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BKM | Berkemeyer offers expertise across corporate, M&A, infrastructure, real estate and other commercial matters to domestic and international clients. Public procurement contracts, acquisition of assets, sale of subsidiaries and distribution agreements are all core areas of activity for a practice group that 'is up to date with all changes in law and precedents in Paraguay'. Recent work included advising Mota-Engil Latin America on the development of the $700m Corredor Sur PPP road-project. The team also assists international clients Dow Agrosciences and Pfizer with all their Praguayan strategic commercial agreements and corporate matters. Hugo T. Berkemeyer heads the 'excellent' department, which also includes PPP projects' expert Martin Carlevaro, litigator Carla Sosa and associate Antonio Villa Berkemeyer. The arrival of associate Paola Sapienza, in June 2018, and of senior associate Manuel Arias in Februrary 2019, both from Estudio Jurídico Gross Brown, has further deepened the firm's corporate bench.

Regional powerhouse FERRERE has become a first port of call for the complete range of corporate work. The sizeable team handles a steady flow of matters, comprising advice on the establishing of local operations, high-profile M&A transactions, joint venture contracts, corporate restructuring and equity market investments, among others, backed up by expertise in areas such as competition, labour, administrative and regulatory law. Standout work saw practice head Nestor Loizaga lead advice to Syngenta on the cross-border purchase of Nidera, a subsidiary of  Chinese grains' trader COFCO; and assist Unilever with the sale of its spread business in Paraguay, as part of an approximately $7bn global transaction. Newly-promoted partner Verónica Franco acted as local counsel to SIKA, performing due diligence on a Paraguayan subsidiary in connection with the global acquisition of Parex Group. Senior associate Fabrizio Franco moved to Estudio Jurídico Gross Brown in 2018. A predominantly international client-base includes Cargill, Colgate-Palmolive and Siemens.

The long-established Estudio Jurídico Gross Brown is a leading force in the Paraguayan legal market; it houses 'one of the best corporate practices' in the country which is  involved in much of the sophisticated corporate transactional work available. Led by Sigfrido Gross Brown, the ten-strong team often advises multinationals, funds, and local and regional companies on joint ventures, private equity transactions, cross-border deals, corporate governance and public tenders. Standout mandates included advising BASF on the local aspects of the acquisition of certain assets of Bayer as part of a $19m global transaction; and conducting a comprehensive local due diligence on behalf of Pertento regarding the $2bn global sale of Cinven which comprised local company Ufinet Group. The recommended Jorge Ignacio Gross Brown led advice to Argentine low cost airline FB Lineas Aereas (Flybondi) in connection with the incorporation of a Paraguayan branch. Senior associate Fabrizio Franco joined from FERRERE in early 2018 but the team lost senior associate Manuel Arias who moved to BKM | Berkemeyer in February 2019. The largely international client portfolio includes heavyweights Fiat Chrysler, Apple and Shell.

The Paraguay member-firm of both the LexMundi and Meritas alliances, Peroni Sosa Tellechea Burt & Narvaja is a strong player in the corporate and M&A market, providing a broad range of legal services to a predominantly international client base involved in cross-border and local transactions. The eight-partner team is praised for its 'excellent understanding of the market'; it recently acted as local counsel to Petrobras on the $383.5m sale of its operations in Paraguay, including a network of 179 service stations - practice head Esteban Burt led on the deal. Buyer-side work saw renowned Francisco Peroni lead advice to American Towers on its $129m acquisition of 1,400 wireless communication towers from Millicom subsidiary Tigo Paraguay. Another prominent mandate involved counselling the joint venture formed by Imperial Logistics of Germany and Consorcio de Ingenieria Electromecanica (CIE) regarding the construction of a $12m grain port facility on the Paraguay River. Marcos Peroni is another name to note.

Full-service firm Vouga Abogados fields one of the leading corporate and M&A practices in the country, which stands out across the entire array of sector-related work. 'Young talent, the excellent use of technology and great ability to adjust to clients' needs make Vouga the ideal business partner.' Under the leadership of Rodolfo Vouga, the team demonstrates 'creativity to solve the many unsuspected issues that emerge during the implementation of transactions' and is continuously involved in the most high-profile deals in Paraguay. The 17-strong (eight-partner) department represented oil distributor Copetrol in a bid process for the approximately $400m acquisition of Petrobras's operations in Paraguay, which also involved clearance from the National Competition Commission. A team led by the 'always available and well connected' Rodolfo Guillermo Vouga advised Prosegur on all aspects of its $14m acquisition of rival G4S, and successfully represented the same client in connection with subsequent antitrust challenges. The March 2018 arrival of Rodrigo Fernández, previously the head of corporate at Zacarias & Fernández, further boosted a practice group where associates Carlos Vouga and Walter Vera are younger practitioners of note. Other clients include Microsoft, Paraguay Refrescos and Mastercard.

