As one of the very few U.S. law firms with a local office and resident counsel, Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss serves its clients from its offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as its offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and London. The firm has an experienced Argentine lawyer, as well as numerous other lawyers and professionals who are multi-lingual and have a depth of experience in issues relating to government and business throughout Latin America.
One of the firm’s greatest assets in our Latin American practice is our on-the-ground experience and network of longstanding working relationships and contacts throughout the region. We are well-positioned to assist clients whether they are involved in an important commercial dispute or simply need guidance on doing business in the region. Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss guides its clients to ensure that their entry into and activities in Latin America are as successful and problem-free as possible. Similarly, we assist our Latin American clients in navigating the U.S. legal and regulatory system as businesses worldwide are increasingly affected by the requirements of U.S. law and regulation. Of course, should problems arise, we have experience in litigating and arbitrating cases either in Latin American countries or before international organizations and arbitral bodies. We also have close relationships with leading lawyers throughout Latin America and have worked cooperatively with local lawyers in Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, Panama, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil.
Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss attorneys have supervised multi-jurisdictional fraud and asset recovery litigation in Argentina, Chile, Panama, the Caribbean, and indeed throughout the world, for over fifteen years. Our firm is also experienced in international arbitration, having counseled both Latin American sovereigns in investor-state arbitrations and major South American companies in commercial arbitrations.
Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss attorneys lecture on current developments and cutting edge strategies in international commercial, regulatory, and criminal law. We have briefed senior officials of the Argentine Central Bank on money laundering, terrorism finance, and Patriot Act issues, and we have lectured on international financial regulation at UCEMA, one of the leading business universities in South America. Firm lawyers have also lectured in these and related areas to professional groups in Chile, Brazil, and Peru. We have also advised extensively on rights and remedies of Latin American investors and financial institutions in the fallout from the collapse of structured finance, the Venezuelan economic crisis, the Madoff fraud and the global financial crisis generally.
In the News
- el Economista, May 11, 2020
- March 17, 2020
- Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss Files Amended Lawsuit Against Trust Services Company Amicorp Alleging They Are Involved in a Multi-Million-Dollar Real Estate Investment Ponzi Scheme Fraud in South Florida
An amended complaint filed in Miami-Dade County alleges that Amicorp, an international trust services company, actively participated in a multi-million-dollar real estate fraud which victimized many Latin American families.www.businesswire.com, July 3, 2019
Partners Manuel Varela and Cristián Francos* authored a paper on the Argentine Notebooks investigation which was quoted in Argentina’s La Nación.
*Mr. Francos is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.La Nación, November 4, 2018
- El socio alemán de RIU sufre en Bolsa tras la imputación por corrupción del hotelero español en Miami
Manuel Varela, especializado en derecho penal en Washington, cree que las consecuencias de este caso para el grupo español pueden ser "gravísimas"February 14, 2018
Mr. Francos* was quoted in the article saying, “If someone received a bribe, then someone had to have paid the bribe,” he said. “Companies should be well prepared [to be investigated].” He continued to say, many Argentinian companies that are contracted by the state do not have established policies in terms of compliance and integrity, and will likely rush to put together new compliance programmes. Francos said “this shock could be good” to improve standards quickly. “This [scenario] creates a problem for companies, but also an opportunity that will bring change to Argentina’s business culture,” he said.
*Mr. Francos is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.Global Investigations Review, November 13, 2017
- Press Release: Woodsford Litigation Funding to provide international litigation boutique Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss PLLC with innovative $20m global portfolio financing facility
Woodsford Litigation Funding, one of the leading global third party funders, has announced a funding facility agreement with Lewis Baach which ensures the firm can offer clients an expedited, one-stop arrangement for the financing of high value litigation and arbitration.August 16, 2017
- The American Lawyer, August 16, 2017
Third-party funder Woodsford Litigation Funding said Wednesday it has reached a $20 million agreement with law firm Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss PLLC to provide it with financing to pursue litigation and arbitration worldwide on behalf of the firm's clients.
The deal, referred to as a funding facility agreement, will allow Lewis Baach to offer clients a financing arrangement to cover matters in any jurisdiction around the world in which the firm is prepared to offer contingency fee arrangements, Woodsford said. The deal will also cover situations...
