One of Argentina’s largest law firms, Pérez Alati was also one of the first to develop experience of investment treaty work: in the late 1990s it defended the government in the first Vivendi water concession case (the only ICSID matter the country has faced which is unconnected with the 2001-2002 financial crisis). Since then, it’s become one of the main local players for that type of case and has worked for a variety of claimants alongside international firms such as King & Spalding, and White & Case. Pérez Alati and White & Case are representing a class of 170,000 Italian “holdout” bondholders in an ICSID claim over Argentina’s debt default.
- Pending cases as counsel:
- Value of pending counsel work:
- US$7.5 billion
- Treaty cases:
The firm is tight-lipped about its casework but can count a number of international energy companies among its clients for both investment and commercial matters. Big names include BP, ExxonMobil, Occidental, (former BP subsidiary) Pan American Energy, Repsol YPF and Total. The practice revolves around José Martinez de Hoz and Valeria Macchia, who are both also known as energy sector lawyers. One client, Diego Alvarez-Blanco of Ultrapetrol Group, commends their “excellence”,”level of detail” and “value for money”.
In a development the partners believe shows the team’s strength, they were retained by a local gas firm in 2009 after a four-way row broke out with Brazilian counterparties. The dispute is playing out as three ICC arbitrations.