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Legal market overview

With a GDP reaching 7.3% in 2014, compared to an average of 1.2% for the rest of Latin American and the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic has been one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America during the past decade. From a predominantly agricultural-based economy, the Dominican Republic’s tourism and service sectors, as well as its mining industry, are increasingly becoming the driving force behind its thriving economic power. The mining sector grew by a heady 20.3% over the last year, while tourism registered an 11.3% increase. In addition, foreign direct investment rose 14.3% over the same period. Certainly there are a number of factors in the Republic’s favour: not only is it the second largest economy in the Caribbean but it has established a free trade agreement with the US (in addition to its membership of DR-CAFTA, the Central American FTA) and many regard its geographical location as favourable to an increasing role as an entrepôt or distribution hub for the region, a possibility furthered by the expansion of the Panama Canal. Collectively, all these factors have increased the jurisdiction’s attractiveness to foreign investors; nor has it hurt that, according to the World Bank’s survey, the state continues to improve its position as a business-friendly destination; it currently sits 11th of 32 nations in the combined Latin American and Caribbean region, behind Costa Rica.

The Dominican legal market remains dominated by local full-service law firms including Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández, Pellerano & Herrera, Castillo y Castillo, Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti SA, OMG and Jiménez Cruz Peña. However, with the country’s participation in the DR-CAFTA trade bloc, Central American law firms are taking more interest in the market (CENTRAL LAW Dominican Republic is part of the isthmus’ Central Law alliance, for example), and in Squire Patton Boggs, the market also has an international heavyweight.


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