The Legal 500

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EL GOLF 40, 13-14 FLOOR, SANTIAGO, CHILE
Tel:
Work +562 2280 5000
Fax:
Fax +562 2280 5001
Email:
Web:
www.prieto.cl

Chile

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto’s practice group handles matters including domestic and international syndicated loan agreements (mostly on the debtor side), project finance, debt placements, and finance restructuring. It recently acted for Codelco-Chile in the negotiation and execution of the amending and restatement of a $300m loan agreement with credit agency Export Development Canada; and also assisted holding company SMU with a $500m follow-on issuance involving a public offering in Chile on the Chilean Stock Exchange and an international offering to qualified institutional buyers in the US and investors outside the US and Chile. Patricio Prieto L and Gerardo Cruzat are the principal practitioners, and well-regarded counsel Isabel Margarita Wolleter was recently appointed director of the firm’s capital markets practice group.

Next generation lawyers

Gerardo Cruzat - Prieto

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Prieto’s ‘highly regarded team’ is regularly involved in high-profile litigation cases before the TDLC, particularly in the retail, energy and transport sectors; and assists with cartel and abuse of dominant position investigations conducted by the FNE. The firm also has a robust merger control practice and provides ongoing pre-emptive advice and implements compliance programmes for companies and trade associations. Recent work includes acting for Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha against an FNE claim filed against six maritime transport companies for allegedly agreeing tender terms for the inter-oceanic transport of cars; the matter was one of the first multi-jurisdictional leniency cases in Chile. The department is led by the ‘impressive’ Benjamín Grebe; Manfred Zink is a key senior associate.

Leading lawyers

Benjamín Grebe - Prieto

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Corporate and M&A (including compliance)
Corporate and M&A (including compliance) - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Prieto acts in complex, high-profile cross-border deals, private equity transactions and joint ventures, with the practice recently assisting on transactions involving the insurance, social security funds management and energy sectors; retail and food are additional areas of particular industry expertise. The corporate practice group also has considerable compliance capability. Recent mandates saw Jaime Ríos and Cristóbal Villarino lead advice to Portuguese electricity and natural gas transport-infrastructure operator, Redes Energeticas Nacionais (REN Portugal), on its $180m acquisition of a 42.5% stake in Electrogas, which operates a gas pipeline in central Chile; and Inversiones La Construcción (and affiliate Empresas Red Salud), on the $120m sale of I-Med (and several other companies) to ACCEL-KKR Group. Juan Tagle, Fernando Bravo, Gerardo Cruzat, José Andrés Pascual and Patricio Prieto L are the key names.

Leading lawyers

Juan Tagle - Prieto

Next generation lawyers

Cristóbal Villarino - Prieto

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto regularly acts before arbitrators and ordinary courts, particularly on disputes involving the energy, construction, real estate and retail sectors. The team is also increasingly involved in contentious insurance, transportation and healthcare-related matters. Recent work saw the team represent four electrical power generating companies in their $160m claim against GasAtacama Chile for alleged unlawful conduct. Alberto González V, Fernando Samaniego and Claudio Undurraga are the key contacts; while at associate level, Juan Pablo Riesco is also noted.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto’s environmental team advises both domestic and international clients on environmental matters during project developments, environmental assessments, and environmental compliance. However, former senior associate Aldo Cardinali who arrived in May 2017 to head the department, was appointed head of the Mining Ministry’s Sustainable Development division in April 2018 and has left the firm. Associate Isidora Ilharreborde is now the primary point of contact. Active clients include YPF, Quilacoya Consultores and Viña Santa Carolina.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Prieto’s client base includes insurance companies, reinsurance companies and insurance brokers. The practice advises on all aspects of the sector, from policy matters to the acquisition of significant insurance companies in Chile; and on the insurance-litigation side, the practice acts in claims and insurance recoveries involving various risks, such as fire, earthquake, business interruption and loans. The team acts for Assurant Chile Compañía de Seguros Generales on an ongoing basis, including drafting insurance policies and dealing with information filed with the regulator. Recent matters saw the practice advise Colmena Compañía de Seguros de Vida on compliance matters, insurance product distribution, the review and adjustment of its contracts, and claims. The team is led by the well regarded Jaime Ríos and senior figure Patricio Prieto L.

