Bisila Bokoko is a well-known Spanish businesswoman in the US business world. For seven years, Bisila was Director of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the United States before launching her own project.
Educated in Law and Economics, Bisila is the founder and CEO of BBES, a New York business development agency that helps companies and law firms establish themselves in international markets and integrate a diversity strategy.
She also highlights her work for the United Nations, supporting women in projects of entrepreneurship, integration and sustainable economic development.
Interviewed by Iberian Lawyer, she talks about the importance of having a good lawyer, internationalization, female leadership and diversity, among other topics.
Since 2012 she has been the director of BBES (Bisila Bokoko Embassy Services), a consultancy that supports the internationalization of organizations.
What is the key to having a greater international presence?
There are a number of factors that are key to internationalization: knowing the target market well, the legal and labor environment, the cultural environment, defining a clear strategy, adapting to what the market demands, relying on local partners or institutions in the country of destination, direct efforts to the marketing area adapting to the ways that each market marks you, establish realistic deadlines and budgets and, lastly, have a positive attitude and an open mind. This applies to law firms and companies: I have been a direct witness of several law firms settling in the American market, forming joint ventures or selling their services, and they have done so with great success.
From your company you also help to understand the legal obstacles to be present in the American market. What are the main legal challenges of internationalization?
I studied Law, and one of the challenges I encounter is that companies are reluctant to hire legal services before starting the adventure of internationalization, but I always recommend my clients to have a lawyer as a preventive measure. It is important to get good advice, the commercial agreements can be very differents in other countries and we can fall into complicated situations. Try: depending on the jurisdiction, contractual obligations can be very different from our own, and clients can fall into complicated situations.
Over the last decade, the most relevant professional firms have begun to establish real policies on Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunities. How can a firm benefit from having a diversity policy?
Heterogeneity is an added value for law firms. Companies that are committed to diversity in their structures are up to 5% more profitable. On the other hand, establishing those diversity policies and applying them should be in the DNA of any law firm; however, much remains to be done. Client confidence would be greatly strengthened, and it would also reinforce the commitment of the lawyers who are part of the firm if they feel that their diversity is really valued.