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Who Represents Who

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A ‘market leader’, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi continues to impress with its ‘excellent technical and legal knowledge complemented by practical experience’ and its ‘broad capability across all key tax areas’. Combining strong litigation expertise with transactional firepower, the group also handles tax planning and day-to-day counselling. Among the names to note, Liban Kusa is ‘among the best in the country for tax law’ and has a prominent reputation for contentious matters; he is defending HSBC Bank in a $90m case relating to alleged tax evasion. Tax head Matías Olivero Vila brings to bear a strong record in transactional tax issues and recently paired up with ‘excellent’ senior associate Daniela Rey to advise Village Cinemas on the tax aspects of a corporate spin-off to separate existing business units. Senior counsel Jorge Damarco remains a key figure in the department and teamed up with Kusa and Olivero Vila to defend Bunge in a transfer pricing case. Ezequiel Lipovetzky’s practice concentrates mainly on tax consulting – although he has been involved in several contentious cases over the past year –and he provides ongoing advice to Energyst, Casino Group and Tribune on day-to-day issues. As one would expect, customs and foreign trade lead Eduardo Mallea is highly active on customs tax and transfer pricing issues. The firm also routinely advises on the tax aspects of major banking, capital markets and M&A deals, such as its recent advice to Citibank on the sale of its retail banking business in Argentina to Santander Río. Senior associates Juan Pablo Baumann and Javier Malamud are also recommended.

Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal sets itself apart through its ‘strong relationships with the tax authorities’ and its ability to ‘work as a team to ensure a 360-degree view of the subject, so all points are considered’. In particular, Horacio García Prieto is a ‘one-of-a-kind team leader and litigation expert’, who stands out for his ‘remarkable experience in tax matters’; he continues to lead the group’s advice to Cargill in various cases relating to export taxes and is also representing Pan American Silver on its opposition to the application of a new tax established by the province of Santa Cruz. Among its other contentious cases, Walter Keiniger represented AMX Argentina (Claro) in a high-value administrative case concerning an assessment issued by the Municipality of La Matanza. Gabriel Gotlib has a strong profile for international and transactional tax matters and was instructed by Related Group to advise on the tax aspects of a major real estate development. María Inés Brandt is ‘extremely dedicated and professional’ and advised Petrobras on the local tax aspects of its $891m multi-jurisdictional sale of Petrobras Participaciones to Pampa Energía. Fernando Vaquero is also a key partner, while recommended senior associates include Maria Soledad Gonzalez, Juan Pablo Rothschild and María Alejandra Stefanich (‘an excellent, reliable and dedicated young lawyer focused on providing prompt responses’).

The ‘very good’ team at Baker McKenzie is well known for its impressive record in transfer pricing, and it also shines in tax planning and contentious issues. Group head Martín Barreiro is ‘highly knowledgeable and business-oriented’ and is recommended for his experience in cross-border and international tax. The team also includes Juan Pablo Menna, who handles transactional matters, tax planning and tax litigation. Among its recent work, the team advised Mastercard on restructuring and tax planning matters; it also represented a global hotel chain on an income tax claim made by the tax authority. The group acts for an impressive roster of multinational corporations and other representative clients include Archer Daniels Midland, Lexmark and Nokia.

Discrete tax boutique Bulit Goñi & Tarsitano commands respect in the market due to its ‘top-notch lawyers’, ‘in-depth tax knowledge’ and ‘excellent, partner-led service’. The firm’s specialist expertise translates into a first-class client roster that includes major national and multinational names such as Chevron, DuPont Argentina and YPF and it excels in the full spread of tax planning, transactional tax matters and litigation. High-profile name Enrique Bulit Goñi is a market doyen, who is widely lauded for ‘immense tax knowledge that is unrivalled in Argentina’. Co-founding partner Alberto Tarsitano remains an active member of the practice and is recommended for both transactional and contentious tax issues. María Inés Giménez and Ignacio Pampliega are also highly-regarded tax specialists.

The ‘responsive and technical’ group at Rosso Alba, Francia & Asociados demonstrates ‘service levels and expertise at a par with leading international law firms’. Tax work is a key pillar of the boutique firm, and it is recognised for its strong expertise in transfer pricing as well as customs matters, complex contentious cases and wealth management. Cristian Rosso Alba is ‘extremely knowledgeable about the law and business environment’ and continues to advise CIARA-CEC (the Argentine Chamber of Grains and Oilseed Exporting Companies) on OECD proposals for amending the transfer-pricing guidelines related to commodity exports. Constitutional law specialist Juan Manuel Soria is also recommended and represented Noble Argentina (now COFCO Argentina) in a constitutional challenge related to export duties.

The ‘first-class’ specialist boutique Teijeiro & Ballone, Abogados enjoys a strong reputation for its ‘unique tax expertise’, which spans a comprehensive range of corporate tax, indirect taxation, transfer pricing, tax planning and tax litigation – for both corporate clients and individuals. Sector expert and ‘undoubted leading figure’ Guillermo Teijeiro maintains a broad practice and is active across a diverse mix of sophisticated transfer pricing issues, corporate transactions and contentious cases. Likewise, Mariano Ballone handles both tax litigation and non-contentious matters, and demonstrates notable strength in corporate finance and private equity-related work. Recent highlights include advising Bunge on a number of transfer pricing disputes.

