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Aguilar Castillo Love is not only a ‘High-level law firm’, but also ‘highly experienced, very responsive to clients’ requests’, and ‘always provides valuable assistance’. The practice is recommended for its advice to both multinationals and high-profile local companies, and it is frequently present on complex transactions in sectors such as banking and finance, renewable energy (including solar and hydro), infrastructure, telecoms, mining and real estate development. Project highlights included department head Enrique Rodriguez Burchard leading advice to Ormat on the financing for the development, construction, and start-up operating expenses for a geothermal power plant; Rodriguez Burchard also assisted Banco Ficohsa with the loan and security documents for the financing of a mall project in Tegucigalpa. Cross-border M&A deals saw Juan José Alcerro Milla advise Fandango on the acquisition of the Honduras branch of Peru-based online ticket seller, Cinepapaya. Other active clients include GE Healthcare, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Vestas Mediterranean, Bank of America and The Dow Chemical Company. Juan Diego Lacayo González is a key associate.

Arias was formed in late 2016 when the Costa Rica partners of the first Pan-Central American law firm, the former Arias & Muñoz, departed to form Muñoz Global. The firm remains highly rated for corporate work (frequently cross-border), including M&A, financings and investments; it also assists its client base with public law issues, regulatory norms and compliance, and taxation matters. Other complementary areas of strength include antitrust, IP and dispute resolution. Managing partner Evangelina Lardizábal’s client list includes local and international companies, banks and insurance companies, and she was part of a cross-office team that acted for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in a shopping centre-related loan that was granted to El Salvador-based real estate developer Grupo Roble. Lardizábal also assisted the firm’s Guatemala and El Salvador offices with their advice to Bladex, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, regarding a $223m syndicated credit facility extended to Promerica Financial for the acquisition of Citibank’s Guatemalan credit card business and consumer banking operation. Other key matters saw the team advise JCSD Trustee Services (as trustee and agent to the lender) on a multi-regional transaction, which included an indexed bond issuance and a syndicated loan to Productive Business Solutions (Barbados); it also acts for Titan Resources on corporate matters on an ongoing basis. Mario Agüero is noted for corporate law and procedural administrative matters; and senior associate René Serrano is a mercantile contracts expert, particularly with regard to structuring local business operations for international companies, such as agencies and distributorships.

With offices in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Roatán (Bay Islands), Consortium Legal is recommended for its drafting of commercial agreements, including complex contractual agency relationships, franchise and distribution, the constitution and advising of corporations, and the full spectrum of M&A-associated legal services. Clients praise the firm for ‘fast response times, tailored knowledge, and lawyers who have expertise in several areas’. Recent highlights saw the team act for Vizion Developments, as owners and contractors, in the construction of a 20-story luxury apartment building; it also advised BANPAÍS on acquiring regulatory approval from the National Banking and Insurance Commission for the operation of a new private pension fund. The firm also advises Citibank subsidiary Bank of Honduras on its day-to-day corporate and banking affairs, recently assisting it with the liquidation process of a local insurance subsidiary. Other active clients of the firm include Nestlé, AB Inbev, Delta and AIG. Department head José Rivera is a key contact for local, multinational and foreign companies and financial institutions for foreign investment, financial, corporate and commercial law matters. José Paz recently co-ordinated a number of large cross-border financial transactions, involving multinational lenders and local and regional institutional borrowers; he is ‘always available for clients, no matter what time it is, and he always gets things done fast’. Banking law expert Gustavo León-Gómez is a key contact for structuring corporate credit agreements and guarantees for syndicated loans.

Founded in 2000 and operating from Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, local Meritas alliance-member Casco-Fortín, Cruz & Asociados is highly regarded for its expertise in corporate and commercial law, loan agreements and guarantees, and PPP matters. The team acted for Sinohydro Corporation in a $350m hydroelectric plant project; and advised Bolsa Centroamericana de Valores on a capital increase transaction. Other active clients include Banco Lafise, CAHDA, Chubb and Pfizer. Leonardo Casco-Fortin is a banking law and commercial and civil law expert; Vanessa Velásquez is particularly focused on corporate and commercial law, distribution agreements and agency matters; Rosalinda Cruz de Williams is well known for corporate and commercial, banking insurance and regulatory matters; and Lizzeth Villatoro is recommended for commercial law, insurance sector-related issues, and banking and finance. Since research concluded, attorneys Velásquez and Villatoro have both moved in house – at Grupo Terra and Banco Lafise, respectively. Managing partner Rosalinda Cruz de Williams is now the key practice contact.

García & Bodánprovides excellent advice; the team is also very responsive, takes the initiative and deals with matters in a very professional manner’. The practice is recommended for complex cross-border transactions, including M&A deals; international capital market transactions, including sovereign bonds offerings; and international financing deals, including syndicated loans and project finance; and it routinely applies tax planning and tax litigation expertise to transactional work. The firm also has significant expertise in regulated sectors such as energy, infrastructure, insurance and reinsurance. Managing partner Vanessa Oquelí led advice on the Republic of Honduras’ issue and international offering of $700m global notes; and in M&A highlights she advised global call-centre services company, Knoah Solutions, on its acquisition of a Honduran call centre, a mandate involving corporate, labour, IP and tax issues. Ricardo Duarte was part of a cross-border team that acted for the borrower, a Central American chain of hotels that operates under the Hilton Princess brand, in restructuring its debt through a Scotiabank El Salvador loan; he is ‘great with clients’ and ‘highly experienced’. Other active clients of the firm include Software One, United Airlines and Arch Reinsurance. Senior associate Godofredo Siercke is also highly rated.

