The Legal 500



Legal market overview

Politically, the country has endured a turbulent year: following Fernando Lugo’s controversial impeachment in June 2012, and the subsequent interim administration of Federico Franco; elections in April 2013 returned the Colorado party back to power and brought Horacio Cartes to the presidency. These events reverberated at a regional level with Paraguay’s (temporary) suspension from the Mercosur trading group, during which Venezuela was admitted to the bloc. The ensuing tensions remain to be resolved and in the interim, Paraguay has signalled its increasing interest in participating in the Alliance of the Pacific. A successful businessman Cartes has made pledges on both foreign and local investment and it is anticipated he will successfully bolster the country’s emerging economy. Legislation that was shelved with the constitutional impasse is also expected to move forward swiftly, not least a Private-Public Partnership law that would boost the financing of infrastructure. A final decision is also expected regarding the construction of an aluminium smelter by Rio Tinto, a project which stalled under Lugo, and which would constitute the largest investment in the country’s history.

Paraguay nevertheless remains a primarily agricultural economy, and as such continues to rely heavily on agro-exports as an economic driver; consequently the agribusiness sector remains a strong focus for many firms. The country is already the world’s fourth-largest soy exporter, and soybean-processing capacity continues to expand. The new ADM soy-crushing plant has been in operation since November 2012; the plant operated by Dreyfus-Bunge joint venture opened in April 2013; and Noble Group is planning on following suit. In addition, Monsanto is extending its operations in the country and considering the revival of commercial cotton production; and, after outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in 2011 and 2012, prospects for cattle ranching and beef exports, mainly to Russia and Brazil, are improving. Firms are also finding themselves providing increased counsel on mining-related matters, with mineral resources in the country relatively untapped until recently. The expansion in land, air, and (given the country’s geographical location) particularly river transportation, is also a significant source of work, given that the vast majority of agro-exports travel along the Parana River; here Palacios, Prono y Talavera Abogados has considerable expertise and experience. Another rapidly expanding practice area is environment law: social and environmental responsibility now has a legislative basis and major companies – especially those with international exposure – are ever more conscious of environmental regulations and licencing requirements. The relatively new branch of criminal environmental law has further added to the growing volume of work. Specialisation in the sector is such that the country’s first boutique in the sector, PGK Ambiente y Empresa is thriving. In the IP sector, where Berkemeyer continues to enjoy a predominant position, the persistent problem of falsified goods, in conjunction with enforcement deficiencies, is resulting in an ever-stronger emphasis on anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting work.

With a legal industry long dominated by firms with a family structure, 2012-2013 has seen the continuing movement of larger corporate firms (such as Vouga & Olmedo and Peroni Sosa Tellechea Burt & Narvaja) towards greater institutionalisation. Such restructuring is a response to various factors: internally, the retention and promotion of talent and also the need for organisational flexibility so as to deal with a rapidly diversifying workload; and externally, to confront greater competition (notably in the form of Uruguayan firm Ferrere’s local office), and meet both the expectation of foreign clients and the increasingly stringent regulatory requirements (be they international, such as FACPA or the UK Bribery Act; or domestic, for example environmental laws).

The fact that investors have seemed relatively unperturbed by the recent political occurrences was reflected in one of the most noteworthy financial transactions of 2012: Paraguay’s $500m inaugural international debt issuance, which proved the most successful first-time bond issue for a state with such a credit rating. Leading banking firm Estudio Juridico Gross Brown advised Citibank and Bank of America/Merril Lynch as underwriters on the deal. Probably the most prominent corporate transaction of the year was Millicom’s $150m acquisition of Cablevisión Paraguay; certainly the largest telecoms deal in Paraguayan history, Millicom was advised by corporate heavyweight Moreno Ruffinelli & Asociados. Best known for working with the state or its representative entities, Parquet & Asociados was counsel to Paraguay in both matters and it is just one of a number of specialist boutiques in the market, for example, Estudio Riera Abogados for litigation, and Irún & Villamayor Asesores Laborales de Empresas on labour matters. Mid-sized firms too, continue to play an important role, most notably the increasingly present Fiorio, Cardozo & Alvarado, Attorneys-at-Law, and Mersán Abogados.

