Banking and finance in Latin America: International firms

Demand for banking and finance expertise in Latin America remains high, especially when taking into account the frequency of debt restructurings and financial distress in the region. These situations have only increased following the Covid-19 pandemic, with airlines and other industries requiring urgent refinancing, debt restructuring or US Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. For international law firms, the Latin America presents a growing number of opportunities, notably with the mounting prevalence of US-dollar financings in Brazil. For firms, flexibility and creativity often comes into play where the use of bank and bond debt are interchangeable or used in a hybrid fashion. Moreover, firms have had to adapt to the use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability-linked loans, which has really captured the market in Latin America.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is best known for large debt restructurings and borrower-side financing engagements; more recently the firm has achieved particular prominence in ESG and sustainability-linked loans. The team continues to work on headline debt restructurings and bankruptcies, including those linked to the Covid-19 crisis, along with debtor-in-possession (DIP) financings. Brazil and Mexico are its primary markets with a number distressed situations in Brazil continuing to provide big engagements for teams in Sao Paulo and New York; Sao Paulo partner Francisco Cestero  is particularly noted for Brazil restructurings and co-led the team -alongside Richard Cooper  – that represented Odebrecht in its ongoing restructuring proceeding, which will be the biggest judicial reorganisation process in Brazilian history. Cooper remains one of the most experienced Latin America restructuring and bankruptcy specialists in the market. Adam Brenneman   has further impressed in major financings, including asset-backed and receivables financings, along with restructurings. Jorge Juantorena continues to play a key role in Mexico debt restructurings. Sao Paulo’s Juan Giráldez  is another versatile practitioner with financing and restructuring expertise, and Chantal Kordula   is a key figure in project finance. Rising star associate Rita Sobral left the firm in March 2022; however, senior associate Carina S Wallance , who has been involved in various restructuring processes, recently, is gaining visibility. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Testimonials

Great team. Fast response, pro-active in finding solutions, technical knowledge.

Francisco Cestero is one of the best partners in the practice. Sharp, fast and a deal-maker.

Key clients

Odebrecht

Aeroméxico restructuring (Apollo Management, BBVA and syndicate of secured lenders under a credit agreement arranged by Deutsche Bank)

Samarco Mineração

Automotores Gildemeister

Andean Telecom Partners (ATP)

Ad hoc group of bondholders of Stoneway Capital Corporation

Ad hoc group of secured project finance lenders of obligations of Constellation Oil Services and its subsidiaries

AlphaCredit restructuring (Ad hoc group of bondholders and Morgan Stanley)

Banco Pichincha

Grupo Posadas

Alto Maipo

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Odebrecht in its ongoing restructuring proceeding, which will be the largest judicial reorganisation proceeding in Brazilian history.
  • Represented Apollo Management Holdings in a $1bn senior secured superpriority multi-tranche debtor-in-possession (DIP) term-loan facility to Grupo Aeroméxico in the voluntary reorganisation and restructuring of Aeroméxico’s debt under Chapter 11 protection in the US.  
  • Counsel to Samarco in connection with its restructuring proceedings and lawsuits filed by Samarco’s creditors.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has remained active across the banking and finance field, with well-developed teams in New York and Washington DC complemented by a sizeable group in Sao Paulo. The firm represents a range of international banks, multilateral agency lenders and Latin American borrowers, particularly Brazilian corporates. The Latin America practice stands out particularly for the extent of its connections to multilateral agencies (MLAs), export credit agencies (ECAs) and development finance institutions (DFIs). The firm is further noted for energy and infrastructure finance, and major restructurings (including Chapter 11 filings) involving Latin America businesses. Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Peru are key markets for the team. Fabricio Longhin leads the Americas energy and infrastructure group and has an excellent record in financings across Latin America. Washington DC partners Catherine McCarthy and Lori Bean are experienced figures in representing MLAs, ECAs, DFIs and commercial banks in Latin America financings. New York partner Jennifer DeMarco is a key name in restructurings. New York’s Andrew Young is an emerging talent, while counsel Alberto Haito and New York associate Julian Hurtado Vallejo are also rated by clients. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise. Leading name Chris Willott joined Arnold & Porter in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Fabricio Longhin

Testimonials

We have hired the firm for several international credit and capital market operations given its experience in both. I can emphasize the commitment of the firm’s lawyers, the availability to respond to doubts and needs that we have had during the processes and we feel very confident in them not only because of their knowledge of the markets, but also because of the human warmth of their teams. I would wholeheartedly recommend them to any of our clients.

In one operation we worked with Alberto Haito and Julian Hurtado and the other is being led by Hugo Triaca. All excellent professionals and human beings, open to personally guiding and advising their clients on everything that is required during operations. They have excellent teams that allow them to give us immediate answers. For us, something very important is the use of languages and being able to hold meetings in both Spanish and English, which is why we love working with them as leaders of these operations.

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

SMBC

Natixis

IDB Invest

Banco Santander

Proparco

FDN

AES

US Ex-Im

Citi

Klabin

Work highlights

  • Advised Brazilian publicly listed company Klabin on a $447m ESG-linked, secured, delayed-draw, term-credit agreement to finance eligible goods and services required to complete phase 2 of the company’s paper recycling plant in Sao Paolo.
  • Advised IDB Invest (as purchaser of record and arranger), and Banco Santander and BNP Paribas Securities Corp (as co-arrangers), in connection with an approximately $139m A/B purchase facility for the sale and purchase of receivables created under Chile’s Tariff Stabilization Mechanism.
  • Advised the lenders on a $200m financing extended to Brazil’s Banco Sofisa.

Milbank

Milbank is a global leader in energy and infrastructure finance, and this is especially true in Latin America where it has an outstanding record in big-ticket engagements. The firm is known for its lender-side engagements, although it has also built an impressive list of Latin American borrower clients, along with a number of financial sponsor clients. The Latin America team is also increasingly active in leveraged financings, including bridge-to-bond transactions and bank-bond secured financings. It advised the joint lead arrangers on the $2.2bn syndicated bridge credit facility for Millicom International to acquire the 45% interest in Tigo Guatemala previously owned by minority owners. Lead partner on the deal Carlos Albarracin is a true Latin America specialist with a varied practice covering capital markets offerings, and bank and structured financings; he is particularly active in energy and infrastructure financings in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. Daniel Bartfeld is global head of the firm’s project, energy and infrastructure finance group, and has a major focus on Latin America. Carolina Walther-Meade is another senior figure in energy and infrastructure finance, and has a further niche in mining and metals financings. Roland Estevez and Jaime Ramirez are also key partners along with Sao Paulo-based special counsel Jeffrey Susskind.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Bartfeld; Marcelo Mottesi

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

JP Morgan Chase Bank

América Móvil (lender counsel designation)

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)

Citibank

Scotiabank

I-Squared Capital Advisors (lender counsel designation)

