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Hogan Lovells US LLP

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José Valdivia

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Hogan Lovells US LLP

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José Valdivia's practice focuses primarily on infrastructure projects, mergers and acquisitions, and other commercial transactions, particularly in Latin America and with an emphasis on financings and development and mergers and acquisitions involving energy, petrochemicals, agriculture, and water. José has significant experience structuring, coordinating, and closing a wide variety of complex business transactions. He has worked on issues involving project finance, debt offerings, privatizations, greenfield developments, acquisitions, joint ventures, and contract negotiations in projects involving electricity, oil and gas, petrochemicals, consumer products, agriculture, and industrial water in several countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean. José also has experience with project financing involving several multilateral lending agencies. He has active experience in civil law jurisdictions throughout the Americas and in the legal structures and entities used in implementing successful strategies for project financings, debt offerings, project development, and mergers and acquisitions. José has also been involved in all aspects of project documentation, including the preparation and negotiation of development, joint venture, and shareholder agreements, offering memoranda, indentures, power purchase, water sales, and other offtake agreements, fuel supply agreements, operating and maintenance agreements, and other project contracts, in both English and Spanish.


Prior to joining Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells), José spent three years as a partner working in Caracas, Venezuela, advising clients on a wide variety of issues for investments in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America. He was elected as an honorary member of the Caracas (Federal District) Bar Association. In law school, he was topics editor for the Tax Lawyer and was awarded the Nelson T. Hartson Memorial Award for Excellence in academic studies. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami Law School, teaching a course on international project development and financing. José is also a certified public accountant.


Spanish; English


Vice-Chair, Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection of the University of Miami; Member, International Law Section, American Bar Association; Member, International Law Section, The Florida Bar; Member, New York Bar Association


LL.M., New York University School of Law, 1985; J.D., magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center, 1984; B.B.A., cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1980

Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Hogan Lovells US LLP remains best known for Latin American financings involving Asian lenders, and in transactions for quasi-sovereign and state-owned entities. It's highly esteemed Miami and Houston offices have especially close links to the region, with a number of Latin American natives based there. In addition, it has substantial teams in Mexico and Brazil. Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Honduras and Colombia are among its key markets. Clients include IFC, Republic of Ecuador, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, AES Corporation and Petrobras. The firm advised PetroEcuador and the Ministry of Finance (Ecuador) on a $970m credit facility from a syndicate of banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), The Export‐Import Bank of China and ChinaMinsheng Banking Corp; under the deal PetroEcuador has entered into a five‐year crude oil sale-and-purchase contract with PetroChina International to sell crude oil to PetroChina at market prices during the five‐year loan term. Co-chair of the Latin America practice and Houston partner Bruno Ciuffetelli has a fine record in infrastructure financings and bank regulatory matters. Miami based co-chair of the Latin America practice José Valdivia  is noted for renewable-energy financings, including those involving MLAs. Miguel Zaldivar, who deserves recognition for financings involving Chinese entities, has relocated to Hong Kong to become regional chief executive for the Asia Pacific Middle East region.

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City focus: Miami

Within: City focus: Miami

Hogan Lovells US LLP has a substantial Miami operation that has a close association with Latin America. The Miami team has played an integral role in the development of the firm's standing in the region, where it has offices in Mexico and Brazil. Moreover, the Miami group has impressed in transactions in Venezuela and Ecuador, including financings involving Chinese and Asian lenders. In addition, it has a substantial team of arbitration specialists in Miami who are focused on Latin America. A Miami team advised PetroEcuador and the Ministry of Finance (Ecuador) on a $970m credit facility from a syndicate of banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), The Export‐Import Bank of China and ChinaMinsheng Banking Corp; under the deal PetroEcuador has entered into a five‐year crude oil sale and purchase contract with PetroChina International to sell crude oil to PetroChina at market prices during the five‐year loan term. The Miami office also successfully acted for IBM México in an ICC arbitration connected to a multi‐billion dollar litigation pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The arbitration team also represented the Republic of Panama in three ICSID arbitrations and acted for Lidercón, the Spanish investor, in its claims against the Republic of Peru for breaches of the Spain–Peru Bilateral Investment Treaty. José Valdivia is co-chair of the Latin America practice alongside Houston-based Bruno Ciuffetelli; Valdivia has an excellent record in infrastructure and renewable energy development and finance in Latin America. Gaston Fernandez spent a number of years practising in China and now is a key figure in cross-border transactions involving Asia and Latin America, particularly financings involving Chinese banks and Asian multilateral agency lenders. Global head of international arbitration Daniel González and Miami managing-partner Richard Lorenzo are big name arbitration specialists with extensive experience in cases involving Latin America. Maria Ramirez is another rapidly emerging arbitration partner, while Juan Garcia is a key arbitration name at counsel level. Miguel Zaldivar has relocated to Hong Kong to become chief executive of the Asia Pacific Middle East region.

