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Latin Lawyer 250 2017

Guevara & Gutiérrez - Servicios Legales

Bolivia

Sophisticated firm with modern edge

  • Established: 1989
  • Partners: 8
  • Total lawyers: 23

Guevara & Gutiérrez SC Servicios Legales stands apart from many of its rivals in the Bolivian market by the absence of a founding family within its top ranks. This has resulted in a meritocratic career path, allowing the firm to attract and retain top talent. The firm leaders have also built flexibility into the firm’s working practices; an essential feature when operating in Bolivia’s challenging legal environment. A multidisciplinary, versatile team of attorneys can be moved into busier departments if the need arises, helping to smooth out fluctuations in demand. Recruiting lawyers with experience across several areas of law has also allowed Guevara & Gutiérrez to expand from its traditional base of disputes, corporate, banking and energy work into new areas. For example, recently established tax and IP teams are already building a positive reputation among clients, who praise the knowledge, efficiency, attention to detail and strategic approach demonstrated by lawyers in both departments. Glowing praise from the firm’s international clients, one of whom says Guevara & Gutiérrez is one of the best firms they have worked with in South America, hints at the quality and sophistication of its legal work across its practice areas. 

OFFICES

While most of the lawyers are based in La Paz, the firm also has an office in Santa Cruz.

Alliances & Networks

Guevara & Gutiérrez is a member of Squire Patton Boggs’ worldwide network, which includes firms from across Latin America. The US firm’s Dominican Republic office is joined in the Andean region by Rebaza, Alcázar & De Las Casas Abogados Financieros in Peru, Colombian firm Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados and Venezuela’s WDA Legal. Fábrega, Molino & Mulino in Panama, Estudio Bunge – Bunge, Smith & Luchía Puig – Abogados in Argentina, and Toro, Cruzat & Cía – Abogados in Chile complete the network in Latin America.

Clients

Important arbitration clients include Chile’s Quiborax, London-based Rurelec, South American Silver and Spanish electricity company Red Eléctrica. US banks and investment funds are also prominent.

Practice Areas

Arbitration

Key partner: Ramiro Guevara is a towering figure in the practice, who wins praise from clients for his availability, maturity and strategic approach. Jorge Inchauste is commended for his preparedness, responsiveness and management skills.

Analysis: Arbitration is the jewel in Guevara & Gutiérrez’s crown. The firm has an excellent reputation extending beyond Bolivia’s borders, and a track record of high-profile cases that is the envy of many other firms in the market. Among the team’s headline cases are its assistance to Chilean chemicals company Quiborax and London-listed power plant developer Rurelec in their arbitrations against the Bolivian government, which helped build the profile of the practice area. Clients line up to praise the technical abilities and professionalism of the department’s lawyers.

Project finance & infrastructure

Key partners: Ramiro Guevara (who comes recommended in LACCA APPROVED, in-house counsel research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s sister association, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association), Enrique Barrios and Jorge Inchauste are the most important names here.  

Analysis: Guevara & Gutiérrez’s corporate practice includes the firm’s notable project finance offering. European and Latin American banks are among those to draw on the team to assist on deals. Energy clients and public and public sector entities have also hired the firm to agree financing contracts with major multilateral lenders including IFC, IDB, CAF, OPIC, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Indeed, one multilateral lender goes as far as to describe Guevara & Gutiérrez as “the best firm in town” for project finance work.

Energy

Key partners: Name partner Ramiro Guevara, Enrique Barrios, whose practice also includes corporate, project finance and labour experience; and Rodolfo Mercado, who worked at Bolivia’s state-run oil company YPFB.

Analysis: Energy is one of Guevara & Gutiérrez’s strongest practice areas and a contributing factor to the firm’s excellent reputation generally. Like the firm’s other core areas, it contains practitioners with a broad practice areas and experience, which allows the team to provide their clients with tailored, multidisciplinary legal advice. Bolivia’s largest electricity generating companies, COBEE and Empresa Eléctrica Guaracachi, are among its regular clients.

Labour

Key partner: Santa Cruz-based name partner Primitivo Gutiérrez, whose varied career includes stints as head litigator at Bolivia’s central bank and as a district judge.

Analysis: Guevara & Gutiérrez’s client-commended labour practice draws incalculable strength from the vast experience of its department head. His broad practice, which also includes litigation and tax experience, allows him and his team to add value to the legal service they provide and draws plaudits from clients. One client praises the adeptness with which their labour case was handled in court, which was indicative of the depth of experience within the team.

Pro bono

Analysis: Guevara & Gutiérrez is a signatory of the Vance Center's Pro Bono Declaration of the Americas and recognised by Latin Lawyer as a Leading Light due its commitment to the practice. Guevara & Gutiérrez associate Zoya Galarza has been integral to the process of trying to set up Bolivia’s first pro bono clearing house. Housing charity Un Techo Para Mi País, Fundación Nutrición y Desarrollo, which works to combat malnutrition in the Andean region, and Aldeas Infantiles SOS, which assists foster children, are among the organisations the firm has helped.


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