UNIFIN (lender counsel designation)

YPF

Goldman Sachs

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint lead arrangers on the $2.2bn syndicated bridge credit facility for Millicom International to acquire the 45% interest in Tigo Guatemala, previously owned by minority owners.
  • Advised the lenders on the $200m financing to support Grupo Lamosa’s $260m acquisition of the flat ceramic division of Grupo Roca.
  • Advised the ad hoc committee of lenders on the successful restructuring by Cinépolis of $1.35bn of syndicated and bilateral loans.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP is a longstanding leader in Latin America banking and finance. It continues to standout for its presence in acquisition financings, general corporate lending, structured financings, and refinancings, including ESG and sustainability-linked loans. The experienced team is also noted for its expertise across the bank and bond-driven financings’ segments. It has strong connections to a range of international banks, Latin American lenders, multilaterals and ECAs, as well as Latin American borrowers – notably in the oil and gas, mining and natural resources, and power sectors. Denise Grant is a giant in the market, most notably across acquisition financings, project finance and restructurings. The firm’s global project development and finance head, Cynthia Urda Kassis, has an outstanding record in mining and resources financings; while, Augusto Ruiloba and Robert O’Leary (appointed partner and counsel, respectively, in July 2022) impress with regard to non-recourse and acquisition financing of energy, mining and infrastructure projects. All named individuals are based in New York. Former practice co-head Alexandro Padrés left the firm in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Denise Grant

Testimonials

Collaboration, legal expertise and responsiveness traits were exceptional.

Being able to access them at all times and counting on getting sound judgment and advice consistently was invaluable.

Key clients

Ecopetrol

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Volcan Compañía Minera

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Transelec

Bank of America

Alicorp

HSBC Bank USA

Citibank

BBVA Bancomer

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium of banks on funding for the $1.35bn acquisition of Colbún Transmisión.
  • Advised JPMorgan Chase Bank on funding for the $25m acquisition of Transquillota
  • Advised Ecopetrol on funding for the $4bn acquisition of 51.4% of a Colombia-based electrical-power company.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP continues to impress in the market thanks to its consistent prominence in corporate lending, acquisition financings, restructurings and distressed financings, and project finance. It has an extensive geographic focus with sizeable teams in Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Miami and New York. With the growth in US-dollar financings in Brazil, the firm has achieved substantial growth in Sao Paulo and its other Latin America-focused offices; Sao Paulo executive partner and native Portuguese speaker John Anderson led the team that advised Petrobras on a $5bn revolving credit facility. Moreover, the practice continues to be at the forefront of renewable energy project financings in key markets such as Chile, Mexico and Colombia, and is a growing force in transport infrastructure financings in Paraguay and elsewhere. Carlos Viana leads the Latin America practice and is at the forefront of energy and infrastructure financings throughout Latin America. New York partner Sabrena Silver is a key figure in acquisition and structured financings and Chris Hansen is a leader in Latin America aviation finance. Richard Kebrdle is experienced in Latin America restructurings and Anna Andreeva is another key name across bank, acquisition, project and structured finance along with equipment financings and leasing. Adrian Leal and Mexico City’s Fernando Vázquez-Chelius Solis impress at associate level. All individuals are based in Miami unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Viana

Testimonials

Extraordinary knowledge of the partner and associates of the W&C team on collateralized debt transactions with credit assets. They have extensive knowledge of the credit business, finance, and the legal side of transactions. In my experience, it has been the best legal team I have ever worked with. High knowledge of the business and an efficient ability to optimise resources.

The firm highlights the ability of the partner, Sabrena Silver, in not only giving legal advice but also business and strategic advice in the transaction given her experience. It has strong positions that guarantee to find the best transaction for the client. They have a much more strategic vision than their competitors and an extraordinary knowledge of this type of business. Outstanding partner: Sabrena Silver. Qualities: Efficient use of costs, great experience, ability to go further in consulting to create a positive impact on the company.

The team of White & Case is extremely experienced and with deep knowledge of the sector. During the transaction they were advising our company they showed high capabilities and lot of proactivity to search solutions in every single stage of the process. The overall opinion about the firm is excellent.

Stand out partners: Carlos Viana, Thomas Pate, Jeannine Acevedo, John Anderson and John Guzman.

‘Stand out associates: Adrian Leal.

‘They have the ability to quickly understand complex financing structures and translate them into legal documents.

Sabrena Silver and Fernando Vázquez stand out for their speed in preparing legal documentation. The timely follow-up of post-closing issues has been decisive in building a long-term relationship.

Key clients

Ad hoc bondholder group of LATAM Airlines Creditors

Aerovias de Mexico

Arroyo Energy Investment Partners

Alfa Desarrollo

Banco BTG Pactual

Banco Bradesco

Banco de Credito de Peru

Banco do Brasil

Banco Nacional de Desenvolimento Economico e Social (BNDES)

Banco Santander

Banco Votorantim

Bankunited

Bank of America

Bank of China

Bank of Nova Scotia

Bayport Management

BNP Paribas

BP Bunge Bioenergia

Caramuru Alimentos

Citibank

Citigroup Global Markets

CSN Mineração

Deutsche Bank AG London

First Citizens Bank

HSBC Bank USA

KfW IPEX-Bank

ING Bank

ING Capital

Instituto de Crédito Oficial

Itaú Unibanco

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Kavak

Metrobank

Mizuho Bank

Moneda Deuda Latinoamerica Fondo de Inversión

Morgan Stanley

MUFG Bank

Oaktree Capital Management

Pesquera Exalmar

Petrobras

Prival Bank

Rabobank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Arroyo Energy Investment Partners on the acquisition by its investment vehicle Inversiones Arco 4 of the equity interests of Gasmar from Empresas Gasco and Abastible.
  • Represented Alfa Desarrollo, as borrower and issuer, in the structuring and closing of the senior secured financing for Alfa’s $1.3bn acquisition of Colbún Transmisión in Chile.
  • Represented Petrobras in a $5bn revolving credit facility.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP‘s Latin America practice is principally located in Sao Paulo, New York and Washington DC. This distribution of the team has allowed the firm to develop an impressive client list of commercial lenders, development banks, ECAs and MLAs, and Latin American borrowers. The broad-based Latin America banking and finance practice covers bank financing, corporate lending, project finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, and restructuring, among other areas. It continues to see growth in energy and infrastructure finance, acquisition and leveraged finance, and financings linked to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Digital infrastructure project financings, including fibre networks and data centres, also constitute a growth area. The core Latin America team features Washington DC partner Sami Mir, who co-heads the firm’s US agency finance practice. Sao Paulo partner Bruno Soares leads the Latin America practice and remains well-connected to Brazilian lenders and borrowers. Dorina Yessios is highly regarded for energy and infrastructure financings, acquisition finance and refinancing, while Joseph Stefano – who heads the US general lending and asset finance group – also  has a strong record in Latin America transactions, as does Todd Koretzky. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Bruno Soares

Testimonials

Allen & Overy banking team is outstanding. Led in Brazil by Bruno Soares the team is hands on and has depth knowledge of the industry and practice. It is my first call.

