Pérez Bustamante & Ponce (PBP) remains unrivalled in terms of its reputation, size and breadth of offering. It attracts an impressive range of big-name clients and continues to attract the lion’s share of transactional work in the country. This is largely due to its talented lawyers, who are some of the best in the market. The firm’s success has been mirrored in the further expansion of their partnership last year, adding four new partners across the firm’s energy, corporate, project finance and banking practices.
Behind this market leader’s success is a truly full-service offering, which is accompanied by industry-focused specialisation, while the firm has also pursued a policy of modernisation. It sought out the expert advice of an external consultancy and now has several well-defined goals for the coming years. With each of the firm’s practice areas operating with a boutique-style approach, and no area accounting for more than some 5% of the year’s revenue, Pérez Bustamante achieves excellence across the board and can adopt a flexible approach in which partners assist where needed.
Despite its extensive and varied service offering and the firm noting significant growth across the board over the past year, some areas stand out well above others. The corporate and M&A, project finance and banking and finance teams are consistently notable. Meanwhile, expertise in antitrust, energy, litigation and arbitration is also on offer.
Mandates from clients in the energy and mining sectors are keeping Pérez Bustamante increasingly busy in recent times. Renewable energy matters, in particular, have been a large source of work in the past year, with all of this activity driven by growing foreign investment boosting activity in these areas.
In addition to this already broad offering, Pérez Bustamante recently launched a family office group to focus on the management of family-owned businesses and private wealth. The firm has no plans to stop here and intends to strengthen its fintech and data protection practice in 2022, as well as launch a transfer pricing practice.
Pérez Bustamante places heavy emphasis on specialisation, ensuring lawyers do not stray too far from their main area of practice and is tailoring its service offer for key industries. A lawyer here is thus an expert in not only a practice area but also in an industry sector. This level of specialisation allows the outfit to deliver laser-driven, business-centred advice. The firm also recognises the importance of staying close to clients and being attentive to their needs in times of crisis.
In the coming years, Pérez Bustamante plans to expand and embrace more innovative policies including its diversity programme: it currently operates a stringent policy ensuring that no client is serviced by an entirely male team. The firm is also heavily involved in similar initiatives such as the Women in Mining and mentoring programme Women for Women, all aimed at increasing gender representation.
Pérez Bustamante continues to combine strong leadership, a well-defined career track and support for associates to study abroad and gain experience from other firms, prioritising not only attracting but retaining the best talent.
Meanwhile, Perez Bustamante recently adopted a flexible approach to pricing and continues to keep this in place, keen to always be adding value to the services it offers clients.
Technology remains high on the agenda. Investment in cybersecurity has been a strong focus, while the firm has digitalised billing and process-management systems. The management – led by a committee composed of partners Sebastián Pérez Arteta, Diego Pérez Ordóñez and Rodrigo Jijón Letort – also want to explore and invest more in AI to reduce costs and provide more efficient services to clients, further proving that the firm consistently prioritises value added to the client.
Pérez Bustamante’s popularity is evident, as it provides counsel to 14 of Latin America’s approximately 100 biggest companies, according to the study, ‘Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies’, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer.
The firm is based in Quito and has a presence in Guayaquil.
Alliances & networks
Pérez Bustamante is a member of the law networks Club de Abogados, Interlaw, Lex Mundi, the Employment Law Alliance and, most recently, Insuralex, a network with law firms specialising in the insurance sector.