Firm Profile > Hughes & Hughes > Montevideo, Uruguay

Hughes & Hughes

Banking and finance Tier 2

Hughes & Hughes’ banking team acts for a diverse portfolio of local and multinational banks, brokers and financial advisers, with its robust project finance expertise standing out as a key draw for many. In a recent example of its sweet spot, prominent younger partner Mariana Estradé advised Generación Eólica Minas, the Uruguayan subsidiary of Akuo Energy and Eurus Energy, on the $100m refinancing of its 42MW wind farm project. In another significant highlight, group co-head Héctor Ferreira advised fruit company San Miguel on a $100m financing to fund its multinational expansion plans. Other recent clients include BBVA, ING Bank and The Deetken Group. Juan Carlos Oreggia Carrau, who recently secured an impressive run of lender-side mandates, and Haroldo Espalter also co-lead the department.

Corporate/M&A Tier 2

The ‘sophisticated and responsive’ group at Hughes & Hughes is held up by clients for its ‘strong ability to add value’. Practice head Haroldo Espalter is highly regarded for his ‘deep experience’ and, together with Mariana Estradé, he advised Finland’s UPM on its investment agreement with the Uruguayan government to build a major pulp mill and related infrastructure, including a port terminal. In another headline mandate, Espalter assisted Canada’s ATCO with its $340m acquisition of a 40% stake in Neltume Ports. Other senior names include Héctor Ferreira, who advised Rentech on the local aspects of the sale of both its 85.7% interest in Fulghum Fibres Chile and its 87% interest in Fulghum Fibres Uruguay. Up-and-coming associate Clara Villaamil, noted as ‘a great lawyer’, is also recommended.

Dispute resolution Tier 2

The ‘excellent team’ at Hughes & Hughes finds favour for its ‘great service’ and ‘accessible lawyers’. Led jointly by Alfredo Taullard and ‘first-class lawyerBernardo Porras, the group also includes ‘very impressive’ associate Fernando Barrios. The department handles a broad array of contentious matters, with commercial law, asset recovery, IP, and labour and employment among its core areas of expertise. Highlights included representing over 700 families, as debtors of Banco Hipotecario del Uruguay, in a major class action trial.

Labour and employment Tier 2

The ‘excellent team’ at Hughes & Hughes is well versed in the full life cycle of employment law matters, from compliance issues through to restructurings and contentious cases. Group head Enrique Radmilovich (‘very flexible and responsive’) is the key contact and continues to advise Brazil-based retail giant Lojas Renner on the labour and social security aspects of its expansion into the Uruguayan market. Highly experienced associate María Durán (‘very supportive’) is another respected name. The team has also recently undertaken work for ATCO Group, McDonald's Uruguay and the Conrad Punta del Este Resort and Casino.

Real estate Tier 2

The ‘very committed’ group at Hughes & Hughes finds favour for its ‘broad real estate practice’ but is arguably best known for its specialist expertise in rural transactions. Group head Haroldo Espalter is a ‘respected and experienced practitioner’ and is advising Finland’s UPM-Kymmene Oyj, through its local subsidiaries, on the potential construction of a major pulp mill and related infrastructure. Juan Carlos Oreggia Carrau (‘very professional and responsive’) is also a key contact.

Tax Tier 2

Hughes & Hughes’ tax team, which is comprised of both lawyers and accountants, brings to bear solid experience in both domestic and international tax issues. Associate Fernando Barrios, who handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, is recommended; he recently teamed up with associates Miguel Rocca and Magela Ramón to advise American Express on local tax issues. Other representative clients include Adidas Uruguay, BonaKemi USA and Surinor.

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Haroldo Espalter E:
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
Other fee-earners : 30
Total staff : 55
Partners : 7