Banking and finance in Uruguay

Ferrere

Ferrere fields a dedicated banking and finance practice, whose focus and expertise stands out in the market and draws praise from its clients. All matters in the area are covered, from complex structured finance deals and capital markets transactions to project financing, bank M&A deals and regulatory matters. Practice head Diego Rodriguez is regarded by one client as 'undoubtedly one of the lawyers who knows the most about this business in Uruguay'; he draws on over 20 years' dedicated experience in this practice and is especially noted for complex securitisations. Geraldine Ifrán is the go-to lawyer for a number of international clients when it comes to banking M&A and central bank regulations. In project financing, key names to note include leading energy and natural resources expert Gonzalo Secco and Sebastián Ramos, who also excels in regulatory banking matters and capital markets. Associate Federico Lemos is noted for his 'capacity, experience and knowledge of banking regulation.'

Practice head(s):

Diego Rodriguez

Testimonials

Multidisciplinary team with experts in all areas.

Expertise, availability to consult at all times and immediacy in responses.

The answers to any legal question are always complete and fast. The lawyers have excellent coordination with each other.

They give an efficient and complete service, always making us feel close.

I deal mainly with Federico Lemos and his speed of action is what would stand out as a professional quality.

Ferrere’s team in the banking / financial area has a deep knowledge of the prevailing regulation, a great response capacity and a focus on finding solutions.

Diego Rodriguez and Sebastian Ramos have a lot of creativity, knowledge and a “can do” outlook.

The plus that makes them stand out is their knowledge of the client’s business and their proximity to always being available.

Key clients

CAF-AM

Aberdeen Fund Managers

IDB Invest

UBS

JPMorgan

Credit Suisse

CAF

The Bank of Novia Scotia (Scotiabank)

UTE

Key Safety Systems (KSS)

Work highlights

  • Advised IDB Invest on the financing of the Ferrocarril Central PPP project, consisting of the restoration of the railway line that connects Montevideo with Paso de los Toros.
  • Assisted infrastructure, logistics and maritime transport services group Navios in an issue of notes worth $500m through a private offering.
  • Advised Cafam on the financing of the Circuito Vial 1 and Circuito Vial 2 projects.

Guyer & Regules

Forming part of its leading corporate and banking team, Guyer & Regules' sizeable banking and finance team is one of the market leaders in project financing. The practice is also regularly seen acting in the jurisdiction's most innovative projects and has a history of acting in first-of-their-kind matters. A host of private banks operating in Uruguay count on the firm for their standout matters as well as day-to-day guidance, and on the borrower side the team is instructed by leading companies in the projects sphere. Spearheading the department are three experienced professionals: senior partner Nicolás Herrera is especially strong on the transactional side; Nicolás Piaggio is a go-to lawyer for multinational financial institutions, acting in sovereign debt issuances and liability management transactions performed by the Republic of Uruguay; and Álvaro Tarabal, who works on banking and corporate matters as well as litigation. Florencia Castagnola is the head of the compliance department and is the name to note for fintech matters. Up-and-coming lawyer Marcos Payssé (banking, capital markets and project finance) and Federico Piano (public-private transactions, banking and project finance) are further key contacts to note, while Juan Manuel Mercant is a regular advisor to lenders, multilaterals and local financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Nicolás Herrera; Álvaro Tarabal; Nicolás Piaggio

Testimonials

The banking and finance group of the firm is excellent. They have helped us negotiate the most complex contracts from that perspective.

Negotiation capacity, serenity, commercial capacity and excellent strategy.

Federico Piano is an excellent advisor with a lot of commercial vision. He protects client’s interest at all times.

They are all excellent professionals. Efficient in managing the time and resources of clients and counterparts. They adapt to the needs of clients and are experts in their field.

All of them gave us a service of the highest excellence. I think dedication and commitment differentiate them. Both to find solutions and to think out of the box, innovate and push other market players.

It is a market leader in Uruguay in banking and financing matters. They have an excellent handling of legal and commercial matters. They know how to reach constructive agreements.

Clearly Guyer’s team has a lot of positive relationships with regulators, which together with their deep knowledge and very good service, sets them apart.

