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Latin America: International firms

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As an economically volatile region, Latin America has always produced a rich mix of financing opportunities, whether they be driven by restructurings, refinancing or new money financings. For international firms with interests or a presence in the region, the finance segment has become increasingly complex with borrowers looking to multiple sources of funding. Over the last decade, multilateral agencies (MLAs), export credit agencies (ECAs) and development finance institutions (DFIs) have become increasingly prominent in Latin America financings. At the same time, international commercial banks have recovered from the global financial crisis and become more prevalent in lending transactions, while Latin America-based banks are also key sources of funding. Argentina is a particular destination of interest for international firms that are looking to participate in advisory roles relating to its RenovAR and wider PPP initiatives.

Significant shifts in the regional legal market have seen Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP become a much bigger player in Latin America following its merger with Chadbourne & Parke, although part of the legacy Chadbourne & Parke Latin America team joined Winston & Strawn LLP.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has an outstanding reputation in the restructuring field and has an impressive market share of new money financings. It has dominated the restructuring scene in Brazil, where it advised the ad hoc group of bondholders of Oi in connection with the Brazilian company’s reorganisation and Brazilian judicial recovery proceeding, which involves the conversion of a substantial portion of Oi Group’s bond debt into equity and a R$4bn capital injection backed by a number of prominent hedge funds. It also advised the ad hoc group of bondholders of subsidiaries of Odebrecht Oil & Gas on the potential restructuring of the company and its associated project companies. Moreover, in Mexico the practice advised Empresas ICA regarding its on-going $3.9bn debt restructuring, which involves $1.35bn in global bond debt. The team advises a mix of debtors and creditors with other clients including Cablevisión, the ad hoc bondholders of Tonon Bioenergia, Telecom Argentina, Arendal, Metrogas and Pampa Energía. Although widely considered to have the broadest Latin America geographic coverage of all international firms, it has an especially high market share of big-name corporate clients in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The team has experienced an uptick in Argentina new money financings and has an established Buenos Aires office and a long track record of financings in the jurisdiction. In 2018, it advised Telecom Argentina on its $1bn senior unsecured credit facility provided by a consortium of international banks. New York partner Richard Cooper is widely acclaimed as the market leader in Latin America restructurings, which is further illustrated by his advice to the bondholders on the restructurings of Oi Group and Odebrecht Oil & Gas, and by his representation of Empresas ICA on its headline reorganization process. São Paulo partner Francisco Cestero is a key player on the restructuring side, most notably in Brazil where his Portuguese language skills are pivotal to the team’s success there. New York partner Chantal Kordula has emerged as an outstanding practitioner in project finance and headline financings in Mexico, Chile and Argentina. New York’s Adam Brenneman is ‘nice to work with’ and forges a ‘positive experience’ for all parties in a transaction; he has an especially strong record in Mexico, Chile and Argentina. Head of the Buenos Aires office Andrés de la Cruz is highly acclaimed in new money financings and restructurings in Argentina and the Southern Cone; he recently advised Cablevisión Holding on its $750m acquisition financing connected to the merger of Cablevisión and Telecom Argentina. São Paulo partner Juan Giráldez is another key name, as is counsel Emilio Minvielle in Buenos Aires. New York partners Amy Shapiro and Duane McLaughlin provide additional expertise in Latin America financings.

Clifford Chance has deep experience in a range of jurisdictions and financing products, and the practice has developed a strong roster of agency lender, commercial bank and sponsor/borrower clients. Moreover, with deep expertise in project finance, acquisition finance, asset finance for corporates, trade finance and capital markets-linked transactions, the firm is consistently at the forefront of growth sectors. It has achieved real prominence in Argentina, where it helped the government to shape the tender process for its PPP programme, and is now advising a range of bidders for upcoming PPP initiatives. This follows the firm’s key success in Colombia where it has been at the forefront of the government’s fourth generation (4G) toll road programme and in a number of private sector financings. In Peru, it has impressed in energy, toll road and other infrastructure projects, and in Chile it has undertaken various roles in headline renewables project financings. Brazil is also a market where the firm has had a significant presence for many years, with the practice working on a series of major restructurings and refinancings during the nation’s recent period of economic and political difficulties; it is now seeing a solid pipeline of new money financings. The established São Paulo team recently advised a syndicate of five Brazilian lenders on a $235m debt restructuring of leading Latin American petrochemical and plastics company, Unigel Group; the restructuring involved a novel approach involving a corporate reorganisation and an acquisition financing to deleverage the group, with the financing comprised of four syndicated export prepayment facilities and six bilateral loans. In another key deal, the firm advised Bancolombia and Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala (as arrangers and lenders) on a $340m syndicated secured loan to Renace to repay an existing $300m bridge loan to finance the development of the Renace II and Renace III hydroelectric power plants in Guatemala. Other key clients include Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Goldman Sachs, Citibank, SMBC, JP Morgan Chase, IFC, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, OPIC and Mizuho. Jay Gavigan has an excellent record in Latin America, especially in acquisition finance and syndicated credit along with project finance and restructurings. ‘Very nice guy to deal with’, Chris Willott, is recommended by clients for restructuring expertise – especially in Brazil where he was based for many years, although he is equally adept in new money financings. Gianluca Bacchiocchi has a tremendous profile in project finance, especially in capital markets-linked financings in Peru and Colombia. In Washington DC, Fabricio Longhin takes much of the credit for the firm’s strong connection to IDB and its recent success in Colombia and Argentina. Also in Washington DC, Catherine McCarthy and Lori Ann Bean are noted for their agency-lender and commercial bank relationships; both are frequently involved in Latin America deals. Restructuring partner Jennifer DeMarco has become an experienced figure in the Latin America market and, at the associate level, senior associate Guido Liniado is impressing the market. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated. Charles Adams has transferred to Milan.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP’s global standing in banking and finance is very much in evidence in Latin America, especially in energy and infrastructure financings. Few can match its banking connections to big names such as Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Goldman Sachs. Other clients in Latin America include Empresas Públicas de Medellín, I-Squared Capital Advisors, YPF and Pan American Energy. Among a number of headline deals, it advised Macquarie on the acquisition, development and financing of Norte III, a 907MW combined cycle-gas turbine power plant in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. It also advised the arrangers and initial lenders on the $220m financing to Argentine gas transmission company, Transportadora de Gas del Norte, the proceeds being used to redeem notes due 2017 and step-up notes due in 2019. Global head of the firm’s project, energy and infrastructure finance group, Daniel Bartfeld is a giant in the Latin America banking and finance sector; ‘extremely commercial’ and ‘well respected’, he ‘can handle a bank consortium very well’. Carlos Albarracín displays expertise in both traditional bank finance and capital markets work, and has an especially strong record in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Carolina Walther-Meade is another experienced figure, particularly in Latin America energy, infrastructure and mining sector financings. Roland Estevez is emerging as an increasingly pivotal member of the Latin America department and represented the multilateral and commercial banks on the project financing of Aela Energía’s wind portfolio, including the 129MW Aurora and 170MW Sarco projects in Chile; Aela Energía is a joint venture between private equity fund Actis’ Chilean renewables platform and Mainstream Renewable Power. Jaime Ramirez was promoted to partner in January 2018.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s long presence in Latin America has afforded it prime connections to lenders and borrowers, spanning key product areas such as acquisition finance, bilateral and syndicated loans, project finance, and restructurings and refinancings. The firm recently reinforced its finance capabilities in Latin America with the hire of counsel Roberta Berliner Cherman in São Paulo; a former associate at the firm, Cherman subsequently spent nine years as an in-house counsel at Brazil’s Itaú Unibanco. Recent work has seen the team advise the joint lead arrangers on a $1.5bn refinancing for Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and represent the lead arrangers on a $400m financing for Mexican multinational food manufacturing company Gruma, involving a $250m senior unsecured revolving credit facility and a $150m senior unsecured term loan facility. The practice has also impressed in restructurings and financings in Brazil, and has a market leading presence in energy, mining and infrastructure financings. Key clients include Banco BTG Pactual, Banco Santander Brasil, Banco Santander Chile and Caixa Econômica Federal. Denise Grant has a market leading presence in acquisition finance, most notably in Mexico, Chile and Peru, although she is equally adept in corporate loans and project finance; Grant has further experience in the Caribbean and is praised for her ability to prioritise issues and ‘maintain excellent relationships with her clients’. Global head of the firm’s project development and finance group, Gregory Tan is an industrious figure with a high profile in the region. Cynthia Urda Kassis is a leading name in the mining sector, but also has broader expertise in energy and infrastructure; she is regarded as ‘on point and nuanced’ in her approach, with one peer suggesting that she is the benchmark for young lawyers to aspire to and another highlighting that she is ‘delightful to work with’, ‘sticks to her guns when she needs to’ but is ‘willing to get things done’. Alexandro Padrés, a Mexican national, has a fine record in power sector financings in Mexico. Paul Epstein, a project development and finance specialist with Latin America experience, was promoted to partner in January 2018. All named partners are based in New York unless stated.

