This year we list individuals from more than 140 law firms throughout Central America. However, eight prominent regional outfits achieve almost 40 per cent of the total listings this year. In the following pages, we profile the leading firms across the Central American market.
Aguilar Castillo Love
Aguilar Castillo Love commands a strong position in the Central American market with offices in Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The firm is recognised for its leading lawyers across a range of practice areas, from corporate to dispute resolution. The firm illustrates its first-rate offering with 16 listings in this year’s research.
The firm stands out for its superb corporate practice, with five impressive lawyers achieving nominations this year. The firm is well equipped to handle the full gamut of matters, including coordinating corporate strategy, joint ventures and M&A transactions. The firm also displays its strong dispute resolution practice, with three practitioners extensively experienced in complex litigation and arbitrations highlighted in our corresponding chapter.
Standout figures at Aguilar Castillo Love include Francisco José Castillo-Love, who excels in franchising matters. John Aguilar-Quesada draws high praise for his corporate know-how and commercial acumen. Juan José Alcerro-Milla also gains recognition for his expertise in complex M&A transactions. Another impressive individual at the firm is Juan Carlos Castillo-Chacón, who is noted for his splendid work on complex disputes.
Alemán Cordero Galindo & Lee
Full-service Panamanian firm Alemán Cordero Galindo & Lee demonstrates its strong position in the Central American market with a total of 22 listings across nine chapters in this edition.
The firm showcases its leading corporate law offering with five lawyers highlighted for their foremost expertise on M&A transactions and governance issues. The firm receives a further three listings in our banking, finance and projects chapter, and two in real estate and construction, illustrating the breadth of its corporate finance expertise.
The firm also offers a stellar dispute resolution service and sees four practitioners listed for their top-notch work in contentious proceedings. It showcases its complete offering with listings across a variety of practice areas, sectors and industries including labour, employment and immigration, environment, energy and natural resources and data, and telecoms and media.
Standout names at the firm include Jaime Alemán, a long-standing figure and leading light in the M&A and wealth structuring space, as well as Anibal Galindo who shines in real estate transactions and private client matters. Raúl Zúñiga Brid is a distinguished name for trust and estate planning. Alejandro Ferrer is highlighted for his extensive experience resolving disputes across a broad range of industries and sectors, while Jorge Federico Lee receives plaudits for his arbitration and litigation expertise.
Arias is a highly distinguished full-service establishment which achieves a notable 57 listings across 14 practice areas in this year’s research. The listings highlight the firm’s market-leading status when it comes to corporate and banking matters, in addition to its expertise across a spectrum of key commercial areas.
Arias stands out for its administrative and public law practice with 11 practitioners recognised in our corresponding chapter. These practitioners are noted for their focus on a wide range of issues including administrative procedures, municipal law and analysis of constitutional issues.
The firm is further recognised for its stellar banking practice, which also sees 11 practitioners listed for their expertise in debt and equity restructuring, project finance and counsel on financial regulations.
Arias also excels in corporate work, with 12 practitioners earning nominations for assisting clients with corporate governance issues, fiscal and tax planning and creditors’ rights.
The firm is home to brilliant lawyers including Vicente Lines, who possesses extensive experience advising clients on acquisitions and financing issues. Victor Garita is a leading figure for financial and corporate matters on a domestic and international scale, while Ana Teresa Rizo is revered for her exceptional corporate tax advice. Carlos Ubico is another standout name; he concentrates on administrative litigation proceedings, and has substantial experience appearing before the Constitutional Court.
Arias, Fabrega & Fabrega
Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega enjoys a strong reputation as a top full-service firm in the Central American region. The firm achieves an impressive 17 listings across 10 practice areas. With offices across the globe in key financial centres such as Panama, Hong Kong and London, the firm is well suited to advise domestic and international clients seeking commercially focused advice.
The firm shines for its banking and finance practice which sees four practitioners listed. The team is noted for the depth of their experience advising leading financial and banking institutions on banking regulations and laws. The firm represents an impressive roster of clients including JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and Credit Suisse.
Corporate is another area in which the firm excels, with four practitioners recognised for their wealth of knowledge on a broad range of commercial and corporate matters, including formation of companies and incorporation of global legal structures.
