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Bofill Mir & Alvarez Jana

Attorneys Involved
Andrés Jana (Partner)
Rodrigo Gil (Partner)

Practice areas
International Arbitration

GAR 100:
BMAJ included in prestigious list of the world's leading international arbitration law firms

BMAJ has been included in Global Arbitration Review’s list of the firms “approved” for international arbitration, the GAR 100: an independent and rigorously researched guide to firms around the world that demonstrate an impeccable strategic skillset and “true experience” in the field of international arbitration.

See below the entry for BMAJ in the GAR 100 – 13th Edition.

Bofill Mir & Álvarez Jana Abogados

Secured a multimillion-dollar award for the Panama Canal Authority

People in Who’s Who Legal1
Pending cases as counsel8
Value of pending counsel workUS$1.1 billion
Treaty cases0
Current arbitrator appointments11 (4 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator2

Chile’s most active player in investment treaty arbitration, Bofill Mir & Álvarez Jana (BMAJ) largely owes its reputation in the field to Harvard-educated partner Andrés Jana, a former government lawyer who has helped to negotiate several of Chile’s free trade agreements. He is a member of the ICSID panel of arbitrators and the LCIA, and was in 2019 appointed to the governing board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration.

The firm’s other partner to know is Rodrigo Gil, who previously practised with Arnold & Porter.

Who uses it?

Chilean and international companies often turn to the firm to advise in arbitrations at the country’s main arbitration centre, CAM Santiago, as well as foreign-seated cases with a Chilean-law component.

International clients have included AES; Bechtel; Domino’s Pizza; Japan’s Mitsui and Lumina; Canadian mining companies New Gold and Quadra; Colombian confectioner Colombina; and Brazilian engineering company Alusa.

Clients in Chile include state-owned copper company Codelco, Antofagasta Minerals, ENAP Refinerías, pharmaceuticals distributor Pentafarma, Deloitte and the National Association of Professional Soccer.

Track record

The firm’s track record at ICSID is excellent. It obtained a US$48 million award for Chilean mining company Quiborax in 2015 in a case against Bolivia over the cancellation of a mining concession – and three years later defeated the state’s application to annul the award.

Another victory at ICSID came in 2007, when the practice helped the government of Chile defeat a claim by a Spanish investor over fishing rights. The tribunal threw out the case on jurisdictional grounds.

It has also had good results before the Chilean courts in arbitration-related matters. In 2015, the firm helped Codelco persuade the Santiago Court of Appeal to annul a CAM Santiago award worth US$16 million in favour of E-CL, a Chilean subsidiary of France’s Engie. The dispute concerned a power purchase agreement for the Chuquicamata mine.

In 2014, it helped the European Southern Observatory, a Munich-based astronomical research body, defeat a set-aside petition before the Santiago Court of Appeal, a decision that dispelled doubts as to whether foreign lawyers were permitted to appear in international cases seated in Chile.

Recent events

The firm is representing the Panama Canal Authority in three disputes over the cost of the waterway’s expansion. In December 2018, an ICC tribunal hearing one of those disputes ordered the Grupo Unidos por el Canal consortium to reimburse US$847 million in advances paid by the canal authority.

BMAJ helped Flughafen Zürich and its Chilean partner to uphold a US$37 million ICSID award against Venezuela over the expropriation of a concession to run the international airport on Margarita Island in the Caribbean Sea.

The firm’s arbitration team says it successfully represented Chilean advertising company Sutil Nazca in an international ad hoc arbitration worth US$36 million against Publicis Groupe, the legal successor of UK-based global advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi.

Away from his counsel work, Jana sat as arbitrator on an ICC tribunal that granted a Costa Rican state entity’s request to dissolve its joint venture with a Chinese counterpart in a politically sensitive dispute over a cancelled US$1.5 billion project to upgrade an oil refinery.

He is also sitting on a NAFTA tribunal which has begun hearing a US$700 million claim against Mexico brought by a group of US investors in an oil services business.

Former partner Rodrigo Quintana, who previously worked for the Organization of American States, left the firm in 2019.

Karen Werner joined the firm’s partnership from Chilean firm Gutiérrez Waugh Jimeno & Asenjo in early 2019, taking on the civil and commercial litigation portfolio.

Client comment

A representative from the Panama Canal Authority says that BMAJ provides “the best arbitration services in Latin America”.

Jana is able to combine his academic background as a professor of law and his professional background as a practitioner to make “in-depth legal analysis without losing, at any moment, his contact with his practical knowledge of how businesses work”.

Gil, meanwhile, has “an incredible talent to understand technical engineering issues and explain them in legal terms”.

The European Southern Observatory praised Jana and Gil as “very skilled and dedicated professionals” whose “precise and convincing” arguments were fully adopted by the Santiago Court of Appeal in its 2014 case.