Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

The team at boutique San José firm Hulbert Volio Abogados brings strength to acting for domestic and regional corporates and private individuals involved in a wide range of disputes, from complex collection processes to breach of contract claims, across the tourism, real estate, construction, banking and energy sectors.

Dispute resolution in Costa Rica

Alta Batalla

Following its merger with firms in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras in May 2021 into one regional firm, Alta Batalla remains a leader in the practice space, representing public figures, banks and major multinational corporates, such as Philip Morris, involved in high-value, multi-jurisdictional disputes. With a client portfolio spanning the energy, banking, tobacco, transport, real estate and telecoms sectors, the team’s comprehensive service extends to conflict prevention, commercial and investment arbitrations, contentious-administrative litigation and criminal litigation, as well as disputes related to tax, labour, energy and the environment. The team is led by Róger Guevara, who acts in white-collar crime cases and for both plaintiffs and defendants in cases related to insurance claims, product liability and breach of contract, and Mariela Martínez, who was appointed to practice co-head in June 2022 and who brings expertise to disputes involving tort law, real estate projects and consumer rights. Other key figures include the vastly experienced Alejandro Batalla, senior associate Felipe Riveros, who acts for domestic and international clients in complex arbitration proceedings, and associate Sophia Villalta, who brings experience in civil liability, in addition to claims involving tourism developments and concessions.

Practice head(s):

Róger Guevara; Mariela Martínez


The team handles the matter with attention to detail.

The best thing about this team is that it is very business-oriented. They are always looking for creative ways to help the business and are experts at reassuring their clients in difficult situations.

Róger Guevara is the best Costa Rican lawyer – charisma, knowledge of the law, and no fear of rolling up his sleeves to work hard to reach a result.

Key clients

Grupo Castro-UMCA

One Sports Costa Rica

Isaac Goeta (BSD Siete Siete Cero)

LAFISE Seguros

Centro APE-LAC

Banco Lafise

Mediterranean Shipping Company

Philip Morris Costa Rica

Hidroeléctrica San Lorenzo (Grupo Cuerva)

Daikin Industries/Daikin Applied Latin America

Work highlights

  • Representing Banco LAFISE Costa Rica and other banks of the group (Banco LAFISE Panama and Banco LAFISE Bancentro) in various legal proceedings and arbitrations related to disputes arising from the real estate crisis.
  • Successfully advised Grupo Cuerva, a Spanish company in the business of the generation, distribution and commercialisation of energy, in the granting of an interim injunction in the insolvency proceeding filed by Grupo Saret, in which it is claiming the enforcement of two international ICC awards issued in Panama.
  • Advised Philip Morris in a judicial case involving a major distributor of its products in the country.


Employing the combined bench strength of offices in San José, Puntarenas and Guanacaste, in addition to branches across Latin America and Europe, BLP remains a market leader, representing such household-name multinationals as Pfizer, Kraft Heinz and Uber involved in complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes. With an active client base spanning sectors ranging from food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and telecoms to e-commerce, hospitality, medical devices and tech, the team’s full service covers international litigation and arbitration related to administrative concession rights, as well as claims involving distribution, unfair competition, fraud and real estate and construction matters. The team is led by seasoned litigator Mauricio Salas, who brings over 25 years of experience in the legal profession. Other key figures include experienced arbitrator Luis Ortiz; criminal expert Alejandro Rojas, who was promoted to partner in April 2023; and senior associate Robert Morales, who proves expertise in administrative law matters.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio Salas


They cover a wide variety of areas with respect to dispute resolution. They have expert litigators in very different fields – in other firms there are strong litigators in one field or two, but this firm covers a very wide variety of practice areas in dispute resolution in particular. They are very responsible and can be entrusted with a case for years, which is what cases take to process here. Technical excellence and responsive service.

