The Legal 500

Argentina

Share this page

Editorial

Legal market overview

The difficult economic climate currently afflicting Argentina is nothing new for what was once a very wealthy nation. The country is now facing a complex scenario: a depletion of the Central Bank´s reserves, increasing inflation and the most severe depreciation of the peso since 2002 (more than 18% in early 2014). Meanwhile, the current administration continues regulating many sectors of the economy, maintaining strict foreign exchange controls, implementing restrictive import/export policies and enforcing stern price controls. While Argentina is a commodity and natural resources rich country, the harsh economic situation, limited juridical security and political tension has discouraged foreign investment. Some of the largest foreign investment projects in the mining sector, for example, have been suspended (i.e. Vale’s potash project and the Pascua-Lama mine), due to the uncertainties of the regulatory and legal climate. Another headline issue has been the energy crisis, derived, among other factors, from a combination of long-term underinvestment and a series of unfortunate policy decisions taken by this and preceding administrations. The freeze in electricity prices has compounded under-investment and the complexity of market-distorting cross-subsidies suggests there will be no ‘quick fix’ to the sector’s difficulties.

Notwithstanding all of the above, a sense of optimism has started to emerge as a result of the October 2013 legislative elections where the governing party was soundly defeated. There is a feeling the country is about to turn a corner and embark on a more dynamic future with the possible election of a more market-friendly government in the 2015 Presidential elections. In fact, the current administration appears to have loosened up after recently announcing a series of policy changing measures – including a cut in subsidies in utilities (gas, water and energy consumption). Likewise, the recent compensation deal with Repsol with regard to its loss of YPF has gone some way to ameliorating the damage done by the original expropriation and may be the boosting factor for more investment in the energy sector. Certainly the interest stirred by the vast shale oil reservoir in the province of Neuquén (Vaca Muerta) is already making great progress. The government has revealed a series of possible investment projects and alliances to exploit Vaca Muerta. In this sense, the preliminary agreement with Malaysian oil giant Petronas, and the involvement of Chevron and Dow with YPF, are excellent signs. As for the much-needed investment in infrastructure, there is evidence that Chinese companies are looking to invest.

All of the above has certainly caught the attention of investors who are already seeking legal advice and preparing for better economic prospects.

In this context, the legal market has maintained its activity with complex and sophisticated transactions and remains highly competitive. Commanding the market is full-service colossus Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal. With more than 300 lawyers, it dominates in many areas of practice and remains one of the largest and most competitive firms in the region. However, there are other titan firms of over 100 lawyers, including corporate expert Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez De Hoz, Jr, renovated traditional player Estudio Beccar Varela, and financial and transactional linch-pin Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi.

Also remarkable are medium-size firms like Estudio O’Farrell, Allende & Brea, M & M Bomchil and Mitrani, Caballero, Ojam & Ruiz Moreno, all of which have managed to maintain their position in the market in several areas of expertise. Marginally smaller but nevertheless notable are Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados, top-notch real estate frontrunners, and Tanoira Cassagne Abogados which has become a consistently relevant player.

Boutique firms have confidently marked their territory in the market. They are preferred by clients in areas like environmental law, in which the key players are Estudio Bec and Rattagan, Macchiavello, Arocena & Peña Robirosa Abogados; tax, where Bulit Goñi & Tarsitano and Teijeiro & Ballone, Abogados are impressive; and labour law, where Funes De Rioja & Asociados remains at the forefront.

New firms have also arrived on the scene, albeit, in a slow market. Lawyers from Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi and Bazán Cambré & Orts formed Tavarone, Rovelli, Salim & Miani – Abogados, focusing primarily on banking and finance transactions. In the energy sector, former Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal senior associate Nicolás Eliaschev is advising clients at his recently established boutique firm Helian Powering Projects. More recently, Lisandro Allende and Gustavo Ferrante, a former partner and of counsel at Brons & Salas respectively, started Allende & Ferrante. The new firm is said to continue assisting clients in the litigation and labour areas and will offer services in additional areas through alliances with other firms.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Russian industrialists and VEGAS LEX discuss development of procedural law with Supreme Court

