The Legal 500

EL GOLF 40, PISO 13, LAS CONDES, SANTIAGO, CHILE
Tel:
Work +56 2 2 280 5000
Fax:
Fax +56 2 2 280 5001
Web:
www.prieto.cl
Email:

Chile

Top-tier recommendations


Chile

Within Administrative law, Prieto y Cía. is a third tier firm,

Prieto y Cía.’s practice was bolstered in 2013 by the arrival of associate Carolina Helfmann from Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner, who brings to bear her broad experience in administrative economic law and regulated markets. The firm is particularly noted for its expertise in energy work, and also handles all manner of regulatory issues and resolutions of disputes before the administrative authorities. Practice co-head Fernando Samaniego is advising Mall Plaza on regulatory matters related to the construction of a large shopping centre in the city of Valparaíso, including procedures before Valparaiso’s Court of Appeal and the General Comptroller’s Office. He also recently led a team that acted for Aguas Andinas before the Transparency Council and Santiago’s Court of Appeals in relation to water rights and AES Gener’s Alto Maipo hydroelectric project. Other clients include YPF, GDF Suez and Essilor International. Benjamín Grebe is also recommended.

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Within Banking and finance, Prieto y Cía. is a third tier firm,

Prieto y Cía. excels at debt capital markets work and also has an active syndicated lending, project finance and finance restructuring practice. Increasing activity saw the firm promote capital markets expert Patricio Prieto L to the partnership, who recently advised Plaza, IM Trust and Banchile Asesoría Financiera on the structuring and placement of 7-year and 22-year UF bonds in the local market worth $195m. Juan Tagle is also active in that sphere, and assisted Corp Group Banking with a US capital markets placement consisting of a $500m notes offering under Rule 144A/Reg. S. Other clients include SMU, Aguas Andinas and Banmédica. Mario Gorziglia is also recommended.

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Within Competition and antitrust, Prieto y Cía. is a third tier firm,

Prieto y Cía.’s competition team leverages off its top-notch energy and natural resources practice to excel at advising on related regulatory issues, cartel cases and competition litigation, but it also packs a punch in the retail, insurance and port sectors. Benjamín Grebe chairs the group and recently successfully advised SMU on the approval process before the TDLC and the Supreme Court of its merger with Supermercados del Sur. He also acted for Empresa Portuaria de Puerto Montt on its application to the TDLC in relation to a public bidding process for a port concession, as well as Iquique’s port operator EPI before the TDLC in the clearance of its proposal to impose horizontal restraints on a port terminal auction to prevent monopolies.

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Within Corporate and M&A, Prieto y Cía. is a second tier firm,

Prieto y Cía. handles all manners of mandates in sectors ranging from energy and retail to pension funds, and has a growing M&A practice in the private equity arena. The firm fields several highly recommended practitioners, including team head Juan Tagle, who recently advised South Africa’s Adcock Ingram on its $1.2bn sale to CFR Pharmaceuticals; and Leonidas Prieto, who led a team acting for MetLife on its $2bn acquisition of up to 100% of AFP Provida from BBVA. In the port sector, Tagle and Benjamín Grebe advised Dutch group Vopak on the sale of its business in San Antonio (Chile) and Guayaquil (Ecuador) to Peru-based group Quimpac, as well as the sale of its 50% stake in Terminal Marítimo Vopak-Oxiquim to joint venture partner Oxiquim. Meanwhile, Jaime Ríos assisted Inversiones La Construcción with the $170m acquisition of 67% of the shares of Corp Group Vida Chile. Other clients include Essilor, SMU and E-CL. Fernando Bravo is also recommended.

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Within Dispute resolution, Prieto y Cía. is a third tier firm,

Prieto y Cía.’s compact dispute resolution practice has significant clout given its ability to advise on a broad range of energy and retail issues, and a line-up of clients that includes YPF, E.CL, Suez Energy Andino, Watt’s, SMU and Mall Plaza. The firm demonstrated that it is in growth mode by adding major companies from the chemical, insurance and port sectors to its client roster, including Vopak Chile, RSA Seguros Generales and Puerto Central. In a high profile case, team head Fernando Samaniego is representing Aguas Andinas in a dispute against Anglo American Sur and other users of the Río Mapocho over the control of the river’s supervision board. Together with Alberto González he is also acting for Mall Plaza in public interest litigation opposing the construction of a shopping mall in the port of Valparaíso, for which it owns a concession. Claudio Undurraga leads on arbitration matters in the electricity sector.

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Within Environment, Prieto y Cía. is a third tier firm,

Although smaller than some competitors, the team at Prieto y Cía. advises on highly specialised environmental matters including genetically modified organisms and carbon offsetting. Team head Alejandro Ruiz is representing salmon breeding company Marine Farm Tornagaleones in an administrative procedure before the court of appeals in relation to environmental permits; and construction company Bravo e Izquierdo before the health authority in a lead pollution case. He is also permanent counsel to E-CL and currently advises it on the implementation of technologies for wastewater treatment, including genetically modified organisms. Other clients include YPF Chile, Watt’s and Viña Santa Carolina.

