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Top-tier recommendations


  • Chile: Energy and natural resources > Mining

Latin America: International firms



Within Banking and finance, Claro y Cia is a first tier firm,

One of the undisputed leaders in the market, Claro y Cia is equipped with a five-partner strong team that handles a healthy mix of lender and borrower work for a predominantly international client base. Jose María Eyzaguirre B and Rodrigo Ochagavía co-head the team, which recently advised the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on a $50m loan to Banco Bice. Also on the lender side, the firm advised JPMorgan Chase Bank on a $40m loan to Salmonfood; and China Development Bank Corporation on a loan granted to Eólica Negrete (a subsidiary of Mainstream Renewable Power), for the financing of a wind power generation facility. In borrower work, the firm acted as Chilean counsel to Kinross Gold Corporation on a $2.5bn loan transaction, and also assisted its subsidiary companies as guarantors. Another highlight included assisting leading South American liner operator Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores, a company controlled by the Luksic Group, with an unsecured revolving credit facility granted by Banco Itau Chile, Banco Consorcio and Compañia de Seguros de Vida Consorcio. Felipe Larraín Tejeda and Jorge Martín are also recommended, and Jose Luis Ambrosy was promoted to the partnership.

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Within Competition and antitrust, Claro y Cia is a first tier firm,

Housing one of the most established competition practices in the country, Claro y Cia has a superb reputation in the market and continues to be regularly involved in the most high-profile cases in Chile. Cristóbal Eyzaguirre brings his corporate and litigation expertise to the team and heads up an extremely experienced group, which is also able to call on the talent of veteran litigator José María Eyzaguirre G and newly made-up partner José Miguel Huerta. The team receives instructions on the full range of competition and antitrust issues, advisory or contentious, including abuse of dominance cases, cartel investigations, merger filings, and related litigation. A major highlight in 2012 was representing LAN Airlines in a $20m case against Aerolínea Principal before the TDLC concerning alleged predatory pricing on the Santiago-Córdoba route. Other work included acting for: Enersis, in an investigation regarding its fulfillment of a binding Antitrust Court ruling; Tur Bus, in a transport-sector cartel case brought by the Chilean antitrust prosecutor; and BBDO and Proximity in a lawsuit over an alleged cartel in the advertising industry.

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Within Corporate and M&A, Claro y Cia is a first tier firm,

The sizeable corporate and M&A team at Claro y Cia advises an impressive roster of domestic and foreign clients on some of the country’s most significant transactions and operations, particularly mergers, acquisitions and major corporate restructurings. The team is known to provide a solid service with expertise across the board and fields deeply knowledgeable practitioners. In a high-profile case, team head José María Eyzaguirre B, Cristóbal Eyzaguirre and Felipe Larraín advised Anglo American on the sale of a stake in copper mine project Los Bronces to Mitsubishi – a matter that would engender a dispute with Codelco over its right to do so, given the latter claiming purchase option rights on the same asset. The trio also assisted LAN with its $12bn merger with the Brazilian TAM, thus creating Latin America’s largest airline company LATAM. Meanwhile, Larraín and new partner José Luis Ambrosy represented Quiñeco and Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores in a restructuring that included capital increases of $500m and $1.2bn. In the beverage industry, Larrain advised the controlling group of Embotelladora Andina on its merger with bottling company Coca-Cola Polar. Hernán Felipe Valdés, Rodrigo Ochagavia and Matías de Marchena are also recommended.

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Within Dispute resolution, Claro y Cia is a first tier firm,

In an area where boutique firms are strongly represented, Claro y Cia stands out as one of the only full-service outfits with genuine focus on dispute resolution matters. The firm is the undisputed leader in the field and its longstanding reputation ensures it is trusted by leading companies for their most high-profile and complex disputes. 2012 highlights included advising Anglo American on its dispute with Chilean state-owned Codelco over the transfer of shares in world’s fifth-largest copper mine Anglo American Sur; regarded as the most significant commercial litigation in Chilean history, it involved multiple proceedings in Chile and abroad. Financial disputes are the firm’s forte; José María Eyzaguirre G and Cristóbal Eyzaguirre teamed up to advise Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria on a series of arbitration and court proceedings against Banco Nacional’s previous owners, while Cristóbal Eyzaguirre represented Chile’s main stock exchange Bolsa de Comercio de Santiago in a claim brought by Santiago municipality. In other work, Nicolás Luco represented a former director of La Polar, Baltazar Sánchez, in various civil proceedings for alleged negligence in monitoring duties; while Felipe Ossa defended Xtrata in a dispute against Barrick over an alleged breach of a right of first refusal in relation to the acquisition of a copper-gold mining project.

