GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Chile

10 January 2017

Chile

Chile’s competition regime is on the verge of another round of major statutory changes, but the country’s growing antitrust bar looks well prepared for the latest makeover.

Elite

The highly respected duo of Claudio Lizana and Lorena Pavic lead the competition team at Chile’s best-known firm CAREY. Lizana and Pavic bring more than 40 years of antitrust experience to the helm and are supported by a group of 12 associates and three trainees.

Lizana and Pavic are consistently active in all facets of competition work, defending clients during cartel or abuse of dominance investigations initiated by the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE), guiding clients through the merger process, and providing compliance counselling. The firm is currently defending Cencosud against allegations by the FNE that the company and two other supermarkets colluded by fixing the resale price of chicken through their suppliers. It is also defending generic drug manufacturer Fresenius Kabi Chile and its subsidiary Laboratorios Sanderson against the competition authority’s bid-rigging and collusion charges.

In non-cartel work, Carey is representing GD Searle, Pfizer’s subsidiary in Chile, in the FNE’s suit against the pharmaceutical company for alleged abuse of dominance. The competition authority claims that GD Searle is attempting to exclude competitors from the market for active ingredient in the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib through sham patent litigation. On the merger front, Carey is acting for dairy company Danone in the sale of its Chilean subsidiary to Watt’s for US$24 million.

FERRADANEHME is led by founding partner Nicole Nehme Zalaquett. Nehme and partner Sander van der Voorde, who joined FerradaNehme from Allen & Overy, oversee a team of 10 associates – many of whom are former FNE officials.

A substantial part of the firm’s work over the past couple of years has concerned the wholesale and retail distribution of consumer goods, as well as the banking, communication and energy sectors. In addition to representing clients during investigations and merger processes before the FNE and the Chilean Competition Tribunal, FerradaNehme also advises nearly a dozen clients on competition compliance issues.

FerradaNehme successfully defended Nestlé Chile against claims that it and two other dairy companies allegedly abused their collective dominant position in the market for raw cow’s milk. The firm is also acting on behalf of Walmart Chile in a case initiated by FNE against supermarket companies, and is advising port concessionaire Antofagasta Terminal Internacional in a process aimed at modifying the restrictions on vertical integration on ports imposed by the predecessor of the competition tribunal in 2002.

Partner Cristóbal Eyzaguirre spearheads the competition team of two partners and 10 associates at CLARO & CÍA. Both Eyzaguirre and partner José Miguel Huerta have broad experience representing clients in antitrust litigation and investigations, and are authors of several publications.

Recently, the firm represented Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) in a leniency application to the FNE, and in an administrative proceeding at the US Department of Justice. CSAV was able to obtain full immunity in Chile, and reached an agreement with the DOJ regarding the agencies’ investigations into an alleged car carrier cartel. Claro currently represents CSAV in the FNE’s case against the rest of the shipping companies that would have been involved in the alleged conspiracy, now before Chile’s Competition Tribunal.

During the past year, the firm also successfully represented Chilean pulp and paper company CMPC in a leniency procedure regarding the FNE’s investigation into collusion in the tissue paper market. Claro is currently defending Agrosuper, the largest poultry producer in Chile, in a US$1.5 billion antitrust damages lawsuit alleging that the company conspired with rivals to limit the supply of chicken.

CARIOLA DÍEZ PÉREZ-COTAPOS & CÍA operates a busy competition practice, which is led by partner Juan Cristóbal Gumucio. A litigation partner and a corporate partner often work with Gumucio on various matters, and the team is supported by six associates. Similar to its counterparts, the firm has been busiest in the consumer goods, shipping, energy and pharmaceutical industries, taking on cartel and abuse of dominance cases with equal frequency.

The firm is currently defending Maxximiza, a company that organises public transportation at Santiago’s airport, against abuse of dominance allegations by bus company Delfos. Chile’s Competition Tribunal ruled in favour of Maxximiza, but Delfos has appealed against the decision to the Supreme Court. The firm also continues to represent K-Line in a government investigation into various auto shipping companies.

