The ‘stable, close and highly professional‘ labour and employment team at Ferrere impresses clients with its ‘performance, commitment, knowledge and understanding of the different impacts of business activities with high standards‘. The department offers a comprehensive service on advisory, contentious and corporate support matters, acting for a stellar client list of multinationals and local companies. Its three standout practitioners lead the practice together: Verónica Raffo is a go-to contact for international companies seeking labour advice in Uruguay and she focuses on labour planning and strategy, regularly handling major negotiations. Alberto Baroffio was promoted to the partnership in January 2021 and is a key figure for work in the construction, energy and finance sectors, and frequently assists with collective bargaining disputes. Nelson Larrañaga is the name to note for complex labour litigation; he has particular experience handling complex discussions with unions. In a challenging and busy year for labour law departments, recent areas of activity for the firm’s team included advising on eligibility for the new unemployment insurance, as well as immigration law issues arising from border restrictions implemented during the pandemic. Senior associate Felipe Lasarte left the firm in August 2020.
Labour and employment in Uruguay
Verónica Raffo; Alberto Baroffio; Nelson Larrañaga
‘The Ferrere team of lawyers that serves our company is a stable, close and highly professional team. They know our company, our usual topics of consultation and always in their advice they know how to capture the essence and values that our company puts before each decision. This level of commitment and involvement with the company clearly makes a difference with other firms.‘
‘Verónica Raffo is an excellent professional, always present and easily accessible when the company requires it. Great support for your team and also for our company when solving very delicate problems.‘
‘Alberto Baroffio is solid in his advice. Close and great expert of the company, its people, its businesses and prevailing issues. Great partner when it comes to dealing with issues and quickly arriving at good solutions.‘
‘They respond fast, are very flexible and always business oriented.‘
‘Their permanent training and updating regarding jurisprudential rulings and eventual regulatory modifications is essential. I consider that Ferrere’s labor law team is up to par and meets its performance, commitment, knowledge and understanding of the different impacts of business activities with high standards, as regards labour law.‘
‘They have a high level of commitment and knowledge of the reality and environment of the client. Their experience in the field makes them highly qualified to fully develop their employment advice.‘
- Advised JCDecaux on the implementation of a reorganisation process taking into consideration the Covid-19 global economic impact.
- Assisted Sabre with sending more than 400 employees to unemployment insurance due to the total suspension of activities, and subsequently in a restructuring process that resulted in the dismissal of 120 people.
- Acted for H&M in sending 100% of the store’s staff to unemployment insurance due to the total suspension of activities, and their subsequent rotating reinstatement due to the reopening of shopping centres with limited hours.
Guyer & Regules fields 'a very solid team with extensive knowledge in the field and a lot of practical experience'. It assists its corporate clients with all issues involving labour and employment law, acting in some of the market's most complex disputes, as well as providing day-to-day counsel, something that was crucial in 2020's landscape of frequent regulation changes. One of the team's recent highlight cases saw practice head Leonardo Slinger acting for Iguanafix in a dispute concerning whether a worker using its app could be deemed an employee; an example of the complex cases that Slinger has made become renowned for. Santiago Madalena stands out at the senior associate level and is particularly strong on labour aspects of corporate transactions, while counsel María José Poey is a further key contact for labour law consultancy and litigation.
‘Professionalism, dedication, level of response, prestige of the professional staff.‘
‘They are super accessible and quick to answer. they are super professionals they are super friendly.‘
‘It is a very solid team with extensive knowledge in the field and a lot of practical experience, which in this area is fundamental and very valuable.‘
‘Santiago Madalena is a young lawyer with a lot of experience and great knowledge in labour matters that makes him always provide an adequate and accurate answer to the issues that are presented to him. He is a true benchmark and is always ready to give us the necessary advice to be able to make decisions and carry out our activities. In addition, the clarity of his concepts and his treatment with clients is remarkable.‘
‘Leonardo Slinger is an excellent professional, a reference in the matter, it is a pleasure to have his advice.‘
‘Guyer, in labor matters, differs from other firms, for the quality, warmth, relevance and timeliness of the information and especially for the trust they generate.‘
‘Leonardo Slinger – knowledge, relationships, the opportunity to respond, the ability to give alternatives and openness.‘
‘The greatest strengths of the team are the reliability in the answers, the availability and the speed with which they deal with the issues. They have a very extensive knowledge, perhaps for so much time working together, that makes them know the realities and particularities of our company.‘
E D F Man Braux
Met Life Uruguay
Tata Consultancy Services
- Advised Citibank in a complex labour claim for $1,180,000 filed by an ex investment advisor of the company.
- Acted for Iguanafix in a claim for employment benefits filed by an individual who rendered services by means of an electronic application.
- Advised KAR Global in the acquisition of the operations of BacklotCars in Uruguay, an online platform for vehicle sales.
Arcia Storace Fuentes Medina Abogados
Dolores Storace is a well-known name in the Uruguayan market; she heads the labour and social security department at Arcia Storace Fuentes Medina Abogados and assists in contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice handles all key areas of human resources, with strong skill sets in collective bargaining, health and safety issues, due diligence and disputes. Associate Carolina Sarroca is another key contact.
