Banking and finance in Latin America: International firms
As a region, Latin America has especially high levels of political and economic volatility. This has a considerable effect on the type of transactions that occur. With recent economic troubles in Brazil and Argentina, there have been a series of major restructurings and refinancings in the market. At the same time new-money lending remains relatively buoyant, particularly in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Renewable energy projects are prevalent across the region, as are transport infrastructure programmes, which all require significant sources of financing. Financing sources are multiple with export credit agencies (ECAs), multilateral agencies (MLAs) and development finance institutions (DFIs) having provided significant levels of finance in recent years. Having recovered from the effects of the global financial crisis, commercial banks have made a significant return to Latin America, while alternative lenders and debt funds are making their own impact. Firms that are able to target a range of lenders and financiers have typically led the market in recent years, while those that have strong presences in Asia have been able to tap into the growing flow of finance from the Far East, particularly China and Japan.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has long dominated the restructuring scene in Latin America, most recently in Brazil where it has worked on a series of headline engagements. The firm is also a recognised force in new-money lending, including acquisition and leveraged finance, project finance and special-situations financings. Clients include Grupo Inbursa, the ad hoc group of bondholders of Offshore Drilling Holdings, Empresas ICA, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), Telecom Argentina, Cablevisión Holding, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and Vitro. The firm advised Grupo Inbursa, the Mexican financial services company, on the restructuring of Mossi & Ghisolfi's debt in Brazil, Mexico and in the Chapter 11 cases brought by US affiliates; this involved obtaining approval of a $100m debtor-in possession financing and the sale of M&G’s US assets through a competitive auction resulting in the court approval of a bid that would pay Inbursa’s $430m secured loan. It also represented IMPSA, the Argentinian power and energy company on the restructuring of some $412m of US dollar-denominated bonds. In yet another headline engagement, it advised Empresas ICA, the largest construction company in Mexico, on its $3.5bn debt restructuring, including $1.2bn in global bond debt. The practice has 'strong technical skills and the ability to apply those skills to the business issue/problem that needs to be addressed in a timely manner', it 'certainly knows the theory and is practical and solution oriented'. Richard Cooper is widely acclaimed for his record in Latin America restructurings, including in Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico; he has 'a sharp legal mind, understands business and delivers extremely creative solutions'. Jorge Juantorena, though perhaps best known for capital markets issuances, is also a key figure in Mexico restructurings such as the $3.5bn restructuring of Empresas ICA, Mexico's largest construction company. Buenos Aires partner Andrés De La Cruz is another outstanding figure in debt restructurings and new money financings in Argentina and the Southern Cone. Chantal Kordula continues to impress in project finance and other financings in Mexico and other jurisdictions such as Argentina. Adam Brenneman is 'always someone who adds a lot to the transaction and is a pleasure to work with'; he is noted for his work in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru, and has a fine record in restructurings, refinancings and new-money financings. Sao Paulo's Francisco Cestero is also recommended for restructurings, especially in Brazil, particularly where acting for bondholders. Amy Shapiro and Duane McLaughlin provide additional acquisition financing expertise, often in Latin America transactions. Senior attorney Denise Filauro is also highlighted for financings and restructurings in the region. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
Clifford Chance has seen a further uptick in bulge-bracket financings across Latin America. With a growth in large-cap deals in Brazil, this has further favoured a firm that has an especially strong record in Latin America's largest economy. This should not detract from its experience elsewhere, as the firm 'does a very good job of covering the territory and has a strong fleet of Spanish speakers'. Syndicated loans and trade and commodities finance have been a particular feature of its Brazil work, while project finance is flourishing right across the region. The firm has built a particularly formidable position in Colombia and Argentina project financings and is recognised for its experience in restructurings in Brazil and Mexico, including in the offshore oil-and-gas sectors. From a historical reliance on multilateral agency (MLA) and development finance institution (DFI) clients, the firm has successfully diversified its client base to also include a range of key commercial banks, alternative lenders and corporate borrowers. Clients now include Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, CVC Capital Partners, Franklin Square Asset Management, Rialto Capital, Sealed Air and Siemens. It advised BNP Paribas, JP Morgan, Mizuho and Rabobank on the $9.2bn acquisition financing of Suzano Papel e Celulose's $11bn acquisition of Fibria; the financing involved a bridge loan facility and an export prepayment facility. The firm also advised Supercanal, the Argentine cable, television and internet provider, on its $400m restructuring involving Chapter 15 proceedings and a tender offer for its $300m New York law-governed notes. The team 'always meets its commitments and takes initiative more than any other firm to anticipate issues and provide solutions', according to one client. Chris Willott is a giant of the Brazil financing market, while Jennifer Demarco has a prolific record in Latin American restructurings. Jay Gavigan is another big name in Latin American financings and restructurings, including acquisition finance, syndicated loans and project finance. In the latter segment, Washington DC's Fabricio Longhin has made a significant impression on the market in recent years and is 'a very experienced practitioner across a range of products', 'maintains an outwardly cool demeanour, seems unflappable and is smart and reasonable'; he is one of a number of Argentine natives in the team that have helped the firm gain an especially strong position in financings linked to Argentina's recent RenovAr programme. Catherine McCarthy and Lori Bean are key members of the Washington DC team that continues to work closely with MLAs and DFIs on Latin America financings. Guido Liniado was elected to the partnership in May 2019 and senior associate Andrew Young is another up-and-coming name. Madrid partner José Guardo is commended for 'effectively negotiating with sponsors', 'professionalism throughout difficult negotiations' and is 'critical in keeping the deal moving'.