Bruno Soares is indefatigable hard worker and has huge experience in any kind of banking transactions.

Key clients

Credit Suisse

Scotia Bank

HPH Joint Venture

Scotiabank de Costa Rica

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)

VLI Multimodal

Karoon Energ

Work highlights

  • Advised the sponsor and the consortium on the $2bn CDNO multi-draw receivable financing for Metro de Panama’s Metro Line 3 project.
  • Advised Scotia Bank as global coordinator and lead arranger of a $368m senior secured financing for KKR’s acquisition of a majority stake in Telefónica’s fiber-optic network assets and related business operations in Chile, as well as in connection with KKR’s acquisition of a majority stake in Telefónica’s fiber-optic network assets and related business operations in Colombia.
  • Advised IFC on its $2bn working-capital solutions facility to provide funding to emerging market banking clients for on-lending to small-to-medium business enterprises to help counter the negative effects of Covid-19.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is best known for its expertise and experience in Brazil and Mexico, although it has also built an impressive record across most major economies in the Latin American region. The Latin America team is based in New York and Sao Paulo and covers a range of financing products, including acquisition financing, corporate lending, project finance and special situations transactions. It has achieved further prominence in sustainability-linked loans, among other growth sectors. New York partner James Florack is co-head of the global finance group and head of the Latin America finance team. Manuel Garciadiaz leads the Latin America department, splitting his time between New York and Sao Paulo, and offering versatile expertise across capital markets, M&A, financing and restructuring disciplines. Sao Paulo partner James Vickers is another Latin America stalwart with an extensive record in project finance, structured finance, and leveraged and investment-grade lending.

Practice head(s):

James Florack

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint lead arrangers and bookrunners, the administrative agent and the sustainability structuring agents in connection with a $2.2bn multicurrency sustainability-linked revolving credit facility for Grupo Bimbo and Bimbo Bakeries USA, as initial borrowers.
  • Advised an ad hoc group of note holders guaranteed by Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção (OEC), and certain subsidiaries, in connection with the consensual cross-border restructuring of approximately $3bn of OEC’s notes.
  • Advised Grupo Aeroméxico (and a number of affiliates) on certain financing arrangements related to its Chapter 11 restructuring.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP remains a force in bilateral and syndicated financings in Latin America, especially in Brazil. Its broader practice ranges from acquisition and trade finance to project finance and financial restructurings, with sustainability-linked loans constituting a significant growth segment. Bank and financial institutions M&A, and aviation finance, are also fortes for the Latin America team, which is deeply entrenched in the region. Amy Dulin is a giant in the market, especially in syndicated loans, acquisition financings and trade finance; she has a particular focus on Brazil. Brazil native Federico Goudie is particularly noted for debt restructurings and is a long-term adviser to the Republic of Paraguay. Mark Denham is a leader in aviation finance and also has longstanding connections to Brazil. Promoted to partner in January 2021, Emilio Saiz is experienced in corporate and structured lending. August-2021 associate hire Amaury A Boscio – who has experience across acquisition, debt and project financing – is also noted. All named individuals are based in Miami.

Practice head(s):

Federico Goudie; Ruben Diaz

Key clients

Republic of Paraguay

The Shareholders of BAC Florida Bank

Banco Nacional de Fomento

Delta Air Lines

United Airlines

Goldman Sachs Lending Partners

BNP Paribas

Bank of Nova Scotia and Banco Santander

Syndicate of banks including BNP Paribas, Export Development Canada, MUFG Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Republic of Paraguay with its latest $500m sovereign bond issuance and concurrent switch tender offer.
  • Represented United Airlines in a $10.75bn senior secured debt financing, including substantially all slots, routes and gate leaseholds in Latin America.
  • Advised Delta Air Lines in eight separate sale-leaseback transactions with SMBC Aviation Capital, a leading global aircraft leasing company.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s depth of resources and commitment to Latin America is bringing it significant rewards including in new money financings, refinancings, and restructurings and special-situations transactions. It is also noted for bank and bond financings. The Latin America team represents a range of international banks, financial sponsors and corporate borrowers, particularly in the energy sector. Although the firm’s core Latin America group is active in the banking and finance segment, the firm is able to draw on a much wider spread of partners and senior individuals that frequently advise on deals in the region. Antonio Del Pino leads the Latin America team and leverages his versatility and experience in multiple regional financings. Gianluca Bacchiocchi is a senior figure in Latin America project finance, project bonds and structured financings. Washington DC’s David Penna provides further extensive experience in energy, power and infrastructure financings. Guido Liniado is another emerging talent, as is Marcela Ruenes, who was promoted to counsel in January 2022. Veronica Relea moved to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Antonio Del Pino

Key clients

Digital Realty Trust

Golub Capital

Guggenheim Partners Investment Management

CDPQ

DNB Bank

SierraCol Energy

Goldman Sachs

Avianca Holdings

IEnova

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised on the amendment and extension of term loans and a revolving credit facility for Ascenty Data Centers E Telecomunicacoes so as to refinance existing debt.
  • Advised on the amendment to a term loan facility in connection with Hg Capital’s acquisition of Holding Acepta, a Chilean-based business to business service company.
  • Advised on the amendment and extension to term loans, notes, and a capex facility for Solvtrans Rederi, an operator of shipping vessels, so as to refinance existing debt of assets located in Chile.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown‘s deep finance credentials and its extensive commitment to Latin America continues to pay dividends. It has broad capabilities across products, structures and geographies, and is particularly noted for specific niches such as future-flow securitisations and other structured finance transactions. The firm is also at the forefront of energy and infrastructure financings, along with additional growth in emerging segments such as fintech and private credit. It further benefits from an established team in Mexico City and its association with Tauil & Chequer Advogados in Brazil. Significantly, its impressive client base features an array of big-name international banks and DFIs. Chicago-based Douglas Doetsch heads the Latin America team and has an extensive record in infrastructure financings, structured credit and securitisations. New York partner David Duffee is co-head of the global lending group and has a fine record in Latin America acquisition financings and syndicated lending; this includes facilities for deals involving Latin American entities acquiring assets and businesses in the US and elsewhere. Washington DC’s Gabriela Sakamoto was born in Argentina and specialises in Latin America-related acquisition, project and structured finance. Chicago partner Juan Pablo Moreno is another pillar of the practice and has strong links to key banks. Mexico City’s Raúl Fernández-Briseño is also highly regarded. Francisco García-Naranjo González joined the Mexico City office from White & Case LLP in July 2021.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Doetsch

Testimonials

Mayer Brown has supported us in several transactions during the year. They are an office in whom we can trust that they will provide us with a very professional service. In one of the transactions that we did, they found a very creative way to close the promissory note, so that all the banks felt comfortable with the proposed scheme while the powers of attorney were legalised in Mexico.

