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Argentina > Energy and natural resources > Oil and gas > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Energy and natural resources: oil and gas
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Fantastic boutiqueAlliani & Bruzzon impresses clients and peers alike with its ‘specialist knowledge’ and ‘deep industry expertise’. In particular, Pablo Alliani is widely revered as a ‘stand-out expert in the market’, with his ‘deep and broad experience’ attracting strong praise from sources. The group also benefits from the specialist capabilities of Fernando Brunelli, Cristian Galansky and of counsel Alejandro D’Onofrio. The firm is regularly called upon by multinational oil companies to advise on strategic issues, with notable expertise in both transactional and regulatory matters. Chevron is a key client and it recently advised the oil major on its bid for the Loma del Molle exploration block in Neuquén. It also advises Chevron on issues connected to its agreements with YPF to develop the Loma Campana and Loma la Lata blocks. Other work highlights, include assisting Statoil with regulatory and contractual matters related to its farm-out agreement with YPF for the Bajo del Toro area.

Martínez de Hoz & Rueda's oil and gas practice, which transferred in its entirety from the former Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez De Hoz, Jr, ranks among the market leaders due to its broad and deep coverage of the hydrocarbons area. The firm’s senior firepower in energy arbitration is a key draw, with José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz Jr highly sought after for his impressive track record in some of Argentina’s most high-stakes oil and gas disputes; he recently represented YPF in an ICC arbitration filed by a natural gas importer and a natural gas transportation company, which eventually settled for $60m – less than 5% of the original $1.5bn claim. The department also houses formidable transactional expertise and Martínez de Hoz Jr led the firm’s recent advice to Trafigura on the $145m acquisition of the majority of the downstream business of Pampa Energía. The practice group also benefits from the expertise of senior specialist Pablo Rueda, Neuquén office managing partner Tomás Lanardonne and Juan Cruz Azzarri.

The oil and gas practice at Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal strikes an enviable balance between corporate and contentious matters, with a strong recent showing in major energy arbitrations. As a case in point, transactional specialist Ricardo Beller acted hand-in-hand with the firm’s litigation department to successfully represent Total Austral in a high-profile arbitration brought by Metrogas stemming from the alleged breach of an international natural gas supply agreement. In another example of the firm’s ability to leverage its extensive resources to provide multidisciplinary advice, department head Francisco Macías teamed up with the corporate and tax groups to advise BP on a joint venture with Bridas and CNOOC to form Pan American Energy Group. Macías also led the oil and gas aspects of the firm’s advice to Total on the Argentine leg of its €237.5m multi-jurisdictional acquisition of a minority stake in Eren. Other recommended names include experienced counsel Arturo Pera and Pedro Serrano Espelta.

Energy law is a sweet spot at Bazán Cambré & Orts and the firm brings to bear over thirty years of specialised experience in the sector. The group handles the full life cycle of oil and gas matters, from assisting with bidding rounds, through to M&A matters and regulatory issues. Multinational clients provide the bulk of instructions and representative names include Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Enap Sipetrol Argentina. Mario Orts – who is widely regarded as a pioneer in Argentina’s energy market – Jaime Sánchez de la Puente and Nicolás Dilernia are the key contacts.

Dedicated and always available’, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi provides ‘excellent service, which is comparable to international law firms’. Javier Rodríguez Galli, who leads the group, combines ‘outstanding client commitment’ with ‘deep industry experience’, while corporate partner Exequiel Buenaventura demonstrates ‘great M&A expertise’. The team also benefits from a capable band of senior associates with Santiago Balbi and Nicolás Dulce highlighted together as ‘very productive and responsive’. Recent highlights include advising Petronas E&P Argentina on the second phase of its joint venture agreement with YPF for the development of the La Amarga Chica field. Gazprom EP International, Pentanova Energy and Vista Oil & Gas are other representative clients.

