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GAR 100 - 10th Edition

Moreno Baldivieso

06 March 2017

A first port of call for investors with difficulties in Bolivia

People in Who’s Who Legal 2
Pending cases as counsel 7
Value of pending counsel work US$500 million+
Treaty cases 3

Moreno Baldivieso was set up in 1931 as an intellectual property practice, but later went full-service and is today one of Bolivia’s largest firms. The international arbitration practice was set up in 2006 to benefit clients affected by a wave of nationalisations in the oil and gas, telecoms, aviation, energy and mining sectors.

The practice, led by Ramiro Moreno and Andres Moreno, is often seen teaming up with the likes of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Hogan Lovells on investment treaty cases with a Bolivian angle.

Alongside its La Paz headquarters, the firm has offices in five other Bolivian cities.

Who uses it?

BP and its subsidiary Pan American Energy have used the firm for investment treaty matters. Other clients include Iberdrola, Siemens, Samsung, Halliburton, Votorantim, AON, Pepsico and US medical devices group Johnson & Johnson.

Track record

In 2014, the firm (together with Freshfields) helped Pan American Energy settle its long-running ICSID case against Bolivia over an expropriated natural gas unit, with the state agreeing to pay US$357 million – thought to be the largest payout the state has made to a foreign investor.

Another Freshfields collaboration saw the firm help Bolivian telecoms investors settle a treaty dispute with Ecuador in 2013.

Together with Hogan Lovells, the firm helped Spain’s Iberdrola secure a US$34 million settlement with the Bolivian government over expropriated power assets in 2015.

On the commercial side, Moreno Baldivieso helped Bolivia’s leading insurance company, Bisa Seguros, settle a dispute with Panamanian reinsurer QBE del Istmo. Bisa later instructed the firm to defend it in a domestic arbitration brought by Bolivia’s largest oil and gas company, YPFB Andina, concerning loss of production income from an oil well affected by the overflow of a major Bolivian river.

The firm successfully defended Canada’s Pan American Silver in a claim brought by Bolivian mining group Minera Unificada, which was ordered to bear all the arbitration costs.

Recent events

A Bolivian tungsten ore trader has instructed the firm for an ICC arbitration with Canadian listed company 5N Plus, which is being heard by a tribunal seated in Lima.

Samsung’s engineering arm has retained it for a domestic arbitration over an unpaid surety bond relating to a billion-dollar urea and ammonia plant in the country.

Andres Moreno was appointed to the ICC task force for redrafting the rules for appointing the ICC as a nominating authority in ad hoc arbitrations.