Oscar Aitken


+56 2 2928 2223

Partner  of Carey and head of the Labor and Immigration Group and co-head of the Construction and engineering Group.

His practice includes litigation and arbitration, contracts, and general civil practice.

His labor and immigration practice includes collective bargaining, union matters, unfair labor practices, compensation and benefits, discrimination and general violations of employee fundamental rights, employment termination, work related illnesses and accidents, labor related litigation of all types, as well as work permits and visas for foreign personnel.

In the construction and engineering practice, Mr. Aitken has vast experience in contracts for all phases of engineering work, as well as in all forms of construction and infrastructures related contracts including Design Built, EPC, EPCM and BOT. His practice ranges from experience with early stages of project development to bidding (including public concessions and PPP project), negotiation and preparation of contract documents, claims management and dispute resolution.

Mr. Aitken also has experience in real estate and has been involved in a variety of projects from development of natural conservation parks to housing projects, office and apartment buildings, hotels, industrial developments, etc.


  • Teck Quebrada Blanca on the expansion of its hypogene project for USD6.2 billion, specifically in the mining legal easements trials against the State of Chile to get the necessary rights to use the surface land for the expansion and for the new facilities.
  • An international airline on a claim filed by the flight attendants union claiming payment of days off under their collective bargaining agreement.
  • An international mining company on a labor and employment due diligence for the sale of a mine.
  • A global international bank on the termination of two high ranked managers, which included post termination non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, services agreements and the accelerated vesting of a stock option plan.
  • A department store chain on a labor and employment due diligence as part of an association agreement with a local retail store. The due diligence involved the revision of the labor compliance situation of eight companies with more than 16,000 employees, 56 unions, and 55 collective employment contracts/agreements.
  • A global mining contractor on two trials regarding anti-union practices and fines imposed by the Labor Board, due to the dismissal of an employee who formed a union after the termination notice was served, and related wrongful termination litigation.
  • One of the largest general trading companies in Japan on a labor and employment due diligence for the acquisition of major Chilean salmon farming, processing and sales company.
  • A local power transmission company and its related companies on all labor and employment matters related to its reorganization process in Chile and Latin America which included complex matters related to unions, collective bargaining, shares service arrangements, employee transfer, etc.
  • A global leader in responsible packaging solutions on a labor and employment due diligence for the acquisition of a flexible packaging business in South America.
  • A Chilean company, owner of the website where around 80% of the used cars and vehicles are sold in Chile, on labor and employment matters associated to its sale to an Australian corporation. The advice was related primarily to the negotiation of new terms and conditions of employment for the key managers.
  • A global company of the food industry on litigation for alleged anti-union practices.
  • A renewable energy company on a case of termination of its CEO in Chile, involving litigation in Chile and USA, including actions for appropriation of confidential employer information.
  • A worldwide insurance company on the labor due diligence process that led to the acquisition of a major local insurance company.
  • Adecco on a collective bargaining process involving 315 employees, where Adecco acted as a contractor to a third party company operating in the power generation business.
  • An international consortium on negotiating a contract to build a highway concession.
  • An important laboratory on their new corporate offices lease agreement and EPC contract for the construction and furnishing of their open plan offices in Santiago.
  • A major global mining company on EPC, EPCM and related contracts for a new mining project for a total of USD1.1 billion.
  • A leading international engineering and construction contractor on a labor conflict with a union belonging to one of the contractor’s entities, which sued all of the contractor’s companies, including companies outside Chile so that all would be declared to be a single economic unit for labor purposes.
  • An important corporation on a series of cases, one of them a “bet the company” litigation whereby numerous employees claimed past due benefits known as premium holiday (semana corrida) alleging incorrect calculations of the benefits by the employer. These cases were won in the labor court and subsequently settled on very favorable terms for our clients.
  • A Chilean bank on a complex litigation process for wrongful termination and violation of fundamental rights.
  • A leading global laboratory on criminal labor disputes arising from a termination for cause involving fraud.


  • Recognized in Labor and Employment; Projects and Real Estate, Chambers Latin America.
  • Recognized in Project Finance & Infrastructure and in Labor, Latin Lawyer 250.
  • Recognized in Labor & Employment, Legal 500.
  • Recognized in Labor and Employment, LACCA.
  • Recognized in Construction; Labor and Employment; Public Procurement and Project Finance, Who’s Who Legal.
  • Recognized in Labor and Employment Law, Best Lawyers.
  • Lawyer of the Year Award in Labor & Employment, Best Lawyers (2015).
  • Winner in the Real Estate Category, Leading Lawyers, Idealis (2014).


  • Professor of the Degree in Corporate Governance and Compliance, Law School, Universidad del Desarrollo (since 2018).
  • Professor of Specialization in Construction Law, Law School, Universidad de los Andes (since 2015).
  • Vice co-chair and co-chair of the Dispute Resolution Sub-Committee and International Construction Projects Practice Group, International Bar Association (2010-2014).
  • Arbitrator of the Arbitration and Mediation Center, Santiago Chamber of Commerce.
  • Founding fellow and past board member, International Academy of Construction Lawyers (IACL).
  • Founding fellow and president, Chilean Society of Construction Law.
  • Member of the Chilean Bar Association.
  • Member and past board member, Centro de Estudios de Derecho del Trabajo (CEDET).
  • Member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
  • Carey’s representative at Employment Law Alliance (ELA).
  • Assistant Professor of Labor Law, Universidad de Chile (1990-1999).


  • Co-author of Chilean chapter, Outsourcing Book, Getting the Deal Through (2013-2015).


  • Frequent lecturer in seminars and conferences in Chile and abroad.


  • Law, Universidad de Chile (Summa Cum Laude).
  • LL.M., University of Michigan (1991).


  • Chile (1989).


  • Spanish.
  • English.

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