2012, Chambers Latin America


THE FIRM: Ferrere Abogados is a well-established full-service firm in the Uruguayan market. The firm has a respected banking and finance practice that handles a wide range of work in this field, including capital markets, securitisation and bond issues. Recent work highlights include advising the Central Bank of Uruguay on reforms of its regulatory framework. The team assisted Crédit Agricole with the sale of a local bank to BBVA, and assisted Scotiabank with the joint acquisition of all shares in Nuevo Banco Comercial and local consumer finance company Pronto.

Sources say: "The service is very professional and with very fast responses when required. We are very satisfied with the firm's proactive approach, performance and advice."
"The firm has strong working relations with the authorities and a great deal of expertise in finance matters, which is helpful when making key decisions."

KEY INDIVIDUALS: Department head Diego Rodríguez is the most visible figure for banking and finance matters. He has recently handled a number of significant capital markets transactions and securitisation matters.


THE FIRM: This highly regarded full-service firm is the largest in Uruguay, and its corporate department has 29 full-time lawyers advising clients on a range of commercial issues. The firm recently opened a new office in Punta del Este, owing to increasing demand for legal advice in the tourism sector. The sizeable corporate team has been particularly active in the energy, agricultural and telecoms sectors. Work highlights include representing Vale in its USD1.6 billion acquisition of Rio Tinto’s operations in Paraguay and Uruguay, and assisting Conecta with concession agreement negotiations with the Ministry of Energy. The team also acted as counsel to MGlobal in connection with its joint venture agreement with US garment giant R-Pac.
Sources say: "The firm is responsive, provides clear advice and has strong working relationships in the local business community."

KEY INDIVIDUALS: Department head Martín Cerruti is widely regarded for his advice on major M&A transactions. “He stands out for his dedication and his business acumen,” enthuse sources. Senior associate Pamela Moreira specializes in real estate and agribusiness matters. Clients highlight her proactive approach. Gonzalo Secco brings his expertise in regulated industries to the corporate/M&A team. Clients appreciate his "diligence, dedication to service, willingness and ability to work."


This large firm is renowned for its litigation work and has the resources to handle several high-profile disputes at any given time. The 27-lawyer dispute resolution department advises a string of multinationals in the banking, media and telecoms sectors, and handles a number of international arbitration processes. Clients say: "Ferrere Abogados is one of the most professional law firms in the country and always puts the client's needs first. You feel as if you are working with a top US law firm.” Representative highlights include acting for RBS in a law suit concerning claims of alleged misleading advice to individual investors in relation to the world financial crisis. The group is currently representing BAT in a regulatory dispute with the Ministry of Public Health in connection with restrictions on tobacco advertising. Sandra González heads the litigation department and enjoys a strong reputation in the market. She acts as counsel for a number of well-known foreign clients. In addition to his responsibilities as managing partner, Andrés Cerisola dedicates a significant portion of his time to litigation matters, and has a particular focus on banking, commercial and contractual disputes. Sources highlight the strong international flavour of his work and enthuse that "he is always in command of cases, always in close contact with his client, and always open-minded in exploring alternatives for his clients." Senior associate Alejandro Andrés Pintos is a key member of the firm’s dispute resolution practice and is involved in several complex commercial litigation cases.


This IP department benefits from the first-rate support of the country’s largest full-service law firm. The 12-lawyer team, including recently incorporated intellectual property boutique Mónica Bacot y Asociados, continues to consolidate its presence in the market and handles a high volume of litigation, trade mark and patent filings. It regularly advises top-tier international corporate clients such as Nestlé on a range of IP matters. The firm also represents Nike in sponsorship agreements and Hewlett-Packard in trade mark infringement issues. Department head Agustín Mayer West is a well-versed IP expert and is particularly lauded for his patent expertise. He recently represented DIRECTV in a high-profile copyright infringement case related to the 2010 World Cup. Senior associate Alejandro Alterwain is gaining increasing recognition in the market and focuses his practice on trademarks and patents.


This market-leading powerhouse has an exceptional reputation for labour and employment work. The ten-strong labour practice focuses primarily on advising major national and multinational clients on employee remunerations and benefits, work contracts and social security matters. The team also regularly acts on issues relating to labour disputes as well as collective bargaining agreements. Sources say: "Our rating of the firm is excellent and we are very satisfied with its proactive performance and advice.Verónica Raffo chairs the firm's labour and social security department and advises the firm’s international clients on labour planning and strategic employment advice. Of counsel Nelson Larrañaga is a seasoned lawyer recognised for both his labour restructuring and litigation expertise. Senior associate Lourdes Denis is highly regarded for her negotiation and litigation skills.


This legal powerhouse has developed a large and internationally recognised tax department. The group handles the full range of tax issues, including tax planning and litigation. Sources say: “The speed of the firm's execution and its ability to assemble a multidisciplinary team to deal with complex matters are the most impressive features of this sharp, fast and bold law firm.” Recent work highlights include representing Uruguayan press organisation Organización de la Prensa del Interior (OPI) in its call to reverse restrictions to tax exemptions on the press. The team also assisted Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) with tax aspects related to establishing a regional office in Montevideo. Sources commend department head Alberto Varela Rellán for his wide-ranging tax experience and hail him as “one of the best tax specialists in the country.” Senior associate Gianni Gutierrez Prieto makes it into the ranking recommended for his "splendid overall performance," clients say. He has gained experience on some of the market's most high-profile cases, and is identified as one to watch in the future.

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