As part of our process to continuously improve the quality of the services we provide to our clients, we consider it important to put in writing the conduct, rules and principles we follow in the firm.
This document contains the ethical framework, values and principles that govern the professional practice of Bullard, Falla Ezcurra +.
We extend our gratitude for your trust and affirm our commitment to professional excellence.
Relationships with our Clients
Planning and Assessment
Your requests for us to prepare legal projects, provide professional advice or legal representation in administrative or arbitral litigation are an end in themselves for us. We take as ours your objective of having legal representation that is as efficient as possible in terms of expense and cost management, in addition to achieving the goal established for each case.
We are committed to carrying out an initial assessment of your case or consultation based on which we will give you a fee proposal before you hire us. This proposal will list the options and alternatives you have and an assessment of their value, as well as the main actions that we would take, including planning. We will also include a calculation of the cost of our representation, including the personnel needed, experts’ fees, and reasonable cost and time projections.
Firm – Client Relationship
Our commitment is to provide you with the best legal and economic advice in the market in our areas of expertise. We have a firm – client relationship, not a lawyer – client one. However, you may require the participation of a particular member of our team. We ensure the expertise of all our team members, and we will always tell you which members of our firm will be part of the team in charge of your case.
Knowing your interest in getting the best service, our firm is committed to avoiding:
• Incorporating excessive personnel when this does not add more value;
• Charging for new lawyers or economists who must familiarize themselves with your case or who need to replace other members, unless otherwise required by the case and if you have accepted the corresponding costs;
• Authorizing additional or premature legal or factual investigations;
• Holding unimportant internal “meetings” regarding the case; and
• Charging you for professionally reading new resolutions, cases, opinions, etc., to be up-to-date with all the information, unless it is clearly relevant to the services rendered.
Conflicts of Interests
We will inform your representatives about any certain or potential conflict of interests that our firm or its members may have, to help you make the best decision according to your interests.
Our firm and its members will not represent a party that affects or is contrary to your interests or those of your affiliates while representing you. At any rate, we will inform you and/or request your agreement, as the case may be.
If in the past our firm represented a party contrary to your interests or expressed an opinion that may be in conflict with your position, we will timely inform you about this situation so you can make the best decision.
Relationships with Third Parties and Administrative, Judicial and Arbitration Entities
Our firm maintains the highest level of integrity when dealing with government officials, authorities and private-sector representatives. We assure that our legal strategy will always be aligned with your commercial goals and objectives, as long as they do not go against legal norms and our ethical standards.
Policy Against Sham Litigation
We are against using tactics entailing coercion, obstruction or unnecessary delays. We will also avoid insisting that the opposing party comply with procedural formalities in a strict manner, especially when this creates unnecessary costs, unless it is the only way to avoid a tactical disadvantage in a particular case.
We do not encourage the practice of sham litigation or “abuse of legal processes” to the detriment of third parties, or submission of evidence with the sole purpose of creating additional, unjustifiable costs for the opposing party.
In general, we expect you wish to resolve litigation and consultations as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
We will inform you about the chances of success for a particular case, without exaggerating, so you can be well informed to make a decision. If your case is not likely to succeed, we will let you know. Likewise, if an agreement or conciliation is the best way to go in your case, we will also let you know, so you can make the best decision.
We reject any suggestion to offer presents or make payments to influence, or that may seem to influence, third parties’ decisions, especially governmental, administrative, judicial, or arbitration authorities. We do not offer, arrange or pay bribes, nor use any other similar mechanism aimed to illegally influence a decision-making authority..
Any action to threaten the integrity of our members or third parties, such as administrative, judicial, or arbitration entities, will result in the automatic termination of our relationship with you and your affiliates or related entities.
Invoicing and Expense Policy
As a law firm, we are committed to providing you with effective and efficient legal advice, avoiding unnecessary costs and charging only those costs directly linked to our legal services. We are also committed to keeping you well informed of our invoicing policy and any changes to it. Particularly, we commit ourselves to the following:
• We invoice the time taken by the members of the team assigned according to the method that best suits your interests, which we decide together upon assessing your case..
• Depending on what we agreed with you, the time taken by the team members may be invoiced based on a fixed amount or based on the effective number of hours your case requires. If new events arise, or if we need to change one method for another after reassessing your case, we will contact you reasonably in advance to choose the method that best suits your interests and the requirements of your consultation or legal procedure.
• Upon assessing your case, we inform you of any expenses you may be charged related to a service provided:
– Color copies, in case these visual aids are necessary for your interests.
– Long distance phone calls, in case coordination is needed.
– Local and international trips and the time they take, if defending your interests requires travel by our team members. We commit ourselves to making the corresponding arrangements with you regarding this expense.
– Expenses for third parties, if defending your interests requires a service from a third party. We commit ourselves to making the corresponding arrangements with you regarding the scope of this service and the amount to be paid.
As external lawyers, we are committed to being diligent in our work and keeping absolute reserve regarding any information given by you or directly obtained by us that may be sensitive to your interests. Particularly, we commit ourselves to:
• Confirming with you if the information we obtained or sent to us is privileged or confidential, in case of doubt.
• Maintaining the confidentiality of any information that requires so, based on its nature and your instructions..
• Not disclosing confidential information related to the process or procedure to third parties under any circumstances, unless expressly authorized by you.
• Requesting your express authorization to include in the procedure or process any information that, based on the aforementioned, should be kept confidential. In case the regulation of the process or procedures allows it, we commit ourselves to ask the relevant authority, administrative authority or Arbitral Tribunal to keep the information confidential, preventing any third party from having access to it.
• Avoiding making statements or disseminating information to third parties through open means of communication, unless our firm has been expressly authorized by you to do so. Any media request sent to us regarding a process or procedure linked to your interests will be forwarded to you to obtain your authorization or coordinate the actions to be taken.
• Determining, after coordinating with you, if any piece of information requires additional protection, besides that mentioned above. If you require it, certain pieces of information may be protected in a special manner or accessed only by certain members of the firm’s internal team.
• Returning or destroying the information related to your case or controversy within a reasonable term after your case has concluded and it is no longer necessary to maintain the information in our hands, after coordinating with you. We commit to keep the information filed at our firm until the necessary arrangements are made. In case you deem it appropriate or necessary, we will inform you about how the information will be kept at our firm and how much storing it would cost.