A decade since we began surveying Latin American firms on their pro bono practices, in this issue we reveal the degree to which pro bono has become ingrained in legal markets around the region in that time. While challenges mean progress can be slow – some firms still consider pro bono an optional extra and senior partners are not always engaged – the growing proliferation of clearing houses spread across the region are connecting more and more disadvantaged populations with counsel. Promisingly, countries that traditionally have not fostered a pro bono culture are in the process of setting up clearing houses, while more established initiatives in larger jurisdictions are expanding their remits to become more inclusive organisations.
Also in this issue, we hear why the growth of arbitration in Latin America presents an opportunity for third-party funders to carve a role – as long as parties to a dispute can handle the novel concerns such financiers present.
Law firms in Latin America today continue to show a disappointing lack of racial diversity. This truth is jarring in Brazil, where the make-up of corporate law firms presents a sharp contrast to that of the wider population. We hear from the president of law firm association CESA about a new project to address the gap.
Also in this issue, we discover whether Brazil’s infrastructure sector may finally have turned a corner and report from Latin Lawyer’s recent conferences: labour and employment in Miami and private equity in New York.
The findings from our latest joint survey suggest pro bono practices are taking root in Latin American law firms. More firms from a greater spread of countries are taking part, and at the same time, a slew of new clearing houses in the region and the growing reach of established initiatives promise to benefit an increasing share of the region’s disadvantaged. Yet challenges remain; in Latin America there is still a deep-rooted culture that is unobliging to pro bono, while lack of funding and uncooperative governments have slowed pro bono’s progress. Vincent Manancourt reports
Our survey results suggest that more partners are participating in their firms’ pro bono programmes. While the increase may be small, the greater involvement of senior lawyers is nonetheless encouraging given the impact it has on a law firm’s overall output
In its mission to spread pro bono throughout Latin America, the Vance Center has focused on supporting the development of local clearing houses. Here, we explore how these organisations are taking pro bono to the next level
Here we list 56 “Leading Lights”: law firms who responded to our survey and whose pro bono efforts during 2016 stood out
The growth of arbitration as a means to settle disputes in Latin America presents an opportunity for third-party funding to thrive, resulting in greater access to justice, particularly for cash-strapped claimants. But teaming up with a third-party financier can also raise novel concerns that must be considered at the outset. Zachary Krug, senior investment officer at Woodsford Litigation Funding in London, and Leonardo Viveiros, chief legal officer at Brazil’s Leste Litigation Finance, present the pros and cons
Carlos José Santos da Silva, president of Brazilian law firm association CESA and partner at Machado Meyer Advogados, tells Luís Bulcão Pinheiro about a joint project between some of Brazil’s leading firms and São Paulo’s University Presbiteriana Mackenzie to address the lack of racial diversity in corporate law firms
Driven by the need to shore up its finances, Brazil’s government is offering an olive branch to companies looking to partner with the state to develop vast infrastructure projects, after years of failing to provide them with legal certainty for their investments. Carlos Ari Sundfeld and Yasser Gabriel of regulatory boutique Sundfeld Advogados consider what companies can expect from the updated public-private partnerships regime and whether it really represents a break from the past