Fiorio, Cardozo & Alvarado, Attorneys at Law offers advice on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and business incorporations. The sizeable team is regularly instructed by domestic and international clients across a variety of sectors such as energy, telecommunications and consumer goods. Key partner Marcelo Alvarado is advising Bolivian holding company Grupo Empresarial de Inversiones Nacional Vida in relation to the acquisition of 90% of the shares of a local insurance company; while Juan Bautista Fiorio is currently assisting local Volkswagen dealer, DIESA, with the $15m acquisition of Prestigio, Audi's local dealer. Other clients include Axion Energy, Nestlé and Sanofi Aventis.

Led by José Moreno Ruffineli, the 'solid' corporate and M&A team at Moreno Ruffinelli & Asociados enjoys 'great prestige in the country'. The practice has a particulatly strong position in the energy and infrastructure sectors, evidenced by the recent advice to Consorcio Metropolitano on the bidding process held by the Administración Nacional de Electricidad (ANDE) regarding a $55m project to extend electric distribution lines in the Greater Asunción area. Another headline mandate saw the department represent Frigomerc on the notification process before antitrust agency CONACOM in connection with the company's $105m acquisition of shares in two Paraguayan corporations. Standout practitioners Carlos Dario Rufinelli and Maria Esmeralda Moreno assisted Avianca Holdings with the establishment of the branches of Tampa Cargo and Trans American Airlines in the country, general restructuring and airport management matters.

Palacios, Prono & Talavera¬†handles a steady flow of corporate and M&A matters, demonstrating unparalleled expertise in the shipping and agribusiness sectors.¬†Ra√ļl Prono¬†heads the eleven-strong practice, which recently assisted Monte Alegre with the negotiation and structuring of securities for the $3.9m construction of a liquid-fuel storage facility in Puerto Concepci√≥n. Among other headline matters, the highly reputable Carlos Palacios led advice to¬†Operaciones Comerciales (OPECSA) on the franchise agreement with Hilton Worldwide Management to build and operate the Hampton-by-Hilton hotel at Asunci√≥n airport. The team's client roster includes Dow Agrosciences, Cargill and joint venture¬†Complejo Agro Industrial Angostura.

The transactional and corporate practice at Altra Servicios Juridicos demonstrates strength advising clients from a range of sectors, such as shipping, finance, trade and manufacturing. Yazaki, Caracol Televisión and Tigo Paraguay are among clients that seek the six-strong team's advice on matters including acquisitions, incorporations and corporate restructuring. Founding partner and international arbitration specialist José Antonio Moreno Rodríguez is the main contact.

The commercial and M&A practice at MERSAN Abogados frequently represents local and international clients from a wide range of sectors (banking, technology, agribusiness, transport, mining, among others) on the full-array of corporate matters. With extensive experience in tax law -one of the firm's core practices- the team offers further advice on the incorporation of companies, joint ventures, acquisitions and mergers, as well as liquidations and regulatory issues. The nine-strong team is jointly led by highly-regarded partners Carlos Mersán and Oscar Mersán.

Under the joint leadership of Gustavo Olmedo and José Olmedo, the corporate and commercial practice at Olmedo Abogados continues to provide 'first-class services' ranging from advice on company reorganisations and M&A-structuring to liquidations and corporate governance. The team has been particularly active assisting international newcomers to the Paraguayan market on the establishment of operations and subsidiaries. A recent mandate saw the 'efficient' department act as legal advisor to BLADEX in the negotiation of the $1.27m sale of a grain silo to DIAGRO. Clients include Nokia Paraguay, Estée Lauder Companies and Korean Tobacco & Ginseng.

The 'very reliable' corporate and M&A department at PARQUET & ASOCIADOS handles advice on joint ventures, acquisitions and company incorporations, among other matters. As in the finance sector, the firm's core strength in public law is an additional plus for a practice group that 'knows  what a foreign investor or player wants and how this can be accommodated according to the local rules and culture'. Javier Parquet and Daniel Artaza jointly head a practice group that recently advised regional Paranair shareholders on corporate matters including a $4m equity increase, and on Avmax's acquisition of 33% of the company's shares from Amaszonas Bolivia. The law firm is one of the founding-members of global  network ONTIER Legal and attracts both domestic and international clients such as Elecnor Deimos, ArcelorMittal and Millicom.

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