Latin America

Chile

Dispute Resolution


Chile : AN INTRODUCTION

Contributed by Vergara, Labarca & Cía

The winds of change are expected in Chile's dispute resolution arena, especially with regard to proceedings applicable to civil and commercial litigation held before ordinary courts of justice. It is a general belief amongst attorneys and judges that current proceedings in this area are somewhat outdated and have been surpassed by the country's economic and social development.

Even though some improvements have been made over the past decade, a definitive solution to relevant issues is still pending.

The main problem is the time span of a proceeding. It is not unusual for trials to take as long as six or eight years before a final ruling is delivered, which can be explained, amongst other causes, by the courts’ work overload. In this respect, one of the main factors that contributes to such an overload is that the banking collection proceedings are submitted before ordinary courts. These constitute more than 95% of the cases the courts handle. Hence, the length of the proceedings is an aspect that should be improved, as it occurs in many other jurisdictions.

Another clear imperfection in the current proceedings is the judges having to delegate tasks to clerks in order to deal with their workload. For instance, the judge does not normally participate in witness depositions or evidence hearings. This means that the judge only reviews the evidence when all the proof has been submitted and the ruling must be rendered. This obviously takes away the personal sense of the case that the judge must have when passing judgment. Another drawback in the current system is that the judge rarely addresses the parties in order to explore the possibility of a settlement, meaning amicable resolutions in trials are scarce.

Moreover, proceedings are neither oral nor digital, but mainly 'in paper', which contributes to their inefficiency.

To address these problems, a bill that seeks to enact a new Civil Procedural Code is currently under consideration by Congress. A large debate has arisen in our legal community with regard to the specifics of the proposed legislation. However, there is consensus on the need to change the law and on the general aspects of the bill, including: the establishment of oral litigation; the need to reduce the Civil Courts’ workload by creating special courts in charge of banking (and other entities) collection proceedings; direct and permanent intervention of the judge in the trial hearings; simplification of proceedings; and limited judicial resources - all of which should lead to faster trials.

Based on this new legislation, we can expect to have fresh and modern proceedings for civil and commercial matters in the near future (hopefully during 2015). Without a doubt, the new legislation will be an improvement to our legal system.

Notwithstanding the above, some doubts may arise with respect to the effectiveness of the new proceedings when it comes to complex litigations. Will the new oral proceedings be adequate for in-depth examination of voluminous documents? Will the judge be in a position to analyse sophisticated law theories or technical aspects? Only time will tell.

Fortunately, we have solid alternative dispute resolution methods and institutions in place, which are reliable, reputed and efficient when it comes to solving complex cases.

The Santiago Arbitration and Mediation Center (CAM Santiago) is, without a doubt, Chile's most respected institution of its kind. It has in place clear and modern rules of procedure for domestic and international arbitration, as well as mediation.

National and international clients can rely on CAM Santiago's proceedings to be efficient, impartial, unbiased, and well fitted to allow highly complex cases to be resolved. The arbitrator list includes more than 140 highly regarded attorneys, who are appointed on a 'case-by-case' basis, taking into consideration their specific areas of expertise and the relevance of the dispute.

CAM Santiago also guaranties confidentiality of proceedings, reasonable and transparent fees, and provides useful administrative services such as a digital platform which allows records to be entirely electronic.

All of the above explain that CAM Santiago's arbitration clauses have become standard provisions in a wide range of contracts.

Other arbitration institutions exist alongside with CAM Santiago. The National Arbitration Center was founded in recent years with the support of several foundations, governmental entities and law schools - including the prestigious Universidad Católica de Chile - and it has become a relevant player, especially when it comes to lower-value litigations.

Moreover, it is increasingly frequent for parties involved in relevant disputes to submit them to international arbitration institutions such as the ICC's International Court of Arbitration, or to international rules of procedure, such as UNCITRAL's arbitration rules.

In principle, according to Chilean law, arbitrators act as judges and their rulings are mandatory for the parties, regardless of whether they are appointed by national or international institutions. Therefore, parties can entrust their disputes both to national or international arbitration, obtaining equivalent legal effects in either case.

In sum, when it comes to dispute resolution in civil and commercial matters, the Chilean justice system offers a reliable and reasonable array of alternatives for local and international clients. Whether it is litigation and/or arbitration, the Chilean system works, and it is unbiased and reliable. With respect to proceedings held before ordinary courts of justice, we expect improvement with the issuance of the new Procedural Code. As for arbitration, it is well established and highly regarded by the legal community.

Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Dispute Resolution - Chile

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Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly retained by clients from diverse industry sectors for representation in contentious proceedings relating to competition, telecoms and constitutional and public law matters. Also well equipped to handle white-collar crime cases and to assist clients in conflicts over IP rights alongside the firm's acclaimed IP group.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very commercially minded and really understand our business."

Work highlights Represented Chilean pension fund manager AFP Capital in bringing criminal proceedings against senior executives of local retailer La Polar in relation to its well-publicised 2011 accounting scandal.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the department Gabriel Zaliasnik attracts praise from market sources for his "great work and sound strategy." His litigation practice encompasses white-collar crime as well as civil matters, the latter extending to competition and IP work.

White-collar crime specialist Francisco Velozo earns strong peer approval for his criminal litigation skills.

Significant clients CFR Pharmaceuticals, Arquimed, Universidad Pedro de Valdivia, Sociedad Industrial Pizarreño, AFP Capital.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- approximately 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Frequently retained by the firm's corporate clients to represent them before the ordinary courts and in domestic and international arbitrations with respect to conflicts over commercial matters. Also well equipped to handle related bankruptcy issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very good responses, always available, great value for money." 

Notable practitioners  

Experienced head of department Alfredo Alcaíno is singled out by market sources as "a great strategist and excellent litigator."

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly instructed by local and international clients as counsel for arbitrations, litigations and administrative proceedings. Well equipped to handle commercial conflicts as well as disputes relating to natural resources and environmental law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We had a very good experience with them - they are just as responsive, effective and sensitive as any top international law firm."

Work highlights Successfully represented a group of grape producers from the Río Huasco valley in proceedings brought before the Chilean environmental court against mining company Barrick, which could be fined up to USD145 million for water pollution allegedly produced by its Pascua Lama mine.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Cristián Gandarillas comes highly recommended by peers and clients alike for his "wealth of expertise in litigation and commercial law matters."

Significant clients Citibank, Siemens, LATAM Airlines, Fitch Ratings, Deutsche Bank.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly represents local and international clients in civil and commercial litigation, as well as in arbitration proceedings. Benefits from the firm's acclaimed expertise in regulated markets, natural resources and corporate matters to provide comprehensive assistance with disputes stemming from these sectors.

Notable practitioners  

José Miguel Gana heads up the department and is considered a "great litigator" by market sources.

Significant clients BancoEstado, Walmart, CNN, Philip Morris, OPS Ingeniería.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly assists an impressive client portfolio with high-profile cases relating to construction, natural resources and corporate matters. Frequently appears before the Chilean constitutional court and benefits from the firm's global presence for international arbitrations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Extremely high level of responsiveness; they are always available for us."

Work highlights Represents Slovak power plant supplier SES Tlmače in ICC arbitration proceedings brought against Endesa with respect to the latter's attempt to call on nearly USD120 million in bank guarantees for alleged breaches of an engineering, procurement and construction contract for a thermoelectric plant.

Notable practitioners   

Clients highlight practice head Rodrigo Díaz de Valdés for his "enormous strategic vision and vast knowledge and experience in litigation."

Associate Ignacio Naudon comes highly recommended by clients, who point out his strong commitment to their cases.

The "extremely talented" José Joaquín Ugarte wins praise for "always being prepared and committed to the cause of his clients."

Significant clients Government of Chile, Whirlpool, Transfield, UPS.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly represents a diverse clientele before civil courts, arbitration panels and regulatory bodies. Benefits from the firm's acclaimed expertise in competition and consumer protection matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their service is flawless." 

Work highlights Successfully defended beverage producer Compañía Cervecerías Unidas in a USD2.5 million lawsuit filed by Andescomm for an alleged breach of contract.

Notable practitioners  

Luis Eduardo Toro is singled out by clients and peers alike as "an excellent litigator with a deep knowledge of antitrust legislation."

Senior associate Javier San Martín is praised by clients for his "outstanding knowledge of both procedural and substantive law."

Significant clients Claro Chile, Metrogas, LarrainVial, Socovesa, Grupo Casa Saba.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well placed to assist clients in civil and constitutional litigation before the ordinary courts as well as in arbitration proceedings, where the department strongly benefits from Enrique Barros' experience as an arbitrator. Recently retained for cases relating to insurance, freedom of speech and construction disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"A great firm - creative and very efficient." 

Work highlights Successfully defended against an appeal lodged by the Chilean government concerning export tariffs paid by Abufrut and 125 other fruit exporters between 2004 and 2008.

Notable practitioners  

Enrique Barros is well known as both an arbitrator and a litigator, and is widely considered to be "the best arbitrator in Chile." Peers add: "He really lives up to his reputation - I love working with him."

