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Carey’s full-service environmental, indigenous and regulatory practice is highly rated for large, complex matters in areas such as mining, non-conventional renewable energy and aquaculture; and the environmental litigation team regularly works alongside the firm’s disputes resolution group on administrative disputes. Highlights included advising Hidronor, which operates in the industrial waste sector, on strategic environmental analysis and associated advice concerning the development of a new phase of the largest security landfill for industrial waste in southern Chile. In contentious matters, the team defended concrete producer Melón against a claim for alleged environmental contamination damage filed by fishing organisations. Alberto Cardemil is highly rated; Rafael Vergara has vast experience in regulatory and environmental evaluation procedures, due diligence and audits; and counsel Felipe Meneses focuses on environmental and indigenous law, territorial planning and regulatory matters, including complex administrative disputes and litigation.

FerradaNehme is ‘focused on solutions and problem solving and not billable hours’. Patricio Leyton, who ‘delivers succinct and sound legal advice’ and ‘finds practical and intelligent solutions to problems’, is recommended for environmental permitting, co-ordination with political authorities and negotiating with communities. Valeria Ruz has vast experience in environmental assessment procedures, permit procurement, and environment-related administrative and judicial litigation; Luis Cordero heads the public law group. Ongoing matters saw the practice continue to provide legal and strategic environmental support during the permitting process of the Quebdrada Blanca mining project (phase 2), which involved community matters (particularly indigenous issues) and the use of underground water in northern Chile. In other high-profile matters, it acted for Chile’s state-owned copper mining company, Codelco, in a suit filed by a fishermen’s union against the Environmental Authority and thirteen companies (including the client) for the alleged reparation of environmental damage. Director Carola Salamanca is also highly regarded. Senior associate Camila Noguera joined from Correa Squella.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría fields lawyers who are experienced in domestic environmental matters and procedures; international operations involving environmental issues; environmental litigation; and the environmental requirements of energy projects. In addition, the practice is well known for assisting with the political and social aspects of projects and interacting with local authorities. The team advised Copec, through one of its related companies, on the strategy surrounding the remediation and subsequent development of land that was previously used for petroleum and hydrocarbon storage. Chile practice head, Juan José Eyzaguirre led the defence of Compañía Minera Maricunga against a sanctions procedure brought by Chile’s Environmental Superintendence (SMA) regarding allegations of significant environmental damage to several wetland areas. Key senior associate, Paulina Toro, was previously a member of the Legal Division of the Executive Directorate of former National Environmental Commission, CONAMA.

Particularly well known in the market for its environmental law advice on significant energy and mining projects, Vergara Galindo Correa Abogados’ ‘reliable and impressive practice’ covers compliance issues and enforcement procedures, as well as environmental-related disputes, including criminal environmental matters and sanctions procedures before the administrative authorities. Javier Vergara has ‘a longstanding reputation for excellence’; and Mario Galindo and Pablo Ortíz are highly rated for their dispute resolution credentials. The other key advisers are Eduardo Correa, environmental evaluation specialist José Luis Fuenzalida, Cecilia Urbina and Winston Alburquenque.

Barros & Errázuriz provides ongoing environmental legal advice to major Chilean transmission and power generation company Colbún, as well as to a number of oil companies; the practice also regularly handles cases before the Environmental Courts and the implementation of environmental compliance programmes. Recent matters include advising Interconexión Eléctrica on the environmental impact evaluation for the construction of the Cardones-Polpaico power transmission line. José Tomás Errázuriz and Fernando Garrido lead the 11-strong team. Senior associate Matías Montoya’s ‘practical knowledge is second to none’.

Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos advises on the environmental law aspects of the development of power plants and industrial facilities and is increasingly active assisting with sanctions procedures before the authorities. The team advised EPM Chile regarding environmental issues related to its Los Cururos wind farm, including presentations submitted before the Environmental Evaluation Service and the Superintendence of the Environment. Gonzalo Jiménez and environmental and regulatory law specialist Martín Astorga are the key names.

Correa Squella’ Claudia Ferreiro leads both the environmental and public law groups. Her practice covers public concessions and authorisations, environmental impact assessments and litigation in sectors such as energy, mining, forestry, agriculture and manufacturing. The team acted for Empresa Portuaria San Antonio on the environmental aspects of the development of a large-scale port project which involves the construction of maritime terminals, a seawall and entry point works. Martín Gubbins is also highly regarded.

Widely respected for its advice on environmental assessments, permits and environmental law-related disputes, the scope of Cubillos Evans Abogados’ practice includes environmental compliance matters and claims before Chile’s Environmental Tribunal and administrative authorities. Practice highlights included advising Eletrans on the complex environmental evaluation of a 125km transmission-line project that cuts through protected coastal mountain areas; and Puerto Viluco on the successful dismissal of the environmental objections to its construction of a logistics centre. Departmental co-heads Gonzalo Cubillos and Fernando Molina are the key points of contact. Associate Paulina Sandoval is another name to note.

