Practice Areas

Best Lawyers works with leaders in the legal marketplace to keep our practice area lists current, allowing clients and referring lawyers to more easily locate the precise expertise they are seeking.

View region-specific practice areas by first selecting a country from the drop-down below.

  • Administrative Law

    Administrative Law Definition

  • Advertising Law

    Advertising Law Definition

    Advertising law consists of the set of rules that regulates all forms of promotion, communication, recommendation, or action that advertisers use to target the public by any means suitable for the purpose of informing and motivating them to purchase or hire a good or service, as well as the sanctions and actions derived from possible infractions in these matters.

    In Chile, there is not a single body of law that regulates this activity. Thus, advertising law is comprised of rules contained in various sources, such as: the Political Constitution of the Republic, the Law of Protection of the Rights of Consumers, Unfair Competition Law, Data Protection Act, Intellectual Property Law, Industrial Property Law, and special regulations such as those for tobacco, pharmaceuticals, food, alcohol, financial services, etc. 

    In a competitive market, it is fundamental for businesses to make their products known to the public and to encourage their acquisition. In this informative and persuasive process, efforts should be made to obtain the greatest possible effect, while at the same time minimizing the legal risk that this may entail. Lawyers with knowledge in this area of law, composed as we have said by various legal frameworks, can reduce the aforementioned legal risk by evaluating the legality of affirmations upheld before the consumer public, the contents of packages and labels, the drafting of terms and conditions and the development of contests and promotions, and how to conduct comparative advertising or whether a particular campaign infringes third-party rights or not. Likewise, these lawyers can provide assistance in the event that an individual or supervisory body pursues the liability of customers as a result of an alleged infraction.  

    Given that advertisers, advertising agencies, and the media are always on the lookout for new ways to attract consumers, lawyers who are engaged in this area of law must be aware of new trends and technologies that affect advertising activity and, of course, their legal implications. By way of example, practices have been established in recent years to which national legislation is not yet fully adapted, such as advertising through social media networks or behavioral targeting.   

    Therefore, any company that regularly communicates with consumers in order to attract them must take into consideration the various rules that regulate advertising activity.  

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    El derecho publicitario está compuesto por el conjunto de normas que regula toda forma de promoción, comunicación, recomendación o acción que los avisadores dirigen al público por cualquier medio idóneo al efecto, para informarlo y motivarlo a adquirir o contratar un bien o servicio, así como las sanciones y acciones derivadas de eventuales infracciones en estas materias. 

    En Chile no existe un sólo cuerpo normativo que discipline esta actividad. Así, componen el derecho publicitario, normas contenidas en diversas fuentes, tales como: La propia Constitución Política de la República; la Ley de Protección de los Derechos de los Consumidores; Ley de Competencia Desleal; Ley de Protección de Datos; Ley de Propiedad Intelectual; Ley de Propiedad Industrial; y, regulaciones especiales como las del tabaco, farmacéutica, de alimentos, alcoholes, servicios financieros, etc.

    En un mercado competitivo, es fundamental para las empresas dar a conocer sus productos al público y motivar su adquisición. En este proceso informativo y persuasivo, debe procurarse obtener el mayor efecto posible, minimizando al mismo tiempo el riesgo legal que esto puede conllevar. Abogados con conocimientos en esta área del derecho, compuesta como hemos dicho por diversos cuerpos normativos,  permiten disminuir el mentado riesgo legal, evaluando la licitud de afirmaciones sostenidas ante el público consumidor; el contenido de empaques y etiquetas; la redacción de bases y desarrollo de concursos y promociones; la forma de realizar publicidad comparativa o si determinada campaña infringe derechos de terceros o no. Asimismo, estos abogados pueden brindar asistencia en caso de que algún particular u organismo fiscalizador persiga la responsabilidad de sus clientes como fruto de una supuesta infracción.

