The powerhouse team at BLP remains a market leader, providing day-to-day advice to national and global corporates, including Amazon, Uber, Cargill and Airbnb, and assisting with complex, multi-jurisdictional M&A. Headed by David Gutiérrez, who divides his time between the San José and Madrid offices, and corporate structuring expert Adriana Castro, the group’s clients span such industries as tech, food, logistics, education, e-commerce and consumer products. Eduardo Calderón specialises in telecoms and media-related matters, working alongside Adelina Villalobos, who advises on the free trade zone. Additional support is provided by senior associate Adriana Acuña, who handles corporate governance matters, and director Elia Naranjo, who has expertise in contractual negotiations. José María Pacheco, a newly appointed special counsel experienced in cross-border M&A, joined the team from Sfera Legal in August 2022.
Corporate and M&A in Costa Rica
‘Global understanding of all the client’s legal needs.’
‘The firm’s speed of responses, close relationships with clients and openness to proposing innovative solutions are its main attributes, and the reason why we use BLP as our trusted adviser.’
‘They do not limit themselves to identifying the risks, but seek creative solutions to the problems raised, at the speed required by my business.’
‘Everyone is easy to contact and always available. Their response quality is of a high standard, as is their speed and quality of customer service. In particular, David Gutiérrez is an excellent team leader and is always looking for efficient and practical solutions.’
‘One of the great advantages of BLP is teamwork. Its system allows customers to benefit from the different specialties in an efficient way, with different members and seniority.’
- Advised PaySafe (a specialised payments platform) on a transaction which included the design, drafting and negotiation of an agreement to acquire SafetyPay for $441m.
- Advised Grupo Orbis (Pintuco) on its acquisition by AkzoNobel, working with the firm’s offices in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and coordinating work in Panama.
- Advised Cementos Progreso Holdings on the $335m acquisition of assets from Cemex in Costa Rica and El Salvador.
Drawing on its regional bench strength in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, Consortium Legal continues to be a force in the corporate practice area, advising major multinationals such as Walmart, Maersk and Fyffes on high-value transactions across the construction, food and beverages, and tourism sectors. The team is led by Rolando Laclé Castro, who brings 30 years of cross-border M&A and foreign investment experience to the team; Juan Manuel Godoy, who focuses on the energy sector and green projects; concessions and free trade zone expert David Reuben; and Juan Manuel Cordero, a specialist in real estate development. In addition, the practice’s comprehensive service extends to assistance with environmental planning and regulatory compliance. Value was added with the promotion of Daniel Rojas to senior associate in April 2022.
‘The service provided by Consortium Legal has always been excellent, in accordance with the needs of our company. The legal support they provide to our company has always been timely and expeditious, which makes them stand out compared to other legal providers.’
‘Rolando Laclé and Juan Manuel Cordero as partners responsible for our account have always shown a degree of absolute commitment to us as clients and have always been on hand to deal with our requirements.’
‘The team has deep experience and was an essential part of ensuring the smooth running of our M&A transaction. They were very responsive at every turn and we felt the partners were paying close attention to all conversations around the transaction and were well-informed at every stage.’
‘Everyone we worked with seemed like genuinely good, helpful, and knowledgable people. Juan Manuel Godoy Perez was an exceptional resource.’
Costa Rica Television Station
Walmart of Mexico & Central America
Ultrapark Development Group
- Advised Cemex on the sale of its operations in Costa Rica and El Salvador to Cementos Progreso Holdings.
- Advised DD Pen Dragon on the process of acquiring STT Group CR and its subsidiaries.
- Assisted Grupo El Colono with acquiring a seller’s hardware store.
