Julio Lavin: “Today the key is to provide good service for a reasonable price”
One of the principles of this debuting law firm is to stay in direct contact with clients without the pressure of a numerous structure.
The firm’s partners: Roberto Sepulveda, Julio y Rodrigo Lavin, and Andres del Favero.
After 17 years at Jara del Favero, Julio Lavin decided, last September, to go his own way at a key moment in his life. As he tells it, “I had two choices: I either moved towards retirement or continued doing things on my own, and the truth is, I could go on for a good while longer, I love what I do, and my specialty is very attractive.”
So that is how this professional, with more than 30 years of legal-environmental experience, accompanied by three of his children—Rodrigo, Gonzalo and Arturo—, by his nephew, Andres Del Favero, and by Pedro Ortuzar, decided to set up a law firm using a less common structure where not just attorneys fit in, but also specialists from other complementary fields.
Fernando Maldonado, a certified public accountant and tax consultant, also joined the firm. In 2017, he had already partnered with Rodrigo Lavin to create a full-service tax consulting firm. And the firm has formed strategic alliances with two expert environmental consultants: Del Favero Meneses and Futuro Sustentable; and with a dispute resolution firm led by Diego Abogabir and Nicolas Miranda, all of whom also work out of the same office.
The Lavin team has been attracting reinforcements in these first few months of operation. Two other natural resource experts have joined the project: Roberto Sepulveda and Ernesto Correa, formerly of Carvallo, Bizarri & Garcia.
How much more do they plan to grow? Julio Lavin is emphatic about that. “One of the basic principles of the office is that our services are provided directly by the partners, which sets us apart from other firms ...”
He added that the firm’s plan is not to grow in terms of the number of lawyers but rather to provide better counsel. He emphasized that “when times get hard, maintaining a mega-office becomes difficult, while a structure like ours makes you much more competitive. What we see today is competition in providing a good service for a reasonable price, and I believe that we are better positioned than the rest in that respect.”
Lavin says that growing just to grow often puts pressure on the billing hours that distances lawyers from clients. He concluded by saying that “those dynamics do not give you time to even have a cup of coffee with the client to talk about how things went in his last trip ... in those firms, you have to hand him the bill or you don’t make it to the end of the month ... we don’t want to live like that.”