The Legal 500

Honduras

Editorial

Legal market overview

In 2013, investment activity in Honduras was slow and reserved amid political uncertainty over the outcome of November’s presidential election. However, with the ruling centre-right National Party’s Juan Orlando Hernández emerging victorious, business activity has resumed upon expectation that the market liberalisation of recent years is likely to continue. In fact, soon after his investiture, Hernández re-launched his central project of ‘charter cities’ – special development zones (SDZ), in which business-friendly tax regimes and lighter-touch regulations will apply. Hernández, who as President of Congress between 2010 and 2013 had clashed with the Supreme Court (which ruled SDZs unconstitutional), is confident that the amended bill will this time survive constitutional challenges – a view shared by most observers of legal profession.

In the foreseeable future, increased investment opportunities are most likely to be seen in the energy sector. In its last act, the previous Congress passed a law mandating the semi-privatisation of energy provider, ENEE. In addition to breaking up the monopoly into three state-owned companies, responsible for generation, transmission and distribution respectively, private companies will be allowed to develop competing transmission and distribution systems. The ENEE privatisation is, however, not the only development that might bring new activity to the energy sector: a new mining law will path the way for hundreds of new mining concessions, factually ending a moratorium that had been in place since 2006. Concurrently, the government is continuing to promote the expansion of renewable energy sources.

The legislative developments with the most profound impact, however, are to be found in the tax sector where an array of changes have been implemented, slowing recovery in the first quarter of 2014 according to many commentators. Under the new regime, all customs duty exemptions have been cancelled, a sales tax has been implemented and taxes on telephone, cable and television services have increased. Furthermore, foreign companies will incur a 10% tax on gross income and property owners also face higher taxes.

By and large, however, the corporate sector is looking to the future with optimism as regards business activity in Honduras. With respect to the legal market, there have been no major changes. Regional firms such as Aguilar Castillo Love, Arias & Muñoz and Consortium – Centro América Abogados continue to dominate the market, although challenged by highly professional local players, including López Rodezno & Asociados and Bufete Gutiérrez Falla & Asociados. Lexincorp is celebrating its comeback in Honduras, following the incorporation of four new partners. Furthermore, the market has seen the birth of a new regional network, LatAm Lex, of which banking boutique Matamoros Batson & Asociados is the local member. In intellectual property, the market remains stable with traditional boutiques enjoying the greatest reputation, although full-service firms such as García & Bodán appear to be expanding their presence in this practice area. In dispute resolution, on the other hand, there are just a handful of dedicated firms, among them key boutique Bufete Forlar Abogados.

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
  • Update on EU Sanctions against Russia

    On 6 December 2014, Council Regulation (EU) No 1290/2014 entered into force. This regulation is the latest in a series of regulations regarding "sectoral sanctions" against Russia.
  • Slovakia: Checkmate? New law regulates protection of employees when blowing the whistle

    So far, in Slovakia there has not been in force any regulation specifically addressing whistleblowing situations in which employees report wrongdoings, such as the commission of a crime which they learnt about in connection with the performance of their employment, work or function. Certain partial aspects related to whistleblowing have been regulated by the country's data protection, criminal and labour laws. read more
  • Croatia: A look at the Strategic Investment Projects Act One Year after Implementation

    Croatia's sixth consecutive year of recession
  • AT: Transparency International – Release of 20th annual Corruption Perceptions Index

    On 3 December 2014, Transparency International, the leading civil society organisation fighting corruption worldwide, released its 20th annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The index draws on surveys covering the views of business people, provides expert assessments, and ranks 175 countries by the perceived levels of corruption in their public sectors. The scale ranges from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean). The CPI can be found under the following link .  read more...
  • Review of the Constitutional Court Decision on the Cancellation of Article 42/1 (C) of Law No. 556

    Introduction
  • Transfer and Granting of Rights under Turkish Petroleum Law: Freedom of Contract versus Regulatory R

    Especially after the drop in oil prices the companies that are in early stage of their investments have begun to get position aiming to turn into an advantageous investment and started to look to what extent the regulations allow them to transfer and grant their rights under Turkish Petroleum Law. This may be deemed also as an exit strategy for some from operational perspective as it parallels with the tendency around the world and has direct relation with oil prices. 
  • Contracting the Petroleum Operations under Turkish Petroleum Law: Scope and Limits of Liability on P

    As exception to liberty of contracting and unlike a number of other industries, Turkey's petroleum industry imposes certain obligations to petroleum right owners in contracting the conduct of the petroleum operations.  At the first glance this seems that it aims to strengthen the management of hazards by enhancing the safety however the liability imposed to petroleum right owners in case of contracting the operations still remains unclear in terms of limitation.
  • Liabilities of Primary Employer and Subcontractors in case of a Collusive Contract

    Growing economy and competitive environment in Turkey has been leading companies to seek more profitable ways to conduct their business. Therefore companies have chosen to engage in subcontracts for the purpose of reducing their costs. Yet, to serve such purpose, at some point companies have started utilizing subcontracts to limit employees' entitlements through collusive contracts. Labor Law numbered 4857 (the " Labor Law ") and Bylaw on Subcontractor dated September 27, 2008 (the " Bylaw ") regulate which services or works may be subcontracted and strictly prohibit collusive contracts. According to Article 2/7 of the Labor Law, a collusive subcontract is considered null and void. Such nullity of subcontract automatically results in primary employers being redefined as main and sole employers of employees assigned to subcontracted work. Consequently, primary employers are solely responsible for employees' rights arising from subcontracted works and technically, primary employers would not have the option to recourse to subcontractors in order to claim any compensation due to their sole responsibility.
  • Boundaries of the Turkish Competition Authority’s Investigative Powers

    Boundaries of the Turkish Competition Authority's Investigative Powers: Case Handlers vs. Personal Property
  • Potential Consequences of Acquisitions of Minority Shareholdings under Turkish Competition Law

    The acquisition of a minority shareholding may come under the Turkish Competition Authority's (" Authority ") scrutiny in two ways, mainly: 1) it may result in de facto or de jure sole or joint control, depending on the rights possessed by the minority shareholders and/or shareholding structures and past voting patterns; and 2) it may not result in control but in cross-shareholding structures amongst competitors in a concentrated market which may raise questions about coordinated effects. This article discusses the circumstances under which the abovementioned consequences may arise under Turkish competition law with references to the relevant legislation and the most noteworthy cases in this regard.

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