Banking and finance in Latin America: International firms

Given the high rates of Covid-19 infection across Latin America, the region has experienced intense economic volatility. Financing engagements, though, have been relatively plentiful, as Latin American businesses have sought to refinance and restructure to get through the crisis. Thankfully the availability of finance has not been overly restricted and development finance institutions (DFIs) and multilateral agencies, in particular, have stepped up to finance businesses and their operations. Firms have also experienced an uptick in hybrid financing engagements, where borrowers seek a combination of bank and bond debt.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is a market leader in Latin America restructurings and has one of the most expansive practices of all international firms; the firm has focused on the region for decades. It represents some of the biggest corporates and sovereigns in Latin America, along with a range of bondholder committees and leading commercial lenders. Amongst a series of headline engagements, it represented LATAM Airlines Group and its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the US in the voluntary reorganisation and restructuring of debt under Chapter 11 protection. Richard Cooper has a virtually unrivalled reputation in Latin America restructurings, having worked on several of the largest-ever engagements in the region. Sao Paulo partner Francisco Cestero has also worked on many of the largest restructurings and bankruptcies in Brazil over the years. Jorge Juantorena has a prominent record in Mexico financings and debt restructurings. Buenos Aires partner Andrés De La Cruz is at the forefront of sovereign and corporate restructurings in Argentina and the Southern Cone. Adam Brenneman is noted for restructurings, and receivables and other asset-backed financings. Chantal Kordula is a respected figure in Latin America project finance. Associate Rita Sobral is also praised by clients.

Testimonials

‘CGSH ensures quality of work. All of their attorneys, partners down, are top-of-the-line and seamless. I have been working with CGSH since 1996 and they have a unique knowledge of the region and its dynamics. They are my number one choice.’

‘Cleary has a unique understanding of Latin America, especially Brazilian culture. The pattern of service is always excellent, regardless of the team that is working on the specific case.’

‘Deal-oriented, proactive and very technical.’

‘Francisco Cestero is a great partner. He is one of the best deal makers in the Latin America business.’

‘Andres de la Cruz – I think he must be the best lawyer in Latin America. With experience in different processes of corporate and sovereign debt in different regions of the world he knows in depth, he perfectly combines the local situation with the best and new practices.’

‘Adam Brenneman specialises in debt, restructuring and refinancing. His work is perfect. He is highly respected by all parties, colleagues, banks and investors.’

‘Adam Brenneman is great, always available, even in a pandemic. Extensive knowledge, strategic thinking and proactivity.’

Rita Sobral is a very talented associate.’

Key clients

LATAM Airlines

Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção

Odebrecht

Ad hoc Group of Secured Project Finance Lenders – Constellation Oil Services Holding

Ad hoc Group of Bondholders of Offshore Drilling Holdings

Votorantim Cimentos

Grupo Posadas

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

Syndicate of Secured Lenders under Credit Agreement arranged by Deutsche Bank

Credit Suisse, Bladex and First Citizens Bank of Trinidad and Tobago

Apollo Management Holdings

Grupo Idesa

Brazilian National Bank for Social and Economic Development (BNDES)

Banco Pichincha

Automotores Gildemeister

A group of noteholders (MSUE)

Goldman Sachs

Agrofina / Los Grobo Agropecuaria

Vitro

Ad hoc Group of Bondholders – General Shopping e Outlets do Brasil

Ad hoc Committee of CorpGroup Holding Bondholders (CorpGroup)

The Republic of Argentina

Citigroup (Ecuador)

The Province of Buenos Aires

Work highlights

  • Represented LATAM Airlines Group and its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the US in the voluntary reorganisation and restructuring of debt under Chapter 11 protection
  • Advised Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção (OEC) in a restructuring and related consent solicitation for approval of a Brazilian extrajudicial restructuring plan to restructure OEC’s $3.3bn aggregate principal amount of notes.
  • Advised Odebrecht on its ongoing restructuring proceedings, to be the biggest judicial reorganisation proceeding in Brazilian history.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has a distinctive banking and finance practice with Latin America-facing teams in Sao Paulo, Madrid, New York and Washington DC, among other offices. The group covers a wide-range of financings, most notably project finance, acquisition finance, trade finance, corporate lending and restructurings. The firm benefits from extensive connections to multilateral agency lenders, export credit agencies (ECAs) and DFIs, while maintaining strong relationships with commercial banks and Latin American corporate borrowers. In 2020, the firm remained especially active in restructurings, bankruptcies, refinancings and Covid response financings. Acquisition finance and general corporate lending continued to be buoyant. Christopher Willott is a leader in Brazil financings, particularly in energy and infrastructure, including project finance, corporate lending, reserve-based lending, trade and commodities finance, and acquisition finance. Washington DC partner Fabricio Longhin is a leading figure in Latin America project finance, frequently acting for multilateral agency lenders, DFIs and commercial lenders. Washington DC partners Catherine McCarthy and Lori Bean  are also key names in representing agencies and DFIs in Latin America financings, while Jennifer DeMarco has an excellent record in restructurings in the region. Andrew Young has been elevated to partner status. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise. Gianluca Bacchiocchi and Guido Liniado joined Latham & Watkins LLP in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Willott

Testimonials

‘A lot of experience with the market conditions and applicable regulation, consequently very effective in discussions and with a pragmatic approach.’

‘Always a very polite and constructive approach.’

‘Chris Willott and Lori Bean are outstanding partners.’

Key clients

Klabin

AB Concessoes

AES

Samarco Mineração

BTG Pactual

Citi

Morgan Stanley

Santander

IDB Invest

Grupo R

Brasil Warrant Gestão de Investimentos

Work highlights

  • Advised Natixis on the Chapter 11 case of Seabras, the developer-owner-operator of the first-ever submarine fiber optic cable network directly linking New York and São Paulo.
  • Advised four Panamanian subsidiaries of The AES Corporation on the $1.48bn refinancing of existing debt and capital expenditures.
  • Advised BTG Pactual on a $250m secured acquisition financing for Petrovida to purchase all of Petrobras’ shares in Petrobras Oil & Gas, a Dutch entity with interests in Nigeria’s Agbami, Akpo and Egina fields.