The 11-strong practice at Guerrero Olivos is particularly active on the environmental law aspects of real estate, energy and mining projects, as well as acting before relevant bodies (such as the Environmental Superintendence, Environmental Courts), assisting with contentious environmental matters and advising on the implementation of environmental compliance programmes. Recent work included successfully assisting Banmerchant on the obtaining of all necessary licensing for its El Alto project, a process that resulted in the establishment of a new legal term, "conservation easement" (‘derecho real a la conservación’) which was implemented by Law No. 20,930. Martín Santa María, Clemente Pérez and Sebastián Abogabir are key advisers.

Jara Del Favero & Ried Fabres Abogados advises on the environmental regulations surrounding the use and management of natural resources, particularly water resources, minerals, fisheries and forestry. Other areas of strength include assisting with the environmental impact assessments of investment projects, the establishment of internal corporate environmental management systems, and environmental appeals and defences in both administrative and judicial courts (involving protection remedies and environmental damage claims). Recent matters include strategic environmental advice to Monsanto Chile in relation to the operational efficiency of its Paine seed plant. Gabriel Del Favero Valdés and senior associate Hipólito Zañartu Rosselot are highly rated; Julio Lavín Valdés left the firm to found LAVÍN Abogados & Consultores.

Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr has been active, recently, advising on waste management matters, emissions’ regulations, odour contamination and air quality issues, and water administration matters. Recent mandates include assisting Enel Generación Chile with obtaining the environmental permits for the construction and operation of satellite regasification plants; and providing environmental legal assistance to Sociedad Vinícola Miguel Torres, whose vineyards were affected by a tannery that emanated putrid odours and made an unregulated discharge of liquid industrial waste. Ignacio Urrutia ‘provides excellent legal knowledge and solid advice’.

Araya & Cía. Abogados is best known for providing legal advice to the agricultural sector in Chile, as well as to communities affected by environmental damage. Typical work includes advising on environmental impact assessments, permits and environmental litigation. The team also assists with perfecting titles to water rights as well as defence against fines levied for violations of Chile’s Water Code. Sebastián Leiva is the principal adviser.

Arteaga Gorziglia & Cia Abogados is well known for its environmental law and regulatory compliance practice, with transaction-related environmental due diligence and environmental law litigation particular fortes of the group; it also specialises in power generation and manufacturing-related environmental matters. Name partner Ignacio Arteaga E and senior associate Pedro Lagos C are the main contacts.

Bofill, Mir & Álvarez Jana handles environmental law as a subset of its broader public and environmental law practices and the team has a strong focus on environmental compliance, due diligence and litigation, as well as on the processing of environmental assessment consultations. Recent matters include the defence of Minera Candelaria before a sanctioning procedure by the Environmental Superintendence, while ongoing matters include acting as standing environmental counsel to Mitsui regarding all its local and environmental issues. Guillermo de la Jara and senior associate Cristián Franetovic are experienced practitioners.

CMS Carey & Allende’s experience includes the environmental impact assessment of mining projects, power plants, and power lines. Recent work saw the team advise Hidroeléctrica Doña Alicia on the environmental impact assessment of a hydroelectric power plant in southern Chile, and also assist Interasea Chile with an administrative procedure initiated by the Environmental Superintendence with regard to a landfill owned by the municipality of Puerto Vara and operated by the client. Senior associate Aldo Poblete heads the practice and Pabla Gaínza is also a key contact.

Carcelén, Desmadryl, Guzmán & Tapia regularly assists with the environmental law issues surrounding energy and mining projects, including environmental compliance issues and defending sanction matters. The practice is also recommended for water-law rights and forestry-related matters. Name partner Rodrigo Guzmán is highly rated.

Claro & Cia. regularly advises on the environmental side of construction projects involving renewable energy, hydro, thermo-electric and combined-cycle power plants, as well as transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines. The practice advised Chilean miner Anglo American Sur on the environmental aspects of several matters, including the modification and maintenance of pipelines that carry mineral pulp, tailings and recycled water. Nicolás Eyzaguirre is highly regarded.

Larrain y Asociados advises both large and small companies on the environmental law aspects of industrial projects, including environmental evaluations. The practice is experienced in obtaining environmental permits and licenses, handling environmental standards, auditing and due diligence during investigations, and undertaking environmental damage lawsuits. Jorge Granic and Cristóbal Morandé are the names to note.

Morales & Besa hired senior associate and new head of the firm’s environmental department Paloma Infante M from the Ministry of the Environment, where she formerly led the legal division and environmental regulation department. The team assisted Parex Chile with submitting an administrative claim for an environmental permit amendment, regarding a nitrogen oxide compensation plan.

Morales & Besa - Spanish translation: Morales & Besa contrató a la asociada sénior y nueva jefa del Departamento de Medio Ambiente de la firma, Paloma Infante M., del Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, donde anteriormente dirigió la División Jurídica y el Departamento de Normativa Medioambiental. El equipo asistió a Parex Chile en la presentación de una demanda administrativa para la enmienda de un permiso ambiental, con respecto a un plan de compensación de óxido de nitrógeno.

Prieto’s environmental team advises both domestic and international clients on environmental matters during project developments, environmental assessments, and environmental compliance. However, former senior associate Aldo Cardinali who arrived in May 2017 to head the department, was appointed head of the Mining Ministry’s Sustainable Development division in April 2018 and has left the firm. Associate Isidora Ilharreborde is now the primary point of contact. Active clients include YPF, Quilacoya Consultores and Viña Santa Carolina.

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