Firm / Organisation

Estudio Jurídico Gross Brown

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Senior Partner: Jorge Gross Brown (Sr)
Partners: Pilar Callizo, Raúl Andrada, Eduardo Gross Brown, Sigfrido Gross Brown, Jorge Ignacio Gross Brown
Managing Partner: Jorge Ignacio Gross Brown
Number of partners: 6 Number of other lawyers: 28

Firm Overview:
Gross Brown has provided full legal services in the Paraguayan market for the past 73 years. It is a market leader in both finance and banking as well as in the corporate and M&A fields. Over 30 lawyers are distributed in corporate and finance practices as well as in the litigation, employment and IP departments.

Main Areas of Practice:

Banking & Finance:

The firm provides advice on a wide spectrum of financial products including bank lending, project finance, asset finance, derivatives, restructuring, insolvency and structured finance. Recent experience involves advising Rabobank in the opening of a credit facility of US$ 20,000,000 with fiduciary guarantee; Citibank NA and the Overseas Private Investment Company (OPIC) in in the drafting and negotiation of a US$ 101,500,000 loan to Sudameris Bank; Goldman Sachs & Co. in the drafting and negotiation of a US$ 50,000,000 syndicated loan between four major local banks for the construction of Routes 2 and 7; Citibank N.A. in the syndicated loan of US$ 120,000,000 to Copetrol S.A.; Citibank in the structuring and execution of a syndicated long term secured loan to INPASA del Paraguay S.A. for the construction of new ethanol production plant in Paraguay. The firm also acts as advisor to a number of banks and financial institutions in the Paraguayan market, such as Citibank N.A. Paraguay Branch, BBVA, Itaú and the Paraguayan Banking Association (ASOBAN).

Corporate (M&A, Joint Venture, Foreign Investments):
The firm advises a wide range of clients, in M&A and joint ventures, leveraged and acquisition finance, private equity transactions, tax efficiency structuring, investment financing, corporate governance, among other corporate matters. The firm advises clients from the negotiation process to the due diligence, structuring, and closing of transactions. The firm also regularly advises multinational companies, along with local and regional companies, as well as funds and foreign companies setting up their initial investments in Paraguay. Recent experience includes advising Telepizza S.A.U. in the acquisition of a local restaurant, and Compañía Cervecerías Unidas S.A. of Chile and Argentina (Heineken bottlers) in acquiring stakes in major local beverages corporation, Bebidas del Paraguay S.A. and Distribuidora del Paraguay S.A. The firm also advised SBA Communications Corporation in the participation of a private bid for the potential asset purchase of 1,410 passive mobile telecommunication towers from a major local carrier, Telefonica Celular del Paraguay S.A. in Paraguay, and Ufinet Telecom Holdings in the acquisition of technology and carrier assets and joint venture with a local partner. The Suez Group (Aguas de Barcelona) retained the firm for a government procurement process resulting in the award of a public contract with the Paraguayan Water Company (ESSAP S.A.) to develop a water management and billing software.

Employment:
The firm is known for offering advice in labour matters preventing legal pitfalls for clients. Partner Pilar Callizo — considered a leader in employment law in Paraguay — heads the labour team. The team includes employment conflict negotiations, litigation and arbitration. Recent experience involves advising one of Paraguay’s main distributors of soft drinks and spirits in judicial proceeding where numerous employees were found guilty of charges such as merchandise theft, and representation of Petrobras in the successful settlement of a four-year dispute between the company and certain employees.

Real Estate:
The practice offers legal coverage in all stages of a real estate transaction for buyers, lessors, lessees and finance parties, including setting up construction trusts to finance the development of properties. Along with its economic stability, Paraguay is experiencing a construction boom that led the firm to develop a solid construction law and real estate division. The division provides daily legal services to important local and foreign construction and engineering companies such as FEN, an Argentinian real estate group, in the negotiation and the preparation of the special bidding terms and conditions, contracts and related legal advice to develop a series of luxury buildings and hotels from the Esplendor and Dazzler hotel brands.

Infrastructure:
Gross Brown advises international and local companies on both regulatory and financing aspects of some of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in Paraguay. The infrastructure team puts together a combination of industry insight and public law knowledge, providing its clients creative solutions to successfully overcome their challenges. Recent experience of the firm involves advising Goldman Sachs and IDB Invest in the financing of Paraguay’s first ever Paraguayan PPP Project for the reconstruction, refurbishing, management and operation of two main routes in Paraguay; UBS Group Inc. in the financing of the Carmelo Peralta-Loma Plata Route (Corredor Bioceanico) for the sum of US$ 440,000,000; as well as JP Morgan and IDB Invest in the structuring of a USD 598,000,000,00 finance package for the construction of a key water treatment infrastructure project. Likewise, the firm has advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the structuring of a finance package for a main infrastructure project under Law N°5074/13.

Capital Markets:

The firm’s capital market practice has advised in all seven of the sovereign based US Dollar denominated fixed rate securities issuances under NY law (Reg S and Rule 144) between 2013 and 2019, Gross Brown remains a leader in capital markets and Reg S S/R144 securities transactions in Paraguay. The firm has represented Citigroup and BofA in the first issuance; BofA and JP Morgan in the second and third issuance; BofA and Itaú BBA in the fourth issuance; Citibank N.A. in the fifth issuance; Citibank N.A. and JP Morgan in the sixth issuance; and Citibank N.A. in the seventh issuance, totaling securities issuance for an amount of USD 3,830,000,000. The firm has also acted as legal counsel to BBVA and Millicom from the private sector as issuers in Reg. S/Rule 144 bond offerings.

Dispute Resolution:
The dispute resolution practice focuses on mediation, arbitration and mainly civil and commercial law litigation for local and international clients. The firm’s qualified lawyers have vast experience working in courts and arbitration. The firm’s team actively manages over one thousand court cases. The firm has also represented Ericsson in a USD 8,203,089 breach of contract damages claim, and Petrobras in a USD 5,690,495 in a distribution agreement termination claim for compensatory.

Languages:
English, French, German, Guarani, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Clients:
Citigroup, BBVA Paraguay, S.A, Asociación de Bancos del Paraguay, Cosan Group, Cotecna, Anas S.p.A., Visa, the Inter-American Development Bank, Banco Itaú, Petrobras, Lukoil, Canal 9 (TV network), Compañía Cervecerías Unidas S.A. (CCU), Buquebus Airlines, The World Bank, Rabobank, Bladex, CAF, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America/ Merril Lynch, FEN Group, IRIDIUM-ACS, Noble Paraguay S.A., Hapag Lloyd, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Aqualogy (Suez Group) among others.