Milbank

Milbank is at the forefront of energy and infrastructure finance and continues to lead the market in lender representations; this includes numerous corporate lending engagements and acquisition and project finance mandates. In addition, it maintains close links to large Latin American borrower clients. Beyond its core areas of expertise, the firm's exalted reputation in financing has enabled it to land a series of major restructuring and refinancing engagements. In the more specialist end of the market, it also advised Mexarrend, a leading Mexican non-bank financial institution, on a $150m warehouse secured loan facility secured by equipment lease receivables. Carlos Albarracin is a leader in energy and infrastructure financings, both through structured lending and capital markets offerings; he is especially active in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. Daniel Bartfeld is global head of the firm's project, energy and infrastructure finance group and has an extensive record in Latin America. Carolina Walther-Meade is a senior figure in infrastructure, power, oil and gas, and mining projects, along with acquisition finance and structured lending. Jaime Ramirez is amongst the younger generation of partners with an active presence in natural resources and infrastructure financings, so too is Roland Estevez, a respected individual in oil and gas, power, infrastructure and mining sector financings.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Bartfeld; Marcelo Mottesi

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)

Citibank

Credit Suisse

I-Squared Capital Advisors

HSBC

YPF

Goldman Sachs

Pan American Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised Peruvian mining company Compañía de Minas Buenaventura on $582m syndicated letters of guarantee to pay off debt owed to the country’s tax authority, SUNAT.
  • Advised the lender on the financing of the acquisition of Etenorte and Eteselva by Interconexion Electrica from the Inkia Group.
  • Acted as counsel to the lead arranger, in a $50m credit facility for Credito Real, a leading Mexican non-bank financial institution, secured by certain hedging mark-to-market amounts .

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP has a prestigious history in Latin America banking and finance. It continues to be a prominent firm in a range of financings, including acquisition finance, hybrid financings, project finance and general corporate lending. A team headed by leading name Denise Grant advised The Bank of Nova Scotia as administrative agent and a lender, and Bank of America México, Institución de Banca Múltiple, as a lender, on a $200m five-year credit facility for Gruma. Alexandro Padrés now leads the Latin America team and has a fine record in acquisition finance and project finance, particularly in the power, renewables and mining sectors. Cynthia Urda Kassis is another key name in project finance, especially in the mining and renewables; she led the team that advised Engie Energía Chile on a $125m unsecured loan facility from IDB Invest for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the 162MW Calama Wind Farm near the city of Calama in northern Chile. Counsel Augusto Ruiloba is also a key member of the team. All named individuals are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Alexandro Padrés

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP cemented its standing in the market with a series of headline debt restructuring and liability management engagements in 2020. This included the chapter 11 cases of Avianca and LATAM in the aviation industry, while the firm was also active in sovereign and sub-sovereign debt restructurings, notably those involving the Republic of Argentina, the Republic of Ecuador and the Argentine Province of Cordoba. The firm remains at the forefront of energy, infrastructure and acquisition financings, most notably in Chile and Colombia. Its client base remains enviable with strong ties to key commercial lenders such as Deutche Bank and Scotiabank de Costa Rica, along with agency lenders and DFIs including IDB Invest. It has also demonstrated its expertise in bondholder representations in the debt restructuring and bankruptcy sphere, while maintaining a long list of corporate relationships. New York partner Sabrena Silver has become a pivotal member of the team, leading some of the group's key bank relationships and advising on a series of major debt restructurings and new money financings. Richard Kebrdle is at the forefront of Latin America debt restructurings and liability management transactions. Christian Hansen is at the forefront of aviation finance in Latin America, while leader of the Latin America group Carlos Viana has an outstanding record in energy and infrastructure finance, acquisition finance and structured finance for both lenders and borrowers. John Anderson is one of the leading international finance lawyers in Sao Paulo.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Viana

Key clients

Ad hoc Group of Bondholders in LATAM Airlines

Ad hoc Bondholder Group of the Province of Cordoba

Alliance Bernstein

Amundi

Ashmore

Avianca

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social – BNDES.

Banco Santander

BBVA

BlackRock

Citibank

Colombia Telecomunicaciones

Corporación Andina de Fomento

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Deutsche Bank

EFA Syndicated Commodity Trade Finance Master Fund

Fidelity

IDB Invest

Institución de Banca Múltiple

JPMorgan Chase Bank

KfW Ipex Bank

Mizuho Bank

MUFG Bank

Natixis

Neoenergia

Oaktree Capital Management

Scotiabank de Costa Rica

Societe Generale

Standard Chartered Bank

Tereos Açúcar e Energia Brasil

The Bank of Nova Scotia.

T-Rowe Price

Wellington

Wester Asset

Work highlights

  • Advised the Ad Hoc Argentine Bondholder Group, on the successful restructuring of approximately $65bn of the country’s external debt.
  • Represented Tereos, Açúcar e Energia Brasil as borrower in a $105m sustainability-linked export prepayment finance agreement.
  • Represented ColTel on US law matters relating to a comprehensive liability management transaction relating to its outstanding debt and hybrid securities in the international capital markets.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP‘s excellence in the multilateral agency and DFI lender segment has brought additional levels of activity to the lean Latin America team; Washington DC partner Sami Mir  co-heads the firm’s US agency finance practice and has a major emphasis on Latin America. Agency and DFI-led transactions are in addition to a solid pipeline of engagements from commercial lenders, along with corporate borrowers and sponsors. The Latin America team has a longstanding focus on renewable energy project financing and the hire of a large US-based project finance and renewables team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in March 2021 has given the firm event more credibility in Latin America. Hybrid financings involving capital markets offerings is another forte for the team. Digital infrastructure project financings, including fibre networks and data centres, are also a growth area. Sao Paulo partner Bruno Soares leads the Latin America practice and has built strong connections to a range of Brazilian lenders and borrowers, particularly in relation to energy and infrastructure project financings across the region. New York partner Dorina Yessios is highlighted for renewable energy and digital infrastructure financings, including hybrid structures and private placement offerings. New York's Joseph Stefano is also active in Latin America financings for a number of major commercial lenders.

Practice head(s):

Bruno Soares

Key clients

Ashmore Fund Colombia

BNP Paribas

Citibank

CSP – Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém

Credit Suisse

Elecnorte

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Natixis

North American Development Bank (NADB)

Proparco

Scotiabank Chile

Stichting Andgreen.fund

US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

VLI Multimodal

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is best known for project finance and hybrid financings involving bank debt and capital markets issuances. The firm also has a strong record in corporate lending, acquisition finance, debtor-in-possession and distressed lending, and restructurings. James Florack is global co-head of finance and leads the Latin America finance group, and is especially noted for acquisition and leveraged finance. Timothy Graulich is a leading name in Latin America bankruptcies and restructurings, especially in Brazil. Sao Paulo partner James Vickers has extensive experience in Brazil project finance, leveraged finance and debt restructurings; he is also active in other Latin American jurisdictions. Manuel Garciadiaz leads the Latin America practice from New York and Sao Paulo, bringing his senior level and versatile expertise to a range of debt transactions. Stephen Hood has left the Sao Paulo office to launch his own firm.

