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Criales & Urcullo

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Name Partners: José Criales, Javier Urcullo
Managing Partners: José Criales
Senior Partners: Adrián Barrenechea; Daniel Mariaca; Luis Valda; David Alcozer
Number of partners: 9
Number of associates: 6
Of Counsel: 3

Firm Overview:
Criales & Urcullo (C&U) is the result of a merger between Urcullo Law Firm and Criales and Associates. Urcullo Law Firm was a family law firm with a background that dated back to the foundation of the Republic of Bolivia in 1825. Criales and Associates was founded during the economic reforms of the 1990s. Across this period the firm gathered vast experience in various sectors. The C&U team understands that clients need meticulous, detailed and dedicated advice. Permanent search for perfection has led it to develop as a highly specialised law firm, that provides high-end, complex, and multidisciplinary services. Throughout the years, C&U has shaped a very well balanced and strong team of professionals, most of whom are prominent individuals in their specific fields. Its solid experience of in working in both public and private sectors gives C&U an edge. This is in terms of its ability to look at an issue from many different perspectives which translates into one of its most recognisable strengths — being able to think outside the box and to provide pragmatic solutions to seemingly complex scenarios. Clients regularly choose C&U for the most complex matters, utilising other law firms for their daily needs. A significant portion of the firm’s clients have not experienced the same level of commitment, multidisciplinary and personalised attention anywhere else.
CONTACTS
Banking & Finance: Javier Urcullo
Corporate/M&A: Daniel Mariaca
Tax & Customs: Luis Valda
Energy – Natural Resources: Adrián Barrenechea
Hydrocarbons – Arbitration: José Criales

Main Areas of Practice:

Banking, Finance, Capital Markets & Insurance:
C&U’s members are knowledgeable of all major financial transactions and financial product practice, since its portfolio of clients is the largest in the Bolivian Securities Market. The firm is well known for designing and structuring sophisticated financial products and innovative banking transactions, that often become the standard in the Bolivian market. C&U has helped clients structuring the most important bonds issuance operations in Bolivia. C&U has provided legal advice to financial institutions and their shareholders, such as Banco BISA, Banco Unión, Grupo Fortaleza, SOLYDES, Banco FIE, ECOFUTURO, among others. 

Corporate/M&A:
The firm advises on all areas of corporate and commercial law, including incorporation of companies, structuring and restructuring investment vehicles, joint ventures, foreign investment, advice on compliance, day to day corporate matters. C&U advised clients such as Tigre S.A., Unión Fenosa, PPL Global, ENTEL S.A., in the selling or acquiring process of their controlling interests in companies located in Bolivia, Perú, Colombia, and Ecuador. Also, has assisted clients such as AON Risk, ISOFOTON, and The Ingelec Group, LLC, incorporating companies in Bolivia or expanding their operations to other countries such as Chile and Brazil.

Tax & Customs:
C&U provides legal, accounting and financial advice to clients in respect of all tax issues, and assists clients in tax audits and procedures followed before Bolivian Tax Administrations. Team members have worked for the Administration, hence understand how the authorities think, besides of maintaining a good relationship with them.
C&U’s team has vast knowledge of international tax regulations, and provides council to local and foreign companies, business groups and individuals in their tax planning. The firm has assisted clients such as Bolsa Boliviana de Valores S.A., CONFIE SL and Banco FIE, ascertaining the tax consequences of their cross-border contracts, investments, and restructuring process. The tax department works closely with the firm’s banking and finance, corporate/M&A, and energy and natural resources departments, all recognised as market leaders.

Energy – Natural Resources:
C&U has great experience in drafting laws and regulations for different authorities in the electricity and hydrocarbons sectors. The firm has advised the entire chain of the hydrocarbon sector in some of the largest transactions in the country, such as the negotiation and drafting of the TCQ, TCO and TCX Gas Transportation Agreements for the Bolivia-Brazil Pipeline and accomplishment and negotiations related to the Gas Sales Agreement entered by YPFB and Petrobras.
C&U has participated on behalf of clients in the negotiation and drafting of the largest PPA in Bolivian history with Minera San Cristobal, and negotiation and drafting of the Power Line Construction and Transmission Agreement for their massive silver mining project.

Arbitration:
C&U’s team has vast experience representing domestic and foreign clients in complex cases, from a legal, economic, financial and technical standpoint. The members’ team are appointed arbitrators recognised for their experience.
C&U is deeply proud of having acted on behalf the Republic of Bolivia, jointly with Crowell & Moring L.L.P, in the international arbitration process requested by Aguas del Tunari S.A. before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), that concluded with a positive settlement for Bolivia

International Work:
C&U is a law firm with consolidated prestige in handling complex matters, and well known by its relevant foreign and local client base. With its experienced team of lawyers with vast international exposure, the firm provides legal services across a wide range of practice areas. In this respect, the firm is often interacting with major law firms around the world. 

Languages:
English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish.

Clients:
The majority of the firm’s clients are foreign and national companies with investments in a wide range of industries and business sectors, such as, hydrocarbons, banking, insurance, capital markets, electricity, natural resources, corporate, M&A and taxation.

Branch Offices:
Santa Cruz:
Equipetrol Norte, Av. Las Ramblas Casi Cuarto Anillo. Edificio "Cubo II", Piso 7
Tel: +591 3 3406302