Corporate and finance in Central America

Aguilar Castillo Love

Aguilar Castillo Love has offices throughout Central America, as well as a presence in Ecuador and Paraguay. With major regional and international banks and multinational companies among its clients, the firm is well known for its advice on high-value financial and M&A transactions, including cross-border matters. Among the firm's areas of strength are project finance, bond issuances, acquisitions and corporate governance. In Costa Rica, Marco Solano and senior partner John Aguilar-Quesada lead the banking practice and are key contacts for corporate work, along with Andrea Sáenz, an expert in free trade zone matters. Senior partner Juan Carlos Castillo-Chacón is the name to note for finance and corporate matters in Guatemala, and is particularly renowned for advising major players in the energy sector. In Honduras, Juan José Alcerro Milla and Enrique Rodríguez Burchard lead the corporate and finance practices, where project finance is a notable area of expertise. In Nicaragua, Thelma Carrión-Blandón and Violeta Núñez are the key contacts for corporate and finance matters, respectively, and Carlos Roberto Alfaro leads the firm's corporate and M&A practice in El Salvador.

Arias

Arias has maintained its strong regional presence following the split of leading Central American firm Arias & Muñoz in 2016, and retains offices in all six countries in the region. It is highly active in multi-jurisdictional transactions, including large-scale M&A and financings, acting for leading international clients from a wide range of sectors. On the corporate side, the firm also advises on group reorganisations and investments into the region by international companies. In addition, it is well versed in debt restructuring, project finance and financial regulation. In El Salvador, the standout names for corporate and finance work include Lilian Arias and Roberta Gallardo, who heads the M&A practice. In Guatemala, Jorge Luis Arenales is highly experienced in both corporate and finance matters, particularly in highly regulated sectors, while Evangelina Lardizabal, who has significant M&A and project finance expertise, is the key contact in Honduras. Vicente Lines leads the banking and finance practice in Costa Rica, where Melania Dittel is well regarded for corporate matters. Bertha Argüello and Ana Teresa Rizo, an expert in foreign investment matters, are the names to note in Nicaragua. In Panama, Yuri Moreno and Maria Cristina Fábrega are the key contacts for corporate and finance matters, respectively.

BLP

BLP has offices in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and has since opened a representative branch in Spain to expand its offering for international clients. The firm is well known for its strength in cross-border transactions, including M&A and project finance, advising numerous household names. It also covers syndicated loans, fintech and financial regulation, foreign investment and commercial matters, including distribution and franchising agreements. In Costa Rica, Vivian Liberman and Andrés López lead the banking and finance practice, with David Gutiérrez (who is also based in the Madrid office) and Adriana Castro heading the corporate and M&A team. María Inés Arenales is the key name for banking and finance matters in Guatemala, while Luis Ruiz is noted for his corporate and IP expertise. In El Salvador, the corporate and finance practices were bolstered in 2020 by the arrival of the highly experienced Zygmunt Brett, a former Arias partner. Ernesto Rizo leads the corporate and finance practices in Nicaragua, and tax expert Lilian López, Jose Miguel Álvarez and Karla Aguilar are the key names in Honduras, where the firm has significant strength in the energy sector.

Consortium Legal

The largest firm in Central America, Consortium Legal has offices in Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, and frequently advises on complex, region-wide corporate and financial transactions, including M&A, corporate restructurings and bond issuances, acting for an impressive roster of regional and international banks and financial institutions and multinational companies. It also has expertise in project finance, particularly in the energy and mining sectors, foreign investment and fintech. Among the key contacts in the Costa Rican office are Mario Quesada-Bianchini, an expert in cross-border finance; and Randall Barquero, who leads the fintech practice, along with the experienced Juan Manuel Godoy and M&A expert Rolando Laclé Zuñiga. In Guatemala, Alfredo Rodríguez and Rafael Alvarado Riedel are the standouts for corporate work, while firm president Álvaro Castellanos specialises in banking and finance matters. Rodrigo Taboada and Olga Barreto, an expert in financial and corporate restructurings, are the key contacts in Nicaragua, while the experienced trio of Gustavo León-Gómez, José Ramón Paz Padilla and José Rafael Rivera are names to note in Honduras. In El Salvador, Óscar Samour leads the banking and finance practice, as well as heading the corporate team alongside Diego Martín and Maria Alejandra Tulipano.

