Matías Desmadryl Lira

Matías Desmadryl is our partner who leads the firm’s water law practice. As one of Chile’s most renowned lawyers in this area of practice, he has been included at the top in every Chilean and foreign ranking. In addition to being a knowledgeable attorney, his vast experience and expertise in handling highly complex matters, have enabled him to be part of the most important and varied investment projects, counseling domestic and foreign clients.

In 2010, Matías was appointed by Chile’s President as the highest authority for water in Chile, assuming the position of the General Director of Water at the General Bureau of Water (Dirección General de Aguas, DGA).

His expertise is not limited to water law. He is a renowned environmental and natural resources lawyer, with an extensive trajectory in general regulatory matters and dispute resolutions. He regularly works with multidisciplinary teams on the development of all types of projects, with company directors, their executives and advisors, dealing with legal matters of his specialty as well as strategic and technical aspects associated to their businesses.

In the public sector, as General Director of Water (Director General de Aguas), Matías led a team of experts from the World Bank in the drafting of a report to diagnose the status of water resources and associated institutionality which resulted in the definition of the National Strategy on Water Resources. During that time, he headed the creation of the National Water Information System, and the discussion and drafting of two amendments to the Chilean Water Code, which subsequently served as the origin to the Chilean Regulation on Exploration and Exploitation of Underground Water , Large- Scale Hydraulic Works, and Minimum Ecological Flow.

Along with his professional practice, Matías is also a professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, University of the Andes, and University of Finis Terrae, where he teaches post-graduate courses on water rights, the environment, and environmental compliance matters. He is regularly invited to speak at conventions, conferences, and seminars, and to give his expert opinion on bills being discussed in the Chilean National Congress.

  • Lawyer, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
  • Diploma, Economic Administrative Law, major in Natural Resources, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
  • Advanced Management Program, ESE Business School

  • Director at APEMEC (Association of Small and Medium-sized Hydroelectric Power Plants)
  • Representative of the National Society of Agriculture on the National Board of Water for the creation of a new public water institution (2020)

  • Professor, Water Rights in the Masters in Law (LLM), Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
  • Professor, Environmental Compliance in Diploma on Compliance and Corporate Best Practices, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
  • Professor, Water Rights in Masters of Environment and Masters in Mining Law and Water Rights, University of Finis Terrae, Chile.
  • Professor, Water Rights in Diploma on Natural Resources and Environment, University of the Andes, Chile.

  • Best Lawyers, “Leading Lawyer” in Chile, Water Law, 2017, 2020
  • Best Lawyers, “Lawyer of the Year” in Chile, Water Law, 2019

  • Chambers & Partners Latin America Guide 2021, Environment: “Experienced practitioner Matías Desmadryl receives effusive praise from market sources for his capabilities advising clients on water rights”. A client reports: “He has a high-level knowledge of the environmental regulations and a broad strategic vision,” adding that “he is an expert.” Another interviewee goes on to state: “He is very respected in the area”.
  • Chambers & Partners, “leading lawyer” in Energy & Natural Resources, Water: “his excellent performance and in-depth expertise in relation to water matters”, “We could not have a better adviser”.