Electricity in Argentina
The ‘definitely top-tier team’ at Estudio O'Farrell is commended for its ability to ‘strike a balance between legal analysis and business needs’ and for its ‘uniquely personalised service’. The practice, which works closely with the public law department, is best known for its track record in administrative law matters — both contentious and non-contentious — and commercial work. Senior partner Uriel O’Farrell (‘proactive with a problem-solving approach’) is highly sought after by energy companies for complex issues and co-leads the department together with Agustina Fanelli Evans (‘solid technical and commercial knowledge’) and Agustín Siboldi. On the regulatory front, the firm provides ongoing advice to Pampa Energía and Compañía General de Electricidad, among others. On the transactional side, the firm advised YPF and YPF Energía Eléctrica on a subscription agreement, which involved the sale of a 24.99% stake in YPF Energía Eléctrica’s shares to EFS Global Energy and GE Capital Global Energy Investments.
Beccar Varela’s profile continues to grow in the power area, particularly on the renewables side, as evidenced by an increasingly impressive client roster which includes Canadian Solar, Goldwind International Holdings (HK) and Solarpack. The firm is well versed across the full spread of generation, transmission and distribution-related issues, with an emphasis on regulatory and transactional matters. Energy expert José Carlos Cueva is the key contact and recently advised Hive Energy (UK) on its plans to develop solar power plants in Argentina.
‘Highly responsive and client-oriented’, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi is valued for ‘understanding the client’s urgency in important matters’. The firm had a strong year on the power side, which saw it handle a mix of project tenders, project development, asset acquisitions and regulatory matters. Among its highlights, practice co-head Ignacio Minorini Lima paired up with corporate partner Exequiel Buenaventura (‘deep knowledge of the electricity sector’) to assist Envision Energy with several issues, including bidding rounds and general corporate matters. Mariano Luchetti, who co-leads the group, is also recommended. AES Energy, Equinor and Invenergy are also on the department’s books.
Díaz Bobillo, Vittone & Asociados
‘Very strong boutique’ Díaz Bobillo, Sigwald & Vittone Abogados is highlighted by peers and clients alike for ‘punching above its weight’ in the power sphere. The firm attracts strong praise for its ‘broad and well-rounded practice’ — it certainly handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters — but its ‘leading regulatory law capability’ is the feature that particularly stands out. Founding partner Víctor Díaz Bobillo ‘knows the power market inside out’ and is highly recommended for regulatory, contractual and arbitral issues.
Martínez de Hoz & Rueda’s power practice, which is highlighted by peers as ‘very strong and growing quickly’, is distinguished by its ‘specialist project finance expertise’ as well as by its ‘deep experience in complex administrative law matters’. On the project finance front, department co-head Juan Cruz Azzarri advised Parque Eólico Arauco SAPEM on the development of three wind farm projects. In addition, Pablo Rueda assisted JinkoSolar Holding with the development and $100m project financing of a solar farm project. Jimena Vega Olmos co-leads a practice that also counts Orazul Energy, IDB Invest and Goldwind among its key clients.
Particularly prominent on the transactional side, Marval O’Farrell Mairal’s power practice also demonstrates strong expertise in project development and regulatory issues. It also sets itself apart through its experience in alternative power matters, such as hydroelectric, nuclear and renewable energy. Among its highlights, energy and natural resources head Francisco Macías, acting together with the banking and public law teams, advised China Gezhouba Group on regulatory and contractual issues related to the $4.7bn construction of a hydroelectric project. The department also includes associate Gonzalo Santamaria, singled out by clients as a ‘very talented up-and-coming lawyer’. Other key clients include China National Nuclear Corporation and General Electric.
Pozo Gowland Abogados
Specialist regulated industries boutique Pozo Gowland Abogados is a ‘dominant force in the administrative law area’, according to peers. The firm, which is widely recognised for its expertise in tariff issues and government contracts, handles a broad spread of regulatory, commercial and contentious matters, with strength across the full range of electrical generation, transport and distribution processes. High-profile figure Héctor Pozo Gowland stands as a ‘market leader in energy and public utilities law’.
The ‘very strong team’ at Tavarone, Rovelli, Salim & Miani impresses with its ‘effective combination of regulatory and transactional expertise’. The practice, which has a strong presence in the renewable and nuclear spheres, is best known for its project finance prowess — it also packs a punch in M&A and regulatory matters. Recent highlights include regulatory specialist Nicolás Eliaschev, who is a ‘very sharp operator’, acting alongside corporate finance partner Juan Pablo Bove to advise KfW IPEX-Bank and DEG on a $142m project finance facility to Genneia, through a wholly-owned SPV, to finance a wind project under the RenovAr programme.
Over the past year, Allende & Brea’s multidisciplinary department handled a diverse spread of transactional, regulatory and contentious matters for its power industry clients. Recent work includes key contact Marcos Patrón Costas, together with environmental partner María Morena Del Río, advising Nucleoeléctrica Argentina on its agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation for the construction of two nuclear power plants in Argentina. Other clients include Enel Green Power, Siemens and Wärtsilä.
Baker McKenzie’s specialist expertise in public procurement and government contracts translates into a steady stream of work relating to project bids, regulatory issues and contentious matters. Among its recent highlights, energy, infrastructure and natural resources partner Adolfo Durañona advised DuPont on a dispute with energy distributors concerning tariffs. Other key clients include Bunge Argentina and Fondomonte Inversiones Argentina.
Bomchil’s power practice is distinguished by its concentration on complex contentious matters, particularly arbitration. Despite the recent departure of arbitration expert Guido Tawil, the group’s strategic focus on administrative law matters is expected to continue with the appointments of regulatory specialists María Inés Corrá (‘deeply committed and solution-oriented’) and Francisco Gutiérrez as the new department co-heads. Highlights included successfully representing Wintershall Energía in a $250m claim brought by a Chilean gas distributor against a consortium of Argentine producers related to export restrictions.
Public law heavyweight Cassagne Abogados is best known for its expertise in contentious work and brings to bear a well-established record in complex litigation. In a key example of its sweet spot, Pablo Perrino defended several distribution concessionaires in class actions filed by consumers’ associations concerning rate changes. Máximo Fonrouge is widely recognised as an expert in administrative law-related matters.
Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados’ power practice, which is led by public law expert Horacio Ruiz Moreno, handles a significant volume of renewable energy-related matters. Highlights included advising Isla Power on its power purchase agreement with local energy group Albanesi — Ruiz Moreno led that work. The group has also recently undertaken work for Aluar Aluminio Argentino, Export-Import Bank of China and Mitsui & Co.