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With a strong track record in labour law matters and acting solely on the side of employers, Bufelco Bufete López Cordero continues to be recognised for its leading position in both individual and collective labour law. The team is very well regarded for non-contentious work but also maintains a strong dispute resolution practice, which handles day-to-day labour conflicts, collective bargaining matters, disputes arising from strikes, and unfair dismissal and severance entitlement cases. It also handles immigration-related matters for expatriate workers in Guatemala. ‘A star’, Guillermo López Cordero’s reputation precedes him; peers regard him as ‘the best-known labour lawyer to date’ in Guatemala. The practice’s client portfolio includes local, foreign and transnational companies ranging across the industrial, commercial and financial services sectors; past clients include Cementos Progreso, sugar mill Ingenio Palo Gordo, Banco Industrial, Unilever and Exxon Mobil.

Considered a ‘reliable partner in the country’, Arias is a ‘very active and reputable firm that stands out in terms of client service’ and ‘shows deep knowledge of labour matters with a preventive approach, business sense and practical solutions for complex problems’. Clients additionally benefit from ‘the advantage of a regional presence with great professionals’ since the team ‘always renders an impressive, deep analysis of local and regional regulations’. The practice’s service offering includes advice on the drafting and implementation of internal workplace regulations and policies, compliance with labour law obligations, the resolution of labour claims and disputes, and transaction-related labour advice. The firm also handles labour permits and has a sizeable immigration practice. Recent matters saw the team undertake labour due diligence on behalf of Sealed Air Corporation in connection with the sale of business divisions to Bain Capital Private Equity. Another highlight was the representation of the Norwegian Royal Embassy in judicial proceedings regarding the termination of a local embassy employee due to fraudulent acts. With over 30 years’ experience, ‘key player in the marketLiz Gordillo provides an ‘impeccable service’ due to her ‘amazing ability to explain different topics’; moreover, she is ‘always up-to-date with new regulations and trends in labour legislation and case law’. Her team includes senior associates María Elena Barrientos and Rosa María Arenales (who has ‘strong technical knowledge’ and is ‘very responsive and knowledgeable in labour and employment matters with a great sense of risk avoidance’). Other prominent clients include Walmart, Chevron, Bayer, IDB, Mondelez and Fedex.

Acting solely for employers, the workload of QIL+4 Abogados, S.A.’ labour practice is evenly distributed between preventative labour law matters, including labour law compliance, and labour litigation. A broad client base, from telecommunications and outsourcing to agroindustry and other sectors, includes clients such as Abbott, Abbvie, Henkel and BAT; the practice has also gained new clients Banco G&T Continental and Jaguar Energy. Recent mandates saw the practice train the entire human resources management team at Telus on labour compliance and the application of the disciplinary procedures; and design health and occupational security structures for Dolarcity’s 36 stores in Guatemala. Other recent work includes M&A-related labour law advice, the implementation of anti-bullying and diversity policies, severance payments due to the termination of an outsourcing services contract and preventive labour advice regarding a possible class action. ‘Very good’ practice head Evelyn Rebuli has 25 years’ experience and is supported by a three-strong team, including associate Javier Castellán.

Clients have ‘very positive experiences locally in Guatemala’ with the labour practice of ‘good regional firmBLP and ‘appreciate the professional relationship’. The team advises local and international companies on a broad spectrum of labour matters, including administrative and judicial litigation, regulatory compliance, employment strategy, internal regulations and crisis management, among others; it also houses immigration expertise, handling residence and work permits, along with visas for company executives and their families. Practice head Jeimy Aldi is recommended for her ‘know-how and experience in her field’ and ‘providing services with a high level of professionalism’. One recent highlight involved advising Uber on potential labour risks in Guatemala, and the revision of collaboration contracts and the establishment of potential contingency plans from a labour standpoint. The team also verified compliance with employer obligations related to occupational health and safety for Banco Promérica. Another key client is Samsung Electronics Latinoamerica, for which recent matters include advising on the obligations related to occupational health and safety regulations and representing the company in a litigation case regarding the dismissal of an ex-worker. Other clients include SGS Central America, Bimbo de Centroamerica, Quala Guatemala and new client Lion Resources.

Consortium Legal’s ‘good labour law team’ continues to be recognised for its strong market presence advising international and multinational companies, particularly across the electricity, agro-export and industrial sectors, among others. With considerable expertise in collective bargaining, the team has once again handled the relationship between various businesses (including a pharmaceutical distributor and a consumer-products company), and unions, particularly as regards the negotiation of collective agreements. The team also gives labour advice in connection with M&A transactions. The ‘well regardedLionel Aguilar leads the practice; associate Federico Zelada is experienced in labour law, collective bargaining processes and compliance issues.

The January 2018 merger of Pacheco Coto into EY Law Central America has resulted in an employer-side labour practice that advises on both individual and collective matters, as well as occupational health and safety, immigration law, conflict prevention and labour litigation. Recent work has included labour due diligence and compliance, advice on corporate policies, labour agreements, labour terminations (including executive positions), and labour advice in connection with restructuring and M&A transactions. The team has also handled immigration issues, including the management of foreign employee portfolios in order to process immigration statuses and labour permits. Recent clients include multinationals in the pharmaceutical, industrial and security sectors, a large producer of palm oil and a leading global technology company, among others. Ruby Asturias and Oscar Pineda are the main contacts.

Valued for its good response times, advice and knowledge’, Mayora & Mayora, S.C.delivers trusted advice’ with ‘great expertise in labour law’. Its ‘excellent’ practice covers a broad spectrum of advice ranging from labour regulations, occupational safety, employment contracts and internal policies, to employee terminations and union matters, and also handles temporary and permanent residence and work permits. The team regularly advises Payless Shoe Source on labour matters, including its representation in labour disputes, the review of regulations with internal policies and the termination of employees; and for IBM Alliance company, GBM, it handles various day-to-day labour matters and labour disputes. In other work it drafted an internal labour policy for Banco Compartamos. Rafael Briz heads the practice; and ‘client-oriented, punctual and knowledgeable’ senior associate Suzel Obiols is ‘fully dedicated to reaching the objectives with clear strategies and quality advice’. The firm’s client roster also includes Monsanto, MERCK and Productos Roche.

Under the lead of ‘very good practitioner’ Augusto Valenzuela, labour boutique Valenzuela Herrera & Asociados retains its reputation for good advice on individual and collective labour and employment matters. The practice focuses on both non-contentious labour issues – such as labour audits, social security, and work permits and immigration matters – and labour disputes. The firm is also part of the specialised "Tax & Labor" alliance, which covers Central America and the Dominican Republic.

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