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.com

Chile

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa regularly advises major lenders in the Chilean banking sector, but also acts for borrowers, guarantors and collateral agents in both domestic and cross-border transactions; and the team stands out for the financing of renewable-resource projects and the restructuring of major companies. The practice also fields an impressive banking regulatory group. Key acquisition financing deals included advising Bank of America on the $2bn financing of Lundin Mining Corporation’s purchase of an 80% stake in the Candelaria/Ojos del Salado copper mining operations and supporting infrastructure; and advising Deutsche Bank (London) and SMBC on a $700m loan to AES Gener, for the acquisition of a controlling stake in power generator Guacolda. In regulatory matters, the team assisted China Construction Bank with obtaining approval to open a branch targeted at Chinese investors in Chile. Highlighting the team’s strong restructuring capabilities, it advised a syndicate of banks, led by Banco de Chile, Banco de Crédito e Inversiones and Banco Santander Chile, on the restructuring of financing granted to the Saieh Group’s retail companies. ‘Skillful and creative lawyerPedro García led advice to the bondholders’ representative during the renegotiation of La Polar’s debt (valued at $1bn in issued bonds). Senior partner Guillermo Morales, José Miguel Carvajal and Matías Langevin are recommended, as are Carlos Silva and Myriam Barahona.

Leading lawyers

Pedro García - Morales & Besa

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

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa’s M&A practice group comprises over 20 lawyers and is particularly focused on complex, cross-border transactions. Energy deal highlights included advising Endesa Chile on its strategic $309m acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in Gas Atacama. The practice also acted for Inversiones Orestes on the sale of 49% of Soudal, the takeover requiring the co-ordination of law firms, advisors and representatives from five countries; and acted for Merrill Lynch Corredores de Bolsa, as tender offer administrator, on the public offer for the $630m acquisition of Farmacias Ahumada. Name partner Guillermo Morales is department head, and Eugenio Besa, Carlos Silva, Alejandro Huneeus, Matías Langevin and Michel Diban are also key advisers. Macarena Laso made partner in March 2015.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 4

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa’s ‘overall service is excellent’. The team represented Hidroeléctrica El Paso in its $110m damages claim against Acciona Infraestructuras (Chile) for breach of a hydroelectric power plant construction agreement. Gonzalo Cordero is an expert in construction, civil liability, consumer protection law and post-M&A conflicts. Jorge Vial is also highly rated.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa is ‘an excellent law firm that offers good availability and has the ability to deal with a wide range of legal issues’. The growing practice –now five-strong– is led by former Undersecretary of Labour, Fernando Arab, who was promoted to partner in March 2015. Arab is ‘a rising star with very good knowledge of labour issues’ and is further lauded as ‘very efficient and prompt to answer; he gives his clients lots of personal attention’. The team acted for Artica Impresores in collective bargaining matters, and assisted Bank of America Merrill Lynch with the termination of the employment of its senior executive for Chile, and subsequent replacement. Other clients include Toshiba, China Construction Bank, Iron Mountain and Constructora Ingevec.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa’s team offers ‘excellent quality of service, prompt answers and impressive expertise in project finance’, and the 16-strong group (including six partners), is active on both the regulatory and transactional aspects of the practice. The department has experience of infrastructure financing transactions and recent mandates include advising a foreign consortium – led by France’s Vinci group, along with Aéroports de Paris – on the public bidding process for the Santiago airport concession PPP project, the advice involving all regulatory aspects related to the bidding process and concession contract, the structuring of the consortium and project contracts, and the investment and financing of the project. It also acted for Ferrovial Servicios on the public bidding for Sótero del Río’s PPP hospital concession, and advised Solairedirect on the structuring and development of various photovoltaic projects in Chile, including land and mining rights, concessions and permits, and project agreements. Other key financing deals included advising DNB Bank and Corpbanca on the project financing of a 45MW wind project; and assisting Banco Santander-Chile on a consortium’s project financing for the design and construction of the Chacao Bridge. Practice head Carlos Silva is ‘very experienced’, particularly on the finance side; key partner Pedro García is particularly recommended for his knowledge of construction matters; while Myriam Barahona has ‘deep expertise and an excellent approach to problem solving’.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Silva - Morales & Besa

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Morales & Besa

Morales & Besa’s six-strong practice has longstanding experience in all types of real estate development, finance and acquisitions. The team recently acted for Cencosud subsidiary Costanera Center, on the development of the Costanera Center Complex, the largest retail and office building in South America, and advised PPG Industries Chile on the sale of an industrial plant. Ongoing work includes advising construction company Constructora Ingevec on its real estate transactions. Name partner Eugenio Besa, and Macarena Laso, who made partner in 2015, are the key contacts. Other clients include BCI Asset Management, Inversiones y Rentas Ingevec, and Pfizer Chile.

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Chile: Energy and natural resources

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

Morales & Besa

At ‘well-respected, top-notch firmMorales & Besa, the practice ‘fields a wealth of relevant experience’ that covers project development, litigation and M&A, as well as regulatory matters and financing. The team advised Endesa Chile on its strategic acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in Gas Atacama; and acted for DNB Bank and Corpbanca on a wind power-related project financing. It also assisted Banco Security with the financing of a thermoelectric project. Practice head Alejandro Huneeus and key partners Carlos Silva and Pedro García are recommended.

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