Mauricio Salas has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law (and other subjects). He is a well-known professor, but also has a very straightforward and common-sense approach to addressing the cases we have presented to him. Alejandro Rojas is an excellent choice in criminal law cases, and a great complement to Mauricio’s practice. An honest and capable trial lawyer. Robert Morales is also excellent.

I think the focus and analysis they give to the possible options to resolve disputes is important. The monitoring of cases is effective and that helps to make decisions with the best information available.

It seems to me that the lawyers in the dispute resolution team are competent, rigorous and analytical, and they also maintain control of their emotions, which is very important in this area. It seems to me that the difference with competitors lies mainly in their prior preparation of cases, hearings and arguments. Robert Morales is a well-trained, rigorous and hardworking lawyer, who has acted very competently when defending his client’s interests. Mauricio Salas is a lawyer who inspires confidence, is strategic and always looks ahead, which is important for the client.

The best practice in the country, with excellent lawyers. Mauricio Salas and Robert Morales are fantastic.

Immediate availability. Deep legal knowledge.

Key clients


Kraft Heinz

Uber Technologies

Gencom Group

Grupo Pelón



Chiquita Brands International


Millicom (DBA Tigo)

Work highlights

  • Advising Kraft Heinz in various distribution lawsuits.
  • Advised Uber in a lawsuit filed by the National Federation of Taxi Cooperatives (FENACOTAXI) and various municipal taxi cooperatives in Costa Rica.
  • Advising investment firm Gencom Group in civil and criminal proceedings to safeguard its real estate, economic, and administrative concession rights in Costa Rica.

Facio & Cañas

Bolstered by the March 2023 opening of two new offices in Puntarenas and Guanacaste, the multidisciplinary team at Facio & Cañas remains a leader in the market, bringing strength to representing public figures and household-name multinationals such as Coca-Cola FEMSA, Oracle, Sony Music and Peugeot involved in high-stakes criminal, administrative, civil and commercial litigation and arbitration. With a client base spanning such sectors as sports, real estate, education, hospitality, energy, telecoms, aviation, entertainment and food and beverages, the group’s full service covers matters ranging from defamation and breach of contract claims to cases involving intellectual property rights and the termination of distribution agreements. The team is headed by seasoned litigator Federico Torrealba and Carlos Oreamuno, an expert in international commercial distribution disputes. Other key figures include experienced arbitrator Gianna Cersosimo, a specialist in anti-piracy cases, and senior associate Adelita Olivares and associate Ana Guillén, who in addition to civil matters, have handled complex criminal proceedings representing victims of economic-property crime.

Practice head(s):

Federico Torrealba; Carlos Oreamuno

Key clients

Coca Cola FEMSA


Warner Music

Sony Music

Universal Music

UST (formerly UST Global)

Peugeot Automobiles

Aercaribe – Aerolínea del Caribe & Latinoamericana de Aviación


Acino Pharma

Agencia Datsun

Dover Luxembourg Services

Zimmer Biomed

Lanco & Harris Manufacturing Corporation and Lanco Paints

Grupo Corporativo Saret

BIA Foods

Work highlights

  • Representing Grupo Saret in insolvency proceedings.
  • Acting for the three captains of the Costa Rican national football team in criminal and civil defamation lawsuits brought against two former FIFA officials.
  • Representing Peugeot Automobiles in a dispute resulting from the termination of a distribution agreement governed by the Sales Representative Act.

Aguilar Castillo Love

The dispute resolution team at Aguilar Castillo Love leverages the bench strength of nine offices throughout the region to represent public figures (including former Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado Quesada) and such major multinationals as Synthes (Johnson & Johnson), DHL and Hewlett Packard in high-stakes domestic and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Acting in matters ranging from international arbitration and distribution contract disputes to white-collar criminal proceedings, the firm’s broad client base spans the energy, government, healthcare, tech, logistics, food and beverages, media and financial services sectors. The practice is led by seasoned international investment arbitrator Esteban Agüero Guier, who heads the dispute resolution group, and Rodolfo Brenes Vargas, who leads the team’s corporate crime, anti-corruption investigations and compliance work. Other key figures include alternative dispute resolution expert Tatiana Rojas Hernández; Laura Rodríguez Amador, who brings experience in handling disputes in the telecoms sector, and who was promoted to partner in September 2022; and associate Sergio Herra Rodríguez, a specialist in white-collar crime.

