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GAR 100 - 10th Edition

Claro y Cia

01 March 2017

Paired up with Squire Patton Boggs for a solar power dispute

People in Who’s Who Legal 1
Pending cases as counsel 5
Value of pending counsel work Approximately USD 198 MM
Treaty cases 1
Current arbitrator appointments 6 (of which 3 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 2

Founded in 1880, Claro y Cía is the oldest firm in Chile. It came to the attention of GAR through Felipe Ossa, who joined in 2006 after a four-year spell with the international arbitration practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

But even before that – as GAR’s sister title Latin Lawyer 250 notes – Claro y Cía had established itself as one of the country’s most prestigious firms recognised for its disputes work as well as for banking, finance and M&A specialisms. Senior partner José María Eyzaguirre was one of the first practitioners in the region to take part in major international arbitrations. In 1999, he was co-counsel with Freshfields in an ICC case involving Heineken and local brewer Quiñenco.

When the local arbitration body, CAM Santiago (the Centre of Arbitration and Mediation at the Santiago Chamber of Commerce), unveiled a new roster of arbitrators, five Claro y Cía lawyers were on the list – the most of any local law firm.

Ossa is the co-author of a book on Chilean case law relating to the UNCITRAL Model Law.

Who uses it?

Recent clients include US renewable energy company First Solar, tyre producer Goodyear, New Zealand’s Greymouth Petroleum, French advertising group Publicis and Chilean chemicals company Soquimich (in a dispute with a Chilean state entity over lithium exploitation).

It also represented EDF in the enforcement of an ICC award against Total and Repsol before the Supreme Court of Chile.

Track record

The firm won a favourable award for US copper producer Freeport in a large construction case at CAM Santiago in 2012 and continues to act for it in several cases.

It is also behind some of the milestone court decisions on arbitration in Chile. Those include persuading a Chilean court to award interim measures under the country’s international arbitration act for the first time. In 2007, Ossa and another partner handled a case that led to Chile’s first court ruling upholding the principle of competence-competence.

Recent events

Together with Squire Patton Boggs, the firm helped First Solar defeat a US$5.4 million ICC claim by government-linked non-profit Fundación Chile and other investors in a dispute over one of South America’s largest solar power plants. The unsuccessful claimants have since retaliated by bringing a court action against the arbitrator who ruled against them.

Ossa joined the ICC commission on arbitration and ADR and gave a lecture on international arbitration at Harvard University.