    Dado que avisadores, agencias de publicidad y medios de comunicación siempre están en la búsqueda de nuevas formas de atraer a los consumidores, los abogados que se dedican a esta área del derecho deben estar al tanto de las nuevas tendencias y tecnologías que inciden en la actividad publicitaria y, por supuesto, de las implicancias legales de estas. A modo ejemplar, en los últimos años se han instaurado prácticas ante las cuales la legislación nacional todavía no se adapta completamente, tales como la publicidad por medio de redes sociales o la segmentación por comportamiento.

    Por lo tanto, toda empresa que se comunique regularmente con los consumidores con el fin de atraerlos, debe tener en consideración las variadas normas que regulan la actividad publicitaria. 

  • Arbitration and Mediation

    Arbitration and Mediation Definition

    Both Arbitration and Mediation are alternative dispute resolution methods, that provide the following benefits as opposed to litigation:

    1. Speedy resolution of conflicts;
    2. Confidentiality for the parties involved;
    3. Flexibility in the resolution of the conflict;
    4. Greater control over the procedure; and
    5. The possibility of receiving the assistance of an expert (arbitrator or mediator) on the subject at hand.

    In Chilean legislation, certain issues are a matter of mandatory arbitration or mediation, but the general rule is that such matters are voluntary. Essentially, any kind of private conflict may be submitted to arbitration or mediation, particularly, controversies relating to commercial partnerships, copyright, exports, insurance, construction, infrastructure, energy, maritime affairs, banking, finance, securities, among others.

    Cases of mandatory mediation may be found in (a) family law, in matters regarding tuition and alimony, custody and visitation rights; (b) tort claims against hospitals or clinics in the public assistance network; and (c) conflicts regarding royalties from copyrights administrated by collective entities. 

    The most important cases of Mandatory arbitration are controversies relating to (a) joint-stock companies and (b) liquidation of collective corporations.   

    With regards to arbitration, it is important to note the existence of a dual regime. The first system, related to national arbitration, is governed by the rules of the Code of civil procedure and domestic court regulations. The second system, regulating international arbitration, is governed by Law Nº19.971, which closely follows the provisions of UNCITRAL model Law.

    An important issue regarding international arbitration is language. Before Chilean law, in certain cases it is possible for any party to submit a review of an award before the Court of Appeals. Chilean Courts do not speak English and will only accept official translations from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, which are expensive and time-consuming. For these reasons, parties should conduct their proceedings in Spanish.

    In Chile, the main institution providing both arbitration and mediation services is the Santiago Arbitration and Mediation Centre (CAM), of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce. In addition, other bodies include the National Centre of Arbitration (CNA) and the Controversy Resolution Centre for the Web Domain, an institution of Network Information Centre (NIC) of Chile.

    Attorneys aid prospective clients with legal guidance and counsel, in the case of mediation. In arbitration, they tend to have a lead role, presenting claims, defences, evidence, petitions for review, and generally, any submission necessary to attain the client’s goals through an award or agreement with the assistance of the arbitrator. 

  • Aviation Law

    Aviation Law Definition

  • Banking and Finance Law

    Banking and Finance Law Definition

    The banking system in Chile is highly specialized and is generally governed by the General Banking Act of 1997 (Ley General de Bancos de 1997) and the complementary rules of the Superintendency of Banks and Financial Institutions (Superintendencia de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras, or SBIF). The SBIF is a technical and autonomous body that ensures the correct and proper functioning of banking companies and the due compliance with the regulatory framework that governs local banks. Additionally, the banking system is subject to certain special regulations issued by the Central Bank of Chile.

    The local financial market has experienced a remarkable development in the last 30 years, both from the incorporation of new actors and the sustained and substantial growth of several of the main actors. Thus, it is common to see local banks financing large-scale projects even bilaterally, without the need to form unions with other entities.

    It is for the preceding reason that this market requires continuous legal advice with extensive knowledge of the financial industry and experience in negotiating and structuring complex loans, whether syndicated, bilateral, acquisition financing, corporate credit, structured financing, capitalizations, refinancing, restructuring, and reprogramming, and financing of projects of various natures, such as energy, petrochemical, mining, aeronautical, and public and private infrastructure projects, acting both on behalf of debtors and creditors.  

