Ferrere

Legal 500 Bolivia, 2015

BANKING AND FINANCE

The increasingly well-positioned, multi-jurisdictional firm, Ferrere, has over a decade in the Bolivian market and combines ‘timely responses with extensive knowledge in the area’, according to clients. Departmental head Carlos Pinto and the internationally-trained Lindsay Sykes (who has a banking regulatory aspect to her practice), are both praised as ‘responsive and knowledgeable in their respective areas’ and noted as having ‘good English skills’. In conjunction with Pinto, Sykes recently advised a consortium of financial institutions, including Banco Santander (Brazil), Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, Bank of America, The Bank of New York Mellon, and JP Morgan Chase on a $1.5bn unsecured global capital credit agreement in favour of Gerdau. Other clients include Merrill Lynch, and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The team is currently advising the latter on the structuring of an $18m subordinated loan to Banco Económico in what will be the IDB’s first subordinated loan to a Bolivian financial entity. Senior associate Cynthia Díaz specialises in cross-border banking and regulatory matters and is also noted.

CORPORATE AND M&A

Ferrere assists its international clientele with a broad range of corporate matters, ranging from contracts and complex corporate and regulatory issues to setting up or shutting down local operations. The department is led by Carlos Pinto who has extensive experience in M&A and due diligence. He receives close support from Lindsay Sykes, who has particular expertise on complex corporate transactions. A recent highlight saw the pair advise Hyundai Development Company on a major infrastructure project; the firm helping its client win a public bid from the Bolivian Highway Authority to build what will be the longest bridge in Bolivia and a central part of the interoceanic corridor being built to connect Brazil’s Atlantic coast with Chile’s Pacific coast. The firm has hired former telecoms in-house counsel Gerardo Villagómez, bringing additional depth and expertise to both its corporate and labour practices.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Ferrere is highly praised and appreciated ‘for its speed and the quality of work it performs’. Co-head of the department is the ‘excellent, hardworking, and efficient’ Carlos Pinto, who has notable expertise in the securing of IP rights, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright, as well as advising on IP-related transactions. He co-leads the department with Lindsay Sykes, who impresses with her ‘good understanding of the law and great English language skills’. Sykes, who has extensive experience in the field of IP disputes, is representing Enterprise Holdings in a cancellation action and the prosecution of its signature trademark.

LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

Ferrere’s labour and employment practice is now headed by recently hired Alejandro Pemintel. Pemintel, ‘a professional and an expert on the workplace’, focuses on a wide range of issues arising from labour relations. Key clients of the department include Geeks on Site, Helmerich & Payne and Thompson Reuters. In recent matters, the team represented AXS Bolivia in eight labour actions initiated by former employees of the company claiming social benefits and payment for overtime.

REAL ESTATE

Ferrere’s real estate department is led by Carlos Pinto, who is highly experienced in corporate and commercial matters, including real estate transactions and their regulatory aspects. The team assists a stellar list of local and international clients on a broad array of real estate matters, including real estate acquisitions, financing, due diligence processes and the procurement of licenses for industrial developments. In recent mandates, Pinto is assisting Cargill with the review of a lease agreement entered into with an international port administrator to administer Bolivia’s largest international waterway port. In other matters, Pinto and associate Salomón Eid represented FONPLATA (the multilateral development bank for Latin America’s southern states) in connection with the selection process and final agreement of office spaces for its regional headquarters in Bolivia. Other notable clients include Linzor Capital, TGI Friday’s, Forestry Management Services and Somax Agro.

TAX

The department advises a broad array of domestic and international clients on a large spectrum of tax matters including general tax consulting, international trade and customs, transactional tax advice and tax litigation. Recent work saw Ferrere assist Skanska with a series of tax disputes with the tax administration; and advise newly retained Akzo Nobel regarding a number of tax audits ordered by the Bolivian tax administration, as well as on its daily tax operations. Other new clients include Maersk and Touax. Delma Paz is now the key contact for tax matters.

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