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Singled out by peers and clients alike, BLP’s sizeable dispute resolution practice stands out for its ‘solid advice and fantastic representation in court’. Boasting a strong track record of successful representations on both the defence and claimant side, the team handles litigious and arbitral matters arising from a wide variety of areas, including civil, commercial, criminal, IP, tax, employment and antitrust law. The ‘thorough’ Mauricio Salas, who is also noted for his ‘analytical capacity and understanding of the law in various countries’, steers the practice and continues to lead advice to longstanding client Pfizer on disputes related to distribution and tort cases. In recent headline work, Eduardo Calderón assisted Uber with disputes fuelled by regulatory and political controversies surrounding its entry into the Costa Rican market, including regulatory proceedings, civil actions at the Supreme Court and the development of a litigation strategy after the country’s government declared the client’s operations illegal. Recent highlights in the international arbitration sphere include the successful settlement of a dispute between the firm’s client, Gaya, and its former Central American distributor Asics. Other clients include Amazon, UPS and Siemens.

The ‘excellent and committed’ practice at Batalla Abogados has vast experience advising on litigation and arbitration arising from disputes in a multitude of sectors, including real estate, consumer products, energy, tax and environment. Led by department head Róger Guevara, the team continues to advise longstanding client Philip Morris International on several lawsuits. Most recently, the firm represented PMI in a civil case, in which plaintiffs allege that the death of their family member was caused by lung cancer; the initial claim of $8.5m was successfully reduced to $2.5m. Other notable work includes advising MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company on fraud claims brought by Noble Americas; successfully representing IGT Global Services in administrative procedures to declare the nullity of administrative acts concerning security measures in the client’s electronic lottery system and advising Vinson & Elkins as claimant in an arbitration proceeding related to the suspension of mixed-use real estate project Las Olas. The firm’s high-profile client base also includes Banco Lafise, Henkel and Total Petróleo. Alejandro Batalla is another key figure in the department. In June 2017, tax litigation experts Anayansi Mora and Adrián Alvarenga departed to Consortium Legal; and in March 2017, Herman Duarte left to found arbitration and human rights boutique HDuarte Legål.

The dispute resolution practice at Dentons Muñoz stands out for its ‘good results, strong teamwork and excellent knowledge’. The team handles litigious and arbitral disputes across a variety of industries and has been particularly active in the banking, construction, oil and gas, technology and telecoms sectors. Another key strength of the department is its expertise in contentious environmental and antitrust matters. Criminal law, compliance and anti-corruption expert Carolina Muñoz heads the practice alongside Roy Herrera, who is noted for his ‘extensive knowledge and experience’. The firm’s client base includes domestic and regional heavyweights, as well as high-profile multinational companies.

Facio & Cañas’ dispute resolution department is jointly led by Federico Torrealba and senior figure, Rodrigo Oreamuno, who is today best known for his arbitral appointments and involvement in cross-border investment treaty arbitrations. The seven-strong team handles a broad range of contentious matters, from civil and commercial disputes, to administrative and intellectual property litigation, as well as the recovery of damages. In one recent highlight, Oreamuno represented Chiquita in a $400m lawsuit brought by 525 plantation workers against the client (along with Shell Oil, Dow Chemical and Del Monte), alleging exposure to harmful chemicals and associated health issues. Plaintiff-side work includes advising Productos de Concreto in an administrative tax dispute.

Aguilar Castillo Love’s six-strong department has a strong track record representing international clients in cross-border disputes related to M&A deals, antitrust matters, and civil, commercial, criminal and environmental disputes. The team has been particularly active in the technology and consumer products sectors, and it is also adept in investor-state arbitration. In one ongoing highlight, senior partner and practice co-head John Aguilar-Quesada (who has ‘very profound knowledge’), continues to lead advice to a multinational company concerning internal fraud investigations and the filing of criminal complaints. John Aguilar-Osborne, who leads the department alongside Quesada, recently assisted longstanding client Whirlpool with civil litigation. The team’s client roster also includes Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett Packard and Dos Pinos.

The dispute resolution practice at Artavia & Barrantes Abogados distinguishes itself with the breadth of its contentious service offering, covering civil, commercial and administrative litigation, cross-border arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. The practice is also highly active in preventative and regulatory advice. Founding partners Jaime Barrantes and Sergio Artavia are the key contacts.

The three-strong litigation and arbitration department at Consortium Legal is co-led by Rolando Laclé Zúñiga and José Pablo Valverde, and has significant experience handling administrative, contractual and tax-related disputes, both on the defence and claimant side. In addition to its prowess in finance-sector related disputes, the team is particularly active in the real estate and construction industries. In recent work, Adrián Alvarenga (who also acts as an arbitrator), represented claimant Walmart in an administrative lawsuit against the government and the National Institute of Urban Housing (INVU) concerning the legality of certain administrative decrees concerning supermarket construction regulations. In another notable highlight, the team successfully advised Bolsa Nacional de Valores on an administrative lawsuit against both the Securities Regulator and Costa Rica’s Central Bank, obtaining the annulment of a decree affecting the Costa Rican Stock Exchange and that allegedly violated country’s Securities Exchange Act.

