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.’s practice is ‘fully aware of clients’ needs and their time constraints; weekends are not in its lawyers’ vocabulary’. The firm’s financing experience includes domestic and international syndicated loan agreements (mostly from the borrower’s side), project finance, and finance restructurings; it also stands out for its debt placement practice. The team advised Aguas Andinas and BBVA on the structuring and placement of two long-term bonds; and acted for Inversiones La Construcción on the financing of the acquisition of Banco Internacional. Juan Tagle, Alberto González and Patricio Prieto are recommended.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. is ‘an extraordinary firm, with each of the firm’s services conducted very seriously. The lawyers are also very accurate in their advice and drafting skills’. The five-strong practice group is led by Benjamín Grebe and undertakes the full breadth of competition work, from merger and integration matters, to the defence of clients’ interests during FNE investigations and representation in proceedings regarding allegations of collusion, abuse of dominant market position and other infractions. The team was strengthened further with the hire of former FNE Legal Coordinator Manfred Zink as a senior associate in late-2014. Recent mandates include advising retailer SMU regarding alleged non-fulfilment of a divestiture obligation; Watt’s, as one of three defendants in an alleged abuse of dominance case brought by FEDELECHE; and handling a leniency application by NYK Line in a maritime transport case brought by the FNE. Grebe can also call on the relevant industry experience of partners including Claudio Undurraga, Fernando Samaniego and Juan Tagle.

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

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía.’s transaction and capital markets-focused Cristóbal Villarino was recently promoted to partner; he is also active in real estate matters. The practice is recommended for company and asset purchase and sales transactions, complex M&A in open and closed corporations, takeover bids, the creation of joint ventures and consortiums, and challenging corporate restructurings. Juan Tagle and Benjamín Grebe advised Chilean supermarket group SMU on the sale of 19 supermarkets to retail group Dipac, pursuant to antitrust conditions following its merger with supermarket chain Supermercados del Sur. Tagle also advised Chilean food producer Watt’s on its $38.5m acquisition of Frutos del Maipo. Managing partner Alberto González specialises in foreign investment, M&A, takeovers and corporate assistance to sanitary companies; corporate head Fernando Bravo is especially recommended for the energy and industrial sectors; and Jaime Ríos has considerable experience in capital markets, insurance, M&A, and the financing of projects and infrastructure works.

Leading lawyers

Juan Tagle - Prieto y Cía.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. is focused on highly complex and technical disputes related to energy and construction. The team defended stockbroker Cooper Gay Chile against claims brought by Penta Security, alleging breach of duty in placing reinsurance for a power plant. It also advised INACAP in arbitration against Constructora Ingevec arising from the development of its Los Angeles facilities. Other key matters included representing Vopak Chile in a damages claim by 384 fishermen following the fracturing of phenol tanks caused by the 2010 earthquake. Experienced department head, Fernando Samaniego, undertakes both litigation and arbitration, particularly across the insurance, construction, real estate and environmental areas, as well as handling administrative, regulatory and competition cases. Managing partner Alberto González brings his corporate and financial expertise to arbitration and litigation alike; and fellow founding partner Claudio Undurraga is strongly recommended for arbitral work in the energy and regulated sectors.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía.’s team stands out for its track record in the defence of cases before the Environmental Superintendency and for its expertise in the identification of environmental issues and liabilities in transactions. The team acted for E-CL in an administrative prosecution initiated by the Environmental Superintendency against several of Chile’s energy players, and concerning the validation of continuous emissions monitoring systems, pursuant to new thermal-generation air standards regulations; the practice’s advice included successfully negotiating a compliance plan. Alejandro Ruiz is an experienced adviser.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 2

