Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Guatemala > Legal market overview > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Legal market overview clients in Guatemala using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

2017 saw ongoing political turbulence in Guatemala: allegations of illegal campaign financing were made against President Jimmy Morales and his National Convergence Front (FCN) party, and his subsequent attempts to expel the head of the UN-backed anti-corruption commission (CICIG) led to public protests of a size not seen since Morales’ predecessor, Otto Pérez Molina was removed from office in late 2015.

Despite such issues, Fitch Ratings forecasts a 3.8% growth in GDP in 2018, thanks to high US demand and workers’ remittance flows (although there are fears that these will be disrupted should the Trump administration impose restrictions on financial transfers). Nevertheless, the ongoing political instability and a series of corruption scandals affecting Guatemalan businesses has impacted on investment spending, with foreign investors in particular wary of involvement. This, in turn, has led to a reduced workflow for law firms dealing with banking and financial transactions, although local and regional banks have become increasingly active. The introduction of new competition legislation (still pending) could, however, increase Guatemala’s appeal to foreign investors.

The domestic corporate market has also slowed down but cross-border transactions within Central America have continued; more and more Guatemalan companies are expanding into the region and beyond, allowing a number of big-ticket deals to go ahead. The continuing push against corruption has also caused an increase in work strengthening companies’ compliance and anti-corruption policies.

In the dispute resolution arena, the increasingly aggressive approach taken by the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT) regarding tax fraud and evasion – pursuing criminal rather than administrative sanctions in more and more cases – has meant an exponential growth in contentious tax work. However, in January 2018, the head of the SAT, Juan Francisco Solórzano, was dismissed from his post – a move perceived by some as performance-related, by others as political; three months later, economist Abel Francisco Cruz was appointed in his place, becoming the first superintendent elected by the SAT’s board of directors rather than the president of the Republic. His appointment has encouraged hopes of a change in policy and Cruz has already shown signs of a more moderate approach.

In addition, disputes over mining and energy projects alleged to have violated International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169 (which deals with the rights of indigenous groups) have also led to additional work in the contentious arena, and with a shortfall of new projects in a saturated energy market, law firm energy practices have maintained a certain focus on conflict resolution alongside ongoing regional energy matters. The dispute between human rights and environmental groups and Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources over the Escobal silver mine (the third largest in the world) is a particularly significant case.

After a series of major changes in 2016, the law firm landscape in Guatemala remained largely stable in 2017, with the exception of regional firm Pacheco Coto’s absorption by EY Law Central America (boosting the latter’s presence in Guatemala); and the arrival of global player Dentons as the result of a local Central American tie-up with Muñoz Global (formerly part of Arias & Muñoz), to form Dentons Muñoz (which includes a Guatemalan office). More recently, amid signs of further market consolidation, regional operation Expertis announced its tie-up with Spain’s ECIJA, which also has an office in Santiago de Chile.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS IN MORE THAN ONE JURISDICTION: THE IMPORTANCE OF ENSURING A JOINED-UP DEFENCE AP

    Aziz Rahman considers the Ericsson bribery investigation and outlines how best to respond if you are investigated by more than one law enforcement agency
  • Sulphur Cap Ahead - Regulatory

    Sulphur Cap Ahead - Regulatory
  • GTDT Shipping - India

    Mr Shardul Thacker heads the shipping, oil and gas and banking practice group at Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe. Lloyd’s List ranked him third in their top 10 lawyers stating: “Highly regarded for his work in the liquefied natural gas sector, particularly for interesting and highly geared finance deals in relation to infrastructure projects, energy, ports and ships.” india_-_gtdt_shipping_
  • BVI'S NEW ECONOMIC SUBSTANCE LEGISLATION

    The British Virgin Islands are rushing to pass by the end of December the new economic substance legislation to avoid the EU’s blacklist of tax haven jurisdictions.
  • Chambers Guides - Insurance 2018 - India

    India is a common-law jurisdiction. In general, Indian laws borrow heavily from, and are based on, English law. However, insurance law in India has certain unique features that deviate from English insurance law. The primary legislation of insurance law in India is the Insurance Act, 1938 (the “Insurance Act”) and the Insurance Rules, 1939 (the “Insurance Rules”).
  • AVELLUM advised largest Ukrainian brick manufacturer on restructuring and refinancing of its debt

    AVELLUM acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Private Joint Stock Company with Foreign Investments “Slobozhanska Budivelna Keramika” (“SBK ”) in connection with the restructuring and refinancing of SBK’s debt, valued at approximately EUR20 million. Atlas Advisors, an independent investment banking firm, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the SBK’s shareholders in connection with the restructuring of the credit portfolio, attraction of financing for the debt’s refinancing, and buy-out of SBK’s shares.
  • AVELLUM advises on Ukraine’s USD2 billion Eurobond issue

    AVELLUM acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on the USD2 billion sovereign Eurobond issue consisting of two tranches with 5.5 and 10-year tenor. J.P. Morgan Securities, Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, and Citigroup acted as joint lead managers on the transaction.
  • New Anti-Money Laundering Law

    The new anti-money laundering ( AML ) law of the UAE took effect at the end of October 2018. Containing features recommended by the Financial Action Task Force ( FATF ), the new law introduces subtle but important changes to the AML landscape in the UAE. 
  • Confidentiality Under Renewed Focus

    The UAE federal government has recently issued a raft of important legislation, addressing and in many ways updating areas of law that are key to businesses in the jurisdiction. Amongst this legislation is Federal Decree-Law 14 of 2018 concerning the central bank and the organisation of financial institutions and activities (the New Banking Law ) and Federal Decree-Law 20 of 2018 concerning anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing (the New AML Law ). Both the New Banking Law and the New AML Law repeal and replace the previous legislation on their respective subjects. Importantly, the New Banking Law and the New AML Law have together enhanced the protection afforded to confidential information under UAE law, in particular where financial and legal service providers and their customers and clients are concerned. 
  • Israel Chapter in The Virtual Currency Regulation Review

    Earlier this year, the Israel Tax Authority (ITA) issued two circulars, one on the taxation of digital tokens and the second addressing the taxation of utility tokens in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Additionally, in March, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) released a detailed interim report by the Committee for the Regulation of Public Offerings of Decentralized Cryptocurrency Coins (Report) (with a follow-up report due to come out around October 2018). Moreover, it is expected that before the end of 2018, legislation will come into force that for the first time will see Israeli primary legislation define virtual currencies as financial assets and mandate licensing for related services, as is later discussed in detail.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to