Latin America

About

White & Case's Latin America Interest Group encompasses more than 250 lawyers, most of whom are fluent in Spanish and/or Portuguese and have extensive experience living and working in Latin America. We support our clients in Latin America, with lawyers based throughout our network of offices, and especially those based in Houston, Mexico City, Miami, New York, São Paulo and Washington, DC. 

Clients doing business throughout Latin America benefit from our unique combination of:

 

Unmatched cross-border strength across all major practice areas

Banking

We regularly represent lenders, companies and funds in the most significant, complex and high-value cross-border bank finance and direct lending transactions in Latin America, including leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations, syndicated and bilateral loans, bridge loans, secured and unsecured loans, asset-based loans and other structured finance transactions, real estate financings, trade and commodity financings, investment-grade financings, workouts, restructurings, debtor-in-possession financings and exit financings.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Band 1, Banking & Finance, Chambers Latin America, 2019

Tier 1, Banking & Finance, The Legal 500, 2018

Restructuring Deal of the Year (Oi S.A.), LatinFinance and IFLR Americas, and Global Finance Deal of the Year, The American Lawyer, 2018

 

Capital Markets

Our debt, equity and structured finance teams have earned a leading reputation for advising on "first to market" and award-winning Latin America transactions, including public offerings, private placements, liability management transactions, securitizations, project bonds, convertible bonds, debt programs, investment-grade bonds, high yield bonds and sovereign offerings.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Band 1, Capital Markets, Chambers Brazil International, 2019

Deal of the Year, Americas (CFE/Fibra E IPO), The Banker, 2018

Financing Innovation of the Year (CELSE), LatinFinance, 2018

 

Compliance

Our lawyers regularly represent clients before global regulators, such as the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in connection with investigations and enforcement actions, and are well positioned to provide up-to-date guidance with respect to global anti-corruption and other white collar enforcement trends and compliance standards. Within Latin America, we work entirely in Spanish or Portuguese, thus ensuring that such investigations proceed efficiently and rapidly, with nothing lost in translation.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

GIR 30 Elite, Global Investigations Review, 2015, 2016, 2017

Global Elite, Antitrust/Competition, Global Competition Review, 2019

Compliance & Governance Firm of the Year, "Risk Advisory: Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime", The Legal 500, 2018

 

Project Development and Finance

Consistently ranked number one by leading publications for project development and finance in Latin America, we have more than 50 bilingual and trilingual lawyers that advise on project structuring, development, construction, financing, operation, restructuring and expansion in power, oil and gas, and transportation, water, telecommunications and other social infrastructure.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Band 1, Projects, Chambers Latin America, 2019

Tier 1, Projects, The Legal 500, 2018

Latin America Project Finance Deal of the Year (CELSE), Bonds & Loans, 2018

 

International Arbitration

White & Case is a true leader in Latin American arbitration. Since the founding of our International Arbitration practice decades ago, we have pioneered landmark cases before international and regional arbitral institutions and courts. The Firm is consistently recognized as preeminent in the field and has successfully resolved billions of dollars in commercial and investment disputes spanning sectors and jurisdictions across the region.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Band 1, International Arbitration, Chambers Latin America, 2019

Tier 1, International Arbitration, The Legal 500, 2019

International Arbitration Law Firm of the Year, Who's Who Legal, 2019

 

International Trade

The International Trade practice of White & Case has been active in Latin America since the early 1990s. Over the course of the last three decades, the group has helped some of the region's most important companies access foreign markets and defend their own markets from unfair trade. The group has also assisted Latin America governments enforce their rights in international trade agreements (including the WTO Agreement), and advised the region's governments and the private sectors during the negotiation of multilateral and regional trade agreements.

 

M&A / Antitrust

Our global M&A team of more than 500 lawyers provides geographic coverage, technical capability, strategic perspective and cultural knowledge that are invaluable for cross-border M&A into Latin America. Our knowledge of the various markets coupled with the strength of our M&A credentials enable us to be uniquely qualified to devise creative deal structures, win auctions, design acquisition and disposal programs, assess and adequately allocate legal risks, and implement productive strategies for acquirers, sellers or acquisition targets.