White & Case LLP’s broad banking and finance offering continues to impress across Latin America. In addition to having established offices in São Paulo and Mexico City, the firm has prominent finance teams in Miami, New York and Washington DC that serve the Latin America market and ‘delivers services across the financing spectrum’, according to one client. Sabrena Silver joined the New York office from Linklaters LLP in 2017 to add further credibility in highly structured transactions. Since joining the firm, Silver advised Deutsche Bank on a $150m syndicated loan to Colombian national airline Avianca, the transaction taking into account aspects of Colombian law that impact sale of future receivables, US Chapter 11 concerns and receivables generated under a Costa Rican-law, credit card processing agreement. The firm’s longstanding focus on Argentina has paid dividends with a series of finance engagements in the jurisdiction, while its hugely impressive Brazilian borrower client base, ensures a steady pipeline of significant transactions. The São Paulo office advised Fibria International Trade (as borrower) and Fibria Cellulose S (as guarantor) on a $700m unsecured export prepayment loan facility to finance the group’s production and export of cellulose products and to refinance certain existing export related debt. It also represented Petrobras and its subsidiary Petrobras Netherlands on a $1bn syndicated loan to the latter, which is guaranteed by Petrobras and secured by a semi-submersible oil production vessel and an interest in insurance proceeds payable in respect of the vessel. In aviation finance, the Latin America team has also experienced significant growth, thanks in part to the efforts of Miami partner Christian Hansen, who represents the likes of Aeroméxico and Copa Airlines. Acquisition finance and securitisation continue to be major segments for the practice, as is project finance in which the firm has a high market share of Latin America deals in both energy and infrastructure. Miami partner Carlos Viana is ‘a dominant finance lawyer’, who is ‘fully involved in the transaction’, is ‘very responsive and sympathetic to clients’ needs’ and has ‘good knowledge of the industry, products and counterparties’. São Paulo partner John Anderson has made a big impression in Brazil, especially with local borrowers; he is regarded as ‘very smart’, having ‘a lot of integrity’ and being ‘pragmatic’: he ‘focuses on the things that matter and doesn’t waste time on the things that don’t’. New York and Miami partner Jeanine Acevedo is ‘very responsive, patient, and thorough’, and is very well regarded for project finance. Miami’s Fernando de la Hoz is another prominent name, as is head of the São Paulo office Donald Baker. Miami associate Thomas Pate is ‘always responsive and able to fully grasp any concern of the client and how to mitigate it’.

