We are delighted to announce the winners of our Diversity & Inclusion Awards 2019 in Latin America.
Congratulations to all the winners and highly commended firms, companies and individuals. It was great to see so many inspiring diverse lawyers and allies during the ceremony in Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Private Practice Categories
Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year: This award is for a partner who has shown dedication and commitment to gender diversity programs and/or taken an active role in organising events/discussions helping to further the advancement of women in the law.
Mercedes Balado Bevilacqua, MBB Balado Bevilacqua Abogados – Highly commended
Cecilia Mairal, Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal
Cecilia is one of the first female partners at Marval, and has played a key role in promoting and supporting women’s careers by helping introduce the first flexi and part-time programmes in the firm. Cecilia co-founded the Argentine Chapter of the WIP (Women in the Profession) Programme of the Vance Center and is a very active member of the IBA Women’s interest group.
Claudia Benavides Galvis, Baker McKenzie
Claudia has excelled both as an expert in transnational dispute resolution and as a true champion of gender equality. In July she became the first female Global Chair of Baker McKenzie’s Dispute Resolution Group, and also leads the firm’s D&I steering committee for the Bogotá office. Claudia is a role model of female leadership and has used her profile to promote gender equality across the profession. She regularly speaks at national and international events, whilst maintaining the highest standards as a practitioner, and raising her child.
Vivian Liberman, BLP
Vivian Liberman is one of the few female lawyers specializing in Banking & Finance in Latin America and is Co-head of the department at BLP. She is President of the BLP Foundation that provides legal pro bono services across Central America. Under her leadership, BLP has dedicated more than 4,000 hours to pro bono work.
Outside the firm, Vivian is President and founder of Inspiring Girls in Costa Rica, an international initiative dedicated to increasing the empowerment of girls from all over the world by introducing them to women “role models” who encourage feelings of confidence and capability of developing within any profession in the future. She is also Co-ordinator of the Pro Bono Commission of the Costa Rican Bar Association.
LINDSAY SYKES, Ferrere Abogados
Lindsay is a partner in the Bolivian law firm Ferrere which is consistently recognised in the local market as a leader in diversity initiatives. As a law firm it provides advancement opportunities for women which are unusual in Bolivia. Women make up almost 30% of Ferrere’s partnership and female lawyers make up 50% of FERRERE’s professional staff in its Bolivia offices. This is because of Lindsay’s continued commitment to women’s advancement. As a firm-wide policy, all department leaders are urged to ensure that women are always involved in pitches, participate in client meetings and speak at events.
Outside the firm, she is a member of the Bolivian chapter of Cyrus R. Vance Center – Women in the Profession (WIP), an initiative that aims to create a space in which women can share openly their concerns and best practices to advance their interests in the profession.
Cristianne Saccab Zarzur, Pinheiro Neto Advogados
Partner at Pinheiro Neto Advogados, Cristianne Saccab Zarzur has dedicated her career to enhancing gender equality, starting from her own firm, where she managed to completely overhaul their appraisal and promotion processes to reduce bias and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all. Thanks to her efforts and determination, Pinheiro Neto Advogados became the first law firm in Brazil to implement extended maternity leave. As Chair of the Women’s Committee, Cristianne continues to implement high impact awareness raising initiatives and, inspired by the UN’s He For She campaign, has been able to secure growing support from her male colleagues.
Paulina Riquelme Pallamar, Eelaw – Highly Commended
Nicole Nehme, FerradaNehme
Nicole is the co-founder of the Chilean law firm Ferrada Nehme. She is considered a game changer in the Chilean legal community regarding gender matters, opening paths to other women towards legal entrepreneurship and partnership in their law firms. She has helped in empowering women to achieve their professional goals and objectives through membership of organisations such as Comunidad Mujer, an organisation which advocates for women’s rights, as well as other organisations such as a female lawyers’ association and the main business organisation in Chile. She is a respected academic at the Universidad de Chile as well as a practising antitrust lawyer. On top of this, she is a sought-after diversity speaker.
Paola Gachet, FERRERE
Paola stood out as a true advocate for gender diversity because of her track record of putting her values and principles into action. Whilst excelling as Ferrere’s tax Partner in the complex Ecuadorian market, Paola also leads the Pro Bono practice and regularly advises a variety of businesses on how to increase female representation at all levels. At the moment, Paola is also busy working as part of the organising committee of the International Fiscal Association’s 2020 Regional Conference in Quinto to ensure gender balance in the selection of speakers and contributors.
