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BLP

1 DIAGONAL 6 10-50, ZONE 10, INTERAMERICAS BUILDING, NORTH TOWER, LEVEL 8, OFFICE 801, GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
Tel:
Work +507 2225 7000
Email:
Web:
www.blplegal.com/

Guatemala

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

BLP

Since Arenales & Skinner-KlĂ©e – LatamLex ceased operations in October 2016, the bulk of the team has moved to BLP, where it continues to advise local and international banks on a broad spectrum of financial matters, including project finance, bond issuances and regulatory matters. The group has particular expertise in financing transactions subject to US, Canadian and European law, and can also draw on substantial experience advising on the financial aspects of M&A transactions and the incorporation of banks. Recent work includes assisting PromĂ©rica Financial with the acquisition and financing for the purchase of Citibank’s operations in Guatemala, and advising Scotiabank on a syndicated loan for a Canadian national telecoms company that provides products and services in Guatemala. Other clients include Banco PromĂ©rica, Aseguradora General, Banco Santander and BAC Florida Bank. MarĂ­a InĂ©s Arenales and of counsel Alejandro Arenales Farner are the main contacts.

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Corporate/M&A
Corporate/M&A - ranked: tier 2

BLP

The Costa Rica-based, regional powerhouse BLP opened its doors in Guatemala in October 2016, having absorbed much of the ‘good and experienced’ team that was formerly at (the now defunct) Arenales & Skinner-KlĂ©e. It continues to advise regional and global companies on corporate matters in its new formulation and in the M&A arena recently assisted PromĂ©rica Financial with the acquisition of Citibank’s operations in Guatemala, among multiple other transactions. The team also advises multinational companies, such as Abbott Laboratories’ subsidiary Lafrancol, and SGS, on their day-to-day operations; and has been particularly active handling product liability matters. For example, key partner Luis Ruiz advised Samsung Electronics Latin America regarding the suspension of sales of its Galaxy Note 7 product and potential acts of unfair competition from a competitor exploiting the incident. Also noted are MarĂ­a InĂ©s Arenales who focuses on corporate and commercial, financing and insurance matters; senior counsel Alejandro Arenales Farner, and associate Jorge Luis Molina. Other clients include Hasbro and new client UBER, regarding its potential entrance into the Guatemalan market.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

BLP

The team at BLP opened its doors in late 2016, after bringing over much of the team at the now-defunct Arenales & Skinner-Klée. The practice group has experience in handling civil, commercial and constitutional litigation matters as well as arbitral cases and also has extensive experience representing the Guatemalan state. With expertise in energy-related disputes, public law and arbitration Rodolfo Salazar continues to represent Hidroeléctrica Río Hondo in arbitration against the National Electrification Institute (INDE), and acted for the State of Guatemala in the adjournment of its obligation to pay a $28.6m arbitral award arising from an ICSID case (10/23) brought by TECO. He also represents Servicios Portuarios in claims, administrative appeals and proceedings against Empresa Portuaria Quetzal. Luis Ruiz adds expertise in IP litigation, while former Arenales & Skinner-Klée founding partner Alejandro Arenales Farner, who joined the firm as senior counsel in February 2017, brings additional arbitral experience. New clients include the Comisión Regional de Interconexión Eléctrica (CRIE).

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Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 2

BLP

Formerly at Arenales & Skinner-KlĂ©e – LatamLex, which ceased operations in October 2016, the energy practice led by Rodolfo Salazar at BLP has experience in energy generation, transportation and distribution projects as well as regulatory expertise not only in the energy sector but also concerning infrastructure and environmental matters. The team acts for private companies and investors but also for the Guatemalan state. It also frequently handles energy-related disputes, such as successfully representing Hidroelectrica RĂ­o Hondo in a lawsuit against the National Electrification Institute (INDE) in order to formally obtain the usufruct for the HidroelĂ©ctrica RĂ­o Hondo I project. Another client is FERSA, the Guatemalan company awarded the concession for the expansion of Guatemala’s National Electricity Transportation System (PETNAC 2). Also noteworthy is the firm’s involvement in the TECO vs Guatemala ICSID arbitration, in which the firm achieved almost complete adjournment of the country’s obligation to pay a $28.6 million award issued to the energy company in a dispute over electricity tariffs.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