Milbank remains the dominant force in power and energy, oil-and-gas, and infrastructure financings, although its financing expertise stretches across most key products and jurisdictions in Latin America. The team is increasingly prominent in leveraged financings involving both bank and capital markets debt. The Latin America group is well stocked with senior practitioners who are supported by a sizeable cohort of high quality Portuguese and Spanish speakers. Clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Empresas Públicas de Medellín, I Squared Capital, YPF and Pan American Energy. The team advised Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe (CELSE) on the development and $1.5bn greenfield project financing of Porto de Sergipe I thermoelectric complex in Sergipe state,north eastern Brazil. In another substantial financing, the firm advised seven lenders on the $350m financing for the development and construction of the Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador. Moreover, it represented the institutional investors and commercial banks in the $815m bank/bond refinancing of the Fermaca El Encino Pipeline. The firm is 'one of the most experienced project finance law firms in Latin America', 'results oriented rather than ego-driven' and 'excels in finding a way forward on difficult or complex transactions'. Dan Bartfeld leads the firm's global project, energy and infrastructure finance practice and is co-head of the Latin America group; he is 'a very good manager', 'first choice in the market', 'efficient and non-combative', 'able to progress transactions during difficult moments', 'his depth of experience is second to none' and 'he gets the respect of his clients and manages a transaction in a way that other lawyers are not able to'. Bartfeld 'has assembled a fantastic team of very good Latin America partners' including Carlos Albarracin who is 'one of the standout guys' with a fine record in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina, especially in the oil-and-gas, power, mining and infrastructure sectors; he is a key name in relation to capital markets-driven financings. Carolina Walther-Meade is another top name, a Spanish and Portuguese speaking partner with excellent credentials in infrastructure, power, oil and gas, and mining. Roland Estevez is an emerging talent with an outstanding record in major project financings in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and elsewhere across Latin America; he is 'a tireless worker with an upbeat attitude that is often necessary in getting projects across the finish line'. Jaime Ramirez is also gaining market recognition for cross-border financings throughout Latin America with one client highlighting his expertise in Colombia especially. All named partners are based in New York.
Shearman & Sterling LLP has shown deep commitment to Latin America over the last few decades. Like many of its key rivals it stands out for its expertise in energy, infrastructure and mining-and-metals finance, although it has more than respectable credentials in a range of products including acquisition finance, structured financings and bank/bond financings. The firm has extensive geographic coverage from Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras, down to Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Argentina. Clients include Credit Agricole, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Transelec and Banco Nacional de México. The practice group advised Transelec Concesiones on a $358m loan facility (and associated interest rate hedging) for the individualised portfolio construction financing of four independent transmission lines and four associated independent substations in Chile; Export Development Canada, KfW IPEX-Bank and MUFG Bank acted as mandated lead arrangers. It also advised BBVA and the other lead arrangers on a $450m refinancing for Mexico's Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua; and Citibank and Santander on a club deal for the refinancing of Peruvian beverage company Grupo AJE, which has subsidiaries in more than 20 different jurisdictions. Denise Grant is an experienced and versatile finance specialist with an excellent standing in acquisition finance, refinancing and project finance. Gregory Tan leads the global project development and finance group, and is a recognised specialist in Latin America energy and infrastructure financings. Cynthia Urda Kassis heads the metals-and-mining practice and is 'fabulous to deal with', 'one of the senior finance practitioners out there', 'calm and thoughtful' and 'a real facilitator for clients in getting a transaction closed'; he 'deserves plenty of praise'. Alexandro Padrés has a particularly fine record in Mexico, Chile and the Dominican Republic, where he has worked on a series of headline power and mining sector financings. Augusto Ruiloba is the key name at senior associate level and is recommended by several clients.
White & Case LLP 's deep commitment to Latin America has resulted in an especially loyal and ever-expanding client base. While the international firm has an outstanding reputation among global banks, the Latin America team has also managed to build a hugely impressive borrower client base in the region. It is unique in being a New York-headquartered firm with a substantial presence in Miami, Mexico City and Sao Paulo, along with a growing practice in Houston. It is also one of few international firms to have significant financing expertise in Sao Paulo. The practice represents a range of major borrowers in Brazil and the Andean region, particularly in the energy, infrastructure and financial institutions sectors. It advised major client Petrobras (and subsidiary Petrobras Global Trading) on a $4.35bn revolving credit facility provided by 17 international banks. The firm is also gaining ground in Mexico where it advised a syndicate of lenders to Petrolera Cárdenas Mora, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Egypt-based Cheiron Petroleum Corporation, on the first-ever reserve-based lending transaction in the upstream oil-and-gas assets sector in Mexico; the bank syndicate was led by Natixis and the transaction was jointly led by the firm's Mexico City, Houston and London offices. In another landmark deal it advised the lead banks on the $640m project financing to Techgen, for a natural gas-fired combined-cycle 900MW electric power plant in the Pesquería area of the State of Nuevo León, Mexico. Other clients include Atlas Renewable Energy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Central Puerto, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Fibria Cellulose and Wells Fargo. The team 'has the knowledge and experience to provide an accurate service for transactions in Latin America', is 'always available to support and provide any legal advice while in the middle of a negotiation and transaction', is commended for its language skills and its Miami office, which is 'an excellent venue to schedule meetings between all the parties involved in the transactions'. It is also praised for its 'reliability', 'availability' and 'control of every single step of the negotiation/transaction'. Miami partner Carlos Viana has an outstanding reputation in Latin America finance, while New York's Sabrena Silver has helped to cement connections to New York-based banks. Sao Paulo leader Donald Baker has played a pivotal role in developing the firm's esteemed Brazilian client base and is 'an extremely good and effective lawyer and marketer', while fellow Sao Paulo partner John Anderson is winning many market allocades; 'practical and pragmatic', he is 'very good, nice to deal with' and 'is good at telling his clients what they should be asking for and knows when to rein people in for their own good'. Washington DC partner Victor DeSantis 'knows his way around a transaction' and 'has a lot of respect from his clients who will trust him when he tells them to do something'. Miami's Christian Hansen is a key name in aviation finance, while emerging names Jeannine Acevedo and newly-elected partner Thomas Pate split their time between New York and Miami. Miami counsel Anna Andreeva and associate Ana Maria Arias are 'outstanding professionals'.