Barros Silva Varela & Vigil > Santiago, Chile > Firm Profile

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil

Chile > Environment Tier 3

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil's six-member environmental law department handles environment assessments, compliance with environmental and sectoral regulations, litigation before the specialised courts and the Supreme Court, and sanctioning proceedings before the Superintendency of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The practice is co-led by Felipe Riesco, a former Ministry of Environment Undersecretary, and environmental law specialist Claudia Ferreiro, who joined from Correa Squella in May 2021. Also integral to the team are regulatory law practice director Carolina Matthei, and senior associate José Ignacio Vial, who recently joined from the Environmental Assessment Service’s (SEA) litigation and invalidation department.

Practice head(s):

Felipe Riesco; Claudia Ferreiro


The environmental team stands out for being always up to date with regulations, rulings and doctrine. In addition, it always provides strategic solutions to cases, which are designed to achieve the best result for the client.

Commitment, quality and strategy at levels that are above what other firms display.

The BSVV team provide solid advice that is based on the public and private experience of its members.

José Ignacio Vial provides excellent advice on environmental regulations. His long stint at EAS gives him an insider’s view of the workings of environmental regulations, which is rare.

Key clients

Junta de Vigilancia Río Putaendo

Pilmaiquén (Statkraft)

Central Rucalhue Energía

Inmobiliaria Alto Maullín

EL Zorro Sociedad Contractual Minera

Atacama Energy

Allibera Solar

Inversiones Rentas Inmobiliarias

Inversiones Pacífico Sur

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Putaendo River Oversight Board with supervising the correct evaluation of the Las Tejas Mining Prefeasibility Exploration Project.
  • Defended Empresa Electrica Pilmaiquen before the Environmental Court against a claim filed by indigenous communities that inhabit the area where the Los Lagos Hydroelectric Power Plant is being built.
  • Defended Racalhue Energía in an appeal for protection that was filed by the municipalities of Santa Bárbara and Quilaco, which aimed to stop the works and have the project re-evaluated by the SEA.

Chile > Real estate Tier 3

The six-member practice at Barros Silva Varela & Vigil regularly advises on major real estate projects, its assistance ranging from the initial planning stages, financing, corporate law and tax structuring, to unit sales and construction and co-ownership contract negotiations. The ‘exceptionally good‘ group also constantly monitors clients’ potential construction-related liabilities. Heading up the real estate department, José Joaquín Silva focuses on regulatory and territorial planning, corporate law advice, environmental impact assessments, and negotiations with communities; while at senior associate level, Marcela Horzella and Soledad Marín are both experienced in territorial planning work.

Practice head(s):

José Joaquín Silva


A very competent team of professionals with a strong focus on the client.

Comprehensive work, and in addition to being real estate experts, I would highlight how accessible all the lawyers are. I’ve worked with other firms and they don’t work like that.

The BSVV real estate team is exceptionally good – very agile, good negotiators, and very prepared from a legal point of view.

It is a very knowledgeable team in relation to real estate business; and the lawyers know all the issues associated with projects, including financial, regulatory, environmental and construction issues.

They understand all aspects of the business, not just the legal.

Dedicated to real estate work, with personalised attention, ambitious young partners and the availability to attract new clients. José Joaquín Silva leads the area, incorporating expertise and knowledge with great success.

A young and available team, and I can contact each member of the team by cellphone or WhatsApp. In other firms, contacting the partner is always difficult. In BSVV this is not the case as José Joaquín Silva is always very present.

Very complete lawyers, especially team leader José Joaquín Silva.

Key clients

Inmobiliaria Río Bueno


Avante Finantial Group

Inmobiliaria Ilumina


Renta Capital Fondo de Inversión Público

Inmobiliaria Brasil

Inmobiliaria Inspira

Constructora Cumbres

JE Mujica

Grupo Avenida Realty

Inmobiliaria Monferrato

Ecasa Inmobiliaria

PatagonLand Inmobiliaria

Work highlights

  • Advised Inmobiliaria Río Bueno on the acquisition of Calcurrupe Desarrollos, a subsidiary company of Esmax.
  • Assisted CORFO with both assessing an area for ecological and environmental conservation and tourism purposes, and designing the real estate and contractual structure.
  • Advising Inmobiliaria Ingevec on 18 construction projects for the construction of over 4000 new homes.

