2021 Latin Lawyer Elite firm
Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos is a transactional giant with a flair for complex cross-border work. Its corporate, M&A and banking and finance offerings are exemplary, attracting local and international clients across many sectors. One of the oldest in the market, Cariola Díez knows how to adapt to stay relevant; its solid focus on technology law and tools helps it stand out from its competitors. Its rich history, combined with its modern, forward-looking approach mean that clients remain extremely satisfied with the service offered.
The technology, privacy and media practice group at Cariola Díez is now two years old and has had continued success, helping clients with IT, data privacy, start-up, copyright, blockchain, cybersecurity and related contracts work. With a mix of lawyers and technology engineers, the team supports clients such as Google and IBM. The firm has an alliance with KPMG to provide data protection and cybersecurity services to its clients.
The firm’s dispute resolution area saw a huge increase in client demand in 2020 – Cariola Díez says it essentially doubled its amount of work compared to 2019. Its labour, tax, regulatory affairs and M&A areas remained steadily active. The successful IP practice – run through affiliate Sargent & Krahn – also remains a stable source of work.
In recognition of China’s growing importance in Chile’s economic panorama, there is a dedicated Asia desk. The firm’s links with Asian law firms also continue to help it attract mandates from companies and banks in that area of the world.
Cariola Díez has teamed up with Latin American IT company Cognitiva, creating Lexnova, an AI-powered legal solutions tool in the Spanish language. The firm uses Lexnova for internal use and offers it to in-house teams in companies and governmental institutions across Latin America. Its latest tool, an AI-backed system that will benefit clients in the banking sector during loan application processes, is set to roll out in 2021.
The firm places great importance on collaboration both inside and outside its walls. All teams work across practice areas, which management believes helps with talent retention, since young lawyers get to work with a range of partners on different matters and it allows them to carve out their focus.
The firm’s two-year gender equality policy has made waves empowering more female – and male – lawyers at the firm to take advantage of flexiworking opportunities. Cariola Díez also introduced a mentoring scheme at the end of 2020 not only to help combat the issues that remote working can raise but also to bring partners closer to associates across the firm on a regular basis. The firm promoted lawyers to partnership in its corporate, insurance and real estate, and IP divisions in 2020.
One of the firm’s most important local clients is Enel, the utility group. Local pulp and paper company Arauco is another big client. International names that frequently hire Cariola Díez include Google, Chinese food and drinks group JoyVio, US retail giant Levi Strauss & Co and Saudi gas company Gasco. According to the latest research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s affiliate, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, Cariola Díez represents 7% of the region’s biggest companies.
Client praise for Cariola Díez comes in abundance year on year. “The firm works very closely with its clients in a highly professional manner; I would like to highlight their lawyers’ great willingness to help with specific issues that arise in our business,” says one happy client. Another general counsel applauds the lawyers for being responsive, creative and analytical, and many other clients highlighted the speed at which lawyers reply to them.
Alliances and networks
Cariola Díez is a member of the global commercial law firm networks Interlaw and Advoc. It joined L&E Global in 2018, from which it receives referrals.