Is it bad for President Obama to seek to normalize relations with Cuba but ok for colleagues and law firms to profit from the process?
Bloomberg takes a look at H&K's "Cuba Action Team":
Big Law Business: What is the Cuba Action Team and what have you been doing?I personally don't have any issues with this, but then I supported the President's Cuba initiative.
Fernandez: We as a firm are in a unique position to advise clients on Cuba. We actually have a unique team because we have an attorney who’s a Cuban-born, Cuban-educated lawyer who come over here in 2004 and reestablished herself as a lawyer here Florida. She and I went to Cuba in late February to meet with Cuban lawyers and law firms and foreign investors who are currently operating there.
Big Law Business: And what happened on your trip?
Fernandez: We went down to Havana in late February and have soft plans to return in May, if not April. We have two clients, one in the financial services arena, and one in the tourism arena, that because of these changes have an opportunity in Cuba. We did this so we could understand how these changes are going to be implemented over there under Cuban law.
Big Law Business: Do you envision forming a strategic alliance with a Cuban firm or opening an office there at some point?
Fernandez: I don’t think we’re going to have anything formal with a law firm there. I don’t think that’s what we’re looking for, or that that’s even permitted. But we’ve had meetings with Cuban lawyers. To open an office in Cuba, that’s not permitted. That’s not even contemplated by the new regulations, so I can’t say when it would ever happen.
Big Law Business: What has the Cuba Action Team been doing?
Fernandez: We’ve been advising clients that are doing business in Cuba and the Caribbean for years. This team has been around since the early 1990s. It gets together and has reenergized itself every time there’s been a change. For the most part, the embargo prohibited any basic financial transactions, but over the years, there were some changes. We have folks in Miami, but also folks in Washington, D.C., and in New York. We have a very large international trade group
We went down to Havana in late February and have soft plans to return in May, if not April. We have two clients, one in the financial services arena, and one in the tourism arena, that because of these changes have an opportunity in Cuba.
The question I have is for folks who only have one of these, not both.