The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
EL GOLF 40, 13-14 FLOOR, SANTIAGO, CHILE
Tel:
Work +562 2280 5000
Fax:
Fax +562 2280 5001
Email:
Web:
www.prieto.cl

Chile

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto’s practice group handles matters including domestic and international syndicated loan agreements (mostly on the debtor side), project finance, debt placements, and finance restructuring. It recently acted for Codelco-Chile in the negotiation and execution of the amending and restatement of a $300m loan agreement with credit agency Export Development Canada; and also assisted holding company SMU with a $500m follow-on issuance involving a public offering in Chile on the Chilean Stock Exchange and an international offering to qualified institutional buyers in the US and investors outside the US and Chile. Patricio Prieto L and Gerardo Cruzat are the principal practitioners, and well-regarded counsel Isabel Margarita Wolleter was recently appointed director of the firm’s capital markets practice group.

Next generation lawyers

Gerardo Cruzat - Prieto

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Prieto’s ‘highly regarded team’ is regularly involved in high-profile litigation cases before the TDLC, particularly in the retail, energy and transport sectors; and assists with cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations conducted by the FNE. The firm also has a robust merger control practice and provides ongoing pre-emptive advice and implements compliance programmes for companies and trade associations. Recent work includes acting for Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha against an FNE claim filed against six maritime transport companies for allegedly agreeing tender terms for the inter-oceanic transport of cars; the matter was one of the first multi-jurisdictional leniency cases in Chile. The department is led by the ‘impressive’ Benjamín Grebe; Manfred Zink is a key senior associate.

Leading lawyers

Benjamín Grebe - Prieto

[back to top]

Corporate and M&A (including compliance)
Corporate and M&A (including compliance) - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Prieto acts in complex, high-profile cross-border deals, private equity transactions and joint ventures, with the practice recently assisting on transactions involving the insurance, social security funds management and energy sectors; retail and food are additional areas of particular industry expertise. The corporate practice group also has considerable compliance capability. Recent mandates saw Jaime Ríos and Cristóbal Villarino lead advice to Portuguese electricity and natural gas transport-infrastructure operator, Redes Energeticas Nacionais (REN Portugal), on its $180m acquisition of a 42.5% stake in Electrogas, which operates a gas pipeline in central Chile; and Inversiones La Construcción (and affiliate Empresas Red Salud), on the $120m sale of I-Med (and several other companies) to ACCEL-KKR Group. Juan Tagle, Fernando Bravo, Gerardo Cruzat, José Andrés Pascual and Patricio Prieto L are the key names.

Leading lawyers

Juan Tagle - Prieto

Next generation lawyers

Cristóbal Villarino - Prieto

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto regularly acts before arbitrators and ordinary courts, particularly on disputes involving the energy, construction, real estate and retail sectors. The team is also increasingly involved in contentious insurance, transportation and healthcare-related matters. Recent work saw the team represent four electrical power generating companies in their $160m claim against GasAtacama Chile for alleged unlawful conduct. Alberto González V, Fernando Samaniego and Claudio Undurraga are the key contacts; while at associate level, Juan Pablo Riesco is also noted.

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto’s environmental team advises both domestic and international clients on environmental matters during project developments, environmental assessments, and environmental compliance. However, former senior associate Aldo Cardinali who arrived in May 2017 to head the department, was appointed head of the Mining Ministry’s Sustainable Development division in April 2018 and has left the firm. Associate Isidora Ilharreborde is now the primary point of contact. Active clients include YPF, Quilacoya Consultores and Viña Santa Carolina.

[back to top]

Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Prieto’s client base includes insurance companies, reinsurance companies and insurance brokers. The practice advises on all aspects of the sector, from policy matters to the acquisition of significant insurance companies in Chile; and on the insurance-litigation side, the practice acts in claims and insurance recoveries involving various risks, such as fire, earthquake, business interruption and loans. The team acts for Assurant Chile Compañía de Seguros Generales on an ongoing basis, including drafting insurance policies and dealing with information filed with the regulator. Recent matters saw the practice advise Colmena Compañía de Seguros de Vida on compliance matters, insurance product distribution, the review and adjustment of its contracts, and claims. The team is led by the well regarded Jaime Ríos and senior figure Patricio Prieto L.

