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GAR 100 - 11th Edition

Moreno Baldivieso

05 April 2018

Counselling Glencore in a treaty claim against Bolivia

People in Who’s Who Legal 2
Pending cases as counsel 11
Value of pending counsel work US$1.1 billion
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 Andrés Moreno, often teams with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Hogan Lovells on investment treaty cases.

The arbitration team is found in the firm’s La Paz headquarters and its office in Santa Cruz. The firm has offices in two other Bolivian cities.

Who uses it?

Glencore, Iberdrola, BP and its subsidiary Pan American Energy have used the firm for investment treaty matters.

Other clients include Siemens, Exterran, 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 a 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 settle an investment treaty claim.

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 agree 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. The firm successfully defended Canada’s Pan American Silver in a claim brought by Bolivian mining group Minera Unificada.

Recent events

Teaming again with Freshfields, the firm is representing Glencore’s Bermuda subsidiary in a treaty claim against Bolivia concerning the expropriation of a smelter and mine. The UNCITRAL claim is being heard at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

It helped Bolivian tungsten ore trader Emura settle an ICC claim against Canadian listed company 5N Plus soon after arbitral hearings in Lima in 2017.

The firm continues to represent Samsung in an arbitration at the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce concerning an unpaid surety bond relating to the construction of a US$1.2 billion urea and ammonia plant in Bolivia.

Andres Moreno was appointed to the ICC commission on arbitration and ADR – the only Bolivian national to sit on that body.

Two senior associates, Daniel Arredondo and René Claure, were promoted to partners.

Related articles

  • The Arbitration Review of the Americas 2019

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  • The Arbitration Review of the Americas 2018

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