Dentons Guevara & Gutierrez stands as a major player in the international arbitration market for clients with operations in Bolivia, and in the burgeoning domestic arbitration landscape. The integration into the Dentons network ‘has expanded the range of experts with whom concerns and experiences can be consulted‘, and the team has furthered its relationships with international companies looking for streamlined global advice. It has a particular track record in energy sector disputes, as well as being a strong choice for construction disputes in projects and real estate. On the litigation side, the firm has a robust offering, acting in antitrust, real estate and commercial cases. Rodrigo Rivera co-leads the practice, advising on complex litigation and arbitration at both national and international levels. Alongside him, founding partner Primitivo Gutiérrez focuses on labour law disputes. Both are based in Santa Cruz, while at the firm’s La Paz office, Ramiro Guevara is an experienced name for international commercial arbitration and investment arbitration. Zoya Galarza was appointed to the partnership in February 2022 and is an up-and-coming figure, increasingly specialising in antitrust, energy and environmental issues, who comes with client recommendation. At the associate level, both Elena Rivera and Nina Leguizamon are praised by clients, and senior associate Ana Lora has a focus on real estate disputes.
Dispute resolution in Bolivia
Dentons Guevara & Gutierrez
Rodrigo Rivera; Primitivo Gutiérrez
‘Great knowledge of the market and the industry. Teamwork which achieves results.’
‘Involvement of the partners. Great expertise of each of the lawyers in charge.’
‘The relationship allows the free exchange of criteria, reaching an appropriate legal strategy for each case, the team is very well prepared and the knowledge it brings to the solutions we seek is at a high level. The treatment and attention is cordial, billing is timely, and in relation to the technological support mechanisms, they use tools that allow us to have fluidity in the exchange of information.’
Cervecería Boliviana Nacional
Repsol E&P Bolivia
Total E&P Bolivie
Vintage Petroleum Boliviana
Importadora Farmacéutica Quimfa Bolivia
- Acted for Cervecería Boliviana Nacional in multiple complex judicial and administrative proceedings related to anti-trust and constitutional matters.
- Representing Repsol E&P Bolivia in 22 simultaneous administrative-contentious claims against the Bolivian Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy regarding the payment of the monetary incentives the Bolivian Government is compelled to pay oil companies.
- Represented a subsidiary of travel company Explora in three conflicts with different indigenous communities from Potosí and Oruro, specifically adjacent to Uyuni.
Moreno Baldivieso Estudio De Abogados remains a go-to firm in Bolivia’s international arbitration scene, present and consistent across various sectors and a leader in investor-state arbitration. In that respect, it has acted as co-counsel to Zurich Insurance Company in its UNCITRAL investor-state arbitration against the Bolivian State with insurance and reinsurance being a particularly strong field for the practice in recent years. A senior leadership team is comprised of Andrés Moreno, an international and domestic arbitration expert; Delfor Zapata, who heads up the domestic litigation side of the practice and has strengths in tax and labour disputes; and experienced corporate lawyer and arbitrator Ramiro Moreno. René Claure is a further key contact in international arbitration and labour law disputes, while contentious matters in the mining and banking sectors are the forte of Daniel Arredondo. Teddy Mercado is another arbitration expert and was raised to the partnership in January 2022. A strong pool of associates assist on the range of matters; Pamela Muñoz , Jose María Navarro and Fernanda Veremeenco are among the most active.
Ramiro Moreno; Andrés Moreno; Delfor Zapata
Zurich Insurance Company
Munich RE AON
Archer Daniel Midland
Lloyds of London
- Acting as co-counsel to Zurich Insurance Company in its UNCITRAL investor-state arbitration against the Bolivian State.
- Representing Spanish multinational Idom in its ICC Arbitration for damages against Bolivia´s state-controlled oil and gas corporation YPFB, regarding a contract suspension.
- Acting for Munich Re in a $23m domestic collection action against Electroingeniería.
Ferrere‘s group of ‘dedicated and committed professionals‘ in its dispute resolution practice acts in a disparate mix of contentious matters for a diverse client base. While the firm’s Bolivian office enjoys the shared reputation among international clients that the firm’s name affords it, in 2021 it made a concerted effort to further its presence among domestic companies. In that respect, senior associate Bruno Cuellar has been a key contact, under the stewardship of practice head Diego Villarroel, who advises local and regional clients within large commercial arbitration and litigation processes. Further at the associate level, Natalia Dalenz assists exclusively on international arbitration, while Erick Vargas supports across all matters. Laura Baldomar joined in March 2022 and has a background in real estate disputes.
‘Ferrere’s lawyers understand that it is necessary to have fluidity in the processes and permanent communication regarding progress. They suggest agreements that put an end to litigation on the understanding that the client does not want to pay costs indefinitely but to be able to close contingencies as efficiently as possible.’