Francisco González Hoch is gaining visibility in contentious matters according to market sources, and comes highly recommended by clients and peers alike.

Significant clients Colbún, El Mercurio, Banchile, Entel, Linde.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assists an impressive list of clients in all manner of disputes, including administrative proceedings, trials before the ordinary courts and local and international arbitrations. Well equipped to handle the criminal and civil aspects of its clients' cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They understand the needs of the client from the very beginning and focus their work on solving the problem, rather than treating litigation as the only option."

"The Supreme Court quoted several of their arguments almost word for word in the final decision, which shows how their excellent reasoning convinced the judges."

Work highlights Represents Julio Ponce, principal shareholder of local chemical company Soquimich, in the criminal courts and before the SVS (Chile’s securities regulator) in the well-publicised 'Cascadas' case concerning alleged stock exchange violations.

Notable practitioners  

Co-head of practice Jorge Bofill is not only hailed as "the best white-collar lawyer in the country," but is also deemed to be "equally brilliant in civil litigation, international arbitration or criminal trials." Sources go on to say: "He has great strategic vision and an exceptional ability to anticipate - almost predict - the opponent's next move."

Sebasti��n Yanine wins strong praise from clients and peers for his civil litigation practice: "He is outstanding - he always analyses all possible scenarios and outlines a strategy for each of them so that nothing can surprise us."

Significant clients Cervecería Chile, government of Chile, Cencosud, Spirits International, Tata Consultancy Services.

Basic facts about the department 
- 2 partners
- 21 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Frequently retained for major domestic and international arbitrations as well as for proceedings before the ordinary courts relating to commercial and regulatory matters. Works together with the firm's celebrated mining and corporate departments to provide its varied clientele with comprehensive assistance.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are technically astute and great for litigation, but are also very experienced in arbitration proceedings."

Work highlights Represents Swiss airport operator Flughafen Zürich and Chilean developer Gestión e Ingeniería IDC in an arbitration against Venezuela before a World Bank tribunal over a dispute concerning the confiscation of a 20-year concession for the operation of the international airport of Isla de Margarita.

Notable practitioners  

Sources particularly highlight practice head Andrés Jana for his expertise in international arbitration, but he is also hailed as "one of the best litigators in Chile."

Significant clients Quiborax, Tampico Beverages, Fresenius Medical Care, Alsacia/Express, Enap Refinerías.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Provides comprehensive support to an impressive client roster in commercial, regulatory and competition disputes. Regularly represents clients before the Chilean competition authorities and other government entities such as the SVS.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They worked quickly from the word go, co-ordinated everything perfectly and maintained close contact with us throughout."

What's new? Felipe Bulnes recently returned to the firm following a stint as the Chilean ambassador to the USA.

Work highlights Represents German medical company B. Braun in a number of civil damages claims totalling more than USD150 million with respect to alleged defects in a product circulated by the company's Chilean subsidiary.

Notable practitioners  

Enrique Urrutia Pérez wins strong praise from clients, who describe him as "an excellent litigator, with extraordinary clarity of expression and conviction in his arguments."

Significant clients Endesa, HydroAysén, Polpaico, OHL, SABMiller.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Routinely assists its impressive client roster in civil and commercial disputes locally and internationally. Well placed to represent clients in contentious administrative and regulatory issues, where the team enjoys the support of the firm's acclaimed public law and environment departments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The results and quality of the work are fundamental in litigation, which is why I work with Carey."

Work highlights Represents energy contractor Alstom in court proceedings brought by insurer MAPFRE for the reimbursement of USD33 million compensation paid to Gas Atacama for damage allegedly caused by a faulty turbine provided by Alstom.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Gonzalo Fernández is warmly praised by clients: "He gives great advice and helps us to keep a cool head when deciding whether to initiate court proceedings." Market sources also highlight his strategic vision.

Ricardo Reveco is "a very smart, diligent and highly effective lawyer" who comes recommended by clients and peers alike.

Associate Aldo Molinari recently returned to the firm following a stint working as a foreign associate at Herbert Smith Freehills in New York, where he focused on international arbitration.

Significant clients Philip Morris, MetLife, VTR GlobalCom, Fundación Isabel Aninat, Masisa.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly provides support to the firm's corporate clients on a range of contentious issues and has recently been active in cases relating to the rights of minority shareholders. Well equipped to handle litigation before the ordinary courts as well as domestic and international arbitrations.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Good preparation and timely answers to even the most complex legal problems."

Work highlights Advises hotel and casino operator Dreams on criminal actions against several companies operating illegal casinos throughout the country.

