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Castillo y Castillo’s ‘responsive’ practice, which is praised for its ‘extensive knowledge and experience’, is led by the ‘savvy, strategic’ Práxedes Castillo, whom clients describe as a ‘bastion of legal advice in the banking sector’. Key partner Sebastián Jiménez is also singled out for his ‘strong analytical skills, market knowledge and ability to handle the most complex cases’. The Santo Domingo-based team assists banks with financing projects and debt restructurings, handles share repurchase agreements, and is active in both debt and equity capital markets work. Lender-side clients include Banco Popular Dominicano, Popular Bank and Banco Ademi; on the borrower side, telecoms companies such as Altice Group, energy giants such as GB Group and retail and distribution companies such as Centro Cuesta Nacional also regularly instruct the department.

The corporate team at Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández is led by Roberto Rizik and Sarah de Léon, and the finance team by Rizik, Jaime Senior and Mary Fernández. Headline matters saw the team advise new client Royal Gold’s subsidiary RG Gold on a $610m minerals streaming transaction with Barrick Gold in what was one of the largest cross-border transaction (structured as a purchase and sales agreement) during 2015. The team also advised Vinci Airports, another recently acquired client, on the purchase of six major airports in the Dominican Republic; Senior advised on the due diligence process and negotiation of the transaction documents. Marisol Vicens acted for Industrias Nigua on the sale of its main business stream to Smurfit Kappa, and Rizik advised Narex on the sale of two restaurant franchises: Pizza Hut and Chilli’s. On the financing side, Senior assisted Bank of Nova Scotia with a $50m loan to Coastal Petroleum Dominicana for the extension of its LNG and fuels terminal, and with a $45m loan to Phoenix Tower Dominicana for the upgrading of hundreds of mobile phone re-transmission towers. Other clients include Citibank, Fitch Ratings and Johnson & Johnson.

The team at OMG, which handles big-ticket matters in the M&A, financing and commercial sectors, is jointly led by Leonel Melo, Esperanza Cabral and Rebeca García; key support comes from Claudia Serra-Nova and Mónika Melo. Recent work saw Leonel Melo advise Putney Capital Management on the sale of 70% of its equity interests in V Energy, Administración de Estaciones de Servicio and Propiedades Industriales to TOTAL; the transaction involved a $62m financial restructuring of V Energy. Other energy-sector work saw the practice act for IPSON on the corporate and finance aspects of an LNG regasification project being developed in San Pedro de Macorís. Elsewhere, Grupo Rojas instructed the department on the sale of its primary assets to Cervecería Nacional Dominicana; the team frequently advises borrowers on financing and also acted for Dolphin Discovery Group and Dolphin Downtown PC on obtaining a loan of up to $110m. The team was also active in restructuring matters, with Leonel Melo and Cabral advising Pollo Cibao on a $200m debt restructuring process involving a $40m loan from Banco Popular. Since publication, Claudia Serra-Nova has left to join DMK Abogados | Central Law.

Led by Luis Pellerano and Mariangela Pellerano, Pellerano & Herrera’s ‘excellent’ practice is commended for its outstanding level of service. Headline mandates on the financing side saw the team advise Goldman Sachs (USA) and both the London and Dominican branches of Citibank on their financing of Altice Group’s €2.7bn acquisition of Orange Dominicana and Tricom, which was a complex transaction involving a €501m revolving credit facility, €825m and €400m term-loan agreements, a €2.5bn notes offer and dealings with ten financial institutions. Also on the financing side, Mariangela Pellerano assisted Scotiabank with the $200m financing of TOTAL’s acquisition of V Energy. Significant corporate matters saw a team led by Luis Pellerano, with support from recommended senior associate Carolina Léon, advise Smurfit Kappa subsidiary Industria Cartonera Dominicana on its strategic purchases of the industrial assets of Cartonera Rierba and of Industrias Nigua’s paper bags business unit. The department is also notably active in capital markets, and advised JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith on their $2.5bn purchase of government bonds – the Dominican Republic’s largest-ever bond issue. Ricardo Pellerano is also a key member of the team. Other clients include International Finance Corporation (IFC), Smurfit Kappa Latin America and Jet Blue Airways Corporation.

The ‘high-quality’ and ‘extremely thorough and competent’ team at Squire Patton Boggs is commended for its ‘loyalty’ and commitment to clients. It is jointly led by stand-out figures Alejandro Peña-Prieto and Pedro Gamundi, along with Awilda Alcantara and Rhina Martinez Brea, all of whom are praised for their ‘great experience, negotiating skills and speed at solving problems’. Recent matters saw Gamundi continue to advise longstanding client US Airways on its global integration with American Airlines, involving primarily regulatory advice and assistance with corporate and labour matters. The team also handles bond purchases worth hundreds of millions of dollars, share acquisitions on behalf of household-name clients, due diligence in preparation for large-scale energy sector transactions, and big-ticket corporate reorganisations. The department’s client roster includes Japan Tobacco International, Franco-Nevada Corporation, Lloyds Bank, and AES Andres / Empresa Generadora de Electricidad ITABO.

