Mapping Opportunity and Risk in Latin America

Baker & McKenzie Partner David Malliband led a panel discussion this afternoon at Doing Business Globally in Chicago on doing business in Latin America, featuring Firm practitioners from around the world including J. Roberto Martins* from Sao Paulo, Erik Gutierrez-Zuniga from Mexico City, and Jaime Trujillo from Bogota.

Here are key takeaways from discussions on doing business in Colombia and Mexico:


  • Choose a local partner on the basis of cultural fit as well as reputation.
  • Do not believe that doing business in Colombia is as easy as it seems.
  • Do not underestimate local competition for deals. There are several formidable, world-class companies with deep pockets or access to acquisition financing.


  • When doing business in Mexico, note that personal relationships are as important as business. Get to know your business partner.
  • Expect a more relaxed and flexible attitude toward time.
  • Commitments and agreements must be in writing and signed, people sometimes forget the details.


* In cooperation with Trench, Rossi e Watanabe, a Brazilian law firm.