In the transactions that I worked with Mayer Brown during the year I had to work with David Duffee, Partner in NY and Raúl Fernández-Briseño, Partner in Mexico. They both provided excellent service and were always available to resolve any issues that arose. With Raul in particular, he is a very trusting attorney and I appreciate his feedback.

Key clients

Banco Bradesco

Banco Itau

Barclays Bank

BNP Paribas

Consorcio del Sur

Deutsche Bank

Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Global Bank Corporation

Goldman Sachs

HSBC México

Work highlights

  • Advised a lending syndicate of banks on the consensual restructuring of $1.4bn of debt previously owed by Brazilian sugar and ethanol producers Biosev and Biosev Bioenergia.
  • Represented Deutsche Bank, as arranger, in a $100m credit facility with Distrito Especial, Industrial y Portuario de Barranquilla.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs in connection with a R$800m investment in  in a credit right investment fund (FIDC), established by Goldman Sachs together with one of Mercado Livre’s entities in Brazil.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has achieved further growth in restructurings and general lending for Brazilian and international banks, along with a notable uptick in ESG and sustainability-linked loans. The firm continues to be at the forefront of rail and metro financings across Latin America and remains active in renewable energy financings in Mexico and elsewhere. Its presence in Sao Paulo and Mexico City is complemented by its US offices, particularly New York and Washington DC, which have teams strongly focused on Latin America. Moreover, its London and other European offices, are integral to international bank relationships that bring the Latin America team a wealth of engagements. Sao Paulo managing partner Charles Johnson has spent more than two decades in Brazil, specialising in structured trade finance, project finance, asset finance and restructurings. Michael McCourt is another key partner in Sao Paulo, along with Daniel Spencer, who is a leader in infrastructure finance across Latin America. Sao Paulo counsel Caspar Davey, a fluent Mandarin speaker, has had a pivotal role in representing Chinese banks and sponsors in Latin America infrastructure financings, particularly in the rail sector. Raquel Bierzwinsky splits her time between New York and Mexico City, and specialises in project finance in Mexico, particularly in the renewable energy field. Washington DC partners Sarah Devine, a Spanish speaker, and Jeremy Hushon, hold strong connections to a wealth of agency lenders that are active in Latin America. London partner Giles Brand is active in offshore oil and gas financings in Brazil.

Practice head(s):

Charles Johnson; Raquel Bierzwinsky

Testimonials

The team is always available and very on top of every discussion during the transactions. They are very pro-deal but always provide important legal advice. A very technical and knowledgeable team. Compared to other firms, they stand out especially for their comprehensive set of abilities and skills.

The team in the São Paulo office speaks Portuguese (makes the negotiation with Brazilian clients very easy). They are pragmatic and business oriented in the sense that they do not waste time/energy on less relevant topics (such as minor wording issues) and really focus on the legal risks of the transaction. They are very experienced and help find workable solutions when the negotiations are harder. Aside form that, they are committed to timetables (sometimes challenging ones) and deliver good quality documents.

In my point of view, Charles Johnson stands out, specially given his legal knowledge and understanding of business aspects of each deal. He’s particularly very detailed-oriented and, at the same time, very straight-forward and timing aware.

Key clients

KfW IPEX

CABEI

Deutsche Bank

Banco del Estado de Chile

BCI

Bancomext

IDB Invest

FinDev Canada

DFC (formerly OPIC)

Braskem

Banco Rabobank International Brasil

BRK Ambiental Participações

Vale

Macquarie

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO)

Société de Promotion et de Participation Pour la Coopération Economique  (PROPARCO)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Hedera Investimentos e Participações

Banco Itau BBA

ING Bank

Banco Bradesco

Iochpe Maxion

Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF)

Ultrapar Participações

Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

MUFG Bank

Banco Credit Suisse do Brasil

Banco ABN AMRO

Banco do Brasil

BNDES

DNB Bank

Banco BTG Pactual

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Bank of America

Work highlights

  • Advised Biosev and its shareholder the Louis Dreyfus group with respect to the restructuring of $1.3bn of Biosev debt with a large group of international and Brazilian banks.
  • Advised the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on a $2.8bn credit facility earmarked to promote economic growth and development in Ecuador.
  • Advised Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem (and its subsidiaries Braskem Netherlands and Braskem America), in connection with a $1bn syndicated revolving credit facility.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP has a core Latin America team that has deep connections to international lenders and borrowers in the region. The group is particularly noted for energy and infrastructure financings, and has an established record in representing creditors and noteholders in major restructurings. It is also experiencing an uptick in green and sustainability-linked financings. The team has strong links to key bank lenders along with a range of borrower clients. The department is multilingual with most team members fluent in Spanish, Portuguese or both. It has an especially strong record in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina, along with other markets such as Panama, Guatemala, Chile and Uruguay. Michael Fitzgerald is a giant of the market, particularly in Mexico financings and capital markets transactions. Joy Gallup and Arturo Carrillo are also senior figures, along with of counsel Pedro Reyes. Cathleen McLaughlin is an experienced structured finance and capital markets lawyer, while Elicia Ling is a leader in project finance. Pedro Jimenez is a prominent figure in Latin America restructurings. All named individuals are based in New York. The team was further enhanced by the arrival of Alexandro Padrés, formerly Latin America practice head at Shearman & Sterling LLP, in May 2022. The firms former energy and infrastructure practice chair, Robert Kartheiser retired in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Michael Fitzgerald

Testimonials

The team combines youth and experience, which makes them practical, dynamic and very diligent in problem solving and response times.

Paul Hastings is a prime law firm in the field of banking and finance in the emerging markets of Latin America. Creative, innovative, knowledge, trustworthy, client-oriented and solid.

Very personal and available.

Paul Hastings, and in particular Michael Fitzgerald and Arturo Carrillo, without being Mexican lawyers, it would seem that they are. What makes this firm and individuals particular is their ability to know the Mexican legislation in such a way that it allows them not only to advise regarding the laws of New York, but also their knowledge of the Mexican law allows them to know the limitations and/or or advantages that their Mexican clients have.

‘Michael Fitzgerald, Arturo Carrillo and Joy Gallup spend time in Mexico interacting with their clients and law firms. They become familiar with the political, economic and legal environment and this allows them to have a competitive advantage over the rest of their competitors. In addition to the above, they perform their function in a simple way with a low profile and always putting the client’s interests first.

