Firm Profile > Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados > Lima, Peru

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados
LIMA 27, Peru

Intellectual property Tier 1

A 'go-to firm for IP matters', Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados provides 'deep knowledge', 'high analytical sense' and 'practical application' to a blue-chip client base that includes Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Eli Lilly, Novartis Pharma and Volkswagen. Three full-time partners deliver expert advice across all aspects of trade mark, patent and copyright law, namely: practice head and leading individual Marta Fernández-Pepper; 'remarkable' patent lawyer Bruno Merchor-Valderrama; and Piero Calderon-Oliva, who leads on anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting advice. Although the firm has recruited at associate level, it lost its life sciences team to rival firm Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano – Abogados - including partner Maritza Reátegui-Valdivieso  and experienced associate Solange Noriega-Zumaeta - while lead associate Andrea Chunga left for BARLAW – Barrera & Asociados S. Civil de R.L. Nevertheless, the practice's strength-in-depth ensures it maintains it's tier one ranking.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados rises in the ranking following a year of stellar mandates, regularly opposing tier-one firms. Clients highlight the 'great teamwork', 'creative solutions' and 'deep knowledge and expertise across the Peruvian financial services arena'. The firm was local counsel to Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -as initial purchasers and bookrunners- of DirecTV's $1bn note offering and an associated $1bn credit facility granted to subsidiary SKY Serviços de Banda Larga.  Andrés Kuan-Veng led the deal, and heads a 'very well rounded, diverse and client oriented' team that includes five partners, all of whom are full-time finance law specialists. Kuan-Veng has 'extremely strong analytic and communication abilities and client management skills'; Mercedes Fernández has 'clear expertise in capital market regulation'; and Guillermo Flores is 'very assertive' and provides 'fast legal advice which is very much appreciated given the pace of the business'. Juliana Llosa Bustamante joined the practice from Santiváñez Abogados as partner responsible for capital markets and banking regulation, while former partner Gillian Peredes moved in-house. Clients include Citibank, Credit Suisse, Interbank, Scotiabank and Santander.

Competition and antitrust Tier 2

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados is 'extremely knowledgeable about the administration of unfair trade laws in Peru' and advises on all aspects of antitrust, unfair competition, consumer protection and advertising law. Pierino Stucchi and senior associate José Antonio Bezada are singled-out as 'excellent lawyers' and both have past experience at competition authority INDECOPI, as do many of the 14-lawyer team. An expanding caseload includes acting for Coesti, a subsidiary of Primax, in alleged price-fixing of liquefied petroleum gas, and defending Nestlé in sanctioning proceedings before INDECOPI concerning the composition of its chocolate. Other clients include Abbot Laboratories, Bayer and recent gain, General Motors.

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados fields the largest, dedicated corporate team in the market, providing 'very sophisticated advice on complex matters from lawyers with real world experience'. The ten partners and 19 associates, spread nationally at regional offices facilitating local due diligence, are 'really professional' and 'highly specialised by sector, even within the corporate department'. They are led by widely-respected Mauricio Olaya -'Peru's deal maker'- who has 'great business and legal judgment'. A bullish year of impressive deals saw the practice act for key client and major Coca-Cola bottler, Arca Continental, on its $506.8m acquisition of 38.52% of Lindley Corporation from Coca Cola Company subsidiary Peru Beverage Limitada; it also represented Graña y Montero on the $77m sale of a 87.6% stake in Stracon GyM to its CEO Stephen Dixon and UK investment manager Ashmore Group. Major domestic and regional clients include Romero Group, Familia Group and Backus. Other lead advisers include Jorge Muñiz, who is 'accurate and responsible', and 'exceptional person' Juan Carlos Vélez, while names to note from the sizeable associate bench include Wilfredo Cáceres  and Beatriz Melo .

Dispute resolution Tier 2

The 'very experienced' Fernando Meléndez heads the practice at Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados, which capitalises on its national office network to represent clients across the country in a local fashion. The team acts for numerous high-profile domestic and international companies, such as Telefónica del Perú, Citibank, Enel Distribución and Grupo La República. It is currently acting for major Peruvian retail conglomerate, Wong Group, in multiple cases against Bustamante Group related to the latters attempt to thwart Wong's acquisition of a controlling stake in sugar company Azucarera Andahuasi (asset value $100m). Other matters include representing Interbank in several proceedings against tax authority SUNAT concerning the issue of whether unpaid interest amounts to income for tax purposes. Seasoned litigation and arbtiration practitioner Edwin Pezo joined as a senior partner from his own firm, Lava & Pezo Abogados.

