Robalino > Quito, Ecuador > Firm Profile

Robalino
AV. 12 DE OCTUBRE N24-68 Y LINCOLN
EDIFICIO MIRAGE, PISO 15
QUITO
Ecuador

Ecuador > Banking and finance Tier 1

Robalino Law continues to handle a wide range of high-profile banking and financing matters following its departure from the Ferrere network in December 2020 and establishment as an independent domestic firm. The firm has ‘significant experience‘, particularly in cross-border transactions, debt restructurings, project finance, bond offerings and derivatives, in addition to both secured and unsecured loans. Cross-border securitisations are another key area of strength for the team, with ‘excellent‘ practice head Jesús Beltrán advising Banco del Pacífico on the securitisation of existing and future direct payment rights arising from foreign remittances. Beltrán is also particularly noted for his work on debt restructuring, social finance and development finance. However, associate Juan Francisco Simone left the firm in May 2021 to become an advisor at Ecuador’s National Assembly.

Practice head(s):

Jesús Beltrán

Testimonials

‘They have significant experience and knowledge of the subject and the market.’

‘Jesús Beltrán is an excellent lawyer.’

Key clients

International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group)

IDB Invest (Inter-American Development Bank Group)

Banco de Guayaquil

Proparco

BNP Paribas

US International Development Finance Corporation

Banco ProCredit

Banco del Pacifico

Oaktree Capital Management

Franco Nevada Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acted as Ecuadorian counsel to Banco del Pacifico in connection with a $200m cross-border securitisation of existing and future direct payment rights arising from foreign remittances, which was underwritten by Goldman Sachs though a Cayman Islands special purpose vehicle.
  • Acted as Ecuadorian counsel to Franco Nevada Corporation in an agreement with SolGold to acquire a 1% net smelter royalty with reference to all minerals produced from the Alpala copper-gold project in northern Ecuador for $100m.
  • Acted as Ecuadorian and New York counsel to IDB Invest (the private-sector arm of the IDB Group) as investor in a $20m social bond offering by Banco Guayaquil, which was executed locally through the Quito Securities Exchange.

Ecuador > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Following its split from Ferrere and establishment as an independent domestic firm in July 2021, the ‘exceptional‘ Robalino Law continues to handle a wide range of matters in the corporate governance space, advising both international and domestic clients on their operations. The firm is best known, however, for its work on large cross-border M&A transactions, such as the acquisition of Forever21’s Latin American operations by AR Retail, where managing partner Javier Robalino Orellana lead the team. The corporate practice is jointly led by Jesús Beltrán, Martín Pallares and Daniel Robalino, all of whom handle M&A deals, while new partner Ernesto Weisson is recommended for restructuring and joint venture work. Senior associates Juan Bernando Guarderas and Daniel Peré are also key contacts for major deals. Since publication, the firm has further built out its capabilities with the late-November 2021 opening of a fifth office (following on from those in Quito, Guayaquil, Manta and Machala), in Cuenca, Azuay province, southern Ecuador.

Practice head(s):

Jesús Beltrán; Martín Pallares; Daniel Robalino

Testimonials

‘A talented team who are available to assist clients at any time and in an efficient manner, providing immediate responses and delivering work within a very short period of time.’

‘They feel like partners in our company.’

‘Robalino provide us with ongoing advice in relation to various corporate matters. The service is very good and they have shown a real interest in getting to know the requirements of our company and finding solutions to the different challenges that have arisen. Their attitude is also very positive.’

‘Juan Bernardo Guarderas provides us with continuous support, showing a real interest and willingness to assist the company. He is a very competent lawyer.’

‘Their agility in responding to queries and deep knowledge of business enables them to provide high-quality advice.’

‘Ernesto Weisson is an excellent lawyer, both on a personal and a professional level. He is always available to deal with our requirements, and does so in a prompt and friendly manner, providing thorough advice that enables us to minimise risks.’

