Labour and employment in Chile
Carey has significant experience in assisting national and multinational companies with their hiring processes, compensation packages, terminations, subcontracting, M&A-related labour issues, internal investigations, social security matters and employee taxation; the practice also regularly acts in collective bargaining and labour law litigation, such as wrongful dismissal, violation of fundamental rights, anti-union practices and work-related accidents. Recent headline work saw the team advise United Health Group (UHG) on the labour-and-employment due diligence for the acquisition of Chilean healthcare company Banmédica, which involved 24 companies employing 13,500 employees. Other matters included advising a multinational electric energy company on collective bargaining procedures. Oscar Aitken and Francisca Corti co-head the firm’s labour and immigration group, which also includes associate Francisco Arce. Key clients include MetLife Chile, American Airlines and Black & Veatch Chile.
Founded in late 2015, specialist labour law boutique Munita & Olavarría fields experts in pension plans, compensation benefits, labour law auditing, compliance, workforce reductions, and company restructuring. Work-related accidents and visas, labour law litigation and collective bargaining are all other areas of strength. The Ius Laboris membre firm for Chile, it acts for a diverse clientele that includes Coca-Cola Andina and Banco de Crédito e Inversiones, as well as clients from sectors including telecoms, mining, retail, automotive, sports, pharmaceuticals and construction. The names to note are founding partners Enrique Munita and Cristián Olavarría, along with Paola Casorzo, José Luis De Marchena and Marcela Salazar. At associate, level, Gonzalo Urcelay, Paula García-Huidobro and María de los Angeles Izquierdo are experienced advisers.
Long renowned for its ‘expertise and solutions-oriented advice’, the department at Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría handles due diligence and internal employment audits, hirings and terminations, unfair dismissal and company policies, as well as restrictive covenants, sub-contracting and outsourcing, labour-related taxation and compensation packages, collective bargaining, union relations and labour litigation. While the department suffered the departure of three lawyers in August 2019 when former practice director Jaime Salinas left to form Salinas Toledo Labour & Employment Lawyers, the practice retained not only partner-in-charge, Paulina Miranda (‘a very knowledgeable partner who does not simply provide advice, but puts herself in clients’ shoes as an advocate; she also explains risk in a down-to-earth and easy-to-digest manner’), but also ‘diligent and professional’ senior associate, Andrea Papi, whose broad advisory practice also includes oversight of the department's immigration sub-practice; their recent work includes advising Generadora Metropolitana on labour matters related to its acquisition of ESSA, as well as with union relations. The firm has since moved rapidly to strengthen its department, hiring labour litigator Sergio Montes Larrain -formerly at Eyzaguirre Burlé Montes & Ossa- as practice head of the newly restrucutured eight-strong team. As well as contentious matters, his past experience includes handling all labour aspects of the merger of 20th Century Fox and Fox Films with Disney ESPN, as well as major collective bargaining issues. The practice group's other clients include Methanex, Decathlon, Mitsubishi and Dell.
Barros & Errázuriz's 'pragmatic practice' undertakes ongoing labour law advice, collective-bargaining matters, labour disputes, M&A-related labour issues, labour audits, and the full range of immigration matters. Active clients include Coca Cola Embonor, Hewlett-Packard, DirecTV Chile and Colbún; and recent matters include assising Williamson Balfour with collective bargaining matters. Key figure Juan Cristóbal Iturrate heads the team, which also includes experienced senior associates María Fernanda Espinosa, Carolina Carrillo and Pavel Alvarez; former senior associate Camila Herrera left for Della Maggiora, Eyzaguirre, Ferrada Abogados.
Canales Parga Abogados Laborales was co-founded in 2018 by Alfonso Canales and Sebastián Parga, both formerly of Uribe, Hubner & Canales; the pair are -for one client- 'far above any other lawyers we've worked with', while the practice is 'unique for its creativity, excellent service, flexibility and availability'. The team acts for clients drawn from the technology, hospitality and retail sectors, among others, and its client list includes Cencosud, Electrolux, Holiday Inn Chile and Liberty Seguros. Recent mandates include defendeding Compass Catering against a discriminatory dismissal and violation of fundamental rights claim. Promoted to the partnership in May 2019, Carlos Gutiérrez, Francisco Plass and Diego Nodleman are also noteworthy.
Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos is well known for its expertise in collective bargaining, immigration and the labour-law issues surrounding company restructuring; the team is also experienced in advising on compensation packages, stock option plans and the tax aspects of employment benefits. Notable clients include adidas, Ripley, Coca-Cola and IBM de Chile; the team recently assisted the latter with several union issues that arose from collective bargaining agreements. Ricardo Tisi is highly rated and Bárbara Zlatar is a notable associate.
