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ARGENTINA | 29-12-2023 14:11

Sturzenegger, Rodríguez Chirillo, Muratorio: the men behind Milei's mega-decree

Trio were in charge of drafting President Javier Milei's mega-decree; Over the last few weeks they ramped up contact with lawyers from the most important law firms in Argentina.

Federico Sturzenegger worked for over two years on the draft of Javier Milei's "mega-decree." But even though in recent days he was introduced as the “brain” behind the decree, he is not the only “father of the creature,” in the words of an influential administrative worker who followed its drafting closely.

The source underlined the role of Energy Secretary Eduardo Rodríguez Chirillo, and Jorge Muratorio, a partner from the O'Farrell law firm, in the construction of the text.

Milei's presidential office confirmed the three names to Perfil. However, in the weeks prior to the decree's announcement introduction, consultations accelerated, and lawyers from several of the most important law firms in Argentina provided advice and technical collaboration. However, so far, none of those want to publicly acknowledge their role. 

 

Beginnings

Sturzenegger began to work on the draft while hoping that Patricia Bullrich would become president. During the campaign, the former presidential candidate, who is now Milei's security minister, held meetings with the economist lasting one or two hours, whether in person or via Zoom, to find out about its progress.

When the PRO leader was cast out of the electoral race after failing to qualify for the run-off, Milei arrived on the scene.

“Javier knew about the de-regulation work Federico had been doing. He’s always admired him and his approach was not an imposition by Patricia,” sources close to the current minister commented. 

Rodríguez Chirillo, in turn, was also making progress with a similar bill within La Libertad Avanza's structure. When Sturzenegger showed up, their work supplemented each other – the former, for example, was especially focusing on energy issues and privatisations.

Argentina's new energy secretary studied Law at the Universidad Católica Argentina and earned his doctorate at the Universidad de Navarra in Spain. He was the head of energy during the government of Carlos Menem, and then went into the private sector. He is one of the founders of the ERC consultancy firm, specialising in electricity, renewable energy, oil and gas. 

Muratorio joined the team later. He is the figure with the lowest profile of the three – a lawyer specialising in Public Law and Economic Regulation who became responsible for the technical details. 

On the website of the O’Farrell Law Firm, which he joined in 1998, Muratorio highlights his work as assistant of public utility companies such as Naturgy, Cámara Empresaria de Transporte Automotor de Larga Distancia (CELADI), Edenor, Telefónica De Argentina or Autopistas Del Sol. He is a professor at Universidad Católica Argentina, Universidad de Belgrano, Universidad Austral and Universidad Abierta Interamericana (UAI).

 

Cabinet meeting

Three days after being inaugurated, Milei chaired a Cabinet meeting, which also included all three of the aforementioned authors. It was also attended by Rodolfo Barra, Treasury attoney general and a specialist in public procurement, Marcos Serrano. Legal advisor to the Justice Ministry Lucrecia Frangi and economist Lucas Llach were also called up.

The role of Barra in the drafting of the Urgent Decree raises doubts. His appointment had suggested that his extensive knowledge of the Contentious-Administrative jurisdiction would be the key to resolving the potential court filings against the decisions of Milei’s government.

A colleague who is very close to the official, however, assured that he did not intervene, and the rumour of his malaise has been installed in the legal universe. 

At any rate, the head of State lawyers published a column defending the urgent decree in which he stated: “Our President is a figure analogous to the King (such as in Spain) or the Head of State (e.g. the President of the Republic in Italy) in current European parliamentary systems: the person leading and defining the most essential topics, especially those inherent to the peace, material justice and subsistence of the Nation”.  

The names of those who provided the government with legal advice are only spoken of off-the-record. Those repeating the version that there was advice by lawyers from the Techint Group are based, above all, on the meeting held by Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse with Techint boss Paolo Rocca at the Casa Rosada, moments before the National Broadcast where Milei announced the Urgent Decree.

The number of law firms with that degree of influence are not many – most of them know each other and these days they have held permanent conversations about the progress of the project. Bruchou & Funes de Rioja, Martinez de Hoz & Rueda and Cassagne Abogados are some of those who have been mentioned as collaborators behind the scenes.

“No law firm collaborated. It’s true that there were calls to particular lawyers from the most important law firms, but all recommendations were personal,” said a prestigious lawyer from the business elite.

From the President’s Office, when being asked about each of these firms, they respond that they had no information.

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Giselle Leclercq

Giselle Leclercq

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