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Legal market overview
Peru continues to enjoy an impressive economic boom, experiencing growth in the 6-9% range for the last three years. As this might suggest, the country remains an attractive destination for international companies and foreign investment, particularly in the extractive sectors, which account for more than 60% of Peru’s total exports. However, issues with local communities are a continuing difficulty for the country and have had an impact on the continuation of a number of mining projects. Poor infrastructure is also a problem of growing relevance, although the government plans to combat this deficit with a $20.5bn investment in infrastructure between 2011 and 2016. Interest from companies in the Asia-Pacific region has also persisted, and Peru has witnessed an influx of European companies looking for alternative investment possibilities. In addition, out-bound investment is emerging as a new tendency, and while it is currently focused on the Latin American region, its scope and extent may broaden if, as forecast, growth continues.
Regulatory reform and consolidation also continues, in an attempt to keep pace with the growing economy and its increasingly sophisticated and complex demands. Law firms have also noted an increase in contentious matters related to this growth, not least with the increased popularity of arbitration as a method of dispute resolution. With a number of Peruvian companies looking for alternative methods of financing, capital markets transactions have also been on the increase; it remains to be seen how the development of MILA, the integrated Latin American stock market, will modify this scenario.
The biggest change within the legal market occurred in October 2012, when Baker & McKenzie formed an alliance with Peruvian firm Estudio Echecopar, marking the first entrance of an international player into the Peruvian legal market. The market continues to be dominated by several large full-service firms: Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano, Abogados, Miranda & Amado Abogados, Rubio Leguía Normand and Muñiz, Ramírez, Pérez-Taiman & Olaya Abogados all have large, multi-disciplinary service offerings that address the full array of corporate legal needs. Alongside these firms, there are a number of noteworthy boutiques including Bullard Falla Ezcurra Abogados, which specialises in regulatory and public law, competition and arbitration, IP boutique Barreda Moller, and environmental experts Delapuente, among others.