Firm Profile

Uría Menéndez


LL 250 Highly Recommended

Work areas

This firm is highly recommended for services in the following work areas.

Uría Menéndez is one of the top three Iberian outfits doing business in Latin America. The region has always been a central focus for the firm, and its decades of experience have led to very deep connections with some of the biggest and most active Spanish clients operating across the Atlantic, including Telefónica, Repsol and Santander.

The decision to establish boots on the ground in the region over eight years ago has greatly contributed to its prestige. Indeed, out of the international firms setting down roots in Latin America, none has forged links with firms of equal standing to those tied to Uría Menéndez. The strategic combination of resources from top-tier local firms in Chile, Colombia and Peru, that created Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría (PPU), brought together in-depth knowledge of local markets and regulatory frameworks, with the technical excellence of a well-established and prestigious European outfit, and the outcome has been a huge success.

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, between them, Uría Menéndez and regional firm PPU work with 29 of the largest 100 companies in Latin America. That makes the combined firm one of the most popular among that client base. On top of its traditional roster of European clients, Latin American companies turning to the firm include Mexico’s Cemex, Chile’s LATAM, CMPC and AES Gener, and Brazil’s Camargo Corrêa, Gerdau, Grupo Cargill and Grupo Globo. Other important clients include American Airlines, Grupo Argos, Heineken, Unilever and BBVA. Uría Menéndez also has a growing portfolio of Chinese and Japanese clients, such as Chinese shipping company COSCO.

PPU now covers the breadth of legal services, and it is common to see its offices playing an important role in some of the region’s most significant transactions. Elsewhere in the region, the firm is best known for its corporate, M&A, finance and arbitration expertise and regularly works with major Spanish clients with interests in Latin America. In addition to its highly regarded transactions and disputes practices, the firm has been skilled at predicting and following trends and broadening its capabilities where necessary.

The firm continues to build strength in practice areas where it does not yet occupy a leading market position, having bolstered its tax, competition and labour offering in Peru, as well as adding an insurance group in Colombia over the past few years. Data-protection and privacy has been an increasingly important source of work for the outfit, and the firm would like to become a leading name in field for clients in Latin America. ESG related matters are also becoming more common, as companies with interests in the EU look to get up to speed with new regulations coming out of the region.

While growth continues to be very much on the cards for Uría Menéndez, the firm has concentrated its efforts on ensuring greater cohesion between its Latin American offices and its headquarters. Management is more centralised. The Latin America practice group is led by Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira in Madrid, while Colombia’s Martín Acero leads the charge for the regional offices. Acero is further supported by managing partners in both the Chilean and Peruvian offices. A partner from the Spanish firm is always stationed in each of PPU’s three jurisdictions to ensure integration between teams in both the regional and Uría Menéndez offices are on the same compensation system.

While a presence in Mexico has been on Uría Menéndez’s wish list since at least the time of PPU’s birth, plans to forge ties with a local firm – where Uría Menéndez shuttered its own office a couple of years back – continue to be officially on hold. The reasoning put forward by leadership is that, while the full effects of the pandemic play out, it is better to stand still and focus on the markets Uría Menéndez already operates in before making decisions to go further. While the firm does not have a relationship with any Mexican firm, it keeps ties with a larger pool of firms in the country.

Uría Menéndez’s Cuba desk in Madrid is also a relevant part of its Latin American offering, advising European, Latin American and Asian clients interested in doing business there. Practice head Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira is leading the initiative, in coordination with a counsel who is a dual-qualified lawyer in Cuba and Spain.

As the region’s largest economy, Brazil is of course an important pillar for Uría Menéndez’s Latin America strategy. The firm does not have an office there, but PPU has a dedicated group of partners focused on Brazilian matters led by Luis Acuña in Madrid. They target work from Brazilian companies looking to diversify their territorial focus by investing in the Pacific Alliance countries. To maintain close links with Brazil, both Uría Menéndez and PPU often have Brazilians on secondment, while PPU has sent lawyers to work at Brazilian firms.

Uría Menéndez continues to pay attention to the entire region, drawing on the many lawyers in Barcelona, Madrid and New York who have spent time on Latin American matters. The Beijing office was formerly helmed by an Argentine partner, an astute move that installed a link between Chinese clients and Latin America. 


Alongside the teams in Madrid and Barcelona, Uría Menéndez has a stake in leading Latin American regional firm Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, which has offices in Santiago, Bogotá and Lima. Besides that, other offices come into play, including New York, Lisbon and Valencia, as well as Beijing.

Unlock unlimited access to all Latin Lawyer content