BLP

The IP team led by the ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘very good’ Luis Ruiz formerly at Arenales & Skinner-KlĂ©e – LatamLex, now operates under BLP, which opened its doors in Guatemala in October 2016. The broad practice spans local and regional trade mark clearance and prosecution, administrative and judicial IP litigation, patents, anti-counterfeiting and copyright matters, and IP due diligence –primarily for a diverse international client portfolio reaching from South Korea, India and China to the Netherlands, France and the US. A key client regarding trade mark issues is GlaxoSmithKline, most recently regarding the reactivation of a suspended trade mark application for the drug Paxil, and an opposition against the trade mark Taxil. The firm also gained Sanofi, Uber and EOS Products as new clients, the latter regarding trade mark, anti-counterfeiting and health regulatory matters. Another practice-strength lies in strategic IP advice, including in connection with transactions, such as assisting Promerica Financial with its transfer of IP assets from Citibank affiliates in Guatemala. Associate Pamela LĂłpez is the other key figure.

Leading lawyers

Luis Ruiz - BLP

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Labour
Labour - ranked: tier 3

BLP

BLP predominantly handles work permit matters for international clients and labour disputes related to the termination of employees and/or labour benefit claims. Notable clients include Samsung Electronics Latinoamerica, SGS Central América and Bimbo de Centroamerica, for which the team acts on matters including residence requests, the review of labour contracts and contentious labour cases. Another client is Quala Guatemala, which the team is representing before the Labour Ministry regarding the modification of its internal working regulations. Luis Ruiz is the main contact; he is supported by associate Jeimy Aldi.

Next generation lawyers

Jeimy Aldi - BLP

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Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Joaquin Alvarado is the key contact for international arbitration at Carrillo y Asociados. At Skinner-KlĂ©e & Asociados – LatamLex, founder Alfredo Skinner-KlĂ©e, who has experience in ICSID proceedings, is the name to note following the departure of Alejandro Arenales and Rodolfo Salazar, both also singled out for their international arbitration expertise, to BLP. Recommended at QIL+4 Abogados, S.A. is ICSID designee arbitrator JosĂ© Quiñones. At Aguilar Castillo Love, Juan Carlos Castillo-ChĂĄcon has experience in international investment treaty disputes, as both arbitrator and counsel.

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Guatemala

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

BLP

Since Arenales & Skinner-KlĂ©e – LatamLex ceased operations in October 2016, the bulk of the team has moved to BLP, where it continues to advise local and international banks on a broad spectrum of financial matters, including project finance, bond issuances and regulatory matters. The group has particular expertise in financing transactions subject to US, Canadian and European law, and can also draw on substantial experience advising on the financial aspects of M&A transactions and the incorporation of banks. Recent work includes assisting PromĂ©rica Financial with the acquisition and financing for the purchase of Citibank’s operations in Guatemala, and advising Scotiabank on a syndicated loan for a Canadian national telecoms company that provides products and services in Guatemala. Other clients include Banco PromĂ©rica, Aseguradora General, Banco Santander and BAC Florida Bank. MarĂ­a InĂ©s Arenales and of counsel Alejandro Arenales Farner are the main contacts.

[back to top]

Corporate/M&A
Corporate/M&A - ranked: tier 2

BLP

The Costa Rica-based, regional powerhouse BLP opened its doors in Guatemala in October 2016, having absorbed much of the ‘good and experienced’ team that was formerly at (the now defunct) Arenales & Skinner-KlĂ©e. It continues to advise regional and global companies on corporate matters in its new formulation and in the M&A arena recently assisted PromĂ©rica Financial with the acquisition of Citibank’s operations in Guatemala, among multiple other transactions. The team also advises multinational companies, such as Abbott Laboratories’ subsidiary Lafrancol, and SGS, on their day-to-day operations; and has been particularly active handling product liability matters. For example, key partner Luis Ruiz advised Samsung Electronics Latin America regarding the suspension of sales of its Galaxy Note 7 product and potential acts of unfair competition from a competitor exploiting the incident. Also noted are MarĂ­a InĂ©s Arenales who focuses on corporate and commercial, financing and insurance matters; senior counsel Alejandro Arenales Farner, and associate Jorge Luis Molina. Other clients include Hasbro and new client UBER, regarding its potential entrance into the Guatemalan market.