Allen & Overy LLP has deepened its engagement with the region and acts for a range of banks, agency lenders and development finance institutions, and borrowers. The versatile Latin America banking and finance team is principally located in New York, Washington DC and São Paulo, and is prominent in project finance, acquisition finance, general corporate finance and bank lending, and structured trade and commodity finance. The practice has an especially strong standing in São Paulo, where the prominent Bruno Soares is praised for his ‘remarkable’ trade finance expertise and experience across various financing products, including in the offshore oil and gas sector; senior counsel Mark Manisty is another key figure in the office. The team advised Deutsche Bank in connection with a €130m secured financing to Maxion Wheels provided by a syndicate of commercial banks and multilateral agencies (MLAs); and also represented ABN Amro in a $100m bilateral pre-export financing to Amaggi Exportação e Importação. The firm has an especially strong standing among Washington DC-based MLAs and DFIs and recently advised International Finance Corporation (IFC) on its debt financing to telecoms company Cabo Brasil to fund its expansion in several Brazilian states. Moreover, the team is increasingly active in Argentina, especially in relation to its RenovAr programme. Spanish speaker Sami Mir continues to make an impression in Washington DC, having transferred there from New York, and is at the forefront of the firm’s relationships with MLAs and DFIs; his clients include IFC, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). New York partner Dorina Yessios has an outstanding record in traditional power and renewables financings, most notably in Mexico. Joseph Stefano is another New York finance partner that has involvement with Latin America deals. David Flechner moved to Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s ‘fine’ senior teams in São Paulo and New York continue to operate at the forefront of headline restructurings, acquisition finance and project finance. The firm is particularly recognised for its record in Brazil (although it deserves further credit for its work in Mexico and Colombia), and acts for a client roster including Arcos Dorados, Banco de Credito del Peru, Banco Safra, BR Malls, CCR, Contour Global, Cosan, Elementia, GP Investments, Mexichem, Odebrecht Group, Santander and Sete Brasil, among others. The firm advised a major creditor and backstop party in the $20bn restructuring of Oi, the Brazilian telecoms provider; this was part of the largest ever court-supervised restructuring in Latin America. Moreover, the Latin America team represented Odebrecht Óleo e Gás (and certain subsidiaries) on their $5bn debt restructuring. On the new money financing side, the firm advised the arrangers on a $900m and CLP668bn senior unsecured bridge facility for Enel Chile to finance the Elqui Project (its proposed reorganisation and merger of Enel Green Power Latin America into Enel Chile), and a cash tender offer for the shares of Enel Generación Chile. Key partners include co-head of the global credit group James Florack who ‘knows what to prioritise’ and is ‘one of the reasons why the firm is so rated’ in the region; he is especially highly regarded for acquisition and leveraged finance. São Paulo partner and co-head of the Latin America group, Manuel Garciadiaz is known for his immense work ethic and versatility across capital markets, finance and M&A, notably working on a series of headline debt restructurings, including the restructurings of Oi and Odebrecht Óleo e Gás. Joseph Hadley is a key member of the team in corporate and project financings in the region, most notably in the energy sector. In São Paulo, the ‘very experienced’ Stephen Hood is ‘a known quantity and well respected’; ‘pragmatic’ and ‘practical’, he ‘sees the big issues’ and is ‘good to work with’. Maurice Blanco is another Latin America specialist, primarily known for capital markets transactions, but who also has a fine record in bank lending. Timothy Graulich is recommended for bondholder debt restructurings in Latin America.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP remains best known for syndicated and bilateral loans in Brazil. The firm has worked on a series of landmark syndicated deals in the jurisdiction and throughout Latin America thanks in part to an illustrious client base of lenders and borrowers such as Banco Santander, Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Darnel Group, ING Bank, Natixis, Republic of Paraguay, SER Holding Company, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Ticofrut. In addition to its plentiful international investment and commercial bank relationships, it is also increasingly active on behalf of funds acting as creditors. Outside of Brazil, the team has experienced an uptick in lending engagements in Chile and Argentina and also has a solid record in Peru. In addition, it has broadened its practice to include a series of club loans in 2017 and into 2018. Showcasing the breadth of the practice, the firm also advised the Republic of Paraguay on its $500m sovereign bond issuance in 2017. Co-chair of the banking and financial services practice group and managing partner of the Miami office, Amy Dulin is a market leader for Brazil-related syndicated and bilateral loans; demonstrating ‘good chemistry’ with her clients, she provides ‘personal attention and a lot of experience in the region’ and ‘knows which issues are important’ note peers. Co-chair of the Latin America practice Federico Goudie is a versatile practitioner who operates across various practice areas but has notable experience in acquisition and project finance for Latin American borrowers and sponsors. Mark Denham is another multi-skilled player with an especially impressive record in aviation finance for corporate jet and commercial airlines; he has additional experience in securitisation-type financings and distressed debt work. Ruben Diaz also has a broad practice, with a particular focus on Central America.

Latham & Watkins LLP is primarily known for project finance in the energy and infrastructure spaces, although it has genuine credibility in acquisition and commodity finance; it is also experienced in hybrid financings involving capital markets components. Through its multiple offices in the US and solid presence in Houston, the firm has captured significant market share in Mexico, where it is at the forefront of energy sector reforms and associated financings. Argentina is a growth market for the practice and it also remains active in other key markets such as Chile, Colombia and Brazil. Clients include Repsol, Fermaca Global, Howard Energy Partners, First Reserve Corporation, Norddeutsche Landesbank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Andes Mining & Energy, Credit Agricole and IFM Global Infrastructure Fund. The team advised US-based investment fund ICE Canyon, as the purchaser of senior secured notes issued by Stoneway Capital, to finance the construction of four Argentine power plants with an aggregate capacity of 686MW. It also advised the client on its $475m term loan facility for the acquisition of Inversora Eléctrica de Buenos Aires and the refinancing of existing debt; the target is a provider and distributor of electric energy in Buenos Aires. Washington DC counsel Luis Torres led the team on the previously mentioned transactions. Christopher Cross is a key name in the oil and gas sector financings, most notably in Mexico; while co-chair of the Latin America practice Antonio Del Pino, Veronica Relea and Washington DC partner David Penna, are also experienced in Latin America financing transactions. All named individuals are New York based unless stated otherwise.

