Cleary Gottlieb is hailed as the top firm for work in the Latin America region by Chambers Latin America, LatinFinance, Latin Lawyer, Latinvex—and by the clients for whom we do award-winning work.

We became the leading international law firm in Latin America by crossing borders—geographic and conceptual—in advising clients on high-profile matters in the region. Cleary has played key roles in international transactions for over 60 years for a variety of clients, including sovereigns, some of the largest corporates, state-owned entities, foreign investors, and underwriters.

We distinguish ourselves from the other global firms through both our history of landmark achievements on behalf of clients and the comprehensive scope of our practice in this region, creating innovative and business-savvy solutions for our clients’ complex problems for decades. Examples include:

  • Advising on more than $200 billion of Latin American public and private sector debt restructurings
  • Serving as securities counsel to eight out of the top 10 companies in Latin America by market capitalization
  • Advising more than 20 Latin American foreign private issuers in connection with SEC reporting obligations
  • Serving as counsel in over $405 billion in capital markets offerings by Latin American issuers since 2008
  • Serving as counsel in over $140 billion in closed M&A transactions involving Latin American companies since 2008

Our Latin America practice includes:

  • More than 120 lawyers firm-wide, over 30 of whom are partners and counsel
  • More than 200 Spanish speakers and more than 25 Portuguese speakers in the New York, Washington, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo offices
  • More than 200 Cleary alumni at local law firms with which we have long-standing relationships
  • Lawyers focused on capital markets, project finance, joint ventures, debt management, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, arbitration and investigations
  • Deep sector knowledge in mining and metals, water, oil and gas, energy, transportation, telecommunications, infrastructure and food services

Notable Experience

Argentina

  • The Republic of Argentina in over $50 billion of international capital markets and other financings since 2016, and, separately, in numerous cases in multiple jurisdictions in association with claims by Argentine bondholders. 

  • MercadoLibre in its $1.4 billion SEC-registered equity offering.

  • Fintech in its $960 million acquisition of Telecom Argentina, and the subsequent $11.5 billion merger of Cablevision S.A. and Telecom Argentina, to create the largest telecommunications group in Argentina.

  • PCR, an Argentine energy company, in connection with the $108 million secured project financing for the construction, operation, and maintenance of Parque Eólico del Bicentenario, a 125.2 MWac wind farm in the Province of Santa Cruz, Argentina.

  • Telecom Argentina, one of the country’s largest private sector companies, in a $1 billion senior unsecured credit facility.

  • Cablevisión Holding S.A. in the $750 million acquisition financing in connection with the merger between Cablevisión and Telecom Argentina.

  • Pampa Energía in the sale of its downstream assets to Trafigura Pte. Ltd; in the $600 million financing of its acquisition of Petrobras Argentina; and in its $750 million debut international notes offering.

  • Jinko Solar in the San Juan Solar Energy Project, the proposed public-private partnership for the creation of an 80MW solar energy plant in the Province of San Juan, Argentina.

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Brazil

  • Petrobras in over $160 billion in debt and equity offerings and liability management transactions, including a $70 billion equity offering, the largest-ever equity offering at the time; an $11 billion debt offering, the largest-ever debt offering by an emerging market company at the time; a $15 billion exchange offer and a related tender offer.

  • Vale in the sale of its fertilizer assets to the Mosaic Company and acquisition of a minority interest in Mosaic; its landmark acquisition of Inco; its acquisition of Bunge’s fertilizer nutrients assets in Brazil; in winning dismissal of a multi-billion dollar civil RICO claim in U.S. courts; and in an LCIA arbitration resulting in a $2 billion award in Vale’s favor.

  • Suzano Papel e Celulose S.A., a leading Brazilian pulp and paper producer, in its $15 billion merger with Fibria Celulose S.A., and in multiple issuances of debt securities.

  • Petrobras in U.S. securities class action litigation and complex reporting arising from Operation Car Wash, the largest corruption scandal in Latin American history.

  • An ad hoc group of secured project finance lenders in connection with the restructuring, recapitalization and reorganization of Constellation Oil Services Holding S.A. and its subsidiaries.

  • The special committee of the board of directors of GOL in independent investigations and FCPA investigations being conducted by the DOJ and SEC.

  • BHP Billiton, Vale, and Samarco in an investigation of the collapse of the Fundão tailings dam in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil.

  • Enel in its acquisition of Brazilian power company Eletropaulo.

  • A steering committee of bondholder creditors in Brazilian telecom Oi’s restructuring of its liabilities (the largest-ever Latin American bankruptcy).

  • Odebrecht S.A. and Odebrecht Engineering and Construction in their concurrent restructuring efforts, including Odebrecht S.A.’s Chapter 15 proceedings in the United States.

  • An ad hoc creditors committee of bondholders in connection with the restructuring of Odebrecht Oil and Gas.

  • Internal investigation on behalf of Brazil’s national development bank, BNDES, regarding allegations of bribery relating to transactions with JBS and Eldorado.

