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
Email:
Web:
www.prieto.cl

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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Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • China Drug Registration Regulation - Public consultation on amendment closes - March 2014

    In February 2014, the China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”) invited second-round comments from the public regarding proposed amendments to the China Drug Registration Regulations (“DRR”). One of the proposed amendments touches upon patent protection for drugs in China.
  • Revised NDRC Measures for Approval and Filing of Outbound Investment Projects - April 2014

    The National Development and Reform Commission ( NDRC ) released a new set of Management Measures for Approval and Filing of Outbound Investment Projects ( 境外投资项目核准和备案管理办法) ( New Measures ) on 8 April 2014. The New Measures take effect on 8 May 2014 and will replace the Interim Management Measures for Approval of Outbound Investment Projects ( 境外投资项目核准暂行管理办法) ( Original Measures ) which have been in force since 9 October 2004.
  • Insurance Update - CIRC Issues Insurance M&A Measures: What are the impacts and applications?

    On 21 March 2014, CIRC issued the Administrative Measures on the Acquisition and Merger of Insurance Companies (the Insurance M&A Measures ) which will take effect from 1 June 2014. The Insurance M&A Measures apply to M&A activities whereby an insurance company is the target for a merger or acquisition. The target insurance company could be either a domestic or a foreign invested insurer. However, the Insurance M&A Measures will not apply to any equity investment by insurance companies in non-insurance companies in China or in overseas insurance companies.
  • China issues new rules to regulate medical devices - May 2014

    The Regulations on Supervision and Administration of Medical Devices (in Chinese《医疗器械监督管理条例》, State Council Order No. 650) (the Medical Device Regulations) were amended by China's State Council on 31 March 2014 and will come into effect on 1 June 2014. This is the first amendment in more than a decade since the Medical Device Regulations were first promulgated in 2000, even though the amendment was initiated eight years ago in 2006. The 2014 amendment unveils reforms on the regulatory regime for medical devices market in China from various aspects.
  • Walking a fine line in China:Distinguishing between legitimate commercial deals and commercial bribe

    China in the 21st century exemplifies an atmosphere of great opportunity and intense competition. Against this backdrop, it has become increasingly common for businesses to adopt a variety of practices in order to make their products and services competitive. Such practices may include paying middle-men to promote sales and giving incentives to buyers directly. However, whilst revenue spikes are undoubtedly welcome, businesses should bear in mind the potential backlash arising out of these commercial arrangements. The risk that such arrangements may not comply with anti-bribery and corruption laws and therefore cause business significant damage in the long term should not be underestimated.
  • Rise of the private healthcare sector - July 2014

    As of 2013, China had 9,800 private hospitals, representing almost half of the total number of hospitals in the country 1 . However, private hospitals still severely lag behind their public peers due to low utilisation, talent shortages and incomplete social insurance coverage. As part of China's ongoing healthcare reform initiatives, the Chinese government has set a goal to increase the share of patients treated by private hospitals to 20% by the end of 2015 2 .
  • Banking regulation in China: Proposed deposit insurance system - December 2014

    On 30 November 2014, the State Council of China released a draft Deposit Insurance Regulation (the Draft), to establish a deposit insurance system in order to "protect interests of depositors, prevent and mitigate financial risks and maintain a stabilised financial system". The public are invited to submit comments on the Draft by 30 December 2014.
  • Tackling bribery: China toughens criminal law - December 2014

    Following earlier reforms of the PRC's anti-corruption rules (for further information, please see our previous briefings published in January 2013 and March 2011 ), the National People's Congress (NPC) has recently published a proposed amendment to the PRC Criminal Law in draft form for public comments (the Draft). The Draft expands the reach of official bribery offences, gives more autonomy to judges to inflict severe punishments, and generally increases the level and type of punishments that can be imposed on individuals who commit bribery offences. It further demonstrates the government's determination to tackle corruption in China.
  • China banking restrictions relaxed: New rules further open banking sector to foreign investors

    The State Council of China recently released amendments to the Foreign Bank Administrative Regulations of China (the Amendments) with effect from 1 January 2015.
  • Walking a Tightrope in Singapore - July 2014

    The world has no borders and distance is negligible for the technologically savvy criminal. Individuals with illicit funds to launder or terrorist activities to finance can, with the latest technology, transfer high volumes of money around the globe almost instantaneously and seek to conceal the origin or the destination of the funds.