2021 saw a considerable rebound for M&A activity in Bolivia and Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados was at the forefront of the legal market’s support to clients, acting in a host of high-end transactions for both new and long-term clients. A multi-faceted matter of note has seen practice co-head Andrés Moreno and 2022 partner appointment Teddy Mercado leading advice to Claure Group on the construction of a new football stadium and training facilities for Club Bolivar in La Paz, which has included incorporating two separate corporate vehicles in the form of LLCs. Andrés Moreno has over 15 years’ experience in corporate law and the structuring of international transactions, while Mercado is an emerging name in the market, with a particular knowledge of the mining sector. Luis Moreno combines corporate, financial and tax law expertise in co-leading the practice, and senior partner Ramiro Moreno rounds out the leadership team. René Cuellar‘s broad practice covers construction, public contracting, international transactions and insurance; and senior associate Fernando Landa focuses on transactional law, private equity and finance, as well as contentious matters. At the associate level, Pamela Muñoz and Jose María Navarro have the heaviest involvement in this practice area.
Corporate and M&A in Bolivia
Ramiro Moreno; Andrés Moreno; Luis Moreno
The Walt Disney Company
CAF – Latin American Development Bank
- Advising Claure Group on the construction of a new football stadium and state of the art training facilities for Club Bolivar, including incorporating two separate corporate vehicles in the form of LLCs.
- Advised Vinci Group on a multi-jurisdiction M&A transaction involving acquiring the industrial services and energy division of Spanish construction company ACS.
- Acted for Trivest Partners in its acquisition of Bolivian fintech company Nearshore Code.
In a busy year for corporate and M&A practices, Indacochea & Asociados saw a flurry of activity in corporate reorganisations and in corporate advice stemming from the recently introduced patrimony tax. It also assisted both Pfizer Bolivia and Kimberly with contracts reviews and revisions in 2021. The Santa Cruz-based firm covers the full breadth of matters in this area, with notable strengths in foreign investments, incorporation of foreign companies in Bolivia, capital increases and complex M&A. Co-leader of the department Maríana Pereira is valued by clients for her expertise in corporate and financing transactions and a particular in-depth knowledge of the hydrocarbons sector. Alonso Indacochea leads with Pereira and is one of the market’s foremost names in advising international companies looking to enter or exit the Bolivian market. Support comes from Ana Carola Muñoz, who also takes a leading role in matters ranging from increases and reductions of capital to day-to-day corporate governance. At the associate level, Maria Laura Paz has over nine years’ experience drafting commercial and civil contracts, Maria José Martínez regularly supports across the gamut of matters, and Nataly Cuellar acts in incorporations, shareholder agreements and corporate restructuring.
Alonso Indacochea; Mariana Pereira
‘The IA team definitely compare favorably for the quality of service and timeliness of it. They have incorporated a series of technology in billing, database, etc.’
‘The availability and the will, always, to contribute when you need them.’
‘On the corporate issue, we have received a good job from Ana Carola and Mariana Pereira.’
‘Ana Carola was always available when I needed her, as was Mariana Pereira.’
‘The care, kindness and professionalism with which Nataly Cuellar treats us is unique.’
Compañía de Alimentos Avesca
- Advised Kimberly on a review of its different commercial contracts, distribution contracts, commercial agreements with its distributors and clients within the framework of competition regulations.
- Advised Pfizer Bolivia on the drafting and revision of its contracts with distributors throughout the country.
- Acted for Avesca in a legal audit of its corporate structure and articles of incorporation, producing a report with recommendations.