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

BLP

The team at BLP opened its doors in late 2016, after bringing over much of the team at the now-defunct Arenales & Skinner-Klée. The practice group has experience in handling civil, commercial and constitutional litigation matters as well as arbitral cases and also has extensive experience representing the Guatemalan state. With expertise in energy-related disputes, public law and arbitration Rodolfo Salazar continues to represent Hidroeléctrica Río Hondo in arbitration against the National Electrification Institute (INDE), and acted for the State of Guatemala in the adjournment of its obligation to pay a $28.6m arbitral award arising from an ICSID case (10/23) brought by TECO. He also represents Servicios Portuarios in claims, administrative appeals and proceedings against Empresa Portuaria Quetzal. Luis Ruiz adds expertise in IP litigation, while former Arenales & Skinner-Klée founding partner Alejandro Arenales Farner, who joined the firm as senior counsel in February 2017, brings additional arbitral experience. New clients include the Comisión Regional de Interconexión Eléctrica (CRIE).

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 2

BLP

Formerly at Arenales & Skinner-KlĂ©e – LatamLex, which ceased operations in October 2016, the energy practice led by Rodolfo Salazar at BLP has experience in energy generation, transportation and distribution projects as well as regulatory expertise not only in the energy sector but also concerning infrastructure and environmental matters. The team acts for private companies and investors but also for the Guatemalan state. It also frequently handles energy-related disputes, such as successfully representing Hidroelectrica RĂ­o Hondo in a lawsuit against the National Electrification Institute (INDE) in order to formally obtain the usufruct for the HidroelĂ©ctrica RĂ­o Hondo I project. Another client is FERSA, the Guatemalan company awarded the concession for the expansion of Guatemala’s National Electricity Transportation System (PETNAC 2). Also noteworthy is the firm’s involvement in the TECO vs Guatemala ICSID arbitration, in which the firm achieved almost complete adjournment of the country’s obligation to pay a $28.6 million award issued to the energy company in a dispute over electricity tariffs.

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

BLP

The IP team led by the ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘very good’ Luis Ruiz formerly at Arenales & Skinner-KlĂ©e – LatamLex, now operates under BLP, which opened its doors in Guatemala in October 2016. The broad practice spans local and regional trade mark clearance and prosecution, administrative and judicial IP litigation, patents, anti-counterfeiting and copyright matters, and IP due diligence –primarily for a diverse international client portfolio reaching from South Korea, India and China to the Netherlands, France and the US. A key client regarding trade mark issues is GlaxoSmithKline, most recently regarding the reactivation of a suspended trade mark application for the drug Paxil, and an opposition against the trade mark Taxil. The firm also gained Sanofi, Uber and EOS Products as new clients, the latter regarding trade mark, anti-counterfeiting and health regulatory matters. Another practice-strength lies in strategic IP advice, including in connection with transactions, such as assisting Promerica Financial with its transfer of IP assets from Citibank affiliates in Guatemala. Associate Pamela LĂłpez is the other key figure.

Leading lawyers

Luis Ruiz - BLP

[back to top]

Labour
Labour - ranked: tier 3

BLP

BLP predominantly handles work permit matters for international clients and labour disputes related to the termination of employees and/or labour benefit claims. Notable clients include Samsung Electronics Latinoamerica, SGS Central América and Bimbo de Centroamerica, for which the team acts on matters including residence requests, the review of labour contracts and contentious labour cases. Another client is Quala Guatemala, which the team is representing before the Labour Ministry regarding the modification of its internal working regulations. Luis Ruiz is the main contact; he is supported by associate Jeimy Aldi.

Next generation lawyers

Jeimy Aldi - BLP

[back to top]

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Joaquin Alvarado is the key contact for international arbitration at Carrillo y Asociados. At Skinner-KlĂ©e & Asociados – LatamLex, founder Alfredo Skinner-KlĂ©e, who has experience in ICSID proceedings, is the name to note following the departure of Alejandro Arenales and Rodolfo Salazar, both also singled out for their international arbitration expertise, to BLP. Recommended at QIL+4 Abogados, S.A. is ICSID designee arbitrator JosĂ© Quiñones. At Aguilar Castillo Love, Juan Carlos Castillo-ChĂĄcon has experience in international investment treaty disputes, as both arbitrator and counsel.

[back to top]


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