Ferrere

2013, Legal 500 Latin America

BANKING & FINANCE

FERRERE is a first tier firm

FERRERE’s team of ‘very good advisors’ is equally strong in matters ranging from complex structured finance deals and capital markets transactions to loans, bank M&A deals and regulatory matters. The firm acts for major international financial institutions and multinationals in some of the Uruguay’s largest financial transactions. At the helm of the team is the ‘fantastic, very professional and always availableDiego Rodríguez, who recently advised state-owned electricity company UTE on a bond issuance of just under $200m, the largest issue ever on the local market. Rodríguez and managing partner Andrés Cerisola advised JPMorgan Chase on its re-entrance into the Uruguayan market by opening a limited licence private banking operation, advising on all regulatory processes in order to obtain the licence from the Central Bank of Uruguay. Highly rated regulatory expert Geraldine Ifrán, together with Rodríguez and Cerisola, advised Lloyds TSB on the structuring of the sale of the bank’s Uruguayan branch. Project finance expert María Laura Ramón is also recommended, as is banking regulation-focused senior associate, Julie Rothschild. Other clients include Scotiabank, Credit Suisse, RBC, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and UBS.


CORPORATE AND M&A

FERRERE is a first tier firm

FERRERE’s team of ‘experts’ offers an ‘outstanding service’ and is ‘among the legal elite in Uruguay’. The firm is praised for its ‘responsiveness and readiness to accommodate the needs of clients and correspondent firms’. Noted for his ‘excellent cross-border abilities’, practice head Martín Cerruti is ‘extremely quick to meet deadlines’ and ‘intensely dedicated’. Geraldine Ifrán has ‘complete knowledge of every detail of the transactions in which she is involved’ and ‘understands business at a global level’. Cerruti and Ifrán recently advised Colombian bank Banco GNB Sudameris on its $400m acquisition of HSBC’s operation in Uruguay, as part of a major cross-border transaction involving the purchase of HSBC’s operations in Colombia, Paraguay and Peru. With ‘all-round professional depth, business sense, knowledge and acumen’, Andrés Cerisola advised Canadian private equity fund Linzor Capital on its $90m acquisition of Uruguayan pharmaceutical retailer Farmashop. Gonzalo Secco is recommended for his expertise in company law.


DISPUTE RESOLUTION

FERRERE is a first tier firm

Praised for its ‘great business sense’, the highly developed and capable disputes practice at FERREREadapts quickly to new developments, especially in complex commercial disputes’ and it has the strength-in-depth to handle the largest and most complex cases in Uruguay. The team acted as local counsel to JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Commerzbank, Dresdner Bank Lateinamerika (and others), in two successful international arbitrations worth approximately $1bn; and is acting as lead counsel to the group in over 30 domestic claims worth approximately $1.6bn. The conflicts arose from the bankruptcy of two financial institutions in Uruguay during the 2002 banking crisis. Andrés Cerisola and Sandra Gonzálezalways think of strategic ways to ensure the client is in the best position possible’. Key partner González’s ‘decisive and quick advice, even in the most complicated issues, makes clients confident and secure’. The highly rated Julio Iribarne successfully defended BASF in an alleged breach of a distribution contract case; and associates Soledad Díaz and Alejandro Pintos are ‘two younger lawyers who bring experience and confidence to arbitration and litigation proceedings’.


INTELECTUAL PROPERTY

FERRERE is a first tier firm

At FERRERE, the ‘responsible and highly qualified team sets itself apart through its understanding of its clients’ industries as well as IP law’. The full-service giant has the most complete IP practice in the country, providing high-quality advice on matters including trade mark registration, patent protection and trade mark and copyright litigation. The team has technical knowledge in the entertainment, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, film, advertising and media sectors, and also demonstrates a strong level of expertise in issues related to privacy. Agustín Mayer is a ‘hugely skilled IP lawyer and a great leader’, who is praised for his ‘knowledge of corporate matters and ability to integrate this into his IP advice’. Mayer recently assisted a local company active in the field of new medical devices to formulate an IP and transactional strategy with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, which financed the client’s research. He also advised Equifax on the implementation of a database that includes information regarding the fulfillment of credit obligations: this was the first of its kind to be accepted and registered by the Uruguayan regulator. Working alongside Mayer was senior associate Alejandro Alterwain, who is gaining a reputation as one of the market’s most highly rated IP experts. Senior associate Martín Pesce is also recommended for his ‘sincerity’ and ‘high level of attention’.


LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT

FERRERE is a first tier firm

Praised for its ‘great knowledge of labour regulations’, FERRERE fields ‘one of the best employment teams’ and has ‘good relationships with the government, unions and chambers of commerce’. The team handles the full range of employment matters, from social security issues and day-to-day advice to collective bargaining and union and administrative negotiations. Practice head Verónica Raffo is recommended, and senior counsel Nelson Larrañaga has considerable experience in contentious matters. Larrañaga recently provided legal advice to RBC Investment Uruguay, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and a registered security agent in Uruguay, on all aspects related to a high-value labour conflict with one of its teams of investment consultants. Senior associates Lourdes Denis and Alberto Baroffio are noted for their ‘superb knowledge of the labour market’, ‘great negotiation skills’ and ‘ability to fully integrate with any other relevant department at the firm’.


REAL ESTATE

FERRERE is a first tier firm

As ‘one of the best firms in the market for real estate work’, FERRERE offers a ‘similar level of performance to top international law firms’. The real estate practice handles many of the country’s most complex transactions and has experience assisting in the creation of real estate funds and trusts. It also enjoys a strong reputation for real estate litigation. The team is currently advising the group of investors that acquired the Diamantis Plaza Lofts & Towers project in Buceo, a business and residential area of Montevideo. The development is currently the largest residential project in the capital and consists of three residential towers with an investment value of $62m. Practice head Julio Iribarne has a ‘unique level of experience for a Uruguayan lawyer’. Also recommended are senior associates Carlos Falco, an agribusiness expert, and Diego Slinger who is known for his regulatory, transactional and litigation work.


TAX

FERRERE is a first tier firm

Providing ‘excellent service’, FERRERE is praised for its ‘accurate and precise answers’, ‘good suggestions’ and ‘timely implementations’. Its eight-strong team is supported by over 30 accountants, provides ‘personal attention’, and ‘always listens to any requirements, questions or demands’. It handles tax matters for the firm’s top-rated corporate and financial departments as well as advising on structuring, due diligence and tax litigation. The team is advising Nordex on the structuring of the sale, installation and maintenance of wind turbines for three wind farms. ‘An excellent lawyer with incredible knowledge of tax matters’, practice head Gianni Gutiérrez is ‘very precise and clear in his arguments and decisions’. Gutiérrez took over leadership of the department in 2012 from litigation and transactional expert Alberto Varela, who remains a key practitioner in the team.

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