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Within Insurance, Prieto y Cía. is a second tier firm,

Few full-service firms in Chile enjoy the market pre-eminence earned by Prieto y Cía.’s insurance practice, and the firm’s strength in corporate matters provides the team with the perfect platform to extend its services to supporting insurance companies in M&A transactions. In an illustration of its capability in this area, the team advised pension funds and insurance services provider Inversiones La Construccion on its $147m acquisition of a major stake in Corp Group Vida Chile. The team’s expertise also spans insurance-related regulatory matters, investment, company formation and litigation. Patricio Prieto L, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2014, co-heads the practice with Jaime Ríos. They both assist Assurant Seguros with every aspect of its operations in Chile, including the drafting of its insurance policies and regulatory and compliance matters.

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Within Labour and employment, Prieto y Cía. is a third tier firm,

Prieto y Cía. advises employers on labour law, transactional support and litigation in cross-border and domestic mandates. Practice head Christian Von Bergen is representing Latam Airlines Group in multiple unfair dismissal claims, and Puerto Central in a collective trial over compensation measures. Other clients include E-CL, Sodexo Chile and SMU. Senior associate Cristóbal Raby is also recommended.

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Within Projects and infrastructure, Prieto y Cía. is a second tier firm,

Prieto y Cía.’s projects and infrastructure practice is highly regarded for its expertise in procurement processes and development of energy projects. Juan Tagle and Fernando Bravo advised Mexican infrastructure company TRADECO Infraestructuras on a public tender process for the renovation of two public health facilities, worth $273m and $222m respectively. Alongside Jaime Ríos, the pair also advised GDF Suez Chile on the $1bn project for the interconnection of Chile’s central and northern grids. Tagle also assisted E.CL with the organisation of a tender process for the development of a hydrated lime and quick lime producing plant. The firm was particularly active in the port sector, and new client wins included state-owned companies Empresa Portuaria de Puerto Montt, Empresa Portuaria de Chacabuco and Empresa Portuaria de Iquique.

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Within Real estate, Prieto y Cía. is a second tier firm,

Prieto y Cía.’s practice has a strong record in advising on the acquisition, development and construction of large real estate projects, and is also strong on related matters including tax planning, corporate matters, land use, and environmental and construction issues thanks to its strong full service offering. Practice-head Fernando Samaniego advises Mall Plaza on the development of shopping centres across the country, which involves securing the necessary permits and authorisations from the administrative and environmental authorities. He also assisted INACAP with the construction of a campus in Osorno. Jaime Ríos assisted Inversiones La Construcción with its acquisition of 67% of the shares of Corp Group Vida Chile, which required the due diligence of more than 400 real estate properties. Other clients include SMU, Viña Santa Carolina and Cámara Chilena de la Construcción. Juan Tagle is also recommended.

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Within Tax, Prieto y Cía. is a third tier firm,

Prieto y Cía.’s tax team mainly concentrates on advising on the tax aspects of corporate transactions. However the practice is not a bolt-on afterthought and has the reputation to win standalone work unrelated to its corporate practice, including tax litigation instructions, thanks to the skills of team co-heads Leonidas Prieto and Mario Gorziglia. Also recommended is counsel Hernán Pitto, who is well regarded for his customs duties expertise. The firm acted as Chilean counsel to MetLife in its acquisition of pension fund manager AFP Provida from BBVA, with Prieto advising on the tax aspects of the $1.8bn transaction. Successes before the Chilean IRS included obtaining a favourable decision on behalf of Puerto Lirquén in a case over the depreciation of fixed assets. Other clients include E.CL, educational entity INACAP and Belgium’s Syboli.

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Chile : Energy and natural resources

Within Electricity/oil and gas, Prieto y Cía. is a first tier firm,

Prieto y Cía.’s energy group is led by Claudio Undurraga, who is a primary contact for energy-related disputes. The team’s strong reputation in the area is showcased through its regular advice to E.CL ranging from multiple project developments to M&A and regulatory matters; Juan Tagle and Fernando Bravo are the key relationship partners for this work. The firm stands out for its international capability and recently advised RIJN Capital on its first investment in Latin America, the acquisition of Element Power and a number of its Chilean subsidiaries, which own more than 10 photovoltaic generation energy projects in the country. Also of note is the team’s oil and gas experience, where it advises on corporate deals, regulatory issues and litigation proceedings. Jaime Ríos receives a steady stream of instructions from major power generation and distribution companies in the electrical sector; he is assisting GDF Suez Chile on the legal implications of the interconnection of the central and northern grids to provide electricity to major mining companies. Other clients include Repsol, Gasoducto Nor Andino and new client Degremont.

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