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Latin Lawyer 250 2017

CR & F Rojas Abogados

Bolivia

Traditional player with a modern outlook

  • Established: 1900
  • Partners: 4
  • Total lawyers: 21

CR & F Rojas is among the elite of Bolivia’s corporate firms. Its pedigree and exemplary case history established over more than a century of operation are the envy of firms in the market. The firm is the first port of call for an impressive contingent of international companies seeking sophisticated advice in its core areas of corporate, intellectual property and litigation. Experienced teams of lawyers in industry-specific groups are another attraction to clients, particularly those in heavily regulated sectors.

Now led by third and fourth generations of the Rojas family, this firm is certainly not short on tradition, although it increasingly favours a modern, global outlook. Recently, CR & F Rojas has altered its structure to improve coordination and better align back room processes across its two offices in La Paz and Santa Cruz. Although a costly process, the firm says adopting the structure has helped boost its staff’s healthcare and pension entitlements and made it better protected from the vicissitudes of the Bolivian market. In the longer term, it says the structure could also pave the way for non-family equity partners down the line.

Expansion is on the cards among its lower ranks. CR & F Rojas’ acquisition of a new floor in its Santa Cruz office is set to open in 2017 and the firm recently added associate headcount in government procurement, energy and criminal litigation areas. Its long-standing focus on professional education through international LLMs or working in firms overseas has been maintained.

This combination of a sensible strategy to professionalise its service, along with a willingness to grow in line with client demand and a proactive approach towards attracting new business, is likely to ensure CR & F Rojas remains a dominant player at the top of the country’s legal market. Indeed, one regional general counsel that returned to the firm after seeking out alternative counsel confirms CR & F Rojas’ reputation as a capable, experienced and dependable corporate ally in one of Latin America’s most challenging markets.

Offices

CR & F Rojas has a strong presence in La Paz and Santa Cruz, where the firm has acquired bigger and more modern offices in a building that is scheduled to be finished by early 2017.

Alliances & Networks

A firm believer in the value of networks, CR & F Rojas is the sole Bolivian member of an impressive six global alliances, meaning many clients come via referrals from firms outside Bolivia’s borders. The firm is a founding member of Club de Abogados, and is also part of Lex Mundi, State Capital, the World Services Group, Multilaw and the International Network of Boutique Law Firms.

Clients

CR & F Rojas regularly advises global names in food and drink, pharmaceuticals, banking, communications and construction, in addition to a host of oil and gas clients. Bank of America, Subway, John Deere, Société Générale, Bolivian cement-maker Soboce and Associated Press are just a snapshot.

Practice Areas

Corporate and M&A

Key partners: Fernando Rojas draws on more than four decades of experience and is widely regarded as being one of the country’s leading corporate lawyers. The first Bolivian to study at Harvard Law School, he is also a former judge and trained at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York. Managing partner Pablo Rojas, who is recommended in LACCA APPROVED, in-house counsel research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s sister association, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, oversees corporate matters in La Paz, and Diego RojasPatricio Rojas and Elizabeth Landivar handle corporate matters in Santa Cruz.

Analysis: CR & F Rojas’ experienced corporate team assists a broad base of well-known international and domestic clients. Companies from the banking, retail, energy, construction and pharmaceutical sectors are particularly well represented. Bank of America, Subway and John Deere are three high-profile examples.

Litigation

Key partners: Ariel Morales handles disputes work in La Paz and Manfredo Kempff is the go-to name in Santa Cruz. Diego Rojas offers arbitration experience within a broad practice.

Analysis: Disputes resolution is another key area for the firm. The firm’s workload is divided between its two offices in La Paz and Santa Cruz; each of which features a well-stocked and experienced team of practitioners who are a big draw for its clients.

Banking & finance

Key partners: María del Carmen Ballivián carries out banking work within a broad practice that also sees her advise companies in the aviation, telecoms and insurance sectors.

Analysis: Banking and finance is another key area of the firm. The department features several high-profile clients, such as Société Générale, which draw on the team to advise on their operations in Bolivia. The practice also handles capital markets transactions. One headline transaction in recent years saw the team help Peruvian conglomerate Grupo Gloria acquire Bolivian cement-maker Soboce in the largest deal ever conducted on the Bolivian stock exchange.

Labour

Key partners: Sandra Salinas is recommended in LACCA APPROVED for her labour work, which she has done for the likes of Associated Press.

Analysis: Labour law is another fertile source of work for the firm. The team has notable experience assisting a wide array of domestic and foreign clients and is regularly seen working with the firm’s corporate department on a case-by-case basis. Labour litigation and assistance on employment regulations are among the services provided.  

Intellectual property

Key partners: Alejandra Bernal heads the IP practice and is assisted by Paula Bauer, who was promoted to the partnership in 2016.

Analysis: The firm’s intellectual property team may have a lower profile that some of the firm’s other departments, but it has been steadily building its visibility on the back of growing demand for its services. In 2016, the top ranks of the department were strengthened with the promotion of an associate to partner. 

Pro bono

Analysis: Pablo Rojas is the business attaché to the Catholic lay organisation Order of the Knights of Malta, which undertakes charitable works in the country. Un Techo Para Mi País is a former beneficiary of the firm’s pro bono work. The firm is also a member of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Institute.


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