On Wednesday 5th October, The Law Society welcomed a delegation of lawyers from Latin America to participate in a series of discussions on some of the key developments affecting trade and investment with the region.

We were delighted to be joined by leading lawyers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama and Uruguay to meet with colleagues and experts from the UK. The seminars were organised in partnership with several law firms and the chambers of commerce representing Argentina, Brazil and Colombia in Great Britain.

The day got underway at Morrison and Foerster with a lively discussion about Brazil’s future following the removal of President Dilma Rousseff from office. The participants debated a range of issues including the reasons behind the impeachment, responses to the challenges of inequality and corruption, the strength of the political and judicial systems and the impact of new criminal justice measures in the country.

Panellists at the event were Minister Sidney Romera, deputy ambassador of Brazil to the UK, Richard Lapper, former Latin America editor at the Financial Times, Rodrigo Ferreira Figueiredo, partner at Mattos Filho and Yara Evans, a research associate at Queen Mary University.

The next discussion was hosted by Clyde and Co and focused on opportunities in the Pacific Alliance. In a wide-ranging discussion delegates shared ideas on the impact and future of the peace process in Colombia, tackling corruption in the region, and the future of international trade for the bloc, including its relationship with China.

Participants included Jaime Cardenas, director of the Trade and Investment Office at the Embassy of Peru; Carlos Sanchez, president of the British Colombian Chamber of Commerce legal committee; and Tom Muskett-Ford, a journalist at Latin Lawyer.

Finally, we joined Peters and Peters for a seminar on ‘Argentina: A year under Macri’ rule. The firm’s head of international Keith Oliver, Argentinean lawyer Javier Canosa and Maximiliano Barrios, a senior forensic accountant at Control Risks, lead a robust discussion about the opportunities created by recent reforms in Argentina.

The panel agreed that the new government’s policies have certainly improved the climate for investment and doing business with Argentina, including in the agriculture, energy and real estate sectors, but noted the challenges such as corruption and longer term political uncertainty which will continue to create risk for businesses and investors.