Environment in Argentina

Estudio Gabriel Macchiavello

The dedicated, 14-strong team at Estudio Gabriel Macchiavello specialises in environmental advisory, counselling and litigation. On the contentious side the firm represent companies in lawsuits and administrative procedures related to collective damages, mass toxic torts, environmental damage, remediation and recovery of damages. Non-contentious expertise includes assisting on projects related to the oil and gas, petro-chemical, mining, renewables, food, agriculture and agrochemical industries, as well as advising on regulatory issues across the field. The team is co-led by managing partner Hugo Bunge Guerrico; Pedro Zambrano, who focuses on environmental issues and conflicts with government agencies, as well as corporate advice in the area; environmental conflict and remediation expert Juliana Salvucci; Belén Counduros, who leads the environmental assessment area; and commercial and financial law specialist Ramon Santamarina. They are supported by a deep bench of experienced practitioners, notably senior associates Andrea Karina Gonda, Florencia Borsani and Leticia Kruls.

Practice head(s):

Hugo Bunge; Pedro Zambrano; Juliana Salvucci; Belén Counduros; Ramón Santamarina

Key clients

YPF

Dow Argentina/ Dow Chemical

Pla

Monsanto – Bayer

Industrias John Deere Argentina

Nestlé Argentina

Exxon Mobil

Sherwin Williams

Central Puerto

Work highlights

  • Representing YPF as one of the parties in an environmental lawsuit related to past contamination of surface water and sediment of a water course near a major oil refinery located in Ensenada, Buenos Aires province, for which the plaintiff is seeking remediation; the case involves copmlex scientific evidences concerning isotopic and geological investigations associated with past contamination.
  • Advisory to Dow Química regarding administrative proceedings before the authorities of the province of Buenos Aires, as well as representation in a case seeking remediation of the watercourses of Bahía Blanca for enironmental damage allegedly caused by the company.

Marval O’Farrell Mairal

Marval O’Farrell Mairal is ‘unique in the level and quality of support in sensitive and complex issues, such as litigation in environmental matters’. The seven-stong team works across the full environmental sepctrum, from regulatory issues and litigation to due diligence and M&A, with a special focus on the manufacturing, infrastructure and energy sectors. It is well regarded for its ‘excellent coordination between the different members of the team as well as between the different elements that make up the case’, and has particular strength in both litigation and due diligence processes. Practice head Francisco MacÍas combines strengths in environmental and natural resources law with oil-and-gas industry knowledge. Other key names include senior associate Gabriel Fortuna, who ‘understands the technical reality of each project beyond its regulatory aspects’; and associate Jimena Montoya, who has particular skill in environmental regulatory matters, audits and due diligence. The team can also call on a specialist team of in-house technicians and engineers, as necessary.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Macías

Testimonials

‘Marval is unique in the level and quality of support in sensitive and complex issues such as litigation in environmental matters. I highlights not only its level of commitment but also its ability to understand and face sui generis situations with the highest ethical and professional standards’.

‘Undoubtedly the plus that makes Marval stand out are its members as a whole’.

‘Santiago Soria, partner of the litigation team: in addition to his experience and knowledge in environmental litigation, he never ceases to amaze with the clarity and detail of his advice, which far exceed the standard. At the same time, I highlight the ability of Gabriel Fortuna, a senior associate of the environmental team, to understand the technical reality of each project beyond its regulatory aspects’.

‘Associate Juan Ignacio Aranda stands out for his commitment to clients, his permanent disposition, and the quality of his attention’.

‘Knowledge and experience, and very good interpensional relationship’.

‘The team stands out widely from other teams or environmental lawyers. They have demonstrated experience, strategic vision and reliability in the information they provide or opinions they make’.

‘Excellent coordination between the different members of the team as well as between the different elements that make up the case; remarkable order, neatness, and comprehensive and detailed analysis of the information’.

‘Responsibility, availability and punctuality to deliver the work entrusted are highlighted’.

