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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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Costa Rica > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Ecological mega-diversity combined with a strong commitment to wildlife conservation have gained Costa Rica a reputation as among the most naturally beautiful countries in the region, factors that have long fostered the country’s tourism industry. However, with its decade-long macroeconomic continuity and even lengthier political stability, its openness to foreign trade and investments and comparably high education levels, the “pura vida” nation is also among the most prosperous economies in Central America. Its economic fundamentals, namely tourism, agriculture and the renewable energy sector, all contribute to a steadily growing economy, but the country’s healthy GDP growth rate –currently forecast at 4% for 2017– is also increasingly supported by a thriving service industry, a booming real estate sector and strong technology and pharma exports. Optimism about the country’s economic future was further boosted during the first quarter of 2017, when unemployment rates hit a two-year low and consumer spending grew. But while Costa Rica’s fiscal performance improved in 2016, further fiscal tightening and expenditure restraints are necessary to reduce the budget deficit, an issue the ruling centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) government has been trying to tackle since its election in 2014. However, with a general election scheduled for February 2018, further tax and public spending reforms are unlikely to become law before then –primarily as a result of the currently prevailing legislative gridlock that has seen reform proposals stranded in the Legislative Assembly since 2015.

Costa Rica’s economic success story over the last two decades has also contributed to the creation of a very sophisticated legal market, which recently saw the arrival of its first international firm: Dentons entered the market in late 2016 by merging with parts of former Arias & Muñoz, subsequently creating Dentons Muñoz; the former regional heavyweight had announced its dissolution in November 2016, and while much of its former San José office joined the global player, two Costa Rican partners and their team operate under what is now known simply as Arias and continue to work as one of the firm’s six offices across the region. The presence of a new player has only served to heighten competition and the demand for talent in an already congested market which includes regional players Consortium Legal, BLP, Pacheco Coto and Aguilar Castillo Love as well as domestic player Facio & Cañas which all currently dominate the very active M&A market in Costa Rica. And while investments in the tourism, real estate and energy sectors generate sufficient high-profile work for other traditionally strong firms such as Batalla Abogados, Sfera LegalCentral Law Costa Rica and low-profile regional operator Nassar Abogados, an increasing number of firms have also widened their service-offering to attract mandates in sectors including compliance and antitrust. The labour and IP arenas remain a stronghold for more specialised firms, with boutique firm Zürcher Lawyers and specialists BDS Asesores at the forefront of these sectors, respectively.

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  • Bär & Karrer Advises CEVA Logistics on its IPO, the anchor investment by CMA CGM and its migration

    CEVA Logistics, one of the world's leading third-party logistics companies, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange, where trading commenced on 4 May 2018. With a market capitalization of CHF 1.6 billion and generating gross proceeds of CHF 821 million, this is so far considered as the largest IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange for 2018. In addition, CMA CGM, the third largest container shipping group in the world, has committed to make a strategic cornerstone investment in CEVA Logistics by purchasing CHF 379 million of mandatory convertible securities which will convert into shares of CEVA Logistics once certain regulatory approvals have been obtained. Simultaneously with the IPO, CEVA Holdings, the former holding company of the CEVA group, migrated from the Marshall Islands to Switzerland by way of a cross-border merger with CEVA Logistic as the surviving company.
  • BAG: Employer not liable for harm caused by vaccine

    Employers who have flu vaccines administered within their company are not liable for any harm that might occur as a result of the vaccine. That was the verdict of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court, in a recent ruling.
  • Tax Update

    Cyprus Tax Department has announced that, as of June 1 st 2018 , the following taxes, not bearing interest and charges, can ONLY be paid via JCCsmart (website ) . JCCsmart is a Cyprus portal used to contact payments to various organizations including the Government. This measure follows the successful implementation of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax withheld from employees through JCCsmart.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on the Financing of the Largest Thermoelectric Plant in Latin America

    Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe S.A. (CELSE) has successfully issued bonds for approx. USD 1 billion equivalent in local currency at a fixed, long-term rate in international capital markets. The innovative bond issue is guaranteed by the Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), the export credit agency of Switzerland. The bonds are part of a financial package to finance the development, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a thermoelectric power plant by CELSE in the state of Sergipe in the northeast region of Brazil. Besides the bond issue for approx. USD 1 billion, the transaction includes a USD 200 million loan from the International Finance Corporation and a financial package of the Inter-American Development Bank in the amount of approx. USD 300 million. Once operational expected for in 2020, CELSE will sell electricity to 26 distribution companies in Brazil, becoming the largest and most efficient thermoelectric plant in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • BAG: Threats made by employee can justify dismissal with immediate effect

    Employers do not have to accept threats made by employees. These can constitute good cause justifying extraordinary notice of dismissal with immediate effect, as demonstrated by a ruling of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court.
  • SyCipLaw is Tier 1 Firm in IP STARS 2018 Rankings

    SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) was once again ranked by Managing IP’s IP STARS 2018 as a Tier 1 firm in Patent and Trademarks/Copyright in the Philippines. In addition, SyCipLaw partners Enrique T. Manuel and Vida M. Panganiban-Alindogan are ranked as Trade mark star – Philippines . Mr. Manuel is also ranked as Patent star – Philippines .
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on Partial Self-Tender Offer

    On 21 September 2017, an extraordinary shareholders' meeting of the SIX Swiss Exchange listed N.V. authorized the board of directors to repurchase up to 33 1/3% of the company's share capital by means of a partial self-tender offer. The resolution adopted under Dutch law contained detailed information, among others regarding the period for which the authorization is granted, the manner in which the shares are repurchased and the price range within which the offer price must be set.
  • New Serbian Law on Foreigners Adopted

    In March 2018, the new Serbian Law on Foreigners was adopted, replacing the 2008 version of this law- in force until recently without any amendments. The new law will enter into force on 3 October 2018.
  • The Serbian Law on Foreign Exchange Amended

    On 20 April 2018, the amendments to the Law on Foreign Exchange (the “Law ”) were adopted and will enter into force on 28 April 2018 . Exceptionally, the application of certain provisions related to the assuming of competencies over foreign exchange control by the National Bank of Serbia is delayed until 1 January 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Vyaire Medical on its Acquisition of Acutronic Medical Systems

    Vyaire Medical, Inc., a global leader in respiratory care, acquired all shares in the Acutronic Medical Systems group, a Switzerland and Germany-based leader in the design and manufacture of neonatal ventilation equipment.