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Few firms can match the corporate firepower of ‘top-tier star’ Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal, which counts several of the market’s heavy hitters among its ranks. Namely, Héctor Mairal, who is ‘the best of the best’ and remains an influential figure in the market. Pablo Viñals Blake is an ‘extremely sophisticated operator’ who ‘knows all the angles’; he recently teamed up with Ricardo Beller and Diego Chighizola to represent a group of investors, led by the Sielecki and Werthein families, on the $241m acquisition of a 50% stake in Compañía de Inversiones de Energía (CIESA) from Pampa Energía. The ‘extensively experienced’ Santiago Carregal has a ‘thorough knowledge of the Argentine market and legislation’ and advised Telecom Italia on the sale of Telecom Argentina to Fintech. Diego Krischcautzky is ‘absolutely client-focused’ and acted with ‘true professional’ Pablo Artagaveytia on what was arguably the year’s marquee deal: advising Petrobras on the Argentine aspects of the $891m multi-jurisdictional sale of Petrobras Participaciones to Pampa Energía. Other recommended partners in this ‘always available’ and ‘international-standard’ team include Alfredo O’Farrell, Pablo García Morillo and Pedro Serrano Espelta. The group also houses some capable senior associates with Juan Agustín Lentini and Pilar Etcheverry Boneo fitting into this category. Other representative clients are Microsoft, Pfizer and Solvay.

Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez De Hoz, Jr secured key roles on several prominent cross-border deals over the past year, with an extremely strong showing in private equity. Arguably, the most high-profile mandate was its advice to Duke Energy on the local aspects of the $1.2bn sale of its capital stock in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru to I Squared Capital – energy specialist Pablo Rueda led that transaction. Founding partner Jorge Perez Alati continues to head the practice and remains extremely active in deals; he teamed up with Guillermo Quiñoa to advise Techpack on the $435m sale of its flexible-packaging unit to Amcor Flexible. José Martínez de Hoz (n) had a strong year and acted with corporate finance partner Fernando Zoppi to represent both Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Panasonic Healthcare (a joint venture between KKR and Panasonic) on the latters $1.1bn acquisition of Bayer’s diabetes healthcare assets. In another private equity highlight, key contact Santiago Daireaux acted for private equity fund Piedrabuena on the acquisition of a controlling interest in oilfield service company Prodeng. Younger partner Federico Wilensky is establishing a solid reputation in the market and teamed up with Diego Serrano Redonnet to advise private equity fund PointArgentum on its $105m acquisition of an ownership interest in Genneia.

The ‘exceptional’ group at Beccar Varela sets itself apart through its ‘fantastic price-to-quality ratio’ and its ability to ‘partner very well with the client’s internal teams’. Led jointly by Roberto Crouzel, Roberto Fortunati, Horacio Beccar Varela and Ramón Moyano, all of whom have significant finance experience, the group secures a strong flow of corporate finance and banking M&A. However, its broad capability spans a diverse spread of sectors with recent experience in agribusiness, energy, TMT and life sciences matters. Younger partner Alejandro Poletto ‘has a great future’, according to clients who highlight his ‘solid international experience’ and ‘excellent finance and business understanding’. Poletto had a banner year, which included acting alongside the finance department to advise Deutsche Bank on the sale of its business in Argentina to Banco Comafi. He also advised Compañía General de Combustibles on its $10m acquisition (with Tecpetrol) of Total’s shareholdings in Transportadora de Gas del Norte (TGN). María Shakespear continues to strengthen her profile for corporate work and played a key role advising Unilever Argentina on its divestment of La Fármaco and Santamaría y Bellora to comply with antitrust regulations. In another cross-border highlight, Moyano advised Amcor Flexibles on the local aspects of its $435m multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Techpack’s flexible packaging unit Alusa. The team also counts Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires, Itaú Unibanco and BNP Paribas Cardif as key clients. In 2017, the group welcomed back corporate specialist María Benson as an advisory partner, following a seven-year stint at her own firm.

A ‘first-rate legal firm’, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi is commended for its ‘very knowledgeable, skilled and creative attorneys’, who are held up by clients as ‘some of the best lawyers in Argentina and even Latin America’. Among its most high-profile figures, senior partner Enrique Bruchou stands out as a ‘powerhouse’ in the area; he paired up with Mariano Luchetti to advise Arcor and Bagley on a $35m capital injecton into Mastellone Hermanos, which brings their total stake in the company to 33.5%. Luchetti also led the firm’s advice to Unipar Carbocloro on its acquisition of a controlling 70% stake in Solvay Indupa. Transactional oil-and-gas specialist Javier Rodríguez Galli is an ‘outstanding practitioner who perfectly understands the needs of the client’; he can also turn his hand to top-flight deals outside the energy sector and advised Inchcape on its $290m acquisition of 16 companies from Empresas Indumotora and Indumotora Corp. Estanislao Olmos ‘knows how to analyse issues and structure creative solutions’ and represented Raymond James South American Holdings on the sale of certain equity interests, including the entirety of its interest in Raymond James Argentina. The practice also includes ‘very professional young partner’ Aixa Sureda and managing partner Carlos Lombardi, who has ‘excellent legal acumen’. In addition, the practice benefits from a talented second line of senior associates, with Exequiel Buenaventura particularly recommended. In 2017, star partner Siro Astolfi left to become general counsel at Aerolíneas Argentina, while highly-rated senior associate Elena Sozzani left to become partner at Salaverri, Dellatorre, Burgio & Wetzler Malbrán.

