The Legal 500

AV. APOQUINDO 3721, 14TH FLOOR, CÓD POSTAL 755 0177, SANTIAGO, CHILE
Tel:
Work +562 2367 3000
Fax:
Fax +562 2367 3003
Email:
Web:
www.claro.cl

Chile

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia. has ‘an enviably impressive group of banking and finance lawyers’. In acquisition lending matters, the practice acted for AES Gener on a $700m credit facility granted by Deutsche Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), for the acquisition of 50% of Empresa Eléctrica Guacolda; and assisted CorpGroup and Banco Itaú BBA (Nassau), with a long-term credit facility for up to $950m granted to CorpGroup. Other key instructions included acting for AES Gener on a $100m medium-term credit facility granted by The Bank of Nova Scotia, Banco del Estado de Chile, SMBC and Mizuho Bank; advising SMBC on a $50m bridge financing to Cencosud; and assisting US renewables company First Solar with obtaining a $289m loan to help finance the construction of a solar plant in Chile, set to be one of Latin America’s largest. Evidencing the firm’s strong capital markets experience was the team’s representation of power company Empresa Eléctrica Angamos on its $800m senior secured notes offering. It also advised the underwriters, including Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank Securities and Banco BTG Pactual, on the $829m global secondary public offering of Banco de Chile shares. Rodrigo Ochagavía is ‘a great teacher for young associates; every associate who works with Rodrigo for two or three years becomes a reliable and hardworking lawyer’; and José Luis Ambrosy’s ‘attitude to work is impressive; in moments of pressure he still finds ways to bring comfort to the team’. Cristóbal Eyzaguirre, José María Eyzaguirre B and Felipe Larraín are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Cristóbal Eyzaguirre - Claro & Cia.

José María Eyzaguirre B - Claro & Cia.

Rodrigo Ochagavía - Claro & Cia.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s lawyers are well versed in advising clients on the antitrust aspects of their business activities and they regularly defend client’s interests during inquiries carried out before the Antitrust Prosecutor, as well as in consultation and punitive procedures before the Antitrust Court, including several high-profile cases. Cristóbal Eyzaguirre and José Miguel Huerta are recommended.

Leading lawyers

Cristóbal Eyzaguirre - Claro & Cia.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia. offers ‘market-leading M&A lawyers whose advice never fails to impress, and who always fight their clients’ corner’. The nine-partner-strong corporate practice is hugely experienced and headline work saw practice head José María Eyzaguirre B and Felipe Larraín advise Corpbanca (and its controlling shareholder, Corpgroup), on the negotiation and execution of a multi-party competitive bidding process to find a strategic partner to combine banking operations in Chile and Colombia; while concurrently, Cristóbal Eyzaguirre and Luisa Núñez advised Banco Itaú Chile (and its controlling shareholder Itaú Unibanco) on their ultimately successful participation in the above bid process. Subject to approvals, the $7bn transaction is due to close in the third quarter of 2015 and will create the third largest private bank in Chile. In other work the recommended Rodrigo Ochagavía and Hernán Felipe Valdés advised Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) on its merger with container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd; and the impressive Matías de Marchena represented Gas Natural Unión Fenosa on its $3.3bn acquisition of Compañía General de Electricidad (CGE): the largest tender offer ever executed in the country it gives Fenosa a 40% share of Chile’s electricity market. Additional matters include advising FIP Costanera on the sale of its controlling interest in healthcare provider and insurer Cruz Blanca Salud to Anglo-Spanish conglomerate BUPA-Sanitas; Walmart on the acquisition of 25% of Walmart Chile (formerly D&S); and AES Gener on the $728m acquisition of 50% of Empresa Eléctrica Guacolda from Empresas Copec and Inversiones Ultraterra (and the subsequent sale of a 49.9% stake to a Chilean subsidiary of Global Infrastructure Partners). Other names to note include Jorge Martín, and José Luis Ambrosy, who ‘facilitates good relationships between parties’.

Leading lawyers

José María Eyzaguirre B - Claro & Cia.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s ‘service is first class for quality and the firm’s lawyers will always stay true to their clients’ goals’. The practice specialises in complex commercial court litigation, domestic and international arbitration and transnational litigation; and it also has a notable white-collar crime practice. It acted for Swiss company ABB in its defence against a claim, brought by Chartis, for the failure of a motor mill that was supplied to one of Chile’s largest copper producers; and represented AES Gener in several arbitrations and court cases against Chilean energy group CGE, regarding the amendment of power purchase agreements (PPAs). Other high-profile instructions included representing Banco de Chile against claims filed by Curauma, concerning the financing of EuroAmerica’s acquisition of real estate properties; and acting for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in a series of arbitral and court proceedings, the dispute relating to the purchase of Banco Nacional in 1990 by Banco Bif, which was then acquired by BBVA. Senior partner José María Eyzaguirre García, Cristóbal Eyzaguirre, Nicolás Luco, Felipe Ossa and José Miguel Huerta are highly rated.

