Hughes & Hughes > Montevideo, Uruguay > Firm Profile

Hughes & Hughes
25 DE MAYO, 455
11000 MONTEVIDEO
Uruguay

Uruguay > Banking and finance Tier 2

The banking and finance practice at Hughes & Hughes is regarded as ‘one of the most prestigious and experienced in Uruguay‘. It counts a number of international banks and financial entities among its client base but also acts for a host of borrowers in the country’s burgeoning infrastructure market. Héctor Ferreira counts Rabobank and American Express among his recent clients and he is a regular advisor on complex financing operations. He co-leads the group with Juan Oreggia Carrau, who focuses on the transactional side of the practice, and senior partner Haroldo Espalter. For project financing matters, Mariana Estradé has established herself as one of the go-to lawyers in the market in recent years, advising a number of international clients on investments in Uruguay’s renewable energy market.

Practice head(s):

Haroldo Espalter; Héctor Ferreira; Juan Oreggia Carrau

Testimonials

‘They are always willing to help the client with the best predisposition.’

‘The firm is one of the most prestigious and experienced in Uruguay. In all the areas in which it provides advice, it has a team of experienced and technically sound professionals.’

Key clients

BBVA

Banco Galicia

Rabobank

American Express

Bank of New York

Deutche Bank

Bank of America – Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith

Société Génerale

TKE Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi

Fitch Ratings

Work highlights

  • Assisting Tealov with the long-term financing for its T-Line Project for the construction of an extra high voltage station and two extra high voltage t-lines.
  • Advising Rabobank on a facility agreement with Cooperativa Agraria Agroindustrial.
  • Acting for BTD Capital in an international public tender for construction and maintenance of social education infrastructure under the PPP regime.

Uruguay > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

The corporate law practice at Hughes & Hughes is highlighted for its ‘tailored, strategic advice‘, delivered by a five-partner team. While the firm’s significant presence in the projects and energy sphere is evident in its corporate work, its recent highlights, such as assisting a major international retail company in its first store opening in Uruguay, reflect the team’s breadth of work. Héctor Ferreira was the lead contact for that matter and he co-leads the practice with over 20 years’ experience representing domestic and foreign clients. Haroldo Espalter has vast experience in corporate and commercial law and has been a key advisor on foreign direct investment in Uruguay. Rounding out the leadership trio is Juan Oreggia Carrau, whose key strengths are in the forestry and energy sectors. Clients see Mariana Estradé as ‘a valuable long-term advisor‘ and she is well versed in advising local and foreign companies on setting up and developing businesses in Uruguay. Florencia Beyhaut is another partner to note, while associate Clara Villaamil is gaining extensive experience in the negotiation and drafting of agreements, the purchase of companies and the development of strategies, and legal due diligence.

Practice head(s):

Haroldo Espalter; Hector Ferreira; Juan Oreggia Carrau

Testimonials

‘The H&H team has a breath of experience, is very dedicated to its clients and has shown to be pragmatic in finding solutions.’

‘Their market knowledge, dedication and pragmatism.’

‘The team provides tailored, strategic advice rooted in a good understanding of our company’s business and long-term relations with different market players. Given that the day-to-day practice is quite partner-driven they are able to speak in a “strategic tone” most of the time, which is appreciated by our company.’

‘Mariana Estradé is an integral member of our advisory team whom you can always count on to be well prepared and ready to provide insightful recommendations. She is able to really add value based on previous experience, making her a valuable long-term advisor beyond the closing of individual projects.’

Key clients

UPM Kymmene (Finland)

UPM (Uruguay)

Automotores Gildemeister

Statoil

Pinturas Inca

Stahl

Invenergy

Akuo Energy

Petrel Energy

S.C. Johnson

Alcon Laboratorios Uruguay

AAK

Novartis

Grupo Semm

Adidas

Diadora

DIF Capital Partners

Fresenius Medical Care

Lojas Renner

British Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Assisting UPM with the construction of a $2.7bn, 2.1m tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros.
  • Advising Suez Group on its merger agreement with Veolia and the resulting operations issues.
  • Advising Tealov on its agreement with Uruguayan state-owned electricity company UTE for an HV T-Line Project.

