George Fowler and Key Attorneys from Fowler Rodriguez Join Jones Walker LLP in New Orleans, Miami, and Houston
George Fowler (left) and Bill Hines pictured with the model of Celebrity cruise ship, Century, which was gifted to Mr. Fowler by Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., following the recovery of a significant claim. The cruise ship model recently moved with Mr. Fowler to Jones Walker and sits prominently in the reception area.
NEW ORLEANS — On Thursday, Jan. 10, Jones Walker LLP announced that key attorneys from the former international law firm Fowler Rodriguez – including renowned trial lawyer, George J. Fowler, III – have joined the firm’s New Orleans, Miami, and Houston offices. Details were shared in a press release.
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. Fowler’s team has been particularly helpful to Pan-American Life throughout Latin America, and the Jones Walker team has been valuable on domestic M&A and ERISA matters,” said Suquet.
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.
Speaking about the team’s move to Jones Walker, Fowler said, “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.”
“For more than 20 years, we have successfully relied on George Fowler’s firm to handle many of our complex legal matters. We look forward to the expanded capabilities of this union,” said Arnaldo Perez, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Carnival Corp.
In recognition of their excellence, Fowler Rodriguez has for years received the national top tier ranking by Chambers USA in the area of Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (outside New York).
“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 Jones Walker managing partner Bill Hines.
Below are brief biographies of the attorneys joining Jones Walker.
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. He speaks frequently and has appeared regularly on national television providing commentary and insights on issues involving Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations.
Edward F. LeBreton, III, joins the New Orleans 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. He also defends insureds under general and other liability policies.
Luis E. Llamas joins the New Orleans 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. He is a highly respected litigator who helps clients resolve a broad range of commercial disputes. 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 (FCPA), among other disputes. He has litigated cases before state and federal courts, as well as in arbitrations before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Llamas also devotes part of his practice to domestic and international business matters and transactions, including acquisitions, joint ventures, and general corporate issues.
Caroline Sanches joins the New Orleans 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.
(George J. Fowler, III and Edward F. LeBreton, III)
(Luis E. Llamas and Caroline Sanches)
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. With more than a quarter-century of legal experience, Padilla focuses his practice on immigration and nationality law matters, including employment-based immigration and non-immigrant visas for investors, professionals, artists, temporary workers, and individuals seeking permanent residency and U.S. citizenship. Padilla handles the full gamut of employment-based immigration.
Mark D. Rich joins the Miami 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 works closely with clients to help them understand and identify their unique needs and tax positions, and his counsel is focused on enabling individuals, families, and family offices to achieve their specific financial, business, and philanthropic objectives. Rich has extensive experience in multi-generational tax planning for family businesses, as well as the diversification of family assets, including concentrated positions in marketable securities. 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 joins the Miami office 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. Mr. Rosen handles a broad range of business and commercial litigation matters at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts. He 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).
Juan E. Serrallés, IV, joins as a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Miami office 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). He has handled a broad range of business and commercial litigation matters at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts.
Lauren M. Kurtz joins the Miami office 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 (FATCA).
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. Cuervo also regularly drafts contracts and advises on labor laws and mandatory labor benefits, as well as on the appointment of representatives, agents, and distributors.
Michael W. McCoy joins as a partner in the Litigation Practice Group in the Houston office 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 vast 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.
Jones Walker LLP (www.joneswalker.com) is among the 120 largest law firms in the United States serving local, regional, national, and international business interests with offices in Alabama, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, and Texas. The firm provides legal services to major multinational, public and private corporations, Fortune® 500 companies, money center banks, worldwide insurers, and emerging companies doing business in the United States and abroad.