PPO Abogados prides itself on its degree of specialisation within a broad offering in corporate law, its sizeable team providing dedicated support on the full range of corporate governance, incorporations and transactional matters. In the latter segment, the firm is most often involved in work with a cross-border element, wherein the team’s advice on global compliance policies, international public procurement rules and treaty benefits for investments are all a strength. Three lawyers coordinate the department together: Marcial Fernández‘s practice covers day-to-day corporate assistance, as well as complex M&A, transformations, restructurings, and dissolutions; Carlos Pinto leverages his experience in financing to support clients in their investments and divestments in Bolivia; and Diego Böhrt, based in La Paz, is the contact to note for mandates needing public law or anti-trust expertise. Salomón Eid and Mattias Garrón are further key partner contacts, and at the senior associate level, Delma Paz advises a large portfolio of clients on an ongoing basis regarding corporate governance, and María René Suárez focuses on incorporation of commercial companies and complex commercial contracts. Carolina Arnez is another associate to note.
Carlos Pinto; Marcial Fernández; Diego Böhrt
‘They are an excellent firm that provides legal services in Bolivia.’
‘They have an excellent, highly trained team with great follow-up of the issues.’
Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas (CCU)
Levi & Strauss
UPL (Arysta Lifescience)
Sinopec Petroleum Service
- Advised Spanish company FAES Farma on its $20m acquisition of BNC Medical.
- Assisted Colombian conglomerate GEP with its $325m agreement with the municipality of Santa Cruz, following a public procurement procedure, to carry out garbage collection, eco-park and street cleaning services for 8 years.
- Advised Tigo on the negotiation of two agreements with Bolivia´s Football Federation for the commercialization of TV rights and TV coverage of the professional football league in 2021, 2022 and 2023, totalling $46m.
Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Sociedad Civil – (BAQSN)
‘The attention to detail‘ and ‘the quality of the work‘ impress clients of Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Sociedad Civil – (BAQSN)‘s corporate and M&A department. The practice is renowned for its advisory work with in-depth insight into several sectors which benefits its assistance on day-to-day operations and complex restructuring processes involving both domestic and foreign entities. Recent trends for the practice have reflected the up-and-down nature of the Bolivian market in 2021; the team has supported a number of clients in new incorporations in the country, but also acted in several liquidations and dissolutions. Regulatory issues are a particular strength for practice co-head Eduardo Quintanilla, who is also a key advisor in the mining sector. He leads the department alongside co-managing partner Ignacio Aguirre. Senior statesman Fernando Aguirre is an important contact for both clients and the team, while Sergio Antelo is becoming an increasingly prominent figure in advising foreign companies operating in Bolivia. Above named lawyers are all based in La Paz; Carolina Aguirre is the name to note in Santa Cruz, giving clients a corporate law contact in the country’s business hub.
Eduardo Quintanilla; Ignacio Aguirre
‘BAQSN has advised us on different matters since 2015 and they have given us the greatest satisfaction in corporate, contractual and administrative matters. Their lawyers have always had a very good disposition to assist us.’
‘They have responded well to the requirements of our company, in particular to contractual issues.’
‘The attention to detail, the quality of the work, and the timely delivery of the work products at a cost according to the projections, are factors that make this firm stand out from other firms for work on similar topics.’
Latam Airlines Group
The Coca-Cola Company
Minera San Cristobal
Industrias de Aceite / Alicorp
Bodegajes Temporales Chile
Desarrollos Inmobilarios Fidelity Investments
- Advising Monark Bolivia on its incorporation in Bolivia and subsequent corporate and labour matters.
- Assisting Maxiseguriad (Argentina) with the negotiation of a services/construction contract for the implementation of a fire security system on a 33-store building in Santa Cruz, and with the incorporation of a Bolivian subsidiary.
- Assisting Alpha Systems with general corporate issues.
Dentons Guevara & Gutierrez
Clients of Dentons Guevara & Gutierrez value its corporate and M&A department’s ‘personalised, agile and preventive‘ advice in a host of matters. The team specialises in planning efficient structures for business development in Bolivia through incorporation of companies, establishing further branches, joint venture contracts, and other investment vehicles. The mining sector and wider projects sphere are areas of strength for the firm, with Vamed Engineering and Santa Cruz Silver Mining two notable clients which instructed the practice in 2021. Founding partner Ramiro Guevara is a respected senior figure for corporate governance and executive responsibilities. He co-leads the department with Jorge Inchauste, ‘a point of reference for legal consultations related to contractual and commercial issues‘, and energy sector expert Enrique Barrios. Senior associate Alejandra Guevara supports on drafting and negotiation of corporate and project finance contracts.
