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GAR 100 - 9th Edition

Moreno Baldivieso

18 February 2016

Settled a claim for Iberdrola over an expropriation

People in Who’s Who Legal: 1
Pending cases as counsel: 5
Value of pending counsel work: US$500 million+
Treaty cases: 2

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 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.

On the commercial side of things, 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

In November 2015, the firm helped Spain’s Iberdrola secure a US$34 million settlement in its dispute with the Bolivian government over expropriated power assets. Hogan Lovells was co-counsel on that matter.

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