Published September 2017
Which law firms are regularly retained by the region's largest 100 companies? LACCA presents its landmark research.
While many hope Chile’s incoming president Sebastian Piñera will help to turn things around for a country that was once the safest place to do business in the region and favoured by investors, local law firms have been busy advising clients amid the barrage of regulatory changes and uncertainty.
While the left-wing governments of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela represent the remaining vestiges of Latin America’s pink tide, LACCA’s research reveals that all three countries present a very varied landscape for the region’s biggest businesses and create very different challenges for local firms.
We analyse which law firms came out on top of our landmark research into “Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies” and take a look at developments in the legal market across the region.
Colombia has experienced mixed fortunes in recent years; while its 2016 peace deal boosted civil security the agreement failed to have the positive economic effects many predicted. Added to this, the country’s ambitious infrastructure development has also encountered an unexpected slowdown. Nevertheless, local firms have been busy advising local companies through various business-friendly reforms, and remain optimistic about the country’s economic future.
LACCA's research reveals that GCs across Latin America have been focusing on implementing strategies to curb legal costs over the past year, and while in-house departments continue to rely heavily on external counsel for highly technical matters, or getting to grips with new legislation, they are much more likely to shop around and get the best prices and prefer firms that offer flexible fee arrangements.
2017 saw a welcome end to Brazil’s worst recession on record. LACCA’s research paper, “Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies?”, suggests the enhanced economic outlook drove a lot of the transactional work firms handled last year, while the country’s ever growing focus on ethical business continues to generate surges in demand for white-collar crime and compliance services.
While Central America is home to some of Latin America’s smallest markets, the region also presents some big challenges for local legal teams with limited resources, who are replying more and more on external counsel with regional operations for cross-jurisdictional guidance.
Each year, LACCA conducts detailed research into which law firms represent Latin America’s largest 100 companies, as ranked by revenue. These tables show which companies make up our top 100, and also which law firms represent them, both region-wide and in different jurisdictions.
Mexico’s economy has proven resilient to fears that US President Trump’s policies would harm exports and investments and local lawyers say the past year was record-breaking for law firms.
A strong track record of economic growth, plus a well-established framework to support investors have continued to spur business development in both Uruguay and Paraguay over the past few years keeping local law firms busier than ever.
While Peru may have experienced a period of political instability recently, the macroeconomic policies and reforms implemented over the past few years have left the country fairly immune to political volatility and secured its position as one of the best places to do business in Latin America.
The past year was marked by a flurry of pro-business reforms in Argentina as the government continued its drive to improve market conditions and boost investment, keeping law firms busier than ever.