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Argentina > Energy and natural resources > Electricity > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi’s energy and natural resources practice is a growing force. Although traditionally better known for its oil-and-gas capability, the firm’s power offering has made great gains in recent years, with the 2015 hire of regulatory expert Ignacio Minorini from Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal really cementing its ambitions in this area. Transactional specialist Mariano Luchetti co-leads the group alongside Minorini and enjoys a strong market profile. The firm stood out as a key player in Argentina’s recent renewable energy programme, representing domestic and multinational clients in 18 tenders, accounting for around 1300 MW worth of projects out of the total 6300 MW on offer. The firm also advises Sociedad Argentina de Energía, the largest power-generating company in the country, on day-to-day matters, including corporate, regulatory and contractual issues. Other representative clients include Canadian Solar, Dax Energy and Mainstream Renewable Power. Administrative and regulatory law head Ignacio Sanz and senior counsel Carlos de Kemmeter are also active in this space.

M & M Bomchil’s power practice is well weighted between transactional and regulatory expertise, with contentious work standing out as a particular sweet spot. Department head and administrative law expert Guido Tawil is widely acclaimed for his regulatory prowess and brings to bear an enviable track record in power-related arbitrations. María Inés Corrá and Francisco Gutiérrez are also key names for regulatory matters. Among its highlight contentious cases, the team is defending an Argentine gas producer in a $250m ICC arbitration brought by a Chilean gas distributor. It also represents Siemens in contractual conflicts arising out of the supply, installation and maintenance of a thermoelectric power plant. On the transactional side, the firm is advising a local renewable energy group in a major wind power project in Southern Patagonia. Compañía Eléctrica San Isidro, Hidroeléctrica El Chocón and Termoeléctrica General Belgrano are also on the department’s books.

Estudio O'Farrell is ‘simply the best for client service’ and scores highly for its ‘good responsiveness’ and ‘sound knowledge of the area’. Led jointly by senior partner Uriel O´Farrell, who has ‘deep sector expertise’, and ‘excellent’ public law expert Agustín Siboldi, the practice has a strong bent towards regulatory work. Recent mandates include advising Edenor on its concession renegotiation agreement relating to electricity distribution in Buenos Aires. The firm also provides ongoing advice to various electricity generating companies (including Central Térmica Güemes and Hidroeléctrica Los Nihuiles) on regulatory issues. On the transactional side, the firm advised Pampa Energía on the auction proceedings to award new power electricity generation plants and also on turbine acquisition and installation agreements. María Agustina Fanelli Evans and Fernando García Pullés are also active in power matters.

Beccar Varela garners strong praise for its ‘immediate response times’, ‘full knowledge of the national electricity environment’ and ‘thorough and precise advice’. The multi-disciplinary practice draws on the firm’s administrative law, project finance, tax, corporate, and labour departments to provide comprehensive coverage of all stages of the electricity life cycle. Junior partner José Carlos Cueva is ‘attentive and dedicated’ and provides ongoing advice to UK-based Hive Energy on the development of solar power plants in Argentina. Corporate finance partner Roberto Fortunati is also regularly involved in energy deals and advised Eren Groupe in tendering for several wind and solar projects as part of the National Government’s bidding process to award power purchase agreements. Key senior associate Marcos Moreno Hueyo has extensive experience and a postgraduate mining qualification from Chile, as well as over a decade practicing in Argentina. Since research concluded, Diego Parravicini has left the firm to move in-house at Pan American Silver.

Widely regarded as a heavyweight in the power area, Díaz Bobillo, Sigwald & Vittone Abogados ‘knows the industry inside out’ and is particularly sought-after for regulatory and compliance matters. In addition, while it may be smaller than many of its competitors, it can still provide supplementary expertise in environmental, corporate, tax and labour law matters. Victor Diaz Bobillo is considered by many as a ‘market leader’ due to his ‘deep involvement in the sector’, notably he brings significant in-house experience to his role, following a five-year stint as legal director of the largest electric power group in Argentina. Carolina Sigwald is also a power specialist and is highly recommended. Key clients include Isolux Corsán and Sociedad Argentina de Electricidad.

The energy group at Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal is ‘second-to-none’, according to its satisfied clients who also highlight its ‘unmatched efficacy and efficiency’. Combining strong capability in tenders and generation projects, with a solid background in electricity regulation, the team is regularly instructed by multinational clients in high-profile transactions. Key contact Francisco Macías is a ‘skilful negotiator’ and ‘very reliable under pressure’; he is working hand-in-hand with the public law and corporate teams to advise Chinese investors on regulatory power issues and contract negotiation related to the $4.7bn construction of the largest hydroelectric project currently being developed in Argentina. On the nuclear-energy side, he is advising Chinese nuclear companies on the construction of a nuclear power plant in Buenos Aires. Associate Gonzalo Santamaria is also extremely active in this area.

The ‘responsive and committed’, Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez De Hoz, Jr’s power practice has strong experience in transactional matters but it also regularly handles commercial, regulatory and contentious matters for an enviable mix of domestic, regional and multinational clients. Led by José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz Jr, the group also calls on the services of ‘very competent and dedicated’ energy specialist Pablo Rueda and public law partner Juan Cruz Azzarri. Recent work includes advising Sinopec in regulatory matters relating to the installation of a gas-fired power plant. The firm is also representing Duke Energy in a $105m dispute arising from the accidental opening of a dam gate, which resulted in the application of a severe penalty by the Argentine gas authorities.

Tavarone, Rovelli, Salim & Miani – Abogados leverages its robust banking and finance practice to specialise in advising energy companies on project finance deals. In a recent example, the firm advised Generación Mediterránea in a $60m secured syndicated credit facility to finance investments in thermoelectric power stations located in la Rioja and Córdoba. The department also houses a distinct regulatory capability – Nicolás Eliaschev has a first class practice in this area and recently advised SoEnergy on several power purchase (PPAs) agreements with CAMMESA (Wholesale Electricity Market Administration Company) and ENARSA (Energía Argentina Sociedad Anónima).

Administrative and public law boutique Cassagne Abogados is a respected name for regulatory matters. The firm advises on a broad spread of commercial, corporate and contentious work including permits and licences, concession agreements, and project finance. Name partner and senior statesman Juan Carlos Cassagne retains a strong profile in the market; experienced partners Máximo Fonrouge and Julio Durand are more active on day-to-day matters.

Estudio Ortiz & Asociados’ nascent energy practice has hit the ground running following the arrival of department head Florencia Ortiz Freuler in 2015. Ortiz joined the firm after seven years spent working as a lawyer in Brazil, which included an in-house role at Invepar where she oversaw the financing of new infrastructure projects. The firm has been highly active in renewable energy projects over the past year, and it also routinely advises power companies on M&A deals, joint ventures, finance issues and regulatory matters.

Industry stalwart Pozo Gowland Abogados maintains its active presence in the power sector, due to its specialist skill set in public utilities matters. Under the leadership of administrative law specialist Héctor Pozo Gowland, the team regularly advises on the negotiation and performance of administrative contracts relating to the operation of public utilities. Representative clients include Petrobras, Transener and Transportadora de Gas del Sur.

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