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Who Represents Who

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Especially strong in labour litigation, employment boutique Carrasco, Forgues, Mercado & Aleman also handles hiring and dismissals, salary negotiations, large-scale restructuring, and individual and union conflicts. The firm has offices in both La Paz and Santa Cruz. Group head Pablo Carrasco, who also leads the Cámara Nacional de Industrias’ Commission for Labour Affairs, is supported by Marcel Forgues, who has over two decades’ experience in corporate law. Associate Boris Bustillos is also recommended. Clients include Cervecería Boliviana Nacional, Embol, Fortaleza and Industrias de Aceite.

Guevara & Gutiérrez S.C counts the hiring and dismissal of high-ranking employees and foreign personnel as a key strength; moreover, as well as assisting international organisations with ensuring their termination packages are compatible with local law, the practice been increasingly active advising clients on complex remuneration policies and different types of work contracts, of late. Primitivo Gutiérrez is a renowned labour litigator and defended Prosalud against a claim brought by medical staff who sought recognition as general employees under the Bolivian labour code. Jaime Lora, who co-leads the practice in conjunction with Gutiérrez, assisted Trafigura Group with work contracts and obtaining work visas for foreign personnel and their families. Asea Brown Boveri is another client in the immigration space.

René Claure and labour litigator Delfor Zapata co-head the team at Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados, which acts for high-profile clients on the full range of employment matters, including collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), hiring and dismissals, and drafting employment contracts and outsourcing agreements. Claure advised the US Embassy on all its labour work, including work contracts and negotiating wage increases; while on the contentious side Zapata continued to defend Aon against four labour lawsuits (with an aggregate value of $4m), brought by the company’s former Bolivian management team. Other clients include Johnson & Johnson, Bolivision and Samsung Engineering. The team also handles immigration and social security matters, and both Claure and René Cuellar are strong negotiators with particular experience in CBAs. Senior associate Fernando Sánchez Peña is frequently active in contentious and non-contentious employment work.

‘Valued for its response times and pertinent advice’, Bufete Aguirre Soc. Civ.’s ‘trustworthy’ practice provides ‘very good service’, and counts dealing with foreign employees as a particular strength. The ‘very analytical’ Carolina Aguirre advises Rainforest Alliance on all its labour matters and was also active assisting Grupo Alcos with non-contentious employment issues. Tetra Pak, Embol and GP Exploración y Producción instructed the team on various regulatory labour matters. Milenka Saavedra heads the practice and counts Repsol E&P Bolivia as a client.

The ‘proactive’ practice at Ferrere provides ‘a high level of service’, is ‘able to address a range of client needs’ and is strong in preventive work. ‘Strategic, analytical’, ‘professional and reliable’ group head Alejandro Pemintel is noted for his ‘knowledge of labour regulations’ and his awareness of the ‘local and national context’. He recently acted for Minera San Cristóbal on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, as well as representing Nestlé in union negotiations, defence against labour claims and providing assistance with a restructuring. Other clients include Petrex, AXS Bolivia and Cargill. The practice is also noted for its ‘astute associates’; senior associate Rodrigo Montellano is one such labour expert.

Praised for its ‘overall level of service’ in terms of ‘response times, knowledge and accuracy’ as well as ‘quality of advice’, Indacochea & Asociados’ department has ‘expertise in labour matters’, and ‘adapts well to market challenges’. The ‘committed’ Andere Indacochea ‘performs very well’ and is ‘trusted for handling delicate matters’; she recently handled a range of work for Bayer, including restructuring, hiring and dismissals, as well as social benefits and policies for inbound and outbound personnel. Other practice clients include Bebidas Bolivianas, Kimberly Bolivia and Pfizer Bolivia.

Known for assisting clients with a range of employment matters, including labour restructuring, compensation and employment contracts, Würth Bedoya Costa Du Rels Abogados’ practice is led by Karla Würth; she is supported by fellow-name partner Mauricio Costa du Rels and associates Jorge Nelson Serrate, Carla Saracho and Gabriel Duchen. Clients include Bebidas Bolivianas and Rockwell Automation.

Ingecorp and Samsung are among the clients of Araujo & Forgues’ team, which is led by name partners Jannine Forgues and Jaime Araújo. It is active in a range of labour matters, including hiring, dismissals and regulatory advice.

Particularly active in labour disputes, C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados’ practice is led jointly by Sandra Salinas and Antonio Sanjinés, who work in La Paz and Santa Cruz, respectively. The team defended MI Fluids Bolivia in a labour compliance case, achieving a 90% diminution of fines; and represented DHL Bolivia in litigation regarding compensation. Other clients include Archer DLS, Brinks Bolivia, Deutsche Schule Santa Cruz and the century-old newspaper La Razón. Senior associates Jorge Subirana and Mery Cuellar are often active in labour litigation.

The ‘helpful’, ‘astute and efficient’ team at Gumucio & Abogados ‘reacts very quickly’ and ‘certainly has industry knowledge’. ‘Punctual, practical and honest’ practice head Daniel Gumucio has ‘very good knowledge of the law’ and ‘the ability to handle every matter’; he is ‘dextrous, efficient and well connected’. Empacar instructed Gumucio on union litigation, which he handled successfully; he also acted for BMW and Exomad on dismissal cases. Other employment clients include Industrias Ferrotodo, Alcanova and IC Norte.

Respected by peers in the market, the practice at Mendieta Romero y Asociados is based in La Paz and is led by Gonzalo Mendieta with support from Percy Luza. As well as assisting clients with analysing labour contracts, the team is active on the contentious side, often defending clients against employees’ allegations of unpaid salary or other benefits.

Demonstrating ‘the necessary strength in depth’, the team at Tufiño y Villegas is praised for its ‘good service and response times’; it primarily handles M&A-related labour work and preventive advice but also handles employment litigation. Senior associate Justo Galindo arrived from labour boutique Carrasco, Forgues, Mercado & Aleman in January 2018; he co-heads the practice alongside Gabriel Villegas. Both lawyers acted for Granja Avícola Integral Sofia and JT International Holding on M&A-related labour matters.

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