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Chambers Diversity Latin America Summit

This event is now closed.

Thank you to all those that attended our inaugural Chambers Diversity Latin America Summit in association with Linklaters, FERRERE and Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal.

The seminar took place on Thursday November 12 at the Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires.

The event was free of charge for corporate counsel and was strictly invite only.

8.00am - 9.00am: Registration and breakfast
9.00am - 9.05am: Welcoming remarks
9.05am - 9.35am: Keynote speaker: Laura Alonso, Congress Woman
9.35am - 10.00am: Ice breaker
10.05am - 11.35am: Panel discussion
11.35am - 12.00pm: Networking and close

Topics Include:
- Defining Diversity and Inclusion
- The business case for diversity: case studies and best practices
- Unconscious bias, inclusive leadership and cultural awareness: challenges and solutions
- The importance of mentors and sponsors


Mariana Alvarez Gaiani

Head of Legal
J.P. Morgan Argentina
Ms. Mariana Alvarez Gaiani is the Head of Legal for J.P. Morgan in Argentina, responsible for the firm’s legal affairs in the country across its lines of business. She also covers Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. She joined J.P.Morgan on September 2, 2013. Before joining J.P. Morgan she was a senior attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP  based in the Buenos Aires office, and her practice focused on international corporate and financing transactions in Latin America, particularly mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, cross-border financing and private equity transactions.

Prior to joining Cleary Gottlieb, she worked as an associate at Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ms. Alvarez Gaiani received her law degree (with honors) from the Facultad de Derecho – Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1995. She received an LL.M degree (OAS and Fulbright Scholar) from Duke University School of Law in 1998. She also holds an English-Spanish public translator degree from the Universidad Católica Argentina.

Ms. Alvarez Gaiani is a member of the Bars in Buenos Aires and New York.

Zhildred Arria Vasquez
Regional Senior Corporate Counsel
Cisco Systems
Zhildred graduated in 1991 from Universidad Catolica Andrés Bello – Caracas, did her specialization in Commercial Law at Université de Droit, d’Economie et des Science Politiques (Paris II), and pursued Economic courses at the London School of Economy. From 2000 to 2010, she was professor of Business Law Practices at Universidad Catolica Andrés Bello – Caracas- From 1994 until 1998 she worked for prestigious law firms in Caracas specialized in Corporate Law, Mergers and acquisitions and Banking. In 1999, Zhildred joined CANTV, the incumbent telecommunication service provider in Venezuela. Zhildred started to work for Cisco Systems in 2009. In her position, she acts as leading legal counsel for Cisco Cansac Region (Central America, north of South America and Caribbean). She has also supported ad-hoc Mexico as well as the south of South America and has also served as a member of the LATAM Complex Deal Board. Zhildred has developed new business models to match Cisco customers’ needs into an increasing market complexity.

She supports a multi-cultural, multi-country region with constant challenges and demands. Aside, her day-to-day work, Zhildred has also become the mentor for Cisco’s new hiring woman lawyers supporting EMEAR region.

Marcelo Bernal
Managing Partner
DNM Partners Advisory
Marcelo is a Managing Partner at DNM Partners Advisory. Previous to that, he was responsible for the Structured Finance and Debt Capital Markets practice at Goldman Sachs Brazil as well as for Brazil Capital Markets at HSBC. Marcelo was a member of Goldman Sachs Brazil Diversity Committee and represented Latin America in Goldman Sachs Firmwide LGBT Committee. Marcelo holds a bachelor’s degree from FEA-USP and an MBA from Cornell University.

Paola Bruzzone
Partner - EY Legal Services
Ernst & Young
Paola Bruzzone is a Lawyer graduated from University of Chile, admitted to practice law in Chile since 1993.  In 1995 she joined the law firm Lewin & Co. Attorneys in Law, where she became partner 10 years ago, providing legal services to both local and multinational companies with operations in Latin America. From her position at Lewin & Co. she was in charge of the legal advice to S.A.C.I. Falabella, a multinational retail company with operations in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, with more than 99.000 employees, and business in Retail, Home improvement, supermarket, financial services and real estate.