Uruguay > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Clients highlight Hughes & Hughes‘ dispute resolution team for its ‘great proactivity and disposition‘ in contentious matters across key industries in the market. The team acts in some of the country’s most complex litigation and has also played a key role in the domestic arbitration market, actively promoting it as a method for resolving conflict and thus taking a key role in the field. Leadership of the practice is divided between Alfredo Taullard and Bernardo Porras, who both lead litigation and arbitration cases, as well asset recovery and insolvency. Senior associate Agustina Silva supports the practice heads in various matters, with particular strengths in the banking sector and in bankruptcy and insolvencies. Mariana Arena adds senior associate support in domestic and international arbitrations, while associates Felipe Riva, Magela Ramon and Camila Chanes are all regularly involved across the range of work.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Porras; Alfredo Taullard

Testimonials

‘It is a firm which is characterised by acting quickly and efficiently, always presenting a different alternative, and analysing the different possible strategies. The team complement each other in all areas.’

‘Alfredo Taullard and Bernardo Porras are characterised by closeness to the client, advice in a timely manner, professionalism, great clarity and transparency in their efforts.’

‘Stands out for its closeness to the client; committed team. They always respond in a timely manner looking for the best alternative.’

‘Close to the client. Highlights Agustina Silva, Alfredo Taullard and Bernardo Porras.’

‘It is an office always ready and in order in each consultation carried out by the internal lawyers. Great proactivity and disposition. The team is excellent, with great professionalism in all its areas, litigation, corporate, accounting, billing.’

‘They stand out for their great capacity for collaboration with the company, great disposition and professional and personal excellence. These are the best qualities, among others. I’d highlight Bernardo Porrras and Felipe Riva.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a group of debtors of public bank BHU in a case regarding loans for housing projects.
  • Representing HRU in a lawsuit filed against it challenging the procedures for the control of prohibited substances in horse racing.
  • Acting for Forestal Oriental in a contract dispute against El Americano.

Uruguay > Labour and employment Tier 2

The ‘committed and professional multidisciplinary team‘ at Hughes & Hughes is a strong choice for core labour and employment matters in Uruguay, regularly assisting its diverse client base with complex union negotiations, collective bargaining, dismissals and migrant worker regulations. Practice head Enrique Radmilovich is a long-term advisor to leading employers in the forestry, hotel, food and chemical industries, among others. María Durán is also well versed in the labour issues impacting these sectors and frequently acts in labour lawsuits, collective negotiations and resolutions of individual conflicts. Nicolás Rivadavia has broad experience in various types of labour lawsuits, and also has niche expertise in the sports sector. Senior associate Florencia Fitipaldo departed in May 2021; the firm brought in María Noel Sayanes and Rafael Sanguinetti at the junior associate level in June and July 2021, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Enrique Radmilovich

Testimonials

‘It is a committed and professional multidisciplinary team. there is synergy between them.’

‘Personalised attention and quick response.’

Key clients

UPM – Forestal Oriental

Lojas Renner

Baluma (Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino)

McDonald’s

Adidas

Siemens

Air Liquide

Pinturas Inca (AkzoNobel)

Dirox

SC Johnson & Son

Adecco

Cardiomóvil

Camposol

TC Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised Forestal Oriental on a collective bargaining agreement relating to the modification of a working-hours schedule.
  • Assisted Auxicar with union negotiations.
  • Advised Decathlon on all migration and labour aspects related to the instalment of its first store in Uruguay.

Uruguay > Projects and energy Tier 2

Clients of Hughes & Hughes‘ projects and energy practice admire ‘the high level of involvement of the partners in the day to day of the projects‘ and its ‘pragmatism in finding solutions‘. The team is well versed in all areas of the energy sector and has notable expertise in environmental law-related issues. It also stands out for experience in engineering projects and related transactions, such as EPCM agreements, and in developing corporate structures for infrastructure projects in public and private bidding proceedings and PPPs. Mariana Estradé is highlighted by clients for her ‘experience, dynamism and knowledge of the infrastructure and energy sector‘; she coordinates the practice alongside Héctor Ferreira, an experienced figure in assisting companies with financing and setting up projects, and international transaction expert Haroldo Espalter. Associate Clara Villaamil is developing a strong practice in the energy sector focusing on contracts and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Haroldo Espalter; Hector Ferreira; Mariana Estradé

Testimonials

‘The H&H team has a breadth of experience, is dedicated to its clients and has shown pragmatism in finding solutions.’

‘Their experience, dedication and pragmatism.’

‘I highlight the high level of involvement of the partners in the day to day of the projects, as well as their total availability. The relationship with the client is very close and transparent, even in difficult times and when there is little presence, as happened with the pandemic. At the billing level, in addition to having very reasonable fees, they have always been very transparent and with a very high respect for the proposals presented.’

‘The firm has top-level professionals, with total availability and presence of the partners in the projects, who have extensive knowledge of the sector, standing out above the competition. The main differential of the firm is the value for money, providing first class services with very reasonable fees. The work of Mariana Estradé deserves special recognition, standing out for her experience, dynamism and knowledge of the infrastructure and energy sector, particularly in financing projects under the project finance scheme.’

