The Latin American Corporate Counsel Association will soon be launching the second edition of LACCA Thought Leaders, bringing together the insight, expertise and wisdom of some of Latin America’s foremost lawyers in a single publication. Ahead of the release, we take a sneak peek at the results to see some of the lawyers and law firms that made the cut. 

A breakdown of the results

Through hundreds of votes and nominations in the course of our research, the market has identified the lawyers in this year’s list as being among the very best in their field, without exception. The results reveal that 36% of this year’s Thought Leaders are from Brazil (see figure one). Some of the lawyers who received the most votes include Paulo Penteado of Felsberg Advogados, listed in the tax category; Frederico Bopp Dieterich from Azevedo Sette Advogados for administrative law; and Guilherme Forbes from Stocche Forbes Advogados, who received the most votes for banking and finance.

In Argentina, it was Joaquin Martinez of Abeledo Gottheil Abogados SC who came top of the list, receiving votes from LACCA members for his work in corporate and M&A matters, while Mexican labour lawyer Alfredo Kupfer-Dominguez from full-service firm Sánchez Devanny also received the highest number of recommendations from in-house counsel this year.

1) % of Thought Leaders by country

 

Lawyers specialised in corporate and M&A matters feature most prominently this year, representing just under 40% of the total number of Thought Leaders (see figure two). Robson Barreto, senior partner at Brazilian firm Veirano Advogados, and Jose Luis Camargo from Madrona Advogados were among those to receive the most votes for Brazil. Elsewhere in the region, it was Jaime Trujillo of Baker & McKenzie and Sergio Michelsen from Brigard & Urrutia that came top for their transactional work in Colombia, while Luis Enrique Palacios from Peruvian firm Rodrigo, Elias & Medrano Abogados also came highly recommended for his expertise in corporate issues.

For banking and finance, it was Luiz Antonio de Sampaio Campos from BMA - Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão, Carlos Mello of Lefosse Advogados and José Eduardo Queiroz of Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados that came out on top for Brazil. In Mexico, Javier Domínguez Torrado from Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, SC, Fernando de Ovando of Jones Day, Miguel Peralta from Basham, Ringe & Correa and José Victor Torres of Gonzalez Calvillo SC that received the most votes.

José Augusto Toledo from Central American firm Arias and Carlos Cordero from Panamanian firm Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee also came highly recommended for their work in the financial sector. Mariana Posse from Posse Herrera Ruiz was also highlighted by GCs as one of the leading practitioners in Colombia for banking and finance matters.

2) % of Thought Leader by practice area

 

The tax landscape across Latin America can be extremely difficult to navigate and it remains an area in which local in-house teams rely heavily on the help of external counsel. Keeping up with the many developments across the region jurisdictions can be challenging and many countries witnessed reforms over the past year, including actions taken as a result of the BEPS project, meaning many GCs called upon their most trusted advisers. This year’s Thought Leaders for tax include Ariadna Artopoulos from M&M Bomchil Advogados and Walter Keiniger of Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal in Argentina; Oscar Ferrari García from Garrigues and Juan Manuel Baraona from Baraona Advogados were included for Chile; Alex Cordova was included from Rodrigo, Elias & Medrano Abogados in Peru; while in Brazil, Renata Emery of Stocche Forbes Advogados and Oswaldo Leite de Moraes Filho of Demarest were among those listed.

Compliance continues to be a major priority for local in-house teams across Latin America, and with many countries implementing tighter rules and regulations, ensuring companies meet local as well as international standards often calls for the help of local expertise. Brazil’s Isabel Franco of KLA-Koury Lopes Advogados received the highest number of nominations from GCs in Latin America, followed by José Humberto from D'Empaire in Venezuela. Given Brazil was the first country to move forward with sweeping anti-corruption reforms back in 2015, it is unsurprising many of those nominated were from Brazil and some of those who received a significant proportion of the nominations include Shin Jae Kim, from TozziniFreire Advogados, Bruno Carneiro Maeda of Maeda Ayres & Sarubbi in Brazil and Antenor Madruga, of FeldensMadruga in Brasilia.

For energy matters, Renata Amaral from Trench Rossi Watanabe, Mariana Tavares Antunes of Wald, Antunes, Vita, Longo e Blattner Advogados and Diogo Nebias from Warde Advogados were all listed among the most recommended lawyers in Brazil. Carey’s Juan Mackenna also made the list, alongside Chilean colleague Jaime Ríos from Prieto Abogados.

Héctor Hernández from Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uria in Colombia was one of the lawyers to receive the most votes for labour matters, alongside José Carlos Wahle from Veirano in Brazil and Javier Patrón from Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal in Argentina.

For litigation, it was Daniel Posse from Colombian firm Posse Herrera Ruiz that came out joint top with Rodrigo Carneiro, from Pinheiro Neto Advogados and Celso Xavier, of Demarest.

This year, Brazilian firms Pinheiro Neto and TozziniFriere were the firms with the most lawyers nominated by LACCA members, closely followed by Carey in Chile, Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal in Argentina and Posse Herrera Ruiz in Colombia (see figure three).

3) Number of Thought Leaders per firm

 

To take a look at some of the interviews we conducted with last year’s Thought Leaders, click here.

Methodology

The frequent feedback from LACCA members at meetings and elsewhere is that finding trustworthy, consistently good counsel in Latin America is still difficult. Thus, LACCA launched our Approved lawyers, who are lawyers from private practice who have been personally recommended by our members, the top general counsel from around the region. Within that selection of Approved lawyers, only those listed lawyers who obtained the highest number of nominations from corporate counsel and other market sources in our most recent research cycle were considered. Indeed, the individuals invited to participate in LACCA: Thought Leaders 2019 comprise just the top 20% of all the lawyers considered for inclusion across the region.

A full list of this year’s LACCA Thought Leaders 2019 will be published in the printed edition and on the website in the coming weeks.