In the Headlines
May-June 2020

Side Effects

The Latin American Lawyer
Mexico City Executive Partner Luis Rubio Barnetche and Bogotá Executive Partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón were featured in a Latin American Lawyer magazine article about how law firms are responding to the economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorneys have had to adapt quickly to the changes the pandemic has brought, not only to guide clients who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat or comply with government directives, but also to adapt to remote work and navigate the directives themselves.

Mr. Rubio Barnetche commented that, like many other firms, the Mexico City office has seen an increase in work for industries most directly affected by the pandemic but a decrease in other areas. For example, labor-related practices are very busy, but not investment or M&A. He added that one of the main focuses right now is helping clients face the many uncertainties the pandemic has presented.

"Many of our clients in Mexico are facing major challenges, such as how to quickly transition to remote working, and the uncertainties they face due to the lack of clear direction from the government during the pandemic," he said. "...We are currently working with them, as far as possible, to help them survive this moment of such uncertainty."

Mr. Gómez-Pinzón agreed that helping clients navigate uncertainty has been a major focus, saying that attorneys have taken on an increased advisory role.

"Law firms haven’t been immune to the uncertainty the virus has caused in Colombia, and we are seeing clients are much more cautious with their expenditure and doing all they can to reduce it, and that includes a reduction in the legal expenses they were used to paying," he said. "Our strategy is to become our clients' allies during this crisis and counsel them in practice areas that are key at this time, such as labor law, taxes, litigation, advising on supply contracts for medical equipment and services, focusing our business on what the market requires and remaining alert and active, trying to be affected by the crisis as little as possible." 

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