Luego de seis años como socio del prestigioso bufete Samper, Palacio, Izquierdo Abogados (SPI), durante los cuales había trabajado incluso durante sus vacaciones, Flavio llevaba algún tiempo madurando algunas ideas para mejorar el desempeño de la firma, con el propósito de plasmarlas en una propuesta para ser presentada ante los socios fundadores, quienes mantenían una filosofía algo conservadora y poco flexible.
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This case presents a Venezuelan law firm, Samper Palacio Izquierdo (SPI), which has provided legal services to the country's corporate sector since 1972, offering its clients the solutions necessary to operate in a complex, dynamic environment. Since it was founded 32 years ago, this law firm had survived major organizational ruptures and in the mid-nineties positioned itself as a leading firm in the corporate area. However, drastic changes in the Venezuelan legal market at the end of the nineties called for new areas of legal practice that had not been sufficiently developed by SPI. This started to be seen as a weakness likely to lose them market share. With the climate of political division resulting from the oil strike in 2003, came some major changes in Venezuela's commercial and business life. The situation exerted pressure on many law firms that were perceived as belonging to the opposition to the current government. On top of this and the changes in the market, the firm was not performing well enough or responding fast enough, and this revived the climate of concern among the firm's emerging new generation of partners. The dilemma came in August 2004 when Flavio, one of the junior partners, assessed the situation confronting the firm and wondered whether he would do better to resign the firm, or embark on a process of corporate entrepreneurship and tackle the problems by proposing changes to a 32-year old organization.
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