2007, Chambers Global

Banking & Finance
The Firm: This “sizeable tradicional firm” enjoys substancial market viability and provides an outstanding level of service that is, according to clients, “impossible to improve upon.” Clients extol this outfit as “one of the best firms we have ever used,” praising in particular the group´s skills when it comes to debt recovery and banking litigation. Pension funds and loans have been a growth area for the team this year. In May 2006, the “internationally minded group” was selected by the Banco Hipotecario del Uruguay to act as legal adviser on the first securitization of mortgage-backed loans to be issued in Uruguay, worth USD80 million.

The Lawyers: Daniel Ferrere is notable for his involvement in ground-breaking deals and cross border transactions, including the Inter-American Investment Corporation matter below. “Well connected, interactive and thoughtful,” Ferrere receives the “highest recommendation” from peers. Alejandro Hernández climbs the tables following a plethora of positive comments from the market. “A cut above the rest,” he is, “the first to come to mind in the banking sphere,” said one interviewee. “Quick, practical and to the point,” he regularly handles complex restructurings and counts Lloyds TSB amongst his clients. Andrés Cerisola is perhaps best known for his corporate practice but has been appearing on the banking scene with increasing frequency, mainly off the back of his dispute resolution expertise. “An excellent strategist and extremely thorough,” Cerisola is commended for his instincts when it comes to tough banking litigation. Well connected in Uruguay, his outstanding client list includes the likes of JPMorgan Chase.

Clients/Work Highlights: The team advised Inter-American Investment Corporation on the establishment of a co-lending program with Crédit Uruguay Banco, promoting private sector investment in Uruguay. Clients include Dresdner Bank; JPMorgan Chase; Crédit Suisse; AIVA and Lloyds TSB.

The Firm: Researchers were left with no doubt as to the position of this corporate powerhouse in the market. Considered by some to be “the best outfit in Latin America, let alone Uruguay,” this “continually growing and internationally recognized” firm has a network of offices across South America and boasts specialists in a plethora of industry sectors, ranging from IP and telecoms to finance and pharmaceuticals. It particularly singled out for its capabilities when it comes to the tax facet of a deal. The highlight of the year has been acting as counsel for Petrobras on its acquisition of all of Shell`s operations in Paraguay and Uruguay.

The Lawyers: Andrés Cerisola moves into the top tier following impressive market feedback. Frequently acting in disputes of a corporate nature, he “transcends the expected performance, providing an impeccable strategic vision.” In 2006 he acted on behalf of Ahold in their investment in a chain of supermarkets, including Disco de Argentine and Santa Isabel de Chile. Daniel Ferrere is “undoubtedly one of the `big cheeses´ of the market.” An “internationally recognized” practitioner, he was characterized as “the ultimate, five-star business lawyer, putting Uruguay on the legal map.” He regularly leads the firm`s most complex cases. Clients were warm in their praise for head of M&A, Laura Ramón, who had a hand in the high-profile Petrobras deal.

Clients/Work Highlights: The group is currently acting on behalf of Kemira in the installation of a chemical island composed of four plants, in an investment amounting to around USD100 million. On the forestry side, the team counseled Colonvade, a local subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser, on the construction of four plywood and forestry by-products plants, an investment worth over USD200 million. Other clients include Ahold and BlueCross BlueShield.

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