2014, Chambers Latin America


THE FIRM The banking and finance department at this full-service firm climbs the rankings based on excellent client feedback, an impressive list of clients and active participation in some of the most important recent deals in the market. The team handles M&A matters, transactional work, syndicated loans, securitisations and bond issues for clients like Scotiabank, Inter-American Development Bank, Lloyds TSB, JPMorgan Chase and AIVA. Recent highlights in this space include assisting national electricity company UTE in a USD100 million bond issuance, and advising GNB Sudameris on the acquisition of HSBC's South American affiliates.

Sources say: " "What I most like about this prestigious firm is the incomparable quality of the service. The lawyers are always one step ahead and can rely on a powerful network."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Diego Rodríguez earns excellent feedback from clients, who describe him as "an excellent professional, a hard worker and sincere."

Likewise, associate Julie Rothschild is praised for being "a professional with in-depth knowledge, clarity in her actions and excellent timing."

Clients single out Andrés Cerisola for being able to "think outside the box." He splits his time between the firm's management duties, litigation support and client relationship building.


THE FIRM The corporate team at this regional firm continues to impress sources with its client service, quality advice and experience. The sizeable team participates in cross-border transactions for an enviable client roster across the banking, telecommunications, retail, construction, energy and consumer industries. Recent work highlights include the firm's assistance to Linzor Capital in the acquisition of Farmashop, a pharmaceutical chain in Uruguay. It also advised JPMorgan Chase on the purchase of a minority stake in Sura Asset Management Spain, part of Grupo Sura.

Sources say: "This firm doesn't just value the big-ticket names - at FERRERE, the little guy is also a valued customer. The lawyers constantly strive for excellence and can rely on a strong network."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Martín Cerruti is described as "a superb lawyer who goes the extra mile to provide strategic advice."

Geraldine Ifran was named partner in October 2012 and is lauded for "her superb technical knowledge, excellent business understanding and constant availability and follow-up."

Santiago Fontana earns real praise for his efforts. Sources say: "He has an uncommon ability to see the bigger picture in terms of our specific needs and general strategy." They add: "He is very creative and a great listener."

Satisfied clients also commend Gonzalo Secco for "his valuable English skills," adding: "He is a selfless and first-class lawyer."


THE FIRM The litigation and arbitration department at this full-service firm continues to impress sources with its client service, commitment and success rate. The size of the team enables it to take on almost any project, regardless of its volume or complexity. The firm has been involved with some of the country's most notable litigations arising out of Uruguay's banking crisis in 2002. The team successfully represented Frigorífico Carrasco regarding a recent shareholders dispute. Other headline client names in this space include JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse.

Sources say: "This firm's international arbitration experience is clear. The lawyers are excellent when it comes to strategy design and time management."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Sandra González earns praise for "her unique perspective on international arbitration matters and in-depth Uruguayan law knowledge."

Sources praise Andrés Cerisola's "ability to negotiate with the authorities, knowledge of the local markets and US experience."

Alejandro Andrés Pintos is described by sources as an "excellent negotiator who always looks for ways to improve the communication with the counterparty."

Associate Soledad Díaz enters the rankings based on excellent client feedback that describes her as "very analytical, knowledgeable about her clients' matters and a very humble lawyer."


THE FIRM The energy practice group at this full-service firm earns its top-tier ranking through its participation in some of the most important deals in the sector. The team advises companies across the oil and gas, mining and renewable energy industries, as well as construction companies, suppliers, banking institutions and investment funds. Notable clients in this space include Nordex USA, BG and Vestas. Recent highlights have seen the team advising on wind farm developments, and assisting Exxon and Noble Energy with their bids for the Uruguay II offshore exploration round.

Sources say: " Ferrere's performance is outstanding. The lawyers are quick, and have excellent communication skills and a business-oriented approach."

KEY INDIVIDUALS According to sources, of counsel Cristina Vázquez has "wide knowledge of regulatory matters." She is former director of the energy and water commission and has published extensively on regulated industries and administrative law subjects.

