- Regional focus and experience. For decades, we have served as a trusted advisor and primary outside counsel to companies focused on Latin American investment or business operations through joint venture, acquisition or other investment vehicle.
- Providing middle-market companies access to U.S. capital markets. Pillsbury's international capital markets lawyers help non-U.S. companies evaluate equity, debt, hybrid and alternative financing options in U.S. markets.
- A leader in cross-border project development and finance. Pillsbury attorneys have advised on projects and financing in 75 countries on six continents—including, within Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
- An award-winning international trade firm. Pillsbury has served for years as U.S. counsel to the Mexican Commerce Department for NAFTA, WTO and other trade-related issues. In recognition of our high-profile work, Trade Finance named Pillsbury one of the two top trade firms in North America.
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) counsel. A key resource for any U.S.-Latin American transaction, Pillsbury has 25-years experience advising on the practical implications of the FCPA and all aspects of compliance and enforcement.
Decades of Experience in Latin America
Pillsbury has a strong and wide-ranging Latin America practice, built on decades of experience helping U.S. and foreign companies do business throughout the region, as well as representing Latin American governments and private entities in transactions and litigation relating to the U.S. In recognition of the breadth of the practice, several of our attorneys in various practice areas have been awarded Latin Lawyer "Deal of the Year" awards in recent years.
The firm's experience spans an array of industries and legal disciplines:
- Corporate law
- Securities transactions
- Tax counsel
- Project finance
- Energy finance and regulation
- Real estate finance and transactions
- Insolvency and restructuring
- International trade
- International arbitration
Members of our Latin America practice are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, have prior work experience in the region, and maintain valuable relationships with local counsel and government officials. We regularly draft and negotiate agreements and other legal documents in Spanish and Portuguese and under local law. Our deep understanding of the legal systems and business customs of Latin American countries enables us to tailor our services to the unique requirements of the project or client in question.
Pillsbury's Latin American Capabilities and Experience
Corporate and Finance Transactions
Pillsbury attorneys have many years of experience working on Latin American transactions relating to joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions (including through privatizations), corporate and asset divestitures, loan transactions (secured and unsecured), distribution and marketing agreements, operating concessions, and other corporate and commercial matters across a multitude of industries, including energy/utilities, manufacturing, agriculture, industrials, insurance, transportation and telecommunications.
- Represented an international telecommunications company in a $973 million acquisition of an interest in a Mexican mobile phone operator.
- Represented insurance companies such as ING and Lincoln National in major acquisitions and joint ventures involving Mexican insurance companies.
- Worked on the formation of joint ventures to conduct manufacturing, agriculture, wine export and satellite telecommunications businesses in Latin America.
- Represented Brown-Forman Corporation in the $238 million sale of Fetzer Vineyards to Chilean wine producer Viña Concha y Toro SA.
The firm has also assisted leading financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Union Bank, BBVA and Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A. (Bladex) in the extension of loans secured by real and personal property in Latin America, as well as trade financings, acquisition financings, project financings and other credit transactions in Latin America.
Establishing and Managing a Corporate Presence
Our attorneys have represented a number of clients in the structuring, establishment and maintenance of a local corporate presence in Latin America, addressing local regulatory and corporate matters and U.S. tax planning. We have acted as primary outside counsel to such clients in support of their Latin America operations over many years, serving as a trusted guide as their presence in the region grows and changes.
- Acted as general counsel to the Mexican subsidiaries of several U.S.-owned agriculture businesses, a U.S. radio and television broadcasting company and a major computer equipment distributor.
- Assisted U.S. and international clients in establishing local maquiladora assembly / manufacturing operations in Mexico and in entering into contract manufacturing arrangements with existing maquiladoras.
U.S. Securities Transactions for Latin American Clients
Members of our Corporate & Securities practice also represent Latin American entities in securities offerings, alternative financings, acquisitions and other transactions in the U.S.
- Advised Sociedad Minera Licancabur, S.A. in connection with its going public transaction in the U.S. and assisted the new public entity, Chile Mining Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: LVEN) in raising $5.8 million in a private placement transaction.
