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The Latin American General Counsel

Rising to the challenge

22 June 2020

The first CMS General Counsel report in the Latin America region, “The Latin American GC: Rising to the challenge”, explores the development of the General Counsel role and how the world in which GCs work does impact them. Recent events have confirmed that in a way we could never have imagined.

Our firm began its programme of GC reports during the global financial crisis, launching the first one in 2010. Such crises accelerate and change the way we view things. The global financial crisis boosted the status and value of many GCs, helping them achieve the ambitions we discussed. By helping their businesses navigate troubled times, with new requirements in areas such  as compliance, they became more influential.

In the present crisis we will see other GCs experience a similar change, as their companies focus on survival, risk and sustainability in the ‘new normal’. Our research shows that Latin American GCs are ready to seize such opportunities, to prove their worth and to grow and develop their roles.

“The Latin American GC: Rising to the challenge” captures the views of over 100 senior in-house lawyers in Latin America, including in-depth interviews with Rocío Arredondo and Arusiak Mardirousian from HP Inc., Juan Antonio Castro from InterCorp Group, Rafael Cox from Empresas CMPC, Carlos Hernán Paz Mosquera from Riopaila Castilla, Juan Luis Rodríguez Rivero from Accenture Mexico, Gonzalo Smith Ferrer from Falabella and Salomon Vaie from AB InBev. 

Key findings include:  

  • Ethics and compliance are now more essential issues  for many GCs than their more traditional responsibilities for common commercial matters.
  • A massive 85% of GCs believe they would be better  at their current roles if they developed their skills  as influencers.
  • Two-thirds of the GCs we surveyed already use key performance indicators or other performance measurement systems to help them run their teams,  and others aim to introduce such systems soon.
  • Over 60% of GCs have changed their recruitment practices to include non-lawyers or temporary staffing solutions.
  • Most GCs do not see themselves as being very innovative.
  • About one GC in five has ambitions to join the c-suite, with many attracted to the CEO role. Only about two-thirds wish to spend their whole careers as GCs.

We believe this is the first study of its kind in Latin America. We hope that you will find it useful and thought provoking, even – or perhaps even more – in these difficult times.

Download the report to read the complete survey and interviews with senior in-house lawyers. 

Please note that this report is also available in Spanish. Click here to download the Spanish report.

CMS - The Latin American GC rising to the challenge
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