The Legal 500




Legal market overview

Paraguay continues its economic emergence, enjoying continuous growth and a relatively stable financial system. The country appears to have left behind the recent political turmoil which culminated in the removal of the Lugo administration in 2012. The subsequent general elections in April 2013 were regarded as free and fair and resulted in victory for businessman Horacio Cartes from the centre-right Colorado Party. Cartes, who had entered politics only a few years prior to standing for President, is also owner of the largest conglomerate in the country, Grupo Cartes, which is active in many branches of the economy, including banking, agriculture, transportation and tobacco. Given Cartes’ business background, the legal industry largely welcomed the election result, and expects a further surge in foreign investment. This is underlined by the government’s decision to introduce a 1.5% deficit cap, which, following Ricardian economics, is supposed to bring about greater investor and consumer confidence. In response, Fitch Ratings confirmed Paraguay’s BB- rating. Cartes also turned to legal private practice market for his Attorney General, appointing Moreno Ruffinelli & Asociados’ Roberto Moreno Rodríguez for the prestigious post.

Only months after the new administration took power in August 2013, Congress passed a bill establishing the framework for public-private partnerships. The full effect of this law is yet to be evaluated but considerable investment is expected, particularly in infrastructure projects. Improvements in the infrastructure network are needed to accommodate the wave of foreign direct investment into the country. Indeed, leading corporate law firms such as Fiorio, Cardozo & Alvarado, Attorneys at Law and Peroni Sosa Tellechea Burt & Narvaja report a substantial volume of work from foreign companies seeking to incorporate Paraguayan branches and subsidiaries. This trend spans all industries, although Paraguay’s economy still remains largely agricultural, with cattle and soya being the most important resources. Paraguay’s agribusiness, however, is also being increasingly professionalised, prompting large investment opportunities for biotechnological companies, among others. Furthermore, despite being landlocked, as a strong agro-exporter the country has a sizeable and structurally important maritime-transport sector, generating considerable investment and, for law firms, regulatory, admiralty and commercial work. Renewable energy is also a thriving sector. Increasingly sophisticated environmental regulation cuts across all these sectors and here PGK Abogados y Consultores Ambientales remains the country’s most specialised service provider.

In intellectual property, attorneys are increasingly feeling the positive effects of the National Directorate of Intellectual Property; created in 2012, it handles registrations and other proceedings in a substantially faster manner than its predecessor organisation. IP boutique Zacarías & Fernández and full-service firm Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors stand out in this sector.

In the legal industry at large, traditional family-run law firms, which have long dominated the local market, face increasing pressure from regional players, most notably Ferrere, which has its origins in Uruguay. Concurrently, a number of corporate firms are putting increasing emphasis on institutionalisation with corporate and banking heavyweight Estudio Jurídico Gross Brown being the prime example of this trend. On another front, the amicable division of the renowned Vouga & Olmedo has not caused a major disruption in the market, as both had been working with a degree of independence even before the formal split.

In the labour and employment sector, Irún & Villamayor Asesores Laborales de Empresa remains the indisputable master; while in tax Mersán Abogados retains a leading position but is facing increasing competition; notably with the growth of specialised boutique Estudio Nora Ruoti & Asociados.

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Legal Developments worldwide

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  • Recent Issues of Data Protection Regulation in Korea

    The Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA") was enacted as a general law of personal information in March 2011 to fulfill the need for presiding rules to govern personal information protection. In fact, there have already been a number of special laws governing personal information protection in various special areas and cases, such as The Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization Information Protection ("Network Act") governing information and communications services, and the Use and Protection of Credit Information Act ("Credit Information Act") governing personal credit information. Special laws prevail over the general law, when in conflict with individual articles of the general law.
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    Since last 10 years the financial developments and the promising financial and technological progresses notably in energy, tourism and infrastructure sectors have attracted the foreign investors' interest. Since the number of foreign investments has been increasing within these developments, the question, if a company may have foreign shareholders and foreign board members has come to the fore. This was actually the result of the frequent change in laws as part of adaptation progress to E.U legislation. 
  • Concerns regarding UCA as a result of coalition agreement Michel I


    The intellectual property rights (IP) are conceptually is linked to both intellectual and industrial rights in Turkish legislation. Intellectual property rights are almost related to the intellectual and artistic works, linked rights (neighboring rights), computer programs and databases and protected with royalty, while industrial rights contain patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, topographies of integrated circuits (chips), geographical indications, plant varieties, other names and signs, trade secrets (know-how, undisclosed information) and they are protected with industrial and exclusive rights.
  • An Overview of FIDIC Rules

    FIDIC, (Federation Internationale Des Ingenieurs Conseils), International Federation of Consulting Engineers aims to find a resolution in construction sector. There are five different FIDIC contracts in different colors that regulates different and separate obligations and rights. Today FIDIC is applied to 30 % of international construction project contracts. In Turkey, FIDIC mostly was preferred in high volume construction projects such as Marmaray Bosphorus Project, Baku Ceyhan Pipeline Construction Project, Ankara- Istanbul Highway Construction. 
  • Delivery of Leviathan Gas through Turkey

    Israel's offshore Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in Eastern Mediterranean Sea have a significant discovery in order to meet Europe's rising gas and energy need.
  • Present and Future of Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism in Turkey: “YEKDEM”

    Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority ("EMRA") has announced on 1st October 2014 that the electricity manufacturing license holders producing electricity from renewable resources are required to submit their applications for Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism ("YEKDEM") for the year 2015 until 31th October 2014, in order to benefit from the facilities regulated by the related legislation.
  • Re-employment of Employees & Constructive Dismissal Claims

    This update reports recent developments on employment law and practice in Singapore.
  • Comprehensive Measures to Protect Personal Data in the Financial Sector

    The following is a summary of the press releases made by the Financial Services Commission on 10 March 2014. These are action items and policies that the FSC and relevant ministries are seeking to implement. The following measures have developed from a series of measures previously announced since the data leakage from the three credit card companies were revealed last January.
  • Essilor’s Proposed Combination with an Optical Lens Maker in Korea is Blocked

    In its press release on March 17, 2014, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the "KFTC") blocked the proposed acquisition of 50% shares by Essilor Amera Investment Pte. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Essilor International S.A., the largest optical lens maker in the world) in Daemyung Optical Co., Ltd. (the second largest optical lens maker in Korea) citing inter alia the likely lessening effect on price competition and the probable future abuses of the enhanced market power. On top of the expressed competitive concerns, the KFTC observed that allowing foreign firms to acquire local firms and turn them into their local sub-contractors worsens the competitive market structure of the domestic optical lens industry.

Press Releases worldwide

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