Labour and employment in Argentina
According to some, Baker McKenzie houses ‘the leading employment group in Argentina’, with its ‘diverse practice focus’ and ‘extremely deep bench’ recurring themes among clients. Certainly, the firm fields some of the most experienced practitioners in the country, with office managing partner Carlos Dodds highlighted for his ‘encyclopedic knowledge of employment law’; he recently represented a multinational corporation in a major dispute with a former high-ranking executive. Litigator Daniel Orlansky ‘handles many of the country’s most important employment cases’ and is highly sought after for sensitive and complex issues, including collective bargaining negotiations and employment terminations and reductions. Other senior names to note include the ‘very diligent and available’ Alberto González Torres, who brings to bear strong industry experience in the pharma, automotive and banking sectors, and Diego Bongiovanni, who has a focus on the energy and natural resources spheres. Among its up-and-coming names, senior associate Felipe Graham ‘performs at the level of a partner’.
Funes De Rioja & Asociados
‘The leading labour boutique in Argentina’, Funes De Rioja & Asociados is widely lauded for its ‘specialist expertise’ and ‘broad service coverage’. The firm, which focuses exclusively on labour and employment, social security and human resources law, covers the waterfront of related matters, including collective and individual bargaining, labour policy, industrial relations, judicial administration, and compensation and employee benefits. Founding partner Daniel Funes de Rioja, considered by many as ‘the standout specialist in the market’, enjoys a premier reputation for collective bargaining and complex litigation. Other key contacts include Ignacio Funes de Rioja (‘a very professional lawyer and a great person’) and Eduardo Juan Viñales, who specialises in collective bargaining and restructuring cases. The firm is highly sought after by major domestic and multinational employers and representative clients include Abbott Laboratories Argentina, Banco Santander Río and FEHGRA (the Argentine Federation of Hotel and Food Service Professionals).
Put simply, Marval O’Farrell Mairal’s employment practice is ‘gold standard’, according to admiring clients. The ‘undoubtedly top-tier group’ is widely agreed to possess ‘one of the most diverse teams in the market’, with its ‘excellent attorneys’ held up for their ‘high ethical standards and deep knowledge’. In particular, high-profile figure Enrique Stile is described as a ‘market leader’; he recently advised Alexion Pharmaceuticals on the employment aspects of the closure of its operations in Argentina. Department head Javier Patrón is also widely revered and advised Sensient Technologies on a $20m termination case. Impressive younger partner Diego Kelly continues to raise his profile in the market, with satisfied clients valuing his ‘strong proactivity and comprehensive business and labour law perspective’. Kelly assisted Shell CAPSA with the labour and employment aspects of the spin-off and sale of part of its business and local operations to Raízen. The group also includes immigration head Rodrigo Solá Torino, litigation expert José María Llano and the talented Guillermo Osorio, who made partner in August 2019.
‘Clear, professional and responsive’, Beccar Varela strikes the right note with its ‘committed service’ and ‘capable and up-to-date lawyers’. The group, led by ‘excellent negotiator’ Álvaro Galli, has experience across the full spectrum of labour and employment law, including corporate support matters, compliance issues, employee benefits, dismissals and labour disputes. Among his recent cases, Galli advised Bank of America on the closure of its local office and the consequent employee terminations. He also advised Carraro Argentina on a restructuring that initially involved the suspension of all employees, and then the dismissal of 40 unionised workers.
Among Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados’ key attributes, clients highlight its ‘strong industry knowledge’ and ‘creative approach’. The team’s commercial acumen is also a recurring theme, with employment head Julio Caballero widely lauded for his ‘great ability to take the big-picture view’; he advised Siderca on negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with the Argentine Metallurgical Workers’ Union and the Argentine Metal-Mechanical Supervisors’ Association. The department also routinely advises on termination procedures, company reorganisations and employment litigation. Jorge Pico, who provides ‘concise, precise and commercial advice’, and Lorenzo Gnecco are also recommended.
Adrogué Marqués Zabala & Asociados
Labour and social security specialist Adrogué Marqués Zabala & Asociados is best known for its strong skill sets in labour relations and litigation — it is also a popular choice for support on compliance and audit issues. Javier Adrogué, highlighted for his ‘strong reputation in the market’, brings to bear deep expertise in labour law, particularly dispute resolution. José Antonio Zabala, who focuses on business reorganisations, labour relations and employee benefits, is also a key contact.
Allende & Brea’s ‘very responsive and professional practice’ is highlighted for its ‘expert knowledge’, ‘strong labour settlement skills’ and ‘broad understanding of business needs’. The increasingly prominent group is led by Nicolás Grandi (‘gives creative solutions and alternatives’) and also includes talented senior associate Lucas Tamagno (‘one of the most solid labour law attorneys of his generation in Argentina’). Recent matters included advising Galaxy Lithium on the removal of its entire local management, including negotiations with the labour ministry. The team has also recently undertaken work for Thermo Fisher Scientific, Lazard and Marriott.
Bomchil’s ‘assertive and results-driven lawyers’ are valued for their ‘deep and up-to-date knowledge of employment law’. In particular, department head Esteban Carcavallo is singled out as an ‘exceptional professional’; he recently advised Novartis on the transfer of personnel prior to the spin-off of a business division. The group also includes counsel Edgardo Isola, who is recommended for contentious issues. Federico Basile left to join Krause Abogados.
Brons & Salas
The ‘very capable group’ at Brons & Salas is well versed in both labour and social security law. Contentious work represents the bulk of the practice but the team also advises on policy drafting, reorganisations, collective bargaining negotiations, transactional support matters and employee benefits. Department head Javier Verstegen is an ‘effective labour specialist’ and steers a team that counts Halliburton Argentina, SKF Argentina and Tupperware Argentina among its clients.
Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi’s ‘flexible and available’ practice impresses with its ‘seamless coordination with other firm departments’ as well as for its ‘ability to work as part of the in-house team’. The group, which handles an array of consultancy, transactional and contentious matters, is led by Nilo Thomas. Noted for his ‘broad experience and knowledge’, Thomas provides ongoing labour advice to several high-profile clients, such as Caterpillar Financial Services, Directv Argentina and Nabors International Argentina. Senior associate Geraldine Moffat has ‘huge expertise’.
Bulló Abogados’ practice shines in collective bargaining negotiations, under the leadership of collective bargaining expert Carlos Gustavo Marin Rodriguez. The group also handles union-related litigation, employee benefit issues and termination cases. Telefónica de Argentina is a trophy client and the firm recently advised it on the renewal of its collective bargaining agreement. Other representative clients include Louis Dreyfus Company, Microsoft and HSBC Bank Argentina. Marcelo Claudio Perez is recommended for labour litigation.
MBB Balado Bevilacqua Abogados’ ‘remarkably strong business knowledge’ and ‘international-standard service’ lead clients to assert that it is a ‘leading employment boutique in Latin America’. Particular praise is reserved for firm founder Mercedes Balado Bevilacqua, who is ‘very knowledgeable, business-oriented and solution-focused’; she spearheads a department that covers the full spectrum of local and cross-border labour, social security and human resources matters. Analía Durán, who co-leads the international practice, and Esteban Cattaneo, who heads the litigation unit, are also key contacts. Representative clients include Artsana Argentina, Facebook and Samsung.
The ‘hands-on team’ at Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen impresses with its lawyers’ ‘broad range of skills and capabilities’. In particular, sources highlight its ‘special strengths in union negotiations, litigation and complex advisory issues’ — it also handles transactional support matters, social security and immigration law. The practice, which counts Google, United Airlines and Zurich among its clients, is led jointly by Julio Stefanoni Zani (‘amazing knowledge, clarity and service delivery’), Julio Lococo (‘responsive, results-focused and client-oriented’) and Enrique Betemps.
Rodríguez, Mancini, Arias & Asociados
Respected labour and employment boutique Rodríguez, Mancini, Arias & Asociados is distinguished by its practice of representing both employees and employers. The firm, which enjoys a solid profile locally, has experience across an array of collective bargaining, compensation and contentious matters — it is particularly sought after for complex litigation. Litigator Juan Manuel Arias is the name to note.
Alfaro-Abogados is distinguished by its record in cross-border employment work, with notable experience in advising China-based companies, such as China Petroleum Technology & Development Corporation and Sinopec, in ongoing matters. Areas of expertise include collective bargaining negotiations, employee benefits, labour disputes and business immigration. Carlos Miguez and María Paola Trigiani are the key contacts.
The solid group at Beretta Godoy shines in the energy and natural resources spheres, in line with its signature strength. However, it also routinely acts for clients in the life sciences and telecoms sectors. Joaquín Carrillo steers a group that handles employee dismissals, corporate support matters, policy drafting and litigation. Representative clients include Allergan Productos Farmacéutico, Hexing Electrical and Toyota Boshoku.
De Diego & Asociados
Niche labour and employment firm De Diego & Asociados enjoys a strong profile locally due to the leading reputation of founding partner Julián De Diego, who is widely regarded as a ‘force in the labour law area’. The group handles the full scope of labour matters but is particularly sought after for its expertise in collective bargaining and complex litigation.
In 2018, new firm Krause Abogados launched a labour and employment practice with the hire of sector expert Federico Basile from Bomchil. Basile brings deep experience across the full life cycle of employment law, including contractual advice, workplace investigations, collective bargaining and litigation. The firm advised the local subsidiary of a multinational company on the employment aspects of the establishment of a new construction side.
Nicholson y Cano Abogados’ practice is characterised both by its strong emphasis on contentious matters and its broad industry focus, with the latter encompassing specific expertise in the oil and gas, agribusiness and financial services sectors, among others. Among its key clients, the team provides day-to-day consultancy and litigation support to YPF and Shell CAPSA. Key contacts include Juan Carlos Etchebehere and Pablo Javier Venarotti.
‘Highly responsive and knowledgeable’, Estudio O'Farrell ‘provides an excellent level of service’, according to clients. The broad practice, which is led by José Luis Zapata, has expertise across a wide range of consultancy, litigation and collective bargaining matters, with the energy sector standing out as a key source of instructions. Representative highlights included advising YPF Energía Eléctrica on collective negotiations with the Union of the Electric Industry. Senior associate Ignacio Agustín Castiglione is also recommended.
Estudio Ortiz & Asociados
Estudio Ortiz & Asociados’ labour group, led by Juan Pablo Rovira Escalante, specialises in labour disputes and also handles collective and individual bargaining, M&A-related matters and social security issues. The firm routinely advises both domestic and multinational employers and recent clients include the Argentine Polo Association and IBM Argentina.
Wiener Soto Caparrós
The ‘professional and personable’ team at Wiener Soto Caparrós has a focus on contentious issues; it notably handles several multinational clients’ local employment litigation portfolios, including Coca-Cola Andina and McCain Foods. The practice also has experience in M&A support matters and collective bargaining. Litigator Gonzalo Manuel Soto heads the department and is noted for his ‘confident and assured manner’.
Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados
‘Highly commercial and responsive’, Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados is valued for its ‘great understanding of local labour and employment regulations’. The group, which is best known for its skills in collective bargaining and litigation, is led by counsel Alejandro Mao, who provides ‘clear feedback in a timely manner’. Clients include Austral Gold and the Argentine Rugby Union.