Gonzalo Secco heads the energy practice group and brings a great deal of corporate experience to the table. Sources say: "The way he deals with the counterparty is impeccable and he has excellent working relationships with the authorities."


THE FIRM The IP department of this full-service firm continues to earn praise for its strength in litigation and complex cross-border transactions. The team offers advice across the entire IP panorama, ranging from trade mark filing and patent protection to litigation and other contentious matters. Further areas of activity encompass entertainment law, data protection, advertising and antitrust matters. Recent work highlights in this space saw the firm assist Equifax regarding database management queries and advise Nike on the drafting of a labelling policy.

Sources say: "Ferrere has three distinctive elements: good knowledge on US law regarding IP protection, an understanding of a client's corporate needs and the fact that the lawyers use simple language which the layman can understand."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Agustín Mayer West is seen by sources as one of the stars in this field, and "an intelligent, flexible and diligent lawyer."

Sources praise senior associate Alejandro Alterwain for his "responsiveness, technical skill and ability to navigate between US and Uruguayan law."

María Fernanda Cea Bacot has more than 15 years of experience in the IP sphere and is described by sources as "very hard-working and a TMT expert."


THE FIRM This labour department has been highly active in supporting corporate clients in due diligence for M&A projects, restructuring procedures, collective agreements, labour audits and negotiations with unions. The team is also active in labour litigation, having participated in some of the field's most high-profile recent cases, such as assisting ISS Group with matters relating to a fraud investigation. On the restructuring side, it assisted Lloyds Bank in the reorganisation of its local offices.

Sources say: "The lawyers are well educated and pragmatic, and are not afraid to tell us uncomfortable truths when it's best for business."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Senior counsel Nelson Larrañaga earns glowing praise from interviewees, one of whom said: "I trust his advice without question." Others added: "His expertise in labour law is unmatched."

Department head Verónica Raffo is noted by sources for being able to "deliver comprehensive advice and forecast future points of potential conflict."

Satisfied clients highlight senior associate Lourdes Denis for her pragmatic approach and the ease with which she handles conflict.

Senior associate Alberto Baroffio's effectiveness and business-oriented approach are widely praised by sources.

Senior associate Mauro Mónico is active on litigation and collective bargaining. Sources single him out as a "persistent and attentive lawyer."


THE FIRM The real estate practice group of this full-service firm oversees a fluid workflow for notable international and local investors across residential and commercial developments and ventures in the leisure and industrial spheres. The team can rely on the firm's solid standing in the corporate, banking and litigation areas, which is of particular benefit when project financing, complex disputes and M&A matters are on the table. Recent work highlights include advising Casas Uru on financing, land acquisition and commercial contracts for social housing projects.

Sources say: "The team is efficient, strategic and excellent in negotiation. The lawyers are experienced in the workings of the Uruguayan justice system."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Senior associate Carlos Falco is described as "an excellent lawyer that gives excellent customer service." He was actively involved in the various aforementioned matters for Casas Uru.


THE FIRM This regional powerhouse continues to set the pace in tax-related matters. The practice group offers assistance to a stellar list of international clients regarding transactional work in different jurisdictions. The eight-strong team is supported by a sizeable group of accountants. Recent work highlights in the tax area include assisting BG Group with the design of tax structures and analysis of the company's upstream projects in the country.

Sources say: "This firm prioritises the client's interests and always finds the most viable solution. Its main strength lies in its total commitment."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Of counsel Alberto Varela Rellán wins widespread recognition from peers and clients alike for his long-standing tax involvement. He has recently stepped down from the tax department's management in favour of recently named partner Gianni Gutiérrez Prieto, who is celebrated for his "tax litigation skills, commitment and ability to think strategically."

Senior associate Isabel Laventure has considerable international experience, having contributed to the firm's Paraguayan office settlement. She focuses on consulting and litigation work.

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