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Argentina > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading lawyers
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Who Represents Who

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The ‘problem-solving’ group at Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi distinguishes itself through the ‘speed and quality of its superior service’, according to satisfied clients. The diverse practice has a strong reputation for commercial litigation, class actions and international arbitration and packs a particular punch in cases relating to energy, TMT and financial services. The department draws on the expertise of four core partners, most of whom are former judges, and it also fields a strong team of junior lawyers. Carlos Rotman is a ‘stand-out leader in the area’ and represented Posadas Group in a complex breach of contract case. Leandro Caputo ‘deeply knows the law and how to win a case’; he teamed up with Rotman and Ignacio Minorini Lima to successfully represent Prescription Data in its ICC arbitration against IMS Health relating to the breach of an agreement in Brazil. Martín Beretervide is another key name and represented Aerodoc in a complex multi-jurisdictional case concerning the theft of trade secrets in the satellite telecoms sector. Francisco Cárrega is also a high-profile litigator; senior specialist Rodolfo Ramírez retired in 2016. Among its most impressive associates Martín Medici is an ‘excellent lawyer’ and José María López Posse is ‘very efficient and knowledgeable’. Other active clients include Deutsche Bank, Pan American Energy and Petrobras.

The ‘highly responsive and user-friendly’, M & M Bomchil is roundly praised for its ‘considered but commercial advice’ and its ‘ability to remain one step ahead of the opposing side’. The practice’s ‘deep and broad bench’ is also widely lauded and certainly the department comprises some of the firm’s most well-known names including Guido Tawil, who heads the economic regulation, administrative law and arbitration practices; experienced counsel Rafael Manóvil, who remains a prestigious name in the market; and senior statesman Hugo Lafalce, who remains active in high-stakes cases. Among its key arbitration cases, Tawil teamed up with Francisco Gutiérrez and María Inés Corrá to represent a major international company in claims brought under ICC, UNCITRAL and domestic rules by local subcontractors relating to a state contract terminated by the government. The team is also representing Endesa in attempts by EDF to enforce an annulled $188m ICC award in several jurisdictions. Javier Petrantonio heads the litigation practice and recently led a team (which also included Lafalce and highly-rated senior associate Martín Torres Girotti), representing multinational retail giant Carrefour in four large claims arising from the acquisition of Argentine supermarket chains. In a strong example of its administrative law prowess, the firm is representing several wheat mills in claims against the government concerning the lack of compensation for commercialising flour to the domestic market at subsidised prices.

The consensus among its clients is Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal is ‘head and shoulders above the rest’. The team’s ‘excellent responsiveness’, ‘deep level of analysis at first level’ and ‘exceptional client service’ are all significant draws, while its ability to ‘work as an integrated team, as opposed to some other firms where individual egos prevail’ is also considered a big plus. Among the names to note, Ricardo Ostrower is a ‘seasoned litigator with deep knowledge in civil and arbitration procedures’; he acted hand-in-hand with the public law department to represent Cargill in two significant pieces of litigation, including a case against the customs authority. The ‘outstanding’ Santiago Soria is picked out by one multinational client as ‘my favourite attorney’; he paired up with Ostrower to represent Total Austal in a $241m ICC arbitration brought by Metrogas concerning the alleged breach of an international natural-gas supply-agreement. Facundo Viel Temperley is an ‘absolute Rottweiler of a litigator who knows his practice and procedure inside out’; he worked alongside the banking and administrative law departments to successfully represent Citibank in administrative litigation arising from the state’s threat to revoke the bank’s Argentine branch licence. Sources also single out Rodrigo García, who ‘really listens to clients to understand their needs’, and ‘outstanding’ senior associate Daniela Delfino. The group also includes respected senior figures Héctor Mairal, Martín Campbell and department head Alberto Molinario.

