Banking and finance in Uruguay
FERRERE ranks comfortably among the best in the market, with its broad practice spread, ‘greater specialisation and knowledge’ and ‘highly trained and experienced lawyers’ finding favour with clients. The group is well-versed across the full scope of banking matters, with strong skill sets in corporate lending, capital markets, project finance, banking M&A and regulatory issues. Dedicated banking and finance partner Diego Rodríguez heads the group and brings to bear a strong track record in sophisticated transactions, with niche expertise in securitisations. Geraldine Ifrán is recommended for her extensive experience in regulatory matters, particularly banking M&A. Other key partners include energy-and-natural-resources focused Gonzalo Secco (particularly for structured finance), and increasingly prominent project-finance specialist Sebastián Ramos. Talented associate Federico Lemos stands out for his ‘ability, experience and knowledge of banking regulation’.
‘A leading firm in Uruguay, with highly trained and experienced lawyers.’
‘What makes this practice unique is the speciality that Ferrere’s banking and finance team has, which is unique in the market.’
‘In general, firms have practices that do corporate and banking at the same time, while Ferrere houses an exclusive banking and finance practice. This leads to greater specialisation and knowledge, which results in a better quality of service for the client.’
‘In our opinion, it is the best team in Uruguay.’
‘They differentiate themselves through their knowledge of the client’s business and their availability. Also, the speed of their responses always takes the needs of the client into account.’
‘Diego Rodríguez is undoubtedly one of the lawyers who knows this business in Uruguay best. He has strong knowledge in banking regulations, securities market and financing.’
‘Sebastián Ramos is another partner in the area who also stands out for his knowledge and ability to work.’
‘Geraldine Ifrán is someone we call upon for many regulatory issues.’
‘Federico Lemos is an associate that stands out for his ability, experience and knowledge of banking regulation.’
Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF)
CAF-Asset Management Corporation (CAF-AM)
Aberdeen Fund Managers
The Bank of Novia Scotia (Scotiabank)
Key Safety Systems (KSS)
- Advised Agroempresa Forestal on structuring a fourth timber fund (Bosques del Uruguay 4), valued at $330m.
- Acted for Navíos Group on a private debt offering relating to Navíos South American Logistics Incorporated.
- Advised BID Invest, BID, CAF and CAF-AM on the financing of PPP projects for the construction of 25 schools, 15 gymnasiums and 10 sports centres.
- Advised Uruguay’s government-owned power company, UTE, on the structuring of a trust to develop a 500kV transmission line.
- Advised the Municipality of Montevideo and bus companies operating in the city regarding the structuring of new financing to pay debt and finance new investments in technology and fleet renewal.
‘Among the best teams in the region’, Guyer & Regules is commended for its maintenance of ‘maximum professionalism’ and ‘international standards’. One of the largest banking and finance groups in Uruguay, the practice is equally adept in corporate lending, project finance, capital markets and restructuring. On the borrower side, the firm acts for domestic and multinational corporations, with strong representation in the infrastructure and energy spheres. On the lender front, it advises two-thirds of the private banks active in Uruguay. Banking and finance specialist Nicolás Piaggio is noted for his combination of regulatory and transactional expertise. Senior partner Nicolás Herrera handles a range of corporate and finance transactions. Álvaro Tarabal co-heads the department alongside Piaggio and Herrera and concentrates on banking, corporate matters and litigation. Diego Baldomir is also a senior name, while Marcos Payssé and the younger Federico Piano are impressive up-and-coming partners. The ‘pro-business’ Juan Manuel Mercant and Florencia Castagnola also have excellent standing in the sector.
‘The firm has experience in financing and has a team to attend to all the necessary areas in both bank and non-bank financings.’
‘Guyer is a first-line firm that has people specialised in the subjects, who are professional, efficient and at the same time client-oriented.’
‘Maximum professionalism. International standards. The best team I have worked with in Uruguay and surely one of the best in the region.’
‘The team has great coherence between what the client needs and the problem or issue to be addressed.’
‘The team’s strengths are that it understands the challenges, and is highly pragmatic in dealing with situations of high complexity and sophistication. Compared to other law firms, it is really remarkable.’
‘I regularly work with Marcos Payssé and Nicolás Piaggio. Both are highly professional and focused on completing transactions. They differentiate themselves through their excellent treatment and added value.’
‘Juan Manuel Mercant is an excellent lawyer with a good pro-business profile. He is highly respected at the national and regional levels and we also believe that he has a very good relationship with both the banking sector and regulators.’
