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Herbert Smith Freehills

Work +1 917 542 7600
Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Beijing, Belfast, Berlin, Brisbane and 22 more

United States: Dispute resolution

International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills

The 'excellent and highly specialized practice group' at Herbert Smith Freehills is jointly led by New York-based Christian Leathley, who noted for his 'deep knowledge of Latin America', and 'excellent' Amal Bouchenaki, who was recently made partner. Highlights included the team acting for Chevron Corporation in an $18bn fraudulent award matter in Egypt, and representing the Kingdom of Spain in a $2.3bn investment arbitration filed under the Energy Charter Treaty by 14 investment funds. In the commercial arbitration space, Bouchenaki is representing a major corporation in the hospitality industry in an ICC arbitration; this matter bought together a cross-border team from Paris, with associate Liang-Ying Tan from the New York office in a support role. Further, the team was strengthened by two new additions: senior associate Florencia Villaggi joined from the firm's London office as an internal transfer, and Peter Behmke joined the team as partner from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP.

Next Generation Partners

Amal Bouchenaki - Herbert Smith Freehills

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Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class actions: consumer products (including tobacco) - defense - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills

The New York-based team at Herbert Smith Freehills has a strong focus on the tobacco sector, as evidenced by its advising longstanding client British American Tobacco (BAT) in smoking and health lawsuits in the US and abroad. In recent highlights, Benjamin Rubenstein and Gregory Loss represented BAT in proceedings brought by the Korean National Health Insurance Service regarding the costs of treatment for smoking-related illnesses, and acted for the same client in two product liability class actions filed in Quebec, which sought punitive and moral damages for nicotine addiction. The firm is also defending Twinings North America and Souza Cruz in product liability claims.

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Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills has a fine record in energy, oil and gas, mining and infrastructure financing. The Latin America practice is especially prominent in Brazil thanks to the presence of Portuguese and Spanish speaking New York partner Edward Dougherty. Resource related finance in Chile is another key feature of the practice. Moreover, the firm's London office is increasingly active in reserve-based loans in Brazil and its prominent Asia practice has helped the Latin America team to target flows of capital coming from that region. Clients include Marubeni, Mitsubishi, GranEnergia, Abengoa and IFC. It advised GranEnergia on the refinancing of its long-term facility for the floating hotel Olympia, used as support for pre-salt oil exploration and production. Newly elected London partner Pedro Rufino Carvalho previously practiced in Brazill and has extensive experience in the oil-and-gas industry, while William Breeze, also London-based, is another senior figure with considerable experience in trade and commodities finance in Latin America.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 5

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills has made a further impression in mining, offshore oil and gas, and power and infrastructure deals. It has a fine standing in intra-continential deals, including inbound investments from Europe and Asia. Clients include Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mercuria Energy Group, Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM), Abengoa and Macquarie Development. Recent mandates include advising Marubeni on its $200m acquisition of GasValpo, the gas distribution business in Valparaiso, Chile; and Mitsubishi on its $600m acquisition of a 22% equity interest in Anglo American Quellaveco, which owns the $5.3bn Quellaveco copper project in Peru. In a major outbound engagement, the team continued to advise SQM on its proposed 50:50 joint venture with Kidman Resources to develop and operate Kidman Resources' Mt Holland lithium project in Australia. Edward Dougherty and Juan-José Zentner are key names in New York, the latter a big name in mining and resources deals, particularly in Chile. Andrew Blacoe heads the firm's Japan energy, infrastructure and mining practice, and has worked on a series of inbound deals by Japanese clients. Madrid's Ignacio Paz is also noted for renewable energy deals in the region.

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International arbitration
International arbitration - ranked: tier 2

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills is particularly experienced in commercial disputes and assisting investors with investor-state arbitration; it also has notable expertise in the mining infrastructure space. Among its recent caseload, it successfully defended the Republic of Costa Rica in investment treaty proceedings arising from the termination of a development site on environmental grounds and continues to represent BHP Billiton in a series of disputes involving its engineer at the Escondida mining project. Other commercial arbitration cases include acting for a South American oil company in an arbitration regarding the breach of an agreement to share proceeds from the joint operation of an oil block, and handling a dispute relating to the development of an off-shore LNG regasification terminal. The highly regarded Christian Leathley heads the Latin America group from the firm's New York office; the team also includes the recently promoted partner Amal Bouchenaki, associate Daniela Påez and Paris-based Thierry Tomasi.

Next Generation Partners

Amal Bouchenaki - Herbert Smith Freehills

Rising stars

Daniela PĂĄez - Herbert Smith Freehills

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills is at the forefront of the mining and natural resources space in Latin America, particularly as regards Chilean copper mining. The firm is becoming increasingly active beyond its Chilean beach-head, including in Argentina and Peru, and is expanding its range of projects to minerals such as lithium. The practice also has an leading reputation for greenfield project development work. Clients include Corporación Nacional del Cobre (Codelco), Mantos Copper, BHP Billiton, GranEnergia, Mitsubishi Corporation and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM). It advised Codelco on the build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme for a desalination plant to deliver desalinated water to Codelco's existing Radomiro Tomic mine in Chile; this project is expected to set a benchmark for BOT contracting in Chile. It also advised Mantos Copper on the EPC contracts for the Mantos Blancos De-Bottlenecking Project and the Mantoverde Development Project. The Latin America team is 'first class', 'very responsive' and 'just outstanding' according to clients who highlight the group's expertise in engineering and construction, along with the contribution of teams and specialist individuals from the firm's global office network. The team's 'commercial skills make very complicated transactions to look easy and smooth' and 'clients feel their interests are well protected'. 'A very business oriented lawyer', mining and resources specialist Juan-José Zentner is 'fluent in Spanish and understands the idiosyncrasies of Latin America'. Edward Dougherty is also highly rated for oil-and-gas transactions and for his Spanish language skills.

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Further information on Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

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Offices in Frankfurt, Berlin, and Dusseldorf



Offices in Madrid


Offices in Paris

Hong Kong

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Offices in Kuala Lumpur

Northern Ireland

Offices in Belfast


Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration


Offices in Moscow

South Africa

Offices in Johannesburg


Offices in Singapore

South Korea

Offices in Seoul


Offices in Bangkok


United States

Offices in New York

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