Dispute resolution in Argentina
Marval O’Farrell Mairal’s comprehensive dispute resolution department overshadows its competitors both in size and experience. The 11-partner group handles the full range of contentious matters, from local and cross-border litigation, through to class actions and highly sensitive international arbitrations. The firm represents an enviably diverse portfolio of clients, remaining a first port of call for a string of multinationals such as Assurant, Credit Suisse and Repsol. Ricardo Ostrower heads the department and brings to bear an impressive record in complex, politically charged litigation. Santiago Soria is highly regarded for his expertise in energy and natural resources-related disputes; he is representing Roch in a complex arbitration against Apco Austral and Pluspetrol. Senior of counsel Martín Campbell is also noted for his top-level experience. The recent arrivals of Julio César Rivera (h) and honorary partner Julio César Rivera (who is also a "supplementary judge" or “conjuez" of the National Supreme Court) from Rivera & Asociados further boosts the firm's contentious capability, particularly in the insolvency, arbitration and constitutional law areas. Other recommended names include banking litigation specialist Facundo Viel Temperley, Rodrigo García and Elías Bestani, who has an emphasis on insurance disputes.
‘At Marval O’Farrell Mairal, Julio César Rivera — both father and son — are exceptional for disputes in Argentina.’
Pan American Energy
Transportadora de Gas del Sur
- Represented Credit Suisse, as defendant, in a $40m class action related to the Madoff fraud.
- Advised Roch on a $30m arbitration under UNCITRAL rules against Apco Austral and Pluspetrol regarding the compliance of the right of first refusal contained in a joint venture agreement.
- Acted for Avions de Transport Régional on the repossession of two aircraft sold to Avian Lineas Aéreas with retention of title.
- Successfully represented Claro in its recovery actions against freight forwarders Savino del Bene in connection with the theft of a whole consignment of iPhones that took place in the US, while in transit to Argentina.
- Advised Banco de La Pampa on a collective action initiated by a consumer association.
The ‘highly committed team’ at Beccar Varela impresses with its ‘constant aspiration for excellence’. The firm’s broad contentious offering is divided into three distinct groups, with standalone capability in dispute resolution, arbitration and white-collar crime. On the dispute resolution front, the team handles a range of commercial and civil matters, with strong activity in consumer class actions. On the arbitration side, the firm is well versed in domestic, international and investment disputes, with particular strength in the financial services, life sciences and energy spheres. Gonzalo García Delatour co-heads the arbitration practice and is widely recognised as a leading litigator. Eduardo Güemes co-heads the litigation team and focuses on civil and commercial litigation, insolvencies and class actions. Rafael Lobos, whose practice spans M&A and dispute resolution, is another key contact. Senior associate Federico Sosa is also recommended for contentious matters.
‘Beccar Varela has a large arbitration team, which has vast experience and the ability to act in complex proceedings.’
‘It is a highly committed team and they are always thinking of the best interests of my company.’
‘The high point is the constant aspiration for excellence and extraordinary human treatment and absolute availability. It is a top-quality team and essential to face any challenge.’
‘Rafael Lobos has an enormous capacity for carrying out a legal analysis of a case and proposing effective solutions based on his experience. Gonzalo García Delatour has extensive knowledge of arbitration matters.’
Latin America Investment Bank Bahamas
Citi International Financial Services
Tyco / ADT / Johnson Controls
CSAV / Hapag Lloyd
Prisma Medios de Pago (ex Visa Argentina)
- Represented Citibank, Latin America Investment Bank Bahamas and Citi International Financial Services, as the defendants, in an action for damages concerning the alleged wrongful manipulation and investment of the plaintiff’s money.
- Advised US seafood company, Slade Gorton & Co on a case related to freight-on-board invoices.
Bomchil’s ‘highly dedicated’ dispute resolution group is best known for its emphasis on administrative and public law cases. Most notably, its expertise in economic regulation translates into a formidable arbitration practice, which advises on export restrictions, tariffs, expropriations and other state intervention measures and international treaty breaches. On the litigation front, the group keeps busy advising on a mix of environmental and corporate claims. It also has a significant class actions offering, which benefits from the ability to work alongside the firm’s growing healthcare practice to advise on medical malpractice cases. María Inés Corrá co-heads the international arbitration practice and is recognised for her administrative law expertise. On the litigation side, managing partner Javier Petrantonio is recommended. Other contacts include arbitration partner Federico Campolieti and Martín Torres Girotti, who advises on litigation and insolvency.