    This, of course, requires a significant amount of creativity in the development of original schemes for the structuring and placement of sophisticated public and private debt instruments, always taking into account the different needs and concerns of debtors and creditors, as well as the nature, characteristics, and flow structure of each particular project.

    Legal advice on banking matters also extends to cross-border transactions, i.e. international financing granted by both foreign banks and multilateral agencies in order to promote the development of a wide range of projects in Chile.  

    In the area of capital markets, law firms in Chile advise on the implementation of initial and secondary public offerings, guaranteed and insured bonds both in Chilean and international markets, and stock issues and financing under rule 144A and securitizations, as well as in the development and organization of new investment funds, both public and private.  
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    El sistema bancario en Chile es de una alta especialización, y en general se rige por la Ley General de Bancos de 1997 y por las normas complementarias dictadas por la Superintendencia de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras (SBIF), organismo técnico y autónomo que vela por el correcto y adecuado funcionamiento de las empresas bancarias y por el debido cumplimiento del marco regulatorio que rige a los bancos locales. Asimismo, se encuentra sujeto a ciertas regulaciones especiales dictadas por el Banco Central de Chile. 

    El mercado financiero local ha experimentado un notable desarrollo en los últimos 30 años, tanto por la incorporación de nuevos actores como por el crecimiento sostenido y sustentable de varios de los principales actores. Así, es frecuente ver a bancos locales financiar proyectos de gran envergadura incluso en forma bilateral, sin necesidad de formar sindicatos con otras entidades. 

    Es por lo anterior que este mercado requiere de una asesoría jurídica permanente y con amplio conocimiento del negocio financiero y experiencia en la negociación y estructuración de préstamos complejos, tanto sindicados como bilaterales, financiación de adquisiciones, créditos corporativos, financiamientos estructurados, capitalizaciones, refinanciamientos, reestructuraciones, reprogramaciones y financiamiento de proyectos de diversa naturaleza y especie, tales como proyectos de energía, petroquímicos, mineros, aeronáuticos y de infraestructura pública y privada, actuando tanto en representación de los deudores como de los acreedores.

    Lo anterior, por cierto, requiere de una importante cuota de creatividad en la elaboración de esquemas originales para la estructuración y colocación de sofisticados instrumentos de deuda pública y privada, teniendo siempre en cuenta las distintas necesidades e inquietudes de deudores y acreedores, como asimismo, la naturaleza, características y estructura de flujos propias de cada proyecto en particular.

    Las asesorías jurídicas en materia bancaria también se extienden a transacciones transfronterizas, esto es, a financiamiento internacionales otorgados tanto por entidades bancarias extranjeras como por organismos multilaterales a fin de promover el desarrollo de proyectos de diverso tipo en Chile. 

    En el área de mercado de capitales, los estudios jurídicos en Chile asesoran en la implementación de ofertas públicas iniciales y en ofertas secundarias, bonos garantizados y asegurados, en los mercados chilenos e internacionales, emisiones de acciones y financiamientos bajo la norma 144A y securitizaciones, así como en el desarrollo y organización de nuevos fondos de inversión, tanto públicos como privados.

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation

    Bet-the-Company Litigation Definition

  • Capital Markets Law

    Capital Markets Law Definition

  • Communications Law

    Communications Law Definition

  • Competition / Antitrust Law

    Competition / Antitrust Law Definition

    The Chilean Antitrust Legislation, essentially, is geared towards improving consumer welfare by increasing market efficiencies through healthy, sustainable competition. At the centrepiece is the DL Nº211, which establishes the institutional framework of market supervision. On the one hand, the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE) oversees investigation proceedings, normative recommendations and M&A review, whereas the special Tribunal for Defence of Competition (TDLC) handles trials and adjudication.  