Alta Batalla

Alta is the newest regional player to enter the Central American market, having opened its doors in May 2021 with the merger of QIL+4 Abogados in Guatemala, Batalla in Costa Rica, Valdés, Suárez & Velasco in El Salvador and Melara & Asociados in Honduras. Areas of expertise for the new firm include cross-border financings, debt issuances, project finance and foreign investments, as well as corporate matters including M&A, regional expansions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Among the key names in the Guatemalan team are Alejandro Cofiño, Marcos Ibargüen, José Quiñones and Maria Isabel Luján, who have a wide range of expertise in banking, tax and corporate matters; the Guatemalan office also has particular strength in the energy and mining sectors. In Costa Rica, Rodrigo Zelaya leads the corporate practice, supported by Alejandro Batalla and Mariano Batalla. The key contact in El Salvador is Julio Valdés, who is highly experienced in multi-jurisdictional transactions, while Oscar Melara, who is also noted for his IP experience, leads the team in Honduras.

García & Bodán

García & Bodán is the first Nicaraguan firm to expand into Central America, opening offices in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The firm is particularly strong in corporate matters, advising leading multinationals on cross-border M&A transactions, as well as undertaking commercial and regulatory issues. On the financial side, the firm is also skilled in high-value bond issuances, project finance and foreign investment. Regional managing partner Terencio García and M&A expert Federico Gurdián are the key contacts in Nicaragua. In Honduras, standout figure Vanessa Oquelí, who has expertise in acquisitions and investments (as well as in aviation and tax matters), leads the corporate and finance practices. Oscar Torres is the name to note in El Salvador.

Latamlex Nicaragua

A regional initiative of firms in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Latamlex is particularly experienced in advising on cross-border banking and finance matters, including project finance, bond issuances and syndicated loans. The group also has expertise in a wide range of corporate issues, assisting with M&A, restructurings and joint ventures. In Costa Rica, Adriana Ramos and Daniel Guillén are well known for their strength in financial matters. Carlos Quintanilla and Carlos Guzmán are the key contacts in El Salvador, while in Nicaragua Alfonso Sandino Granera and Ana Patricia Carrión advise on corporate matters. In Honduras, Dennis Matamoros Batson, who has additional strength in tax matters, is the name to note. Alfredo Skinner-Klée heads the office in Guatemala, and acts for a number of key players in the banking sector.

Lexincorp

With offices in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, Lexincorp is experienced in multi-jurisdictional corporate and financial transactions, with a client base that spans regional and international banks and financial institutions and multinational companies, including key players in the real estate sector. The firm is particularly noted for its strength in corporate matters, advising international clients on the establishment of operations in the region, acquisitions and restructurings. On the financial side, it also has expertise in project finance. In Nicaragua, Claudia Vivas is the key contact for corporate and finance matters. In El Salvador, Enrique Escobar is noted for his finance and energy expertise. The Honduran office is led by Benito Zelaya, whose experience covers corporate and regulatory matters, and in Guatemala, senior partner José Andrés Fuxet, a real estate specialist, and Julio Aparicio are among the names to note.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.

First established in Guatemala, Mayora & Mayora, S.C. has built up a strong presence in Central America's 'Northern Triangle', opening additional offices in Honduras and El Salvador. The firm is experienced in multi-jurisdictional M&A and financial transactions, with notable expertise in the energy sector. Among its areas of strength are debt issuances, debt restructuring, corporate finance and project finance. Its expertise in corporate and M&A matters extends to corporate governance, the establishment of businesses, corporate restructurings and compliance. In Guatemala, Claudia Pereira and senior partner Eduardo Mayora, who is also an expert in tax affairs, are among the key contacts for corporate and finance matters. The office in El Salvador is led by Manuel Telles, who is particularly skilled in banking and finance work, while Odín Guillén Leíva heads the Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula offices in Honduras.

