Dispute resolution in Argentina
Rivera & Asociados
FIRM MERGED INTO MARVAL AS OF JULY 2019 - DERANKED. - TG ‘One of the few boutiques in the dispute resolution area’, Rivera & Asociados is an ‘outstanding firm’, which is highly sought after for its ‘specialised arbitration offering’. In particular, managing partner Julio César Rivera is widely acclaimed as ‘the best arbitrator in Argentina’. Rivera, who was recently appointed as a "supplementary judge" (“conjuez") of the National Supreme Court, is also highly regarded for judicial restructuring cases. Other senior names to note include Julio César Rivera (h), who is a ‘first-class litigator’, Beltrán Louge and Gustavo Giatti. According to sources at rival firms, junior lawyers are eager to join the litigation powerhouse and this is reflected in an impressive second line of associates, which includes arbitration specialist Laura Piedrahita Abella. Among its recent matters, the firm advised Pan American Energy in its arbitration claim against Transportadora de Gas del Sur.
The ‘experienced and thorough’ group at Bomchil scores highly for its ‘strong ability in both legal and business matters’. The practice, which brings to bear an impressive track record in administrative and public law matters, is best known for its first-class arbitration expertise but it also handles commercial litigation and class action cases. Key arbitration contact María Inés Corrá ‘goes above and beyond’ and successfully represented Wintershall Energía in a high-value claim brought by a Chilean gas distributor against a consortium of Argentine producers relating to export restrictions. Corrá is also advising Minera Los Pelambres — a subsidiary of Antofagasta Minerals —on two politically sensitive disputes. Federico Campolieti is also recommended for complex arbitration matters. Managing partner Javier Petrantonio heads the litigation department and paired up with recently promoted partner Martín Torres Girotti to represent Carrefour in four large claims stemming from its acquisition of Argentine supermarket chains. The team has also recently undertaken work for PepsiCo, Peugeot Citroën Argentina and Siemens. In a significant blow to the firm, high-profile name Guido Tawil left to become an independent arbitrator. However, seasoned specialist Rafael Manóvil continues to provide support as of counsel.
‘Top tier in commercial litigation’, Marval O’Farrell Mairal also excels in arbitration, with notable firepower in complex, multi-jurisdictional cases. The practice, held up for its ‘unrivalled breadth and depth’, is led by heavyweight litigator Ricardo Ostrower, who brings to bear deep experience in complex, high-stakes disputes. Ostrower recently teamed up with Santiago Soria, and the oil and gas department, to represent Transportadora de Gas del Sur in an arbitration claim brought by Pan American Energy and Pan American Sur related to the performance of a long-term natural gas processing agreement. In another headline piece of litigation, Ostrower acted alongside the public law group to assist Cargill with its case against the Province of Chaco before the Federal Supreme Court arguing the unconstitutionality of certain provincial regulations impacting on its operations. Senior counsel Martín Campbell is ‘a remarkable lawyer’ and paired up with Facundo Viel Temperley to represent Credit Suisse as defendant in a class action concerning the Madoff fraud. Were the ‘seamless and joined-up team’, which also includes Rodrigo García and Elías Bestani, not formidable enough, in July 2019 the firm announced the absorbtion of 'outstanding disputes boutique' Rivera & Asociados, whom the Marval team had faced in the TGS-Pan American case. The merger adds signifcant firepower to the department, particularly in terms of arbitration: former managing partner Julio César Rivera is widely acclaimed as ‘the best arbitrator in Argentina’; he is also highly regarded for judicial restructuring cases and was appointed as a supplementary judge (“conjuez”) of the National Supreme Court in 2018. Julio César Rivera (h), who joins as a partner, is a ‘first-class litigator’. Incoming associates of note include arbitration specialist Laura Piedrahita Abella.
