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Based primarily in Santa Cruz, the practice at Guevara & Gutiérrez S.C is led by regulatory and contracts expert Enrique Barrios, and counts Petrobras Brazil, Repsol and Occidental Petroleum among its clients. Oil and gas, particularly in the upstream space, is a core strength of the group, which also has experience in energy-sector international arbitration as well as in regulatory and cross-border transactional work. The team largely acts for private-sector clients in negotiations (and disputes) with state-owned entities. Barrios acted for YPF Argentina on a $60m oil and gas services agreement concerning the Charagua area, as well as assisting the client with procurement-related regulatory matters. Corporate work and capital-raising matters are often led by Rodolfo Mercado and Ramiro Guevara, who are based in Santa Cruz and La Paz respectively; while senior associate Julio Landivar frequently advises oil and gas companies on corporate and contractual matters. Renewable energy, especially in the wind sub-sector but also – increasingly – in the solar power segment, is a growing strength of the department.

Mining, oil, gas and power are all areas of longstanding expertise for Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados; its La Paz office is especially strong in mining, while work in the other sectors is led largely out of Santa Cruz. As well as handling M&A and day-to-day advice, the practice structures high-level contracts – including operational agreements in oil and gas, and joint ventures for mining – and assists upstream oil and gas companies with matters including the organisation of their investments. The team also frequently handles EPC contracts. Luis Moreno and Ramiro Moreno, who head the group in conjunction with Andrés Moreno, continue to advise Samsung Engineering on all aspects of the $1bn Bulo Bulo ammonia and urea plant in Cochabamba, including a $25m operation-and-management contract with YPFB. The firm is increasingly active in renewables: together with Teddy Mercado, Ramiro and Andrés Moreno acted for Vestas on the $100m construction of three wind parks that will generate 95MW of energy for Warnes, Montero and Santa Cruz. Pan American Silver is a mining client; other clients include Exterran, Eletrobras and China Sinosteel.

The combined team at the newly forged Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa is active across the extractive, hydrocarbons and electricity sectors. The team from the former QSN brings particular strength in the mining area and also has considerable regulatory and contractual experience in a range of energy sectors, including renewables; the Aguirre group adds particular niche expertise in advising energy-sector clients on corporate governance and regulatory matters and also has experience in the contentious space, including arbitration. Recent matters saw Mauricio Torrico and Sergio Antelo advise Negratín Bolivia on structuring its operations in relation to two solar power plants; Antelo also acted for an East Asian company on a water project, a mandate involving financial due diligence and strategic advice. Ignacio Aguirre advised Minera San Cristóbal, Silex and Memisa on shareholder matters and capital increases, as well as assisting a power company on a contentious $10m claim against a European company regarding a supply agreement. Fernando Aguirre continues to advise the National Association of Medium Miners on various regulatory matters involving tax, investment and dispute resolution issues; Eduardo Quintanilla and Santiago Nishizawa are also involved in the practice, as is Julio Quintanilla. Gabriel Ribera is the name to note in Santa Cruz.

Especially active in the regulatory and compliance space, Becerra de la Roca Donoso & Asociados S.R.L.’s ‘trustworthy’ practice also handles contractual, restructuring, labour and environmental work. ‘Very quick, talented and committed’ group head Mauricio Becerra de la Roca is ‘attentive and knowledgeable’; he acted for Petrobras Logística de Gás on shareholder meetings with YPFB regarding their joint stake in Gas TransBoliviano, and also advised Petrobras Bolivia on various regulatory issues. ‘Very knowledgeable’ energy expert Mario Ballivián joined the Santa Cruz office from an in-house position at YPFB Andina in June 2017; he is especially strong in advising a range of clients such as Guabirá Energía on corporate governance and regulatory compliance. Putting his industrial engineering background and environmental expertise to good use, senior associate Fernando Chávez is noted for the compliance advice he dispenses to various clients.

Ferrere’s ‘versatile and adaptable’ practice provides ‘exceptional client service, response times and analyses’. It helps clients ‘hit the ground running’ on innovative energy projects, including in the nuclear space, and ‘guides clients through the legal, political, commercial and financial intricacies of doing business in Bolivia’. Group head Carlos Pinto and hydrocarbon transactions expert Pablo Ordoñez acted for Petrobras on the sale of its assets in Bolivia to Pampa Energía; Pinto also advised I Squared Capital on its purchase of Cobee, comprising several large private power generators and transmission facilities. Senior associate Mattias Garrón is ‘impeccably responsive’ and delivers ‘quick turnarounds’; Gerardo Villagómez and counsel Diego Böhrt, who is a regulatory expert, are also recommended. Rosatom is a client in the nuclear space; Argentum Investments is a mining client.

Indacochea & Asociados’ ‘very competent’ practice, which is especially active in oil and gas, provides ‘very good service’ and has ‘extensive knowledge of legal issues in different areas’. Ricardo Indacochea, who has nearly two decades of experience working in-house at energy companies in Bolivia and Peru, heads the group; he advised Servicios Especiales San Antonio on obtaining various drilling licences and on a reorganisation. Corporate and finance expert Mariana Pereira is also very active in the sector: she continues to advise EIG Management on its role as shareholder in Gas TransBoliviano, as well as providing ongoing commercial and regulatory advice to Pampa Energía Bolivia. New clients of the department include Pluspetrol and Condor Energy. Senior associate Ana Carola Muñoz is also very well regarded.

Name partner Raúl Baldivia is the key contact at Baldivia Unzaga & Asociados’ La Paz-based practice, which has over 15 years’ experience handling hydrocarbons work – particularly in the upstream space. Corporate matters and contractual work are additional areas of strength. Vanessa Villarroel is also recommended.

Active in corporate, financing and procurement matters, C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados’ department is divided between Santa Cruz, where Diego Rojas and José Manuel Canelas are the key contacts, and La Paz, where Pablo Rojas, Sandra Salinas and Grisset Carrasco are the names to note. The team acted for a mining company on $5.6m-worth of finance and industrial work contracts for mining operations, as well as advising TA Gas on its $335,000 public tender offer to acquire gas conversion kits.

Especially strong in the electricity generation and renewables sectors, Medina & Galindo Abogados S.R.L.’s department has acted for clients including Corsan-Corviam Construcción, Técnica Y Proyectos and Intertechne Consultores. The practice assists clients with EPC contracts, public bids and regulatory matters. Labour and tax specialist Sergio Medina and corporate and commercial expert Rodrigo Galindo are the key contacts.

Client favourite Gonzalo Mendieta heads Mendieta Romero y Asociados’ La Paz-based practice, which is active in the hydrocarbons and mining sectors. Marcela Rada and Percy Luza are regularly active on energy-related matters.

The team at Würth Bedoya Costa Du Rels Abogados, which is based across Santa Cruz and La Paz, has longstanding experience in several energy and natural resource sub-sectors. Project finance expert Karla Würth is strong in power projects and midstream matters, while Mauricio Costa du Rels is noted for his corporate and contractual expertise in relation to oil, gas and power activity. Fernando Bedoya also has experience in energy-sector corporate matters. Environmental compliance, permits, power supply agreements and the negotiation of mining contracts with the government are also areas of expertise for the practice.

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