Latin Lawyer News | Zang Bergel hires energy practice head from Brons & Salas

Zang, Bergel & Viñes Abogados has strengthened its energy and natural resources practice, hiring a partner from Brons & Salas to lead the group.

Amalia Sáenz, 53, joined Zang Bergel on 1 February. She previously led Brons & Salas’ energy department.

Managing partner Carolina Zang says Sáenz’s arrival marks a revamping of her firm’s energy practice. “Amalia’s incorporation to the firm had long since been our intention, and this year we made it happen. The partners at the firm decided to hire Amalia, a highly valued professional, to lead the department and accompany the current evolution in this field.”

The department was previously led by firm founders Saúl Zang and Ernesto Viñes. It built experience advising energy companies, including state-owned YPF, on privatisations during previous administrations.

The firm has opted to strengthen the practice to meet increased demand from clients looking to invest in Argentina’s natural resources space. “The opportunities in the field of energy and natural resources are tremendous, and we want to be on top of our game to best service our clients and be their true one-stop-shop and preferred partner,” says Zang.

The Macri administration has labelled 2017 as the year of renewable energy, amid plans to diversify Argentina’s energy supply by promoting unconventional energy sources. The country hopes to derive 20% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2025. Macri has also made moves in the oil and gas sector, with YPF signing an agreement with Norway’s Statoil to study potential offshore drilling sites in October.

Sáenz says Argentina’s extensive shale reserves and renewable targets are set to help the country attract considerable foreign investment. “This sets an ideal stage to visualise and establish an innovative department within Zang Bergel, a firm which is commendable for its adaptability and forward-looking stance,” she says.

Zang Bergel is known for its commitment to involving both partners and associates in the firm’s management. Sáenz will take on managerial responsibilities as part of her new role, covering practice development, team development and client relationship building.

She will also take on a mentoring role for young associates at the firm, as well as working alongside Zang to promote women’s advancement in the workplace. “I found in Zang Bergel inspirational management and a bold, forward-looking firm,” says Sáenz. “As a partner here I will be able to genuinely contribute towards achieving values such as diversity and women´s advancement. I am very eager to be a part of a modern firm, where excellency in legal service coexists with a more avant-garde approach towards client relationships and overall communications,” she continues.

She is the fifth female partner at Zang Bergel – the only firm recommended in the Argentine chapter of the Latin Lawyer 250 with a female managing partner. Her addition means women account for 50% of partners at the firm, well above the market average of 16% recorded in Latin Lawyer’s 2016 women in survey law.