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For many, ‘the energy firm “par excellence”’, Guevara & Gutiérrez S.C has ‘sophsiticated knowledge of hydrocarbons’ and an increasing role in the mining sector. The practice is co-led by Enrique Barrios and Ramiro Guevara from Santa Cruz and La Paz, respectively. Although it handles some electricity matters, oil and gas is the department’s key strength and Santa Cruz-based Rodolfo Mercado is also very busy in this area. Barrios has considerable experience in project finance, gas export arrangements and acting for investors on upstream and downstream contracts with state-owned gas company YPFB. The team’s mid-stream capabilities were enhanced by the arrival of senior associate Vania Busch from YPFB Transierra in February 2017; her fellow senior associate Julio Landivar is also noted. Practice clients include Repsol, Petrobras Bolivia, YPF and Serpetbol.

Jointly led by Ramiro Moreno, Andrés Moreno and Luis Moreno, the team at Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados is active in mining, oil and gas and electricity. As well as acting for clients on M&A and establishing joint ventures, the team frequently handles EPC work, and assists upstream oil-and-gas companies with a variety of matters, including the organisation of their investment portfolios. All three practice heads continue to advise Samsung Engineering on all aspects of the development of the $1bn Bulo Bulo ammonia and urea plant in Cochabamba. Ramiro and Luis Moreno also advise Exterran Holdings on all aspects of its six-year compression services contract with Petrobras Bolivia, concerning Exterran’s $600m gas separation plant in Rio Grande. On the power side, Ramiro Moreno advised Eletrobras on its agreements with state-owned power company ENDE, regarding the $5bn development of three hydroelectric projects near the Bolivia-Brazil border. He also advised Isolux Corsan on all aspects of the development of the $398m Miguillas hydroelectric project. Other clients include Halliburton, Pan American Silver, Pan American Energy and Siemens. Senior associates René Claure, René Cuellar and Paul Aramayo are all noted.

The ‘excellent’ team at Bufete Aguirre Soc. Civ. provides ‘personalised attention, speedy response times and a high level of industry knowledge’. It is active in mining, electricity and oil and gas. Department head Ignacio Aguirre advised Minera San Cristóbal, Silex Minera and Minera Mimesa on corporate governance matters and on adapting to the mining and metallurgy law that came into effect in August 2016; in conjunction with Carolina Aguirre, he also assisted Gazprom’s Bolivian branch with various corporate compliance matters. Senior partner Fernando Aguirre, who is praised for his ‘vast experience and knowledge of Bolivian investment laws and oil and gas’, advised the National Association of Medium Miners on regulatory compliance. The team is also working with French development agency AFD in relation to solar projects. Other clients include Couer Mining, Esmical and Hidroeléctrica Boliviana. Milenka Saavedra is also active in the sector.

Mauricio Becerra de la Roca is the key contact at Becerra de la Roca Donoso & Asociados S.R.L.’s practice, which is described by clients as ‘efficient, communicative and very attentive to detail’. Based across La Paz and Santa Cruz, it is particularly strong on the regulatory side, and is active in oil and gas, electricity and mining. Becerra de la Roca advised Petrobras Bolivia on environmental and health and safety regulations, and assisted YPFB Refinación with the revocation of a sanction imposed by the Dirección General de Sustancias Controladas. Longstanding clients include Guabira Energía, Inesco, Total E&P Bolivia and Compañía Boliviana de Energía Eléctrica; Panthers Machinery is a recent client. Former consultant Patricia Salinas joined the team as of counsel in January 2017; though she is based in Miami, Florida, she is both US- and Bolivia-qualified, and will assist international clients with corporate and real estate matters. Senior associate Fernando Chávez is also noted. In July 2017 the firm announced the hire of Mario Ballivian, formerly the head of regulation and commercial management at YPFB Andina.

Commended for its ‘very satisfactory service’, the ‘punctual’ team at Indacochea & Asociados is especially active on regulatory and transactional matters in the hydrocarbons sector. Ricardo Indacochea is the key contact, and along with Mariana Pereira is described by clients as having ‘wide-ranging competence, knowledge and clear communication skills’. Pereira and senior associate Ana Carola Muñoz acted for Pampa Energía on the Bolivian aspects of its purchase of Petrobras Argentina. The team also advised EIG Management, a key shareholder in Gas Transboliviano, on its shareholder obligations. Other clients include GasOriente Boliviano (which the firm is assisting with ongoing corporate matters relating to its takeover by J&F Investimentos), and Pan American Energy.

