Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza

Partner/Chair of Latin America Practice

New York
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
787 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019-6099
T 212 728 8146
F 212 728 9146
mossadazawillkie.com

Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza is the founding partner for the firm’s Latin America Practice and a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department, focusing on general corporate and securities matters. She has advised international and domestic clients from a wide range of sectors on successful mergers and acquisitions and other complex cross-border corporate transactions for more than two decades. Maria-Leticia has extensive expertise advising clients in the financial institutions, technology, infrastructure and consumer good space, among others.

She was named among Latinvex’s “Top 100 Lawyers” (2020 - 2022) for Latin America for excellence in Corporate/M&A and its “Top 100 Female Lawyers” (2014 – 2022), which recognized her for achievements in Banking & Finance and Corporate/M&A (2017 – 2021). The Legal 500 included her on its 2022 “Private Practice Powerlist,” recognizing leading US attorneys with a focus on Mexico. In 2018, The International Committee of Women Together presented Maria-Leticia with its annual Women Together Award for excellence in the areas of banking and international finance, which was the subject of an in-depth profile by Portafolio magazine. Maria-Leticia was also honored as one of LatinoJustice’s four 2017 “Latina Trailblazers.” She is also an active member of YPO, Young Presidents’ Organization, a supporter of many charities, including Aid for Aids/Aid for Life.

A native Colombian, Maria-Leticia began her career as an associate in Willkie’s Paris office. She is fluent in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Highlights

Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza is the founding partner for the firm’s Latin America Practice and a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department, focusing on general corporate and securities matters. She has advised international and domestic clients from a wide range of sectors on successful mergers and acquisitions and other complex cross-border corporate transactions for more than two decades. Maria-Leticia has extensive expertise advising clients in the financial institutions, technology, infrastructure and consumer good space, among others.

She was named among Latinvex’s “Top 100 Lawyers” (2020 - 2022) for Latin America for excellence in Corporate/M&A and its “Top 100 Female Lawyers” (2014 – 2022), which recognized her for achievements in Banking & Finance and Corporate/M&A (2017 – 2021). The Legal 500 included her on its 2022 “Private Practice Powerlist,” recognizing leading US attorneys with a focus on Mexico. In 2018, The International Committee of Women Together presented Maria-Leticia with its annual Women Together Award for excellence in the areas of banking and international finance, which was the subject of an in-depth profile by Portafolio magazine. Maria-Leticia was also honored as one of LatinoJustice’s four 2017 “Latina Trailblazers.” She is also an active member of YPO, Young Presidents’ Organization, a supporter of many charities, including Aid for Aids/Aid for Life.

A native Colombian, Maria-Leticia began her career as an associate in Willkie’s Paris office. She is fluent in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Selected Significant Matters

Maria-Leticia’s significant matters among others, include:

  • Odinsa S.A., a major developer of transportation projects in South America, in the sale of a 50% stake in certain of its airport concessions in Colombia and Ecuador to a Macquarie Asset Management (MAM) affiliate as part of the expansion of the infrastructure platform the two partners formed to operate and develop their South American road projects.

