Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría stands out in the Chilean legal market thanks to its presence across three Latin American countries.
The firm has performed strongly despite a faltering Chilean economy. Its Santiago-based team upholds PPU’s reputed transactional offering. The firm advised on Phoenix Towers’ repackaging of its loans and Innergex’s green bond offering, both winners in Latin Lawyer’s 2022 Deal of the Year Awards. Capital markets work also kept the firm busy.
Its mining, energy, environmental and disputes capabilities are highly regarded, evidencing a well-rounded multi-disciplinary offering. Its tax and labour offerings are also noteworthy.
As a member of the world’s first major Iberian-American law firm, PPU (Chile) works with its counterparts in Peru and Colombia to foster a collaborative working environment. The structure facilitates smooth handling of cross-border matters as lawyers can work in all three jurisdictions under one partner’s guidance. Establishing a presence in Mexico is part of PPU’s long-term plan and would give the firm a presence in every Pacific Alliance nation.
PPU reports that its natural resources practice makes up roughly 30% of its Chilean revenue. This is quite unusual for a PPU firm, where corporate work tends to be the firm’s bread and butter but is in line with Chile’s economic makeup. The team has more partners than the corporate department, which is partly attributable to its recent merger with boutique Carcelén, Desmadryl, Guzmán y Tapia Abogado. The firm appointed a new environmental partner recently to respond to client demand.
PPU’s Latin American offices have the same managerial policies as part of its regional approach. There are regional exchange programmes and common career and training plans in all three jurisdictions. Its equal opportunities policy, with emphasis on gender diversity, not only helps retain talent but creates a better working environment to attract some of Chile’s best young lawyers.
Partners work with associates across practices, cultivating a collaborative and transparent working environment. Lawyers are encouraged to work across several teams to offer more comprehensive counsel to clients. Meanwhile, its recent investment in a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system helps integrate practice areas regionally, which makes controlling billable hours and expenses easier across the different jurisdictions.
According to the study “Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies”, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, PPU represents 12 of the region’s approximately 100 biggest companies.
Partner Andrés Sanfuentes is the country manager in Chile.
In addition to Santiago, PPU has offices in Bogotá and Barranquilla in Colombia, and Lima in Peru. The alliance is backed by Iberian firm Uría Menéndez, which has offices in Spain, Portugal, New York, Beijing, London and Brussels.
Alliances and networks
PPU benefits from Uría Menendez’s widespread connections, which intertwines it with some of the most esteemed firms internationally and in Latin America, including Slaughter & May LLP in the UK, Marval O’Farrell Mairal in Argentina and Galicia Abogados in Mexico.