‘The team understands the commercial aspects of cases. They know the client and their needs.’
‘The lawyers are highly dedicated to their work and to the client. They understand business, which is key.’
‘They are able to deal with legal matters in the public and private spheres in a way that is very rarely found.’
Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Wintershall DEA Argentina
Peugeot Citroën Argentina
Aeropuertos Argentina 2000
Buenos Aires Arena
- Represented Siemens IT Services in an international arbitration against an audit company.
- Advised Wintershall DEA Argentina on an administrative appeal against a resolution of the Natural Gas Regulatory Agency that unilaterally modified the rules applicable to the natural gas price for producers and the pass through to distribution tariffs.
- Acted for different foreign investors on the negotiation and settlement of their investment disputes with Argentina.
- Represented Minera Los Pelambres (a subsidiary of Antofagasta Minerals) in a commercial, mining and environmental dispute with Pachón (a subsidiary of Glencore) related to the deposit of a large mine waste dump at the frontier between Argentina and Chile.
At Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi, financial services-related litigation is a key specialism and the team finds favour for its ‘strong knowledge of the banking industry’. Among its work in this area, the team provides ongoing advice to major local and foreign banks — including American Express, Banco Santander and Banco Galicia — on consumer class actions. Other industry strong-suits include energy and natural resources, which is also reflected in the group’s robust arbitration and contentious construction practices. Former judge Carlos Rotman leads the litigation, international arbitration and bankruptcy departments and is widely regarded as a thought leader in dispute resolution. Martín Beretervide, who also brings to bear previous court experience following stints as a commercial court clerk, is ‘knowledgeable in his field’.
‘We consider them as a very reliable firm. They have obtained positive results for the bank in very important cases.’
‘The litigation team is formed by well-prepared lawyers with a wide experience in different areas. I would like to highlight its strong knowledge of the banking industry.’
‘The BFMYL team clearly understood the client’s intention and rationale behind certain positions that we took during negotiations with counterparties, and adapted accordingly in real time.’
‘They were also able to effectively contribute their opinion, leveraging from their experience and expertise in matters not just related to litigation but finance, tax and compliance as well, to give value-added advice to enhance and ensure smooth negotiation for a favourable resolution of the litigation.’
‘Martín Beretervide gave value-added services by leveraging off his relationships in the industry to give valuable market insight, which helped our negotiation strategy reach the desired outcome. He was highly attentive in communicating with us and knowledgeable in his field.’
Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes
JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank
American Express Argentina
Minera Andina del Sol
The Royal Bank of Scotland
HSBC Private Bank
- Advised financial entities (including American Express, BBVA and Banco Santander) on consumer class actions filed against them.
- Represented Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes, a local brewery company belonging to the InBev Group, in a historical claim.
- Represented JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank in a class action linked to the alleged manipulation of the Libor rate.
- Acted as local counsel to AES Corporation on an ICSID investment arbitration against Argentina regarding the alleged breach of the US-Argentina bilateral investment treaty.
Few firms can match Martínez de Hoz & Rueda’s disputes offering in the energy space. The firm remains the first choice for domestic and foreign oil and gas companies looking to pursue litigation or arbitration mechanisms in Argentina, as testified by its recent work for ExxonMobil, Chevron and Wintershall Energía. Outside of the energy industry, the group’s first-class arbitration practice is also a big draw for telecoms, construction and financial services clients looking to conduct domestic, international or investment arbitration cases. Founding partner José Martínez de Hoz is widely recognised as a doyen of the Argentine arbitration bar and is particularly sought after for energy-related cases. Francisco Amallo, who co-heads the litigation and arbitration practice alongside Martinez de Hoz, is an increasingly prominent up-and-coming disputes specialist.
- Represented ExxonMobil in its $230m ICSID arbitration against Argentina.
- Defended Chevron Corporation against efforts to enforce in Argentina the high-profile $9bn Lago Agrio judgment, issued in Ecuador.