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP's relatively lean Latin America practice is largely centred in Sao Paulo, New York and Washington DC. Befitting a firm with such a giant profile in global banking and finance, the Latin America team has a broad product and geographic offering. Much of the practice is centred on development finance, including export credit agencies (ECAs), MLAs and DFIs. Jean Lee has returned to Washington DC from Seoul to reinforce the agencies side of the practice, which saw the retirement of David Slade in 2019. She has linked up with the up-and-coming Sami Mir who advises a range of agency and DFI lenders such as IFC, IDB Invest and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) on their Latin American financings. He is praised by one client for being 'instrumental in bridging the gap between an investment grade client and the usual requirements of an ECA'. He advised IDB Invest on the financing of the Naranjal and El Litoral solar photovoltaic projects in the Salto district of Uruguay. The Latin America practice is also well-connected amongst global commercial lenders and Brazilian banks, the latter thanks to the presence of Bruno Soares in Sao Paulo; Soares is noted for trade and commodity finance, corporate finance and project finance. He led the team that advised Bank of China on the ongoing financing for China Three Gorges's acquisition of Empresa de Generación Huallaga, the owner and operator of the 456MW Chaglia hydroelectric power generation plant in Peru. Other clients include BTG Pactual, Banco Safra, Banco Santander, Credit Agricole and Banco do Brasil. Clients praise the 'great teamwork of the export finance practice', 'efficient allocation of resources between the partner and the senior associate, deep knowledge of financing products and their specificities', 'patience and pedagogy', 'negotiation skills and finesse' of the partners and the team's 'skill and expertise in the region is first class'. Clients also highlight the team's 'honesty, availability to discuss and proactive behaviour', with one client singling it out it 'going the extra mile in de facto taking over the role of the coordinating bank and leading the banks in their due diligence'. Dorina Yessios is a key player on the commercial lenders side, particularly in relation to energy and infrastructure financings; she 'sees all sides of the discussion and clearly and effectively leads the discussion to an acceptable commercial position for all stakeholders'. She and associate Leona Say are 'a stellar team' with Yessios leading the group that advised Genrent del Peru on the refinancing, through a 4(a)(2) private placement, of the 80MW Iquitos power plant in Peru. Mark Manisty is a senior counsel in Sao Paulo and is noted for commodities, trade and export prepayment financings. Andrés Arnaldos has also joined the New York office from Milbank as senior counsel. Head of the US restructuring group and banking practice Ken Coleman is not part of the core Latin America group, but is singled out by clients as 'an outstanding attorney and a fierce advocate for his clients', 'highly knowledgeable' and with 'exceptional negotiation skills'.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's compact Latin America team has an established record in big-ticket financings, refinancing and restructurings. The group is primarily located in New York and Sao Paulo, advising an impressive mix of borrowers and lenders. Clients include Arcos Dorados, Banco de Credito del Peru, Banco Safra, CCR, Cosan, Elementia, Mexichem, Odebrecht Group, Santander, Sete Brasil, and Telemar/Oi. The team advised the joint lead arrangers on a $290m senior secured bridge facility for Peuco Finance, in connection with the tender offer by Tam Linhas Aéreas to acquire Multiplus and delist it from B3’s Novo Mercado. It also advised Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) on a $250m SACE-guaranteed facility agreement. James Florack is head of the firm's global credit group and head of the Latin America banking and finance practice. He has a significant focus on the region, including acquisition and leveraged financings. Manuel Garciadiaz is a widely acclaimed and versatile practitioner, noted primarily for his expertise in Latin America capital markets deals, but also in structured and project financings, and debt restructurings. The seasoned Stephen Hood and younger partner James Vickers are based in Sao Paulo and recognised for their expertise in project financings, including offshore oil-and-gas financings, as well as debt restructurings and refinancings. Chairman of the global credit group Joseph Hadley is also a regular adviser on Latin American financings and Timothy Graulich is at the forefront of restructurings in Brazil; among a number of headline engagements, he advised major creditor on the $20bn restructuring of Oi, the Brazilian telecommunications provider. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has an extensive banking and finance practice, most notably in syndicated financings in Brazil. Mexico is another growth market for the Latin America team, which is also active in Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay and Central America. The firm has an excellent standing among financial institutions that lend into or within the region, including Banco Santander, Mizuho Bank, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Credit Agricole, JP Morgan Chase, Natixis and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. It also has a growing number of multilatina borrower clients. The practice advised Mizuho Bank and the joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners on a $1.26bn syndicated revolving facility for Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the Mexican state-owned electricity utility; the syndicate included 12 financial institutions. It also advised the joint lead arrangers and joint book runners, along with a syndicate of banks, on the $1bn revolving credit facility for Enel Américas, Latin America's largest private energy company. The team is 'diligent, professional and knowledgeable' and provides 'personalized attention'. It 'looks for solutions according to the company's possibilities and options', 'knows the client very well and recommends or looks for solutions according to the strategy of the company'. Managing partner of the Miami office and co-chair of the firm's banking and finance practice, Amy Dulin is a recognised leader in Brazil syndicated and bilateral loans. She is 'always present in all the legal documentation negotiations', provides 'easy access' to clients and is 'well known in the Latin America market', having 'a lot of experience in different transactions in the region'. Co-head of the Latin America practice Federico Goudie is a versatile practitioner with especially strong connections in Paraguay; he is known for structured and trade financings, project financings and derivatives transactions. Ruben Diaz has a fine record in Central America financings. The firm's 'most responsive' and 'highly knowledgeable' aviation group delivers 'the best value proposition' with Mark Denham noted for aviation finance transactions in Brazil. Counsel Emilio Saiz is recommended for syndicated and credit-enhanced facilities.
