U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ)

Companies doing business in Latin America face an enhanced risk of lawsuit abuse in the region under proposed changes to the countries’ court systems, according to reports from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform released Tuesday.

In “Following Each Other’s Lead: Law Reform in Latin America” and “Class Action Evolution: Improving the Litigation Climate in Brazil,” the Institute said potential judicial reforms in Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American nations could leave businesses at a significant disadvantage as defendants, greatly tilting the courts in favor of plaintiffs.

“Following Each Other’s Lead,” authored by Shook, Hardy & Bacon partner William Crampton, says countries in the region look to each other for guidance on their judicial processes—and have adopted the view that a consumer is at a disadvantage when that individual challenges a business in court. With this history, companies should watch out for proposed changes to class action litigation in Latin America, the report says.

Affiliate publication Corporate Counsel has more.