Cristina Massa Sánchez – González Calvillo, S.C.
As well as being an antitrust lawyer, Cristina has had a positive impact and acted as a role model for women to foster networking amongst women inside and outside the legal profession. She has been a trailblazer, being the first female regulator to serve as Commissioner in the Mexican Antitrust Commission in 2011, as well as the first female equity partner at Gonzalez Calvillo in 2017. She mentors other women in an effort to advance their careers and is active with various organisations, including AbogadasMX, created to promote women’s career advancement in the legal profession. She is also highly active in engaging and mentoring women lawyers in her own firm.
Nathalie Paredes, Miranda & Amado Abogado
Nathalie Paredes has been a partner at Miranda & Amado since 2013 and has made it her mission to ensure that gender equality was embedded in the DNA of the firm. In her time, she championed the introduction of a D&I policy and supporting measurements and action plan. Nathalie was also instrumental in the development of a workplace harassment policy as well as guidelines to promote gender diversity in the supply chain. She is also an active member of the International Steering Committee of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice’s Women in the Profession (WIP) Program, seeking the advancement of women in the legal profession in Latin America.
Florencia Castagnola, Partner, Guyer & Regules
Florencia has more than 18 years of experience in banking and corporate law. She has won awards including for innovative legal work in the project to create the “e-peso” when Uruguay was the first country in the world to issue its local currency in digital form. As well as being a top lawyer, she was the Captain of the Uruguayan Field Hockey Team where she led her teammates through several international championships for more than six years. She continues to inspire young female lawyers in her current firm and acts as a mentor to them. Outside the firm, she leads the UN local programme implementing the “Women´s Empowerment Principles” of the United Nations, and Guyer & Regules were within the first group of signatories to these principles. She has led workshops in relation to this programme, and together with other partners also leads the diversity committee at her firm.
Luisa Lepervanche, Mendoza, Palacios, Acedo, Borjas, Páez Pumar & Cía. MENPA
Luisa taught human rights at Universidad Metropolitana Law School (2012-2014), with special emphasis on non-discrimination and diversity. She joined her current firm in 2017 and became a partner in 2019. Since joining the firm, she has worked hard to make their policies regarding female talent more visible and more efficient. Luisa’s commitment translated into the firm’s public pledge regarding diversity being an important feature of their website http://menpa.com/about/diversity, which was launched in 2017 under her coordination. This pledge is probably the first of its kind in the Venezuelan legal arena. As well as this contribution to ensuring that the firm’s commitment to diversity is visible externally, she has worked within the firm to promote flexible hours, work-from-home initiatives, and to ensure diversity in the hiring of new talent. She has won several awards including a human rights award from the Human Rights Center of Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (2014).
María de los Ángeles Celis, Baker McKenzie Venezuela – Highly commended
Future Leader – Gender Diversity: This award is for an associate or senior associate who is leading the way in their commitment to gender diversity and inclusion.
Ursula Ben-Hammou, Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano Abogados
Since joining Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano Abogados in 2014, Ursula has already made visible and positive impact on the firm’s culture by designing and introducing a ground-breaking programme to tackle unconscious bias and offer career development opportunities, including mentoring, not only to women but also other marginalised groups, including LGBT+ employees.
Future Leader – LGBT+ Equality: This award is for an associate or senior associate who is leading the way in their commitment to LGBT+ diversity and inclusion.
Frederico Martins, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados
Frederico is a senior associate at Mattos Filho within the antitrust practice. He is one of the founding members of #mfriendly, the firm’s LGBT+ affinity group which aims to discuss LGBT+ issues within the workplace and to generate awareness on such issues amongst clients and other stakeholders, contributing to the progress of the LGBT+ agenda in society in general.
Viviana Salamanca, OlarteMoure – Highly Commended
LGBT+ Equality Lawyer of the Year: This award is for a partner who is leading the way in their commitment to LGBT+ diversity and inclusion.
