Firm / Organisation

Acuña, Hoetz & Cifuentes

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Firm Overview:
Acuña, Hoetz & Cifuentes continues to be one of the few absolutely specialist firms in this area and is the undisputed market leader in insurance and reinsurance, with a focus on high-value losses.

The firm provides customised, top-quality legal advice to local and international insurance/reinsurance companies and brokers. Matters relating to arbitration and litigation are a particular area of expertise.

In the 2019 edition of Chambers and Partners Latin America Client’s Guide, Alejandro Acuña was ranked as Leading Individual in Band 1, an honour he had previously been awarded in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Clients describe him as “an excellent litigator,” adding: “He is probably one of the best and most well-recognised lawyers in Chile.” He was also named 'Lawyer of the Year' in Chile by Best Lawyers 2015 (Insurance) and is recognised by the 'Insurance and Reinsurance Expert Guide'. On the other hand, Felipe Hoetz has been ranked in Chambers and Partners 2016 as Up-and-coming individual, Band 3 (2017 and 2018), Band 2 (2019) and recognised by the 'Insurance and Reinsurance Expert Guide' 2017. He “is praised by market sources for the breadth of his experience in insurance-related law, which also spans reinsurance and loss adjustment." The team also benefits from Luis Cifuentes’ superb recognition for his litigation expertise.

The sum of their individual talents has merged to consolidate the firm as a professional team without precedent in Chile. Furthermore, The Legal 500 'Clients’ Guide to the Latin America Legal Profession' has ranked Alejandro Acuña as Leading Lawyer in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. In turn Felipe Hoetz is ranked as Leading Lawyer (2018) and described as 'always available to help out, prompt in his responses, diplomatic, and knowledgeable of all aspects of the cases he works on.'

Main Areas of Practice:
The team advises an impressive portfolio of domestic and international clients across the insurance and reinsurance spectrum.
Recent matters in which the partners have been involved include:
■ Representing four insurers in recovery actions in excess of US$90 million against an urban highway concessionaire, its contractor and the Chilean Ministry of Public Works in respect of a loss affecting the main financial and commercial area of Santiago as a consequence of the Mapocho River flooding
■ Advising reinsurers during the loss adjustment procedure of the worst wildfires in Chile’s history
■ Advising reinsurers during the loss adjustment procedure regarding the spillway's collapse of the Chacayes power plant belonging to Pacific Hydro, recently acquired by China's State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC)
■ Advising reinsurers in respect of an alleged error in the placement of a risk involving the construction of a dam
■ Advising insurers in respect of a claim affecting a run-of-river power plant, as a consequence of heavy rains which caused business interruption losses
■ Advising insurers regarding a gas explosion at a hospital that left three dead and dozens injured
■ Representing insurers in an ongoing lawsuit against retailer La Polar, its directors and officers, regarding the validity of a D&O insurance policy
■ Representing insurers in an ongoing arbitration regarding the enforcement of D&O and Fidelity policies, initiated by the trustee of bankrupted stock broker FIT Research
■ Assisting reinsurers in the successful rejection of a bank's claim against its provider of cash transportation and ATM outsourcing services
■ Representing a large stockbroker's client in an ongoing arbitration seeking damages arising from a contractual breach
■ Successful defence of insurers in an arbitration initiated by a Casino in respect of an earthquake- related loss
■ Representing insurers in successful recovery actions following the fire of a Walmart supermarket in Santiago
■ Representing reinsurers in recovery actions in respect of the total loss of an Airbus EC135 helicopter
■ Representing reinsurers in recovery actions in respect of an Agusta 109SP helicopter
■ Providing foreign clients re/insurance regulatory advice in relation to the handling of claims arising from the provision of cover to commercial customers in Chile.
■ Advising foreign clients regarding the applicable regulatory considerations for a foreign Insurer to write re/insurance business in Chile
■ Advising local importers in respect of Institute Frozen Food clauses
■ Representing insurance brokers in a dispute regarding the termination of a contract with a private hospital and an insurance company
■ Representing reinsurers in respect of a claim filed by Chile's largest food producer, as a consequence of alleged pollution to recalled exported products
■ Representing clients in a US$9 million arbitration initiated by bank as consequence of a flood claim
■ Providing legal opinion regarding re/insurance- related matters and recent developments such as Chile's new Financial Market Commission, the Chilean Claims Control Clause (LMA5276) and the ARIAS Latin America Insurance/ Reinsurance Mediation and Arbitration Centre