English Law Week 2020 key to growing UK-Mexico relations

Our English Law Day in Mexico 2020 signals the start of a new epoch in UK-Mexico relations in a post-Brexit world.

Adrian Ojeda Cuevas

“English Law Week in Mexico is a great way for English and Mexican lawyers to learn about the challenges and opportunities of their respective markets,” says Adrian Ojeda Cuevas, president of the Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Empresa (National Association of Business Lawyers, ANADE).

But for Adrian, one of the most important aspects of the event, which is taking place between the 30 November – 2 December, is for businesses and lawyers from the UK to get to know their Mexican counterparts.

“The Mexico ELW event will give lawyers from England and Wales an introduction to the market. One of the most valuable things that you can gain from an event like this is an understanding of the place where you or your client might do business in the future. Because of the growing opportunities for trade between the UK and Mexico it is important to demonstrate to your clients that you have a general understanding of the market, the culture and current affairs in the country. In Mexico, the most important first step to doing business with someone is to form a relationship with them, to get to know them in a personal level. English Law Day in Mexico will help you to understand how to do that.”

“I have to say, the thing that I am most looking forward to about ELW Mexico is the opportunity to do some networking and I think that due to the circumstances of the virtual format, we may get to know more people than we otherwise would in the traditional format because the event is free and open to all with an interest in the relationship between our two jurisdictions.”

Mexico is a large and growing market. As a swiftly developing economy with strong links to the United States to its north, as well as the growing economies of Latin America to its south, Mexico is right in the heart of a global economic hub.

“Mexico is a huge potential sales market for UK goods and services. For example, Mexico is traditionally viewed as less economically developed and yet there is a great interest in technology here – there are over 100million mobile phones in the country. Likewise, with its competitive salaries and trade conditions it is also an ideal place for UK companies to offshore production and invest. But the key to success in Mexico is awareness of the legal and cultural environment and events like English Law Day can really help with this.”

Adrian admits that the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may put a damper on the immediate outlook for global trade, yet even now there are areas of growth in the legal services market.

“My main practice area is immigration law and of course with the restrictions brought in as a result of the Covid-19 crisis this work has dropped off. On the other hand, I have seen a significant increase in cases related to entertainment law, due I suppose to the fact that all of the entertainment companies are working quickly to replace all the content that people are consuming during lockdown.”

In comparison to the members of other national bars and associations, the members of ANADE have not been badly affected by the pandemic.

“We have 1,500 members around Mexico, most of whom are lawyers based in or advising large companies and so because they don’t rely on courts being open or on other Covid-affected practice areas, they have held up remarkably well. It is also the case that the regulations which have come about because of the virus have actually created more work for our members because they are advising clients on the rules which are constantly changing. On the other side though, some of our members have been badly affected by the wider economic contraction and there have been a number of them laid-off by their firms.”

Adrian hopes that events like English Law Week in Mexico will help to connect the UK and Mexican legal markets as the world strives to recover from the economic shock of the pandemic.

“My biggest hope is that those delegates attending the event will truly connect to the presentations and speeches. Obviously we have all had to attend lots of online events and this can be tiring, but this event is special and the more you concentrate on the content the more you will get out of it.”

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