Firm Profile > Garrigues > Lima, Peru


Banking and finance Tier 1

'Excellent firmGarrigues excels in all the segments of finance work, from banking regulatory and capital markets to all forms of structured and project finance. It is the go-to firm for a number of leading New York law firms and international investment banks requiring Peruvian counsel for headline or sophisticated transactions. Acting alongside Shearman & Sterling LLPJosé Francisco Meier led advice to JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Santander, Scotia Capital and Scotiabank Perú -as global coordinators, initial purchasers and bookrunners- on the Republic of Peru's $3.1bn sovereign bond issue, a record figure for an emerging economy in the international capital markets. Meier also counselled DirecTV Perú (as co-guarantor alongside a swathe of domestic and international financial institutions) on the $1bn credit facility granted to Sky Serviços. Department head Oscar Arrús is widely respected in the market; he represented Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BTG Pactual, as international placement agents, in Grupo Energía Bogotá (GEB)'s $665m global share offering; and provided local advice to Corporación América Airports on its $485m IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Arrús leads a compact yet 'technically-able' five-partner team which also includes Sergio Amiel and Thomas Thorndike (both noted for their corporate as well as financial law capability), and Diego Harman who was made up to partner in October 2019. The junior bench is both expanding and growing in reputation; now 17-strong, its key figures include and principal associate Héctor Zegarra and senior asociate Jorge Fuentes. Representative clients of the practice include Crédit Agricole, Santander, Citibank, Natixis and Alicorp, as well as numerous global investment banks.

Projects and infrastructure Tier 1

Garrigues stands out for its knowledge and teamwork, say clients, and is a market leader in project finance, where practice head Oscar Arrús excels. However, the Lima office of this Spanish-powerhouse firm has capability across the whole life-cycle of projects, evidenced by its work for Petroperu, advising on the structuring and execution of an international bid process for the operation of its major oil terminals in southern Peru. Other headline instructions include representing the lenders, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and COFIDE, in a $142m financing to Ergon Peru for the development of its photovoltaic renewable-energy projects. Key members of the team include: regulatory and public law partner Victor Baca; corporate partner Sergio Amiel; and both Thomas Thorndike and José Francisco Meier, who typically act for sponsors and financiers. Diego Harman, who was raised to the partnership in Occtober 2019, and principal associate Johanna Holz, are also noteworthy regulars on deal teams.

Public law and regulation Tier 1

Garrigues fields a 'very specialised team that knows the subject of public law and regulation in depth' and provides 'solid experience combined with agility and a desire to exceed expectations'. Although best-known for its advice on major public infrastructure, the team offers market-leading administrative and regulatory advice. The expertise of practice head Victor Baca, who 'guarantees an excellent legal approach and out-of-the-box solutions', combined with the 'innovation' of associates Eduardo Ortega and Johanna Holz, provide 'a good balance', say clients. In a major mandate, the team is advising Petroperú on the structure and execution of its international bidding process for the operation of its major oil terminals in southern Peru. Demonstrating its versatility, the team is also advising Media Producción on the public law aspects of its broadcasting of the Pan American Games on behalf of the state organisation responsible for the Games. Other names to note in a practice group which 'stands out' for fast response times and 'constant contact' with clients, are: senior associate Giancarlo Vignolo, who has a focus on energy and power; and associate Lissy Vega Centeno, formerly of Graña y Montero.

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

'Excellent firmGarrigues prides itself on offering small deal teams operating at the highest, international standards, with partners who are front-of-house on transactions. In Peru, clients note the local team's 'unique' industry knowledge and technical knowhow; indeed, practice co-heads Sergio Amiel and Oscar Arrús, together with José Francisco Meier and Thomas Thorndike, all draw praise for their expertise and commercial awareness. The practice group's depth was underlined by the recent -October 2019- raising of Diego Harman to the partnership; and a sizeable associate pool includes standout principal associate Héctor Zegarra and experienced senior associate Jorge Fuentes. Both Zegarra and Fuentes assisted Arrús with Alicorp's $300m cross-border acquisition of Bolivia's Industrias de Aceites (IASA) and Global Cassini; while Amiel represented Red Eléctrica Internacional (REI) on its $205m agreement with Bow Power Cobra to acquire the CCNCM electricity line and substations in northern Peru. New clients include Romero Group, Veolia and IFC.

