Dispute resolution in Costa Rica

Batalla Abogados

Litigation powerhouse Batalla Abogados shows great skill in national and international disputes, both before the judiciary and in arbitration. Alejandro BatallaMarco UreñaRóger Guevara and Raúl Guevara make up the four partner-strong team. Associate Abraham Balzer left the firm to join Arias in August 2019.

BLP

Fielding a particularly strong litigation team, BLP is in a good position to offer the full scope of dispute resolution services in relation to criminal, commercial, property, tax and financial law, among other areas. Arbitrator Mauricio Salas, who has additional expertise in environmental consulting, spearheads the team. Luis Ortiz excels in administrative and constitutional cases, as well as in disputes over public bidding and contracting, alongside other government-related issues. Consumer affairs, unfair competition and criminal allegations are strong suits of associate Robert Morales' practice and special counsel Alejandro Rojas adds significant civil liability expertise to the team. Senior associate Alejandro Goicuria has particular experience in contentious banking and finance matters, including contractual disputes and economic crime cases.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio Salas

Key clients

Prival Bank

Kraft Heinz

Laureate International Universities

Pandora Americas

Kani

Tigo Sports (Millicom)

ESPH

ASSA

BASF

Chiquita Brands

Laboratorios Stein

BioPlus

Globalvia

Los Suenos

V-Tech

Amazon

Uber

Cargill

BCT Bank

Work highlights

  • Representing Junta Interventora del Infocoop as the claimant in several criminal proceedings related to fraud and corruption allegations
  • Handling all civil litigation for Laureate International Universities
  • Defended Microsoft Corporation in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff argued that Microsoft violated his copyright

Dentons Muñoz

Dentons Muñoz operates a broad contentious practice ranging from commercial, banking and real estate litigation to arbitration and cross-border disputes. As of late, the team has been particularly active in bankruptcy proceedings, debt collection, insurance litigation and disputes in the telecoms sector. Roy Herrera and Carolina Muñoz co-chair the department, with the former leading the dispute resolution practice and the latter focused on criminal law, anti-corruption and compliance. Herrera also brings expertise in environmental litigation to the table, while Muñoz is adept at handling white-collar crime, cyber crime, copyright infringement and tax crime cases. Associate Aracelly López demonstrates experience in litigation-oriented due diligence and labour litigation. In January 2020, Andrés Martínez moved to Consortium Legal to co-lead the firm's litigation group.

Practice head(s):

Roy Herrera; Carolina Muñoz

EY Law Central America

The 'very proactive' litigation team at EY Law Central America handles litigation due diligence, disputes and the evaluation of possible contingencies. The team has a particular focus on distribution matters, representing foreign suppliers and local distributors in cases of modification, restructuring and termination. María del Mar Herrera and Allan Hernández co-chair the department, with the former well equipped to handle consumer protection and e-commerce disputes and the latter covering various areas, including the identification of contingencies in contracts, and acting in arbitrations. Daniela Rivas joined the group in August 2019 from the General Superintendence of Financial Entities, bringing expertise in administrative and financial disputes.

Testimonials

‘They were very proactive and took on my case immediately, scheduling an appointment within a day. Their work was excellent.’

‘María del Mar Herrera is a highly respected professional in her field. She has an in-depth knowledge of her areas of expertise and thanks to this she can resolve matters quickly and effectively. She stands out from the competition for the speed and professionalism with which she handles cases, and, most importantly, for her passion for her work. She dealt with me in the same way as she would a big corporation, which made me feel valued and appreciated.’

‘Marí­a del Mar Herrera has many years’ experience and her talent is recognised both locally and throughout Central America.’

Key clients

Kaeser Compresores de Guatemala

Corporación Lady Lee (Dica Desarrollos Inmobiliarios Centroamericanos)

Tricon Energy

Banco de Desarrollo Rural

Kimberly Clark Costa Rica

Knorr Bremse Sistemas Para Veiculos Comerciais Brasil

KTM Sportmotorcycle

The Raymond Corporation

Multibank

Work highlights

  • Defending Kaeser Compresores de Guatemala in a counter-suit related to the termination of a distribution agreement
  • Representing Kimberly Clark Costa Rica in the termination of various distribution agreements
  • Represented Multibank in litigation filed by a coffee distributor

Facio & Cañas

Facio & Cañas is well known for its strength in administrative, civil and criminal proceedings related to various branches of law. Moreover, the department puts an emphasis on representing economic crime and fraud victims in corporate, real estate and intellectual property cases. The department led by Federico Torrealba also represents its impressive client roster in arbitrations and frequently covers novel ground, for instance in a recent software piracy matter. While Torrealba has deep knowledge of tort law, key associate Gianna Cersosimo often handles the defence of intellectual property rights for international brands. Associate Adelita Olivares adds construction and property crime expertise to the litigation group. Former key practitioner Víctor Garita left to lead the litigation department at Arias in September 2019.

Practice head(s):

Federico Torrealba

Key clients

Fonotica

Bicsa Bank

Improsa Bank

Intercontinental Hotel (Hotel Camino Real)

Cargill

Crossfit

Tous

United World College

Cativo Beach Hotel

Establishment Labs

Work highlights

  • Representing Capilla de los Remedios in a claim relating to land with overlapping recorded titles against several defendants
  • Representing Grupo Corporativo Saret, Saret Metalmecanica and others in an insolvency proceeding
  • Representing Papeles Alfa Romeo and Alfa Romeo Aero Taxi in a civil complaint for damages against Palma Tica

Aguilar Castillo Love

At the 'results-driven' Aguilar Castillo Love, the primary focus is on contentious matters related to M&A and compliance, as well as environmental, antitrust and corporate law. Specific areas of expertise include international trade issues, anti-dumping cases and acting for healthcare clients. The department is spearheaded by a trio comprising John Aguilar-Osborne, Esteban Agüero Guier and John Aguilar-Quesada. Aguilar-Quesada shines particularly in cases related to M&A, whereas Agüero often handles arbitration cases and founding partner Aguilar-Osborne brings a wealth of experience in various practice areas to the table. Criminal litigator Rodolfo Brenes Vargas handles anti-corruption investigations and associate Laura Rodríguez Amador is adept at assisting with administrative, civil, constitutional and criminal cases.

