Next Generation Partners

Ernesto Weisson  - Deloitte

Firms To Watch: Labour and employment

Carmigniani Pérez Abogados primarily advises clients on the preparation of internal labour regulations and has an additional focus on defending these before labour and social security authorities; co-practice heads Carlos Andretta  and senior associate Francesco Molestina  are the key points of contact.
Heka Law Firm's labour practice is particularly active in litigation, with an emphasis on defending corporations in connection with collective claims for wrongful dismissals; Daniel Fernández-Salvador is the name to note.  
The labour practice at Pino Elizalde Abogados has seen a notable uptick in restructuring work since the pandemic; practice head Jaime Arosemena is the principal contact.
The August-2022 arrival of Marta Villagómez, formerly a senior associate at CorralRosales, as director of the firm’s employment practice puts Tobar ZVS firmly on the map for labour matters; her experience includes social security, employment audits and due diligence, court and disciplinary proceedings, payroll issues, hiring and terminations, and employee training.

Labour and employment in Ecuador

Bustamante Fabara

Bustamante Fabara’s newly constituted labour team deals with a range of both contentious and non-contentious work. Led by the ‘experienced’ Francisco Vacas and Patricia Ponce, who are both highly-regarded for their individual expertise in restructurings and wrongful dismissals, the team handles collective bargaining, investigations, litigation and immigration-related issues. Among recent highlights, the firm acted for Cobra Fácil, FlowerVillage and Comercial Casa Linda in multiple lawsuits filed in connection with wrongful terminations in the context of the pandemic. At the associate level, key figures include Valentina Morillo and María Belén San Andrés, noted for their work in labour mandates and administrative procedures before the Ministry of Labour.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Vacas; Patricia Ponce

Testimonials

‘The strong point is the speed and security they provide to the client when receiving and managing a process. The staff is always ready to collaborate and support their clients.’

‘I think that the differentiator is that they have personnel with a lot of experience and capacity in the sector, such as Francisco Vacas.’

‘The team is extraordinary, they keep all the processes organized, they give us constant advice and they inform us in a timely manner of the progress, their management is outstanding.’

‘Communication, continuous advice and knowledge of the subject, is the additional plus that the firm has, I feel very comfortable and confident working with Francisco Vacas, a thorough professional and knowledgeable about all the processes.’

‘Knowledge, good disposition, they put themselves in the client’s shoes, they meet the requested response times. They are always willing to help and respond in a timely manner.’

‘Valentina Morillo is very skillful, attentive, responds to us in a timely manner. I can contact her easily, her communication is very clear and she understands the needs of the business and what we ask of her. We are very satisfied with the service.’

‘The relationship with Fabara has been punctual for a labour matter that arose in the company that I manage, which is a hotel.’

‘The knowledge they have of laws and all their changes. They are friendly and have the patience to explain the pros and cons of the strategies to be taken.’

Key clients

Cobra Fácil Fabracilisa

FlowerVillage

Comercial Casa Linda

Agrivaldani

La Cienega

Icesa

Michelin del Ecuador

Denmar

UPS

Eni Ecuador

Adelca

Bupa Ecuador

Texticom

Créditos Económicos (CRECOSCORP)

RIPCONCIV

El Hornero

Herbalife Ecuador

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cobra Fácil Fabracilisa, FlowerVillage, and Comercial Casa Linda in several lawsuits regarding the termination of labour contracts due to force majeure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Represented Agrivaldani before the Constitutional Court challenging its decision to revise article 169 numeral 6 of the Labour Code, which prior to the revision made it possible to lay off employees without severance in cases of force majeure.
  • Advised Hosteria La Cienaga on the collective dismissal of its workforce due to the closure of the business, successfully reaching agreements with 98% of the former staff.