Leading lawyers

Jaime Ríos - Prieto

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto is best known for labour litigation and the labour aspects of corporate law matters; moreover, the team is particularly noted for collective bargaining procedures as well as immigration. Recent mandates include advising Yamana Gold on four collective bargaining procedures; and assisting major Chilean retail group, SMU, with labour law litigation. Christian von Bergen and senior associate Cristóbal Raby are experienced advisers. Other active clients include Engie Energía Chile, Sodexo Chile, Plaza, Valle Nevado and Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi.

Next generation lawyers

Cristóbal Raby - Prieto

[back to top]

Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Advising both private and public-sector clients on tenders, construction issues and project development, Prieto is particularly experienced in energy and infrastructure projects, including power projects, renewable and non-renewable energy, and gas, water and sewerage matters. The team advised Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte (and its sponsors), on the negotiation of the financing for the construction, development and operation of a trunk electricity transmission line. The principal practice contacts are Juan Tagle, Claudio Undurraga and Fernando Bravo. José Andrés Pascual, Jaime Ríos, Juan Tagle and Patricio Prieto L are also highly rated, along with Cristóbal Villarino, Gerardo Cruzat and José Andrés Pascual. Camila Kutz is a key senior associate.

Leading lawyers

Juan Tagle - Prieto

Next generation lawyers

Camila Kutz - Prieto

[back to top]

Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto is recommended for its assistance with the public law aspects of energy sector matters. The team acted for Engie Energía in illegality claims that were filed against the Tocopilla Municipality, one of which involved private entities paying for public duties. Fernando Samaniego ‘has great experience and a very strategic vision’; Benjamín Grebe is widely praised; and senior associate Carolina Helfmann, who was recently appointed director of the firm’s regulatory and public law practice group, is ‘highly competent’.

Next generation lawyers

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Prieto is experienced in the acquisition, development and construction of large real estate projects, including assistance with tax planning, corporate law, land use, environmental law and construction issues. The team advised Inmobiliaria Desa on the sale of luxury building apartments, including the negotiation and elaboration of sale promissory contracts. Fernando Samaniego and Cristóbal Villarino are highly regarded.

[back to top]

TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto is well regarded for its telephony-sector expertise: the team is experienced in public auctions and negotiations with telephony concessionaires, and knowledgeable regarding the regulatory framework in Chile. It successfully advised Telcordia Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swedish company Ericsson, on two bids before the Chilean Telecommunications Department for the appointment of the number-portability system’s administrator. Mario Gorziglia and Cristóbal Villarino are the key practitioners.

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto’s ‘team has deep knowledge of its clients’ business’. The scope of the practice includes tax litigation and tax planning for family offices and individuals, including corporate reorganisations, real estate matters and inheritance taxes. The team includes practitioners with expertise in the tax structuring of investments, particularly new projects involving foreign parties investing in sectors such as energy, ports and public utilities, as well as the financing of such projects. Recent work saw the team advise Chilean-based company Watt’s on the tax structuring aspects of its acquisition of Danone’s business operations in Chile. Mario Gorziglia and Leonidas Prieto are highly regarded and Cristián Bay-Schmith has been made partner.

[back to top]

Chile: Energy and natural resources

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

Prieto

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

Prieto

Prieto has longstanding experience in the energy (including renewable energy), gas and water and sewage sectors. The firm also fields lawyers with regulatory and litigation experience, including administrative procedures, and handles the full range of disputes and arbitration in the energy sector. A team led by Jaime Ríos advised Portuguese electricity and natural gas transport-infrastructure operator, Redes Energeticas Nacionais (REN Portugal), on its $180m acquisition of a 42.5% stake in Electrogas’ share capital. Juan Tagle led advice to Brookfield Asset Management PICA on a complete due diligence of the Chilean assets of TerraForm Power; while Fernando Bravo and José Andrés Pascual are advising Engie Energía Chile on the $10m EPC contract and all necessary permitting for the development of an ash deposit project dubbed "Cerro Gris". Senior partner Claudio Undurraga is also a key contact.

