Firm Profile > Guyer & Regules > Montevideo , Uruguay

Guyer & Regules
PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA 811
11100 MONTEVIDEO
Montevideo
Uruguay

Banking and finance Tier 1

Guyer & Regules fields a sizeable banking and finance practice, which is led jointly by Nicolás Herrera, Nicolás Piaggio and Álvaro Tarabal. Noted for its ‘very broad scope of advice’, the group’s expertise encompasses traditional lending matters, capital markets, financial restructuring, project finance and structured finance. In a marquee mandate, the firm recently advised BBVA Securities, Citigroup Global Markets and HSBC Securities (USA) as the joint book-runners on the Republic of Uruguay’s $1.7bn bond offering — Piaggio and Florencia Castagnola led that work, with support from impressive senior associate Federico Piano. On the corporate bond front, Piaggio advised Corporación Vial del Uruguay on a two-tranche notes issuance worth $186m, as part of its wider $450m notes programme. On the lending side, Tarabal advised Inter-American Investment Corporation on a $114.3m loan to Uruguayan companies Colidim and Jolipark to support their solar plants.  The group also benefits from the experience of Juan Manuel Mercant and up-and-coming partner Marcos Payssé. Other representative clients include BNP Paribas, Cledinor and JBS Leather Uruguay.

Corporate/M&A Tier 1

Widely lauded as a ‘force in the market’, Guyer & Regules is highly sought after for its ‘deep bench’ and ‘extremely experienced partners’. The comprehensive practice, which excels across the full spread of M&A, IPOs, joint ventures and investment matters, counts many leading domestic and multinational companies among its clients, including Montes del Plata, Petrobras and Unilever. Among the names to note, senior partner Nicolás Herrera is held up as ‘the best-known corporate lawyer in Uruguay’ and brings to bear an enviable record in complex corporate finance matters. The team also includes ‘go-to corporate expertNicolás Piaggio, who recently advised Coca-Cola FEMSA on its $250.7m takeover of Montevideo Refrescos — talented senior associate Guzmán Rodríguez provided support on that transaction. In another headline deal, Corina Bove advised Camoral on the sale of its 50% stake in Devanlay Ventures España to Lacoste Operations. Álvaro Tarabal, who co-leads the department alongside Herrera and Piaggio, and respected younger partner Javier Berdaguer are also recommended.

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Professional, collaborative and client-oriented’, Guyer & Regules is held up as ‘one of the top two dispute resolution practices in the market’. The ‘extremely international-facing team’ handles a comprehensive spread of litigation and arbitration cases, with its recent work spanning complex administrative, construction and shareholder disputes — among other matters. Practice head Carlos Brandes is a ‘first-class litigator’ and defended GNLS in a $310m contentious construction case brought by the Uruguayan branch of Brazil-based Construtora OAS. Brandes also paired up with Álvaro Tarabal to represent Codere Mexico in an ICC arbitration filed by Sikeston alleging breach of a shareholders’ agreement. Other representative clients include Acciona, Banque Heritage (Uruguay) and HSBC Uruguay. Of counsel Mariana Santo, highlighted as ‘responsive and adaptable’, is also a key contact.

Labour and employment Tier 1

The ‘very good labour department’ at Guyer & Regules strikes a relatively even balance between contentious and non-contentious work, with recent strong showings in the financial services, pharmaceuticals and industrial sectors. Among the names to note, group co-lead Leonardo Slinger is highlighted as a ‘well-known employment expert’. Slinger recently acted alongside seasoned litigator and department co-head Eduardo Ameglio to advise a group of private banks, which included Citibank, HSBC and Santander, among others, in negotiations with the Council of Wages. On the contentious side, Slinger represented GNLS in around $3m worth of judicial claims arising from the closure of works at GNL del Plata’s LNG regasification terminal. The group also benefits from the experience of Santiago Madalena, who provided capable support on the GNLS cases, and María José Poey — both are associates.

Real estate Tier 1

Guyer & Regules stands out for its ‘very complete team’, which draws upon ‘specialists in each sub-sector of real estate’ including real estate investment, property finance, project development and leasing matters. Group co-head Federico Susena is noted for his ‘deep and extensive experience in the Uruguayan market’ and advised new client Camposol on the acquisition of around 850 hectares of rural land from Citrícola Salteña — associate María Fernanda González assisted with that work. Susena, with support from ‘experienced and responsive’ associate Carolina Suárez, also advised REIT Peninsula Rentals Uruguay on the acquisition of 60 apartments in Montevideo. The ‘broad practice’ also benefits from the senior expertise of practice co-lead John Leaman (‘a great lawyer’) and newly promoted partner Beatriz Spiess.