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

JP Morgan

Citibank

HSBC

Credit Suisse

Aeromexico

BTG Pactual

Barclays Capital

BBVA

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Javer

Alfa Group and subsidiaries

Calidda

Jaguar Growth Partners

CEMIG

Gruma

Fibra Uno

Televisa

IEnova/Sempra

Banco Santander

Work highlights

  • Represented the ad hoc group of controlling shareholders of Aeromexico in connection with the Chapter 11 case for Aeromexico and the related debtor in possession financing.
  • Represented the ad hoc creditors group of Braskem Idesa in connection with an agreement to restructure all of the $2bn debt of the company, including credit facilities.
  • Represented Javer in connection with a restatement of a credit agreement that allowed the company to modify key collateral requirements under the credit agreement and certain covenants.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP is distinctive amongst international firms in having the bulk of its Latin America finance practice based in Sao Paulo, where it has a number of UK and US-qualified lawyers located. Naturally, much of team is focused on Brazil, but the firm does have wider Latin America credentials, particularly in the pre-export finance, acquisition finance, project finance and syndicated lending segments. New York-based head of the Latin America team Carlos Martinez is multi-skilled and is noted for his expertise in restructurings. Sao Paulo office head Antonio Piccirillo and Fábio Yamada are experienced figures in pre-export finance, acquisition finance, debt restructurings and syndicated lending. David Fenwick is another seasoned professional in banking and finance, included in structured financings and derivatives.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Martinez; Antonio Piccirillo

Key clients

Banco Azteca

Banco Santander

Citrosuco

Commerzbank

HIG Brazil

Solinftec

Work highlights

  • Represented Citrosuco, the largest global producer of orange juice concentrate, in relation to the preparation of standard forms of OTC derivatives to be used in the hedging of its commodity, forex and interest rate exposures.
  • Represented Itaú Unibanco in a $400m facility from International Development Finance Corporation for the purpose of funding environmentally and socially responsible loans to small-and-medium sized enterprises in specified under-developed regions of Brazil.
  • Represented Brazilian agritech business Solinftec in respect of US credit enhancements relating to its issuance of R$150m Brazilian agribusiness receivables certificates (CRAs).

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has a prestigious record in the region through its core Latin America team in New York and Sao Paulo. Following the recent retirement of David Williams, the founder of the Latin America practice, the remaining partners have stepped up in the syndicated lending and acquisition finance fields. The group is a growing force in representing financial sponsors in financings to support their investments and acquisitions in Latin America, and is also noted for its expertise in early-stage equity financings - particularly in Brazil. Juan Francisco Méndez and Jaime Mercado are the key partners in the team, along with Juan Naveira.

Practice head(s):

Todd Crider; Jaime Mercado; Juan Francisco Méndez; Grenfel Calheiros; Juan Naveira; Paulo Fernando de Menezes Cardoso

Testimonials

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Banking and Financing team is #1. The product and work experience is excellent.

Juan Francisco Mendez, Todd Crider and Juan Naveira are excellent.

They have a lot of experience in Corporate Financing and in Latin America in particular. The disposition and advice provided by Juan Méndez is remarkable, especially in the capital markets.

The versatility of Juan Méndez to move from capital markets to financing.

Key clients

Abengoa

Administradora de Electromovilidad

Albanesi Energía

AVLA Peru Compania de Seguros

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (BLADEX)

Bank of America

Celulosa Arauco y Constitución

Citigroup

Compañía de Petróleos de Chile Copec

Despegar.com

Empresa Copec

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones

FIBRA Macquarie México

Goldman Sachs Bank (USA)

Grupo Monge

Ingeniería Estrella

JP Morgan

KKR

Minsur

Morgan Stanley

Pan American Energy

Rabobank

Scotiabank

Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners

Unigel Participações

YPF Luz

Work highlights

  • Represented Urbanova and its subsidiaries Inmuebles Limatambo, Inversiones San Borja and Urbanizadora Jardín in a $190m syndicated secured loan financing arranged by Banco Santander.
  • Represented Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, as administrative agent, and the lenders in IERL’s new $440m senior secured term loan facility.
  • Represented Minsur in a $300m secured loan financing, provided by Bank of America and Banco Santander.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a highly developed Latin America practice with a strong record in syndicated lending, acquisition finance, refinancings and debt restructurings. Its outstanding international bank relationships bring it a wealth of top engagements, supplemented by a growing list of mandates from Latin American lenders. Although more prominent on the lender side, the firm does also represent a range of Latin American borrowers; it advised Cinépolis de México on its successful restructuring of $1.35bn of syndicated and bilateral loans. Alejandro González Lazzeri is a seasoned finance specialist. Dual-qualified (Mexico/New York) counsel Jose Nicolas Perez-Sierra is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Paola Lozano; Paul Schnell

Work highlights

  • Represented Cinépolis de México in its successful restructuring of $1.35bn of syndicated and bilateral loans.
  • Advised Credit Suisse as lender on a $110m credit facility to Crédito Real.
  • Advised JP Morgan Chase Bank on a $14.8m loan to Generación Mediterránea.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter's longstanding focus on Latin America was given additional strength in the banking and finance field with the hire of New York-based senior figure Christopher Willott from Clifford Chance in August 2021. Willott brings extensive experience in Brazil and wider Latin America acquisition, bilateral, commodity, project and syndicated financings. The broader team continues to be well connected to sovereign entities and to advise on major debt restructuring exercises, along with other matters; a team led by Arturo Caraballo and Raul Herrera advised the Republic of Colombia in the chapter 11 case of Avianca, the Colombian airline. Whitney Debevoise and Gregory Harrington also provide a huge amount of Latin America experience, particularly in the sovereign segment.

Practice head(s):

Whitney Debevoise; Gregory Harrington; Christopher Willott

Key clients

Central Bank of Venezuela

Central Bank of Brazil (Banco Central do Brasil)

Banco Credit Suisse (Brazil)

Banco de Credito del Peru

Itaú Unibanco (Brazil)

Banco Bradesco

Republic of Panama/COVAX

Republic of Colombia

MetroBank (Panama)

Interbank (Peru)

Caja de Ahorro

BTG Pactual

Citibank

Banco do Brasil

Work highlights

  • Represented the Republic of Colombia a in debtor-in-possession financing connected to the Chapter 11 case of Avianca.
  • Advised the Central Bank of Brazil with respect to MSFTA, GMRA and swap transactions as part of its negotiation of $370bn of external reserves.
  • Advised Raizen Combusitiveis (as borrower) and Raizen Energia (as guarantor) on its $380m syndicated financing led by Bank of America, Rabobank, JP Morgan and SMBC.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP is a market leader in major debt restructurings and headline bankruptcies, a forte for the firm globally. Allan Brilliant is global chair of the financial restructuring group and has a longstanding record in Latin America engagements, often representing bondholders in cross-border restructurings. He continued to lead the team that advised the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 cases of LATAM Airlines and its affiliates, and also represented Citadel in connection with several phases of the cross-border restructuring of Colombian carrier, Avianca. Howard Kleinman provides further senior-level experience in Latin America transactions, including in the financing field; he led the team that advised Transelec as part of a consortium of investors that were awarded a $1.5bn project finance bid for the development of a 1,500km high-voltage transmission line in Chile. At associate-level, the May-2022 hire of dual-qualifed (New York/Chile) ex-Carey lawyer, Isaac Stevens, brings additional LatAm-oriented expertise to the firm’s financial restructuring group.

