Ferrere

2014, Latin Lawyer Bolivia

Ambitious venture for Uruguay’s largest firm

Established: 2006

Partners: 3

Total lawyers: 15

Since arriving on the scene less than a decade ago, FERRERE’s Bolivia office has pursued an aggressive expansion strategy that has seen it become a major player in the market. The local arm of Uruguay’s largest firm, FERRERE has leveraged off its HQ in Montevideo to build an impressive international list of clients that turn to the office for its banking and transactional strength. As one satisfied client puts it, “All it takes is to pick up the phone and you know that you will get a proper legal opinion or accurate guidance on different topics.” Further expansion is projected for the future as the firm takes steps to reinforce its presence here, attracting talent by offering a clear career path for associates.

PEOPLE AND PRACTICES

The firm is headed by Cristian Bustos, who manages the firm’s busy corporate and tax practices from Santa Cruz. He is praised by one corporate and litigation client as “an excellent attorney who provides his help and knowledge without hesitation in a timely manner.” Meanwhile, Carlos Pinto handles the banking and finance side of corporate work. One deal from 2013 saw the pair team up to help France’s Bureau Veritas win a contract with Bolivian state-owned hydrocarbons company YPFB to inspect a petrochemical fertilizer plant. Bustos and Pinto lead the firm’s efforts in corporate governance, where prominent agribusiness, telecoms and inspection and certification service companies are among their clients. FERRERE is also active in telecoms, regulation, natural resources work, administrative law, insurance, tax, litigation and labor. Litigation and regulatory compliance is overseen by Lindsay Sykes, a coup for the firm who joined from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in 2012. One oil and gas client that turned to the firm for commercial and regulatory work describes the firm as “one of Bolivia's premier full-service law firms.” IP is a newer area of focus, with senior associate Isabel Ferrufino leading the department. Recent work includes advising foreign clients on local trademark infringement cases.

CLIENTS

The majority of FERRERE’s clients are international, and often shared with the firm’s other offices – Virgin Mobile being a good example. Agribusiness including Cargill, telecoms, logistics and insurance companies also feature. Cristian Bustos is recommended in LACCA Approved, in-house counsel research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s sister association, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association.

OFFICES

The firm’s new La Paz office is dedicated to administrative and regulatory work, while corporate, labor and tax are dealt with from Santa Cruz. This is FERRERE’s youngest operation, alongside the presence it has had in Paraguay since 2002, and of course its far larger presence in Uruguay.

PRO BONO

FERRERE lawyers make a commitment to each do 30 pro bono hours annually. They advise human rights organization Capacitación y Derechos Ciudadanos, promote the reform of judicial systems through the Due Process of Law Foundation and advised The Nature Conservancy on setting up in Bolivia. The firm also works with New York-based Cyrus R Vance Center for International Justice on pro bono projects. In 2013, Lindsay Sykes was part of an international delegation to Guatemala to examine the trial of former dictator Rios Montt for genocide and crimes against humanity; the firm is currently working with the Center to examine Bolivia’s compliance with the Inter-American convention on the prevention, punishment and eradication of violence against women.

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© 2017, Ferrere Attorneys