Gowlings expands Latin American presence with launch of Cuba Initiative

24 March 2015

Gowlings is pleased to announce the launch of its new Cuba Initiative in response to the expected economic growth and commercial activity in the Cuban market.

The introduction of the initiative — which forms a key part of the firm’s broader Latin America Initiative — follows the recent announcement from the United States and Cuba that the two countries have begun the process of normalizing their diplomatic relations.

“Cuba’s current trade climate offers a unique window of opportunity for Canadian and international companies to strategically position themselves in an emerging economy,” said Scott Jolliffe, Gowlings chair and CEO. “Through our Cuba Initiative, we look forward to helping our clients take full advantage of Cuba’s expected rapid economic growth.”

Led by partners Stuart Olley and France Tenaille, and undertaken through Gowlings Consulting Inc., the firm’s Cuba Initiative will assist clients from Canada, Europe and other international markets who are seeking to pursue business and investment opportunities in Cuba. The firm has already been retained by several significant Canadian companies looking to enter Cuba, demonstrating a rising interest in this emerging market.

The initiative will draw on the expertise of numerous Gowlings professionals, including Ralph Lean and Olley, who collectively bring a wealth of experience in helping clients with their Cuba-related business activities across a range of key industries, such as energy, infrastructure, real estate, telecommunications and tourism.

The firm is also working with Gregory Biniowsky, a Canadian lawyer based in Havana whose on-the-ground experience as a consultant to foreign businesses operating in Cuba spans two decades. Biniowsky will utilize his extensive local knowledge and experience to help Gowlings explore the ways in which it can best deliver service to clients through its Cuba Initiative.

Professionals within the Gowlings Latin America Initiative hold an in-depth understanding of the region’s distinct opportunities and challenges. With strong expertise in energy, infrastructure, mining, project finance and related commercial transactions, the team applies a practical, results-driven approach to help clients achieve their business goals — in Latin America and beyond.

Gowlings is a leading full-service law firm, with over 700 legal professionals serving clients across Canada and around the world. From business law and high-stakes litigation to intellectual property matters, the firm offers a full suite of legal services to help clients succeed in an international market. By deal count, Gowlings was the No. 1 Canadian law firm for global M&A in 2014, and has been the No.1 firm for Canadian M&A for the past three years.