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Attorneys Depart White & Case, Launch Transactions Firm

Three more lawyers have left White & Case’s Miami office to start their own firm, joining a growing number of lawyers who have departed in recent years.

The office lost nine lawyers in the previous year, reducing its total to 81, according to numbers provided by White & Case to the Daily Business Review for its annual Review 100 survey.

The latest departing attorneys have started Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira to focus on transactions.

Pedro “Tony” Alvarez, Albert Diaz-Silveira and associate Aracely Alicea left White & Case to launch Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira two weeks ago. They were joined by former White & Case partner Alex Arrieta. Arrieta left White & Case last year to work at Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson.

Alvarez, a 25-year lawyer at White & Case and a partner since 1989, said he and his colleagues decided to leave the New York-based firm because “it became the right time for us to venture out from the big firms.”

“I think it was a move that was more personal than anything else,” he said. “We all wanted to give it a try. It was now or never.”

Alvarez said their goal was to launch a transactional firm focusing on mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions and deals. Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira will not handle litigation.

Eschewing the big-firm model, Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira will avoid high overhead, offer lower fees and serve clients with personalized relationships, Alvarez said.

“We are coming away from representing big institutions,” he said. “We want to build relationships and practice law the way it used to be.”

There are no immediate plans for any other White & Case lawyers to join the firm, Alvarez said, adding the split from White & Case was amicable.


The recent departures follow a string of others from White & Case over the last few years, including at least 28 in 2010 nationally. During the depths of the recession in 2008 and 2009, the firm laid off hundreds of lawyers and staff. Earlier this week, one of  The Am Law 100‘s strongest bankruptcy and restructuring firms saw two New York partners leave, with Evan Hollander and Gerard Uzzi joining Arnold & Porter and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, respectively.

Sources say the Miami office is a “pass-through” office, churning out work for the New York office on behalf of wealthy Latin American clients at high fees, and some Miami lawyers there are frustrated by having little contact with clients.

A White & Case spokesperson did not return calls for comment by deadline.

Joe Ankus, a longtime legal headhunter and executive director of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants, said it’s not unusual for junior and midrange partners to leave major firms like White & Case, which ranks ninth on The Am Law 100, to spin off their own boutiques.

“The firms are reluctant to allow the junior partners to bring in below market rate business because their overhead prevents them from doing it,” Ankus said. “The biggest variable is overhead. It’s the killer. The younger partners want to bring in the second or third tier of business and grow a book of business, so they spin off a firm. I don’t think it sets off alarm bells. I think it’s consistent with them wanting to be entrepreneurial, plus they don’t have nearly the conflicts they would in a large firm.”

That doesn’t mean there doesn’t continue to be a place for the big law firms like White & Case, Ankus noted.

“The good news is these large firms have such a good reputation and such great technical expertise that the larger Fortune 500 clients love them,” he said.

White & Case saw gross revenue increase 4.1 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2011, while profits per partner dropped 5.1 percent to nearly $1.5 million as the firm made a number of new investments and weathered a series of lateral departures and cracked down on unproductive partners. The firm’s financial restructuring group is headed by Thomas Lauria, who splits his time between Miami and New York and was named a Dealmaker of the Year by The American Lawyer in 2011.

The firm served as bankruptcy counsel to Major League Baseball this year in the record-setting $2.15 billion sale of the LosAngeles Dodgers.

Three White & Case Attorneys Form Boutique Firm

Three former White & Case attorneys have formed a new Miami-based boutique business and corporate law firm, Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira.

Pedro “Tony” Alvarez, Alejandro Arrieta and Albert Diaz-Silveira broke away from the “big law” firm to establish their own. The firm has also hired its first associate, Aracely Alicea.

In a news release, Alvarez made the case for smaller law firms serving clients more directly and with lower overhead.

“Clients seek legal services that deliver favorable business solutions at fair cost and want to work with attorneys who are strategic, responsive, have an understanding of their needs and are willing to invest in the client relationship,” Alvarez said.

The firm’s members have experience in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, restructuring, financings, investments and real estate transactions.

The firm is located at Brickell Bay Office Tower, 1001 Brickell Bay Drive in Miami.

New Firm Provides Focused Business Legal Services

As part of a growing trend of experienced lawyers establishing boutique firms to enhance client service, Pedro “Tony” Alvarez, Alejandro M. Arrieta and Albert Diaz-Silveira have formed Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP and Aracely Alicea has joined as the new partnership’s first associate. Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP is a boutique business and corporate law firm focused on addressing the legal needs of companies, entrepreneurs, investors and others engaged in business both domestically and abroad.