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Corporate and M&A

Within: Corporate and M&A

Hogan Lovells US LLP has a high level of corporate and M&A expertise across its Latin America team, which sits in multiple offices, including Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Miami, New York and Houston. It is widely noted for its expertise in oil-and-gas transactions, including those by state-owned enterprises and quasi-sovereign entities. Clients include Aeromexico, Banorte, Corporacion Multi-inversiones (CMI), Petroamazonas , Petrobras, Pemex and Sealed Air. The team advised CHUBB on the  stock ownership restructuring and subsequent merger of three insurance companies and two bond companies it owns in Mexico. Miami partner José Valdivia co-heads the Latin America practice and has a fine record in M&A transactions. Juan Francisco Torres Landa is a key name in Mexico City, where Federico de Noriega and Carlos Ramos Miranda are also prominent.

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Projects and energy

Within: Projects and energy

Hogan Lovells US LLP continues to be recognised for its commitment to the Latin American market, demonstrated through both its offices in the region and its dedicated teams in Miami, New York and, especially, Houston. It has a particularly strong record in representing state-owned energy companies in jurisdictions such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, among others. Additionally, it continues to lead the way in projects involving Asian sponsors and lenders and has an outstanding record in energy projects in Central America. Clients include PetroAmazonas, Petrobras, Petroecuador, PDVSA, Pemex and Republic of Ecuador. The practice advised Nederlandse Financierings ‐ Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) and Deutsche Investitions ‐ und Entwicklungsgesellsc (DEG)  on a $38m long‐term financing to General Energy Solutions for the development of phase two of the Monte Plata Solar Photovoltaic (PV) facility in the Dominican Republic. Miguel Zaldivar has a long track record with the Republic of Ecuador and its state-owned energy companies, including bringing Asian parties into its energy strategy; he has recently relocated from Miami to Hong Kong, where he is now regional chief executive for the Asia Pacific Middle East region. Co-chair of the Latin American group and Houston partner Bruno Ciuffetelli is a Venezuela-qualified lawyer and a long time adviser to Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and other Venezuelan state-owned companies; he is another with experience of financings involving Asian entities. Miami partner José Valdivia also co-heads the Latin America practice and is a seasoned practitioner in energy transactions in Venezuela, Ecuador and other Latin American states. Washington DC senior counsel Claudette Christian is a project finance specialist with an especially fine record in the oil-and-gas sector, for clients such as Petrobras. Miami partner Jorge Diaz-Silveira is a leader in engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) agreements and has strong experience in Central American power and renewables projects. Carlos Ramos Miranda is a prominent name in Mexico City for energy and infrastructure projects, particularly in the oil-and-gas and water sectors. Miami partner Gaston Fernandez is recommended for Latin America projects that involve Asian entities.

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United States: Finance

Project finance

Within: Project finance

Hogan Lovells US LLP is commended for its ‘ability to solve problems, not only from a legal point of view, but also from a business point of view’. The team is engaged on the financing for a range of power projects as well as PPP infrastructure projects. Houston-based David Locascio, who is ‘always accessible and super-efficient with his time’, advised Assured Guaranty on its role as bond insurer in connection with the financing of the $4.9bn Automated People Mover (APM) project at Los Angeles International Airport in California. Demonstrating its cross-border experience, senior counsel Thomas Hechl in Washington DC advised the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the project and financing documents relating to a 250MW greenfield combined-cycle thermal power plant project in Yerevan, Armenia; Ricardo Martinez in New York advised Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) on a $100m corporate financing to cellular communications company Africell Holding, in order to support the modernization and expansion of its mobile telecommunications network operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and The Gambia; and Hechl, Washington DC-based Wylie Levone and team head Jorge Diaz-Silveira in Miami advised FMO and DEG on the $38m long-term financing provided to General Energy Solution for the development of phase two of the Monte Plata Solar Photovoltaic facility located in Monte Plata, Dominican Republic. José Valdivia in Miami and Brian Chappell in Baltimore are also key figures. Kevin Keenan joined the Houston office from Baker Botts L.L.P. in 2018.

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