For the past few weeks, leading corporate counsel and private practice lawyers from across the region have been nominating who they believe to be the best Latin American in-house lawyers and teams.

Having received more than 300 nominations, the LACCA editorial team has weighed up the submissions and drawn up the shortlist of nominees.

A judging panel, made up of high-profile members of the in-house community and the wider legal profession, is now being convened, and with their help, LACCA will now identify the winners among the shortlisted nominees below.

Those nominated will be honoured at LACCA’s 5th Awards Ceremony in Miami on the evening of 26 September, after LACCA’s annual regional meeting held that same day, at the W Hotel South Beach. All LACCA members are welcome to attend the meeting and the ceremony at no charge – see here for more details on location and here to reserve your space (simply indicate in the email whether you would like to attend the meeting, the ceremony, or both).

Here are those that came out on top:

Regional Team of the Year (team)

The LACCA Regional Team of the Year Award will recognise an in-house team that works exceptionally well across borders in Latin America. We will be looking for evidence of communal efficiency and innovation, as well as the implementation of core development strategies around the region.  

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev Latin America
  • Johnson Controls Latin America
  • Unilever Latin America
  • L’Oreal Latin America

General Counsel of the Year (individual)

The LACCA General Counsel of the Year represents the very best of what the profession stands for. Judges will look for legal excellence as a baseline, alongside the ability to handle complex issues across borders, contribute definitively and amply to the company’s business strategy, and develop strategies to do so in as efficient a way as possible.

  • Javier Oroz Coppel, GC and General Secretary, Axa 
  • Patricia Barbelli, Legal and Corporate Security Director (Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), Diageo 
  • Fabio Selhorst, General Counsel & Chief Integrity Officer, Camargo Corrêa Infra
  • Kathryn Ditmars, General Counsel, Americas, JLL
  • Ana Silvia Haynes, GC & CCO for Latin America, Essilor 

Deal-Making Award (individual)

From the company-changing M&A to a wave of small acquisitions, those in-house running the deals are fundamental to success. The Deal-Making Award will assess management of external counsel, successful strategising of the deal or deals, and, where appropriate, multi-jurisdictional work.

  • Juan Antonio Castro, Chief Legal Counsel, Intercorp
  • Fernando Beguiristain Muruzábal, South America General Counsel, Acciona Energia
  • Alejandra Besora, Legal Manager, Argnetina, Dupont 
  • Pablo Gimenez Machado, General Counsel & Head of Institutional Affairs, Suzano Pulp and Paper

Rising Star Award (individual)

The Rising Star Award recognises the work of a younger or mid-level lawyer who is developing their legal and leadership skills. Significant contributions to the development and direction not only of the rest of the team, but also indeed to the broader business strategy, will be sought in recognising one of tomorrow’s leaders.

  • Ronald Ramírez, Regional Legal Counsel for Central America and Caribbean, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise
  • Walner Júnior, Executive Legal Manager, Suzano Pulp and Paper
  • Aline Leme, Legal Manager, Brazil, JLL
  • Lara Andrade, Director of Legal & Compliance, Brazil, adidas

Social Responsibility Award (team)

The Social Responsibility Award will recognise the in-house team with a sustained commitment to making a difference in their community in Latin America through the promotion of pro bono or diversity initiatives (or both).

  • JLL
  • Accor
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Philip Morris International

Litigation Management Award (individual)

From managing a heavy caseload to strategising big-ticket work, successful litigation management is core to any in-house team. The Litigation Management Award will assess management of external counsel, how litigation strategy fits in with business strategy, and, where appropriate, multi-jurisdictional work.

  • Rafael Dantas, Legal Director, Corporate & Litigation, Bayer
  • Raymundo Arenas, Head of Litigation, Axa 
  • Luciana Nunes Freire, Legal Executive Officer, Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP)
  • Gabriel Costa, Managing Counsel Litigation, Latin America & Caribbean, Shell

Compliance Counsel Award (individual)

The LACCA Compliance Officer/Team of the Year will recognise an individual or team that has encouraged outstanding internal policies, training, and the implementation of programmes to meet strict compliance or regulatory obligations.                                                  

  • Emir Calluf Filho, Legal & Compliance Director, J&F Investimentos
  • Alejandra Castro, Head of Legal, Patents & Compliance, Bayer
  • Daniel Sibille, Latin America Compliance Director, Oracle
  • Adjarbas Guerra, Chief Governance, Risk and Compliance Officer, Fibria
  • Francisco Ramos Rangel, Compliance Manager Latin America South Region, Anheuser-Busch InBev 

For in-depth coverage of last year's ceremony, along with profiles of the general counsel and in-house teams that took home an award, click here to download a PDF Awards supplement.