Aguilar Castillo Love
The corporate and M&A group at Aguilar Castillo Love continues to be a leader in the marketplace, advising multinationals such as Johnson & Johnson and Discovery/WarnerMedia on high-value, cross-border transactions. Led by foreign investment authority John Aguilar Quesada, the multidisciplinary team’s services extend to complex negotiations, antitrust matters and the detection of criminal risks. In addition, the firm is known for its work with Magic Circle firms, among them Linklaters LLP and Slaughter and May. Esteban Agüero Guier, former head of the Costa Rican government’s international investment and trade disputes department, handles major share transfers and capital increases for clients across the medical device, entertainment, manufacturing, health, and food and beverages sectors. Other key personnel include corporate compliance and investigations specialist Tatiana Rojas Hernández; Marco Solano, who brings his banking and finance skill set to multi-jurisdictional M&A; and Andrea Sáenz, a free trade zone expert. Stephanie Howard Peña and Laura Rodríguez Amador provide key support at the associate level.
Andes Chemical Corporation
Applied Medical Precision
Johnson & Johnson/Synthes
Fundación Ciudadanía Activa
- Advised Johnson Controls on the acquisition of Costa Rican heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company Lucas Ingenieros.
- Advised on the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia.
- Advised Costa Rican non-profit Fundación Ciudadanía Activa (FCA) on its project “Desarrollo de Capacidades para Potenciar la Gestión Turística y Agrícola en el Cantón de Talamanca”, which is part of the National Employment Programme (PRONAE) of the Ministry of Labour of Costa Rica.
Following its 2021 merger with firms in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to create a regional entity, Alta Batalla continues to be a leader in private equity and venture capital transactions. Led by Rodrigo Zelaya, an expert in advising on early-stage financings, the team assists multinationals (particularly in regulated industries including energy and telecoms), finance funds, investment advisers, family offices, and institutional and angel investors on cross-border M&A, fund formations and portfolio transactions. Mariano Batalla, a former innovation and entrepreneurship instructor at Harvard University, specialises in corporate compliance and the development of large-scale real estate projects. Value has been further added with the April 2022 hiring of Mariana Castro , the former president of Costa Rica’s competition authority COPROCOM, as senior counsel for the corporate and M&A team and co-head of the competition law practice.
‘The most important aspect of this firm and the way they operate is that they live customer service. From the firm’s partners to more junior employees the service-first attitude comes through loud and clear.’
‘The Alta team is seasoned and experienced in dealing with complex transactions.’
‘Rodrigo Zelaya’s expertise in private equity and M&A is unparalleled. His insight into industry trends and best practices, whilst understanding the underlying regional and local considerations arising from these, is a great value added to the practice.’
Lafise Investment Management
Deetken Asset Management
CIFI Asset Management
Bank of New York
Mellon One Link
Bolsa Nacional de Valores de Costa Rica
- Advised OneLink on its acquisition by Webhelp.
- Advised Ufinet on the acquisition of a significant equity stake by two funds managed by international private equity firm Cinven.
- Advised Norfund on its subscription of an interest in Kandeo Fund 3D (I), a private debt fund that invests in Mexico, Colombia and Peru.
Fresh off advising Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica on the $538m sale of its regional operations (coordinating the Costa Rican side of the transaction), the team at Arias remains a leader in M&A, assisting major multinationals with multi-jurisdictional deals, in addition to advising on day-to-day operations. Andrey Dorado, who is experienced in due diligence processes and contract negotiation, leads the team along with Melania Dittel, a key figure on energy sector matters; Vicente Lines, who builds market entry strategies for telecoms infrastructure and service providers; M&A expert Víctor Garita; and international trade authority (and former consul for the Costa Rican Consulate General in New York) Carlos Camacho. Diego Gallegos, a project and asset finance specialist, provides support with political risk mitigation.
‘I believe that Arias is an excellent law firm, with lawyers who are experts in the issues they work on, are attentive to trends in legislation and understand changes in the business world.’
‘Melania Dittel is our contact for corporate issues, and has proven to be a responsible, committed person with extensive knowledge in the field.’
‘Arias’ M&A practice is excellent. They recently assisted us in a complex M&A process and their performance was outstanding.’
‘I want to especially highlight the work of Diego Gallegos, a magnificent lawyer with excellent response times and a high level of professionalism.’
