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The success of the GC Powerlist publication across Latin America over the course of the last three years has been such that it is easy to presume such events automatically run like clockwork. Once in a while, however, even the best-laid plans go awry…

With a remarkable venue – ‘Le Mansión’ at the Four Seasons hotel, Buenos Aires (as chosen by our sponsors, Baker Mckenzie), more than 120 confirmed corporate counsel guests, a specially invited speaker and the publications despatched from the UK in good time, all was set for the launch of the second GC Powerlist Argentina. However, on this occasion there was a ghost in the machine - and one seemingly determined to play havoc with our best intentions. Despite our pleadings (and the offer of a signed affidavit) the Argentine customs authorities refused to release the hard-copy edition of the GC Powerlist. There would be none to distribute at the event!

As editor, the only honourable thing to do was to fall on my sword and tell the tale of our desperate backstage pedalling (read: fruitless attempts to negotiate with the Dirección General de Aduanas) to our assembled guests: the least I could do was offer them a humorous anecdote. Amid much mirth, I detailed our increasingly urgent attempts to have the publication released, a frankly labyrinthine and at times almost surreal experience, which -it would subsequently emerge- many of the General Counsel in attendance had endured at least once during their in-house careers. (In future we will be aware that when one finds oneself sending multiple chemical analyses of the ink used in a publication so as to prove it is neither lead-based nor toxic, the cause is already well-and-truly lost!) Fortunately, both our sponsors and our guests, with their intimate knowledge of the peculiarities of certain branches of Argentine bureaucracy, proved sympathetic: my thanks to all.

In the wake of my ‘confession’, the attendees heard words or welcome from the managing partner of Baker Mckenzie’s Argentine office, Gustavo Boruchowicz (who demonstrated his own sharp sense of humour!), and were then treated to a fast and free-flowing presentation by the celebrated Argentine economist Juan Carlos de Pablo, whose incisive analysis did not respect the sanctity of certain long-held truths regarding Argentina’s political economy – be it on the micro or macro scale (as I write this, with the spectacle of Argentina’s Central Bank raising interest rates to 40%, his words have been more than borne out!). And fortunately, although the publication has had to be distributed post-event, in addition to the audio-visual displays detailing the teams incorporated into the GC Powerlist, we also had certificates to mark their inclusion. With an ample selection of canapes and a well-stocked bar, guests took advantage of a warm autumn evening to discuss subjects of mutual interest with their peers – an opportunity that more than one commented was only too rare.

On behalf of The Legal 500 I would like to extend particular thanks both to all attendees for their understanding, and of course to our sponsors for a second year running, Baker Mckenzie, without whose support this event would not have been possible.

A selection of photos from the evening can be seen below.