Herbert Smith Freehills has hired Edward Dougherty as a partner focusing on project finance, trade finance and syndicated lending in Latin America.

Based in New York, Dougherty will advise clients particularly in the infrastructure, mining, power, oil and gas and financial sectors in the region.

He joins from Allen and Overy’s São Paulo office, where he worked in the project finance group for the past three years. He previously had roles in the legal department of Brazilian mining firm Vale and US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), as well as Brazilian law firm Veirano Advogados.

At Herbert Smith Freehills, Dougherty’s finance practice will complement the projects practice of Juan-Jose Zentner, who joined the branch earlier this year from the firm’s office in Melbourne, Australia.

The New York team is headed by international arbitration partner Christian Leathley. The firm’s Latin America Group also comprises hubs in Madrid, London and Australasia.

Dougherty says: “Eager to expand my practice in the competitive marketplace for Latin American legal services, Herbert Smith Freehills’ offering was instantly compelling. The firm is deeply experienced in key industries such as oil and gas and mining, with institutional links to the Japanese trading houses, large Korean conglomerates and Canadian and Australian pension funds that are major players in the project finance space. And the New York office is fully integrated with the global offering, key for knowledge sharing and cross-selling in a diverse marketplace of multiple jurisdictions.”

Leathley adds: “We are building the New York hub of our Latin American practice to better serve clients with interests in the region and seize upon clear opportunity in energy, infrastructure and mining and other industries in which the firm is strong. With a New York-based project finance capability, our very credible and high-quality offering meets the most critical legal needs of clients doing business in Latin America with a multilingual team that has deep roots in the region. The development of this capability is key to the firm and we will continue to add strength to our local team.”