Capital markets heavyweights Criales & Urcullo are the go-to firm for stock exchange transactions in Bolivia, bringing to bear ‘deep knowledge‘ of the area in all types of transactions, as well as having assisted in the development of related legislation. The firm also maintains a strong practice in traditional banking and financing matters. Practice head Javier Urcullo, one of the firm’s founding partners, has over 30 years of experience in dispensing advice on stock market matters and his practice focuses on structuring mechanisms to consolidate and finance private investment in Bolivia. He also has a notable presence in contentious matters, recently leading counsel to Asociación Boliviana de Agentes de Valores (ABAV) in appealing the Financial System Control Authority (ASFI)’s regulation modifying a rule for the stock market sector. Adrián Barrenechea has broad experience and expertise across corporate financing, structured finance and energy project finance.
Banking and finance in Bolivia
Criales & Urcullo
‘We have worked with the team of both partners and they are excellent, however, given our specialty in the banking, corporate, financial, technology and tax fields, we work a lot with Javier Urcullo’s team, highlighting that they are also very thorough, investigative, ethical and they seek the best solutions, even with complex issues that may not be regulated.’
‘Deep knowledge of capital markets and in-depth committed involvement in the projects.’
‘This team is very accessible and of a remarkable professional quality, with partners with deep knowledge in the areas of interest and constantly updated.’
Asociación Boliviana de Agentes de Valores (ABAV)
Bolsa Boliviana de Valores
Parque Industrial Latinoamericano
Compañía Americana de Inversiones (Caisa)
Fortaleza Sociedad Administradora de Fondos de Inversión
Corporación De Fomento a Iniciativas Económicas (Confie)
ONG Fomento a Iniciativas Económicas (ONG FIE)
Panamerican Securities Agencia De Bolsa
Panamerican Sociedad Administradora de Fondos de Inversión
Escalatec Servicios de Aceleración Empresarial
Inmobiliaria E Inversioness Smart
Bolivian Fund Management
Bolivian Investments Management
Irupana Andean Organic Food
Class International Rating Calificadora De Riesgos
Rabo Bank Foundation
Ultragrupo (Servicios Jardecom)
- Represented ABAV in appealing the Financial System Control Authority (ASFI)’s regulation modifying a rule for the stock market sector.
- Assisting the Bolsa Boliviana de Valores with its opposition to a demand from the Financial Investigation Unit (UIF) of the ASFI to implement a regulation related to the legitimisation of illicit profits and financing of terrorism.
- Assisting Parque Industrial Latinoamericano (Pilat) with the rescheduling of Pilat – I bond issues in order to provide financial relief to the company.
Dentons Guevara & Gutierrez
International investors feel ‘confidence and security‘ when seeking advice from Dentons Guevara & Gutierrez regarding their first transactions in Bolivia. The department is a market leader for project financing on both the lender and borrower sides, and continues to develop a substantial offering for capital markets deals, such as recently assisting Alicorp with the issuance of securities into the Bolivian Exchange. Jorge Inchauste co-leads the practice from the firm’s La Paz office and specialises in project finance, particularly in the mining sector. He is also a go-to contact for structured finance operations and foreign corporations doing business in Bolivia. Alongside Inchauste in La Paz, Ramiro Guevara, former head of the legal department at the Bolivian Central Bank, acts in banking, project finance and capital markets matters, while in Santa Cruz, Enrique Barrios is particularly well known for energy project financing. The above named lawyers co-lead the department; senior associate Alejandra Guevara is another key contact, supporting on project finance negotiations.
Ramiro Guevara; Enrique Barrios; Jorge Inchauste
‘The strong point is that as clients we always feel accompanied by the team. Alejandra Guevara is always available.’
‘The Dentons Guevara & Gutiérrez team have been very diligent in their communication with us. They have extensive knowledge of banking and financing issues, which has given us a lot of confidence and security when carrying out our first transactions in Bolivia. They adhere to and fully comply with the requirements and times requested.’
‘The expertise of Ramiro Guevara and the rest of the G&G team is impressive. They know the Bolivian market and the needs of an investor within that market exceptionally well, looking for solutions for a bankable operation. Without a doubt, Guevara & Gutierrez is among the most prepared firms to meet the needs of foreign companies in Bolivia. The recent announcement that they are teaming up with Dentons is an excellent development that will allow G&G to serve its customers in the region even better, especially by standardizing its systems.’
Interamerican Investment Corporation
The International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
China Exim Bank
Sherwin – Williams
- Advised the Interamerican Investment Corporation on a $20m loan to Main International Trading Company, including the due diligence of the Bolivian company and the review of the loan documents.
- Acted for the IFC in its $150m unsecured loan to Bolivian natural gas pipeline operator Transierra.
- Advised Alicorp on the issuance of securities into the Bolivian Exchange.