Prominent individuals at the firm include Roy Durling, who is renowned for his superb knowledge of banking and finance regulations. Estif Aparicio is also a top-notch practitioner with extensive experience in challenging infrastructure finance projects, as well as an encyclopaedic understanding of tax law. Ricardo Arango, meanwhile, concentrates his practice on cross-border joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.
BLP solidifies its strong position as a major player in the Central American market. In our research this year the firm receives an impressive total of 42 listings across 13 chapters, illustrating the breadth of expertise it has to offer.
The firm has an impressive 10 lawyers recognised as leading individuals for their extensive expertise in corporate law and transactions. Their outstanding work in this area sees them assisting in a wide array of work including domestic and cross-border M&A, corporate restructurings and corporate transactions.
BLP also excels in matters relating to banking, finance and projects, as nine lawyers are highlighted for their top-notch work advising high-profile clients in the area. Dispute resolution is another important area for the firm, with four lawyers recognised for their outstanding handling of complex contentious matters in litigation and arbitration proceedings.
The firm is home to several lawyers who are revered in their fields. They include Luis Castro and Eduardo Calderon, who both rank highly for their market-leading corporate work, particularly within the real estate and construction sectors. Mauricio Salas enjoys a stellar reputation for his outstanding work in the disputes arena, and Luis Ortiz is widely respected for his profound knowledge of administrative and public law.
Full-service regional firm Consortium Legal is a dominant force in Central America with offices in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. The firm achieves a total of 50 listings across nine chapters in this edition.
The firm demonstrates its tremendously strong transactional, banking and finance expertise by earning 29 listings across the two relevant chapters in our guide: corporate; and banking, finance and projects. Cross-border M&A transactions, project financings, debt issuances and loan negotiations are just some areas in which the firm excels here.
Consortium Legal possesses a wealth of talent in dispute resolution too, with five practitioners highlighted for their stellar work on contentious matters spanning litigation and arbitration proceedings.
The firm demonstrates its complete offering with further listing for its excellence in IP, real estate, data, franchise and administrative law.
Exceptional lawyers at the firm include corporate specialists Martha Lorena Icaza Ochoa, Mario Quesada Bianchini and Randall Barquero León. Diego Salto excels at offering top-quality advice on the full gamut of corporate tax issues. David Arturo Campos is highlighted for his top-tier work on debt and equity matters, and for his financial advisory services. José Ramón Paz stands out for his transactional advice, while Alvaro Rodrigo Castellanos Howell enjoys a superb reputation for his expertise in M&A disputes and contentious finance matters. Rolando Laclé Zúñiga is commended for his extensive experience advising on real estate projects and disputes.
Galindo Arias y López
Full-service firm Galindo Arias y López is renowned in the Panamanian market for its first-class corporate law offering. Its practitioners have expertise in a broad range of fields, as demonstrated in our research this year where the firm receives 16 listings across eight practice areas.
The firm sees four lawyers listed in the field of banking, finance and projects where they are commended for their outstanding knowledge of project financing, banking transactions and financial structuring.
Other areas in which the firm excels include its corporate practice, with three lawyers singled out for their excellence in advising clients on a range of M&A transactions and corporate governance issues.
Eminent individuals at the firm include Diego Herrera Dutari and Jose Luis Sosa, who are recognised for their strong expertise in corporate matters. Ramón Ricardo Arias Porras and Cristina Lewis de la Guardia are also highly regarded for their top-tier work in the aviation sector.
Morgan & Morgan
Morgan & Morgan stands out as a prominent player in the Central American market. With 22 listings across 11 practice areas, the firm showcases its strengths across a wide range of legal matters in this edition.
The firm performs particularly well in our corporate chapter, where four of its lawyers are distinguished for their impressive work handling matters including M&A, governance and corporate restructuring. Morgan & Morgan also possesses strong expertise in our banking, finance and projects chapter, with an impressive corporate finance offering.
The firm also excels in dispute resolution with three lawyers recognised in our corresponding chapter for their outstanding work in contentious proceedings.
The firm also demonstrates strong industry-focused practices, with nominations across shipping, real estate and construction, and data, telecoms and media law.
Key names at the firm include Francisco Arias, a leader in commercial and corporate matters, highlighted for his exceptional work across three areas: real estate and construction; corporate; and banking finance and projects. Meanwhile José Carrizo enjoys a stellar reputation for his first-class work in dispute resolution.