Real estate in Argentina
Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados
‘Well-known real estate specialist’ Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados is commended for its ‘firm-wide strategic emphasis on the sector’, which arguably translates into the most comprehensive practice in the market. Clients include some of the country’s most seasoned investors, as well as domestic and global companies operating within the development, retail and leisure spheres, and it handles the full spread of purchase and sale transactions, commercial leases, property development, real estate finance and property management matters. The group, which is widely envied for its ‘peerless bench strength’, is co-led by Fernando Aguinaga, who recently advised key client IRSA Propiedades Comerciales on its $7.5m acquisition of a major building in La Plata. Juan Manuel Quintana co-heads a department that also includes high-profile industry specialist Saúl Zang and Pablo Vergara del Carril.
Beccar Varela’s ‘solid all-round real estate practice’ acts for an impressive portfolio of local and multinational clients, with strong showings in the retail, development and hotel sectors. Department head Pedro Nicholson is widely hailed as a ‘very impressive specialist’ and was at the helm for most of the team’s recent marquee deals, including advising Carrefour on the development of the Al Río Project — one of the largest projects currently outstanding in Argentina. On the M&A side, he acted hand-in-hand with the corporate department to advise Goldman Sachs on its acquisition, together with Equity International, of the real estate business of the Pegasus fund. The group also has experience in real estate finance, leasing arrangements and property management.
The ‘very solid’ practice at Marval O’Farrell Mairal is a popular choice for sale and purchase transactions and it also acts on a steady stream of development, leasing and property finance matters. Among the names to note, department co-lead Diego Chighizola is a ‘strong up-and-coming talent’; he paired up with corporate specialist Pablo Viñals Blake to advise property tycoons Edmond Safra and Nassef Sawiris on the $150m asset purchase, development and construction of office buildings in Buenos Aires. The same team also assisted the Werthein family with its $151m acquisition of a landmark site in the city of Buenos Aires. Hernán Slemenson co-leads a department that has also recently undertaken work for Pegasus Management, Hilton Hotels and InterContinental Hotels.
A leader on the development front, Nicholson y Cano Abogados’ ‘very strong group’ is also a prominent player in real estate transactions — for both institutional and entrepreneurial clients. Department head Agustín Pérez Cambiasso is a ‘first-class specialist’ and recently advised a real estate fund administrated by Grupo Pegasus on the sale and operation of Tortugas Open Mall. The firm also continued to advise trophy client TGLT on day-to-day matters and ongoing projects, such as the Astor Palermo and Forum Puerto Norte developments. Other representative clients include Akuo Energy, Cargill and HSBC Bank Argentina.
Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen’s impressive record in project construction — particularly power projects and gated developments — is supported by strength in asset purchases and sales, real estate finance, investment matters and commercial leasing. Department head Guillermo Quiñoa, who is widely regarded as a leading light, brings to bear strong expertise in both transactional and contentious matters across all asset classes. Among Quiñoa’s recent work, he advised Banco Santander Río on the construction of its new headquarters in Buenos Aires, and also assisted Google Argentina with the negotiation of lease contracts for its offices in Buenos Aires. AB InBev, Ayres Desarrollos and Etex Group are also representative clients.
Baker McKenzie’s practice, led by sector specialist Alejandra Bugna, is recognised for its experience advising on an array of transactional, development and contentious matters, with a particular focus on construction. Highlights included advising The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on certain service agreements for the construction of new temples in Argentina. It also assisted CommScope with the renegotiation of a warehouse lease. Almarai, Caruso & Asociados and Marriott International are also on the department’s books.
Bomchil’s ‘knowledgeable and committed team’ finds favour for ‘always going the extra mile to make a project succeed’ and for its ‘great attention to every detail’. Recent highlights included Javier Petrantonio advising Albwardy Investment on its acquisition of two holding companies, which together own a 74.3% stake in Hotel Internacional Iguazú. Elsewhere, Fermín Caride advised NorthBaires on its successful $58m tender for real estate property in Buenos Aires. Financial services specialist Néstor Belgrano is also a key contact.
Brons & Salas
Brons & Salas distinguishes itself through its expertise in rural land acquisitions and sales. The group also acts on a significant volume of construction, leasing and foreign ownership matters. Among its recent highlights, department head Mariano del Olmo assisted wine producer Grupo Peñaflor with the acquisition of rural land across various provinces in Argentina. On the construction front, the team advised Inspecentro on the construction of a vehicle technical inspection plant in Buenos Aires.
‘Professional, available and client-oriented’, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi’s compact but ‘bright and resourceful’ real estate team stands out for its ‘deep knowledge of the market and regulation’. The growing practice has come on in leaps and bounds under the leadership of the ‘committed, creative and pro-deal’ Exequiel Buenaventura; he recently advised The Ally on certain real estate investment deals in Argentina. The team also has recent experience in commercial leasing, construction and finance matters. Other key clients include Compass Group, Envision and Patagonia Gold.