Mr Rafael Vergara > Carey > Santiago, Chile > Lawyer Profile

SANTIAGO, PO 755-0647
Rafael Vergara photo

Work Department

Mining / Environmental Law and Litigation / Infrastructure and Project Development 


Partner of Carey and co-head of the firm´s Natural Resources and Environment Group.


His practice focuses on natural resources, mining, water rights, energy, environment, surface lands, project financing, and corporate and commercial law.

Named Lawyer of the Year in Mining, Best Lawyers (2021).
Recognized in Energy and Natural Resources: Mining, Chambers Latin America.
Recognized in Environment, Mining, Projects and Infrastructure, The Legal 500.
Recognized in Mining & Metals, Energy, Environment and in Project Finance and Infrastructure, Latin Lawyer 250.
Recognized in Banking and Finance, Project Development and Project Finance, IFLR1000.
Recognized in Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Project Finance and as Global Elite Thought Leader in Mining, Who’s Who Legal.
Recognized in Energy, LACCA.
Recognized in Energy, Environmental Law, Mining, Natural Resources, Project Finance and Development, Best Lawyers.
Recognized in Energy and Natural Resources, Environment, Infrastructure and Mining, Top Ranked Legal.
Elected Best Undergraduate Professor Award, Law School, Universidad de Chile.
Named Lawyer of the Year in Natural Resources (2014, 2016 and 2019) and Energy (2015), Best Lawyers.
Winner in the Natural Resources: Mining Category, Leading Lawyers, Idealis (2013 and 2015).

Co-author of the article Streaming Agreements – Mining, Getting the Deal Through (2019).
Co-author of the Chilean chapter of Construction and Projects Q&As Global Guide, Thomson Reuters (2018-2020).
Author of the Chilean chapter on Mining, Getting the Deal Through (2010-2013).

Special courses on mining law for judges and members of the Courts of Appeals, organized by the Judiciary Academy of Chile.
Presented papers on Chilean mining, energy, natural resources regulations and environment at numerous seminars, both in Chile and abroad.


Spanish and English.


At-Large council member representative for Latin America, Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
Trustee-at-Large, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (2012-2015).
Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de los Andes (since 2003).
Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de Chile (since 1996).
Member of the Chilean Bar Association and former advisor (2006-2011).
Visiting professor in several graduate studies and Master Degree Programs on Natural Resources Law at several Chilean Universities.
Member of the panel of arbitrators, Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago.
Member of the Legal Committee of the National Mining Association (SONAMI).
Member of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
Member of the International Bar Association (IBA).
Member of the American Bar Association (ABA).
Member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
Chair of the Advisory Council of the World Association of Mining Lawyers (WAOML).
Member of the Red Interamericana de Especialistas en Legislación Ambiental (RIELA).


Law, Universidad de Chile.
Academy of American and International Law, Southwestern Legal Foundation, Dallas (USA) (1993).
Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Harvard University (1997).

Lawyer Rankings

Chile > Energy and natural resources > Mining

(Hall of Fame)

Rafael VergaraCarey

With ‘incredible knowledge and understanding of mining regulation and practice‘, Carey‘s eight-member team consistently acts for metallic and non-metallic mineral mining companies on the country’s most important mining projects. The department assists with project development matters, financing and M&A deals, and its expertise covers exploration, exploitation and processing activities. The practice is co-led by Rafael Vergara, ‘a senior statesman in the mining legal world‘, whose expertise spans all aspects of mining law; Alberto Cardemil, one of Chile’s leading experts on water rights; and counsel Francisco Corona, whose practice focuses on natural resources, mining, energy and environmental law. Within the mining group’s senior associate pool, Maximiliano Urrutia is ‘a solid adviser‘, while Esteban Fresno assists with natural resources, mining, water, energy, environmental and indigenous law.

Chile > Projects and infrastructure

(Leading individuals)

Rafael VergaraCarey

The sizeable infrastructure, project development and project finance practice at market stalwart Carey has extensive experience in the development, financing and execution of energy infrastructure projects (thermoelectric, hydroelectric, oil and gas, wind, photovoltaic and biomass). The firm’s heavyweight projects expertise also covers mining, roads, hospitals, telecoms networks, ports, airport infrastructure, concessions, and housing and hospitality services. The ‘deeply capable‘ practice fields several leaders, namely: Rafael Vergara, who routinely advises on major mining transactions in Chile; Oscar Aitken, who co-heads the firm’s construction and engineering group alongside real estate group head Juan Pablo Stitchkin; Juan Francisco Mackenna and José Miguel Bustamante, who both advise on a broad range of energy and infrastructure projects; water rights expert Alberto Cardemil, the co-head of the natural resources and environmental group; project development and finance specialist Felipe Moro; and Fernando Noriega, who focuses on project financing, banking law, lending, capital markets and foreign investment. Within the senior associate pool, Juan Pablo Vukasovic has notable projects experience, but former fellow senior Sophia Bobadilla left in February 2022.

Chile > Environment

(Leading individuals)

Rafael VergaraCarey

The 12-member environmental practice group at full-service firm Carey comprises ‘very good professionals who give very appropriate legal advice‘. The team routinely advises on environmental impact assessments and environmental sanctioning proceedings, with its clients including mining, energy, infrastructure, water utilities, aquaculture and agriculture industry businesses. It also has extensive experience in water rights. Moreover, the firm’s environmental litigation practice, alongside the firm’s dispute resolution group (co-led by environmental disputes specialist Aldo Molinari), handles complex environmental litigation, including defences before the environmental courts. The department is co-led -in conjunction with Molinari- by Alberto Cardemil, who leads the firm’s water and agribusiness practices; and Rafael Vergara, who is experienced in regulatory and environmental evaluation processes. Within the senior associate pool, Tomás De La Maza is a water, agribusiness and corporate law expert, while Manuel José Barros and Julio Recordon both ‘stand out for their availability and flexibility‘. Since publication, Barros and Recordon have been raised to the partnership – effective as of December 2022.