Ramiro Guevara; Jorge Inchauste; Enrique Barrios
‘The corporate and M&A area is aware of the legislation and keeps us abreast of the latest regulations issued. It gives us a personalised, agile and preventive work in the new regulations.’
‘Agile and responsible work in their assertions. Outstanding: Jorge Luis Inchauste and Luis Gutierrez.’
‘Jorge Inchauste is an excellent attorney with full knowledge and experience of Bolivian law. Point of reference for legal consultations related to contractual and commercial issues. His professionalism and dedication are remarkable.’
Laboratorios Bagó de Bolivia
Xinjiang TBEA Group Company
SantaCruz Silver Mining
Avantica Technologies (Encora)
Cámara Departamental De La Construcción De La Paz (Cadeco)
Repsol E&P Bolivia
Roxwell Silver Minera
- Advised Vamed Engineering on the negotiation and execution of a turnkey contract for the construction and management of a third level hospital in Trinidad.
- Assisted SantaCruz Silver Mining with M&A of all of Glencore´s equity interests in several Bolivian mining companies.
- Advised Alicorp on claims derived from alleged contractual breaches.
FERRERE is re-establishing itself as a force in the Bolivian market and its ‘team of very efficient professionals‘ in the corporate law department acts for a strong set of multinational clients. It has also made a concerted and successful effort to grow its base of domestic clients and family groups with Santa Cruz’s booming e-commerce market being particular area of focus. Diego Villarroel, who was promoted to partner in December 2021, has overseen this growth as country head and leader of the practice. He assists clients with M&A, due diligence, and documentation for all types of commercial transactions. Senior associate Pablo Heredia is a corporate law specialist with a decade of experience advising local and multinational companies on day-to-day corporate matters, corporate transactions, and foreign investment regulations. Villarroel and Heredia work from the Santa Cruz office, while senior associate Jorge Palza is the main contact in La Paz. Associate Brenda Eterović comes recommended by clients and has expertise in IP and regulatory issues.
‘We have a very good interaction with the members of the Ferrere team. They understand business needs and provide assistance in a timely and clear manner. They consider the solution that is commercially viable. Their knowledge is comprehensive of various aspects of law. Billing is appropriate to the volume of work requested.’
‘Diego Villarroel is always willing to assist us and manages a team of very efficient professionals. Has a knowledge of the law that aligns with the needs of the business. Unlike other practices, they do not remain in the “memo” but they make sure that the business need can be applied to the practice.’
‘As a team, being a renowned firm, it can in some way streamline processes that others do not have well developed, in addition to the collaboration provided to be able to carry out any case and that it be resolved in the best possible way.’
‘One of the qualities and virtues that lawyers have is to accompany each decision that requires approval or simply consultation, and having an immediate response is priceless, this demonstrates the capacity and preparation of the lawyers who are representing such an important firm.’
‘Excellent! With a lot of knowledge in Bolivian laws and regulations.’
‘The team is excellent, always at our disposal to answer queries and find creative solutions to issues that arise. All team members I have had interactions with at Ferrere are very experienced and with great technical knowledge, regarding corporate structures and entity incorporation.’
‘Jorge Palza is very experienced and his technical knowledge has facilitated our work in the country. He is extremely responsive and efficient in finding solutions to any issue or query we may have.’
‘I highlight Diego Villaroel in his capacity as partner and point of contact of the firm with our company, he has stood out for maintaining a smooth and adequate client-lawyer relationship. We appreciate his continued support. Brenda Eterovic, for her part, has provided services in an outstanding manner, also providing adequate client-attorney service, in accordance with our legal needs.’