Regularly engaged in some of the most important banking, finance and insurance-related transactions in the Bolivian market, Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados fields a comprehensive banking practice that covers securitisation of assets, bond issuances and complex loan agreements. IDB Invest was a notable addition to the firm’s ever-growing roster of international banking clients in 2021, and the team also has a diverse range of clients on the borrower side for major projects. Senior partner Ramiro Moreno is a close advisor to a number of domestic banks with whom he has developed strong relationships over decades in the field. He co-leads the department with transactional expert Andrés Moreno, and up-and-coming partner René Claure. Teddy Mercado was raised to the partnership in February 2022 and regularly advises multilateral financial organisations, banks, investment and hedge funds on sophisticated finance transactions. Pamela Muñoz is a contact to note from the firm’s pool of multidisciplinary associates.
Ramiro Moreno; Andres Moreno; Rene Claure
CAF Development Bank of Latin America
China Development Bank
Banco do Brasil Sucursal Bolivia
Standard Chartered Bank
- Acted for CAF Development Bank of Latin America in its $27m revolving credit facility with Banco Union.
- Advised IDB Invest on a $6.12m revolving credit facility with Tienda Amiga.
- Acted for Credit Suisse in structuring security repurchase transactions with three local banks and one multilateral banking entity worth $35m in aggregate.
The ‘extremely proactive and pro-transaction‘ banking and finance department at PPO Abogados has a strong international focus and its ten-strong team acts for some of the most important international banks and multilateral entities carrying out activities in Bolivia. Its broad offering includes assistance with structured funding, syndicated loans, corporate financing and securities transactions. The team is also a strong choice for capital markets work, where Salomón Eid led advice to Frigorífico Concepción and Frigorífico BFC as borrower and guarantor, respectively, on the issuance on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange of $300m in notes. Carlos Pinto coordinates the practice group and frequently advises international banks on project financing, structured finance transactions, and corporate financing. Lindsay Sykes is the name to note for regulatory matters and is the head of the firm’s compliance department, while senior associate María René Suárez supports on matters with a public law bent. At associate level, Ingrid Reese and Andrea Lizarraga are the standout names.
‘It is an extremely proactive and pro-transaction team. They go out of their way to get the client to close the deal and are proactive in generating business for clients as well.’
‘They are much more proactive and try to solve the obstacles instead of informing the client of the obstacles that the law imposes. Carlos Pinto is always very attentive.’
‘The work that PPO does is very good, in the sense that they go into great detail with possible problems. They also focus a lot on investments in startups. Their work is very transparent and very clear which makes it very easy to work with them.’
‘The communication of the PPO attorneys is very good, it makes it easy to work with and understand their scope of work. They help the advisor a lot and recommend paths that their clients should take. They don’t have a problem getting together for a meeting and explaining possible solutions to you without starting to work with them. We recommend Solomon Eid and Ingrid Reese.’
‘The PPO team is more accessible and likely to speak in a way that is free of legal jargon, making the relationship more amicable and avoiding creating a barrier between the client and the law firm.’
‘The team is made up of world-class lawyers. I had the pleasure of working with Salomón Eid and Lindsay Sykes. Both have mastery of their specialty area that provides security to clients, and a professional treatment.’
‘The PPO team of lawyers, not only from the banking and financial advisory area but from other areas, is very capable and professional. It is a team that takes the time to perfectly understand what the client does, what the client needs and based on that, provide its service specifically to that need. Another very redeemable point of the PPO team is that it takes care that the client understands. From the PPO team, we have received jobs and reports that meet the technicalities but are also explained in writing and verbally. In this way, we are certain that we are receiving good advice and making the best decisions based on the information.’
‘PPO has a very up-to-date team in all the branches that are gaining relevance in companies. Especially the trends of technological services, non-traditional legal vehicles and others. The team in general is young and very capable. Agile in the work they do. They add value to you, even before being hired, which generates greater confidence in them and to choose to hire them over other studios.’
Productora H2 Bolivia
French Development Agency
Arthur J Gallagher
- Advised AFD on the grant of a $118m to the Bolivian government for financial support to vulnerable groups affected by the pandemic.
- Assisted Austral Resseguradora with landing in Bolivia by obtaining authorisation from the Bolivian insurance regulator to provide reinsurance services in the country as a foreign reinsurer.
- Advised Paraguayan and Bolivian meatpackers Frigorífico Concepción and Frigorífico BFC as borrower and guarantor, respectively, on the issuance on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange of $300m in notes, including the design and implementation of the Bolivian-tranche of the collateral.
Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Sociedad Civil – (BAQSN)
Clients of Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Sociedad Civil – (BAQSN)‘s banking and finance practice have felt ‘satisfied and well represented in Bolivia‘, working with lawyers of broad and extensive experience. From financial restructuring and foreign financing related to the state, to capital markets transactions and financing small businesses through external funds, the multifaceted practice supports its client base of financial institutions in a range of issues. Senior partner Santiago Nishizawa, and managing partners Ignacio Aguirre and Eduardo Quintanilla, bring decades of experience to bear in co-leading the department, while Leonardo Azurduy Saunero is recommended by clients for his ‘excellent technical knowledge‘ across a host of finance transactions and shareholder support.
Santiago Nishizawa; Ignacio Aguirre; Eduardo Quintanilla
‘The BASQN team is very robust in terms of speed of response, experience, attention to detail, willingness, technical knowledge. I recommend Leonardo Azurduy and Ignacio Aguirre in all aspects. Since we started working with BASQN we have felt satisfied and well represented in Bolivia, we know that we are receiving excellent legal advice.’