Our Antitrust, White Collar, Litigation and other specialty lawyers advise clients in Latin America on the complexities of proposed cross-border transactions. Clients count on our extensive experience in litigation against governmental authorities or private parties, counseling on delicate questions and comprehensive worldwide coverage of merger control regimes as well as anti-corruption-related matters.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

#1 by value, M&A in Latin America, Bloomberg, Q1 2018

Ranked among the "Elite" law firms for M&A in the US, Chambers USA, 2019

Cross-Border M&A Deal of the Year (China Three Gorges), LatinFinance, 2017

 

Deep regional expertise in key industries

Financial institutions

We represent leading Latin American and global financial institutions in the region on a broad range of legal matters, including regulatory advice, finance, M&A and other transactions, disputes, investigations and IP and fintech issues. Our clients include banks, non-bank financial institutions, fintech companies and a broad range of funds.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Financial Times Innovative Lawyers North America 2018 Standout recognition, the highest ranking, for creating BIVA, Mexico's second stock exchange

 

Infrastructure

White & Case is a leader in infrastructure in Latin America. We are uniquely positioned to provide integrated advice across practice areas throughout the entire life cycle of an infrastructure project, including development, financing, acquisition, privatization, restructuring and exit. We combine our in-depth sector expertise with country knowledge and our global experience, insight and judgment to assist clients bring "firsts" to market.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Project Finance (Infrastructure) Deal of the Year for Posojora Port Project, Latin Lawyer, 2018

Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year, The Lawyer, 2018

 

Mining & metals

Our global mining and metals team's 50 years of emerging markets experience and knowledge is invaluable to investors and companies looking to divest, invest or raise finance in Latin America. We have the depth of experience necessary to support clients entering new markets and looking to protect their investment in even the most challenging political environments.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Tier 1, Mining & Minerals, The Legal 500 UK

M&A Deal of the Year (Las Bambas), Latin Lawyer

 

Oil & gas

As the Latin America oil & gas industry takes center stage, our dedicated team continues to advise on many of the most innovative and complex oil, gas and petrochemical transactions in the region, many of which are market firsts, as well as on high-stakes disputes. Our lawyers are extremely adept at not only understanding and advising the industry, they are also fully engrained in the culture and language of the entire region, providing localized insights to help navigate this rich, dynamic oil & gas landscape in an ever-changing environment. From new country entry and upstream exploration, to midstream and marketing, downstream and LNG, we help our clients find innovative solutions to help them achieve their goals. In addition to working with IOCs and service companies, we also work with NOCs and host governments, helping them implement international best practices in the oil & gas industry. 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

#1 Legal Advisor for Global Petrochemical Projects, IJGlobal, 2013 – 2018

#1 for Oil & Gas Globally, Petroleum Economist Legal Survey, 2018

Syndicated Loan of the Year (Petrobras), LatinFinance, 2018

 

Power

We know energy in Latin America.  Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge and experience to advise our power industry clients in all generation technologies and asset classes in Latin America, including renewables, conventional, fuel supply, transmission and storage.  We can assist in all aspects of an energy business, from development, acquisition and finance of projects to disputes and exit, both in the regions of Latin America where our clients currently do business and the regions in which they are looking to expand.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Latin American Power Deal of the Year (Porto de Sergipe 1 LNG to Power), IJGlobal, 2018

Project Finance Deal of the Year (Campo Palomas), Bonds & Loans, 2018

Deal of the Year, Project Finance (El Pelicano Solar PV Project in Chile), IFLR Americas

 

Private equity

From groundbreaking, multi billion-dollar, multijurisdictional acquisitions and financings to strategic add-on deals, our Latin America private equity team implements equity and debt-related transactions with precision and care for established private equity sponsors, infrastructure funds, sovereign wealth funds and portfolio companies across Latin American jurisdictions.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Ranked #1 for Private Equity, by deal value, Bloomberg, Q1 2019

