Conabi, Legal services with experience and professionalism
By Cira Rodriguez César, Photos: Miguel Guzmán and José Tito Meriño
The firm’s portfolio of services and functions is endorsed by the knowledge and expertise of its professionals in matters related to national and international commercial activity, maritime, corporate, financial, investment, intellectual property, civil, administrative, tax and labour affairs, as well as specialized notarial services.
Its President, Noel Martín Díaz, points out that CONABI is designed and qualified to take on any assignment with the exception of those related to immigration.
“Companies and individuals, both national and foreign, can come to our offices for services related to : corporate law, settlement of disputes, legal counseling and assistance in any area of law, including that of foreign investment, issuance of rulings, legal opinions and registration procedures and legalisation of documents”, Martín Díaz said to Cubaplus.
He specified that for notarial processes one of the parties must be foreign or living abroad, such as in the case of marriages. Individuals seeking to legalize documents are attended to regardless of their immigration status.
This entity was formed by the merging of many others like it which were linked to other organizations. This made it possible to pool a wide range of resources: real estate, maritime, and foreign investment among others, allowing it to gradually expand its portfolio.
A highlight of what has been achieved by this consulting company during its 10 years in operation is the nomination it received for consultants in maritime issues given by the Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P&I), a group of international insurance companies for boat owners and operators to ensure the ship, cargo and crew against adversities in the sea.
In this regard, CONABI’s President explained that because of their location in Europe, Asia and the United States, in distant areas where sea accidents can occur, these clubs need to be able to rely on representative local branches to carry out controls and inspections. This requires that they be internationally recognized to practice as such, a distinction which CONABI has, being an extremely specialized service.
During the last decade, the firm’s lawyers and consultants, in keeping with the measures taken by the government to restructure Cuban society, so have they done with their legal services, particularly everything related to real estate which requires a lot of legal assistance.
Similarly, the development of tourism, a priority for the country, is very important for CONABI : increased hotel capacity, the construction of golf courses and all the tourist infrastructure being worked on today require legal preparation from the start, from the investment stage.
Cuba’s new policy on foreign investment has also had an impact on the firm’s activities, such as providing advisory and legal services to interested entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in the country, individually or joint. In this regard, the signing of a collaborative agreement with ProCuba (Center for the Promotion of Foreign trade and Investment) stands out. This collaboration facilitates the processing of applications with the professional help of specialists from both entities in order to successfully reorient foreign investment so that it is ideally directed and successfully completed.
It involves providing the potential investor the appropriate information to direct his proposals towards the interests of the national economy, which will bring an increased demand of CONABI’s services, in addition to a permanent presence in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM). An example of this legal assistance was the work done with the Dutch multinational Unilever, which recently received approval to settle in the ZEDM with the Cuban Inter Suchel, as joint venture Unilever Suchel S.A.
Such actions show that CONABI professionals are able to legally support any investor in the nation. Starting with the Portfolio of Business Opportunities or other interesting proposals, investors are backed from their arrival and presentation of the project, during the approval process, to after operations begin. These opportunities could be greater with the increase in cruise ship and ferry activity, as part of the reestablishment of relations between Cuba and the United States.
A total of 34 workers —highly professional lawyers, notaries and other specialists— make it possible for this consulting firm to continue to provide and increase its services with quality and reliability.