Practice head(s):

Mark Thierfelder

Testimonials

Customer attention.

Fast, bright lawyers.

They are leaders in directing large restructuring operations in NY, they have great command of legislation and court decisions and with this they structure operations with great knowledge, speed and proactivity.

Very responsive, they answer very quickly and with very good solutions.

Work highlights

  • Advised Transelec as part of a consortium of investors that were awarded a $1.5bn project finance bid for the development of a 1,500km high-voltage direct current transmission line in Chile.
  • Counsel to Grupo Lala and certain of its foreign and domestic affiliates in the $320m cross-border Chapter 11 filing of Borden Dairy Company, which also involved complex trade mark litigation.
  • Counsel to an ad hoc group of lenders to Amaralina Star and Laguna Star, subsidiaries of Constellation Oil Services Holding, in relation to the latter’s restructurng via a Brazilian RJ proceeding and Chapter 15 case in the Southern District of New York; aggregate value $1.8bn.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US) has maintained a steady flow of energy and infrastructure financing engagements, while also remaining active in debt restructurings across the region. It continues to represent a range of international banks, multilaterals and DFIs, and Latin American borrowers. The firm’s extensive network of offices in Latin America itself, plays a key role in many of its headline matters, including a number of recent debt restructuring engagements. New York partner Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja is co-regional head of banking and finance for Latin America, and is an experienced figure in project finance. Lima partner Sergio Barboza is the other co-regional head, while San Diego’s Raul Farias provides further project finance expertise in the energy and infrastructure fields. San Juan partner José Sosa-Lloréns has extensive financial services regulatory expertise. However, project finance specialists Amala Nath and  Dino Barajas moved to Morrison Foerster (July 2021) and Baker Botts L.L.P. (January 2022), respectively (Nath has subsequenly become assistant General Counsel at the International Development Finance Corporation, as of July 2022). Agency finance practitioner Gregory Smith  has also left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja; Sergio Barboza

Key clients

Edenor

Ad hoc bondholder committee of YPF

Oaktree Capital Management and TMF Fiduperu

Axesat Chile

Crédito Real

Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnership Authority

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

Proparco

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO)

Triodos Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)

BBVA

ICO

COFIDES

responsAbility Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised Edenor on a consent solicitation agreement with noteholders to renegotiate the terms of $300m worth of bonds.
  • Represented an ad hoc bondholder committee comprising some of the largest holders of the international notes of YPF in connection with the Argentine oil compay’s $6.2bn exchange offers and consent solicitation.
  • Advised Oaktree Capital on LATAM Airlines $750m debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing, part of the aviation group’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP has a longstanding affinity with Latin America, particularly given that it is headquartered in Miami. Moreover, through its Mexico City office, the firm has cemented its presence in the region, while also building on its particularly strong historical links in Central America, along with Argentina, Colombia and Chile. The team continues to be active in syndicated lending and project financings, along with financial institutions M&A. Miami partners Emilio Alvarez-Farré and Carl Fornaris are established figures in Latin America financings and restructurings, and can draw on their broader expertise covering a number of transactional disciplines, the latter also being noted for his financial regulatory expertise. Noted for financial regulatory matters, Marina Olman-Pal was raised to the partnership in March 2022, and the partner-level bench was further strenghened with the August-2022 hire of finance specialist Nathan Eisler (formerly a name partner at Luskin, Stern & Eisler LLP); dual-qualified (New York/Florida), he will divide his time between the firm’s NYC and Miami offices. Associate Claudio J Arruda‘s practice also takes in compliance issues, along with acquisition, corporate, project and trade finance.

Practice head(s):

Marc Rossell; José Raz Guzmán

Testimonials

Greenberg Traurig’s office is characterised and stands out for being a leader in the banking and financing practice. Mainly the human team and customer support are the pillars of success for Greenberg Traurig.

Emilio Alvarez-Farré stands out for his ability and experience. Likewise, he provides the highest degree of connections with professionals in the industry.

Key clients

Associated Foreign Exchange

Grupo Bio Pappel

Latin America Power

PaySafe

Greenberg, Goodwin Steer SPAC

GoDaddy

Gas Natural del Noroeste

Distribuidora La Florida

7- Eleven Mexico

South Lake One

Work highlights

  • Represented Associated Foreign Exchange on the sale of its money transmitter business to global business payments company Fleetcor Technologies.
  • Represented Bio Pappel (as borrower) and its subsidiaries (as guarantors), in a $400m multi-tranche senior secured syndicated term loan facility.
  • Advised Inversiones Latin America Power on the $404m offering of 5.125% senior secured notes due 2033, in connection with a refinancing of two wind farms in northern Chile.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills' New York-based Latin America practice is primarily focused on oil and gas financings, including reserve-based lending, acquisition financings and vessel financings. The firm is also active in the broader project finance sphere. Recent matters saw a combined London and New York team advise a syndicate of international lenders on a $160m reserve-based lending facility for Karoon to finance the development of the Baúna oil field in Brazil’s Santos Basin. The firm is also recognised for its advice to Asian lenders in Latin American financings; China-based teams advised China Development Bank on sovereign loans provided to Ecuador to finance projects across the infrastructure, mining, telecoms, transportation, residential, social development and energy sectors. New York partner Edward Dougherty has longstanding experience in oil and gas financings, particularly in Brazil. However, former Latin America practice co-head Pedro Rufino Carvalho has left the firm for an in-house position in September 2021.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP is best-known for sovereign debt restructurings, project finance, trade and receivables financings, and structured finance, derivatives and securitisation. It has strong connections to DFIs and MLAs, commercial lenders and Latin American borrowers. Ricardo Martinez has an impressive record in representing IDB Invest and DFC in Latin American financings, and is also noted for advising commercial lenders - including Asian banks. Evan Koster is also recognised for sovereign finance and debt restructurings, while Emil Arca is a leading name in derivatives and securitisation.