Latin America Power M&A Deal of the Year (I Squared Capital acquisition from Duke Energy), LatinFinance and Power Finance & Risk, 2016

    

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Experience

Unmatched strength in complex, cross-border matters

Successful completion of Oi restructuring
We represented Brazilian telecommunications company Oi S.A. in the completion of its US$20 billion debt restructuring, Latin America's largest-ever, including advising on new international bond issuances, new equity issuances and restructured export credit facilities.

Financing of new international Quito airport 
We represented Corporación Quiport S.A. in connection with a long-term concession to operate the existing Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador and to undertake the turnkey development of a new international airport. We advised on the subsequent renegotiation of the economic terms of the concession following the Constitutional Court's declaration that airport tariffs were public funds and in the face of Ecuador's denunciation of the ICSIC Convention. Subsequently, we represented Quiport in connection with the two-step refinancing of the original project finance debt.

Loma Negra IPO 
We represented Loma Negra, an Argentine cement company, in its US$1.1 billion IPO of ordinary shares and American depositary shares and NYSE listing.

Red Compartida development 
We represented the members of the consortium that incorporated Altán Redes, the first Mexican wholesale shared mobile network, in the implementation of agreements required for the design, installation, operation, maintenance and commercialization of a nationwide 700 MHz LTE wholesale shared network, and for the exploitation of two optical fiber strands assigned by the Comisión Federal de Electricidad.

China Three Gorges acquisition
We represented China Three Gorges Corporation, a clean energy group focused on large-scale hydropower development and operation, in its US$1.2 billion acquisition of the Brazilian business of Duke Energy Brazil.
 

 

Truly local insight gained through our longstanding presence in and deep bench of experienced lawyers dedicated to the region

StoneCo IPO 
We represented the joint lead global coordinators and representatives of the underwriters in the US$1.4 billion initial public offering of StoneCo Ltd., a leading provider of financial technology solutions in Brazil.

Campo Palomas acquisition and financing
We represented Invenergy Wind LLC and several of its subsidiaries in connection with the acquisition of and financing for the 70 MW Campo Palomas Wind Farm in the Salto Department of Uruguay. 

First democratization process in Colombia with an international tranche structured through a direct share offering through the Bolsa de Valores de Colombia
We represented the international placement agents in an offering of common shares of Grupo Energía Bogotá S.A. ESP by the District Capital of Bogotá, its controlling shareholder, through the BVC (Colombian Stock Exchange). The District Capital of Bogotá offered common shares in a global offering, which included an international offering pursuant to Rule 144A/Regulation S through which non-Colombian investors could bid to participate in the global offering.

Metro de Santiago expansion 
We represented Empresa de Transporte de Pasajeros Metro S.A. ("Metro"), the owner and sole operator of the subway system in Santiago, Chile, in connection with a multi-source financing of equipment and systems, including rolling stock, for two new subway lines and upgrades to the existing subway lines. We also represented Metro in its inaugural offering in the international capital markets.
 

Deep regional expertise in key industries

Power

Latin America's largest gas-fired power generation project and related LNG facility 
We represented Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Inter-American Investment Corp., International Finance Corp. and Swiss Export Risk Insurance in the structuring of the financing for the design, construction and operation of Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe S.A.'s 1,516 MW thermoelectric power plant and related liquefied natural gas receiving and gas transportation infrastructure in Brazil.

Altiplano 200 solar project financing in Argentina 
We represented Neoen S.A. and its subsidiaries in connection with the project financing of Altiplano 200, a 208 MW solar power plant in the province of Salta, Argentina. Altiplano 200 is the fusion of two individual projects that were awarded long-term power purchase agreements through competitive tenders under Argentina's RenovAr Program.

