Interview with Javier Canosa, lawyer in Argentina

Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Javier Canosa, lawyer in the beautiful country of Argentina.


Tradonline : Thanks for talking to us Javier. Could you give our readers your background in a few words?

Javier : Hi Mathieu, thank you. My background goes back a long way.  I read law at the University of Buenos Aires and graduated in 1999.   Immediately thereafter I took a Masters Course (LL.M.) in Amsterdam. I worked in Europe for a bit and then returned to Argentina in 2002. I returned to Argentina amidst the worst financial crisis in Argentina. There were banking curbs, bank deposits were frozen, the peso had devalued more than 200% and so on and so forth.
There I began working on many restructuring deals of companies indebted in hard currency with income in pesos. There was a lot of restructuring work in 2003 and 2004 and in 2005 we started seeing some actual investment; in real estate, mining and construction were the most popular deals.

Tradonline : Let’s talk your work. Please tell us about your law firm, what are you specialized in?
Javier : We are a full service law firm.  We take care of all the commercial and business activities of companies doing business in Argentina. We do not do criminal law. Personally, I am a seasoned corporate lawyer, experienced in real estate, banking and commercial law.

Tradonline : How is your company faring in this economic crisis?
Javier : Not bad actually. We are very happy with the results in 2009. We have a very competitive fee structure. We like to be construed as a micro-multinational. In other words, we provide the same service as any major law firm, but with a smaller and more dynamic structure.

Tradonline : And what about Argentina’s economy as a whole? What are your insider’s perception and expectations?
Javier : No comments. Well, 2010 looked promising as the farming industry had a good season, but unfortunately a recent crisis with the central bank (political crisis) might give us a headache.  The next two years will be complicated as we have a lame duck President whose decisions are, at least, very questionable.

Tradonline : About your law firm, Canosa Abogados, what is your involvement in the international arena? Do you have international customers?
Javier : We do a lot of international work.  80% of our work is international and from that 80%, only 25% relates to litigation, the rest is advice on corporate and commercial matters.

Tradonline : Now let’s talk about your country, Argentina. You’ve travelled a lot in Europe for your career, what are the traits that Argentina shares in common with countries in Europe, Spain for instance?
Javier : Besides the language, there are many common trades with the Southern European countries. In general the culture, the food, etc.  In terms of economic and political development, I am afraid we do not have many things in common unfortunately.

Tradonline : Any tips about doing business in Argentina? (our readers are from all over the world). Any dos and don’ts?
Javier : This is a very broad question.  In general, I would say that being underdeveloped; there are still a lot of opportunities in Argentina for those that want to take some risk. Of course, when there are rewards, there are risks. I cannot mention one tip, be ready to fight and be open-minded and expect things to be cumbersome and bureaucratic. Now, if you do expect things to be like that, you might finds things are smooth and easy.

Tradonline : I’m also aware that you master a number of languages (congrats on this achievement ). We at Trad Online work in the translation industry, tell us your vision from outside this industry: what is your perception of translators, translation agencies, etc?
Javier : My grandparents are Italian, so I learned Italian being young. English was a must, then life took me to learn French, Portuguese (living in Brazil for three years), German (living in Germany) and Dutch (living in the Netherlands of course). We use English 95% of the times. Very rarely we come across other languages and if we do, we try to pass everything to English. It is the language everyone at the firm speaks and it makes it easier to manage documents.

Tradonline : Part of our readership are translators (our blog talks mainly about the translation industry), so a quick question about certified translations in Argentina, are you aware of any particularities in this part of the translation industry in your country?
Javier : Yes, documents in Argentina in a foreign language need to be translated by a translator registered at the translator’s bureau. Sometimes it is burdensome, but it is a good thing that things work like this.

Thank you very much and let me know if I can be of any further help.

Tradonline : Merci! Thanks very much Javier and all the best to you!


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