Firm Profile

Carey

Chile

Blue-chip titan

LL 250 Elite

Established: 1905

Partners: 41

Lawyers: 209


Female partners: 12%

Partner to associate ratio: 5.5

Work areas
23

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

GxR Data Vis
Rankings
Listed work areas
LACCA Approved rankings
Large company clients
Strategy and management
Gender balance
P:A ratio
Partner promotions
International training
Pro bono
Track Record
M&A deals
Capital market deals

2021 Latin Lawyer Elite firm

The undisputed titan that is Carey proved in 2020, if there was ever a need to confirm this, that its deep bench, enviable size and excellent quality of legal advice can stand the test of just about anything, including a global economic slowdown caused by the covid-19 pandemic. Clients and competitor law firms line up to praise Carey, both for the service it provides and for its emblematic institutionalisation.

Carey is known for its innovative approach and prides itself on having a ‘DNA of collaboration’ among its partnership. Its motto: make the pie grow and we all get a bigger piece, rather than lawyers fighting to simply get a bigger slice for themselves.

Carey has one of the most modern management styles in Latin America. It promotes cross-selling via a compensation system aimed at generating team spirit. The firm prioritises organic growth over senior-level lateral hiring and makes regular promotions to its partnership, even during the pandemic. It has a strict ‘up or out’ policy, which means all associates are striving for the top positions. It places huge importance on building cross-disciplinary teams when required and has other professionals including accountants, economists and industry experts on hand to ensure clients receive a 360-degree approach to their legal problems. The firm is also known for its diversity initiatives, such as a mentoring programme for female lawyers, which it organises in collaboration with the Vance Center in New York.

Partner promotions in its tax and corporate and M&A practice areas in 2020 were a reflection of the strength and continued growth the firm has been able to uphold even in a challenging year. Indeed, no one has been let go – the firm has actually hired more talent this year. No salaries have been reduced, pro bono work has continued, and the firm has offered all kinds of support to its staff and lawyers – including counselling for those who want it – during these troubling times. One of the partner promotions was a woman, demonstrating Carey’s long-term commitment to increasing female partnership through organic growth. In 2021, the firm continued this expansive approach, hiring over 20 associates, thus bolstering its M&A, antitrust, administrative law, energy, environment, litigation, tax and intellectual property practice areas. It also boosted its public law group by hiring a prominent constitutional lawyer as practice head, a month after the committee responsible for drafting Chile’s new constitution met for the first time. In addition, the firm strengthened its labour and finance departments by promoting two lawyers to partner. Those appointments took place just weeks after Carey hired more government expertise after a former tax associate re-joined the firm as partner and co-leader of that practice following a three-year stint as head of tax policy at Chile’s Ministry of finance.

International investors looking to take advantage of the competitive prices of Chilean assets have kept Carey’s M&A team busier than ever, with progressive growth in this practice area across 2020. Its tax, litigation, life sciences, venture capital, labour and bankruptcy and restructuring groups have boomed in line with client demand. In one headline mandate, the restructuring team advised marquee client Qatar Airways on the highly-publicised billion-dollar refinancing and insolvency proceedings of Latin American airline LATAM. The Qatari flagship carrier is a majority shareholder in LATAM.

Carey’s transactional muscle is envied by many, both locally and internationally – its corporate and M&A, banking and finance, project finance and capital markets practices are highly sought after by clients and openly admired by competitors. There are equally strong non-transactional offerings. Carey has the largest patent practice of any Chilean full-service firm, and it has leveraged strength in IP to build a name for itself in life sciences and pharmaceuticals work. Its agribusiness, consumer, family business, data protection, fintech and venture capital practice areas also help the firm to stand head and shoulders above many of its competitors. Its China desk is also noteworthy, with three senior lawyers working on it, attracting clients in the Chinese lithium and electricity sectors. With around 70% of their enviably long clientele being international, Carey says its global outlook has helped keep the firm going from strength to strength. Looking ahead, the firm wants to strengthen its already-impressive insurance and tax groups, as it expects an increase in client demand following upcoming pension reforms.

A large number of companies routinely rely on Carey. The firm’s client list is probably the most extensive of any firm in Chile. According to a recent study, ‘Who Represents Latin America's Biggest Companies’, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Carey represents 12% of the region’s largest companies and remains in the top three Chilean firms in the rankings. A few of the firm’s core clients, which sum up its international appeal, are utility group China State Grid, Qatar Airways and Canadian asset group Brookfields. Disney is another standout client, while state-owned mining group Codelco is a local regular at the firm. The Chilean government regularly calls upon Carey for advice on public policy, especially on recent data protection and banking legislation.

Clients consistently praise the lawyers at Carey for their knowledge, experience and dedication, and many highlight lawyers’ business mindset. One client highlights that lawyers here “answer all your questions, providing the proper risk analysis for you to take a risk-based decision about what you asked. They offer you alternatives ways of solution to the same issue and their responses are accurate and timely.” A client in the technology industry sums up the firm well: “These lawyers are subject matter experts, and they demonstrate a wealth of experience in a wide variety of substantive areas. Their advice is practical and business-friendly, and their attorneys are very responsive.”

Management

Jaime Carey is the managing partner and one of Chile’s most eminent tax and M&A lawyers. He is supported by four other partners in Carey’s executive committee: Jorge Carey, who is credited with elevating the firm to the high standing it enjoys today, Alfonso Silva, Salvador Valdés and Lorena Pavic.

Alliances & networks

Carey is a member of The Interlex Group, TerraLex, the World Services Group, the Pacific Rim Advisory Council, Talklaw and the Employment Law Alliance. Carey is the Chilean member firm of Brazilian law firm network Alianca de Advocacia Empresarial (ALAE) since 2018, which has given the firm greater exposure to Brazilian firms outside of the major hubs of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

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