Nicholson y Cano Abogados’ ‘strong and specialist’ energy group enjoys a healthy profile for oil and gas law. The practice, which is composed of ‘very knowledgeable lawyers’, spans a comprehensive range of regulatory and transactional matters, with particular expertise in exploration, transportation, permitting, joint ventures and M&A. The team also leans on the firm’s robust environmental law department. Miguel Blaquier and ‘very business savvy’ transactional specialist Marcelo Lamesa are the key contacts. Representative clients include Enap Sipetrol, High Luck Group and YPF.

Estudio O'Farrell’s oil and gas practice, which sits within the firm’s public law and economic regulation department, has a strong focus on regulatory and contentious issues. Led jointly by Uriel O´Farrell and Agustín Siboldi, the team covers a wide range of upstream and downstream matters including exploration, transportation and distribution. The firm’s strong links to YPF ensures key roles on major projects and in one notable mandate it is representing YPF on its joint venture with Petronas to develop the La Amarga Chica concession. The group also recently advised Gas Natural Ban on the renegotiation of the license agreement for natural gas distribution in Buenos Aires and the north of Buenos Aires province.

Alfaro-Abogados provides regulatory and day-to-day corporate advice to a string of domestic and multinational oil and gas companies but it is particularly well known for its close links to Chinese clients. Among its recent matters, the firm assisted China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation with the establishment of an Argentine branch. Carlos Alfaro heads a group that also counts Andes Energia, Parker Drilling and Sinopec as clients.

Very knowledgeable and fast’, Baker McKenzie distinguishes itself through its ‘extensive industry knowledge’ and ‘strong understanding of the business reality’. The group acts for an impressive roster of multinational clients, mainly on the oil and gas services side, and it recently advised Eco-Stim Energy Solutions on the structuring of its local operations. Adolfo Durañona is singled out for providing ‘tailor-made advice’ and co-leads the department alongside Roberto Grané. The group also includes newly made-up partner and ‘impressive talentEzequiel Artola.

Under the leadership of senior corporate finance partner Roberto Fortunati, the practice at Beccar Varela continues to raise its profile in the oil and gas arena. Over the past year, the group advised on bidding processes, concession agreements, operational contracts and corporate matters. It can also draw upon supplementary expertise in environmental, administrative and employment law. Highlights included advising American Energy Partners on its initial agreements with YPF for the exploration and development of two projects in the Vaca Muerta formation. Junior partner José Carlos Cueva is also a key contact.

The energy department is a central pillar of Martelli Abogados’ firmwide practice, with name partner Hugo Martelli consistently named among the market’s leading oil and gas lawyers. The compact two-partner team is particularly well versed in regulatory and contentious matters, with expertise in permitting, exploitation and transportation concessions and operation agreements – it also has experience in M&A and project development. Pablo de Rosso, who handles transactional matters, is also highly regarded.

At Abeledo Gottheil Abogados, high-profile regulated industries expert Luis Erize stands out as a ‘leader for oil and gas regulation’. Erize is a particularly prominent name for energy arbitration and represented a major energy company in a long-running arbitration brought against the government under a bilateral investment protection treaty – the case finally settled in 2017. The group also draws upon the expertise of infrastructure partner Sergio Porteiro.

Allende & Brea’s practice, which is led jointly by Marcos Patrón Costas and Juan Martín Allende, acts for a mix of oil and gas companies and oilfield service providers. Notably, it provides ongoing advice to TechnipFMC and Weatherford on day-to-day matters, including contractual issues, foreign exchange matters and litigation. Sabre Drilling Argentina, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation and Axion Energy are also on the department’s books.

Beretta Godoy’s broad experience in oil and gas encompasses environmental planning, project development, corporate finance, tax matters and regulatory issues. Among its recent work, it advised BHP Petroleum Argentina on tax structuring. Juan Sonoda, who leads both the litigation and energy and natural resources departments, is a key contact.

Over the past year, Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados handled a steady stream of regulatory, commercial and corporate matters in the oil and gas space. Department lead Amalia Sáenz maintains a broad energy and natural resources practice and recently advised key client Profertil on the long and short-term supply of natural gas to fuel its production processes.

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