Practice head(s):

Esteban Agüero Guier; Rodolfo Brenes Vargas


The team knows the technical terms but is also sensitive about business issues and its ethical standards are aligned with ours.

Key clients

Hydro China

VWR Avantor

Synthes (Johnson & Johnson)

Carlos Alvarado Quesada

Corteva Agriscience

Quimicas Mundiales


Hewlett Packard



Fidelity National Financial

Pueblo Mar

Televisora de Costa Rica (TELETICA)

Work highlights

  • Representing HydroChina in bringing a lawsuit against a former commercial partner arising from the construction of a cancelled hydropower project.
  • Providing a criminal defence to the former President of Costa Rica in two high-profile cases, currently being investigated by the Head of the Prosecution’s Office in Costa Rica and being held at the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court.
  • Representing Synthes (Johnson & Johnson) in administrative litigation against the Costa Rican social security entity (Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social), the Comptroller General’s Office and against a local distributor of medical devices over the existence of multiple defects in the public bidding process in the orthopaedics area by Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social.


The Costa Rican team at Dentons utilises the combined bench strength offices in Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, and its bespoke Dentons Direct cloud system (which streamlines case tracking), to represent multinational financial institutions and corporates including Bayer and Schneider Electric in a wide range of complex, cross-border disputes. With an active client base spanning sectors ranging from energy, pharmaceuticals and logistics to financial services, pharmaceuticals and construction, the practice’s comprehensive offering covers such matters as commercial litigation and arbitration, environmental law, insurance litigation, collection actions, and restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. The team is led by experienced litigator and arbitrator Roy Herrera, a member of the board of directors for the Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration of the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce. The group is supported by senior associate Aracelly López, who performs due diligences on litigation proceedings for companies involved in multi-jurisdictional M&A, and associate Johann Montero Brenes, who specialises in labour and employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Roy Herrera


Affordability and availability. Knowledge of the environment in which they operate.

Availability and technical knowledge.

Here in Costa Rica the team is very professional and accessible. Their availability to take the time to explain matters to the client is a strength compared to other firms.

They are an integrated office with several specialised areas that complement each other and work together. Roy Herrera follows up on all matters and is available.

The service received by the professionals at Dentons made me feel secure and confident, and I also know that they consulted professionals in the field of the dispute that we were resolving and that gave me peace of mind.

Courteousness, professionalism, availability.

Key clients



Belize Bank


Agroganadera Pinilla

Global Power Generation

Schneider Electric


Mediterranean Shipping Company

Latam Logistic


With offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia, the dispute resolution practice at ECIJA pairs global bench strength with the experience of its team to represent private investors and major multinational corporates such as Sanofi and Pfizer involved in high-value, cross-border disputes, across sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals, energy and government to software, health and insurance. The team’s comprehensive service extends to complex commercial litigation, arbitration, and tax and administrative proceedings, as well as debt collection matters. The team is headed by Mauricio París, an expert in the enforcement, recognition and annulment of arbitration awards who brings expertise in the tech and pharmaceutical sectors, and Mariela Hernández, who handles consumer law matters. Other key figures include Arturo Guerrero, who launched the firm’s insolvency practice in Costa Rica, and who was appointed to partner in June 2022, and associate Mauricio Rapso, who will re-join the firm in September 2023 after studying abroad. Associate and family law specialist Andrea Rodríguez arrived in October 2022 from in house.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio París; Mariela Hernández


Mauricio París is outstanding. He has an excellent combination of pragmatism with academic knowledge. He is very attentive, diligent and efficient.

