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

The ‘very complete’ 44-strong practice at Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos is consistently sought out for its expertise in joint ventures, private equity and venture capital deals, as well as the acquisition of private and public companies. It also houses specialists in mergers and spin-offs, along with corporate restructuring transactions; and boasts a recent transactional track-record that is particularly strong in the mining, energy, infrastructure, insurance, media, and banking (/financial service) sectors, among others. The practice group houses a core group of highly in-demand partners; namely senior figures Francisco J Illanes (‘a leading lawyer in the local legal environment‘ who also has extensive international experience); corporate law expert Sergio Díez; M&A specialist Gerardo Varela; and Cristián Herrera, who advises on corporate/M&A, foreign investment and securities regulations; while Juan Pablo Matus and recently promoted Tomás Vidalboth demonstrate great technical knowledge‘. Corporate, natural resources and mining law specialist Carlos Pérez-Cotapos; mining contracts expert Gonzalo Grez; and Andrea Saffie are also integral to the practice, as is José Luis Letelier, who has longstanding corporate law, M&A and foreign investment expertise. At senior associate level, María Francisca Salas and Sergio Balharry  are active M&A advisers.

Chile > Competition and antitrust

The 11-strong, ‘very dedicated free competition practice‘ at Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos straddles the full range of both non-contentious and contentious competition work. The team’s expertise covers merger-control matters, along with cartel and abuse-of-dominance cases. Clients additionally benefit from the group’s retail industry expertise, as well as its ability to leverage the firm’s enviable IP credentials for competition issues. The competition practice is led by ‘excellent lawyerJuan Cristóbal Gumucio, who is highly rated for his experience in merger control, contentious antitrust cases involving cartels and unilateral conduct, and compliance programmes; corporate law specialist Gerardo Varela provides additional partner-level support. Within the associate pool, seniors Camila Rojas and Catalina González both regularly advise on merger transaction and compliance work, while Cristóbal Lema and José Manuel Donoso also maintain active competition practices.