In March 2021, Paz Horowitz Abogados announced a combination with global firm Dentons. The move makes Dentons the first non-Latin American law firm to set up shop in Ecuador and gives the local firm's clients direct links to a global network of over 20,000 legal professionals across more than 80 countries.
Paz Horowitz is a mid-sized firm in Ecuador, highly respected by its peers for its expertise in compliance and anti-corruption investigations. IP, corporate, energy and labour, are also strong fields, while the aviation practice is also impressive. The firm rarely publicises the work it does, demonstrating a level of discretion much appreciated by clients.
Managing partner Jorge Paz Durini and the other management committee members apply a forward-looking view approach, allowing the firm to take a specialised focus on its legal services. It invests heavily in compliance and white-collar crime, which sets it apart in the market. The firm also follows strict know-your-client strategies and has a high-standard code of ethics, emphasising work with clients that commit to going the whole way on compliance. This includes advising on compliance policies and enforcement and involves deploying rock-solid policies internally at the firm. Since Ecuador officially implemented ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) anti-corruption rules in 2017, these areas have been important sources for work. The firm’s investigations practice group is increasingly advising on anti-money laundering matters. Bruce Horowitz is President of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Ecuador Commission on Integrity and Anti-corruption, and Agustín Acosta Cárdenas holds the position of Technical Secretariat on the commission.
In 2020 the firm has welcomed a new senior associate, who alongside an IP specialist leads the firm’s technology transfer service. It also launched a division comprising tax and project finance expertise.
The aforementioned technology transfer service (set up in 2018) has been successfully incorporated under the firm’s IP practice, and Paz Horowitz is always looking to invest in software and develop expertise by bringing on industry specialists to provide technical expertise to the firm’s lawyers and clients.
Updates to the firm’s management strategies have been made too. New policies to guide the firm over the next five years were recently put in place, including changes to its compliance, human resources and commercial strategies. The firm does not forget about its talent either, whether up and coming or experienced; a retirement policy has been implemented and the firm is working on a financing plan to enable lawyers to undertake LLMs abroad.
The firm has offices just outside of Quito, in San Juan de Cumbaya, and in Guayaquil.