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Legal Developments worldwide

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  • CSSF issues new update to AIFMD law Q&A

    Luxembourg's Financial Sector Supervisory Authority has published on July 18 the latest update to its Frequently Asked Questions document on the grand duchy's law of July 12, 2013 implementing the European Union's Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the European Commission's Level 2 regulation on implementation of the AIFMD.
  • Complaint handling by professionals

    Section 2 of CSSF Regulation No. 13-02 relating to the out-of-court resolution of complaints will enter into force on 1 July 2014, the other sections having already entered into force at the beginning of the year. complaint_handling_by_professionals_-_newsflash_-_27.06.2014  
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg issues Sukuk

    On 9 July 2014, the Luxembourg Parliament approved the bill of law on a sale and buy-back transaction of real estate assets to a wholly owned Special Purpose Vehicle ("SPV") by the Luxembourg State allowing the issuance of a Sukuk with a value of 200 million euros ($275 million). grand_duchy_of_luxembourg_issues_sukuk_-_newsflash_-_15.07.2014
  • The new circular on UCITS depositaries has been released

    In anticipation of the forthcoming directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2009/65/EC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to UCITS with respect to depositary functions, the CSSF has yesterday released a new circular aimed at clarifying the provisions applicable to Luxembourg credit institutions acting as depositary for UCITS (the "Circular"). Departing from a principle-based approach, the CSSF has enacted more prescriptive and detailed rules to govern UCITS depositary functions. the_new_circular_on_ucits_depositaries_has_been_released
  • Newsflash - Changes to the Luxembourg bearer shares regime

    Bill of law n° 6625, which will substantially change the legal regime applicable to bearer shares issued by a Luxembourg company was adopted by the Luxembourg Parliament on 16 July 2014. newsflash_-_changes_to_the_luxembourg_bearer_shares_regime

    Squeeze-out and sell-out rights in Turkish public companies are regulated by the Communiqué on Squeeze-Out and Sell-Out Rights (the " Communiqué ") published in the Official Gazette dated 2 January 2014 effective as of 1 July 2014. The Communiqué was issued by the Capital Markets Board of Turkey (the " CMB ") in accordance with the Capital Markets Law and regulates the right to squeeze-out minority shareholders by the controlling shareholder and the minority shareholders' rights to exit the public company by selling their shares to the majority shareholder.
    - Paksoy
  • Financial Services and Regulatory Summer Update 2014

    The aim of this Update is to focus on current legal and regulatory developments affecting financial services institutions in Jersey and to provide some brief thoughts on the implications of these developments for your business. In this Update, we look at current consultations on civil penalties and changes to the Money Laundering Order. Our Spotlight article considers changes to the tipping-off rules which are coming into effect shortly.   Read more...
  • Integration of US and Europe Energy Markets: TTIP and Global Energy Trading Projection

    Shale gas revolution has been driving US energy market by increasing economic and industrial competitiveness. Today, shale gas has gained acceptance as "bonanza" which triggered slump in gas prices and sparked off widening the energy gap between US and Europe. US gas export is forecasted to bemounted up 6 billion cubic feet per day signifying UK's daily demand in winter as of 2020. At this stage, a potential oil and gas trade between US and EU will become an inevitable pace for world energy supply-demand balance.
  • Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: How should Turkey Cope with the Changing Dynamics?

    The free trade agreement, known with its acronym TTIP , currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union is expected to have immense legal implications as well as commercial ones for the signatories. The numbers are self explanatory; two blocks when combined together produces almost half the world's GDP and around one third of the total world trade. The bilateral trade across the Atlantic has already exceeded USD 3.7 trillion. For these two economic giants to sign such a deal mean a monumental shift in world economic balances. As the United States and the European Union are expected to benefit significantly from such shift, the countries that will be left out will have to face a new legal regime that would cover the entire jurisdiction producing half of the world's GDP.
  • Bright Future Of Solar Power Market In Turkey

    In recent years renewable energy market development became primary energy strategy of Turkish government with the intention of improving energy efficiency and decreasing energy import dependency. Particularly, solar power seems as fundamental resource  of electricity generation in the near future. In terms of insolation Turkey possesses high potential among European countries.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Hengeler Mueller advises BSkyB on takeover offer to Sky Deutschland

