XLNC Partner Portraits – Interviews with Members: Eduardo Bercun

Dr Eduardo Héctor Bercún

Bercún Law Firm was founded in 1948 by Dr. Alberto Bercún and has been committed to excellence in the service of law for more than 72 years under the ownership model that allows us to offer the client the highest qualification of each legal matter entrusted.

 

XLNC: Dr Bercún, who are you and what is your firm doing?

Dr Eduardo Héctor Bercún: My name is Eduardo Héctor Bercún. I was fortunate to study law at the University of Buenos Aires, where I graduated in 1972. Following my education, I joined Bercún Law Firm, founded by my father in 1948. We have had over 72 years of uninterrupted business and are proud to continue serving our clients with the same passion my father imparted in this firm when he founded it.

 

XLNC: Why did you become a lawyer?

Dr Bercún: My vocation was always very clear. Perhaps, because I came from a family of lawyers I was influenced by the world of law.

 

XLNC: What were your dream professions when you were a child?

Dr Bercún: I always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. It is my vocation and it is my passion. I never had a doubt about what I wanted to be. I never considered another option. If I had to choose, I would definitely choose the legal profession once again. Law is a branch of science that allows a humanistic and comprehensive view of a man, his history and his development in society.

 

XLNC: What is special about your firm?

Dr Bercún: Throughout its extensive history, Bercún Law Firm has taken great pride in the quality of its service, responsibility, dedication to all matters, and clients we serve. We place great value on understanding law as well as the constant study of new developments within the profession. We understand the importance to the client of having direct and constant contact with a professional.
We cover the entire legal spectrum with our different departments:

• Commercial Law Department;
• Labour Law Department;
• Civil Law Department:
• Contract Law Department:
• Consumer rights, Defense of Competition and Commercial Loyalty Department:
• Department of Telecommunications, internet and new technologies.

We are also associated with the areas of Administrative Law, Tax Law, Criminal Law, Customs Law, Trademarks and Patents, Aeronautical Law and Maritime Law. We cover all of the Provinces of the Argentine Republic.
These characteristics allow us to affirm that our customers – both local and international – have retained us with satisfaction for our services throughout the years.

 

XLNC: What was your most difficult professional experience and why?

Dr Bercún: It is known that law is intimately linked to the events of a country and, for that matter, the world. Argentina has gone through many periods of economic difficulty in recent years. Therefore, as lawyers, we must know how to approach the problems of our clients in order to provide them with the best possible solution.
There are a number of examples which could be considered the most difficult moments of my career. The first took place on 04 June 1975 where a group of economic policies were announced in Argentina called “Rodrigazo”. The name of these policies is derived from the name of the man who enacted them, Celestino Rodrigo, the Minister of Economy of Argentina. This resulted in 150% devaluation of currency, 100% increase in utility and transportation prices, 180% rise in the price of fuel and finally 45% increase in wages.
Another instance of difficulty took place on 30 November 2001. As a result of rising worries among my fellow citizens about a devaluation and a deposit freeze, interest rates rose rapidly. In order to avoid a run on the banks, the Minister of Economy Domingo Cavallo announced a freeze on deposits through the month of December. Social unrest grew after the IMF announced it would cut off its support, as Argentina failed to meet the conditions agreed to in the rescue programme. Both President De La Rúa and Minister of Economy Cavallo resigned soon after these events.
The economic and social impact of the crisis was huge. While economic growth had already been negative after the events in 1998, the economy contracted by a staggering 11% in 2002.
Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a great challenge to business of all kinds. Due to the national lockdown, economic activity suffered a significant contraction starting in March 2020. Every economic sector was affected, with finance, commerce, manufacturing and mining being the most notable.
President Fernández announced an ARS 700 billion (USD 11.1 billion) stimulus package to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Measures also have been put in place to encourage lending to ultimately help stimulate the economy. Despite this, some experts suspect COVID-19 will significantly affect Argentina's GDP.
Due to these events, it was necessary to sharpen our ideas and increase efforts in order to give our customers the best service we could provide through these trying times. These challenges pushed me even further to ensure I could provide the service my clients needed. They required, in addition to the characteristics that I indicated in the previous point, long working hours, dedication to the success of our clients and a sensitivity to the national situation. Our firm has been working tirelessly on behalf of our clients to mitigate the impact of COVID, as we mitigated the impact of the previously mentioned economic hardships Argentina has persevered though.

