Legal 500 Uruguay, 2016


The ‘strong’ team at Ferrere ‘always has business in mind’ and ‘focuses on the solutions instead of the problems’, sources report. Led by the ‘remarkable banking and finance expert’ Diego Rodríguez, the four-partner team also includes ‘banking regulation savvy’ Geraldine Ifrán, project finance specialist Gonzalo Secco and managing partner Andrés Cerisola. Rodríguez’s expertise is much sought after by international banks and financial institutions, as well as multilateral institutions involved in financing transactions in Uruguay, and he recently led assistance to regional development bank CAF on the origination of the legal structure for a $500m infrastructure fund to finance PPP projects in the country. The practice also has longstanding experience in bank M&A deals and acted for the seller in the successful conclusion of the sale of Israel Discount Bank’s local affiliate to Scotiabank. Experienced senior associate Julie Rothschild is also recommended.


Undoubtedly part of ‘the elite of the Uruguayan market’, Ferrere is involved in most of the high-profile corporate transactions in Uruguay. The four-partner practice, recommended as ‘a synonym of prestige’, saw activity in the energy sector during 2015, with Martín Cerruti leading advice to ExxonMobil Exploration on its purchase of a 35% stake in offshore oil block 14 from Total, plus associated matters including the partial assignment of the contract with ANCAP, the formal approval of a farm-in agreement, the setting up of a local branch and the establishment of a consortium with Total. In other matters, Cerruti also assisted FMC Corporation with the acquisition of the Uruguayan subsidiary of Danish pesticide maker Cheminova, and managing partner Andrés Cerisola is assisting new client Uber with its operations in Uruguay. Cerruti is recommended as a ‘fantastic lawyer – intelligent and passionate about his work’; and Cerisola is considered ‘one of the best legal minds in Uruguay’. Also recommended are Santiago Fontana (‘a very meticulous and solvent lawyer’), Geraldine Ifrán (‘outstanding knowledge of the law’) and Gonzalo Secco (‘extremely practical’). A second line of senior associates is also noted, including Alejandra García (‘a very astute lawyer with a good sense of humour’), Manuel Lecuona, Sebastián Ramos and Cristina Vignone.


The four-partner team at Ferrere ‘performs very well’ and ‘has strong experience in both litigation and arbitration’. Department head Sandra González is regarded as ‘an excellent lawyer and unique strategic adviser’. Recent matters saw González represent Andritz Pulp Technologies in the settlement of a $228m ICC arbitration regarding contracts for the delivery and installation of equipment at Montes del Plata’s pulp mill project. Managing partner Andrés Cerisola is also well known for arbitration, as well as for his expertise in corporate disputes and cases concerning the regulated industries. Other relevant names include Julio Iribarne and Alejandro Pintos, who specialise in arbitration and commercial disputes, respectively. An ‘outstanding’ second line of senior associates includes the ‘very sharp’ Soledad Díaz, Martin Fridman and María Eugenia Cal; they are described as ‘knowledgeable and diligent professionals’.


Clients ‘trust in the legal capacity’ of the team at Ferrere to ‘fight real and complicated legal cases’. Practice head Agustín Mayer is described as ‘an outstanding lawyer’ who is ‘energetic’ and has ‘great knowledge of the law’. The team is also defending DirecTV in a trade mark infringement case brought by the owner of the VTV brand. Senior associate María Fernanda Cea left the practice and is now a sole practitioner.


Considered a ‘very impressive firm’ and ‘a very easy referral to make’, the team at Ferrere is composed of ‘high-quality lawyers who are very enthusiastic about what they do’. The team is led by Verónica Raffo (who focuses on labour planning and strategy) with the assistance of senior counsel Nelson Larrañaga (who handles complex litigation cases) and of counsel Lourdes Denis (specialised in litigation and negotiating with unions and governmental bodies). Recent highlights include using a Chinese wall arrangement to facilitate assisting both parties on the purchase of Discount Bank by Scotiabank. ‘Highly responsive and practical’ senior associate María José Fernández is also noted.


Clients report ‘feeling lucky’ to have the practice at Ferrere as their counsel, considering it ‘the best team in town’. The team, led by Julio Iribarne, continues to assist clients in the agribusiness sector and recently assisted Agroempresa Forestal–Fideicomiso Financiero Bosques del Uruguay 2 with the acquisition of 4,500 hectares of land and forest from an international forestry company. In another highlight, it acted for Independencia Chile (manager of the REIT Fideicomiso Financiero de Inversiones y Rentas Inmobiliarias) on the acquisition of Merck Pharmaceuticals’ former premises, located in Montevideo’s free trade zone Zonamerica. A ‘tremendous’ trio of senior associates, Diego Durán, Florencia Taboas and Carlos Falco are highly recommended.


The standalone tax practice at Ferrere is ‘by far the most serious and experienced in Uruguay’, sources report. Led by the ‘100% tax expert’ Gianni Gutiérrez, the team relies on the experience of counsel Alberto Varela and a second line of recommended senior associates including Isabel Laventure, María Laura Caffera and Beatriz Pisano. Recent mandates include representing several free trade zone companies in a dispute with the tax administration regarding the scope of permitted activities within the Free Trade Zone Law. Key clients include Mitsui OSK Lines, Archer Daniels Midland and Bimbo.

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