Natural Partners and ReFeel
IMCD Group/Andes Chemical
- Advised the Spanish multinational telecoms company Telefónica on the sale of its regional operations in Central America.
- Advised Pintuco on its acquisition by AkzoNobel.
- Advised IMCD Group, a manufacturer and distributor of specialty chemicals and ingredients, on its acquisition of Andes Chemical, a chemical manufacturer that operates in Latin America and has a distribution centre in Costa Rica.
Backed by deep regional bench strength, with eight offices in seven countries, the corporate team at CENTRAL LAW advises major multinationals including Hoffman La Roche, BT Global and Isuzu on day-to-day matters, corporate structures and multi-jurisdictional M&A. Founding partner Rafael Quiros Bustamante , who has over 30 years of experience in the practice area, leads the practice along with Tomas Quiros Jimenez , a transactional specialist assisting clients across the hospitality, retail, tech and food sectors, and real estate expert Mauricio Quirós González . Key support is provided by IP director Ricardo Rodríguez Valderrama and associate Gian María Berello .
Caja de Ande
Hoffman La Roche
Roche Services Americas
Operadora Central Estacionamientos
- Assisting parking management company Operadora Central de Estacionamientos de Costa Rica with its expansion, drafting legal documents and reviewing all types of contracts such as service and labour agreements.
- Providing comprehensive corporate law services to Roche Services, which is a shared services centre in Costa Rica.
- Providing Mabe with comprehensive legal services on a day-to-day basis in conjunction with the regional in-house counsel based in Mexico.
With offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia, and working relationships with Magic Circle firms such as Clifford Chance LLP, the corporate and M&A group at ECIJA utilises its deep bench strength to advise global corporates such as Pfizer and Upjohn on day-to-day operations and high-value, cross-border transactions, with expertise across the energy, software, tech, real estate and pharmaceuticals sectors. Corporate structure Guillermo Zúniga, who has led the practice for over 20 years, recently assisted pharmaceutical giant Sanofi with a distribution agreement, entailing negotiations with 22 distributors in 20 countries throughout the region. Real estate specialist Mercedes Sancho advises NGOs and foundations seeking to establish a Costa Rican presence, such as US-based Operation Underground Railroad, which combats human trafficking. Key support is provided by experienced associate Monserrat Soto Roig.
‘ECIJA’s team has the ability to understand the clients’ interests and collaborate to achieve the best possible terms for the transaction.’
‘What makes the firm stand out to us is its knowledge and experience in our sector, specifically in the case of Guillermo Zúñiga.’
Operation Underground Railroad
End Poverty Now
CRGAR Costa Rica
Proximity – 10 Pearls
- Advising Sanofi on its regional projects in Central America and the Caribbean, as well as most of its day-to-day business.
- Advising Sanofi’s new subsidiary, Opella Healthcare, on redesigning its distribution model in Central America and the Caribbean.
- Advising Operation Underground Railroad, a foundation which works against trafficking, sexual exploitation and modern-day slavery, on its expansion into Latin America.
EY Law Central America
The multi-disciplinary corporate and M&A group at regional firm EY Law Central America coordinates with its real estate and finance teams to advise local and multinational corporates involved in complex, cross-border transactions. Led by corporate law authority Hernán Pacheco and free trade zone specialist Fernando Vargas Winiker, the team’s comprehensive service includes distribution and franchise agreements, joint ventures and restructuring. Real estate practice co-head Alejandro Antillón brings his expertise to assisting hospitality chains and developers. Key support is provided by senior managers Ana Sáenz, an experienced economist, and Jurgen Nanne Koberg, who manages due diligence processes across multiple jurisdictions.
Hernán Pacheco; Fernando Vargas Winiker
‘It is a very dynamic group. They know exactly how and when to roll up their sleeves so that things get done right and quickly. They always anticipate events and it really is a pleasure to have such partners.’
‘Fernando Vargas Winker is an excellent lawyer – very correct in his comments and agile enough to anticipate possible situations that we could encounter along the way.’
‘Hernán Pacheco has a very strong balance of business experience and savvy and mastery of the technical legal aspects. He has the ability to integrate teams with the necessary core competencies.’