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP‘s well-established Latin America practice features excellent banking and finance credentials thanks to the presence of a number of senior professionals covering syndicated loans, aviation finance, acquisition finance, structured financings and project finance. Like others, the firm continues to develop its standing in energy and infrastructure finance, and remains especially active in the aviation segment; it represents many of the top lessors in the region, along with airlines and corporate jet owners. It has seen further activity in sustainability-linked loans and remains noted for its work in real estate finance, including transactions involving REITs. Clients include a number of Europe-based international banks. Peter Baumgaertner is a seasoned professional in a range of financing transactions, including project finance and debt restructurings. Stephen Double has an extensive history with Latin America, notably in syndicated lending, acquisition finance, structured finance and trade finance. Miami and New York-based Norberto Quintana and Lara Rios are prominent in energy and infrastructure financings, and Chicago and New York-located Phillip Durham is a leader in aviation finance in the region. Promoted to senior counsel in April 2022, Laura Güemes Cambras focuses on cross-border financings, primarily advising corporate borrowers, lenders, project sponsors and developers on syndicated lending and project finance. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Pupo

Testimonials

The team is a team with a lot of experience and a practical and very clear approach to the issues. They are very easy to work with in different countries in the region.

I have worked with Lara Ríos and Norberto Quintana. Both are very professional, have a lot of knowledge and expertise in the area of project finance and a practical and efficient approach to transactions.

Key clients

Banco Bilboa Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex)

Banco Sabadell

Banco Santander

Deutsche Bank

Fibra UNO

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)

Grupo CrediQ

Wells Fargo

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has continued to expand its work for MLAs -such as IDB Invest and IFC- in multiple financings, including bilateral loans, and project and acquisition financings. The Latin America team also represents a number of international private banks, along with various Latin American banks, as borrowers. Historically, the group has had a strong focus on Central America but has expanded this to the Caribbean and -increasingly- to a number of South American states such as Peru and Colombia, along with Mexico. Latin America group head Fernando Alonso is a hugely experienced Latin America specialist with extensive equity and debt financing expertise and a strong track-record in advising both lenders and borrowers. Washington DC partner Vera Rechsteiner is another experienced figure in Latin America financings, including energy financings and structured finance. Uriel Mendieta and Fernando Margarit are also pivotal members of the Latin America group with financing expertise, while Houston-based special counsel Doris Rodríguez is a prominent practitioner in energy financings, particularly in the oil and gas segment. Washington DC’s Alejandro Silva and Siddharth Sethy also provide extensive Latin America financings expertise, including for DFIs and MLAs. Named individuals are based in Miami unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Alonso

Testimonials

Excellent team! Very professional and diligent.

Highly capable and prepared.

Reputation and relationship.

Experience and knowledge.

Key clients

Banco Santander

Banco de la Producción (Produbanco)

Banco de Sabadell

Banesco (Panama)

BAC International Bank

CiBanco

Corporación Andina de Fomento

Corporación Interamericana para el Financimiento de Infraestructura

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)

Citibank

Bank of Nova Scotia; Scotiabank

International Finance Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented IDB Invest in the drafting and negotiation of transaction documentation for $300m in additional financing to Banco Daycoval in Brazil.
  • Represented Produbanco in multiple financings, as lender and borrower.
  • Represented Credit Suisse as the lead arranger in a $125m securitisation of Global Bank Corporation’s diversified payment rights.

Jones Day

Jones Day has a substantial focus on Latin America through its Miami, New York, Mexico City and Sao Paulo offices, among others. The central Latin America team benefits from extensive connections to major international banks, ECAs and MLAs, and prominent Latin American borrowers. It has a breadth of practice covering corporate finance, acquisition finance and project finance, and widespread geographic coverage from Mexico, through Central America, Colombia, Brazil and the Southern Cone. The group is increasingly active in bankruptcies, restructurings and refinancing, along with ESG-linked financings. Alberto de la Parra and Manuel Romano are prominent figures in Mexico City, where they both have a reputation for energy and infrastructure finance, including renewable energy financings. Marcello Hallake provides further financing expertise from Sao Paulo. Richard Puttré and Marie Elena Angulo both left the firm in January 2022. Since research concluded, Miami partner Fradyn Suárez has also left, moving to King & Spalding LLP‘s new Miami office in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Brett Barragate

Testimonials

Great skill in project finance. Especially experts negotiating in front of or on behalf of development banks and multilateral organisations. Ingenious and always accompany and provide business solutions.

Key clients

Millicom International Cellular

Wells Fargo

Bank of America

Citibank

Banco Santander

BBVA/Bancomer

Banco Sabadell

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of international and Brazilian investment banks in connection with an international offering of $1.5bn senior notes by Marfrig Global Foods.
  • Advised Millicom International Cellular on a bridge loan facility with a syndicate of commercial banks to finance the acquisition of the remaining 45% equity interest in Millicom’s joint venture businesses in Guatemala.
  • Represented Banco Santander (Spain), Caixabank, and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (Spain) in a subordinated loan to Abent 3T to finance the development of a 220MW co-generation plant located in the state of Tabasco, Mexico.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has a core team of Latin America specialists based in its New York office, supplemented by its small office in Sao Paulo. It also launched a Mexico practice in 2022, led by managing associate Alberto García Linera, who is officially located in Madrid. Many within the Latin America team operate across the bank and finance, capital markets and M&A spheres, including Sao Paulo partner Matthew Poulter and Conrado Tenaglia, the co-head of the Latin America team. Michael Bassett is a banking partner with a long-term focus on Latin America, including project finance, structured finance and trade finance; he is also a leading figure in offshore oil and gas financings. Andrew Compton is an established name in energy and infrastructure financings in Mexico and throughout Latin America.

Practice head(s):

Conrado Tenaglia

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a well developed Latin America banking and finance practice. It is noted for its strength in corporate lending, restructuring and securitisation. It has seen further growth in direct lending, particularly in Mexico, along with a series of fintech engagements in Brazil. The firm has a fine history in corporate lending in Brazil and has achieved further prominence in corporate lending and restructurings in Chile. New York partner Thomas Mellor is co-chair of the Latin America group and has an extensive record in corporate lending in Brazil and other Latin American jurisdictions. John Crespo is the other co-chair of the team and provides further senior firepower, alongside Humberto Padilla Gonzalez and Felipe Alice. Named individuals are based in Houston unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Mellor; John Crespo

Testimonials

A well-coordinated team with knowledge of the industry and the market.

Thomas Mellor stands out in the team. A lot of knowledge of the industry and excellent treatment.

Professional team, with very knowledgeable attorneys and broad international experience.

Thomas Mellor is a seasoned attorney with a good comprehension of the various angles when issues arise in international transactions. Easy to work with.

