Rafael Vergara

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Santiago, Chile
    Local Time: Friday 16:22

Practice Expertise

  • Mining
  • Environmental Law and Litigation
  • Infrastructure and Project Development

Areas of Practice

  • Environmental Law and Litigation
  • Infrastructure and Project Development
  • Mining


Partner of Carey and co-head of the firm's Natural Resources and Environment Group. His practice focuses on natural resources, mining, water rights, energy, environment, surface lands, project financing, and corporate and commercial law.

Bar Admissions
Chile (1987).


  • Law, Universidad de Chile.
  • Academy of American and International Law, Southwestern Legal Foundation, Dallas, USA (1993).
  • Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Harvard University (1997).

Areas of Practice

  • Environmental Law and Litigation
  • Infrastructure and Project Development
  • Mining

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments
  • Recognized in Energy and Natural Resources: Mining, Chambers Latin America.
  • Recognized in Environment, Mining, Projects and Infrastructure, The Legal 500.
  • Recognized in Mining & Metals, Energy, Environment and in Project Finance and Infrastructure, Latin Lawyer 250.
  • Recognized in Banking and Finance, Project Development and Project Finance, IFLR1000.
  • Recognized in Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Project Finance and as Global Elite Thought Leader in Mining, Who’s Who Legal.
  • Recognized in Energy, LACCA.
  • Recognized in Mining, Environmental Law, Natural Resources, Project Finance and Development, Best Lawyers.
  • Recognized in Energy and Natural Resources, Environment, Infrastructure and Mining, Top Ranked Legal.
  • Elected Best Undergraduate Professor Award, Law School, Universidad de Chile.
  • Named Lawyer of the Year in Mining (2021), Natural Resources (2014, 2016 and 2019) and Energy (2015), Best Lawyers.
  • Winner in Natural Resources: Mining Category, Leading Lawyers, Idealis (2013 and 2015).

Professional Activities and Experience
  • At-Large council member representative for Latin America, Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
  • Trustee-at-Large, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (2012-2015).
  • Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de los Andes (since 2003).
  • Professor of Mining Law, Universidad de Chile (since 1996).
  • Member of the Chilean Bar Association and former advisor (2006-2011).
  • Visiting professor in several graduate studies and Master Degree Programs on Natural Resources Law at several Chilean Universities.
  • Member of the panel of arbitrators, Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago.
  • Member of the Legal Committee of the National Mining Association (SONAMI).
  • Member of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA).
  • Member of the International Bar Association (IBA).
  • Member of the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • Member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
  • Chair of the Advisory Council of the World Association of Mining Lawyers (WAOML).
  • Member of the Red Interamericana de Especialistas en Legislación Ambiental (RIELA).


Additional Articles
  • Co-author of the Chilean chapter - Mining Practice Guide - Lexology, Getting the Deal Through (2019 and 2021).
  • Co-author of the Chilean chapter of Construction and Projects Q&As Global Guide, Thomson Reuters (2018-2020).
  • Author of the Chilean chapter on Mining, Getting the Deal Through (2010-2013).


Water Code Reform

During March 2011, a draft bill was introduced through parliamentary motion, initiating the discussion of a comprehensive amendment of the Water Code. During its legislative discussion, the project has been subject to significant changes through substitutive indications submitted in 2014 by the Bachelet government, and in 2019 by the Piñera government, and successive changes to its legislative priority. Currently, the draft bill is being discussed in the Agriculture Committee of the...

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