Tax in Uruguay
FERRERE’s first-class practice impresses with its ‘knowledge, experience, flexibility and ambition to excel’. The dedicated tax department advises on the full array of matters, from tax structuring through to litigation — it also houses significant customs tax expertise. Group head Gianni Gutiérrez attracts rave reviews, with one source hailing him as ‘the best tax lawyer in Uruguay’. Up-and-coming partner Isabel Laventure is another tax specialist, with experience in consultancy and contentious matters. The group also draws on senior associates Maria Laura Caffera, who is noted for her foreign trade taxation experience, and Marcelo Marchetti, who has an emphasis on tax litigation.
‘Ferrere has a multidisciplinary team that attends to the cases of its clients with knowledge, experience, flexibility and ambition to excel.’
‘The firm is very dedicated and attentive to the problems we raise. Compared with other offices they are superior.’
‘They understand their clients’ business and the demands that need to be met.’
‘Lawyers attack problems from a client-oriented perspective to provide favourable resolutions. Their great availability and dispositions make them unique.’
‘Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of their area of activity and dedication to offer all possible alternatives, particularly Gianni Gutiérrez and Marcelo Marchetti.’
‘Gianni Gutiérrez is the best tax lawyer in Uruguay. His ability, knowledge, decisive ingenuity and professionalism make Gianni and his team the best in tax matters.’
‘Gianni Gutiérrez acts in a measured and practical way, under control, focused, with experience and determination, ensuring success in what is proposed for the client. It really gives security and peace of mind.’
‘Lawyers understand the problem quickly and follow the process very closely, especially Isabel Laventure and María Laura Caffera.’
Hidrovias do Brasil
Suzlon Wind Energy
Archer Daniels Midland
- Assisted Whirlpool Corporation with the local tax aspects of the $1bn sale of its Embraco business unit to Japan-based Nidec Corporation.
- Represented Uber in its dealings with the Uruguayan Tax and Social Security Authority in relation to the launch of its Uber Eats service.
- Advised Navios South American Logistics and Uruguay’s Corporación Navíos on a private debt offering, including tax issues.
- Represented several agricultural services companies in cases against the social security administration for the reimbursement of excess social security contributions.
For some, Guyer & Regules is a ‘benchmark in the field’, with its ‘strong business sense’ and ‘personalised attention’ finding favour with sources. The multidisciplinary team covers all the bases on tax law, with strong offerings in tax planning, compliance matters, transactional support issues and litigation. Its international tax knowledge is also praised, with sources commending its ability to obtain ‘best structuring in international business’. Tax and corporate finance partner Juan Manuel Albacete heads the department and is a ‘national authority on tax matters’. Associate Gastón Lapaz is a talented litigator and is recommended for contentious work.
‘The firm has great technical solidity and is recognised as a benchmark in the field. It far surpasses other law firms.’
‘It is a highly competent and very solid team. They have the knowledge and relationships necessary to carry out complicated cases.’
‘Lawyers also have the ability to consult other lawyers of the firm for specific questions.’
‘In tax matters, it is very important to be updated both nationally and internationally, that is the most valuable aspect of the team. It has sufficient knowledge to obtain best structuring in international business.’
‘For an in-house attorney, it is important to know that you have the backing of a competent, comprehensive legal team that quickly understands the case and its implications.’
‘In most situations they can respond almost at the same time that we consult them, thanks to the fact that they handle corporate affairs with great solvency. In cases that are more complex or need further analysis, response times are short.’
‘They have strong business sense; they understand the situation and work closely with us to find solutions.’
‘Excellent team. Very good technically and provides personalised attention, especially Juan Manuel Albacete.’
‘Juan Manuel Albacete is a national authority on tax matters.’
‘Gastón Lapaz demonstrates knowledge, dedication, good will and the necessary rebellion when obstacles are presented.’