Juan Manuel Mercant has been very attentive to our requirements and has been at all times pending our investment projects and legal aspects of the new hires and projects that we are working on.

Key clients

Citibank

Banco Itaú

HSBC

BBVA

Bank Hapoalim

Banque Heritage

Banco Comercial – Scotiabank

Union Capital

UBS Uruguay

Merrill Lynch – Julius Baer

Winterbothan

Puente HNOS Sociedad de bolsa

Work highlights

  • Acted for ACI Airport Sudamérica in the launch of an offer to exchange the existing notes for newly issued 6.875% cash/7.875% PIK senior secured guaranteed notes due 2032.
  • Advised the Republic of Uruguay on the issuance of its global bonds in US dollars.
  • Advised Puerta del Sur on the restructuring of its $87m notes due 2021 issued under Uruguayan law.

Dentons Jiménez de Aréchaga

Best known for its prowess in project financing, Dentons Jiménez de Aréchaga regularly advises banking clients and borrowers on major projects and investments in Uruguay. Banco Santander is a standout client for the practice, instructing the team on several transactions, projects and agreements through 2020. Practice co-head Mariela Ruanova is a name to note in banking and finance; she has also developed expertise in areas complementary to the finance practice, including electronic governance, data protection and technology. Alongside her, Nicolás Herrera Alonso is also well known in the market, acting for local and international financial entities on structured financing, project financing and transactions with derivatives, as well as M&A, capital markets and corporate trading. Completing the trio heading the practice is project finance specialist Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga Jr, who has quickly become a reference in that area. A strong bench of associates assists the practice heads, with Maite Gaynicotche being particularly active across a range of matters in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Nicolás Herrera Alonso; Mariela Ruanova; Fernando Jiménez de Aréchaga Jr

Testimonials

They are a very accessible and motivated team.

They are a proactive team, attentive to the needs of the client, and that delivers a very quick response to the needs of the clients.

They stand out in the commitment and seriousness with which they work. Taking responsibility for the interests of the client. Anticipating the topics to study and giving the appropriate tools in the face of difficulties.

In particular, we work with Fernando Jimènez Jr as head lawyer and Alfredo Arocena as support. Fernando and Alfredo have been with us for more than three years, doing a very good job.

Good availability, efficient and proactive handling of the topics, pragmatic approach.

Key clients

Banco Santander

FirstCaribbean International Bank

CaixaBank

Banco de Sabadell Miami Branch

Socur

Aldesa

Copasa

Saeta Yield

DEG – Deutsch Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft

Banco Itaú

KfW Ipex Bank

Dinosaur Merchant Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Banco Santander on a credit facility granted to Corporación Vial del Uruguay.
  • Assisted Creditel with the launch of 100% digital credit facilities.
  • Acted for FirstCaribbean International Bank Jamaica Limited, CaixaBank and Banco de Sabadell (Miami branch) as lenders in the secured refinance term loan facility to Seawind Key Investments, Inversora Santa Fe and Caribbean Key Holdings.

Hughes & Hughes

'With a lot of experience and a lot of prestige in Uruguay', the banking and finance team at Hughes & Hughes is very active in the country's projects and energy market, where it acts for a host of borrowers, particularly in infrastructure. Local and international banks, as well as multilateral credit organisations and other financial entities also look to the firm when acting as lenders; a recent highlight in that respect saw practice co-head Héctor Ferreira acting for Rabobank Nederland in its €20m funding of Brazil-based company Cooperativa Agraria Agroindustrial. Juan Orregia Carrau is a key contact for transactional matters, while Mariana Estradé has a strong reputation in project financing, particularly in renewable energy and educational infrastructure. At the senior associate level, both Clara Villaamil and José María Tais receive praise.

Practice head(s):

Haroldo Espalter; Hector Ferreira; Juan Oreggia Carrau

Testimonials

The partners respond immediately and solidly to what is posed to them, and the senior and semi senior lawyers’ commitment is total. I can highlight the participation of Héctor Ferreira, José María Tais and Ornella Balarini.

The team is very solid technically, with a lot of experience and a lot of prestige in Uruguay. It is totally interdisciplinary and efficient in responding to the queries that are posed to it.

