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Jones Walker Expands Its Maritime Practice In New Orleans, Houston And Miami

Jones Walker LLP announced January 10 that key attorneys from maritime law firm Fowler Rodriguez—including trial lawyer George J. Fowler III—have joined the firm’s New Orleans, Houston and Miami offices.

George J. Fowler III, Edward F. LeBreton III, Luis E. Llamas, Luis Enrique Cuervo, Michael W. McCoy, Santiago J. Padilla, Mark D. Rich and Juan E. Serrallés IV joined as partners; Michael A. Rosen joined as special counsel; and Caroline Sanches and Lauren M. Kurtz joined as associates.

Both Jones Walker LLP and Fowler Rodriguez began in and have deep connections to the New Orleans community, as well as to Latin America via their mutual offices in Miami. The idea of the two storied law firms joining forces began with the encouragement of one of the firms’ shared clients, Jose Suquet, chairman, president and CEO at Pan-American Life Insurance Group.

“I am pleased to have known and respected both George Fowler and Bill Hines for many years and believe that this joining of forces will greatly benefit companies doing business in the U.S. and abroad,” said Suquet. “Fowler’s team has been particularly helpful to Pan-American Life throughout Latin America, and the Jones Walker team has been valuable on domestic mergers and acquisitions and the [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] matters.”

The group of attorneys collectively represent domestic and multinational companies in a variety of industries, including maritime, energy, and insurance. The team counsels clients throughout the United States and Latin America in a wide range of commercial litigation, tax matters and complex transactions involving project development and finance, government privatization, immigration, energy and infrastructure, and mergers and acquisitions.

“Our firm has worked for decades to support our clients in the U.S., and in Latin America and it was a natural next step for us to join a well-respected firm with multiple practice areas that will help us continue to meet the growing needs of the clients we serve,” said Fowler speaking about the team’s move to Jones Walker.

“For more than 20 years, we have successfully relied on George Fowler’s firm to handle many of our complex legal matters,” said Arnaldo Perez, senior vice president and general counsel of Carnival Corporation. “We look forward to the expanded capabilities of this union.”

“Being able to attract the experience and legal skills of stellar attorneys like George Fowler and his team is a core piece of our growth strategy and is a testament to the service platform we’ve built to serve our clients domestically and internationally,” explained Hines, Jones Walker managing partner.

New Orleans

George Fowler
George Fowler

George J. Fowler III joins the New Orleans office as a partner and focuses on litigation, arbitration, maritime, offshore energy and dispute resolution. He is an internationally recognized trial lawyer known for his successful record trying hundreds of cases to juries and judges, including numerous high-profile matters, complex litigation and cases of national concern. Fowler has written and lectured extensively on private international law and world trade.

Edward LeBreton
Edward LeBreton

Edward F. LeBreton III joins the office as a partner in the Litigation Practice Group and a member of the insurance coverage and maritime teams. He practices in all facets of maritime, energy and marine and non-marine insurance law. He has represented assureds, underwriters, and other industry participants in a broad range of disputes involving hull, cargo, builder’s risk, P&I, MEL, CGL, control of well, and excess and umbrella policies. LeBreton has given opinions regarding coverage, prepared reservations of rights, and advised lenders with respect to the insurance aspects of maritime finance transactions.

He has experience representing insureds and underwriters with respect to property, general liability, pollution, fidelity bond and title coverage questions.

Luis Llamas
Luis Llamas

Luis E. Llamas joins the office as a partner in the Litigation Practice Group and concentrates his practice on admiralty disputes, complex commercial litigation, employment law and international law, and advises clients on corporate transactions.

Llamas has handled cases across the United States and Latin America involving marine casualties, products liability, unfair trade practices, breach of contract, transportation law and alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, among other disputes.

He has litigated cases before state and federal courts, as well as in arbitrations before the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Caroline Sanches
Caroline Sanches

Caroline Sanches joins the office as an associate in the Maritime Practice Group and advises clients on a broad range of commercial and corporate disputes. Sanches practices in the areas of maritime law, civil law, international law, insurance law, complex commercial litigation and commercial litigation. She represents a variety of clients, from large corporations and national insurance companies to private individuals.

Houston

Luis Cuervo
Luis Cuervo

Luis E. Cuervo joins as a partner in the Houston office in the Litigation Practice Group. He focuses in the areas of oil and gas, energy and natural resources and advises U.S. and Europe-based clients on their complex international transactional and litigation needs, including white collar crime, assistance before foreign courts, and in international commercial and investment arbitrations. He counsels investors and multinational companies engaged in international business, including in Latin America, among other oil and gas, mining, admiralty, insurance and reinsurance matters.

His counsel runs the gamut from the negotiation of operational documents and contracts to advice on a broad range of issues such as best form of domestic incorporation, foreign investment, specific industry regulations, and host-country environmental regulation requirements.

Michael McCoy
Michael McCoy

Michael W. McCoy joins as a partner in the Litigation Practice Group and focuses on insurance coverage and related matters. During his legal career spanning more than four decades, he has been engaged in all manner of complicated and sophisticated insurance coverage disputes.

His experience includes matters involving multiple parties, multiple lines of insurance, reinsurance, retail, and wholesale insurance brokers, among other issues and industry participants. Many of these cases have been heard before the Texas Insurance Commission and frequently include managing general agencies and various syndicates from the overseas market.

Miami

Santiago Padilla
Santiago Padilla

Santiago J. Padilla joins the Miami office as a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group and represents clients in a broad range of business immigration-related matters, including the process for obtaining a temporary visa, permanent residency and U.S. citizenship, as well as appealing adverse decisions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of State, and other governmental agencies.

Mark Rich
Mark Rich

Mark D. Rich joins the office as a partner in the Tax Practice Group and focuses on international tax planning, pre-immigration tax planning and U.S. and international trust and estate planning. He advises numerous high-net-worth U.S. and foreign families on a broad range of legal issues, including succession, wealth-transfer and estate planning and administration.

He also advises clients on the structuring of ownership of U.S. investments and business interests through corporations, trusts, partnerships, foundations and limited liability companies.

Michael Rosen
Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen joins as special counsel in the Litigation Practice Group and focuses on commercial disputes. He advises and represents clients in business and commercial litigation, real estate transactions, and commercial lending.

Juan E. Serrallés IV
Juan E. Serrallés IV

Rosen handles a broad range of business and commercial litigation matters at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts.

Juan E. Serrallés IV joins as a partner in the Litigation Practice Group and focuses on commercial disputes. He advises and represents clients in business and commercial litigation, real estate transactions and commercial lending.

Serrallés brings more than four decades of experience in the legal field, including as an attorney with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (1973–1976).

Lauren Kurtz
Lauren Kurtz

Lauren M. Kurtz joins as an associate in the Tax Practice Group and advises clients on a range of estate planning and administration, wealth transfer and general business matters. She advises high-net-worth individuals and families based in the United States on a broad range of legal issues including asset protection, generational wealth transfers, and estate planning and administration.

She also assists U.S. and international clients with various tax compliance matters involving foreign and U.S. property and matters related to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

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