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Guevara & Gutiérrez S.C has been handling a high volume of M&A for high-profile domestic and international clients and, accordingly, it has also been increasingly active in competition work. Energy, mining, consumer goods and manufacturing are all sectors in which the practice has notable expertise: recent mandates saw team co-head Jorge Inchauste assist Alicorp with its $200m purchase of Industrias del Aceite (as well as with its purchase, alongside Inversiones Piuranas, of ADM SAO); while fellow co-head Ramiro Guevara advised Italian manufacturer Bottero on $4m-worth of commercial contracts relating to the construction of a glass-processing factory in Bolivia. Other clients include Verizon, Cervecería Boliviana Nacional and PepsiCo. Inchauste, Guevara and senior associates José Bernal and Alejandra Guevara comprise the core team in La Paz, supported by competition expert Zoya Galarza; in Santa Cruz, energy is a key strength, with Enrique Barrios and Rodolfo Mercado assisted by senior associates Jairo Guiteras and Julio Landivar.

Noted for its high-value, multi-jurisdictional work for high-profile clients, Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados’ practice had another very strong year. Andrés Moreno and Daniel Arredondo acted for ADM SAO on its sale to Inversiones Piuranas (with Alicorp as a joint purchaser), which constituted one of the largest transactions in Bolivia in the last year. Both lawyers also assisted Pan American Silver with its $24m purchase of New Pacific Metals. Cross-border corporate reorganisations are another strength of the practice: Moreno and insurance expert René Claure recently assisted BUPA with an $11m share transfer that involved BUPA’s British, Spanish and Swedish companies. Siemens instructed Luis Moreno and René Cuellar on two major sale-and-purchase agreements involving Bolivian turbines and power plants, as well as with various contractual negotiations with state-owned entities. On the commercial side, Ramiro Moreno advised Mastercard on various contracts with banks, companies, sports institutions and television networks, including sponsorship deals relating to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Other clients include Richline Group, Google and Foster + Partners. Andrés, Luis and Ramiro Moreno jointly head the group.

The October 2018 merger of Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa and Bufete Aguirre brought together two of Bolivia's heavyweight corporate firms to form Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa. The consolidation of the merger notwithstanding, both legacy firm's bring strong practices groups to the sector. Spread across offices in La Paz and Santa Cruz, clients praise a team that is ‘responsive, understanding and excellent in all respects’, has a wide range of corporate and commercial capabilities, and demonstrates particular expertise in sectors including energy, mining, telecoms and real estate. The ‘proactive, methodicalFernando Aguirre and Milenka Saavedra are ‘good communicators and negotiators’; together with Ignacio Aguirre, Saavedra recently assisted the Bolivian branch of thyssenkrupp Raw Materials with its closure. Indeed, branch liquidations are a niche specialisation for Saavedra, who also assisted Apia XXI Ingenieros Y Arquitectos on the closure of its Bolivian branch, as well as advising various telecoms operators (including Intelsat International Systems and Telesat) on regulatory issues. Santiago Nishizawa and Sergio Antelo acted for Maruzen Showa Unyu on its purchase of a controlling stake in a Bolivian international transport logistics company. Julio Quintanilla advised LATAM Airlines Group on various corporate and commercial matters and, along with senior associate Leonardo Azurduy, assisted ZTE Bolivia with its participation in a public bid by a Bolivian telecoms consortia for the development of fibre-optic lines between Bolivia and Peru. Leading practitioner Eduardo Quintanillia; Mauricio Torrico (who recently advised Megratín Bolivia on corporate structuring issues); and Gabriel Ribera, a key contact in the Santa Cruz market, are all also noted.

Active in cross-border M&A and restructuring, incorporations, liquidations, corporate governance and commercial contracts, C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados’ department comprises Fernando Rojas, Sandra Salinas and María del Carmen Ballivián in La Paz, and Elizabeth Landivar, Diego Rojas and senior associate Mery Cuellar in Santa Cruz. Recent matters saw the team assist a textiles company with a restructuring and associated $20m asset sale, and act for Comercializadora de Productos Agroindustriales on its liquidation; indeed, agribusiness and real estate are sectors of particular activity for the Santa Cruz office. In other work, several Chinese and European car manufacturers have instructed the team on contractual matters, including contract terminations; and the practice also advised Ceibos Group on corporate governance.

The ‘agile, client-centred’ and ‘efficient’ team at Ferrere is ‘very reliable’ and provides ‘business-driven advice and timely responses’ from its offices in La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. The department is active across a wide array of areas and is praised for its ‘very good knowledge of the telecoms industry and other regulated sectors’: in the energy space, Pablo Ordoñez acted for Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (ENDE) on a corporate restructuring. ‘True authorityCarlos Pinto, who is ‘a brilliant lawyer and clever negotiator’, advised I Squared Capital on the Bolivian aspects of its $1.2bn purchase of IC Power’s Latin American energy portfolio. Pinto, who has ‘deep knowledge of Bolivian law and jurisprudence in corporate and commercial matters’, co-heads the group with the ‘solid, committed and trustworthyGerardo Villagómez, who counts Casa Boller and Bureau Veritas among his clients. Also noted are senior associate Mattias Garrón, who is ‘very good technically’, and associate Delma Paz, who is ‘clear, reactive and to-the-point’. Frontier Digital Ventures and Grupo Inclam are new additions to the practice’s client roster.