‘We have worked with several professionals and they are all very good, without qualms. The names that stand out are Diego Baldomir, Florencia Castagnola, Federico Piano.’
Nuevo Banco Comercial (Scotiabank)
Merrill Lynch (Julius Baer)
Puente Hermanos Sociedad de Bolsa
AXA Seguros Brasil
Nobilis Corredor de Bolsa
Darby Fund III Holdings
Banco Hipotecario Del Uruguay
- Advised Itaú BBA USA Securities, JP Morgan Securities and Scotia Capital (USA) on a $1.2bn bond issuance by the Republic of Uruguay.
- Advised broker-dealer Nobilis Corredor de Bolsa on the structuring of a publicly traded investment fund, which allows Uruguayan residents to invest in foreign funds.
- Acted for the Grupo Oriental consortium on the $250m financing of a set of highway PPPs.
- Advised Teyma Sociedad de Inversión. and six other Uruguayan subsidiaries of Abengoa, on a $45m financial restructuring.
- Acted for the Techint Group on the $640m refinancing of a power plant in Mexico.
The banking group at Dentons Jiménez de Aréchaga is arguably best known for its activity in the project finance sphere. Other core areas of activity include corporate lending, restructuring and capital markets. Well versed in representing both banks and borrowers, the team counts several multinational lenders among its clients and its international experience should expand further following its 2020 tie-up with global brand, Dentons. Nicolás Herrera Alonso is a key contact and advises on a spread of banking, corporate and capital markets issues. Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga Jr focuses on project finance, with strong skill sets in both energy and infrastructure deals. Other recommended names include seasoned corporate finance partner Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga and Mariela Ruanova who handles a mix of regulatory and transactional work.
‘They have exceptional knowledge about project financing and their experience in transactions in the Uruguayan market is remarkable.’
‘The firm stands out for its permanent availability and quick responses to the required advice.’
‘They are a prestigious firm that seeks to participate in the most innovative work that takes place in Uruguay.’
‘The team that attends us, led by Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga, provides quick and precise answers and a good knowledge of the business at hand.’
‘I can affirm that Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga Jr is the undisputed reference in terms of project financing in Uruguay. His general knowledge on the subject is astonishing but even more so the knowledge of each specific project and the client’s business.’
Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)
FirstCaribbean International Bank
Banco de Sabadell (Miami)
- Advised the project consortium on the $1bn financing of the Ferrocarril Central rail PPP.
- Acted for COPASA and Espina, as sponsors, on the Circuito 3 PPP project.
- Advised Banco Santander on restructuring the financial debt of Teyma Sociedad de Inversión and six other subsidiaries of Abengoa in Uruguay.
- Represented Saeta Yield in a new refinancing deal, where a new B-lender (Sumitomo) was incorporated in to the existing financing.
Hughes & Hughes
Over the past year, Hughes & Hughes has impressed on the borrower side, particularly in relation to infrastructure projects. On the lender front, the team also routinely represents multilateral credit organisations and local and international banks and finance groups. Juan Carlos Oreggia Carrau is a high-profile name and acts on a wide scope of financial transactions, with notable expertise in the forestry and energy sectors. Other key contacts include project finance expert Haroldo Espalter, and Héctor Ferreira, who handles a good balance of borrower and lender-side work. Mariana Estradé is noted for her growing reputation in the project finance sphere.
‘The firm is experienced, well-organised, responsive, knowledgeable and solution-oriented.’
‘Being an external advisor for the provision of services in a foreign country, Hughes & Hughes allowed the offered product to be in accordance with the Uruguayan market standard, proposing efficient and agile legal solutions.’
‘Despite the distance, the firm was always available when times of the operation required it.’
‘We note Hector Ferreira for his pro-activity and availability during the transaction and the enhancement of legal solutions for financing.’
Bank of New York
European Investment Bank
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi
- Acted for NGE, as part of the Grupo Vía Central consortium, on the financing of the Ferrocarril Central rail PPP.
- Advised Centros Educativos de Primera Infancia on the structuring of the first Uruguayan PPP project for educational infrastructure.
- Advised Vicentin on a $25m refinancing transaction with Rabobank.
- Acted as local counsel to San Miguel, through its Uruguayan subsidiary, on a €20m financing to expand its operations.
