Mario Ballivián Cabrera

Mario Ballivián Cabrera

Email Mario Ballivián Cabrera

About the Author

Key skills

Bolivian lawyer with more than 20 years of relevant professional experience, during which he has been at the centre of negotiations and decision-making in big-ticket projects and agreements, related to state reform with respect to private participation, regulation, and competition, as well as nationalisation with emphasis on energy (oil and gas) sector. He has proven experience in project management and in representing numerous high-profile matters involving project finance and public bidding and procurement practices, as well as solid knowledge in international commercial arbitration and other alternatives to dispute resolution. 

He is an arbitrator registered in the Centre of Arbitration and Conciliation of the National Chamber of Commerce in La Paz - Bolivia, and in the Center of Conciliation and Arbitration of the Commerce and Services Chamber in Cochabamba - Bolivia.  


  • Master of Laws (LLM) in Petroleum Law and Policy at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) of the University of Dundee, Scotland.
  • Master's in Science (MSc) in Regulation (with concentration on energy sector) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), England.
  • Honours law degree (Licenciatura – JD equivalent) at the University of San Francisco Xavier, Bolivia.

Professional experience

Partner at Criales & Urcullo Abogados. He has been legal manager of YPFB Andina SA (Repsol Group and YPFB joint operation), legal manager of Repsol Group Bolivia, principal legal adviser at SIRESE (Bolivian Utilities Regulatory Authority), senior associate of Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa law firm and general director of Register of Commerce and Corporations (currently Fundempresa).

Practice areas

  • Natural resources and energy (O&G) law;
  • Petroleum Fiscal Regimes (Petroleum Contracts) and commercial agreements in the O&G sector;
  • regulatory and competition law;
  • corporate law;
  • project finance;
  • administrative law.

Membership and certifications

  • La Paz Bar Association;
  • Santa Cruz Bar Association;
  • Public Register of Lawyers of the Minister of Justice of Bolivia;
  • Secretary of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Bolivian Section;
  • Certified internal auditor ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 (audited on energy issues).


Associate professor at different master’s degree programmes in subjects related to legal and contractual framework in the petroleum sector, as well as regulatory and competition law. He has been distinguished as the “Best Professor of the Masters of Corporate Law” in the Master’s for Development (MpD) of the Universidad Católica Boliviana (UCB). He speaks regularly at both domestic and international conferences on issues of petroleum law and contracts, as well as regulatory and competition law.

Languages: Spanish (mother tongue), English (fluent) and Portuguese (basic knowledge).