Public law in Argentina
Regulatory law powerhouse Cassagne Abogados is widely lauded as a ‘go-to firm for public law issues’, particularly on the contentious side due to its ‘unrivalled expertise in complex litigation’. The boutique firm’s specialist focus on administrative law, economic regulation and constitutional law continues to pay dividends, and it remains a popular choice for domestic and multinational companies looking for support on high-stakes matters. On the contentious front, Máximo Fonrouge recently acted alongside Julio Duran to represent Telefónica de Argentina in its action against the Argentine government – and the regulatory agency – challenging a spectrum award decision. On the non-contentious side, high-profile sector specialist Juan Carlos Cassagne teamed up with Ezequiel Cassagne and Pablo Perrino to act for Boldt in the public tender process by Buenos Aires for the provision of slot machines. Other representative clients include Aerolíneas Argentinas, British American Tobacco and China Gezhouba Group. In a notable recent addition, the firm hired new associate and PPP specialist María Soledad Vallejos Meana, who joins from the Ministry of Finance.
Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal
Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal’s ‘deep and experienced’ public law practice is distinguished by its ‘deep bench’ and ‘broad subject matter expertise’. The ‘clearly top-tier’ group also secures praise for its broad supplementary capability, with sources particularly highlighting its ‘great ability to draw on support from the corporate and projects teams’. Best known for its relatively even split between contentious and non-contentious matters, the department combines an impressive record in complex litigation with strength in PPP matters and corporate regulatory issues. Among its highlights, Enrique Veramendi represented toll roll concessionaire Autopistas del Sol in the successful renegotiation of its concession contract with Argentina’s federal government, which involved a compensation package of over $500m. In another high-profile case, María Lorena Schiariti represented Compañía Mega (a joint venture between YPF, Petrobras and Dow) in successfully challenging a rate surcharge for being illegal and unconstitutional. The group also includes preeminent administrative law expert Héctor Mairal.
The ‘very strong team’ at Allende & Brea climbs a tier on the back of its increasingly diverse practice. The group, led by ‘excellent lawyer’ María Morena Del Río, handles a broad array of bid tenders, public procurement, compliance issues and litigation. Among its recent matters, the firm advised a consortium comprised of Keolis and Helport on its bid for the concession to operate and maintain Buenos Aires’ metro and Premetro lines. It also advised Saab on a contract to supply defence systems. Senior associate Anabela Mengoni left for an in-house position at Petroquimica Comodoro Rivadavia.
The ‘consistently excellent’ practice at Beccar Varela impresses with its ‘very strong and experienced partners’. A leader on the procurement side, the group has been involved in some of Argentina’s most high-profile projects of late. Most notably, high-profile department co-head Oscar Aguilar Valdez advised Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos on two international public tenders relating to the provision of potable water service. On the contentious side, Aguilar Valdez, together with practice co-lead Juan Antonio Stupenengo, represented Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires in judicial review litigation related to a fine imposed by the anti-money laundering authority.
Regulated industries stalwart Bomchil maintains a distinguished record in public law, with historical involvement in first-of-a-kind matters across the electricity, telecoms, postal and water industries, among other industry segments. Following the departure of highly regarded group head Guido Tawil, who left to become an arbitrator, the department is now co-led by María Inés Corrá, Federico Campolieti and TMT specialist Francisco Gutiérrez. Highlights included representing Iplan (a fixed telephone and broadband operator) in several regulatory disputes concerning interconnection with mobile telecoms networks. It also advised Minera Los Pelambres in two high-value disputes involving the interpretation and application of border treaties between Argentina and Chile.
Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi’s ‘solid and proactive’ group impresses with its partners’ ‘very business-oriented approach’. The practice handles a broad range of public law-related issues, with notable activity in compliance, public procurement, administrative law litigation and anti-corruption matters. Following the departure of former team head Ignacio Sanz, who has struck out on his own, the ‘very effective and knowledgeable’ Ignacio Minorini Lima now leads the department; he was recently part of the cross-practice team which advised IDB on its involvement with the Highways and Safe Roads PPP Programme. The group, which also counts Bunge Argentina, Banco Macro and Envision as key clients, includes respected senior counsel Carlos de Kemmeter.
‘Dynamic, efficient and always available’, Estudio O'Farrell finds favour for its ‘strong commitment to client needs’. The ‘deep and broad’ group is also valued for its ‘exceptional partners’, with Jorge Muratorio (‘analytical and solution-focused’), Fernando García Pullés (‘extensive experience and goal-oriented’) singled out by clients; together, they lead the department alongside the ‘very knowledgeable’ Agustina Fanelli Evans. Among its recent matters, the team advised Turkish Airlines in proceedings stemming from an alleged breach of the migration law. It has also recently undertaken work for Naturgy, Unipar Indupa and Vossloh.
Baker McKenzie’s practice has a focus on contentious work under the leadership of experienced litigator Luis Dates. In a key example of its sweet spot, the firm represented Unisys in settling a reciprocal lawsuit and arbitration against the Argentine government alleging the defective fulfilment of contractual obligations. On the non-contentious front, the group routinely handles public tenders and compliance issues, among other matters.
Bianchi, Galarce & Castro Videla
Boutique firm Bianchi, Galarce & Castro Videla is recognised for its strong track record in public law litigation. It is also routinely called upon by domestic and foreign law firms to provide opinions on complex constitutional, administrative and regulatory law issues. Noted constitutional law expert Alberto Bianchi is the key contact and acts for both private and public entities across a range of industries, with notable experience in energy and natural resources, telecoms and transport.
Brons & Salas
At Brons & Salas, Sebastián Alvarez is the key contact for public law and he brings to bear a strong record in advising clients from heavily regulated industries — particularly on contentious matters. Among the group’s recent work, it continues to represent Papel Prensa in high-profile litigation brought by the government seeking to take control of the company.
Hope, Duggan & Silva
Martínez de Hoz & Rueda impresses with its strong skill set in energy-related matters, where it combines its signature project finance prowess with significant administrative law capability to specialise in bid tenders and complex regulatory litigation. Among its recent matters, Juan Cruz Azzarri advised several clients (including YPF and Wintershall Energía) in actions seeking to declare the unconstitutionality of a special charge, imposed by an executive decree, on natural gas tariffs. Jimena Vega Olmos, who co-heads the department alongside Azzarri, is also a key contact.
‘Experienced, dedicated and responsive’, Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados secures strong praise for its ‘outstanding commitment to solving problems’ and its ‘extensive knowledge of the local market’. In particular, department head Horacio Ruiz Moreno is commended for his ‘deep expertise in energy-related matters’; he recently advised Isla Power on its participation in the RenovAr 2 bidding round. The team also handles contentious work.
Estudio Ymaz Abogados
Infrastructure specialist Estudio Ymaz Abogados attracts rave reviews from clients, with its ‘seamless communication between teams’, ‘great knowledge of industry issues’ and ‘solution-focused approach’ all recurring themes. The group, which is best known for its expertise in PPP contracts, is led by Esteban Ymaz Cossio, who is highlighted for his ‘deep experience and ability to resolve issues’. Representative clients include Ghella, Bombardier European Holdings and Tecnipisos.