Jaramillo Dávila Abogados

Boutique firm Jaramillo Dávila Abogados remains a leader in the labour and employment space, with a focused practice dedicated to collective bargaining and labour relations management, along with contentious work, where the team recently acted successfully Yanbal Ecuador in a multimillion-dollar labour and social security suit. Leadership of the practice is split between Fabián Jaramillo Terán and Diego Jaramillo Terán, with associate Fabián Jaramillo Intriago  supporting the team in litigation. Associates Hernán Escudero and Álvaro Sandoval are also noted as key contacts for constitutional claims.

Practice head(s):

Fabián Jaramillo Terán; Diego Jaramillo Terán

Testimonials

‘First, the knowledge of the partners, Fabián and Diego Jaramillo, and the personalized attention they give to each topic. Their teamwork is brilliant in pursuit of a single goal. Professionalism is unique.’

‘Their knowledge, way of being, sincerity and personalized work make them the best in a practice that is so complex. The values and principles of the partners, and the clear objectives that Fabián and Diego Jaramillo have are unique that I have not seen before.’

‘The personalized attention that both Diego Jaramillo Terán and Fabián Jaramillo Intriago give us; the efficiency and speed of response to our requirements; and the interest that the whole team puts into serving us.’

‘I highlight the seriousness, responsibility, honesty and resourcefulness of the firm’s work.’

‘Excellent professionals, continually updated, with extensive research and response capacity.’

‘The firm offers professionalism and ethics in its consultation and in the processes that we have carried out. It is high quality work.’

‘They make decisions and propose processes to their clients in a clear way and always suggesting the right path.’

‘Fabian Jaramillo Terán stands out for his knowledge in the field and extensive experience.’

Key clients

General Motors OmnibusBB Transportes

Repsol YPF Ecuador

Confiteca

Mashpi Lodge

Productnorte

Inepaca

Yanbal Ecuador

Novopan del Ecuador

COHECO – Mitsubishi

Saereo

Bayer

DSV Ecuador

Productos Minerva

Corrugadora Nacional Cransa

Sociedad Industrial Reli

Consorcio Sandry

Crecoscorp (Créditos Económicos)

Zona Tecnológica

Pedro Eljuri

Mine School

Hotel Sheraton Quito

Industrias Omega

Work highlights

  • Managed several labour contract unlawful termination claims on behalf of Confiteca.
  • Represented Sheraton in several claims regarding unlawful force majeure in the termination of labour contracts during the pandemic.
  • Managed two high profile cases for Repsol in connection with workers claiming they had rights over an oil company’s profits.

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce stands out for its broad labour offering for clients in both domestic and international contexts, handling collective bargaining, social security, immigration, and litigation for high-profile actors in the oil, gas and mining, retail and pharmaceuticals sectors, among others. Recently, the team represented Techint in the filing of an administrative claim in connection with a collective bargaining agreement negotiated with the company’s workers union. Acting on this matter and leading the team is expert litigator Javier Salvador; he works alongside ‘extraordinary' associate practice director Belén Jaramillo, whose focus is on labour-relations management. Also noted, associate Victor Cabezas specialises in complex labour litigation and constitutional claims.

Practice head(s):

Javier Salvador

Testimonials

‘Belén Jaramillo is an extraordinary lawyer. She is intelligent, analytical and strategic, she knows the company in depth and always takes into account the interests of the company and its capacities when proposing solutions to the different cases and problems that arise. Also, she responds very quickly. More than an external advisor, she is a member of our team.’

‘Belén Jaramillo is very strategic, her advice always takes into account the capabilities of the business. She explains the risks and proposes management options assuming controlled risks. Belén is excellent.’

‘PBP generally stands out in its practice for the professionals that make up its study. I would say that this is their greatest added value, since they, in addition to being excellent lawyers, understand that the work, in addition to being legal, cannot ignore the business of a company.’

‘Important knowledge of labour regulations and an ability to ground legal and regulatory concepts to a practical reality of monitoring and implementing actions.’

‘Belén Jaramillo has knowledge of the regulations and the business, greatly facilitating the execution of the measures and actions that lead to compliance with the regulations.’

‘The provision of services has always been very professional, clear, complete and focused on finding solutions for the company. They have handled judicial processes in which we have been successful so far, so we are very happy with their work.’

