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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon 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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Dominican Republic > Real estate and tourism > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Real estate and tourism
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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With offices in Santo Domingo, Punta Cana and Santiago, the team at Castillo y Castillo assists clients with real estate and tourism projects around the country. It advises investors on all aspects of project developments, including financing, and although it handles commercial and residential developments it counts hotels and condominiums as its forte. Recent mandates saw senior associate Maria Portes, who heads the department jointly with Práxedes Castillo Báez, advise Corandom Investments on a $5m condominium development. Other clients include Iberostate Group, REinvent Properties and Induban. The practice also handles real estate litigation and, on the tourism side, assists airlines such as British Airways with obtaining permits for new routes to the country from Madrid and nearby Caribbean islands. Senior associate Sebastián Jiménez is a noted expert in financing, tourism and trusts.

Managing partner Enrique de Marchena and associate Patricia Guzmán are the key contacts at DMK Abogados | Central Law, which is noted for its corporate real estate expertise and its extensive client roster of banks, developers and tourism companies. Both lawyers acted for Spanish chain Senator Hotels & Resorts on its $80m acquisition of three hotels in Puerto Plata from RIU Group; the pair are also assisting the client with all aspects of its expansion into the Dominican Republic. Meliá Hotels International has been instructing the team on various tourism matters, and Marchena and Guzmán assisted Esmiralda with the tax aspects of its Costa Esmeralda project in Puerto Plata, as well as representing it in commercial litigation. Project development, project finance and environmental matters are also strengths.

Guzmán Ariza is well known in the market for its real estate capabilities, especially when it comes to hotels and condominiums. In Puerto Plata, Julio Brea Guzmán frequently assists high-net-worth individuals with purchasing second homes, while in Punta Cana Christoph Sieger handles a wide range of matters including corporate work, permits and developments. Santo Domingo-based group head Fabio Guzmán Ariza provides a full real estate service, including litigation, while Rubén Garcia and César Calderón round out the practice in Samaná. Transactions are the department’s core strength: Sieger and Alfredo Guzmán4 advised Sunwing Travel Group on obtaining a $95m loan from Banco de Reservas de la República Dominicana to complete the construction of the Royalton Bávaro Resort & Spa. Other clients include Club Med, Grupo GHR, Anex Tours and Meliá Hotels International.

Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández’s ‘punctual, effective’ practice is particularly strong in transactions and projects, although it also provides regulatory real estate advice; it is noted for its strength in depth when it comes to corporate and administrative matters. ‘Communicative, analytical’ energy real estate expert Marisol Vicens has ‘extensive knowledge’; Jaime Senior advised Tropicalia Holdings on the development of a large tourism project in Samaná; and Mary Fernández has long advised the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on transactional and ownership issues. Grupo Puntacana is a regular client. Associate César Ledesma is noted for his administrative real estate expertise.

Zoning and permits, especially for condominiums, are core strengths of OMG’s department, which is frequently active in property regularisation and due diligence. It is also experienced in real estate tax and handles construction and development for clients such as Casas del XVI. Juan Alcalde and director Laura Troncoso, who jointly head the department, advised Playa Hotels & Resorts on its acquisition of several hotel properties in Cap Cana, and on the development of two Hyatt hotels. Leonel Melo is recommended for corporate real estate: he advised Greincor RD on the creation of Vista Cana Gardens, which partnered with Hodelpa to build and operate a hotel in Bávaro, Punta Cana. Meliá Hotels International and Grupo Abicor are new clients.

Pellerano & Herrera’s ‘vastly experienced’ team is ‘professional and ethical’, delivers ‘timely responses’ and ‘pays prompt attention to client requirements’. It is strong in financing as well as property acquisitions and disposals, and also advises clients on tourism developments, foreclosures and M&A-associated real estate matters. Luis Pellerano and ‘committed, efficient and highly reliable’ senior associate Alessandra Di Carlo acted for the bondholders on the restructuring of $350m-worth of debt held by Cap Cana. Luis Pellerano, who heads the practice jointly with managing partner Ricardo Pellerano, also counts companies such as Carnival and Jet Blue Airways as clients in the tourism sector.

