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Legal market overview
Guatemala remains Central America’s most significant economy and, since his election in 2011, President Otto Pérez has actively sought to enact regulatory measures to promote foreign investment, and to continue several regional projects intended to stabilise both Guatemala’s economy and its security situation.
As a result, the sharp increase in foreign investment and tourism has given rise to much activity in the financial and corporate sectors. Trade relationships with Guatemala’s immediate neighbours and the US have strengthened, and the country continues to form ties with Asia and Europe, in particular China, Spain and Germany.
The legal market features several regional players, with Consortium – Centro América Abogados dominating most of the transactional work, followed by Arias & Muñoz and Aguilar Castillo Love. Notable local firms include Arenales & Skinner-Klée, Carrillo y Asociados, Mayora & Mayora, S.C. and Quiñones, Ibargüen, Luján & Mata, S.C.. Recent developments, however, suggest that a regional network is increasingly important: in August 2012, García & Bodán opened a new office in Guatemala, and in April 2013, Salvadoran firm Sáenz & Asociados followed suit and established an outpost in the country. In the latest development, in July 2013, leading Costa Rican firm Pacheco Coto announced its incorporation of the team from ACZALAW, Abogados Centroamericanos Asociados, not only in Guatemala but also in El Salvador and Nicaragua.