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Guevara & Gutiérrez S.C

Work +591 2 277 0808
Fax +591 2 279 6462
La Paz, Santa Cruz

Ramiro Guevara, Founding Partner

Founding Partner Ramiro Guevara explain how the firm is adapting to clients' changing needs

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Guevara & Gutiérrez from your competitors?

The main point that differentiates Guevara & Gutiérrez from other Bolivian firms is its meritocratic structure. Traditional family-led law firms have dominated the Bolivian legal market, and in these firms partnership positions are reserved for relatives and family members. From its conception (thirty years ago), Guevara & Gutiérrez was completely opposed to this business idea, and set up a meritocratic career path for its lawyers. Currently, Guevara & Gutiérrez has eight partners, and none is related to each other. It also has more than fifteen associates pursuing career paths to reach partnership positions in the future.

The existence of a meritocratic path has, in time, attracted talent and professional excellence. The lawyers of the firm are carefully recruited among the best law students in the country, and are encouraged and supported to complete studies abroad. So, we believe that the main point that differentiates Guevara & Gutiérrez from other firms is its human resources.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

The main areas that we believe are going to grow in the near future are antitrust, mining and project finance. Antitrust has become a key area in the last years, because of the more active involvement of the Bolivian Comptroller of Corporations in the development of businesses in the country. Antitrust cases were brought against some of the largest companies in Bolivia, and this trend is expected to grow in the future. The firm already advises clients on several antitrust cases, and as a preemptive mechanism, the firm offers its clients advice on compliance of antitrust regulations.

On the second point, we expect mining projects, project finance (and structured finance in general) to grow as a result of what we believe are proofs of a change in the policies of the government towards foreign investment. In the last years, the government has been loosening its grip over economic enterprises, and has realized that it needs the inflow of private investment (both national and foreign) to develop some of its natural resources. We believe that this will lead to an increase in these practice areas of our firm.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

We are a highly adaptable law firm. The legal scenario has changed very dramatically and substantially many times over the last few years and we have had to adapt our practice to those changing scenarios very quickly and without any loss of efficiency in order to be able to provide the type and quality services that our clients have come to expect from us.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Yes, we keep up to date with technological developments, and we constantly invest in new technology, in order to provide the best possible services to clients. Most of our clients are foreign companies doing businesses in Bolivia, and providing assessment to these clients requires a continuous flow of information (both at national and international levels), and significant coordination efforts. Technological developments make this high level of connectivity possible, and we are proud to be able to keep up with the connectivity requirements of some of the most demanding and sophisticated corporations and entities around the world.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Mostly by helping them navigate the, sometimes, complex local legal environment and by providing very creative and effective solutions to their problems. Enterprises benefit significantly, when they receive proper legal advice from the very beginning of their operations.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Yes, clients normally look for stability and strategic direction in the law firms they hire, because any commitment to a specific law firm entails an important investment of time and effort. At Guevara & Gutiérrez, we are aware that the firm needs to adapt and evolve properly, in order to maintain its place as a modern firm, and as one of the leading firms in the country. Our internal decisions are always taken with this goal in mind.

Our capacity to adapt will maintain us at the top of the industry, regardless of any changes in the Bolivian economy and government. In three years Guevara & Gutiérrez will undoubtedly still be one of the leading firms in Bolivia.

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