In 2014 she was invited to found S.A.C.I. Falabella’s Corporate Legal Department, of which she was the Corporate General Counsel. She has specialized in corporate law, M&A and corporate finance and has a solid experience in civil and commercial topics.  She has been extensively involved in various cross-border joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. She is now the Partner for Ernst & Young's legal services.

She was recently appointed in the short list of Chambers and Partners Woman Lawyer of the year 2015 for Latin America.

Sandra González
Sandra González leads FERRERE Uruguay’s Litigation team and co-chairs the regional Arbitration practice group. She advises companies and individuals in commercial arbitration and litigation with heavy emphasis on financial matters. In this work she assists international and local companies operating in different areas of activity, and specializes in complex, multi-jurisdiction cases.

She is a member and active participant in the International Section of the American Bar Association, acting as Uruguay representative to the membership committee. She is a founding member of the Latin American Council of the New York State Bar Association and of the River Plate Chapter of Club Español de Arbitraje (Spanish Arbitration Club), and also participates in the Latin American Arbitration Association. In the framework of FERRERE’s community support activities, Sandra González’s heads the firm’s scholarship program which allows low-income youths to engage in tertiary studies on a fulltime basis.

Diego Krischcautzky
Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal
Diego Krischcautzky has been a partner of Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal since 2006. His practice is focused on commercial, corporate and insurance law. He has broad experience in M&A transactions, structuring and financing of private equity investments; corporate governance; counseling and structuring of insurance products; advising major international companies and investment funds. He has been recognized as a leading corporate lawyer by Chambers Latin America since 2009 and by Chambers Global since 2012. Prior to joining Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal he was an associate of Arthur Andersen - Norte Sabino Asesores Legales where he worked from 1995 through 1997. He graduated in law with honors from Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1995, and completed the courses of Master in Law and Economics at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in 2000-2001.

Cecilia M. Mairal
Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal
Cecilia Mairal is a partner of Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal in Buenos Aires since 1998. She has extensive experience in advising banks and multinational companies in securities transactions, bank financings and debt restructurings and is highly active in sensitive regulatory work for key multinational clients such as Cargill, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs. She also has niche expertise in complex banking litigation, including international cases. Ms. Mairal is currently Co-Chair of the Securities Law Committee of the IBA where she frequently chairs and participates as speaker on panels in connection with international capital market topics and women leadership issues.

She is also active assisting the Vance Center of the New York City Bar Association as one of the Women in the Profession Program (WIP) Leaders that organized conferences across Latin America -- Argentina in 2007, Peru in 2007 and 2013, Brazil in 2009, Chile in 2011, Colombia in 2012, and Uruguay in 2014 providing a forum for women lawyers to network, share experiences and proposals for promoting gender diversity, ensuring workplace equality, and accommodating family life.

Ms Mairal is a Member of Marval’s New Partners Selection Committee and participates on other Management activities and bodies of the Firm. She is involved in all the Firm´s Women Lawyer initiatives to promote the hiring, retention and promotion of women lawyers. Prior to becoming a partner with Marval, she worked at Linklaters, London, in 1991 and 1992, and Linklaters, New York, from 1992 until 1994. She graduated as a lawyer at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1988 and obtained a Master in Law at the Harvard University School of Law in 1991.

Dee Sekar
Editor: Corporate Counsel & Global Diversity
Chambers and Partners
Dee Sekar is a UK qualified solicitor and Corporate Counsel & Global Diversity Editor at Chambers & Partners. For the last 3 years, Dee has worked extensively on the Chambers Women in Law programme. She created the Chambers Women in Law blog which has established a global online discussion and community of female lawyers. In September 2013, Dee devised the Chambers Women in Law seminars. To date, she has moderated nine Women in Law seminars in the USA and Latin America. In just under a year, Dee has created a strong working relationship with hundreds of in-house lawyers in the USA and Latin America and works closely with the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, DirectWomen, Juridico de Saias (Brazil) and Association of Corporate Counsel (Brazil). In January 2015, Dee launched the Chambers Diversity program which encompasses gender, minority lawyers, LGBT, physical and social mobility and corporate social responsibility in the legal profession. Through research, seminars and awards, Chambers Diversity will be bringing a unique perspective to global diversity in the legal profession. Covering UK, Europe, Asia, USA and Latin America, the programme will give a platform to the most outstanding lawyers who have shown a real commitment to advancing diversity in the law. Chambers Diversity will also investigate the recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse lawyers in companies, law firms and barristers' chambers and will monitor this progress over time.