In making the announcement, Tony Alvarez stated, “Clients seek legal services that deliver favorable business solutions at fair cost and want to work with attorneys who are strategic, responsive, have an understanding of their needs and are willing to invest in the client relationship.”

With more than 50 years combined big law firm experience, Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP will provide sophisticated legal counsel to companies, executives, family offices, entrepreneurs and other individuals in a broad range of matters such as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, restructuring, financing, investments and real estate transactions. Members of the new firm have been involved in some of the region’s largest and most sophisticated business transactions.

“Too many firms provide one-size-fits-all legal services,” stated Albert Diaz-Silveira. “Our business model is a return to a more approachable, practical client-attorney relationship.”

Clients seek the new firm’s attorneys because of their strong business acumen and depth of experience. As a result, client relationships are prioritized and the attorneys become valued members of clients’ business teams.

Alejandro Arrieta added, “We are starting to see business recovery in South Florida and continued growth throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Our firm is uniquely positioned with the expertise to deliver personalized, efficient and cost-effective counsel.”

Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira & LLP is located at 1001 Brickell Bay Drive, Suite 2110 in

Miami and its attorneys can be reached at 305-740-1940 or through

Nueva Firma Provee Servicios Legales Enfocados Al Sector Comercial

Como parte de una creciente tendencia de abogados expertos que establecen estudios jurídicos boutique para proveer un servicio superior a los clientes, Pedro “Tony” Alvarez, Alejandro M. Arrieta y Albert Diaz-Silveira han formado Alvarez Arrieta

& Diaz-Silveira LLP, y Aracely Alicea ha ingresado como su primera abogada asociada. Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP es un estudio jurídico boutique concentrado en derecho empresarial y comercial para satisfacer las necesidades legales de compañías, empresarios, inversionistas y otros dedicados al comercio, tanto nacional como internacional.

Al hacer el anuncio, Tony Alvarez indicó: “Los clientes procuran servicios legales que proveen soluciones comerciales favorables a un precio razonable, y prefieren tratar con abogados que son estrategas, receptivos, conscientes de sus necesidades y dispuestos a invertir en relaciones con sus clientes”.

Con una experiencia combinada de más de 50 años de trabajo en mega firmas de abogados, Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP proveerá asesoramiento legal sofisticado a empresas, ejecutivos, oficinas de familia, y otros individuos, en una amplia gama de áreas tales como fusiones y adquisiciones, empresas conjuntas, reestructuraciones, financiamientos, inversiones y transacciones de bienes raíces. Los miembros de esta nueva firma han estado involucrados en algunas de las mayores y más sofisticadas transacciones comerciales de la región.

“Hay demasiados estudios que brindan servicios legales estándar”, comentó Albert Diaz- Silveira. “Nuestro modelo comercial se basa en un retorno a establecer relaciones entre clientes y abogados más accesibles y prácticas”.

Los clientes procuran a los abogados de la nueva firma debido a su amplia capacidad comercial y profundo conocimiento. Como resultado, las relaciones con los clientes tienen prioridad y los abogados se convierten en miembros valiosos de sus equipos de negocios.

Alejandro Arrieta agregó, “Se está empezando a apreciar una recuperación comercial en el sur de la Florida y un continuo crecimiento a través de América Latina y el Caribe. Nuestra firma cuenta con un posicionamiento único ya que posee amplio conocimiento para proveer asesoramiento personalizado, eficiente y rentable”.

Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP tiene sus oficinas en 1001 Brickell Bay Drive, Suite 2110, Miami, y sus abogados pueden ser contactados llamando al 305-740-1940 o por medio del sitio web

Sus abogados

Pedro “Tony” Alvarez

Antes de fundar Alvarez, Arrieta and Diaz-Silveira LLP, Tony fue socio de White & Case LLP por más de dos décadas. Cuenta con una amplia y variada experiencia en la estructuración y negociación de fusiones y adquisiciones para compañías privadas y públicas en los Estados Unidos, América Latina y el Caribe. Cuenta con una extensa experiencia en la fundación y reestructuración de empresas conjuntas en los sectores de telecomunicaciones, energía, minería y financiero. Desde 1991 a 1996, Tony residió en Ciudad México, en donde estableció la oficina de White & Case LLP y asistió en el desarrollo y coordinación de la práctica de White & Case LLP en dicha ciudad.