‘Jesús Beltrán’s knowledge of both US and Ecuadorian law is incredible, as his ability to work on cross-border matters. He is very hospitable.’

‘The team is exceptional and works very well with other firms.’

Key clients

Socofar/Femsa

Autolider

La Fabril

Bomi

Nord Anglia Education and Colegio Menor

Pluspetrol Eni

Tipti

Delivery Hero

Nucopsa

Acepta.com

Work highlights

  • Advised Delivery Hero on the Ecuadorian leg of the acquisition of Glovo’s Latin American operations.
  • Acted as Ecuadorian counsel to BASF in the sale of its construction chemicals business to Lone Star Funds.
  • Advising Wnetdev and SigFox on the promotion of new telecoms regulations for the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) in Ecuador.

Ecuador > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Robalino Law remains a prominent force in the Ecuadorian market following its split from the Ferrere network and establishment as an independent domestic entity. Highlighted for its 'technical expertise', the firm is highly active across the full spectrum of disputes work, with teams focusing on complex litigation, arbitration and mediation matters. Managing partner Javier Robalino Orellana is a key member of the firm's arbitration practice, with experience in a range of international cases, including those dealing with multinational governing bodies such as the World Trade Organisation and the Andean Community. The arbitration team was further expanded at partner level in 2021 with the promotion of Luis Carlos Fernández, who also handles a wide range of civil, commercial and labour litigation cases. 'Excellent' senior associate María Teresa Borja is also a key figure in the team.

Practice head(s):

Luis Carlos Fernández; Javier Robalino Orellana

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical expertise.’

‘They have experience in a number of big cases in Ecuador and have a deep understanding of the country and its peculiarities, and many useful contacts.’

‘They have the highest possible capacity for work, dedication and enthusiasm.’

‘It is a very professional team that is very attentive to our needs and problems, committed to the work, and available.’

‘Maria Teresa Borja is an excellent lawyer. She shows her passion for her work through her level of motivation. She has a very good perspective of cases.’

Ecuador > Energy and natural resources Tier 1

Robalino Law remains a notable presence within the Ecuadorian market following its spin-out from Ferrere and establishment as an independent firm. The team is active across the full spectrum of work in the energy and natural resources area, acting for high-profile clients focused on the renewables, oil and gas, and mining sectors, and handling a wide range of matters including project financing, M&A and the structuring of new energy projects. Key figures within the team include Rafael Valdivieso, who focuses on oil and gas matters and was promoted to partner in January 2021, Javier Robalino Orellana, who handles both transactional and contentious work, and Andrés Donoso.

Practice head(s):

Andrés Donoso; Javier Robalino Orellana; Rafael Valdivieso

Testimonials

‘The firm offers a full service, covering all the areas of law necessary for our company. Rafael Valdivieso is available to assist clients at any time.’

‘The firm gives us support in all legal matters in an agile way, with very short response times, and with an unmatched knowledge of the sector and the regulations.’

‘They have a clear focus on results, in addition to enormous experience and knowledge in all the legal areas in which they support us.’

‘Undoubtedly the great benefit that the firm has to offer is the openness and constant search for solutions. It is very refreshing to receive clear guidelines on how to operate, always keeping in mind the best for all the parties involved. This behaviour is reflected as a culture within the firm.’

‘It is a very comprehensive practice. They are not limited only to regulatory knowledge, but also have extensive knowledge of industries and practices. They also have excellent government relationships which is a great added value for clients making new revenue in the industry.’

‘Rafael Valdivieso is client and business oriented. He has excellent availability and exceptional regulatory and industrial knowledge. He is proactive and suggests creative solutions to problems.’