Mariana Estrade and Clara Villaamil are always available and ready to help, always trying to find a constructive solution for the client.

Key clients

BBVA

Banco Galicia

Rabobank

American Express

Bank of New York

Deutche Bank

Bank of America – Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith

Société Génerale

TKE Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi

Fitch Ratings

Work highlights

  • Advised NGE Concessions as a member of the consortium that obtained financing for the Uruguayan Central Railroad project.
  • Assisted Ladaner with the refinancing of the long-term financing for the 50MW Cerro Grande renewable energy project.
  • Advised Rabobank on its €20m funding of Cooperativa Agraria Agroindustrial, fostering its activities in South America.

Posadas, Posadas & Vecino

Tomás Gurméndez leads the banking and finance practice at Posadas, Posadas & Vecino and regularly counsels the lenders on some of the most high-profile projects in Uruguay, including UPM's latest pulp mill construction, as well as significant highway projects. The team is also experienced in assisting developers, and outside of the projects sphere, secured and syndicated lending, structured finance and regulatory matters are also among its competencies. Regulated industries specialist Pablo Sequeira and recently appointed partner Andres Aznarez are key contacts, and associate Victoria Garabato is regularly involved in key projects.

Practice head(s):

Tomas Gurméndez

Key clients

CAF Asset Management (CAF-AM)

Banco Santander España

Banco BBVA

Global Infrastructure Partners

Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

BNP Paribas

Banco República Oriental del Uruguay

Banco Itaú Uruguay

Societe Generale

Mastercard

MUFG

Banco Santander (Brasil)

Lombard Odier Uruguay

International Finance Corporation

Fairfax

Alianz

Puente Corredor de Bolsa

República Administradora de Fondos de Inversión (República Afisa)

Work highlights

  • Advising Inter-American Investment Corporation and Global Infrastructure Partners on the senior financing of the construction of a pulp mill, granted by a group of senior lenders led by BID Invest and CAF, for approximately $855m.
  • Representing Inter-American Development Bank and Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay in the due diligence of a highway PPP project, and in the drafting and negotiation of all financing agreements.
  • Acting for BBVA, Inter-American Development Bank, Inter-American Investment Corporation and Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay in their capacity as senior lenders for the Circuito 6 highway project.

Olivera Abogados

Olivera Abogados stands out for its advice on regulation and securities, as well as its ‘extensive experience in the constitution of trusts‘. The country’s electronic stock exchange Bevsa is a key client, for which the team assists with all regulatory matters and public securities offerings. Ricardo Olivera García is a reference in the regulatory sphere and co-leads the practice with Federico Rocca, who comes highly recommended by clients and is ‘recognised in the marketplace in relation to trusts‘.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Olivera García; Federico Rocca

Testimonials

In our case, they have supported us with financial knowledge regarding instruments to work with the public sector, in the long term. They have solid knowledge and experience in public finance and the instruments to use that work alongside bank financing.

They differ in the immediate and direct treatment of the partners. Its main quality for us is knowledge of financial instruments in the public sector. We are attended by Federico Rocca, and his attention and knowledge is outstanding.

We are inclined towards their services due to the wide and recognised experience they have. They have extensive experience in the constitution of trusts where future flows are securitised. One of the most notable aspects is the direct involvement of the partner in charge of this project and the timely delivery of reports and key opinions for the project’s progress.

Federico Rocca: recognised in the marketplace in relation to trusts, he has participated in complicated and innovative structuring.

The team’s care is comprehensive and widely satisfactory.

Federico Rocca: extensive, solid and experienced knowledge of the financial system, with the regulator and of our company.

Ricardo Olivera – Expert, experienced, 100% committed to the client.

Key clients

Bevsa

Gastón Bengochea

Newfoundland Capital Management

Fucerep

Urutec

Fideicomiso Orbis

Care

Sergio Lamorte

Ebital

Saceem

Work highlights

  • Representing Bevsa in all regulatory matters and public securities offerings.
  • Assisted Newfoundland Capital Management with the financial and commercial debt restructuring of all the entities that make up Grupo Teyma.
  • Advising Gaston Bengochea on the reorganisation and analysis of the terms and conditions as subordinated creditor of an investment trust created for the financing of a wind farm vis-á-vis the international senior creditors.

