Banking & Finance
Market heavyweight Guyer & Regules ‘is one of the best law firms in the country, if not the best’. Clients suggest that ‘it is a very large law firm that functions like a boutique’, insofar as the team develops ‘very close relationships with its clients, knowing their business and interests’. The department is co-led by ‘very smart’ managing partner Nicolás Herrera; the ‘very creative’ Nicolás Piaggio, who is also a ‘great leader’; and Alvaro Tarabal, ‘one of the most experienced lawyers in Uruguay’. The team constantly participates in complex banking and finance deals, including bank restructuring, sovereign debt issuances and project finance. Most recently, Piaggio, Herrera and recommended new partner Florencia Castagnola assisted HSBC and JP Morgan with the Uruguayan Government’s $2bn sovereign debt issuance. The team is also advising Sura Asset Management on the Uruguayan aspects of its first international notes issue worth $500m. Also recommended are Corina Bove, Juan Manuel Mercant and senior associate Marcos Payssé, who are reported as ‘very dynamic, full of energy’ and ‘hard workers with outstanding human values’.
Corporate and M&A
Guyer & Regules is described as ‘simply excellent and frankly superior’. The practice has a top-drawer list of active clients including Montes del Plata, Unilever, Minerva and Sodimac. In recent highlights the highly endorsed Álvaro Tarabal and ‘savvy’ managing partner Nicolás Herrera advised Union Agriculture Group on the completion of a large-scale land acquisition from El Tejar in a deal worth $100m. Tarabal and Nicolás Piaggio assisted Compañia Sudamericana de Vapores (CSAV), the region’s largest shipping line, with the Uruguayan aspects of its merger with German shipping group Hapag-Lloyd. Another relevant matter saw Piaggio and Corina Bove assist Petrobras with the sale of its exploration rights in two offshore oil blocks to Shell; the two are considered ‘top of the line lawyers’. The powerful practice group also evidences a solid second tier of senior associates including Javier Berdaguer, Marcos Payssé and Federico Piano.
Clients give top marks to Guyer & Regules and report that the firm ‘cares about the client, its business and concerns’ and has a ‘fair policy in terms of fees’. The firm’s disputes practice is highly regarded for ‘defending clients’ interests with passion and loyalty’ and ‘always displaying highly ethical standards’. Recent mandates include Carlos Brandes’ representation of Philip Morris in ICSID investment arbitration filed against the Uruguayan state under the Uruguay–Switzerland bilateral investment treaty (BIT). In other matters, the team assisted Jaguar Land Rover negotiate the resolution of a $3m dispute with a former distributor, Multimotors; and advised real estate investment company Torres del Prado in relation to a construction dispute. Alejandro Miller and associates María Eloísa Cerdeña, Macarena Fariña, Federico Carbajales and Santiago Madalena are also endorsed.
Labour and employment
Guyer & Regules draws on the combined legal knowledge and experience of Eduardo Ameglio and Leonardo Slinger, who satisfy clients’ needs with their ‘immediate responses, full knowledge of the business and complete training as professionals’. The team was recently retained by Tramaco (a shipping company of the Christophersen group) and meat-packing company Minerva, among other new clients. The team obtained the reversal of a first instance ruling on behalf of Tramaco, a matter concerning the working schedule and payment of seamen; and advised Minerva on the labour aspects of its purchase of Frigorífico Carrasco, including the preparation of the due diligence report regarding labour aspects, social security contingencies and labour lawsuits. Associates María José Poey and Santiago Madalena are noted as ‘solid professionals’.
The two highly-experienced sector specialists who lead the practice at Guyer & Regules, John Leaman and Federico Susena, are commended for providing ‘excellent levels of customer service and skilful advice’. The team recently assisted newly-retained client Posco on the sale of its 4,000-hectare forestry development in Uruguay, and in other work, the ‘honourable, professional and clever’ Susena advised on the establishment of real estate investment trust Fideicomiso Financiero Montes del Este, and its initial acquisition of almost 5,000 hectares of rural land for forestry activities. Associates Beatriz Spiess, Gustavo Di Genio and María Fernanda González are also recommended.
Guyer & Regules’ department has participated in some of the most important tax matters arising in sectors including energy, banking, sovereign debt issuances, consumer goods and mining. The team was recently seen advising Sura Group on possible tax savings for pension funds deriving from a new regulation; and Citibank on the tax aspects of the sale of its consumer banking unit to Itaú. Juan Manuel Albacete and senior associate Juan Bonet are admired by clients as ‘excellent professionals and human beings, deeply committed to their work’.