Praised for its ‘commercial experience and knowledge’, Indacochea & Asociados’ practice has been increasingly active in both M&A and liquidations; clients in the latter space include Savino Del Bene and Grupo ELT. The corporate team often works closely with the firm’s real estate practice group and counts agribusiness and infrastructure as key areas of activity: Mariana Pereira acted for Contreras Hermanos on the $4.5m merger of two of its Bolivian subsidiaries, Bosforo and Gibraltar. Also strong in restructuring, Pereira advised Pampa Energía on its local reorganisation. Alonso Indacochea acted for Comercial Gerdau on the sale of all its assets to Monterrey Steel; he also teamed up with associate Heidy Sandoval to advise Corporación Custer on a $2m capital increase. Both Sandoval and Andere Indacochea have ‘a lot of corporate experience’. Other clients include Baxter Colombia and Transmeridian. Senior associates Lorena Otero and Ana Carola Muñoz regularly assist with corporate work.

Fernando Bedoya heads the team at Würth Bedoya Costa Du Rels Abogados; he is supported by fellow name partners Mauricio Costa du Rels and Karla Würth. Particularly noted for her expertise in the oil and gas industry, Würth is active across a wide range of sectors, recently assisting Agence France-Presse Latin America with its corporate reorganisation and continuing to advise clients such as DXN Bolivia, Soprastelle, Rigmaster Bolivia and Rockwell Automation with all their corporate and commercial matters. Bedoya, in turn, acted for Hylea 1884 on its $11m international expansion, while Costa du Rels assisted Grupo El Deber with its corporate reorganisation and Argentine design and logistics company Invap with the establishment of an affiliate in Bolivia. Itacamba Cementos is a corporate governance client. At the associate level, both María Pía Arce and Jorge Nelson Serrate are noted.

Particularly strong in restructuring, competition, commercial agreements and corporate governance, Becerra de la Roca Donoso & Asociados S.R.L.’s practice is led by name partner Mauricio Becerra de la Roca, who is noted for his expertise in energy, agribusiness and telecoms. He successfully represented Ingenio Azucarero Guabirá in disciplinary proceedings brought by the competition authority, as well as advising the client with a terms-of-settlement agreement with Sociedad de Destilación de Alcoholes (Soderal); and assisted Midea Group on the review and modification of its service centre contract and purchase orders. Energy expert Mario Ballivián, who arrived at the Santa Cruz office in June 2017 from YPFB Andina, advises a wide range of clients (including Ingenio Azucarero Guabirá) on corporate governance. The team also assists Perfect Fit Industries with day-to-day matters, including corporate governance, supply and storage contracts and shareholder meetings, and advised ADM SAO on a potential change in its corporate status.

M&A expert Gabriel Villegas heads the team at Tufiño y Villegas, which provides ‘good service with good response times’. M&A, incorporating branches of foreign companies, distribution agreements and trust fund-related matters are all key areas of expertise for the practice: Villegas acted for Granja Avícola Sofía on its acquisition of a large pig farm from Peruvian company Grupo Romero, as well as assisting Millicom International Cellular with the reorganisation of its business model to comply with regulatory changes regarding distribution chains. He also advised AmTrust Insurance Spain on the corporate aspects of setting up a real estate investment trust (REIT), a relatively new kind of entity in Bolivia. In 2017, the firm opened a new office in Cochabamba, and although it is mostly tax-dedicated, it also handles corporate work; senior associate Milenka Salvatierra is the key contact there. The La Paz-based José Luis Tufiño heads the team jointly with Villegas, who is based in Santa Cruz.

Active across a wide range of sectors, especially oil, gas, power and telecoms, Criales & Urcullo’s department is led by José Antonio Criales; he is supported by Adrián Barrenechea, who is strong in complex and cross-border transactions, and finance specialist Javier Urcullo. Working in conjunction with Daniel Mariaca, Criales acted for D&M Group on the $32m merger of two of its companies, SAIV and Campos de Solana. He also advised one Bolivian beverages client on a Singani export contract with a US company, and was instructed by a mining client on the incorporation of a new company to develop a mineral treatment plant. Other clients include real estate company Atlantis and Grupo Fortaleza.

Praised for its ‘excellent response times, business and industry acumen and ever-appropriate advice’, ‘agile and dynamic’ corporate boutique LVRH Estudio Jurídico is ‘au fait with corporate compliance and investment regulations’ and provides ‘clear and practical counsel’. ‘Very good technically’, the practice also counts M&A as a strength: Daniel Roca and the ‘very helpful, proactive’ Pablo Heredia, who is ‘an excellent negotiator with very good analytical skills’, acted for ITMS Bolivia on its purchase of shares in ITMS Holding Chile, as well as on a $150,000 capital increase. Heredia also advised Itacamba Cemento and Ingenio Sucroalcoholero Aguaí on commercial and corporate governance matters. New clients include Empresa Minera Yacunda, Mainter and DWS Bolivia.

Everybody loves’ Gonzalo Mendieta, who co-heads the team at Mendieta Romero y Asociados in conjunction with Daniela Murialdo. Based in La Paz, the firm’s corporate department has a strong track record in M&A, asset transactions, shareholder matters and service agreements. Clients include Aon UK, Credifondo, Act Peru, Compañía de Alimentos and Tumi Contratistas Mineros; Marcela Rada, Gabriela Loza and Percy Luza are noted associates.

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