The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Mayer Brown

1999 K STREET, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1101, USA
Tel:
Work +1 202 263 3000
Fax:
Fax +1 202 263 3300
Email:
Web:
www.mayerbrown.com

Gabriela Sakamoto

Tel:
Work +1 202 263 3029
Email:
Mayer Brown

Work Department

Finance

Position

Gabriela Sakamoto is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office and a member of the Banking & Finance practice and Latin America and Global Projects groups. Gabriela’s practice focuses on advising commercial banks, multilateral agencies and other financial institutions, as arrangers, lenders and agents, on cross-border project finance, structured finance, capital markets and acquisition financing transactions, particularly in Latin America. Her Latin American experience is extensive and includes transactions in more than ten countries in the region and across a wide range of sectors, including energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure. In addition, Gabriela has significant experience with financial institution financing, having represented arrangers, investors and originators on numerous future flow financing transactions (e.g. diversified payment rights, credit card merchant vouchers). Gaby was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is fluent in Spanish.

Education

New York University School of Law, JD 2006; Columbia University, BA, summa cum laude 1990


Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Mayer Brown's deep commitment to Latin America has been in full evidence over the last decade with its association with Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown, created in 2009, and the launch of a Mexico City office in 2015. A large proportion of the Latin America practice centres on financings, including secured and unsecured financing, acquisition financing, project financing and structured finance. The firm has demonstrated particular prominence in bilateral loans, capital-markets driven financings and hybrid financings, and offshore oil-and-gas transactions. Clients include Banco Itau, Banco Santander, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Global Bank, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. The firm advised Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM), the multinational utilities company and leading multi-utility services company in Colombia, on a $750m syndicated credit facility. It also advised HSBC, as lender, on a $147m refinancing of a rig financing for Grupo México. Douglas Doetsch heads the Latin America practice and is at the forefront of securitisations and structured finance in the region. New York partner David Duffee is co-head of the global lending practice and has a solid record in acquisition and syndicated financings in Latin America. Washington DC partner Gabriela Sakamoto, a Spanish speaker who was born in Buenos Aires, has a major focus on Latin America and advises a range of commercial and agency lenders on financings in multiple jurisdictions. New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert is a leader in project finance and structured finance, including hybrid deals, and is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese.  Debora de Hoyos is also highly regarded, while restructuring partner Sean Scott is 'able to coordinate with overseas offices and is both an outstanding attorney and a tough negotiator'. Named individuals are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.

[back to top]

Capital markets

Within: Capital markets

Mayer Brown remains best known for structured products, infrastructure and project bonds, and high yield debt. It is well plugged-in to the region through its dedicated Mexico City office and its presence in Brazil through Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. Clients include Banco General, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Celeo Redes, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Global Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Sanepar. In Uruguay, the practice advised the note purchasers on a $114m senior private placement (and a subordinated private placement of a B-bond), to refinance the El Naranjal and Del Litoral solar power plants, as well as advising the investors on the $65m investment grade-rated project bond issued in the private placement market to finance Invenergy’s La Jacinta Solar project in the country's Salto department. Other work included advising the underwriters on the $184m IPO by Brazilian financial institution Banco Inter. Chicago partner Douglas Doetsch leads the Latin America and Caribbean practice and has an excellent record in structured finance, securitisation and diversified payment rights transactions. Also Chicago-based, James Patti is another strong player in structured finance, securitisation and infrastructure bonds. David Bakst specialises in capital markets transactions by non-US issuers, including a number of Latin American businesses. Leader of the Latin America projects practice Christopher Erckert and Washington DC partner Gabriela Sakamoto are experienced names in project bonds and hybrid financings products. Latin America debt and equity capital markets specialist  George Baptista joined Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in mid-2018.

[back to top]

Projects and energy

Within: Projects and energy

Mayer Brown has a rich history of bank-led project finance work, coupled with a growing standing among DFIs, export credit agencies (ECAs) and project sponsors. It is also an accomplished player in project and infrastructure bonds, including private placement-driven financings. The Latin America practice is located across in multiple centres, most notably in Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Houston, Mexico City and in Brazil through Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown. The Brazil team recently led advice to GE Capital in connection with the $1.5bn financing of CELSE – Centrais ElĂ©tricas de Sergipe's Porto de Sergipe I thermoelectric complex project in Barra dos Coqueiros; the largest cross-border, energy-related transaction in Brazil for some years, it was financed through a mixture of a bond issuance and multilateral lenders. The firm is a major player in the renewable energy segment right across Latin America and advised MUFG, Natixis and SMBC, as lenders, on the $135m financing of the expansion of the 133MW Los Guindos diesel-fired power station in southern Chile’s BiobĂ­o region. In the private placement segment, the firm represented the note purchasers in the $103m placement of senior secured notes and $11.5m subordinated secured notes to refinance the Naranjal and Del Litoral solar power plants in Uruguay; the structure builds on the firm's previous work in private placement project bonds, including the Campo Palomas wind project in Uruguay. In the project bonds and private placement segment, New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert  is a recognised authority, though he is also an experienced traditional project finance practitioner, particularly in the renewables sector. Houston partner Robert Goldberg is an experienced figure in Latin America power and renewables projects. London's Ian Coles is a mining sector leader with considerable experience in Latin America. Houston's Pablo Ferrante and Jose Valera are highly rated for oil-and-gas, LNG, power and renewables deals. Ariel Ramos  is a big name in Mexico City, while Barry Machlin and Douglas Doetsch are pivotal figures in Chicago. Washington DC's Gabriela Sakamoto is an emerging talent and Eduardo Lima is a key name in Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown's Sao Paulo office.

[back to top]


Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to