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Costa Rica > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Undeniably one of the best tax practices in the country, the department at Consortium Legal distinguishes itself through its ‘in-depth business acumen’ and broad service offering, which includes advice on day-to-day tax matters, transfer pricing, tax planning and restructuring, and issues arising from the county’s free trade zone regime, as well as contentious tax matters involving administrative litigation against the tax authorities. Noted for its ‘sound judgement, preventive and objective risk evaluation’, the team regularly receives instructions from regional and international companies, including Globalvia, Petro Delta and Cognitiva. The practice is co-led by the very highly regarded Diego Salto and Rafael Luna; among on-going matters it provides comprehensive tax advice to regional heavyweight Cuestamoras on tax structuring, transactional tax matters and transfer pricing. Other work includes assisting Fifco with tax compliance and consultancy issues; advising Ultrapark on the restructuring process of its legal tax structure; and advising Walmart on tax, municipal and customs procedures related to its day-to-day operations and projects, both on an administrative and judicial level. Anayansi Mora and the recommended Cristina Sansonetti are other names to note.

EY Law Central America’s five-partner tax practice excels in both contentious and non-contentious tax matters and principally advises on tax planning, structuring and restructuring, the tax aspects of M&A deals and joint ventures, and tax disputes with the authorities. The team’s experience also covers stamp duty matters. Recent work saw Randall Madriz lead advice to Standard Fruit in a judicial case regarding tax assessments issued by the tax authorities. Other work includes assisting Transportes Tical with tax matters regarding the restructuring of its investments in Guatemala and Honduras; representing Diversificados de Costa Rica (Dicori) in a tax audit and an administrative procedure against the tax administration; and advising Enjoy Group on the tax aspects of its acquisition of the Marriott Los Sueños and Marriott Belen hotels. Other key figures include Juan Carlos Chavarría, Antonio Ruiz Rojas and Rafael Sayagués. Other clients include RC Inmobiliaria, Comidas Centroamericanas and Volio & Trejos.

Led by Carolina Flores, the five-strong tax department at Arias handles both contentious and non-contentious sector-related matters: it’s broad service offering includes advice on tax structuring, compliance, due diligence, and preventive and corrective measures concerning tax risks, as well as tax litigation. In recent work, the team assisted LifeMiles with a review of the tax aspects of its loan agreements, primarily concerning a regional syndicated loan obtained from Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and UBS. In another recent highlight, Flores advised Amvac on due diligence, tax and transfer pricing matters related to its acquisition of Agricenter. Another key figure in the department, Carlos Camacho is particularly experienced in matters related to the special tax regime in free trade zones. Other clients include Medplast, Applus and Cafesa.

BLP’s tax practice covers the full array of contentious and non-contentious work, including tax litigation, tax compliance and day-to-day tax matters. The team is particularly adept at advising on tax aspects of transactions, corporate restructuring, and asset planning and protection, as well as tax issues related to Costa Rica’s free trade zone regime. The department is led by Luis Chacón, who is particularly active in litigious tax matters; while Luís M Castro and Eduardo Calderón primarily handle non-contentious work in the sector. The team’s client base includes domestic, regional and international companies from a variety of industries, such as hospitality, telecoms, finance and pharmaceuticals.

Batalla Abogados’ tax practice is led by the well-regarded senior counsel Alejandra Arguedas and advises domestic and multinational companies on tax litigation, tax compliance, due diligence and the tax aspects of M&A projects and transactions, as well as matters related to transfer pricing. In one recent highlight, the team represented Henkel in administrative tax litigation against the ministry of finance, regarding an income tax assessment. In other work, Arguedas and Róger Guevara assisted IGT Global Services with tax compliance, administrative procedures before the tax authorities and day-to-day tax matters. Rodrigo Zelaya and Alejandro Batalla, who is noted for his ‘special ability to get to the essential of things’, are also active in the department. The client roster also includes Dole, Oikocredit and Seca.

The ‘outstandingDentons Muñoz fields a ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’ tax practice that is ‘very active in providing competitive services of high quality and at impressive speed’. The department advises on tax litigation, compliance, and customs and tax issues related to the country’s free trade zone regime. Practice head and ‘standout tax lawyerDaniel Arayahas deep knowledge in law (and not only in his area of expertise)’, and associate Sylvia Montero is highlighted for her ‘expert recommendations and innovative approach’. Recent notable work includes advising FCC Construcción on the quantification and certification of tax credits and related proceedings before the tax authorities; assisting People in Need with tax compliance matters; and advising WNS, a beneficiary of the free zone regime, on related tax matters.

In 2017, Facio & Cañas’ affiliated tax-arm, Fayca Tax, entered into a strategic alliance with Deloitte following the latter’s loss of much of its team to competitor Grant & Thornton; the co-working agreement is principally focused on contentious matters. The team advises on preventative and litigious matters, as well as non-contentious tax issues such as the tax aspects of transactions, corporate restructuring and the establishment of partnerships and corporations. The key strengths of the practice, however, remain tax litigation and consultancy on tax audits performed by the tax administration. Recent work saw the team advise Banco Nacional de Costa Rica (BNCR) on income tax proceedings; assist Banco Davivienda with tax-related administrative proceedings; and represent Unilever in a transfer pricing case. Adrián Torrealba co-directs the department alongside José María Oreamuno and is noted for his ‘great knowledge and personal treatment’. Other work includes representing B Ticino in a tax dispute before the tax authorities.

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