Energy and natural resources expert Raúl Baldivia heads Baldivia Unzaga & Asociados’ La Paz-based practice, which has over 15 years’ experience handling both up- and down-stream hydrocarbons matters. Baldivia is supported by Vanessa Villarroel.

C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados’ practice is co-led by Sandra Salinas in La Paz and Diego Rojas in Santa Cruz; also in La Paz, Pablo Rojas is also very active in the sector. The team advised Barlovento Recursos Naturales (Bolivia) on its Bs1.2m tender bid for the design and installation of a solar plant and its integration with the Sistema Interconectado Nacional; as well as on its bid for the $238,000 Santa Cruz Warnes wind farm project contract. The department also advised this client on bidding for the contract to supervise the construction of solar plants in Potosí and Tarija. Other clients include Amico Bolivia, Comercializadora Kennametal Bolivia, Empresa Minera Jacha Uru and Compañía Minera Laurani.

Multi-jurisdictional firm Ferrere handles a range of energy work, and is most frequently engaged on corporate aspects of the sector. However, with the opening of its third Bolivian office, in Cochabamba, the practice is increasingly well placed in relation to the electricity sector, bidding processes and related project finance. Carlos Pinto advised Petrobras Argentina on its $891m sale of its Bolivia-based assets to Pampa Energía, while on the power side Gerardo Villagómez advised TYPSA & Engecorps on its successful bid for the construction of the $20m Carrizal hydroelectric project. The team has impressive capabilities in the renewables space: Villagómez assisted Canadian Solar with its public bid to design and build a photovoltaic power plant in Oruro, and Pinto acted for Rosatom on several agreements with the Bolivian government to build a $350m nuclear research and technology centre in El Alto. Given the firm’s transversal organisation, it can also call on the energy sector expertise of its partners elsewhere, notably in Ecuador.

Name partners Sergio Medina and Rodrigo Galindo are the key contacts at Medina & Galindo Abogados. The team is particularly strong in the electricity generation and renewables sectors, and recently acted for Isolux Corsan-Corviam Construcción on its contract with the state power company, ENDE, to build and operate the $398m 194MW Miguillas hydroelectric project. It also advised Técnica Y Proyectos on its $11m agreement with ENDE regarding pre-investment in the Carrizal hydroelectric project. Intertechne Consultores is another client, and after handling its incorporation in Bolivia, the team assisted the Brazilian engineering consultancy with its $7m public bid to design the Molineros hydroelectric project in Potosí.

Mendieta Romero y Asociados’ La Paz-based department is headed by Gonzalo Mendieta, with strong support from Percy Luza and Marcela Rada. It acted for a major international mining company, and several of its branches, on a wide variety of matters, including export service agreements, contractual disputes and expropriation-related arbitration.

Particularly active in the mining sector, the practice at Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Soc. Civ. is well-known for its regulatory work and also for assisting clients with operational and joint-venture agreements. Eduardo Quintanilla and Santiago Nishizawa lead the practice, and Julio Quintanilla is active in the sector: he recently advised Minera Korisunqu on its incorporation, possible mining agreements and environmental compliance, as well as with licences and permits. Other clients served from the firm’s La Paz and Santa Cruz offices include General Electric, Atlas Copco Boliviana and JICA Bolivia.

With offices in La Paz and Santa Cruz, Würth Bedoya Costa Du Rels Abogados assists clients with a range of matters, including project finance, environmental compliance, permits, the negotiation of mining contracts with the government and drafting power service agreements. It also acts for oil-and-gas clients, suppliers and distributors on negotiations with national hydrocarbons entity YPFB. Key contact Karla Würth has longstanding experience in project finance, power projects and advising on all aspects of midstream matters. Mauricio Costa du Rels is recommended for his corporate, transactional and contractual expertise in relation to electricity and oil and gas; and Fernando Bedoya also has experience in corporate transactions in the sector. Recent matters saw Wurth advised Intermodal Solutions Group on establishing a transportation equipment procurement contract with YPFB; Costa du Rels advised joint venture COINSA and Transportadora Petrolera Transol on their respective EPC and distribution contracts – again with YPFB; and Bedoya assisted Germiex on the revision of its contracts with Samsung Engineering.

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