    In line with other jurisdictions, antitrust in Chile is a highly specialized field, where both lawyers and economists play a huge role in the analysis of market conduct. As an example, the TDLC is chaired by members of both professions, which allow for a more nuanced and delicate approach.

    A major reform of the antitrust legislation was enacted in 2016 which introduced, among other changes, the following:

    1. Increased faculties and functions of the FNE;
    2. Increases in fines, and the introduction of criminal sanctions for cartel members;
    3. A mandatory notification procedure for M&A above certain thresholds;
    4. New rules forbidding Interlocking Directorates; and,
    5. Claims for damages shall be handled by the TDLC.

    The focus of antitrust attorneys should regard these substantive matters: 

    Horizontal Agreements: Cartels are banned per se, criminalized, and have an obligation to grant damages from their behaviour. Other forms of horizontal cooperation require the guidance of attorneys handle proceedings before the FNE.

    Mergers and Acquisitions: With the new mandatory M&A review, firms are required to notify and comply with any recommendations sought out by the FNE. Parties may submit a petition for review in case their operation is rejected by the regulator.

    Abuse of Dominance: Most cases handled by the TDLC involve accusations of unilateral practices, which are increasing in both scope and complexity.

    Besides litigation and administrative proceedings before the competition authorities, lawyers also play a very important role assessing the business practices and strategies of their clients, which usually revolve around pricing policy, advertisement, distribution agreements, regulatory compliance, vertical practices and horizontal cooperation between competitors.

  • Construction Law

    Construction Law Definition

    Construction law brings together legal advice on all the relevant variables and aspects that arise occasionally during the execution of a construction contract.  

    Legal advice typically will be required for construction companies, contractors, subcontractors, engineers, or, in general, all those involved in the negotiation and execution of a construction project, whether between individuals or between individuals and the state.  

    In this sense, legal advice in this practice area is oriented in a comprehensive manner and covers practically all the stages and variables present in the execution of any complex construction project, which will extend from the first stages of a project, whether it be the financing, organization of conglomerates, or participation in public or private bidding processes, through the negotiation and preparation of contracts (EPC, EPCM, lump sum costs, unit prices costs, reimbursed costs, etc.), as well as the processes of obtaining construction and environmental permits, to the actual execution  of the work and, logically, any subsequent conflict that may arise. 

    It is known that the execution of any construction project is complex, expensive, and normally involves extremely high financial risks. This means that a correct legal counsel will allow a thorough understanding of each contract, such as the risks that each entails, but it especially will allow the understanding of the mechanisms that each agreement establishes to solve difficulties during the execution, as well as to utilize the best and most efficient means available to be able to reasonably claim against the lack of payment or adequate compensation for the work done, or the lack of execution of this. This can be in a context of negotiation, claims, or directly in front of litigation.  

    In fact, having specialized advice in this area will be crucial to know how to deal with various legal problems and scenarios that may affect the execution of a construction project, especially considering the fact that the regulation that affects the execution of a construction project is broad, diverse, and complex. This is particularly relevant since the right of construction in the private sector is not systematically regulated in Chilean law, but its principles and concepts have been incorporated and developed dynamically through the doctrine and jurisprudence of arbitration tribunals and courts. In terms of Chilean regulation in the public sector, it has certain legal frameworks, but its scope and concepts are constantly evolving. Therefore, having specialized legal advice will be decisive in the success of any construction contract.  

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    El derecho de construcción congrega la asesoría jurídica sobre todas aquellas variables y aspectos relevantes que surgen con ocasión de la ejecución de un contrato de construcción. 

    Así, típicamente requerirán de asesoría legal tanto las empresas constructoras, como los contratistas, subcontratistas, ingenieros, o en general, todos aquellos actores involucrados en la negociación y ejecución de un proyecto de construcción, ya sea entre particulares o bien, entre particulares y el Estado.