Tax Tier 1

The consensus is that Guyer & Regules’ tax group is ‘among the top two in the country’, with clients highlighting its ‘great depth of experience’ and ‘impressive client base’. The ‘market-leading’ department strikes a balance between contentious and non-contentious work, with tax planning, M&A issues, tax compliance and transfer pricing matters among its strong suits. Practice head Juan Manuel Albacete is widely regarded as a leading light and recently advised Agropecuaria del Litoral on the creation of a financial trust and the trust’s subsequent issue of $50m worth of mixed securities. Albacete also represented HSBC Uruguay on bringing a $5m VAT recovery claim before the tax authority. Senior associate Gastón Lapaz is another key contact for tax litigation. In 2019, highly rated senior associate Juan Bonet left to become a partner at LEXIN Legal & Business Consulting.

 

Guyer & Regules is considered Uruguay’s blue-chip firm and the first choice for international and domestic complex legal, accounting and tax work. Such reputation is grounded on the largest group of the most experienced partners in the country, who lead a solid team of internationally trained professionals with experts in every field of business law, and promote a culture of innovation within the firm.

Guyer & Regules is proud to have been consistently recognized as ‘Uruguayan Law Firm of the Year’ for eight years and the first and only Uruguayan firm recognized as ‘Latin America Law firm of the Year’ by Chambers & Partners.

The firm has also been recognised as “Uruguay Tax Firm of the Year” by International Tax Review – Euromoney in 2018, as “Uruguay Firm of the Year” by International Financial Law Review – Euromoney on four occasions and as “Firm of the Year – Uruguay” by Who’s Who Legal for six consecutive years.

Performing with excellence, expertise, value, responsiveness, creativity and consistency is not enough. At Guyer & Regules we strive to grow our capacity to develop strong and mutually rewarding personal working relationships with the people who work at the institutions we serve. We help them serve their institutions -our clients- better. And those special personal working relationships are what enables us to leverage all those other qualities they expect from a top firm.

As Latin Lawyer states, ‘Guyer & Regules has long sat comfortably at the top of Uruguay’s legal market: the breadth and high quality of its service offering, its extensive and loyal client base, and its transactional clout mean that this prestigious firm is always highly sought after’.

Main international areas of practice

Banking and finance: Guyer & Regules’ leadership is undisputed, advising 66% of the private banks active in Uruguay and two out of three large private pension fund managers. It has also been the only Uruguayan firm in the past 30 years in Uruguayan sovereign debt deals. Recent deals include: acting as deal counsel in the second issuance of the record breaking USD450 million notes programme on behalf of toll road operator Corporación Vial del Uruguay, in what is thought to be the country’s largest corporate offering on the local market; helping Uruguay’s central bank adopt an electronic version of its own currency, becoming the first country in history to do so, which was recognized as “Deal of the Year” by Latin Lawyer in 2018; assisting the joint book – runners BBVA Securities Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. for Uruguay’s longest global debt bond issued in its history made by the Government.

Corporate, M&A: as Chambers & Partners states, Guyer & Regules ‘continues to set the pace in the corporate sphere’ having participated in 63% of major M&A deals made public in Uruguay over the past years and representing 8 of the top 12 Uruguayan leading exporting companies in 2018. As a few highlights, the firm participated in the most important Uruguayan M&A transaction of the year to date assisting COCA-COLA FEMSA in its takeover of Montevideo Refrescos SRL, the local subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company. Advised an affiliate of Merk Animal Health in the acquisition of Prondil S.A., an Uruguayan corporation that produces and commercializes animal vaccines for export being this transaction, one of the most important acquisition in Uruguay during 2017. And Chile’s Enjoy in the purchase of 55% shares held by US based Caesars in the Uruguayan casino Conrad Punta del Este.

Tax and accounting: the team is recognized for its ‘heavyweight practice at the forefront of the market with a respected bench of practitioners’ by Chambers and Partners. It is by far the most senior team on the market, formed by lawyers and CPAs which allows for greater depth and breadth on tax matters. Recent work highlights include advising the banks in the tax planning for the first global bond in nominal pesos issued by the Republic of Uruguay in the international market, assisting Agropecuaria del Litoral S.A. to structure the creation of a financial trust that issued US$50.000.000 (fifty million USD dollars) of “mixed” securities (“títulos mixtos”) in Uruguay and advising Goldman Sachs in its first investment in Uruguay with the US$140 million acquisition of approximately 60% stake in Tienda Inglesa, an Uruguayan supermarket chain.

Real Estate: by far the largest and most experienced team in the country, delivering ‘innovative solutions, commercial thinking and a personalised service on every single detail’ as Chambers Latin America reviews. Has a very strong presence in tourism and residential developments (especially in Punta del Este and its surroundings), industrial sites, agribusiness and forestry investments. Recent deals include: advising METLIFE which acquired approximately 120,000 hectares of real estate properties in a transaction that is deemed as the largest and most important sale of this nature in the history of the country; assisting on acquisition of real estate for the installation of new Homecenter Sodimac chains in Uruguay and assisting TGLT in the development and sale of a high-value project of apartments in an exclusive waterfront of 11,000 square meters.