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía.’s team is led by Jaime Rios, a former insurance superintendent at Chile’s insurance regulator. Reflecting the breadth of its abilities, the practice has developed a client base that includes insurance companies in the life and property, and casualty businesses, as well as reinsurance companies and insurance brokers; and it is frequently involved in judicial processes relating to insurance claims or recoveries, both for the insured and insurer. The team assists Assurant Seguros on a daily basis, which includes policy drafting and compliance matters. Deal highlights included assisting Inversiones la Construcción with the acquisition of control over Compañía de Seguros Corpvida and Compañía de Seguros Corpseguros. It also assisted Assurant Services de Chile with the negotiation of a commercial agreement with mobile telephone service provider ENTEL for the exclusive insurance coverage of cellular phones against theft and accident.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía.’s four-strong team is best known for its experience in labour litigation and corporate employment advisory matters. In recent work it represented Yamana Gold in two collective bargaining processes, as well as advising one of the most important private ports in Chile, Puerto Central, on a high-profile employee strike. On the contentious side, its caseload included representing Sodexo Chile in approximately 100 labour-related cases, and also E-CL in a pair of cases brought by a union. Practice head Christian von Bergen works across the sector but focuses on labour litigation, collective negotiation and social security matters; dedicated associate Cristóbal Raby also has extensive experience throughout the area.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Prieto y Cía.

Juan Tagle is head of Prieto y Cía.’s M&A practice but is also active in project finance; particularly recommended for power plant construction projects, he is also increasingly active in the ports sector. Recent matters saw the practice act as counsel to Plaza Valparaíso on the defence of its interests in a public concession shopping mall construction project. Head of the energy and natural resources department, senior partner Claudio Undurraga is ‘necessarily involved’ in projects work.

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Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. ‘s ‘proficient practice is truly excellent’. The team stands out for its regulatory expertise in energy and water law in particular, as well as public project and infrastructure development. It advised Applus on the regulatory aspects of its acquisition of Ingelog Consultores de Ingeniería y Sistemas; and also assisted E-CL with a bidding process before the Ministry of Public Properties, which concerned the development of energy projects. Fernando Samaniego, Benjamín Grebe and Carolina Helfmann are experienced practitioners.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Prieto y Cía.

Prieto y Cía. acts on the acquisition, development and construction of large real estate projects, including assistance with related tax planning, corporate, land use, and environmental and construction issues. Corporate real estate highlights for the six-strong team included advising Repsol Chile on the transferral of properties; assisting two local developers with the acquisition and resale of landmark assets located in an industrial area; and counselling Mapfre on the sale of its stake in the Hippocampus Resort & Spa. Fernando Samaniego and Cristóbal Villarino are highly rated. Other clients include the Cámara Chilena de Construcción, Mall Plaza and Asesorías AGI.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 3

Prieto y Cía.

One of the best firms in Latin America’, Prieto y Cía.’s 10-strong tax team recently advised major Chilean supermarket chain SMU on the tax issues regarding its sale of 19 supermarkets, three distribution centres and the trade mark ‘Bigger’. It also assisted GDF Suez with the tax aspects of the acquisition of gas distribution company DISTRINOR, and the sale of Trasmisora Eléctrica del Norte, the advice involving capital gains and VAT issues, price allocations and transfer pricing. Mario Gorziglia and Leonidas Prieto are the recommended names. Other clients include Repsol, Larrain Vial, Credicorp Capital, Mall Plaza and MAPFRE.

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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.

One of the best practices in Chile for oil-and-gas matters’, Prieto y Cía.’s team fields longstanding expertise in the energy, gas, and water and sewage sectors, and its disputes team is experienced in energy sector arbitrations. The team advised a consortium on its potential acquisition of a 50% stake in Empresa Eléctrica Guacolda. It also acted for a potential bidder during the public tender process to supply electricity distribution companies, the bid requiring the construction of new generation facilities; and assisted Colbún with the renegotiation of the terms and conditions of its long-term maintenance and service agreement with GE and Siemens for the Nehuenco power complex. Other key assistance included providing ongoing advice to Eólica Monte Redondo on the development and completion of its 35MW hydropower plant in the Laja River in southern Chile. Claudio Undurraga is ‘very smart and knowledgeable’ and ‘always provides key insights that prove invaluable to clients’. Jaime Ríos is singled out as ‘incredibly accessible and very smart’; and Fernando Bravo and Juan Tagle are also highly-rated advisers.

Leading lawyers

Claudio Undurraga - Prieto y Cía.

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