The Legal 500




Legal market overview

Chile remains one of the most competitive economies in the region and its substantial mining resources and economic stability make the country of continuing interest to the international business community. Michelle Bachelet’s re-election for a second non-consecutive term in December 2013 has brought a raft of reform bills to Parliament, which has filled business players with worry at a time where the Chilean economy is slowing down (forecasted growth is 3.4%). The new government’s most polemical proposition at the time of writing is an extensive tax reform, which has led the area to become many law firms’ key focus during early 2014, and the widespread creation and reinforcement of dedicated tax groups to meet clients’ needs in the sector.

The country’s reliance on energy imports is one of the greatest challenges to its continued growth, and as a consequence investment in energy projects continues to expand, particularly in the renewable energy sector. The falling price of commodities during 2013, along with stricter emission targets, has made it more difficult to raise funds for new mining projects. This, coupled with increased judicial opposition to new exploration projects, has somewhat dampened mining activity over the past year, but has made power transmission and generation even more attractive to potential investors.

Banking and finance remains one of the most lucrative legal sectors in Chile, with significant activity related to acquisition and project financing, IPOs on the local market, and stock and debt issuances. Corporate M&A activity has been on the rise, with an increased volume of mid-size foreign companies starting operations in Chile, and local companies investing abroad (particularly in the Latin American region). Construction, regulatory, environmental and litigation instructions have all also been significant sources of instructions for firms.

Chile’s five powerhouses – Carey, Claro & Cia., Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner, Barros & Errázuriz and Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos – remain at the pinnacle of the legal market, picking up a good chunk of the country’s high-value legal work. Behind the leading five is a chasing pack of smaller firms distinguished for their expertise: full service outfit Morales & Besa has a first-class finance practice, Prieto y Cía. shines in energy, Baker & McKenzie heads the mining market, while Guerrero, Olivos, Novoa y Errazuriz has top-end corporate capabilities; all of them field large dedicated teams and have international credibility.

The Chilean market also houses highly specialised boutiques, including Estudio Carvallo for insurance, Alessandri & Compañía Abogados for IP, Pellegrini & Cía. for competition and antitrust, Núñez, Muñoz, Verdugo y Cía. Ltda. Abogados for mining, and Uribe, Hubner & Canales for labour law.

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Legal Developments worldwide

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  • Anti-Money Laundering Update - Cyprus

    First uploaded on the International Bar Association's Anti-Money Laundering website.
  • Austria: Extension of the threshold regulation until the year 2016

    The "threshold regulation" adjusting (raising) the sub-thresholds of the Austrian Procurement Act ("BVergG") will be extended once again, namely for two more years. This plan was disclosed in the press briefing issued in conjunction with the retreat held by the members of Austria's federal government on September 27th and 28th this year. Thus, contracting authorities will continue to be able to benefit from substantial procedural simplifications when awarding contracts below the threshold in 2015 and 2016 as well. read more...
  • Serbia: Insolvency Act Amendments adopted

    As of 13 August 2014, the amendments and supplements to the Insolvency Act [Zakon o stečaju] are in force, published in the Official Gazette of RS no. 83/2014 ("New IA"). The New IA shall not be implemented retroactively, and those insolvency proceedings that were ongoing on the day the New IA entered into force will be continued under the previously valid rules. read more...
  • Hungary: New advertising tax feels like a bucket

    Hungary's new advertising tax, which has been introduced effective as of 15 August 2014, affects not only media companies, online and offline content providers and advertising agencies (media companies), but may also affect regular manufacturing and trading companies active in various industry segments (commercial companies). read more...
  • Voluntary ex ante transparency notice does not provide a clean bill of health...

    The ECJ has ruled that the so-called "voluntary  ex ante  transparency notice" under certain circumstances does not preclude review authorities from declaring a contract ineffective if it was awarded without prior publication of a contract notice. Moreover, the ECJ ruled that review authorities must declare a contract ineffective if the contracting authority could not legitimately hold that that the conditions for directly awarding the contract were in fact satisfied (ECJ 11.09.2014, Case C-19/13 Fastweb SpA ). read more...
  • Austria / EU: Latest EU Sanctions against Russia

    After introducing the "sectoral sanctions" against Russia on 1 August 2014 (see our  Legal Insight of 1 August 2014 ), the sanctions regime has been tightened further on September 12 as set out in EC Regulation No 960/2014. read more...
  • Austria: Judgment sheds light on joint ventures under the country’s merger control*

    Austrian merger control continues to capture non-full-function joint ventures. Joint ventures covered by merger control are sheltered against parallel assessment under the Austrian rules against anticompetitive agreements (no dual control). read more...
  • Czech Republic: Mergers, or thick red lines?

    In its decision no. 29 Cdo 3068/2013 dated 19 June 2014, the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic ("SCCR") once again ruled on the issue of the irreversibility of the legal effects of registration of transformation in the Czech Commercial Register. read more...
  • Hosting service providers at gunpoint of the financial "sharks"

    Can you fully control the Internet?
  • Financial Services & Regulatory Autumn Update 2014

    In this Update, we look at some valuable lessons learned for all financial services businesses from recent JFSC examinations and investigations, as well as amendments to the Companies (Jersey) Law.    Read more...

Press Releases worldwide

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