2009, Chambers Latin America


This firm is one of the top practices in Uruguay for international finance matters, and enjoys a worldwide reputation for its expertise in the banking and finance sector. The firm also has broad skills in the area, ranging from simple credit loans to more complicated syndicated loans and structured finance deals, and focuses on securitizations and offshore financing transactions. Highly appreciated in the market, the team “really understands the global financial markets, listens to its clients and closely analyses the transactions.” In one highlight matter, the lawyers advised Banco Santander, Bradesco and other leaders on the USD 300 million financing for the acquisition of McDonald’s operations in Uruguay. One of the most respected names in the Uruguayan market, Daniel Ferrere is praised by clients for his “high-quality and client-driven service.” The firm´s managing partner, Ferrere acted for Credit Suisse on its USD 120 million financing for the acquisition of Fanapel and Celulosa Argentina by Tapebicuá. Head of the banking team, Alejandro Hernández Maestroni is another renowned figure at the firm. He was involved in the USD 42 million structuring of the Milk Fund II, in which he acted for the Uruguayan Ministry of Agriculture and several pension funds. A banking and finance specialist, Diego Rodríguez is a “great lawyer with good accessibility,” clients say. He typically works alongside Ferrere on transactions, and assisted the Ministry of Economy, Uruguay Sanitary Waterworks and Inter-American Development Bank with the USD 172 million financing of the Ciudad de la Costa project development. The firm is also developing across Latin America and observers say that the opening of offices in Paraguay, Bolivia and most recently Ecuador has been a success.


The firm´s commitment to and thorough understanding of clients´ corporate concerns have had a deep impact on observers: “You get the impression that the team really feels like a part of your organization and is as involved as you are in the matters at hand.” Sources also view ease of access to the lawyers as a bonus, noting that they are “available for us virtually around the clock.” The group´s highly motivated attitude to transactions and tenacity in negotiations is appreciated, and it is also praised for its collaborative approach, consulting with experts both within and outside the firm whenever necessary. This allows lawyers to “quickly and adroitly assemble multidisciplinary teams to confront complex issues,” say sources. Recently, the team advised both parties involved in the USD 150 million Weyerhaeuser-Global Forest Partners demerger, and assisted Chevron with the USD 40 million sale of its fuel business in Uruguay to DUCSA. “Full of confidence and a fine source of moral support for his clients,” Andrés Cerisola is recognized for this litigation work, and can also offer “huge experience in all practice areas,” say observers, who admire his politically aware advice. Cerisola is especially praised for his “superb intellectual prowess and his ability to quickly understand complex situations.” He has flexible approach that also attracts admiration, with observers noting that he can “successfully approach even unexpected issues from many different angles.” Pamela Moreira is another highly visible practitioner; clients affirm that “we can entirely trust her to do her utmost to successfully achieve the results we want.” She is also appreciated for her “deep commitment to corporate transactions.” Foreign clients praise Laura Ramón`s “extremely thorough knowledge of international business law” and appreciate her “outstanding fluency in English – which certainly makes communication easier for us during deals.”


Market observers are excited to have found “a world-class firm within one of the smallest Latin American countries.” This “well-connected dispute resolution group” is familiar with the key players in the market: “The lawyers know everyone,” explained one interviewee. With 25 full-time lawyers, including experts in all industries, this outfit is well equipped to furnish “excellent daily advice” and offer an “exceptionally first-class experience.” Its recent representation of Dresdner Bank and Dresdner Lateinamerika on a USD 700 million ICC arbitration against the Oriental Republic of Uruguay is a good illustration of the firm´s workload. “Analytically and diplomatically fantastic,” Andrés Cerisola is “the best around for dispute resolution matters.” Clients trust this multi-talented litigation and arbitration expert´s knowledge, even soliciting his opinion when dealing in other jurisdictions. Sandra González`s “precise analytical skills” are widely praised, and this “very talented” head of department “gets straight to the point” when handling international arbitration cases. Alejandro Pintos is a rising figure in Uruguay and exercises his well-renowned skills in litigation work. The group supported Royal Ahold on a series of commercial proceedings totaling USD 80 million. The firm also advised Molinos Río de la Plata and Procter & Gamble on two different abusive termination of contract cases and is currently advising SACEEM on a dispute regarding the design and installation of antennae for a telecoms company.


 “A strong group of knowledgeable professionals who support each other very effectively” constitutes the IP squad at Ferrere. “Communication among the team is excellent,” commented one satisfied client. Interviewees recommend this “competitive and highly committed team” for its “excellent work” on copyright, patent and litigation matters, noting that it is especially experienced in the audio-visual field. The team was active on the rebranding of Chevron subsidiaries purchased by ANCAP (Administración Nacional de Combustibles, Alcohol y Portland). It also handled the FIFA 2002 World Cup lawsuit case against DIRECTV. Agustín Mayer is “an incredibly skilled lawyer,” and clients benefit from his “outstanding level of commitment.” Observers rely on his “quick responses” and “up-to-date advice.” “He is very well informed,” commented one client, “and has an excellent work ethic.”


This “reliable and dedicated team” has a “highly client-driven approach” and delivers “outstanding, high-quality advice” and “an extremely responsive service.” The experienced employment group also benefits from expertise in the labor tax and social insurance fields. Verónica Raffo is “excellent at a technical level” and demonstrates “an outstanding ability to find client-focused solutions.” One interviewee highlighted that she “always comes back to you with an answer without delay.” Lourdes Denis is “a very proactive lawyer.” With a highly “accessible approach,” she is widely celebrated for her work in the field. Recognized as a key player in the labor area, the “diligent and efficient” Nelson Larrañaga is a highly respected figure in the market. The team recently successfully defended Banco Surinvest in a labor litigation case, and also handled the labor and labor tax aspects of the separation of the Global Forest Partners and Weyerhaeuser joint venture.


This firm´s “highly client-focused approach” and “brilliant response time” ensure it an impressive place in the market: “The team works at our speed,” commented one client, “so we´re never left waiting.” The team works closely with the firm`s 19 in-house accountants and guarantees an “excellent quality of service.” It deals with tax matters in several industry sectors and has recently been involved in real estate cases where the accounting team played a significant role. It has dealt with several notable tax litigation cases of late, and is currently defending Dresdner Bank, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase Manhattan Bank on a USD 50 million case. “Among the best tax professionals in Uruguay,” Alberto Varela is head of the team and “a towering figure in the area.” The firm is involved in a large number of tax litigation trials against the Uruguayan fiscal administration, representing clients such as Tropicana, Volkswagen and Banco Santander.

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