Chile > Corporate and M&A Tier 4

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil‘s 10-strong department routinely acts for financial institutions, and private equity, venture capital and investment funds, on major corporate matters and transactions, as well as day-to-day business matters, such as service agreements and bidding processes. Focused on corporate law, the ‘unbeatableJorge Vigil   is an M&A, restructuring and capital markets expert. Further capability is provided by corporate law and mining-and-energy investment-project specialist, Francisco Varela  ; corporate director Sebastián Barros ; and senior associate Felipe Valle , who advises on corporate and business law. In a significant hire, Rodrigo de Alencar   joined as partner from Urenda, Rencoret, Orrego y Dörr in early 2022 to strengthen the firm’s M&A credentials, as well as lead its capital markets and securities practice.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Vigil; Rodrigo de Alencar


I have found the M&A team I worked with to be very hands-on and well versed at looking after its South American clients.

Strong ability to navigate international M&A norms and deal terms – analytical and resolute lawyers.

A team that empathises with the client’s situation. The lawyers feel like an internal part of our company.

Great for the trust the lawyers generate – we do not make decisions without consulting them first. They are committed, always available and technically flawless.

Jorge Vigil is exceptionally hardworking and responsive.

Jorge Vigil stands out as an adviser on commercial and corporate matters.

Jorge Vigil is outstanding in his understanding of business.

Jorge Vigil is unbeatable – a great negotiator who always finds the best solution.

Key clients

VC Wherex

Lemuy Group


Aguas y Riles

Cementos Grau

Atacama Energy

Inmobiliaria Río Bueno



Ameris Celmedia

Agrícola Los Maitenes de Huinca

Work highlights

  • Advised WhereEX on closing a successful Series A investment round.
  • Advised Agroberries (and its founding shareholders) on its migration to the UK and the negotiation of a shareholders’ agreement signed with Conti.
  • Advised the Lemuy Group on the acquisition of 80% of the shares of industrial labelling and office supplies company, Demarka.

Chile > Labour and employment Tier 4

The five-member labour and employment department at Barros Silva Varela & Vigil routinely acts for human resources departments on dismissals, hiring-related documentation, and internal policies concerning benefits and harassment. It also assists with labour disputes, and relations with the authorities and unions. Providing a ‘personalised and timely service', team head Roberto Lewin focuses on preventive labour auditing, restructuring operations, subcontracting, collective bargaining, litigation, immigration and compliance. Senior associate Nicole Lüer‘s practice covers labour relations, individual and collective law, social security, disputes and audits.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Lewin


BSVV keeps us constantly updated on the changes in labour regulations, and its timely communications are efficient, meaning that we as a company can make decisions.

Roberto Lewin provides a personalised and timely service. He has a business perspective, so he is able to analyse the different aspects of issues.

Key clients

Grupo ISA Intervial

Sika Chile

Andes Iron

Nestlé Chile

Chile Films

Energy Development Corporation

Cementerio Metropolitano

Aguas y Riles

Multi Servicios Financieros

Arcace Chile

Work highlights

  • Advised Sika Chile on a collective bargaining process with a union which was formed by employees that become part of the company following a merger process.
  • Assisting Cementerio Metropolitano with a collective bargaining process with one of its largest unions.
  • Assisted Nestlé Chile with over 20 labour lawsuits in a 12-month period.

Energy and natural resources > Mining

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil's mining practice is led by experienced partner Francisco Varela, who has substantial experience in M&A matters involving mining companies, as well as the development and execution of major mining projects.

Chile > Projects and infrastructure

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil's projects practice was launched relatively recently, as a result of demand from foreign clients seeking local support during the development stages of their investments in Chile; it primarily focuses on the development of energy and mining projects.

Chile > Public law

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil's public, regulatory and environmental law area is led by former Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Environment, Felipe Riesco, whose practice focuses on the environmental assessment of investment projects, administrative regulations, sanctioning procedures, litigation, public procurement, and presentations before the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic.

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil represents a new generation of lawyers committed to providing services at the highest level. In ten years they have established themselves as a multi-service law firm, participating in the most relevant transactions and matters in the country.

Barros Silva Varela & Vigil seeks to support its clients in a comprehensive manner, offering them tailor-made legal strategies. The firm carefully selects the assignments that it undertakes in order to ensure the provision of an excellent service, that adapts to the clients’ deadlines and needs.

Practice areas: Our practice areas are various and include specialization in corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions, natural resources, mining and energy, the environment, real estate, litigation and arbitration and labour and employment.

Corporate Matters / M&A Jorge
Mining / Tax / Natural Resources Francisco
Litigation and Arbitration / Finance Fernando
Real Estate Jose Joaquin
Labour and Employment Roberto
Regulatory and Administative Claudia
Enviromental Felipe