Pellerano & Herrera is one of the country’s elite firms and the go-to counsel for many international clients looking to do business in the Dominican Republic. Local companies equally love the firm’s deep bench and high quality of services in both the transactional and non-transactional spheres. Pellerano & Herrera prides itself on being like a US firm in terms of sophistication and institutionalisation, and its emphasis on technology tools and non-legal support services to aid clients’ needs is a positive that many clients have taken advantage of this year.
With one of the largest headcounts in the market, Pellerano & Herrera has the numbers to specialise in multiple practice groups. The corporate and finance groups are its best assets, though the tax and technology divisions are exemplary too.
Other strong areas are disputes, telecoms and media, and sports and entertainment. A China desk offers banking and finance, corporate and M&A advice to investors including those from Beijing and Shanghai. Lawyers are encouraged to build industry-specific experience. A separate company, Servi Cobros, offers debt collection services to clients, complementing the litigation practice.
After promoting its tax head, Caroline Bonó, to partner in 2020, Pellerano & Herrera’s partnership is now female-dominated, which is unusual among firms in Latin America and indeed globally. This market leader is mindful of the need to retain and nurture talent to stay ahead of the competition and had offered flexible working to all lawyers long before the pandemic.
The tax department has been kept busy – coronavirus tax relief measures in 2020 and an expected tax reform in 2022 have meant the team has many clients in need of legal advice on different fiscal matters. The regulatory affairs practice group has also been actively supporting clients as they navigate these recent changes.
2020 was also a stellar year for the technology, digital and fintech departments at Pellerano & Herrera. With many companies moving to e-commerce as a result of widespread prolonged lockdowns and even those already active in the digital sector expanding their footprint, these teams became highly sought after for M&A, financing and disputes counsel. The firm expects this workload to grow over the next few months as the OECD is preparing digital tax recommendations that are likely to get adopted by the Dominican Republic’s government. This expectation leaves both the tax and technology practice areas confident they will be kept busy. Meanwhile, Pellerano & Herrera is one of the only major firms profiled in this jurisdiction that has been working on litigation cases in the technology sector for many years.
Banking and finance partner Joanna Bonnelly left in 2020 for a government administration role, but the firm reports that this practice area has not been impacted by the departure.
The firm’s IP boutique, Pellerano Messina, has seen an uptick in work too, especially from pharmaceutical clients this year. While Ricardo Pellerano is a partner in both organisations, the two firms are separate entities. If needed, Pellerano & Herrera can recommend clients to Pellerano Messina for complex, sophisticated IP matters, which has already proven useful for several clients. Since launching in 2019, Pellerano Messina reports an increase of clients by more than 200%.
The firm has long invested in technology and its database of court rulings is especially advanced and has proven useful to the litigation team. It has also automated some administrative processes, enabling the targeting of small and medium-sized enterprises with affordable services that use these technologies. Pellerano & Herrera’s accounting and administrative staff have been on board to help a growing number of clients looking to outsource this kind of work following mass lay-offs and staff reductions at companies hit hard by the pandemic.
A close alliance with one of the Dominican Republic’s leading universities and a strong emphasis on postgraduate training have helped establish a large group of internationally educated lawyers at both partner and associate levels. Junior lawyers are exposed to high-calibre deals and benefit from intensive professional development programmes.
Clients often highlight partners’ ability to handle new ventures and complex legal matters professionally and promptly and have been described as one of a kind.
For over 30 years, the firm has published an international guide on how to do business in the Dominican Republic, which it updates twice a year.
Alliances and networks
Pellerano & Herrera is the Dominican member of the Club de Abogados network, as well as being a member of Lex Mundi and the World Services Group. The firm also belongs to IsFin, the Islamic finance law network.