Key clients

Volkswagen Argentina

Grupo PSA (Peugeot Citroën)

Tuboscope (National Oilwell Varco)

Raízen Argentina

Danone Argentina

Glencore

Cargill SACI

Compañía General de Combustibles

Compañía Mega

Adecoagro

Pachon (Xstrata)

Copetro (Oxbow)

Petro AP

Epson

TGS/Spectrum

Work highlights

  • Assisted Volkswagen Argentina with the preparation of an appeal against a fine imposed on Volkswagen Argentina, among other matters related to the “Diesel Issue” in Argentina.
  • Advising Compañía General de Combustibles in connection with three environmental class actions filed by non-profit organisation ASSUPA against several oil companies (including CGC), and seeking the remediation of alleged damage in oil and gas concession areas.
  • Representing Compañía Mega in a class action and three claims for damages filed against several companies located in the Ingeniero White Port, Bahía Blanca, Province of Buenos Aires, seeking the cease and remediation of alleged environmental damages caused by the disposal of liquid effluents.

Venditti Hierro Quinteros

Environmental law boutique Venditti Hierro Quinteros opened its doors in February 2020 with the aim of providing a full service offering in the environment sector. The team stands out for its ‘knowledge of the industry, management of a highly regulated environment’ and its relationship with public entities. Now seven-strong, the practice group covers the spectrum of environmental work, 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. The experienced and consolidate four-partner team is co-led by María Magdalena Venditti, who focuses on environmental remediation processes and contracts; complex litigation specialist Mariana Hierro; María Carolina Quinteros, who handles compliance with environmental standards, procedures to obtain environmental permits and remediation cases; and Lucía Sesto, who advises on environmental standards and defence in administrative sanctions procedures. Recent matters include environmental and safety & hygiene audits, defence in civil and environmental damage preventive actions, facilities closures and representation in complex suits regarding environmental damage and remediation measures, among other mandates.

Practice head(s):

María Magdalena Venditti; Mariana Hierro; María Carolina Quinteros; Lucía Sesto

Testimonials

‘Excellent predisposition and attention to problems that arise. Very good management and follow-up of cases, making continuous supervision unnecessary. When dates are approaching, the prior reminder and the follow-up they carry out is a great help’.

‘They implemented a very clear and accessible online matrix system, with good access and ease of change. The communication of all the possibilities and consequences of the different actions that can be taken is essential to be able to choose correctly between all the possible paths, and this is something that they provide whenever complex situations arise’.

‘Excellent service vocation with the client, understanding and offering simple tools that facilitate the visualisation of the management’

‘Excellent interpersonal approach, availability of digital tools. They are technically flawless, but their quality of people stands out’.

‘Knowledge of the industry, management of a highly regulated environment. Relationship with public entities. Knowledge of specific administrative processes. Effective advice combining corporate practice with compliance with environmental standards. Excellent communication and predisposition’.

‘Seriousness, responsibility, knowledge, support, tranquility. It compares very favourably with other firms’.

Work highlights

  • Advised a chemical company of on a complex soil and groundwater remediation process, under the control of several environmental authorities.
  • Represented a logistics company in a damage preventive action, a new type of action introduced in 2015 in the Civil and Commercial Code and of which there are few environmental precedents.
  • Advised various agro companies on the implementation of a system for the management of empty agrochemical containers, participating actively in both the regulatory and operational matters.

Allende & Brea

Allende & Brea’s environment practice combines ‘knowledge of the subject,' with 'understanding of the client and the context' and 'adaptation and communication skills’. A key area of work is advising on compliance with Argentine environmental regulations, including the obtaining of industrial, air, water and hazardous waste permits. The team is also experienced in assisting with environmental audits and due diligence procedures, as well as drafting environmental provisions for capital markets, project finance, public offerings and M&A. On the contentious side, the practice handles a range of litigation and conciliation agreements arising from environmental administrative and civil proceedings. María Morena del Río ‘stands out for her excellent treatment of the client, commitment to business, corporate vision and for possessing the required knowledge, versatility and creativity’. She co-leads the team with energy and natural resources expert Florencia Heredia. Key associate support comes from senior associate Martín Alejo Prieto, a dedicated administrative and environmental practitioner who undertakes individual and collective environmental disputes and litigation, as well as advisory on environmental regulatory compliance.