Notable practitioners  

Clients are full of praise for practice head Nicolás Lama, noting that "he has a very direct and efficient style, strength in elaborating negotiation strategy, and always maintains a clear long-term vision."

Of counsel Luis Vidal Hamilton-Toovey comes highly recommended by market sources as an experienced litigator.

Significant clients Artecola, Minera Can Can, Hidronor, Ausenco, AquaChile.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Provides comprehensive assistance in contentious matters to a local and international clientele, with a particular focus on arbitration and litigation in infrastructure, insurance and general civil disputes. Often works in tandem with the firm's acclaimed labour and environmental departments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The quality of their service is optimal - their responses are timely and they are highly efficient."

Work highlights Successfully defended Google at first instance against allegations of illegitimate practices relating to AdWords brought by four claimants.

Notable practitioners  

Florencio Bernales heads the department and is highlighted by clients as "a great litigator with a frank and direct style."

Mónica Van Der Schraft comes recommended by clients and peers alike, and recently led the team defending Google in a lawsuit brought in relation to the company's AdWords service.

Clients highlight the strong working relationship that they enjoy with key partner Fernando Urrutia.

Significant clients Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi, Endesa, CMPC, IBM, Sodexo.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly retained by clients from all industries to serve as counsel in and out of court in a wide variety of disputes. Focuses on commercial litigation, but is also well placed to assist clients in domestic and international arbitration proceedings as well as in white-collar crime cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Despite being a full-service firm, they have a dedicated team and are simply great for dispute resolution."

Notable practitioners  

Market sources praise Cristóbal Eyzaguirre as "an outstanding litigator." His acclaimed expertise in competition, banking and corporate law enables him to successfully take on disputes stemming from a wide range of matters.

Peers highlight Nicolás Luco as "an extraordinary lawyer," and note his visibility in energy-related litigation.

Felipe Ossa is singled out by clients for his expertise in international arbitration: "He has vast knowledge and experience of both local and international proceedings."

Celebrated disputes and competition expert José Miguel Huerta stands out for his direct advice and accessibility, according to clients.

Founding partner José María Eyzaguirre García is widely commended for long-standing expertise in dispute resolution and his analytical and strategical skills in high-profile cases.

Significant clients Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals, Freeport McMoRan, ABB, BBVA.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles a wide range of contentious matters and has recently led several cases involving constitutional rights. Works alongside the firm's real estate, competition and natural resources teams to represent clients from a variety of industries in litigation and arbitration.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are fantastic in complex litigations and have a great name for disputes in Chile."

Work highlights Represents Minera Santa Fe in its appeal against an exequatur petition to enforce an arbitral award granting USD46 million to Chinese company Qisheng.

Notable practitioners  

Clients note that practice head Juan Ignacio Correa "stands out for his assertiveness and resilience as a litigator."

Significant clients Movistar, Empresa Portuaria San Antonio, CMPC, Sky Airline, Grupo Córpora.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Provides clients with comprehensive assistance in civil and white-collar litigation. Particularly experienced in litigation relating to construction, natural resources and environmental law, and is also well equipped to handle arbitration proceedings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are excellent in litigation."  

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Jorge del Río Pérez is strongly recommended by market sources for his expertise and experience in civil litigation.

Gustavo Parraguez Gamboa's practice spans white-collar and civil litigation. "He properly evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of your case to see whether it is worth litigating or whether it is better to seek an out-of-court solution," enthuse clients.

Sources single out Ignacio Figueroa for his work in white-collar crime cases.

Significant clients BHP Billiton, Grupo Ossandón, Red Televisiva Megavisión, Pesquera Landes, Melón.

Basic facts about the department
- approximately 2 partners

What the team is known for Specialises in criminal law and has been active in several of the most emblematic white-collar crime litigation Chile has seen in recent years. Well placed to handle the defence for individuals accused of fraud and other economic crimes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are excellent for criminal disputes." 

Notable practitioners  

Veteran criminal lawyer Alfredo Etcheberry comes highly recommended by peers, who note that "he is still incredibly active and simply brilliant."

René García is singled out as "the star of the firm" by market sources, and has recently been active in the defence of one of the individuals implicated in the much-publicised Cascadas case.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly retained by clients from the public and the private sectors for assistance in litigation, arbitration and administrative proceedings. Advises on contentious issues relating to competition and regulatory matters such as consumer protection as well as class actions and other civil litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Fast and detailed answers and careful preparation of all documentation required for our case."

Work highlights Successfully defended the SVS against constitutional actions filed by several individuals implicated in the Cascadas case regarding the regulator's investigation of the case.