Sabrena Silver
Linklaters LLP
Sabrena has 20 years of experience in U.S. domestic and cross-border financing transactions. She advises financial institutions and companies on diverse financing matters, including syndicated and bilateral loans, letter of credit facilities, trade finance and agricultural finance transactions, hedge fund financings, private banking transactions, debt restructurings, loan participations, receivables purchases and non-performing loan transactions. She has broad global experience. In particular, Sabrena has worked extensively in Latin America, having recently worked on significant matters in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, among other Latin American jurisdictions. Her experience in Latin America includes having recently advised: the U.S. subsidiary of Noble Group on a US$1bn term loan to EP PetroEcuador guaranteed by the Republic of Ecuador; a leading global financial institution on multiple domestic and international margin loans totalling more than US$2bn for a broad range of borrowers located in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia, secured by U.S. listed shares and U.S. listed ADRs; Metlife in respect of several New York law governed timber financings secured with New York and Brazilian law governed pledges; and Itaú on a bilateral loan to Peruvian company Medifarma.
Sabrena is a member of the Vance Center for International Justice’s Women in the Profession group where she has been working throughout Latin America to help local legal communities better support the advancement of women’s legal careers.  She also leads [email protected], the firm’s global network of local gender network groups and activities, aimed at enhancing the professional development of women at Linklaters.  Sabrena was recently appointed to the steering committee of the 30% Club, an organization that aims to promote gender balance on company boards to improve leadership, governance,  board performance and increased corporate performance for both companies and their shareholders.
In 2013 she was included among Latin Lawyer’s 15 Inspiring Women in international law firms in the Latin American legal profession and was named by Latinvex in 2015 as one of Latin America’s Top Female Lawyers. She was named an “Up and Coming” attorney in Banking and Finance in the 2015 edition of Chambers Latin America and a "Rising Star" in Banking and Finance in the 2015 edition of IFLR1000.

Conrado Tenaglia
U.S. Managing Partner and Co-Head of Latin America Practice
Linklaters LLP
Conrado is the U.S. managing partner and co-head of the Latin America practice of Linklaters LLP, a leading global law firm with more than 2,700 lawyers and 29 offices around the world. He has over 20 years of experience in cross-border corporate finance transactions with a special focus in Latin America and Spain. Conrado has advised governments and companies in the region when accessing the international financial markets, undertaking strategic transactions and managing their legal risk. He is qualified to practice law in New York State, England and Wales and Argentina and is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires and Harvard Law School. An Argentine national, he is fluent in Spanish, English and Italian and lives in New York with his wife and two children.

Laura Alonso
Congress Woman
Laura Alonso (Buenos Aires, December 23, 1972) has a degree in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires. She holds a Master in Public Administration and Public Policy, School of Economics and Political Science, London. Since 2009 she has served as Congresswoman, member of the House of Representatives of Argentina, Representative for the City of Buenos Aires. She is the Senior Vice-Chair the Impeachment Committee and also a member of the Constitutional Affairs, Population and Human Development, Foreign Affairs and worship and Housing and Urban Planning Congressional Committees. She was executive director of Poder Ciudadano, the Argentine chapter of Transparency International. She has been a fellow of the University Foundation of Rio de la Plata FURP, a British Chevening Scholar in 2002 and Eisenhower Fellow in 2008.That same year she was recognized as a Woman Leader by the American organization Vital Voices Global Partnership. In 2012 she was selected "Young Global Leader” ’ by the World Economic Forum. She was also elected Fellow for the Program Draper Hills ’ Democracy and Development ’, Stanford University. Laura is a member of the Board of Directors of the Argentine- American Cultural Institute (ICANA).