Local member-firm of the Lex Mundi global network of independent law firms, Bufete Gutiérrez Falla & Asociadosprovides great service, all matters get resolved on time, and the team has extensive knowledge of local and international laws’. The firm is well known in the market for corporate and M&A matters and corporate finance; it is also recommended for antitrust issues, financings and PPP infrastructure projects, and has energy and mining law expertise. Recent matters saw the team assist clean energy company PROGELSA with corporate matters and capital increases, and it also advises Electrum, on an ongoing basis, on corporate matters, administrative law procedures and its relations with the Government of Honduras. Mauricio Villeda Jr is highly regarded for corporate and banking matters; he is ‘a very proactive individual and always available’. Senior partners Mauricio Villeda and Bradford O’Neill are also both key contacts.

López Rodezno & Asociados’ team is highly experienced at advising both the buyer- and seller-sides in M&A deals, including advice on the regulatory aspects of transactions, as well as antitrust, employment law and taxation issues. Other commercial law areas of note include shareholders agreements, reorganisation work and the incorporation of commercial businesses. Banking law head Jorge López, René López Rodezno, who heads the corporate law and M&A team, and corporate and commercial law specialist Fernando Fiallos are all highlighted as relevant practitioners.

Matamoros Batson – LatamLex regularly acts for local banks and financial institutions in lending transactions, regulatory matters and labour law issues. Project finance highlights included advising IFC, OeEB, and FinnFund, as lenders, on an $86.5m loan to COHESSA for the construction and operation of a 50MW solar project; the team also acted for several local and foreign banks in a syndicated loan to a borrower for the upgrade, expansion, operation and maintenance of 392kms of existing roads. Other key matters saw the team assist Grupo Farinter, a conglomerate of over six companies (including the largest pharmacy chain in Honduras), with a capital restructuring matter; it also advised BAC Honduras and Credomatic Honduras on the organisation, creation and authorisation of a regulated pension fund in the country. Team head Dennis Matamoros Batson, banking and insurance regulatory expert Paul Handal and Manuela Bueso are the key names.

Bufete Melara & Asociados frequently advises on transactional maters in sectors such as telecoms, banking and energy. Recent highlights saw the team act for Millicom Cable Honduras and Navega on their merger – a mandate involving the handling of regulatory filings before the Telecommunications Authority. It also advised Grupo Terra on the acquisition of both Banco Citibank de El Salvador and Banco ProCredit Nicaragua; while in finance matters, the team advised Generación Renovable Honduras on the financing of a photovoltaic plant project. Managing partner Oscar Melara and Jaime Turcios are the primary points of contact; and key associate Andrea Idiáquez is also noted.

The local office of BLP is recommended for its focus on energy and corporate law, and the team is also supported by tax, labour, IP and administrative law experts. Recent highlights saw the practice advise renewable energy development company Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy on its sale to SunEdison; the team also advised SKY Solutions on the renegotiation of a syndicated loan for refinancing and working-capital requirements. José Miguel Álvarez, energy law specialist Karla Aguilar and Jorge Brizuela are all key practitioners.

CENTRAL LAW Honduras is highly regarded for its advice on foreign investment transactions; PPP work, such as roads, ports and airport infrastructure; acquiring environmental licenses for renewable energy projects; and mining concessions. Recent matters saw the team advise Pandora on a franchise contract; assist CITECH on acquiring the authorisation to operate a call centre; and act for Prodemex on the tender process for the construction of Tegucigalpa’s civic government centre. San Pedro Sula-based managing partner Jesús Humberto Medina-Alva leads the firm’s banking, corporate and foreign investment departments, and Claribel Medina is an infrastructure and renewable energy PPP expert.

Lexincorp’s ‘professionalism is simply amazing’. Notable clients of the firm include Sony Interamerican, Agrinter, Disna and Metrocinemas, and the practice regularly handles contractual matters for Netgo Group, a technological services company; it also advises a telecoms tower supply company on contract negotiations, and financing and investment structuring. Department head Benito Zelaya is ‘dedicated and knowledgeable’, and Aldo Cosenza is also a key contact. Since research concluded, the firm has hired former Nassar Abogados country director Aida Lazarus, along with associate Mario Osorio, to strengthen the office's corporate, finance and energy practices.

Gustavo Zacapa y Asociados, Abogados & Notarios is focused on advising multinational companies and other international organisations, and the corporate team frequently works in conjunction with the firm’s IP department on commercial matters. Active clients of the practice include Philip Morris International, Procter & Gamble, Cinemark and Pan-American Life Insurance Company; the team also gives ongoing legal advice to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The team recently acted for a corporation in the reorganisation of its corporate structure. Managing partner and corporate head Gustavo Zacapa and Arturo Zacapa are the names to note.

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