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Avendaño Merino Abogados

Santiago de Chile

Avendaño Merino Abogados - Santiago de Chile
  • Isidora Goyenechea 3477
  • 14th Floor
  • Las Condes
  • Santiago de Chile
  • Santiago
  • Chile
  • Managing Partner: Luis Felipe Merino
  • Partners: Luis Felipe Merino, José Miguel Gana, Daniel Nassar, Oscar Ferrari, José Miguel Rioseco, Luis Eduardo Correa
  • Number of partners: 6
  • Number of other lawyers: 16

THE FIRM: Founded in 2003, Avendaño Merino Abogados is a businessoriented law firm strongly committed to satisfy clients’ needs through efficiently combining professional excellence and prompt response. The firm provides highly specialised legal advice to a relevant foreign and domestic client base, mainly in corporate and M&A, taxation, regulated markets, real estate, antitrust and dispute resolution. Consistent with its high quality, driven policy, the firm is formed by qualified lawyers graduated from the country’s most prestigious universities, most of which have pursued graduate studies in several of top ranked law schools of the United States and of the United Kingdom, and have also acquired valuable professional experience in important law firms and companies in Chile and in the United States.

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE:
Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions: With a strong corporate practice, the firm has acted as counsel to a variety of domestic and international clients in a range of areas including oil and gas, power generation, real estate, construction and engineering services, insurance providers, financial entities, investment funds, IT and telecommunications, banks, agriculture and aquiculture. Main services provided in this area are: general corporate structuring and contractual matters; corporate reorganisations and tax planning; mergers and acquisitions; complex civil and commercial negotiations; local and cross-border joint ventures and strategic alliances; foreign investment; corporate governance; public and private bidding processes; secured and syndicated loans.
Regulated Markets: This area concentrates an important part of Avendaño Merino daily practice. Indeed, the firm has a vast experience in complex regulatory matters and preventive strategies in several industries, such as oil and gas, ports, telecommunications, power generation and aquiculture, and has stood out for working very close and in good coordination with the public authorities.
Antitrust: Avendaño Merino is highly regarded as one of the leading practices in this area, having participated in several of the most recent and relevant antitrust cases in Chile regarding collusion, price discrimination, tied sales, unfair competition among others. The firm has also advised clients in antitrust investigations before the Antitrust Authorities and participated in the design of preventive policies for clients. Due to its expertise in this field, the firm is usually engaged to issue legal opinions and surveys in complex potential antitrust cases.
Real Estate: The firm carries out a full-service real estate practice, with vast experience in all contractual, regulatory and municipal aspects for all types of projects including, among others, the following matters: permanent legal advisors to real estate, construction and engineering companies in a wide range of projects, from residential to industrial and office buildings; complex negotiations with multiple sellers or buyers; structuring and daily operation of private and institutional real estate investment funds, both local and foreign; purchase and lease agreements related to real property, including lease with purchase option and financial lease; advice on legal and regulatory aspects related to land use and planning of real estate projects; construction agreements; secured and unsecured real estate financing and lease acquisition structuring.
Dispute Resolution: This area concentrates its practice in civil, commercial, and administrative matters, standing out for its dynamism and vast experience in the successful implementation of pretrial and judicial strategies, with a special emphasis in creative solutions and prompt reaction. The firm has a very strong track record of successful cases in the following matters: representation of local and foreign clients before ordinary, arbitral and special courts; civil, commercial and administrative procedures and alternative dispute resolution procedures and advice and representation in corporate conflicts.
Tax: Avendaño Merino offers high value-added tax advice to its clients, especially regarding efficient tax structures for M&A, financial transactions, corporate reorganisations, investment projects and family-owned businesses. It also provides administrative and judicial defense in tax litigation matters.

LANGUAGES: English, Spanish. Clients The firm represents on a permanent basis an important client base in several industries, including gas pipelines and power plants, telecommunication and information technologies (IT) companies, port concessionaires and private and public port operators, insurance companies, financial entities, foreign and local private and institutional investment funds, investment groups, forestry companies, salmon producers, as well as several other Chilean companies with strong presence in many Latin American countries.

Branches

  • Isidora Goyenechea 3477,
  • 14th Floor,
  • Las Condes,
  • Santiago,
  • Chile
  • Tel (562 2) 941 9000
  • Fax +56 2 333 1109
  • Email : aym@aym.cl
  • Website : www.aym.cl

Competition/Antitrust - Chile

THE FIRM The competition team at this budding player benefits from the firm's considerable experience in regulated sectors such as TMT, energy and real estate. The team is also able to draw on the firm's expert advice in dispute resolution and litigation. Representative clients to date include Cruz Verde and BancoEstado. Sources note the firm's profound knowledge and experience in competition matters.