Key clients

World Bank

Schlumberger

Pluspetrol

Newcrest

Frontera

Repsol

Gran Tierra

Lowell Mineral (Solaris Resources)

Trafigura

Castleton Commodities International

Nexa Resources

Sinopec

Tenaris

Total Eren

Yildrim

Work highlights

  • Advising Schlumberger, the largest oil and gas investor in Ecuador, on day-to-day matters concerning its assets and projects in the country.
  • Advised Pluspetrol on successfully acquiring ENI’s upstream assets in Ecuador.
  • Advised Lowell Mineral, a subsidiary of Solaris Resources, on Solaris’ IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Ecuador > Real estate Tier 1

Robalino Law remains a formidable presence in the market following its split from the Ferrere international network and establishment as an independent firm. The team is active across the full spectrum of real estate work, including a contentious practice which handles large-scale construction disputes, with a strong focus on contract issues and arbitrations. On the non-contentious side, the firm handles investment structuring, permits and regulatory issues, negotiations with creditors, and contractor relationships, among other issues. The agricultural sector has been key in the firm's recent work, with substantial deals involving the expansion of cocoa, shrimp and floriculture businesses, while its work on urban development projects has also continued in spite of the pandemic. Practice heads Ernesto Weisson and Daniel Robalino specialise in contracting and dispute resolution matters, respectively, while Paola Gachet and Martín Pallares remain active on the transactional front.

Practice head(s):

Ernesto Weisson; Daniel Robalino

Testimonials

‘A multi-disciplinary team with experience in many industries and areas of law.’

‘The team are highly experienced and knowledgeable.’

‘Very practical lawyers who are business focused and provide great support.’

‘They care about providing legal solutions, and consider and understand in detail the business and commercial needs of their clients, both in the medium and long term. The team offers a wide spectrum of knowledge and insights as it is made up of a diverse group of lawyers.’

Key clients

Inmovila

Lapanday

Castillo Construcciones

Sevilla & Martínez Ingenieros (Semaica)

Selina Hotels

Avícola Ecuatoriana (Avesca)

Colour Republic

Alkavat Holdings

AR Retail

CloudKitchen

Work highlights

  • Advised Inmovila on the structuring and financing of two of the biggest urban development projects in Guayaquil.
  • Advised Lapanday on the establishment of its operations in Ecuador, including the purchase of 600 hectares of banana plantations.
  • Advised Colour Republic on the real estate aspects of its rapid expansion in Ecuador.

Ecuador > Tax Tier 1

Following its departure from the Ferrere international network and establishment as an independent firm, Robalino Law continues to handle complex tax planning matters for both international and domestic clients. Paola Gachet heads the team, and is highly experienced in a range of work including transfer pricing, interactions with the tax authorities, and cross-border taxation. The team frequently works alongside the firm's large corporate department, with members such as Gachet and Javier Robalino Orellana focusing heavily on the tax aspects of large, cross-border M&A and investment transactions. Key names from the firm's associate ranks include Bolívar Figueroa, who is recommended for tax planning, as well as contentious work, and Victor Murillo, who focuses on matters which overlap with international trade and customs.

Testimonials

Efficient and competent. Good availability.’

‘The team are well prepared and competitive.’

‘They work well with other teams in the firm.’

‘It is a very high-level tax practice, covering all taxes in Ecuador. The outstanding technical knowledge and practical implementation of the regulations are highly valued qualities.’

‘The advantage is the team’s technical knowledge of international taxation and its relationship with domestic taxation. They have a great ability to understand financial structures and respond accordingly from all applicable tax angles, taking into account both legal and practical considerations.’

‘The team shows commitment and provides a personalised service to each of its clients, providing comprehensive solutions and always thinking out of the box.’

‘Paola Gachet is an excellent lawyer. Her good client service, empathetic approach, and quick responses when time is a scarce resource, as well as her local expertise, mean that as clients we trust in the firm 100%.’