  • Full In Partners in its Series B investment in AutoRABIT.
  • Full In Partners in the sale of ServiceCore to Mainsail Partners.
  • América Móvil in the approximately $6.25 billion sale of TracFone to Verizon.
  • Greycroft as lead investor in equity funding for Latin America digital lender Addi.
  • Jaguar Growth Partners/Colombian Healthcare Properties: Jaguar Growth Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on real estate investments in emerging markets, and its affiliates in connection with the formation of Colombian Healthcare Properties, a company that specializes in the acquisition and management of healthcare real estate properties in Colombia.
  • Costa Brazil/Amyris: Represented co-founder Michele Levy in the sale of clean beauty brand Costa Brazil to Amyris.
  • Union Square Ventures/ADDI: Represented Union Square Ventures in a Series B investment for Latin America digital lender ADDI.
  • Accel: Represented Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Accel in its investment in Flink, the leading app-based consumer trading platform in Mexico.
  • Full In Partners: Represented growth equity fund Full In Partners in several acquisitions and investments, including its acquisition of Cybot, a Denmark-based startup that provides automated ePrivacy services to website operators; its investment in Servicore, a leading provider of business management software for the liquidate waste industry; and its investment in Autorabit, a provider of enterprise-grade cloud DevOps solutions for the Salesforce ecosystem.
  • Chapter 11/LATAM Airlines: Represented certain creditors in the Chapter 11 restructuring of LATAM Airlines.
  • Confidential U.S. private investment firm: Represented a confidential U.S. private investment firm on its joint venture with a local partner in the healthcare real estate sector in a Latin American jurisdiction.
  • John Laing Group/Colombian 4G Toll Road: Represented UK infrastructure investor John Laing Group in its $80 million acquisition of a 30 percent stake in a Colombian 4G toll road concessionaire, marking the company’s first investment in Latin America.
  • BNP Paribas Cardif/Scotiabank: Represented BNP Paribas Cardif in the negotiation of a long-term bancassurance strategic alliance in Latin America with Scotiabank.
  • Vilmorin & Cie/Sursem, Geneze/Pampa Capital: Represented Vilmorin & Cie, one of the world’s leading seed companies, in its acquisition of two independent South American seed companies, Sursem (Argentina) and Geneze (Brazil) from Pampa Capital.
  • Weener Plastics/3i Group/Proenfar: Represented Weener Plastics Group and 3i in Weener’s acquisition of Proenfar.
  • Zurich Insurance Group/EuroAmerica: Represented Zurich Insurance Group in its acquisition of the individual and group life insurance businesses and the long-term savings operations of EuroAmerica in Chile.
  • Zurich Insurance Group/Cover-More/Travel Ace/Universal Assistance: Represented Zurich Insurance Group in its agreement to acquire 19 travel assistance providers in Latin America, positioning its Cover-More Group as the leader in global travel insurance and assistance in the region.
  • Zurich Insurance Group/QBE: Represented Zurich Insurance Group in the acquisition of Australian insurer QBE in Latin America for $409 million.
  • Celsia SA: Represented Celsia SA, Colombia’s fourth-largest power producer, in its $840 million acquisition of stakes in seven power plants in Panama and Costa Rica from GDF Suez.
  • Swiss Re: Represented Swiss Re Corporate Solutions in its acquisition of a majority stake in Compañía Aseguradora de Fianzas S.A. Confianza.
  • Yildirim Group: Represent the Yildirim Group in various transactions in Latin America including the acquisition of mining projects in Colombia from CCX (part of the EBX, Eike Batista, group).
  • Maurel & Prom/Tuscany International Drilling Inc.: Represented France-based oil & gas company Maurel & Prom in its acquisition of Tuscany International Drilling Inc.’s drilling activities in Africa.
  • Folhamatic Group/Sage Group plc: Represented Brazil-based tax and accounting software company Folhamatic Group its sale to UK-based Sage Group.
  • Private Equity Funds/Despegar.com, Inc.: Represented two private equity funds in their investments in Argentina-based Despegar.com, an online travel service with operations in North and South America.
  • Maurel & Prom/Knightsbridge Investments Ltd.: Represented the French independent oil company in connection with its acquisition of Colombian and Venezuelan oil and gas assets from Knightsbridge Investments.
  • Zurich Financial Services/Banco Santander: Represented Zurich Financial Services in connection with its long-term alliance in Latin America with Banco Santander S.A.
  • Teva Pharmaceutical/Procter & Gamble: Represented Teva in connection with its joint venture with P&G to combine their over-the-counter consumer health care businesses in Latin America and other markets worldwide.
  • Insight Venture Partners/Folhamatic Tecnologia Sistemas: Represented Insight in connection with its acquisition of Folhamatic, a tax and accounting software company based in Brazil.
  • Folhamatic/IOB: Represented Folhamatic, a tax and accounting software company based in Brazil, in connection with its acquisition of IOB Informações Objetivas Publicações Jurídicas, a Brazilian tax and regulatory publisher.
  • Bloomberg: Represented Bloomberg LP in joint venture transactions for electronic trading platforms and securities brokerage.

