On August 9, 2016, founding partner of our Colombian law firm Diego Muñoz spoke with La República about the state of the legal sector in the country.

While interviewing Diego Muñoz, president of the Colombian Legal Services Chamber of the ANDI Association, he revealed that the primary results of the first study of measuring the market for legal services will be announced today for the Chamber´s 10th anniversary. Results project that Colombian law firms drive over USD $1.7 billion per year.

What stands out from the labor of the Colombian Legal Services Chamber over its past ten years of existence?

It first should be noted that the Chamber has brought together 27 firms, which together represent between 900 and 1,000 lawyers in Colombia; this feat has converted the Colombian Legal Services Chamber into a vehicle for teamwork allowing us to harmonize the practices of management and competition, along with better preparing our attorneys.

Similarly, our Chamber of the ANDI association has promoted its participation, along with that of affiliates, in important national political debates such as the Reform of Justice, the General Procedural Code, and the Constitutional Reform for the Balance of Powers.

The Colombian Legal Services Chamber also succeeded in promulgating a niche of high value and responsibility facing the distinct interest groups of the country and has been a served as a form of international protection for the Colombian legal services sector.

The study that you will present today reveals that the legal market moves USD $1.7 billion, yet Supervision of Societies only announced $800.000 million. Why the disparity?

The information from that entity is biased in the sense that it only shows the figures from the firms that are obligated to report to it.

If we add to those numbers the figures that aren’t reported to the Dian and the Commercial chambers, it becomes evident that there is a much more important market for Colombian legal services, which amounts to $1.7 billion per year.

How do you perceive the growth of Colombian legal services in the country?

The legal sector has grown exponentially in the past 25 years. Phenomena like the new constitution, the economic opening, the public services law, the ports act, the pension act, the pension law, and privatizations have all opened doors that in the past didn’t exist. These changes have required Colombian law firms to evolve and expand. The formalization of law has been another element of growth, though there remains a lot of work to be done in this respect.

What strategies does the Chamber employ to improve competition amongst attorneys?

The Colombian Legal Services Chamber seeks to employ better norms, rationalization of norms, and a better working of justice. Such strengthening requires more competition and over time generates more work within the sector and thus more work for affiliated firms.

How do you perceive the entry of large firms into the country and their association with the local firms?

The internationalization of the economic works has consequently led to the entry of large firms. This is a natural phenomenon that will continue, serving as a sign of confidence and high expectations in the growth of the Colombian market.

What new projects is the Colombian Legal Services Chamber currently working on?

One of our current projects is the creation of a center for professional development to better equip lawyers in Colombia- from our firms, from universities, and in general. This work is intended to bolster the basic capacities in the practice of law different to those that are taught in the universities. Another project currently being realized is the measurement of Colombian legal services which we will continue to publish. In the same way, we will be analyzing the technological revolution within the legal sphere.

Have you already selected a replacement for Ximena Castrillón?

I do not know who will be the new director of the Chamber, and this decision is in the hands of the Executive Committee who up until now has been evaluating different resumes.

To access the original interview, visit the digital publication of the daily La República.