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Arias

DIAGONAL 6 10-01 ZONA 10, CENTRO GERENCIAL LAS MARGARITAS TORRE II, OFICINA 402 B, GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA C A, GUATEMALA
Tel:
Work +502 2382 7700
Fax:
Fax +502 2382 7743
Email:
Web:
www.ariaslaw.com

Guatemala

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Arias

Following the spin-off of Muñoz Global in Costa Rica, Arias & Muñoz now operates regionally as Arias. In Guatemala, with the departure of renowned figure José Augusto Toledo in March 2017 (to pursue ventures not linked to legal services), Jorge Luis Arenales has assumed leadership of the banking and finance practice; as a result he will have a greater role advising the firm’s portfolio of multilateral financial institutions in addition to his significant practice in private and investment banking. The team has been further strengthened with the hire of José Pivaral –a former president of both Guatemala’s Chamber of Finance and its Banking Association– as partner in April 2017. Clients note ‘top quality service with profound business acumen and thorough knowledge of the market’ and appreciate that ‘the Guatemalan office coordinates very well with other offices of the firm to provide timely responses across Central America’. Recent matters include advising Bladex, as administrative and collateral agent, in connection with a syndicated credit-facility granted to Promerica Financial for the acquisition of the capital stock in Citibank’s local operations and the associated acquisition of commercial loans to certain Guatemalan banking clients of Citibank. Other clients include IDB, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Scotiabank.

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Corporate/M&A
Corporate/M&A - ranked: tier 1

Arias

Considered the ‘go-to firm in Guatemala’ by many, Arias, formerly Arias & Muñoz, has a top-flight trajectory in the Central American market and longstanding expertise in the corporate and M&A arena. With no losses in the Guatemalan office following the spin-off of Muñoz Global in Costa Rica, the team gives ‘highly appropriate advice’ on both local and international transactions; its wide range of services includes the structuring and restructuring of companies, the establishment and operation of branches and subsidiaries, mergers and share transfers, joint ventures, corporate governance matters and due diligence. Recent matters saw Sika Guatemala seek the firm’s advice regarding a land acquisition deal for the construction of its Guatemalan production facilities; and the team advised Autobytel in connection with its entry in Guatemala via the acquisition of AutoWeb. The team consists of practice head Jorge Luis Arenales, who, in addition to a decade at the firm also has both public sector and in-house experience; senior partner Jorge Luis Arenales who has over 20 years’ experience in the sector; and five senior associates each with more than 10 years’ experience. Clients include Fyffes, Walmart, Bayer, Chevron and Assicurazioni Generali.

Leading lawyers

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Arias

The ‘good, reliable’ and ‘extensive dispute resolution practice’ at Arias is said to ‘fulfil all requirements’, since the team -intact after the spin-off of Muñoz Global in Costa Rica- is ‘proactive, fully committed’ and ‘always willing to walk the extra mile in order to satisfy clients’ needs in terms of time and money’. It represents local and international clients in litigation, arbitration and mediation, and regularly advises on disputes related to real estate, telecoms and IP, among other areas. A particularly active client has been Chevron Guatemala: the team assisted the company with an administrative litigation process where it acted as an interested third-party; the case concerns anomalies in the bidding process during a public tender for the construction of a fuel terminal to supply aircraft at La Aurora International Airport. The team also handles labour and employment litigation and has a growing criminal litigation practice focused on white-collar corporate matters. With a track record of almost thirty years, practice head Mario René Archila ‘has the expertise and knowledge required’; he works closely with senior associate Luis Fernando Zelada, who has a similar length of experience. Archila is currently acting as arbitrator in a software dispute between two local companies and is also handling an international arbitration. Other clients include BIC Latin America, Bayer, Walmart and Fox International Channels.

Leading lawyers

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Arias

The IP team at Arias (formerly Arias & Muñoz before the spin-off of Muñoz Global in Costa Rica), ‘responds swiftly to clients’ demands and has good knowledge of clients’ needs’; moreover, it ‘knows exactly how to proceed even before requested to do something’. Besides its growing trade mark prosecution practice, the team also saw increased work in IP litigation, antipiracy and anti-counterfeiting, IP contracts and patents. Copyright, domain name protection and software licensing are also areas of expertise. The team recently defended SABMiller against an opposition filed by local brewery Cerveceria Centroamerica against the trademark application for Pilsner Urquell. In other notable matters, it also represented the US Dairy Export Council in the defence of a judicial administrative claim filed by the EU against a Ministry of Economy resolution granting protection to the appellation of origin Parmigiano Reggiano. ‘Totally committed’ practice head Ivon Hernández has 13 years’ experience, is ‘full of knowledge’ and ‘satisfies expectations’. Well known litigator Mario René Archila supports the practice in contentious IP matters. Key clients include Google, Procter & Gamble and Fox International Channels Latin America; Bayer and Crocs are prominent new clients.

Next generation lawyers

Ivón Hernández - Arias

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Labour
Labour - ranked: tier 2

Arias

Formerly Arias & Muñoz before the spin-off of Muñoz Global in Costa Rica, Arias provides comprehensive labour advice primarily to transnational companies with subsidiaries in Guatemala, including on social security and occupational health and safety regulations, and in disputes, the negotiation of out-of-court arrangements, administrative conflict mediation and labour litigation. The team also has complimentary expertise in immigration law, regulatory law and compliance. Current work includes assisting a foreign embassy with the termination of a local employee due to fraudulent acts, and defending a prominent multinational company against an employee who claimed a higher severance payment with bad faith due to the misinterpretation of an incentive bonus for productivity; after favourable rulings at the Supreme Court the case is currently at the Constitutional Court. With more than 30 years’ experience, Liz Gordillo gives ‘highly appropriate advice’. Senior associate Rosa María Arenales is also noted. Clients include Google, IDB, Walmart, Chevron and Bayer.

Leading lawyers

Liz Gordillo - Arias

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 2

Arias

Building on ‘considerable experience’ dating back many years, Arias, (formerly Arias & Muñoz before the spin-off of Muñoz Global in Costa Rica), has been strategically expanding its tax practice since 2014. Its ‘very professional’ team covers advice on tax planning and structuring for local and international clients (particularly groups operating throughout Central America), the tax aspects of M&A transactions, transfer pricing rules, tax compliance issues and also customs matters in connection with commercial trade agreements such as DR-CAFTA. Clients come from a wide range of industries –including the automotive, consumer product, financial services, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, telecoms, real estate and non-profit sectors– and note the practice group’s ‘high level of service’ and ‘swift resolution of clients’ problems’. Practice head Ximena Tercero is recommended for her ‘dedication and commitment to the work’.

Next generation lawyers

Ximena Tercero - Arias

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