Unanimity among a partnership is one of the key components that can decide a firm´s success or failure. In the lifetime of a law firm, inevitably there are times when unity is tested, but perhaps none more so than when a firm embarks on an ambitious and costly growth project. When Andrés Cerisola became managing partner of Ferrere in 2009, his ascent to the leadership of Uruguay´s largest firm precipitated a fundamental shift in its attitude towards regional expansion. A member of Ferrere since he joined straight from law school in 1988, Cerisola first arrived at a firm that barely resembles the success story it has become today. Back then it was a four-lawyer shop – including founder Daniel Ferrere – and few could have predicted Ferrere’s trailblazing regional growth.

Cerisola took over the reins from Daniel Ferrere and learned on the job, not having held a management position at the firm before. A year into his role, Daniel Ferrere tragically died in a helicopter crash, Plunging his firm into mourning and depriving it of a visionary leader. While still learning the ropes, Cerisola found himself dealing with one of the biggest crises that could hit such an organisation.

When Daniel Ferrere suddenly passed away, it was left to his protégé to continue the dream of regional expansion, as well as maintain stability after an event that rocked the firm. The firm´s founder had been responsible for kick-starting Ferrere’s development, pioneering the concept of a regional firm at a time when regionalism was relatively unheard of, especially among Uruguayan firm. Wisely attuned to the fact that Ferrere would struggle to compete with major firms in Latin America´s largest countries, his dream had been to create a one-stop shop for companies operating in the region’s smallest jurisdictions. By the time Cerisola took over as managing partner, the firm had already opened in Paraguay in 2003, followed by next-door Bolivia in 2006 and Ecuador in 2008.

Read the full interview in the attached pdf.