The ‘experienced and dynamic’ practice at Beccar Varela impresses with its ‘excellent communication skills’ and its ‘energetic and committed lawyers’. The increasingly prominent group handles a diverse spread of dispute resolution, arbitration and white-collar crime cases, with recent strong showings in financial services litigation for major multinational financial institutions. Gonzalo García Delatour, noted for his ‘tremendous knowledge and expertise’, co-leads the department alongside insolvency specialist Martín Gastaldi and Eduardo Güemes — together, they teamed up with advisory partner Emilio Vogelius and the corporate and compliance departments to represent several clients in collective claims filed by different consumer associations, including Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires, Citibank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The group also benefits from the senior experience of Rafael Lobos (‘ample experience and profound knowledge’), while associate Federico Sosa (‘great knowledge and drive’) is a rising star.
According to clients, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi is distinguished through its ‘vast expertise and knowledge’, ‘effective and hands-on advice’ and ‘great industry connections’. The experienced practice covers the full waterfront of contentious matters, with strong skill sets in commercial litigation, judicial bankruptcies and domestic and international arbitration — it is particularly well versed in energy litigation. High-profile figure Carlos Rotman is a former judge who is widely lauded for his ‘unique experience and legal understanding’; he co-leads the department alongside ‘strategic and responsive litigator’ Martín Beretervide. Among the group’s recent highlights on the energy front, it represented Pan American Energy in ICC arbitration proceedings against Transportadora de Gas del Sur. Outside of the energy space, it continues to act for Papel del Tucumán in ICC arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Argentina. Other representative clients include Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes, Crown Point Energy and Danone Argentina. In 2019, former group co-head Leandro Caputo left to establish Leandro Caputo Abogados, while promising younger lawyer José María López Posse left for an in-house position at Odebrecht.
‘Responsive, analytical and solution-focused’, Martínez de Hoz & Rueda has made significant inroads into the market since its establishment in 2018. The group continues to be best known as a ‘strong performer in energy arbitration’, largely due to the reputation of ‘market leader’ José Martínez de Hoz, who is highlighted as ‘diligent, reliable and responsive’ — he also handles construction, financial services and M&A-related cases, among other areas. Among his recent highlights, Martínez de Hoz continued to defend Chevron Corporation against efforts to enforce in Argentina the high-profile Lago Agrio judgment, issued in Ecuador. He also represented two ExxonMobil affiliates in a $230m ICSID arbitration. Francisco Amallo, noted for his ‘dedication and clarity’, is also a key contact and represented YPF in complex litigation initiated by Transportadora de Gas del Norte stemming from a gas transportation agreement. Other representative clients include the International Basketball Federation, TGLT and Wintershall Energía.
Estudio Alegría, Buey Fernández, Fissore y Montemerlo
High-profile boutique Estudio Alegría, Buey Fernández, Fissore y Montemerlo is best known for its signature expertise in complex bankruptcy proceedings but it also advises on a steady stream of commercial litigation, administrative law and international arbitration cases. Pablo Buey Fernández is highly regarded for his broad practice, which spans bankruptcy and civil and commercial litigation. Founding partner Héctor Alegría enjoys a prominent reputation for arbitration.
The ‘effective and compact team’ at Allende & Brea strikes the right note with its ‘calm and strategic approach’. The comprehensive practice encompasses the full gamut of contentious matters, with class actions — particularly in the financial and insurance areas — standing out as a sweet spot. In a recent example of its strong suit, department co-head David Gurfinkel represented MetLife in several class actions filed by consumer protection associations. Group co-lead Enrique Cristian Fox, noted as an ‘extremely focused specialist’, represented BBVA Francés (now BBVA) in a class action filed by Unión de Usuarios y Consumidores.
Baker McKenzie’s ‘hands-on and detail-oriented’ practice is heavily slanted towards administrative litigation, under the leadership of ‘very experienced’ public law specialist Luis Dates — it also handles commercial litigation, product liability and bankruptcy cases. Among the group’s highlights, Dates defended Unisys in a $6.7m breach of contract case brought by the government of Argentina. He is also representing Vale subsidiary Potasio Rio Colorado in litigation brought by the Province of Neuquén concerning the alleged breach of an executed public contract.