    VEGAS LEX and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and chaired by Mikhail Fridman have discussed improvement of judicial procedure in Russia, also in the context of the new unified Civil Procedure Code Concept and the Code of Administrative Court Procedure now in the works. The event convened representatives of the Supreme Court, the Presidential State-Legal Directorate, the State Duma Committee on Civil, Criminal and Commercial Legislation, major industrial companies and legal experts.
  • Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC co-sponsored the CFA first seminar of the year, 6th & 9th March 20

    The Cyprus Fiduciary Association organized two (2) full-day seminars on the Role and Liabilities of Directors which were co-sponsored by Patrikios Pavlou & Associates LLC. The seminars took place at Cleopatra Hotel in Nicosia on March, 6 and at St. Raphael Hotel in Limassol on March 9 and were hailed with great success.
  • Baker & Partners Drive Best Practice for Local Trust Firms

    Baker & Partners have issued a Guidance Note covering the retirement, replacement and removal of trustees, with information of great relevance to Jersey’s legal community and the broader legal and financial sectors. 
  • Popov & Partners admitted as a member of Bulgarian Water Association

    At the beginning of April 2015 Popov & Partners was admitted as a corporate member of the Bulgarian Water Association (BWA) . BWA is the largest organization in Bulgaria that combines all WSS operators, trade companies and business consultants with focus on the management of the water resources and the development of the water-supply services in the country. In international aspect BWA has parnership relations with European Water Association and International Water Association and other international water organizations, whose activity reflects directly over the development of the water sector in global aspect.
  • Slovenia: Schoenherr advises Laško shareholders on a majority stake in Slovenian brewer to Heineken

    Schoenherr advised a consortium of owners of Pivovarna Laško, d.d. ("Laško"), Slovenia's leading brewery group, in the sale of their combined holdings of over 51% in Laško to Heineken International B.V., part of the Netherlands-based brewing group. The opening of final offers took place on 13 April 2015, with Heineken offering EUR 25.56 per share in Laško (translating into a total purchase price of approx. EUR 114 million for the 51.11% stake on sale). Following the selection of Heineken as best bidder, the respective share purchase agreement was signed in Ljubljana the same day. read more...
  • Popov & Partners admitted as a member of Bulgarian Water Association

    At the beginning of April 2015 Popov & Partners was admitted as a corporate member of the Bulgarian Water Association (BWA) . BWA is the largest organization in Bulgaria that combines all WSS operators, trade companies and business consultants with focus on the management of the water resources and the development of the water-supply services in the country. In international aspect BWA has parnership relations with European Water Association and International Water Association and other international water organizations, whose activity reflects directly over the development of the water sector in global aspect.
  • Austria: Arbitration expert Leon Kopecký joins Schoenherr as Counsel

    Leon Kopecký has joined Schoenherr, a leading full-service law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, as Counsel in March 2015. Mr Kopecký focuses on international commercial and investment arbitration, international litigation, and compliance matters. His clients are international firms in the construction, raw materials, infrastructure, finance, fashion and health care industries. He regularly advises clients on complex investment matters. read more...
  • HaoLiWen Selected by ALB as Finalist for Regulatory Compliance Law Firm of the Year

    HaoLiWen has been recently selected by ALB as the finalist for Regulatory Compliance Law Firm of the Year (2015), a market recognition of the regulatory compliance practice of HaoLiWen, which has a history of around ten years.
  • fwp advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on the sale of Immobilien Holding portfolio

    Vienna, 16 January 2015. Business law firm Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on the multi-stage structured sale of the real estate portfolio it holds via Immobilien Holding GmbH. read more...
  • fwp advises HETA on individual applications for review of special Hypo legislation

    Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner Rechtsanwaelte GmbH (fwp) represents HETA Asset Resolution AG (formerly HYPO Alpe-Adria Bank International AG) in connection with the judicial review proceedings before the Austrian Constitutional Court following the implementation of special Hypo legislation. The Constitutional Court has now rejected all individual applications filed by Austrian and international investors as inadmissible. Read more...