Latham & Watkins LLP has a fine record in project and infrastructure finance, along with acquisition finance, trade and commodity finance, and hybrid financings involving capital markets elements. Notably, the practice advised Mexican energy company Fermaca on the $815m hybrid financing of its 420km gas pipeline in the states of Chihuahua and Durango, Mexico; the transaction involved a commercial bank credit facility and the issuance of fixed-rate global notes listed in Singapore. This is one example of the firm's strength in complex hybrid financings, bringing together its leadership in the energy and infrastructure segments and its deep experience in capital markets offerings. Other clients include Eletrans, AES Corporation, Barclays Bank and Société Générale. In another major transaction, the team advised Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Fund II on the debt financing linked to an oil refinery project in Mexico; lead partner on the deal Veronica Relea, a Puerto Rico native, is an emerging name in financings for project developers and lenders. Co-chair of the Latin America practice Antonio Del Pino has a fine record in both M&A and finance. Washington DC partner David Penna is an important figure in energy and infrastructure finance, as is Chicago and New York-based Roderick Branch in hybrid financings involving capital markets issuances. The firm's deep commitment to the region has been enhanced in recent times with a series of lateral hires, most notably in Spain; this included the former Prime Minister of Spain José María Aznar, who joined the firm in 2018 as a special adviser and has strong connections and influence in the Latin America region. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
Mayer Brown's deep commitment to Latin America has been in full evidence over the last decade with its association with Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown, created in 2009, and the launch of a Mexico City office in 2015. A large proportion of the Latin America practice centres on financings, including secured and unsecured financing, acquisition financing, project financing and structured finance. The firm has demonstrated particular prominence in bilateral loans, capital-markets driven financings and hybrid financings, and offshore oil-and-gas transactions. Clients include Banco Itau, Banco Santander, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Global Bank, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. The firm advised Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM), the multinational utilities company and leading multi-utility services company in Colombia, on a $750m syndicated credit facility. It also advised HSBC, as lender, on a $147m refinancing of a rig financing for Grupo México. Douglas Doetsch heads the Latin America practice and is at the forefront of securitisations and structured finance in the region. New York partner David Duffee is co-head of the global lending practice and has a solid record in acquisition and syndicated financings in Latin America. Washington DC partner Gabriela Sakamoto, a Spanish speaker who was born in Buenos Aires, has a major focus on Latin America and advises a range of commercial and agency lenders on financings in multiple jurisdictions. New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert is a leader in project finance and structured finance, including hybrid deals, and is fluent in both Spanish and Portuguese. Debora de Hoyos is also highly regarded, while restructuring partner Sean Scott is 'able to coordinate with overseas offices and is both an outstanding attorney and a tough negotiator'. Named individuals are based in Chicago unless stated otherwise.
Norton Rose Fulbright has exploited its extensive international network to make inroads into the increased capital flows from Asia. It remains a considerable presence in project and infrastructure finance, trade and commodities finance, and hybrid financings involving the capital markets; the arrival of George Baptista from Mayer Brown in May 2018 has added significantly to the firm's Latin America capital markets expertise. The sizeable finance team in Sao Paulo is active across Latin America including in Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay and Argentina; it frequently works alongside colleagues in New York and Washington DC. The 'team is really well prepared and has a lot of expertise', 'looks into all details and doesn't miss anything'. Clients include Banco de Brasil, ING Bank, Banco Rabobank International Brasil, LATAM Airlines, Vale and Enel Brasil. Mining-sector finance is a growth area for the department and it advised Lundin Gold on its $350m senior secured project financing for the $1bn development and construction of the Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador. In another major transaction a team advised Braskem on a $1bn syndicated revolving credit facility, one of the largest syndicated financings provided for a Brazilian entity in 2018. The team is also experiencing an uptick in engagements from alternative lenders and debt funds, and continues to be active in the restructuring segment in Brazil. Charles Johnson is a leader in Sao Paulo, where he has a broad mix of syndicated lending, restructuring, project finance, and trade and commodities financing work. Fellow Sao Paulo partner Daniel Spencer is a big name in project finance throughout Latin America, while Silvia Fazio, Michael McCourt and Alison Baxter are also important figures in Brazil. Raquel Bierzwinsky splits her time between New York and Mexico City and has a fine record in Mexico project finance. Washington DC partner Sarah Devine advises a number of multilateral agencies and development banks on Latin America financings.
Paul Hastings LLP is best known for big-ticket energy and infrastructure financings, though it operates across the debt space from syndicated loans to holdco refinancings and hybrid financings involving the capital markets. Key clients include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citibank, HSBC, Credit Suisse and Banco Itau. The firm advised HSBC Mexico, as sole lead arranger and bookrunner, on a New York law-governed revolving credit facility to Grupo Televisa, the leading media company in the Spanish-speaking world. It also advised EVM on an $80m private placement of senior secured notes to refinance the EVM I project, a 100MW open cycle gas-fired power plant in Axapusco, Mexico, subsequently assisting the company with a $740m bank and institutional-investor financing of the 850MW EVM II project, a combined cycle gas-fired power plant. It 'is a great team to work with, everyone is fully aware of the transaction and ready to respond in a timely and excellent manner'. It 'has sharp lawyers with good social skills and who are capable of identifying the key points of a negotiation'. Robert Kartheiser is 'a very strong player - reasonable and commercial'; he is acclaimed for his ability to operate in both Spanish and Portuguese, and his prominence in large-scale energy and infrastructure financings. Michael Fitzgerald is for many, the market leader in Mexico capital markets issuances, although he also has a fine record in commercial loans and syndicated financings. Joy Gallup is noted for structured debt products, debt restructurings and corporate finance. Arturo Carrillo and Elicia Ling are part of the next generation of partners in this space, with the latter noted for her ability to operate in Spanish and Portuguese, particularly in energy and infrastructure financings. Cathleen McLaughlin provides additional senior expertise in capital markets-driven and hybrid financings. At senior associate level, Thomas Sines has impressed in a series of 4G toll road financings in Colombia. Former head of the Sao Paulo office Roberta Bassegio has joined Marlim Azul Energia. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated.
