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Legal market overview
The Dominican Republic has not been immune to the global financial downturn, and low liquidity has put a brake on foreign investment. Investors also took a wait-and-see approach in the lead up to the country’s 2012 presidential elections. Following the election of Danilo Medina of the Dominican Liberation Party, confidence has picked up somewhat, with lawyers reporting an increase in work. Real estate and tourism continue to dominate the agenda, although there is also a significant amount of infrastructure work, particularly in the energy, mining and transport sectors. For the most part, the Dominican legal market is dominated by a small handful of full-service corporate firms, particularly when it comes to major transactions. The main players in this respect are Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández, Pellerano & Herrera and OMG. Dispute resolution is less profitable for some of these larger firms, and as a result there is more choice in the market, with smaller firms such as Bobadilla Abogados, Pereyra & Asociados and Castillo y Castillo enjoying dominant positions. For areas like tourism and hospitality, clients would also do well to look beyond Santo Domingo. Punta Cana is home to some of the top legal practices in this area, including Castillo y Castillo, De Marchena Kaluche & Asociados (DMK) – Central Law and Guzmán Ariza.