  • The Special Committee of the board of M. Dias Branco, a Brazilian foodstuffs company, in connection with an independent investigation of allegations of bribery.

  • The underwriters in a secondary offering of Banco do Brasil shares.

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Chile

  • LATAM Airlines in a $2.25 billion strategic partnership with Delta.

  • Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO) in various financing, capital markets, M&A and project finance transactions for over two decades.

  • Falabella in its $138 million acquisition of online marketplace operator Linio. 

  • Initial purchasers in a Rule 144A/Reg S $600 million global bond offering by ENAP.

  • Initial purchasers in a Rule 144A/Reg S $400 million global bond offering by Falabella.

  • A subsidiary of LAN Airlines (now LATAM Airlines) in winning a lawsuit in New York state court against MatlinPatterson; and for summary judgment in a New York state court proceeding against a Brazilian airline relating to the non-payment of loans extended by LAN’s subsidiary.

  • The former CEO of SQM, a U.S.-listed Chilean mining company, in the resolution of an FCPA investigation by the SEC. 

  • The Republic of Chile in over $9 billion in debt capital markets transactions.

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Colombia

  • Banagricola S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bancolombia S.A., in the sale of its stake in SURA Asset Management S.A. to Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ).

  • Bancolombia in its SEC-registered public IPO and related liability management transaction.

  • Banco Davivienda in its offering of senior notes.

  • Initial purchasers in an international senior notes offering by Tecnoglass.

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Mexico

  • We regularly advise the federal government (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público and Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes) and various Mexican state-owned entities, such as Pemex and CFE, on all of their major financing transactions. Our recent work includes:

    • Pemex and The Mexican Ministry of Finance in a recent series of landmark liability management transactions intended to strengthen Pemex’s financial condition and Pemex in a $2 billion offering under its MTN program and in $8 billion credit facilities.
    • CFE in a $615 million Formosa bond offering.
    • The United Mexican States in over $8 billion bond offerings and $2.5 billion tender offer.
    • Consent solicitation and tender offer to purchase a portion of the $6 billion of notes issued in the international markets that avoided potential default from cancellation of construction of the proposed Texcoco airport in Mexico City.

  • BlackRock (formerly First Reserve) in connection with its equity investment in the La Bufa wind farm in Zacatecas, Mexico.

  • Industrias Peñoles in its debut international offering of notes.

  • Vista Oil & Gas in an SEC-registered public offering.

  • Coca-Cola FEMSA in the exercise of a put option under a joint venture with Coca Cola in respect of a Philippines bottler and its acquisition of a Uruguayan bottler.

  • IEnova in its follow-on equity offering, the largest equity offering in Latin America in 2016; and in its Rule 144A/Reg S IPO.

  • Vitro in its M&A activity, including its acquisition of PPG’s flat glass business; and previously in the sale of its food and beverage glass container business to Owens-Illinois.

  • Grupo Bimbo in its U.S. acquisitions, including the acquisition of East Balt Bakeries, a global baking company with operations in 11 countries; and previously in its acquisitions of Sara Lee and Weston.

  • A global company in connection with a market-wide investigation involving allegations of anti-competition and market manipulation in Mexico.

  • Empresas ICA in the restructuring of over $1 billion of indebtedness, currently the largest debtor assignment in Mexico.

  • Banco Inbursa and Control Empresarial de Capitals as first-lien secured lender and DIP lender to M&G Chemicals and its U.S. affiliates in their Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. 

  • An ad hoc group of bondholders in the debt restructuring of Arendal, S. de R.L. de C.V.

  • Creditors of Oro Negro, ODH, Oceanografia, and Arendal in the companies’ debt restructurings.

  • FCPA and corporate governance advice to a Mexican construction company in connection with an investigation by the CNBV and potential investigation by the SEC.

  • A Mexican bank in connection with its investigation of the sovereign bond trading desk by the Cofece and the CNBV.

  • Regulatory advice to a Mexican financial institution regarding potential AML look-backs.

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Peru

  • DP World in an ICSID arbitration brought against the Republic of Peru under the UK-Peru bilateral investment treaty, as well as under a concession agreement.

  • Fenix Power Perú S.A. in its $340 million debut 144A/Reg S offering.

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Multijurisdictional Work

  • P3A, Puerto Rico’s Private-Public Partnership authority, in connection with the transformation of Puerto Rico’s electric system.

  • Several major banks in ongoing investigations concerning FX markets, LIBOR, and ISDAFIX being conducted by authorities around the world, including Mexico, Brazil, and the UK, and in related civil litigation.

  • Cable Onda in its $1.46 billion sale to Millicom International Cellular.

  • BBVA in the sale of its Paraguayan subsidiary to Banco GNB Paraguay, a subsidiary of Grupo Financiero Gilinski.

  • Global corruption risk assessment and anti-corruption compliance program review in 23 countries for consumer electronics business, including 90 interviews and global forensic accounting review across jurisdictions in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

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Publications

Events