Proskauer Rose LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP is relatively unique in that it has a large team of banking and finance specialists, based in its highly respected Sao Paulo office. They are supported by a strong Latin America team in New York. The banking and finance practice is especially noted for pre-export finance, syndicated and revolving loans, project finance and acquisition finance. It has also impressed in a series of debt restructurings and refinancings. Clients include Gillinski Group, Banco Santander, Banco GNB Sudameris, Frontera Energy, Groupo Salinas, LWS Securities, TV Azteca and Banco Itau BBA. The firm continued to advise the Puerto Rico Oversight Board on the restructuring of Puerto Rico’s financial obligations; the territory owes some $73bn to multiple creditors. It also advised Banco Santander on a $1.2bn trade finance facility for Petrobras. New York-based head of the Latin America practice Carlos Martinez is hugely experienced and versatile, with a notable record in debt restructurings in the region. Head of the Sao Paulo office Antonio Piccirillo is a recognised finance specialist with particular experience in pre-export and trade finance, project finance, restructurings and securitisations. Sao Paulo's David Fenwick is noted for structured financings, securitisation, debt restructuring, corporate loans and infrastructure finance. Fellow Sao Paulo partner Fábio Yamada is also prominent in pre-export financings, syndicated loans, debt restructuring and project finance.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is a recognised force in acquisition finance, project finance, syndicated lending, restructurings and structured export financings. Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia and the Dominican Republic continue to be key markets for the Latin America team, whose clients include Abengoa, Banco Itaú, Banco Santander (Mexico), Bank of America, BRF – Brasil Foods, Citibank, Copec, FIBRA Macquarie México, Grupo Cinemex, OHL, Rabobank and Vista Oil & Gas. The practice group advised Citibank and JP Morgan on a $1bn bridge loan financing to Eckerd Perú (Inkafarma), the largest pharmacy chain in Perú, to finance the acquisition of Quicorp, the operator of over 1,000 pharmacies in Perú and Bolivia, as well as on liability management within the InRetail and Quicorp groups. It also advised Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, as joint lead arrangers and bookrunners, on a $1bn Brazilian syndicated unsecured term loan facility to SKY Serviços de Banda Larga, the Brazilian operating subsidiary of DIRECTV Latin America. Other mandates saw the team advise Compañía de Petróleos de Chile (Copec) on its $150m term loan facilities provided by lenders Export Development Canada and The Bank of Nova Scotia. The team is 'unique in negotiating, designing and providing great advice'. Seasoned figure and co-head of the Latin America practice David Williams is one of themarket's most respected regional specialists and has a fine record in financings, most notably in project finance and debt restructurings; one client says 'he is maybe the best lawyer I have ever met', 'his negotiating skills are extremely good', and 'he is transparent with all the parties - but also very convincing'. Emerging talent Juan Naveira is 'following the same style'. Fellow co-head of the Latin America practice Todd Crider splits his time between New York and Sao Paulo, having a fine reputation in energy and infrastructure finance. Juan Francisco Méndez, Jaime Mercado and head of the Sao Paulo office Grenfel Calheiros are also recommended. Moreover, counsel Ismael Duran is singled out for praise by clients. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP continues to advise on many of the headline financings in Latin America. It has built excellent connections to a range of international, regional and local lenders and frequently advises big-name Latin American borrowers. It advised BBVA and HSBC as lead arrangers of a $700m syndicated credit facility for Vitro to repay existing debt. It also advised Citigroup Global Markets, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as joint lead arrangers and joint bookrunners, and Bank of America, as administrative agent, on a $749m senior unsecured credit facility to Grupo Energía Bogotá; this was one of the first truly syndicated facilities to a quasi-public company in Colombia. THe practice also assisted the lenders on a $395m loan to Albanesi Energía (Argentina), and its subsidiary Generación Centro (Argentina), for the construction of the 133MW de la Arroyo Seco cogeneration power plant and to refinance the development of the 170-megawatt Timbúes’ project. Alejandro González Lazzeri has a primary focus on Latin America, is admitted to practice in Mexico and has a fine record in capital markets and financing transactions.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a relatively small Latin America practice with a number of versatile practitioners that typically operate in the large-cap, highly structured or especially complex space. The firm has a fine record in big-ticket project finance, bank regulatory matters and financial institutions M&A. It also continues to be closely associated with the mining and resources sector in Latin America and is rated for its record in project bonds and hybrid financings, most notably in relation to the 4G toll road programme in Colombia. The practice advised Marcobre on the $900m project financing for the development of its $1.77bn Mina Justa copper project in Peru. New York partner Sergio Galvis continues to earn accolades from the market and is supported by a strong senior bench, including New York-based project finance leader Christopher Mann and Washington DC's Robert Risoleo, who is noted for project bonds.
Arnold & Porter's established connections to Latin America continue to bear fruit, both in the transactional and regulatory arenas. Stemming from a series of engagements for sovereign states in the 1980s, principally in connection with their debt restructurings, the firm cemented its standing with a number of ministries of finance and central banks, which in turn have led to a range of private sector bank relationships; the firm has worked with every president of Brazil’s central bank since the mid-1980s, most of whom have subsequently moved into the private sector. The firm is also a leader in bank regulatory matters, including in relation to Latin American banks’ operations in the US. Senator Christopher Dodd, a senior counsel in the firm and the man behind the Dodd-Frank legislation in the US, is playing a key role in further developing the firm’s regulatory initiatives, most notably in Brazil. On the transactional side, the firm’s merger with Kaye Scholer in 2017 has resulted in the Latin America practice having additional credibility in structured finance, securitisation and derivatives. Key jurisdictions for the practice include Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Peru and increasingly Argentina. The practice advised Peruvian agro-industrial company, Camposol, on its $200m senior secured term loan facility from Banco Santander and Coöperatieve Rabobank; and in another headline deal, advised Latin American electrical power and natural gas company, Grupo Energía Bogotá, on its $749m unsecured credit facility. Whitney Debevoise has an outstanding record in Latin America, most notably with a number of central banks -such as the Central Bank of Brazil and the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador- along with private sector lenders including Banco Itau and Banco do Brasil. Gregory Harrington is another recognised Latin America finance specialist with an excellent standing in Brazil and other key jurisdictions such as Peru. Senior counsel Neil Goodman is an experienced counsel to sovereign states including the Republics of Colombia, Costa Rica and El Salvador. Counsels Arturo Caraballo and Carlos Pelaez are also key members of the team. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.
DLA Piper LLP (US) has a unique Latin America platform, having achieved significant regional geographic expansion in recent years, including an office in Puerto Rico that is home to a number of senior New York licensed lawyers. Along with offices in Washington DC, New York and Miami, the firm is able to target an array of international and regional lenders and borrowers, and do so at competitive rates, depending on the location of the advisory teams. Clients include Standard Chartered, BTG Pactual, Natixis, Credit Suisse, Banco do Brasil, Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext), Exto International Investment and IDB. The team advised Bancomext on a trade finance programme with WorldBusiness Capital, which involves Bancomext guaranteeing US bank loans to US importers of Mexican goods and services. It also advised Banobras on infrastructure development loan facilities to Energía Eólica del Sur, Impulsoras de Proyectos Hidroelectricos and Cubico Sustainable Investments for the development of solar, wind and hydro energy infrastructure projects. Washington DC partner Gregory Smith has played a key role in developing the firm's connections to MLAs and DFIs in recent years, including those involved in Latin America financings. Washington DC of counsel Amala Nath has also impressed in energy and infrastructure financings provided by MLAs and DFIs. Miami's John Murphy is an experienced Latin America finance specialist who has an excellent record in energy and infrastructure finance, structured and trade finance, and syndicated lending. New York's William Candelaria is another recognised Latin America finance specialist, including in acquisition and project finance. José Sosa-Lloréns is a pivotal figure in Puerto Rico, frequently working alongside colleagues in New York and Miami on cross-border financings throughout Latin America.
