Bustamante Fabara has quickly found its footing in the Ecuadorian legal market. Following the successful merger of Bustamante & Bustamante and Fabara & Compañía in November 2021, the combined firm now sits comfortably among the largest in the country with over 90 lawyers.
María Rosa Fabara takes the helm as managing partner of the new firm, being one of the few women in that role in the country’s legal market. José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa, the former managing partner at legacy Bustamante & Bustamante, acts as chairman.
Bustamante Fabara has set its sights on institutionalising, and it is on a fast track to doing so: the firm established a board of directors comprising five members including the managing partner and chairperson of the firm, responsible for all strategic decisions.
The firm intends to become a trailblazer, and as such has adopted an unconventional approach to its partnership structure. Partners at Bustamante Fabara have relinquished any previous equity entitlement, indicative of a wider career plan in place at the firm, through which the firm intends to improve the transparency and accessibility on the path to partnership. Over the past year, the firm has established a variety of programmes, many of which are aimed at facilitating the progress of associates and retaining talent. One of such initiatives is the creation of a lawyers’ academy incorporating some of the youngest associates at the firm, to be taught and mentored by more senior professionals.
Bustamante Fabara also stands out for its diversity figures: the firm reports that 35% of its partners are women. According to Latin Lawyer’s most recent research into this matter, the average share of women lawyers in the partnerships of law firms in Ecuador was 16%.
Bustamante Fabara has a broad service offering, building up on the strengths from its legacy entities: strong corporate and M&A and IP departments, as well as energy and mining know-how, with capabilities in banking and finance. Meanwhile, over the past year, the firm has been especially active in antitrust, labour and tax. The firm has no plans to stop there, it intends to expand its expertise in white-collar crime for example.
While expanding its offering, the firm is also growing its clientele and there are also plans to shift towards a regional market base over the coming years. Corporate and social responsibility is also a high priority for the firm, with increasing pro bono work a priority in the coming months.
The firm is headquartered in Quito and has a solid operation in Guayaquil.
Alliances and networks
The firm is well connected globally as a member of Multilaw, the World Services Group, the International Trademark Association, the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property and the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property.