I Squared Capital add-on acquisition and related financing of Kallpa Generación and Samay I
We represented I Squared Capital in its add-on acquisition and related financing of a 25 percent stake in Kallpa S.A. and Samay S.A., two power generation companies based in Peru.

Techgen Mexico financing
We represented the joint bookrunners in the limited recourse senior secured financing of the 900 MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant developed by Techgen, S.A. de C.V. in Nuevo Léon, Mexico.

El Pelicano solar project financing and sale 
We represented SunPower Asset Co, LLC, in connection with the development, construction, financing and sale of El Pelícano Project, an approximately 100 MWac solar photovoltaic project to be located in the Atacama Region III, Chile. The project will supply power to the Santiago Metro and allow it to become the first public transportation system in the world to run mostly on solar energy.

SIC-SING interconnection project financing 
We represented nine Chilean and international commercial banks, as senior lenders, and Prudential, as initial fixed-rate note purchaser, in the project financings of a 600-km transmission line and related substations in Chile that will connect the Sistema Interconectado Central and the Sistema Interconectado del Norte Grande of Chile, which will unify most of the country's power grid. The financing consists of US dollar and Chilean peso senior loan facilities, and a private placement under New York law and a Chilean value-added tax facility.  

Commercial arbitration in connection with hydroelectric plant in Guatemala 
We represented Grupo Terra in a commercial arbitration brought by OHL, in connection with complex geotechnical, delay and damages issues in the construction of a hydroelectric plant in Guatemala. An ICC tribunal denied OHL's monetary claims in its entirety and instead awarded to Grupo Terra 100 percent of its counterclaims, 100 percent of its damages and 100 percent of its costs.

 

Oil & Gas

QGOG notes offering 
We represented QGOG Constellation S.A., a market-leading provider of offshore oil & gas contract drilling and FPSO services in Brazil, in an exchange offer of senior notes. Our representation of QGOG included extensive negotiations with an ad hoc committee of bondholders owning a majority of the aggregate principal amount of existing notes, which resulted in the execution of a voting agreement with such bondholders in support of the exchange offer. 

First-ever reserve-based lending transaction in respect of upstream oil & gas assets located in Mexico
We represented a syndicate of lenders to Petrolera Cárdenas Mora, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Egypt-based Cheiron Petroleum Corporation, in the first-ever reserve-based lending transaction in respect of upstream oil & gas assets located in Mexico. 

Petrobras' sale of energy exploration block BM-S-8 
We represented Bank of America Merrill Lynch, financial advisor to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), in Petrobras' US$2.5 billion sale of its stake in energy exploration block BM-S-8 to Statoil Brasil Óleo e Gás Ltda.

Petróleos del Perú bond offering 
We represented the underwriters in a US$2 billion Rule 144A/Regulation S bond offering by Petróleos del Perú – Petroperú S.A. The proceeds of the offering are intended to be used by Petroperú for a large-scale upgrade and modernization of the Talara Refinery, one of the country's key oil & gas infrastructure projects.

Pan American Energy farm-out agreement in Mexico
We are representing Pan American Energy in relation to a potential farm-out agreement with Talos Energy Offshore Mexico 2, S. de R.L. de C.V. and Sierra O&G Exploracion y Produccion S. de R.L. de C.V. covering Contract Area 2 located in Shallow Waters in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the State of Veracruz in the United Mexican States.

Development of Cartagena LNG
We are representing Sociedad Portuaria El Cayao in the development of an LNG receiving, storage and regasification facility in Cartagena, Colombia. The first phase of the project will consist of an FSRU and related infrastructure, including a jetty, metering station, interconnection facilities and a 10-km gas pipeline that will transport the regasified fuel from the bay of Cartagena to the National Transport Network.
 

Financial Institutions

Blackrock acquisition of Citibanamex 
We represented BlackRock, Inc. in its acquisition of the asset management business of Citibanamex, a subsidiary of Citigroup Inc. We also advised on the execution of a distribution agreement under which Citibanamex will distribute certain investment products offered by BlackRock.

