Among emerging global markets, Latin America in particular has experienced tremendous economic growth in recent years. A number of factors, including a rise in commodities prices, high demand for natural resources, and improved leadership in the region, have helped to create a burgeoning middle class and unprecedented wealth and stability throughout Latin America.
Dechert is a global specialist law firm with the expertise, reach and resources to provide top-ranked, world-class arbitration, transactional, financial and litigation services throughout this attractive emerging market.
An Innovative Approach
Global firms seeking to provide cross-border advisory services to either local or international clients involving Latin America often face intense difficulties from the complex maze of regulation that was developed long before the internationalization of global capital markets.
We at Dechert are known for our out-of-the-box thinking. In 2013, the Financial Times named Dechert a Top U.S. Innovative Law Firm, citing our work as lead counsel to the Ad Hoc Group of Vitro Noteholders in connection with the highly contentious cross-border restructuring of approximately US$1.6 billion in defaulted senior notes issued by Mexico’s largest glass manufacturer.
An Established Practice
For more than three decades, Dechert’s Latin America practice has advised on complex matters and structured transactions involving Latin America. Chambers Latin America, Chambers Global and The Legal 500 Latin America ranked us among the top law firms for international arbitration in Latin America in 2015. We were also recommended for corporate and mergers and acquisitions by The Legal 500 Latin America.
Dechert’s diverse, multijurisdictional team of experienced lawyers is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Our regional expertise with the complexities of individual markets and business, together with our top-ranked transactional, regulatory and dispute resolution practices throughout Latin America, help clients achieve their strategic objectives wherever they do business.
Dechert's Foreign Lawyer Program
Our international network is further bolstered by the firm’s Foreign Lawyer Program, where lawyers from relationship firms are seconded to Dechert and vice versa. To support Dechert’s growing Latin America practice, we host foreign lawyers from leading law firms in Latin America.
- Altima Partners, as sponsor, and Campos Verdes Ltd. on its US$613.2 million business combination with El Tejar SAACEI to form El Tejar Limited, one of the leading agribusinesses in Latin America, as well as a US$150 million, a US$26 million and a US$400 million capital raise for El Tejar following such business combination; Altima Partners in joint venture arrangements relating to its agriculture investments in Latin America, Europe and Africa; Altima Americas on investments in public agriculture companies in Latin America (Cresud); the Altima Development Fund in connection with the purchase of farming companies in Brazil.
- Campos Verdes Ltd. on its US$260 million private placement of ordinary shares; its proposed listing of BDRs on the Bovespa; and related corporate governance matters.
- Citigroup Global Markets Inc., RBC Capital Markets Corporation and Standard New York Securities, Inc. as the initial purchasers in a US$450 million Rule 144A and Regulation S offering by Columbus Communications Inc., a Barbados-based provider of wholesale broadband capacity services and retail broadband-enabled services.
- Compañía Perforadora de México, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (PEMSA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grupo México S.A.B. de C.V., on five separate acquisitions of jack-up rigs for use in oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with a combined deal value of approximately US$1 billion.
- CorpBanca, a Chilean bank, and its majority shareholders, in connection with a US$225 million investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and certain of its affiliated funds. Also served as administrative agent in the US$167.5 million two-year senior unsecured term loan facility with BNP Paribas, and advised in connection with the issuance and sale of senior notes in a registered offering.
- Corp Group Holding Inversiones Limitada and certain subsidiaries and other affiliates in connection with the private offering of its 20% stake in VTR, Chile’s largest cable operator, to Liberty Global in exchange for 10,091,178 Class C ordinary shares of Liberty Global plc with a purchase price of approx. US$420 million; also represented Banco Itaú Chile as lender to Corp Group in connection with Corp Group’s initial purchase of the VTR Shares.
- Credit Suisse (USA) LLC and Barclays Capital Inc., in connection with a US$282 million global public offering of common shares by Grupo Financiero Interacciones, S.A. de C.V.
- El Tejar on numerous financings and M&A transactions, including its acquisition by merger with Global Farms Ltd., its US$332 million convertible notes offering, a US$150 million capital raise, a US$26 million add-on private placement to existing shareholders and a US$150 million senior bank financing.
- Encompass Digital Media, Inc. on its acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding capital stock of TIBA Satellite Services, S.A., a provider of media transmission and satellite services within Argentina.
- Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and IM Trust S.A. Corredores de Bolsa as placement agents in connection with the US$984 million sale by the Chilean government of its 30% interest in Chile’s largest water utility, Aguas Andina.
- SMU, S.A. on its first international bond offering, a US$300 million Rule 144A and Regulation S offering of 7.75% Senior Notes due 2020.
- Tanner Servicios Financieros S.A. on its first international bond offering, a US$250 million Rule 144A and Regulation S offering of 4.375% Senior Notes due 2018.
- The Plurational State of Bolivia in seven investment arbitrations (under the auspices of ICSID or under the UNCITRAL rules) involving several sectors, including telecommunications, infrastructure, mining, and oil and gas.
- An Argentinean company against a Chilean company in an ICC arbitration arising from a contract for the construction of a wind-powered plant.
- A Brazilian energy company against a Central American state-owned company in an ICC arbitration arising from the construction of a hydroelectric power station.
- A Caribbean State in two ICC commercial arbitration cases involving the electricity sector.
- A Central American government in an UNCITRAL ad hoc arbitration against an American multinational involving the exploitation of a thermo electrical plant.
- Convial Callao S.A. and Compañía de Concesiones de Infraestructura S.A. in an ICSID dispute against the Republic of Peru regarding the termination of a concession contract to design, build and operate a toll speedway.
- The Republic of Ecuador in four ICSID arbitrations and three commercial arbitrations regarding the termination of telecommunications, oil and gas, and mining concession contracts with some of the world’s largest companies.
- A company from El Salvador versus a company of the same country in four ICC arbitrations arising from telecommunication agreements.
- A minority shareholder in an ICC arbitration brought against the controlling shareholders of one of Brazil’s largest cement producers in a hundred million dollar dispute.
- Major Brazilian, Chilean and Spanish cement producers against a Peruvian company in a shareholders dispute (ICC arbitration) arising from the failure of a project to build a cement producing plant.
- A Norwegian oil company in two ICC arbitrations against a Norwegian state-owned oil company and a Colombian oil company.
- Ad Hoc Group of Vitro Noteholders on the cross-border restructuring of approximately US$1.6 billion in defaulted senior notes issued by Mexico’s largest glass manufacturer, Vitro S.A.B. de C.V.
- Elliott Management Corp. and affiliate NML Capital Ltd. to recover US$2.7 billion in claims and judgments against the Republic of Argentina in a case spanning more than 30 separate proceedings in 11 countries over 13 years. Dechert achieved groundbreaking victories in the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium and Switzerland, and has coordinated lawyers in France, Germany and Ghana to obtain and defend various rulings to enforce claims and judgments.
- Entretenimiento GM de México S.A. de C.V. to defend against breach of contract claims by affiliates of AMC Entertainment, Inc. arising out of the purchase of a group of Mexican cinemas.
- The Bank of New York Mellon in litigation alleging various claims b Repsol, S.A. arising out of Argentina’s expropriation of Repsol’s ownership in YPF S.A.
White Collar, Compliance and Investigations
- Representation of CEO of a large international media company in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York related to alleged bribe payments in Latin America.
- Representation of Chief Compliance and AML Officer of a large Mexican financial institution in FCPA investigations.
- Representation of CEO of a large international company in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy related to alleged bribe payments in Brazil.
- Representation of a major retailer’s Audit Committee concerning an extensive investigation by the SEC and DOJ into the Company’s global FCPA compliance and allegations of corruption including work in Mexico.
- Representation of a leading, publicly-traded European telecommunications company in internal investigation regarding potential FCPA violations in Argentina.
- Representation of a leading US medical device manufacturer in internal investigation relating to potential FCPA violations by a distributor in Brazil.
- Representation of a leading travel services provider in internal investigation of FCPA violations in Mexico.
- Representation of a worldwide energy services company relating to a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation in the energy sector.
- Representation of three former bank directors in an investigation by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) into anti-money laundering control issues and Bank Secrecy Act violations. No enforcement action was taken against our clients.
- Representation of a high-level executive in connection with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York’s investigation into allegations of bribery, money laundering and fraud in international soccer. The cross-border investigation involved entities and individuals around the world and has resulted in numerous indictments, guilty pleas and substantial fines. To date no allegations have been made against our client.