‘Javier Salvador is a very talented professional focused on providing us with clear and effective solutions. He focuses a lot on personalized attention, which distinguishes them in their management. Additionally, he is always very up-to-date on labor matters and invites us to many training sessions that are very helpful.’

Key clients

Yobel

Visa-Yellow Pepper

Techint

Telefonica

Organon

Whirlpool

Basf

Hitachi Power Grids

Moderna Alimentos

BHP

Work highlights

  • Advised Techint regarding the filing of an administrative claim against the company’s Workers Union to declare the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as fully negotiated.
  • Represented Telefónica in a labour lawsuit for wrongful dismissal of a former executive who claims a special and additional severance payment due to his wife’s disability.
  • Represented Tow to Top Textiles and Odatex on the termination of contracts due to the closure of the business group, caused by force majeure.

Dentons Paz Horowitz

Dentons Paz Horowitz‘ practice group focuses on employment disputes, with an emphasis on settlement and mediation strategies in relation to unfair dismissal and occupational accident claims. The team is jointly led by Patricia Andrade, who has more than 20 years of experience dealing with labour and social security issues; and Guayaquil-based Andrés Chong Qui, who joined the firm from Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados in March 2021. At associate level, senior Xavier Montesdeoca is the key contact for immigration issues – a key segment for the team with recent mandates including acting for Halliburton on visa processes before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility. Senior associate Gabriel Santelices is also a team member of note; he specialises in defending corporate and labour clients in a range of disputes.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Andrade; Andrés Chong Qui

Testimonials

‘The Dentons Paz Horowitz’s team is a robust team with excellent knowledge and experience in the labour area, which is complemented by lawyers specialized in other areas of the business to provide a comprehensive service and advice. We always receive very accurate recommendations and guides. They are available to respond to our requirements with objectivity and efficiency.’

‘Patricia Andrade has very good experience, even in related issues that complement the advice. She provides excellent treatment, handles interpersonal relationships in a very good way, has excellent knowledge and always gives us very accurate advice.’

‘Expert knowledge in the area and interesting implementation in labor processes for the transfer of personnel.’ 

‘The fluidity of information, as well as quick and agile access to it. Andrés Chong Qui’s experience in the labour sphere is crucial for making decisions regarding payroll restructuring planning.’ 

‘The team is committed to the needs of the company, they permanently monitor the processes.’

‘Patricia Andrade’s collaboration is exceptional, she is always ready to attend to our queries, giving an excellent service.’

‘The law firm has all the technical and professional capabilities that have allowed us to receive advice adequate to our requirements.’

‘The firm is attentive to our requirements and also alerts us about legal changes.’

Key clients

Roche

Halliburton

Eco Copter

Diab Ecuador

Interoc

Ecuasistencia Compañía de Asistencia del Ecuador

Frutadeli

Empresa Durini Industria de Madera

Green Valley Resources Greenvalley (GVR)

Talma Ecuador Servicios Aeroportuarios

BDO Ecuador

Zukalo

La Tablita Group

Eni

Servicios de Gestión Aeroportuaria Aerogerpsa

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Roche Ecuador on immigration matters, visas and logístics, including urgency processrd and coordination to obtain documents in Latin America and Europe.
  • Legal advice regarding immigration matters for the obtaining of visas (and associated logístics aspects), so that two could provide their services to Eca-Copter in Ecuador and in Europe.

Lexvalor Abogados

Lexvalor Abogados is noted for its work on a range of non-contentious labour and employment matters, with a primary focus on remuneration structures, worker confidentiality, discrimination, workplace harassment, and cross-border employment agreements. On the contentious front, the team also recently acted in disputes for clients in the agricultural sector, with an emphasis on unfair dismissals and issues related to the pandemic. The team is co-led by Karla Villacís, who is noted for her ‘excellent judgement' (and focus on the real estate and construction industries); and Alfredo Peñaherrera, whose practice focuses on advising clients in the corporate sector. Associate Vanessa Gómez is highlighted for her work on litigation and alternative dispute resolution in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Karla Villacís; Alfredo Peñaherrera

Testimonials

‘What makes Lexvalor unique is that they work as allies of the business and not as an external advisor. They understand business needs and give their best advice based on this. In addition, I consider that they have a good work scheme between lawyers, since there are day-to-day issues that are worked on with some people, but you always have immediate access to the partner lawyers. As for the people, they are very warm, close and explain legal concepts to us in the easiest way. We are pleased with their service and we believe that the permanent contact is what makes them stand out from other firms.’