Practice head(s):

James Florack

Work highlights

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is at the forefront of bilateral and syndicated lending in Brazil with much credit going to senior figure Amy Dulin. Beyond this segment, the firm has achieved genuine prominence in acquisition finance, trade finance, restructurings and aviation finance across the region. It frequently represents some of the biggest international lenders that are active in Latin America, along with regional banks, airlines, corporates and sovereign borrowers. While Brazil is its primary jurisdiction, it is achieving further penetration of key markets such as Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay and Central America. Co-chair of the Latin America group Federico Goudie is a rounded regional specialist with extensive expertise in debt restructurings and structured financings; he was raised in Brazil and has represented the Republic of Paraguay for over 20 years. Mark Denham also grew up in Brazil and has a fine record in Latin America aviation finance. Counsel Emilio Saiz is another key name. All named individuals are based in Miami.

Practice head(s):

Amy Dulin; Federico Goudie; Ruben Diaz

Key clients

Syndicate (Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Citigroup, MUFG and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation)

Syndicate (Citibank, Santander, BNP Paribas, Bank of America, Mizuho, BBVA, HSBC and JPMorgan)

Syndicate (MUFG Bank, The Bank of Nova Scotia, BNP Paribas Securities, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation)

United Airlines

BAC Florida Bank

Republic of Paraguay

ING

Natixis

Work highlights

  • Represented the Republic of Paraguay in an emergency $1bn bond issuance to raise funds for the country’s fight against coronavirus.
  • Advised the shareholders of BAC Florida Bank on its sale to Brazil’s Banco Bradesco; this was Banco Bradesco’s first-ever international acquisition.
  • Advised Bank of Nova Scotia and Banco Santander as lead arrangers of a $300m syndicated loan for Peruvian mining company Volcan Compañia Minera.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP significantly enhanced its Latin America group with the hire of Gianluca Bacchiocchi and Guido Liniado from Clifford Chance in January 2021. The two bring an intense focus on Latin America and a broad financing background, particularly in the project finance and project bonds segments. Acquisition and leveraged finance is a forte for the wider Latin America team and an underlying strength of the firm globally. The group represents a number of big-name commercial lenders, a growing group of Spanish borrowers and a series of private equity sponsors. Oil and gas is a major focus sector for the team. Washington DC partner David Penna has rejoined the firm, having completed a spell as senior vice president in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and adds significant Latin America project finance expertise to the group. Veronica Relea is another key name in energy, infrastructure and leveraged finance. Christopher Cross is noted for energy financings in Mexico and elsewhere; he led the team that advised Fermaca, the Mexican energy company on credit and revolving credit facilities to support performance bonds in connection with company’s various energy project deals in Mexico. Antonio Del Pino co-chairs the Latin America team and is another important name in project and leveraged finance. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Antonio Del Pino

Key clients

Fermaca de Mexico

Compañía Operadora de Inversiones Mercantiles

The Bank of Nova Scotia

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Goldman Sachs Bank

Solar Capital

Citibank

Infraestructura Energética Nova

Sempra Energy

Eagle Intermediate Global Holding

Shandong Ruyi Technology Group

The Lycra Company

Antares Capital

Bain Capital Credit

Tianqi Lithium

Partners Group (Guernsey)

Barclays Bank

NEP Group

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's Latin America banking and finance practice is still largely driven by engagements from banks and other financial institutions. The firm's esteemed standing is built on a history of cutting-edge structured finance transactions. The Latin America group is at the forefront of future-flow securitisations, a technology that the firm is now using in other parts of the world. Beyond this, it has achieved additional prominence in Mexico's fintech sector, advising on a series of warehouse financing facilities. Chicago partner Douglas Doetsch leads the Latin America practice and is at the forefront of regional structured finance and securitisation transactions. New York's David Duffee is co-head of the global lending practice and has an established record in syndicated loans and acquisition financings in Latin America. Washington DC partners Gabriela Sakamoto and Christopher Erckert are key names for project financings.

Practice head(s):

Douglas Doetsch

Key clients

Banco Santander

Bank of Nova Scotia

BNP Paribas

Bradesco

Credijusto

Credit Suisse

Global Bank

Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan Chase

Wells Fargo

Work highlights

  • Advised Wells Fargo, as arranger, on the issuance of $200m fixed rate notes under the diversified payment rights programme of Banco Industrial to the United States International Development Finance Corp.
  • Represented the lenders in connection with a $400m term loan facility wrapped by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to Bancoldex, the Colombian development bank, the proceeds for making loans to local businesses as part of Colombia’s Covid-19 response programme.
  • Advised Santander and Bradesco on a $181m financing to a fully owned subsidiary of AES Corporation for the acquisition of an 18.5% stake in AES Tiet held by BNDESPar, the investment arm of the Brazilian national development bank BNDES.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright's deep commitment to Latin America, primarily through its Sao Paulo, New York and Washington DC offices, has enabled it to maintain high deal activity in 2020 and into 2021. With a notable shift towards restructurings and refinancings, its multi-skilled lawyers continue to land big engagements in Brazil, Colombia, Chile and also Panama, where it has carved a particular niche. Although project finance has slowed, the firm continues to be active in energy, infrastructure and mining through a series of corporate financings. It continues to represent a range of corporate borrowers, banks, DFIs and agency lenders. Charles Johnson leads the Sao Paulo office, having completed almost 20 years in Brazil and is noted for structured trade finance, project finance and financial restructuring work. Michael McCourt has made a big impression on the market, notably in the restructuring field. Daniel Spencer is another key figure in project financings throughout Latin America and Raquel Bierzwinsky is noted for project finance in Mexico; admitted to practice in New York and Mexico, she splits her time between New York and Mexico City. Asset finance specialist Alison Baxter has relocated to London from Sao Paulo. All named individuals are based in Sao Paulo unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Charles Johnson; Raquel Bierzwinsky