    En este sentido, la asesoría jurídica en el área está orientada de forma integral y comprende prácticamente la totalidad de las etapas y variables presentes en la ejecución de cualquier proyecto de construcción complejo, de modo tal que abarcará desde las primera etapas de un proyecto, ya sea el financiamiento, organización de conglomerados o participación en procesos de licitación públicos o privados, pasando por la negociación y elaboración de contratos (EPC, EPCM, a suma alzada, a serie de precios unitarios, por administración, etc.), como por los procesos de obtención de permisos de construcción y ambientales, hasta la ejecución propiamente tal de las obras, como también, lógicamente, cualquier conflicto posterior que pueda suscitarse. 

    Es sabido que la ejecución de cualquier proyecto de construcción es complejo, costoso y normalmente envuelve altísimos riesgos financieros. Esto implica que una correcta asesoría jurídica permitirá comprender a cabalidad cada contrato, como los riesgos que cada uno trae aparejado, pero especialmente permitirá comprender los mecanismos que cada convenio establece para solucionar dificultades acaecidas durante la ejecución, como también utilizar los mejores y más eficientes medios disponibles para poder reclamar justificadamente frente a la falta de pago o de compensaciones adecuadas por el trabajo realizado, o bien, por la falta de ejecución de este. Esto, ya sea en un contexto de negociación, reclamos o derechamente frente a un litigio.

    En efecto, contar con asesoría especializada en el área resultará crucial para saber cómo enfrentar los diversos problemas legales y escenarios que puedan afectar la ejecución de un proyecto de construcción, especialmente en consideración a que la regulación que afecta a la ejecución de una obra de construcción es amplia, diversa y compleja. Esto resulta particularmente relevante, en cuanto el derecho de construcción en el sector privado no está sistemáticamente regulado en la ley chilena, sino que sus principios y conceptos se han ido incorporando y desarrollando dinámicamente a través de la doctrina y de la jurisprudencia de los tribunales arbitrales y ordinarios de justicia. Por su parte, y en lo que se refiere a la reglamentación chilena en el sector público, ésta cuenta con ciertos cuerpos normativos, pero su alcance y conceptos se encuentran en constante evolución. Así, contar con asesoría legal especializada resultará determinante en el éxito de cualquier contrato de construcción.

  • Corporate and M&A Law

    Corporate and M&A Law Definition

    Mergers & Acquisitions is a critical area of legal practice in Chile that has significantly developed over the last two decades while becoming increasingly more complex due to full incorporation of standards of international transactions (such as due diligence requirements, pre-closing covenants, closing conditions, representations and warranties, caps and limits on seller’s liabilities, price adjustments, non-compete and exclusivity provisions, choice of law, and international arbitration). The influence in this respect of international law firms (most of them based in U.S. and U.K.) that has provided legal assistance to foreign investors in Chile has been visible.

    A variety of legal alternatives are available for carrying out a merger and acquisition of a Chilean company, mainly: (i) a direct merger whereby two or more companies decides to merge into one of them or into a newly created one; (ii) an indirect merger as a result of the acquisition of 100 percent of the interest or shares in a company; (iii) the acquisition of a given percentage of interest of shares that provides the acquirer the controlling power over the company; and (iv) the acquisition of the assets of a company (including or not liabilities, operations, etc.) as an ongoing concern. Of course, all of these alternatives may consider multiple variations on the structure finally implemented, from mergers and acquisitions made not at the target level but in an upper level, through previous reorganizations aimed to “clean” the target, as well as negotiation of partners or shareholders agreements to strengthen or to share the acquired control, etc.
    Mergers and acquisitions regulations in Chile fundamentally concern corporations (sociedades anónimas), although a variety of companies also may be merged and acquired under well-recognized principles of freedom in Chilean laws. Needless to say, regulations are far stricter where an open corporation or a company operating in a regulated industry is involved. In this line, for instance, applicable regulations do not allow the direct acquisition of the control of an open corporation - with certain exceptions - but impose on the interested party the obligation to conduct a public tender offer.