Ceva Salud Animal
Ingenio Sucroalcoholero Aguaí
Procter & Gamble
Pharma Arte Bolivia
Laboratorio de Endogenética
Comercializadora Gretel Bolivia
Productos Animales (Pro Ani)
Grupo Parejas – Tumpar
- Advised HIG Capital on its acquisition of Ransa Bolivia (Ransabol), a company of the Romero Group, in a deal involving 12 jurisdictions.
- Advised ACS on the effects in Bolivia of the sale of one of its subsidiaries, Cobra Group, to French company Vinci.
- Advised BRF on the legal effects in Bolivia of its acquisition of Grupo Hercosul.
Würth Bedoya Costa Du Rels Abogados
Würth Bedoya Costa Du Rels Abogados has a broad corporate law offering that covers incorporations, restructuring, day-to-day counsel and M&A. The team also works closely with the firm’s labour, tax, dispute and finance departments to give its clients rounded assistance with various issues. The practice is coordinated by senior associates María Pía Arce, who excels in advice to startups and has more of a focus on the transactional and finance side, and Sergio Velasco , who’s strengths include incorporation of domestic companies, the establishment of Bolivian branches for foreign companies, and regulatory compliance. Mauricio Costa Du Rels is the main partner contact who is well versed in M&A and joint ventures, while Fernando Bedoya has recently supported clients with issues relating to the newly imposed tax on large fortunes. Alejandra Yacob is a senior associate recommended by clients.
Sergio Velasco Landívar; María Pía Arce Paniagua
‘Excellent team of professionals with a lot of proactivity and highly trained.’
‘Fernando Bedoya is highly trained with extensive domain in commercial issues and M&A.’
‘Sergio Velasco, highly trained with a lot of proactivity and soft skills.’
Tecnologías de Ecomobilidad Urbana
Sociedad Agroindustrial del Valle
MC Bauchemie Bolivia
Tecnológicas Mafumet Bolivia
Bluequest Resources Bolivia
- Assisting Tecnologías de Ecomobilidad Urbana with the structuring of its first and second seed investment round.
- Acting for Inversiones Marselan in its incorporation and a restructuring.
- Advised Invap on a construction agreement for three nuclear medicine centres in the cities of Santa Cruz, La Paz and El Alto.
Mauricio Becerra de la Roca provides 'concrete, elaborate' advice and co-leads a practice whose hallmark strengths include assisting clients with their interaction with the Bolivian government, and regulatory matters in the oil and gas, electricity and telecommunications sectors. Senior associate Darío Martínez is the fellow practice head, specialising in corporate transactions and arbitration. Due diligence, corporate disputes and debt collection are further areas of strength for the broad offering. Associate level contacts to note include Rodney Goitia Sanchez, Manfred Arauz and Alejandro Escalante.
Mauricio Becerra de la Roca; Darío Martínez Leyes
‘Mauricio is agile and proactive in resolving issues and developing projects. The timely and specific response on the issues at hand is a plus of the Mauricio team.’
‘Mauricio is excellent in response times and, additionally, his responses are concrete. The opinions are direct, concrete, elaborate and he’s a great guide for the next steps.’
Ingenio Azucarero Guabira
Sanofi Aventis de Panamá
Instituto Ecuatoriano de Enfermedades Digestivas Gastroclínica
Perfect Fit Bolivia
Industrias de Aceite
Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (Coface Services)
- Advising Ingenio Azucarero Guabira on the arbitral procedure and settlement process after the litigated separation of a major shareholder for breach of by-laws and non-compete clause.
- Assisting Perfect Fit Industries with corporate legal advice on day-to-day matters.
- Acting for Inversiones Guabira in drafting minutes of BOD and shareholder’s meetings, registration of corporate documents before the registry of commerce, and drafting commercial contracts.