Mayer Brown’s breadth of product range and geographic coverage has served it well during a volatile period in the Latin America banking and finance sector. Despite fewer syndicated deals in the market, the firm has found bilateral loans a relatively fruitful segment of the market. Its expanding presence in Mexico City has brought an uptick in lending transactions in the newly liberalised hydrocarbons sector, including financings involving a capital markets component and drillship sector loans. Real estate deals in Mexico and Central America are another strength of the practice. Clients include Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander, Citibank, Mizuho Bank, Scotiabank, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and OPIC. The practice advised IFC and the OPEC Fund for International Development on the restructuring of major Latin American shipping group Ultrapetrol, which included the sale of approximately $65m of term loan financings, and also represented a syndicate of banks in the amendment and extension of a $1.5bn credit facility for Freeport-McMoRan subsidiary, Sociedad Minera Cerro Verde. Other matters included advising Mizuho Bank as lead arranger on a $193m syndicated loan to Panama-based multilateral lender Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex). Chicago-based co-head of the Latin America practice and co-head of the firm’s global banking and finance practice, Douglas Doetsch is a ‘big player’ who is ‘extremely smart’, ‘pragmatic’ and is ‘always working to look for solutions’. New York partner David Duffee is co-head of the firm’s global lending practice and has a high degree of focus on Latin America, with a strong record in syndicated lending and acquisition finance. A ‘great lawyer’ who is ‘always mindful of the interest of the client’, New York and Washington DC partner Christopher Erckert couples ‘vast experience and market knowledge’ with a ‘practical approach to facilitate an efficient execution’; he demonstrates a ‘client-oriented approach’ and ‘unparalleled understanding of Latin America and structured finance transactions’. Other notable figures include Washington DC’s Gabriela Sakamoto, who advises a range of lenders, including banks, MLAs and export credit agencies (ECAs); Mexico City partner Ariel Ramos, who has broad financing experience in the jurisdiction, most notably in relation to projects; and Eduardo Lima at Brazilian associate firm Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown who is highlighted for his versatility and has extensive experience in restructurings and refinancings. Chicago-based senior figure Debora de Hoyos is also highly regarded.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP established itself as a major player in Latin America banking and finance, thanks to its 2017 merger with Chadbourne & Parke. The firm now offers strong banking and finance teams in São Paulo, Mexico City, Bogota, New York and Washington DC. Moreover, thanks to the firm’s European lender client base, the core Latin America team is experiencing an uptick in engagements from Europe and is also seeing growth in cross-border financings from China and Japan. Sources note ‘a very good level of service’, ‘quick responses’, and ‘enlightening legal support and advice’. The firm is one of few to have a substantial banking and finance group in São Paulo that has a significant presence in both the local market and across Latin America. Notably, it is especially well positioned for growth in Argentina, including in relation to the country’s PPP programme, a segment in which the team has impressed the market in other jurisdictions such as Peru. Project finance accounts for a significant portion of the overall practice, followed by general banking, acquisition finance, structured trade and commodity finance, and asset finance. In São Paulo, Alison Baxter has joined from the Rio de Janeiro office to further enhance the large team’s asset finance capabilities. Considerable project finance growth is notable for a practice that, overall, is especially active in Colombia, Chile and Uruguay, and well poised for Argentina deals. Moreover, Brazil financings have remained a core part of the practice. In general banking, the São Paulo team led by Charles Johnson, advised Vale on its $2bn syndicated revolving credit facility (one of the largest cross-border syndicated loan facilities to a Brazilian company in 2017), and in another headline deal, advised 12 lenders on a $925m debt restructuring for Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer, Group Santa Terezinha. Other clients include ING Bank, Rabobank, Banco Itaú, Deutsche Bank, Vale, Enel Brasil and Credit Suisse. Key partners include the previously mentioned Charles Johnson, who ‘has a lot of experience in financial transactions and structured loans’; and fellow São Paulo partners Silvia Fazio, Michael McCourt and project finance leader, Daniel Spencer. Elsewhere, New York’s Todd Alexander, Mexico specialist Raquel Bierzwinsky, and Washington DC partners Kenneth Hansen and Peter Fitzgerald are also key Latin America-focused project-finance specialists.

Paul Hastings LLP is recommended for project finance and syndicated bank lending. The firm is also making an impression in project bonds and hybrid financings involving capital markets issuances alongside bank debt. Clients include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, HSBC, Banco Itaú, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, Credit Suisse and a range of corporate borrower clients. The firm advised Gruma on a $400m term and revolving credit facility provided by a syndicate of banks with Banco Nacional de Mexico, Bank of America, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Cooperatieve Rabobank, JP Morgan Chase Bank and the Bank of Nova Scotia as joint lead arrangers. It has also experienced an uptick in financings from debt funds. Global head of project finance, Robert Kartheiser is a giant of the Latin America market and is feted for both his ubiquity across the region and his ability to transact in Portuguese and Spanish. Head of the Latin America practice Michael Fitzgerald is best known for his predominant status in Mexican capital markets issuances, although he also has a fine record in Latin American syndicated loans. Other key figures include Joy Gallup, who has an established record in debt restructuring, syndicated loans, corporate finance and structured finance; head of the São Paulo office Roberta Bassegio, who is noted for energy-sector finance and debt fund financings; and Cathleen McLaughlin who is particularly noted for her work on hybrid financings involving a capital markets component. Up and coming name Elicia Ling was promoted to partner in February 2018, but Taisa Markus left for White & Case LLP.