- Represented YPF in complex litigation initiated by Transportadora de Gas del Norte concerning a gas transportation agreement.
- José Martínez de Hoz was appointed as arbitrator by Mexico’s América Movil in a $1.1bn investment dispute against Colombia.
The ‘very knowledgeable’ team at Allende & Brea scores highly for ‘understanding the underlying business and commercial needs’. The practice is weighted towards contentious insurance work, in line with its signature strength, and its financial services expertise also extends to banking litigation. Other strong suits include class actions, environmental disputes and intellectual property litigation. Department co-head David Gurfinkel is an ‘amazing strategist’ and has strong skill sets in litigation, anti-corruption and insolvency matters. Enrique Cristian Fox co-leads the team and handles a mix of corporate litigation and bankruptcy cases.
‘The team is very knowledgeable in litigation and dispute resolution, but they also understand the underlying business and commercial needs.’
‘Their advice goes beyond litigation to commercial strategy dealing with litigation.’
‘Partner David Gurfinkel is unmatched in his knowledge and skills; he is an amazing strategist and is always responsive.’
Banco BBVA Argentina
Caja de Seguros (Assicurazioni Generali group)
Chubb & Son
General Electric International
HBO Ole Distribution
Minera del Altiplano (FMC Group)
- Represented Metlife Seguros de Retiro in class action claims filed by consumer associations regarding alleged infringements of Argentine consumer law.
- Advised Chubb Argentina de Seguros on a conflict related to the determination of damages arising from the termination of a construction agreement.
- Represented Rhodia Argentina (Solvay Argentina) in a set of three environmental law-related cases.
Baker McKenzie’s ‘responsive’ team is comprised of lawyers with ‘great technical skills’, according to sources. The group’s ability to lean on the wider firm’s impressive international network and institutional client base ensures a steady stream of cross-border work — both litigation and arbitration cases. The team is also distinguished by its sector strength in the technology, life sciences, energy and consumer goods areas. Luis Dates steers the dispute resolution and public law groups and is ‘always willing to go the extra mile’. Talented senior associate Santiago Maqueda has a focus on litigation and regulatory matters.
‘Baker McKenzie’s dispute resolution team is engaged with the business and tries to understand business needs.’
‘Lawyers are responsive and have great technical skills.’
‘Luis Dates is very responsive and always willing to go the extra mile to deliver good quality work.’
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce
- Represented Twitter in a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit filed by a former model and public figure.
- Advised Boston Scientific on a conflict with its tenants in relation to the validity, scope and fulfilment of obligations arising out of the leasing agreement between the parties.
- Represented Unisys Corporation in a lawsuit and an international arbitration against the government of Argentina.
Bulló Abogados continues to increase its market share in the growing consumer class actions area, recently acting on a high volume of cases concerning telecoms, insurance and financial services-related issues. Elsewhere, the group leverages the wider firm’s top-tier insurance practice to represent major insurers and reinsurers in the full range of claims, including product liability and medical malpractice cases. Key contacts include Gastón Gómez Buquerín, who specialises in litigation and consumer law, Diego Alonso, who focuses on administrative law and litigation, and corporate and finance partner Gustavo Torassa.
Telefónica de Argentina
Vista Oil & Gas
HSBC Bank Argentina
La Caja Compañía de Seguros
Mapfre Argentina Seguros
La Mercantil Andina
La Equitativa del Plata
- Advised on 49 consumer class actions regarding telecommunications issues; one claim was worth $285m alone.
- Represented Telefónica Móviles de Argentina in several contract liability claims.
- Advised on 28 separate consumer class actions concerning insurance issues.
Estudio O'Farrell attracts praise for its ‘personalised treatment’ and ‘dedicated attention’. The group handles a wide range of civil, commercial and administrative litigation cases, including class actions. Automotive claims are a significant feature of the practice and the team provides ongoing advice to Ford Argentina on all its local cases, including product liability, dealership issues and consumer class actions. The group also has a strong experience in energy and construction litigation. Managing partner Daniel Calatrava co-leads the department together with Francisco Astolfi, who coordinates the civil and commercial litigation team, and public law specialist Fernando García Pullés.
