Coronel & Pérez is an important player in Ecuador’s legal market and has a physical presence in both of Ecuador’s most important cities, with roots in the business capital Guayaquil and a growing office in Quito. Complex and international litigation and arbitration are the firm’s strong points, and it is arguably the go-to name for Ecuador’s most complex cases. Despite the enormous disruption caused by covid-19, the firm reports that its reputed disputes practice was busier than ever in 2020.
Coronel & Pérez’s corporate practice group is also well regarded, while clients are attracted to the firm’s antitrust offering. The team draws on the firm’s deep disputes expertise to help clients in competition-related litigation and antitrust investigations.
The firm’s ability to offer sophisticated analysis and its lawyers international profile means it attracts high-profile international clients. Coronel & Pérez is now however increasingly targeting national clients. A newly created wealth management and tax planning group helps to achieve this by catering to high-net-worth clients and family businesses.
In past years the firm put most of its attention on Guayaquil, where the private sector is more prominent, but it has since been growing in Quito and now as a handful of lawyers in the capital permanently.
The firm’s management committee, led by César Coronel Jones, recognises that a generational shift is needed, and senior partners have been steadily handing over responsibilities to a younger generation they carefully nurture. The partnership has demonstrated a willingness to modernise as the work in its core practice areas becomes more sophisticated, while also allocating more resources to marketing and publicity. The firm encourages its younger lawyers to pursue master’s programmes abroad or spend a year at an international law firm.
To stay on top of things the firm constantly looks for new areas it can develop. This has over the past few years seen a concerted drive to expand their antitrust practice. 2020 saw the firm expand its workload in the areas of mining, technology and real estate. In the coming years, the firm is eager to further develop its already impressive arbitration practice, by taking on more international arbitration cases.
The firm is strongly committed to maintaining high ethical standards, both clients and competitors hold Coronel & Pérez in high regard, and consider it a sound choice for complex cases and when conflicts of interest arise. Client feedback is full of glowing praise for this firm’s lawyers. A client from the banking sector describes the lawyers as “efficient and very professional”. While another client praises the lawyer’s knowledge of Ecuadorian law, their availability and the help offered during the covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to receiving glowing praise, the firm has an impressive client list. US customers include hygiene company Kimberly-Clark and oil and gas explorer Chevron. While Swiss companies Nestlé and Chubb Limited, and Canadian investment management company Cordiant, are all examples of other international clients. Ecuador-based companies that feature in the books are pipeline builder OCP, Grupo Vilaseca and animal feed supplier Molinos Champion, while Israel-founded software company Amdocs is a newer addition to its portfolio. Brazilian chemicals company Braskem is also a client.
Guayaquil is home to the firm’s main office but increasing client demand in the capital has seen Coronel & Pérez gradually expand its presence in Quito over the past few years.
Alliances and networks
The firm is a member of the Nextlaw Global Referral Network.