Key clients

KfW IPEX

CABEI

Deutsche Bank

Banco del Estado de Chile

BCI

Bancomext

IDB Invest

FinDev Canada

DFC (formerly OPIC)

Braskem

Itapoá Terminais Portuários

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)

Biosev

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

Work highlights

  • Advised Banco Bradesco on the $1.67bn debt restructuring of Constellation Oil Services, a leading oil and gas drilling services group in Brazil.
  • Acted for ING Bank as arranger of €125m secured syndicated term facility to finance the acquisition by Highline do Brasil of Phoenix Tower Participações.
  • Advised DFC on a $2.8bn credit facility to promote economic growth and development in Ecuador.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP remains best known for energy and infrastructure finance, with a high degree of focus on Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Structured finance and hybrid financing models are another forte for the Latin America team, which has made a further impression in sustainability-linked financings. Pedro Jimenez, a Latin America restructuring specialist, also adds another important area of expertise to the group. Moreover, the recent growth of the firm’s Sao Paulo office has given it even further credibility in Brazil-related financings and other transactions. The Latin America team represents a wealth of big-name international lenders and a raft of regional borrowers.  Michael Fitzgerald leads the Latin America group and is a recognised leader in Mexico capital markets and bank lending transactions. Robert Kartheiser has an outstanding record in energy and infrastructure finance across the region, along with Elicia Ling and Cathleen McLaughlin, the latter bringing additional expertise in capital markets-related financings, including Section 4(a)(2) private placements. Joy Gallup and Arturo Carrillo are also experienced in Mexico financings. All named individuals are based in New York. However, Andres Mena left the firm for Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Michael Fitzgerald

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

JPMorgan

Citibank

HSBC

Credit Suisse

Banco Itau

BTG Pactual

Barclays Capital

BBVA

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Javer

Alfa Group and subsidiaries

EIG Global Partners

Jaguar Growth Partners

CEMIG

Gruma

Fibra Uno

Televisa

IEnova/Sempra

 

Work highlights

  • Represented RASSINI in a $470m senior secured loan from a consortium of banks, lead-managed by BBVA Bancomer.
  • Represented HSBC as administrative agent and collateral agent, and a syndicate of lenders in the restatement of a $245m credit agreement for Grupo Industrial Saltillo.
  • Represented Javer in the restatement of its various credit agreements in connection with a restructuring of all of the company’s debt.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP's Latin America group has a deep emphasis on banking and finance, with much of this centred in its sizeable Sao Paulo office. The team covers a broad spectrum of clients and financing transactions, including pre-export and trade finance, acquisition finance, syndicated lending, derivatives and securitisations, refinancings and restructurings. Head of the Latin America practice Carlos Martinez, is based in New York, and has extensive connections to Latin American corporates and banks, frequently advising on corporate loans, restructurings and debtor-in-possession financings. Antonio Piccirillo leads the Sao Paulo office and is a recognised banking and finance specialist, notably in pre-export financings, acquisition finance and project finance; he has strong links to Brazilian lenders and borrowers, though is active in transactions throughout Latin America. David Fenwick provides further senior-level experience and wide ranging expertise, while Fabio Yamada is another pivotal member of the group, also known for pre-export and trade finance, restructurings and refinancings, and general lending transactions. All named individuals are based in Sao Paulo unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Martinez; Antonio Piccirillo

Key clients

HIG Brazil

Commerzbank

Banco Santander

Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional – CSN

Scania

Banco Azteca

Gilinski Holdings

Banco Itaú

New Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised on the debtor-in-possession financing of OneWeb, a satellite telecommunications company that had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • Represented Gilinski Holdings on a $100m senior secured loan by Banco Latino Americano de Comercio Exterior.
  • Represented Scania Chile in its $78m project financing for a BRT (bus rapid transit) system in Santiago, Chile.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has one of the most experienced and versatile Latin America groups amongst the international firms. While most of its Latin America partners operate across multiple practice areas, they have genuine banking and finance pedigree. Situated in New York and Sao Paulo, the group has an extensive record in syndicated loans, acquisition financings, structured export financings, securitisations, project financings and restructurings. Its hugely impressive client list is illustrative of the firm's standing in the Latin America market. The group remains best known for its expertise in acquisition finance and corporate loans, with growth in financings related to the Covid-19 crisis. Juan Francisco Méndez is a key figure in acquisition financings and bilateral and syndicated facilities. Jaime Mercado is also noted for acquisition and leveraged finance, and Juan Naveira is a regular adviser to Latin American corporates in connection with various debt facilities. David Williams, founder of the Latin America practice and one of the pioneers in the market, has retired.

Practice head(s):

Todd Crider; Jaime Mercado; Juan Francisco Méndez; Grenfel Calheiros; Juan Naveira

Testimonials

‘Simpson has a very strong team in the banking and finance area. Although internally we were structuring a loan, Simpson’s collaboration made it quick and effective to negotiate. They stand out in terms of the speed in responding and the high level of knowledge.’

‘The team is made up of people who adapt to the business framework of their client, clearly understanding the needs of each transaction.’

‘Juan Naveira is a good successor to David Williams.’

Key clients

Abengoa

Administradora de Electromovilidad

Albanesi Energía

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior

Bank of America

Celulosa Arauco y Constitución

Citibank

Compañía de Petróleos de Chile Copec

Despegar.com

Empresa Copec

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Entel)

FIBRA Macquarie México

Grupo Cinemex

Grupo Phoenix

Grupo Monge

Ingeniería Estrella

JPMorgan

Morgan Stanley

Pan American Energy

Rabobank

Scotiabank

Unigel Participações

YPF Luz

Work highlights

  • Represented JPMorgan Chase in connection with a $375m secured bridge loan financing to InRetail Consumer, a subsidiary of InRetail Peru Corp.
  • Advised Electromovilidad as borrower on the review and negotiation of its new credit agreement with BNP Paribas and Société Générale as joint mandated lead arrangers, green loan coordinators and lenders.
  • Represented JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley on a committed debt financing to StoneCo in connection with the proposed merger of STNE Participações with Linx.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has an extensive regional profile, frequently landing big-ticket financing engagements in many key jurisdictions. Corporate lending and acquisition finance is core to the Latin America practice, with multiple mandates from both lenders and borrowers. Alejandro González Lazzeri has an outstanding record in Latin America financings, particularly for international banks such as Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase; he is also making a further impression in fintech.

