The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Work +56 2 2928 2200

Rafael Vergara

Work +56 2 2928 2210

Work Department

Natural Resources and Environment Group.


Partner, Carey.

His practice focuses on natural resources, mining, water rights, energy, environment, surface lands, project financing, and corporate and commercial law.


Recognized as Leading Individual in Mining and Projects, Chambers Latin America.
Recognized in Mining, Legal 500.
Recognized in Mining & Metals, Latin Lawyer 250.
Ranked as Most Highly Regarded Individual in Mining, Who’s Who Legal.
Elected Best Undergraduate Professor Award, Universidad de Chile Law School.
Recognized as Lawyer of the Year in Energy and Natural Resources, Best Lawyers (2014-2016).
Recognized in Energy, Environmental, Natural Resources and Project Finance and Development, Best Lawyers.
Recognized in Energy, LACCA.
Recognized in Energy, Who’s Who Legal.
Winner in the Natural Resources: Mining Category, Leading Lawyers, Idealis (2013 and 2015).

Author of several legal publications, including the Chilean chapter on Mining, Getting the Deal Through (2010-2013).

Special courses on mining law for judges and members of the Courts of Appeals, organized by the Judiciary Academy of Chile.
Presented papers on Chilean mining, energy, natural resources regulations and environment at numerous seminars, both in Chile and abroad.

Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de Chile (since 1996).
Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de los Andes (since 2003).
At-Large Council Member representative for Latin America, Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) (2017-2019).
Trustee-at-Large, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (2012-2015).
Visiting Professor in several graduate studies and Master Degree Programs on Natural Resources Law at several Chilean Universities.
Secretary of the Association of Latin American Mining Lawyers (AMLA).


Spanish and English.


Member of the Chilean Bar Association. Member of its board (2006-2011).
Member of the panel of arbitrators, Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago.
Member of the Legal Committee of the National Mining Association (SONAMI).
Member of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
Member of the International Bar Association.
Member of the American Bar Association.
Member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
Member of the Red Interamericana de Especialistas en Legislación Ambiental (RIELA).


Law, Universidad de Chile.
Participant, Academy of American and International Law, Southwestern Legal Foundation, Dallas (USA) (1993).
Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Harvard University, Boston (USA) (1997).



Within: Environment

Carey has a full-service environmental, indigenous and regulatory practice, which regularly acts on large, complex matters, such as mining, energy and aquaculture projects; it also has a robust environmental litigation team. Recent highlights saw the practice act for Compañía Minera Nevada in an administrative dispute and litigation, which included a sanctioning process for alleged non-compliance regarding a gold mine construction project and the review of the environmental license granted. On the transactional side, the team advised Danone on the environmental matters and permitting issues attendant to the sale of its Chilean subsidiary. Rafael Vergara, Alberto Cardemil and counsel Felipe Meneses are recommended.

[back to top]

Projects and infrastructure

Within: Leading lawyers

Rafael Vergara - Carey

Within: Projects and infrastructure

Carey’s recent highlights saw the team advise Total SunPower, as sponsor and parent company of Total SunPower El Pelícano, on the development and financing of the construction, commission, operation and maintenance of a 100MW photovoltaic (PV) plant and its related transmission lines and civil engineering works. Other matters included the team’s assistance to Asociación Chilena de Seguridad with the preparation of contracts and tender documents for the construction of a new workers’ hospital in Chile; while in lender-side work, it acted for Banco Security and Banco Consorcio in the financing of the development, construction and commissioning of two distributed-generation PV facilities. The department is headed by Rafael Vergara, Oscar Aitken and Juan Francisco Mackenna, alongside Alberto Cardemil, Felipe Moro, José Miguel Bustamante and Juan Pablo Stitchkin. Juan Guillermo Levine retired from the practice.

[back to top]

Chile: Energy and natural resources


Within: Leading lawyers

Rafael Vergara - Carey

Within: Mining

Carey’s highly-rated practice covers the metallic and non-metallic mining industries, including water law issues, land-use surface rights and environmental-law matters; it also assists with contracts and financing. The team acted for Teck Quebrada Blanca in the expansion of its $6.2bn hypogene project, including mining legal-easement trials against the State of Chile for the right to use surface land. It also advised Teck Relincho on a high-value copper project, which included mining concessions, surface land and environmental matters; acted for Quantum Pacific Exploration in an agreement with Asset Chile to finance an exploration programme in northern Chile; and advised Kinross on the corporate restructuring of its mining assets. Other active clients include Codelco, Minera Valle Central, Kinross and Antofagasta Minerals. Rafael Vergara and Alberto Cardemil and counsel Francisco Corona are the key names.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to