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White & Case LLP

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Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance
Leading lawyers

Carlos Viana - White & Case LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jeanine Acevedo - White & Case LLP

Thomas Pate - White & Case LLP

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP’s global footprint, burgeoning M&A status in New York and Miami, and its substantial presence in Mexico City and São Paulo, are positioning it as a true leader in Latin America M&A. Recent mandates saw the practice act as international counsel to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo on its $650m acquisition of East Balt I, involving the management of due diligence and regulatory review in 11 jurisdictions. Moreover, its outstanding record in project finance has enabled the firm to advise on a series of transactions involving the trading of energy and infrastructure assets: recent examples include assisting Total SunPower with the sale of its stake in Total SunPower El Pelicano to Phoenix Infrastructure Holdings; and advising Odebrecht on its $1.39bn sale of the 456MW Chaglla hydroelectric power plant in Peru to a consortium led by China Three Gorges Corp. The team is commended for its responsiveness, knowledge of local law and ‘pragmatic approach to solving issues’, with clients recognise the ability of its Mexico group to ‘draw on the resources of other offices’ as necessary. It ‘ranks above the top firms in M&A’, according to clients who also highlight the firm’s ‘excellent’ Mexico team, considered ‘the best’ by some. Miami partner Christian Hansen has extensive cross-border M&A experience (including multi-jurisdictional transactions such as the previously mentioned Grupo Bimbo deal) and is particularly noted for energy and aviation sector transactions. Oliver Brahmst is co-head of the global private equity practice, has a fine record in Brazil deals and was the lead partner on the China Three Gorges transaction. Head of the São Paulo office Donald Baker has virtually unrivalled corporate connections in Brazil, while Vincente Corta Fernández is a key figure in Mexico City. Highly regarded former Mexico City partner Iker Arriola moved to Mexican firm Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C..

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 1

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP launched a Houston office in February 2018, bringing in a number of senior practitioners with significant Latin America experience. The new Houston partners Jay Cuclis, Steven Otillar and Christopher Richardson have a strong focus on Latin America and significant oil and gas expertise; they joined from Vinson & Elkins LLP, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP respectively. Building on the firm’s strong profile in downstream oil and gas, the new team extends its expertise into upstream and midstream development and commercial issues. With its eminent Mexico City office, the firm is well plugged into Mexico’s hydrocarbon sector reform-related work. Beyond oil and gas, the firm continues to impress in power and renewables, including in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. It has also experienced growth in PPP engagements, including in Paraguay and Argentina. Showcasing its expertise in infrastructure and project bonds, the firm advised the banks on the $2bn cross-border debt issuance by state-owned Petróleos del Perú-Petroperú; the proceeds of what was the largest-ever offering by a Peruvian issuer are intended to finance a large-scale upgrade and modernisation of the Talara Refinery. It also represented Invenergy as sponsor, and Nicefield as borrower, in the refinancing of the 70MW Campo Palomas wind farm project in Uruguay. The firm is commended for its expertise in structuring and negotiating EPC, TUA and LNG contracts related to project development activities. Clients are ‘highly satisfied’ with its ‘support in all aspects’ and highlight its ‘customer oriented’ approach with its ‘interest in understanding client needs and commitment to these during the whole process’. ‘The level of service is high’ with ‘very prepared lawyers that deliver excellent performance’. Latin America project finance head Carlos Viana is ‘always a collegial professional and easy to work with’. São Paulo-based John Anderson provides ‘deep commitment’, ‘good technical coverage’ at a ‘reasonable cost’. In Mexico City, Sean Goldstein does an ‘excellent job’, is ‘always on top of what his associates are doing, and is always available to clarify, intervene and participate in any discussion or negotiation’. He has ‘sound experience’ in project development and project finance in the energy sector. Washington DC partner Victor DeSantis is recommended for oil and gas and infrastructure project finance; he is ‘very reasonable’, ‘knows what he is talking about’, has ‘years of experience’; ‘very commercial, practical’ he ‘is not out there to win points’, and ‘has a view on getting deals done and not getting lost in the weeds’. Washington DC’s Ned Neaher is also recommended for lender-side engagements and Miami-based Jeanine Acevedo is another key name in the team. New York’s John Vetterli brings leading capital markets expertise to the firm’s project and infrastructure bonds engagements. Former Mexico City partner José Ignacio Segura Alonso has joined Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.. Named partners are based in Miami unless stated.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Viana - White & Case LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jeanine Acevedo - White & Case LLP

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