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Legal market overview
With President Rafael Correa’s re-election to a third term in power, the ongoing overhaul of Ecuadorian legislation looks set to continue. One of the most notable changes recently has been the implementation of the country’s new competition law; after much consultation, the ‘Organic Law for the Regulation and Control of Market Power’ was enacted in October 2011, and implemented in May 2012. A number of firms have sought to develop competition practices to meet the demand for legal services the legislation has created; Consulegis Abogados appears to have gained an early advantage through its merger with the specialist boutique, Antitrust Consultores.
In general terms, the market is dominated by full-service firms such as Pérez Bustamante & Ponce and Bustamante & Bustamante, which represent a number of major international clients. There are also several active mid-sized firms, which represent both international and domestic clients across a range of practice areas. These include Paz Horowitz Robalino Garcés, Abogados and Coronel & Pérez. A merger between Consulegis Abogados in Guayaquil and Quito-based Corral & Rosales has resulted in the creation of Corral Rosales Carmigniani Pérez in early 2013. The new firm covers a broad range of practice areas with lawyers based in both the national capital, Quito, and the country’s largest city, and key port, Guayaquil – the latter a key location for significant dispute resolution activity.
The market also includes a number of prominent boutiques and smaller firms with particular strength in one or two areas; these include IP specialists Bermeo & Bermeo Law Firm, and labour and employment experts Jaramillo Dávila Abogados.