‘Karla Villacís is very professional and has excellent criteria. She has in her favor that she is in permanent contact with her clients. Additionally, she manages very well the meetings and the contact with the different entities with which she must interact. Additionally, as a leader, she develops and empowers her work team very well.’

‘The team is multidisciplinary, with a strategic and operational vision of Ecuadorian labour legal management. This holistic vision and full understanding of the business and industry means that their recommendations have a very important weight in our decision making within this field. Its vision is always analyzing costs vs. benefits, always involving risk criteria. It compares very favorably with other firms due to the personalization, attention and deepening interest in the line of business. Its people are very prepared.’

‘Its knowledge, its appearance and its holistic recommendations in the labour field are focused from the business point of view and even from the point of view of property. Karla Villacís is an excellent professional and we are very satisfied.’

‘The team is very professional, they know very well the proceedings of labour trials with which they guided us and prepared us very well to face them. The content of its answers were very complete, very professional. I felt a lot of customization.’

‘Karla Villacís knew the character of many judges and guided us with the possible attitudes of the judges, that for me was very important to know how to prepare the communication strategy in the trials. It was also interesting how the first trials were led by Karla accompanied by Vanessa Gomez who assisted with information; but the following trials Karla made Vanessa lead the processes, an action that let me see how the team prepares all the members, this tells me a very good impression of LexValor.’

‘Updated multidisciplinary team with experience in various fields, sending a newsletter with updates to regulations.’

‘Experience and knowledge from Karla Villacís and Vanessa Gomez’

Key clients

Alpina Productos Alimenticios Alpiecuador

Uribe Schwarzkopf Ingenieros y Arquitectos

Zaimella del Ecuador

Beiersdorf Ecuador

Grupo Familia Sancela del Ecuador

Tigre Ecuador

Opticas Gmo Ecuador

Corporación Favorita

DespegarEcuador

Ecopacific

Work highlights

  • Advised Alpina Productos Alimenticios Alpiecuador on contract terminations, dismissals, retirements, and industrial safety matters, including management of catastrophic diseases, work hazards and labour accidents.
  • Advised Beiersdorf on the implementation of disciplinary processes, and guidelines for a good labour environment.
  • Advised Zaimella del Ecuador on the implementation of disciplinary processes, guidelines for a good labour environment, and industrial safety matters involving construction hazards for employees.

CorralRosales

CorralRosales‘ fields a dedicated labour team with a broad offering – with dismissal procedures, restructurings, collective bargaining, and representations before the labour ministry taking center stage. The practice is led by Edmundo Ramos, whose recent mandates include advising Securitas Ecuador on reaching a settlement in relation to the company’s former General Manager. At associate level, senior Ramón Paz y Miño, supports the team in a range of proceedings. However, Marta Villagómez moved to Tobar ZVS in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Edmundo Ramos

Testimonials

‘The firm has an efficient response time to orders placed.’

‘Edmundo Ramos and Martha Villagómez are lawyers with enormous experience in the labour field, who are always attentive to answering the queries and/or requirements that are requested of them.’

‘The team has a lot of experience in this branch of law. Knows the essence of our company and thereby provides clear solutions within a clear compliance framework.’

‘They maintain proximity with the positions of the authority on duty, which allows them to provide a proactive service.’

‘Edmundo Ramos maintains extensive knowledge on the subject. He is clear in his answers and offers a range of opportunities in decision making. Marta Villagómez is a key support for the labour service provided.’