A ‘leading player in the market’, Mitrani, Caballero & Ruiz Moreno scores highly for its ‘extensive international experience’ and ‘good cost-effectiveness’. Senior name Cristian Mitrani is widely regarded as a leading light and steers a comprehensive practice that handles deals across all key industry sectors including agribusiness, energy, infrastructure and TMT. Cross-border work is a particular sweet spot and it continues to garner a significant volume of instructions from major multinationals in multi-jurisdictional M&A. In a highlight example, corporate finance specialist Diego Parise advised Maverick Tube, a subsidiary of Tenaris, on the $335m sale of Tenaris’ North American electric-conduit business to Nucor. In another headline mandate, Horacio Ruiz Moreno assisted Eni International and Eni Oil Holdings on the sale of AGIP Lubricantes. Julio Martínez is also a key contact and advised a consortium of Chinese investors, led by Shanghai Giant Network Technology, on the local aspects of its $4.4bn acquisition of Israel-based gaming company Playtika. Mercedes Rodríguez Giavarini, Juan Ignacio Soma and the newly-promoted Carlos Trogolo Eliçabe are also recommended. Other representative clients include Advent International, SageRider and Svitzer.

Salaverri, Dellatorre, Burgio & Wetzler Malbrán climbs a tier on the strength of its enviable deal list and increasingly prominent position in the market. In addition, the arrival of ‘excellent lawyer’ Elena Sozzani, who joined as partner from Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi in 2017, further boosts the firm’s corporate firepower. Group co-head Diego Salaverri is the department’s best known figure and had a strong year; most notably he paired up with Victoria Hitce to advise Pampa Energía as lead M&A counsel on its $900m acquisition of Petrobras Participaciones. Salaverri also advised Pampa Energía on the $241m sale of its interest in Compañía de Inversiones de Energía. Fellow co-head Santiago Dellatorre also acted on a string of weighty mandates during 2016/17, including pairing up with ‘impressive younger partner’ Tomás Arnaude to represent Arca Continental on its $910m acquisition of a controlling stake in Corporación Lindley, the sole bottler of Coca-Cola products in Peru. Other highlights include advising Grupo Lamosa on the local aspects of its $230m acquisition of Etex’s ceramic floor and wall tile business in Latin America, and also advising Salta Refrescos on its acquisition of sugar mill Ingenio La Fronterita. Martín Fernández Dussaut is also an active member of the team.

Allende & Brea is a ‘very strong player’ and enjoys a solid position in the market due to its diverse experience and ‘dedicated lawyers’. In particular, Valeriano Guevara Lynch has a ‘strategic and commercial mind’; he co-leads the team alongside Pablo Louge, who is expected to step down from partnership before the end of 2017. Highlights included advising Ennis-Flint on the acquisition of an 80% stake in Cristacol and representing Suramericana on the £50m acquisition of Royal Sun Alliance Seguros (Argentina) and Aseguradora de Créditos y Garantías. Santiago Sturla and Diego Botana are also recommended.

At Baker McKenzie national managing partner Gustavo Boruchowicz is the primary contact for corporate matters; highlighted as a ‘strong negotiator’, he heads a four-partner department that secures a steady flow of cross-border and domestic deals. Among his recent highlights, Boruchowicz advised Delphi International on the $10m sale of Delphi Packard Argentina to Grupo Méndez. Roberto Grané is also a key name and represented an international corporation on the Argentine aspects of its global $575m disposal of a significant business unit. Adolfo Durañona is recommended for energy transactions and advised an Argentine subsidiary of Madalena Energy on the acquisition of an increased interest in the Coiron Amargo block.

A ‘highly sophisticated outfit’, Errecondo, González & Funes acts for an impressively diverse mix of clients on M&A deals but it is particularly well known for representing funds and institutional investors. Javier Errecondo is a key name and teamed up with Saturnino Funes, Facundo Goslino and Ximena Digon to represent Desarrolladora Energética in its $250m acquisition of energy utilities Empresa Distribuidora Norte and Empresa Distribuidora Sur. Baruki Gonzalez is also recommended and advised Fintech on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Telecom Argentina from Telecom Italia. The team has also recently undertaken work for Castlelake, BBVA Frances and Calidra.

A ‘top firm with some very strong lawyers’, M & M Bomchil possesses a capable corporate offering with notable strength in the consumer products, TMT, sports and entertainment and tourism sectors. Jointly led by Marcelo Bombau and managing partner Javier Petrantonio, the group also draws on the expertise of real estate specialist Laura Lavia Haidempergher. Headline work includes advising Mosaic on the local aspects of its $2.5bn multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Vale’s fertiliser business. The firm also leveraged its top-tier TMT practice to secure a role advising Viacom on the $345m acquisition of Telefe from Telefónica. Albwardy Investment, Banco de Galicia and Nestlé are also representative clients.

