Latin America

Latin America Law

Doing Business or Investing in Latin America?

We provide comprehensive legal support for companies and individuals doing business and investing in Latin America.

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Latin American Economies

Like Asia, Latin America is convenient to speak of as a region, but more useful to understand as a geographically linked collection of separate states, some of which are economically strong, but others of which have suffered due to poor governance.

The strongest economies in Latin America are Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia, and the majority of good economic news – and growth – comes from those nations.

In 2019, FDI in Latin America and the Caribbean grew by 10% to $164 billion, with Brazil registering a 20% increase, to $72 billion. Manufacturing and services were the major targets of foreign capital investments regionally, and Mexico’s manufacturing sector accounted for half of its $32.9 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. Also seeing strong FDI growth in 2019 was Colombia, which received $14.5 billion in investment, an increase of 25.6% over 2018, and Chile, which was the recipient of $11.4 billion in FDI, an increase of 62.9% over 2018. Peru also saw significant FDI growth of 37.1% over 2018, receiving a total of $8.9 billlion.

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Overall, Latin America buys four times more goods from the United States than China does. U.S. trade with Latin America decreased 10% last year, but its trade with China went down more than 25%. The US-China trade war has vaulted Mexico far past China as a U.S. trading partner, and as global companies seek to diversify their supply chains, Mexico offers proximity to U.S. markets, modern infrastructure, access to ports for global distribution and a highly skilled, well-educated workforce.

Mexico’s USD1.3 trillion economy is the second-largest in Latin America and the 15th-largest in the world. Mexico ranked number one among U.S. trading partners in 2019 with a bilateral trade value of USD614.5 billion as well as USD144 billion in bilateral, reciprocal foreign direct investment (FDI), and it is the first or second-largest export destination for the business communities of 27 U.S. states.

Brazil’s USD1.8 trillion economy is the largest in Latin America as well as the world’s ninth-largest, and the United States is Brazil’s second-largest trading partner, with two-way trade in goods and services an estimated $105.1 billion in 2019. The United States is Brazil’s second-largest export market, and U.S. FDI in Brazil was $81.7 billion in 2019, led by the manufacturing, finance and insurance, and mining sectors.

A Weak Rule of Law

There is plenty of opportunity in Latin America, but without question, the biggest economic problem in most of its markets is the weak rule of law.

Throughout the region and across many industries, we support our clients’ businesses by writing strong bilingual contracts, ensuring their intellectual property is protected, and conducting thorough due diligence. We also assist with entity formation, statutory compliance, operations finance and local partnerships, and we have successfully resolved countless legal disputes between entities from different countries.

Full-Service Planning for Your
Latin America Legal Needs

Our Offices

Harris Bricken has an on-the-ground presence in both Mexico City and São Paulo, the capitals of Latin America’s two largest economies and from where our attorneys manage client legal matters across the region with the support of strong legal and business networks.

Adrián Cisneros Aguilar oversees our Mexico practice, where he helps companies on US-Mexico cross border legal matters, including cannabis law matters, Latin American and European companies on China and International Law issues, and local companies with international and domestic business transactions.

Rodrigo Guedes Nunes heads up our Brazil office, using his legal and business experience, combined with a vast array of South American contacts and knowledge, to help companies from all over the world conduct business in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Both Adrián and Rodrigo are experienced in and knowledgeable about the Asia-Pacific region, and their knowledge and abilities serve as a bridge to South America for Harris Bricken clients headquartered in Asia and Australasia, especially in the areas of due diligence, contract negotiation and arbitration.

In Latin America, Harris Bricken understands the laws, the legal systems, the regulatory environments and the broader global trade context, and our counsel takes into account all these elements as we help our clients develop winning strategies.

