Competition and antitrust in Chile
Now 23-strong (including a senior economist), Carey's antitrust group is 'young and energetic, very practical and clearly well respected by peers and by the authorities; it is used to working with multinational clients and adapts well to the styles and preferences of clients'. The practice advises on all aspects of antitrust law, including merger control, collusion, abuse of dominant position and compliance. It also has extensive experience representing both domestic and international clients in litigation before the Antitrust Court (TDLC) and the Supreme Court, as well as in investigations undertaken by the National Economic Prosecutor (FNE). In an ongoing mandate, Lorena Pavic ('extremely hardworking and committed to cases') is leading the team defending Cencosud (and two other supermarkets) against a chicken resale-price collusion lawsuit brought by FNE after what was reportedly the largest investigation the prosecutor's office had ever undertaken. Pavic also successfully defended the same client in a TDLC claim filed by a Chilean consumer association; a leading case, it is now on appeal at the Supreme Court which will have to decide whether the acquisition of "naked assets" constitutes a concentration, a ruling that will in turn impact upon the country's June 2017-enacted merger-control legislation. In what was one of the first cases under Chile's new mandatory regime, Claudio Lizana acted for Minerva Foods in a merger-control notification concerning the $300m acquisition of three beef companies from JBS; he also advised the client in what was the first-ever "gun-jumping" case in Chile (now settled). Partner-level support on the contentious-side comes from co-head of the firm's Judicial Group, litigator Juan Carlos Riesco who has considerable experience in contentious competition matters. The practice can also count on a core group of experienced associates, notably Francisca Levin , José Pardo, Camila Albornoz, Camilo Lledó , María José Villalón and Carolina Veas. Other significant clients include Bayer, Oracle, Enel Distribución Chile, The Walt Disney Company and Mastercard.
Claro & Cia.'s broad practice covers antitrust-related business structuring and regulatory compliance, in addition to acting in high-profile cases involving horizontal and vertical integration, collusion and price discrimination; the 12-strong team also advises on significant merger-control filings and settlement agreements. Recent mandates saw the team act successfully for CSAV in both a leniency application before the Antitrust Agency and as co-counsel in an administrative proceeding before the US' Department of Justice and the European Commission in relation to the car-carrier industry. It also assisted LATAM with a non-contentious proceeding initiated by the Chilean Association of Tourism Companies concerning two joint-business agreements the company sought to conclude with American Airlines and the IAG Group. Well-known figures Cristóbal Eyzaguirre and José Miguel Huerta co-lead the team; key associates Santiago Bravo, Juan Pablo Celis and Tomás Kreft all handle the contentious aspects of the practice as well as consultancy matters. Active clients include CMPC, CCU, Agrosuper, ENTEL, Banco Itaú Corpbanca and Nutrien.
Fielding an 18-strong team, FerradaNehme is 'a go-to firm for all antitrust issues' and is very highly-ratedfor its advice on significant cases before both the TDLC and the FNE. The practice is also noted for merger control, compliance and regulatory issues, and the competition law aspects of IP matters and the team can draw on lawyers with specific sector expertise in banking and finance, technology and telecoms. Recent headline matters include representing Walmart Chile in a leading cartel case involving the poultry market and which will see the TDLC define the boundaries between licit conduct and concerted practices in relation to alleged hub-and-spoke schemes (where several vehicles pool assets together). The team also assisted Chile's Economic Development Agency, CORFO, in its claim before the FNE in relation to the $4.1bn acquisition by Tianqi Lithium of a minority shareholding in Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile. Name partner Nicole Nehme is 'simply outstanding'; she co-leads the practice with Benjamín Mordoj and Diego Hernández , both recently made partners. The group was further strengthened with the hire of Mabel Ahumada from the FNE as director; also noted are directors Sebastián Dufeu, Tomás Pérez and Josefina Campos. Clients include Abengoa Energía, Acciona Infraestructura, COPEC, Transelec, JBS, Nestlé Chile and VTR.
