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GAR 100 - 9th Edition

Claro y Cia

18 February 2016

Handling some of Chile’s biggest commercial cases

People in Who’s Who Legal 1
Pending cases as counsel 6
Value of pending counsel work US$108 million
Treaty cases 0
Current arbitrator appointments 6 (of which 4 are
as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 2

This oldest firm in Chile, Claro y Cía 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.

Who uses it?

AES Gener, EDF, Goodyear and Siemens have been clients, along with US copper producer Freeport. It has various clients in the fishing, construction and financial services sectors.

Track record

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

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.

The firm represented EDF in the enforcement of an ICC award against Total and Repsol in the Supreme Court of Chile.

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

Recent events

In 2015, Claro & Cia reports that it was retained by Peruvian conglomerate Brescia Group for an ICC arbitration in New York against French industrial company Lafarge over the acquisition of a cement company in Latin America.

It is involved in two other ICC arbitrations: acting for US company First Solar in a claim against state-owned Fundación Chile and for Siemens in Santiago seated proceedings against Chilean packager Alusa.

In 2014, the firm took on a US$375 million claim against Chile’s economic development agency on behalf of chemical company SQM against the country’s economic development agency over a contract for the exclusive exploitation of lithium in Chile.

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