Javier Ybáñez, head of the Latin American practice, took part in the roundtable entitled ‘To Merge or Not to Merge’ to discuss mergers between law firms and the benefits and difficulties they can entail for firms and their clients. The discussion took place as part of the Latin American conference of the International Bar Association (IBA), held over the last few days in Mexico City. The Garrigues partner was joined by representatives from several international law firms involved in international expansion processes in Latin America: CMS Carey & Allende, Hogan Lovells, Uría Menéndez, Kerma Partners and Sette Advogados, in addition to Garrigues.
The speakers discussed whether the services and business opportunities for the firms increased and improved after a merger or whether, on the contrary, the joining of two cultures could potentially hamper productive integration and even generate conflicts of interest between the merged firms.
Ybáñez explained Garrigues’ expansion model, which differs from that of major mergers, opting to open own offices with local teams, fully integrated with the firm’s culture. As the Garrigues partner explained, this model has enabled the firm to have five fully operational offices in Latin America (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) and a team of more than 140 lawyers already working on the major deals in the region.
Several partners from these offices also took part in events organized by the IBA and had the opportunity to meet up with firms from the US, Canada and Latin America (mainly Central America) as well as chat with colleagues from other firms on the progress of the profession in their respective countries.