Practice head(s):

Paul Schnell, Paola Lozano

Key clients

Caoba Inversiones

BBVA Securities

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Advised Caoba Inversiones, the investment vehicle of Colombian renewables company Celsia and British counterpart Cubico, on a $335m financing from Scotiabank, Export Development Canada and Colpatria, to acquire and develop power transmission projects in Colombia.
  • Advised BBVA Securities, Banco de Crédito del Perú and Banco Itaú as lead arrangers in the refinancing of Compañía de Minas Buenaventura (Peru)’s existing senior unsecured syndicated term loan.
  • Advised Credit Suisse on a $110m credit facility to Crédito Real (Mexico).

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter is best known for representing sovereign states, sub-sovereigns and government-linked businesses in financing and debt restructuring transactions; in 2020, it advised Caja de Ahorros, the Panamanian government-owned savings bank, on a $200m financing from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), guaranteed by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. It also represented the Republic of Colombia in the Chapter 11 case of Avianca, one of South America’s largest airlines. Beyond this, the firm has a fine record in derivatives, structured finance and securitisations (including diversified payments rights deals). It advised the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Panama in connection with ISDA Master Agreements. Whitney Debevoise has extensive experience in Latin America, particularly for sovereigns and sub-sovereigns. Gregory Harrington has a similarly strong standing in Latin America, particularly in Brazil and Peru. Panama native Raul Herrera is also highly rated, along with counsels Arturo Caraballo and Carlos Pelaez. On the project finance side, the firm brought over  New York-based Brazil specialist, Chris Willott, from Clifford Chance in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Whitney Debevoise; Gregory Harrington

Key clients

Central Bank of Venezuela

Caja de Ahorros (Panama)

Central Bank of Brazil (Banco Central do No Brasil)

Banco Credit Suisse (Brazil)

Banco de Costa Rica

Banco de Credito del Peru

BICSA (Banco Internacional de Costa No Rica)(Panama)

Itaú Unibanco (Brazil)

Barbados Creditors Committee

Bradesco

China Construction Bank (Brasil)

Republic of Panama/COVAX

Republic of Colombia

MetroBank

Work highlights

  • Advised Caja de Ahorros, a Panamanian government-owned savings bank, on a $200m financing from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, guaranteed by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.
  • Counsel to the board of Banco Central de Venezuela in litigation initiated by BCV board appointed by Nicolas Maduro regarding approximately $2bn equivalent of gold held by the Bank of England.
  • Represented the Republic of Colombia in the chapter 11 case of Avianca, one of South America’s largest airlines.

Dechert LLP

Dechert LLP's eminence in Latin America matters largely centres on big-ticket bankruptcies and financial restructurings. In this regard, Allan Brilliant has an outstanding reputation, with Shmuel Vasser also active in significant restructurings and reorganisations in the region. The firm frequently advises creditors and bondholders in major cases, notably representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 cases of LATAM Airlines and its affiliates; this was one of a number of headline cross-border Chapter 11 cases caused by the Covid-19 crisis. In the restructuring and bankruptcy field, it also advises corporates that have assets or interests in Latin America. Private equity-related financings are another forte for the firm, with transactions often involving the region. Howard Kleinman is a recognised Latin America expert with experience in corporate, capital markets and financing transactions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Thierfelder

Testimonials

‘Dechert has an extraordinary ability to analyse the case quickly, presenting technical and creative solutions.’

Key clients

Alden Global Capital

BCI Asset Management Administradora General de Fondos

BICE

CarVal Investors

Cinépolis de México

Citadel

EB Capital

Grupo LALA

Grupo Movile

iFood Holdings

Itau Unibanco

Laguna Dairy

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of LATAM Airlines Group

XP Investimentos

Work highlights

  • Advised The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of LATAM Airlines Group in connection with the Chapter 11 cases of LATAM Airlines and its affiliates, totalling over $10bn.
  • Represented Citadel in connection with the out-of-court restructuring of Colombian airline Avianca Holdings and its subsequent Chapter 11 cases.
  • Advised Oro Negro rig owning entities in connection with the Mexican Concurso filings of Oro Negro, their Chapter 15 cases in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and litigation in Singapore.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

DLA Piper LLP (US)‘s bold expansion of its Latin America practice, including US-based and Latin America-located teams, is paying considerable dividends. The firm brought in further senior figures in 2020, including Los Angeles-based project finance specialist Dino Barajas from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, San Diego partner Raul Farias from Sempra Energy and New York partner Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja from Baker McKenzie LLP. The firm’s extensive presence in Latin America itself has helped land it a steady pipeline of engagements from regional lenders. The wider team has impressed in alternative financing arrangements, including a team led by Raul Farias that advised Mexico-headquartered Crédito Real on a $50m loan from Barclays Bank, that was collateralised by the mark to market of certain swap transactions. Mexico is a particular forte for the firm, with New York’s William Candelaria also active on financings in the jurisdiction, along with key Mexico City partner Edgar Romo. Puerto Rico partner José Sosa-Lloréns is active in PPP financings and other transactions in the region, while New York’s Christopher Paci has a key role in financings that have a capital markets component. However, multilateral agency and DFI financings specialist Gregory Smith  and former of counsel Amala Nath both moved to Morrison & Foerster LLP in July 2021.

Practice head(s):

Dino Barajas; Raul Farias

Key clients

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex)

Globant

United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext)

Crédito Real

Province of Mendoza

Giddings Fruit

ALSEA

Credit Suisse

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Work highlights

  • Acted as US issuer’s counsel to Globant in connection with a registered primary public offering of common shares.
  • Represented Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex) in its issuance of debt securities in the form of certificados bursátiles.
  • Represented Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior, Sociedad Nacional de Crédito, Institución de Banca de Desarrollo (Bancomext) in the financing for the expansion of luxury hotel Rancho Pescadero in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP's sizeable team in Miami has deep ties to Latin America, while colleagues in Mexico City, New York, Houston and Dallas also have a strong association with the region. The firm's large presence in Mexico City ensures that much of the firm's focus is on Latin America's second biggest economy, though it has achieved prominence in Central America financings and a growing number of transactions further south. The Latin America team represents a number of major corporates in Mexico and beyond, including in corporate financings and project financings. Led by New York partner Ross Kaufman, the firm advised Grupo Gerdau, the Sao Paulo headquartered steel producer, on its $800m senior unsecured global working capital credit agreement. Emilio Alvarez-Farré  is hugely experienced in corporate transactions and financings, including project finance, throughout Latin America.