Key clients

UPM

Akuo Energy

Equinor

Invenergy

Petrel

Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF)

Shell International

British Petroleum

ENAP Sipetrol

BTD Capital 12

Work highlights

  • Advised Invenergy as borrower in the long-term financing of a high-voltage T-Line project, and assisting with the development of the project.
  • Advising a consortium formed by BTD Capital 12, Tecnove, Conami and Basirey on the negotiation of a PPP contract and the financing for a multi-site social-education infrastructure project.
  • Assisted Polesine as borrower and the sponsors Akuo Energy Uruguay and Cubico Sustainable Investments with the negotiation of an A&R credit agreement for a 50.4MW wind farm.

Uruguay > Real estate Tier 4

As the chosen counsel of UPM through the development and construction of its pulp mill project in Paso de los Toros, Hughes & Hughes has played a major role in this nationally significant development and the fallout of tangential real estate work. Outside of that work, the team is best known for its transactional practice, where it excels in the sale and purchase of rural sites, an area of specialisation for practice head Haroldo Espalter. Juan Carlos Oreggia Carrau is a key contact for foreign investment funds with real estate interests in Uruguay, while Florencia Beyhaut is experienced in land development and residential infrastructure.

Practice head(s):

Haroldo Espalter

Testimonials

‘The firm advised on all the legal aspects involved and the partner in charge (Juan Oreggia) knew how to prudently lead the team.’

‘Florencia Beyhaut and Juan Oreggia demonstrated that they had access to all the entities or key people for the project.’

Key clients

UPM – Forestal Oriental

San Miguel

Akuo Energy – Glymont

Global Timber Resources

GTI 7 Investments Acquisitions Company c/o Global Forests Partners

GMO Global Renewable Resources

TRG

Automotores Gildemeister

Work highlights

  • Advised Tebetur, a subsidiary of UPM, on all real estate aspects of its successful bid to build and operate a pulp warehouse and related port infrastructure within the Montevideo port.
  • Advised Tile Forestal, a subsidiary of UPM, on land purchase, environmental permits and due diligence for the development of a housing project in the vicinity of UPM’s pulp mill project.
  • Acted for Automotores Gildemeister in the creation of guaranty trust structures involving real estate transfers, as security for certain notes issued under US law.

Uruguay > Tax Tier 4

Hughes & Hughes‘ tax team has ‘great knowledge of the market‘ and advises on complex tax planning scenarios, the application of double tax treaties, tax audits, and tax litigation. A well-established base of clients operating in sectors ranging from hotels to pharmaceuticals enjoy the multidisciplinary service from the firm. Experienced corporate law partner Haroldo Espalter oversees the practice with two associates: tax and transfer pricing expert Alejandro Horjales, and Miguel Rocca, who is well versed in assisting domestic and international clients.

Practice head(s):

Haroldo Espalter; Alejandro Horjales; Miguel Rocca

Testimonials

‘It is a team always ready to serve us. They have a great knowledge of the market and of new technical and legislative discussions.’

‘Always up-to-date on market issues.’

Key clients

Adidas Uruguay

Pestana Group

Forestal Oriental (UPM Group)

Tronem

Trafigura

Lojas Renner

Ineco

Victorica Consignaciones

Sealed Air Uruguay

Work highlights

  • Advising Tronem on the tax aspects of its installation in Uruguay.
  • Advising Surinor on all tax aspects of the opening of its operations in Uruguay.
  • Assisting Afry Group-af Poyry with the tax aspects of its establishment in the country under the general tax regime and the free zone regime.

Hughes & Hughes is a prestigious full-service firm, with more than a century of activity, widely respected for its solid experience in general corporate work and legal advice to foreign investors and multinational clients. The business-oriented firm has had considerable growth during recent years and has successfully encompassed the long-term expertise with a modern, sophisticated and practical approach. The firm’s professionals have been recognized as leading and outstanding practitioners by most reputable legal publications.

Areas of practice
Corporate and M&A: the firm has participated in most of the major M&A transactions in Uruguay. Hughes & Hughes has been directly involved in structuring these transactions, advising clients during the decision-making process and in assessing any existing contingencies.

Banking and finance: Hughes & Hughes provides regulatory advice to commercial and investment banks and financial institutions, and regularly participates in the structuring and reviewing of financial instruments. As part of its practice, the firm works alongside clients in the process of becoming a regulated entity of the capital market (ie financial adviser, broker, etc). The firm has participated in several bond issues, including the largest issue of commercial papers in Uruguay.