Bragard Abogados

Managing partner Jean Jacques Bragard coordinates the banking, finance and capital markets department at Bragard Abogados, which acts for a variety of funds, banks, capital market issuers and brokers. The firm has over 20 years' experience in the field and has developed a strong client base of both domestic and international financial institutions.

Brum Costa Abogados

Anti-money laundering (AML) advice is a standout niche for the banking and finance practice at Brum Costa Abogados, which is also praised broadly for its 'strong knowledge and advice in compliance.' BBVA and the Montevideo Stock Exchange are among the firm's biggest clients and have both instructed the team on recent matters. Practice head Leonardo Costa comes recommended for his 'great capacity for work'; he and associate Juan Diana are considered 'a great team'.

Practice head(s):

Leonardo Costa

Testimonials

Strong knowledge and advice in compliance.

Accessibility, excellent partners.

The firm, being a boutique, has capabilities that compare it to the larger and more established studios in Uruguay. Leonardo Costa and Juan Diana, excellent professionals, one of the most capable in the area without a doubt.

Juan Diana, despite his youth, has enormous technical solvency and work capacity. In my experience, he is able to find solutions to the problems of clients. They are very business friendly, always looking to combine compliance with business.

I know all the partners but the one I worked with the most is with Leonardo Costa. He has a great capacity for work, handles a huge number of issues which allows him to better understand reality and provide better solutions. Juan Diana, his right hand, has an enormous capacity for work and professional solvency. Together they make a great team.

Key clients

Bolsa de Valores de Montevideo

HSBC Bank

Nobilis Corredor de Bolsa

Renmax Corredor de Bolsa

BBVA

Fideuram

Red Pagos

Cámara de Empresas de Servicios Financieros del Uruguay

Mi Dinero

More Money Transfers

Work highlights

  • Assisted Sistema B pro bono with the design and implementation of anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) policies and procedures for its “Nos cuidamos entre todos” campaign during the Covid pandemic.
  • Assisted BBVA with the implementation of an AML system.
  • Advising the Montevideo Stock Exchange on the design and implementation of AML/KYC procedures, presenting reports on new normative projects, especially those new to the market such as crowfunding.

Deloitte S.C.

After making a number of hires relevant to the banking and finance area in January and February 2020, Deloitte S.C.'s Montevideo office now fields an up-and-coming practice that advises a mix of banks, insurance companies, brokers, asset managers, funds and financial trusts. Both compliance and transactional work featured in matter highlights in the team's first year, with corporate law-orientated partner Juan Bonet and experienced associate senior manager Javier Domínguez co-heading the department.

Practice head(s):

Juan Bonet; Javier Domínguez

Testimonials

They are fully expert lawyers specialised in the issues, with a high degree of involvement, and they develop the subject in depth. They have a high level of professionalism and commitment.

I’d highlight the rigor and clarity on the part of Javier Domínguez in banking and finance.

Juan Bonet and Javier Domínguez have had a proactive attitude trying to understand the client’s business and seeking to leverage the resources that Deloitte can contribute vs. limiting themselves to staying in their comfort zone or expertise.

Good predisposition, they seek to understand the client’s business to help in its good development.

They always look for legal alternatives that make the different projects or initiatives of the client viable.

In the financial and stock market area, Javier Domínguez is an expert.

It uses the specific knowledge on the subject and supported by the Deloitte multidisciplinary network giving a superior service.

Javier Domínguez is a technically excellent lawyer who seeks creative solutions to do business. Knows the theory and practice of the financial area and the stock market.

Key clients

Afap Sura

Afisa Sura

Corredor de Bolsa Sura

Suramericana

Sura Asset Management (Holding)

Consorcio del Uruguay

InterEnergy Holdings

Kielder

Work highlights

  • Advised InterEnergy on the legal structuring of a bridge loan for the purchase of three wind farms, to be repaid with the funds obtained from a public issuance of securities.
  • Assisted Sura Asset Management with an intercompany agreement for share services and its authorisation by the Central Bank of Uruguay.
  • Assisted Afap Sura with the legal analysis of a financial trust to be acquired by the pension fund it manages.