January/February 2017

Welcome to our new and improved magazine.

  • Fees - Odebrecht - Artificial Intelligence - Promotion strategies - Pro bono

Fees - Odebrecht - Artificial Intelligence - Promotion strategies - Pro bono

It is now almost a decade since the global financial crisis, whose seismic impact included a fundamental shift in the way general counsel think about their legal spend. In today’s cost-conscious world, law firms face regular pressure to lower fees. However, while law firms were willing to lower their prices in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, today they are more prepared to defend their value. The results of this year’s fee survey show that Latin American firms have largely preserved their value over the last decade. However, general counsel still expect their service providers to put together realistic fee proposals before starting a project. We explore project-based costing as a win-win solution for all involved.

In our first edition of 2017, we identify the trends to watch out for by taking a closer look at the partner promotion patterns in three of the region’s biggest legal markets. We also explore artificial intelligence – the hot topic that firms around the world are talking about. Two experts reveal the opportunities that law firms should be zoning in on right now.

Also in this edition, the lawyers that helped bring about Odebrecht’s bribery settlement discuss how enforcers in three countries came to reach the historical cross-border agreement, while an associate in Chile shares her experience of life inside a Santiago law firm.

Promoting pro bono

The Vance Center has had a seismic impact on the development of pro bono in Latin America. Leire Larracoechea, an integral member of the team, talks to Zach Marzouk about her contribution to creating the region’s pro bono infrastructure and her ultimate goal to replicate it in her home country, Spain.

Associate viewpoint

Andrea Díaz of Chile’s Morales & Besa tells Latin Lawyer about the thrill of taking a company public, the importance of flexible working arrangements and karaoke with colleagues

Into the spotlight

The record US$3.5 billion settlement between Odebrecht, its affiliate Braskem and enforcement authorities across three continents is being hailed as a benchmark for future cross-border resolutions. Lawyers who worked on the case talk to Vincent Manancourt on and off the record about how it was done

AI: friend or foe?

Some fear the rise of artificial intelligence, but Rohit Talwar and Steve Wells, CEO and COO of Fast Future Publishing, show how it could bring significant opportunity for law firms

Time to find a middle ground

The results of Latin Lawyer’s 2017 fee survey suggest Latin American law firms have preserved their value in the face of persistent price pressure from clients, but there is still room for improvement when it comes to putting together accurate, and profitable, fee proposals. Rosie Cresswell asks if project-based costing is the answer