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.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • MD: Finally! Liquidating a Company is Now a Mission Possible

    On 29 May 2014, the Moldovan Parliament passed the Act No. 90/2014 on amending and supplementing of certain legislative acts (Act No. 90). Act No.90, which entered into force on 27 June 2014, implements simplified rules on the liquidation of companies in Moldova (in particular, at the decision of their shareholders), namely by inter alia amending the Civil Code of Moldova, Act No. 845/1992 on Entrepreneurship and Enterprises, Act No. 220/2007 on State Registration of Companies and Individual Entrepreneurs.  read more...
  • How to Hire and Fire: A Global Guide 2014

    Multilaw's Labour & Employment practice group has produced a new 2014 edition of "How to Hire and Fire: A Global Guide." With content contributed by experienced employment lawyers from Multilaw member firms, the eBook provides a simple way for HR practitioners and clients to get a quick, uncomplicated overview of basic employment law information from jurisdictions around the world. The book reflects the law in each jurisdiction as of January 1, 2014. Jurisdictions covered by the 2014 edition include Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Ecuador, European Union, Germany, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, Oman, Paraguay, and Philippines, among others. The Philippine chapter was written by SyCipLaw partner  Leslie C. Dy . Visit the Multilaw website to access and download the file: .
  • How Can Turkish Banking Cope with the Changing Global Banking Dynamics?

    2008 global economic meltdown had served as an important wake up call for the global banking industry. The complicated web of interrelated financial instruments created by investment banking gurus, accompanied by a lax regulatory regime came to create one of the biggest financial disasters after the Great Depression and itself termed by many as the Great Recession costing millions of people their savings, jobs and houses.
  • American Defense Industry: Does the Legal Regime Hamstring the Business?

    The United States is still by far the leading country in defense spending, allocating a sizable portion of its GDP to produce cutting edge military technologies. However recent reports indicate a decline in American exports in military hardware. There are not only reports that point to an under-funding of procurement around USD$ 50 billion on an annual basis but also a general complaint on the part of the key players of the industry regarding the restrictive export regime that impedes the sale of military equipment to the non-American parties.
  • GSK Advises EnBW AG on Acquisition of Eni’s Joint Venture Holdings in Gas Business

    EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) is acquiring the 50%  holdings of Eni Gruppe, Rome, in EnBW Eni Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart, thereby increasing its holdings to 100 %. This makes EnBW indirectly the sole shareholder of Gasversorgung Süddeutschland GmbH (GVS) and terranets bw GmbH. GSK Stockmann + Kollegen provided comprehensive legal advice to EnBW in connection with this transaction.
  • Transition to electronic meal vouchers - Paper meal vouchers disappear on 1 January 2016

    Aware of the advantages of meal vouchers in electronic form, the Government has decided to definitively replace the paper form by electronic form, with effect from 1 January 2016.
  • CSSF issues circular on investor notification of material changes to open-ended UCITS funds

    Luxembourg's Financial Sector Supervisory Authority According has published Circular 14/591 on July 22, addressed to all open-ended UCITS funds governed by the grand duchy's legislation of December 17, 2010, regarding the protection of investors in the event of a material change to an open-ended undertaking for collective investment. The CSSF says that according to well-established supervisory practice, in the event of such a material change to investors' interests in an open-ended fund under the 2010 law, the regulator requires that they be given sufficient time to take an informed decision, and that if they do not wish to accept the proposed change, they should be able to redeem or convert their shares or units free of charges.
  • Newsflash -Restrictive measures recently adopted against the Russian Federation

    In response to the downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in Donetsk and in view of the gravity of the overall situation, the Council of the European Union has adopted new restrictive measures targeting cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation. 2014.08.05_-_russian_sanctions_newsflash
  • TTIP: The Issue of Investor to State Dispute Settlements

    The benefits that will the TTIP bring in to the table for both of the signatories across the Atlantic are well documented by the Atlantic Community. Generation of a volume trade that amounts a USD$ 1.2 billion and the expansion of the already existing transatlantic trade accompanied by the removal of non-tariff barriers as well as cheaper prices for the consumers and common standards for the producers that would give a leeway for them in fierce global competition by declining production costs. However the other side of the coin points to possible pitfalls for the TTIP like a requirement for a painstaking process of harmonization of two different legal systems and possible discords regarding the inclusion and exclusion of some specific sectors in to the agreement. However one of those prospective challenges has increasingly coming to the fore and lately being discussed among the pundits as one of the most troublesome among the others. This is the point concerning the investor to state dispute settlements ( ISDS )
  • GSK Advises PAMERA Real Estate Group on the Sale of the PAMERA Companies to Cornerstone Group

    GSK Stockmann + Kollegen advised the shareholder of the PAMERA Asset Management GmbH, the PAMERA Retail GmbH and the PAMERA Development GmbH on the sale of these companies to the European Cornerstone subsidiary of US-American Cornerstone Estate Advisers LLC.

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