At the age of 69, as active as ever, Paulo Cezar Aragão remains among Brazil’s most influential and respected lawyers, a titan of the profession capable of making the difference at a high-stakes negotiation table like very few are.
Law firm participation on behalf of corporates in the discussions that led to the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement is evidence of the unique perspective lawyers bring to the table in interactions between companies and governments.
In shining a spotlight on issues that have been bubbling under the surface for years, the covid-19 pandemic and the pressure it puts on client appetite for costly legal services is a chance for progressive law firms to rethink entirely how they value what they do. In doing so, they can remodel themselves into organisations of the future.
The average hourly rate charged by Latin American law firms is falling. Data suggests this was the case even before the onset of the economic crisis induced by covid-19, particularly for associate rates. As firms consider creative means to serve challenged clients, prices are likely to reduce even further.
The covid-19 pandemic and the social and economic upheaval it has brought with it can be blamed for a lot of things. The falling value of law firm hourly rates is not one of them. A survey of nearly 100 law firms shows average rates per hour for partners and associates were falling well before the onset of pandemic-related economic disruption.
A recent Latin Lawyer survey of more than 100 Latin American law firms indicates a significant proportion – one in five – have opted not to reopen their offices after closing earlier this year in response to the covid-19 pandemic. Those that have reopened are operating at much-reduced capacity, with safety precautions in place. Our survey highlights changing attitudes towards office life and the chief concerns partners have about remote working.
The fallout of covid-19 is indelibly altering how law firms operate and deliver their services. The managing partners of Elite firms reveal the profound changes the crisis has spelled for their firms and the adaptations they are undergoing to remain at the peak of their markets.
Even after the spread of covid-19 has peaked, it is likely the world will be a very different place. In the legal industry, the pandemic has led to changes in how law firms serve their clients that may well endure beyond the crisis. Some of these changes were in the air before covid-19, but now they seem more necessary than ever, finds Jaime Fernández Madero of Fernández Madero Consulting.
The 2020 Latin Lawyer Elite firms are profiled in this series. As the spider charts illustrate, they have each carved out their own path towards excellence and demonstrate unique areas of strength.
The fallout of covid-19 is indelibly altering how law firms operate and deliver their services. Managing partners of Elite firms reveal the profound changes the crisis has spelled for their firms and the adaptations they are undergoing to remain at the peak of their markets.