What does it take to be one of Latin America’s top law firms? Over the following pages, we seek to answer that question. Our annual list of Latin Lawyer Elite firms profiles those outfits that we consider to be among the region’s very crème de la crème based on the analysis of five main criteria: service offer, institutional strength, international outlook, financial health and social responsibility. To make the cut, firms must not only provide their clients with exemplary legal work and access to broad, international networks, but also demonstrate a genuine commitment (backed by evidence) to increasing diversity among their senior ranks and promoting other activities in the public interest, such as pro bono. Our hope is that highlighting current best-practice among leading firms across the region will provide a valuable contribution to the ongoing conversation about how to make Latin America’s legal sector more inclusive and encourage others to follow in the wake.
Elsewhere in the magazine, we profile BLP managing partner Luis Castro, who won this year’s Latin Lawyer Law Firm Leader of the Year Award, about the transformation of his humble, seven-lawyer boutique into Costa Rica’s largest firm and one of the leading regional players in Central America. We also report of the rapid development and the challenges that remain for law firms competing in Argentina’s legal market a year-and-half after the election of a new pro-business government, and interview an associate at one of the country’s leading firms about some of the lessons he has learned since becoming the first member of his family to enter the legal profession.
Finally, we report from the first Latin Lawyer-GAR Live Arbitration Summit on why panellists think setting a valuation date is the one of the most challenging aspects in calculating damages and consider how important public law experience is in investor-state cases.
In the space of 16 years, Luis Castro transformed BLP from a seven-lawyer shop into one of Costa Rica's largest firms and a major regional player in all five Central American jurisdictions. He tells Tom Muskett-Ford how he did it
Daniel Levi of Estudio Beccar Varela talks about the importance of finding the right balance between commercial empathy and flexibility, and the challenge of being the first lawyer in his family
Steps taken by Argentina's centre-right government to repair the damage done to investor confidence under the Kirchners means more work is on the way for the country's law firms. But to staff the increasing number of deals, firms are having to find creative ways to maintain their headcount. Lulu Rumsey speaks to the partners putting international exposure, and new approaches to working hours and career evaluations, at the centre of talent-retention strategies
Latin Lawyer profiles the 40 Latin American law firms with an eye firmly on the future.
The Elite firms of 2017 all exhibit successful, innovative strategies and experience. They have all put considerable thought into how to stay at the top of their respective markets, be it through an international strategy, greater investment in talent or software, or astute business development.