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Peru > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Hernández & Cía. Abogados is an undisputed leader in the field, the result of years of focus and a premier team of experts comprising four specialist partners and a hefty pool of ten associates, led by name partner Luis Hernández, ‘the father of tax lawyers in Peru’. The firm excels in all aspects of tax law, from transactional and advisory to litigious matters, and is called upon by a raft of leading international and domestic companies to provide day-to-day tax support, such as Goldman Sachs, Procter and Gamble, Grupo Telefónica and Backus AB InBev. Recent transactional work included advising Sealed Air Corporation on the Peruvian aspects of its global $3.4bn sale of Diversey Care to Bain Capital, advice led by the consistently recommended Fernando Núñez. Advisory work included acting for Intéligo on the structuring of several Peruvian trusts which will issue tax efficient bonds to Peruvian clients; and representing high-net and ultra-high-net-worth individuals on the tax amnesty programme introduced by the Peruvian government during 2017. Contentious work saw Hernández representing a number of heavyweight Peruvian companies in administrative and judicial proceedings against the Tax Administration. Milagros Bustillos and Leonardo López are other key members of the team.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uria fields a well-resourced and expert team under the leadership of recognised tax practitioner Walker Villanueva, who is particularly skilled in tax structuring advice in high-level M&A, capital markets and financings. The firm is in high demand across the full spectrum of tax matters and attracts a stellar client-base that includes Grupo Telefónica, LATAM, and recent client gains Uber, Rio Blanco and Compañia de Cervecerías Unidas (CCU). The firm represented Uber in the tax implications of a draft bill regulating its proposed transportation system; and also advised government tourism agency Promperu regarding double taxation agreements signed with seven nations regarding exports and imports. Deals during the past year brought a joint collaboration between the firm’s Lima and Santiago offices, when it advised CCU (Chile’s largest liquor producer), on the sale of its Peruvian spirits company; while tax litigation included successfully representing LATAM in a claim before the Peruvian tax court. The team includes highly-regarded Dante Sanguinetti who is an expert in international taxation, standout associate Johana Timana and new hire Carlos Moreano from Deloitte Perú. Sandra Rivas left to establish her own firm.

Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano – Abogados fields a mighty ten partners and 14 associates in this practice area; they provide a ‘great service’, ‘quick and complete responses’, ‘up-to-date knowledge’ and have ‘good availability for discussions’. Leading figure in the market Alex Córdova and ‘very professionalAlex Morris head the practice, which benefits from input from name partner Humberto Medrano, who is particularly skilled in tax litigation. The firm’s leading corporate and finance departments require tax support at the highest level and the team doesn’t fail to deliver. José Talledo led tax advice to I Squared Capital on its $1.2bn acquisition of Duke Energy’s Latin American assets; and together with of counsel Andrea Madueño, Talledo also acted for Minsur on its $85m acquisition of the remaining 30% stake in Marcobre that it did not already own. Contentious work included representing Sacos Pisco in a $6m dispute before the tax court which finally found in the client’s favour – the advice was led by Cordova assisted by recent hire Joan Tello, an associate from Ernst & Young. Indeed, the firm augmented its team at associate level by a total of three hires, but lost principal associate Rosa Chevarría to Garrigues.

Rated as ‘the best in tax’ and ‘excellent’, boutique Zuzunaga, Assereto & Zegarra Abogados brings expertise in international tax planning and foreign trade to the market, alongside more typical domestic advisory work and litigation (the firm estimates a current caseload before the tax administration and tax court totalling $480m). While it has a broad client-base drawn from a variety of sectors, the firm is focused on extractive industries, such as mining and oil and gas, and infrastructure, where an illustrious client list includes Glencorp Peru, Minera Barrick Misquichilca, Enel Generación Perú, Compañía Minera Zafranal and Gas Natural de Lima y Callao; Fenix Power and Petroperu are among several client gains this year. Juan Carlos Zegarra and Luciana Yáñez are singled-out for praise, and work with a further four partners, amounting to the largest partner team in the market. Yáñez and name partner Fernando Zuzunaga are leading advice to Petroperu on the tax status of non-domiciled construction and engineering companies regarding the $5bn upgrade of the Talara Refinery; and are also advising the government on the tax impact of the forthcoming XVIII Pan-American Games to be hosted by Peru in 2019, including the tax status of non-domiciled companies providing games services and infrastructure construction, for example.