Partners Julio Pellegrini and Pedro Rencoret lead PELLEGRINI & CÍA, a specialised antitrust boutique that opened in 2013. In the years that have followed, Pellegrini & Cía has kept pace with Chile’s larger, more established firms that house competition practices. The two heads oversee a team of four associates and collaborate with recently promoted partner Francisco Blavi, who is strong in commercial litigation.

Pellegrini & Cía represents furniture company Silcosil in its lawsuit alleging Masisa and its subsidiary Masisa Componentes violated unfair competition laws in the market for “ready to assemble” furniture. The firm has also represented clients in front of Chile’s Competition Tribunal, including Scotiabank in a regulatory proceeding that the court began in order to examine the competition implications of having the major banks vertically integrated with the only company that operates the credit and debit card network. The tribunal also accepted a petition that Pellegrini & Cía filed on behalf of the Chilean Association of Tourism Companies to look at the competitive effects of agreements that LATAM Airlines signed in 2016 with American Airlines, Iberia and British Airways. The firm argued that the accord “will cause grave harm for competition, seriously affecting the tourism market, travel agencies, tourism operators and consumers.”

PHILIPPI PRIETOCARRIZOSA & URÍA opened its doors in January 2015, replacing former competition law powerhouse Philippi Yrarrazaval Pulido & Brunner and combining with Colombia’s Prietocarrizosa and Spain’s Uría Menéndez.

On the merger front, the firm worked on the US$12.2 billion deal between Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, as well as on joint ventures between shipping companies United Cargo, Global Reefers and South Pacific Logistics and between the largest Chilean banks. Additionally, Philippi Prietocarrizosa is currently advising Grünenthal Chile in the FNE’s case against the Pfizer subsidiary Searle, which allegedly engaged in exclusionary conduct against its competitors, including Grünenthal. The firm is also counselling Banco Santander-Chile as it implements its national competition compliance programme.

The antitrust work at PRIETO remains in the hands of the highly capable Benjamín Grebe. While Grebe is the lone competition partner at the firm, two other partners assist on antitrust matters, including litigation before the Competition Tribunal. Juan Tagle, the head of the firm’s M&A practice, also intervenes in merger control issues. Two associates, including former senior FNE lawyer Manfred Zink, support the competition practice full-time.

During the last 12 months, the firm was actively involved in five high-profile litigation cases before the tribunal, concerning relevant economic sectors including retail, dairy products, energy and transportation. The practice is also advising clients in several cartel and abuse of dominance investigations being conducted by the FNE. For example, Prieto y Cía is representing NYK Line in the FNE’s maritime investigation, as well as SMU in the agency’s probe into three supermarket chains for an alleged hub-and-spoke agreement.

Partner Rodrigo Díaz de Valdés leads the Chilean arm of BAKER & MCKENZIE’s sprawling competition network. Long-time partner José Joaquín Ugarte left the firm in September, but one partner and six associates continue to support Díaz de Valdés in Santiago. Over the past year, the practice successfully obtained antitrust approval for General Electric’s sale of its appliance business to Electrolux – a deal that ultimately failed due to US opposition – and FedEx/TNT. The firm has also been involved in two of the main antitrust litigation cases before Chile’s Competition Tribunal in the past few years: it represents SCA in the cartel case in the tissue paper market, and it represented a group of franchisees against the leading fast food franchisor in Chile.

Nicolás Lewin Muñoz took over the competition practice at NLD ABOGADOS when he merged his practice, Lewin y Companía, with Noguera Larraín & Dulanto in June 2014. Lewin spends his time exclusively on antitrust matters, but works with long-time litigation partner Ramón Domínguez to prepare for damages hearings, trials and to draft amicus briefs. In merger cases, M&A partner Paulo Larraín lends a helping hand. Recently, the Chilean competition agency opened an investigation into the joint venture between NLD Abogados’ client Merck Sharp & Dohme – a subsidiary of the global healthcare giant Merck – and a domestic pharmaceutical company, after the companies did not notify the FNE of their agreement. The authority ultimately ended its probe without filing a formal complaint or punishing the companies. During 2016, the FNE started investigating another one of the firm’s clients, Falabella Retail, regarding vertical restraint agreements made with suppliers of retail electronic products. After the firm responded to the authority’s information requests, the FNE closed its investigation with no charges.