Greenberg Traurig LLP has shown a commitment to Latin America that few firms can match. From its Miami headquarters and substantial presence in Mexico City, it has achieved particular prominence in cross-border financings, including those in Mexico, Central America and a number of South American jurisdictions. The firm is also increasingly active in financial sector regulation, compliance and anti-money laundering issues. Clients include Elementia, Xignux, Banco de Crédito del Perú, Cerveceria, Banco do Estado do Rio Grande and Republic of Panama. It advised Elementia, the Mexican producer and seller of building materials for the construction sector, on its $400m unsecured revolving credit facility. It also advised Chico’s FAS as the lead borrower on a $200m asset-based senior secured syndicated credit facility. Team members have 'deep knowledge of the market', 'are truly strategic', and 'the diverse team makes it exceptional'. It is 'truly dedicated, provides a great service and knows the business' according to one client. Nevertheless, the first half of 2019 has seen significant change, with the April departure of former firm vice-chair Patricia Menendez-Cambo to an-house position (as deputy general counsel at Softbank), followed in June by the departures of Randy Bullard and three other partners to establish Morrison & Foerster LLP 's new Miami office. Responding rapidly, internal reorganisation has seen Yosbel Ibarra ('smart, efficient, transparent, with unique personal and professional skills') take on co-management of Miami office while ceding leadership of the firm's now nearly 100-lawyer strong Latin America practice to Mexico City-office managing shareholder José Raz Guzmán and New York-based capital markets practitioner Marc Rossell. The departures leave Emilio Alvarez-Farré as the key figure in the team for banking matters; he has a fine reputation in large-scale financial restructurings and financings, most notably in Mexico. Named individuals are based in Miami except where stated otherwise.
Hogan Lovells US LLP remains best known for Latin American financings involving Asian lenders, and in transactions for quasi-sovereign and state-owned entities. It's highly esteemed Miami and Houston offices have especially close links to the region, with a number of Latin American natives based there. In addition, it has substantial teams in Mexico and Brazil. Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Honduras and Colombia are among its key markets. Clients include IFC, Republic of Ecuador, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, AES Corporation and Petrobras. The firm advised PetroEcuador and the Ministry of Finance (Ecuador) on a $970m credit facility from a syndicate of banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), The Export‐Import Bank of China and ChinaMinsheng Banking Corp; under the deal PetroEcuador has entered into a five‐year crude oil sale-and-purchase contract with PetroChina International to sell crude oil to PetroChina at market prices during the five‐year loan term. Co-chair of the Latin America practice and Houston partner Bruno Ciuffetelli has a fine record in infrastructure financings and bank regulatory matters. Miami based co-chair of the Latin America practice José Valdivia is noted for renewable-energy financings, including those involving MLAs. Miguel Zaldivar, who deserves recognition for financings involving Chinese entities, has relocated to Hong Kong to become regional chief executive for the Asia Pacific Middle East region.
Holland & Knight LLP
Holland & Knight LLP's commitment to Latin America has been a notable feature of the firm's global strategy. It has a significant team of Latin America-focused attorneys in its Miami and New York offices along with well established offices in Mexico City and Bogota. It has made a particular impression in infrastructure finance, especially the 4G toll road programme in Colombia; this is in part thanks to the presence of key Miami and New York partner Norberto Quintana. Clients include Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex), Belize Sugar Industries, Buenavista Renewables, Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), MUFG Bank, SMBC Aviation Capital, Banco Santander, Banco Sabadell and Wells Fargo. It advised FDN, Colombia´s infrastructure development bank, as credit enhancement provider for the Ruta del Cacao project financing, part of Colombia´s 4G road infrastructure initiative. It also advised Bladex as sole lead arranger and bookrunner on a $145m unsecured syndicated loan for Banco Aliado. The practice has 'great lawyers' who are 'hands on'. Stephen Double has a long track record with Bladex, the Panamanian quasi-bank, and is 'always zealous for his client but easy to work with'; he has a fine record in syndicated loans, project bonds, securitisation and structured finance. Peter Baumgaertner has joined the firm, along with senior counsels Daniel Brown and Frank Vivero , from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP to reinforce its standing in Latin America energy and infrastructure financings. Phillip Durham specialises in Latin America aviation finance, particularly for leasing companies. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is the result of a headline merger between legacy firms Hunton & Williams LLP and Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP in April 2018. The merged firm has a major focus on Latin America with some 40 attorneys in Miami, almost all having a significant emphasis on the region. It has an especially strong standing among Latin American financial institutions, MLAs and DFIs. Energy and infrastructure finance is a particular forte of the firm, which has key finance specialists in Washington DC and Houston. Clients include Fondo de Inversión Inmobiliario Multifondos, IDB Invest, Energia del Pacifico, Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, RAM Telecommunications, Corporacion Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura (CIFI) and Promerica Financial Corporation. It advised IDB Invest and IDB on a treasury loan from FDN, the proceeds intended for IDB and IDB Invest’s financing of infrastructure projects in Colombia, including its 4G road infrastructure programme, and in energy, logistics and production, and social infrastructure. It also advised CIFI on a $50m long term facility for Global Quality Steel Latam,the Swiss global reinforcing steel manufacturer with subsidiaries in Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; the financing is to support projects throughout Latin America including Lima Metro Line 2 in Peru, Siervo de la Nacion Highway, Guadalajara Metro L-3 and Toluca Railroad in Mexico, Quito Metro L-1 in Ecuador and Magdalena Highway in Colombia. Clients praise the 'unique' and 'highly knowledgeable' team's ability to understand banks and their key products, along with knowledge of the region and specific markets conditions. Head of the Latin America team Fernando Alonso is extremely well-plugged into the region and is frequently engaged in financing transactions. Fernando Margarit is another experienced Latin America specialist with a tremendous record in cable and telecoms infrastructure; he is 'always available and can resolve many issues on a simple phone call'. Washington DC's Vera Rechsteiner has a strong connection to IDB Invest and frequently advises the DFI on financings in Latin America. Doris Rodríguez is a Houston partner and Mexican native with a fine record in oil-and-gas financings. Uriel Mendieta is recommended for structured finance and project finance. Washington DC's Siddharth Sethy impresses at associate level. All named individuals are based in Miami unless stated otherwise.