Fernanda Aparecida Gonçalves Perregil, Innocenti Advogados Associados
For Fernanda, LGBT+ equality is not only a lifelong passion and field of professional expertise; it is personal: as a member of the LGBT+ community, and having married her wife almost seven years ago, Fernanda always felt the responsibility to use her skill-set to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in society more widely. She has supported a number of charitable organisations fighting against discrimination in employment, housing and other areas of life, and is currently attending the first post-graduate course in Brazil on LGBT+ rights and Gender Identity at Santa Cecilia University.
Future Leader – Minority Lawyers: This award is for an associate or senior associate who is leading the way in their commitment to minorities’ diversity and inclusion.
Robson de Oliveira, Demarest Advogados
Robson has never hesitated to build on his lived experience to encourage constructive dialogue about race equality at Demarest Advogados. This has given the firm the motivation and drive to become more actively involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives. As a result, a dedicated group was created last year to make recommendations to the firm and has been instrumental in securing the firm’s adherence to the Legal Alliance for Race Equality (Aliança Jurídica pela Equidade Racial), a pioneering initiative that aims to promote equality and foster inclusion of Black and Ethnic Minority professionals in the legal profession.
Bárbara Correia Florêncio Silva, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados – Highly Commended
Minority Lawyer of the Year: This award is for a partner who has shown dedication and commitment to minority diversity programs and/or taken an active role in organising events/discussions helping to further the advancement of minorities in the law.
Raphael Moreira Espírito Santo, Veirano Advogados
Raphael Moreira Espírito Santo is a partner at Veirano Advogados, and head of the São Paulo office’s Real Estate practice area. Raphael is a member of the Diversity Committee of the firm and head of the racial-ethnicity affinity group “AfirmatiVA”. Raphael is founder of the “Aliança Jurídica pela Equidade Racial”, a strategic alliance formed by the 9 biggest Brazilian full-service law firms, that are developing policies for the inclusion and education of black students and lawyers in the legal market. Raphael is also member of the board of the “Incluir Direito” Project, an initiative where law firms grant education to Black college students, preparing them for the admission selections programmes of the elite law firms. The “Incluir Direito” Project has partnered with Mackenzie University and is now broadening its partnership.
Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year: This award is for a partner who is dedicated to pro bono work in their local or global community.
Edmundo Varas, Morales & Besa – Highly Commended
Carlos Ochoa, Holland and Knight
Carlos’s outstanding contribution to Pro Bono in Mexico is both longstanding and wide-ranging. He has led the pro bono activities of Holland & Knight Mexico City office for many years and has supported projects such as “Inspiring Girls”, empowering young women to become future leaders, Mexico City LGBT+ Pride, as well as the “Asociación Mexicana de Lucha Contra el Cancer A.C.”, a not-for-profit organisation fighting against cancer. In 2017 Carlos also personally provided pro bono advice in several cases involving victims of the Mexico City earthquake.
Outstanding Ally award: This award is for a partner that has shown an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession as an ally for diverse groups.
Roberto Quiroga Mosquera, Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados
As a founding partner of Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados, Roberto has never missed an opportunity to challenge the firm and raise awareness of Diversity and Inclusion issues during partners’ meetings, and to encourage his peers to champion this agenda. He has led on the creation of affinity groups covering gender equality, LGBT+, racial diversity, people with disabilities, and religious freedom; and has used his position to amplify the voice of these groups. In 2018 Roberto also created the Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr and Quiroga Institute, a trailblazing initiative designed to promote access to justice and a diverse, inclusive and democratic society.
Lifetime Achievement Award: This award is for a partner that has shown an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession (GENDER DIVERSITY)
Dra.Virginia Cervieri, Cervieri Monsuárez & Associates
Doctor Cervieri is no stranger to Chambers’ recognition having consistently featured on its Leading Lawyers list for Latin America from 2014 to 2019. Under her leadership, Cervieri Monsuarez & Associates has transformed over the last 10 years and today 89% of employees in the firm’s Latin American offices are women. Virginia is also President of the Uruguay chapter of the World Jurist Association and Founding member of the Permanent Commission in defence of Intellectual Property rights of the Ministry of Interior.
