2021 Latin Lawyer Elite firm
With age comes wisdom – and grace – and Santiago’s oldest firm remains the envy of competitors thanks to its multifaceted strengths across the board. Claro & Cía is a highly competitive firm with solid transactional groups complemented by equally impressive non-transactional areas. Its antitrust, litigation, energy and mining practices make this a truly top-tier full-service firm. Both local and international clients feel they receive the best service from this firm with many returning time and time again.
Claro’s restructuring team was busy in 2020, helping companies, including LATAM Airlines and the Casino group, adjust to the devastating impact on businesses of the covid-19 pandemic. The team’s energy, infrastructure and M&A groups were also highly visible, the firm reports, adding that it clocked more billable hours overall in 2020 than in 2019.
The firm promoted two new partners in the antitrust and M&A groups, in response to growing client demand, while the person-power required of its restructuring team in recent months has seen more lawyers lending their expertise to this area. Claro is also expanding its tax team, in preparation for an expected rise in mandates linked to anticipated tax reforms.
The key to Claro’s remarkable success lies in its partnership. The firm has an effective partner-associate ratio that sees clients get excellent service and ensures associates have some of the best training available in the country. It favours organic growth so that the culture of the firm is maintained at all levels. Partners take a multidisciplinary approach, and its leadership insists that the firm is not separated strictly by practice areas; rather, lawyers team up depending on each client’s needs. That strategy explains the firm’s consistently high deal flow, as it means Claro can attend large, complex deals with ease.
Claro’s long-standing commitment to technology meant the firm was ready to operate online long before the Chilean protests of 2019 and the 2020 pandemic led lawyers to work from home. The firm is looking into how to use artificial intelligence as the digital revolution makes waves in Chile.
Global trade operator DP World, Canadian fertiliser company Nutrien and global automotive distributor Inchcape are clients of the firm. LATAM Airlines is a long-standing client of the firm for many matters, including restructuring and banking and finance. Chilean electricity group AES Gener and chemicals group SQM are examples of big local entities that rely on Claro. According to the latest research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s affiliate publication, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, Claro represents nine per cent of the region’s largest 100 companies and being in the top five busiest Chilean firms in the research project.
Client praise for this firm is always exceptionally positive, with one happy client from the financial services sector saying lawyers’ deep-bench and excellent legal service makes it “the best law firm in Chile”. Another client in the food and drinks sector applauds the team’s professionalism, ability to provide creative solutions to complex problems and commitment to knowing a client’s business to the highest degree of accuracy.
José María Eyzaguirre B is the firm’s managing partner.
Alliances and networks
Claro is a member of Lex Mundi and Latin America’s Bomchil Group and Club de Abogados.