For the fourth time in a row, Posse Herrera Ruiz was named law firm of the year by Chambers and Partners.
Posse Herrera Ruiz was named the best law firm of the year by Chambers and Partners. To know the bets of the firm in the legal services’ business, we interviewed the partners Alessia Abello (AA), Jaime Herrera (JH), Juan Guillermo Ruiz (JG) and José Alejandro Torres (JA).
How to consolidate success in the fields in which the firm operates?
AA: By striving to maintain the transversal quality. Every person in the firm works towards a single objective, from where a comprehensive and transversal interpretation arises. We are able to attain homogeneity because we have a very rigorous selection process, where the values and ethical sense are paramount.
That is the first thing that we look for. We also develop the corporate vision. This structure allows us to diversify the attention of customers in each one of the specialized fields. We are a corporate firm that adds specializations. On top of this. We tend towards the professionalization and the transparency.
Are the international firms a challenge for you?
JH: We are not outside the market; there are indeed very important global players that have presence in our country. Our first goal is to be recognized as leaders in the country and not for being someone who is in several countries. Clearly, that specialization is what our clients are looking for. For the international reach, we have been able to form lawyers’ networks throughout the world, expanding our reach to more than 180 countries. Our main ally is the Spanish law firm of Cuatrecasas. This is a quite close – knit alliance, but one that has provided a quite dynamic field for the expansion throughout Ibero – America.
What legal scenarios have affected the trust of the foreign investors?
JH: When there is a systematic disregard of the law, the companies are afraid, quite afraid, of investing in those countries and, when there is corruption, even more. Today, thanks to the information networks, something is clear: those who are corrupt are doomed to fail. However, if things only move forward in the country through corruption, the business enterprises are not willing to take that reputational blow and in the end they leave those countries. Another important issue is the uncertainty that this whole corruption phenomenon generates in the country. The problem is that we have many entities, such as the Controller’s Office, the Superintendence of Industry and Trade or the arbitration tribunals that make different decisions in similar cases, or even in the same case. This generates the administrative instability that affects the investment.
JT: Ordinary people are not aware, but the investors take careful notice of everything that happens in the country. Scandals such as that of the Gown Cartel, have had a devastating impact on the investors’ trust. Even though all countries have this type of problems to a larger or to a lesser extent, in order to regain the investor’s trust we must prove that there are uncompromising actions to eradicate such practices. If there is action, there is a reconstruction of the faith in the system.
What role is not working in the Colombian judicial system, in your opinion?
JT: Our clients mention two issues: celerity in the resolution of the conflicts and legal stability. The judiciary take an awful lot of time to reach a given legal conflict. And, on the other hand, in certain matters there is abuse in the exercise of constitutional protection actions (tutelas), and this has been decisive in the subject of investment.
JG: To supplement, I would say that we in the law firms have huge responsibilities with the society, and one that is quite important is that we have to work to build legal security. This security is paramount for the investment and for the development of projects. An issue that must be included in a judicial reform is the procedural stability. Today there is a lot of uncertainty and this has caused that many investment decisions are annulled and canceled.
What was the main turbulence caused by the change of government by the middle of the year?
AA: In matters related with 4G there was a slow down due to the change of Government. Thankfully, the ministries involved have made accurate decisions regarding the development and the implementation of these projects, and because of that we were able to see light at the end of the tunnel after that huge uncertainty. Things are improving, but for next year we must capitalize these projects.
How are you adapting your services for the new types of business?
JT: Entrepreneurship is trending, without doubt. Investors are strategically turned towards entrepreneurship and the law firms have to adapt to these frequencies of the new businesses. We must simplify the transactions and the documents, because the entrepreneurs have a psychological profile that one must learn how to handle. In this world they want the things to be quite millennial. A classic example of this is Rappi. This has brought an appetite for the entrepreneurs who want to succeed in the market, and that is why we must be there, because we cannot miss the train.
How to maintain this string of successes?
JG: When a firm is recognized as law firm of the year, a number of future challenges immediately arise. But the award is history once you receive it. From that moment, you need to carry on working with a lot of illusion to handle, in the best way possible, the concerns of our clients. One of the purposes of the firm is to establish a school and a solid organization with each one of the members of our team. A sensational team is coming behind us and I am very confident when I see the solidness of these young partners, which allows us to look to the future with a great illusion.
Author: José David Castilla
Interview of: Alessia Abello, Jaime Herrera, Juan Guillermo Ruiz and José Alejandro Torres