Notable practitioners  

Paulo Montt heads the department and is praised by clients for his "superlative level of commitment - he is frank, direct and studied our case to such a level that he could represent us with his eyes closed."

Clients single out associate Stella Muñoz as "well prepared, organised and efficient," and highlight her polished understanding of substantive and procedural law.

Associate Rafael Collado is described by clients as "a young lawyer with a lot of talent - shrewd, assertive and extremely knowledgeable."

Significant clients VTR, Farmacias Ahumada, ADT Security Services, Transelec, Panini Chile.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assists with a broad range of contentious issues and has been particularly active representing clients from a wide range of industry sectors in international arbitrations. Also has expertise in tax litigation and competition matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are accustomed to handling highly complex cross-border issues and are extremely attentive in answering any queries."

Notable practitioners  

Manuel José Vial is widely endorsed by market sources: "He is one of my favourite arbitrators and always gives great support as counsel." His practice strongly benefits from his knowledge of corporate and finance topics.

Clients are full of praise for department head Rodrigo Guzmán Karadima: "He is extremely smart and did some amazing cross-examination under rather complicated circumstances - an excellent litigator."

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Provides comprehensive assistance in a wide variety of disputes, particularly those relating to the natural resources, retail and banking sectors. Well placed to act before the ordinary courts and in CAM (Arbitration & Mediation Center) and ICSID proceedings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The litigation practice is very strong - both the human and the professional quality of the team is excellent and generates a lot of confidence and respect."

Work highlights Represents state-owned sanitation services company Econssa in six arbitrations relating to a USD33 million dispute with concessionaires.

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise head of the department José Ignacio Jiménez for his "great knowledge and extensive trial experience."

Significant clients Transelec, Hidroenersur, Minera Bridger, Compañía Chilena de Tabacos, Banchile Corredores de Bolsa.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly handles a broad spectrum of complex disputes stemming from matters such as contractual, insurance, competition and bankruptcy conflicts. Represents the firm's diverse clientele in all contentious proceedings, from administrative procedures to litigation in court to domestic and international arbitrations.   

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"We feel very well represented by them - they are always available to resolve our queries and to discuss the ongoing strategy of the case."

"First-class service - they are responsive, flexible and go out of their way to assist us."

Work highlights Represents pharmacy chain Farmacias Ahumada in a class action lawsuit filed by SERNAC (Chile's consumer protection agency) in order to obtain compensation for customers affected by a recent price-fixing scandal. 

Notable practitioners  

Pedro Pablo Gutiérrez is highly respected by peers, who call him "the best in civil litigation - he is the only one I would ever recommend to our clients." Clients note that he not only delivers a great service, but "also manages to balance the workload between associates and partners so as to keep our costs under control."

Clients are full of praise for Cristóbal Jimeno Chadwick and point out that "he is quick to respond, eager to help, clear, efficient and asks the right questions."

Juan Francisco Asenjo Cheyre is strongly recommended by peers, who highlight his involvement in the representation of Codelco in its recent dispute with Anglo American over local mining assets.

Clients describe Alfredo Waugh Correa's working style as "studious, strategic and aggressive," and add that "working with him has always been an excellent experience."

"Impressive" associate Joaquin Castillo is championed by clients as being "incredibly efficient and always available for us - he knows what is happening before it's actually happened and keeps us constantly updated."

Significant clients Codelco, Moneda Asset Management, Compañía Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca, Constructora Salfa, ANDRITZ Chile.

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recognised as a leader in the market and is well equipped to assist clients from all industry sectors in contentious proceedings. Regularly represents clients in criminal as well as civil court proceedings, arbitrations and administrative and constitutional actions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They deliver great results - not only in litigation, but also out of court."

"They fully understood the urgency of our case and that we required timely and in-depth advice."

Work highlights Represents seafood producer Marine Harvest in its dispute with salmon farmer Salmones Sur Austral regarding an alleged breach of contract.

Notable practitioners  

Ivan Harasic concentrates his practice on civil litigation and is praised by clients for his "great judgement and strategic vision, which is greatly facilitated by his understanding of the business context in which we operate."

Litigation all-rounder Davor Harasic comes highly recommended for complex criminal and civil disputes. Peers note that "you do not want to have him as counterpart in any case," while clients hail him as "one of the best litigators in the country."

Julián López wins strong praise from clients: "The depth to which he analyses the matter at hand gives him a full understanding of the issues so that he is able to define a proper strategy for the trial and give the client total peace of mind."

Clients laud former public prosecutor José Ignacio Escobar for his "great diligence, effectiveness and extensive knowledge of the Chilean criminal system." 

