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Juan Picon, Global Co-Chair of the Latin America Practice at Latham & Watkins, passed away June 19, 2019. (Photo: Latham & Watkins)
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Latham & Watkins Remembers Juan Picon

Colleagues remember Spanish lawyer known for leadership skills.




Juan Picon, Global Co-Chair of the Latin America Practice at Latham & Watkins, has passed away after a short battle with lymphoma.

“Juan was a good friend and an extremely valued colleague,” Tony Del Pino, Global Co-Chair of the Latin America Practice, said in a statement. “He was a strategic thinker and a dynamic and engaging person who impacted the lives of many people. I will miss him dearly.”

Prior to joining Latham in early 2018, Picon was the Global Co-Chairman of DLA Piper.

He received his degree in law and economics from the ICADE Business School at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in 1987, and an LLM in European Community Law from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in 1989

In addition to serving as Office Managing Partner of Latham’s Madrid office, he played a large part in strengthening the firm’s practice in Europe and Latin America and advised on countless landmark corporate transactions in Spain and across Europe and Latin America.

“Under Juan’s leadership, Latham has been recognized as a leading business law firm in Latin America by Latin Lawyer as well as a Top 5 International Law Firm in Latin America by Latinvex,” the firm said.

“We mourn the passing of our extraordinary and dear friend and partner,” Latham & Watkins Chair and Managing Partner Rich Trobman said. “A giant in so many ways, and an inspiration to all who knew him, we mourn the loss of a truly special individual. He positively impacted the lives of so many, and he will be deeply missed.”

He recalls Picon’s uncanny ability to connect with others on the deepest of levels. “Even though Juan had only been with Latham for under two years, it’s as if he had been here for decades, and, as is true with leaders of his extraordinary ability and profound character, he had so much more to contribute,” Trobman said. “Juan was a man of deep-rooted compassion and inner strength, touching the lives of so many at the firm and throughout the profession.  His unassuming leadership style belied his determination, grit, and fierce competitiveness. One could not want for a better partner, colleague and friend. He will be remembered for his boundless energy, generous spirit, and tremendous courage.”

Meanwhile, Jose María Aznar, who served as prime minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004 and now serves as a special advisor to Latham & Watkins, remembers Picon as “an extraordinary individual, an extraordinary professional, and an extraordinary friend. I will cherish all of the fond memories and great moments we’ve shared over the years, of which there have been so many. Rest in peace.”

Picon was a true believer in the quintessential value of servant leadership, as he poignantly shared in the firm’s Leadership My Way

video series. In his view, leaders “aren’t just the rainmakers. They’re the star makers, creating the opportunity for others to grow instead of focusing on themselves.” With his signature humility and candor, he also shared that “leaders need to take themselves not too seriously; things could evolve in life, they could go up or down, and you should be the same person. You should remain authentic.”

Chief Operating Officer LeeAnn Black says she saw these exact qualities first-hand: “Juan was an exemplary leader, mentor, and team player; he inspired immense loyalty and spirit. His enthusiasm and passion to develop the next generation of lawyers was palpable, and his desire for others to succeed and achieve their personal and professional dreams is the true measure of this extraordinary man. His legacy is enormous, and we are all the better for knowing him. We will greatly miss his big heart and positive attitude.”

Partner Jordi Dominguez added: “Since the day I met Juan, I could sense he was an inspiring leader. He was a great example for all of us: his core values, his endless optimism, and his general attitude toward the challenges in our lives were an inspiration. He cared for all of us; he wanted us to be happy and encouraged everyone to work together toward a common goal. He made us all feel important, a true mark of his character. We will miss you, Juan. You will always be in our memories. Rest in peace.”

partner José María Jiménez-Laiglesia said Picon “was special in the sense that he had a gift — one which he could surround himself with people of different personalities and outlooks and influence everyone to work together. He loved Latham, and we loved him. We will miss him.”

Practicing what he preached, Picon was regularly recognized not only for his expertise but also for his tremendous collegiality and ability to bring the firm’s resources to bear for clients. Chambers noted that Juan’s clients were “impressed with his ability to mobilize the resources in the firm well” and that “his main strength is that he’s just an exceptional person and gets on with everyone.”

Partner Ignacio Gomez-Sancha, colleague and friend for many years, remembers Picon as a truly remarkable man: “Juan has left an unforgettable mark in the world. He had an astonishing capacity to enrich others’ lives and change them for the better, and I’m humbled to have been one of the many beneficiaries of the pure joy he emanated. Juan had an amazing energy, and anyone within his orbit gained from being in his presence. A giant in the legal profession — and a peerless one at that — the impact Juan has had across industries is doubtlessly unmatched. We will miss him, his affability, and his true passion for people and the law.”

Partner Ignacio Pallares says: “I cannot express in words my gratitude to Juan for providing me with assurance, guidance, and space to develop my career. With no doubt, his enthusiasm, ambition, and kindness have inspired us all and will continue to do so in the future. ‘Upwards and onwards’ was his constant motto when he joined our firm, and I’m sure he would smile knowing that it’s now that of the entire office.”

Partner Jose Antonio Sanchez also laments the loss of his colleague: “Not only has Juan been a unique leader and true lawyer, but also an incredible friend. The way he has always managed to gain the loyalty and admiration of those around him has been mind-blowing. He always sought to support and make sure that his team members grew into the best they could and took pride in the success of others working with him. Clients and the whole industry loved him, and young lawyers saw him as an example. Sharing all these years with him has been a real privilege. He was one of a kind.”


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