‘They have a realistic view of litigation. It is not in the client’s interest to unnecessarily delay litigation. They know that it is necessary to report progress and explain strategies to follow, providing alternatives when possible.’
‘As a team, it is essential that in everything that we as clients have taken charge of, we have emerged winners from some process in which we have been involved.’
‘The biggest plus that can be mentioned is the information and agility in being provided by the lawyers who are in charge of the company, in addition to their extensive knowledge on topics of interest that somehow help to make good decisions in the shortest possible time.’
‘Team that supports its clients with “out of the box” solutions, that understands its client’s needs and proposes win-win solutions, which is not very common in this market.’
‘Dedicated and committed professionals. Always attentive to the dates and that they do the proper follow-up of the pending actions.’
Glencore Finance (Bermuda)
Alpha Mundi Group
Polimix Bolivia Hormigón
Cruzimex Comercio Exterior y Distribución
Ingenio Sucroalcoholero Aguaí
Merrick & Company
Rotomoldeos Nueva Era
- Representing Glencore Finance (Bermuda) in a UNICTRAL arbitration against the Plurinational State of Bolivia before the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
- Advising Cargill Bolivia on the recovery of its non-performing portfolio and on the strategy for recovering all its debts.
- Acting for Arcelormittal Brasil in a commercial legal dispute arising from non-payment of a purchase agreement, signed with a local distributor.
‘Impressive in its quick analysis of the key issues‘, PPO Abogados has a broad offering in dispute resolution and handles an array of domestic and international matters. Following recent trends, the team was especially active in contract and regulatory compliance issues in 2021, as well as defending clients in government investigations as the state’s anti-corruption laws have strengthened. The team is co-led from the country’s two largest cities: Lindsay Sykes, commended by clients for her ‘valuable legal insights‘, is based in Santa Cruz and heads the arbitration side of the disputes group; Alejandro Pemintel operates from the firm’s La Paz office and is the go-to litigator with a local focus and noted for collection actions, competition matters and disputes in the energy sector. Further on the litigation side, senior associate Luz Marina Iriarte has experience in labour and constitutional law matters. Fellow senior associate Fernando Escobar leads the department’s “appeals and last instance remedies” division.
Alejandro Pemintel; Lindsay Sykes
‘Good knowledge of the environment and the industry (anti-corruption).’
‘References in conduct and honesty.’
‘The team of PPO Abogados is highly specialised and dedicated to clients needs.’
‘Lindsay Sykes is an exceptional lawyer. High quality work delivered on the point and quickly. Outstanding.’
‘The PPO Abogados team was impressive in its quick analysis of the key issues.’
‘Lindsay Sykes was a fantastic resource on a wide variety of legal issues. She grasped complex issues quickly and provided valuable legal insights.’
‘The lawyers have knowledge in their respective matters and conduct the respective follow-up of different processes.’
‘Fernando Escobar has high training and experience in the matter.’
- Representing BBVA in a claim brought before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Additional Facility against the Bolivian state, relating to the government’s announced transfer of BBVA’s contract to manage and administer a pension fund to a newly created public entity.
- Advised Pfizer on litigation risks associated with the provision of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Bolivia.
- Representing Duratex in a civil litigation against its only official distributor in Bolivia, arising from a modification in the terms for distribution.
Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Sociedad Civil – (BAQSN)
The ‘professional and efficient‘ dispute resolution team at Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa Sociedad Civil – (BAQSN) is a longstanding presence in the arbitration market thanks to Fernando Aguirre and Santiago Nishizawa‘s respective renown in both the domestic and international markets. In recent years, ‘outstanding lawyer‘ Ariel Morales has spearheaded the growth of the firm’s litigation offering, as well as inheritance judicial procedures, with support from Gonzalo Prudencio. The team continues to steadily grow its client list with new additions in an array of sectors from consumer goods to education.
Ariel Morales; Fernando Aguirre; Santiago Nishizawa; Gonzalo Prudencio
‘They are very competent and agile in handling issues.’
‘Ariel Morales is very diligent and available.’
‘They are professional and efficient.’
Agfa Gevaert NV
Total E&P Bolivia
Banco Nacional de Bolivia
Sucesion Nemtala Tamayo
Sucesión Borda Claure
Urgencias Medicas-Clinica Urme
Colegio Aleman La Paz
- Acting for companies of the AGFA Group in a $22m lawsuit initiated by La Papelera for the payment of compensation of alleged damages, loss of profit, among other concepts.
- Defending Total E & P Bolivie against a judicial action initiated by a former worker, claiming $3.1m of social benefits.
- Assisting Banco Bisa with 20 judicial actions it has initiated for the recovery of unpaid amounts.