Key clients

Nestlé

Mastercard

RB Reckitt Benckiser

Grünenthal

Novartis

Payless ShoeSource

Lumen

Copa Airlines

Avon

AIG

Claro

BMI

Eriksson

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Zurich

United Airlines

TMF

Kyndryl

Nielsen

ZTE

NTT Data

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Work highlights

  • Represented Labceras in relation to claims from former employees alleging the wrongful application of “force majeure” to terminate the employment relationship.
  • Advised Payless ShoeSource in connection with a sanctioning proceeding started by the Social Security Institute and that argues that reducing employee’s workday schedule during the pandemic lockdown was unlawful.
  • Advised IBM on Latin-American spin-off process, which in Ecuador involved employment subrogation of over 100 employees.

Durini & Guerrero Abogados

Durini & Guerrero Abogados is noted for handling both contentious and non-contentious work in relation to labour matters, often advising employers on restructurings, collective dismissals and individual compensations. Among recent highlights, the team represented Tecfood Servicios de Alimentación in mediation regarding discrepancies in work schedules for workers with disabilities. The team is co-led by litigator Juan Francisco Guerrero, and senior associate Danilo Román Fabara, who focuses on labour policies and individual and collective negotiations.

Key clients

Tecfood Servicios De Alimentación

Megalabs-Pharma

Peruzzi

Servipallet

Metrocar

Centro de Desarrollo y Autogestión DYA

Cooperativa De Ahorro y Crédito 29 de Octubre

Asiacar

Baker Tilly Ecuador

Nipro Medical Corporation

Natuflor

Novacargo

Servipallet

Recordmotor

Work highlights

  • Advised Tecfood Servicios de Alimentación on a collective negotiation and mediation between workers with disabilities and the company, due to discrepancies with work schedules and recovery of hours suspended.
  • Advised Megalabs-Pharma on the process of subrogation of two hundred workers.
  • Advised AsiaCar on an administrative ‘visto bueno’ (legal termination process) against an employee with 15 years of seniority, for having committed several serious offenses against the company’s internal regulations.

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados

The labour and employment team at Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados is active in advisory matters as well as mediation and litigation, with a notable focus on employee termination mandates. Another key area for the firm is trade union relations, where it acts for clients in a range of negotiations in relation to collective bargaining agreements. Leadership of the practice is divided between Patricio Peña, an expert in the employment aspects of corporate restructurings; and Marcelo Torres, who is noted for his labour advice in relation to M&As.

Practice head(s):

Patricio Peña; Marcelo Torres

Key clients

Laboratorios Industriales Farmacéuticos Ecuatorianos

Rocalvi

Grupo Corpesa

Navilusal

Champion Technologies del Ecuador

Panamericana Vial Panavial

Llorente & Cuenca

Empresa Pesquera Polar

Corporación Ecuatoriana de Aluminio

Nestlé Ecuador

DHL Express Ecuador

Adecco Group

Ecolab Ecuador

GTM-Ecuador

Barry Callebaut Ecuador

Bayteq

Roddome Pharmaceutical

Plastlit

Plastlit

Sudamericana Integral de Construcciones

Mexichem Ecuador

Ciscosystems Ecuador

Robalino

Robalino Law acts for high-profile domestic and foreign clients on a broad range of labour and employment matters, playing a particularly active role in mediation hearings and inspections brought by the Ministry of Labour. Led by Luis Carlos Fernández and senior associate Esteban Baquero , who both have experience in complex labour proceedings, the team additionally advises on the labour aspects of corporate transactions, and also handles internal labour policies and contracts. Noted for his active role in employment matters in Guayaquil, Ernesto Weisson is another key member of the team. However, since the conclusion of research, Baquero has departed for Pérez Bustamante & Ponce, while Weisson has moved to Deloitte, effective September and October 2022, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Luis Carlos Fernández; Esteban Baquero Correa

Testimonials

‘Always willing to go beyond the expectations of the client.’

‘Esteban Baquero provides expertise and creative ideas to solve problems.’