Infrastructure and government procurement: the firm has been involved in all major bidding, procurement and privatization processes, PPPs, government concessions, and the negotiation and execution of major infrastructure concessions.

Energy, natural resources and environment: the firm has provided significant assistance in projects related to renewable energy, wind farms, gas pipelines, combined-cycle power plants, LNG plants, hydrocarbons exploration and other infrastructures related to energy. Advice includes all aspects of environmental law matters, including regulatory aspects pertaining to EIA, environmental authorizations and land planning and uses.

Labor and employment: the firm manages all labor legal aspects of its clients, including regulatory advice and litigation. Hughes & Hughes has successfully accomplished reorganization and restructuring schemes and represents major employers in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements.

Litigation and arbitration: the team is known for being practical, strategic and diligent, with a focus on contentious matters. The team is deeply specialized in sophisticated litigation and arbitration, covering all industries and procedures, routinely involved in high-profile cases with excellent results for the clients.

Asset recovery, insolvency and restructuring: the team is widely respected for it success assisting clients regarding bankruptcy proceedings, including financial institutions and brokers and has the Uruguayan membership of the ICC’s Fraudnet. The team’s experience in this field involves dealing with several jurisdictions and thousands of creditors. This activity has led to an organized structure prepared to efficiently deal with complex asset recoveries, including those generated by business crime.

Real estate: the firm regularly advises international and local clients in real estate developments, industrial complexes, housing projects, real estate investment fund formation, structuring and joint ventures, and real estate mergers and acquisitions. In respect of rural land, the firm is probably the most experienced firm in the market, purchasing over 200,000 hectares of land during the last decade.

Accounting and tax: the firm regularly advises on devising appropriate legal structures in the light of the applicable taxation and regulatory requirements. It is selected by clients for the outsourcing of their work.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing partner Haroldo Espalter E: hespalter@hughes.com.uy
Corporate/M&A Haroldo Espalter
Corporate/M&A Juan C Oreggia
Banking and finance Haroldo Espalter
Banking and finance Héctor Ferreira
Banking and finance Juan C Oreggia
Infrastructure and government procurement Bernardo Porras
Energy, natural resources and environment Haroldo Espalter
Energy, natural resources and environment Juan C Oreggia
Energy, natural resources and environment Héctor Ferreira
Energy, natural resources and environment Mariana Estradé
Labor and employment Enrique Radmilovich
Litigation and arbitration Bernardo Porras
Litigation and arbitration Alfredo Taullard
Asset recovery, insolvency and restructuring Bernardo Porras
Asset recovery, insolvency and restructuring Alfredo Taullard
Real estate Haroldo Espalter
Accounting and tax Miguel Rocca
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Mariana Arena photo Mariana ArenaAssociate. Dispute Resolution, Commercial Law, Bankruptcy and Insolvency, International Arbitration
Ornella Balarini photo Ornella BalariniAssociate since 2019
Florencia Beyhaut photo Florencia BeyhautSenior Associate since 2016
Sofía Cairo photo Sofía CairoAssociate since 2018
Magdalena Castagno photo Magdalena CastagnoAssociate since 2018
Santiago Di Bello photo Santiago Di BelloAssociate
Natalia Domenech photo Natalia DomenechAssociate since 2017
Mariana Estradé photoMs Mariana EstradéPartner. Specialized in the fields of Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate and International…
Analía Fernandez photo Analía FernandezAssociate since 2019
Florencia Fitipaldo photo Florencia FitipaldoSenior Associate since 2017
Camila Fripp photo Camila FrippAssociate since 2018
Federico Gutierrez photo Federico GutierrezAssociate since 2018
Melanie Kazarez photo Melanie KazarezAssociate since 2019
Joaquin Labandera photo Joaquin LabanderaAssociate since 2016
Lucía Patrón photo Lucía PatrónSenior Associate since 2018
Bernardo Porras photoMr Bernardo PorrasPartner. Co-head of the Hughes & Hughes Dispute Resolution Department. He is…
Magela Ramon photo Magela RamonAssociate since 2018
Felipe Riva photo Felipe RivaAssociate.
Nicolás Rivadavia photo Nicolás RivadaviaAssociate since 2014
Marcela Severi photo Marcela SeveriAssociate since 2001
Agustina Silva photo Agustina SilvaAssociate.
José María Tais photo José María TaisAssociate since 2018
Alfredo Taullard photoMr Alfredo TaullardComplex Litigation/ Asset Recovery and Insolvency/ Arbitration/ Commercial Law/ Mining Law
Patricia Villalba photo Patricia VillalbaAssociate since 1999
Other fee-earners : 30
Total staff : 55
Partners : 7