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Who Represents Who

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Business oriented’ regional powerhouse Ferrere is ‘one of the best firms’ for banking and finance matters and helps clients ‘bridge their commercial needs with legal requirements’. The team excels at advising on traditional and syndicated loans, public tenders and bond issuances, and frequently represents various banking and multilateral institutions such as Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), Oikocredit, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG). A recent highlight mandate saw ‘excellent’ practice head Carlos Codas advise the Inter-American Investment Company (IIC), on its role as an agent for the guarantor Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), on a $67m loan granted by the Paraguayan Social Security Institute (IPS) to Telefonica Celular del Paraguay for the expansion of its 3G and 4G LTE networks. In other work, associates Verónica Franco and Pamela Lezcano assisted key partner Néstor Loizaga with counsel to Unicomer (and Wisdom Product, as guarantor), regarding a $350m bond issue. The team was strengthened further with Carlos Vasconsellos’ return after completing his MBA.

Estudio Jurídico Gross Brown’s banking and finance department is one of the first destinations for high-profile domestic and international clients seeking advice on credit agreements, credit structures and asset- and project-finance, be it on the lender or borrower side, as well as for derivatives and insolvency and restructuring matters. Headline work saw managing partner Jorge Ignacio Gross Brown advise borrower Telefonica Celular del Paraguay (Tigo) on the execution of a $67m loan agreement with IPS for the expansion of its 3G and 4G LTE networks in four of Paraguay’s largest cities; and Sigfrido Gross Brown act as counsel to JP Morgan in the structuring of a $598m finance package for the construction of a key water-treatment infrastructure project. Other notable mandates included assisting Citibank, as underwriters, with a $500m bond offering; and acting on behalf of the IIC in an infrastructure project. The firm also represents Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and the World Bank. Senior partner Jorge Rafael Gross Brown is an established name in the market and associate Ximena López is also recommended.

The 10-strong banking and finance team at Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors is adept at handling loan agreements, securitizations and bond issuances for a broad range of domestic and multinational clients, predominantly on the lender side. Headline 2017 work included assisting Microvest Capital Management with the financial structuring of the acquisition of Cadiem Casa de Bolsa’s 253,000 shares in Visión Banco; representing investment funds Parag and Polygon in various company acquisitions, totalling up to $120m; and advising Banco Continental on an offer for the cash purchase of any/all of its outstanding 8.875% senior notes. Another focus area is project finance: most recently the team closed a $50m bridge loan on behalf of Rutas del Este (SPV), as debtor; and it also advised a local bank syndicate involving Sudameris, Banco Continental, Banco Regional and Banco Atlas on the execution of the first tranche of work on Routes 2 and 7. Practitioners to note are regulatory expert Yolanda Pereira and Martín Carlevaro, who specialises in PPP projects, as well as Hugo T Berkemeyer, who has vast experience in international bond issuances.

Quick and accurateMoreno Ruffinelli & Asociados provides ‘excellent service’ across the full range of banking and finance matters, with particular expertise in debt restructuring, workouts and reorganisations. The firm has a strong position in the domestic market, representing local banks such as Sudameris, Bancop and Agencia Financiera de Desarrollo (AFD), and is regularly instructed by international institutions, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID). The five-partner team handles an impressive caseload with recent matters including counsel to IFC/OFID on a $75m loan to Ultrapetrol (which emerged from a successful, court-approved restructuring in April 2017), for the financial restructuring of its Paraguayan affiliates; Carlos Darío Ruffinelli led the advice. Practice head José Moreno Ruffinelli is the main contact, with key support coming from Mercedes Gimenez and associate Maria Esmeralda Moreno. Roberto Moreno Rodriguez returned to the firm after his tenure as Attorney General of the Republic of Paraguay.

Palacios, Prono & Talavera covers a broad spectrum of banking and finance work, including loan and credit agreements, bond issuances and regulatory advice. Among a selection of significant cases, the team counselled Banco GNB on a $300m subordinated notes issue; and assisted lender Trafigura with a credit agreement to Panchita G de Navegación for the construction of barges. An area of particular expertise is the agribusiness sector: recent examples of this specialisation saw the team assist Agrotec with a loan agreement granted by IFC and IDB; and act on behalf of Tecnomyl and Agrofertil in a credit agreement with Multibank for the acquisition of raw materials and payment of suppliers. Banco Sudameris, Banco BASA and state-owned Banco Nacional de Fomento are also on the firm’s client roster. Carlos Palacios, Raúl Prono and Juan Pablo Palacios are the key points of contact.

Under the joint leadership of Cynthia Fatecha and Rodolfo Vouga, who ‘shows deep understanding of client’s needs’ and is praised for his ‘knowledge of the region’, Vouga Abogados offers ‘fast consultancy’ to a broad range of domestic and international clients such as Bolsa de Valores, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, Itaú BBA and IDB. The service offering includes advice on secured and unsecured loans, asset protection as well as financial restructuring of entities and trusts. A recent high-profile mandate involved assisting DEG with a $14m loan and guarantee agreement with local bank Bancopo; Fatecha and Carlos Vouga who is ‘efficient’, ‘very dedicated’ and ‘highly professional’, led work on the mandate. The firm also continues to advise Tape Pora on the finance structuring of the $130m Route 7 infrastructure project.

Banking and finance is a sweet spot for the team at Fiorio, Cardozo & Alvarado, Attorneys at Law, which is best known for representing local and international banks and financial institutions in loan agreements and asset recovery, as well as restructuring and insolvency matters. The team, which includes Juan Bautista Fiorio, Marcelo Alvarado and José María Cardozo, also has notable experience in the project finance sphere and is adept in advising on infrastructure projects. Representative clients include Banco Familiar, Banco Regional and the IIC.

Mersan Abogados has developed a solid banking and finance practice, handling secured and unsecured loans, capital markets transactions, debt restructurings and project finance. Highlights for the seven-strong team, which is led by Oscar Mersán, Carlos Mersán and Pablo Cheng Lu, included assisting Banco Regional with bond issuances; advising KfW Development Bank on equity and mezzanine financing projects; and counselling the IFC and IIC on project finance matters. Another key instruction was counselling the city of San Francisco on the obtaining of a $60m guaranteed loan from the Inter-American Corporation for the Financing of Infrastructure (CIFI), DEG and the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation. Long-standing clients Banco Itaú Paraguay, Banco do Brasil and Bolsa de Valores also feature on the client list.

With particular clout in the financial litigation sphere, the team at Olmedo Abogados represented Banco Regional in several lawsuits regarding debt collection, mortgages and loans, amounting to $18m; and handled the enforcement of various credits on behalf of Banco Continental. Rocio Perez is advising Financiera Paraguayo Japonesa, as damaged party, in two alleged fraud cases; while Enrique Zacarías is assisting Banco Itapua with transactional structures, regulatory compliance matters, debt restructuring and collection as well as syndicated loans, project finance and capital markets transactions. The 11-strong department is led by Graciela Royg and Ana Peña and includes highly-reputed senior figure Gustavo Olmedo.

Local member of the Ontier Legal network, Parquet & Asociados fields an eight-strong banking and finance department which regularly acts for national and multinational clients and has a strong position in the public sector where it represents the Paraguayan Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the National Development Bank. One 2017 highlight involved advising Banco Regional on its $200m bond issuance. On the FinTech side, telecommunications provider Tigo instructed the team in relation to the regulatory provisions issued by the Central Bank of Paraguay regarding digital cash and mobile financial services. Senior partner Javier Parquet leads the group.

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