Jones Day has a significant finance practice with notably strong teams in New York, Miami and Mexico City. The firm has impressed in syndicated and bilateral loans, lending to Latin American banks and project finance. It has strong connections to commercial lenders, MLAs and DFIs, Spanish sponsors and Latin American borrowers. It has a significant focus on transportation infrastructure and renewable energy financings. It is also fast developing its experience in special situations financings. Clients include Grupo Aeropuerto de la Cuidad de Mexico, JP Morgan, Bank of America, IDB, Citibank and Abengoa. The practice advised Terminal Portuario Paracas (as concessionaire), and Servinoga Pattac Empreendimentos e Participações and Tucumann Engenharia e Empreendimentos (as sponsors), on a $183m long term financing to fund construction costs relating to the expansion of the Pisco port in Peru. It also advised IDB Invest on a $50m dual tranche loan to Banco Regional de Paraguay, which the bank will use to make agribusiness loans to small and medium sized enterprises in the region. New York partners Robert da Silva Ashley and James Salerno are widely recognised for their Latin America financing credentials, as is Miami's Fradyn Suárez who has strong connections to commercial and agency lenders. Mexico City's Alberto de la Parra is a big name in the jurisdiction, particularly in relation to infrastructure financings. Miami partner Richard Puttré is recognised for renewable energy financings.
Linklaters LLP has centred much of its attention on Brazil and Argentina in recent years with additional pockets of activity in Colombia, Chile and Peru. The firm has cemented a series of big-name lender and borrower relationships. While deal activity in Argentina has declined, the firm has positioned itself for bulge-bracket restructuring transactions. Clients include Marfrig Global Foods, Tecpetrol, Cementos Argos, Itaú CorpBanca, ICBC, Citi, Braskem and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking. The firm advised Tecpetrol, Tecpetrol del Peru and Tecpetrol Bloque 56 as co-borrowers on a $200m loan facility provided by Banco de Credito del Peru, BBVA, Banco Continental, Citibank, and JP Morgan Chase. It also advised a consortium of banks on a $750m export-prepayment term loan facility for Suzano, the Brazilian pulp and paper leader in order to refinance existing debt and finance pre-export and import transactions. Michael Bassett is a solid banking and finance all-rounder with a significant focus on Latin America; having worked on a series of oil-and-gas financings, he remains active in a range of financing products and Latin American jurisdictions. Matthew Poulter has achieved considerable success in Brazil, where he represents a number of major corporates and financial institutions on capital markets and financing transactions; his clients include Marfrig Global Foods. Co-head of the Latin America practice, Conrado Tenaglia covers both capital markets and finance with a particularly fine record in Argentina; he and counsel Andrew Compton are 'outstanding lawyers with deep knowledge of key industries', with Compton singled out for his 'hands-on, very reliable and focused' approach. Brazil native Gabriel Silva has been elected partner and splits his time between New York and Sao Paulo. Project finance partner Eamon Nolan joined Vinson & Elkins LLP. All named individuals are based in New York.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a longstanding record in bilateral and syndicated loans in Brazil. It is also a recognised leader in bondholder debt restructurings and is a growing force in private placement-driven financings. Brazil is an especially active market for the firm, particularly in relation to bilateral and syndicated loans for the likes of HSBC. Other clients include ING, National Bank of Kuwait, Prudential, Met Life, OTPP, Bank of America and SMBC. The practice advised burgeoning client ING Capital as arranger, agent, and lender on an $80m leveraged financing for Blackstone and Riverwood's acquisition CPS Comunicaciones, the Argentine telecoms services company. 'The practice team is very knowledgeable, focused, experienced and has very good interpersonal skills', according to one client. It is also 'very experienced and knowledgable of Brazil, which helps it to navigate between civil law and common law'. Co-chair of the Latin America practice Thomas Mellor has a longstanding connection to HSBC, particularly in relation to bilateral and syndicated loans, refinancings and restructurings; 'he is an expert in the field and has a lot of experience in dealing in multi-jurisdictional transactions', 'knows the market and the region', 'is always available and doen''t crack under pressure' and 'has the mental flexibility to adapt his US common law mind to the Brazilian civil law system'. Timothy DeSieno is a recognised leader in Latin American restructurings, including sovereign restructurings, often representing creditors including banks and bondholders. Houston partner Felipe Alice, previously practised in Brazil and is another key figure in restructurings and refinancings in the jurisdiction. Hartford partner Daniel Papermaster is noted for private placement financings and recently advised an institutional investor group on an $800m private placement financing for the US subsidiary of Coke Mexico. New York-based associate and Mexican native Luis Torres-Cervantes is a key name at associate level.
Baker McKenzie LLP 's ubiquity across Latin America affords it especially strong connections to regional borrowers and lenders. It has a broad product and geographic coverage, ranging from acquisition and aircraft financing to restructuring, project finance and regulatory issues. Clients include Mizuho Bank, Korea Development Bank, Central American Bank for Economic Integration, Banorte, Canadian Imperial Bank and Marriott International. The team advised the mandated lead arrangers on a $1.3bn syndicated credit facility for Petróleos del Peru (Petroperú) relating to the Talara refinery modernisation project. It also advised a consortium of banks on a $400m unsecured syndicated senior loan to finance Peruvian consumer goods conglomerate Alicorp’s acquisitions of Bolivian companies Industrias de Aceite and ADM SAO. The team is 'solid, capable and experienced in different transactions' and is commended for understanding clients' commercial objectives and 'style of work'. The practice 'knows specifically how banks work and what type of issues are important for them', helping clients to 'anticipate many issues and help transactions to progress'. It 'has unique and multi-disciplinary expertise in international business where thorough and detailed knowledge of the regulations of different countries is needed at the same time' thanks to the presence of 'experienced and business oriented professionals in many countries'. Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja leads the Latin America finance practice having joined the New York office from Chadbourne & Parke in 2017. Rafael Berckholtz is another prominent name who splits his time between New York and Lima. Other key partners include Juan Carlos de los Heros Echecopar at Peruvian associate firm Estudio Echecopar member firm of Baker McKenzie International in Lima and Helen Naves at Brazilian associate firm Trench Rossi Watanabe in Sao Paulo. Gabriel Gómez Giglio in Buenos Aires and Mexico City's María Casas are 'business oriented professionals' who are 'capable of providing precise advice with short and to-the-point answers'.