Posadas, Posadas & Vecino’s banking and finance practice is particularly robust on the project finance side, where it advises both developers and finance entities on infrastructure and renewable projects. The firm is also experienced in secured and syndicated lending, structured finance and regulatory matters, and it counts local and multinational banks, investors and corporate borrowers among its clients. Tomás Gurméndez spearheads the group and has a strong reputation for project finance. Regulated industries specialist Pablo Sequeira is also noted.
‘A solid team in the management and closing of financing.’
‘We recommend Tomas Gurméndez and Victoria Garabato.’
Banco Itau Uruguay
Banco Santander España
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Banco do Brasil
Banco Santander (Brazil)
Bank of China (New York)
Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)
Caixa Econômica Federal
SBI Seguros Uruguay
Puente Corredor de Bolsa
Export Development Canada (EDC)
The OPEC Fund for International Development
- Advised the lenders (CAF Asset Management, CAF and Banco Santander) on the $130m financing of a highway PPP.
- Represented UTE and trust Republica Administradora de Fondos de Inversión (RAFISA) on the financing of a $100m 500kV transmission line.
- Advised Conaprole on a credit facility from multilateral lenders International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC).
- Represented Abengoa Teyma and its shareholders on its debt restructuring.
OLIVERA Abogados demonstrates ‘great expertise’, particularly in the trusts, securities and regulatory spheres. Notably, the group played an instrumental role in the establishment of BEVSA (Uruguay's electronic stock exchange) and continues to advise it on regulatory and transactional matters. Firm founder Ricardo Olivera García is a regulatory stalwart and participated in the drafting of bills to regulate the securities market, debentures and trusts. Federico Rocca is an increasingly prominent banking specialist.
‘The team knows their clients in depth, which enables it to provide comprehensive advice.’
‘We instructed the firm to form two trusts within the framework developed for the implementation of PPPs. Lawyers had a broad command of the different types of trusts and clearly understood the business context.’
‘Lawyers have great expertise and work is not just staffed by juniors.’
‘Federico Rocca demonstrated extensive knowledge and total availability to meet the demanding deadlines requested.’
Bolsa Electrónica de Valores del Uruguay (BEVSA)
Newfoundland Capital Management
URUTEC (the sole clearing house operating in Uruguay)
Proyección Electroluz Uruguay (PEUSA)
Perwil (Sergio Lamorte private equity fund)
- Provided ongoing advice to BEVSA on regulatory and corporate matters, including day-to-day matters and transactional work.
- Advised Newfoundland Capital Management on its participation in the debt restructuring of the Grupo TEYMA entities.
- Advised URUTEC on various regulatory and compliance matters.
Bragard Abogados’ banking, finance and capital markets practice continues to gain traction in the local market. It also routinely advises international organisations, with International Finance Corporation and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) standing out as trophy clients. Managing partner Jean Jacques Bragard is the key contact and represents a broad mix of industry stakeholders, including funds, banks, capital market issuers and brokers.
UNOPS (United Nations)
Gletir Corredores de Bolsa
IFC (World Bank)
The Winterbotham TrustCompany
Puente Corredor de Bolsa
Brum Costa Abogados
A new entrant to the table, Brum Costa Abogados has ‘enormous expertise and experience’, according to satisfied clients. The firm has a marked focus on regulatory and compliance matters, with its anti-money laundering (AML) expertise particularly sought after by local and international banks, investors and brokers. Leonardo Costa Franco is noted for his established track record in advising on international AML regulations.
‘The team has enormous expertise and experience.’
‘The firm has high ethical standards and professionalism and is committed to its clients.’
‘It is a pleasure to work with them.’
‘The professionals instil confidence as they are experts in what they do.’
‘Leonardo Costa and his team (including Juan Diana Romero, Gastón Chiquiar Rodríguez and Sofía Milsev Alvarez) are dedicated in their work.’
‘Leonardo Costa is hands-on, which generates confidence and security.’
‘I have worked with all the partners and I have the best opinion of them. I have worked with Leonardo Costa the most and he is an excellent professional and an excellent person. Knowledgeable and accessible.’
Bolsa de Valores de Montevideo
Nobilis Corredor de Bolsa
Renmax Corredor de Bolsa
Maiorano & Cia
Cámara de Empresas de Servicios Financieros del Uruguay
Asociación Nacional de Administradoras de Crédito
More Money Transfers
- Acted for More Money Transfers on the structuring of different international operations and also on the implementation of a digital platform.
- Advised Bolsa de Valores de Montevideo (Montevideo Stock Exchange) on regulatory issues.
- Advised private investment companies, Cassiopea and Cedrus, on new market regulations.