Significant clients La Polar, SalfaCorp, Anglo American, Chilean Ministry of Justice, Junta de Vigilancia de la Primera Sección del Río Mapocho.

Basic facts about the department
- approximately 2 partners

What the team is known for Established player in white-collar litigation in Chile. Well equipped to represent individuals implicated in a full gamut of economic crimes, including related bankruptcy and tax charges.

Notable practitioners  

White-collar specialist Juan Pablo Hermosilla Osorio earns strong praise from market sources, who comment that "he is an excellent choice for delicate criminal cases." He has recently been active in the Cascadas case, as well as in the criminal defence in the La Polar case.

Samuel Donoso Boassi is "a great lawyer who is very easy to work with," according to sources.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly assists clients from a variety of industries in civil and commercial arbitration and litigation. Has recently represented clients in construction and post-M&A conflicts, consumer protection litigation and bankruptcy proceedings.

Work highlights Represents Yamana Gold's subsidiary Minera Meridian in a USD28 million lawsuit brought by Bridger Chile with respect to a usufruct mining royalty.

Notable practitioners  

Experienced litigator Jorge Vial comes highly recommended by clients: "He is very knowledgeable and able to appeal to witnesses and third parties to ensure that the case had a successful outcome."

Clients highlight department head Gonzalo Cordero's arbitration practice, and add: "All of his recommendations have been excellent, as has his overall management of our case."

Significant clients HydroChile, Intervial Chile, Bci, Abertis Infraestructuras, the Associated Press.

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Serves the firm's regular corporate clients in all their contingent needs in civil and commercial litigation and arbitration. Strong expertise in labour litigation and is also well placed to assist in contractual, insurance and construction-related disputes.

Work highlights Represents pharmaceutical multinational Merck Sharp & Dohme in a product liability claim relating to the contraceptive implant Implanon.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Ramón Dominguez Hidalgo combines his celebrated labour law expertise with strong litigation skills, and is praised by market sources as "an excellent litigator."

Significant clients Finning, J.P. Morgan, Falabella, RSA Seguros Chile, Metrogas.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Handles complex conflicts relating to commercial and competition matters for clients from a variety of industries such as construction, natural resources, retail and pharmaceuticals. Well placed to represent clients in litigation and arbitration, as well as in administrative proceedings before the relevant government bodies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are extremely active and deliver outstanding quality."  

Work highlights Defends pharmacy chain Salcobrand in a class action brought by SERNAC seeking damages on behalf of consumers affected by the recent price-fixing collusion between several pharmacies.

Notable practitioners  

Market sources are full of praise for "tremendous litigator" Álvaro Ortúzar, who is also highlighted for his expertise as an arbitrator.

Young partner Cristián Boetsch is highly regarded by clients, who describe him as "an excellent worker with outstanding litigation skills."

Significant clients Empresas Juan Yarur, Soquimich, Igemar, Inmobiliaria Aconcagua, RSA Seguros Chile.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 1 other qualified lawyer

What the team is known for Dedicated to all forms of dispute resolution and regularly acts before the ordinary courts as well as in domestic and international arbitration proceedings. Particular expertise in construction, competition and real estate-related conflicts, and frequently represents clients from the retail and media sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They explained the process to us in detail so that there were no surprises, and never pushed us into making hasty decisions about which direction we wanted to take next."

Notable practitioners  

Head of the department Esteban Ovalle earns strong praise from clients as a great strategist: "He is deeply involved in the process and always maintains a good overview of the situation, grounded in strong knowledge of the law and relevant experience in litigation."

Eduardo Ugarte enters the table this year following positive reviews from clients: "We have been impressed by the certainty with which he has been able to predict future developments of the trial, which has led to significant achievements throughout the case."

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Oversees major domestic and international arbitrations as well as litigations before the ordinary courts for an impressive client portfolio. Well placed to comprehensively assist clients in antitrust proceedings and also very active in construction disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their knowledge of our company's business is excellent and they understood what the key problems were and how to stay on top of all matters from the very beginning of the trial."

Work highlights Regularly represents German construction company HOCHTIEF in arbitrations and before the ordinary courts, including the current ICC arbitration related to conflicts arising from the construction of the La Confluencia power plant.

Notable practitioners  

Clients are full of praise for founding partner Julio Pellegrini Vial: "He shows dedication, a keen eye for detail and clear strategy in how to manage the case, focusing on the core issues of the dispute in order to avoid lengthy, time-consuming and costly exercises."

Associate Francisco Blavi enters the table this year following consistent recommendations as a standout junior lawyer from clients and peers: "He knows a lot despite his age and is very clear in legal concepts."