Tax is a mainstay at Asorey & Navarrine and the firm has strong experience in tax planning, transfer pricing, M&A-related matters and tax litigation. The ‘very well respected’ Ruben Asorey is recognised as a leading light in the area, particularly for international taxation, and litigation and arbitration cases. The firm acts for an enviably diverse client base and many household-name companies have turned to the firm for tax advice including Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Burger King. In 2017, highly-rated associate Ana Verardo left for an in-house position at ICBC.

Luna Requena & Fernández Borzese Abogados continues to strengthen its impressive record in high-profile tax litigation, and it also has solid experience in tax planning and transactional matters. Headline work saw Alvaro Luna Requena successfully represent a cross-sector group of industrial companies (in several separate cases) before the Supreme Court, contesting discriminatory tax rates levied by certain provinces on companies with industrial premises located outside the taxing province. Ignacio Fernández Borzese is also recommended and represented SAS Automotriz Argentina in its claim for a refund of minimum presumed income tax.

The ‘technical and strategic’ team at M & M Bomchil attracts praise for its ‘responsive, partner-led service’ and its ‘detail-oriented approach’. Alejandro Messineo has ‘deep tax knowledge’ and heads a group that routinely advises on tax planning, transactional matters, transfer pricing, indirect taxes and litigation. Among recent mandates, the group advised on a case relating to the tax authority’s recharacterisation of debt into capital contributions. Ariadna Artopoulos is another key name in a team that counts Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, Alstom Argentina and PepsiCo de Argentina as clients.

Satisfied clients of Estudio O'Farrell’s tax group award it the ultimate accolade when they say, ‘we would never go elsewhere’. In particular, the team’s ‘outstanding level of service’ and ability to provide ‘immediate responses based on complete industry knowledge’ are roundly praised. Among the names to note, ‘technically excellent’ group head Miguel Tesón is ‘the global advisor you want close to you in any investment venture in Argentina’, while Guillermo Lalanne has ‘strong experience in provincial and local tax matters’. Valeria Estathio and María Celina Valls are also recommended. Transener recently instructed the team in a landmark tax case relating to loans executed in a foreign currency. The group also advised BRF on two judicial actions and one administrative refund claim challenging the constitutionality of the minimum presumed income tax.

Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martínez De Hoz, Jr scores highly for its ‘very responsive service’ and for its ‘strong partner involvement in all cases’. High-profile tax specialist Manuel Benites is ‘knowledgeable and dedicated’ and leads a three-partner group that also draws on the expertise of respected tax litigator Marcelo Núñez and Maximiliano Batista, who has ‘good technical knowledge of the tax environment in Argentina’. Transactional highlights include advising Cerámica San Lorenzo on the tax aspects of the sale of its ceramic business in Latin America. On the contentious side, it advised United Airlines on a tax authority challenge to its tax-free reorganisation process. Other representative clients include BRF, Sinopec and Total Austral.

The ‘very capable’ tax practice at Allende & Brea acts on a steady stream of tax structuring and transactional-related matters – it also handles tax-related administrative and judicial litigation. Recent work includes advising Bodegas y Viñedos Huarpe on its tax-free reorganisation. Department head Diego Botana is ‘experienced and reliable’.

Beccar Varela’s tax practice, led by ‘all-round tax specialist’ Santiago Montezanti, has strong experience in the pharmaceutical, banking and credit card sectors. In a highlight example of its niche strength, the team advised Credit Suisse on the tax aspects of various investment products to be offered to Argentine clients, including securities and structured finance products. The group also has notable expertise in cross-border matters, tax disputes and criminal tax matters. Deutsche Bank, Harmony Group and BTG Pactual are also key clients.

Under the leadership of Tomás Balzano, Beretta Godoy’s tax practice has a strong focus on energy and natural resources-related matters. It also shines in international taxation and transfer pricing issues. Recent work includes advising Yamana Gold on tax and foreign trade matters relating to the inflow of funds to finance local mining projects. It also advised Sinopec on steps to obtain federal and provincial tax benefits in relation to its potential participation in the wholesale electricity market.

The local tax controversy practice of global giant Deloitte & Co. S.A. advises both national and multinational companies on M&A-related matters, restructurings, tax audits and dispute resolution. Cynthia Calligaro is recommended for contentious matters – particularly regarding transfer pricing, minimum presumed income tax and double tax treaties – and acted on a significant case related to the turnover tax becoming a state customs duty, which is forbidden under Argentina’s constitution. Clients include BASF Argentina, HDI Seguros and Sony Argentina.

At Mitrani, Caballero, Ojam & Ruiz Moreno, group head Corina Laudato ‘gets straight to the point’ and is ‘great to work with’. Among her recent matters, Laudato advised a major multinational manufacturer on a significant transfer pricing dispute. On the transactional side, the firm advised a US-based telecoms company on the tax aspects of a joint venture with local players.

Corporate and tax boutique Salaberren & López Sansón’s compact size and niche expertise ensures it remains a global referral favourite. The firm utilises its close links with US and UK firms to act for major multinational blue chip clients on tax issues, with strong showings in the food and beverage, financial services, power, technology, real estate and financial services spheres. Sebastián López Sansón heads a team that keeps busy advising on M&A-related matters, reorganisations, preferential tax regimes and contentious matters.

Wiener Soto Caparrós’ tax planning and tax litigation practice, led by of counsel Alfredo Bisero Paratz, advised on a significant volume of tax disputes over the past year as well as structuring, transactional and compliance matters. Recent cases include representing an electrical energy generation company on three challenges to gross revenue tax assessments. Other representative clients include Coca-Cola Andina, McCain Foods and Regus Management de Argentina.

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