    Notwithstanding that mergers and acquisitions requires an experienced corporate counsel to head the process, it should be noted that a potential acquirer is forced to receive advice from a legal team which includes tax, regulatory, and antitrust specialists, among others, not only by reason of standard due diligence of the target company, but also because the definition of the legal structure to be followed for the acquisition may critically depend on tax, regulatory, and antitrust considerations. Furthermore, and under recent major amendments of the Competition Act to come into force by June 2017, both a mandatory pre-merger notification system and new substantive standards for evaluating mergers have been introduced, which will have to be taken into account in order to ensure a successful acquisition.

  • Corporate Governance & Compliance Practice

    Corporate Governance & Compliance Practice Definition

    Corporate Governance regulations or practices set the framework – duties and rights – for those that participate in the direction and control of an entity, either for profit or non-for profit. Direction means having all the conditions needed to allow the entity to take risks and create value for its shareholders. Control requires having the right system of checks and balances in place and to update it on a regular basis.

    In most cases, Corporate Governance is more relevant in for-profit listed companies because of the relationship between investors (shareholders and/or sometimes debtholders) and managers (board members, committees and officers) and its impact in the market. As widely recognized, the entity’s management faces the agency theory, which arises from the separation of property and control. However, certain market characteristics, such as property concentration, may led to different difficulties, as occur in the Chilean market.

    In Chile, Corporate Governance issues are mainly regulated by Securities Act No. 18,045, Corporations Act No. 18,046 and its rules, Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros (Chilean Securities Regulator) Act DL 3,538 and General Rule Number 385 (“GRN 385”) issued by the SVS, which proposes its view on good corporate governance practices under a “Comply or Explain” format.

    For many companies, GRN 385 has been a main aspect of their Corporate Governance work. However, other issues related with corporate governance may include assistance in the drafting of corporate governance handbooks, policies and procedures, board evaluation, protocols in case of family-owned companies, specific regulation for state-owned companies or NGOs and other documents that regulate and organize relationship among the company and its shareholders and/or stakeholders, as the case may be.

    Compliance practice refers to those practices that allow the fulfillment of legal, contractual and other kind of requirements as well as the risk management within the firm. In Chile, Law Number 20,393 establishes criminal responsibility for legal entities in certain crimes such as assets laundering, terrorism financing or bribery. However, the international compliance standard goes beyond these situations and practices related with FCPA or the UK Bribery Act, Sustainability and others are also relevant.

    Therefore, Corporate Governance & Compliance are not easy fields. They require a deep knowledge of the company involved and extensive experience working with boards, board members, board committees and senior management in strategic, risk and management issues. In this regard, lawyers working in this area should have capabilities beyond those needed to assist the company itself in M&A and Capital Markets deals, but to understand the internal dynamics within the board and senior management, shareholders and stakeholders.

  • Criminal Defense

    Criminal Defense Definition

    In Chilean law, some of the most relevant criminal practices are tax or fiscal offenses, fraud, money laundering, bribery and other crimes of public officials, homicides, sexual abuses, and libel and slander.  While many of the offenses are criminalized in the Penal Code (Código Penal ), they are also enshrined in special laws, such as the Tax Code, Stock Market Law, and Customs Ordinance (Código Tributario, Ley de Mercado de Valores y Ordenanza General de Aduanas).

    Chilean legislation provides for fines, deprivation of rights, and deprivation of liberty (without death penalty). Generally, those sentences with less than five years of imprisonment may be substituted by alternative penalties. For legal entities, the maximum legal sanction is its dissolution.  

    A criminal investigation may be initiated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Ministerio Público) by a complaint or ex officio. The investigation is directed by the Prosecutor. The Guarantee Judge (Juez de Garantía) is in charge of ensuring the rights of the parties. When there is an established background, the Prosecutor can inform the accused, before the Guarantee Judge, that an investigation is being carried out against the accused (formalización). Only then, precautionary measures (including preventive detentions) could be requested by the Prosecutor and dictated by the Guarantee Judge. There are alternative outlets for the trial, such as conditional suspension of proceedings, reparatory agreements (mainly for property offenses), and abbreviated proceedings. There is no jury. In exceptional circumstances, the judgment can be annulled before the superior courts. 

