Chambers Latin America
2010

Banking & Finance

The Firm: Guyer & Regules is one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms in Uruguay. “It shares the same values as its clients,” say admiring commentators, “and is more advanced than its regional competitors. The firm remains at the cutting edge in terms of communication and technology, and its newsletters and website are particularly helpful.” The group has long and successful experience in the banking and finance sector, and is an excellent choice for international banks as it can capably handle complicated cross-border deals. According to one satisfied client, “the support provided by these lawyers was key to the success of our complex transaction, which involved several Latin American jurisdictions.” As one of the biggest banking teams in Uruguay, the group also has sufficient resources to advise a large number of local banks on their day-to-day work. Highly reputed managing partner Nicolás Herrera is considered one of the best lawyers in the country: “He is an outstanding practitioner for both banking and M&A matters.” Another source declared: “He is brilliant in all aspects – he makes things happen.” Nicolás Piaggio is without a doubt one of the most visible faces in securities work, and more generally in the capital markets arena, where he provides outstanding service. “He is a proactive and business-oriented lawyer who gets straight to the point and pays excellent attention to details,” stated one interviewee. Experienced senior partner Álvaro Tarabal also works in the banking department; clients praise his ability to consistently find solutions to the most complicated problems. Young partner Diego Baldomir has ample experience advising international banks. He is applauded for his “excellent level of English and knowledge of the local market, important companies and local banks.” Senior associate Juan Manuel Mercant has benefited from the guidance of Piaggio and Tarabal; his “impressive performance in the sector ensures him a place among the country’s noted lawyers,” remark sources.

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Corporate / M&A

The Firm: This is considered by many to be “the best corporate M&A team in Uruguay - the most efficient group that you could hope to find, great working at high speed and under pressure.” The outstanding team has an in-depth knowledge of the market, both domestic and international, which makes it a popular choice for foreign investors looking to do business in Uruguay: it helps clients negotiate with local authorities and government, looks for suitable local partners to set up joint ventures, and gives ongoing support with administrative matters. The lawyers’ high-profile clientele includes Groupe DANONE, Philip Morris, Telefónica and Petrogas, and they also handle a great deal of corporate work for banking clients. Nicolás Herrera is the team’s most notable lawyer and the main point of contact for clients: “He’s simply brilliant,” explained one source, “with a visionary approach to firm management.” Deeply involved in corporate transactions, Nicolás Piaggio is “an intelligent lawyer who solves cases very efficiently” and has a proactive and business-oriented approach. While he is primarily recognised for his skills in the banking and finance sector, Álvaro Tarabal remains the main contact here for large international corporations such as DANONE. Market sources also highlighted the team’s young and rising talents such as Corina Bove and Valentina Larrobla, both of whom are promising lawyers with great potential.

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Dispute Resolution

The Firm: “This first-class law firm can match any US or European firm,” stated one commentator. Its dispute resolution team is one of the biggest in the country, which enables it to work on highly complicated matters such as defending Moody’s in a case involving more than 40 lawsuits, for a total amount of USD80 million. The team has excellent litigation and arbitration skills and a strong background in the banking sector, advising major entities such as HSBC, Banco Itaú, Citibank and BBVA. According to clients, ”the whole team is dedicated to obtaining the best results possible for our interests.” Highly regarded practitioner Carlos Brandes has a wealth of experience in civil litigation, and is particularly strong in international commercial arbitration. “He is extremely committed and gets involved in the case from A to Z,” reported one interviewee, adding: “He is always efficient, and gives us his utmost attention.” Associate María Eloísa Cerdeña works with Brandes, and is seen as a valuable resource on complicated litigation cases. “She is proficient in her dealings and provides succinct summaries and translations of relevant matters,” sources say.

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Labour & Employment

The Firm:The market-leading labour department at this firm has a long-standing relationship with prestigious national and international companies. Clients say: “They fully know our business, which gives us peace of mind.” The lawyers are particularly helpful when it comes to negotiating with trade unions or the ministry of labour, which makes them an invaluable asset in sensitive cases. The team offers a full service in labour and has an impressive background in the finance sector. Highlight work here includes its assistance to the Uruguay Banking Association to negotiate salaries and labour benefits with the Council of Wages. Leonardo Slinger is “open-minded, attentive and really listens to his clients.” He is also praised for being “extremely clear when he expresses his opinion.” He leads the department together with Eduardo Ameglio, who has a practical approach, expert local knowledge and an excellent track record in labour matters. Ameglio has sound knowledge of his clients’ business, which enables him to provide tailor-made solutions, according to sources.

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Tax

The Firm:While this firm’s tax department increasingly works on transfer pricing, its strength in tax remains in the banking sector, where it recently assisted Citi with a USD2.9 billion transaction involving a voluntary exchange of part of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay’s sovereign external debt. Tax specialist and problem solver Juan Manuel Albacete has top-level knowledge of public tender processes in Uruguay. He is also valued for his good connections and negotiating skills.

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