Santiago-based firm Morales & Besa has expanded its partner head count to 14 with the promotion of two associates.

Fernando Arab and Macarena Laso will bolster the firm’s labor and corporate practices, respectively. Arab counsels on labor and social security, including labor litigation, as well as contractual and corporate matters concerning individual and domestic and international collective labor laws.

Laso, who practiced law for nearly 20 years at Morales & Besa, advises her clients on corporate, capital markets, investment funds, real estate, and construction matters. She lent her talents to the advising of AD Retail on its $54 million purchase of Dijon in March 2013, a deal financed through a blend of debt finance, capital increase, and an injection of cash from shareholders. In addition to AD Retail, Laso regularly advises Cintra Infraestructuras, AXA Capital Chile Investment Fund, Grupo Copesa, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Vinci Airports, and Apollo Global Management, among others.

In an interview with IFLR1000, Laso noted an uptick of M&A deals in the Chilean market.

“Compared to 2013, 2014 has seen an increase in large M&A deals,” she said. “Large corporations have been bought, sold or merged, both by national and international buyers and sellers while there has been a relative decline in the number of small and medium-sized deals.”

Laso added that the market has seen the government’s decision to consider the adoption of mandatory merger control by the antitrust authority, and the impact of the tax reform that the government has issued.