Ferrere

Legal 500 Uruguay 2015

BANKING AND FINANCE

Ferrere’s ‘top-notch’ team of ‘very knowledgeable industry experts’ provides an ‘excellent level of service’. The sturdy 16-lawyer practice advises on matters ranging from complex structured-finance deals and capital markets transactions to loans, bank M&A deals and regulatory matters. The firm recently assisted the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on the long-term financing of a solar plant developed by the Spanish group Fotowatio Renewables Ventures. On the bank M&A side, the team represented Israel Discount Bank on the sale of its Uruguayan affiliate to Scotiabank, as part of its international restructuring. The ‘highly recommended’ team is led by Diego Rodríguez, working closely with the ‘very capable’ Geraldine Ifrán. ‘Intelligent’ managing partner Andrés Cerisola leans in to the practice, particularly in relation to finance-sector M&A. Senior associates Javier Domínguez, Sebastián Ramos and Julie Rothschild are also all recommended.

CORPORATE AND M&A

Its offices in Paraguay, Bolivia, and most recently Ecuador, aside, Ferrere impresses with its involvement in some of the most important and complex corporate transactions in Uruguay. The team provides ‘the type of service that international clients expect’, while at the same time ‘maintaining a personal touch’. In 2014, it attracted an outstanding list of new clients including Grupo Bimbo, Eli Lilly and Facebook. Among the names to note is the ‘excellent and very pragmatic’ Geraldine Ifrán, who recently acted as Uruguayan counsel to international food company Parmalat on the acquisition of Mexican dairy company Distribuidora de Lácteos Algil. The team was also involved in the advice to Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan Board and Public Sector Pension Investment Board on the acquisition of part of Banco Santander’s renewable energy projects portfolio, involving 28 entities in nine jurisdictions. Also recommended are: head of practice Martín Cerruti, the deeply experienced Gonzalo Secco, managing partner Andrés Cerisola, and Santiago Fontana, who was promoted to the partnership in 2014. Demonstrating the practice’s strength-in-depth, it also has a solid second line of seniors, most notably Manuel Lecuona and Sebastián Ramos.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

The stand-alone practice at Ferrere is comprised of four proficient and highly recommended partners assisted by an ‘exceptional team of very professional, informed and efficient lawyers’. Stand-out figure and departmental head Sandra González is an ‘excellent negotiator’ and undertakes litigation, international arbitration and has a certain focus on contentious banking and finance matters. Managing partner Andrés Cerisola has a solid track record in contentious matters and primarily focuses on corporate disputes. Julio Iribarne has particular expertise in real estate and construction-related disputes and arbitration; while newly-elected partner Alejandro Pintos concentrates his practice on commercial disputes, litigation and arbitration. González and Cerisola are currently representing Linzor Capital Partners on an ICSID claim against the state over limits on concentration-of-ownership in the drug retail industry. Also recommended are senior associates Martín Fridman and Soledad Díaz, who are regarded as ‘extremely knowledgeable and practical’.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Ferrere has a strong international focus and ‘very efficiently’ provides the complete range of services in the IP area. The firm ‘stands out from the typical IP agencies in Uruguay for its legal acumen’. In recent mandates, the recommended Agustín Mayer assisted Chemo Group with a patent cancellation action in Uruguay. Senior associates María Fernanda Cea, Alejandro Alterwain and Stella Weng are all praised.

LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT

The strong practice at Ferrere deploys ten specialised lawyers who are highly recommended as a ‘unique group of people, always available to meet and understand their clients’ needs with the best of dispositions’. The department represents a stellar list of international companies (Diageo and DirecTV), as well as financial institutions (Scotiabank and Israel Discount Bank of New York), private banking clients (Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Canada) and clients involved in major construction projects. The recommended Verónica Raffo and senior associate María José Fernández assisted Andritz with the redesign of its labour relations strategy for the construction of a major pulp mill in Uruguay. Also recommended is senior counsel Nelson Larrañaga, a ‘true expert in labour litigation matters’, and senior associate Alberto Baroffio.

REAL ESTATE

The ‘first level’ service at Ferrere is ‘pragmatic, business centred and very diligent’. Led by sector specialist Julio Iribarne in conjunction with the highly recommended Diego Rodríguez, the team is known for its experience representing investors and developers, particularly in the high-end residential sector and in the business and commercial sector (including agribusiness and real estate financing structures). In recent mandates, Rodríguez assisted Corncob (part of the Terrapin - Klaff AG Investments Group) with the acquisition of over 2,000 hectares in the area of the Rio Negro for the development of an irrigation project. Senior associate Carlos Falco advised on the second acquisition made by Independencia (Uruguay’s first REIT) of a 6,500m² three-story building in the free trade area, Zonamerica. Also recommended is senior associate Diego Durán.

TAX

Ferrere advises on the complete range of services in the tax area. The ‘diligent, efficient and technically 100% accurate’ team leader Gianni Gutiérrez is assisting Herbalife on a challenge to the tax administration’s position regarding the classification of some of its products. Counsel Alberto Varela, jointly with a ‘team of highly competent young associates’ including Isabel Laventure, Beatriz Pisano and Laura Caffera, are all recommended.

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© 2017, Ferrere Attorneys