    BSkyB announced on 25 July 2014 that it had entered into agreements with 21st Century Fox to acquire 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland AG (SkyD) on a fully diluted basis and its 100% stake in Sky Italia. BSkyB also announced its intention to make a voluntary public takeover offer to the shareholders of SkyD for the purchase of their ordinary registered shares with no par value in SkyD against payment of a cash consideration of €6.75 per SkyD Share. The acquisition of 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in SkyD is for a consideration of €3.6bn, valuing SkyD at €6.75 per SkyD share. The total consideration for the acquisition of Sky Italia is £2.45bn with approximately £2.07bn to be paid in cash and the balance to be satisfied through the transfer of BSkyB's 21% stake in National Geographic Channel International to 21st Century Fox at a value of £382m. Subject to the number of SkyD minority shareholders that accept the offer, the total cash consideration overall may be up to approximately £7.0bn. The transactions are subject to regulatory and independent BSkyB shareholder approval.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Adam Opel AG on Single OEM Structure in Europe

    Newly-established Opel Group GmbH assumes full responsibility as Single OEM Manufacturer for the Opel/Vauxhall business in Europe including Russia.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises DONG Energy on the divestment of a 50 per cent stake in Offshore Wind Farm

    DONG Energy signed an agreement to sell 50% of the German offshore wind farm project Gode Wind 2 to a consortium of Danish pension funds (PKA, Industriens Pension, Lærernes Pension and Lægernes Pensionskasse). The total purchase price amounts to approximately €600m. According to the agreement, the wind farm will have a total capacity of 252 MW. DONG Energy will construct the wind farm, provide operation and maintenance services and will provide a route to market for the power production of Gode Wind 2. The purchase is subject to approval by the cartel authorities.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises ZEISS on syndicated loan

    Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen has concluded a €500 Mio. syndicated loan for the purpose of refinancing existing financing. ZEISS is an internationally leading technology group in the fields of optics and optoelectronics with more than 24,000 employees and about €4.2bn in revenues.   Read more...
  • Hengeler Mueller advises Dürr on acquisition of HOMAG shares

    Dürr AG, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Dürr Technologies GmbH, has reached agreement with several major shareholders of HOMAG Group AG (HOMAG) to acquire a total of 53.7% of HOMAG shares. The purchase price for the 53.7% of the HOMAG shares is € 219 million. An agreement was also reached with the Schuler family and the Klessmann foundation, who have so far held a 25.1% stake in HOMAG in the form of a share pool, on Dürr joining the pool. The share pool will consent to the completion of a control and/or profit and loss transfer agreement by Dürr. The execution of the purchase contracts is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities. Dürr will submit a voluntary public takeover offer to the HOMAG shareholders to acquire all of the shares.
  • Pepeliaev Group Impresses in the IFLR 1000 Ratings

  • Gide advises KGHM Polska Miedź on financing worth USD 2.5 billion

    Gide's Warsaw and London offices have successfully completed another project for KGHM Polska Miedź. The largest Polish mining company officially announced an investment loan agreement for USD 2.5 billion for general corporate purposes which was signed on 11 July 2014. This is one of the most significant transactions of its type carried out in Europe this year.
  • A Guide to Arbitration in the Cayman Islands

    Arbitration is a mechanism of binding dispute resolution which entails resolving disputes outside court in accordance with procedures and standards as determined by the parties in dispute. Arbitration is therefore an alternative to traditional litigation and is distinct from non-binding forms of dispute resolution such as mediation.
  • The Cayman Islands Enacts implementing Legislation to comply with its international obligations

    As part of the Cayman Islands longstanding commitment to tax transparency and meeting international standards (most notably reflected in the fact that the Cayman Islands are on the G-20's 'white list' of compliant jurisdictions), the Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (United States of America) Regulations, 2014 (US Regulations) and the Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (United Kingdom) Regulations, 2014 (UK Regulations and together the Regulations), were gazetted and therefore brought into force in the Cayman Islands on 4 July 2014.
  • Lakatos, Köves advised Al-Habtoor on buying Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest

    The Gulf-based investor, Khalaf Al-Habtoor chose Lakatos, Köves and Partners again for a new hotel transaction in Budapest