Dispute resolution Tier 3

Garrigues fields considerable expertise in the form of Melissa Nuñez Santti and the vastly experienced Hugo Forno Flórez, who is, according to one client, 'the best jurist in Peru' and 'the star individual of that team'. The pair are cultivating a successful practice at the firm, winning clients such as Cosapi, Petroperú and Prosegur, alongside existing clients including Telefónica del Perú and Engie Energia Perú. Litigation mandates includes representing construction company Viva GyM in a $30m land dispute with Activos Peruanos, while an extensive arbitration-caseload includes advising on pre-arbitraln proceedings concerning a multibillion-dollar investment in the oil-and-gas sector.

Tax Tier 3

Tax remains Garrigues' signature strength and the Lima practice group excels in the provision of tax support on complex and high-value transactions and major projects. The team acted for Alicorp, for example, on the tax aspects of its $300m acquisition of Bolivian listed-company Industrias De Aceite (FINO); and represented Cobra, a division of Spanish construction company ACS Group, on its $100m financing to develop a wastewater plant in southern Lima. Experienced tax specialist Javier De La Vega now leads the practice single-handed following the March 2019 departure of former co-head José Chiarella to co-found Damma Legal Advisors. A solid second line includes principal associates Luis Valle, Rafael Martinelli and Rosa Chevarría.

Garrigues’ Peru office offers expert multidisciplinary advice, providing support to both local clients and international investors on entering and pursuing their business activities in the Peruvian market.

When it decided to open its office in Lima, in 2014, Garrigues knew that it needed to put together a top-tier team of lawyers to lead the Peruvian practice, bearing in mind the extremely competitive nature of this market and Garrigues’ high standards of client service worldwide.

Over the last few years, Garrigues’ immediate positioning as one of the leading firms in Peru has been clear, having provided advice on some of the highest-level projects, corporate transactions and matters, acted as legal counsel to top-tier international and domestic clients who are industry leaders in Latin America.

Garrigues’ team in Peru now comprises 44 professionals, all highly respected in the Peruvian legal services market and with extensive expertise in the area of international investment.

The firm has more than 100 professionals in the whole of Latin America, distributed among its five offices: Lima, Bogota, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile and Sao Paulo. Garrigues has the largest network of its own offices in the region among the major European law firms. It also has its own offices in Spain (in 20 cities), Belgium, China (Beijing and Shanghai), Portugal, Poland, Morocco, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Garrigues’ office in Peru offers a broad range of business law advisory services, with a team of professionals specializing in banking and finance, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, infrastructure, public law, capital markets, tax, labor and employment, dispute resolution, real estate and energy, among other practices.

Senior contacts
Oscar Arrus – partner ( Oscar has extensive expertise advising issuers and borrowers, as well as domestic and international financial entities (as lenders, structuring agents, underwriters, etc) in the most complex international and domestic finance transactions. Before joining Garrigues, he was a partner at Rubio Leguia Normand, and as an associate in Baker & Hostetler (Washington DC).

Jose Chiarella – partner ( Jose advises clients in tax matters relating to domestic and cross-border finance and M&A transactions, tax structuring of major infrastructure and mining investments, and tax advisory to high net worth individuals. Prior to joining Garrigues, he was a partner at the tax department of Rodrigo, Elias & Medrano. He also worked at Arthur Andersen and as a consultant at the Luxembourg office of Ernst & Young.

Alvaro Valle – partner ( Alvaro’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and commercial contracts, with particular expertise in cross-border transactions. He specializes in the energy sector, with extensive transactional experience and expertise in project development and contracts specific to the industry. Prior to joining the Lima office, he practiced in Spain and worked at the Miami office of Hunton & Williams.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking Oscar Arrús
Banking Thomas Thorndike
Capital markets José Francisco Meier
Capital markets Sergio Amiel
Capital markets Oscar Arrús
M&A Sergio Amiel
M&A Thomas Thorndike
Tax Jose Chiarella
Tax Luis Valle
Infrastructure Oscar Arrús
Infrastructure Victor Baca
Labor Franco Muschi
Public law Victor Baca
Energy Alvaro Valle
Energy Victor Baca
Immigration Franco Muschi
Dispute resolution Hugo Forno
Dispute resolution Melissa Nuñez
Other fee-earners : 36
Partners : 9