Ferrere

2013, Legal 500 Paraguay

BANKING & FINANCE

FERRERE is a second tier firm

With a ‘high level of commitment and concern’ and ‘impressive response times’, the Asunción office of the Uruguayan firm, FERRERE offers ‘excellent service’. Particularly popular with clients seeking an alternative to long-established (and frequently more traditional), local firms, it has to some extent played a part in driving the modernization of the domestic Paraguayan legal market. While it still has a limited local financial clientele, it works extensively with a range of multilateral lending organizations (including the IFC, Oikocredit and World Bank), and also represents many of the major international banks that do not have a physical presence in the country, such as Bank of America, Lloyd’s and Deutsche Bank. As part of its own, ongoing growth strategy (which involves the recruitment and repatriation of lawyers with US experience), the firm recently hired Carlos Vasconsellos, as a partner, from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP: he has already proved ‘a strong addition for Paraguay’s team’. Formerly in-house at Multibanco, he has worked with HSBC, Credit Suisse, Deutsche and Citibank, and has particular expertise in bankruptcy law. An ‘attorney that makes the difference’, practice head Néstor Loizaga is a very ‘business-oriented lawyer’ who provides ‘important insights’. Also recommended are Federico Silva, the team’s regulatory expert and go-to specialist for all Central Bank-related matters; and Valentín Sánchez, who is particularly active with the firm’s multilateral clients. Work highlights include handling the CAF’s first project financing in Paraguay, a $40m senior secured loan facility to P&O Maritime Holdings; and advising the Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) on a €25m investment in Grupo Espírito Santo. The team also continues to represent the IDB in various loan transactions, such as a $16m facility to BBVA Paraguay for the fostering of small and medium enterprise activity.


CORPORATE AND M&A

FERRERE is a third tier firm

FERRERE advises predominantly international clients, which hold its service in ‘high consideration’. Many regard it as the ‘best legal alternative in Paraguay’, especially for cross-border transactions and establishing and managing local operations. Its ‘impressive response time’ is particularly highlighted. Although it covers all sectors except IP, it is particularly focused on the corporate area. The ‘important support and backing’ of its Uruguayan head office notwithstanding, the office operates in an increasingly independent manner and continues to gain a large volume of new clients. The very well-connected Néstor Loizaga generates much of this new business and ‘demonstrates a high level of expertise and commitment’. Regulatory expert Federico Silva, senior associate Marysol Estigarribia and newly-hired partner Carlos Vasconsellos are all ‘very well-trained’. The latter joined from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP this year and has experience on several regional M&A transactions. Notably, the practice has been further bolstered with five new associates, including a maritime law specialist. Recent work saw the team advice: JH Partners, on a master franchise agreement with Gap; Alpatex, on the sale of a trade mark, a distribution agreement and a share sale; Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy on an international bid opened by Petropar; and Sika, a new client, on its acquisition of Inatec. Other clients include IBM, Ericsson, and the Brazilian giants Petrobras and Vale. The office caters to Brazil’s great interest in Paraguay with three Portuguese-speaking lawyers, including the recommended Valentín Sánchez. Ferrere CPA, the group’s consulting and accountancy arm, also recently opened its first office in the country.


LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT

FERRERE is a third tier firm

As FERRERE’s Paraguayan office celebrates its first decade, it finds itself increasingly popular not only with international but also with local clients. Its commercially driven solutions continue to attract international companies seeking counsel on the labour aspects of establishing and managing local Paraguayan operations. It also provides daily counsel on labour and social security issues, the drafting and negotiation of labour contracts, compensation systems, contract termination and labour inspections. Marysol Estigarribia leads a four-strong team (including associate Valentín Sánchez who has immigration law expertise), which draws clients from across a broad array of industry sectors, and includes the likes of Cargill, Ericsson, Petrobras and Vale; as well as local companies such as Arasy Orgánica, Grupo Kress, Electropar and Vidriocar. The team recently assisted on the labour and employment aspects of Sika’s acquisition of Inatec; CAF’s landing in Paraguay, and the labour due diligence aspects of the DEG’s equity investment in Rio Forte’s Paraguayan agribusiness. Given its offices in Uruguay and Bolivia, the firm also has the capability to act on cross-border and multi-jurisdictional matters.


TAX

FERRERE is a third tier firm

Since opening its Asunción office in 2003, FERRERE has become known for its commercial approach. Gradually starting to develop a presence in the tax sector, it assists international clients in connection with their local operations, transactional matters, and on tax-efficient structures. It also provides counsel on the implementation of the new personal income tax, determining its impact on companies, their shareholders, directors, managers and ex-pat staff.

The two-strong team works in close collaboration with the corporate and labour departments, as well as with colleagues in the firm’s offices in Uruguay and Bolivia. Recent matters include undertaking a tax review for Argentine dairy company Mastellone regarding its potential entry into the Paraguayan market; general tax advice to glass manufacturer Vidriocar on its day-to-day operations; and assisting Ericsson with the restructuring of its Paraguayan tax and accounting departments. Other clients include Cargill, Petrobras, Vale, Electropar and CAF.

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