Very good customer service.

Creative solutions and attention to detail.

Excellent management of assigned issues.

Detailed knowledge of the issues, personalised attention, and diligent management of cases with the achievement of favourable results.

They are extremely thorough in their analysis, from different angles. Teamwork is promoted in a very conscious way. I would like to highlight the work of Mauricio París.

Arturo Guerrero is a careful and diligent trial lawyer with extensive experience and deep knowledge.

They work as a team – they have high-level professionals in the dispute resolution team, but they can also rely on professionals in the underlying subject matter of the conflict, which allows them to participate in multiple matters. Their goal is to provide most professional and efficient support for the client.

Key clients



Pedidos Ya


Union Fenosa Generadora La Joya


Rapi Credit


ITCA (Software License Compliance Solutions)

Work highlights

  • Representing a Latin American State before the Supreme Court of Justice of Costa Rica in a proceeding for the annulment of an investment arbitration award, in a dispute of more than $100m.
  • Represented Sanofi in a dispute with a former distributor, allowing the company to recover debts nearing $1m.
  • Represented Herbalife in a proceeding against the State that reversed an administrative sanction.


The experienced team at regional firm Arias brings strength to representing major multinational corporates such as Pfizer in diverse range of dispute resolution matters.  The firm’s comprehensive service ranges from litigation prevention, commercial disputes and white-collar criminal cases to complex distribution matters, fraud and debt collection proceedings, and disputes related to intellectual property and environmental law. The team is led by Víctor Manuel Garita, an expert in arbitration related to concession disputes, construction and distribution contracts; and senior counsels German Rojas, an experienced civil litigator, and Abraham Balzer, a specialist in civil liability, consumer rights and class actions.

Practice head(s):

Víctor Manuel Garita; German Rojas; Abraham Balzer


This practice has very intelligent, highly experienced lawyers who also form a very good team that complements each other. What makes this dispute resolution practice different is that the different members of the team know about topics as diverse as the civil process itself, corporate, banking, commercial law, securities and relevant topics of criminal law. Finding a practice with such a wealth of accumulated knowledge is very difficult.

The team is led by Víctor Manuel Garita, who has a great capacity to develop applicable strategies and the theory of the case. His knowledge of both commercial and banking law and litigation distinguish him.

Abraham Balzer is extremely diligent, responds and attends to the client’s needs immediately, and has great capacity in procedural law.

Key clients


Desarrollos Hotelers Guanacaste





Artavia & Barrantes Abogados

The experienced dispute resolution team at Artavia & Barrantes Abogados provides a comprehensive service, handling litigation, arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Sergio Artavia is the key contact. Co-founder Jaime Barrantes Gamboa departed in August 2021 to form ABCQ Legal.

BG&A Abogados Corporativos

The team at BG&A Abogados Corporativos represents entrepreneurs, local corporates and multinationals, including Office Depot, Telefónica and Sherman Williams, in complex negotiation and mediation proceedings, and in administrative and civil litigation. With a broad client base spanning such sectors as education, sports, retail, construction, telecoms and fitness, the practice’s full service covers matters ranging from debt collections and evictions to labour disputes and lawsuits for reputational damage.  The team is led by founding partner and veteran litigator Benjamín Gutiérrez and supported by senior associate Gabriela Monge, a specialist in education law, and associates Nicole Damha, an expert in labour litigation, and Christopher Rojas, who handles civil, administrative and intellectual property matters.

Practice head(s):

Benjamín Gutiérrez


Its office is modern in its operation and incorporates technological elements to facilitate work with clients. The legal knowledge of its lawyers is deep and they work as a team in a highly coordinated manner.

Benjamín Gutiérrez is an outstanding lawyer. He has a great knowledge of the law, and he handles the issues skillfully. He is able to explain very complex legal issues in a simple way.