Capgemini Government Solutions
Liberty Latin America
Comercializadora de Maní
The Raymond Corp
Agroindustrial Piñas del Bosque
- Advising AR Retail on the expansion of the group’s operations, through the opening of stores with different brands (including GAP, Banana Republic and Old Navy) in several jurisdictions, and on the corporate reorganisation of the group.
- Advised Agroindustrial Piñas del Bosque on the acquisition of Inmobiliaria Nueva Veragua, an agro-industrial company dedicated to the production and export of pineapple and bananas.
- Served as legal counsel to General Mills in the process of the reorganisation of part of its distribution business in Costa Rica.
BG&A Abogados Corporativos
BG&A Abogados Corporativos advises investors, creditors, multinationals (including Holcim, Mexichem and Telefónica), directors and shareholders on market entry, company formation, complex negotiations, asset sales, due diligence and M&A. The team is headed by founding partner and veteran corporate litigator Benjamín Gutiérrez, and supported by senior associate María Gabriela Monge and associate Nicole Damha, both education law specialists. Its client base spans the sports, construction, consumer goods and real estate sectors.
International Education Systems
Banco Nacional de Costa Rica
- Advised Universidad SEK de Chile on the process of the accreditation of the university before the Chilean National Council of Education.
- Advised Unión Española SADP regarding the possible default of payment by professional soccer club Inter de Porto Alegre of Brazil for the purchase of player Carlos Enrique Palacios Núñez.
- Advised Avitar Ecosistemas on preventing the bankruptcy of the company or the bankruptcy of creditors.
Dentons Muñoz utilises the bench strength of its regional network of seven offices in six countries and its bespoke Dentons Direct cloud system (which streamlines case tracking) to advise national and multinational corporates such as Western Union, GSK and Merck on day-to-day operations, complex restructurings and multi-jurisdictional transactions. Headed by Tatiana Reuben, Jennifer González, who joined the firm in September 2021 from an in-house role, and Eduardo Zúñiga, a specialist in hospitality, real estate and project development, the corporate, M&A and compliance team advises clients across the life sciences, retail, energy, financial services and automotive sectors.
‘It is a high-quality firm providing solutions of high value and impact, attending in an integrated way to the needs of its clients.’
‘Dentons Muñoz is a firm that stands out for its speed, efficiency, professionalism and quality of services.’
‘They are highly collaborative, proactive and focused on providing viable solutions to their clients. They are well-prepared lawyers in contractual matters, corporate matters and mergers, among other areas.’
Latam Logistics Properties
- Advising Organon, a global healthcare company, on day-to-day corporate matters throughout the Central American region.
- Advising 10 Pearls on the acquisition of Proximity, a Costa Rican technology company which also has operations in Peru and the Dominican Republic.
- Advised Click Partners on the due diligence process to acquire Aeropost, a Costa Rican logistics company with operations in Miami and in most of Latin America.
The corporate practice at Facio & Cañas provides a one-stop shop for major multinationals engaged in high-value, cross-border M&A. The team’s comprehensive service covers regulatory compliance, corporate governance, complex contract negotiations, due diligence and advice on market entry. Led by Federico Rucavado, an expert in business structuring and free trade zone regime matters, veteran litigator and arbitrator Carlos J. Oreamuno, managing partner Sergio Solera, and Edgar Odio (who brings over 25 years' experience advising on foreign investment to the table), the practice’s clients span the tech, pharmaceuticals, hardware, medical, and food and beverages sectors. Added value arrived with senior associate Mariela Solano from Vector Legal in June 2021.
Boston Consulting Group
Freeway Consulting Group
Onvo Costa Rica
Bang Energy Drinks
- Assisted Terumo BCT with the opening of manufacturing plant in Costa Rica, with regards to the incorporation process.
- Assisted Nevro with the opening of a manufacturing plant in Costa Rica, with regards to the incorporation process.
- Assisted Bia Brands with all legal aspects of the acquisition of Café Volio, one of the biggest coffee companies in Costa Rica.