- Represented Bladex in its historic debut in the U.S. capital markets, as the first Latin American bank to launch an SEC-registered public offering and NYSE listing of its capital stock.
- Represented Grupo Sidek, S.A. de C.V. in a cross-border Rule 144A and Regulation S offering involving the securitization of mortgages on property located in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.
Ventures and Investments in the U.S.
In addition to extensive capital markets work, we have also represented a number of Latin American companies and individuals with respect to U.S. ventures and assets:
- The establishment and ongoing operations of Chivas USA, a Los Angeles-based Major League Soccer team owned by Mexican investors.
- A U.S. social networking-related investment by a Latin American media company;
- Representation of prominent Latin American families and individuals with respect to U.S. tax and estate planning matters.
Project Finance: Energy, Infrastructure and Real Estate
Pillsbury has advised on some of the largest and most complex transactions in global project finance, serving as counsel to sponsors as well as lenders in projects throughout Latin America. Pillsbury's Latin America practice features internationally recognized experience in real property acquisition and development in Latin America, as well as energy and infrastructure development projects in the region, including independent power projects, hydrocarbon development and transportation, airport expansion, port development, mining facilities and waste water treatment.
We have assisted in the development of gas-, coal-, diesel- and residual fuel-fired power plants in Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Peru and other parts of Latin America, from the public bidding phase through financing, construction and operation.
- We worked on the development and financing of a gas-fired power plant in Cartagena, Colombia that was described as the first private-sector, nonrecourse power project in the developing world.
- Our work for client Marubeni in an export project financing in Peru garnered a 2008 "Deal of the Year" award from Latin Lawyer.
Firm attorneys have also led major resort development and hotel acquisition projects in Mexico and Costa Rica at all stages of financing and development, including assistance with local regulatory issues.
Insolvency and Restructuring
Our Insolvency & Restructuring practice has substantial experience dealing with the complex issues presented by cross-border insolvencies and restructurings, representing financially distressed entities as well as clients that deal with distressed entities and troubled projects in Latin America. Pillsbury represented Varig, a Brazilian airline, in its bankruptcy proceedings and debt restructuring, and provided counsel to Chevron with respect to the restructuring of the Hamaca oil project in Venezuela's Orinoco belt. Our work on each of these matters won Latin Lawyer "Deal of the Year" awards for the attorneys involved.
Our International Trade practice assists clients with international trade matters including export controls and embargoes; regulation of foreign investment; customs compliance and enforcement; Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance; the interpretation of international trade agreements and litigation or settlement of trade disputes; trade remedy proceedings (such as antidumping investigations); and trade issues that arise in commercial transactions.
Pillsbury has served for years as U.S. counsel to the Mexican government with respect to NAFTA, WTO and other trade-related issues. We also have advised U.S. and foreign clients on matters relating to U.S. laws imposing a trade embargo against Cuba.
Pillsbury advises clients in international disputes before virtually every major international arbitration institution. We have helped in resolving disputes both within the U.S. and across the globe on various topics and across different industries, ranging from energy and construction to sports and life sciences.
Our Latin American arbitration experience includes:
- Representing the Mexican government in 14 completed and currently pending international investment disputes brought under NAFTA and bilateral investment treaties, each case administered under the rules of the ICSID or the UNCITRAL.
- Representing Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) and its subsidiary BITOR in contract litigations and arbitration initiated by a Canadian utility for CDN$2.2 billion in damages. This matter was recognized by The American Lawyer as one of the top 50 contract disputes in 2007.
- Representing private Venezuelan, Mexican and Brazilian entities in arbitrations relating to a variety of industries, including telecommunications, construction and agriculture.
Our Latin American experience includes the representation of governmental entities in Latin America with respect to privatizations and other economic liberalization efforts.
- Worked on the privatizations of international airports in Costa Rica and Guatemala, a Brazilian aircraft manufacturing company, a Bolivian airline, the Guatemalan state-owned telecommunications company and a municipal railway system in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- Represented the government of Mexico with respect to proposals for the restructuring of the country's power sector and the government of El Salvador regarding the drafting of a new law aimed at liberalizing foreign investment.