Leading lawyers
Next generation lawyers

Camila Kutz - Prieto

José Andrés Pascual - Prieto

[back to top]

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

Prieto

Prieto recently advised Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte on several matters, including mining property issues, potential conflicts, and easements. Other active clients include Engie Energía Chile, VivoCorp, Americas Energy Fund II, and Prospecta. Juan Tagle, Alberto González E are highly rated; and Camila Kutz is a key associate.

[back to top]


Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Korean Financial Regulators Advance Legislation to Introduce Regulatory Sandbox to Spark FinTech

    The 2018 year in review in Korea was notable for the sluggish overall economy, uncertainty surrounding the geo-politics and impact on Korea due to the global trade wars, on-going concerns related to the lack of jobs and unemployment, increased taxes and burdens for businesses and families, and no meaningful improvement or clarity in the current situation for 2019. In response, the Korean National Assembly passed a legislation called the Financial Innovation Support Act (the “FinISA”) on December 7, 2018 to spark the financial services industry in conjunction with FinTech products and services. The FinISA, which will soon take effect in March 2019, is intended to lay the legal foundation to introduce a regulatory sandbox for innovative financial services, where FinTech firms test their new products and services without certain regulatory oversight pursuant to exemptions for a limited period of time (“Sandbox”). As the FinISA exempts or defers application of existing finance-related regulations for new financial technology, products or services with the purpose of fostering the creation of innovative and new financial products and services, it will also support the stabilization of such services in the financial services market at the end of the testing period and is expected that the FinISA will support a revitalization of the FinTech industry which experienced sluggish growth in recent times. In particular, as companies and investors become more interested in security tokens and Security Token Offerings (“STO”) which are regulated by the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act (the “FSCMA”), there have been on-going discussions and debates as to whether the FinISA could lead to a breakthrough in the crypto-asset industry based on blockchain technology. Crypto assets encompasses those assets which utilize blockchain technology where the asset is digitalized by utilization of cryptography, peer-to-peer networks and a public ledger of verified transactions resulting in a ‘units’ of such a crypto asset without any involvement by middle-persons or brokers (e.g., cryptocurrency.
  • DISMISSAL AT NISSAN AND WORKPLACE CRIME PREVENTION

    The sacking of Nissan’s high-profile chairman may have beenproof that nobody is infallible. But Nicola Sharp argues that it should also beseen as an indicator that no company can be considered safe from wrongdoing.
  • 2018 FCPA Enforcement Actions and Highlights

    Overall, 2018 was a more active year in terms of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") enforcement actions compared to 2017.
  • Legality of advertising with statements on the effects of medical treatments

    Advertisements featuring statements on the effects of medical treatments are only permissible if they are supported by sound scientific evidence. This was reaffirmed by the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Frankfurt, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt.
  • Sayenko Kharenko announces new partner promotion

    Sayenko Kharenko announces new partner promotion
  • ECJ – Distinctive character necessary for registration as EU trade mark

    For a sign to be capable of being registered as an EU trade mark, it must be distinctive across the entire European Union. This was confirmed by the Court of Justice of European Union (ECJ) in a ruling from 25 July 2018.
  • Supporting local and international charitable organizations

    As one of the leading law firms in Cyprus, we are active promoters and supporters of local economic growth by sponsoring local events, applying environmental-friendly practices, minimizing our ecological impact, and most importantly, by raising money for local charities and non-profit organizations.
  • BAG – Employers can claw back bonus payments

    The Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court, confirmed in a recent ruling that employers can claw back collectively agreed bonus payments from employees under certain circumstances.
  • Stricter supervision in relation to the Scheme for Naturalisation of Investors in Cyprus by Exceptio

    Recently there were a lot of publications within the European Union expressing concerns about the allegedly very high number of Cypriot passports being given to foreign investors the last few years. The Council of Ministers has decided on 9th January 2018 with the decision with number 84.069, to impose a stricter supervision of all the parties involved in the Scheme for the naturalisation of non-Cypriot investors in Cyprus by exception.
  • 19% VAT on Plots

    In order to harmonize the  Acquis Communautaire on the Taxation of untapped and undeveloped plots of land, the Cyprus Government enacted, on 03/11/2017, relevant legislation for the imposition of 19% Value Added Tax (VAT) on these properties, with a date of enforcement being 02/01/2018. The relevant legislation refers to plots/pieces of land offered and/or provided for construction for economic purposes.