Specialist competition and antitrust boutique Pellegrini & Cía. 'does a superb, tailor-made job and is dedicated to getting the best possible results'. The eight-strong practice is particularly noted for cases before the TDLC and Supreme Court, investigations conducted by the FNE, and the design and implementation of compliance programmes. Clients include ANATEL, Banco Security, Bice Group and CMPC. Recent headline work saw the firm successfully represent ACHET, Chile's association of tourism companies, in its opposition to the JBAs signed by Latam Airlines with American Airlines and the IAG Group: the conditional approval initially granted by the TDLC was subsequently overturned in the Supreme Court. Other matters include advising new client Claro Chile in various proceedings regarding Supreme Court rulings (and attendant divestment obligations) concerning the use and alleged hoarding of radio spectrum capacity. Founding partner Julio Pellegrini is 'an excellent, charismatic lawyer' who 'puts in remarkable performances at hearings'; while Pedro Rencoret has 'deep knowledge of competition law' and 'a great sense of strategy' - he 'takes care of every detail'. An excellent litigator who is very clear and precise', Francisco Blavi is also 'a great member of the team'. Associates María Jesús Cifuentes and Diego Ramos are both noted. The return of senior associate Fernando Zúñiga and the hire of junior Fernando Gazzella -January and March 2019, respectively- has also incrased practice capacity.
Baker McKenzie Chile regularly acts in claims before the FNE and TDLC as well as in merger-control matters. The seven-strong team is also increasingly assisting with compliance issues and has particular sector-experience in areas including banking, healthcare, insurance, construction, retail and infrastructure, along with mobile telecoms, mining and ports. Rio Tinto, Fedex, PayPal and Atlantia are all clients; the team assisted the latter obtain clearance for its public takeover of Spain's Abertis, one of the first merger-control procedures approved in Chile under the country's updated 2017 legislation. Other matters include advising Essity/SCA on an approximately $500m class action damages claim derived from the tissue-paper cartel case. Rodrigo Diaz de Valdes heads the practice and Diego Ferrada is noted for high-profile merger-control proceedings. Key support comes from experienced senior associate Juan Ignacio Donoso, a former deputy head at the Antitrust Division of the FNE.
Increasingly operating as a stand-alone practice, Barros & Errázuriz's 'very responsive team has an international outlook, including a good understanding of EU-law principles, which makes it easier to deal with'. The eight-strong group has longstanding experience advising across the full spectrum of competition and antitrust matters, including administrative procedures, associated litigation, merger control and compliance advice; notable clients include Marubeni, Vitol, Coca Cola Embonor, Agrosuper, AT&T and DirecTV. Recent mandates have seen the team particularly active in the fisheries sector, advising Grupo Inder (Salmones Friosur, Piscícola Hornopirén and Salmones Frioaysén), for example, on an FNE notification regarding the $229m sale of its Atlantic salmon business to Exportadora Los Fiordos. Senior partner José Tomás Errázuriz and practice head Luis Eduardo Toro both have strong litigation profiles and deep competition-sector expertise. Dedicated to the sector, Francisco Bórquez is 'excellent for Chilean merger control advice'; he and José Luis Corvalán are the senior associates to note.
'Always available for its clients', the team at Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos is highly-regarded for merger control and regularly acts in cartel and abuse-of-dominance cases. With a large base of consumer goods clients, the practice is noted for fielding lawyers with particular retail-sector expertise and it also assists with IP-related competition law matters. Key, active clients include Unilever, Warner Media, The Coca-Cola Company, Praxair, Ripley and Accor. Recent madates include representing American Airlines in the submission of a Joint Business Agreement for FNE and TDLC approval; and representing GNL Chile before the TDLC with regard to the structure of the gas market (an issue currently pending on appeal before the Supreme Court). Practice head Juan Cristóbal Gumucio 'has extraordinary capabilities during complex negotiations' and can call on Pedro Lluch for additional, experienced partner-level support. Former senior associate Jorge Grunberg left to establish Grunberg Puyol in mid-2018 but the practice was buoyed with the return of senior associates Camila Rojas and Elías Astudillo following their respective Masters' degrees.