The four-member competition team at MORALES Y BESA is directed by partner Gonzalo Cordero, who started practising antitrust law nearly two decades ago. He works alongside partner Jorge Vial and two associates, and the group spends the majority of its time on unilateral conduct litigation and merger counseling. The team got a boost in March with the hiring of senior associate María José Henríquez, the former head of the anti-cartel unit of the FNE. Cordero defended document management company Iron Mountain in the FNE’s abuse of dominance investigation, which resulted in a settlement that the Competition Tribunal ultimately approved. For other clients, the firm also provides reports and opinions on the antitrust climate in Chile and the risks of going forward with proposed mergers.

Firm

Head(s) of competition

Size

Who’s Who Legal nominees

Clients

Elite

Carey

Claudio Lizana

Lorena Pavic

2 partners

12 associates

3 law clerks

Claudio Lizana

Lorena Pavic

Cencosud, Mitsui/Toyota, Hapag Lloyd, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), MasterCard, Nestlé, Kimberly-Clark, Electrolux, Enap, Clorox, ThyssenKrupp, Philip Morris, Roche, Novartis

Claro & Cía

Cristóbal Eyzaguirre

2 partners

10 associates

Cristóbal Eyzaguirre

LATAM Airlines Group, Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores, IAG Group (British Airways and Iberia), Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas, Bolsa de Comercio de Santiago

FerradaNehme

Nicole Nehme Zalaquett

2 partners

10 full-time associates

4 part-time associates

Nicole Nehme Zalaquett

Sodimac, Walmart Chile, Nestlé Chile, Transelec, UPS, Falabella Group, Merck Sharp & Dome, SalmonChile, Gastronomía & Negocios, Asociación Chilena de Factoring

Highly recommended

Philippi Prietocarrizosa & Uría

Ricardo Riesco

1 partner

2 counsel

2 senior associates

3 associates

Ricardo Riesco

Marriott International, National Association of Banks and Finance Institutions, Canal 13, Fox International Channels US, Endesa, Asociación de Transportes Expreso de Chile

Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos & Cía

Juan Cristóbal Gumucio

2 partners

6 associates

Juan Cristóbal Gumucio

Unilever, Maxximiza, Fonterra/Soprole, the Coca-Cola Company, American Airlines, Editorial Santillana, Iansa, Ripley, K-Line, GNL Chile

Pellegrini & Cía

Julio Pellegrini

Pedro Rencoret

3 partners

4 associates

Julio Pellegrini Vial

The Chilean Association of Tourism Companies, CMPC, the Chilean Chamber of Construction, Equifax, Scotiabank, Camanchaca, WSP Servicios Postales

Prieto y Cía

Benjamín Grebe

3 partners

2 associates

None

E-CL, Engie, Watt's, NYK Line, SMU, Isapre Consalud, Mall Plaza, Transmisora Eléctrica del Norte

Barros & Errázuriz Abogados

José Tomás Errázuriz

Luis Eduardo Toro

N/A

None

N/A

Bulnes Urrutia & Bustamante

José Manuel Bustamante

N/A

None

N/A

Recommended

Baker & McKenzie

Rodrigo Díaz de Valdés

2 partners

6 associates

None

Fedex, SCA, General Electric, Continental Viña Concha y Toro, Daimler, Ingram Micro, Sony, Oracle, Puig SL, Black & Decker

NLD Abogados

Nicolás Lewin Muñoz

1 partner

2 senior associates

1 of counsel

None

Falabella Group, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Derco, Masonite International, Linzor Capital, EY, Assa Abloy, Italmod, Café Haiti, EPYSA, Casas del Bosque

Morales y Besa

Gonzalo Cordero

2 partners

2 associates

None

Pfizer, Iron Mountain, Metro Santiago, Essilor, Parex Group, Cámara Chilena de la Construcción, Aguas Andinas, Cermaq, Australis Seafoods

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