Lang & Asociados
At Lang & Asociados, the experienced corporate group specialises in advising major multinationals such as Microsoft and Mastercard on their expansion into the Costa Rican market under the free trade zone regime. Headed by Henry Lang, a foreign investment authority with over 30 years in the corporate arena, the team provides the full range of services, assisting clients with share transfer agreements, insurance matters, corporate governance and regulatory compliance. With clients spanning the software development, medical devices, food, fitness, digital services and real estate sectors, the team is supported by Milena Jaikel, a consultant to free trade zone government entities on changes to the regime, and Juan Carlos Cersosimo, whose expertise ranges from corporate restructuring and M&A to data privacy and protection.
‘I have engaged Long and Associates for the past 20 years and the service, professionalism and expertise is beyond compare. There are no better communicators anywhere. The firm has a great team and they complement each other within their areas of expertise.’
Bill Gosling Outsourcing
Pacific Barcode Label Printing Solutions
Nitinol Devices & Components/Confluent Medical Technologies
United Collection Bureau
Precision Coating Company
Sensient Technologies Corporation
Newfire Global Partners
Elements Global Services
- Advised Smart Fit, a major player in the gym industry in Latin America, on the implementation of its plan to enter the Costa Rican market.
- Provided continuous assistance to Microsoft Corporation on the expansion, consolidation, day-to-day issues and operation of its centre for services, back office support and technical support in Costa Rica.
- Acted as legal counsel for Nitinol Devices & Components (NDC)/Confluent on the expansion of its operations in Costa Rica, including advising on a new investment in its Costa Rican facilities.
The corporate team at Nassar Abogados utilises a strong regional presence to advise major multinationals across the aviation, pharmaceuticals, retail and telecoms sectors. Multi-jurisdictional M&A and day-to-day corporate affairs expert Tomás Nassar J. (whose clients include Visa and Phoenix Tower International) heads the team, along with Henry Rodríguez, who is experienced in the negotiation of commercial contracts and international lending operations. Key support is provided by senior partner and aviation and maritime transport authority Tomás Nassar P. (who represents household names IBM and General Motors) and Alina Nassar , a specialist in administrative procedures before the competition authority. Senior associate Alejandro Vargas has expertise in market entry and franchise and distribution issues. Added value arrived with associate Rebeca Alvarado , who joined from Vector Legal in July 2021.
‘Nassar Abogados are well known for their client-driven service and technical knowledge. The team is innovative in its solutions and very timely with responses.’
‘In the case of Henry Rodriguez and Alejandro Vargas, we have had an unparalleled experience. We find this team provides competitive response times, commitment, personalised attention despite dealing with an extensive portfolio, and, above all, correct and timely advice.’
‘It is a comprehensive practice that takes into account the needs of the client and provides prompt responses.’
‘They not only know the legal aspects of corporate matters, but also everything related to the business and politics of the countries.’
‘Nassar Abogados is an innovative, regional firm with highly qualified and regarded professionals. The team has exceptional availability, and they stand out in the market for an excellent client-driven service.’
‘Nassar’s team is composed of remarkable and capable professionals. The team is prepared to represent clients with expertise and comprehensive advice in any matter. The corporate team has a pragmatic approach to matters we have handled together and the firm has an excellent international client portfolio, allowing it to advise regional clients in various jurisdictions.’
‘Tomas Nassar Perez and Tomas Nassar Jr. stand out as they offer extensive knowledge and expertise in their corporate practice.’
‘What makes this practice unique is definitely the customer service. In addition to the evident knowledge they have of all the areas in which they offer their services, the customer service of each of their partners and associates is first class. Excellent response times.’
IBM and Kyndryl
Phoenix Tower International
Vista Equity Partners
Grupo Orbia (Amanco Wavin)
Procter & Gamble
WPP (Possible, JWT and Kantar)
- Advising Pro Unlimited, a company in contingent workforce management, on the launch of its operations in Costa Rica, including the incorporation of the new legal entity, permitting proceedings to operate and the negotiation of contracts, as well as day-to-day corporate advice.
