Marval O’Farrell Mairal, about to celebrate a century in the Argentine market, remains at the pinnacle of the legal sector in Argentina due to the sheer amount of legal firepower it has managed to assemble under one roof. It excels in myriad practice areas, which is a remarkable feat. It leads the way in terms of size, breadth of service and client satisfaction.
There is a homogenous quality to each department, with no weak spots. It routinely analyses the market for opportunities to expand or add value to its offering. Another distinguishing factor is its adaptability to changing circumstances; Marval’s lawyers take a flexible, opportunity-driven approach that sees the firm through both good times and the bad. Adaptability has allowed Marval to thrive through several leadership transitions. Now under the helm of its fifth chairman – the illustrious Santiago Carregal – this is a firm ready and willing to embrace change.
Marval prides itself on its exceptionally talented group of lawyers, which wins the lion’s share of sophisticated legal work in Argentina. Skilled transactional partners attract an impressive volume of high-stakes work year on year and the firm’s niche is complex deal-making.
While the firm’s highly capable corporate and M&A and capital markets teams are standouts, several other practice areas excel. Transactional clout is accompanied by solid litigation, arbitration, labour, IP, tax, trade and white-collar crime practices, further complemented by sector-focused mining, energy and insurance departments. In a display of Marval’s strength and relevance in the market, the firm had a role in Quinto Andar’s acquisition of Navent, a deal that won the 2021 Latin Lawyer Deal of the Year Award in the category of private M&A. The firm advised the target company, Buenos Aires-based property advertisement company Navent. The deal spanned Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
According to a study, ‘Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies’, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA), which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Marval is among the most popular firms in Argentina among major corporations, representing eight of the 100 biggest companies in the region.
Marval is an expertly run organisation under the control of forward-thinking partners. This is a firm that believes in strength in numbers: Marval is much bigger than its nearest competitors and has the right talent retention policies in place to stay that way. For example, management wants to take as many lessons as it can from the pandemic, such as hybrid office working and greater flexibility for the younger generation of partners.
The leaders of the firm pay a lot of attention to making Marval an enjoyable place to work. The firm has revolutionised its office culture in recent years, implementing a work-life balance policy that encourages associates to leave the office no later than six o'clock every day, even if their partner is working late. Associates get to work on innovative deals and a lot of time is devoted to holding seminars and putting other training in place for them.
Promoting diversity is close to this firm’s heart. There is a mentoring programme for female lawyers’ career development, and it has a diversity committee designed to protect all forms of diversity within the firm.
Banking and finance practice head Santiago Carregal is chairman of the firm. Javier E Patrón is the managing partner, with overall responsibility for the day-to-day management of the firm. Intellectual property head Iris V Quadrio was recently appointed to the board of directors, which has a total of eight members. Quadrio is the first woman at the firm to occupy a position on the board.
Marval occupies an entire building on Buenos Aires’ Avenida Leandro N Alem. Beyond its base in Argentina’s capital city, Marval has a long-established presence in New York.
Alliances & networks
Marval is a member of the Lex Mundi network and is also linked to Demarest Advogados in São Paulo. Marval belongs to the Latin American network set up by Spain’s Uría Menéndez, which has significantly upped its stake in the Latin American legal market in the past few years, by supporting a cross-border merger between Chilean, Colombian and Peruvian firms.