C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados
C.R. & F. Rojas – Abogados has a strong client base in the heavy industry sector, among others, and is particularly active in the domestic litigation market. Litigator Manfredo Kempff and associate Gonzalo Cordero are key contacts. Managing partner Diego Rojas is the name to note for domestic arbitration.
A host of multinationals look to Indacochea & Asociados for its ‘fast and reliable attention‘ in debt collection matters of considerable value. The energy, food and consumer goods sectors were among the eclectic sector profile of the team’s matters in 2021 with associate Marcelo Longaric leading the advice on all of these. He heads the department and is supported by fellow associates Juan Pablo Sanchez, Leonardo Reyes and Sebastian Alba . Tax partner Candys Dorado provides strategic support to the litigation department in a variety of contentious administrative matters.
‘Very cordial treatment, personalized and fast attention, knowledge.’
‘Fast and reliable attention, knowledge, reliable advice from Andere Indacochea, Candys Dorado, Maria Laura Paz and Marcelo Longaric.’
‘Excellent office with excellent professionals who identify the needs of clients and most importantly: they solve problems.’
‘Personal, unconditional attention and professionalism at its best.’
‘Good customer service.’
‘Marcelo Longaric is a highly trained and professional lawyer, who can be counted on as a reference. He is up-to-date and knows how to respond to the demands of companies.’
‘I highlight the professionalism and efficiency, direct and factual solutions that guarantee the interests of the client. We chose the firm because it has a prestige in the market that is not debatable.’
‘The trajectory, professionalism, experience of the firm makes it one of the best in the market. I really like the sincerity with which you can talk with the firm, you feel safe. I highlight Roger Longaric and Alonso Indacochea.’
Schneider Electric Peru
Intral Industria de Materiais Eletricos
- Acting for Bayer Boliviana in a judicial process for the collection of $1.9m in unpaid debt from the companies, Coquiagro, Jihussa Agropecuaria y de Servicios, Lidia Teresa Colquehuanca Yujra and Agrícola Comercial Industrial.
- Advising Schneider Electric Perú on the collection of debts totalling $200,000 owed by the company Unipersonal Novelec.
- Representing Kimberley-Clark in $75,000 debt collection proceedings against a former distributor, the Tarma.
Lima & Asociados
Established in 2000, boutique firm Lima & Asociados has its dispute resolution practice at its heart, focusing on some of the market’s more complex contentious matters. Clients appreciate the team’s ‘excellent attention and follow-up‘ in matters that range from complex commercial domestic litigation to criminal litigation, a standout strength. The team also has arbitration capabilities; Juan José Lima is name to note in that segment. He co-leads the practice with Daniel Galdo , who has strong knowledge of the mining and petroleum sectors, and Pablo Marín , a prominent La Paz-based litigator with additional expertise in IP law. The four-strong team is rounded out by Juan Pablo Álvarez , a commercial and civil law litigator with particular knowledge of environmental law.
Pablo Marin; Juan José Lima; Daniel Galdo
‘A professional knowledge of the laws of the country of Bolivia and an excellent attention and follow-up of the issues and the client.’
‘They solve problems no matter how complicated it is. Excellent results. We recommend Juan Jose Lima and Ivan Lima.’
‘Lima & Associates Law Firm has complied with the diligence or process that was required of them, achieving favorable results for our company, always being sincere about the legal situation of our company.’
- Advising Empresa Importadora Masivos (in liquidation) on a commercial dispute against former suppliers Alicorp (Peru), Carozzi (Chile) and Molitalia (Peru).
- Acting for LQ Sports TV Rights in collection processes against cable TV providers Cotas, Cotel, Cotautri.
- Assisting Excelsior Construcciones y Servicios with criminal, civil and arbitration proceedings against Troya, with whom it had partnered to provide services to Shell.
The energy and food sectors are sources of regular disputes work for Becerra de la Roca Donoso & Asociados S.R.L., with a recent flurry of activity in banking and finance too. The practice covers debt collection, conciliation, mediation, administrative and civil litigation, and managing partner Mauricio Becerra De La Roca is also a domestic arbitrator at the chambers of commerce in Santa Cruz, La Paz, Tarija and Cochabamba. He leads the practice, supported by senior associate Dario Martinez , who acts in litigation and arbitration proceedings in civil and commercial matters.
Mauricio Becerra de la Roca
Coface Services Perú
Ingenio Azucarero Guabirá
Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros Fortaleza
Industrias de Aceite
Totalenergies EP Bolivie
Sun and Seed
Feltros Portugueses (Fepsa)
- Acting for Coface on behalf of Banco Santander in an arbitration procedure at the ICC Court against debtor Coinser.
- Assisting Industrias de Aceite with initiating a formal request and summons to debtors of grain futures contracts and the following civil collection suits.