Significant clients SalfaCorp, Telefónica, Queiroz Galvão, GNL Chile, INACAP.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises an impressive client roster on all types of contentious matters, including civil and white-collar crime litigation, arbitration and administrative proceedings. Works alongside the firm's full departmental offering to assist clients in conflicts relating to contractual, regulatory, class action and consumer rights issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Their contributions were key to settling our problems out of court, which saved us a considerable amount of money."

What's new Cristián Conejero recently joined the team from Iberian firm Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira.

Work highlights Represents natural gas provider Innergy in an arbitration initiated against ENAP Refinerías for an alleged breach of a contract to deliver gas.

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise head of the litigation department Enrique Alcalde for being "a fantastic lawyer with perfect strategy."

Peers strongly recommend senior counsel Jaime Irarrázabal for his work as an arbitrator, while clients highlight his "dedicated, judicious and assertive working style." 

Cristián Conejero Roos heads the firm's international arbitration group and attracts strong praise from clients, who comment that "he understands the commercial and legal needs of the client and appreciates their time pressures."

Former regional prosecutor Juan Pablo Kinast leads the firm's white-collar division and is singled out by clients for his "vast experience and exceptional results in criminal trials." 

Significant clients Santander, BHP Billiton, Antofagasta Minerals, AFP Habitat, LVMH.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well placed to act in commercial and civil litigation and arbitration. Regularly assists clients in conflicts stemming from a wide range of industries such as retail, insurance and construction. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They are very dedicated to the client and understand their needs and interests perfectly."

Work highlights Represents reinsurance broker Cooper Gay Chile in a USD8 million lawsuit brought by Penta Security alleging breach of duty when placing a reinsurance.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the department Fernando Samaniego is praised by clients for his long-standing experience in important cases. They add: "He has an all-encompassing understanding of the problem, which means that his solutions are always easy to implement."

According to clients, Alberto González "is devoted to studying every detail of the case, which generates a lot of confidence in his work. "

Market sources describe associate Benjamín Morales as "a brilliant and very intelligent lawyer who is permanently available for the client."

Significant clients Aguas Andinas, E-CL, Mall Plaza, SMU, YPF.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Particularly experienced in white-collar crime, but also well placed to assist clients in civil litigation and negotiations, as well as related corporate work.

Work highlights Advises Principal Financial Group on its criminal and civil actions against Chilean retailer La Polar. 

Notable practitioners  

Clients highlight department head Cristián Saieh's "great skills as a negotiator and ability to solve problems in a creative and ingenious way." 

Leonardo Battaglia Castro wins consistent praise from market sources for his white-collar crime practice.

Cristián Muga Aitken is similarly recommended for white-collar crime, and is handling the criminal elements of Principal Financial Group's action against La Polar, alongside Battaglia.

Veteran white-collar expert Luis Ortiz Quiroga is deemed "a legend in Chilean criminal law" by his peers, who also note his activity in recent high-profile disputes such as the Cascadas case.

Significant clients Principal Financial Group, Anasac, Amicar, Comercial Kaufmann, Salcobrand.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Focuses on disputes related to the construction, projects and infrastructure arenas in line with the firm's main areas of practice. Well placed to represent domestic and international clients in litigation and arbitration nationally and abroad, as well as in related administrative proceedings. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They always deliver practical solutions and are great in negotiations, which means that we can often avoid going to court."

Work highlights Represents the consortium of construction companies building the new regional hospital in Rancagua in its conflict with the Ministry of Public Works. 

Notable practitioners  

Alfonso Reymond Larraín "speaks perfect English, which means he can work with our lawyers in the US and help us with litigation in other countries," enthuse clients.

Hernán Fleischmann Chadwick wins strong praise from market sources: "He only takes on a few cases at a time and so is able to give us a super-personalised service."

Significant clients OHL, Constructora Socovesa Tecsa, Constructora Salfa, BESALCO, Sedgman.  

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Long-standing expertise in resolving civil and commercial conflicts before the ordinary courts and through ADR processes such as arbitration. Regularly retained by domestic and international clients from the mining, financial and infrastructure industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"This firm stands out for the personalised attention, dedication, knowledge and experience of its partners."

Notable practitioners  

Clients praise founding partner Pedro Pablo Vergara as "a fantastic lawyer" and a distinguished figure in the field.

Fernando Rabat Celis comes highly recommended by peers for his expertise in civil law.

Practice head Pablo Rodríguez Grez is seen as an eminent player in the Chilean dispute resolution arena by his peers.

