Panama : Banking and finance
Within Banking and finance, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is a first tier firm,
Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega's top-tier finance practice has been in full swing with a host of major instructions, particularly for lenders. Panama is currently undergoing numerous major infrastructure projects and the fact that the firm is involved in the financing of most of them is testament to its quality. The largest of these was the $1.9bn Panama City Metro project, in which the firm advised Citibank on the $298m facility to be used for the design and construction of Line One. One of the most complex deals that the firm was involved in was for Global Bank and HSBC Securities as joint lead arrangers on the securitisation of toll road receivables for ENA Sur Trust, a Panamanian special purpose vehicle created by the Government road network, Empresa Nacional de Autopista, to acquire the toll road concession owned by the Mexican construction company Empresas ICA group. This securitisation resulted in a $395m bond offering to finance the deal, effectively combining acquisition finance, structured finance and debt capital markets. The ‘very good and solution-oriented team' is headed by Ricardo Arango, and includes the highly experienced Estif Aparicio. Roy Durling is recommended for ship financings, and Maria Carolina Arroyo has a good name for real estate finance.
Panama : Corporate and M&A
Within Corporate and M&A, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is a first tier firm,
Ricardo Arango heads the excellent eight-partner team at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega, which remains one of the most active in the market. The practice has recently been involved in several major cross-border takeovers. One of the firm's largest instructions was from Grupo Industrias Lacteas, a major dairy company, on its takeover by Coca-Cola. The firm also represented Interbank Group on the Panamanian aspects of its multijurisdictional takeover of the Peruvian pharmacy chain Inkafarma.
Panama : Dispute resolution
Within Dispute resolution, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is a first tier firm,
Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega has a very active disputes practice that is regularly involved in litigations and arbitrations across a wide range of sectors. Recently there has been a strong offshore element to its disputes, with cross-border matters involving London, New York and Brazil. One of the largest disputes the firm has been involved in is a multimillion-dollar claim against the fruit company Chiquita for paying protection money to Autodefensas Armadas de Colombia, a Colombian paramilitary group, despite the fact that it had been branded a terrorist organisation in the US. The claim has been made on behalf of the Colombian victims of the paramilitary group, and the firm has been acting as liaison and case coordinator between the claimant's law firm in New York and the Colombian lawyers. Fernando Arias and Octavio Arnat jointly head the team, which also includes employment litigation specialist Maria del Carmen Zuniga, as well as Eduardo de Alba for shipping disputes, and Estif Aparicio for tax litigation.
Panama : Intellectual property
Within Intellectual property , Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is a second tier firm,
Ileana Martinelli heads the highly respectable IP practice at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega, which also benefits from the IP litigation expertise of Fernando Arias. The firm covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious IP matters, and primarily represents international clients. Recently it advised the shoe manufacturer Crocs on a joint effort with the Customs Office to crack down on counterfeit products with the Crocs brand. The firm has also been representing British American Tobacco in two major trade mark disputes with Philip Morris. Other major clients include Nestlé, FIFA, Exxon Mobil, Toyota, Kraft Foods, Sony, AstraZeneca and Novartis.
Panama : Offshore
Within Offshore , Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is a second tier firm,
As with most Panamanian firms, offshore advice is a core part of Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega's offering. The five-partner practice is divided into two components, with Gian Castillero heading the corporate services group, and LeRoy Watson in charge of estates, trusts and foundations. The firm has a network of offices, with trust and company administration subsidiaries in London, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, the BVI and Belize. The firm acts for a range of financial institutions and private clients, and has been working alongside Merrill Lynch, Bancolombia and BG Valores, on the reorganisation of the structure of some of their corporate accounts. In 2011, Castillero also advised the Government of Panama on the drafting of enhanced ‘Know Your Customer Rules', which is part of the government's strategy to receive greater recognition from the OECD.
Panama : Real estate
Within Real estate, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is a first tier firm,
Few dispute Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega's position as the premier real estate firm in Panama. The team, which is headed by the extremely experienced Maria Carolina Arroyo, covers all the bases, regularly advising investors and developers, on the full range of issues, including major developments and acquisitions. The firm is also second to none in real estate finance, where it acts for most of the major banks on straight financings as well as more complex mortgage securitisations. Recent highlights include advising the Trump Organisation on all issues relating to the development of the Trump Ocean Club, which will include a residential condominium, hotel, and casino, as well as office and retail space. The firm also represented Marriott International on the franchise agreement for Casamar Marriott Resort, which will open in 2013. Other major clients include McDonald's Corporation, Hyatt Hotels, Esso Standard Oil, Merrill Lynch and CB Richard Ellis.
Panama : Shipping
Within Shipping , Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is a second tier firm,
Shipping finance expert Roy Durling heads the quality shipping and finance practice at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega. Despite the slowdown in global activity, the practice remains active, and benefits from an office in London where Alfredo Fonseca is located. The three core areas of the practice are registration, finance, and shipping litigation, where Eduardo de Alba has a very good track record. Recent highlights include advising Alaskan Star as local counsel on a $700m bond offering to refinance the Atlantic Star and Alaskan Star drilling rigs. The firm also represented DVB Bank America on a $40m loan to UP Offshore to finance the acquisition of two floating production and storage vessels.
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