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Guatemala > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Leading lawyers

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An undoubted leader in the field of tax law, the ‘well-structured and organised firmConsortium Legal provides a ‘very high level of professional advice’ and ‘good quality service’ on matters such as tax planning and administrative and judicial tax proceedings. The practice has seen a growing demand for regional advice and been kept busy with various proceedings concerning tax adjustments to income tax, as well as matters relating to VAT and other tax credits, for Central American, US and European companies from a broad range of industries; the team won important judicial cases in the banking and telecoms sectors, among others. In the tax planning and advisory arena the practice acts primarily for large family companies and saw a high volume of work related to the restructuring of such entities from legal and tax perspectives. The team consists of ‘lawyers with great ability’: highly regarded by clients and peers alike, founding partner Alfredo Rodríguez is a ‘leading name’ and a ‘very approachable lawyer who is always in touch with the client’; Olga María Meléndez is another key contact; and associate David Erales is ‘very prepared and has profound tax expertise’, especially in defending clients in cases brought by the tax authorities.

Comprised of some of ‘the best professionals in Guatemala’s legal sector’, Mayora & Mayora, S.C. provides a ‘high level of service’ and is ‘diligent in tax matters’ that range from import and export taxation, corporate taxation and foreign tax planning to tax regulation, administrative tax actions and tax litigation. The team also regularly provides opinions on the Guatemalan tax code and has seen the growing of its transfer pricing-related practice. Recent matters have seen it advise on tax considerations within the context of restructurings and assist with tax strategies related to bond issues, among many other highlights. Senior partner Eduardo Mayora heads the practice; junior partner and ‘go-to professionalJuan Carlos Casellas is a ‘very capable lawyer who provides immediate answers’ and leads the tax litigation department; and senior associate Juan Carlos Foncea has a focus on customs tax matters and international trade. The firm is part of the private law firm network LATAXNET and the global network WTS. Its labour client-base consists largely of companies involved in foreign investment and cross-border transactions, including Compania Autoservicios, Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala (Telgua), Ingenio Palo Gordo, Avianca, Cementos Progreso, Energuate and GBM.

Archila & Asociados has been providing tax advice for approaching 50 years and is best known for litigating against the tax authorities. The practice group led by the ‘very articulate’ and ‘very active’ Mario Archila (a ‘very good lawyer’), is not only highly active in tax litigation and defence, including the representation of clients in criminal tax fraud cases, but also assists with business structuring and tax planning in general. The team continues to handle tax litigation for the energy, construction and urban development and mills divisions of Corporación Multi-Inversiones. Its diverse client portfolio ranges across various industries and includes prominent companies such as Energuate, Cofiño Stahl, Seguros Mapfre and PepsiCo; the practice also gained new clients Universidad de Occidente and Guatemalan TV channels 3 and 7.

Arias has been growing its tax department since its official establishment in 2014; it has a slightly stronger focus on non-contentious tax advice, but also handles tax litigation. Advice ranges from tax planning and structuring, administrative tax proceedings and tax compliance to tax due diligence and tax advice related to M&A transactions, such as recently assisting Assicurazioni Generali with tax matters in connection with the sale of its majority participation in Aseguradora General to its local partners. The team also advised San Miguel Industrias PET on the possible tax consequences for its local subsidiary arising from a $300m international senior guaranteed notes issue. It additionally has expertise in transfer pricing as well as in customs matters related to commercial trade agreements such as DR-CAFTA, the Mexico-Northern Triangle FTA and other free-trade agreements in effect in the region; as a result, it not only assists clients with tax aspects of their investments, acquisitions and business ventures abroad, but also regularly acts for foreign clients and investors with projects in Guatemala. The ‘very competentXimena Tercerohas made a name for herself’ and does a ‘tremendous job’; ‘her service, advice and speed are phenomenal’.

Carrillo & Asociados handles a wide array of tax matters, from planning and tax structuring, to the prevention and settlement of tax disputes and the analysis of tax strategies for foreign companies with operations in Guatemala. The team has expertise in import and export tax matters for multinational companies, gives regulatory tax advice, and also has a substantial private client tax and estate planning practice. With a strong dispute resolution capability, the practice also defends tax claims and handles criminal tax cases in close collaboration with its criminal litigation department. Rodolfo Alegría is the key contact and Lourdes Villanueva, who was promoted to senior associate in February 2017, is also well regarded. Recent clients include companies in the coffee, franchise, real estate and software sectors, among others.

QIL+4 Abogados, S.A. regularly advises on tax structuring and tax due diligence and has a growing tax litigation practice which also undertakes the representation of clients in criminal tax proceedings. The team has local and cross-border tax expertise, regularly handling the tax aspects of international transactions while also advising locally on tax restructuring and compliance matters. Recent work includes assisting a technology start-up with tax analysis regarding the tax implications triggered by the operation of an app within Guatemalan territory; providing tax analysis for Energía Limpia Guatemala regarding the reimbursement of custom tariffs and taxes paid for the importation of materials and equipment; and advising ClikPak on tax matters in connection with the implementation of an e-commerce platform in Guatemala. José Quiñones leads the team (which has been bolstered with a new associate); with his experience in compliance matters he frequently assists with the design of tax strategy. Other prominent clients include Daimler, Henkel, Campbell Soup Company, Abbott Laboratories, TELUS International, Ambev and Credit Suisse among others.

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