Leading lawyers

Cristóbal Eyzaguirre - Claro & Cia.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s recent contentious matters include representing Anglo American Sur in two sanctioning procedures that were initiated by Chile’s Environmental Superintendency. It also advises Anglo on the environmental aspects of its daily operations in Chile. Other key instructions included acting for First Solar on the environmental assessment of the 162MW Luz del Norte project, which obtained environmental approval in 2014. Nicolás Eyzaguirre is recommended.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia. is ‘a great firm and its lawyers are highly experienced’. The practice advises on all the core competencies, including the registration of trade marks, patents and industrial designs, as well as copyright and internet matters, and it also has experience advising on new technology agreements, computer system security and infringement control. Key figures include practice head Felipe Claro and well-regarded IP-generalist Paulina Bardón, who has particular expertise in international IP-protection. On the patent side, associate Claus Krebs is noted as ‘an excellent and reliable practitioner’.

Leading lawyers

Felipe Claro - Claro & Cia.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

An incredible law firm that provides high-quality service’, Claro & Cia. has long enjoyed a strong reputation, particularly for project financing. Here, highlights include advising the mandated lead arrangers and lenders, including SMBC, The Export-Import Bank of Korea and Mizuho Bank, on a $476.6m long-term senior secured financing for a 517MW combined-cycle gas power plant. Renewable energy projects included advising the largest producer of solar panels in the world, First Solar, as sponsor, and Parque Solar Fotovoltaico Luz del Norte, as project company, on the development and financing of the Luz del Norte 141MWp solar power plant; while infrastructure projects included advising San Antonio Terminal Internacional on the $100m long-term senior secured financing for the expansion of the Molo Sur terminal at San Antonio’s port. Hailed as ‘the partner who knows most about project financing and energy projects in Chile’ and ‘one of the most qualified lawyers in Latin America’, key practitioner Rodrigo Ochagavía is ‘creative at structuring the most complex of transactions without sacrificing quality’. José Luis Ambrosy has ‘great experience in financing and is always responsive to aggressive timings’, and Felipe Larraín, Jorge Martín, Matías de Marchena and Luisa Núñez are also key names.

Leading lawyers

Rodrigo Ochagavía - Claro & Cia.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Claro & Cia.

Always available to provide innovative solutions’, Claro & Cia. acts on real estate acquisitions, construction matters and long-term lease agreements, as well as the financing of industrial and residential projects, casinos, hotels and shopping centres. José María Eyzaguirre B is the name to note.

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

Claro & Cia.

Recent highlights for Claro & Cia.’s six-strong tax group include providing tax advice to Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold on the sale of its 80% ownership interest in the Candelaria / Ojos del Salado copper mining operations (and supporting infrastructure) to Lundin Mining Corporation. It also acted for SAAM on the design of the tax structure for a joint venture between SAAM and Dutch group Boskalis Holdings; and provided tax advice to Prudential on the acquisition of pension funds administrator, AFP Habitat. A well-known figure in the sector, practice head Jorge Carraha is strongly recommended.

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Chile: Energy and natural resources

Electricity/oil and gas
Energy and natural resources: electricity - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Energy and natural resources: oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s lawyers ‘possess great business acumen and offer appropriate advice; their value for money is also good’. The team advised the mandated lead arrangers and lenders, including SMBC, The Export-Import Bank of Korea and Mizuho Bank, on a $476.6m long-term senior secured financing for Kelar, a 517MW combined-cycle gas power plant. Other highlights for the ‘exceptionally talented group’ included representing First Solar, as sponsor, and Parque Solar Fotovoltaico Luz del Norte, as project company, on the development and $290m financing for the construction, operation and maintenance of the largest solar photovoltaic project in Latin America. Rodrigo Ochagavía, Nicolás Eyzaguirre and José Luis Ambrosy are highly recommended practitioners. Ochagavía is ‘a truly competent negotiator who knows how to get the most out of counter-parties’.

Leading lawyers

Nicolás Eyzaguirre - Claro & Cia.

