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Who Represents Who

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Aguilar Castillo Love is highly rated for its advice to both global multinationals and key domestic companies. The practice is particularly noted for its work on complex transactions in areas such as finance and renewable energy (primarily solar and hydro), as well as on infrastructure projects, including those structured as PPPs. Other areas of strength include telecoms, mining and real estate development; and the firm fields lawyers with significant tax law expertise. Recent matters include acting for Grupo Financiero Ficohsa on its acquisition of shares in Astra Holdings, which operates in the payment systems and e-money sector; advising a potential buyer on the initial due diligence related to a regional acquisition in the chemical sector; and assisting Honduras’ largest vehicle dealer, Corporación Flores, with an inter-company merger with related companies Toyopartes and Toyoservicios, which provides auto parts service, and automotive mechanics/maintenance services, respectively. Financing highlights include the team’s assistance to Energys de Honduras on the project financing and development of photovoltaic plants; and acting as counsel to Banco Ficohsa on project financings for the construction, operation and maintenance of biomass, biogas and solar energy plants. In the PPP space, the team acted for Rodio Soluciones, as project structurer and consultant, regarding the PPP tender process for the storage, distribution and dispensing of medicines and medical supplies in Honduras. The firm’s key advisers are Enrique Rodríguez Burchard and Juan José Alcerro Milla, while growth in the practice saw Carolina Aguirre Larios promoted to the partnership. Juan Diego Lacayo González is a highly rated associate.

Arias is widely respected for corporate work (frequently cross-border), including M&A; and the firm’s corporate services include tax, labour and administrative law assistance. The department is co-led by managing partner Evangelina Lardizábal, who regularly advises local and international companies, banks and insurance companies, and Mario Agüero, who is recommended for corporate law and procedural administrative matters. Recent work highlights saw the team assist Grupo Unicomer with the coordination of a bond placement on the international markets; a matter that also involved the firm’s offices in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Other key mandates include advising ING Bank, via a global law firm’s Amsterdam office, on the financing for the design and implementation of irrigation systems on behalf of the Honduran government; acting in collaboration with a US-based law firm to advise Unity Group Holdings on the stock purchase of a minority equity-investment in Honduran brokerage firm, Interbroker; and advising Global Partnerships Social Investment Fund 5.0 on the due diligence, review and execution of an amended and restated micro-finance loan agreement to IDH, a Honduran non-profit institution that finances micro-entrepreneurs. Claudia Midence and Antonio Montes are experienced associates.

Consortium Legal’s ‘has a great team that finds solutions and always covers all legal aspects. Moreover, ‘the advice is appropriate and response times are also fast and effective’. The corporate practice group is highly regarded for its advice to local and international banking entities and trust companies, investment firms, and accountancy practices, as well as multinational corporations, families and individuals; it also frequently works in conjunction with foreign law firms. Representative advice includes advising the firm’s clients on contractual matters; and assisting buyers and sellers with their regional interests. The firm is also widely praised for its assistance with banking and finance, securities, foreign investment and international trade matters. José Ramón Paz Padilla led advice to the project developers (as owners and contractors) on the construction of a 20-story luxury apartment building, which included obtaining the environmental, municipal and national aeronautics permits. Senior partner and department head José Rafael Rivera is the key contact for local, foreign and multinational companies, as well as banks and other finance entities, regarding foreign investment and financial, corporate and commercial law matters. Gustavo León-Gómez is particularly focused on advising clients on banking regulatory matters, banking operations, and local and cross-border transactions (including structuring securities for syndicated loans and project financing), as well as contractual matters, public and private construction agreements, and bilateral and multilateral investments. Senior associate José Ramón Paz Morales’ ‘strength is his overall knowledge of several areas and his ability to connect them together’.

BLP is particularly well known in Honduras for its experience representing both buyers and sellers in M&A transactions, as well as its work in sectors including energy (and clean technologies), telecoms and real estate development. The team also has expertise with regard to free trade zones and frequently assists on corporate labour matters. Headline work includes advising Corporación Multi Inversiones on its acquisition of GME’s Honduran assets; and assisting Facey Telecom Central America’s subsidiaries, Sky Solutions Honduras and Productive Business Solutions Honduras, with the renegotiation of a significant, syndicated loan for the refinancing of working capital. In other matters, the team advised major Mexican baking group, Grupo Bimbo, on the restructuring of its stock capital in Honduras; and acted for Quala on the Honduran aspects of the sale of one of the largest home care and personal-care product portfolios in Latin America to Unilever. José Miguel Álvarez, energy law specialist Karla Aguilar and Jorge Brizuela are the names to note.

One of the best law firms in Honduras’, Casco-Fortín, Cruz & Asociados’ corporate and commercial law practice ‘provides a personalised, prompt and excellent service’. Above and beyond general corporate advice and company incorporation the team advises on transactional matters, capital increases, joint ventures and corporate governance, as well as assisting foreign investors with the structuring of their businesses in Honduras. It also frequently acts for small and medium sized-companies on the legal aspects of their day-to-day operations, handles commercial and shareholder agreements, and undertakes share sales and companies’ due diligence. On the financial side the practice advises banking and other institutions on regulatory matters, assists with guarantees and draft trust documentation. Recent matters saw the team advise Sinohydro Corporation on the construction of a hydroelectric plant; and act for Bolsa Centroamericana de Valores on a capital increase. Well known for banking and finance and insurance matters, managing partner Rosalinda Cruz de Williams is an ‘incredible leader’; fellow name-partner Leonardo Casco-Fortin is also a key figure. Lizzeth Villatoro moved in-house at Banco Lafise Honduras.

