Mr Gerardo Varela > Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos > Santiago, Chile > Lawyer Profile

Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos

Work Department

Corporate, M&A, Family offices and Holdings


Partner – Corporate, M&A, Family offices and Holdings


Partner since 1996. He is recognised by his peers for his negotiating skills and 30 years of experience in complex business deals involving retail, energy, agrobusiness, among others. He has successfully represented domestic and foreign companies in antitrust-related litigation and regulatory matters. He also participates in many board of directors from local companies. In 2018, he served as Minister of Education under President Sebastián Piñera administration.


Spanish and English.


International Bar Association
Chilean Bar Association 


Universidad de Chile (LLB, 1990). 

Lawyer Rankings

Chile > Corporate and M&A

(Hall of Fame)

Gerardo VarelaCariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos

Full-service firm Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos houses a practice group 44-strong (including 11 partners) that covers the full range of corporate and M&A work. The group’s representative expertise ranges from joint ventures and private equity / venture capital deals, to the acquisition of private and public companies, domestic and cross-border transactions, corporate mergers and spin-offs, and corporate restructurings. The firm fields multiple highly-rated partners, including: corporate law and contracts specialist Sergio Díez; Gerardo Varela, whose M&A track record includes energy, retail and aquaculture sector deals; Cristián Herrera, an adviser on corporate and transactional laws (as well as foreign investment and securities regulations); corporate, commercial, real estate and M&A expert, Juan Pablo Matus; and Carlos Pérez-Cotapos, who assists with corporate, natural resources and mining law matters. Senior partner Francisco J Illanes, José Luis Letelier and Gonzalo Grez are additional key practitioners, along with younger partner Andrea Saffie. The first line of advisors was further strengthened in July 2023 with the hire of Nicolás Lustig, who returns to private practice after more than 15 years in various in-house positions – most recently some eight years at BHP. Within the firm’s senior associate ranks, María Francisca Salas and Sergio Balharry both advise on M&A deals.

Chile > Competition and antitrust

Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos‘ 14-strong competition team has been active in both contentious and non-contentious matters of late, including on large-scale merger controls and high-stakes cartel and unilateral conduct-related litigation. It has also assisted with complex procedures concerning the pharmaceuticals industry and TV-rating measurement tools. The practice also acts for the firm’s large consumer goods client base and additionally benefits from the firm’s notable specialism in IP. Juan Cristóbal Gumucio, an expert in merger control issues, cartels, unilateral conduct, and compliance programmes; and M&A partner Gerardo Varela, who also assists with competition law matters, are the principal practice figures. At associate level, seniors Camila RojasCatalina González and Cristóbal Lema are all highly involved in merger-control issues, while José Manuel Donoso currently advises on competition law work, in addition to corporate matters.