Practice head(s):

María Morena del Río; Florencia Heredia

Testimonials

‘The Allende & Brea team has technical knowledge and efficient management of matters, together with skills in communicating with the client and versatility (it provides the service through its partners), this being a comparative advantage that stands out’.

‘Since the declaration of the pandemic and the new forms of communication, Allende & Brea has launched a series of very useful trainings for clients on topics of great interest and current relevance, such as the Covid-19 protocols and teleworking, among others, differing from the service provided by other firms’.

‘Their knowledge of the subject, understanding of the client and the context and adaptation and communication skills, that is, the very good client service’.

‘Maria Morena del Rio stands out for her excellent treatment with the client, commitment to business, corporate vision and for possessing the required knowledge, versatility and creativity’.

Key clients

FMC Química

Estancias Unidas del Sud

Fundación Oncológica Anna y Elena Bonatti Rocca

Milliken Do Brasil Comercio Textil e Representacao de Productos Quimicos

Estancias Unidas del Sud

Aspen Argentina

Van Hessen Argentina

Members of the UTE Aguas del Paraná

Syngenta Agro

Unipar Indupa

Minera del Altiplano

Ferrero Argentina

Work highlights

  • Onbgoing advisory to Galaxy Lithium (Sal de Vida) regarding environmental matters related to the Sal de Vida lithium project.
  • Representing Unipar in several environmental lawsuits, including a collective environmental damage lawsuit filed by local fishermen alleging environmental damages, and additional tort lawsuits filed by members of the community.
  • Advising Estancias Unidas del Sud (ESSUD) on all environmental aspects of the agriculture and stockbreeding business and on the obtaining of all necessary environmental licenses and permits within the framework of the companys reorganisation; as well as advisory regarding the environmental aspects of mining activity carried out on its property by third parties.

Beccar Varela

Recommended as ‘one of the outstanding environmental teams in Argentina’, Beccar Varela excels in environmental due-diligence and advising on the environmental aspects of complex corporate transactions. Clients range from power, renewable energy, mining, oil and gas operations, to food and agribusiness, TMT, real estate and manufacturing companies. As well as advising on regulation, the firm provides assistance with preventative civil, criminal and administrative litigation in the area. Administrative law and project finance expert Oscar Aguilar Valdez co-leads the team with counsel Angeles Murgier, who demonstrates 'commitment to the work entrusted, and agile and quick responses to the client's requirements'. Indeed, regarded as ‘one of the leaders of environmental law in the region’ by clients, Murgier is virtually a one-woman-department, handling environmental counselling (including regulatory, permitting and compliance issues), the environmental law aspects of corporate transactions (including associated due diligence), compliance audits and environmental litigation.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Aguilar Valdez; Angeles Murgier

Testimonials

‘It is an excellent practice, led by Angeles Murgier, who is a great colleague and friend, and whom we greatly admire for her analytical skills and leadership’.

‘One of the outstanding environmental teams in Argentina’

‘Angeles Murgier is an exceptional lawyer. She is a very knowledgeable person in environmental law, very professional, organized and intelligent. Very dedicated and responsible, Angeles is one of the leaders of environmental law in the region’.

The specialised environmental team demonstrated a deep and thorough knowledge of the matter. They were assertive in their comments and in reviewing the practice documentation and it would be a team I would recommend in the future. Angeles Murgier demonstrated commitment to the work entrusted, and agile and quick responses to the client’s requirement.

