Chambers Latin America
2013

Banking & Finance

THE FIRM This traditional full-service firm has a stellar banking and finance team and is a benchmark for legal work in the sector. The formidable team provides comprehensive advice on matters such as loan facilities, bond issuance and project finance. Recent highlights saw the team assist HSBC Securities USA and Citigroup Global Markets in managing a number of debt transactions for the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.

Sources say: “An accomplished team that’s able to structure complex deals and provide quality, personalised service to match.” 

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Nicolás Herrera is a highly reputed corporate finance all-rounder. “Herrera is the person to turn to when impossible obstacles arise,” say sources.

Nicolás Piaggio draws widespread client praise for his regulatory and capital markets expertise, as well as for his “great sense of responsibility, deep analysis and constant availability.”

Álvaro Tarabal handles bond launches, M&A deals, project financing and investment structuring. “He’s our Mr Dealmaker in Uruguay,” say clients.

Diego Baldomir advised Germany’s DEG on granting a loan to Zenda Leather. “He’s great for day-to-day advice – always available and very fast,” say clients.

Juan Manuel Mercant draws acclaim for his securities issuance and M&A work, and for having crossover competition law expertise.

Corporate/M&A

THE FIRM This traditional full-service firm has a formidable corporate team that handles a diverse range of mandates for an impressive list of international clients. The team has lately been busy with high-end M&A deals and complex cross-border transactions. A case in point has seen it advising ING on the Uruguayan aspects of a regional sale of assets to the Sura Group in Colombia. Further Colombian action includes counselling retailer Almacenes Éxito as it expanded into Uruguay via the acquisition of the local Disco and Devoto supermarket chains.

Sources say: “Fast answers, careful analysis and viable business solutions, solid knowledge of different legal areas and excellent cultural advice on how to conduct business in the country.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS

 Nicolás Herrera wins widespread acclaim for his broad-sweeping corporate expertise. “He provides invaluable support on big acquisitions,” say clients. “He’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met.”

Nicolás Piaggio impresses sources with his “great knowledge, strong sense of responsibility and deep analysis.”

Álvaro Tarabal is a corporate finance all-rounder lauded for his quick response times and “taking a genuine interest in a client’s problems.”

Corina Bove wins acclaim for her international communication ability: “She has great language skills and a facility for forging strong working relationships with people from different cultural backgrounds.”

Dispute Resolution

THE FIRM This full-service major has a fine reputation for handling international and local disputes for a stellar client list. The team handles a variety of commercial litigation mandates as well as local and international arbitrations. Recent highlights include representing Philip Morris in an ICSID case brought by the Uruguayan state attorney, and acting for Moody’s Latin America Calificadora de Riesgos in a dispute with former Banco Montevideo investors following the bank’s bankruptcy.

Sources say: “A firm with a great attitude, staffed by top-of-the-range lawyers who are highly personable and available 24/7.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Department head Carlos Brandes is a highly regarded litigation lawyer praised for his “great experience of regulatory matters.”

Associate María Eloísa Cerdeña is described by clients as “very responsible, always available and willing to help.”

Labour & Employment

THE FIRM This nine-lawyer labour, pension funds and immigration department excels on the litigation and consultation sides. The team guides clients in negotiating with union and government organisations, and provides broad-ranging contract, remuneration and conflict advice. The firm is especially experienced in handling labour matters in the banking sector, and was recently commissioned by the Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce and Industry to prepare a report on new collective agreement regulations. The team also counselled Prontometal on handling a general strike in the metallurgical sector.

Sources say: “An executive service, able to give answers on the spot or put various options on the table, all of them backed by solid arguments.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS

Eduardo Ameglio co-heads the department and brings more than 30 years’ experience to the team. “He’s a reference in the market, highly respected by employees and employers,” say sources.

Leonardo Slinger is the department co-head and a lawyer described as “very pragmatic, business-oriented in his advice and always available to the client.” He has a particular focus on litigation and negotiation strategies. 

Associate María José Poey is hailed as being “very solid on the intricacies of Uruguay’s pay scales and union relations.”

Associate Juan Orticochea wins client praise for his support work and high service standards.

Real Estate

THE FIRM This 19-strong team has an outstanding reputation in the market, and sources repeatedly praising the team’s business-oriented and innovative approach. A mixed team of lawyers and notaries represents a string of important clients in the agribusiness, residential and tourist sectors. The firm advised Stora Enso on the Montes del Plata development, involving the purchase and leasing of almost 20,000 hectares of land for forestry exploitation and pulp mill wood supply. On the construction side, the team assisted Brazilian company JHSF – Fasano with its Las Piedras hotel and villas development in Punta del Este.

Sources say: “The firm understands that a lawyer’s role is to find ways to get the deal done rather than block it off, and though it has many important clients, it makes us feel we are unique – without any doubt, the best firm in Uruguay.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS

John Stuart Leaman co-heads the real estate practice and draws effusive praise from clients: “He knows all the country’s legal frameworks and idiosyncrasies, and provides superb help with all the matters we put on the table, then makes valued business suggestions himself.”

Federico Susena co-heads the practice. “He’s a very lucid lawyer with excellent ideas, always personally involved and co-ordinating,” enthuse clients.

Tax

THE FIRM This full-service powerhouse is a major force in the tax market. Lawyers work in tandem with accountants on important mandates for prominent international clients in the banking and finance, automotive, food and consumer goods industries. In a recent highlight, the team advised arranger Nomura Securities on the tax elements of a USD490 million bond launched by the Republic of Uruguay into the Japanese market. The firm also advised BBVA on the tax implications of its acquisition of Crédit Agricole assets.

Sources say: “A highly reliable and multidisciplinary service combined with a positive attitude and a collaborative approach.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS

 Tax department head Juan Manuel Albacete is much respected for his long-standing career and strong academic credentials. “He has great capacity for understanding complex situations, as well as the courage of his convictions,” say sources.

Associate Florencia Castagnola is praised for her “ability to think strategically and explain complex legal and technical issues to clients.”