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Press Release

Latham & Watkins Adds Prominent Energy Practitioner in Madrid

February 28, 2020
Arrival of María José Descalzo Benito will add further depth to the firm’s transactional and regulatory practices.

Latham & Watkins is pleased to announce that María José Descalzo Benito will join the Madrid office as a partner in the Corporate Department. Descalzo Benito regularly advises domestic and international companies, investors, and private equity firms on a variety of complex corporate, finance, and regulatory matters, with particular focus on the energy sector.

“We are thrilled that María will join our fast-growing team,” said Ignacio Gómez-Sancha, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins in Spain. “The influence of the Spanish energy sector is very significant, not only to the domestic economy but across Europe and Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Maria brings a wealth of experience working on some of the most complex energy deals in the market. Her unique blend of transactional and regulatory experience will be of great value to our Spanish and global clients.”

Descalzo Benito specializes in complex M&A, joint ventures, IPOs, and financing transactions, including the acquisition and financing of renewable energy projects and the acquisition and sale of gas transportation and distribution assets. She also has extensive experience in a variety of energy sub-sectors, including wind, solar, LNG, and natural gas, and regularly counsels clients on complex contractual and regulatory matters, including proceedings and reviews before the Spanish Energy Commission. 

“Maria José is a talented practitioner, with tremendous knowledge of the Spanish and Latin American energy markets,” said Simon Tysoe, Global Co-Chair of the firm’s Oil & Gas Industry Group. “Her capabilities support our European growth strategy, and she brings valuable insights from her time with the Spanish Energy Commission. Her arrival marks another significant step in the expansion of our transactional practices in Spain.”

“We are focused on further strengthening our leading energy practice in Europe and globally,” commented David Walker, Global Vice-Chair of Latham’s Corporate Department. “Spain is a major part of our strategy and represents a key gateway to Latin America, a market where we see great opportunity to continue to further expand our existing top-tier capability. Maria José has developed an outstanding reputation for her technical skills and industry acumen, and we are delighted to welcome her to the firm.”

Descalzo Benito will join the firm from Uría Menendez in Madrid. She studied at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where she received her law degree, and at Instituto de Bursatiles Madrid, where she received an LLM in Finance. Prior to Uría Menendez, Descalzo Benito spent five years at the Comisión Nacional de Energía.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins delivers innovative solutions to complex legal and business challenges around the world. From a global platform, our lawyers advise clients on market-shaping transactions, high-stakes litigation and trials, and sophisticated regulatory matters. Latham is one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono services, steadfastly supports initiatives designed to advance diversity within the firm and the legal profession, and is committed to exploring and promoting environmental sustainability.

Notes to Editors

Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in France, Italy, Singapore, and the United Kingdom and as affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong and Japan. Latham & Watkins operates in South Korea as a Foreign Legal Consultant Office. Latham & Watkins works in cooperation with the Law Firm of Salman M. Al-Sudairi, a limited liability company, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.