Luis Julio Jiménez, Marcos Peña and Katherine Rosa are the corporate and finance partners to contact at Jiménez Cruz Peña. Peña and Vilma Veras acted for Trilogy International Dominican Republic on the sale of its business in the Dominican Republic to Grupo Telemicro. The team, which advises clients in the energy, mining, hospitality and manufacturing sectors, also acted for TOTAL on its acquisition from Putney Capital Management of a 70% interest in leading fuel retailer V Energy; the transaction included 130 Shell stations and several significant oil products. The department handles cross-border M&A and spin-offs, and assists with financings and restructurings. It also helps with the incorporation and liquidation of companies in the Republic.

Marielle Garrigó leads the team at Medina Garrigó Abogados, with close support from senior associates Laura Bobea, Chery Zacarías and Laura Cassá. Recent banking work includes acting as local counsel for Deutsche Bank and SACE on a $650m loan to the Dominican government to finance the construction of a 300MW power plant in Punta Catalina; it also assisted IFC with refinancing Haiti’s only Dominican-funded, vertically integrated textile project. On the M&A side, Garrigó and Bobea advised Rentokil on the acquisition of Oliver Exterminating Services Corporation. The team is also active in acquisition financing, and advised a syndicate of lenders such as Banco Santander and Popular Bank on the financing of Barcelo Corporation’s purchase of Grupo Occidental’s assets in several jurisdictions, including the Dominican Republic. Other work saw name partner Fabiola Medina advising Xolutronic on various corporate matters, including work permits and the drafting of requisite legal documents.

Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti fields ‘a variety of lawyers, each with different strengths’: key corporate/finance figures include Georges Santoni, María Esther Fernández, Roman Medina, José Maldonado and name partner and ‘ethical gentleman’ Luis Heredia. Of counsel Jonathan Russin, who divides his time between Washington DC and Santo Domingo, is also active in the space. The ‘very responsive’ practice handles a substantial volume of cross-border mandates; recent matters saw Santoni act for Emerson Electric on the spin-off of its Network Power business, involving a subsidiary in the Dominican Republic; and Russin advised call-centre operator Acquire BPO on the incorporation and operation of a subsidiary in Santo Domingo. The team advises clients on business plans, financial regulations and project financing (it also handles distribution agreements), and is commended for its ‘clear, concise, understandable advice’ and value for money. Associate Mónica Villafaña is singled out for her ‘timely responses’ and ‘in-depth responses’. Other clients include Siemens, GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer and Pfizer.

Biaggi & Messina Abogados’ department, which is active across sectors including banking, hospitality, retail, technology and insurance, is co-directed by name partner Gustavo Biaggi, Edward Piña and Edward Veras, who joined the firm in September 2015 from a private practice, as did associate Rosa Estela Antuña. Recently acquired clients include Hertz, Bank of Nova Scotia, Soventix and CMA CGM; Grupo Cirsa, BUPA and Barclays Bank are more longstanding ones. The team is active in contentious matters, and advised Delta Incur Bond Holders on the successful renegotiation and recovery of $17m-worth of investments. Most of its corporate and finance work, however, is non-contentious; Piña acted for NH Hotel Group on the structuring of a high-yield bond issue worth $250m, and assisted JMMB Group with the $5m purchase of over 80% of the ownership stakes in two nascent Dominican financial institutions. Along with name partner Ana Isabel Messina, Piña is also advising TVP Management on the establishment of one of the Dominican Republic’s first REITs. Other clients of the department include BBVA Fundación Microfinanzas, Grupo Dumont and Western Union Company.

The 11-strong practice group at Bobadilla Abogados is led by Andrés Bobadilla and María Del Mar Rodríguez; it is particularly notable for its experience with private ports and in handling electricity-related matters. Recent work includes assisting several clients with structuring, negotiating and implementing $10m-worth of private equity transactions, including the acquisition of the country’s largest document storage service provider and a merger between several major outdoor advertising companies. The team was also instructed by a syndicate of private equity investors on the structuring and negotiation of $20m-worth of investment in a REIT that will operate one of the country’s most prominent office buildings. Notably active in the retail space, the practice advised one of the Republic’s largest retailers on the purchase of two properties and the long-term lease of another property. It also assisted one of the country’s most rapidly growing retail malls with its corporate and tax planning, as well as with a $90m debt refinancing.

DMK Abogados | Central Law’s ‘excellent’ practice is commended for its ‘practical solutions, prompt responses and reasonable fees’ and, in addition to its main office in Santo Domingo, the firm also has a presence in Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Las Terrenas. Llilda Solano is singled out for the ‘high quality of her advice’ and her ‘full responses’, while senior partner Enrique de Marchena is also recommended; the pair co-lead the corporate and finance department with support from Patricia Read and Mario Franco. The team continues to advise Laurelton Jewelry (a subsidiary of Tiffany & Co) on corporate governance, operating permits and labour law; and assisted Remix Haiti with corporate issues relating to a $57m housing construction project – the largest yet undertaken by the Haitian government. Other corporate clients include Augro Fresh Group, Alcatel-Lucent, Parker Hannifin Corporation and Diamonds International. Since publication, the corporate team has been strengthened with the hire of Claudia Serra-Nova, formerly at OMG, as partner; and the return of Andrés Ceara as an associate.

