Ferrere

2013, Latin Lawyer Paraguay

Ambitious firm with growing profile

Established: 2003

Partners: 2

Total lawyers: 16

Ferrere Abogados has grand designs for its Paraguay office. The firm grew by nearly one-third in 2012, and is on track to meet its ambitious target of becoming one of the country’s top three largest firms by 2014.

Uruguay’s largest firm opened up in Paraguay in 2003 and also has an office in Bolivia as part of a strategy to break into the region’s smaller economies. Ferrere has been investing heavily in its presence outside of Uruguay in the last 12 months, on a mission to persuade talented nationals to return home from careers in US firms, reporting success in both countries. The Paraguay office welcomed a new partner from a prominent US law firm at the start of 2013.

The office’s well-regarded leader, Nestor Loizaga, has done much to build the profile of both the Paraguayan and the Bolivian operations, but is now dedicating all of his attention to the Asunción office in light of its recent growth spurt.

Staffed entirely by local lawyers, Ferrere has a strong corporate culture and stands out for not originating from a family structure. The firm has sound knowledge of the Paraguayan marketplace while benefiting from the resources and expertise of one of Uruguay’s market leaders when new legal challenges arise. The firm has prospered from work sourced from companies already used to Ferrere’s well-regarded service in Uruguay. One important energy client says they chose Ferrere when entering Paraguay after using the Uruguayan firm and praises the Asunción lawyers’ professionalism and commitment.

PEOPLE & PRACTICES

US-educated firm leader Nestor Loizaga has taken great strides to build the firm into what it is today, having joined after working as an adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Specialising in corporate, commercial and financing work, he recently advised the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) on a US$40 million loan to the local arm of P&O Maritime. The firm has also counselled the International Finance Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank on loan agreements this year. Loizaga wins praise from clients, with one general counsel describing him as “competent, clear, thoughtful, with a good understanding of the underlying business transaction”. The newest addition to the team is partner Carlos Vasconsellos, a Duke University-educated Paraguayan lawyer. He honed his legal skills while an associate at the Miami office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and will bring valuable US experience to the corporate and banking teams. The office’s M&A work generates positive feedback; “the due diligence process was impeccable as well as their assistance in negotiating the terms of the share purchase agreement,” says one regular client. Agribusiness has become a key growth area, led by Federico Silva, who has built up the firm’s environmental work as key clients such as Cargill seek to expand in the country.

As well as taking on board corporate and financial work, Loizaga also spearheads the administrative law, trade and maritime law practice areas, and assists Valentín Sánchez with the insurance and reinsurance department. Other lawyers to have garnered praise include by Aníbal Pangrazio for his work managing the tax department and by Marysol Estigarribia, who counsels a number of multinational corporations with operations in Paraguay in her role as labour law head, a department described by a local fruit producer as “very professional

CLIENTS

Around 70 per cent of the firm’s work in Paraguay comes from international clients, often drawn to it thanks to Ferrere’s reputation in Uruguay. “Ferrere is an exemplary law firm, with highly professional and trained staff who have not only guided us admirably with all requirements, legal and otherwise, but also shown great capacity in assisting us in avoiding potential problems common when investing in another country,” says one multilateral client. The firm regularly advises Petrobras, its oldest client in Paraguay, and has advised Vale on labour matters and regional restructuring. Credit Suisse, Oikocredit, the International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Andean Development Corporation have also sought counsel from the firm, which also recently helped Equifax enter the Paraguayan market. Three lawyers come recommended in LACCA Approved, in-house counsel research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s sister publication, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association.

OFFICES

Ferrere Abogados also has five offices in Uruguay and two in Bolivia.

PRO BONO

The firm has alliances with a number of organisations, aiding sustainable construction with Un Techo para mi País, and bringing computers to children through the Una Computadora por Niño programme.

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© 2017, Ferrere Attorneys