Latin America

Leaders

Kevin Kelley New York
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Jose W. Fernandez New York
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Tomer Pinkusiewicz New York
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Lisa A. Alfaro São Paulo
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Overview

The Latin America Practice Group has provided services to clients in Latin America, and for Latin American clients around the world, for more than 30 years.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Latin America practice allows us to provide global legal services to our clients and shows our commitment to this dynamic region.  The group draws on the legal, linguistic and cultural experience of its members to advise a broad base of transnational clients.  Many group members are fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and conduct business in those languages.  Our representations have included: 

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Venture capital and other private equity transactions
  • Capital market transactions (including ADRs and Rule 144A transactions)
  • Debt reorganizations, including tender and exchange offers
  • Project finance
  • Multilateral and syndicated credits
  • Tax matters
  • Government expropriations
  • Debt conversion
  • Insurance
  • Litigation and international arbitrations 

The Latin America group works with private clients and governmental institutions.  We have participated in the renegotiation of sovereign debt as well as advised companies and governments in major privatizations.

Experience and Recent Representations

  • Deutsche Bank AG in connection with a $286 million note offering issued by Cablevisiόn, S.A., a cable television and broadband systems provider in Argentina.
  • Red de Carreteras de Occidente, S.A.B. de C.V., one of Mexico's largest private highway concessionaires, in connection with multiple note offerings.  Red de Carreteras de Occidente, S.A.P.I.B. de C.V. owns the concession to build, operate and maintain the Maravatio-Zapotlanejo and Guadalajara-Aguascalientes-Léon highways in Mexico.
  • Five underwriters in connection with the $300 million bond financing of the Mexican Wind Farms, Oaxaca II and Oaxaca IV.  Named Project Finance Magazine's Latin American Project Bond Deal of the Year.
  • Heineken N.V. in connection with the:
    • Sale of its Mexican packaging business, Empaque, to Crown Holding, a manufacturer of consumer packaging for food and beverage products
    • Acquisition of FEMSA Cerveza, the Mexican and Brazilian beer operations subsidiary of Fomento Economico Mexicano 
  • Coeur Mining, Inc. in its acquisition of Paramount Gold and Silver Corporation, a mining company of gold, silver, and other metals in Mexico and Nevada.
  • Neustar in its acquisition of CO Internet S.A.S., a Colombian operator of a worldwide registry for Internet addresses with the .co top-level domain.
  • Smurfit Kappa Group plc in its acquisition of Grupo CYBSA, a packaging manufacturer with operations in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua. 
  • Citigroup Global Markets in connection with a $300 million senior secured credit facility to Puma Energy Centam, a petroleum wholesaler engaged in downstream oil and gas activities in Guatemala and other Central American countries.
  • Banco Ficohsa, S.A. in connection with the:
    • Acquisition of 100% of Citigroup Inc.'s equity interest in the consumer banking business in Honduras, as carried out by Banco Citibank de Honduras S.A. and Cititarjetas de Honduras S.A.
    • Acquisition of Banco Citibank de Nicaragua and Cititarjetas de Nicaragua from Citigroup 
  • Caesars Entertainment in its sale of a 45% stake in Bahuma S.A., a Caesars subsidiary and owner of Conrad Punta Del Este Resort and Casino in Uruguay, to Chilean casino resort operator Enjoy S.A.
  • Representing Chevron Corporation in its successful RICO suit against the purveyors of what The Wall Street Journal called the legal "fraud of the century," Chevron Corp. v. Donziger et al., Case No. 11-cv-0691 (S.D.N.Y.).  Gibson Dunn was lead counsel in Chevron's RICO and fraud suit against the U.S. lawyer and associates who masterminded an extortion scheme against Chevron that included fraudulently procuring a $9.2 billion Ecuadorean judgment against the company and carrying out an extortionate pressure campaign in the United States.  Gibson Dunn obtained a trial verdict in favor of Chevron, in which the district court held that the scheme constituted racketeering in violation of RICO and federal laws prohibiting attempted extortion, wire fraud, money laundering, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  In its 485-page opinion, the court described the case as "extraordinary" and "includ[ing] things that normally come only out of Hollywood," including "coded emails," "payments out of a secret account," videotaped evidence of crimes in progress and blockbuster evidence that the defendants "wrote the [Ecuadorian] court's Judgment themselves and promised $500,000 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favor and sign their judgment."   
  • Secured a U.S. Supreme Court affirmance for BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC in its closely watched challenge to Puerto Rico's debt-restructuring law for municipal entities.  In 2014 the Commonwealth's legislature enacted the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (Recovery Act), a statute that purported to create a binding bankruptcy-like debt-restructuring regime for Puerto Rico's highly indebted public entities, including its largest electric utility, PREPA.  Gibson Dunn filed suit on behalf of PREPA bondholder BlueMountain shortly after the law was enacted, the District of Puerto Rico agreed that the federal Bankruptcy Code preempts the Recovery Act, and the First Circuit unanimously affirmed.  The Supreme Court's analysis in affirming the First Circuit is likely to impact express-preemption jurisprudence and provides important protections for holders of municipal bonds.
  • Resolved groundbreaking, multibillion-dollar litigation by NML Capital, Ltd. (an affiliate of Elliott Management Corporation) against the Republic of Argentina when Argentina paid NML more than $2.4 billion to satisfy NML's claims on the country's defaulted bonds.  This settlement marked the conclusion of what the Financial Times called the "sovereign debt trial of the century" and ended 13 years of litigation following Argentina's default in 2001 on more than $80 billion in external debt.  While most of Argentina's creditors accepted new bonds, worth much less, in exchange for the repudiated bond obligations, NML chose to fight.  After securing judgments, attachments and injunctions against Argentina, the tide turned with two decisive U.S. Supreme Court victories won for NML by Gibson Dunn.  Still unwilling to comply, Argentina continued to resist – and suffer the consequences – until the Republic's new president initiated negotiations with creditors and the settlement agreement was reached.
  • Transformed a high-risk toxic tort litigation against Dole Food Company, Inc. into a headline-making victory when Gibson Dunn took over the defense of a series of cases filed against Dole alleging that its use of the pesticide DBCP in Nicaragua in the 1970s caused sterility in former farmworkers.  Gibson Dunn uncovered a scheme by plaintiffs' lawyers to recruit and train fraudulent plaintiffs in a toxic tort suit which the court dismissed as a sanction, finding pervasive fraud.  Prior to Gibson Dunn's representation, a Los Angeles jury had awarded $2.3 million in damages in another DBCP case, a verdict that the court threw out, finding it was tainted by fraud.  
  • Conducted Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance monitorships for companies with substantial Latin American operations.  Over the last three years, our lawyers have conducted hundreds of interviews, collected data, and reviewed risks and controls across these companies' Latin American operations.