‘We value their personalised treatment.’
‘The group of lawyers I work with have very good communication between them; this means we always get their dedicated attention.’
Casino Buenos Aires
Compañía de Transporte de Energía en Alta Tensión (Transener)
Nokia (Alcatel Lucent)
Grupo Concesionario Del Oeste
Construtora Andrade Gutierrez
Cuore Consumer Research (CCR)
- Represented Casino Buenos Aires in a lawsuit against the national state, Lotería Nacional and Lotería de Buenos Aires seeking the financial reformulation of the contract with the Lotería Nacional del Estado for the establishment of two casinos.
- Fernando Garcia Pulles was summoned to provide expert witness in an arbitration related to the high-profile Lago Agrio judgment.
- Advised Ford Argentina on its litigation and consumer class action cases.
Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen houses a full-service dispute resolution practice, which handles a wide range of litigation claims and arbitrations. Arguably best known for its arbitration expertise, the group has an impressive track record in advising on commercial and investment disputes - particularly in the energy field. On the litigation front, the firm advises on commercial and public law cases, with experience in multi-jurisdictional litigation and mass litigation. Real estate specialist Guillermo Quiñoa is also well versed in contentious matters. Luis Incera and Lautaro Ferro co-lead the litigation group.
‘Lots of experience in litigation and negotiations.’
‘Lawyers provide solid and practical advice, particularly Guillermo Quiñoa, Luis Incera, Lautaro Ferro and Arnaldo Cisilino.’
Molinos Río de la Plata
Google / Google Argentina
Louis Dreyfus Commodities Argentina
Task Force Argentina
Banco Santander Río
The Warranty Group
La Papelera del Plata
Central de Restaurantes
Johnson & Johnson
Multi Color Corporation
Viñedos y Bodegas Córpora
Honda Motor Argentina
El Paso Energy
- Acted for Grupo Corpora in an international arbitration claim against Grupcom.
- Represented Deutsche Rückversicherung in a case before the Supreme Court of Justice seeking the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award issued in 2006 in New York.
- Advised MercadoLibre in a case before the Commercial Court of Appeals, which confirmed the rejection of the lawsuit filed against it concerning the rejection by Visa of payments made through the MercadoLibre website.
Salaverri, Burgio & Wetzler Malbran
Salaverri, Burgio & Wetzler Malbran’s dispute resolution practice is complemented by its ability to lean on the firm’s growing public law group, which provides support in complex cases involving administrative issues. The department handles an array of litigation, class actions and arbitration cases, with strong activity in the energy area due to its close relationships with Pampa Energía and Edenor, among others. Damián Burgio specialises in dispute resolution, with first-class experience in litigation, arbitration and contentious insolvencies. Germán Wetzler Malbrán, who handles transactional and contentious matters, and impressive senior associate Matías Rivera are also recommended.
Orígenes Seguros de Retiro
Sociedad Argentina de Construcción y Desarrollo Estratégico (SACDE)
- Represented Pampa Energía, as claimant, in its case against Petrominera Chubut, a company owned and controlled by the province of Chubut.
- Advised Orígenes Seguros on a collective action promoted by a non-profit consumer association.
- Represented Edenor in a case against real estate developer Ribera Desarrollos, after the latter defaulted on its obligation to construct an office building and deliver the units that would have been Edenor’s main headquarters.
Wiener Soto Caparrós
‘Dedicated, professional, loyal and trustworthy’, Wiener Soto Caparrós stands out for its strength in cross-border cases, with experience in both common law and civil law systems. On the litigation side, the firm manages litigation portfolios for a diverse mix of local and multinational clients, including McCain Foods, Coca-Cola Andina and Patrón Spirits. It also advises on international arbitration, consumer litigation and contentious tax matters. Gonzalo Soto has an emphasis on corporate and employment litigation and co-heads the department together with corporate specialist Laurence Wiener.
‘They are dedicated, professional, loyal and trustworthy.’
‘They stand out for their 24/7 delivery and rapid response times, as well as their honesty and dedication.’
