Cariola, Díez, Pérez-Cotapos is a transactional giant best known for its adept handling of complex cross-border matters. Its M&A and banking and finance offerings are envied by competitors and continue to attract local and international clients from a variety of sectors. It may be one of the oldest firms in the market, but age does not stop Cariola Díez from adapting; its solid focus on technology law helps it stand out from others in this chapter. Its rich history, combined with its modern, forward-looking approach leave clients satisfied with the services provided by the firm.
Foreign investors have been quick to snap up assets in Chile and pour money into local projects. This sort of activity kept Cariola Díez’s M&A group extremely busy in 2021. Technology and start-up activity boomed this year, and the firm’s recently formed technology, privacy and media practice group was well-positioned to help clients in this sector. With a mix of lawyers and technology engineers, the team advises clients such as Google and IBM on IT, data privacy, start-up, copyright, blockchain and cybersecurity work. The firm also has an alliance with KPMG to provide data protection and cybersecurity services to its clients. The successful IP practice – run through affiliate Sargent & Krahn – remains a stable source of work. Meanwhile, labour and litigation teams were also kept busy.
The firm places great importance on collaboration inside and outside its walls. All teams work across practice areas, which management believes helps with talent retention, as young lawyers work with a range of partners on different matters.
Cariola Díez has made tangible efforts to increase diversity and foster gender equality in recent years. The firm now counts a total of three women partners, following a promotion at the end of 2021 and the hiring of an in-house lawyer in the spring of 2022. It recognises that its partnership is far from equal and is actively looking to do more to help women progress in their careers.
The firm introduced a mentoring scheme during the pandemic to help nurture a positive and supportive working environment between lawyers of all levels. The programme pairs individuals together, allowing younger associates to learn from more experienced practitioners.
As the partnership continues to expand, management expects the firm to switch to a more institutionalised approach in the next few years. Currently, each partner contributes actively to the administrative running of the firm.
One of the firm’s most important local clients is Enel, the utility group. Mining giant Codelco and América Móvil are two big clients. Other names that frequently hire Cariola Díez include Chilean retailer CCU and Colombian energy group Terpel. According to the latest research into “Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies”, conducted by Latin Lawyer’s affiliate LACCA, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, Cariola Díez represents 15% of the region’s biggest companies, making it Chile’s third most popular firm.
Client praise for Cariola Díez comes in abundance year on year. “They are fast and always willing to solve the most complicated situations with easy recommendations,” says one happy client. Another general counsel applauds the lawyers for their commitment, and many other clients highlighted the speed at which lawyers reply to them.
Juan Pablo Matus is the firm’s managing partner, while Francisco Javier Illanes assists in his capacity as senior partner.
Alliances and networks
Cariola Díez is a member of the global commercial law firm networks Interlaw, Advoc and L&E Global.