Full-service firm Albagli Zaliasnik dedicates a substantial portion of its capabilities to its litigation and disputes practice, both at the local and international level. With strengths in administrative disputes, arbitration, antitrust, bankruptcy, civil litigation, class actions, commercial litigation, constitutional, consumer protection, criminal litigation, environmental litigation, labor, tax litigation, and white-collar crime and investigations, the team counsels on a diverse spread of industries for local and international clients. The team took home the Chile Litigation Firm of the Year award at the 2021 Benchmark Latin America awards.
A frequent participant in arbitration proceedings, Ariela Agosin recently offered counseling, strategy and negotiation services to a major oil & gas client. Agosin also acts as arbitrator in numerous actions by the Court of Appeals and Civil Court of Santiago. As head of the civil litigation, arbitration and intellectual property practice, Agosin is lead counsel to respective entities Isapre Nueva Mas Visa and Inmobiliaria Mar del Sur in unique actions regarding contracts and insurance policies. Agosin is again recognized as one of Benchmark Latin America’s Top 25 Women in Litigation. Name partner Gabriel Zaliasnik heads the litigation group, where he is particularly renowned for his work in constitutional, criminal, and white-collar matters. He serves as lead counsel when, in late 2020, he successfully defended former Health Ministry Jaime Mañalich against an impeachment process before Congress in a constitutional claim against him. The claim was filed by ten representatives of the Republic of Chile, based on the health minister’s alleged liability for the deaths and infected population derived from his sanitary management of the coronavirus pandemic. A landmark ruling was obtained from Congress acquitting Mr. Mañalich of constitutional responsibility. Future stars Dafne Guerra and Antonio Rubilar assisted in the matter. Fellow star Jorge Arredondo was promoted to partner for the labor and employment practice area of the firm in May 2020. He is lead counsel to the San Bernardo Montessori School and its first-ever collective bargaining process.
Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana (BMAJ) is active in all types of trials, before all judicial bodies in Chile, including lower-level courts, courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court. In 2020, BMAJ has continued to strengthen its disputes team under the joint leadership of litigation stars Andrés Jana and Karen Werner.
Jana is a highly regarded practitioner in the Chilean market, most notably for his services in arbitration matters, as well as for his role as an arbitrator. Throughout 2020, the firm maintained a steady caseload in arbitration proceedings held under CAM Santiago, SCC, ICC, ICSID and ad-hoc rules. Paired with the arbitration expertise of fellow litigation star Rodrigo Gil, the team was awarded the Chile Arbitration firm of the Year at the 2021 Benchmark Latin America awards. Werner was lead counsel in a pro bono case that was the first to be presented as part of the Proyecto Inocentes (inspired by the US Innocence Project). Client Adrián Zarricueta was wrongly accused of rape and robbery in 2013 and spent 79 days in prison as a result, despite DNA evidence existing that ruled out the possibility of his participation in the crime. The case reached the Supreme Court, and on January 27, 2021 the State was required to pay 40 million Chilean pesos in compensation in a highly public display of retribution for the serious damage caused to the client for being accused of a crime that he did not commit. This matter was the recipient of an Impact Case award at the 2021 Benchmark Latin America awards.
Bulnes Urrutia & Bustamante is a boutique firm specifically dedicated to dispute resolution matters. Litigation star Felipe Bulnes routinely acts as counsel for clients in the construction, energy, and financial sectors – to name a few – but due to his expertise, often acts in cases for a diverse group of industries. He also remains active as an ICSID arbitrator. Recently upgraded future star Gonzalo Vial has seen an increase in stature recently having acted on behalf of numerous energy entities. His experience covers all areas of commercial arbitration. Key practitioners also include Enrique Urrutia and José Manuel Bustamante.
The litigation team at Correa Squella is led by key partners Jorge Sepulveda and Juan Ignacio Correa. The two lead a practice dedicated to civil, constitutional and administrative litigation proceedings, as well as in arbitrations. Clients describe the firm as “a stand-out” including, but not limited to, the “brilliant participation of partner Jorge Sepulveda,” adding that Sepulveda brings forth “speed, professionalism, technical capacity, [and] a process strategy.” Clients continue, “Jorge Sepulveda has developed a key legal advisory work in our case, his technical and conflict resolution capacity has stood out, and his procedural strategies have been assertive, timely and successful.”
The dispute resolution team of Dentons Larraín Rencoret is made up of legal practitioners with vast experience in arbitration and court procedures. The group is active in environmental, administrative, corporate, insurance recovery, construction, consumer law, labor, debt collection, energy litigation, and arbitration. Future star Marcelo Alarcon was lead counsel and successfully represented the Chilean Branch of the China Railway Tunnel Group as the defendant in two arbitration proceedings before CAM Santiago for breach of contract. Other key practitioners include antitrust group head Santiago Reid, Gonzalo Nieto, and Pauline Chiffelle.
Larrain y Asociados is recognized for its involvement in important commercial civil, labor, bankruptcy, tax, and administrative disputes. The team is led by four partners who are dedicated to arbitration and litigation matters: department co-head and civil litigator José Pedro Baraona, arbitration specialist Carlos Aravena, insurance litigator Pedro Zelaya, and energy and tax practitioner Víctor Manuel Avilés is an experienced tax lawyer, who advises on litigation matters. Baraona is part of the lead counsel team representing Consorcio Aeródromo de Chiloé in a lawsuit against the state of Chile due to cost overruns incurred during the construction of an airport in Chiloé.
Morales & Besa has developed a highly successful arbitration, commercial and civil litigation practice, representing clients in an array of different industries. The firm has seen notable growth in construction disputes that appear before judicial bodies and arbitration panels. The disputes range from actions between contractors and infrastructure project owners, to class actions regarding alleged construction defects, in claims filed by consumers and owners against construction companies, as well as disputes between real estate companies and regulatory agencies. Group leader Gonzalo Cordero and future star Orlando Palominos are recognized for their active roles in numerous matters.