Baker McKenzie has added Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja as a Partner in its North America Banking, Finance & Major Projects Practice in New York. Margarita brings nearly 20 years of experience advising financial institutions and corporations on their financings and commercial transactions governed under the laws of New York across Latin America. Margarita will be responsible for developing the Latin Finance Practice as its Chair in North America.
Margarita has extensive experience in project finance matters, representing major multilateral agencies, commercial financial institutions, sponsors and export credit agencies to structure and negotiate complex, multi-jurisdictional infrastructure and energy transactions. She also advises clients on a variety of cross-border, general bank finance, capital markets and corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and outsourcings. Margarita will also complement the Firm's P3 practice in the US, bringing experience representing European sponsors, particularly those based in Spain, in their P3 transactions in the US.
"Margarita has been trained as a lawyer under a civil law system and a common law system and is admitted to practice law in Spain and New York, a key differentiating factor to assist clients on New York law-governed deals in Latin America," said José Morán, Chair of Baker & McKenzie's North American Banking, Finance & Major Projects Practice. "Margarita brings a tremendous amount of experience and familiarity with the region, and she will further enhance the Firm's footprint for international project finance matters."
Margarita, who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, joins the Firm from Chadbourne & Park LLP, where she was a Partner for four years. She began her career as an associate at Clifford Chance LLP in Spain. She then spent more than 16 years developing her Latin America-focused finance practice at Allen & Overy.
"Margarita is a well-known and recognized practitioner in Latin America, and her cross-border expertise will perfectly complement our growing transactional practice in New York," said Jim Colihan, Managing Partner of the Firm's New York office.
Attorneys in the Firm's North America Banking, Finance and Major Projects practice advise on all aspects of cross-border and domestic financing across a broad range of industries. The practice is experienced in local and international banking and finance laws, regulations and customs, and is staffed by attorneys with deep language and cultural connections to the region.
With 850 lawyers across 15 offices in seven countries, Baker McKenzie is the dominant global law firm in Latin America. Working closely with colleagues across practice groups and offices, the attorneys help clients capitalize on business, trade and investment opportunities in the region and execute their global growth strategies.
"Baker McKenzie's outstanding reputation and network of local law offices in Latin America provides an excellent platform for me to grow my practice and bolster the services I offer my clients," Margarita said. "I am thrilled to join the Firm's growing team in New York, and accept the challenge of solidifying the Latin Finance practice at Baker."
Added Rick Hammett, the Firm's Managing Partner in North America, "Margarita is another exceptional attorney to join our Firm as we continue to grow our capabilities across North America. Her bicultural practice will be an enormous asset for many of our clients."
Baker McKenzie has added more than 40 lateral partners in North America over the last two years, as it continues to strengthen its presence in key markets. In New York specifically, the Firm has added 13 partners in a range of practices, with a focus on the Firm's cross-border transactional capabilities. Recent additions include corporate practitioners Arman Kuyumjian, Jan Joosten, Steven Canner and Nick Marchica, restructuring and insolvency attorneys Debra Dandeneau and Peter Goodman, and Mark Tibberts, a leading project finance attorney.
About Margarita Oliva
Margarita received her Diploma in International and European Law from the University of Bologna, her JD from the University of Granada and her LLM from Harvard Law School. She is also an alumna of IESE Business School, where she received the Women in Business Scholarship for the Senior Executive Program in 2013.
Margarita is a Director of the Board of the Peruvian American Association in New York, and she also served as Chairman of the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce from 2009 to 2010, an organization for which she has been a Director of the Board for nearly 15 years. She is also a former advisory member of the US-Spain Council.
Margarita currently serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard University and of the international business school IESE's Global Women's Council of IESE. She is also co-founder and Chairman of the Women in Leadership in Latin America initiative's New York chapter.
Margarita has been recognized by The Legal 500 for her work in project finance and Latin America, and Latinvex recently named her as one of the Top 100 Female Lawyers in Latin America.