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GAR 100 - 5th Edition

M & M Bomchil

05 March 2012

Home to the revered Guido Tawil, M & M Bomchil leads the way for arbitration in Argentina.

People in Who’s Who:
1
Pending cases as counsel:
6
Value of pending counsel work:
US$750 million
Current arbitrator appointments:
6 (of which 0 are as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
1

Though M & M Bomchil has existed since 1923, it is only in the past two decades that it has really emerged in international arbitration under the leadership of Guido Santiago Tawil.

Tawil’s reputation is reflected by leadership roles in various arbitral bodies: he is president of the newly-formed Latin American Arbitration Association (ALARB); a council member of ICCA; a court member of the LCIA; a member of the executive committee and academic council for the Institute for Transnational Arbitration; and a member of the ICC’s Latin American arbitration group.

He’s also a professor at Buenos Aires University, as is arbitration partner Rafael Manóvil, the other pillar of the practice. Manóvil, who joined the firm in 2003, often sits as an arbitrator and is a member of Argentina’s National Law Academy in recognition of his academic writing.

In addition, Máximo Bomchil – managing partner of the firm for more than 30 years – regularly serves as arbitrator in complex commercial disputes.

The arbitration group can at times span 20 practitioners, making it almost unrivalled locally.

Who uses it?

Clients include Endesa, CMS, Azurix, Telefónica, Siemens, Camuzzi, Enron, Disco and Wintershall in major investment and commercial disputes in Latin America. It’s also worked with several clients from the Chilean gas industry on arbitration and litigation spawned by the country’s 2004 gas crisis.

Track record

On the commercial front, the firm defended Spanish energy company Endesa in a US$600 million ICC dispute. The firm won the cancellation of an arbitral award against Endesa in the Argentine courts.

On the investment arbitration side, M & M Bomchil won a substantial victory (as co-counsel with King & Spalding) for Texan water service provider Azurix. Argentina lost its bid to annul a US$225 million ICSID award in Azurix’s favour.

Recent events

Tawil was appointed as co-chair of the IBA’s arbitration committee in 2011 and also became the first president of ALARB.

On the work front, the firm helped an Argentine retail company defeat a claim by a Chilean retailer. An UNCITRAL tribunal dismissed the claim – which exceeded US$70 million – in full in June 2011. The team also stopped a claim against multinational company and its local subsidiary in its tracks. The ICC claim was filed by an Argentine business.

Insight

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