 

XLNC: What was your most exciting or rewarding professional experience and why?

Dr Bercún: The aforementioned experiences were the most difficult but simultaneously the most exciting because, after those arduous tasks, we achieved total success in the reorganisation processes that we carried out, allowing our clients to fully recover from the situation.

 

XLNC: Which two or three personalities influenced you the most and why?

Dr Bercún: The person who influenced me the most, in both my private and professional life, was my father. He guided and imparted in me the virtues of honesty, responsibility, diligence and work ethic. Most importantly, the fundamental importance of family.

 

XLNC: What are your most developed professional skills and why?

Dr Bercún: I have fundamentally dedicated myself to Corporate Law in all its branches. I have always been involved with companies that required our corporate law services and this has led me to specialise in those matters.

 

XLNC: The best professional advice you received was... and from whom?

Dr Bercún: I was fortunate to receive a tremendous amount of advice from my father, but if I have to choose a piece of advice that summarises all the others, it is a phrase from the Argentinian poet Pedro Bonifacio Palacios, better known by his sobriquet, Almafuerte, which states: “… Do not give up, even being defeated… Have the tenacity of the rusted nail, who rusty and old acts still as nail…”

 

XLNC: What is your business credo?

Dr Bercún: Honesty, in all its aspects.

 

XLNC: In your spare time, what is your passion and why?

Dr Bercún: One of my passions is golf but my true passion is my family. All the free time I have, I dedicate to my family. Nothing can give a person more satisfaction than seeing their children and grandchildren grow in harmony.

 

XLNC: What do you collect, if ever, and why?

Dr Bercún: When I was young, I collected miniature bottles of liqueurs. Actually, it all started by chance and later became a hobby.

 

XLNC: Beer, wine or water?

Dr Bercún: Without a doubt, wine would be my choice. But in measure, without abusing.

 

XLNC: Your favourite cuisine?

Dr Bercún: I have no big pretentions. I like simple home cooking.

 

XLNC: The best place to be other than your home or your office?

Dr Bercún: A house that I have in the countryside, outside the city.

 

XLNC: What is your greatest concern?

Dr Bercún: The health of all the people I love.

 

XLNC: Where do you see your firm in the next five years?

Dr Bercún: I see our firm having significant growth. I have the honour of being accompanied by three partners who are excellent professionals. We share all the competencies and attributes that any professional must have: work ethic, responsibility, communication, etc.

My partners are Drs Adriana F. E. Habibo, María Laura Rozental and Gisela Paula Beltrame. They are the future of Bercún Law Firm.

 

XLNC: Your best advice for clients?

Dr Bercún: Although it is a known quote, it is still valid: “A bad settlement is better than a good lawsuit.”

 

XLNC: Your best advice for younger professionals?

Dr Bercún: I suggest they constantly stay updated on new developments within their field and take care in the exercise of their profession. Prestige is only earned with honesty and loyalty. Young professionals must use these virtues in their professional life.

 

XLNC: What is your favourite movie and why?

Dr Bercún: Life is Beautiful. This is because the move shows the resistance of a man, Guido, towards the worst ailments of the world and how he tries, in spite of his overwhelmingly grim situation, to disguise them in front of his son.

 

XLNC: What is the quality you most like in a person?

Dr Bercún: Honesty.

 

XLNC: Which talent would you most like to have and why?

Dr Bercún: I wish I could play an instrument. Despite having tried to learn the piano and the guitar, I did not have the consistency that is needed to master these instruments.

 

XLNC: What is your greatest regret?

Dr Bercún: I have always managed in life with the values and ethics that my parents have transmitted to me. It is what I intend to transmit to my children and grandchildren. Therefore, I have nothing to regret. I have had the life I wanted and I am a happy man.

 

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XLNC ARCHIVE| 02 December 2020

 

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