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While Am Law 200 firms have more than 60 offices and 1,500 lawyers spread across Latin America, the region’s legal markets are still largely dominated by local players. ALM Intelligence’s Latin American 50 Report shows that independent domestic firms hold more than two-thirds of market share, measured by headcount, in every Latin American legal market. In all but two exceptions – Mexico and Venezuela – local firms hold more than 85% market share.

The dominance of local players suggests foreign firms have significant room to expand in the region. The evolution of European and Asian legal markets shows that international firms can easily capture more than half the market share in most countries. This has typically been accomplished through two approaches: mergers or lateral hiring. In either case, international firms are able to leverage their global brands and vast networks of top-tier clients to lure domestic players to their side.

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