Published April 2020
Through this uncertainty, our commitment is to provide general counsel and legal teams with the information and insight they need to navigate the current market. As such, we are reporting on how covid-19 affects our audience, including what it means for companies, as well as the impact on legal teams themselves. All these articles can be found here and are free to view.
A survey conducted by LACCA reveals the majority of Latin American GCs polled are most concerned about the threat of economic instability and civil unrest to come as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. But with careful budget planning and certain changes to business and legal strategy, in-house teams can muster up the resilience that has historically characterised the region.
Covid-19 has put the world on hold; most experts say the prospect of lifting lockdown measures relies heavily on finding an effective vaccine to stop the virus spreading. Several governments look set to introduce controversial compulsory licensing laws for any breakthrough vaccine to become publicly available, but legal teams in Latin America have voiced concerns about how this will impact IP rights in the region.
The covid-19 crisis has accelerated the need for more digitalisation in the banking sector, says Luis Alberto Cárdenas Díaz, the director of legal business for Banco Sabadell in Mexico, as well as for more efficient use of legal resources both in-house and by outside counsel. These are now immediate priorities for the banking sector, he says.
In response to the unprecedented impact of covid-19, LACCA and Latin Lawyer have launched a free-to-view and regularly updated information hub. Read about legislation and official communications issued by governments across Latin America in response to the evolving crisis here.
Tech giant Microsoft and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have teamed up once again to provide a digital cloud solution to Latin American governments that will help companies and legal teams continue carrying out administrative tasks during the covid-19 pandemic despite lockdown measures.
As the covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, Latin American companies are doing all they can to implement emergency contingency measures to effectively manage their workforce and keep business productivity flowing.
The covid-19 crisis has led to a dramatic downturn in global mobility. LACCA asked member firms of Ius Laboris, the world’s largest HR and employment law firm alliance, to provide guidance on the pandemic’s impact on travel, global mobility and immigration for businesses in Brazil and Argentina.
It’s information overload for legal teams at the moment, who are inundated with guidance from external counsel on how to handle operations amid the covid-19 crisis. As governments race to push through fresh legislation each day, LACCA finds out how in-house counsel and law firms are communicating during this unprecedented time, and what is and isn’t working.
The employment paradigm in Argentina has shifted as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, and legal teams have new labour issues to handle. But what has shaped the “new normal” for labour lawyers and how can they handle it? Alejandro Liporace, labour relations legal manager at energy company YPF, investigates.
Small and medium-sized Latin American companies with US operations could be eligible for help from the US government’s paycheck protection programme, part of the CARES Act passed in response to the covid-19 pandemic. But while the programme has its benefits, the pool of Latin American SMEs eligible to take part is limited and, for those that do, there are potential risks involved.
Some countries are easing the restrictions they previously put in place to combat covid-19 while others are still taking a firm stance. In the third article of a series on this topic, LACCA turns to member firms of Ius Laboris, the world’s largest HR and employment law firm alliance, provide guidance on the impact of covid-19 on mobility and labour legislation in Mexico and Peru.
The covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed global mobility and companies have had to adapt quickly. In the second article of a series on this topic, LACCA turns to member firms of Ius Laboris, the world’s largest HR and employment law firm alliance, to provide guidance on the impact on travel, mobility and immigration in Venezuela and Chile.
During what is usually high season for the industry, LACCA finds out how legal teams in Latin America’s tourism and hospitality sector are coping with the covid-19 pandemic.
The covid-19 pandemic has devastated economies and populations across the world, leaving many people and companies vulnerable. But there is an upside: carbon emissions are decreasing, air pollution levels are down and damaged ecosystems are recovering. With businesses returning to varying degrees of normality over the coming months, can companies keep with the trend and make their business models more sustainable?
External counsel are a much-needed lifeboat many companies depend on even when a global crisis is not ensuing. A recent poll by LACCA highlights what legal teams are looking for when choosing their external counsel in a pandemic. The results indicate GCs are weighing up proactivity, different perspectives and whether a firm can read the room before they decide who to hire.
It’s painfully simple. With most places around the world ground to a halt amid the covid-19 crisis, the global demand for the world’s most popular energy source – oil – has plummeted. Brazil is no exception. This is far from ideal for state-owned Petrobras, but it’s also concerning for small and medium-sized businesses in the oil sector having to adapt to this new paradigm.
Chile is the only country in the world pressing ahead with plans to issue carnets de alta – release cards – for individuals who have recovered after contracting coronavirus. The logic behind the cards is to enable staff who have had covid-19 to return to work quickly to help restart the economy. But companies must tread carefully, with the legal implications surrounding the use of the cards leaving lawyers divided over their effectiveness.
Mexican state-owned oil giant Pemex dominates its nation’s oil industry, but it’s also the world’s most indebted company. The global oil crisis, in part triggered by the covid-19 pandemic, spells disaster for the government’s controversial plans for the industry, but more private sector involvement could be the silver lining to come.
Covid-19 landed in Latin America on 26 February, bringing with it an onslaught of labour and employment issues for the region’s companies and workers. Latin America’s top in-house counsel are seeking the best advice from the region’s labour lawyers on how to handle their workforces in the wake of the crisis, as the evolving outbreak presents unique employment issues for businesses.
Governments in Central America – a region historically plagued by crime and social unrest – have produced varying responses to the covid-19 pandemic. But the region has banded together before to tackle natural disasters, immigration issues and violence – could it do the same against covid-19?
In late February Brazil reported the first case of covid-19 – the respiratory disease sweeping the globe – in Latin America. LACCA contacted lawyers at the Mexican and Brazilian member firms of Ius Laboris, the world’s largest HR and employment law firm alliance, to get guidance on some of the most frequently asked questions around HR, employment and the coronavirus outbreak.
The covid-19 pandemic has paralysed the world economy. Companies are in survival mode, but also need to make plans for the day after. Marval O'Farrell Mairal M&A partner Ricardo Beller recalls the different paths companies followed to overcome Argentina’s prior crises and considers their value today.
Covid-19 has left companies in hot water, with many falling behind on credit payments and commercial obligations. LACCA considers how legal departments can keep their businesses in the clear and try to mitigate the financial problems covid-19 might cause their companies.
Technologies that foster remote working are having a moment. The covid-19 pandemic means most of us are working from home, with lawyers relying on online communication platforms to contact colleagues and clients. Within this era of remote working, tech threats loom larger than ever. GCs across the region must ensure their employees, businesses and data are protected.
It is an old egalitarian principle to leave no one behind. But structural inequalities, lack of political will and a huge percentage of informal workers in Latin America means that not everyone is legally protected by government furlough schemes during the covid-19 pandemic.