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"Established in 1951, Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors provides expert legal services to local and foreign clients, gaining a global reputation for quality, expertise and profe..." read more
"Established in 1976, Vouga & Olmedo is one of the most prominent and important law firms in Paraguay, acknowledged for rendering top-quality legal services. With more than 45 l..." read more
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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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  • Austria/Malta: Schoenherr advises Oesterreichische Volksbanken on sale of Volksbank Malta

    Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Österreichische Volksbanken-AG (OeVAG) on the sale of its fully-owned subsidiary Volksbank Malta Limited to Malta-based Mediterranean Bank plc. On 11 April 2014, OeVAG and Mediterranean Bank signed a Share Purchase Agreement for 100% of the shares in Volksbank Malta. Closing shall take place after the required approvals of the relevant regulatory bodies are received. read more...
  • Austria: Stefan Kuehteubl new head of Employment practice at Schoenherr

    Stefan Kuehteubl will join Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), as a partner and the head of the firm's Employment practice as of July 2014. A highly-regarded employment law practitioner, Kuehteubl will be returning to Schoenherr, where he previously worked as a member of its employment team between 1999 and 2004. During the past ten years, he worked in a well-known Vienna-based employment law boutique, in which he was a partner since 2008. read more...
  • Proud to continue charitable donations in 2014

  • New Swiss Law on Product Safety

    The Swiss law on product safety ( Produktesicherheitsgesetz, PrSG) is currently scheduled to enter into force on July 1, 2010. This new law aligns Swiss product safety requirements with EU law. It applies not only to manufacturers, but to anyone who commercially or professionally markets products in Switzerland, and it introduces substantial new obligations before and after the sale of a product.
  • Chambers Global has once again recognised Pepeliaev Group's tax practice as the best in Russia

    The Chambers Global 2014 international ratings have hailed Pepeliaev Group's tax practice and the firm's managing partner Sergey Pepeliaev as Russia's best in the area of taxation (band 1 and Star Individuals). Commentators describe Mr Pepeliaev as "the father of Russian taxation." He has an outstanding reputation in tax litigation, for which he is said to be "absolutely brilliant." In addition, Chambers Global  lavishes praise on Rustem Ahmetshin (band 2), one of the firm's senior partners, who has considerable expertise in areas such as VAT and audit advice. Chambers Global sources commend Pepeliaev Group partner Valentina Akimova (band 3) as a "smart tax specialist." She has significant experience in a wide range of tax matters such as VAT, income tax and excise duties. Sources recommend Andrey Nikonov (band 3), another senior partner in the firm, as an authority on VAT, mineral extraction tax and unified social tax.  Chambers Global also rates Mr Nikonov highly for his experience in resolving tax disputes advising on the tax aspects of M&A transactions.

    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the Tranche- II of public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 1,000 Crore.

    In a recent landmark judgment of the Hon'ble Andhra Pradesh High Court in the matter of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. (DCHL) & Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors ., the Hon'ble Court has laid down an important principal of law to the effect that SARFAESI Action can be taken by an assignee/ successor in interest only if the original lender had SARFAESI power.

    Dhir & Dhir Associates advised National Housing Bank, wholly owned by Reserve Bank of India, on the public issue of tax free bonds in the nature of secured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures with benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, aggregating upto Rs. 2,100 Crore.
  • Angel Buzalov from “Popov & Partners” has participated in “Legal Day 2014”of GBICC

    On 20.03.2014 was carried the first part of the annually organized forum "Legal Day" of German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber. Representatives of the leading legal companies in Bulgaria and industry representatives also took part in the event.
  • “Popov & Partners” took part in the consultations organized by the German-Bulgarian Industrial C

    On 24.03.2014 a meeting of the Advisory Board "Law" of the German-Bulgarian Industrial Commercial Chamber (GBICC) was held. The event was attended by representatives of the business as well as lawyers from major law firms in Bulgaria, including the law firm "Popov & Partners."