Practice head(s):

Marc Rossell; José Raz Guzmán; Emilio Alvarez-Farré

Testimonials

‘Bi-lingual with knowledge of Mexican customs and practices.’

‘Emilio Alvarez-Farré is a very competent and technically very complete lawyer in complex transactions. He has great knowledge of business in Latin America and is fully bi-lingual.’

Key clients

Grupo Gerdau

Avianca Holdings

Plasman Group

Engie Mexico

Distribuidora La Florida

US Corrugated

Win Systems

Finrest

Navent Group

Mexico Infrastructure Partners

Work highlights

  • Represented the co-borrowers and the guarantors in the $800m senior unsecured global working capital credit agreement for Grupo Gerdau.
  • Represented Avianca in its $325m convertible senior secured term loan facility provided by United Airlines, the proceeds used to repay existing debt.
  • Represented the Plasman Group in the Mexican law aspects of the refinancing of existing debt with new facilities entered into with White Oak Global Advisors and Bank of America.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills continued to evolve its banking and finance practice throughout 2020, gaining additional ground with non-traditional lenders such as private equity and special situations funds. It remains especially prominent in the Brazil oil and gas sector, including acquisition financings and vessel financings. It has also experienced an uptick in gas-to-power project financings, and has showcased its expertise in reserve-based lending, a particular forte for the firm globally. The Latin America group has also benefitted from the firm's sizeable Asia Pacific presence, leading to a series of engagements from Asia-based lenders on Latin America financings. Edward Dougherty is a key figure in oil and gas financings, particularly those in Brazil's offshore sector. London partner and co-head of the Latin America group Pedro Rufino Carvalho has made a particular impression in acquisition finance and the reserve-based lending space, especially in Brazil; he trained and worked in Brazil before moving to the UK.

Practice head(s):

Edward Dougherty; Pedro Rufino Carvalho

Testimonials

‘Seamless integration with other teams in the firm.’

‘They are very committed and available for anything that you need in legal support, giving you the best solution for the case. The entire team is very capable and competent.’

‘They are fully available and make things easier for us all of the time.’ 

‘Herbert Smith Freehills is a top firm with multidisciplinary and senior teams that are capable of solving problems in an expedited and efficient way. Compared to other firms, I would say that the experience showed by the team involved in the deals is in a different class.’  

Pedro Rufino Carvalho has expertise in working with different types of deals in banking and finance and project finance involving Latin America, especially Brazil. His knowledge of the different jurisdictions is useful in finding different solutions to challenging projects.’

‘Edward Dougherty – exceptional service and coordination skills.’

Key clients

Trident Energy

GranEnergia

ING

PetroRio

Ocyan

Marubeni Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Trident Energy on a first-of-a-kind reserve-based lending transaction and acquisition of Brazilian oil and gas assets from Petrobras.
  • Advised China Development Bank on sovereign loans to Ecuador backed with energy.
  • Advised Oquendo Capital on the acquisition financing of the Sola de Antequera Vegetales group, a Spanish conglomerate, including its Latin American subsidiaries in Peru.

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP's efforts to develop stronger connections to agency lenders and DFIs has enabled it to build a fervent pipeline of Latin America financing engagements. The firm also represents a number of Latin American banks and has extensive experience in sovereign debt restructurings. The core of the practice centres on project and infrastructure finance, corporate lending, and trade and receivables finance. It is also at the forefront of derivatives and securitisation, thanks to the presence of Emil Arca and Evan Koster; Koster was also a lead partner in advising the Republic of Ecuador on its collective action clause capital markets transactions, as part of the country's large international debt restructuring. Ricardo Martinez is a key figure in corporate lending, project finance and trade finance, has been instrumental in developing connections to agency lenders and DFIs, and has a particularly strong record in Brazil, Colombia and Chile. All named individuals are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Juan Francisco Torres Landa

Key clients

The City of Cordoba

Republic of Ecuador

IDB Invest

Knighthead

IFC and OPEC Fund

CBC

BdP

National Commercial Bank Jamaica

Banco de la Producción

Work highlights

  • Represented the Republic of Ecuador in the use of collective action clauses in capital markets transactions, as part of its international debt restructuring.
  • Advised IFC and OPEC Fund in three separate but connected loan transactions totalling $385m to Banco Davivienda, to finance women-owned and small and medium-sized enterprises, social housing, and environmentally sound development.
  • Advised the Republic of Ecuador on the $400m issuance of the world’s first sovereign social bond.

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP has a deep and broad banking and finance practice spanning bilateral and syndicated lending, to traditional project finance and securitisation. The firm is also at the forefront of aviation finance in Latin America. Key lender clients include Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex), Banco Santander and Deutsche Bank. The firm's long history in Latin America financings positioned it well for 2020 with a series of major restructuring and refinancing engagements. Peter Baumgaertner remains a prominent figure in corporate finance, project finance and big-ticket restructurings. Stephen Double has an extensive record in bank lending, including syndicated loans, along with project bonds, structured finance and securitisation. Phillip Durham is a market leader in Latin America aviation and equipment finance; in 2020, he represented various aircraft leasing companies in connection with Avianca’s Chapter 11 bankrupcty. Miami and New York partner Norberto Quintana has significant experience in Latin America financings, including lending to financial institutions, and project and infrastructure financings. Miami's Laura Güemes Cambras impresses at associate level. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Pupo; Cindy Brazell; Matthew Fontane

Testimonials

‘This team has a lot of experience in LatAm financing transactions in virtually all hot industries in the region. They can cover every aspect of the deal, from regulatory, government relations to negotiation of deal terms.’

‘The lawyers I have worked with show that they really care about the work product. They are not just trying to close the deal and move on to the next, like I’ve seen from other law firms. The team cares about the outcome and wants to make sure the client is happy with it. Additionally, they try to find alternatives beyond what is considered ‘market’ so that the client can achieve what it is looking for.’

The H&K team is excellent. They have a lot of knowledge of the Latin American market. For projects in Latin America, they are one of the best teams I have ever had to work with. Beyond their knowledge and experience, they are clear, concise, and effective. They seek to solve customer problems and not generate new ones. They are always available and there is a very high participation in the deals from the partners.’ 

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

Work highlights

  • Represented UMB Bank as the administrative agent and collateral agent in a $2bn multi-tranche debtor-in-possession (DIP) loan facility in connection with the bankruptcy of AeroMexico.
  • Represented Banco Bilboa Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) as lender on a $200m facility to Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF).
  • Representated Wells Fargo Bank as joint lead arranger, bookrunner and administrative agent in a $150m senior unsecured syndicated loan for Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex).

