Mercedes has been the founding and managing partner of MBB Balado Bevilacqua Abogados since 2012. She has over 25 years of experience in providing local and cross-border labour, social security, corporate management and human resources counsel to clients worldwide.
As an advocate of anti-discrimination policies and gender diversity in the workplace, she is a prolific author and frequent speaker in local and international conferences, and has received multiple awards for her work.
Mercedes has been singled out by relevant legal reviewers, such as, Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal as a leader in her area of expertise. Also, she is among the Who’s Who Legal Latin America Global Elite list for Labour and Employment. She is a member of the International Bar Association Equity Committee and the Employment and Industrial Relationships Committee; the Labour and Employment Committee of the American Bar Association; is vice-chair for Latin America of the Section of Labour and Employment Law’s Outreach to International Lawyers Committee; is part of the Editorial Advisory Board of International Employment Lawyer; and is part of the management committee of the Forum of Cross Border Human Resources Experts, among others.
What has been the biggest change in the practice of employment law during your career?
In a personal way, the moment I decided to focus on international employment law, counseling foreign companies in their cross border needs involving Argentina and focusing also on human resources matters to address current trends such as diversity, harassment, and addictions in the workplace.
What do you do find the most interesting or enjoyable aspects of your area of expertise?
Having the client be content with the results of our services and contribute with creativity to solve clients' matters minimising their exposure in an employee-protective country, and noticing that with our services we provide balance in the relationship. I also enjoy my participation in the academic area and exchange ideas with other colleagues around the world. It is very enriching in all aspects.
Who has inspired you in your career and why?
I have always been very restless when looking at my career and did not want to practice law in a flat way, so I've always tried to look for new challenges since I was a law student. When completing my master's in the US, one of my law professors inspired me to broaden my mind to other legal systems and made me realise I could achieve my dreams.
What have been your greatest achievements, in both a professional and personal capability, to date?
Having my own firm today and watching young professionals develop and be part of it is a wonderful achievement that contributes to my happiness.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Basically, not to suffer so much from drawbacks and not to waste time on things that will cause me distress.
What do you think in-house employment counsel value most from their external legal providers?
Provide a tailor-made counsel, the timing in the reply, and that we think about the client's interest.
What do you view as the biggest challenge facing multinational employers in the medium- to long-term?
The covid-19 pandemic has shaken up the world of work. Home office working is here to stay and adapting to that will be a challenge.