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has shifted its emphasis away from Venezuela to Mexico following changes in the political administration and the ensuing political instability. Key clients now include PNC Bank, Grupo Posadas, Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (Banobras), Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext) and Nacional Financiera (Nafin). Rodrigo Valverde Sánchez is the key figure in Mexico City where he advised PNC Bank, as administrative agent and lead arranger, on a $135m secured revolving credit facility for C&D Technologies. He also led the team that advised Banobras, Nafin and Bancomext as senior lenders, on the restructuring of a $1.7bn credit facility for Altán Redes, the concession-holder for the development of a 4G fiber optic network in Mexico.
Dechert LLP has achieved immense prominence in a series of major restructurings involving Brazilian corporates. Co -eader of the firm's financial restructuring group Allan Brilliant has represented the bondholders in a number of headline restructurings in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Puerto Rico. He continued to lead the team that advised the international bondholder committee in the restructuring of Oi and its subsidiaries, the largest telecommunications company in Brazil. He also led the team that continued to advise the ad hoc noteholder group on the potential restructuring of Samarco Mineração, the Brazilian mining group. Additoinally, his team represented Aurelius Capital Management and Alden Global Capital, as the largest holders of bonds issued by OAS, in the Brazilian engineering and construction company's Chapter 15 bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings in Brazil.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is primarily known for project and infrastructure finance, along with general corporate finance and leveraged loans. It continues to have a notable niche in structured products and project bonds, and the countries of the Pacific Alliance -Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Peru- are its primary markets. An outstanding reputation in anti-money laundering, white collar crime and investigations, is another key element to the firm's overall finance offering. The practice group has a particularly strong record with project sponsors; its clients include Ruta del Maipo Sociedad Concesionaria, Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico, Gran Tierra Energy, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. Recent mandates include advising Ruta del Maipo Sociedad Concesionaria on a refinancing of the 237km stretch of Ruta del Maipo, which connects Santiago-Talca and Santiago’s South Access in Chile; and Deutsche Bank on a $300m term loan facility to Telecom Argentina. New York partner and co-head of the Latin America practice Tomer Pinkusiewicz has an outstanding record in infrastructure financings.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills has a fine record in energy, oil and gas, mining and infrastructure financing. The Latin America practice is especially prominent in Brazil thanks to the presence of Portuguese and Spanish speaking New York partner Edward Dougherty. Resource related finance in Chile is another key feature of the practice. Moreover, the firm's London office is increasingly active in reserve-based loans in Brazil and its prominent Asia practice has helped the Latin America team to target flows of capital coming from that region. Clients include Marubeni, Mitsubishi, GranEnergia, Abengoa and IFC. It advised GranEnergia on the refinancing of its long-term facility for the floating hotel Olympia, used as support for pre-salt oil exploration and production. Newly elected London partner Pedro Rufino Carvalho previously practiced in Brazill and has extensive experience in the oil-and-gas industry, while William Breeze, also London-based, is another senior figure with considerable experience in trade and commodities finance in Latin America.
Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley Austin LLP has a longstanding connection to Latin America, deepened further by a growing contingent of Latin America experts in its Houston office. The firm has been at the forefront of structured finance and securitisation transactions, fund-driven financings and energy sector loans. The practice group also has extensive bank regulatory expertise. Carlos Rodriguez is a specialist in asset-based finance transactions, including securitisations of residential and commercial mortgage loans, credit card receivables and trade receivables. Alyssa Grikscheit is noted for financing transactions linked to alternative investment funds. David Asmus and Brian Bradshaw are prominent figures in project finance and corporate financings in the oil-and-gas and LNG sectors.
Illustrious Spanish firm Uría Menéndez has deep connections to Latin America and through its association with Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, it has a presence in Colombia, Peru and Chile. Moreover, it has its own office in Mexico and a dedicated group focused on Brazil, while it is unique in having a Cuba desk in its Madrid headquarters. Over the last decade and more, the firm has worked intensively in restructurings, refinancings and non-performing loans, particularly in relation to Spanish clients' operations in Latin America. Clients include Banco Santander, Eximbank of Russia, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Grupo Centennial Towers and Banco BTG Pactual. The firm advised Banco BTG Pactual, CIFI and Banco Pichincha Panamá on a $50m loan for the Vial Montes de María toll road in northern Colombia, part of the nation's 4G infrastructure programme. It also advised the lenders on a short-term $60m financing for the Pasto-Rumichaca road concession in Colombia. The team is praised for its 'knowledge, quality of work, profound understanding of the client's requirements', 'capability to cover all diferent angles of one single transaction' which makes it 'outstanding' and 'undoubtedly a preferred partner'. The team is praised for its 'strong knowledge of Spanish law' and 'always pointing out the risks clearly and giving the tools to clients to take decisions'. Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira and Ángel Pérez López are key partners in Madrid - both have a great deal of Latin America experience; the latter is commended for his 'know-how, experience, attention to detail together with devoted service and loyalty', which 'makes him the ideal lawyer to trust when you have to deal with complex transactions'.
Winston & Strawn LLP has a core team of experienced and prominent Latin America specialists. The versatile team covers a range of banking and finance, capital markets, M&A and projects and energy business, and has excellent connections to lenders and corporate borrowers throughout the continent. of Latin America practice co-chairs Talbert Navia and Allen Miller, along with Claude Serfilippi, have worked together for many years and lead a substantial team of Latin America-focused practitioners. Clients include Empresas Públicas de Medellín, Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), Enel Américas, Pampa Energía, Greenwind, Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC). Navia led the team that advised FDN along with Los Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones Colombianas (AFPs), on their co-investment agreement with Caisse de Dépôt et Placement su Quebec (CDPQ) to jointly finance infrastructure projects in Colombia; the agreement is intended for long-term equity investments up to a total of $1bn in infrastructure projects and companies. The practice group also advised Empresas Públicas de Medellín, as borrower, on the financing of the construction of the 2,400MW Ituango Hydroelectric Project in Medellín, Colombia; and Enel Chile on its $2bn senior unsecured bridge loan facility, among other mandates.