Firm Profile

Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano Abogados

Peru

Transactional and full-service titan

LL 250 Elite

Established: 1965

Partners: 49

Lawyers: 159


Female partners: 14%

Partner to associate ratio: 2.2

Work areas
21

This firm is elite for services in the following work areas.

Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano Abogados sits at the summit of the Peruvian legal market by almost any metric – whether it be the sheer volume of legal work each year or the complexity of the deals that regularly feature its name or the strength in breadth and depth that its ranks offer. In fact, no other Peruvian firm has as many practice areas covered or as many lawyers recommended in LACCA Approved, a survey of in-house counsel published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA), which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer.

The firm’s transactional division is popular among local and international companies that need advice on strategic investments, and it is rare to find a cross-border or big-ticket deal linked to Peru that does not involve Rodrigo Elías. Its superb transactional offering does not end there. Its banking and projects departments are enviable by many, while its work in capital markets and natural resources is top-notch. In addition, it is one of few firms in this chapter listed for restructuring advice.

With that in mind, it is not hard to understand that the firm is popular among Latin America’s largest businesses and financial institutions. According to in-house counsel research by LACCA, Rodrigo Elías represents 13 of the 50 biggest banks in Latin America. This makes it not only the most popular Peruvian firm among these clients but one of the most sought-after advisers among banks across Latin America.

This full-service firm is hard to fault across the board, and tax, labour, IP and regulatory groups are just a handful of examples where it displays its expertise. Disputes, including litigation and international arbitration, are constantly growing and key for the firm, especially in times of less transactional activity, which has been the case over the past year. It is also a pioneer and trendsetter in other practice areas – Rodrigo Elías was one of the first corporate firms to offer white-collar crime and compliance services in Peru at a time when the area was almost exclusively serviced by boutiques. Other examples include data law and life sciences.

Rodrigo Elías is constantly making efforts to consolidate its market dominance, for which it makes sure to stay apace with client demand for legal specialism. To that end, the firm has established practice area sub-groups, which recently have included ESG, fintech and forestry, as well as start-up and venture capital teams. In addition, the firm began 2022 by promoting two lawyers to partner across its administrative and arbitration groups, which followed four partner and three counsel appointments in its corporate, capital markets, public law and litigation departments in the year prior.

Practice area specialisation has also led Rodrigo Elías to pursue complementary non-legal services. The firm reports strong results from +Value, its transfer pricing company, which is among the first of its kind in Latin America. Another example of additional support is M-Plus, which offers dedicated immigration services. The firm also has an innovation and technology platform called REMLAB. It is partnered with accelerator Liquid Venture Studio (LVS) to launch a programme through which legal tech start-ups can compete for investment from both LVS and Rodrigo Elías.

Backroom services and technology investments are key to staying ahead of the game too. The firm is moving into new, bigger and more modern offices in 2022. While maintaining flexible working, the management is serious about confidentiality and believes lawyers sometimes need privacy, which is why it has decided to keep individual offices to a considerable extent. The new offices enable lawyers to make better use of recently upgraded technology and software, while more environmentally friendly air conditioning is also in place in the new “smart” building. However, investment in technology goes further than that: all old documents have been digitalised and all systems have been migrated to the cloud to ensure smooth access from anywhere. The firm is also betting on alternative communication with clients, such as through social media and messaging applications.

Deeply committed to building a long-lasting legacy, managing partner Luis Carlos Rodrigo Prado and his predecessors have pushed various reforms that make the firm a meritocracy, with all lawyers, regardless of family connections, subject to the same rigorous standards. Drawing up policies is not all, and the management allocates time and resources to guarantee the smooth and accurate implementation of all initiatives. Rodrigo Prado does not have a stranglehold on power, as can be the case in other Latin American law firms. Six other partners drawn from a range of practice areas make up the management committee – a body that has as much say on the direction the firm takes as its managing partner and was re-elected in 2020.

In a recent reform, the firm put a fully fledged mentoring programme for its female associates in place. The programme, led by a diversity committee, includes one-on-one mentoring sessions as well as workshops. A branched-out gender diversity committee also exists. A recent addition is a committee for anti-harassment, which has prepared a manual where all policies are collated and an anonymous communication channel where issues can be reported, as well as training and workshops for lawyers. Further training about unconscious bias and compliance is, of course, also a regular occurrence. The infusion of a younger and more diverse generation of partners will undoubtedly ensure the firm retains its place in the top tier of this market for years to come. Established compensation systems and retirement policies – making partners step down to of counsel or reduce their work at the age of 66 – are also in place.

Fiercely independent, Rodrigo Elías nevertheless recognises the need to have an international strategy, for which it is bolstering its relationships with firms across the world. It is already a member of several law firm networks, such as the World Services Group and Interlaw Network. However, this strategy also includes the firm’s Asian desk, which is led by José Tam and supported by a Mandarin-speaking partner and continues to be a strong focus. It is made up of lawyers with extensive experience in working with clients from the region, and several of the lawyers speak Asian languages. The desk has the credentials to succeed: Tam is the current chair of the board at the Peruvian Chinese Chamber of Commerce, while one of the associates involved in the project is fluent in Mandarin and spent a year at Chinese law firm DeHeng Law Offices.

Meanwhile, Humberto Medrano, one of the firm’s co-founders, was presented with the Latin Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022 for his outstanding commitment to the legal practice and contribution to the development of the tax area in Peru’s legal market.

Management

Luis Carlos Rodrigo Mazuré is the firm’s managing partner. He sits on the management committee along with Alex Morris and Alfonso Montoya, who share a CFO position, and Ramón Vidurrizaga, Jean Paul Chabaneix, Oscar Benavides and Fernando Molina.

Alliances & networks

The firm is a member of the Interlaw Network, the World Services Group and the Employment Law Alliance.

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