Selected Professional and Business Activities

Maria-Leticia is an active supporter of many charitable organizations, including Aid for Life/Aid for Aids. She is also a member of YPO, Young Presidents' Organization.

Selected Publications and Lectures

Publications

  • "Women in Law: Latin America" in The Legal 500 GC Magazine (July 2022).
  • "Perspectives on Latin America" (February 2022).
  • Featured in Latinvex "M&A Outlook Special Report" (February 2022).
  • Profiled in Latinvex "Willkie Expands Latin America Focus, Team" (November 2021).
  • “Chile Aims to Win Green Hydrogen Race” in Project Finance International (February 2021).
  • Featured in a profile in Latin Counsel (November 2020).
  • “Energy and infrastructure: the resilient opportunities for investment in post-pandemic Latin America” in The Legal 500 GC Latin America Survey 2020 (September 2020).
  • “Latin America Energy & Projects: The COVID-19 Impact” – a Q&A interview by Latinvex (May 2020).
  • GC’s Women in Law: Latin America Edition spotlights an interview with Maria-Leticia (March 2020).
  • The Legal 500, Five Hundred Magazine profiles Maria-Leticia (February 2020).
  • La Republica, leading business newspaper in Colombia, profiled Maria-Leticia and Willkie’s Latin America Practice (December 2019).
  • Portafolio Magazine – Maria-Leticia is profiled and honored with Women Together Award (July 2018).
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (June 2015) - Maria-Leticia is quoted discussing the firm's growing and expanding Latin America practice.

Speaking Engagements

  • Provided introductory remarks for the podcast "How Can Corporate Governance Matters in the ESG Triad Contribute to a Post-Pandemic Recovery in Latin America?" (November 2021).
  • Speaker on panel "Competitive Landscape" for Fordham Law School program Structural Issues in Law Firm Management (March 2021).
  • Provided introductory remarks for the LatinoJustice 2021 President’s Address (January 2021).
  • Participated on a panel for the New Lawyer Institute, “On Ramp to the Legal Profession” hosted by New York City Bar (January 2021).
  • Innovation and Technology: Solutions Leading the Recovery of the Colombian Economy conference – Maria-Leticia spoke on the panel “Beyond COVID-19: New Opportunities for the Fintech Companies” (December 2020).
  • LATAM Sustainable Investment Virtual Summit – Maria-Leticia was a moderator for LATAM Women (September 2020).
  • “From Pandemic to Recovery: Challenges and Opportunities for the Colombian Economy” by the Colombian American Association – Maria-Leticia was a speaker (July 2020).
  • Latam Smart Energy: Maria-Leticia spoke on the panel “Legal overview of the Latin American energy sector post COVID-19” (April 2020).
  • 30 Year Anniversary of the Fordham Law LL.M. Program (October 2019) - Maria-Leticia was the featured speaker at the event.
  • ICC International Court of Arbitration and ICC Colombia Conference (May 2019) - Maria-Leticia spoke on the panel "Problematic Causes."
  • IBA Conference: "Mergers and Acquisitions in Latin America: Challenges and Best Practices in the Era of Compliance" (March 2019) - Maria-Leticia spoke on the panel "Funding M&A Deals."
  • Latin Lawyer Live 9th Annual Private Equity Conference (September 2018) - Maria-Leticia moderated the panel "A Practical Guide to Being FCPA Compliant."
  • Biennial IBA Latin American Regional Forum Conference (March 2018) - Maria-Leticia spoke on the panel "Compliance: Beyond Lava Jato and the Panama Papers."
  • IBA Latin American Regional Forum Conference (March 2016) - Maria-Leticia spoke on the panel “Twenty Something Years of Private Equity in Latin America: a Look Back and a Look Ahead."

 

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