    The accused have a right to a public defender, but they can hire a particular criminal lawyer for the protection of their rights, such as counseling in declarations, negotiation of the sentence, and request for hearings. Regarding the victim, a distinctive feature of Chilean law is that he or she can intervene as a plaintiff, with punitive actions different from those of the Prosecutor, as well as civil actions for damages filed in the criminal proceeding.  

    Currently, companies have increasingly required counseling outside of criminal proceedings. In addition to the traditional reputational and economic risks that companies face, criminal penalties of the new Law on Criminal Responsibility of Legal Entities (Ley Responsabilidad Penal de Personas Jurídicas) are added. For that reason, it is relevant to hire criminal lawyers with experience in internal audits and compliance, not only for detecting criminal risks, but also related risks such as in environment and antitrust regulation. Likewise, given increasing globalization and the complexity of conflicts, it is important to have expert advice on transnational and multidisciplinary conflicts, for example, for extradition proceedings, defense of human rights before international courts, and complementary actions before administrative or competition authorities.  
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    En el derecho chileno, algunas de las prácticas penales más relevantes son los delitos tributarios o fiscales, fraudes, lavado de dinero, cohecho-soborno y otros delitos de funcionarios públicos, homicidios, abusos sexuales e injurias y calumnias. Si bien gran parte de los delitos están tipificados en el Código Penal, están consagrados también en leyes especiales, tal como Código Tributario, Ley de Mercado de Valores y Ordenanza General de Aduanas. 

    La legislación chilena contempla penas patrimoniales, privativas de derechos y privativas de libertad (sin pena de muerte). Generalmente, aquellas menores a 5 años de privación de libertad pueden sustituirse por penas sustitutivas. Para las personas jurídicas la máxima sanción legal es su disolución.

    Se puede iniciar una investigación penal por parte del órgano persecutor (Fiscalía) por denuncia, querella o de oficio. La investigación es dirigida por la Fiscalía. El Juez de Garantía es el encargado de velar por los derechos de las partes. Cuando existen antecedentes fundados, la Fiscalía puede comunicar a los imputados, ante el Juez de Garantía, que se sigue una investigación en su contra (formalización) y solicitar medidas cautelares (incluyendo la prisión preventiva), respecto de las cuales decide el órgano judicial. Existen salidas alternativas al juicio oral, como suspensión condicional del procedimiento, acuerdos reparatorios (principalmente para delitos patrimoniales) y procedimiento abreviado. No existen los jurados. Excepcionalmente se puede anular el juicio ante los Tribunales Superiores.  

    Los imputados tienen derecho a un defensor público, pero pueden contratar un abogado penalista particular para la protección de sus derechos, tal como asesoría en declaraciones, negociación de la pena y solicitud de diligencias. Respecto a la víctima, un rasgo distintivo del derecho chileno es que ésta puede intervenir como querellante, con pretensiones punitivas diferenciadas a las de la Fiscalía, además de interponer acciones civiles indemnizatorias en el proceso penal.

    Actualmente han aumentado las empresas que requieren asesoría fuera del proceso penal. Además de los tradicionales riesgos reputacionales y económicos que enfrentan, se agregan las sanciones penales de la nueva Ley Responsabilidad Penal de Personas Jurídicas, volviéndose relevante contratar a penalistas con experiencia en auditorías internas y compliance, no sólo para riesgos propiamente penales, sino en áreas relacionadas como medio ambiente y libre competencia. Asimismo, dada la creciente globalización y complejidad de los conflictos, resulta relevante contar con asesoría de expertos en conflictos transnacionales y multidisciplinarios, por ejemplo, para procesos de extradición, defensa de derechos humanos ante tribunales internacionales y acciones complementarias en sedes administrativas o de libre competencia.

  • Derivatives

    Derivatives Definition

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