The Legal 500

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Chile

Top-tier recommendations

  • Chile : Energy and natural resources > Mining

Recommendations


Latin America: International firms

Recommendations


Chile

Within Banking and finance, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a first tier firm,

Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner’s strong reputation in banking and finance is supported by a solid transaction list that reflects true strength in the project finance, syndicated financing, offshore bonds and aircraft financing arenas. Practice chair Marcelo Armas has an excellent track record handling lender-side cases, and is particularly recommended for advising foreign banks and financial institutions in connection with the financing of projects in the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors; he recently assisted the lenders, including Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Export Development Canada (EDC), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Corpbanca, with the financing of SCM Minera Antucoya’s copper mining project. On the renewables side, he advised the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) on the financing of PV Salvador’s solar plant in Atacama; as well as a syndicate of lenders, including Mizuho Bank and Banco Itaú Chile, on the financing of phase II of Cleanairtech Sudamerica’s desalination plant project in Copiapó. Among other recent highlights, he acted as local counsel to JP Morgan Securities, BTG Pactual US Capital and IM Trust, as underwriters, on Latam Airlines Group’s capital increase. Andrés Sanfuentes is also highly recommended.

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Within Competition and antitrust, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a third tier firm,

Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner’s practice is led by Ricardo Riesco and assists the firm’s impressive blue chip client base with M&A clearances and antitrust investigations. In a recent piece of precedent-setting litigation, the firm successfully obtained authorisation of the merger between Enex and Terpel Chile from the Supreme Court on behalf of Quiñenco, the first such overturning of a TDLC ruling blocking a merger transaction. It also reached a favourable settlement agreement with the FNE before the Supreme Court on behalf of Liberty Media’s president, John C Malone, following his appeal against a TDLC ruling that found him liable of breaching the conditions imposed on the merger of his cable-television company with a competitor. Antitrust litigation highlights included representing advertising agencies Lowe Porta and Leche 2, as well as one of their directors, in a claim filed by the FNE before the TDLC over alleged collusion in three private bidding processes; the team obtained a considerable reduction of the fine requested by the FNE. Other notable client wins include Vitalberry and Grupo Prisa. Counsel Jorge Streeter is also recommended.

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Within Corporate and M&A, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a first tier firm,

Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner has excellent transactional experience and is a key player in the market’s high-end corporate deals. Led by the highly regarded Juan Francisco Gutiérrez, the team secured a rich mix of instructions in 2013 and advised on deals in the automotive, mining, energy, retail, pharmaceutical, educational, and fish farming and agricultural sectors. Complex transactions are a specialism, as is the establishment of companies starting operations in Chile. Federico Grebe had a lead role in a slew of high profile transactions over the past year and recently assisted Salmones Pacific Star on its merger with Trusal and Comsur, incorporating a new holding company called Salmones Austral. Together with Gutiérrez, he also advised Grupo Bupa Sanitas on its tender offer to acquire 50% plus one share of major health insurance company Cruz Blanca Salud for $350m. Juan Pablo Wilhelmy advised Vital Berry Marketing in its merger with Hortifrut, which was approved in August 2013 by the SVS, as well as Inversiones Stefal on its acquisition of Congelados Pacífico’s salmon division. Another highlight saw Alberto Pulido acting for Capital Investment Group in its $200m acquisition of 27% of Tanner Servicios Financieros through a capital increase and issuance of new shares. Andrés Sanfuentes is also recommended.

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Within Dispute resolution, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a third tier firm,

Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner gave a boost to its dispute resolution practice in 2013 by hiring a new head for international arbitration matters, top-flight arbitral specialist Cristián Conejero. The team receives a steady volume of instructions relating to highly regulated markets, including consumer protection and energy, and also brings to bear the firm’s top-tier reputation for corporate work to offer first-class capability in corporate governance and complex contractual disputes. Litigation head Enrique Alcalde is representing minority shareholder AFP Habitat before the Chilean Superintendency of Securities and Insurance in an administrative inquiry filed against SQM in the so-called Caso Cascadas. The team is also acting for Innergy Soluciones Energéticas in an arbitration claim against ENAP Refinerias over an alleged breach of a natural gas supply agreement. Former regional prosecutor Juan Pablo Kinast has a strong presence in white-collar crime matters; his client roster includes Antofagasta Minerals and Samsung Electronics.

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Within Environment, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a first tier firm,

Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner’s formidable mining expertise, regulatory capability and understanding of local authorities translates into a first-class environmental practice that shines in natural resources and energy-related matters. The firm was instructed by Andes Iron to assist it with the environmental assessment of its mining project Dominga, which was recently submitted to the authorities; and Compañía Minera Las Cenizas to advise it on environmental issues related to the operation of its mining plants. It also continued to represent Geotérmica del Norte before the courts and the environmental authority following the 2009 well blow-out at its El Tatio geothermal project, as well as in the environmental assessment process for the approval of a transmission line for its geothermal power plant Cerro Pabellón. Juan José Eyzaguirre heads the team.

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Within Labour and employment, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a first tier firm,

Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner deploys 11 lawyers, including two partners, dedicated to the area. The team is led Enrique Munita and regularly represents companies in contentious cases in a wide range of industrial sectors, including airlines, banking, mining, automotive, pharmaceuticals and sports. It also assists with collective bargaining procedures, pension litigation and the employment aspects of major acquisition transactions. Testimony to its international reach, the firm is the sole Chilean member of global labour network Ius Laboris. Practice director Cristián Olavarría is also recommended.

