The Legal 500

ISIDORA GOYENECHEA 3477, PISO 19, LAS CONDES, SANTIAGO, CHILE
Tel:
Work +56 2 2472 7000
Fax:
Fax +56 2 2472 7001
Web:
www.moralesybesa.cl

Chile

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Morales & Besa

In mid-2016, Morales & Besa experienced the departure of former department head Pedro Garcia exiting after 16 years for Garrigues Chile, leaving José Miguel Carvajal and Myriam Barahona to take charge of the banking and finance group. Nevertheless the practice remains ‘very responsive as it understands the time demands of larger transactions and is very knowledgeable of Chile’s laws, regulations and market practices, especially in relation to international banks’. It acts for an important number of foreign banks, most of Chile’s local banks, the Chilean Government and leading global and Chilean companies, frequently acting in regulated industries such as energy, natural resources and infrastructure. Key instructions include the team advising Banco de Chile (BDC) on its acquisition of Banco Penta’s loans portfolio, allowing BDC to significantly increase its market share. Showcasing the group’s ability to handle complex matters for multiple lender clients globally, the team acted for Banco Santander, Banco de Chile, BCI and other international banks during the financial restructuring of Graneles de Chile, a group of agriculture sector trading companies; while lender-side real estate acquisition finance work included assisting Corpbanca on financing the acquisition of the Intercontinental, Crowne-Plaza, Ritz-Carlton and Sheraton Santiago hotels. In speciality areas such as aircraft financing, the team advised Banc of America Leasing Ireland (as owner and lessor) on operating lease agreements with Latam Group (as lessee), which related to three Airbus Model A321 aircrafts. Senior partner Guillermo Morales is ‘great for banking work; he has many years of experience to draw on but he is also very up to date on current developments’. Carlos Silva and Matías Langevin are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

José Miguel Carvajal - Morales & Besa

Myriam Barahona - Morales & Besa

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

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa’s 20-plus lawyer group stands out for complex, cross-border transactions; it provides ‘good value and contributes to moving forward during challenging deals’. Financial adviser-side instructions include advising Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley on the corporate restructuring (involving a spin-off and merger) of Endesa, Enersis and Chilectra. Other high-profile work involving restructuring issues included assisting Energy Investment Group (EIG) during the corporate and contractual restructuring of the EIG-Abengoa joint venture in relation to two energy construction projects. Pharmaceutical sector work included acting for GlaxoSmithKline on the acquisition of Novartis’ global vaccines business (excluding influenza vaccines). Guillermo Morales is department head, Carlos Silva is ‘highly professional, reliable and experienced’, and Eugenio Besa, Matías Langevin and Michel Diban are also key advisers, as is Macarena Laso.

Leading lawyers

Guillermo Morales - Morales & Besa

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 4

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa’s caseload is very much focused on civil and commercial disputes, construction, consumer protection law, post-M&A conflicts and insolvency. In arbitration, the practice represented Hidroeléctrica El Paso in its $80m construction agreement damages claim against Acciona Infraestructuras over the building of a hydroelectric power plant; and public law cases cases included successfully representing Ferrovial Servicios de Salud Sociedad (FSSS) against the government’s reversal of FSSS’ concession award for the construction and operation of the Sotero del Rio Public Hospital, marking the first time that the Comptroller General had annulled such a decree. Gonzalo Cordero and Jorge Vial are recommended.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa regularly advises on the environmental regulations of investment projects in the mining, energy, sanitary and infrastructure sectors, including the requisite environmental legal due diligence. The team also assists with environmental impact assessments and statements, as well as environmental legal audits that verify compliance with the environmental, health and labour safety regulations of projects. The practice recently advised on the environmental issues surrounding a share purchase agreement for a winery. Carlos Silva is recommended.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa’s ‘level of service is excellent, the team is very quick to respond and it is always committed to clients’. The practice was recently especially active in complex labour law disputes, collective bargaining procedures and immigration matters. The team defended Constructora Ingevec against an unfair dismissal claim filed by 84 employees; Team Foods in an industrial accident case, and advised China Construction Bank on immigration matters. Fernando Arabgives clear advice on all labour issues and always provides the best solution’.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

Morales & Besa

With a client base including entities from regulated sectors such as energy, construction, public works, sewage and water, Morales & Besa’s transactional work is characterised by the firm’s involvement in high-end projects, either in structuring or financing deals, where it advises creditors, investors and developers; and the practice’s second stream of work which involves regulatory and administrative matters including due diligence and infrastructure-concession public bidding processes. The team acted for a consortium comprising Vinci, Aéroports de Paris and Astaldir during the public bidding procedure for the Santiago Airport Concession PPP project and on the structuring of the project contracts. It also advised Hydrochile on the structuring, development and financing of hydro projects in Chile and assisted Solairedirect with photovoltaic (PV) projects in Chile. Carlos Silva and Myriam Barahona are recommended. Barahona is ‘responsive and knowledgeable on matters affecting cross border-banking practices in the region’; and Eugenio Besa is ‘an experienced, intelligent and flexible pro-business lawyer who is completely involved in transactions and very supportive of clients’. Matías Langevin and Macarena Laso are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Silva - Morales & Besa

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa has longstanding experience in real estate development, finance and acquisitions. The team provides ongoing advice to a Cencosud subsidiary on the development of the Costanera Centre (the largest retail and office building in South America); and assisted Constructora Ingevec with real estate transactions, including property acquisitions and the unwinding of a joint venture. Other significant matters included acting for Parex Chile on its 15-year lease and construction agreement for new facilities. Department head Eugenio Besa, and Macarena Laso are recommended.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa’s tax specialists have extensive experience devising creative tax solutions for complex business structures, especially in the context of foreign direct investment and cross-border financings. The firm’s lawyers are also recommended for tax planning, compliance issues, administrative procedures with the local IRS and tax litigation. In 2015, the team provided tax advice to a foreign consortium on the public bidding process for the Santiago Airport Concession project and on the tax structuring of the project contracts. Francisca Pérez is department head.

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Chile: Energy and natural resources

Electricity/oil and gas
Energy and natural resources: electricity - ranked: tier 2

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa is ‘a very good firm both in terms of client service and responsiveness’. The practice’s experience includes investments, developments, financings and acquisitions in power generation, transmission and distribution, oil and gas, upstream and downstream, and non-conventional renewable energy projects (NCRE); and its lawyers are particularly expert in regulatory matters. It has also expanded its recognised role in relation to financing facilities for the development of small hydro-based power plants. Bank-side highlights include advising the lenders on the financing of Central Ñuble, a 130 MW run-off-the-river power plant; and advising Corpbanca on a solar plant project financing. Carlos Silva is department head.

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Further information on Morales & Besa

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Chile

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