independent compliance consultant, and represents companies in government and court-mandated monitorships. Prior to joining the Firm, Jeff served as a federal prosecutor for more than a decade, including as the Chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section in Washington, D.C., and before then, as the Chief of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. 

Jeff was named a White Collar MVP by Law360 in 2021, and is recognized by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 and Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation, where sources note him as “outstanding, a DOJ veteran and one of the top defense lawyers in DC,” “spectacular, hardworking,” “smart, savvy and practical,” and “a master strategist with a unique insight into the way the DOJ works,” who “presents very charismatically and effectively,” and has “a good combination of substantive expertise and practical knowledge” that “really adds value to the client.” He is a respected voice on corporate compliance and enforcement policy, and serves on advisory boards dedicated to these issues at NYU School of Law and the American Law Institute.     

Juan F.  Méndez - Partner - Headshot
Juan F. Méndez - Partner Fluent in both English and Spanish, Juan Francisco Méndez has a thriving practice advising on transactions involving Latin America and the Caribbean. He has extensive experience in cross-border transactions across the region, including financings, restructurings, acquisitions, investigations and other complex corporate matters. His clients include global investment banks such as JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as well as leading Latin American companies such as Pan American Energy,, YPF, Macquarie Mexico, Cultiba, Minsur, CSAV, SAAM, Sura Asset Management and Ecopetrol. Juan Francisco has significant experiences working on both U.S. and Latin American transactions and is capable of seamlessly navigating his clients through diverse cultures and business practices.
Jaime Mercado - Partner - Headshot
Jaime Mercado - Partner Jaime Mercado is a Partner in the Corporate Department who focuses on cross-border corporate finance and business transactions for both the public and private sectors in Latin America. Jaime represents public and private entities, and financial institutions on debt and equity, project finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity investment and related transactions throughout the Americas. Jaime also advises Latin American sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities on a variety of assignments, including capital raising and liability management transactions. In 2013, Jaime was recognized as a “trailblazer” by the Dominican Bar Association and as a leading investment lawyer by Chambers USA. He is a Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity Committee.
Juan M. Naveira - Partner - Headshot
Juan M. Naveira - Partner

Juan M. Naveira is a Partner in the Firm’s Corporate Department, focusing on cross-border transactions, primarily involving Latin America. He regularly advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, capital markets transactions, financings, restructurings and other complex corporate matters. Juan has represented leading companies across a broad range of industries, including financial institutions and private equity sponsors, such as JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, KKR, Certares Management, Blackstone and The Carlyle Group, among others. Juan is a Hiring Partner of the Firm and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Recruiting Committee. 

William T. Russell, Jr. - Partner - Headshot
William T. Russell, Jr. - Partner Bill Russell, Head of Simpson Thacher’s Bankruptcy and Restructuring Litigation Practice, represents financial institutions, private equity sponsors, corporations and other businesses in a wide variety of commercial disputes. He focuses on bankruptcy and reorganization matters, banking litigation, securities litigation, and transactional disputes, and has tried cases in state and federal courts as well as in arbitral proceedings. Bill is Chair of Legal Services NYC’s Board of Directors, a member of the New York City Bar Association Board of Directors, a member of the American Law Institute, and served on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association. He served as a Panel Chair on the Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department and regularly co-authors a column on the New York Court of Appeals for the New York Law Journal.
Cheryl J. Scarboro - Partner - Headshot
Cheryl J. Scarboro - Partner Cheryl Scarboro, formerly an Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and the first Chief of the SEC’s FCPA Unit, represents corporations, financial institutions and individuals in SEC and other regulatory enforcement proceedings. Cheryl conducts internal investigations and counsels clients on FCPA compliance programs, SEC reporting, disclosure and corporate governance requirements. Cheryl is recognized as a leading individual in FCPA by Chambers USA Nationwide and Chambers Global, where sources describe her as a “calm, cool, confident counsel” with an “immense amount of credibility” and as “universally unflappable when it comes to high-stakes situations.” She was also recognized as one of the “25 Most Influential Women in Securities Law” by Law360, one of the “Top 10 Women in Litigation” by Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation, and was named to the “Enforcement 40” by the Securities Enforcement Forum. She is also consistently listed in the “Top 250 Women in Litigation” by Benchmark Litigation. Cheryl was recently recognized as part of Corporate Counsel’s “Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards” and named to Global Investigations Review’s “Women in Investigations” and “The Top FCPA Practitioners” 2021 lists, with the profile highlighting that, “few lawyers, if any, can match [Cheryl’s] credentials.” Cheryl was also named to Savoy Magazine’s 2022 and 2018 “Most Influential Black Lawyers” lists. Cheryl is consistently recommended by The Legal 500 in white collar and was named a National “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation. In addition, she is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum, and a member of the Board of Visitors of Duke University School of Law.
Jonathan E. Cantor - Senior Counsel - Headshot
Jonathan E. Cantor - Senior Counsel Jonathan Cantor is Senior Counsel in the Firm’s Tax Department. His area of concentration is federal income tax with a particular emphasis on capital markets transactions, including high yield and investment grade debt offerings, note programs, initial public offerings, tender offers, exchange offers and consent solicitations. Jonathan also provides tax advice with respect to regulated investment companies and collateralized debt obligation funds.
Kirsten L. Davis - Senior Counsel - Headshot
Kirsten L. Davis - Senior Counsel Kirsten Davis is Senior Counsel in the Firm’s Corporate Department. Kirsten represents issuers and underwriters in both public and private offerings of equity and debt securities and advises both U.S. and non-U.S. clients on general corporate and securities law matters. Kirsten has been recognized among the “Top 100 Women Lawyers” by Latinvex for her capital markets work in the Latin American region (2019 - 2022).