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Within Projects and infrastructure, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a second tier firm,

Project development is a core source of instructions for Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner, particularly in the mining sector, and the firm boosted its project finance capabilities in 2014 with the hire of counsel Carlos Alberto Reyes from Urrutia & Cia, who brings vast experience in electricity matters to the team. The group is able to draw on the banking and finance expertise of Marcelo Armas, who recently advised a syndicate of lenders on the $650m project financing of Antofagasta and Marubeni’s Antucoya copper mining project. He also assisted three commercial banks with a $250m credit agreement with Colbún. Juan Paulo Bambach is another leading name.

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Within Real estate, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a first tier firm,

Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner receives great market praise for its real estate capabilities, and is adept at handling real estate acquisitions, investments, construction and project financing, among other matters. The team has broad experience across the commercial, retail and residential sectors. Recent mandates include acting for Deka Inmobliaria on its acquisition of a majority stake in Santiago’s Titanium Tower. It also advised investment fund manager Las Américas on its $13m purchase of an office building from German fund Investec. The highly recommended José Tagle is the key contact, and Federico Grebe provides crucial support.

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Within Tax, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a second tier firm,

In line with its first-rate M&A and finance practice, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner has a strong transactional bent and is an ideal choice for advice on the tax aspects of corporate and financial operations; however it also has an increasingly active tax litigation practice led by senior associate Patricio Silva-Riesco. Team head Mario Silva is the name to note for domestic tax planning matters, while Guillermo Infante leads on cross-border operations. On the transactional side, the firm recently assisted Samsung C&T Chile Copper with the tax aspects of the acquisition of mining concessions owned by Empresa National de Minería (ENAMI); Infante led the advice. He is also advising BTG Pactual on the incorporation of a new bank in Chile; and Salmones Pacific Star on its $200m merger with Trusal and Comsur. Other representative clients include Ford Motor Company, Sumitomo Metal Mining and Quiñenco.

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Chile : Energy and natural resources

Within Mining, Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is a first tier firm,

Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner is highly regarded for its first-class corporate and finance capabilities, but the firm also has experience in assisting major players in the mining industry with exploration and development issues. Co-led by Juan Paulo Bambach and Juan Irarrázabal, the team also calls on the skills of environment head Juan José Eyzaguirre, and includes senior associate María Paz Pulgar, who has ten years’ experience advising on mining matters and joined from natural resources boutique López & Ashton in 2012. Bambach led a team advising South American Iron Steel on an exploration project for exploitation of sands containing magnetite and titanium in the south of Chile. He also assisted several local exploration companies, including Mineria Activa, Mineria Maquehua, Mineria Iman and Mineria Perth (all of them subsidiaries of Chilean investment bank Larrain Vial), with agreements and other matters for mining prospecting and exploration activities. Ongoing highlights include advising Samsung C&T on the investment agreement for the development of a copper mining project in Pampa Camarones. On the transactional side, Bambach and Pulgar acted as local counsel to Sichuan Tianqi Lithium Industries on its $646m international acquisition of a 65% interest in Talison Lithium.

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Latin America: International firms

Within Local practitioners of note (by country),

One of the arbitral community’s most senior Latin American figures, Francisco Orrego Vicuña is member of 20 Essex Street; he divides his time between academic activities and arbitral appointments, most recently, OI European Group v Venezuela, rather than acting as counsel. A ‘star who shines on his own’, Andrés Jana was appointed a member of the ICSID panel of arbitrators in 2012. A former counsel to the Chilean finance and economics ministries, and sometime legal adviser to the Chilean government he is acknowledged as a leading figure in arbitral practice, A name partner at Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana Abogados, he and his team are currently counsel to Quiborax and Non Metallic Minerals in a $145m ICSID case against Bolivia; and continue to advise Flughafen Zürich and Gestión e Ingeniería in a $95m ICSID case against Venezuela. Claro & Cia.’s Felipe Ossa spent four years as a senior associate at the Paris and Madrid offices of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and is considered an up-and-coming figure in the practice; he has acted as counsel in arbitrations under the aegis of ICC, ICSID, ICDR and UNCITRAL rules, as well as the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CAM); and as arbitrator at both the ICC and CAM. Barros Letelier & González’s Enrique Barros is currently sitting as sole arbitrator in a $10m commercial case between Casa Saba and the former owners of Farmacias Ahumada. Deemed ‘very reliable’, he is one of Chile’s ICSIDs designees, and is also currently sitting as tribunal president in Valle Verde Sociedad Financiera v Venezuela; and Highbury International Ramstein Trading v Venezuela, in which an award was rendered in September 2013. Former ICC counsel Cristián Conejero joined Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner as head of arbitration upon his return to Chile in 2012. Having also spent a number of years at Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, he has extensive experience. The team, which currently has a significant commercial caseload, can also call on Ricardo Riesco, (himself a former member of the international arbitration group at Clifford Chance’s New York office); as well as senior counsel Jaime Irarrázabal, who has sat as arbitrator and/or ad hoc committee member in both ICSID and ICC cases. In addition to Barros and Jana, Carey’s senior partner Jorge Carey, Carlos Eugenio Jorquiera, (who is President of the Centre for Arbitration and Mediation at the Santiago Chamber of Commerce), and Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Goldenberg, Lagos & Silva’s Arturo Yrarrázaval Covarrubias, are all designated ICSID panel members.

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