Estudio Echecopar member firm of Baker McKenzie International has a very strong transactional department but also handles high-level advisory and contentious matters. The team is ‘excellent’, ‘bi-lingual’ and ‘simply extraordinary’, with an ‘in-depth knowledge of the services provided’. It advised American Tower Peru on the complex tax aspects of its acquisition of the use and exploitation of 500 telecommunication pylons across Peru, owned by Desarrollos Terrestres del Perú, with a view to leasing them to telecoms operators – potential deal value $87m and a deal-first for Peru. The advice was led by department head Rolando Ramírez-Gastón, who is ‘very intelligent’, ‘creative, skilful and hardworking’, supported by fellow partner Erik Lind. Ramírez-Gastón also advised a global luxury-fashion brand on the tax structure of establishing a presence in Peru. An impressive client résumé includes Google, Goldman Sachs, Baker Hughes and Compañía Minera Milpo (part of the Votorantim group).

Miranda & Amado’s in-demand, standalone tax department is steered by the highly-experienced Rocío Liu, known for her skills as a tax litigator. She is supported by the popular Pablo Sotomayor and a seven-strong associate team, which overall, is particularly well-versed in advising highly-regulated sectors such as banking, telecoms, energy and natural resources. Lui successfully led advice to Kimberly-Clark Peru in its precedent-setting case against the SUNAT regarding the tax status of voluntary profit-sharing granted to employees; she is now advising on a similar case on behalf of Banco de Crédito del Perú, with $20.7m in dispute. On the non-contentious side, Lui led tax advice to Intercorp on its $268m acquisition of the local insurance and mortgage administration businesses of Colombia’s Sura Asset Management. Telefónica del Perú, Engie Energía Perú and Enel Group are clients of the practice.

At Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados, the ‘overall level of service is excellent’ and there is ‘always a team on the other end of the phone, where every individual knows the case file and is well prepared to answer client’s requests’. The large partner-team includes department head and name partner Fernando Castro and fellow name-partner Daniel Ono, who work alongside four other partners with specialist tax knowledge. The practice excels in providing tax advice in major corporate transactions and financings, as evidenced by its work for China Three Gorges on its $1.39bn acquisition of Empresa de Generación Huallaga (owner of the Chaglla hydroelectric plant), from Odebrecht, with tax advice led by Jorge Otoya. He also advised Arca Continental on the tax aspects of the restructuring of its bottling business via share transfer to a Mexican subsidiary, deal value $780m. Colgate Palmolive, PespsiCo and BASF also instruct the team.

CMS Grau has valuable tax capability to enhance its strong energy, mining and real estate practices. Members of the team, led by the respected Rolando Cevasco, have been recruited from international tax consultancies, leading domestic law firms and companies, and the tax authorities. They include latest hire, Carlos Chirinos from Grant Thornton, where he led the transfer pricing and tax consultancy divisions. Recent transaction-related advice included acting for Enagás Internacional on its acquisition of 5% of the share capital of Transportadora de Gas del Peru (TGP) from SK Corporation, thereby increasing its holding to 25%. A name to note is César Castro, who is a very experienced tax practitioner.

With one of the largest teams in the market spread across four regional offices, Ernst & Young’s ‘level of service comes with the higher standards expected of a global firm’ and its ‘performance is outstanding’. The practice advises some of the largest domestic and international companies – such as Pfizer, Nexus Group, Citi Alternative Investments and Advent International – on their tax planning and transactional matters. There is also notable synergy between the firm’s tax and labour law practices regarding employee remuneration. Fernando Tori heads the team and is highlighted for his capability, as is Edwin Sarmiento Lazo, and Roberto Cores, whose ‘ability to solve problems by applying creative solutions, have made him not only an excellent lawyer but also a complete one’.

