Since 2010, labor and employment expert Littler has been on an expansion mission, according to Jeremy Roth, co-president and managing director of the firm. That mission started with expansion into Venezuela and, as of January 1, 2014, has moved on to Puerto Rico, with the announcement that Littler has combined with Schuster Aguiló.
Roth explained that Littler sees the demands for legal services changing in sophistication and that the global employer community demands regional solutions. To this end, Littler continued its expansion, opening offices in Mexico in late 2011/early 2012 and then moving into Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and El Salvador. It’s only logical, then, that the company would look to establish a footprint in Puerto Rico as well.
Puerto Rico, according to Roth, represents an “interesting market.” It is a unique region, not quite the same as other Latin American countries, and not quite the same as a U.S. state. For example, while Spanish is the first language for most citizens of the island, many of the attorneys there studied in the United States and speak English as a first language. Puerto Rico operates under U.S. federal law and often “looks to the north more than the west,” as Roth put it.
Littler has know the attorneys with Schuster Aguiló for quite a long time and have developed a close working relationship with them. Roth considers the firm to be the “best practitioners in labor and employment” in Puerto Rico. The “trust and friendship” between the firms resonated with clients, and Roth and company saw it as the right move. As he says, the company looks for quality practitioners. “If you can find great lawyers and your clients have a need in the marketplace, that is a recipe for success,” Roth said. “They are very fine lawyers with a high level of dedication, so it made sense.”
The move will help maintain quality and consistency for Littler clients, helping them with consolidation of services and will act as a client services differentiator. As for the future, Roth cannot say anything for sure, but he says the firm is looking to see where it can add value and find practitioners it wants to work with.
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