Dentons Jiménez de Aréchaga maintains a broad labour and employment practice, dedicated to assisting employers with all aspects of labour relations, policies and practices, including litigation. Collective bargaining and outsourcing matters also feature in the team's workload. The department is instructed by a number of major - and in many cases longstanding - domestic and international clients, with Santander among those seeking day-to-day counsel from practice head Diego Viana. Both he and up-and-coming non-equity partner Ignacio Demarco are recognised for their labour litigation and collective bargaining expertise.
‘What I like most is the service, they are available anytime with good answers for your problems.‘
‘I work close with Ignacio Demarco, he is always available and all our legal problems are solved in a good way for us.‘
Uruguayan Association of Wholesale Importers
- Advised Socur on all labour aspects of its acquisition of Prex, a new tech company that develops financial and business solutions.
- Advising Banco Santander on all of its labour matters in Uruguay.
- Representing Marfrig concerning wages and other labour matters.
Hughes & Hughes
Hughes & Hughes fields a labour and employment department of 'excellent professionals', 'made up of specialists in different areas'. The practice is especially strong in contentious matters, thanks in part to its prominent dispute resolution practice, and is also noted for its experience in complex collective bargaining agreements. Chemicals sector multinational Dirox was a key new addition to the client base in 2020; the company instructed the team to assist with multi-faceted union negotiations. This was led by practice head Enrique Radmilovich, a longstanding expert in the field and frequent counsel to a diverse range of clients on contentious and advisory labour issues. Experienced associate María Durán regularly supports and is particularly knowledgeable in the hotel, chemicals and forestry industries. Florencia Fitipaldo is another associate of note, especially in advice regarding the start-up of operations.
‘The Hughes & Hughes team is made up of specialists in different areas, with a management leader who gives us the peace of mind and reliability to clearly identify the need we have and assign us to the specialist in the matter. This has allowed us to achieve favourable results in all the instances. This ability to understand the client clearly differentiates it from other firms.‘
‘It is a solid and experienced team. It is among the best in Uruguay.‘
‘Great quality of people.‘
‘The team is very strong in terms of knowledge. They are excellent professionals and provide high-quality personalised service.‘
UPM Forestal Oriental
Enjoy Punta del Este Resort & Casino
S.C. Johnson & Sons
- Assisted Dirox with union negotiations regarding different issues, including the dismissal of a union affiliate.
- Acting for Forestal Oriental in claims filed by a union due to allegedly unpaid labour benefits and to the termination of an important number of employees by a subcontractor of the company.
- Advised Cielo Azul on negotiations with the construction union due to alleged infringement of the principal contractor hired by Cielo Azul to construct a cement plant.
The broad labour and employment offering at Posadas, Posadas & Vecino works together with the firm's dispute resolution team to handle contentious labour cases. Its diverse range of clients also seek the team's assistance in day-to-day employment law matters. The practice is jointly led by Gonzalo Gari, an experienced senior associate with a focus on disputes, and new addition Alejandro Castello. He joined the firm as senior counsel in August 2020, replacing former practice co-head Cecilia Demarco, who departed for Pérez Del Castillo & Asociados in July 2020. Senior associate Mariana Fernández is also a key contact, having moved from the corporate law team to concentrate almost exclusively on labour and employment matters, where she assists with the full range of issues.
Alejandro Castello; Gonzalo Gari
‘They have good leaders in legal and accounting matters and they give a good service to customer inquiries.‘
‘PPV are lawyers who respond quickly and know the issue.‘
‘Mariana Fernandez is a good lawyer and she responds quickly and efficiently.‘
Julio César Lestido
Montes del Plata
GBT Grupo Biotoscana
- Advised Aerolineas on the negotiation of the termination of a services agreement with Sofivial.
- Assisting Julio César Lestido with its restructuring process due to the Covid crisis, by which more than 25 employees were terminated through settlement agreements and severance packages.
- Assisted Cargill Uruguay with all Covid-related labour and employment issues.
The labour and employment team at Bergstein Abogados assists companies with employment-related litigation as well as more general matters involving the application of labour and employment legislation, and individual and collective labour rights. Leonardo Melos is the primary contact for labour disputes and negotiations with unions. He coordinates the practice alongside up-and-coming associate Mariana Pisón, who works across all matters, both contentious and advisory, and has assisted a number of international companies with their operations in Uruguay.
Leonardo Melos; Mariana Pisón
‘The team has always been responsive and provided great advice.‘
‘The team has a solid knowledge of the subject and an impeccable handling of the negotiation in particular cases.‘
‘The attorneys we work with have an excellent disposition, very thorough knowledge, and remarkable negotiation skills.‘
Brum Costa Abogados
Brum Costa Abogados advises on compliance and conflict prevention, collective bargaining and restructurings, on top of handling contentious matters on both the employer and employee side. Gustavo Gauthier is a dedicated labour and employment law expert with over 25 years of experience. He leads a team of five associates that is active across a range of sectors including healthcare, education and automotive.
‘Permanent availability to provide advice on a wide variety of labour inquiries.‘
‘Knowing about the regulation of the country and the dynamics regarding the sectoral negotiations with the unions is very important and Brum Costa has the expertise on the subject.‘
Fotmer Life Sciences
- Acted for a medical professional claiming $250,000 for salary differences, compensation for dismissal and moral damages from a private hospital.
- Defended Fundación Iberoamericana against claims for overtime pay and abusive dismissal.
- Represented SGS Uruguay in a lawsuit filed by a former manager seeking compensation for unpaid wages and abusive dismissal.