Fielding a five-partner strong contentious team, Rivera & Asociados ‘punches well above its weight in the disputes area’ and is regarded by some as a ‘top choice for complex cases’. It is particularly well regarded for bankruptcy litigation (where it is considered a market leader), and commercial arbitration. Name partner Julio César Rivera is a leading expert in the area and is highlighted for his ‘deep experience and strategic brain’; he is currently acting as arbitrator in several procedures including an ICC Arbitration in Montevideo. Other prominent partners in the team include Beltrán Louge, Julio César Rivera (h) and Gustavo Giatti. On the arbitration front, the team remained busy advising on several sensitive energy-related cases. Highlights on the commercial litigation side included representing Coca-Cola Argentina in bringing an unfair competition case against a rival company. It is also advising the Argentine Football Association in a high-profile breach of contract case relating to television rights. Additional recent matters saw the team advising on environmental, shareholder, consumer law, and construction litigation.

A ‘solid choice for complex litigation’ Beccar Varela impresses with its ‘good balance between communication and disposition’, as well as its ‘outstanding understanding of the litigation and arbitration specifics of Argentina’. The firm houses a broad disputes practice, with robust expertise in arbitration, commercial and civil litigation and white-collar crime. Eduardo Güemes heads the department and brings to bear a solid track record in insolvency, credit recovery and debt restructuring matters. The team also draws on the expertise of Emilio Vogelius, who stepped down as group lead in 2016 and is now an advisory partner; insolvency and restructuring head Martín Gastaldi; and ‘excellent communicator’ Gonzalo García Delatour, who is noted for his ‘strong strategic planning’. Among its headline work, the firm is defending several clients (including Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires, Banco Itaú Argentina, Citibank and GlaxoSmithKline, among others) in collective claims filed by various consumer associations relating to charges linked to operating procedures, including issues such as credit card fees and commissions. The firm is also acting on arbitrations for clients in the life sciences, energy and automotive spheres. Other representative clients include ICBC, Samsung Electronics and Sanofi.

Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez De Hoz, Jr has a comprehensive dispute resolution practice that shines in several niche areas, particularly energy where it leverages its market-leading oil-and-gas practice to pack a punch representing energy companies in high-stakes cases. For arbitration and international litigation work, José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz Jr is considered among the market leaders; he recently represented YPF in a $1.6bn ICC arbitration brought by a Brazilian natural gas importer, a Brazilian power generator and an Argentine natural gas transportation company. In another high-profile case, he is representing two affiliates of Exxon Mobil against the Republic of Argentina in the annulment phase of an international investment arbitration before ICSID. On the litigation side, Mariano Grondona successfully represented Google in a landmark $100m case, which ruled that search engine websites are generally not responsible for third-party content that appears in online search results. Other senior litigators include Guillermo Quiñoa, Pablo Rueda and department head Luis Incera. ‘Very committed’ younger partner Jimena Vega Olmos is also recommended for administrative law matters.

A full-service firm with a distinguished reputation for dispute resolution, Abeledo Gottheil Abogados excels in commercial, civil, administrative, tax and labour litigation, and is also highly regarded for investment arbitration. Luis Erize is a specialist energy arbitrator and enjoys a strong profile in the market. Other key names include Sergio Porteiro, who is recommended for his experience in the regulated industries (especially energy and infrastructure), and ‘talented corporate litigator’ Hernán Oriolo. Representative clients include Gaz de France, Total and Vivendi.

Estudio Alegría, Buey Fernández, Fissore y Montemerlo’s litigation practice is particularly well known for its top-tier capability in contentious bankruptcies, but its strong skill sets in shareholder disputes, financial services litigation and international arbitration are also worthy of mention. Founding partner Héctor Alegría ‘wrote the book on insolvency law’ and is also a highly sought-after arbitrator. In addition, the group can call on the services of star litigator Pablo Buey Fernández and restructuring expert Gabriel Fissore. Ongoing high-profile matters include the team’s representation of Chevron in its long-running dispute with Ecuador arising from a controversial $9.5bn judgment.

Allende & Brea’s practice stands out due to its formidable expertise in class actions, particularly insurance and financial services-related claims, as well as its solid capability in commercial litigation and arbitration. David Gurfinkel heads the team and paired up with environmental specialist María Morena Del Río to defend Syngenta Agro in a claim alleging environmental damage arising from the use of PET packaging. Enrique Cristian Fox is the other key contact and is representing Chubb Argentina de Seguros in a $70m dispute concerning the determination of damages arising from the termination of a construction and concession agreement.