Tony ha sido designado como un abogado líder en la categoría Inversiones Latinoamericanas en las ediciones 2007 al 2012 de la publicación Chambers USA Legal Guide. Además, Tony es reconocido por sus colegas con el nivel AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, el nivel más alto asignado por Martindale-Hubbell®, una compañía que provee información sobre abogados desde hace 140 años.

Tony recibió una Licenciatura en Ciencias en Administración de Empresas con honores de la Universidad de Georgetown en 1978, y un Doctorado en Jurisprudencia de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Columbia en 1981.

Alejandro M. Arrieta

Alejandro trabajó previamente con Tony, Albert y Aracely en White & Case LLP. Previo a la fundación de la firma, Alejandro fue abogado accionista en Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. Se especializa en asesorar empresas familiares, compañías de crecimiento emergente, inversionistas y desarrolladores de bienes raíces, en asuntos relacionados con financiamientos, capitales privados, empresas conjuntas, adquisiciones y asociaciones estratégicas en los EE.UU., América Latina y el Caribe.

Alejandro está listado en la publicación USA Chambers Legal Guide como Abogado Corporativo/F&A y Capital Privado y en 2012 ha sido denominado “Rising Star” por la revista Super Lawyers.

Alejandro recibió de la Universidad de la Florida una Licenciatura en Letras y Ciencias con honores en 1999, y una Maestría en Contabilidad en 2001. En 2004 recibió un Doctorado en Jurisprudencia de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Chicago.

Albert Diaz-Silveira

Antes de fundar Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP, Albert fue asesor jurídico en White & Case LLP, en donde representó a corporaciones, inversionistas, empresarios e instituciones financieras en una amplia gama de transacciones corporativas. En dicha función, Albert ha representado a clientes nacionales e internacionales en asuntos corporativos en diversas industrias, entre otras, servicios financieros, manufactura, energía, aviación, distribución y cuidado de la salud.

Albert recibió una Licenciatura en Ciencias Económicas con honores de la Universidad Duke, y una Licenciatura en Derecho con honores Magna Cum Laude de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Miami.

Aracely Alicea

Aracely comenzó su carrera en derecho en White & Case LLP, y en dicha firma tuvo la oportunidad de trabajar con Tony, Albert y Alejandro en varias transacciones transfronterizas y otros asuntos corporativos. Últimamente estuvo asociada con Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A., en donde representó a clientes en asuntos legales y transacciones de variada complejidad y también representó a clientes en asuntos relacionados con cumplimiento de normativas y trámites administrativos frente a agencias gubernamentales.

Aracely recibió una Licenciatura en Políticas Públicas e Instituciones Estadounidenses en el año 2000. En 2007 recibió un Doctorado en Jurisprudencia con honores Magna Cum Laude de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Miami, en donde fue admitida en la sociedad honorífica Order of the Coif.

Chambers USA recognizes Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP

Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP is pleased to announce that Chambers USA has short-listed the firm for the 2013 Corporate & Finance – Florida based (International Counsel in Latin America) Law Firm of the Year award. Chambers will announce the winner on September 9th at a ceremony in Miami. The firm is extremely pleased to have been nominated for this important recognition in the first year of its existence.

In addition to recognizing the firm, three of its lawyers have been recognized by Chambers for their professional accomplishments as “Key Individuals” in their respective fields: Pedro (Tony) Alvarez, Alejandro M. Arrieta and H. William Walker Jr.

Pedro (Tony) Alvarez, one of the firm’s founders, was recognized for his work in Latin American Investments (Florida based). In recognizing Mr. Alvarez, Chambers noted that clients described his “work product, creativity and availability as being at the highest level.”

Alejandro M. Arrieta, another of the firm’s founders, was recognized in the Corporate/ M&A Private Equity (Florida based) category. Mr. Arrieta was also recently recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers for the second consecutive year.

H. William Walker, Jr. was honored by Chambers as a “Senior Statesmen” in the Florida real estate field. Chambers noted that Bill “is calming in negotiations – he handles them very well and very professionally.” Bill has also been recognized as a “Best Lawyer in America” since 2006.

In addition to the recognitions by Chambers, three of the firm’s senior lawyers have received Martindale Hubbell’s highest peer review rating of AV®Preeminent, which is, according to Martinale Hubbell, “a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.”

Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP and its lawyers are very appreciative of these recognitions and of the continued support of their clients and friends. The firm looks forward to continuing to provide legal services in a personalized manner as collaborative and experienced business and transactional lawyers.

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