The Legal 500

EL GOLF 40, PISO 13-14, LAS CONDES, 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 y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. has solid experience in domestic and international syndicated loan agreements (predominantly acting for borrowers); it also has expertise in project finance and financial restructurings; and stands out for its experience in debt placements, having advised several issuers on negotiable instruments and bond issues in Chile. Such capital markets highlights include advising Aguas Andinas and BBVA Chile (as placement agent) during the structuring and placement of a 23-year bond in the local market for approximately $65m, while in cross-border project-related acquisition financings the team assisted private investment fund Americas Energy Fund on the financing of the acquisition of 60% of Termocandaleria Power. Department head Patricio Prieto L, the well regarded Mario Gorziglia and recently appointed partner Gerardo Cruzat are all recommended.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Prieto y Cía.

Priding itself on a strong interdisciplinary approach, Prieto y Cía. was recently involved in high-profile litigation cases before the TDLC involving the retail, dairy products and transport sectors; and the practice also advised on cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations conducted by the FNE. It is also experienced in complex merger approvals and provides pre-emptive advice and compliance-programme implementation for companies and trade associations. Highlights include advising Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha during an antitrust lawsuit filed by the FNE against six maritime-transport companies for allegedly agreeing tender terms for the interoceanic transport of cars from Europe, Asia and America to Chile; this marked one of the first leniency cases in Chile and was reportedly the first multi-jurisdictional case before the TDLC that involved more than one leniency applicant. Benjamín Grebe is thoroughly recommended.

Leading lawyers

Benjamín Grebe - Prieto y Cía.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. strengthened its department through the promotion of Gerardo Cruzat (recommended for complex M&A multinational transactions) and José Andrés Pascual (known for corporate matters, M&A deals and construction projects) to the partnership in 2016. The practice has impressive M&A experience in complex cross-border deals; and provides a multidisciplinary approach through strong support from the firm’s tax, labour, corporate, environmental and litigation departments. It has also grown in private equity matters, regularly advising private investment funds on the acquisition of controlling stakes in family-owned businesses, and has strong energy and retail sector deal experience. In 2015, the team was especially active in acquisitions in heavily regulated industries such as the insurance, banking, social security funds management and energy sectors. Deal examples include advising Inversiones la Construcción on the acquisition of Banco Internacional, insurance broker company Baninter Corredores de Seguro and Baninter Factoring. Departmental heads Juan Tagle (who ‘ensures all aspects of acquisitions are considered to the right degree’) and Fernando Bravo along with Cristóbal Villarino and Jaime Ríos are all recommended.

Leading lawyers

Juan Tagle - Prieto y Cía.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

As a full-service firm, Prieto y Cía.’s litigation practice is currently its second largest practice group (after the corporate practice), and it has ten attorneys focused exclusively on dispute resolution. The team represented pension fund administrator AFP Habitat in on-going litigation against SVS, challenging the legality of a ruling whereby electricity generation and transmission companies Enersis, Endesa and Chilectra were permitted to execute a corporate restructuring plan without complying with the rules governing transactions between related parties. Alberto González V, Claudio Undurraga and Fernando Samaniego all serve as arbitrators for the Santiago Chamber of Commerce. Undurraga ‘provides very valuable advice and leaves clients feeling very satisfied’; and Samaniego is ‘a very good litigator’.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía.’s practice distinguishes itself through its defence against environmental law prosecutions; it also acts in relation to environmental permits and liability issues, and handles environmental compliance and regulatory requirements. The team acted for E.CL before the Environmental Superintendency in relation to an alleged breach of compliance with regulations governing the operation of thermoelectric plants. Alejandro Ruiz deserves mention.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 2

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. has a large client base comprising insurance and reinsurance companies and insurance brokers. The team also acts for its insured clients in their dealings (such as negotiating tailor-made insurance policies) with insurance companies; assists with claims adjusting procedures; and has extensive experience in dealing with the SVS on the formation of insurance companies, obtaining the approval of new policies, and compliance with insurance regulations. It acts on an ongoing basis for Assurant Seguros in its operations in Chile and also has a strong insurance litigation practice. Jaime Ríos has advised national and international clients on insurance and reinsurance matters for more than 30 years; and Patricio Prieto L is regularly involved in the creation, implementation and operation of insurance and reinsurance companies; he has ‘solid knowledge, responds efficiently and is committed to clients’.

Leading lawyers

Jaime Ríos - Prieto y Cía.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. is building a name for itself in labour litigation but also for corporate advice on labour law matters. It successfully acted for Puerto Central in a dispute with the largest union of port employees in San Antonio (Chile’s biggest port), which claimed anti-union practices and compensation. Christian von Bergen is recommended.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. has an impressive practice advising on the negotiation of construction and infrastructure projects in markets such as ports, energy, highways, railways and shipping. Juan Tagle’s ‘strengths lie in strategic thinking, multi-industry experience, leadership, and outstanding legal knowledge’; and Claudio Undurraga is also a key team member.

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Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. has strong dispute resolution experience before the administrative authorities, and stands out for its expertise in energy, water and aquaculture law, and project development. The team acted for Mexican construction group Tradeco on public procurement matters and public bidding procedures which related to public infrastructure claims before various authorities. Fernando Samaniego and Benjamín Grebe are recommended, and senior associate Carolina Helfmann has a ‘very practical style of work and responds quickly to clients’ requests’.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. is recommended for the development of housing and commercial real estate projects, including the study of title deeds, land purchases, environmental impact studies, the processing of permits, financing and sales processes. The team complements the practice with the incorporation of business entities and efficient tax structures; and also acts on the negotiation of construction and infrastructure projects in sectors such as ports, energy, highways, railways, shipping companies and commercial centres. Fernando Samaniego and Cristóbal Villarino are recommended.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. is noted for its tax advice on corporate and restructuring matters, as well as tax litigation. The team advised Spanish company AGBAR on the structuring of the acquisition of public utilities company Aguas de Antofagasta in the context of the 2014 Chilean Tax Law. Mario Gorziglia and Leonidas Prieto are experienced practitioners.

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Chile: Energy and natural resources

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

Prieto y Cía.

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

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. has a longstanding practice in the energy, gas, and water and sewage sectors, and enjoys a particularly strong relationship with GDF Suez group, one of the largest international energy players. The team also has a buoyant practice in the renewable energy market, including mini-hydro, wind farm and PV projects. Highlights include advising Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte on the interconnection of Chile’s northern and central power grids, (through the construction of a 600km high-voltage transmission line) so as to provide major mining companies with electric power; the extensive advice included assisting with an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Brazilian company Alusa and an international bidding process for the project’s construction. Claudio Undurraga, Jaime Ríos and Fernando Bravo are recommended; and Juan Tagle is ‘not only an outstanding lawyer but also a great leader and co-ordinator within the firm’.

Leading lawyers

Claudio Undurraga - Prieto y Cía.

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

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. is experienced in advising mining companies on title issues, mining joint venture and option agreements, M&A mining deals and full-scale mining projects that require advice on land protection matters and mining easements. Client E-CL was assisted with protective measures for mining easements in locations where power generation facilities are situated. Juan Tagle has ‘a clear business sense and provides useful negotiation advice’; and Alberto González E is also well regarded.

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