Proskauer Rose LLP has a significant focus on the Brazil market, thanks in part to its sizeable presence in São Paulo. The diverse practice handles a range of financing products and the firm has gained particular traction in oil and gas sector financings, acquisition finance, bilateral and syndicated loans, securitisations, debtor-in-possession financings and regulatory capital transactions. The firm’s impressive standing among Brazil-based banks such as Banco BTG Pactual, Banco Itaú and Banco Rabobank International Brasil has positioned it well for an uptick in financing transactions in the jurisdiction (although is should be noted that some 50% of the practice’s workload is elsewhere in the region). ‘Very pragmatic, easy going and proactive’, the team offers ‘focused legal advice’ with ‘competitive rates’ and ‘a swift turnaround’, as well as ‘in-depth knowledge of the Brazilian market’. Furthermore, clients praise its expertise in structured finance, cross-border loans, banking regulatory issues and securities regulatory issues, calling it ‘superb across the board’. A team led by São Paulo partner Fábio Yamada impressed with its representation of Frontera Energy (formerly Pacific Exploration & Production) in the company’s $5.5bn debt restructuring; the agreement involved intense negotiations with the company’s bondholders, bank lenders and commercial creditors and was the largest restructuring in Colombia’s history. New York partner and co-head of the Latin America practice Carlos Martinez led the team that advised the Puerto Rico Oversight Board on the $7.7bn restructuring of the debt of Puerto Rico’s governmental development bank (BGF – Puerto Rico). Head of the São Paulo office and co-head of the Latin America practice Antonio Piccirillo has ‘in-depth knowledge of structured finance’, provides ‘high quality advice with excellent response times’ and is ‘very pragmatic and efficient’; he ‘really fights the points that are important’ and ‘works well to move things along and get clients on the same page’. UK and US-qualified São Paulo partner David Fenwick is another key member of the senior team.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s longstanding commitment to Latin America has enabled it to develop an impressive range of corporate borrower clients, while its global reputation for acquisition and leveraged finance brings it a number of engagements from banks such as JP Morgan. The firm is increasingly active in refinancings and new money financings in Argentina, a jurisdiction which it has served for many years thanks in part to the industrious efforts of seasoned Latin America-practice co-head, David Williams, who is also noted for his record in Colombia and Chile. Clients include Abengoa, Banco Itaú, Banco Santander (Mexico), BRF–Brazil Foods, Celulosa Arauco y Constitución, Carlyle, Compañía de Petróleos de Chile (Copec), Deutsche Bank, Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and OHL. The team advised Citibank and JP Morgan on a $1bn bridge loan financing to Peru’s largest pharmacy chain, Eckerd Perú (Inkafarma), a subsidiary of InRetail Peru, to finance its acquisition of Quicorp (which operates over 1,000 pharmacies in Peru and Bolivia), and for liability management within the InRetail and Quicorp groups. It also advised Celulosa Arauco y Constitución on a $300m credit facility arranged by y Banco del Estado de Chile, The Bank of Nova Scotia and Export Development Canada, to finance the construction of a proposed pulp mill in Grayling, Michigan. Co-head of the Latin America department Todd Crider, who splits his time between New York and São Paulo, is noted for his record in Brazil, although he also has a considerable caseload in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico and other Latin American nations. Also New York and São Paulo-based, Jaime Mercado is active throughout the region, including in Central America and the Caribbean; and Juan Francisco Méndez and counsel Ismael Duran are recommended for acquisition and leveraged finance. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a flourishing practice founded on a solid base of international and regional lender clients along with a mix of blue-chip borrowers. The team is ‘clearly impressive in the quality of its deals and the quality of its clients,’ according to a partner at a rival firm. 2017 saw the team advise Mexican baked goods giant Grupo Bimbo on a $2bn multicurrency revolving credit facility provided by a syndicate of banks, and it also represented the joint lead arrangers and joint global bookrunners on the $514m refinancing of the senior secured term loan facility to Al Candelaria (Luxembourg), a subsidiary of Advent International. Moreover, in another headline deal it advised InRetail Perú on a $1bn bridge credit facility to finance its $583m acquisition of Quicorp and refinance existing indebtedness. New York partner Alejandro González Lazzeri has a ‘very strong personal profile’, is widely recognised as a leader in Latin America banking and finance transactions and has experience in multiple jurisdictions; he also has strong connections to a number of international and Latin American banks.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is best known for top-end project finance, bank regulatory matters and financial institutions M&A. The firm has an especially strong standing in mining-sector project finance and has a fine record in complex oil and gas and infrastructure financings. The core Latin America team members operate primarily as transactional generalists who link up with specialist colleagues on issues such as crisis management, corruption investigations and litigation work; this ensures sophisticated specialist expertise in higher risk transactions and in finding solutions to especially challenging situations. In 2017, the practice advised Fiduciaria Bancolombia (as trustee of Fideicomiso Concesión Ruta Al Mar), on its $178m project bond offering to finance the construction and improvement of a toll road that will connect Antioquía and Bolivar, the two major economic centres of Colombia. Led by Ari Blaut, the team also advised AT&T, as guarantor, on an inaugural Mexican-peso facility (a two-year unsecured delayed draw term loan facility) to subsidiaries AT&T Comunicaciones Digitales and AT&T Telecom Holding. Head of the Latin America practice Sergio Galvis is a big name in the region, having the experience and versatility to advise on highly-challenging and transformational transactions. Seasoned figure Christopher Mann is ‘calm’, ‘a person of good will’ who is ‘willing to take a fresh look at the transaction’ where necessary; he has an especially strong record in project finance. Washington DC partner Robert Risoleo is also recommended for project finance, including transactions with a capital markets component. John Estes is a prominent leveraged-finance specialist who has considerable experience in Latin America, while Washington DC partner Dennis Sullivan is noted for structured finance transactions. All partners are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Arnold & Porter operates a dynamic Latin America banking and finance practice, driven by steady pipeline of regulatory and transactional engagements. Having advised many of the region’s central banks over many years, the Latin America team has outstanding regulatory framework credentials in the region, and its global financial services regulatory credentials were further reinforced by the arrival of former US Senator Christopher Dodd as senior counsel in January 2018; Dodd was a principal architect of the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Latin America practice has also seen growth in securitisation, derivatives and structured finance mandates since the firm merged with Kaye Scholer in 2017. Clients include a number of large and medium-size financial institutions in the region, including Itaú BBA and Itaú Unibanco, Banco do Brasil, Central Bank of Brazil, Banco Votorantim (Brazil), Banco Credit Suisse (Brazil), Bradesco, Banco de Credito del Peru and Banco de Costa Rica. It advised the Republic of El Salvador on a $99m credit agreement with Credit Suisse and also advised Grupo Energía Bogotá, the electrical power and natural gas utility company, on a $749m unsecured credit facility. Whitney Debevoise has outstanding credentials in regulatory issues and financings, having worked with a number of central banks in the region over the years; he is also increasingly active in infrastructure financings in Central America. Gregory Harrington has a fine record in Brazil where he has advised on a number of regulatory issues and continues to advise Brazilian lenders on export finance transactions. Panama native Raul Herrera has an established record in project finance transactions for multilateral and bilateral agencies, parastatal agencies and project sponsors. Neil Goodman and Arturo Caraballo are also key members of the team. All partners are based in Washington DC.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s industrious efforts to expand its footprint in Latin America and to develop its connections to key lenders in Washington DC, Miami and New York, is paying dividends. A new office in Puerto Rico has added to the firm’s financing credentials, including advisory matters in the fintech and blockchain sectors and in representing foreign funds on financings in Latin America. Many in the Puerto Rico office are New York qualified, such as José Alberto Sosa-Lloréns, and are able to advise on transactions under New York law at lower-cost rates. The team also works especially closely with the firm’s well-established Miami office. Clients of the Latin America practice include Stoneway Capital, BTG Pactual. Natixis, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, COFIDE, Wells Fargo and Banco do Brasil. Recent matters saw the team advise US Ex-Im Bank and Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) on the financing of the Cerro De Hula wind project in Honduras, the largest wind farm in Central America. Miami finance partner John Murphy has a strong focus on Latin America while Gregory Smith has increased the firm’s profile with MLAs and DFIs that are engaged in Latin America financings. Former Miami partner Emil Infante left for Holland & Knight LLP, while New York partner William Candelaria arrived from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP and project finance of counsel Amala Nath joined the Washington DC office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s large and dedicated Latin America practice has achieved a high degree of market penetration in the banking and finance segment. It has built an especially strong record in Mexico, where it has a substantial and established Mexico City office, and across Central America. South American jurisdictions such as Argentina, Colombia and Chile are also fruitful markets for the firm. Clients include Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, Cervecería Costa Rica, MRO, Cap Cana Steering Committee, Oppenheimer & Co, Avianca Holdings and Hencorp Becstone Capital. Recent work has seen the team advise MesoAmerica Latam Opportunites Fund on its $120m revolving credit facility with Scotiabank; and also represent the Mexico-based producer of building materials for the construction industry, Elementia, on a $125m unsecured term loan provided by Scotiabank. In another notable deal, it advised leading Mexican paper producer, Grupo Bio Pappel, on a $450m secured syndicated credit facility. Firm vice-chair Patricia Menéndez-Cambó founded the Latin America practice and is noted for her acquisition and project finance activity in the region. Randy Bullard is another pivotal member of the team; he has deep experience in jurisdictions including Peru, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Honduras. Emilio Alvarez-Farré covers both corporate transactions and financings in Latin America and has more than 25-years’ experience in the region. New York partner Ross Kaufman is recommended for syndicated loans, securitisation and asset-backed finance transactions in Brazil; and Jeffrey Tenen, chair of the global aircraft and equipment finance practice, has a strong focus on Latin America where he represents international airlines in Chile, Panama, Mexico, Colombia and various Central American jurisdictions.