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Get in Touch with Our Latin America Team

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Our Clients' Successes

“Harris Bricken expertly guided us through the formation of our company. They continue to assist with necessary registrations and compliance with numerous regulations. They were able to promptly answer all our many questions and provide understandable options, explanations and practical advice. We expect to continue to use Harris Bricken on a regular basis as our company expands. They were also able to introduce us other professional experts. We would not hesitate to recommend Harris Bricken to any companies in need of legal advice.”

user icon Three Continents Foods LLC

This law firm was a huge help as our company went through the process of commercial licensing in the California cannabis industry.  They have helped us with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while clearly communicating with us throughout the process.  Everyone we’ve worked with at Harris Bricken is an expert in their field and we have always felt that we were in good hands through our legal representation.

user icon Wil Crummer, CEO PRO Farms

Legal stuff is always scary. And I’ve had to play offense a couple times, begrudgingly. To have Harris Bricken have my back? It made things a lot less prickly. They quickly walked me through my options, and were refreshingly consistent in their communications, timing and billing. I’ve been lucky to stay out of the legal side of things my whole career, thankfully. When things went a little wrong, Harris Bricken quickly made things right.

user icon Aaron Draplin, Founder Draplin Design Co.

I am impressed with this law firm. They answered all my questions regarding cannabis businesses and the California cannabis framework, and they have helped me with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while always clearly communicating with us throughout the process. They also redirected me to other quality people for my business needs. Everyone I worked with at Harris Bricken is an expert in their field, and I was in good hands throughout my legal representation.

user icon Corey T., CEO Thinc Cubed, LLC

I have been working with the lawyers at Harris Bricken for more than 20 years both as a business owner and as an executive at a large east-coast health system and that is because they have always efficiently provided high level and clear international law advice. Most recently, Harris Bricken provided legal support on many matters related to procuring medical products worldwide. Their support was particularly helpful to during the onset of COVID, when there was a big need for securing PPE quickly, all while navigating complicated international and domestic legal requirements. Harris Bricken’s team of international lawyers helped by conducting rapid-fire due diligence on potential suppliers, navigating the legal logistics for getting product from overseas and through U.S. customs, and drafting contracts to protect against various sorts of horribles. They did this by essentially providing what amounted to 24/7 service. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

user icon Dan Pak Hospital Supply Chain Executive

Harris Bricken has represented our company in the legal cannabis industry for years. Harris Bricken has advised us in a wide variety of legal matters, and they are truly experts in their field. I would highly recommend Harris Bricken to anyone with questions about cannabis law, or any legal matters. They have been great for our Company, and will continue to guide us as our industry evolves

user icon Matt Hurt, COO Cannabis Nation

You won’t find a better partner than Harris Bricken when trying to navigate the complex world of healthcare regulations.  They not only give sound and reliable legal advice, but they are also very responsive and are able to guide you in a way that helps you reach your business objectives as well.

user icon Joseph Axelrod, General Counsel Irwin Naturals

When we started the process of building a ‘seed to sale’ cannabis company in Oregon, we saw the need for expert legal counsel.  The cannabis sector is fraught with potential peril at every turn, and we wanted the best legal advice we could find.  After talking to several firms and individuals, we feel extremely fortunate to have chosen Harris Bricken as our legal counsel.

user icon Tony Theiss, CEO and Co-Founder Redbarn Cannabis 

We use Harris Bricken on all our international legal matters, including on our international litigation matters. We have over the last few years been involved in a couple big international legal disputes and Harris Bricken’s international dispute resolution team provided us with expert legal assistance on both matters. They were always very careful to explain to us what they were doing and why and what their actions would likely cost us in legal fees. Most importantly, we did extremely well on both cases and I have no doubt Harris Bricken was a big factor in that.

user icon Kevin English, CEO We Are Camp

We have used Harris Bricken for legal help related to our international manufacturing. The lawyers with whom I worked had extensive familiarity with the international legal issues involved in our various projects and offered us key insights. I particularly appreciated how they always quickly and efficiently do what they say they will do and always within their cost estimates.

user icon Andrea Barona Valladolid, Senior Legal Counsel Fairphone
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