Thomas Muskett-Ford 02 June 2017
Guatemalan firm Mayora & Mayora SC (/II250/firms/1130446/mayora-mayora-sc) has merged with Salvadorean firm Telles & Asociados and hired an in-house lawyer from Coca-Cola’s Guatemala branch to head its litigation department back home.
Mayora & Mayora lawyers at a celebratory lunch at Guatemala City restaurant Le Rendez Vous on 18 May. Bottom row: Partners Manuel Telles, Eduardo Mayora, Paola Galich and Juan Carlos Casellas. Top row: Rafael Briz, Claudia Pereira, Sandra Castillo and Odín Guillén.
Mayora & Mayora SC (/II250/firms/1130446/mayora-mayora-sc), one of Guatemala’s larger firms, gains a presence in San Salvador through the combination. Its new partner, Telles & Asociados, will rebrand as the firm’s Salvadorean branch.
Telles & Asociados is best known for its corporate and banking offer. The firm’s managing partner, Manuel Telles, has landed a place on some of El Salvador’s biggest deals in recent years, including the finance of a massive FDI-backed solar project (http://latinlawyer.com/article/1098656/neoen-finances-salvadoreansolar-plant) and a Bosch-sponsored pharmaceuticals plant (http://latinlawyer.com/article/1098619/telles-asociadosobtains-finance-for-salvadorean-pharma-plant). He joins Mayora & Mayora as partner along with nine associates.
Rafael Briz, a senior partner at Mayora & Mayora, says changing client demands are behind the expansion process. “Clients want to deal with one point of contact and receive consistently exceptional service across multiple jurisdictions,” he notes.
Back in San Salvador, Manuel Telles describes his firm’s integration into Mayora & Mayora as a “privilege”. “I have gotten to know the firm over many years and have always respected and admired its partners,” he says. “When we started on the road to becoming one firm, the thing that impressed me most was that their values and vision were very close to our own.”
Telles adds that the cross-border coverage the merger creates will be a boon for his clients. “For the client, it offers a one-stop-shop for the northern triangle, where we are able to lower our operating costs and increase our efficiency by assuming one single face – that of Mayora & Mayora,” he says. “It is better and cheaper for a client to have one point of contact than have to juggle multiple ones.”
Mayora & Mayora kicked-off (http://latinlawyer.com/article/1098268/guatemala%E2%80%99s-mayora-mayora-beginsexpansion-in-honduras) its regionalisation drive last year by recruiting a partner in Honduras. At the time, the firm’s managing partner, Eduardo Mayora, said he would pursue a regional model in which the whole partnership, regardless of location, would draw from a single profit pool and must sign the
same partnership agreement. This compensation model is meant to encourage a team-like atmosphere that bolsters cross-selling and improves efficiency. Briz confirms that this model will continue to be used in El Salvador.
Mayora & Mayora is a latecomer to the regional game. Steady regional integration means Central America’s biggest transactions are now conducted in multiple jurisdictions. The firm will now target other countries in the region, most likely Nicaragua and Costa Rica. “Our expansion drive has not ended and we have plans to continue expanding in the near future,” firms Briz.
Mayora & Mayora is also reinforcing its presence in Guatemala. The addition of Paola Galich, 39, to its litigation team increases its partner count in the country’s capital to seven. “We are strengthening our litigation team because our firm is not just taking care of our clients when transactions turn out well, but is also by their side when they need protection,” says Briz.
Before working at Coca-Cola, Galich was an associate at the firm. She says being an in-house lawyer for a major corporation was a novel experience which gave her invaluable legal know-how.
However, her “passion in law has always been in litigation” and this drew her back to private practice. “Becoming head of litigation at Mayora & Mayora was a natural step in my career,” she adds.
Galich is not the only addition Mayora & Mayora has made to its partnership in the past year. Last November, the firm promoted (http://latinlawyer.com/article/1129926/central-american-firms-bet-on-costa-rica) a tax lawyer to the top rank. More broadly, the firm’s Guatemala office is unusual in the Latin American legal world for having more female than male partners.
Mayora & Mayora completed its tie-up and lateral hire on 18 May.