Uría Menéndez to take part in major Latin American law firm

Law firms Philippi (Chile) and Prietocarrizosa (Colombia) are to merge and Uría Menéndez will hold 30% of the newly created firm: Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uría

September 9, 2014

Philippi (Chile) and Prietocarrizosa (Colombia), two of Uría Menéndez’s best friend firms, have announced what will be the first merger in Latin America between two leading law firms in their countries. Uría Menéndez has acquired a 30% stake in the new firm. The merger between the two Latin American firms and Uría Menéndez’s stake will produce one of Latin America’s main law firms.

The new firm will start operating on 1 January 2015 under the name of Philippi, Prietocarrizosa & Uría. It will have 220 lawyers and offices in Santiago (Chile), Bogota and Barranquilla (Colombia). The firm will benefit from Uría Menéndez’s resources: 530 lawyers and offices in Latin America, the United States, Europe and Asia. Management duties will be delegated in a steering committee with six partners, including a senior partner and a managing partner.

This is the first phase of a project that responds to the interest of European, Asian and North American companies in the Pacific Alliance’s member states (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). The growth of this Alliance, which is now regarded as the eighth economy in the world, confirms the potential for growth of the countries that form it, which have been joining forces for several years now to achieve economic integration. These changes are an opportunity for law firms to offer services within a transnational context. Thus, the intention is to expand to other markets in the future, such as Peru and Mexico, and work towards a full integration with Uría Menéndez.

This initiative is a major milestone in Uría Menéndez’s international strategy that consolidates its commitment with Latin America, where it has been actively involved for 17 years. Uría Menéndez has evolved from a local law firm, to a leading Iberian firm and a reference in Latin America with presence in the world’s key financial centres.

Luis de Carlos, Uría Menéndez’s managing partner, stated “we are very proud to take part in such an exciting project with our friends from Philippi and Prietocarrizosa. We have developed close ties with Latin America for almost two decades now and are confident that this venture, which represents an innovative approach to the legal services industry in Latin America, will be a great success.”

As Juan Francisco Gutiérrez, Philippi’s chairman, points out “this deal is the result of the development, consolidation and constant innovation process within our firm. For a long time we had identified the need to join the growing internationalization process that Chilean companies are experiencing, particularly in the Pacific Alliance region. We are fortunate to join forces with two law firms with which we have a longstanding relationship in addition to sharing professional ethics and values. This has paved the way to pioneer this approach and most importantly, to address our clients’ needs.”

According to Martín Carrizosa, member of Prietocarrizosa’s executive committee, “entrepreneurs and many multinationals view Latin America in general, and the countries of the Pacific Alliance in particular, as a new and distinct legal market where added-value legal advice is required. Many of our clients are already present in several Latin American countries, or are in the process of expanding their business in the region. This initiative is a response to their needs and our responsibility to join forces with them offering the best possible legal advice. The new law firm will allow us to combine our local experience with an extended Latin American presence.”