Hogan Lovells US LLP continues to be noted for its record in financings involving Asian financial institutions, particularly in relation to projects and transactions in Ecuador, Venezuela and Honduras. It has deep experience in representing state-owned energy entities in Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Honduras and Colombia. The firm is also recognised for its project finance record in Central America and has one of the leading structured finance practices in the region. Clients include IFC, Republic of Ecuador, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, OPIC, Ecopetrol, Enel Power, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Mitsui, Petroecuador and Credit Agricole. Headline mandates saw the practice advised IFC and the China-Mexico Fund on the Red Compartida mega-project in Mexico, involving $750m in committed capital from consortium members and an initial $2bn financing package; as well as advising Petrobras on a $5bn loan facility from China Development Bank. The team also advised the State of Zacatecas, Mexico, on the refinancing of its $377m debt. Houston partner and co-chair of the Latin America practice Bruno Ciuffetelli is an ‘excellent professional’ and has a fine record in project and structured finance, while fellow co-chair José Valdivia is recognised for his experience in infrastructure projects. Miguel Zaldivar has an established record in Ecuador and Venezuela and has led a number of financings involving Chinese lenders; and newly promoted Gaston Fernandez is also recommended for Asia-Latin America transactions. New York’s Emil Arca is a leader in structured finance and securitization area. Partners are Miami-based unless stated.

Holland & Knight LLP has steadily built its standing in Latin America banking and finance transactions over recent years. With Latin America-facing teams in Miami and New York, as well as offices in Mexico City and Bogota, the firm has a well-established platform to cover the region, and clients include Banco Agricola, Bancolombia (Panama), Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex), Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), JP Morgan Chase, Premium Restaurant Brands, SMBC Aviation Capital, Stoneway Capital and GP Investments. The firm recently advised Banco Interacciones on the refinancing of a $320m loan to the Mexican state of Chihuahua; and it also advised Bladex, as sole lead arranger and bookrunner, on a $120m senior unsecured loan to GMG Holdings and its subsidiaries. It also represented Bladex, again as lead arranger and bookrunner, on a $50m senior unsecured syndicated loan to Banco de América Central, Guatemala. ‘Easy to work with’, Miami’s Norberto Quintana is a versatile finance lawyer with a notable record in infrastructure project financings, acquisition finance, syndicated and bilateral loans, and restructurings. Stephen Double is a Latin America specialist with particular experience in syndicated loans and securitisation, while Phillip Durham has a fine record in Latin America aviation finance. Senior counsel Carlos Meza splits his time between New York and Bogota and covers a range of cross-border financings including syndicated lending and export finance transactions. Named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, the result of an April 2018 merger between Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon, is both a global giant in energy and a major player in Latin America. Both legacy firms had an established Latin America practice, including significant finance expertise. The consolidated firm has an impressive mix of project and infrastructure finance work and is experiencing growth in portfolio financing models and in mortgage-backed securitisation. The firm is widely recognised for its agency connections including a longstanding relationship with IDB and the legacy Hunton team has brought established relationships with a range of international lenders, Latin American banks and various multilateral agency lenders, including IDB. The practice also works with a range of commercial lenders, including Latin American financial institutions. Oil and gas and power remain the core focus areas, currently, although port financings is another growth area for the firm. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Central America and Mexico are all key for the practice, while Brazil remains a primary focus despite the negative impact of recent political and economic factors. Clients note that the ‘quality of service is excellent’ and ‘the firm is very efficient in terms of value for money’. Key team members include Washington DC’s Vera Rechsteiner, who has ‘outstanding expertise’ in power financings; clients highlight her ‘team management’ abilities and experience in financing and construction agreements. Houston partner and Mexican-native Doris Rodríguez works with a number of banks and agencies in the oil and gas field; New York partner George Pavlenishvili has a fine record in renewables financing in Latin America; and Washington DC associate Siddharth Sethy is a ‘highly skilled negotiator with unique financing knowledge’. Legacy Hunton & Williams partners include Fernando Margarit, a leader in telecoms infrastructure and submarine-cable-systems financings; and Uriel Mendieta, an experienced practitioner in asset-backed and receivables financings, and acquisition finance.