Indicative of a rapidly expanding practice, Garrigues continued its ambitious growth trajectory with the hire of new partner Javier de la Vega and two associates from PricewaterhouseCoopers Peru, plus principal associate Rosa Chevarría from Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano – Abogados. Prior to private practice, Vega was corporate tax manager at Anglo American Peru, and brings much experience to the team. Highly-regarded José Chiarella heads the practice and ensures the ‘excellent service’ for which the team has become known; while clients highlight principal associates Luis Valle, who ‘stands out for his knowledge’; and Rafael Martinelli, whose ‘strengths are his knowledge, proactivity and response times’. Martinelli led the tax advice to Scotia Capital and Morgan Stanley, as joint bookrunners and managers, in Fondo MIVIVENDA’s landmark PEN$2bn global depository notes offering, the first private GDN offering in Peru. Advisory work saw Valle lead advice to LATAM Coaching Network on tax planning across several Latin American jurisdictions.

Payet, Rey, Cauvi, Pérez Abogados specialises in corporate taxation, international tax planning, litigation and the tax aspects of banking and finance, where it advises on some of the largest deals in the market. Head of the practice Iván Chu provided tax advice to Enfoca SAFI, Peru’s largest private equity fund manager, on its £950m fund recapitalisation – a deal managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Fund. Chu has ‘great knowledge of tax legislation and is always ready to answer to any doubt you may have’, while overall ‘the services provided in the tax area clearly reflect that’ this is ‘one of the leading legal firms in Peru’.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Peru is a major player in the Peruvian legal tax sector, attracting major global companies as clients and providing key services in transaction support, sophisticated advisory work and litigation. The practice has specialist expertise in the tax implications of financial services, energy, agricultural, telecommunications and mining industries, for example. Arturo Tuesta heads the legal tax department, which also includes key individuals Lourdes Chau and Gino Menchola.

Rebaza, Alcázar & De Las Casas is ‘much better than others’ and ‘on another level’. It excels in corporate support, but also has a steady flow of tax compliance matters, day-to-day advisory work and tax litigation, where the ‘overall level of service is excellent’. Highlights included acting for Glencore on its $31m acquisition of the Contonga mine and other non-Peruvian assets from Nyrsta; and advising JP Morgan Private Bank and EFG Capital International Corporation on establishing their tax amnesty process for Peruvian clients. Department head Camilo Maruy is recommended and leads a team of four associates.

Rubio Leguía Normand has a successful standalone practice focused on strategically-important litigation and advisory work for large companies. It is acting for a number of high asset-owning families on the new tax amnesty regulations and representing Entel Bolivia on the cross-border tax and customs issues of its multimillion-dollar internet fibre optic project which involves Peruvian territory. On the litigation front, the firm successfully acted for Minera Yanacocha before the tax courts in a precedent-setting case concerning the limitation period. The 12-lawyer team is co-led by three partners and a counsel, of which partner Kelly Pérez stands out for her leading role in key matters.

Highly professional’ tax and labour law boutique Gálvez & Dolorier Abogados has a ‘deep knowledge of the industry’, fast response times and is noted for its partner attention. Name partner José Gálvez is well-known for his litigious expertise, has a ‘complete vision of the client's business’ and ‘instils confidence’, while Martín Mantilla has ‘very good knowledge of the issues’. A further two partners, including co-head Silvia Muñoz, and six associates make up the team, of which many have joined from larger law firms or the tax authorities. Clients include the Lima Stock Exchange, DHL Express Perú, Panasonic Peruana and Dynacor Mines Gold Inc.

Tax boutique Gálvez, Risso, Zegarra & Asociados is ‘one of the best in tax in Peru’, according to a client and ‘manages the relationship between our company and the authorities very well’. The firm strengthened its associate pool from ten to 16 over the past year, indicative of the growth of the practice. Name partners Ramón Gálvez, who ‘always provides advice in advance of potential issues’, Carolina Risso Montes and Carlos Zegarra, are all very experienced in the field, particularly in litigation and advisory work. Clients include Peru’s largest steel producer, Empresa Siderúrgica del Perú, LATAM and Peru LNG.

Indicative of the expertise at the firm, Estudio Olaechea has an impressive client book which includes Michelin, Air Canada and BlackRock Asset Management. Led by Jorge Dávila, formerly of one of the Big Four accountancy firms, and Carolina Rodriguez, who brings in-house and government ministry experience to the practice, the team is strong across the full range of tax issues, from litigation to corporate support and general advisory work. It provided tax advice to Akko Group on its $50m construction project for a new office block in Lima and is representing a mobile telecoms equipment provider on a $18m dispute before the tax court. Senior associate Natali Huaylla is recommended.

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