The Legal 500

Nicaragua

Editorial

Legal market overview

Nicaragua, although still one of Latin America’s least developed countries, has been growing steadily over the past decade. GDP grew by 4.2% in 2013, while foreign direct investment and trade increased and economic indicators remain positive.

Though small, the country’s legal market is relatively active and large regional firms such as Consortium – Centro América Abogados, Arias & Muñoz and García & Bodán, continue to dominate. These firms benefit from referrals from their respective regional networks, and have an edge in multi-jurisdictional work. Despite this, local firm Alvarado y Asociados competes effectively with these larger firms, and has an impressive international reach. Corporate and finance work remains the core area for Nicaraguan law firms, although IP also continues to grow in importance, with a number of firms developing solid offerings in the sector, with local boutique Guy José Bendaña-Guerrero & Asociados leading the way.

In one significant market development Meritas alliance member Nuñez Rizo Zambrana lost two key partners to Costa Rica-based BLP which has begun a regionalization drive with the opening of offices in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Similarly, another Costa Rican heavyweight, Pacheco Coto, has also opened in Managua, after absorbing the Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Nicaraguan offices of ACZALAW, Abogados Centroamericanos Asociados. Both firms are likely to provide strong competition to local firms and other regional players in the Nicaraguan market over the next few years.

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