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP's strong commitment to Latin America is driven by a series of senior practitioners that are focused on the region. In the banking and finance segment, it has a long track record with key agency and DFI lenders, commercial banks and Latin American borrowers, including financial institutions. The firm works closely with IDB Invest on a range of financings and is also noted for its record in bank M&A. Fernando Alonso, chairman of the Latin America and Iberia practice group, is hugely well connected and operates across the corporate transactions and financing segments. Washington DC partner Vera Rechsteiner has an eminent background in energy and infrastructure financings, and is a frequent counsel to IDB Invest. Uriel Mendieta represents both lenders and borrowers in multiple Latin American jurisdictions, as does Fernando Margarit . Houston special counsel Doris Rodríguez and Washington DC-based international counsel Alejandro Silva are also key team members; the latter previously served as assistant general counsel at the IFC. Named individuals are based in Miami, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Alonso

Testimonials

‘What makes the experience with this firm unique is the deep knowledge of the law and its application in a clear and efficient way. They are an extremely complete and empowered team. They are the best option among firms with similar characteristics.’

The HAK team dedicated to banking and finance, led by Fernando Alonso, is of the highest quality and service. Fernando is a lawyer with proven solidity over the years in all types of financing and investment and private banking operations. He is a trusted partner and incredibly helpful in any corporate/financial situation, giving us full confidence as a client.’

Fernando Alonso is a prestigious lawyer with exceptional solidity and treatment.’

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)

International Finance Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented IDB Invest on a gender-focused social bond issued by Banco Davivienda in Colombia.
  • Represented the client, as borrower, in connection with multiple loans to finance Eligible SME sub-loans to Eligible sub-borrowers in Latin America.
  • Represented Credit Suisse as arranger and administrative agent in connection with a $240m covered loan facility to Global Bank Corporation.

Jones Day

Jones Day's sizeable Latin America practice, which includes a large presence in Mexico City, Sao Paulo, New York and Miami, has leveraged its extensive expertise in a growing number of refinancings and restructurings. Much of the practice has centred on real estate, energy and infrastructure, while the firm has developed its standing in ESG and sustainability-linked loans. It advised Millicom International Cellular on a $600m senior unsecured sustainability-linked revolving credit facility in 2020. It remains at the forefront of oil and gas financings, representing some of the biggest international oil majors and a number of lenders in midstream oil and gas financings. Miami partners Fradyn Suárez and Richard Puttré are key names in energy and infrastructure financings and refinancings. Mexico City's Alberto de la Parra has an outstanding reputation in infrastructure and renewable energy finance, as is fellow Mexico City partner Manuel Romano. Sao Paulo's Marcello Hallake covers both corporate and finance transactions, including numerous big-ticket deals. Miami of counsel Marie Elena Angulo is another prominent individual.

Practice head(s):

Brett Barragate

Key clients

Engie

Wells Fargo

Bank of America

Citibank

Banco Santander

BBVA/ Bancomer

Millicom International Cellular

Grupo Kuo

Banco Sabadell

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters LLP has a lean Latin America team, spread primarily across its New York and Sao Paulo offices. Much of its historical emphasis has been on Brazil and the Southern Cone, though it has genuine experience across the region. The team's work ranges from pre-export financings to offshore oil and gas financings. Splitting his time between New York and Sao Paulo, Matthew Poulter is a thoroughbred Latin America specialist, with an exceptionally strong record in M&A, capital markets and structured lending in Brazil and other key jurisdictions. Michael Bassett is noted for power and oil and gas financings in Brazil and across Latin America. Conrado Tenaglia co-heads the Latin America group and has a strong record in debt financings in Argentina and the Southern Cone. Andrew Compton is another energy and infrastructure finance specialist with a deep focus on Latin America.

Practice head(s):

Conrado Tenaglia

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's Latin America banking and finance practice stood up well to the Covid-19 crisis with continued activity in bilateral and club loans, restructuring work, private placements and a growing number of securitisation transactions. HSBC is an anchor client for the team, which has advised the bank on a multitude of deals in Brazil and across Latin America. On the sovereign debt side, a traditional forte for the group, Timothy DeSieno has left the firm to join Omni Bridgeway, although former partner Michael Reilly has come out of retirement to join the Hartford office as special adviser; Reilly has worked on a multitude of financial restructurings in Latin America over the years. New York partner Thomas Mellor is the key name for bilateral and club loans in Latin America for the likes of HSBC. Hartford's Daniel Papermaster is a leader in private placements, while Houston based Felipe Alice is Brazil licensed and is active in project finance in the jurisdiction.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Mellor; Juan-Pablo Crespo

Testimonials

‘They have a good grasp of the multi-dimensional facets of some cross border issues. They have built a good relationship with us over the years. They are reliable, trustworthy and very professional.’

Key clients

HSBC US

HSBC Mexico

HSBC Brazil

HSBC UK

HSBC Bermuda

ING

National Bank of Kuwait

Prudential

MetLife

Teachers Insurance

Bank of America

Fuyo Leasing

SMBC

Norinchukin

Cerberus Capital Management

Credit Suisse

Work highlights

  • Advised Patriotic Energies and Technologies on the financing for the acquisition of the oil refinery at Point-a-Pierre, Trinidad.  
  • Advised HSBC in Latin America on various finance and restructuring matters.
  • Represented ING in a highly structured $80m leveraged acquisition finance loan in Argentina.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a lean, but highly experienced and respected Latin America team. The group is widely recognised for its versatility and ability to land the biggest-ticket and most complex engagements in the market. It is frequently engaged by sovereign states on headline matters. In line with the economic dynamics, the firm demonstrated its expertise in restructurings and distressed situations. It advised The Ministry of Finance of Belize on its debt relief programme to address the Covid-19 crisis. Sergio Galvis, Werner Ahlers and Christopher Mann comprise a formidable senior Latin America team, with Robert Risoleo providing further high-level experience in capital markets, financings and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Galvis