CMS Carey & Allende's 'team is incredibly professional and business focused, with high levels of labour law specialisation'. Its practice covers collective bargaining negotiations, visas and foreign-employee immigration requirements, and employment litigation; the team also advises on M&A-related labour law issues and labour contracts. Recent mandates include assisting Accenture Chile with the local implementation of the company's worldwide non-discrimination policies. Enzo Canales 'puts in an exceptional performance' and associate Julio Frías 'provides the best advice every time'. Clients include Jacobs Chile, Alxar Minería, Unilever and Sun Chemical Chile.
Grasty Quintana Majlis & Cia. 'has deep knowledge of the Chilean labour market, so advises not just from a technical point of view, but also from a practical standpoint'. The team has been particularly active in collective negotiations and union relations of late; it also acts in complex, labour-related litigation, employee hiring and termination issues, workplace health and safety and labour-related immigration matters. The team recently assisted Minera Tres Valles with a collective bargaining procedure. Labour group leader Christian Alvarado 'always delivers accurate and timely responses', and Patricio Riquelme is an experienced associate. Other clients include Ericsson Chile, Nike de Chile and Parque Arauco.
Uribe, Hubner & Cia.
Uribe, Hubner & Cia. has a strong reputation in the market for its advice on labour law matters; the practice is also highly rated for its labour law dispute resolution expertise. The current President of the Chilean Labor Law Center, Enrique Uribe is widely praised; Marcelo Soto is a corporate employment law and collective bargaining specialist; at associate level, María de los Ángeles Bittner, Pedro Pablo Torres, Marianela Smith and Silvestre Lyon, along with Enrique Uribe and Edmundo Piffre de Voban, are all names to note.
Baker McKenzie Chile is well known for complex, cross-border executive transfers and multinational company employment matters, as well as high-value litigation on behalf of employers; the team is also noted for its mining-related employment law expertise, which includes collective bargaining, litigation, compensation packages for international executives, and global mobility issues. Andrés Valdés heads the labour and employment practice, of which associate José Ignacio Muñoz is also a member.
Della Maggiora, Eyzaguirre, Ferrada Abogados
Della Maggiora, Eyzaguirre, Ferrada Abogados' scope of practice includes social security issues, immigration, collective bargaining and labour-related dispute resolution; other areas of strength include terminations, compensation, benefits, internal policies, audits, employee taxation, pensions, and health and safety. Francisco Della Maggiora and Domingo Eyzaguirre are highly rated, while Camila Herrera, who is experienced in individual and collective labour law, social security and labour litigation, arrived from Barros & Errázuriz in June 2018.
DLA Piper (Chile) is 'always there for its clients'. The practice advises on day-to-day labour-law issues, collective bargaining, employment law disputes, compensation schemes, and corporate immigration issues. The team recently acted for Mostos del Pacífico in complex litigation that was brought by its former general manager, following the termination of his employment agreement. Department head Luis Parada 'really stands out because of his deep legal knowledge'; of counsel Juan Pablo Mesías, previously at KPMG in Chile, and labour litigation specialist Alfonso Bustamante, formerly of Lahaye & Bustamante, joined the practice, while Ramón Domínguez left for Rivadeneira Colombara Zegers.
Porzio Ríos García's scope of work ranges from advising on labour-related contractual issues and collective bargaining to compliance and litigation; other areas of focus include health and safety, employee benefits, pension law and immigration. Ignacio García is highly regarded and Fernando Villalobos is an experienced senior associate.
Prieto Abogados is focused on labour litigation, labour-related corporate advice and collective bargaining. Key clients include Engie Energía Chile, Plaza and LG Electronics; recent matters include assisitng Yamana Gold with a collective bargaining matter that involved approximately 400 employees. Christian von Bergen heads the department; Cristóbal Raby, who was made partner in 2019, 'focuses on the best and most efficient way to comply with clients' requirements'.
Rivadeneira Colombara Zegers
Rivadeneira Colombara Zegers recently hired Ramón Domínguez and director Francis Reyes from DLA Piper (Chile). The practice assists with collective bargaining, defending labour claims and complex litigation, M&A-related due diligence, social security matters, and compliance. Active clients include Codelco Chile, JP Morgan, Hites and Constructora Belfi.
Abdala y Cia is 'unique for its 24/7 availability and its understanding of clients' businesses'. José Ignacio Arteaga, who is 'an exceptional legal adviser', is focused on complex labour litigation, collective bargaining negotiations, and corporate law-related labour matters. The team advises Ovalle Casino Resort on an ongoing basis regarding labour law matters.
Albagli Zaliasnik 's labour practice focuses on hiring, compensation, termination, subcontracting and labour due diligence; other areas of strength include corporate policies, collective bargaining and litigation. Jorge Arredondo is labour group director and clients include Nokia and Pharma Investi.
