Legal trust for the agricultural sector

By Durán and Cia Abogados

The agricultural industry is one of the most specialized sectors that requires a working knowledge of the issues and a quick response rate.

For this reason, it is essential for fruit and vegetable companies as well as agricultural companies to have specialists who understand their needs.

Durán y Cia Abogados is a Chilean law firm specializing in the agricultural sector and offers preventive advisory services related to international trade, contracts, insurance, environmental and water issues, etc. which offers full legal representation for every client.

The founding partner, Rafael Durán Sanhueza holds a master’s degree from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

He is a visiting professor at Mexican and Swedish universities, an advisor to the World Bank and a specialist in international trade with an extensive experience of more than 15 years in advising companies in the agro-industrial sector.

He is also vice-president and representative of Chile for the Ibero-American Institute of Maritime Law, a network of specialized lawyers working together for more than 32 years and with a presence in 26 countries including the United States, England , France, Italy, Canada, all of Latin America. The network also has links with other countries relevant to the agri-food sector such as China and South Korea.

Rafael Durán worked for six years in a renowned law firm in the shipping and international trade sector and eight years in a law firm that advises the agro-export sector, where he was appointed partner in 2015, after which he founded Durán y Cia Abogados in January 2016. The company is a few months away from celebrating its fifth anniversary.

“These five years have been filled with hard work, various legal successes and steady growth,” Durán said.

“The team today is made up of a group of nine professionals and our specialty is to bring an in-depth look at the whole of each company and involve them from start to finish.”

One of the main services of Durán y Cia Abogados is preventive advice. Rafael Durán said: “We work with an all-inclusive plan for a fixed hourly rate. Depending on the area in which a client needs to be represented, we prepare a tailor-made action plan with a very competitive value. Then , in the judicial process, one usually works with a fixed fee and a fixed amount regarding the success of the business.”

Rafael Durán Sanhueza – founding partner of Durán y Cia Abogados

Main contribution to the fruit and vegetable industry

The company is the best at what it does and its goal is to work with the best companies.

Understanding that there are certain specialties that do not fall within the legal sector, Durán y Cia Abogados works with expert advisers in the areas of water, claims, customs matters, certifications, financial and accounting matters as well as environmental issues, among others, to provide the most comprehensive services to its customers.

“This has led us to be advisers to the World Bank in the agricultural sector; to be involved in the processing of invoices that have an impact on agriculture, which is everything from questions relating to port laws and improving maritime transport services,” said Rafael Durán.

“In many cases we have handled, we have brought clients together to improve their negotiating position and share management costs.”

“This has happened in relation to fertilizer contamination, negotiations with shipping companies after the hijacking of ships arriving at destination ports different from those previously agreed, negotiations with insurance companies and lawsuits against shipping companies, among others,” he said.

Rafael Durán said that “among our achievements we advise and accompany various clients in their internationalization processes and the arrival of foreign capital and the chartering of vessels to bring the products to the markets on time”.


One of the main challenges of the firm is to continue to grow organically, to add more specialties and legal experience as well as to be able to continue to help the agricultural sector.

In this sense, Rafael Durán said: “I think that the perspectives of the sector have changed a long time ago and they are aware that even if trust is the key to business, it must go hand in hand with preventive legal work that allows them to consolidate long-term relationships with their clients and, if this trust is lacking, have the appropriate tools to legally recompose any unfavorable situation”.

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Lana T. Arthur