Key clients

HSBC (Bermuda, Brazil, Meixco, UK & US)

ING

National Bank of Kuwait

Prudential

MetLife

Teachers

Bank of America

Fuyo Leasing

SMBC

Norinchukin

Cerberus Capital Management

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Represented Credit Suisse as structuring agent and lender in a $150m credit facility to finance Mexican equipment leases originated by Mexarrend.
  • Represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy proceedings of Chilean financial holding company, Corp Group Banking.
  • Advised HSBC on a variety of new loans and restructurings in Latin America.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a core team of Latin America specialists that typically operate in the high-value and headline segment, particularly in the project finance field. The firm has also impressed in big-ticket debt restructurings, including prestigious engagements from sovereign states; it advised Belize on restructuring the entirety of its $550m external commercial debt. The firm is also at the forefront of financial institutions M&A in Latin America. Sergio Galvis, Christopher Mann and Werner Ahlers comprise an illustrious senior team with an outstanding record in major transactions.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Galvis

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP‘s central team of Latin America specialists has an impressive standing in banking and finance matters, covering corporate lending, acquisition finance and receivables finance, right through to future flow transactions and warehouse financing structures. It has established connections to Latin American lenders and borrowers, and is growing its presence in Brazil through ‘amazing lawyerRodrigo Carvalho , who was Bank of America’s head of investment banking (legal division) in Brazil, prior to joining the firm in April 2021. Allen Miller  is noted for his contacts in Chile and Mexico, frequently advising on big-ticket financings and restructurings in those jurisdictions; he is also a leading name in novel securitisation and structured finance transactions. Talbert Navia  is also recognised for acquisition finance and Claude Serfilippi   is another core team member with extensive financing expertise. Following his arrival from Hogan Lovells US LLP, Richard Puttré  played a role in the establishment and launch of the firm’s new Miami office in May 2022, and will bring further project finance experience to the team, especially in renewable energy. All other named individuals are based in New York. Since research concluded, the firm has made an additional heavyweight-hire to the new Miami office, bringing in Carl Fornaris , formerly co-chair of the financial regulatory & compliance group at Greenberg Traurig LLP, where he had spent much of his 30-year career; a former head of legal and compliance for the Latin America region at Barclays Bank, he arrives as co-chair of the firm’s financial services practice – effective July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Talbert Navia; Allen Miller; Francisco Flores

Testimonials

Very professional and organised team.

Awesome team.

Rodrigo Carvalho is an amazing lawyer, very smart, connected and always available.

Key clients

Nueva Elektra del Milenio

Enel Americas

Enel Chile

Southern Cross

Edenred

Celeres Capital Advisors

Total Play Telecomunicaciones

Socieded Química y Minera de Chile

Work highlights

  • Represented Nueva Elektra del Milenio and its parent, Grupo Elektra, in a $500m future flows transaction, involving remittances from the US to Mexico.
  • Represented Enel Américas in a $500m syndicated credit facility.
  • Advised Celeres Capital Advisors on a $100m revolving loan facility for the financing of a portfolio of small consumer loans to active and retired government/municipal workers originated by the Police Members Association of Puerto Rico and Orchid Funding.

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie‘s multiple offices across Latin America provide it with the platform to advise on a wide variety of banking and finance matters for a broad range of clients, including lenders and borrowers. Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru are all amongst its strongest offices with impressive banking and finance credentials. Pablo BerckholtzJuan Carlos de los Heros and Alonso Miranda are big names in Peru that are routinely engaged by leading international and domestic banks on major financings. In Colombia, Ricardo Trejos and Carolina Duque are both up-and-coming younger partners – particularly in relation to project finance; while in While in Chile, practice co-heads Sebastian Vivanco and Jaime Munro are senior figures with deep experience in project finance (including syndicateds) and corporate finance, respectively. Buenos Aires partner Gabriel Gomez Giglio is chair of the Latin America banking and finance group.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Gomez Giglio

CMS

CMS has a wide-ranging banking and finance practice in Latin America, given additional geographic coverage by its multiple offices in the region (Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico). From acquisition financings to the development of fintech markets in key jurisdictions, the Latin America team benefits from the global firm’s standing and expertise in key segments, along with strong connections to top law firms in New York and elsewhere in North America. Its impressive client base includes private equity houses, corporates, government entities, banks and DFIs. Key partners include Fernando De Cárcer and Jorge Allende Destuet in Santiago, Daniel Rodríguez and Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero in Bogota, and Miguel Viale and Diego Peschiera  in Lima.

Key clients

Commerzbank

Bank Polska Kasa Opieki

Scotiabank

BBVA

Banco Santander

Credicorp

AKA Bank

IDB Invest

Agence Française de Developpment (AFD)

CAF – Development Bank of Latin America

Work highlights

  • Advised the Spanish branch of Banco Santander on the structuring, negotiation and drafting of a Colombian law-governed receivables operation with Telefónica.
  • Advised Volcom Capital on the $200m refinancing of its current portfolio, including Arte Express (real estate), Savar (logistics), Llaxta (real estate), and Esmetal (a producer of structures for heavy industry).
  • Advised KKR on the financing for its acquisition of a 60% stake in Telefónica Chile’s fibre optic network.

Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas has continued to develop its pipeline of banking and finance engagements through its increasingly strong offices in Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Chile. The combined team has solid connections to a range of financial institutions, funds and corporate borrowers. The group has landed a series of impressive refinancings and debt restructurings, along with acquisition, project and real estate finance mandates. It is also making an impression in the non-performing loans (NPLs) transactional space. Lima partner Aldo Reggiardo is co-head of the Latin America finance practice and a notable figure in project financings in the energy, infrastructure and mining sectors. Bogota’s Manuel Quinche is another senior name in structured finance and project finance. Previously based in Santiago, Alfonso Ugarte -who focuses on structured finance, bankruptcy restructuring and reorganisations, and distressed financings- relocated to the New York office in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Aldo Reggiardo; Manuel Quinche

Key clients

Corporacion Financiera De Desarrollo (COFIDE)

BBVA

Caixabank

JP Morgan

Goldman Sachs

San Martín Contratistas Generales

Bancolombia

Deutsche Bank

BID Invest

Codere México

Compañía General de Electricidad

Work highlights

  • Advised on the multijurisdictional $1bn restructuring of OHL’s group debt and corporate structure.
  • Advised as global coordinators on the $375m bond issue by Andean Telecom Partners (ATP) in Chile, Peru, Colombia and the United States.
  • Advised COFIDE on the structuring and implementation of the $420m ‘Patrimonial Strengthening Program for Microfinancing Institutions’.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has steadily increased its emphasis on Latin America with project finance accounting for a significant portion of the practice; this includes a large number of project bond and infrastructure financings. It advised GraMex Investment Holdings, as borrower, on a $75m senior secured revolving credit facility to finance oil-and-gas drilling-projects undertaken by certain Mexican companies under contracts with Pemex. Tomer Pinkusiewicz is co-chair of the Latin America group and has long track record in project bonds and infrastructure financings, often representing sponsors and borrowers. Anita Girdhari provides further senior-level experience. Both are based in New York.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP has a background in Latin America structured finance and securitisation through New York partner Carlos Rodriguez; he is particularly noted for securitisations of residential and commercial mortgage loans, credit card receivables and trade receivables. Houston partner Brian Bradshaw is a prominent name in project finance, particularly in the oil and gas sector.