Experienced in handling land acquisitions and disposals, tourism developments, foreclosures and the real estate aspects of M&A, ECIJA DVMS’ practice group is led jointly by Gabriel Dejarden and Polibio Valenzuela. The pair co-counselled Pfizer Central America & Caribbean on the real estate aspects of its sale of Hospira Infusion Systems to ICU Medical. Valenzuela and Edward Salcedo acted for Stewart Title Latin America (as co-trustee and collateral agent) on the foreclosure of more than 400 properties, to collect on the $350m debt incurred in a note issuance by Cap Cana. Dejarden also has a niche specialism advising baseball teams, such as the St Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves, on real estate matters. JMMB Bank and RCD Hotels are also clients.

Well known for its strength in environmental law, Quiroz Santroni’s practice is led by name partners José Quiroz and Romina Santroni. As well as covering administrative and regulatory matters, the team handles land transactions, due diligence, licensing and tax exemptions, and is experienced in structuring real estate investments. It features a strong bench of senior associates: Rosbelis Cruz specialises in real estate transactions and trusts, corporate expert Mariel Taveras handles real estate investment, and Guily Shemer is recommended for regulatory matters.

Squire Patton Boggs’ department is especially strong in the hospitality sector and has environmental and litigation capabilities as well as handling corporate real estate and due diligence matters. Rhina Martinez Brea is experienced in structuring real estate transactions and developments in the hotels and leisure sector, while Alejandro Peña-Prieto and Pedro Gamundi are particularly active in complex private high-value acquisitions. Awilda Alcántara-Bourdier advised Jaraba Import on the acquisition of several real estate properties across the Dominican Republic for the construction of industrial facilities. Earthbound Holdings and PriceSmart Dominicana are clients on the contentious side. Senior associate Joey Núñez is often active on real estate matters.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Jiménez Cruz Peña fields a strong real estate and tourism team that handles a range of transactional and development mandates. Marcos Peña acted for Interra on its $76m joint venture with a developer to construct a hotel and resort in Las Terrenas, Samaná, comprising a four-star hotel and 165 condominiums. He also assisted Interra with its $8m part-acquisition of the 2,000-property Pueblo Bávaro development in Punta Cana and advised it on the development of a 24-storey hotel on Juan Dolio Beach. Other clients include La Estancia Golf Resort, Grupo Puntacana and Hola Tours & Travel. Senior associate Jennifer Beauchamps is recommended for project finance, property investment and corporate real estate.

The team at Pereyra & Asociados handles leases, sales, purchases and projects, often for foreign clients; it also covers real estate litigation, mostly involving foreclosures and family land disputes. Managing partner and practice head Luis Miguel Pereyra advised Playa Grande Holdings and Dolphin Capital on all transactional and regulatory aspects of a $150m tourism project, as well as assisting CF Hotels with all aspects of the establishment of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Santo Domingo. McDonald’s is also a client on the transactional side. In litigation, Pereyra represented Inversiones Italo Tropicales in a land ownership case. Emma Mejía, Aseret Roque and Julissa Vásquez are noted associates.

Construction, development, and land and property transactions are core strengths of Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti’s department, which also handles licences, regularisation and due diligence. José Maldonado advised Ingenieros Constructores Asociados on its purchase of the Ettore condominium project, and has been assisting Turkish multinational Kiliç Deniz Urunleri Uretimi Ihracat Ithalat Ve Ticaret with setting up a production and processing plant and mariculture project in Manzanillo Bay. The ‘strategic’ Román Medina advised Ari Barshi on his purchase of a 1,362sqm plot of land in Azua to develop a tourist rental project. Other clients include Almacenes Sema. Associate Ana María Frías is noted for her ‘detail-oriented follow-ups’.

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