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June 15, 2015

A decade later, Affinitas confirms its position in Latin America

The following note is based on an article published by Latin Lawyer; the original text can be read here (a subscription is necessary).


Since its foundation in 2004, the Affinitas alliance has been considered the most prominent network in the region, since it´s made up of leading law firms of five of the most relevant economies in Latin America: Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi in Argentina; Barros & Errázuriz in Chile; Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta in Colombia; Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes in Mexico; and Miranda & Amado in Peru.

Over a decade later, the prestige is still intact in spite of undergoing important changes. ¿The biggest one? The founding member, Garrigues, leaving the firm in 2013; the international Spanish firm believed that, in order to maintain the high standards of client service across the network, a closer association was needed. For that reason, Garrigues proposed a full merger into the Spanish firm.

But the Latin American law firms were simply not interested. After years building reputations that extended outside their home jurisdictions, they weren’t willing to give away their status and prestige in such a way. “If a Chinese investor wants to invest in Latin America, why shouldn’t they just come directly to any of us?” asked Juan Luis Avendaño, partner of Miranda & Amado.

That position led Garrigues to leave; a decision that, far from affecting the rest of the members, it strengthened them to make the alliance entirely Latin America focused. The law firms agreed that the key was to create a closer association based on standardized processes and procedures, an easy objective due to their similarities in terms of size, clientele, values and growth plans.

Two years after the split, Affinitas’ members now enjoy a higher profile both individually and collectively. Any investor interested in Latin America will find, in the alliance, a leading group that is able to help them in five of the most economically relevant countries in the region.