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly retained by local and international clients to represent them in high-profile cases stemming from civil, financial and constitutional conflicts. Strong track record and expertise in litigation relating to natural resources and environmental matters.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They only take on a few cases at any given moment and can therefore dedicate themselves full-time to your problem."

"They keep a very low profile, but in my opinion they are the best dispute resolution team in Chile."

Work highlights Leading the defence of Soquimich's Julio Ponce in the widely publicised Cascadas trial, which entails designing the overall strategy and co-ordinating the team of lawyers working on both the civil and white-collar aspects of the case.

Notable practitioners  

Raimundo Labarca is described as "outstanding" by clients and peers alike. "He is very intelligent and has a great capacity for developing strategies without getting lost in the details," enthuse sources.

Experienced lawyer Arturo Vergara is highly respected by market commentators for his long-standing expertise in litigation.

Clients are full of praise for the "brilliant" Alejandro Parodi: "He really surprised us by studying the case to such a degree that he saw things from a totally different angle."

Significant clients Barrick, Aguas Andinas, Alstom, Celulosa Arauco y Constitución, Bechtel.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

White-collar specialist Juan Domingo Acosta recently founded Acosta & Cia. Peers comment that "he always has great cases," and go on to highlight his current involvement in the criminal defence of the Cascadas case. 

Pedro Aguila of AGUILA | ABOGADOS wins strong praise from market sources for his performance in court and his "great expertise in procedural matters."

Sources predict a great future for Guillermo Arthur of Alliende Villarroel Contreras y Eguiguren | Lecaros y Aste, commenting that "in ten years' time he will be one of the top litigators in Chile."

Experienced white-collar litigator Carlos Balbontín Gubbins of Balbontín, Linazasoro y Cia is a highly respected figure in the Chilean market.

Miguel Chaves of Chaves Awad Contreras Schürman concentrates his practice on criminal defence and comes recommended for his long-standing expertise in the area.

Peers consistently praise veteran lawyer Vasco Costa of Costa, Hrdalo, Undurraga y Ureta for his work as an arbitrator.

Peers strongly endorse Andrés Cuneo of Cruz y Cía for his work as an arbitrator: "He is excellent and always leads the dispute to a proper solution."

Claudio Illanes of Figueroa Illanes, Huidobro, Salamanca Abogados stands out as a "super arbitrator" according to his peers, who point to his wealth of experience, particularly in construction arbitrations.

Clients single out litigator Rodolfo Fuenzalida of Gamboa, Fuenzalida, Carreño & Ugarte Abogados (GFCU Abogados): "He is always available, has full knowledge of the matter at hand and is extremely rigorous in his briefs, addressing every detail in the facts of the dispute."

Eduardo Marchi of Grasty Quintana Majlis & Cía (GQMC) is "thorough, dedicated and experienced," according to clients, who add that "we really like that it is always him chasing us to meet up, rather than it being the other way around."

Hugo Rivera Villalobos of Rivera y Asociados enters the white-collar crime table this year following consistent praise from peers: "He is a lawyer in whom I have the utmost confidence."

Sole practitioner Carlos Cortés comes recommended by peers as an expert in white-collar crime and a frequent point of referral.

Sole practitioner Nurieldín Hermosilla is endorsed by clients and peers alike for his long-standing experience in white-collar crime cases, with sources praising his "strong ability to convincingly use innovative legal arguments to our advantage."

Experienced arbitrator Ricardo Peralta Valenzuela of Peralta, Gutiérrez & Asociados comes highly recommended by market sources: "He is fantastic for disputes related to insurance matters."

Rafael Gómez Balmaceda of RGB y Cía is highlighted for his long-standing experience as an arbitrator in civil and commercial matters.

Market sources highlight Ciro Colombara of Rivadeneira Colombara y Zegers for his expertise in white-collar crime. He is also active in constitutional law and international litigation.

Peers recommend sole practitioner Sergio Urrejola Monckeberg as an arbitrator because "he is a strong mediator who is great for achieving consensual solutions to commercial disputes." 

Sole practitioner Víctor Vial del Río is considered one of the top arbitrators in Chile by market sources, who comment that "he is always 100% devoted to his cases and is simply the best for complex civil disputes."

Gerardo Ovalle of Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Goldenberg, Lagos & Silva enters the table this year following consistent peer praise for his work as a litigator.

Celebrated lawyer Arturo Yrarrázaval of Yrarrázaval, Ruiz-Tagle, Goldenberg, Lagos & Silva currently serves as the arbitrator in the USD650 million dispute between Endesa and Lumina Copper Chile, and comes highly recommended by his peers.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.