“In our experience, the resources and the resolve that Woodsford brings to the equation, combined with a strong claim, a determined client, and a formidable legal team, makes the difference between justice delivered or denied,” Liston said.Law360, August 16, 2017
En Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss asesoran a clientes internacionales en litigios también internacionales, investigaciones y compliance. "Nuestra práctica trasciende las fronteras de los Estados Unidos permanentemente. En mi caso, me dedico a asesorar clientes latinoamericanos respecto de sus necesidades legales en los Estados Unidos", dice Cristian Francos*, socio de la firma y su cara en la Argentina.
*Mr. Francos is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.El Cronista, June 7, 2017
Mr. Francos authored the article and is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.La Nacion, May 29, 2017
Manuel Varela, natural de Domaio, es abogado en un bufete en Washington que lleva la denuncia de la familia propietaria del banco, intervenido tras un informe del FinCEN americanoFaro de Vigo, May 26, 2017
- La familia propietaria considera que la negativa a dar información constituyó una violación de la leyEl País, May 21, 2017
- Com minha experiência como promotor em Nova York, acompanho a Lava-Jato com otimismo. Agora, falta viabilizar acordos de leniência que punam empresas corruptas, mas não as liquidemPágina Aberta, May 17, 2017
Manuel Varela and Cristián Francos* were interviewed by AUNO legal magazine on Litigation Funding
Manuel Varela y Cristián Francos* fueron entrevistados por la revista legal AUNO respecto del financiamiento de litigiosAUNO, February 2017
- El Govern sempre ens ha rebutjat o ingnorat per negociarel Periòdic d’Andorra, March 10, 2016
- A former Siemens executive became the first person to plead guilty to U.S. criminal charges of helping run a bribery campaign that moved tens of millions of dollars to Argentine officials in connection with a $1 billion national ID card project.
Mr. Francos is mentioned in the article and is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.Law360, September 30, 2015
- La Vanguardia, March 23, 2015
- De a poco se abre espacio para la actividad jurídica en relación a la isla. Lewis Baach abre el juego con el recupero de fondos congelados.
Mr. Francos is quoted in the article and is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.Auno Abogados, March 2015
AUNO Abogados magazine interview with Manuel Varela and Cristián Francos* on Lewis Baach’s practice for clients in Argentina and the rest of Latin America.AUNO, June 2014
Ariel Neuman, Natalia Alonso and Alfredo Veronesi, reporters from AUNO Legal Magazine, interviewed Manuel Varela and Cristián Francos* regarding the Lewis Baach PLLC Latin American practice and it's Buenos Aires office as well as the careers of Messrs. Varela and Francos.April 29, 2014
- Ex jefe de investigaciones antilavado y corrupción de la Fiscalía de Nueva York Adam Kaufmann. “Hay que darles herramientas a los fiscales para que puedan investigar”La Nacion, June 4, 2013
- Juristas norteamericanos y chilenos analizaron avances en materia de regulación del lavado de dinero
Mr. Francos is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.March 25, 2013
- March 23, 2013
- EE.UU. investiga a varias entidades de Caracas sospechosas de romper el cercoFebruary 10, 2013
Mr. Francos is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.AUNO, September 2012
- Insurance Day, April 26, 2012
Mr. Francos is admitted to practice only in Buenos Aires; not engaged in the practice of law in the District of Columbia.Perfil, January 11, 2009
- El Cronista, December 1, 2008
- El Cronista, December 1, 2008
- El Cronista, June 2, 2008
Publications, Presentations & Events
The health effects of Covid-19 have created personal tragedies that seemed unimaginable a few short months ago. Despite the efforts of governments, the virus has shown that the world is inextricably interconnected. How we respond will dictate whether that interconnectedness is a positive or negative force as we try to recover from the economic crisis that has arisen in the wake of the pandemic. In Latin America, individuals and companies have either begun to see, or fear, the return of currency controls, defaults and chaos as the governments of the region confront historic challenges. Many have once again sought refuge in the perceived relative safety of the U.S. financial system. However, investors may find that their sudden search for a safe haven may bring on a series of unanticipated problems.May 22, 2020