Leading lawyers

Jaime Ríos - Prieto

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto is best known for labour litigation and the labour aspects of corporate law matters; moreover, the team is particularly noted for collective bargaining procedures as well as immigration. Recent mandates include advising Yamana Gold on four collective bargaining procedures; and assisting major Chilean retail group, SMU, with labour law litigation. Christian von Bergen and senior associate Cristóbal Raby are experienced advisers. Other active clients include Engie Energía Chile, Sodexo Chile, Plaza, Valle Nevado and Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi.

Next generation lawyers

Cristóbal Raby - Prieto

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Advising both private and public-sector clients on tenders, construction issues and project development, Prieto is particularly experienced in energy and infrastructure projects, including power projects, renewable and non-renewable energy, and gas, water and sewerage matters. The team advised Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte (and its sponsors), on the negotiation of the financing for the construction, development and operation of a trunk electricity transmission line. The principal practice contacts are Juan Tagle, Claudio Undurraga and Fernando Bravo. José Andrés Pascual, Jaime Ríos, Juan Tagle and Patricio Prieto L are also highly rated, along with Cristóbal Villarino, Gerardo Cruzat and José Andrés Pascual. Camila Kutz is a key senior associate.

Leading lawyers

Juan Tagle - Prieto

Next generation lawyers

Camila Kutz - Prieto

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Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto is recommended for its assistance with the public law aspects of energy sector matters. The team acted for Engie Energía in illegality claims that were filed against the Tocopilla Municipality, one of which involved private entities paying for public duties. Fernando Samaniego ‘has great experience and a very strategic vision’; Benjamín Grebe is widely praised; and senior associate Carolina Helfmann, who was recently appointed director of the firm’s regulatory and public law practice group, is ‘highly competent’.

Next generation lawyers

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Prieto

Prieto is experienced in the acquisition, development and construction of large real estate projects, including assistance with tax planning, corporate law, land use, environmental law and construction issues. The team advised Inmobiliaria Desa on the sale of luxury building apartments, including the negotiation and elaboration of sale promissory contracts. Fernando Samaniego and Cristóbal Villarino are highly regarded.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto is well regarded for its telephony-sector expertise: the team is experienced in public auctions and negotiations with telephony concessionaires, and knowledgeable regarding the regulatory framework in Chile. It successfully advised Telcordia Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swedish company Ericsson, on two bids before the Chilean Telecommunications Department for the appointment of the number-portability system’s administrator. Mario Gorziglia and Cristóbal Villarino are the key practitioners.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto’s ‘team has deep knowledge of its clients’ business’. The scope of the practice includes tax litigation and tax planning for family offices and individuals, including corporate reorganisations, real estate matters and inheritance taxes. The team includes practitioners with expertise in the tax structuring of investments, particularly new projects involving foreign parties investing in sectors such as energy, ports and public utilities, as well as the financing of such projects. Recent work saw the team advise Chilean-based company Watt’s on the tax structuring aspects of its acquisition of Danone’s business operations in Chile. Mario Gorziglia and Leonidas Prieto are highly regarded and Cristián Bay-Schmith has been made partner.

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Chile: Energy and natural resources

Electricity/oil and gas
Energy and natural resources: electricity - ranked: tier 1

Prieto

Energy and natural resources: oil and gas - ranked: tier 1

Prieto

Prieto has longstanding experience in the energy (including renewable energy), gas and water and sewage sectors. The firm also fields lawyers with regulatory and litigation experience, including administrative procedures, and handles the full range of disputes and arbitration in the energy sector. A team led by Jaime Ríos advised Portuguese electricity and natural gas transport-infrastructure operator, Redes Energeticas Nacionais (REN Portugal), on its $180m acquisition of a 42.5% stake in Electrogas’ share capital. Juan Tagle led advice to Brookfield Asset Management PICA on a complete due diligence of the Chilean assets of TerraForm Power; while Fernando Bravo and José Andrés Pascual are advising Engie Energía Chile on the $10m EPC contract and all necessary permitting for the development of an ash deposit project dubbed "Cerro Gris". Senior partner Claudio Undurraga is also a key contact.

Leading lawyers
Next generation lawyers

Camila Kutz - Prieto

José Andrés Pascual - Prieto

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Mining
Energy and natural resources: mining - ranked: tier 3

Prieto

Prieto recently advised Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte on several matters, including mining property issues, potential conflicts, and easements. Other active clients include Engie Energía Chile, VivoCorp, Americas Energy Fund II, and Prospecta. Juan Tagle, Alberto González E are highly rated; and Camila Kutz is a key associate.

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