Rodrigo Ochagavía - Claro & Cia.

[back to top]

Mining
Energy and natural resources: mining - ranked: tier 3

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s lawyers have ‘an excellent commercial approach that clients appreciate’. The six-strong team advised Anglo American Sur on exploration and exploitation matters concerning its Los Bronces, El Soldado and Chagres operations; and assisted Anglo American Norte with a judicial claim to obtain the easements for a new operational phase. It also acted for Minera Freeport-McMoRan South America on several mining concession option agreements; and counselled First Solar on obtaining the mining rights to develop the largest solar power plant in Latin America. Nicolás Eyzaguirre is recommended.

[back to top]

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Francisco Orrego Vicuña is one of the most recognised names in Latin America with an extensive career as an international arbitrator, including ad hoc and institutional arbitrations under the rules of the ICC, UNCITRAL and LCIA. Orrego Vicuña is a member of the 20 Essex Street chambers and is also on the ICDR’s Energy Arbitration list; most recently, he acted as tribunal member appointed by the claimant in Highbury International, Compañía Minera de Bajo Caroní, and Ramstein Trading v Venezuela. Andrés Jana is a key figure in the Chilean and regional international arbitration scenario. Leading the dispute resolution team at Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana Abogados, Jana was recently appointed by the respondent in the ICSID case Cervin Investissements and Rhone Investissements v Costa Rica. Felipe Ossa has been appointed arbitrator by the ICC and the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CAM), and has also served as an expert on Chilean law issues in proceedings before international arbitral tribunals. A partner at Claro & Cia., he and his team acted as lead counsel to Nissan against Marubeni in emergency arbitration proceedings in Mexico under ICC rules. Senior figure Enrique Barros, name partner at Barros Letelier & González, recently chaired the arbitration tribunal in two high profile cases against Venezuela in the mining and banking sectors. Philippi Prietocarrizosa & Uria relies on highly regarded arbitration specialists Cristián Conejero and Ricardo Riesco, both have international experience – at European and New York firms, respectively. Other relevant senior arbitration specialists in the country include Jorge Carey (the senior partner at Carey), Carlos Eugenio Jorquiera, (President of the Centre for Arbitration and Mediation at the Santiago Chamber of Commerce), and Arturo Yrarrázaval Covarrubias (a founding partner at Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Goldenberg, Lagos & Silva.

[back to top]



Chile

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia. has ‘an enviably impressive group of banking and finance lawyers’. In acquisition lending matters, the practice acted for AES Gener on a $700m credit facility granted by Deutsche Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), for the acquisition of 50% of Empresa Eléctrica Guacolda; and assisted CorpGroup and Banco Itaú BBA (Nassau), with a long-term credit facility for up to $950m granted to CorpGroup. Other key instructions included acting for AES Gener on a $100m medium-term credit facility granted by The Bank of Nova Scotia, Banco del Estado de Chile, SMBC and Mizuho Bank; advising SMBC on a $50m bridge financing to Cencosud; and assisting US renewables company First Solar with obtaining a $289m loan to help finance the construction of a solar plant in Chile, set to be one of Latin America’s largest. Evidencing the firm’s strong capital markets experience was the team’s representation of power company Empresa Eléctrica Angamos on its $800m senior secured notes offering. It also advised the underwriters, including Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank Securities and Banco BTG Pactual, on the $829m global secondary public offering of Banco de Chile shares. Rodrigo Ochagavía is ‘a great teacher for young associates; every associate who works with Rodrigo for two or three years becomes a reliable and hardworking lawyer’; and José Luis Ambrosy’s ‘attitude to work is impressive; in moments of pressure he still finds ways to bring comfort to the team’. Cristóbal Eyzaguirre, José María Eyzaguirre B and Felipe Larraín are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Cristóbal Eyzaguirre - Claro & Cia.

José María Eyzaguirre B - Claro & Cia.

Rodrigo Ochagavía - Claro & Cia.

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s lawyers are well versed in advising clients on the antitrust aspects of their business activities and they regularly defend client’s interests during inquiries carried out before the Antitrust Prosecutor, as well as in consultation and punitive procedures before the Antitrust Court, including several high-profile cases. Cristóbal Eyzaguirre and José Miguel Huerta are recommended.

Leading lawyers

Cristóbal Eyzaguirre - Claro & Cia.

