Client-commended corporate and energy excellence
Indacochea & Asociados is proof that focusing on the fundamentals of client service can leads to big gains within a relatively short period of time. Despite being relatively young by the standards of Bolivia’s legal market, the Santa Cruz-based firm has grown steadily over its two-and-a-half decades of operation and is now rightly considered to be one of the country’s leading corporate players. Its quality across the board is evident in the number of big-name domestic and international companies that draw on the firm’s lawyers in multiple practice areas. Besides corporate law, it maintains its good reputation in finance. The firm has a strong offering in oil and gas work, having guided clients through the nationalisation of the industry and built arbitration capabilities as oil companies’ assets were expropriated. It has also moved into IP and recently established an accountancy arm.
Internally, the firm places a strong emphasis on mentoring and encourages lawyers to continue their postgraduate studies at leading institutions overseas. These efforts have paid dividends, earning the firm rave reviews from clients, longstanding and new. Among these is Jose Luis Coloma, in-house counsel at Peruvian beauty products company Belcorp, who now relies on the firm for all legal matters in Bolivia and praises the firm’s “quick and accurate response” to his company’s needs. “Their support is key to running our business and avoiding any legal risk for the company,” he says. “They get to know our business very deeply, so it is easy to explain situations and new plans.”
Indacochea & Asociados goes against the grain and operates solely out of Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s largest city, whereas other firms in this chapter are based in La Paz or have offices in both cities.
Alliances & Networks
Indacochea & Asociados is a member of the Latin American Network, a group of 17 firms across the region working in energy, telecoms, infrastructure, and banking and finance law.
The firm’s broad client list includes foreign clients such as German logistics company Bertling, Pampa Energia and Pan American Energia, both from Argentina, and AEI Energy from the US.
Key partners: Founding partner Ricardo Indacochea, who is regarded by clients and peers as one of the best oil and gas lawyers in Bolivia, and comes recommended in LACCA APPROVED in-house counsel research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s sister association, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association. Mariana Pereira is another visible member of the practice.
Analysis: Indacochea & Asociados has one of the best energy practices in Bolivia. This is due in no small measure to the firm’s founding partner whose extensive CV – which includes a stint as a director of the Bolivian Chamber of Hydrocarbons and more than 20 years working as in-house counsel at Occidental Petroleum – is a big draw for clients. The department’s reputation was further bolstered by the team’s instrumental role advising major oil companies on the process of nationalisation in the sector, assisting in negotiations with state-owned oil company YPFB. This oil and gas client, for example, praises the firm’s “quick response to every issue”, while another satisfied customer from the same sector commends the quality service and sound, non-reactive advice.
Corporate and M&A
Key partners: Ricardo Indacochea, who comes recommended in LACCA APPROVED; Mariana Pereira, whose broad practice also includes finance and tax; Lorena Otero, who is responsible for due diligence, M&A and IP work; and Alonso Indacochea, who tempers his corporate experience with agribusiness, land and real estate specialism.
Analysis: The firm’s energy expertise is also evident here and has helped drive the growth of its excellent corporate offering. Oil and gas companies are regular customers in the area, although international clients from other sectors, such as German logistics company Bertling, also feature on the department’s books. One headline deal from 2016 saw the team assist Argentine energy company Pampa Energia on its multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Petrobras Argentina, which earned the firm a nomination for Latin Lawyer’s 2016 Deal of the Year Award in the M&A category. The quality and sophistication of the team is reflected in the number of clients that line up to sing their praises. A representative of a power transmission company says the “diversity of topics” in which the team had experience and their “strength in financing issues involving multilateral banks” that impressed the most. Meanwhile Stefan Postey, who works in-house at home appliance retailer Multicenter, simply describes the whole team and “great professionals” and says there is no aspect he would change about the service he received.
Key partners: Mariana Pereira, who wins praise from one client for her ample and detailed knowledge of their business, and recently promoted Andere Indacochea, who is recommended in LACCA APPROVED, are the go-to names in the department.
Analysis: Labour is a newer area of focus for the firm and one that is already experiencing notable growth. The firm has effectively leveraged its expertise in other areas of the firm to build its client bases, with several clients now using the firm for both corporate and labour matters. Multinationals from the US (such as health products company Kimberly-Clark), Europe and Latin America feature on the department’s client list. The representative of one of the world’s largest food companies was impressed by the potent blend of technical “knowledge of regulation” and practical experience of Bolivia’s legal environment.
The firm’s tireless efforts to promote pro bono work in Bolivia have earned the firm recognition by Latin Lawyer as a Leading Light in the field. Several of its partners hold high-profile roles within various organisations, including Mariana Pereira and Andere Indacochea, who were both selected as the Vance Center’s representatives in Bolivia and tasked with creating strategies to help advance woman in the profession. Also that year, Alonso Indacochea worked with representatives from six other firms to establish the Fundación Pro Bono Bolivia clearing house and is currently serving as vice president of the organisation. Among the projects to benefit from the firm’s pro bono service is Comunidad Encuentro, a not-for-profit youth rehabilitation centre.