Sources say: "The firm has demonstrated the ability to devise effective court strategies and has good working relations with experts in key areas related to our business."

KEY INDIVIDUALS José Miguel Gana is singled out by sources for his strong commitment to the client and their deadlines. 

Gabriela Morales has an accomplished name in competition matters and adds experience in litigation and TMT to the practice.

Corporate/M&A - Chile

THE FIRM This compact firm is held in high esteem by sources for its command of mid-sized M&A transactions, which benefit from an integrated tax, antitrust and real estate offering. The team frequently participates in cross-border work involving the regulated markets, such as the energy, telecoms and ports sectors. The firm recently advised Ocean Spray on its acquisition of a local cranberry processing facility, and continues to act as legal counsel to the company with respect to its Chilean operations. 

Sources say: "The firm has been very attentive to our needs and makes us feel like we are its only client."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Luis Felipe Merino led the team advising Ocean Spray on its recent acquisition of a Chilean cranberry processing facility, and is highly recommended by clients, who say: "He is very pro-business and has a strong focus on defending the client's interests whilst ensuring that the deal goes through." 

Key partner Daniel Nassar formed part of a team advising Credit Suisse on its recent purchase of an office building in Santiago.

Dispute Resolution - Chile

THE FIRM The dispute resolution team at this compact but growing firm has been gaining a visible foothold in the Chilean market in recent years. It represents clients in civil and commercial litigation as well as in arbitration proceedings, recently tackling disputes in connection with the retail, banking and salmon industries. The group's portfolio of clients includes high-profile players such as Banco Estado, Walmart, CNN and Marine Harvest, with the team recently acting for the latter in a series of commercial and civil cases against its former general manager and others for alleged breach of contractual obligations.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Experienced litigator José Miguel Gana heads up the practice and is leading proceedings brought for alleged breach of contract on behalf of Marine Harvest. He brings a wealth of experience in TMT and competition matters to the team.

Energy & Natural Resources - Chile

THE FIRM The energy practice at this compact firm has carved out an important name in the local market, and sources are quick to note its particular expertise in energy litigation and contract matters. The team is particularly well known for its long-standing relationship with GasAtacama, and recently advised the company on the bidding process for floating LNG terminal services to be provided to Chile's Mejillones port. Clients cite the firm's size as being key to its strong service provision.

Sources say: "The firm has developed a great and specialised team in energy and electricity matters, and is well placed to respond to our needs." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients are effusive in their praise for Luis Felipe Merino and highlight his legal, commercial and technical knowledge of electricity law as being among his key strengths.

Real Estate - Chile

THE FIRM This firm has developed an acclaimed real estate practice that represents a number of important developers and investment funds in connection with their needs in this area. The team typically advises on investment and acquisition structures, development and financing for major real estate projects, also assisting with financial, operational, lease and service agreements. A recent highlight saw the group serve as counsel to a local fund administered by Capital Advisors as it acquired a Santiago office building.

Sources say: "The firm was recommended to us, and the team has managed our real estate work and other legal issues very well."

KEY INDIVIDUALS New partner José Miguel Rioseco wins strong praise from clients: "He is quick to understand our needs and is agile in his responses."

Tax - Chile

THE FIRM The modestly sized tax team at this general practice firm enjoys a strong reputation in the market, and regularly advises clients on business reorganisations and tax restructurings. It represents clients from a variety of commercial sectors such as banking, pharmaceutical and retail, and also handles tax litigation as necessary. The firm recently provided tax assistance to Unilever in connection with the restructuring of assets following its acquisition of US manufacturer Alberto-Culver. 

Sources say: "This is an experienced team that always provides prompt and thorough responses to our queries." 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients enthuse about the practical and comprehensive legal advice of tax expert Oscar Ferrari, adding: "He is one of the best tax lawyers in Chile, without a doubt."

TMT - Chile

THE FIRM This compact firm lends established know-how in competition and litigation matters to its growing TMT practice. The team represents a sizeable portfolio of clients, typically in civil actions and arbitration relating to the internet, digital television and mobile phone networks, regularly appearing before the ordinary courts and the Court of Appeal.

Sources say: "The firm has proven experience in the TMT sector and has demonstrated a strong grasp of contentious issues."

KEY INDIVIDUALS José Miguel Gana has vast experience in competition and litigation, and is an excellent strategist, according to clients.