Coca-Cola Andina Argentina
Helmerich & Payne (Argentina)
McCain Argentina and McCain Foods
Regus Management de Argentina
Ticketera Argentina (Plateanet)
iLatina Business Services
- Represented Coca-Cola Andina Argentina in a contractual dispute with Temas Industriales, a sugar refinery located in the province of Tucumán.
- Advised Rail Europe in a dispute with a local travel agency for payment default related to commissions for train ticket sales.
- Represented the local subsidiary of Helmerich & Payne Drilling, an oil-and-gas drilling company, in a lawsuit against a lodging services provider and an insurance company.
Abeledo Gottheil Abogados
Abeledo Gottheil Abogados leverages its strength in oil-and-gas matters to focus on advising energy clients on contentious issues. The group is particularly well known for its arbitration expertise, with energy and natural resources specialist Luis Erize a key name in this regard. Sergio Porteiro and Hernán Oriolo are also well versed in litigation and arbitration cases.
Barreiro, Oliva, De Luca, Jaca, Nicastro
Barreiro, Oliva, De Luca, Jaca, Nicastro is distinguished by its ‘very dedicated’ team and its ‘extensive experience in the legal framework applicable to arbitration in Argentina’. Alongside its arbitration expertise, the team has an effective litigation practice, which shines in automotive, technology and energy and natural resources-related matters. Juan Pablo De Luca, who is ‘persistent in seeking out the best solutions’, heads the group.
‘They stand out for their extensive experience in the legal framework applicable to arbitration in Argentina, in construction matters and in complex contractual disputes relating to capital finance.’
‘The team is very dedicated to resolving clients’ disputes and has an excellent relationship with the other professionals involved. This atmosphere generates trust and they work with us to resolve contentious matters.’
‘Juan Pablo De Luca understands the problems and risks faced by the client and is persistent in seeking out the best solutions.’
‘Ricardo Barreiro Deymonnaz and Juan Pablo De Luca are excellent in their focus on the client and legal creativity.’
‘Nicolás Jaca Otaño demonstrates an excellent understanding of disputes and alternative solutions.’
BMW de Argentina
San Atanasio Energía
- Represented BMW de Argentina in a complex dispute related to its foreign trade operations under the restrictive import measures implemented by the Argentine state in 2009.
- Advised Asics America on a multimillion-dollar and multi-jurisdictional dispute against an Argentinian manufacturer.
Beretta Godoy’s dispute resolution practice is best known for its niche strength in mining-related matters. The firm remains a popular choice to represent multinational mining companies, including Yamana Gold and Ganfeng Lithium, on commercial and administrative law cases, including arbitration. That said, the group handles litigation covering all business sectors. Federico Godoy is recommended for investment arbitrations. Juan Sonoda, who leads the litigation and alternative dispute resolution practices, is also noted.
República Federativa del Brasil
Perfect Vision Manufacturing
Compañía Minera Solitario
Litio Minera Argentina
- Advised Estelar Resources on an amparo action challenging the constitutionality of a regulation that established an export duty on mineral and concentrated substances according to their Mercosur Common Nomenclature.
- Represented a subsidiary of Yamana Gold on a commercial dispute concerning the interpretation of a right of first refusal and a non-compete clause.
Cerolini & Ferrari Abogados’ firm-wide focus on financial services regulation translates into a dispute resolution practice with an emphasis on representing banks, fintech companies and insurers in contentious matters. Other industry strong-suits include the consumer goods and food-and-beverage sectors. Department head Matías Ferrari is an increasingly prominent litigator and advises on civil and commercial lawsuits, contractual disputes and class actions.
Assist Card Argentina
Sociedad Militar Seguro de Vida Institución Mutualista
Cluster Wine Select
- Advised Cluster Wine Select in a claim filed against Vinificadora Aconcagua related to the termination of a distribution contract.
- Represented Assist Card Argentina in a claim against Artware and Microsoft Argentina concerning breach of an IT contract.
Hope, Duggan & Silva
‘Always available and responsive’, Hope, Duggan & Silva’s well-established dispute resolution practice handles a range of agribusiness, financial services and hospitality-related litigation. It also has experience in commercial and investment arbitration. Department head Hugo Vivot has a broad focus, which spans arbitration, administrative law, consumer law and environmental matters.
‘They have knowledge of business as well as technical legal knowledge.’