The competition practice at Prieto Abogados handles contentious and non-contentious cases before the TDLC, representation before the FNE in cartel or abuse-of-dominant-position cases and (increasingly since the June 2017 reforms) merger-control review, along with preventative consultancy and compliance programmes. In TDLC matters, the team has been particularly active in the retail, agriculture, energy, banking and transport sectors. The dedicated four-strong team advises clients including Aguas Andinas, Banco Internacional, SURA and Transelec, calling on relevant partners including Claudio Undurraga (energy, infrastructure, arbitration), Fernando Samaniego (arbitration and litigation) and Juan Tagle (M&A) as necessary. Recent matters saw practice head Benjamín Grebe , who demonstrates 'strong expertise', lead the defence of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha in an antitrust lawsuit against six maritime transport companies for allegedly collusive agreement of tender terms in the interoceanic automotive transport market. Other work included the deisgn of a compliance program for Watt's and ongoing antirtrust advice to Puertos y Logisticas. Former senior associate Manfred Zink returned to the FNE in 2018 and was replaced by Nicolás Yuraszeck, himself returning to the firm after a period in London, most recently at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.
The six-strong team at Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana advises on access to markets, price distortions, anti-competitive behaviour and public procurement matters; has a growing merger-control practice and is particularly noted for its competition expertise in the agriculture, pharmaceutical, automobile and media sectors. Recent work higlights inlclude advising diversified financial services company Bicecorp on FNE notification of its acquisition of the life annuity portfolio of Seguros de Vida SURA; and CCU on the sale of its holding in Nutrabien to Grupo Bimbo subsidiary, Ideal, a transaction initially rejected by the TDLC but subsequently cleared on appeal. Practice head Guillermo de la Jara , who has specialist knowledge of the telecommunications sector, can now call on the support of former FNE litigator Daniela Severin , who was hired from Gandarillas, Montt, Del Río & Krause as a senior associate. Other clients include Enjoy, Grupo Copesa and Bayer.
Bulnes, Urrutia & Bustamante
The name partners at seven-strong, specialist-firm Bulnes, Urrutia & Bustamante present a formidable proposition. Senior partner Felipe Bulnes' return to private practice in 2016 after almost six years in public and ministerial positions has served to give renewed impetus to what was one of the original, competition-dedicated boutiques, where Enrique Urrutia and José Manuel Bustamante have over 30 years' experience in the sector between them. Further impetus and capacity came with the 2018 election of Gonzalo Vial to the partnership. The team is experienced in both advisory services and contentious matters; FNE investigations; litigation before the FNE TDLC, Supreme Court and Antidumping and Safeguard Commission of the Central Bank; counselling on commercial agreements, relations and policies; and the design and implementation of compliance programmes. Active of late in the international commerce, retail, insurance and cement sectors, among others, particularly in cases regarding collusive conduct, the team is also representing one of the interested parties in the retail sector in the non-contentious proceeding brought by Farmacias Cruz Verde regarding Transbank's pricing system.
The hire by Contreras Velozo of leading figure Javier Velozo, 'who has great experience' and the 'young but impressive' Pablo Pardo from Aninat Schwencke & Cia in 2018 to launch its competition and regulation department has immediately put the firm on the map in this sector. The antitrust practice 'provides interdisciplinary advice, including both legal and economic analyses and proposed solutions, in a short time'; it spans collusion, abuse of dominance, non-contentious proceedings and follow-on damages litigation as well as merger control matters. Recent work includes acting for Eukor Car Carriers in a global cartel case; key client Telefonica (Movistar) in abuse-of-dominance cases brought by mobile virtual network operators and spectrum-related issues, among other matters; and Embotelladora Andina in an excessive pricing lawsuit. Associate Valentina Chinni, who arrived with Velozo and Pardo, has moved to new firm Jana Charlin Cuevas Wegener Abogados.
The five-strong team at Morales & Besa focuses on antitrust litigation and FNE investigations, pre-merger filings and compliance advice. Headline work saw the team successfully advise Iron Mountain and Storbox on the subsciption of a conciliation agreement with the FNE, thereby ending a $1m litigation for an alleged breach of an extrajudicial settlment agreement; on the merger-clearance front, it assisted Praxair with the FNE clearance of ithe Chilean aspects of its $80bn global merger with Linde, among other matters. The practice is co-lead by Gonalo Cordero and former FNE anti-cartel unit head at the FNE, senior associate María José Henríquez. Also formerly at the FNE, mid-level associate Claudia Arce -who arrived at the firm in January 2018- is noted. Clients include Abertis Infraestructuras, SSA Holdings International Chile; Acciona Aeropuertos, SMU and EIG Global Energy Partners.
