Populist politics to shape labour laws across LatAm, say panelists

27 September 2018

As the rise in populism spreads around the world, politics are in a state of flux and Latin America is no exception. The new political reality stands to affect labour legislation in the region, heard an audience at Latin Lawyer Live’s fifth annual Labour & Employment Conference on Tuesday.


Enrique Stile

Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires

Enrique M. Stile joined Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal in 1997 and has been a partner since 2006. He specializes in labor and employment law. His practice in the firm focuses on full employment advice for multinational and local corporations, especially in mergers and acquisitions, transference of employees, rightsizings, union issues, compensation programs and in adapting international policies and programs to local legislation. He has also a strong background in negotiating employment conditions and termination agreements with expatriates and key employees and in multi-jurisdictional labor advice. He has been nominated as leader in his area by the international publications Chambers & Partners, Who’s Who Legal and Global Law Experts.

Anthony Oncidi

Proskauer Rose, Los Angeles

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office. Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Keynote Speaker

Leopoldo Hernández Romano

KermaPartners, Mexico City


Adolfo Pineda

BLP, Honduras

Ali Saad

Resolution Economics, Los Angeles

Álvaro Galli

Beccar Varela, Buenos Aires

Amy Aukstikalnis

Welch Consulting, Los Angeles

Angélica Huacuja García

Head of Labour & Employment, LATAM, Uber, Mexico City

Carmen Ortiz

Anderson & Kreiger, Boston

Caroline Marchi

Machado Meyer, São Paulo

Carolyn Knox

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, San Francisco

Catalina Santos Angarita

Brigard & Urrutia, Bogotá

Dario Abrahão Rabay

Mattos Filho, São Paulo

Eileen Kett

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Club Med, Miami

Hugo Hernández-Ojeda Alvírez

Hogan Lovells, Mexico City

Ignacio García

Porzio Ríos García, Santiago

Júlio Cesar Beltrão

Legal Director, Brazil and Latin America, Unilever, São Paulo

Jurate Schwartz

Proskauer Rose, Boca Raton

Leonardo Slinger

Guyer & Regules, Montevideo

Leslie Palma

Holland & Knight, Mexico City

Novonil Bhattacharya

Head of HR, Emerging Markets, Tata, Miami

Patricia Palacios-Colon

HR Business Partner, Power, Engines & Marine Systems, MAN Energy Solutions, Fort Lauderdale


9.00: Welcome coffee and registration

9.30: Chairs' morning welcome

Anthony Oncidi, Proskauer Rose, Los Angeles
Enrique Stile, Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires

9.45: Keynote speaker

Leopoldo Hernández Romano, KermaPartners, Mexico City

10.15: The return of the Pink Tide?

2018 is a big year for politics in Latin America. Countries across the region are voting for new leaders – and some of the candidates bring to mind echoes of Latin America’s populist past. In Mexico president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, ran on an anticorruption crusade and is set to take office in December. Later in the year populist candidates from across the political spectrum will stand in Brazil’s presidential elections. What does populist rhetoric translate into in reality? How might labour laws change? And what’s the impact of populist US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies on the migration of labour from Latin America into the US?

Anthony Oncidi, Proskauer Rose, Los Angeles

Caroline Marchi, Machado Meyer, São Paulo
Hugo Hernández-Ojeda, Hogan Lovells, Mexico City
Catalina Santos Angarita, Brigard & Urrutia, Bogotá

11.15: Coffee break

11.45: Mind the gap: Equalising pay across genders

Women in Latin America currently earn on average almost 30% less than their male counterparts. And there’s no indication that gap will close anytime soon. Despite governments across Latin America implementing legislation designed to equalise the playing field, lack of effective regulation has weakened the impact. What affirmative action can companies take? This panel considers the role external consultants can play in analysing compensation to help companies close the gender pay gap.

Enrique Stile, Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires

Ali Saad, Resolution Economics, Los Angeles
Amy Aukstikalnis, Welch Consulting, Los Angeles
Patricia Palacios-Colon, HR Business Partner, Power, Engines & Marine Systems, MAN Energy Solutions, Fort Lauderdale
Júlio Cesar Beltrão, Legal Director, Brazil and Latin America, Unilever, São Paulo

12.45: The new normal: People analytics and data protection’s ascent

More and more often, multinational companies are using artificial intelligence to collect data on employees as part of assessments for promotions or internal job changes. Collecting data can also be an important tool for implementing equality of opportunity. But how will web-monitoring recruitment tools fare under increased regulatory scrutiny ushered in by data protection measures like the General Data Protection Regulation? Latin American nations have modelled their data protection laws on those of Europe, in the hope of luring investment. What consequences will the GDPR’s broad remit and territorial scope have in Latin America?

Dario Abrahão Rabay, Mattos Filho, São Paulo

Novonil Bhattacharya, Head of HR, Emerging Markets, Tata, Miami
Álvaro Galli, Beccar Varela, Buenos Aires

13.45: Networking lunch

15.00: The great divide: Unions versus the gig economy

Recent landmark legal opinions in the US and UK have thrown into doubt the continuation of the independent contractor model in its current form. Trade unions are fuelling the attack. In Latin America, strong union opposition has tainted the rising use of rides-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. But many of the gig economy’s most vocal supporters are millennials and centennials – and they are the workforce of the future. Their expectations for work/life balance and re-thinking of traditional models of work puts them at odds with previous generations, for whom unions have traditionally held sway. This panel will consider how advances in technology are impacting the role of unions and whether they will continue to be a representative force for future generations of workers.

Ignacio Garcia, Porzio Ríos García, Santiago

Leonardo Slinger, Guyer & Regules, Montevideo
Angélica Huacuja García, Head of Labour & Employment, LATAM, Uber, Mexico City
Carolyn Knox, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, San Francisco

16.00: Coffee break

16.30: No more machismo? How to investigate and manage a harassment claim in a #MeToo world

All Latin American nations are signatories of the United Nations convention on the elimination of discrimination against women. And some have enshrined anti-harassment protections in legislation. But sexual harassment in the workplace pervades, against a backdrop of a regional environment where violence against women is rife. This panel considers how companies should approach internal investigations into harassment claims and what steps they can take to make their assessments objective.

Jurate Schwartz, Proskauer Rose, Boca Raton

Carmen Ortiz, Anderson & Kreiger, Boston
Adolfo Pineda, BLP, Honduras
Eileen Kett, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Club Med, Miami
Leslie Palma, Holland & Knight, Mexico City

17.30: Chairs' closing remarks

Anthony Oncidi, Proskauer Rose, Los Angeles
Enrique Stile, Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal, Buenos Aires

17.40 onwards: All delegates are invited to attend a drinks reception kindly hosted by Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal


W Hotel South Beach, 2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA


  • “Latin Lawyer conferences provide a great forum for the latest industry trends and regulations as well as networking with the leading industry players in the region. The quality of speakers and topics of discussion deliver a balanced academic and practical view of the law.”

    Marco Solano
    Aguilar Castillo Love

  • “Excellent overall programme. Thank you!”

    Gabriela Lanza, Corporate Counsel
    Caterpillar Inc.

Private Practitioner
Type Price Until
Super Early $850 17 August 2018
Early $1,050 14 September 2018
Standard $1,250 25 September 2018


Complimentary In-house/Governmental registration available