C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados
Longstanding full-service firm C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados focuses the bulk of its corporate and M&A practice on international clients, particularly in day-to-day compliance advice. One such client is SC Johnson; the manufacturing company also sought the team’s assistance in the termination of a $12m distribution agreement, a matter led by practice co-head and managing partner of the firm Diego Rojas. Alongside Rojas in Santa Cruz, Elizabeth Landivar is in charge of the corporate compliance offering, and has considerable expertise in the agribusiness sector. Completing the trio leading the team is María del Carmen Ballivián, who has a particular focus on the aviation industry and is based in La Paz. Sandra Salinas is a notable contact, particularly in mining and environmental matters, and Patricio Rojas is another lawyer to note.
Medina, Galindo & Richter Abogados S.R.L.
Relative newcomer to the market (founded in 2009), Medina, Galindo & Richter Abogados S.R.L. has quickly established a solid offering in corporate law where it assists a large client base of foreign and domestic companies in corporate matters and M&A. Its areas of strength include incorporations and mergers of local and foreign companies, and foreign clients also look to the firm for representation in public bids and direct retainers by the state. Practice head Rodrigo Galindo Garrett has vast experience in M&A and restructurings and Sergio Medina Bozo is the main contact for tax, labour and energy law aspects of corporate matters. Oscar Molina Ustares provides the associate-level support.
Rodrigo Galindo Garrett
‘Knowledge and diligence.’
‘Excellent availability, timely response times.’
Inypsa Informes y Proyectos
Amtrust Financial Services
Técnica y Proyectos (Typsa)
Gitec – Igip
China State Construction Engineering Corp
Constructora Santa Fe
Hunan Road and Construction Company
Marca Verde Safi
Marco Infraestructura y Medio Ambiente
José Cartellone Construcciones Civiles
Pagos Electrónicos Khipu
Iberam Re Corredores Internacionales de Reaseguros
Intergas Servicios Petroleros
Frigorífico del Oriente
Compañía de Obras Civiles (Cociv)
Compañía Cervecera Boliviana
Sociedad Industrial Taunus
Concremat Engenharia e Consultoria
Diseños y Proyectos Técnicos (Ditecsa)
Dechini Dirección de Proyectos
Projecto Pacu Aquicultura
Grupo Hotelero Rosario
Banco de Crédito de Bolivia
Desarrollador Inmobiliario Insal
Empresa Constructora Salina
Heinsohn Business Technology
Importadora Kortabaco Bolivia
Construtora Norberto Odebrecht
- Acting for Amtrust Gestión de Riesgos in the adjudication of insurance policies, financing of its client and its corporate governance.
- Assisting Odebrecht Ingeniería & Construcción with the closure of its companies’ operations in Bolivia.
- Advised Marca Verde Safi on establishing a new corporation to become the new head of the holding Investimento Sociedad de Inversiones.
Clients value Villegas Aldazosa & Asociados Soc. Civ. for its ‘tailor-made service‘, and the corporate law group is particularly well-regarded for its advice regarding incorporating foreign companies in Bolivia for the first time. Founding partner Gabriel Villegas is praised for his ‘attention to detail‘ and takes the lead on matters of business legal design and management, national and international contracting, and corporate legal advice. He is based in Santa Cruz, while fellow practice head Sergio Dávila, who joined in August 2021, works from the La Paz office and draws on 20 years of experience advising clients in the private and public sectors. Senior associate Maria Nydia Gantier is the supporting contact to note.
Gabriel Villegas; Sergio Davila
‘We started our business operations in Bolivia during the pandemic, without visiting the country. The firm was our legal representative in the country: they established the company and resolved all our papers, taxes, billing, and legal contracts. It was a really a tailor-made solution in which we really were in their hands. 100% trustworthy and efficient. We were able to visit the country after one year of operations and everything was perfect.’
‘More than anything, trust. We gave them all the power to manage our bank account, contracts, billing, imports, etc. and we never had a problem. Tailor-made service. We asked them things which other firms rarely could accept. They are our eyes in a country we don’t know. Quick answers, always available online or on the phone.’
‘Gabriel Villegas was really amazing in our business adventure in Bolivia, he acted as he was part of the business with attention to detail, taking care of our problems, advising us on risks and always available.’
