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Chile > Environment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Carey has a full-service environmental, indigenous and regulatory practice, which regularly acts on large, complex matters, such as mining, energy and aquaculture projects; it also has a robust environmental litigation team. Recent highlights saw the practice act for Compañía Minera Nevada in an administrative dispute and litigation, which included a sanctioning process for alleged non-compliance regarding a gold mine construction project and the review of the environmental license granted. On the transactional side, the team advised Danone on the environmental matters and permitting issues attendant to the sale of its Chilean subsidiary. Rafael Vergara, Alberto Cardemil and counsel Felipe Meneses are recommended.

Particularly focused on project development and permitting, FerradaNehme provides ‘accurate service that is always delivered on time’. The practice is also recommended for the development of compliance programmes for clients’ environmental obligations and it works closely with government and community-relations groups in developing preventive strategies for potential environmental conflicts. The team defended Codelco against an environmental impact claim by a fishermen’s union against eight companies, including Codelco; and also advised on the environmental assessment study of the Quebrada Blanca Phase 1 mining project, which includes an open pit operation. Team head Patricio Leyton has longstanding experience in advising on environmental permits. Valeria Ruz and public law head Luis Cordero are also key contacts.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría has significant experience in local and international environmental matters, environmental litigation and energy projects that include environmental requirements. The practice acted for Copec, through one of its related companies, in the environmental remediation and development of land that was previously used for petroleum and hydrocarbons storage. Juan José Eyzaguirre and senior associate Paulina Toro are highly rated.

Vergara Galindo Correa Abogados is recommended for its environmental law advice on energy and mining; the practice regularly acts on developing high-profile projects, compliance issues and enforcement procedures. Other areas of strength include environmental litigation, including criminal environmental matters. Javier Vergara and dispute resolution specialists Mario Galindo and Pablo Ortíz are recommended. Other highly rated practitioners include Eduardo Correa, José Luis Fuenzalida, Cecilia Urbina and Winston Alburquenque.

Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos is highly regarded for its assistance with the environmental law aspects of power-plant greenfield project developments. Recent highlights saw the practice successfully act for Compañía Minera Paguanta at Supreme Court level in the complex environmental evaluation of the Paguanta mining project, which comprises silver, zinc, lead and gold mineral resources. Gonzalo Jiménez and environmental and regulatory law expert Martín Astorga are recommended.

CorreaGubbins’ environmental practice regularly represents clients before government agencies and the Environmental Court, and advises on the regulatory aspects of environmentally sensitive transactions. It also assists with environmental management procedures, including establishing internal monitoring and reporting structures. The practice assisted Porkland Chile with an odour emissions claim. Martín Gubbins is highly rated and Claudia Ferreiro made partner.

Cubillos Evans Abogados has a strong name for its work involving environmental assessments, environmental permits and environmental dispute resolution. The firm is also recommended for its environmental compliance expertise and for its experience in litigation before the Environmental Tribunal and administrative authorities. Another area of strength is forest law. Gonzalo Cubillos, Fernando Molina, water law specialist José Miguel Hernández and Arturo Urzúa are the key names.

Guerrero Olivos’ environmental law department encompasses transactional and regulatory issues, including permits, environmental assessments and relations with the environmental authorities, sanctions procedures and environmental litigation. The firm also has a capable water law practice. It advised Fundación San Carlos de Maipo on the environmental law aspects of the acquisition of a large wetland. Other matters saw the team assist local investment bank Banmerchant with the environmental license for a project, which comprises 450 sites. Martín Santa María, Clemente Pérez and Sebastián Abogabir are recommended.

Jara Del Favero Abogados is highly experienced in environmental regulations and environmental impact assessments; the practice also assists with environmental appeals and defences and internal environmental management systems for companies. The team assisted Embotelladoras Chilenas Unidas with acquiring an environmental qualification resolution for a non-alcoholic beverage production-plant project, including preparing the environmental impact declaration. Gabriel Del Favero Valdés and Julio Lavín Valdés are highly experienced advisers.

Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr is recommended for its advice on environmental issues in relation to waste management, environmental damage liability, indigenous issues, and emissions compensation. The practice provided environmental legal assistance to ASPROCER, the Chilean federation of pork producers, on its relations with the Government and the Ministry of Environment; specifically, in connection with the new Atmospheric Decontamination Plan for the Santiago Metropolitan Region and involving preparing legal reports and the submission of observations to the Environmental Authority. Ignacio Urrutia is recommended.

Araya & Cía. Abogados is well known for its advice to the agricultural sector in Chile and for the firm’s assistance to communities which are affected by environmental damage. It advises on environmental impact assessments, permits and environmental litigation, including representing Agricultural Associations in significant environmental conflicts in Chile. Active key clients include Frutícola y Exportadora Atacama, Hacienda Chada, Top Wine Group and Agrícola Ocoa. Sebastián Leiva is department head.

Arteaga Gorziglia & Cia Abogados is best known for environmental regulatory compliance, environmental law litigation and environmental legal due diligence during M&A or financing transactions. The team advised OHL Concesiones Chile on the environmental assessment process for the approval of the construction a new terminal at Valparaíso’s port. Ricardo Irarrázabal is a former executive director of the Chilean Environmental Assessment Agency; and Ignacio Arteaga is also a key contact.

Barros & Errázuriz regularly participates in the review of environmental issues in relation to domestic and foreign transactions, including advising clients on indigenous and community issues; the practice is also experienced in acting before the Environmental Commission and Environmental Courts. Recent matters saw the team advise on the environmental evaluation of a power transmission line project. José Tomás Errázuriz and Fernando Garrido are the lead environment practice partners.

Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana’s environmental law group is part of the firm’s public law department; it has extensive experience in due diligence matters, environmental compliance, litigation and environmental assessment consultations. The firm acts as ongoing counsel to Mitsui & Co, one of the largest corporate conglomerates in Japan, in the environmental aspects of the company’s prospective projects in Chile; and it recently acted for Frontera del Oro in an environmental assessment consultation for a mining expansion project. Guillermo de la Jara is recommended.

CMS Carey & Allende’s recent work saw the team advise Hidroeléctrica Doña Alicia on the environmental impact assessment of its hydroelectric power plant, Central Hidroeléctrica Doña Alicia. Senior associate Aldo Poblete leads the environment law practice and Pabla Gaínza is also a key figure.

Carcelén, Desmadryl, Guzmán, Schaeffer & Tapia has a strong name in the market for its advice on the environmental law aspects of energy and mining projects. The team is also noted for its water law rights expertise. Rodrigo Guzmán is recommended.

Claro & Cia.’s environmental law practice is particularly focused on the air, water, energy, forestry and mining sectors. The team defended Chilean miner Anglo American Sur against a claim for environmental damage –allegedly caused by the El Sauce waste dump– before Santiago’s civil courts. Nicolás Eyzaguirre is highly regarded.

Morales & Besa is experienced in advising on environmental regulations in mining, energy, and sanitary and infrastructure projects, including environmental legal due diligence work; the practice also regularly acts in environmental administrative proceedings, environmental damage liability cases and administrative proceedings, which sanction non-compliance with environmental resolutions. The team acted for Constructora Ingevec on the environmental issues related to a social housing project development in Santiago. Rodrigo Ropert is the key contact.

Prieto’s environmental department regularly conducts due diligence on high-profile M&A transactions; it also handles negotiations and administrative law procedures before Chile’s environmental law authorities, including contentious cases and issues surrounding environmental compliance and permits. Alejandro Ruiz departed to become an Environmental Court judge in 2016 but has been replaced by associate Aldo Cardinali who joined as environmental team head from Morales & Besa. Key support comes from specialist associate Sofía Hübner.

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