Since Pacheco Coto’s January 2018 integration into EY Law Central America, the dispute resolution practice has been co-led by Allan Hernández and María del Mar Herrera. The practice group handles both arbitration and litigation and has been particularly active, of late, handling disputes arising from contract breaches and consumer protection matters. Recent defence-side work includes advising Verizon on a lawsuit brought against the client (and the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad - ICE) by Trejos Hnos Sucesores, arising from an alleged breach of contract in connection with the publication of telephone directories; and, separately, against a related lawsuit filed by ICE against the client. In other work, Alejandro Antillón continues to represent Corporación Lady Lee in a number of civil, administrative and contractual procedures. Hernán Pacheco O and Fernando Vargas are also active in the sector.

Expertis fields a two-partner dispute resolution practice that has considerable experience in commercial and civil litigation, as well as arbitrative matters. ‘Dedicated, proactive and experienced’ arbitrator Mauricio Paris heads the practice and is noted for his ‘great capacity to handle work with responsiveness and a business-oriented approach’; Paris recently led advice to Inversiones y Procesadora Tropical (Inprotsa) as plaintiff in a case filed against Del Monte Foods in relation to commercial intimidation. Other work includes representing the local branch of Herbalife in a consumer misinformation dispute before both the Consumer Protection Authorities and the Supreme Court’s Administrative Tribunal; and assisting Findasense with a commercial dispute arising from alleged breach of contract. Maersk and Coca Cola Femsa are also part of the team’s client portfolio. Mariela Hernández is also a key departmental figure, but Alberto Pauly left in April 2017 as part of the spin-off of GHP Abogados. As we go to press –June 2018– the firm has announced a tie-up with Spanish firm ECIJA.

Sfera Legal shines across a wide range of contentious work, advising on litigation and arbitration arising from commercial and civil disputes, bankruptcy, insurance claims and labour conflicts. In one recent highlight, practice co-head Robert van der Putten led advice to the majority shareholder of an international restaurant franchise on contentious corporate governance matters. Other work includes representing multiple investors before the International Conciliation and Arbitration Centre of the Costa Rican American Chamber of Commerce. José Schroeder, who leads the practice alongside Putten, recently led advice to a real estate investor on a partnership dispute arising from an alleged breach of contract. Other practice clients include Sirenis Group and Aqua ABL Fund.

Zürcher, Odio & Raven’s ‘excellent’ dispute resolution practice is led by the ‘capable and experienced’ Jonatán Picado and advises on litigious and arbitral matters in a variety of industries, most notably real estate, construction and energy. Recent highlights include the successful representation of Constructora Sánchez Carvajal against the Costa Rican state, in relation to the construction of the Chilamate-Vueltas Kooper segment of Highway 4. In other work, the team advised Consorcio Facoli on a lawsuit against the state and the Costa Rican National Risk Prevention and Emergency Response Commission (CNE), regarding amendments to the construction contracts for houses in an area affected by earthquakes. Arbitral work includes the defence of Constructora Hernán Solis against compensation claims related to the construction of a property in a luxury residential complex. Gas Tomza, Portafolio Inmobiliario and Banco Improsa are also part of the team’s client base.

Led by senior counsel German Rojas, Arias’ dispute resolution department advises on labour and tax disputes, administrative and civil litigation, as well as arbitration. Carolina Flores handles corporate, commercial and tax-related contentious matters and recently represented a food and drink manufacturer in criminal procedures related to tax evasion. Administrative litigation is handled by Carlos Ubico, who recently advised Soresco (a private-public company created through an agreement between Costa Rica and China), in connection with a preliminary injunction filed by the Costa Rican party. Vicente Lines is another key figure in the department. The firm’s client roster also includes Pfizer, Unicomer and SCA.

Lexincorp’s two-partner dispute resolution practice handles litigious and arbitral disputes related to employment law, civil and commercial law issues, such as breach of contract. In recent work, practice head Alonso Vargas assisted Fertilizantes Nordic with various execution and collection procedures; led Hapag Lloyd’s defence against claims brought by Laboratorios Químicos Industriales concerning the transportation of chemicals; and successfully represented Novo Gaming as claimant in arbitral lawsuits against Seguridad y Proteccion Relampago Azul and Gallo Sport, respectively, regarding breach of contract. Founding partner Arnoldo André is also active in the department.

Nassar Abogados’ dispute resolution practice regularly receives instructions from high-profile regional and international companies, in relation to labour, civil and commercial disputes. Recent work includes advising Burger King in connection with various lawsuits; representing King Ocean Services in a claim alleging damages to machinery caused by the delivery service provided by the client; and representing Avianca in day-to-day labour claims. Procter & Gamble, IBM and Canon are also clients of the team. Tomás Nassar and Henry Rodríguez are the key figures for commercial and civil matters; María Lupita Quintero handles labour-related claims.

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