Labour and employment Tier 2

With ten offices throughout Peru, Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados is unbeaten for volume of instructions, particularly litigious matters. It also handles key mandates for some of the largest employers in the country, such as Nestlé Peru, which it advises on continuous collective bargaining with six different unions and represents in multiple judicial proceedings brought by employees. Other work includes acting for APM Terminals Callao on collective bargaining and negotiation with the Ministry of Labour, and defending both Telefónica del Perú and Ericsson in various types of litigation nationwide. The very experienced Ricardo Herrera heads the well-resourced team of five partners and 17 associates and which also includes César Puntriano, a senior partner of the firm.

Oil and gas Tier 2

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados has extensive experience in this sector, attracting a prestigious client roster that includes Repsol Exporacion, Petroperu, Maple Gas Corporation and Gran Tierra Energy. The firm's comprehensive practice advises on all exploration and exploitation stages of the industry, including administrative sanctioning procedures conducted by OSINERGMIN.  Representative work includes acting for key client China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) on a $13m ICC arbitration filed against Petrobras, and representing Maple Gas regarding its exploration blocks and refinery in Ucayali, including advice on negotiations with Petroperu and the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Oil and gas expert Ricardo Silva boasts 35 years' experience and heads the practice; key support comes from Fernando Babarczy, who specialises in native communities and land-associated matters.

Tax Tier 2

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados fields a hefty 16-lawyer team -with seven partners- in its practice group. Comprised of 'highly-experienced' practitioners, the team includes name partners Fernando Castro (department head) and Daniel Ono, both highly-skilled in all aspects of tax law. The firm boasts an impressive client list that includes Diageo Peru, Citibank and Cementos Bio Bío, all new gains this year, joining Telefónica del Perú, Nissan and Graña y Montero on the roster. Partner Jorge Otoya stands out for his 'detailed' and 'competent, accurate and reliable' advice, say clients; he and Castro are working in tandem to advise Telefónica in its long-running, high-profile case against SUNAT -now at the Supreme Court- concerning a disputed $1.5bn tax bill. Other work includes acting for Chinese retailer Miniso Peru, another new client, on the tax planning of all its fledgling businesses in Peru, including a structure to enhance tax efficiency for future investors. Frezzia Saavedra was promoted to partner and associate Cesar Angulo  is also noted.

Bankruptcy and restructuring Tier 3

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados has picked up roles in some of the country's most high-profile bankruptcies. Most notably, it acts for Doe Run Cayman, the main shareholder and one of the largest creditors of Doe Run Peru; with debts of approximately $600m, it is the arguably the most significant bankruptcy in the country during the past decade. Other mandates include representing Pepsi Cola Panamericana -as a major creditor owed $32m- in the long-running bankruptcy proceedings of Compañía Embolletadora del Pacífico (Cepsa). Guido Muñiz, senior partner of the firm, heads both the practice and the majority of matters, assisted by recently made-up Anthony Lizarraga, previously of INDECOPI. Former partner of the practice Gillian Paredes left to assume an in-house role.

Electricity Tier 3

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados earned several significant new clients during the past year, including CountourGlobal subsidiary Energia Eolica, Energy Development Corporation (EDC) Peru and Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSE). The team is advising the latter on a pilot project to introduce the first electric buses into the Lima public transport system. Other key instructions include acting for the acquiring consortium (led by China Three Gorges) in the ongoing $1.39bn acquisition of Peru’s third  largest hydroelectric power plant, Chaglla, from Odebrecht (the deal has been delayed since 2017 while government authorities determine how much of the acquisition price will be offset by fines from corruption charges). Senior partner of the firm Rolando Salvatierra  leads the practice.