’They are always available and responsive to our needs.’
JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)
Alliance One International
Sikeston/VR Capital Group
Xylem Water Solutions Argentina
International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI)
- Represented JP Morgan Finance in an array of civil actions in connection with the liquidation proceedings of Banco General de Negocios.
- Advised Travelport Argentina on a claim filed by the Argentine tax authority concerning Argentine turnover tax.
The ‘very professional’ team at Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados is praised for its lawyers’ ability to ‘develop strategies to obtain the best results’. Over the past year, the multidisciplinary group handled a broad range of litigation, arbitration and class action cases, with activity in the energy, consumer law and agribusiness areas. Administrative law partner Horacio Ruiz Moreno steers the group alongside Cristian Krüger.
‘The team at Mitrani is multidisciplinary and very professional. They work together to develop strategies to obtain the best results.’
‘What makes their lawyers’ stand out are their personal and professional qualities, as well as the ability to advise the client on the right strategy to achieve the best results.’
PBBPolisur (Dow Argentina)
Unilever de Argentina
High Luck Group
Manufactura de Motores Argentinos
- Represented Tecpetrol in multimillion-dollar administrative litigation against the Argentine government
- Successfully acted for HDI Seguros on a class action lawsuit filed by a consumer association contesting the validity of certain clauses of its insurance policies.
Nicholson y Cano Abogados’ dispute resolution practice is recognised for its experience in managing and monitoring large litigation portfolios. It also routinely handles domestic and international arbitrations, particularly in the energy and natural resources sectors. Luis Bullrich advises on the full range of contentious matters and co-heads the team alongside Juan Santiago Mollard, who specialises in litigation, bankruptcy and arbitration.
British American Tobacco Argentina
Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes
Estudio Ymaz Abogados
Administrative law-focused Estudio Ymaz Abogados is highlighted for its ability to focus on ‘the resolution of the problem rather than on litigation’. The group is widely recognised for its expertise in disputes related to public works, particularly in the roads sub-sector. Martín Ymaz Videla heads the department and brings to bear experience in both contentious and transactional matters.
‘The speciality and strong point of Ymaz is administrative law, particularly in relation to public works. They have a great knowledge of the industry and the principal players.’
‘The team is of a high professional quality and is very versatile.’
‘As well as their prestige and experience, they have connections with many of the authorities, which makes resolving conflicts easier. Their focus is always on the resolution of the problem rather than on litigation, and they adapt easily to the needs of the client.’
‘The partners and associates are always in touch, available and proactive. As it is a small firm, the service is very personalised, as is their knowledge and follow-up on any matters we consult them about.’
‘Martín Ymaz Videla, Esteban Ymaz Videla and Esteban Ymaz Cossio stand out for their professionalism, extensive legal knowledge and thorough analysis of the situation.’
‘The partners we usually deal with are Esteban Ymaz Cossio, Esteban Ymaz Videla, Martín Ymaz Videla and, particularly in complex matters of administrative law, Beltrán Gorostegui, whose analysis of the issues is always excellent, showing deep knowledge of the subject and a practical outlook that is consistent with the needs of our business.’
Lemiro Pablo Pietroboni
Correo Oficial de la República Argentina
Constructora Dos Arroyos
Codi (Conevial Unión Transitoria)
- Represented Luis Losi in a dispute relating to a delay of the National Administration of Roads in liquidating a tax adjustment.
- Advised DYCASA on a case concerning the refusal of the National Administration of Roads to recognise interest for the delay in the payment of certificates of works.
Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados
Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados’ capable practice advises on an array of commercial disputes, arbitration cases and consumer law matters. The firm’s focus on real estate ensures a steady stream of contentious construction files; it also demonstrates strength in the financial services, retail and energy and natural resources areas. Rodrigo Bustingorry specialises in litigation and arbitration and co-heads the group alongside seasoned litigator, Carlos Ferrario.
Asociación Mutual SanCor Salud
Irsa Propiedades Comerciales
Destileria Argentina de Petroleo
Grupo Nicasio Acosta e Hijos
- Represented Banco Hipotecario, as creditor, in a reorganisation proceeding.
- Advised Senso Magno on the termination of a franchising agreement.