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The JW Marriott's Salon Piantini was the venue for The Legal 500's first roundtable in the Dominican Republic on the 23rd of November. Despite torrential rains from tropical storm Otto and Santo Domingo’s traffic living up to its reputation, the event was blessed with a strong turnout to discuss the evolving role of Corporate Counsel – with particular emphasis on corporate governance, compliance and best practice. A strong finance sector participation, in particular, included representatives of Banco Popular Dominicano, Banco Dominicano del Progreso and Banco BHD León, both Citi and Scotiabank, and attendees from the Dominican Republic's Central Bank and stock market.

If the finance sector, is necessarily one of the most experienced in terms of regulatory requirements and obligations, one of the event's strengths nevertheless proved to be the presence of in-house legal counsel from a range of industry sectors: from mining (Corporación Minera Dominicana) to hospitality (Hoteles Barceló), and from domestic consortia (such as Grupo Magna, Grupo Ramos & Grupo Rojas) to multijurisdictional operations (Colgate-Palmolive, for example); a diversity that facilitated the comparison of a range of experiences. Moreover, the presence of figures from the public sector fostered another distinct perspective, especially when the conversation touched on sensitive issues such as judicial security and the competence of the judiciary in relation to technically complex and highly-specialised cases. Other participants included legal representatives from Gildan, ARS Universal and Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI.

As might be expected, the management of compliance obligations and preparedness for the unforeseeable "black swan" events that can confront any organization, as well as topics including data security, crisis management and reputational risk, all arose. Additional matters touched upon included the experience of change, the challenges of managing internal structures, and the issue of what to retain in-house and what to out-source given restricted budgets. And while there was obviously a difference in the sophistication of responses given the size and profile of the business entity involved, the awareness of all the legal counsel present with regard to the new challenges appearing over the horizon (cyber-attacks, for example) was deeply impressive, as was the will to share experiences and perspectives from differing sectors.

In addition to thanking all those who participated The Legal 500 would also like to note our gratitude to sponsors Pellerano & Herrera for all their efforts to ensure the event was a resounding success.

Scroll down below to see photos from the evening.