Estudio O'Farrell’s ‘excellent team’ finds favour for its ‘strong professionalism’, ‘good value for money on larger transactions’ and ‘partners’ high involvement in deals’. Uriel O’Farrell co-heads the group alongside ‘experienced lawyer and skilled negotiator’ Ricardo Castañeda. O’Farrell and Castañeda recently teamed up with Sebastián Luegmayer to advise YPF on a credit and acquisition agreement with Pampa Energía, which involved assigning YPF certain exploitation concessions including a 33% stake in the Rio Neuquén block. In another headline energy deal, the group advised I Squared Capital on its $1.2bn acquisition of Duke Energy’s Argentine entities.

Traditionally overshadowed by its formidable insurance offering, Bulló Abogados’ standalone M&A practice provides ‘very good service and accurate advice’ to a broad range of corporates and financial institutions. Francisco Roggero is a ‘complete lawyer, who knows the field’; he advised a regional telecoms company on a significant local acquisition. Other representative clients include HSBC, Energizer Holdings and Mapfre. Gustavo Torassa is also a senior figure in the team.

At Estudio Garrido Abogados, managing partner Gustavo Garrido is the name to note for corporate work and oversees a broad practice with robust experience in energy, TMT and capital markets. Lucas Granillo Ocampo is also active in the area. Recent highlights include advising Millennial Lithium on the acquisition of mining properties in the Salar de Pastos Grandes. Columbus Oil and Gas, Global Emerging Markets Forestry Fund and Liminar Energí are also representative clients.

Hope, Duggan & Silva provides ‘excellent service’ and is also commended for remaining ‘very close to the client throughout the legal process’. Juan Duggan, Javier Zapiola and Rufino Arce are the key names, but José Nelson and Gotardo Pedemonte also spend a significant amount of time on corporate work. In a highligh deal, the firm advised the selling shareholders of Alimentos Calchaquí Productos 7 on the sale of the company to BRF.

Severgnini, Robiola, Grinberg & Tombeur’s practice, led by corporate finance partner Carlos Tombeur, is active across a broad spread of M&A, private equity investments, joint ventures and capital markets work. One recent headline mandate saw Francisco Lagger advise Empresa Nacional de Petróleo, and its subsidiary Sipetrol Argentina, on the sale of 50% of the capital stock of ArPetrol Argentina to YPF. Banco Patagonia, Shree Renuka Energy and Energy Vestas Argentina are also representative clients.

Under the leadership of Pablo Vergara del Carril, Multilaw-alliance member Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados continues to broaden its corporate offering, demonstrating strong experience in the food and agribusiness areas – alongside its signature strength in real estate. Furthermore, in 2017 the firm hired two new partners in a move that should add a further dimension to its corporate offering: energy specialist Amalia Sáenz joined the firm from Brons & Salas, while new public law head Emilio Battioli arrived from Paolantonio & Legon Abogados. Department highlights include acting for Austral Gold on its $20m acquisition of Argentex.

Alfaro-Abogados utilises its representative offices in Beijing, London and New York to secure a steady stream of cross-border work. As a case in point, it is advising China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation (CPTDC) on the establishment of its Argentine branch. Carlos Alfaro is the key contact.

Over the past year, Allende & Ferrante has significantly boosted its corporate practice with the promotion of transactional specialist Mariana Miglino to partner, and the hire of corporate and insolvency expert Rodrigo Alegria from Estudio Alegría, Buey Fernández, Fissore y Montemerlo. Miglino recently teamed up with Lisandro Allende and Gustavo Ferrante to represent Telefónica on the sale of Telefe to Viacom.

The ‘responsive and commercial’, Beretta Godoy reinforced its corporate team over the past year with the promotion of corporate specialist Armando Ricci to partner, and the hire of Santiago Barilá – formerly general counsel at state-owned Operadora Ferroviaria Sociedad del Estado. Managing partner Federico Godoy is ‘excellent’ and oversees a team with a strong record in infrastructure transactions.

Nicholson y Cano Abogados’ ‘corporate team is slightly smaller than its competitors, but has the same attention to detail’, according to one client. María Fraguas is recommended and teamed up with Miguel Blaquier to advise Sancor Cooperativas Unidas on the $100m sale of a 90% stake in Alimentos Refrigerados to the Vicentin Group. Santiago Nicholson and Naldo Dasso are also recommended.

Corporate boutique Salaberren & López Sansón continues to broaden its sector experience and has recently handled deals for clients in the food and beverage, energy, technology, real estate, financial services and agribusiness industries. Highlights included representing Constructora Excon on the establishment of a mining construction project in Argentina. Rafael Salaberren heads a team that also counts Coca-Cola, Pampa Energía and Mercado Libre as clients.

Wiener Soto Caparrós provides ongoing advice to APR Energy on general corporate matters, and recently advised on its successful bids for two new power projects. The firm also acts for Coca-Cola Andina, McCain Foods and Trico Latinoamericana on day-to-day corporate issues. Mariela del Carmen Caparrós and Laurence Wiener are the key contacts.

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