Jones Day has demonstrated a strong commitment to Latin America, notably through its New York, Miami, Madrid, Mexico City and São Paulo offices. The team is ‘excellent’, responses are ‘timely’, ‘very precise and address the matter in great detail’; all in all, the ‘very reputable firm has expertise across all matters and jurisdictions’. Energy and infrastructure mandates are at the heart of the banking and finance practice and the team has worked on a series of high-value acquisition financings and project bonds engagements. Clients include Banco Santander, BBVA Bancomer, NII Holdings, IDB, Canacol Energy and Grupo Aeroportuario de Ciudad de Mexico. The Mexico City office has impressed with a number of headline deals; it advised the joint lead arrangers on a New York law-governed, $1.55bn unsecured bridge loan agreement with GMéxico Transportes (the largest railroad company in Mexico); and also represented Grupo Aeroportuario de Ciudad de Mexico on the Mexican law aspects of its $4bn green bonds issuance through the Mexico City Airport Trust. Elsewhere, the Miami office advised JP Morgan Chase and The Bank of Nova Scotia, as joint-lead arrangers and lenders, on a $300m term loan financing to the mobile company Colombia Móvil, a subsidiary of UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones. New York partners Robert da Silva Ashley and James Salerno are ‘very knowledgeable’ and ‘able and willing to go the extra mile’; the ‘brilliant’ Fradyn Suárez is a key figure in Miami, where she represents a mix of commercial lenders and MLAs, primarily in relation to projects matters; and Alberto de la Parra has an outstanding reputation in Mexico, where he has led many of the firm’s most notable financing transactions.

Linklaters LLP’s particular strengths lie in acquisition and leveraged finance, along with project finance. With an especially active M&A practice, it has been able to hone its acquisition finance skills in Latin America. Structured lending, including receivables financings, is another key part of the practice. The team is ‘top notch’, provides ‘solid and efficient knowledge’ and is recommended for hybrid transactions including financings involving capital markets components. It continues to operate at the forefront of the Argentina market, while also remaining active in Brazil, Chile and Colombia. It represents a range of borrowers, sponsors, traditional bank lenders, other financial institutions and an increasing number of funds operating as direct lenders, and clients include ENAP, Itaú, Tecpetrol, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Santander, HSBC, Citi, Banco do Brasil and Goldman Sachs. In Argentina, the practice advised the lenders on a $1bn unsecured facility to Telecom Argentina to finance its capital expenditure programme and other corporate purposes; and also counselled the bank lenders on a $750m senior secured bridge credit facility to Cablevision Holding to finance its acquisition of a 14% stake in Telecom Argentina from Fintech Telecom. In Brazil, it advised Banco do Brasil on its $500m A/B loan from Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC). Co-head of the Latin America practice, Argentine national Conrado Tenaglia is ‘always involved in every detail of the transaction’ and ‘ready to solve any issue at any time and any day’. One client noted: ‘I have never worked with such a big law firm that has a partner who is so involved.’ Matthew Poulter has ‘solid knowledge and great experience’ of financings, particularly in Brazil but also elsewhere in Latin America, including infrastructure financings in Colombia. Michael Bassett is an experienced and versatile finance lawyer who has a solid background in offshore oil and gas financings as well as a fine record across multiple jurisdictions and products with a wide variety of clients. Eamon Nolan is noted for infrastructure finance and structured lending.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP remains best known for bilateral and syndicated loans in Brazil and continues to be a leader in bondholder debt restructurings across the region. Argentina is a growth market for a team that is also active in Central America. Moreover, the practice is increasingly active in private placements in Latin America. The firm is especially close to HSBC, which it advises on multiple transactions, and has a growing connection to the likes of ING, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America; its private placement work, in turn, is driven by a number of insurance company clients. The team continues to advise the steering committee of bondholders in the restructuring of Brazilian construction company OAS; and represented Argentina’s sovereign bondholders on their rights under equal treatment clauses and in connection with related settlement discussions. Notably, the firm’s bondholder debt restructuring expertise is increasingly sought by banks to assess creditor exposure. Timothy DeSieno has an outstanding record in bondholder debt restructurings in the region, while co-chair of the Latin America practice Thomas Mellor is known for bilateral and syndicated loans, especially in Brazil. Brazil-qualified and Houston-based Felipe Alice is known for restructurings and front-end lending; also in Houston, Mexico-qualified Humberto Padilla Gonzalez has immense experience in that jurisdiction; while Washington DC-based Ulises Pin is particularly noted for telecoms financings. Hartford partner Daniel Papermaster and Thomas O’Connor are recognised for private placements in the region. Luis Torres-Cervantes is the key name at associate level for bank lending. All named individuals are New York-based unless stated otherwise.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s extensive global platform includes a large number of banking and finance practitioners spread across its numerous Latin America offices, and who also work alongside Latin America specialists in New York and other US offices. Energy and infrastructure are key drivers of the practice which, in a case in point, recently advised Siemens Financial Services on a $115m loan to Stoneway Capital, which issued a $500m bond offering to finance a thermal power project in Buenos Aires province – the first use of project bonds in Argentina for over 25 years. One client noted that the team’s ‘opinions are specialised, complete and reveal extensive knowledge of the sector’; it also provides ‘timely responses, a good understanding of clients’ needs and good value for the money’. Gabriel Gómez Giglio chairs the Latin America banking and finance practice from Buenos Aires.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is best known for advising government entities and state-owned companies, especially in Mexico. It has a fine record in the oil and gas sector and is expanding into the wider energy field. The firm has a history of working with Venezuelan entities, but the economic crisis and sanctions imposed on the jurisdiction has decimated it’s work there, where it advised PDVSA for many years. Mexico City partner Rodrigo Valverde has played a pivotal role in developing connections in Mexico, including with state-owned infrastructure development bank, Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (Banobras), which the team advised on a peso-denominated secured credit facility for Red de Carreteras de Occidente. With a flourishing Mexico-related practice, the New York team is increasingly active there with partner David Bayrock refocusing his sights after spending many years with a distinct Venezuela emphasis. The team’s ‘overall level of service is excellent’, according to one client, who also commends its ‘very fast’ response times, ‘sharp’ advice and ‘invaluable industry knowledge’. The firm also provides ‘value for money’ by optimising team resources according to the seniority required. Associate Lilliana Dealbert is recommended by clients for her ability to explain urgent matters in Spanish and English and for follow-ups when required. Former New York partner William Candelaria, who has a close association with clients such as Grupo Posadas, joined DLA Piper LLP (US) in 2017.

