English Law Day 2020 heralds new era in 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.
Hector Herrera

“The ELD Mexico event is the beginning of a long conversation between Mexico and the UK, as we enter a new age in global trade,” says Hector Herrera, president of the Barra Mexicana de Abogados (Mexican Bar of Lawyers, BMA). “I am confident that both UK and Mexican attendees have a lot to gain from this event.”

ELD Mexico is a free online event taking place between 30 November – 2 December. “I would say the best way to get something out of attending online events like this is to bring three things: bring proposals, bring questions and probably most importantly bring an open mind, be willing and ready to learn about the English and Mexican markets. From the Mexican point of view it is important for lawyers from a market as advanced as the UK to be willing to learn about the Mexican legal market but also our culture. In Mexico, you cannot just get straight down to business, you have to build a relationship with your clients first. First comes the friendship and then the business.”

Mexico has a growing and diverse economy and in the current global economic climate, Hector feels that now is the time for creative solutions to long-standing problems. “To face this new crisis we have had to employ new and creative solutions and this will have a profound effect on the way we operate in the long term.  This is why events such as ELD Mexico are very important because they act as a great forum for exploring the opportunity to do things in a different way, to collaborate more effectively to find novel solutions. For both English and Mexican lawyers now is the perfect time to analyse the possibility for foreign trade in the growing sectors of the legal economy, such as telecommunications, high-tech businesses and even in the future, space law.”

At the moment though, Mexico is waiting with bated breath for the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic to hit the country. “We are about to be hit by the second wave in Mexico, just as you have been in the UK. The BMA has long-since moved all of its activities online and all presidential activities have been transferred to digital platforms. On November 3 we even launched an internet TV channel, the first of its kind anywhere in the world, to connect with our membership.”

“Throughout the crisis, Mexican courts have continued online but their efficiency has not been good and there have been long delays and even outbreaks of the virus in courts. The situation is difficult for the legal profession in general right now, but the worst affected are dual practitioners who deal with criminal, labour and civil cases. Those least affected have been those practices who’s activities are specialised, such as firms that operate in the website and developing tech space. More traditional practice areas such as those involved in oil and gas or construction have seen a reduction in their work.”

Hector, however, has seen an expansion in his practise during the pandemic. “I work in environmental law, an area in which there is not much competition in Mexico and most of my work comes from overseas companies. Due to the new rules and regulations around environmental safety stemming from the Covid-19 crisis, I have been fortunate enough to see the number of cases I deal with increase.”

Hector believes that events like ELD Mexico will help the Mexican and UK economies to recover. “I hope this event will encourage more trade, more professional interaction and certainly more cultural understanding between our two countries. The UK has a great global reputation and Mexico has an enormous amount of potential. It is my hope that through events like ELD Mexico we can make great friends and that with time our great friends will become great business partners.”

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