In an attempt to capitalize on new business opportunities in Latin America, Miami-based law firm Holland & Knight announced this week that it will be opening a new office in Bogota, Colombia.
The firm, which was founded in Tampa and still maintains a large Tampa office, has had a presence in Latin America for the past 30 years, but managing partner Steve Sonberg said the new office will help put it in a better position to offer services to businesses looking to expand there.
Developments including the expansion of the Panama Canal and approval of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement have made Colombia and Latin America attractive for expanding businesses, Sonberg said.
The office will offer services in international arbitration and mergers and acquisitions, among others. The firm will also be in a better position to work with Colombian companies looking to expand abroad, Sonberg said.
Three lawyers will staff the new office to begin with, but it is expected to grow, Sonberg said.
Bob Grammig, a partner based in Tampa, said he expects to see a lot of expansion in the natural resources, hospitality and transportation industries in the region.
"Colombia is a relatively wealthy country in terms of natural resources and has a fairly highly educated populace and solid middle class," he said. "It's a real opportunity both for incoming businesses and outgoing businesses."
Holland & Knight also has an office in Mexico City.