Lifetime Achievement Award (Pro Bono)
Roberto Horacio Crouzel, Beccar Varela
Partner at Beccar Varela, Roberto Crouzel is a pioneer of the pro bono practice in Argentina. In 2000, his firm co-founded the Pro Bono Commission of the Colegio de Abogados de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, whose main goal is to provide free legal advice in public interest cases that are going to impact the wider community. Under his leadership as co-head of the firm’s Pro Bono practice, together with colleague Fernanda Mierez, Roberto has inspired several generations of lawyers to take an active role in the support of public interest causes for the common good. In 2018 alone, this resulted in more than 250 lawyers carrying out pro bono work at Beccar Varela, for a total of over 2,600 hours.
Pro Bono Program of the Year: This award celebrates a firm’s dedication to offering legal assistance to their local or global community.
Morales & Besa – Highly Commended
Greenberg Traurig, S.C.
Greenberg’s unique pro bono programme has strong engagement from lawyers across the Mexico office with 100% of trainees, 78% of associates and 50% of partners involved. Pro bono work is not mandatory for Mexican attorneys however in 2017, the firm decided to restructure their pro bono program to serve their region effectively. Recent cases include sexual and reproductive rights, indigenous rights, asylum and migration and integral reparation in human rights violation cases. Since 2017 to date, Greenberg’s pro bono program has accomplished more than 7,000 billable hours with a monetary value of approximately 2 million USD. In the last 12 months this portion has been of about 1900 hours with a value of 523,000 USD and an average of 80% of participation from the office’s attorneys,
Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year: This award celebrates a company’s dedication to reaching out to their local or global community and affecting change to increase the representation of diverse candidates in the legal profession.
Guyer & Regules
Most Pioneering Firm for Gender Diversity: This award celebrates a firm’s commitment to increasing the opportunities for, and representation of, female lawyers.
Most Inclusive Firm for Minority Lawyers: This award celebrates a firm’s commitment to increasing the opportunities for, and representation of, minority lawyers.
Most Inclusive Firm for LGBT+ Lawyers: This award celebrates a firm’s commitment to increasing the opportunities for, and representation of, lawyers that identify as LGBT+.
Most Innovative Program for Employee Health and Well-being: This award is for the firm that has made a concerted effort to improve the health and well-being of their staff.
Miranda & Amado – Highly Commended
Outstanding Firm for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion: This award recognises efforts to ensure that diverse candidates are given equal opportunities in recruitment, retention and promotion.
Future Leader – Diversity & Inclusion:
Carolina Borja Obando, Anheuser-Busch AB Inbev – Highly Commended
Hélio Wellinson Gois Bispo, Banco Pan
First in his family to complete higher education, Helio had to overcome a number of obstacles throughout his life to be able to pursue his greatest dream: to become a lawyer. Although he is now a successful lawyer at Grupo Pan, Helio never forgot where he came from and his journey to get to where he is today, and uses his story to inspire other young people to pursue their dreams and tackle with confidence the challenges that life may bring.
Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year: This award is for a general counsel who has shown dedication and commitment to gender diversity programs and/or taken an active role in organising events/discussions helping to further the advancement of women in the law.
Anna Carolina Calabria Mattioli, EDP Grupo
Despite already leading a busy and successful Tax team at EDP, Anna Carolina has never hesitated to take leading roles to advance the diversity and inclusion conversation at the firm. This year, she took on the ambitious mission of developing tools to enable EDP to become fully inclusive, especially in relation to recruitment and progression of women, and to create a workplace free of any kind of discrimination. Anna is actively working on this now and hopes she will soon be able to share the results of this piece of work.
Corporate Social Responsibility Lawyer of the Year: This award is for a general counsel who is dedicated to corporate social responsibility work in the community and creating new pathways for diverse groups to become involved in the profession.
Javier Oroz Coppel, AXA
Outstanding Ally award: This award is for a general counsel that has shown an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession as an ally for diverse groups.
Gonzalo Smith Ferrer, Falabella SA
Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Diversity in the Legal Profession: This award is for a general counsel that has shown an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
Isabelle M.L. Girard, 3M
Camila Ferreira Da Silva, Lojas Riachuelo – Highly Commended
Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year:
Most Innovative Program for Employee Mental Health and Well-being: This award is for the company that has made a concerted effort to improve the well-being of their staff.
Outstanding Company for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion: This award aims to recognise a company’s efforts to ensure that diverse candidates are given equal opportunities in recruitment, retention and promotion.
Natura – Highly Commended
You can view the winners pictures below or view the full event gallery here.