I believe that the team’s approach makes a difference and makes the client feel secure.

Key clients

Office Depot

Universidad Internacional Sek

Colegio Internacional Sek

Colegio Internacional Eiris

Colegio Internacional de Levante

Hotel Planas

International Education Systems

Boca Ratón Preparatory School

Panamá Preparatory School

Tiempo Libre Tilisa

Uniformes Designs

Unión Española

Grupo Creativo Diseño y Construcción



Sherwin Williams


Grupo Sur

Telefónica (Movistar)

Banco Nacional de Costa Rica

Nexsys Centroamérica

Work highlights

  • Acting in lawsuit against Amazon Prime Video for reputational damage brought by SEK International University and Spanish businessman Jorge Segovia Bonet, after the premiere of the series “El Presidente”.
  • Representing Productos de Concreto in a claim initiated for the collection of amounts owed under a bill of exchange drawn in favour of the company.
  • Represented a private individual in proceedings before the contentious-administrative court against the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS).

Consortium Legal

With offices in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, the team at Consortium Legal leverages deep bench strength across the region to represent national and multinational corporates and financial institutions involved in high-stakes civil and commercial litigation and arbitration, across the banking, beauty, retail, agriculture, building materials, energy, tourism and hospitality sectors. The team is headed by veteran litigator Rolando Laclé Zuñiga (who brings over 30 years of experience); José Pablo Valverde, who handles matters involving damages claims, breaches of contract, and construction and financial disputes; and Andrés Martínez, a specialist in international arbitration and judicial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Rolando Laclé Zúñiga; José Pablo Valverde; Andrés Martínez

Key clients

Banco Davivienda

Scotiabank de Costa Rica

Del Monte International

Asociación Conservacionista Monterverde

Banco BAC San José

Grupo Barceló

Villas Playa Sámara

Grupo Cuestamoras


EY Law Central America

The litigation group at EY Law Central America leverages the bench strength of eight offices in seven countries (including the March 2022 opening of a Pacific Coast office in the Guanacaste province) to act for major multinationals in a diverse range of disputes. The practice’s full service covers distribution cases involving the modification, termination or restructuring of contracts, due diligence processes and pre-litigation advice. Experienced litigator and senior manager Allan Hernández and managing partner Hernán Pacheco are the key contacts.

Sfera Legal

The multidisciplinary litigation and arbitration team at Sfera Legal employs the deep bench strength of its five Costa Rican offices and regional network to assist international corporates involved in high-value, cross-border disputes. The team’s comprehensive service covers contentious matters involving construction, investments, franchise and private contractual agreements, financing and real estate developments. Founding partner Robert Van Der Putten and seasoned negotiator José Schroeder are the key contacts.

Tactic Estudio Legal

Tactic Estudio Legal, formed by former COLBS Estudio Legal partner Javier Escalante after he and Sebastián Jiménez split their practices in September 2021, represents private individuals, NGOs and major multinationals involved in complex domestic and multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration, across such sectors as food and beverages, real estate, financial services and security. The team is led by Escalante, a seasoned trade negotiator who has served as both Consul General of Costa Rica in Singapore and Ambassador of Costa Rica in Qatar. The team is supported at the associate level by experienced litigator and banking and finance specialist Daniela Alvarado, who followed Escalante from his previous firm, and Fernanda Jiménez, an environmental law expert who handles complex regulatory and legal analysis. It was bolstered further by the August 2022 arrival of senior associates Jean Carlo Díaz, who joined from independent practice and who brings strength in administrative disputes, Eric Morales-Matarrita, who served previously in the Costa Rican Judicial Branch, and experienced former in-house counsel Sylvia Clark-Escalante, who handles complex corporate disputes.

Practice head(s):

Javier Escalante


Serious, committed, educated lawyers who search for unique alternatives.