- International Arbitration
Dechert has one of the most prominent international arbitration groups in the world. We have built a strong reputation for handling high-stakes, multi-billion dollar commercial and investment disputes in Latin America as reflected by the multi-national companies, states and state entities that have entrusted us to act on their behalf.
Our team handles a broad range of arbitration-related work and has the capacity to manage cases exclusively in Spanish and/or Portuguese. We have experience in virtually all major arbitration rules and proceedings involving factually and technically complex disputes, governing laws and venues. Our deep industry experience includes the construction, oil and gas, mining and telecommunications sectors.
Dechert defends international companies against sensitive cartel and criminal investigations, resolves government antitrust investigations, and structures and secures government agency review of proposed mergers under the antitrust laws of the United States, the European Union, China and other jurisdictions. We frequently work with local counsel in South America to secure merger clearances in Brazil and in other South American countries.
- Bankruptcy, Business Restructuring and Reorganization
Dechert’s cross-border bankruptcy and restructuring work in Latin America has been shortlisted for awards by Latin Lawyer, IFLR and the Financial Times. We represent distressed companies, buyers of distressed assets, investors in debt, equity holders and creditors in every phase of the insolvency and corporate recovery lifecycle. We focus on achieving our clients’ financial and business goals in the most expedient manner possible, including advocating relentlessly on their behalf when necessary.
- Corporate Finance and Capital Markets
Dechert’s corporate finance lawyers deliver technical securities expertise combined with practical commercial judgment and knowledge of local markets. We represent foreign issuers, sovereign and quasi sovereign entities, underwriters and others in equity and debt offerings involving Latin America, and advise on a full range of corporate finance transactions originating in the region.
We handle a broad range of products, including American Depositary Receipts, Brazilian Depositary Receipts, common and preferred stock and catastrophe bonds, and counsel Latin American issuers on ongoing disclosure obligations under the U.S. federal securities law and corporate governance matters.
- Financial Services and Investment Management
We have provided comprehensive legal services to Latin America’s financial services sector for decades, beginning with our advising on the formation, registration and initial public offering of The Mexico Fund, Inc. in 1981 and the organization and registration of the fund’s advisor, Impulsora del Fondo México. Dechert offers a broad range of transactional and regulatory services to U.S. and Latin American banks, broker-dealers, investment managers, insurance companies and other financial institutions.
- International Litigation
Governments, global corporations, corporate and sovereign debtholders, hedge funds and other financial institutions rely on our international litigators to help resolve their most intractable commercial disputes, many of which span multiple jurisdictions, cultures and legal systems. We handle matters before courts, administrative tribunals and regulatory bodies, and employ alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for clients who wish to avoid the costs and publicity associated with litigation.
- Mergers and Acquisitions
We represent buyers, sellers and advisers in planning, negotiating and executing cross-border mergers and acquisitions involving Latin America. Our lawyers advise Latin American companies seeking to establish or expand their global footprint outside the region, and we maintain a network of relationships with trusted local law firms to provide our clients with the representation that best meets the scope and complexity of their legal needs.
- Private Equity
Dechert handles every phase of the investment lifecycle. We form funds for private equity sponsors and institutional investors and help raise capital, structure investments for private equity funds and represent the portfolio companies of our clients in a variety of transactions and financings.
- International Trade
Dechert advises clients across industries and jurisdictions on a wide range of international trade matters, including export controls, economic sanctions, trade embargoes, anti-corruption, customs procedures, trade defense measures and national security reviews of foreign direct investment.
- White Collar, Compliance and Investigations
Dechert’s leading white collar and investigations team is particularly adept at handling investigations on behalf of Latin American companies and executives. A significant portion of our team has spent time working within various regulatory agencies, providing clients with a unique perspective on the investigative and trial process. Our team includes a former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, several former Assistant United States Attorneys, Assistant Attorneys General, and senior lawyers from key agencies and other governmental bodies.
With dedicated Latin American resources, we provide clients with a seamless service, while working closely with respected local counsel. Our dedicated team has a stellar track record assisting clients with criminal cases, internal investigations, and enforcement matters, working in both Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Experienced in handling both single and multi-jurisdictional cases, our team provides clients with the skill and assurance needed to discreetly manage high-profile matters.