Baker McKenzie LLP

Baker McKenzie LLP's ubiquitous platform enables it to drive a flourishing banking and finance practice from multiple centres in Latin America itself, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Chile; notably it has a number of senior practitioners in Peru. The Latin America group represents a number of international banks, including Asian, European and North American-based institutions. Much of the practice centres on energy and infrastructure financings, along with corporate lending and acquisition finance. Gabriel Gómez Giglio leads the team from Buenos Aires. Luis Ambrósio is a key name in Sao Paulo, as are Juan Carlos de los Heros in Lima and Sebastian Vivanco in Santiago. New York partner Margarita Oliva Sainz de Aja left the firm in December 2020.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Gómez Giglio

Key clients

Mizuho Bank

Korea Development Bank

Central American Bank for Economic Integration

Banorte

Bonus Banca de Inversión

Canadian Imperial Bank

Farallon Capital Management

Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (BANCOMEXT)

Sierra Gorda

Marriott International

Work highlights

  • Advised HSBC on a $70m financing to State Grid Chile Investment, to finance part of the acquisition of a 100% interest of Sempra Americas Bermuda II and 56.22% of Sempra International Holdings.
  • Advised Sacyr Construcción and Sacyr Concesiones on the financing of the design, construction and maintenance of a railway project of two-railway lines between Montevideo and Progreso, Uruguay.
  • Represented Rivulis in an off-balance sheet financing from Bank Leumi Le-Israel.

CMS

CMS's rapid growth across Latin America, which now includes a presence in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, has ensured that it is gaining market share in major financings and restructurings. The group also works closely with a number of prominent firms in the US. It represents a variety of international and regional banks, multilateral lenders, and a multitude of corporate borrowers. The firm consistently impresses in oil and gas, energy and infrastructure financings, including acquisition finance and project finance transactions. Fintech and bank regulatory matters are other fortes for the team. Colombia partners Daniel Rodríguez and Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero are amongst a number of banking and finance specialists within the wider Latin America group.

Practice head(s):

Ted Rhodes

Key clients

Sun International

Elecnor

Banco Santander

Departamento Administrativo Defensoría del Espacio Público del Distrito de Bogotá – DADEP

Agence Francaise de Development

Scotiabank

BBVA

Bankaool, Institución de Banca Múltiple

PetroRio

Tu Dinero Digital

Work highlights

  • Advised PetroRio on bridge and long-term financing arrangements for the acquisition of the OSX-3 (now re-named FPSO Bravo) floating oil production platform (FPSO).
  • Advised Agence Francaise de Development on the budgetary loan granted to the Republic of Colombia for the financing of the 2018-2022 National Development Plan.
  • Advised Kallpa Securities SAB on its capacity as structuring entity for a FIBRA bond issuance program of up to $2bn.

Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas has enjoyed rapid growth in Latin America, now with a presence in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile. It has achieved high-levels of engagement in Colombia especially, along with significant project finance instructions in Peru and Chile. The firm works closely with a range of Spanish lenders and sponsors, while having strong links to Latin American corporates.  It has worked intensively in refinancings in the hotels and leisure segment, and remains active in a range of energy and infrastructure financings. Lima partner Aldo Reggiardo is a prominent name in energy, infrastructure and mining sector financings.

Practice head(s):

Aldo Reggiardo

Key clients

Codere México

Fondo Capital de Infraestructura

Opdenergy

Agencia de Promoción de la Inversión Privada – ProInversion

Gobierno del Estado de Veracruz

Bankia

Caixabank

Bancolombia

Inter-American Investment Corporation

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Deutsche Bank

Stracon

Work highlights

  • Advised on the refinancing of a portfolio of hotels of Palladium group in Spain, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank on structuring the acquisition of non-performing loans from Banco de Crédito del Perú.
  • Advised on the financing of the construction, operation, maintenance, land acquisition, environmental and social management, and renovation of the existing infrastructure of a 145km toll road connecting Bogotá and Girardot.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP operates a relatively lean Latin America team, principally centred in New York and Sao Paulo. In the banking and finance sphere it is best known for infrastructure finance, including traditional bank lending and capital markets driven structures. It represented Metropistas, Puerto Rico’s largest private toll road concessionaire, on various amendments to its letter of credit facility and the refinancing of its term loan credit facility with private placement notes. Tomer Pinkusiewicz is co-chair of the Latin America practice and is an experienced figure in project bonds and infrastructure finance.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Alfaro; Jose Fernandez; Tomer Pinkusiewicz

Key clients

Autopistas Metropolitanas de Puerto Rico

Work highlights

  • Represented Metropistas, Puerto Rico’s largest private toll road concessionaire, in various amendments to its letter of credit facility and the refinancing of its term loan credit facility with private placement notes.

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin LLP's Latin America team is best known for structured finance and securitisation transactions. It is also a significant player in energy and infrastructure finance through its Houston office. New York partner Carlos Rodríguez is a leader in Latin America asset-backed financings, including securitisations, and Houston partner Brian Bradshaw is at the forefront of oil and gas financings throughout the region.

Uría Menéndez

Uría Menéndez has deep connections to Latin America, historically through its Spain offices and now also through its associated practice Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría in Colombia, Chile and Peru. The firm is at the forefront of energy and infrastructure finance, particularly for Spanish lenders and sponsors. It is also noted for restructurings and non-performing loan transactions. Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira leads the Latin America group from Madrid where Ángel Pérez López is a key player in Latin America non-performing loan transactions.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP‘s core Latin America team remains active in restructurings, financings, securitisations and other financings that straddle traditional bank lending and the capital markets. The firm’s strong ties to Latin American businesses brings it a steady pipeline of financing engagements, including corporate loans and project financings. For example, in 2020 it advised long-term client Enel Américas on a $150m senior unsecured revolving credit facility entered into with BBVA, Crédit Agricole and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Talbert Navia co-chairs the Latin America group, is of Colombian heritage, and has an impressive record in acquisition finance and corporate loans. Claude Serfilippi is noted for energy financings and Allen Miller, the other team co-chair, is key to capital markets-related financings. The April-2021 arrival of Rodrigo Carvalho was another significant development for the practice; formerly head of investment banking (legal division) at the Bank of America in Sao Paulo, in addition to his financial, capital markets and corporate M&A practice, he will lead the firm's formation of an affiliated foreign legal consultancy firm in Brazil.

Practice head(s):

Allen Miller; Talbert Navia

Work highlights

  • Represented Enel Américas in a $150m senior unsecured revolving credit facility entered into with BBVA, Crédit Agricole and the Bank of Nova Scotia
  • Represented Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in its loan to Latin America Power Peru to repay existing debt to Banco BTG Pactual, Banco Internacional del Perú, CAF and Cofide.