Environmental law is a key specialism at Brons & Salas and the firm is well versed across the full spectrum of matters, at both the provincial and federal levels. On the non-contentious side, the group advises on general compliance issues, environmental management systems, real estate-related matters and due diligence. The firm also handles a significant volume of contentious work, with strong experience in defending clients in administrative proceedings and litigation. Department chair Guillermo Malm Green, who also co-chairs the corporate practice, specialises in due diligence, compliance and litigation.
Environment in Argentina
The former Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena (RMA)'s merger into Dentons -announced in September 2019 and effected over the following months- has to some degree obscured the fact that the firm's top-tier environmental unit spun off into two firms, one half subsequently opening its doors in April 2020 as Estudio Gabriel Macchiavello (in memory of the group's former head). It houses an advisory practice covering safety & hygiene, regulatory matters and environmental law; an environmental litigation and enforcement group that handles all relevant contentious matters; and a 'related practices' area that handles negotiations, contracts and M&A with salient environmental aspects. While the 12-strong boutique remains to be fully 'market-tested' in its new format, there is little doubt as to its bench-strength. Managing partner and public law specialist Hugo Bunge Guerrico handles the strategic direction of environmental conflicts in conjunction with veteran environmental litigator Pedro L Zambrano. Ramón Santamarina is, in turn, an environmental insurance specialist who also handles corporate, contractual and real estate matters with an environmental aspect. Juliana Salvucci and Belén Counduros, formerly of counsel and senior associate at RMA, respectively, round out the partnership: Salvucci is a contentious environmental specialist and co-directs the firm's judicial and administrative caseload in conjunction with Zambrano; Counduros, who has particular expertise in remediation work, heads up the firm's advisory-side practice, and also handles regulatory, due diligence and permitting matters, along with M&A transactions involving industrial sites with environmental liability. An experienced second line of senior associates includes the disputes-focused Leticia Kruls and Florencia Borsani; and on the advisory front, Andrea Gonda.
Boutique firm Franco Abogados concentrates exclusively on environmental and safety regulations, with standalone strength across a comprehensive range of consultancy issues, audits, administrative defence, litigation and training programmes. The team is particularly respected for its reputation in complex contentious work, with extensive experience in patrimonial reparatory actions and criminal actions. Founding partner Horacio Franco is recognised as a thought leader in the area and advises local and multinational companies on the full scope of contentious and non-contentious matters.
Marval O’Farrell Mairal’s team impresses with its ‘professionalism’, ‘immediate response’ and ability to remain ‘informed on all topics’. A popular choice to represent major global energy and infrastructure companies on high-stakes and highly sensitive environmental litigation, the group also advises on regulatory issues and M&A related matters. Francisco Macías, who brings to bear strong experience in energy and infrastructure-related work, heads the department. Senior associate Gabriel Fortuna and semi-senior associate Jimena Montoya are also noted for their increasing prominence in the environmental law area.
‘The team is highly trained to respond to concerns and respond to requests.’
‘The differential is the high professionalism, the immediate response and the constant training that makes them informed on all topics.’
‘The fact that they are a full-service firm, gives the client security in their advice. We highlight Gabriel Fortuna and Jimena Montoya.’
Compañía General de Combustibles
- Advised Volkswagen Argentina on regulatory and environmental matters related to vehicle gaseous emissions.
- Represented Compañía Mega in a class action and three claims for damages filed against several companies located in the Ingeniero White Port seeking the cease and remediation of alleged environmental damages caused by the disposal of liquid effluents.
- Advised Compañía General de Combustibles on three environmental class actions filed by non-profit organisation ASSUPA (Asociación de Superficiarios de la Patagonia) against several oil companies, including the clients.
- Advised Pachon (Xstrata) on a transboundary environmental claim brought against Minera Los Pelambres.
Allende & Brea’s diverse practice is arguably best known for representing its impressive roster of mining clients on environmental law matters. However, the group also shines in the agribusiness, transport and energy spheres. On the non-contentious side, the firm advises on environmental permits, audits, due diligence reviews and general compliance matters. The team also handles administrative, civil and criminal litigation proceedings. María Morena Del Río heads the administrative and environmental law department and has strong expertise in litigation and regulatory matters. Mining specialist Florencia Heredia is also a key contact.
UTE Aguas del Paraná
Minera del Altiplano
Estancias Unidas del Sud
Fundación Oncológica Anna Rocca de Bonatti
Van Hessen Holding
Weatherford International de Argentina
Innovative Seeds Solutions
Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC)
- Represented UTE Aguas del Paraná (a construction joint venture) in an environmental claim related to the construction of a water treatment plant.
- Assisted Galaxy with all environmental aspects of the Sal de Vida lithium project
- Advised Syngenta Agro on various matters, including on the environmental permitting assessment of certain facilities.
The ‘technical’, ‘reliable’ and ‘high-quality’ team at Beccar Varela is praised for its ‘in-depth knowledge of the regulations and the trends in environmental law’. Best known for assisting with environmental due diligence, the group has seen a recent uptick in work for renewable energy companies in relation to the RenovAr energy auction programme. It also has experience in contentious matters, including collective environmental damage claims. Public law specialist Oscar Aguilar Valdez oversees the department, while ‘engaging and inspiring’ senior associate Angeles Murgier leads on day-to-day matters.