There is a popular misconception that asset forfeiture is limited to the luxury cars, private jets and speedboats of drug dealers, but many well-meaning businesses and individuals are finding themselves with their assets seized under statutes that provide U.S. authorities extremely broad powers. And these seizures often occur without any warning to, or even accusation against, the owner of the assets. Once seized it can take years to obtain recovery of perfectly legal assets. In these uncertain times, as many well-meaning people seek the relative safety of the U.S. banking system, individuals and companies in many countries may innocently use money-transfer systems that exponentially increase the risk of having their assets seized. Why does this happen and how can it be avoided?May 11, 2020
In these tough times, when clients are looking to protect assets and increase revenue, it is more important than ever to ensure that their arbitral awards are collectible. A truly successful outcome requires the ability to enforce and monetize the award that was won in the arbitration. When faced with a recalcitrant award debtor, it is imperative to think strategically and work closely with counsel and experts to enforce and identify recoverable assets.April 2, 2020
- The OffshoreAlert Conference Latin AmericaSão Paulo, Brazil, September 16, 2019
Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss partner Cristián Francos spoke at ACI's Anti-Corruption Compliance for High Risk Markets conference on July 24, 2019 in Washington, D.C.Washington, D.C., July 24, 2019
- Panelist, "Doing Business in Mexico: Legal Developments in Arbitration and Financial Crime (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Corruption)"The Cornell Club, New York, NY, June 18, 2019
Cristián Francos served as Organising Committee Head for the 22nd Transnational Crime Conference in Buenos Aires.Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 15-17, 2019
- Keynote Speech: International Commercial Arbitration and Compliance15th International Arbitration ConferenceRio de Janeiro, May 7, 2019
- Briefing: The Globalization of Corruption: How the Cuadernos Case Raises Legal Issues Beyond Argentine Borders
Many people outside of Argentina, as well as those within, have watched in wonder as the explosive investigation of the Cuadernos case evolves and touches upon more and more individuals and companies. Recent experience has taught us that investigations of this magnitude are never contained within a country’s borders and individuals and companies that have done, or are doing, business in Argentina must consider the civil and criminal ramifications of the growing corruption scandal regardless of their own culpability.August 31, 2018
- Keynote Presentation: International Commercial Arbitration and CorruptionBrazilian Center of Mediation and Arbitration (CBMA), Third International ConferenceAugust 10, 2018
The increasing global focus on corruption has led to stronger international cooperation and coordination among regulators, resulting in landmark enforcement actions in new jurisdictions. [...] This panel offered private and public sector prespectives on the latest enforcement trends, the key elements of the new anti-corruption laws, and what all this means for businesses and individuals involved in transnational corruption cases.Krakow, Poland, May 16, 2018
- Cambió el escenario. Llegó el momento. Implementar un programa de integridad anticorrupción sólido no implica reinventar la pólvoraNovember 2017
- Briefing: Recent Decisions Point Toward a Restriction on U.S. Discovery in Aid of Foreign Arbitration ProceedingsJune 22, 2015
- Briefing: A Flood of Dollars: Will the Thaw in US-Cuban Relations Lead to the Return of Billions of Dollars to Entities Worldwide?February 25, 2015
- March 2014
- May 16, 2013
- Briefing: Ralph Lauren Corruption Enforcement Action Allegedly Involving Inappropriate Payments to Argentine Customs Officials Demonstrates the Benefits of Effective ControlsApril 24, 2013
- "Eli Lilly Settlement Reinforces the Need for Active Anti-Corruption Controls"January 2, 2013
- August 24, 2012
- April 27, 2010
- "Judge Griesa's Ruling in NML Capital: A U.S. Judge Wades Deep Into the Argentine Political System"April 2010
- "The El Paso Ruling and its Effect on the Use of §1782 in Private International Arbitration Proceedings"September 2009
- June 13, 2009
- February 2009
- "Is Argentina the Next Hub of Money Laundering and What are the Consequences for International Business?"December 2008
- "What Can Madoff Investors do to Maximize the Recovery of Their Assets?"December 2008
- "Potential Implications of the Lehman Brothers Insolvency for Latin American Financial Institutions"
Authored by Eric L. Lewis, Manuel S. Varela and Cristían Francos.October 2008
- "Insider Trading in Argentina: The Legal Framework, Enforcement, International Cooperation & Selected Case Studies"October 2008
- "The Availability of U.S. Discovery in Foreign Litigation: How Foreign Parties in Foreign Litigation can Obtain the Assistance of U.S. Courts"
Authored by Eric L. Lewis, Manuel S. Varela and Cristián Francos.October 2007