ECUADOR - Economy
Managing Partner, Robalino and CPA Robalino
Javier Robalino Orellana is a partner of Robalino Abogados and leads the arbitration practice. He has been recognized as the only Eminent Practitioner in the corporate area in Ecuador by the renowned Chambers magazine. In 2020, he became a member of the Circle of Presidents of the Council of the Americas. In 2011, he started an independent practice that continues to the present under his name and leadership. For more than two decades, he has represented multinationals in various local and international commercial and investment disputes. Orellana has participated in various cases under the ICSID, UNCITRAL, CIAC, ICC and CAM-Santiago regulations, among others, and in cases of international public law under the rules of the WTO, the Andean Community, and the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights.
One of Ecuador’s largest and most renowned firms, Robalino Abogados is working to be a constructive force in the social and economic development of Ecuador.
What differentiates Robalino Law from other law firms in Ecuador?
Robalino has the largest presence in Ecuador with offices in five cities—Quito, Guayaquil, Manta, Cuenca, and Machala—where we commit every day to our clients and stakeholders with 220-plus team members. Our firm is one of the two major law firms in the country and one of the major professional firms in Ecuador. We have grown rapidly due to our focus on innovation and remaining ahead of the curve in understanding upcoming developments. Also, we are extremely proud of being a merit-based institution, where we devote ourselves to diversity and inclusion. With over 50% of women in our professional teams and with several international recognitions due to our pro bono work, we expect to continue evolving to be not only modern and innovative but also socially responsible. We provide ethical services. Our compliance team and procedures allow us to assure the highest standards when approaching clients and matters.
In which sectors are you seeing the most growth, and what are your primary targets?
We are optimistic about all industries. Every investor—foreign or local—in the country is important. Those investors are confident that government’s policies will advance Ecuador toward a new era in which it is one of the most attractive countries in the region. Ecuador has a unique window of opportunity. For the first time in a long time, Ecuador’s country risk is lower than other countries in Latam and the region. We hope Ecuador will embrace this opportunity and, for the first time, maintain a high rate of foreign investment vis-à-vis its GDP compared to its neighbors. That makes us believe that all industries will benefit. Mining and oil are still the center of attention, though we hope mining decrees 95 (oil policy) and 151 (mining action plan) will be implemented into specific actions by the government. These decrees comprise policies intended to attract investors by promising legal stability, legal certainty, and a climate for the development of sustainable mining and oil practices in the country. In addition, we expect the banking industry to grow together with new concessions for renewable energies and infrastructure In addition, the government has anticipated projects that involve the transmission of data and technology. Furthermore, the government currently expects several proposals from private investors in infrastructure and energy.
How would you like to position Robalino in the coming years?
In addition to continue leading the professional services industry in the country, we expect to be a constructive force toward the responsible social development and growth of Ecuador. We have opened our offices in Machala and Cuenca. There we envision a great deal of support to southern Ecuador. Machala has to be recognized as a driving force for the shrimp, mining, and banana industries. Cuenca has a massive and diverse industry, but also is the doorway for many mining projects in southern and eastern Ecuador. Quito, Manta, and Guayaquil will remain as major centers of investment and development. Overall, we want to remain loyal to our values, which are solidarity, ethics, teamwork, and quality. To the extent that we can continue doing that, we will continue to be a leader here. We also want to continue being active in pro bono. In 2020 and 2021, we were recognized as one of the top Latin American law firms for pro bono work, and not just in Ecuador. Although we want to continue on this trajectory of recognition, in the coming years, we sincerely hope to see Ecuador growing. My vision for Ecuador is that of a growing and thriving country, with less poverty, more education, and more development. I am convinced that if we do things right, we will be a positive factor in our country’s development.
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