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Within Environment, Claro y Cia is a third tier firm,

Claro y Cia has a top-flight reputation in the energy sector and the firm advises domestic and foreign companies involved in exploration and exploitation activities (including operational matters), on a wide range of environmental issues. Its expertise spans environmental impact studies, permits, and transactional and regulatory matters, as well as the development and negotiation of equity projects for carbon bonds under the Kyoto protocol. Clients are drawn from the mining, energy, water resources, forestry, farming, sea farming, wine and chemical industries.

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Within Insurance, Claro y Cia is a third tier firm,

Corporate heavyweight Claro y Cia has an active insurance team and advises insurance companies on M&A transactions and corporate operations. Practice co-head Jorge Martín advised North American Life & Casualty on the incorporation of life-insurance specialist company Aseguradora Magallanes de Vida; and on the latter’s acquisition of FAF Internacional Seguros Generales, the only company in the country to offer title insurance products. Felipe Larraín co-leads the team, and José Luis Ambrosy, who was recently appointed partner, is also active in the area.

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Within Intellectual property, Claro y Cia is a second tier firm,

Established in 1880, Claro y Cia is the oldest firm in the country and has traditionally assisted its blue-chip clients with the protection of their IP rights, regularly handling their entire trade mark portfolios in Chile. Led by Felipe Claro, the team assists on the full range of IP issues, from registrations, prosecutions, oppositions and other enforcement mandates to related representation in contentious matters. The firm’s client base is largely international and includes companies in the telecoms, beverage, entertainment and industrial sectors.

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Within Projects and infrastructure, Claro y Cia is a first tier firm,

Full-service firm Claro y Cia has a superb name for both project finance and project development matters in the infrastructure and energy sectors. On the lender side, Rodrigo Ochagavía and José Luis Ambrosy advised the CDB on the financing of Mainstream’s Negrete wind project; while on the developer side the pair recently acted for Transelec on the development and construction of the transmission line to serve Caserones copper project. In another highlight, Ochagavía led the team advising AES Gener on the development of its Cochrane generating project, which included its financing as well as the negotiation of EPC, O&M, port and power purchase agreements. Matías de Marchena, Nicolás Eyzaguirre and Jorge Martín are also recommended.

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Within Real estate, Claro y Cia is a third tier firm,

Full-service firm Claro y Cia has built a solid real estate practice to support the needs of its substantial client roster, and as a result is active in a diverse array of industries including hospitality, retail, tourism and energy. Sale and acquisition transactions are high on the agenda, and past representative deals included advising Bayona on its disposal of four properties worth $12m. José María Eyzaguirre B is the key contact.

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Within Tax, tier 4

At full-service firm Claro y Cia, Jorge Carraha is the key contact for tax advice. Corporate instructions are the team’s mainstay and it secures a healthy volume of work in relation to tax planning, corporate restructuring, M&A transactions and due diligence processes. The team is also well versed in tax litigation. Among its recent highlight cases, the firm advised LAN Airlines on structuring and tax issues in relation to its merger with Brazilian counterpart TAM. The team is also the main tax advisor of Sudamericana Agencias Aéreas y Marítimas, recenly assisting it with tax advice on the international reorganisation of its tugboat business and tax structure to facilitate a potential joint venture with a Dutch group.