Key clients

Schlumberger

Pluspetrol

Generali

La Fabril

Cargill

Corporación GFP (Fybeca)

Continental Tire

Eurofish

Cargolux Airlines

LATAM Airlines

Work highlights

  • Advised Semaica on the tax aspects of the reorganisation of its corporate group.
  • Advised Cisneros Interactive (the exclusive distributor of Facebook in Ecuador) on the process of returning taxes for foreign payments to Facebook US.
  • Acted for Attenza del Ecuador in a case concerning the powers of the tax authority to impose fees on a company despite a resolution by the Secretary of the Andean Community questioning the validity of the tax.

Ecuador > Competition and antitrust Tier 2

Robalino Law remains active in the field of competition law following its January 2021 split from the Ferrere network and establishment as an independent firm. Daniel Robalino leads the 'knowledgeable' team, and frequently represents clients in litigation before the Ecuadorian Competition Authority, as well as advising on merger control proceedings and regulatory compliance. Dispute resolution practice head Javier Robalino Orellana is recommended for contentious work, while counsels Sebastián Saa and Fausto Alvarado, the latter of whom joined from Alvarado & Asociados in August 2020, are key figures across the full spectrum of the competition practice.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Robalino

Testimonials

‘They are knowledgeable about the subject and communicate well with clients.’

‘Daniel Robalino has good knowledge and communication skills, and is clear in his analysis.’

‘The team stand out for the quality of their work and their efficiency. Their work was excellent in a deal that involved many jurisdictions and had a very demanding timeframe.’

‘Quality and outstanding delivery.’

Key clients

Iberia Airlines

Delivery Hero

3M Corporation

Natural Habitats Group

Genomma Lab International

Grupo GFP Fybeca (a Femsa Comercio Company)

La Fabril

Grupo Vilaseca

Contecon Guayaquil

Eni Corporation (Gas)

Ufinet Spain

Café Minerva

AR Retail

Work highlights

  • Advised Iberia on the merger control process for the acquisition of the Ecuadorian branch of Air Europa.
  • Advised German company Delivery Hero on the merger control process for the acquisition of the Ecuadorian branch of Glovo.
  • Successfully represented Natural Habitats Group in an appeal against a resolution by the first-instance commission denying clearance for a complex horizontal merger.

Ecuador > Labour and employment Tier 2

Robalino Law continues to act for a wide range of high-profile domestic and international clients, in spite of its recent split from the Ferrere international network. The firm is particularly active in contentious work, handling litigation against individual employees as well as collective bargaining disputes, with practice head Luis Carlos Fernández heading up the contentious team. In addition to litigation, the firm handles the labour aspects of corporate transactions, with managing partner Javier Robalino Orellana recently leading the advice to Colour Republic relating to its acquisition of two new farms. New partner Ernesto Weisson is a key name to note from the firm's Guayaquil office, handling a range of employment matters for the firm's clients in that region.

Practice head(s):

Luis Carlos Fernández

Testimonials

‘Robalino’s team of lawyers stand out for their level of knowledge and optimal advice on the different legal issues that are subject to review within our organisation.’

‘They have broad and in-depth knowledge of the different labour issues that could arise.’

‘Each lawyer pays meticulous attention to detail when handling a case and knows exactly what to do and when to do it to obtain the best result.’

‘Luis Carlos Fernandez provides a highly professional service and clear advice.’

‘They have complete mastery of the ever-changing regulations.’

‘What stands out is their knowledge, permanent availability and refreshing advice.’

Key clients

Inepaca

Colour Republic

Transmarina

Schlumberger del Ecuador

Seafman

Corporación Grupo Fybeca

MBA3

Grupo Vilaseca

Bomi Group

Eurofish

Work highlights

  • Advising MBA3 on day-to-day labour matters, as well as on its reorganisation during the Covid-19 pandemic and on the termination of employees due to force majeure.
  • Acting for Bomi Group in high-profile and complex litigation, including a lawsuit brought by a former executive claiming benefits of more than $250,000.
  • Advising Grupo Vilaseca on all labour-related matters, including administrative proceedings and litigation.