Environment Tier 3

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados' practice head, Renato De Vettori, formerly worked at the environmental affairs departments of both the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Production. He leads a small but capale four-strong practice that focuses on advisory and sanctioning defence work; key support comes from Milagros Mejía. A number of client gains over the past year include significant companies in the mining, agroindustrial, energy and manufacturing sectors, while instructions included acting for a multinational chemical company on high-value administrative sanctioning proceedings.

Insurance Tier 3

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados has a 'very professional team' that is 'dedicated to regulated clients' such as insurers, reinsurers and insurance brokers. The team's 'outstanding professionals' include practice head, Andrés Kuan-Veng, a leading banking practitioner, who is well-versed in insurance regulation; his recent mandates include advisingMarsh Rehder Corredores De Seguros on the implementation of an electronic platform for selecting insurance coverage. Other practice clients include Rimac Seguros y Reaseguros, AVLA Peru Compañía de Seguros and Equador's Seguros Equinoccial.

Public law and regulation Tier 3

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados advises its extensive client base on a broad array of dealings with public bodies and regulators and clients report the service is 'serious', 'committed' and of a 'good level'. The team advised Petroperu on the administrative law aspects of its EPC contract for auxiliary units and complementary works related to the redevelopment of the Talara oil refinery, advice led by Rolando Salvatierra, who co-leads the practice alongside Pierino Stucchi and Elard Dianderas.

Real estate Tier 3

Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados fields a large, multidisciplinary team led by corporate and real estate senior partner Yuri Vega, assisted by Annalucia Fasson and Elard Dianderas. The team stands out for its 'comprehensive view of the situation under analysis', 'experience in negotiations and contractual aspects' and 'attention to detail'. New clients this year include Volcom Capital Investment Fund, retailer Antalis Peru and developer LVM Inmobiliaria, which the firm advised on a $20m financing for the development of land in Piura, north Peru.

Mining Tier 4

Recently made-up Daniel Palomino heads the practice at Muñiz, Olaya, Meléndez, Castro, Ono & Herrera Abogados, after returning to the firm in 2018 following a period abroadundertaking his LLM. He leads a modest-sized team of six lawyers who are 'always ready to attend to our issues, which they resolve promptly and with excellent results'; they also 'carry out their work with great passion and therefore always provide us with an excellent service'. The team acts for Mitsubishi Corporation on the mining regulatory matters related to its 40% stake in the Quellaveco mining project, while other clients include Southern Peaks Mining, state investment agency Proinversion and Canada's Dynacor Gold Mines.

Our firm, founded in 1981, relies on a team of professionals highly specialized in the different areas of law and thoroughly familiar with the economic sectors in which they work, which makes our legal services fit perfectly with our clients’ business strategies. We are the only firm in Peru with nationwide coverage through a vast network of offices, which makes us offer high quality services in almost every city in Peru. Our lawyers’ international experience is highly appreciated by our clients in the context of integration with the rest of the world.

We have more than 35 practice areas, offering a high standard of quality services, with specialized professionals for each area, competitive pricing and a timely service. Thanks to the combination of these three factors, our clients are really satisfied with the service we provide, which in turn allows us to build long-lasting relationships.

We designate one account lawyer for each client. This lawyer, whom we call “Attache”, is in charge of looking after the client-firm relationship and proposing the most efficient and cost-effective strategy for each case, transaction or task entrusted to us. If more than one practice group needs to become involved in a case, then the Attache will be in charge of setting up the most appropriate team of lawyers to deal with the case.

Our firm was the first, and probably still the only one, with a quality control customer service department. This department is in charge of staying in contact with clients to know how satisfied they are with the service. Team members permanently work on ways to improve relationships with clients.

The firm has deeply diversified its offer. There is Muniz Transfer Pricing, a sister entity devoted to transfer pricing and Semigra, a company that provides a migration consultancy. Recently the firm has set up an alliance with Intedya, a well known Spanish company with a presence in 16 countries and which is focused on implementing compliance programs to several companies, and with Contalex, a provider of accounting services.

Department Name Email Telephone
principal partners Jorge Muñiz Ziches
principal partners Mauricio Olaya Nohra
principal partners Fernando Meléndez Fernández
principal partners Fernando Castro Kahn
principal partners Daniel Ono Hirata
principal partners Ricardo Herrera Vásquez
Other fee-earners : 223
Total staff : 275
Partners : 52