Dechert LLP continues to be at the forefront of cross-border insolvencies and restructurings in Latin America, most notably in Brazil. The ‘excellent’, ‘top notch’ team is ‘very experienced’, ‘plugged in 24/7’, ‘focused’ and ‘commercially minded’. Moreover, the firm’s international platform ‘allows it to build multi-disciplinary and geographically focused deal teams’ and it has ‘good quality staff below partner level’. Recent work saw the team advise the international bondholder committee on the restructuring of major Brazilian telecom company, Oi; and it also assisted the ad hoc group with the potential restructuring of Samarco Mineração. In another notable engagement, it continues to advise Peaje Investments as the largest holder of unwrapped special revenue bonds (issued by the Puerto Rico Highways & Transportation Authority), in connection with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s debt restructuring. Allan Brilliant is co-chair of the firm’s financial restructuring practice and has deep experience in advising bondholders in Latin America restructurings and reorganisations.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is best known for capital markets-driven financings, including project and infrastructure bonds. In this regard, New York partner Tomer Pinkusiewicz has an outstanding reputation. On the straight lending side, he recently advised Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan on a $475 million credit facility to Argentine electricity transmission company Desarrolladora Energetica and its holding company, Empresa Inversora Energetica. New York-based co-chair of the Latin America practice Jose Fernandez, is also highly regarded.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s burgeoning project development and project finance practice in New York is heightening the firm’s profile in Latin America, where it is representing a number of global clients in substantial financings. Edward Dougherty, a New York-based Spanish and Portuguese speaking finance partner, has deep experience in Latin America – especially in Brazil. The project finance practice covers a range of mining, oil and gas (including offshore and midstream sectors), power and infrastructure. Mining finance is another key segment for the team, particularly in Chile where New York’s Juan-José Zentner is especially active. In London, both Will Breeze and of counsel Pedro Rufino Carvalho, who has extensive experience in offshore oil and gas financing transactions in Brazil, are key members of the practice group. The team recently advised Brazilian oil and gas services company, GranEnergia, on a $165m project financing for an offshore semi-submersible support vessel.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP covers a wide range of lending transactions, including both secured and unsecured financings, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Clients include Citi, Deutsche Bank, Grupo Televísa, Tozzi Renewable Energy and its subsidiary Ergon Peru, WSFS Bank FSB, Natixis, BNY Mellon and Caxia Bank (Brazil). The team advised regular client Deutsche Bank, as administrative agent, on the $400m unsecured credit agreement with Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the Mexican government’s electricity utility entity. It also represented Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Bank Peru, as collateral agents, in connection with the financing, development, ownership and operation of two wind farms located in San Juan de Marcona, Ica, Peru. Clients report ‘high standards of industry knowledge’, ‘expertise in highly complex matters’ and that the team’s ‘responses are all on time’. New York partner Peter Baumgaertner has extensive experience in the region.

Sidley Austin LLP has a longstanding connection to Latin America, most notably in financial institution regulatory issues, structured finance and securitisation, and financings linked to investment funds. The firm advises a number of prominent Latin American financial institutions, including CAF and Banco Popular Dominicano, thanks in part to the presence of senior counsel Andrew Quale, a recognised Latin America specialist over many years. The firm has also impressed in energy-sector financings, especially in Mexico. Indeed, the hires of Houston partners Brian Bradshaw and David Asmus from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, has only reinforced its position in the energy sector. Other key partners include Carlos Rodriguez, who has extensive Latin America experience in asset-based finance (including securitisations of mortgage loans, credit card receivables and trade receivables); and Alyssa Grikscheit, who works with a number of investment funds that are active in the region.

Uría Menéndez’s connections to key Spanish banks has intensified with the trend for banking decision makers to return to Spain from New York. The firm’s on-the-ground presence through its associated Latin American entity Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uria, is gaining further global recognition with a number of European and Asian lenders and sponsors turning to it for Latin America transactions, especially in the Pacific Alliance region. It is also working with a number of French and Russian lenders on financings in Cuba, a jurisdiction where the firm has made a particularly notable impression. Moreover, the firm continues to advise a number of Spanish banks on establishing a presence in Latin America and on acquiring and disposing of key assets. A team led by Madrid partner Sebastián Sáenz de Santa María advised the coordination committee and other financial institutions (as main creditors to Abengoa group), on the Spanish company’s headline restructuring, which involved a range of project assets in Latin America. Eduardo Rodríguez-Rovira, the Madrid-based head of the Latin America practice group, and Madrid partners Ángel Pérez and Carlos de Cárdenas are also noted.

Winston & Strawn LLP significantly enhanced its Latin America credentials in 2017, by hiring a team of prominent Latin America specialists from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, the group being part of legacy Chadbourne & Parke’s well-reputed Latin America practice. The team is known for its Latin American corporate client base and its connections to a number of Latin America-focused private equity houses. It provides ‘an excellent service, permanent support, knowledge and command of the required topics, agility and responsiveness’. One client also highlights its ‘warmth, disposition and availability at all times’. The team advised Pampa Energía and its subsidiaries Central Térmica Loma de la Lata and Greenwind on the proposed senior corporate loan to the latter for the financing of the construction, operation, and maintenance of the El Cortí wind farm (and associated transmission facilities), located near Bahía Blanca, Argentina. It also advised Enel Chile on a $2bn dual currency term loan facility. Talbert Navia and Los Angeles partner Francisco Flores are both ‘excellent professionals, with extensive knowledge and experience in the clauses of credit agreements, with international commercial banks, development banks and multilateral banks’. Both demonstrate ‘high commitment and dedication during the negotiation process’ and ‘agility in the supply of required answers’. Claude Serfilippi and Allen Miller are also well regarded.

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