Litigation: Guyer & Regules has a dedicated, strong and successful litigation team with a ‘solid reputation’ as Chambers Latin America states. It specializes in complex civil and commercial litigation and arbitration, domestic and international, generally involving high-profile cases. Recent matters include the representation of GNLS (defendant) in a Uruguayan civil judicial procedure initiated by the Uruguayan branch of Brazil-based Construtora OAS seeking damages amounting to US$310 million; representing the affiliate of Brazilian state owned oil company Petrobras (PUDSA) and Axion Energy in two separate judicial enforcements of arbitration agreements against Administración Nacional de Combustibles Alcoholes y Portland – ANCAP, Uruguayan state owned company that holds the monopoly over petroleoum importation and refining; and representing Banque Heritage in criminal and civil actions brought against a former account manager.

Labour: the team excels for its services both in advisory and litigious labor matters. ‘The lawyers have deep technical knowledge, are committed to the client and stay up to date regarding changes in the law’ as Chambers Latin America reviews. They represented all of the Uruguayan financial entities in the salary collective bargaining agreement negotiations with the banking union and the government, as well as the Chamber of Insurance Companies. Other recent work highlights include advising Sherwin Williams in all labor aspects regarding the closing of an industrial plant, and assisting Petrobras and Eurofarma in labor disputes.

Projects & Energy: our Projects & Energy team is the largest of its kind in Uruguay. Guyer & Regules is ‘highly sought after to advise on the full range of energy and natural resources matters’, as Chambers and Partners states, with an impressive market share of renewable and oil and gas transactions. Partners and associates are dedicated to the energy and infrastructure sector in consulting, contracting, financing and in the day to day business. Our excellent and reputable team has advised clients spanning the entire industry, from the developers behind Uruguay’s first solar project to the major oil and gas companies involved in the country’s nascent offshore sector. In the infrastructure field our professionals have assisted sponsors and also financial entities. Guyer & Regules is leading the market. The pioneering role we play means clients regularly demand our counsel for power purchase agreements, PPPs, Concession agreements, project financing and engineering procurement and construction agreements and EPC and OyM agreements. Our compact,  top-notch team is a solid pick for even the most complex of deals. Clients highlight the breadth of the team’s expertise, whose recent achievements include advising Total on a 35% farm-out agreement with ExxonMobil and a 15% farm-out agreement with Statoil, assisting Acciona (Spain) in a legal aspects of the Central Railroad Project (a USD 1000 million project) including the bid process, permits and authorizations, corporate and tax structure, bankability issues and other related aspects. And also advising Inter-American Investment Corporation in the financing of two Uruguayan companies owned by Atlas Energy Group which have developed two solar plants in Salto, Uruguay for the production and sale of energy to the Administración Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Eléctricas – UTE (National Administration of Power Stations & Power Transmitions). The firm counts with the greatest and experienced Energy & Infrastructure team in Uruguay.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking & Finance Nicolás Herrera
Banking & Finance Nicolás Piaggio
Corporate and M&A Nicolás Herrera
Corporate and M&A Álvaro Tarabal
Accounting & Tax Juan Manuel Albacete
Real Estate John S. Leaman
Real Estate Federico Susena
Litigation Carlos Brandes
Labour Leonardo Slinger
Labour Eduardo Ameglio
Telecommunications Diego Baldomir
Energy Federico Susena
Energy Juan Manuel Mercant
Aviation Federico Susena
Real Estate Beatriz Spiess
Intellectual Property Javier Berdaguer
Banking & Finance Marcos Payssé
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Juan Manuel Albacete  photo Mr Juan Manuel Albacete
Mr Eduardo Ameglio  photo Mr Eduardo Ameglio
Mr Diego Baldomir  photo Mr Diego Baldomir
Mr Javier Berdaguer  photo Mr Javier Berdaguer
Ms Corina Bove  photo Ms Corina Bove
Mr Carlos Brandes  photo Mr Carlos Brandes
Ms Florencia Castagnola  photo Ms Florencia Castagnola
Mr Nicolás Herrera  photo Mr Nicolás Herrera
Mr John Leaman  photo Mr John Leaman
Ms Juan Manuel Mercant  photo Ms Juan Manuel Mercant
Mr Alejandro Miller  photo Mr Alejandro Miller
Mr Marcos Payssé  photo Mr Marcos Payssé
Mr Nicolás Piaggio  photo Mr Nicolás Piaggio
Mr Gerardo Porteiro  photo Mr Gerardo Porteiro
Mr Leonardo Slinger  photo Mr Leonardo Slinger
Ms Beatriz Spiess  photo Ms Beatriz Spiess
Mr Federico Susena  photo Mr Federico Susena
Mr Álvaro Tarabal  photo Mr Álvaro Tarabal
Other fee-earners : 160
Total staff : 380
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Partners : 24