The team led by founding partner Fabio Guzmán Ariza at Guzmán Ariza is praised for its ‘accessibility, responsiveness and level of service’. Of counsel Giselle Pérez, who joined the firm in October 2015, is recommended, and is in charge of the firm’s recently established environmental and business department; Christoph Sieger is also recommended. Based in the firm’s Santo Domingo and Punta Cana offices, respectively, Alberto Reyes and Alfredo Guzmán are also active in the corporate and finance space. Recent work saw the team assist Netflix with the negotiation of contracts and agreements for the production of True Memoirs of an International Assassin (a film partly shot in the Dominican Republic); advise Fastenal Company on labour matters across all its operations in the country; and act for Mammoet Caribbean on the negotiation of a service agreement with the Dominican state, and on $100m-worth of contractual agreements with subcontractors. Other clients include Elof Hansson Trade, Schrader Camargo and Fuxion BioTech.

The corporate and finance department at the venerable Troncoso y Cáceres, which celebrated its centenary last year, is led by Jesús María Troncoso and Ana Isabel Cáceres; senior counsel Ramon Cáceres Troncoso is active in the sector. The team handles M&A, assists with incorporating, dissolving and liquidating companies, advises clients on corporate restructurings, and deals with cross-border commercial contracts. It is regularly involved in the financing of various real estate and infrastructure projects, including apartments, shopping centres, tourist facilities and power plants, and also provide regulatory advice to these projects.

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Press releases

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Legal Developments worldwide

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  • New requirement for all issuers operating on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange

    On 10 August 2017 the Luxembourg Stock Exchange announced that all domestic and foreign issuers operating on the regulated market (Bourse de Luxembourg) or on the multilateral trading facility (Euro MTF) of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange must provide their legal entity identifier (“LEI ”) codes to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange before 15 September 2017.
  • Luxembourg law on the exploration and use of space resources entered into force

    The Luxembourg law on the exploration and use of space resources of 20 July 2017 entered into force on 2 August 2017 and placed Luxembourg among the most innovative space-oriented nations in the world.
  • VAT in the GCC – Q&A updates from the UAE Ministry of Finance

    On 9 July the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Finance (MOF) published an update of the Value Added Tax (VAT) FAQ section of its website.
  • PRIIPs KID: The final pieces of the puzzle

    The pieces of the puzzle are finally falling into place. The long-awaited level 3 and 4 measures have been published earlier this week, half a year before the PRIIPs KID becomes compulsory.
  • MiFID II: Further guidance on product governance requirements

    Amongst the numerous topics covered by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has decided to provide further guidance on the requirements regarding product governance through its guidelines dated 2 June 2017 which focus on the target market assessment by manufacturers and distributors of financial products.     
  • Arendt & Medernach is again the “Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year”

    The partners of Arendt & Medernach are pleased to announce that their firm has been awarded once again the prestigious “Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year” title during the International Tax Review’s European Tax Awards ceremony held at the Savoy Hotel in London on 18 May.
  • Signature of the Multilateral instrument – reservations made by Luxembourg

    On 7 June 2017, the official ceremony for the signing of the multilateral instrument (“MLI”) took place bringing to a close a process initiated last year when a consensus was reached on the wording of the MLI on 24 November 2016 (see also our newsflash dated 2 December 2016, available on our website section Publications/Newsflash).
  • Arendt & Medernach: Luxembourg Law Firm of the Year

    Luxembourg, May 2017 – Arendt & Medernach is proud to have been named “Luxembourg Law firm of the year” both by Chambers & Partners and IFLR (International Financial Law Review). The prestigious trophies were both received in April in London at the respective ceremonies of the Chambers Europe Awards 2017 and the IFLR European Awards 2017.
  • First VAT EU case law on the cost-sharing VAT exemption

    The question of the scope of the cost-sharing VAT exemption, also referred to in the Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 as amended ("EU VAT Directive") as “Independent Groups of Persons” or “IGPs”, is currently being debated at the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) in several cases. Last Thursday marked the first milestone regarding this specific VAT exemption since the CJEU released its judgment in the case Commission v Luxembourg (C-274/15).
  • An Introduction to Corporate Guarantee

    In the UAE, the risk management activities inherent in running a corporate or investment banking business remain of crucial importance, not least because of the strong local characteristic of “name lending”, by which is meant lending or providing other banking facilities to family or other private businesses, primarily on the strength of the “name” or “names” of the proprietors standing behind the business, rather than on the strength of the asset quality and underlying credit of the particular business. Of course, in practice, there is commercial overlap between the proprietors and the companies which they own, but the credit analyses can break down where poor banking practices and procedures result in poorly constructed legal documentation and gaps in guarantee and security support documents.

Press Releases worldwide

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