Key clients

Knight Therapeutics

Grupo Biotoscana / Laboratorio LKM

Kimberly-Clark Argentina

LITSA

Total EREN

Swift Argentina

The Ocean Foundation

FCA Automobiles Argentina

Cosan Lubricantes

Puerto Asis Corporation

Work highlights

  • Onbgoing assistance to Swift Argentina on general environmental legal matters in Argentina, including regulatory, permitting and compliance issues for five operative facilities located in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe and Cordoba.
  • Advice to Total EREN on the environmental aspects of commercial transactions related to renewable energy projects (including the project acquisitions and sale/partnerships); as well as ongoing advise regarding the evaluation of the environmental aspects of renewable energy projects located in differing provinces including Buenos Aires, La Rioja, Neuquén, Río Negro, Salta, Chubut, Santa Cruz, Córdoba, San Luis and San Juan, each with its own environmental regulation.
  • Ongoing advice to energy transportation company LITSA on the identification of applicable environmental obligations and the conducting an overall environmental compliance assessment so as to prepare for ISO certification.

Brons & Salas

Environmental law is a key specialism at Brons & Salas and the team has strength 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 pratice also handles a significant volume of contentious work, with strong experience in defending clients in administrative proceedings and litigation. Senior partner and department chair Guillermo Malm Green -who also co-chairs the corporate practice- specialises in environmental due diligence, compliance and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Guillermo Malm Green 

Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi

Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi’s key strengths in the environmental law area include commercial transactions, preventative advice, management of environmental conflicts and litigation. The practice is well regarded for its ‘good relationship with the authorities’, as well as being ‘deeply involved in the issues, not limiting their participation to the strictly legal’. Mining and environment specialists Sergio Arbeleche and Sebastián Vedoya are department co-heads and can call on the expertise of specialist senior associate Pablo Crimer, who ‘stands out for his conceptual solidity, commitment and professionalism’. Crimer handles environmental liability, compliance, permitting, litigation, public policy and project development, as well conducting environmental due diligence and audits.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Arbeleche; Sebastián Vedoya

Testimonials

‘The Bruchou, Fernandez Madero & Lombardi environmental team stands out for working as a true team with the company’s in-house lawyers. They are deeply involved in the issues, not limiting their participation to the strictly legal’.

‘They are better than other law firms when it comes to response times and availability’.

‘Pablo Crimer stands out for his conceptual solidity, commitment and professionalism’.

‘Their strengths are that they provide clear and precise answers about the services entrusted to them. They have a very good relationship with the authorities, not only in the follow-up of permits / legal issues but also in the participation of technical / legal meetings, where they demonstrated solvency in the legal matter that I contract them’.

‘The plus compared to others is that they have full knowledge in mining matters, they have very good links with national authorities that allow expediting issues related to permits, very good predisposition when they are required and expedited responses’.

Key clients

Barrick Gold Corporation

First Quantum Minerals

Patagonia Gold

Dow Chemical (Argentina)

Nabors Argentina

Cargill

Minas Argentinas

Petronas Argentina

Yamana Gold

Oxiteno

Nicoll (Aliaxis)

Unipar

Ugen

Minera Peregrine Argentina

AES Argentina Generación

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Barrick Gold Corporation in legal matters related to the Veladero Mine, the binational Pascua Lama project and the exploration projects acquired and developed by Barrick through its subsidiary Minera Del Carmen; the team also providesgeneral environmental legal advice on matters such as administrative infringements, permitting and legal environmental audits.
  • Ongoing assistance to Oxiteno regarding the production and import of dangerous goods and controlled substances, the management of hazardous wastes and environmental impact assessment, among other daily advisory matters.
  • Currently advising First Quantum Minerals in connection with the environmental permitting process for the construction and operation of its Taca Taca project; as well as advisory related to the General Environmental Law and theh environmental section of the Mining Code.

Franco Abogados

Environmental and safety-regulation boutique Franco Abogados has strength across a comprehensive range of consultancy issues, audits, administrative defence, litigation and training programmes. The team is particularly respected for complex contentious work, with extensive experience in reparatory actions and criminal actions. Founding partner Horacio Franco is well regarded in the market and advises on the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Horacio Franco

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s practice focuses on environmental due diligence processes, advising on national and international environmental and regulatory trends, and environmental litigation (including class actions). The team has particular experience in dispute resolution related to environmental issues, supplementing this with local expertise in public law and the ever-present resource of its global network. Office managing partner Adolfo Durañona focuses on corporate and commercial transactions for companies in the oil and gas, mining and natural resources industries. He co-leads the team with corporate practitioner Gustavo Boruchowicz (who handles transactional and regulatory matters); and the head of the public law and disputes' practices, Luis Dates.