- Acting as arbitrator in a 3 arbitrator tribunal of an arbitration procedure initiated by heirs of company Exitel.
With strengths in debt collection and contentious real estate matters, ONTIER‘s dispute resolution practice has capabilities in both judicial and arbitration disputes. It has a solid client base in construction and oil and gas wherein it acts for domestic and multinational companies. Practice head José María Caballero Alcocer takes the lead role on all highlight matters, following the April 2021 departure of previous practice head Efraín Suárez, who was appointed Justice Secretary of the Department of Santa Cruz. Associate Laura Baldomar departed in March 2022.
José María Caballero Alcocer
‘The service offered is very good given that I am abroad and it complicates things a bit but they always keep me informed with all the processes.’
‘Debt recovery is a good team. Mauricio Saldaña treated me very well in the negotiation, then he appointed me as DR. Efrain Suarez took the case, he handled it very well and with good results, then the case was referred to Jose Caballero, a great team, at no time was the information or contact lost, they have great support and inspire confidence.’
José María Monasterio
Altea Ingeniería y Arquitectura
- Advised Centric Bolivia in the judicial process of debt recovery against Wallet.
- Assisting Cimientec with a conciliation and arbitration process initiated by the company Global RR.
- Advising Bolrental on the executive judicial process of debt collection initiated against HG Servicios Industriales.
Sanjines & Asociados Abogados
Domestic arbitration stands out as the primary differentiator of Sanjines & Asociados Abogados‘s dispute resolution practice, and its recent slate of matters has included distribution contract disputes in various industries, debt collections, criminal proceedings and lease contract issues. The department is led by Raúl Sanjinés Elizagoyen , who is the go-to contact for a number of key domestic clients. Paola Justiniano Arias and Daniela Aragonés Cortez are further contacts to note in the department.
Raul Sanjinés Elizagoyen
Banco Mercantil Santa Cruz
Granja Avicola Integral Sofia
Corporación Pentágono Asesorías e Inversiones (CPAI)
New York Beverage
Servicios Petroleros Ponex
Sociedad Administradora de Puertos Continental – Sapcon
- Acted for Alca Group in an arbitration against Caribout regarding the termination of a distribution contract.
- Advised CPAI on an arbitration claim to recover $5,1m in debt.
- Advised Tecna on the defence of an arbitration claim for $24m
Serrate Paz y Asociados
Administrative litigation and arbitration is the focus of the dispute resolution department at Serrate Paz y Asociados, where it acts for a broad spectrum of clients. The telecommunications sector is a historic strength of the firm and it represents its standout client Telecel in administrative litigation before the Bolivian Telecommunication Regulator, as well as in controversies with its competitors. Practice head Jose Mario Serrate Paz Ramajo is the primary contact for Telecel, while María Lía Serrate Paz Ramajo is the key name to note for administrative litigation. Elder statesman José Mario Serrate Paz, Sr has vast experience in arbitration, and associate José Miguel Paredes Sanchez is strong in commercial arbitration.
José Mario Serrate Paz Ramajo; María Lía Serrate Paz Ramajo
‘Dispute resolution is undoubtedly an area of specialty at Serrate Paz & Asociados. Extensive national and international experience. Extensive knowledge of the procedures and mechanisms of the subject.’
‘Customer Support. Ability to understand the relevant details of the topic. Ability to negotiate and create proposals that create value.’
‘Significant experience in national and international arbitrations in various industries (telecoms, hydrocarbons, trade). Think outside the box to identify opportunities.’
José Cartellone Construcciones
- Assessed Telecel in a proposed class action dispute regarding the payment of the use of telecommunication infrastructure.
- Acted for a construction company in the defence and counter claim of an arbitration process.
- Advising a construction company on an ad hoc insurance arbitration.
From its office in Santa Cruz, Urenda Abogados Sociedad Civil supports its domestic client base on the range of dispute resolution methods, with recent work highlights covering contractual disputes, criminal matters, and debt collection, among others. Founder and managing partner Juan Carlos Urenda oversees the practice alongside Vitalio Quiroga , who has over 30 years' experience as a litigator, and Edith Pedraza , a specialist in mining industry disputes.
Juan Carlos Urenda; Vitalio Quiroga; Edith Pedraza
Wayar & Von Borries Abogados S.C.
Wayar & Von Borries Abogados S.C. is especially well versed in international arbitrations taking place under ICSID, ICC and UNCITRAL rules. Partner and executive director Bernardo Wayar Caballero is an expert in both international and domestic arbitration, and serves as president of the Bolivian Arbitration Society. Bernardo Wayar Ocampo has broad arbitration experience and is active in international litigation too. Iver Von Borries is a further key contact.