Always providing accurate advice’, García & Bodánworks in a timely manner and is very professional and competent’. The team is well-known for handling complex, cross-border M&A deals, as well as assisting with establishing local operations for international companies and investors. The practice is also particularly noted for international capital markets transactions, including major bond offerings; international financing transactions, including syndicated loans and project finance; and the firm has sector expertise in highly regulated industries such as energy, infrastructure, and insurance and reinsurance. Managing partner Vanessa Oquelí’s practice focuses primarily on corporate and finance transactions, but also includes tax and aviation matters, where she has extensive experience. Oquelí recently acted as local counsel to a US-based investment bank, as underwriter, on Honduran company Inversiones Atlántida’s $150m notes issuance; the transaction constituted the first time a Honduran private company has ever issued international notes. Ricardo Duarte is highly rated and Godofredo Siercke is a key senior associate.

With ‘a very good cost-benefit ratio’ and ‘an excellent team’, the lawyers at Bufete Gutiérrez Falla & Asociados are noted for their particular expertise in the mining, energy and infrastructure sectors, and on PPP matters. Recent highlights saw the group assist Costa Rica’s largest retail and shoe company, Bestbrands, with matters related to its operations in Honduras, including labour law and taxation issues. The practice also acted for new client NaanDanJain, an international irrigation solutions company, on various matters including the incorporation of a local subsidiary and tax advice; and advised Electrum on a significant investment in the mining sector, involving corporate, tax, litigation and labour issues. Recent client wins include Maersk Line, Gaspro Latinoamérica, Gabriel Couto and Standard Fruit Company. Mauricio Villeda Jr ‘stands out for being effective and highly knowledgeable’; and Mauricio Villeda Bermúdez is also an experienced adviser.

The team at CENTRAL LAW handles foreign investment transactions, PPP matters, energy projects and mining issues, among other work. One key client is British multinational telecoms services company BT, which it advises on various matters including commercial contracts. San Pedro Sula-based managing partner Jesús Humberto Medina-Alva leads the firm’s banking, corporate and foreign investment departments; and Claribel Medina and junior associate lawyer Marcela Aguilar are names to note in Tegucigalpa.

Name partner at Latamlex / Matamoros Batson y Asociados, Dennis Matamoros Batson’s experience includes project and corporate finance transactions, M&A, banking regulatory and trust work, and general corporate and commercial matters. Other key contacts include Paul Handal, who advises local and foreign bank and insurance institutions; and Manuela Bueso, who is noted for secured and unsecured loan transactions, project finance, M&A, and general commercial and contractual matters.

Benito Zelaya heads up the corporate practice at Lexincorp’s Honduran office. Recent matters include advising Blue Orchard Microfinance Fund on the granting of three loans to Ficohsa Bank –a mandate involving review of the status and validity of the relevant warranties and obtaining loan contract authorisations from the National Banking and Insurance Commission. Engels Zelaya is another key contact; and David Mejía is a well-regarded associate.

López Rodezno & Asociados acts for both buyers and sellers in complex M&A transactions; the practice is also highly regarded for its experience with corporate reorganisations, shareholder agreements, and commercial business incorporations. Additional areas of note include the team’s assistance with the regulatory aspects surrounding deals; and it fields lawyers with labour law, antitrust and tax law expertise. Key names to note include banking practice department head Jorge López Loewenberg, corporate and M&A team leader René López Rodezno, and head of the commercial law department Fernando Fiallos Gutiérrez.

Handling domestic and cross-border deals (including M&A transactions), corporate restructuring and project finance, among other matters, the team at Bufete Melara & Asociadosalways responds quickly’ and has particular sector expertise in agribusiness, banking, energy, and telecoms. The practice group recently advised the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on the design and structuring of an investment fund in Honduras. Team head Oscar Melara acts for domestic and regional clients, primarily commercial and industrial companies, as well as undertaking cross-border M&A transactions; and Jaime Turcios advises on wind, solar, hydro and thermal energy projects both in Honduras and other Latin American countries. Andrea Idiáquez is a notable associate.

Gustavo Zacapa y Asociados, Abogados & Notarios is focused exclusively on multinational companies and international organisations, which operate in Honduras. The firm also has a strong IP practice; and assists with commercial contracts, company formations, and finance advice, as well as labour law issues, environmental regulatory matters, commercial distribution relations, and administrative procedures. The International Committee of the Red Cross is a client. Managing partner and corporate head Gustavo Zacapa and Arturo Zacapa are highly rated.

A leading law firm in Guatemala, Mayora & Mayora, S.C.’s Honduras office was opened in 2016. Experienced in commercial and corporate law, corporate governance and M&A deals, the practice group ‘always delivers work quickly and with excellence’ and includes lawyers with sector expertise in construction, energy, pharmaceuticals and telecoms. Recent mandates include acting for investment fund Coinvierta on a capital increase transaction. Odín Guillén Leíva is ‘quick, to the point, very polite and friendly’.

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