Goldman Sachs & Co
BNP Paribas Securities
JP Morgan Securities
Montes del Plata (Arauco and StoraEnso)
Louis Dreyfus Company
Philip Morris (Abal Hnos)
Asociación de Bancos
- Represented HSBC Financial Uruguay on submitting a claim to the Tax Authority to recover $1m in VAT.
- Advised the banks (Itaú BBA USA Securities, Scotia Capital USA and JP Morgan Securities) on the tax aspects of a $1.2bn bond issuance by the Republic of Uruguay).
The ‘committed team’ at BERGSTEIN scores highly for its ‘transparent and agile’ communication. The firm houses a full-service tax practice which combines strength in tax structuring and international tax with robust litigation capability. Group head Domingo Pereira has an emphasis on international tax, while Jonás Bergstein has a strong record in transactional tax matters. Senior associate Guzmán Ramírez is noted for tax litigation.
‘The firm provides a personalised service. Partners are available and personally concerned with the issues.’
‘It is a committed team, with lawyers who are in total tune with each other.’
‘Communication is transparent and agile and, as a consequence, the final result is 100% favourable to the client.’
‘Domingo Pereira and Guzmán Ramírez are rock solid in tax matters: proactive, business-oriented and responsible.’
‘Jonás Bergstein has a clear and strong vision and knows how to transmit his ideas to his team and his clients. His interpretations are clear and logical.’
Armenian General Benevolent Union
POS 2000 Uruguay
- Advised TravelClick on recently approved tax rules on e-commerce.
- Advised Tembici on the alternative Uruguayan legal platforms to establish a manufacturing plant in Uruguay.
- Counselled Lime on the legal and tax consequences of renting scooters through an internet platform in Uruguay.
Lawyers at Posadas, Posadas & Vecino ‘share their knowledge and understand how to apply it correctly’, according to sources. The team is best known for its strength in non-contentious matters, particularly international and domestic tax planning, as well as transactional tax. It also houses an increasingly prominent tax litigation offering. Zonamérica office head Raúl Vairo is noted for his strong international tax expertise. Wealth management specialist Matías Rachetti was promoted to partner in January 2020. Senior associate Guillermo Sena provides capable support.
‘They are very open to sharing information and know that the most important thing is to be able to join up the information they have with the specific needs of the client — just having the knowledge, without applying it correctly, does not achieve the necessary results.’
‘As a firm they share their knowledge and understand how to apply it correctly, which generally translates into an excellent result and a positive experience for the client.’
‘Raúl Vairo and Matías Rachetti stand out for their knowledge of their respective areas of law. Both have strong international experience, often visiting different countries, which gives them a competitive advantage over many of their colleagues in this sector.’
UTE (Administración Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Eléctricas)
- Advised BTG Pactual on day-to-day tax matters, including advising on the different jurisdictions in which to incorporate investments funds.
- Advised Uruguay-based forestry giant, Lumin on its tax matters.
- Assisted Trafigura with tax matters related to its local commercial transactions.
Andersen Tax & Legal Uruguay
Andersen Tax & Legal Uruguay is distinguished by its ability to draw upon the wider global network for support in multi-jurisdictional tax matters. The local team is best known for its experience in tax planning and transactional tax and it also advises on contentious matters. Juan Ignacio Troccoli manages the tax and accounting departments.
Sallustro Company & Innovare
Canadian Bank Note Company
Breeders & Packers Uruguay (BPU)
Neutral – JH Partners
Park Place Technologies
- Advised Breeders & Packers Uruguay on the tax aspects of its $135m acquisition by Nipponhan Group.
- Acted for GDM Seeds on the incorporation of a second holding for the group in a new jurisdiction, include tax advice.
Blanco & Etcheverry
Blanco & Etcheverry had a strong run, recently, advising multinational technology companies on new regulations concerning electronically supplied services rendered by non-resident companies. It also consistently advises on tax planning and transactional tax. Managing partner Agustín Etcheverry is the key contact.