Banco Inter IPO 
We represented Banco Inter S.A., a digital bank and one of the leaders in the modernization of the Brazilian banking industry, as issuer, and certain selling shareholders in an initial public offering. This is the first IPO by a Brazilian retail bank in a decade.

Creation of Bolsa Institucional de Valores
We represented Central de Corretajes, a developer of infrastructure for financial markets in Latin America, Mexico and the United States, in the creation of Bolsa Institucional de Valores, Mexico's first new stock exchange in 100 years and one of the most technologically advanced stock markets in the world.

Syndicated loan financings for Latin American banks
We have represented more than 15 Latin American banks in connection with syndicated loan financings for borrowers in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Chile and Costa Rica.

MTN programs in Latin America
We have represented Bladex and BBVA subsidiaries in the establishment of their MTN programs.

 

Infrastructure

Posorja port financing 
We advised DP World PLC and its subsidiary DPWorld Posorja S.A. on the project financing for a new deepwater, multipurpose port terminal to be located near Guayaquil, Ecuador. This was the first major infrastructure project awarded in Ecuador since the recent enactment of new PPP legislation. 

Longitudinal project financing
We represented the borrower, Consierra Tramo II, in the landmark long-term project financing for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of the 875-km toll road project "Longitudinal de La Sierra – Tramo 2" being built in the central Andean region of Peru. 

Dispute with the Panama Canal Authority 
We are representing Grupo Unidos por el Canal S.A. (Panama) and its shareholders Salini Impregilo S.p.A. (Italy), and Jan De Nul N.V. (Belgium) in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority relating to the US$5.5 billion Panama Canal expansion project known as the "Third Set of Locks Project."  

Corredor de las Playas financing 
We are representing the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, in an up to US$450 million receivables purchase facility provided to Consorcio FCC – Corredor de las Playas I, to finance the assessment, design, construction and maintenance of the expansion of the Pan-American Highway in Panama.  

Matarani port non-recourse project financing
We represented Terminal Internacional del Sur S.A., as borrower, and Santa Sofia Puertos S.A., as sponsor, in connection with the US$280 million non-recourse project financing of the expansion of the Matarani Port in the Islay district of Arequipa, Peru, which is being provided by a group of top-tier international commercial banks. 

 

Mining & metals

Acquisition of iron-ore company in Brazil
We represented Vale S.A., a Brazilian mining company and the largest producer of iron ore and nickel in the world, in its US$550 million acquisition of Ferrous Resources Limited, a mid-sized iron ore company, also located in Brazil.  

Maracas Menchen mine notes offering
We represented the initial purchasers in connection with the inaugural high yield notes offering by Largo Resources Ltd., ("Largo"). We also advised the underwriters on a secondary offering of common shares. Largo operates the Maracas Menchen Mine located in Bahia, Brazil, where it mines vanadium pentoxide.

US$740 million ICSID award on behalf of Gold Reserve 
We achieved a major victory for Gold Reserve in a long-running ICSID arbitration against Venezuela relating to one of the world's largest undeveloped gold/copper deposits. In a unanimous award, the tribunal found that Venezuela had acted unlawfully in violation of the Canada Venezuela bilateral investment treaty and awarded Gold Reserve more than US$740 million in damages and legal costs.

Loan to CSP Ceara Steel Mill
We represented BNDES in connection with a US$3.1 billion loan to Companhia Siderúgica do Pecém ("CSP") and related intercreditor arrangements. CSP is building a steel mill in the northeastern Brazilian State of Ceará and, once operational, will produce three million tons of steel products. 

Las Bambas acquisition financing
We represented a consortium led by China Minmetals' Hong Kong–listed subsidiary MMG Limited (62.5%), also including Guoxin International Investment Corporation Limited (22.5%) and CITIC Metal Peru Investment Limited (15%), in the US$7 billion acquisition financing, including project financing, of the Las Bambas copper project in Peru from Glencore plc.