What were the reasons behind the agreement to set up the Dentons and Cardenas & Cardenas union?
Competition has always been active in Colombia in the legal sector, and there were many international firms opening locations in Colombia; we concluded that the trend in the legal services market was the globalization of legal firms. Dentons offered a presence in a large number of countries, with the promise to increase its presence in more countries including throughout Latin America. Now, it covers 75 countries and 180 cities around the world. We currently have great coverage in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil. Essentially, as a local independent firm, we needed to evolve a global footprint. Legal services are handled by high-level international firms with expertise not only in one place but worldwide. As a result, we have grown. We receive a great deal of work from Dentons offices worldwide, and we have benefited from best practices and state-of-the-art technology. We are 12,000 lawyers pushing the same name worldwide. Competition in Colombia with international firms continues to grow, and it will continue to do so. We have to be at the forefront of the market.
How important are activities in Colombia for Dentons?
Having a footprint in Colombia is important because the Colombian economy is currently the showcase of Latin American economies. Dentons' global plan is to have a presence in many countries, and a presence in Latin America is vital for this plan. Each time we add a country in Latin America, we acquire greater importance within the Dentons organization and the region.
What are your objectives for 2020 and beyond?
The objective is to continue growing, hopefully into more areas of practice, and open one or two offices in other Colombian cities. We are looking at Barranquilla, Medellín, and Cali.