Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network.
For our latest interview, we chose one of our newest ILN members, Juan Felipe Roldán Pardo, a senior associate with VGCD Abogados in Bogotá, Colombia
In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
Enhancing the development of clients’ projects while granting them the tranquility that their interests are not left unprotected.
Who would be your typical client?
Having a typical client is something unusual these days. There is an ample diversity on the type of clients that knock on your door, from large and mid-size local and foreign corporations, high net worth individuals and families to start-ups. However, the common denominator behind them, the typical client, would be hard-working, honest people.
What would you like clients and potential clients to know about you?
That more than a lawyer, I am a reliable and integral ally in which they can entrust their needs. I like to believe in the Italian conception of Consiglieri, in the good sense of the term, as someone trustworthy from whom you can receive counsel at any time and from any aspect.
What has been your most challenging case?
My most challenging case was a complex international arbitration dispute in which I was part of the team representing a Chinese client against a Korean claimant. The seat of arbitration was New York and was governed by New York Law. The above elements evidence an interest mix of cultures, business practices, and legal systems in interaction. In addition most of the internal meetings in preparation of the case, with the client and colleagues, were held in Mandarin, which introduced an additional challenge that required a 200% effort and attention from all angles.
What has been your proudest moment as a lawyer?
As a lawyer, you are subject to many proud moments such as winning an important case or closing a complex transaction. However, for me, the most rewarding moments that make you proud of what you are doing are always when your client expresses their sincere gratitude for helping them when needed the most. In particular, I recently got this new years message from a client: “Hi Juan, I would like to wish you a happy new year. You were there in the hardest period of my life and I am very grateful for all your support and trust. All my best for 2017. Thank You”.
What do you do when you’re not practicing law?
I like to spend time with family and friends, usually outdoors and playing golf. I always appreciate a nice meal and a nice wine. During holidays I try to travel to somewhere I have never been before; get a taste of the local flavors, cultures, people and sites.
What would surprise people most about you?
Usually it is the fact that I lived in China for three years and that I speak Mandarin. My business card has my Chinese name “罗律” (luolü) which mean Lawyer Roldán; it jumps at plain sight and it is something people cannot resist to ask and be surprised of.
What has been your most memorable ILN experience?
Even though VGCD joined ILN only some months ago, I would say my most memorable experience is being able to connect with lawyers from different jurisdictions that are in the same page at a professional and personal level. For my surprise, even finding out very close connections that existed prior to joining. In Chinese “缘分” (yuanfen), the fate or chance that brings people together.
What career would you have chosen if you weren’t a lawyer?
A surgeon or an artist.
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
It is a bit cheesy being in the legal world and all, but I would choose Garbiel Macht (A.k.a. Harvey Specter).
How would you like to be remembered?
As a person from whom you would know what to expect, and if it were to surprise you, it would be for something great.