- Providing legal services to Bridgestone in all areas of law, including corporate and contractual matters related to its manufacturing plants and shared services company in Costa Rica.
- Advised Phoenix Tower International on the negotiations for the installation of distributed antenna systems in buildings in Costa Rica.
Coordinating with offices in New York, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, the team at Sfera Legal assists national and multinational companies, including Dell, Philip Morris International and Sony, on high-value, cross-border transactions. Led by Eric Scharf, who advises on M&A, due diligence and the formation of public-private corporations, the group’s clients span the hospitality, pharmaceutical, insurance, finance, tobacco and tech industries. Founding partners Rafael Canas Coto and Robert Van Der Putten bring decades of experience in the practice area, with key support provided by Andrea Martín Jiménez, a specialist in regulatory compliance. At associate level, Mariana Castro, who handles antitrust matters, and Camila Rodríguez, who advises on corporate structures, are the names to note.
Philip Morris International/Tabacalera Costarricense
Pan-American Life Insurance
Banco GyT Continental
LatAm Logistic Properties
Ríos Tropicales Group
Eliseo Vargas Constructora
The Violin Group
- Assisting SPEM- CT24, a public-private corporation created between the municipality of San José and a private partner for the design, development and management of “Project Technological City”, on various corporate matters.
- Advising various clients with Costa Rican corporations on filings before the Costa Rican Central Bank under regulations enacted in 2019.
- Advising Lucas Ingenieros on its acquisition by Johnson Controls.
Tactic Estudio Legal
Formed by former COLBS Estudio Legal partner Javier Escalante after he and Sebastián Jiménez split their practices in September 2021, Tactic Estudio Legal provides comprehensive services to major multinationals such as LafargeHolcim and Rubicon Water, ranging from the management of day-to-day corporate matters to the design of corporate structures, distribution and franchising agreements, the free trade zone regime, multi-jurisdictional M&A and market entry strategy. Escalante, an experienced trade negotiator who has served as both Consul General of Costa Rica in Singapore and Ambassador of Costa Rica in Qatar, leads the team, advising clients across the mining, construction, fintech, financial services, retail and medical device sectors. Key support is provided by team of associates who followed Escalante to his new firm, including contractual development specialist Andrés Herrera and corporate governance and IP expert Karla Villalobos . In 2022, the team was also joined by associate Sylvia Clark-Escalante , a specialist in corporate law with a focus on advising transnational companies.
Healthy Living Group
Juan Bansbach Instrumentos Musicales
Smart and Digital Logistics
- Advising Lafarge Holcim on all corporate governance-related matters, including changes to the corporate structure and board of directors and general assembly meetings.
- Providing advice to Euromobilia Group on all corporate issues relating to its four companies.
- Acting as primary legal counsel to family-owned music business Juan Bansbach Instrumentos Musicales on all commercial and corporate matters, including advising on its corporate structure and corporate governance issues.
The corporate practice at COLBS Estudio Legal, led by founding partner and transactional strategist Sebastián Jiménez, has experience in such complex matters as company incorporation, the design of corporate structures, joint venture agreements and the free trade zone regime. With key support provided by senior associate Alejandra Arguedas, a specialist in tax and customs matters, the team advises clients across a broad range of sectors, including hospitality, pharmaceuticals, fintech, construction and retail.
The experienced team at Oller Abogados advises national and multinational corporates throughout the region on contracts, company incorporation, market entry, free trade zones, corporate restructurings and cross-border M&A. With a client base covering sectors from food and energy to health and finance, the group is anchored by corporate law director and experienced arbitrator Pedro Oller and Ricardo Vargas, who is also litigation practice head, with support from associates Yaliam Jaime, a restructuring specialist, and Andrés Mercado, who handles public works concessions and administrative proceedings.
‘The team is excellent.’
Promed Cancer Therapies
- Assisted Promed Cancer Therapies with structuring its operation and the incorporation of the company in Costa Rica.