‘We have worked especially with the partner Leonardo Azurduy, a lawyer with a lot of experience, excellent technical knowledge, the best disposition. We worked with another firm and decided to make the change, and the difference has been very big. Azurduy has many qualities that give us peace of mind that we are very well represented and advised in Bolivia. His attention to detail, the time he dedicates to our affairs – I confidently recommend him as well as partner Ignacio Aguirre, with whom we currently work more.’
ResponsAbility Social Investments
PYME Progreso FIC
Oikocredit, Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society
- Advised Bofa Securities on an initial international offering of secured notes issued by the Paraguayan company Frigorifico Concepción, with the guarantee of the Bolivian company Frigorifico BFC, for $300m.
- Acted for BofA Securities, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan as initial purchasers of sovereign notes issued by the Plurinational State of Bolivia in 2022 and offers to tender and exchange old notes for an amount of up to $200m.
- Advised iZi Soluciones Digitales on the negotiation and structuring of a Simple Agreement for Equity by a Bolivian venture capital company.
The client base of Ferrere‘s banking and finance practice has an international flavour typical of the firm, but the firm is also the go-to advisor for domestic bank Banco Ganadero, with which it has strong professional ties. The insurance and reinsurance markets are other notably strong niches for the department; Cargill is a standout new client in that field, instructing the team on a financing in the agriculture sector in 2021. Practice head Diego Villarroel, who was appointed to the partnership in December 2021, oversees the full range of matters and has particularly strong experience in banking regulation, project finance and capital markets deals. Senior associate Natalia Dalenz works with Villarroel on the majority of matters, and José Rivero, who rejoined the firm in August 2021, is the associate-level contact to note.
‘Specialty in the subject of banking law, whose development in academic terms is very little developed in the country.’
‘Ferrere’s insurance and reinsurance team comprises clever lawyers who know their stuff and understand their clients. They are able to provide clear advice in complicated matters which is highly appreciated.’
‘Diego Villarroel is a very pleasant lawyer to work with. He knows his business and immediately get your needs and provides tailor-made and pragmatic advice.’
Toronto Dominion Bank
Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO)
Cargill Financial Services International
International Finance Corporation (DFI)
Julius Baer Bank
- Advises US food and agriculture company Cargill Americas on the granting of loans to several local agricultural producers.
- Acted for FMO in the negotiation of a financing facility agreement to be provided in favour of Sembrar Sartawi Institución Financiera De Desarrollo.
- Advised UBS wealth management of clients of its offshore entities.
Debt capital markets stands out as a hallmark strength of Indacochea & Asociados‘s banking and finance practice, and it also acts in regulatory advice, secured and unsecured lending, and a broad range of project financing operations. Practice head Maríana Pereira has developed a strong practice advising on sophisticated financing structures and a swathe of capital markets transactions. Ana Carola Muñoz supports Pereira on the gamut of matters and is one of the up-and-coming figures in the market. Alonso Indacochea leads financing transactions for domestic and international clients and has notable experience in debt refinancing, capital increases and credit lines with major financial institutions. At the associate level, Maria Laura Paz and María José Martinez are the names to note. Since publication, Martínez has been raised to the partnership - effective as of March 2023.
‘The team has extensive experience which helps when looking for the best solutions. Very important the relationship of lawyers in all IA practices stands out a lot in it. Knowledge of banking, not only local, is what is sought and the lawyers know and have experience working on it.’
‘Mariana Pereira has a great professional and human capacity that stands out in the processes that are carried out with her. The relationship and knowledge in the market is essential.’
Tienda Amiga ER
- Advised KPMG -Suiza on updates to Bolivian laws pertaining to banking activities in the country.
- Acting for Banco Ganadero in a possible restructuring of its parent company.
- Acted for Tienda Amiga ER in public bond and promissory notes issuances.
Becerra de la Roca Donoso & Asociados S.R.L.‘s banking and finance department excels in securing and granting multi-million dollar loans in the energy and natural resources and agribusiness sectors. In these segments, it acts for both major Bolivian and international clients on the lender and borrower side. The team also handles a range of other areas, including a number of recent debt refinancings and liquidations. Mauricio Becerra de la Roca has 15 years of experience in the practice area and leads the department. Junior partner Manfred Arauz and senior associate Darío Martínez provide multidisciplinary support.
Mauricio Becerra de la Roca
Ingenio Azucarero Guabirá
Industrias de Aceite
- Assisted Root Capital with debt collection matters.
- Advised Sun Chemical Peru on debt refinancing.
- Acting for Industrial Hilandera in the liquidation and dissolution of its Bolivian subsidiary, including refinancing loans and debt recovery.
C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados
C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados has a leading position in the aircraft financing field, and its banking and finance practice also has considerable expertise in vehicle and heavy machinery financing as well as debt restructuring. The team is co-led by María Del Carmen Ballivián , a leading name in aircraft financing law, and banking-focused partner Diego Rojas. Sandra Salinas is the name to note for mining sector finance matters.