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría's competition practice is 'unique in terms of how it provides service ' and is 'fully committed to clients'. The practice advises on complex commercial practices and potential competition breaches, internal audits involving potential cartel cases and compliance programmes, and merger deal clearance. Recent work includes the successful representation of TV Medios (TVM) in an FNE investigation into TVM's acquisition of the shares held by Pontificia Universidad Católica in Canal 13. An 'excellent professional', Ignacio Larraín was made partner and senior associate Álvaro Espinosa is also well regarded. Other active clients include Linde, 21st Century Fox and Banco Santander Chile.
Fielding a six-strong team, Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr has longstanding experience in merger control matters, FNE investigations and the design and implementation of compliance programmes, as well as on international unfair competition matters such as anti-dumping and safeguard cases. Recent work highlights include assisting Soquimich with the competition law aspects of Chinese company Tianqi Lithium's $4bn-plus acquisition of Nutrien's 23.77% holding in the company. The practice is led by Gonzalo Rencoret and Nicholas Mocarquer, with key support provided by experienced senior associates Bernardita Schmidt and Raúl Gómez. Clients include Dow, Ferrero Group, Gerdau, ADM, Eli Lilly, Sony and BHP.
The eight-strong team at Albagli Zaliasnik is well regarded for its assistance with antitrust compliance programmes, FNE investigations, and litigation before the TDLC, civil courts and Supreme Court. Recent work saw the team defend 111 surgeons, members of a medical association, against collusion allegations brought by the Chilean National Prosecutor's Office. Regulated markets, public economic law and competition and antitrust specialist, Daniel López , heads the team. Key support comes from leading litigator (and founding partner), Gabriel Zaliasnik, and civil litigation practice head Ariela Agosin, whose competition-related activity reaches into advertising and IP mattters.
Alessandri & Compañía Abogados
The six-strong practice at Alessandri & Compañía Abogados has considerable experience in cartel and abuse-of-dominance procedures as well as in merger control, representing clients before the FNE and in both contentious and non-contentious proceedings before the competition tribunal. Recent matters saw experienced practice head Felipe Cousiño advise the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) on the regulatory and competition implications of the projected acquisition of a minority stake in Pattern Energy Group; and representing Zeal Sociedad Concesionaria (ZSC), as an intervenor-defendant, in a case brought by Terminal Pacífico Sur Valparaíso against state enterprise Empresa Portuaria de Valparaiso for prohibiting its competition with with ZSC. Cousiño is supported by key of counsels, Ximena Rojas and Camila Ringeling, and -on the contentious side- Raúl Montero , who heads up the firm's litigation department.
Bordoli Doren Abogados
Established in 2014, competition, regulated-markets and public-procurement boutique Bordoli Doren Abogados has particular sector experience in banking, energy, retail and transportation. Experienced practitioner Carla Bordoli regularly advises on antitrust compliance programmes - and both she and Cristián Doren are recommended for FNE investigations and TDLC cases. Current work includes advising Chileactores and Corporación de Directores y Guionistas Audiovisuales as an interested party in a non-contentious TDLC proceeding initiated by ANATEL regarding the regulation of IP-usage fees.
Coeymans, Edwards, Poblete & Dittborn
The four-strong team at Coeymans, Edwards, Poblete & Dittborn has particular sector expertise in real estate, construction and oil and gas; active clients include Salfacorp, Besalco Concesiones, Empresa Constructora Belfi and Megacentro Chile. Recent mandates include advising Icafal Inversiones, Ciudad Empresarial and Doppelmayr Chile Holding on the merger-ontrol procedure requierd by their joint venture (consortium) to participate in the public-works bidding process to undertake improvements to the Ruta Nahuelbuta. Practice head Juan Enrique Coeymans is highly regarded for cartel and abuse-of-dominance cases, as well as ongoing compliance advice.
