The Latin American alliance founded last week by Spanish firm Garrigues is already expanding, with Chilean firms vying for places.
Garrigues partner and alliance management committee member Jose Maria Alonso told The Lawyer that Chilean firms were competing in a beauty parade, which will be concluded by the summer. He ruled out non-Spanish and Portuguese-speaking members. “We’ll remain in Latin America. We’re not competing with the US and UK firms,” Alonso said.
Last week the ex-Andersen Legal firm launched its long-awaited alliance with elite firms in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico in an agreement signed in Madrid. The deal saw Argentine banking outfit Bruchou Fernandez Madero Lombardi & Mitrani Abog-ados, 15-partner Brazilian corporate firm Barbosa Müssnich & Aragão and Mexican banking firm Mijares Angoitia Cortes y Fuentes SC join up with Garrigues’ existing Portuguese ally Leonidas Matos & Associados.
Under the alliance, recruitment techniques and career progression will be standardised and members will contribute to a fund to be distributed across the alliance.
A 12-strong management committee consisting of members from each firm and chaired by Garrigues president Antonio Garrigues Walker will meet quarterly.
The move is a boost for Garrigues, which has been casting around for alliance partners since it walked out of the Andersen Legal network in 2002. Member firms are already indicating that marriage may be on the cards. “We’ve started an alliance with no limit. Full merger is a possibility,” said Alonso.