Firm Profile

Bruchou & Funes de Rioja

Argentina

Elite dealmakers with broad platform

LL 250 Elite

Established: 1990

Partners: 54

Lawyers: 150


Female partners: 16%

Partner to associate ratio: 2.4

Work areas
20

This firm is elite for services in the following work areas.

Argentine powerhouse firm Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi announced in July 2022 that it had merged with highly regarded labour boutique Funes de Rioja & Asociados.

As well as this tie-up, the firm made two new partners in 2022, boosting its M&A and administrative law practices. Further additions, including a lateral hire from a Colombian intellectual property specialist firm, have reinforced other departments.

Before this development, Bruchou maintained a reputation as an undisputed leader in finance transactions, capably handling a volume and quality of work that most firms in the country would struggle to compete with. Although, its offering spanned further than this, making it a powerful full-service platform. Now, the new enhanced firm, operating as Bruchou & Funes de Rioja, is set to build upon these strengths and has further bolstered its labour offering.

The firm’s finance practice continues to be high in demand, having become so partly due to the group’s excellent links to financial institutions, while its capital markets offering is a cut above the rest and is frequently seen on sizable and innovative transactions. In addition to this, the corporate and M&A team is, without doubt, one of the strongest in Argentina.

2022 has already proven itself to be difficult for Argentina’s economy, political changes and rising inflation have resulted in little direct investment from foreign companies. However, the firm has seen a steady flow of work in some of its practice areas, including restructuring, banking and finance, agriculture and customs.

Many components of the firm’s service offering win strong client reviews, such as its disputes, labour, tax and natural resources practices, where the firm is doing a significant amount of work in the renewables and oil and gas sectors. Infrastructure has also been an area where the firm has come out on top, and it is playing a role in the financing of several important public-private partnership (PPP) projects. The newly arrived partners from legacy Funes de Rioja also bring solid client reviews for their availability and strategic vision, as well as their impressive expertise in labour relations and negotiations.

Bruchou has taken big strides to ensure it can offer clients a truly comprehensive service. It routinely analyses the market to ensure it consolidates existing practice areas, as well as adds new ones. The firm has a broad and diverse client following, having recently represented big-name financial institutions such as Banco Macro and Grupo Financiero BBVA Bancomer, as well as international companies from the retail and oil and gas industries, including Natura and YPF.

A modified lockstep compensation system designed to assure collaboration is in place, while all lawyers are also assigned a mentor. Mentors are evaluated for their contribution in this area during annual 360-degree performance reviews, where it is given the same weight as bringing in new clients. The firm has also assembled six core values against which partners’ performance is assessed and measured.

Career paths are transparent and meritocratic, and clients welcome Bruchou’s international air as the firm is home to several partners with experience at some of the leading firms in New York. The firm is taking other steps to safeguard its future, having implemented a new, modern corporate governance system a few years ago. This is designed to ensure Bruchou’s longevity by making it more attractive to younger partners and is a novel structure in Argentina. It is unusual for founding partners to remain at the firm and step aside for a newer managing committee, but Bruchou is striving for continuity and maturity by putting faith in younger generations. The firm has looked to elite examples in other countries to shape its own institutionalised model.

In 2022, Bruchou elected partner María Lucila Winschel to its executive committee, the first time a woman occupies such a position at the firm. This is also the first time the firm has no founding partners in its executive committee.

In addition, the firm introduced a platform for climate action and sustainable businesses in 2021. This initiative aims to meet growing demand from clients regarding concerns that have become increasingly prominent on global, regional and local corporate agendas. This new platform builds on Bruchou’s environmental, social and corporate governance practice and experience in environmental law, sustainable businesses, clean energies and green financing.

Management

The firm renewed the committee in 2022 and, in line with the merger, it now includes Liban A Kusa, chairman Hugo N L Bruzone, Ignacio Funes de Rioja and Rodrigo Funes de Rioja. This committee works closely with the newly formed board of directors which includes Eduardo J Viñales, Florencia Funes de Rioja, Guillermo F Perego, José María Bazán, María Lucila Winschel and Mariano L Luchetti.

Alliances & networks

Bruchou is a member of the World Law Group and Taxand.

Unlock unlimited access to all Latin Lawyer content