Managing Partner: Haroldo Espalter
Number of partners worldwide: 7
Number of other lawyers worldwide: 37
Hughes & Hughes is a long established and prestigious full-service firm that has successfully encompassed the long-term expertise with a modern, sophisticated and practical approach of the business. Their history goes back to more than 100 years of uninterrupted professional practice acting as legal representatives but also pointing out business opportunities and strategic alliances to their clients. With a unique understanding of the legal world and an up-to-date knowledge of new market and business models the firm plays an active role in the legal and economic life of their country.
Despite the firm having no formal ties on an exclusivity basis with firms abroad it enjoys an excellent relationship and close connections with the top US, European and regional firms. The firm is the Uruguayan member of Legalink, Fraud-Net and Employment Law Alliance.
Main Areas of Practice:
Corporate/Commercial & M&A:
The assistance includes the incorporation of companies under any form of legal structure, reorganisation, spin-off, or winding-up transactions, share and asset purchase agreements, joint ventures, shareholders’ agreements and all type of commercial agreements. In the M&A area, H&H has helped accomplish some of the major transactions, being directly involved in structuring and implementing these transactions, and developing extensive expertise in due diligence reviews, advising clients during the decision-making process, and in assessing any existing contingencies.
Banking & Finance:
H&H provides regulatory advice to commercial and investment banks and other financial institutions. The firm works alongside clients in the process of becoming a regulated entity (ie financial adviser, broker, etc) by preparing all the paperwork required by the Uruguyan Central Bank. H&H regularly participates in the structuring and reviewing of significant loans and other credit facilities, promissory notes, trade financing, export credits, and all related financial contracts and securities. In the field of capital markets, the firm has participated in several bond issues, including the largest issue of commercial papers in Uruguay.
Asset Recovery, Insolvency & Restructuring:
The team is widely respected for its success assisting clients regarding bankruptcy proceedings, including financial institutions and brokers and has the Uruguayan membership of the ICC’s Fraudnet. The team’s experience in this field involves dealing with several jurisdictions and thousands of creditors. This activity has led to an organised structure prepared to efficiently deal with complex asset recovery, including those generated by business crime.
Labour & Employment:
The firm has developed an outstanding performance advising the major employers of our country. H&H has successfully accomplished reorganisation and restructuring schemes for longstanding national and international companies in Uruguay. Due to its achievements the firm has become the exclusive Uruguayan member of the Employment Law Alliance, a global network listed by Chambers as among ‘The Elite’ and in Band 1 for employment and labour.
Litigation & Arbitration:
The dispute resolution team is known, as Chambers Latin America highlights, for being very practical, strategic and diligent, with a strong focus on complex contentious matters. It is specialised in sophisticated litigation and arbitration, covering all industries and procedures, routinely involved in high profile cases with excellent results for the clients.
The firm regularly advises clients in real estate developments, industrial complexes, housing projects, real estate investment fund formation, structuring and joint ventures, and complex real estate M&A. In respect of rural land, the firm is probably the most experienced firm in the market, having been involved in the purchase of over 200,000 hectares during the last decade.
Infrastructure & Government Procurement:
The firm has been involved in all major bidding proceedings, PPPs, privatisations, public work concessions and the negotiation and execution of major infrastructure concessions, including power plants, gas pipelines, mining exploration, railways, roads and port facilities. The firm also provides advice to clients of regulated industries such as energy, telecommunications, oil and gas.
Energy & Natural Resources:
H&H has provided significant assistance in projects for the development of renewable energy, gas pipelines, wind farms, construction of a power plant based on combined-cycled-gas-turbine generated energy, and other infrastructures related to the transportation of gas supply. It also advises on the exploration of oil resources onshore and offshore. Included in the Guide of Participants in Wind Power Energy in Uruguay created by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM).
The firm regularly advises clients on all aspects of environmental law, having vast experience in pulp mills, chemical industries and environmental aspects of forestry. Services in this area include advising on regulatory aspects of environmental impact assessments, applying for and obtaining all necessary environmental authorisations, advising on legal environmental aspects of land regulations and land use, legal environmental due diligences and judicial proceedings regarding environmental liability.
The firm regularly advises clients to devise appropriate legal structures in the light of the applicable taxation and regulatory requirements; the use of free zone system, other advantageous tax regimes and also international tax treaties is considered whenever they may result in benefits for commercial, tax, and financial planning purposes.
Languages: English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish.
Most of the firm’s clientele is international, including multinational corporations, and their local subsidiaries and branches, financial institutions, and multilateral organisations, having activities in the country. Some representative clients are: Aker Biomarine, Akuo Energy, Ansaldo Energía SpA, Automotores Gildemeister, BBVA Uruguay, Baluma, Codere, Colgate Palmolive Inc., Degremont, Grupo Pestana, Pöyry PLC, Höegh LNG Ltd., Invenergy, Imperial Chemical Industries, LEGOEducation, McDonald´s Uruguay, Milagro S.A., Montevideo Refrescos, Orosur Mining, Papas Chips S.A. (Pepsico Inc.), Pinturas Inca (AkzoNobel), SC Johnson & Son, Statoil, Telesat Canada, Timac Agro, UPM.