‘The lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of the regulations and the trends in environmental law in Argentina, and they work in a very efficient manner. They show a great deal of commitment to meeting deadlines and delivery quality work.’
‘Their client care is very good, and they are very technical in their knowledge and understanding. They are also very reliable, with an eye for business, and they provide a high-quality service.’
‘I work with the head of the team Angeles Murgier, who should be a partner. She knows about any aspect we discuss: solid waste, licensing, contaminated land, everything.’
‘Angeles Murgier is an engaging and inspiring lawyer, who combines academic, practical and institutional skills.’
Cosan Lubricantes (Moove)
LITSA (Líneas de Transmisión del Litoral)
Southern Copper Corporation / Southern Copper Argentina
- Advised YPF Ventures on the acquisition of a strategic stake in Sustentator, including environmental matters and due diligence investigations related to the acquisition.
- Acted for Swift Argentina on general environmental matters, including regulatory, permitting and compliance issues related to five operative facilities.
- Advised Total Eren on the environmental aspects of commercial transactions related to renewable energy projects.
Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi’s mining department generates a significant proportion of its environmental work and the group advises major players such as Barrick Gold, First Quantum Minerals and Patagonia Gold on environmental law issues. The team, which also routinely acts for clients in the oil, gas, power and agribusiness spheres, handles a range of environmental permitting, compliance and contentious matters. Mining specialists Sergio Arbeleche and Sebastián Vedoya co-lead the practice group, with capable support from associate Pablo Crimer.
AES Argentina Generación
China Development Bank
First Quantum Minerals
Minera Peregrine Argentina
Petroquímica Comodoro Rivadavia
- Advised Barrick Gold, and its Argentine subsidiaries, on their operations in Argentina, including national and binational environmental matters.
- Assisted First Quantum Minerals with its environmental permitting process and other environmental law matters.
- Represented Patagonia Gold in an environmental litigation case.
Nicholson y Cano Abogados’ robust oil-and-gas offering translates into a practice that specialises in advising major energy companies, including Shell and Total Austral, on environmental law issues. The group advises on the full spread of related matters, from providing day-to-day compliance advice, through to environmental audits and complex litigation. Department lead Horacio Payá is a dedicated environmental law specialist and brings to bear significant in-house expertise following his former role as legal manager at oil company, Pérez Companc.
Acindar (Arcelor Mittal Group)
Association of Agricola Cooperatives (ACA)
Holcim (LafargeHolcim Group)
- Advised Oiltanking on the extension and renewal of a crude oil transportation concession.
- Represented Shell in two judicial actions requesting environmental remediation.
- Advised TGS on environmental legal compliance audits for most of its plants in Argentina.
- Represented Total Austral in administrative appeals concerning two fines imposed in the context of upstream oil-and-gas exploitation.
Venditti Hierro Quinteros
When Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena merged into Dentons in September 2019, it's famed environmental unit spun off into two firms, the smaller subsequently opening its doors in February 2020 as specialist boutique Venditti Hierro Quinteros (VHQ Ambiental). The four-strong team covers the spectrum of environmental matters, from environmental risk assessment, regulations and management, through contractual environmental issues, the transfer of environmental liability and representation before administrative agencies, to strategy design, audits, remediation and civil and criminal liability cases, among other matters. Despite the novelty of the firm, with some 60 years' environmental law experience between them, founding partners Magdalena Venditti, Mariana Hierro, Carolina Quinteros and Lucía Sesto constitute a consolidated team experienced in high profile cases - particularly those requiring an interdisciplinary approach. Recent work has seen the team active in environmental litigation, regulatory cases and remediation - principally with regard to the chemical, food, automotive and ports sectors. Current mandates include assisting the association responsible for the implementation of a nation-wide system for the management of empty pesticide-containers.
Baker McKenzie combines strength in environmental litigation with supplementary experience in environmental due diligence and compliance matters. The team represents a diverse mix of multinational clients, with notable activity in the chemicals, consumer goods and energy and natural resources sectors. Energy and natural resources specialist Adolfo Durañona jointly leads the practice together with M&A head Gustavo Boruchowicz and Luis Dates, who also leads the public law and dispute resolution groups.
Procter & Gamble
- Advised Sika on the local environmental due diligence aspects of its global acquisition of Parex Klaukol.
- Represented Suez Groupe on environmental permitting matters.
Estudio O'Farrell’s environmental law practice is weighted towards administrative law matters, with a prominent record in advising clients on complex litigation — it also handles due diligence and compliance issues. The firm’s presence in the power, telecoms and oil-and-gas sectors are the key drivers of work. Public law and economic regulation partners Jorge Muratorio, María Agustina Fanelli Evans and Agustín Siboldi are the key contacts.
FECOBA – Federación de comercio e industria
Comunicaciones y Servicios
Latinoamericana de Energía
YPF / YPF Luz
- Represented AMX in a claim brought by the City of Posadas alleging that the release of non-ionizing radiation by antennas could potentially be detrimental to the community’s health.
- Advised FECOBA (the Federation of Trade and Industry) in a claim against a construction site concerning its failure to comply with the required environmental procedures.