Castells & Castells
Estancias del Lago
- Advised Booking.com on tax planning and compliance matters.
- Assisted Amazon with tax planning and regulatory matters.
Brum Costa Abogados
Brum Costa Abogados strikes a balance between contentious and non-contentious work, with strong expertise in the financial services area. Group head Leonardo Costa Franco ‘stands out for his professionalism and knowledge’ and brings to bear an impressive record in advising on tax reform at state level.
‘Leonardo Costa’s experience in tax matters in this country is probably unique: he was a key member of the government for 20 years, then a consultant to subsequent governments on highly significant tax matters.’
‘Leonardo Costa’s technical capabilities and his personal and professional qualities are appreciated by everyone. He is a consultant to multilateral organisations, banks, brokers and advisers.’
‘Leonardo Costa specialises in tax matters. He stands out for his professionalism and knowledge, as well as being very accessible and esteemed.’
Bolsa de Valores de Montevideo
Nobilis Corredor de Bolsa
Cámara de Zonas Francas
Alcoholes del Uruguay (ALUR)
Distribuidora Uruguaya de Combustible (DUCSA)
- Successfully represented ALUR before the Supreme court in a case alleging the unconstitutionality of a departmental tax imposed by the Artigas municipal government.
- Advised the Bolsa de Valores de Montevideo (the Montevideo Stock Exchange) on regulatory and compliance matters, including on the new common reporting standard regulations.
Hughes & Hughes
Hughes & Hughes’ multidisciplinary group is noted for its ‘broad perspective’. Routinely engaged in transactional tax matters, the team also advises on tax planning, compliance issues, international taxation and litigation. Associate Miguel Rocca heads the tax and outsourcing department. Senior associate Fernando Barrios left the firm in March 2020.
‘It is a multidisciplinary team, which means it has a broad perspective and provides more comprehensive advice and answers.’
‘The team’s availability, especially from Alejandro Horjales and corporate finance partner Hector Ferreira, is a significant strength.’
Productora de Eventos
UPM Forestal Oriental
CMS Carey & Allende
Felipe de la Balze
CDI Global Partners
- Advised American Express on the company’s tax situation in Uruguay.
- Represented Adidas in administrative proceedings against the local government of Maldonado.
- Acted for Surinor in litigation concerning its request for a tax exemption to be applied to the Jockey Club of Montevideo — a historical building set to be reopened as a luxury hotel.
OLIVERA Abogados’ tax department continues to build its market profile, with its expanding client roster increasingly welcoming multinational companies. The well-rounded practice handles a range of advisory, transactional and contentious matters and stands out for its capacity ‘to bring different options to the table’. Andrés Hessdörfer is recommended for his ‘great ability to find efficient solutions’.
‘The team stands out for its expertise, level of knowledge and ability to bring different options to the table.’
‘Olivera compares favourably to other firms in the market as it finds good solutions in every case, or lets us know the alternative fallback options.’
‘It is a group that knows how to respond to adverse situations and has the capacity to provide solutions to the client’s problem.’
‘Lawyers’ quality of knowledge, resolve and great ability to find solutions set them apart, particularly Andrés Hessdörfer, who has brought us options that others don’t even know about.’
‘They are very accessible and always available to advise us. My principal contacts are Andrés Hessdörfer, Juan Mailhos and Florencia Gentile — all three are always available to respond to our queries and quickly answer our calls.’
‘Andrés Hessdörfer is a young professional with an admirable knowledge of the subject and great ability to find efficient solutions.’
Punta Carretas Shopping Center
Algonquin Power & Utilities
Bolsa Electrónica de Valores
Gastón Bengochea Sociedad de Bolsa
Formula E Operations
China Road and Bridge Corporation
Union Agriculture Group
- Advised Union Agriculture Group on its biggest corporate and tax restructuring in its history, in order to reduce operative and tax inefficiencies.