Aninat Schwencke & Cia 'has highly-qualified professionals who really know Chilean law and can discuss any issue properly, therefore saving clients' time and money'. The practice is experienced in collective bargaining, complex labour-related disputes, compensation plans and the labour aspects of M&A. The team advised Hill+Knowlton Strategies on closing its operations in Chile, a process involving employee dismissals. Rodrigo Ugarte leads the employment practice in conjunction with newly-appointed practice director, senior associate Constanza Ríos.
Aylwin Mendoza Luksic & Valencia – AMLV 'has a deep understanding of clients' business strategies, which allows for the exploration of different solutions'; the practice fields experts in individual contracts, employee benefits, outsourcing, and collective bargaining agreements. It also acts for clients before the labour authorities. Andrés Aylwin and Zarko Luksic are the principal contacts. Clients include Codelco, Komatsu, Syngenta and Veolia.
Bock Abogados' practice handles employment contracts, internal regulations, collective bargaining, union relations, tax and social security, and labour disputes. Work highlighs include advising Chilean diary products manufacturer, Soprole, on two collective-bargaining matters. Rodolfo Bock, Silvia Soto and Sebastían Bock are experienced practitioners.
Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana has extensive experience in collective bargaining matters and regularly acts in labour law-related litigation before the labour courts. Recenthighlights include the successful defence of renal care provider Nephrocare Chile against a former employee's claim for unfair dismissal and violation of fundamental rights. Pablo Gutiérrez heads the labour practice of which Luis Alberto Cruchaga is a key senior associate.
The eight-strong labour team at Del Río Izquierdo is experience in hiring and terminations, compensation packages, collective bargaining and union relations, migration and subcontracting, as well as administrative and civil labour litigation, dispute resolution and due diligence, among other matters. Practice head Eduardo Izquierdo is the key point of contact; he is particularly noted for collective bargaining, where recent mandates have included counsel to Unisys, Hilanderías Maisa and Minera Nevada (Barrick). Other recent matters include advising the former on the implementation of 'home-office' working practices. Fellow partner and head of litigation Francisco Bañados G is also noted. Clients include Maestra Edificación, Mecalux, Tetra Pak and Accor.
Fontaine & Cía
Fontaine & Cía's Diego Marín leads the firm's labour law department, which is focused on individual and collective employment contracts, social security benefits, collective bargaining, union relations, and labour litigation. Ongoing mandates include assisting MetLife Chile Seguros de Vida with day-to-day matters and disputes, including unfair dismissal claims.
Guerrero Olivos advises on labour agreements, due diligence, social security, compliance, collective bargaining, union relations, and labour-related litigation. Senior counsel Rocío García de la Pastora heads the labour, employment & migration group, which acts for clients including Carozzi, Artel, Pandora Jewellery and SMU. Since publication Ms García has been raised to the partnership, effective as of January 2020.
Luis Lizama Portal & Cía. Abogados
Luis Lizama Portal & Cía. Abogados' clients are draw primarily from the energy, agriculture, mining, construction and manufacturing sectors. The practice is widely respected for its expertise in collective bargaining, compensation issues, the labour law issues surrounding corporate restructuring, and employment law litigation. Luis Lizama is a highly regarded practitioner.
Morales & Besa is 'appreciated for the practical application of its knowledge'. The team covers collective bargaining, litigation, compliance, corporate labour advice and immigration law. Other areas of note are social security, pensions, health and safety and work accidents, and individual and collective employment contracts. Recent matters include the team's successful advice to three of Intervial Chile's subsidiaries in recent collective bargaining procedures. Gonzalo Cordero and senior associate Angelina Migliorelli are the key contacts; Fernando Arab left to become Undersecretary of the Labour Ministry.
RTA Abogados, formerly known as Ríos Tagle Alessandri & Romero, assists with labour litigation, collective bargaining, union relations, labour contracts, mobbing, and work accidents. Manuel Tagle leads the labour and employment team. Clients include Alstom Chile, Essity Chile, Europcar and Nutrimarket.
Saavedra & Compañía Abogados
Saavedra & Compañía Abogados' 'main characteristic is its interest in understanding each client's unique operation, thereby delivering advice that is not only personalised, but also deep and accurate'. The practice is experienced in labour litigation, collective bargaining, union relations, and social security and immigration matters; notable clients include Prosegur, Banco Falabella, SMU, Fastpack and Sanofi. Juan Pablo Saavedra, Cristóbal Muñoz and Gabriela Gerpe are the names to note.
SCR Abogados' practice covers hiring processes, compensation packages, terminations, due diligence and labour-law compliance reviews. Other areas of note include internal investigations, corporate policies, social security, taxation, outsourcing, collective bargaining, and litigation. Constanza Contreras heads the team.
Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr 'gives personalised attention to clients'. The practice was active, recently, undertaking preventive labour-law risk assessments and internal reviews; it also advised retail holding Grupo Marina regarding a work accident claim brought by an employee. Labour and employment practice head Alberto Rencoret 'achieves the best solutions' and Sebastián Merino is the senior associate to note.