Peers give Guyer & Regules strong reviews for their consistency and their transactional ability again this year: “They’re historically the main firm and they’re very clever fellows,” says one lawyer. “The quality of their clients is uncontested in the market and it’s been that way for some time.”
The firm is noted for its entire corporate practice, although the banking and finance sector is viewed as the firm’s strongest area and one of the strongest such practices in the country. Guyer & Regules counts the Republic of Uruguay among its many banking clients, representing the country in the past and this year in issuances of sovereign debt. Corporate partners Nicolás Herrera, Nicolás Piaggio and Álvaro Tarabal were again involved in almost every one of the firm’s major transactions this year.
Most clients report that, in addition to a high level of legal understanding, it is the firm’s commercial abilities that set it apart from competitors: “They are highly professional law firm,” remarks a client. “I think they provide advice at the highest level you can get here, but usually (and this is what I like about them) they not only provide the legal advisory, but the partners also have a good business approach and understand business in addition to solving legal problems, so you can close a transactions.”
Herrera and Piaggio teamed up on a deal in which the firm assisted HSBC and Citigroup in a series of liability management transactions performed by the Republic of Uruguay regarding its public debt, such as a new issue of global bonds for cash, an exchange offer and a cash tender offer. This $2 billion closed in December 2011 and was a major part of the rescheduling of Uruguayan debt and paving the way for its return to investment-grade status earlier this year.
Guyer & Regules is also representing ING in addition to other US and Latin American firms across five countries in the $3.8 billion sale of ING’s assets in the region to Colombian financial holding company Grupo Sura. In the case of Uruguay, ING sold Grupo Sura 100% of the shares of Afinidad AFAP, a leading pension fund manager operating in Uruguay in a deal that also closed last December.
Tarabal and his team also helped HSBC in putting together a share purchase agreement of HSBC Uruguay, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru by GNB Bank (Gilinski Group of Colombia). Guyer & Regules represented HSBC’s Uruguayan interests in this $400 million transaction that closed in May 2012.