CENTRAL LAW

Central Law has continued to expand its network of offices in Central America and the Dominican Republic, opening additional offices in Costa Rica and Honduras in 2021. The firm counts numerous multinationals among its clients, advising on regional expansions, the incorporation of new companies, M&A and corporate restructurings. In Guatemala, the corporate practice is led by Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote, who has notable experience in advising natural resources companies. In Honduras, Jesús Humberto Medina-Alva and Claribel Medina De León are the key contacts in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, respectively. Rafael Quirós, Tomás Quirós and Mauricio Quirós González lead the corporate and M&A practice in Costa Rica; while in Nicaragua, Yalí Molina, Álvaro Molina and Maricarmen Espinosa Segura are the names to note for corporate and finance work. Piero Rusconi Gutiérrez, Piero Rusconi Bolaños and Sandra Cabezas head the corporate practice in El Salvador.

ECIJA

Spanish firm ECIJA expanded into several jurisdictions in Central America and the Caribbean in 2018 through a merger with regional firm Expertis Legal - and has since merged with local firms to launch offices in Panama and Guatemala. The firm is particularly strong for corporate work, with experience in the establishment of new companies, M&A and corporate restructurings, acting for a range of regional and international clients. Guillermo E Zúniga is the key name for corporate matters in Costa Rica. In Nicaragua, Edmundo Castillo and María Antonieta Fiallos handle corporate and finance matters, while in El Salvador, Alfredo Navas and Carlos Gil lead the growing banking and finance practice. Rosalinda Cruz Sequeira is the key contact in Honduras, and Armando Cordoba and Daniel Shamah handle corporate matters in Panama.

EY Law Central America

The legal arm of the Big Four consultancy, EY Law Central America has offices throughout Central America and in the Dominican Republic. The firm has notable strength in multi-jurisdictional corporate matters, including M&A, joint ventures and restructurings, with additional expertise in tax and insurance work. In Costa Rica, Arturo Apéstegui and senior manager Carlos Ayón lead the banking and finance practice, and are noted for their strength in advising international financial institutions on cross-border transactions; on the corporate side, Hernán Pacheco, the managing partner of the Latam North practice, and Fernando Vargas are the names to note. Senior manager Mónica Machuca is the key contact for corporate work in El Salvador.

With offices in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, LatinAlliance is well positioned to advise multinationals in the region, and has a particular emphasis on acting for international clients in the life sciences sector. Areas of strength include cross-border syndicated loans, foreign investment, M&A and regulatory compliance. In El Salvador, José Adolfo Torres leads the banking and finance practice; Torres and Michelle Sutter are also active in the corporate department. Ana Carolina Barquero is the key name in Nicaragua and Ruth Olivares, who has additional expertise in IP and labour law, is the key contact in Guatemala.

Dentons Muñoz

The first global firm with a presence across Central America, Dentons Muñoz was formed by the 2017 merger of international giant Dentons with regional firm Muñoz Global. Drawing on the support of its worldwide network of offices, the firm is skilled in multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions in Latin America, as well as advising on foreign investments and corporate governance. On the financial side, areas of strength include project finance and debt restructuring. In Costa Rica, Roy de Jesús Herrera leads the finance practice, and José Antonio Muñoz heads the corporate department. In Nicaragua, Edgard Torres is the key contacts for corporate and finance work. Luis Abundio Maldonado leads the corporate practice in Guatemala, while in Honduras, Gustavo Zacapa and Arturo Zacapa, who also has significant IP expertise, are the names to note.

Nassar Abogados

First founded in Costa Rica, Nassar Abogados has since expanded its operations into Central America, with offices in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The firm has longstanding expertise in corporate and commercial matters, with additional experience in competition and labour law. Tomás Nassar is the key contact in Costa Rica.

Sfera Legal

Sfera Legal has continued to grow its footprint in Central America, opening a new Honduras branch in August 2020 to add to its offices in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the US. Corporate and real estate matters are particular areas of expertise for the firm, which handles M&A, corporate restructurings and regional expansions. It also advises on debt refinancing, banking regulations and project finance. In Costa Rica, Carlos Abarca Umaña leads the banking and finance practice, and Eric Scharf heads the corporate and M&A department. In Guatemala, where the firm acts for key players in the telecoms and real estate sectors, Ignacio Andrade Aycinena is the name to note. Mario Antonio Ayala and Mario Ernesto Ayala are the key contacts in El Salvador, and Eduardo Gutiérrez and Andrés Cuadra lead the corporate and finance practices in Nicaragua. Rafael Cañas is the main contact for the New York office.