Correa Squella's six-strong team is 'excellent for antitrust litigation'. Dispute resolution and antitrust department head Juan Ignacio Correa 'always thinks outside of the box and has great strategic vision'. Key support comes from litigation practice director (and partner) Jorge Sepúlveda and Carolina Squella, whose expertise in port-regulations gives the antitrust practice a particular niche strength. Indeed, Empresa Portuaria San Antonio -the country's largest public port- is a key client, as is Telefónica Móviles de Chile. In recent work the team acted for local pallet-manufacturing company, Redtec, in an abuse-of-dominant-position claim against Walmart Chile. Practice capacity was further enhanced in August 2018 whe senior asociate Carla López retured to the firm following her LLM in New York.
In 2018, BAZ|DLA Piper and NLD (Noguera Larraín & Dulanto) merged under the name DLA Piper BAZ|NLD; the firm is now known as DLA Piper (Chile). Recent work includes advising Cornershop Technologies on obtaining FNE approval of the sale of its operative companies in Chile to WalMart. Felipe Bahamondez heads the regulated markets and antitrust group. Key support comes from experienced counsel Blanca Palumbo, a former reserve member (ministro suplente) of the Tribunal de Libre Competencia; and Carolina Bawlitza, who joined the firm in August 2018 after six years at the FNE.
Estudio Lewin Abogados
Re-founded in late 2018, Estudio Lewin Abogados fields name partner and 'very good lawyer' Nicolas Lewin and Fernando Araya (whose former experience includes a decade at the FNE), both formerly of DLA Piper BAZ|NLD. The practice is focused on litigation before the TDLC, FNE investigations, merger procedures and competition law compliance. Recent work saw the practice defend Baxter in an FNE procedure concerning an alleged bid-rigging agreement in relation to Chile's public health system.
González & Rioseco
González & Rioseco regularly acts in proceedings before the Chilean Competition Tribunal and the Supreme Court, as well as assisting with FNE investigations and merger notifications. The team has sector experience in energy, telecoms, construction, banking and finance, media, real estate and insurance, among others; current ongoing work includes advising Entel, as an interested party, in a non-contentious TDLC proceeding initiated by ANATEL regarding the regulation of IP-usage fees. Andrés Rioseco leads the group and Francisco González is also a key adviser.
Guerrero Olivos' practice covers antitrust matters, merger control, preventative cartel behaviour and corporate compliance programmes; it is also experienced in investigatory proceedings before the FNE. The client list includes Antofagasta Minerals, Hertz Chile and Volvo Financial Services Chile; recent work includes defending a not-for-profit lending institution against an abuse-of-dominance case. Pedro Pellegrini is head of the combined competition, corporate governance and compliance practice. He is supported by extremely experienced senior associate Jaime Barahona; 'amazing and a pleasure to work with', his experience includes 15 years in different roles at the FNE and its preceding regulators.
Ugarte & Correa
An eight-strong competition and dispute resolution boutique founded in 2016, the former Ugarte Ried y Correa -now Ugarte & Correa, following Santiago Ried's August-2019 departure to Dentons- handles the full range of competition matters, including merger control issues, antitrust litigation and FNE investigations; it also assists with compliance work. José Joaquín Ugarte is noted for his regular representation before the FNE, TDLC and Supreme Court.
Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Ovalle, Salas & Vial
The six-strong team at Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Ovalle, Salas & Vial regularly acts for both national and international companies before the FNE and competition tribunal. Current mandates include acting for the Chilean Construction Chamber (CChC) in a voluntary TDLC procedure as well as on the development of an antitrust compliance program; and international scaffolding company AT-PAC, in a complex unfair competition claim involving alleged abuse of a dominant market position. The practice is co-led by litigators Gerardo Ovalle and Anibal Vial who have considerable experience handling complex cases before the TDLC; both are also active in the development of competition compliance programmes. Senior partner Arturo Yrarrázaval, a former Antitrust Court judge, brings additonal expertise to the group. Other clients include CriptoChile, GTD Manquehue and the Ministry of Social development.