[back to top]

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia. offers ‘market-leading M&A lawyers whose advice never fails to impress, and who always fight their clients’ corner’. The nine-partner-strong corporate practice is hugely experienced and headline work saw practice head José María Eyzaguirre B and Felipe Larraín advise Corpbanca (and its controlling shareholder, Corpgroup), on the negotiation and execution of a multi-party competitive bidding process to find a strategic partner to combine banking operations in Chile and Colombia; while concurrently, Cristóbal Eyzaguirre and Luisa Núñez advised Banco Itaú Chile (and its controlling shareholder Itaú Unibanco) on their ultimately successful participation in the above bid process. Subject to approvals, the $7bn transaction is due to close in the third quarter of 2015 and will create the third largest private bank in Chile. In other work the recommended Rodrigo Ochagavía and Hernán Felipe Valdés advised Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) on its merger with container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd; and the impressive Matías de Marchena represented Gas Natural Unión Fenosa on its $3.3bn acquisition of Compañía General de Electricidad (CGE): the largest tender offer ever executed in the country it gives Fenosa a 40% share of Chile’s electricity market. Additional matters include advising FIP Costanera on the sale of its controlling interest in healthcare provider and insurer Cruz Blanca Salud to Anglo-Spanish conglomerate BUPA-Sanitas; Walmart on the acquisition of 25% of Walmart Chile (formerly D&S); and AES Gener on the $728m acquisition of 50% of Empresa Eléctrica Guacolda from Empresas Copec and Inversiones Ultraterra (and the subsequent sale of a 49.9% stake to a Chilean subsidiary of Global Infrastructure Partners). Other names to note include Jorge Martín, and José Luis Ambrosy, who ‘facilitates good relationships between parties’.

Leading lawyers

José María Eyzaguirre B - Claro & Cia.

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s ‘service is first class for quality and the firm’s lawyers will always stay true to their clients’ goals’. The practice specialises in complex commercial court litigation, domestic and international arbitration and transnational litigation; and it also has a notable white-collar crime practice. It acted for Swiss company ABB in its defence against a claim, brought by Chartis, for the failure of a motor mill that was supplied to one of Chile’s largest copper producers; and represented AES Gener in several arbitrations and court cases against Chilean energy group CGE, regarding the amendment of power purchase agreements (PPAs). Other high-profile instructions included representing Banco de Chile against claims filed by Curauma, concerning the financing of EuroAmerica’s acquisition of real estate properties; and acting for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in a series of arbitral and court proceedings, the dispute relating to the purchase of Banco Nacional in 1990 by Banco Bif, which was then acquired by BBVA. Senior partner José María Eyzaguirre García, Cristóbal Eyzaguirre, Nicolás Luco, Felipe Ossa and José Miguel Huerta are highly rated.

Leading lawyers

Cristóbal Eyzaguirre - Claro & Cia.

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s recent contentious matters include representing Anglo American Sur in two sanctioning procedures that were initiated by Chile’s Environmental Superintendency. It also advises Anglo on the environmental aspects of its daily operations in Chile. Other key instructions included acting for First Solar on the environmental assessment of the 162MW Luz del Norte project, which obtained environmental approval in 2014. Nicolás Eyzaguirre is recommended.

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia. is ‘a great firm and its lawyers are highly experienced’. The practice advises on all the core competencies, including the registration of trade marks, patents and industrial designs, as well as copyright and internet matters, and it also has experience advising on new technology agreements, computer system security and infringement control. Key figures include practice head Felipe Claro and well-regarded IP-generalist Paulina Bardón, who has particular expertise in international IP-protection. On the patent side, associate Claus Krebs is noted as ‘an excellent and reliable practitioner’.

Leading lawyers

Felipe Claro - Claro & Cia.

[back to top]

Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

An incredible law firm that provides high-quality service’, Claro & Cia. has long enjoyed a strong reputation, particularly for project financing. Here, highlights include advising the mandated lead arrangers and lenders, including SMBC, The Export-Import Bank of Korea and Mizuho Bank, on a $476.6m long-term senior secured financing for a 517MW combined-cycle gas power plant. Renewable energy projects included advising the largest producer of solar panels in the world, First Solar, as sponsor, and Parque Solar Fotovoltaico Luz del Norte, as project company, on the development and financing of the Luz del Norte 141MWp solar power plant; while infrastructure projects included advising San Antonio Terminal Internacional on the $100m long-term senior secured financing for the expansion of the Molo Sur terminal at San Antonio’s port. Hailed as ‘the partner who knows most about project financing and energy projects in Chile’ and ‘one of the most qualified lawyers in Latin America’, key practitioner Rodrigo Ochagavía is ‘creative at structuring the most complex of transactions without sacrificing quality’. José Luis Ambrosy has ‘great experience in financing and is always responsive to aggressive timings’, and Felipe Larraín, Jorge Martín, Matías de Marchena and Luisa Núñez are also key names.