Practice head(s):

Adolfo Durañona; Gustavo Boruchowicz; Luis Dates

Testimonials

An excellent professional team with openness to technical matters. Human warmth. Technically perfect advice.

Key clients

Shell

Unisys Corporation

Wal-Mart

Alltech

Albemarle

Work highlights

  • Advising and assisting Shell’s subsidiaries in Argentina in a class action environmental lawsuit in the Province of Neuquén; the case was brought against Provincial Oil but the plaintiffs asked for private companies involved in hydrocarbons activity to be summoned as interested third parties.
  • Advised Alltech during an environmental audit following the shutdown of an industrial site in Buenos Aires province, thereby facilitating sale of the property.
  • Advised Yara in evaluating potential environmental liabilities related to product packaging and sustainability, especially in light of recently enacted law on pesticides and similar type of products.

Nicholson y Cano Abogados

The small practice at Nicholson y Cano Abogados is arguably best known for three core specialisms, namely litigation at the Federal Supreme Court, environmental legal compliance audits and preventive legal advice on environmental compliance issues. The team advises on these issues for clients from a range of sectors, including energy, mining, agribusiness, steel and construction. Another key area of work is conducting preventative, in-house environmental-training and environmental legal compliance audits for oil-and-gas industry clients. Indeed, practice head Horacio Payá spent 15 years' in-house in the hydrocarbons sector (at Petrobras Argentina); a longstanding practitioner, today he is regarded as something of a pioneer in environmental matters. Key associate support comes from senior Martín Osvaldo Rodriguez who is focused on environmental, administrative and regulatory matters and associated administrative representation.

Practice head(s):

Horacio Payá

Key clients

Capex Capsa

PQ Corporation

Acindar (Arcelor Mittal Group)

Raizen

Total Austral

Association of Agricola Cooperatives (ACA)

Holcim (LafargeHolcim Group)

YPF

Aerolineas Argentinas

Chevron Argentina

Aleph Midstream

Minera San Jorge

Lundin Group

Cargill

Work highlights

  • Legal advisory to PQ Corporation in relation to the presenation of a plan before the environmental authorities to resolve a historically critical environmental situation.
  • Legal advisory to -and judicial representation of- Raizen Argentina in several judicial actions in which environmental remediation is requested with regard to former (currently abandoned) petrol stations.
  • Advised Total Austral onn environmental legal-compliance audits concerning the company’s onshore and offshore oil fields.

O'Farrell

Oriented primarily towards public law and economic regulatory matters, O'Farrell provides comprehensive advice across the regulated sectors, including environment and natural resources. The bulk of the practice group's environmental mandates come from the natural resources -and specifically energy- sector, in relation to hydrocarbons extraction, power generation, fuel production, or transportation and distribution. Also active in the automotive manufacturing segment, the team has an additional niche specialisation in environmental issues related to non-ionizing radiation from mobile-telephony network antennas. Head of the firm's public law and economic regulation department, Jorge Muratorio, focuses on constitutional, administrative and environmental law, urban planning regulations, consumer protection and antitrust. He co-leads the team with regulatory expert Agustin Siboldi and public law specialist Agustina Fanelli Evans.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Muratorio; Agustin Siboldi; Agustina Fanelli Evans

Key clients

ENI Petroleum

AMX Argentina

DYCASA

Resinas Concordia

Pampa Energía

YPF EE

Work highlights

  • Legal advice to ENI regarding environmental issues related to the bidding process for offshore petroleum exploration and exploitation concessions.
  • Advised CYCSA regaarding the environmental impact of non-ionizing radiation emissions and its treatment by federal, provincial and municipal legal frameworks; the advisory included obtaining approval of a new mobile microcell which was not contemplated by current regulations.
  • Legal, regulatory and environmental advice to YPF Energía Eléctrica in connection with its power-generation activities, including procedures to constitute administrative easements and compliance with electricity regulatory body ENRE’s requirements.