At Bulló Abogados, class actions and product liability matters are the twin pillars of the practice, with the firm’s market-leading insurance capability continuing to drive a significant volume of cases. Notably, the group is currently advising on 110 class actions for clients such as HSBC Bank Argentina, Telefónica de Argentina and several insurance companies. Diego Alonso, Gastón Gómez Buquerín and Daniel Guffanti are the key contacts.
‘Collaborative and available’, Estudio O'Farrell sets itself apart through its ‘specialist professionals in all areas’, who ‘seamlessly work together to coordinate advice’. The diverse group is led jointly by Daniel Calatrava, who handles civil and commercial litigation, Francisco Astolfi, who is particularly active in class actions and product liability, and public law specialist Fernando García Pullés. Automotive litigation is a strong suit and Astolfi represents Ford Argentina in commercial and product liability claims.
Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen
‘Responsive and detail-oriented’, Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen fields a ‘strong and well-trained team’, which ‘considers both legal and operational issues’. Arbitration is a key area of specialism and the group also handles civil and commercial litigation. Highlights included the ‘very business-minded’ Lautaro Ferro representing MercadoLibre in a leading case before the Court of Appeals concerning ISP liability. Ferro co-heads the department together with Luis Incera and Arnaldo Cisilino.
Salaverri, Burgio & Wetzler Malbran
Put simply, Salaverri, Burgio & Wetzler Malbran is ‘world-class’, according to satisfied clients who emphasise the team’s ‘sophisticated approach’ and ‘outstanding responsiveness’. In particular, department co-heads Damián Burgio and Germán Wetzler Malbrán are highlighted together for their ‘unique judicial background’ and ‘strong creative thinking’, while senior associate Matías Rivera is ‘dedicated and efficient’. The team recently represented Pampa Energía in bringing a case against Petrominera Chubut, a company owned and controlled by the Province of Chubut.
‘Highly professional, experienced and flexible’, Wiener Soto Caparrós secures rave reviews for its ‘record of success’. The broad practice, which is ‘supported by an array of trained and experienced lawyers, accountants and assistants’, handles a diverse mix of arbitration, commercial litigation, IP disputes, tax matters and antitrust litigation. Gonzalo Soto heads the department and recently represented Coca-Cola Andina in a contractual dispute brought by Temas Industriales. Other representative clients include Libertad, McCain Argentina and Rail Europe.
Abeledo Gottheil Abogados
Long-established firm Abeledo Gottheil Abogados retains a solid reputation for international investment arbitration and it also handles local arbitration, commercial litigation, contentious bankruptcy proceedings and competition litigation. Among the names to note, arbitration specialist Luis Erize brings to bear a strong record in energy-related disputes, Sergio Porteiro is particularly active in infrastructure matters, and Hernán Oriolo is noted for his experience in cases concerning regulated industries.
Beretta Godoy specialises in advising its stellar energy and natural resources client base on contentious matters, particularly foreign investment arbitrations and commercial disputes. Managing partner Federico Godoy heads the arbitration practice and routinely advises energy and construction companies on complex disputes. Juan Sonoda, who leads both the litigation and energy departments, is also a key contact.
Cerolini & Ferrari Abogados has an active commercial litigation practice, which shines in financial services litigation and class actions. Matías Ferrari heads the team and recently advised Banco Cetelem Argentina on four class actions. Other representative clients include Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires, Banco de la Provincia de Córdoba and Banco Itaú Argentina.
Estrada & Canale Abogados
Hope, Duggan & Silva
Hope, Duggan & Silva handles an array of financial services litigation, judicial bankruptcies, environmental disputes and contentious tax cases. Recent matters include representing TecPlata in defending environmental claims concerning certain dredging operations — Hugo Vivot and José Nelson are leading that work.
Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados’ dispute resolution practice, which is led jointly by Carlos Ferrario, Rodrigo Bustingorry and Karina Kucyk, is well versed across the full spread of arbitration and civil and commercial litigation. Among its recent work, the firm represented Banco Hipotecario in two class actions filed by consumer associations. Contentious construction is also a strong area of activity.