Leading lawyers

Rodrigo Ochagavía - Claro & Cia.

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Claro & Cia.

Always available to provide innovative solutions’, Claro & Cia. acts on real estate acquisitions, construction matters and long-term lease agreements, as well as the financing of industrial and residential projects, casinos, hotels and shopping centres. José María Eyzaguirre B is the name to note.

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

Claro & Cia.

Recent highlights for Claro & Cia.’s six-strong tax group include providing tax advice to Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold on the sale of its 80% ownership interest in the Candelaria / Ojos del Salado copper mining operations (and supporting infrastructure) to Lundin Mining Corporation. It also acted for SAAM on the design of the tax structure for a joint venture between SAAM and Dutch group Boskalis Holdings; and provided tax advice to Prudential on the acquisition of pension funds administrator, AFP Habitat. A well-known figure in the sector, practice head Jorge Carraha is strongly recommended.

[back to top]

Chile: Energy and natural resources

Electricity/oil and gas
Energy and natural resources: electricity - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Energy and natural resources: oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s lawyers ‘possess great business acumen and offer appropriate advice; their value for money is also good’. The team advised the mandated lead arrangers and lenders, including SMBC, The Export-Import Bank of Korea and Mizuho Bank, on a $476.6m long-term senior secured financing for Kelar, a 517MW combined-cycle gas power plant. Other highlights for the ‘exceptionally talented group’ included representing First Solar, as sponsor, and Parque Solar Fotovoltaico Luz del Norte, as project company, on the development and $290m financing for the construction, operation and maintenance of the largest solar photovoltaic project in Latin America. Rodrigo Ochagavía, Nicolás Eyzaguirre and José Luis Ambrosy are highly recommended practitioners. Ochagavía is ‘a truly competent negotiator who knows how to get the most out of counter-parties’.

Leading lawyers

Nicolás Eyzaguirre - Claro & Cia.

Rodrigo Ochagavía - Claro & Cia.

[back to top]

Mining
Energy and natural resources: mining - ranked: tier 3

Claro & Cia.

Claro & Cia.’s lawyers have ‘an excellent commercial approach that clients appreciate’. The six-strong team advised Anglo American Sur on exploration and exploitation matters concerning its Los Bronces, El Soldado and Chagres operations; and assisted Anglo American Norte with a judicial claim to obtain the easements for a new operational phase. It also acted for Minera Freeport-McMoRan South America on several mining concession option agreements; and counselled First Solar on obtaining the mining rights to develop the largest solar power plant in Latin America. Nicolás Eyzaguirre is recommended.

[back to top]

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Francisco Orrego Vicuña is one of the most recognised names in Latin America with an extensive career as an international arbitrator, including ad hoc and institutional arbitrations under the rules of the ICC, UNCITRAL and LCIA. Orrego Vicuña is a member of the 20 Essex Street chambers and is also on the ICDR’s Energy Arbitration list; most recently, he acted as tribunal member appointed by the claimant in Highbury International, Compañía Minera de Bajo Caroní, and Ramstein Trading v Venezuela. Andrés Jana is a key figure in the Chilean and regional international arbitration scenario. Leading the dispute resolution team at Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana Abogados, Jana was recently appointed by the respondent in the ICSID case Cervin Investissements and Rhone Investissements v Costa Rica. Felipe Ossa has been appointed arbitrator by the ICC and the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CAM), and has also served as an expert on Chilean law issues in proceedings before international arbitral tribunals. A partner at Claro & Cia., he and his team acted as lead counsel to Nissan against Marubeni in emergency arbitration proceedings in Mexico under ICC rules. Senior figure Enrique Barros, name partner at Barros Letelier & González, recently chaired the arbitration tribunal in two high profile cases against Venezuela in the mining and banking sectors. Philippi Prietocarrizosa & Uria relies on highly regarded arbitration specialists Cristián Conejero and Ricardo Riesco, both have international experience – at European and New York firms, respectively. Other relevant senior arbitration specialists in the country include Jorge Carey (the senior partner at Carey), Carlos Eugenio Jorquiera, (President of the Centre for Arbitration and Mediation at the Santiago Chamber of Commerce), and Arturo Yrarrázaval Covarrubias (a founding partner at Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Goldenberg, Lagos & Silva.

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