The ‘committed and knowledgeable’, Baker McKenzie is commended for its ‘tailor-made advice’. Led by administrative law expert Luis Dates, who is ‘well equipped to handle complex legal issues’, the team is particularly well-versed in energy disputes, breach of contract cases, public law matters and product liability litigation. Dates is representing Potasio Rio Colorado, a local Vale subsidiary, in its action against the province of Neuquén alleging breach of an executed public contract. Santiago Capparelli is also recommended and is defending P&G in a case concerning the termination of an advertising agency agreement.

Beretta Godoy’s dispute resolution practice leverages the firm’s robust mining and tax offerings to specialise in arbitration and litigation relating to those areas. It also acts on contentious employment, construction and foreign investment matters. Managing partner Federico Godoy heads the arbitration practice and brings to bear strong experience in project finance and construction. Juan Sonoda leads the litigation department and specialises in energy and natural resources matters. Yamana Gold, Allergan Productos and Argentimport are significant recent clients.

Litigators at Bulló Abogados are commended for their ‘deep knowledge of the insurance industry’. However, the group also demonstrates strength in the telecoms and banking sectors, as well as consumer law, environmental disputes, IP and antitrust matters. Among recent mandates, the team is managing 110 class actions for clients such as HSBC Bank Argentina, Banco Comafi and Telefónica de Argentina. Key partners include Diego Alonso, who provides ‘excellent service’, Gastón Gómez Buquerín, Mariano de Estrada and Gustavo Torassa.

Over the past year, Daniel Calatrava’s team at Estudio O'Farrell remained busy advising on a diverse mix of credit recovery issues, product liability cases and class actions. The automotive sphere is a significant source of instructions and the group has long advised Ford Argentina on all its judicial litigation, including cases relating to product defects. Francisco Astolfi is also recommended and provides ongoing advice to Medicus in its litigation cases, including defending the company in a significant class action. The team has also recently undertaken work for Construtora Andrade Gutierrez, Farmcity and Turkish Airlines.

Salaverri, Dellatorre, Burgio & Wetzler Malbrán has recently secured lead roles in several headline contentious cases. Most notably, group co-head Damián Burgio successfully represented Pampa Energía in a $4m arbitration against a company owned and controlled by the province of Chubut. Germán Wetzler Malbrán co-leads the department and is defending Orígenes Seguros de Vida in a precedent-setting collective action related to the issuance of coverage certificates and payment in collective life insurance policies. Other headline work includes successfully advising New Arrecife on its attempts to declare the unconstitutionality of the tax authorities’ regulations impeding the importation of goods.

Cerolini & Ferrari Abogados acted on a steady stream of consumer law cases over the past year and clients highlight its ‘great knowledge on the subject’. Department head Matías Ferrari is an ‘expert class action lawyer’ and is representing Banco Patagonia in a consumer class action relating to foreign currency exchange rates. The firm is also managing consumer class actions on behalf of Banco Hipotecario and RJ Delta Asset Management.

Hope, Duggan & Silva’s dispute resolution practice, led jointly by Juan Duggan, Hugo Maciel and Gustavo Vayo, has a strong record in financial services litigation. Bankruptcy proceedings, tax litigation, environmental disputes and consumer law matters are also strong areas of activity. Recent work includes defending Tecplata in several environmental claims relating to certain dredging operations.

Wiener Soto Caparrós’ diverse practice encompasses a broad range of commercial, employment and tax matters. McCain Foods is a key client and the firm manages its Latin American litigation portfolio; notably it is advising the frozen food giant on a commercial dispute with Esperanza Sud relating to the breach of several supply contracts. Gonzalo Soto is the key contact for a group that also counts and APR Energy, Omron Healthcare and Coca-Cola Andina as clients.

Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados’ recent caseload included an instruction by a multinational media company to represent it in a class action. The team garners a significant volume of consumer law cases, and in addition, shareholder disputes and contentious bankruptcy cases. Senior partner and former commercial court judge Carlos Ferrario is recommended and the team also includes Karina Kucyk and Rodrigo Bustingorry.

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