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Chile: Energy and natural resources

Within Electricity/oil and gas, Claro y Cia is a first tier firm,

Claro y Cia has an excellent standing in both oil and gas and electricity matters; team head Nicolás Eyzaguirre is the key practitioner. The team regularly advises companies involved in the hydro, thermo or combined-cycle power generation industry, and has high-end experience across the oil and gas sector, including exploration, financing, and production, transportation and distribution matters. The firm also houses an energy-related arbitration practice of notable strength. Among recent work, Rodrigo Ochagavía has been advising AES Gener on the development of the coal-fired Cochrane power project, which included the negotiation of EPC, operation and maintenance, port and power purchase as well as financing agreements. He teamed up with finance partner Luisa Núñez to assist First Solar on its acquisition of solar development company Solar Chile. Elsewhere, the team advised LV Expansión on its $514m acquisition of a 40% stake in liquefied gas provider Lipigas, from Repsol. Calling on his expertise in environmental matters, Ochagavía represents a number of clients (including Henkel, Goodyear and Freeport McMoran) on environmental licensing applications before the Health and Environmental Authority.

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Within Mining, Claro y Cia is a third tier firm,

Corporate and litigation stalwart Claro y Cia has a solid internationally oriented practice with relevant expertise that encompasses corporate matters, mining concessions, projects, environmental impact studies and permits, both in the metallic and non-metallic sectors. The practice is led by environment, energy and natural resources head Nicolás Eyzaguirre, who continues to assist Compass Minerals (and its subsidiary North American Salt Company) with the acquisition of a mining interest in the Gran Salar region in nothern Chile. He also defended longstanding client Compañía Contractual Minera Candelaria in a claim aimed at revoking the environmental permit for an aqueduct project to provide water to its mining facilities.

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Latin America: International firms: International arbitration

Within Local practitioners of note,

In Francisco Orrego Vicuña, Chile can boast one of the arbitral community’s senior Latin American figures. A member of 20 Essex Street, he largely divides his time between academic activities and arbitral appointments, such as Rusoro Mining v Venezuela, OI European Group v Venezuela and DP World Callao et al v Peru – rather than acting as counsel. Appointed a member of the ICSID panel of arbitrators in 2012, Andrés Jana is a former counsel to the Chilean finance and economics ministries, and has also acted as legal adviser to the Chilean government on the negotiation of several free trade agreements. Broadly regarded as being ‘at the forefront of Chilean arbitration practice’, he is a name partner at Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana Abogados. He and his team are currently counsel to Flughafen Zürich and Chilean company Gestión e Ingeniería in their ICSID case against Venezuela. Formerly the International Court of Arbitration’s director for the promotion of ICC arbitration in the Latin American region, Costa Rican national Dyalá Jiménez was a member of Jana’s team before establishing her own Santiago-based international arbitration consultancy DJ Arbitraje in 2011. She has acted as sole arbitrator and president of the tribunal in ICC cases; and, as counsel, represented clients in ICC and ICDR cases, as well as representing a Chilean investor in an ICSID case against Bolivia. An adjunct secretary on ALARB’s board of directors, she is regarded as ‘a true specialist’. (Since publication, Dyalá Jiménez has announced her return to Costa Rica to take up a role in the office of finance minister Edgar Ayales.) Having spent four years as a senior associate at the Paris and Madrid offices of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Claro y Cia’s Felipe Ossa is frequently mentioned as ‘one-to-watch’ and ‘a likely leader of the next generation’. He has acted as counsel in arbitrations under the aegis of ICC, ICSID, ICDR and UNCITRAL, as well as the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CAM); and as arbitrator at both the ICC and CAM. He has also acted as an expert on issues of Chilean law in proceedings before international arbitral tribunals and English and North American courts. Barros Letelier & González’s Enrique Barros is acting as ICSID tribunal president in Valle Verde Sociedad Financiera vs Venezuela. Along with his colleague, name partner Francisco González, he is also acting as counsel, in conjunction with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, to Colbún in its $1bn case against Tecnimont. In a notable move, former Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira partner Cristian Conejero Roos has joined Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner as head of arbitration. Having spent three years as counsel at the ICC, the ‘experienced and capable’ Conejero is ‘very well known in the arbitration community’. The nascent Philippi team can also call on the ‘sophisticatedRicardo Riesco, (himself a former member of the international arbitration group at Clifford Chance’s New York office) who has been writing on international commercial arbitration for a decade; as well as senior counsel Jaime Irarrázabal, who has sat as arbitrator and/or ad hoc committee member in both ICSID and ICC cases.

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