Key clients

Grupo Jumex

Comercializadora Eloro


Hermosa Oceanfront Development

Condominio Bahía Encantada

Financiera Brunca


Detergentes y Jabones (DEJA)

Condominio Diamante del Sol

Work highlights

  • Acting for Financiera Brunca in all judicial collection processes.
  • Represented Grupo Jumex, Comercializadora Eloro and Jumex in a dispute concerning the termination of a distribution agreement with another company in Costa Rica.
  • Represented Hermosa Oceanfront Developments in seeking the cancellation of an overlapping title to land acquired by the client before the Civil Court of Puntarenas.

COLBS Estudio Legal

The dispute resolution practice at COLBS Estudio Legal leverages the experience of its team to advise domestic and multinational corporates across the tourism, hospitality, real estate, construction and pharmaceuticals sectors on diverse range of disputes. The group’s comprehensive service covers both litigation and arbitration, including commercial and civil litigation, as well as mediation and negotiation. The team is led by founding partner and veteran litigator Sebastián Jiménez, who brings strength to matters involving civil liability, real estate issues, contract breaches and public law, and associate Edwin Rojas, who specialises in arbitration procedures and banking and finance-related cases.

Practice head(s):

Sebastián Jiménez; Edwin Rojas


Personalised service. Prompt attention to queries. Clear breakdown of costs. Prompt resolutions and legal advice. Extensive explanations of the issues.

The organisational climate is exceptional. The office staff is impeccable, as well as the facilities and the service. Respect and excellent verbal and non-verbal communication.

Excellent team with knowledge in the areas of social and legal governance. Excellent advice and accompaniment through the procedures.

Key clients

Hotel y Club Punta Leona

Progreso Desarrollo Empresarial Prodesa

Fondo de Inversión Inmobiliario Vista

Andorra Euroinvestments

Lapas Nitrógeno Siete

Montes de Oro Marbella

Kingstown Consulting

Samaúma Brands

Electricidad y Control Industrial Vargas y Smith

Swisscore Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hotel y Club Punta Leona in a claim against the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, the national healthcare provider, to request the annulment of a series of wrongfully assigned debts, amounting to $1.5m.
  • Filed for Vista Real Estate Investment Fund 17 different eviction processes, and representing the client in disputes with unrelated tenants of different office and commercial premises in San José.
  • Successful secured settlements in the majority of 20 cases against LAPAS Nitrógeno Siete, a development company with a completely sold but uncompleted real estate project experiencing difficulty with environmental licences and permits.

Nassar Abogados

The dispute resolution practice at Nassar Abogados leverages regional strength and the experience of its team to advise major multinationals involved in multi-jurisdictional arbitration and civil, commercial and administrative litigation. The group’s comprehensive service covers matters ranging from risk management and distribution disputes to contract termination and personal injury. Senior partner Tomás Nassar P., a veteran litigator and transport sector authority, and Henry Rodríguez, a specialist in complex negotiations and international finance, are the key contacts.

Oller Abogados

The litigation and arbitration team at Oller Abogados acts for national and multinational corporates across such sectors as sports, tech, manufacturing, real estate, insurance and construction in such disputes as debt recovery actions, arbitration proceedings, evictions and breach of contract claims. The team is led by three senior partners: corporate practice director Pedro Oller, who handles both domestic and international arbitrations; litigation practice director Ricardo Vargas, who is experienced in tax disputes; and public law practice head Roberto Esquivel, who specialises in procurement processes. Associate Carlos Arias brings strength to labour matters.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Oller; Ricardo Vargas; Roberto Esquivel

Key clients

Feilo Sylvania

Centro de Redes y Cables Eléctricos

Inversiones Rodríguez Fairen

Work highlights

  • Acting for Inversiones Rodriguz Fairean in an eviction involving a sports chain retailer.
  • Acting for Feilo Sylvania in the enforcement of a credit supported by a mortgage.
  • Acting for Centro de Redes y Cables Eléctricos in a collection action.