Key clients

Inepaca

Colour Republic

Transmarina

Schlumberger del Ecuador

Seafman

Corporación Grupo Fybeca

H&M

Grupo Vilaseca

Bomi Group

Eurofish

Electrolux

Ufinet

Work highlights

  • Advised tuna fishing company Inepaca on multiple labour cases claiming right to severance payments.
  • Advised Colour Republic on the mitigation and elimination of labour contingencies arising from the acquistion of two farms.
  • Acted on behalf of Eurofish in the negotiation of its 2nd collective bargaining agreement.

ECIJA GPA

ECIJA GPA acts on behalf of a range of domestic and international clients, providing advice on labour contracts, the termination of employment relationships and compliance. The team is co-led by Juan Carlos Montenegro, Byron Sotomayor and Édgar Méndez, all of whom have experience in mediation and collective negotiations.

Puente & Asociados

Puente & Asociados is noted for its expertise in non-contentious matters, advising both new and established clients in connection with the design and implementation of labour structures. On the contentious side, the team is also active in disputes relating to unfair dismissal claims and the enforcement of retirement rights. Guillermo Córdova and Miguel Ángel Puente co-head the team, while associate Paola Quezada supports the practice in labour related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Guillermo Cordova; Miguel Angel Puente

 

Testimonials

‘I highlight the level of commitment and confidentiality in the handling of information, as well as proposing practical alternatives framed within the law.’

‘Their expertise and work experience sets them apart from the market in general.’

‘Skills include empathy, leadership, resolution capacity, active listening, communication skills, organizational capacity, flexibility, responsibility, motivation and focus on objectives.’

‘Resources and initiative. Honesty and integrity. Adaptation to the needs of the company. Communication skills. Sense of purpose and clarity of objectives.’

Key clients

Asociación del Fondo Complementario Previsional Cerrado

Vallejo & Perez Representaciones Turisticas

Endifa

Casa de Incentivos Casintour

Beaglelogistics

Galpacifico Turs

Work highlights

  • Represented Asociación del Fondo Complementario Previsional Cerrado in a lawsuit brought by former members of the company seeking recognition of employer retirement for approximately $299k.

Romero Arteta Ponce

Romero Arteta Ponce is recognised for its work in both contentious and non-contentious matters, often taking an advisory role with regard to labour issues for the likes of Toyota and Siemens. With a further focus in the oil sector, the team is also active in litigation. Gustavo Romero and Diego Romero lead the practice, with assistance from associate Carmen Gómez.

Practice head(s):

Gustavo Romero; Diego Romero; Carlos Cisneros

Testimonials

‘The team stands out for the personalized attention and dedication of its partners, which translates into trust.’

‘Expertise and mastery of all branches of law. Gustavo Romero has a long history as a lawyer in corporate attention. In addition to his solid knowledge of law, he is a great academic and teacher.’

‘Personalized, efficient, timely, very professional and ethical attention.’

‘Its kindness, its personalised, fast and timely attention.’

‘Gustavo Romero is a brilliant lawyer with extensive experience, not only in labor law matters but also in procedural matters. The firm differs from its competitors mainly in that all the issues handled by said study are handled directly by its partners, in our case, Gustavo Romero.’

‘The consultancies that we have needed have been promptly solved, the quality of the answers to our queries have been completely satisfactory and after the consultancy we have reached a level of satisfaction and tranquility to continue with our management in a specific subject.’

Key clients

Pluspetrol Ecuador

Eni Italy

Siemens

Siemens Energy

Toyota Tsusho del Ecuador

Toyota del Ecuador

Suelopetrol Ecuador

Zaimella del Ecuador

Fábrica Bios

Swiss Embassy

Logicalis

Berlitz

Solines y Asociados

Solines y Asociados provides a range of employment advisory services to a roster of foreign and domestic clients. Recently, the team has been particularly active in the negotiation and drafting of employment contracts, with an emphasis on matters related to the Covid-19. The team is co-led by Pablo Solines and Ximena Moreno, with senior associate Andrea Muñoz also noted as a key contact.