Guerrero Olivos prides itself on staying ahead of market trends and investing before its competitors in emerging practice areas. It is an established and respected full-service firm that focuses on client experience and has proved itself strong enough to withstand challenging periods.
Its mighty corporate and M&A offering means Guerrero Olivos regularly advises foreign investors entering Chile, while international firms often turn to the group to handle their business in Chile. According to the firm, its energy practice group proved popular in 2021, as it noted an uptick across this area, along with related finance work for projects.
The firm’s non-transactional practice areas are also popular with clients. Guerrero Olivos hired the dispute resolution team from a local firm a few years back, and this proved a wise decision as clients sought dispute advice in recent months. Real estate, mining and venture capital work also kept the firm busy in the past year.
Not all has been plain sailing, and there have been some partner departures in recent years, but the firm reacted quickly and grabbed the opportunity to restructure its corporate team, carving out its banking and finance area, which had previously sat within its larger group. It also filled the gaps in the partnership with lateral hires and promotions, taking time to foster youthful talent. In 2022, Guerrero Olivos promoted two more associates to its senior rank, adding to its extremely active M&A and natural resources teams, evidencing client demand for these practice groups.
Guerrero Olivos reports that it is aware of the disparity in the number of women in its senior rank and is actively working to address the issue. The firm has pro bono and gender and equality committees which work closely with its managing committee. In 2022, the firm took its diversity initiative a step further and launched LAW (Legal Advice for Women), developing a business model that seeks to support women, projects, corporations, or start-ups led by women, in its development and expansion, by delivering legal services and establishing a collaboration network to promote female leadership. The initiative was created by a group of senior women associates at the firm to foster professional female career development.
Guerrero Olivos operates a performance-based lockstep system, and it reports that lawyers are happy with the resulting culture change it has brought, creating a more client-centred approach. The firm moved to new offices during the covid-19 pandemic with an open plan layout that encourages collaboration and transparency across its ranks.
As ever, Guerrero Olivos wants to stay ahead of its competitors by predicting market trends and emerging industries. With the implementation of a new constitution in Chile later in 2022, the firm is preparing to expand its public law group. Venture capital and start-up work is expected to increase in the next few months, along with green hydrogen projects.
Guerrero Olivos has a diversified list of key clients, including top financial institutions and a good mix of local, regional and international companies. Mexican retailer FEMSA, Spanish company Matrix Renewables, Chile’s largest local stockbroker LarrainVial and Australian asset manager Macquarie are important clients. According to a study, “Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies”, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Guerrero Olivos represents 11 of 100 of the largest companies in the region – positioning it in the top four busiest Chilean firms in the research project.
Martín Santa María is the firm’s current managing partner.
Alliances and networks
Guerrero Olivos is a member of TAGLaw, the Legal Alliance of the Americas and Globalaw.