Vega Enghenaria Ambiental
Granja Avicola Sofia
- Assisted Vega Enghenaria Ambiental with the termination of a public contract.
- Advised Avianca Holding on the potential forced liquidation of its Bolivian branch.
- Acted for Granja Avicola Sofia in the design and execution of a $38m bonds issuance.
The ‘dynamic and well prepared‘ corporate team at ONTIER is best known for its corporate and transactional support in the construction and real estate realm where its client base benefits from access to the wider global network of the firm. This is of particular benefit on cross-border matters, in which the team is regularly involved. Practice head Mauricio Saldaña has wide-ranging commercial law experience and Hans Voss has led advice on recent capital increases and construction contract renewals. Senior associate Andrea Antelo Salvatierra assists the partners across the full spectrum of matters.
‘Very dynamic and well prepared young people. Very cordial and permanently willing to meet our requirements.’
‘Very honest and reasonable people when charging for their services.’
Clínica Metropolitana de las Américas
In Towers Inversiones
Agropunto del Oriente
- Advised Clínica Metropolitana de las Américas on the negotiation and the drafting of all documents to achieve the contractual closings with all itsconstruction providers by June 2022.
- Assisted Neurocenter with the spin-off of its Medical Center business unit, which resulted in the offer to sell shares.
- Advised Inversiones Inverkoban on the process of negotiation and raising capital in Fondeo IFD.
Rigoberto Paredes & Asociados
Rigoberto Paredes & Asociados advises a largely international client base on incorporations in Bolivia, commercial agreements and licenses, corporate disputes and M&A. The firm is particularly active in the life sciences and education sectors, with driving schools a further notable niche. Practice head Rigoberto Paredes has a strong background in contentious corporate law matters, while associate Mijail Boris Tovar has his focus on IP, corporate and contractual law. Victor Lopez Colquehuanca assists with the labour law aspects of corporate matters. Oscar Merizalde departed in 2022 to start his own consulting agency.
Serrate Paz y Asociados
2021 saw Serrate Paz y Asociados act for clients in a number of M&A transactions, a burgeoning area of its corporate law offering. The firm has a notable, historic presence in the construction, oil and gas, retail, pharmaceuticals and telecoms sectors, the latter being a standout specialism of practice head José Mario Serrate Paz Ramajo. José Miguel Paredes Sanchez has been a key figure in recent M&A work, while Ximena Callaú specialises in assessing foreign companies during the tender process as well as their incorporation in Bolivia and compliance matters.
José Mario Serrate Paz Ramajo
‘The Serrate Paz & Asociados law firm team is characterized by being made up of quality professionals noted not only for excellent knowledge but also for their human quality. Among the strengths and skills of the team, I consider it important to highlight the availability and full service advice, legal knowledge and local uses and customs. I consider it a superior service to other offices.’
‘They manage innovative solutions and concrete practices appropriate to the situations raised. Jose Mario Serrate has a panoramic vision, a lot of legal knowledge and extensive experience. Carola Serrate is very efficient in labor matters.’
‘A professional, specialized team with extensive experience in complex cases. Able to identify and mitigate risks.’
Vega Engenharia Ambiental
- Advised Hipermaxi in a tender issued by Santa Cruz de la Sierra Municipality.
- Advised a plastics company on a takeover.
- Advised a shareholder of a domestic appliance company on the acquisition of 100% of the shares of the company.
Juan Carlos Urenda and his team at Urenda Abogados Sociedad Civil support local and international businesses in Bolivia in various respects, from structuring investments, advising on efficient corporate structure, appointing directors and obtaining operation licences. Its diverse client base includes longstanding names in the natural resources space, as well as a number of companies in heavy industry, with EPC contract negotiations being common instructions for the team. Manuel Urenda is a key figure alongside Juan Carlos Urenda and is particularly strong in the construction, oil services, mining and imports sectors.
Juan Carlos Urenda