Testimonials

‘ACL is a results-driven firm. They understand the needs of the client. Because they have offices throughout Central America, they can give clients a regional perspective. The firm is creative with billing and places the interests of the client above firm profits.’

‘Esteban Agüero Guier is an astute litigator. He communicates frequently and takes a common-sense approach to litigation. Esteban responds within 24 hours regardless of what he is doing. He does not tell the client what he believes the client wants to hear.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Hydrochina Corporation

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

HP

ADT Security Services

Cooperativa de Productores de Leche Dos Pinos

Soluciones Avanzadas

Circuito

Corteva Agriscience

Work highlights

  • Advising a multinational company on an investigation into internal fraud and the filing of criminal complaints
  • Representing Whirlpool Corporation in civil litigation
  • Acting for Carlson Wagonlit Travel in litigation, currently under appeal, derived from a corporate acquisition

Arias

Thanks to its up-to-date technology experience, the dispute resolution team at Arias is well equipped to handle contentious matters for IT companies and start-ups. Furthermore, the team led by Víctor Garita and associates German Rojas and Abraham Balzer assists with white-collar crime cases and the prevention of such issues. Commercial arbitrator Garita joined the firm from Facio & Cañas in September 2019 and class action expert Balzer moved from litigation powerhouse Batalla Abogados in August 2019, significantly improving the firm's contentious offering. Debt collection and arbitration proceedings are also part of the department's growing portfolio of services.

Key clients

L’Oréal

Mondelez

Hencorp

Bolivar Trading

Decameron

Essity

Desarrollos Hoteleros Guanacaste

Work highlights

  • Assisting L’Oréal with a collection procedure for unpaid invoices
  • Advising Mondelez on a class action labour lawsuit
  • Representing Essity in a civil claim for unlawful competition against a local company that is importing and commercialising some of the client’s products locally.

Artavia & Barrantes Abogados

Artavia & Barrantes Abogados is a boutique firm praised for its focus on litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. Name partners Sergio Artavia and Jaime Barrantes are recommended.

Consortium Legal

Consortium Legal offers the full gamut of dispute resolution services, with niche expertise in extra-contractual civil liability, contractual liability, damages claims and rights in rem. Other areas of strength include arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, as well as banking and public law litigation. The well-balanced group is spearheaded by a trio comprising Rolando Laclé Zúñiga, José Pablo Valverde and Andrés Martínez. Martínez, who joined the firm from Dentons Muñoz in January 2020, has enhanced the team's portfolio of services further thanks to his expertise in condominium and real estate law, as well as his experience in judicial collections and foreclosures.

Key clients

Cemex Costa Rica

Scotiabank de Costa Rica

Del Monte

Citibank Group

Mars

Banco Davivienda

Grupo Cuestamoras

Alfa Parf

Grupo Barceló

ECIJA

Although its primary focus is on advising clients on avoiding litigation, ECIJA assists with the resolution of domestic and international court and arbitration proceedings. Investment disputes, collection procedures, and corporate and commercial issues are at the forefront of the practice, which is headed by 'expert in litigation and arbitration' Mauricio París and Mariela Hernández. The former is highly regarded for commercial and construction disputes, while the latter shines particularly in litigation against government agencies, for instance in tax-related disputes. Real estate, construction and food industry corporations are especially well represented on the group's client roster. In August 2020, the team was bolstered by the addition of special counsel Arturo Guerrero, an experienced litigator and arbitrator, from Sáenz & Asociados.

Testimonials

‘ECIJA’s dispute resolution team in Costa Rica stands out for its technical abilities and specialisation, particularly in arbitration and commercial disputes. The lawyers are very highly regarded in the local market and are an opponent that any firm would take seriously. I think they stand out most of all for their understanding of highly specialised sectors such as technology and TMT.’

‘In addition to being a great academic, university professor and author, Mauricio Parí­s is a lawyer with a lot of commercial skill and the ability to handle complex litigation.’

‘Mauricio Parí­s is a professional who is completely dedicated to what he does, whatever the size of the case or the client. His attention to detail and pursuit of excellence make it a pleasure to work with him.’

‘Mauricio París is extremely dedicated, has excellent response times, and is studious as well as practical and efficient, and he knows a lot about the subjects that he deals with.’

‘They have a high level of knowledge about the technical aspects of arbitration.’

‘They are always available and come up with creative strategies.’

‘Mariela Hernández does an outstanding job in handling our needs and is extremely competent in the subject matter and stays on top of and resolves issues on our behalf.’

‘Mauricio Paris is an outstanding lawyer and an expert in litigation and arbitration, who has a complete mastery of his specialist area and gets effective results for his clients.’

Key clients

Rena Ware

Maersk

Mexichem

Herbalife

Findasense

Coca Cola Femsa

Pfizer

Ghella

Improtsa

Constructora Meco

Work highlights

  • Represented Mexichem (now Orbia) in an arbitration filed by Tuasa related to a contract termination
  • Represented Grupo del Istmo de Papagayo in an arbitration filed by the Association of Composers and Music Authors of Costa Rica (ACAM) in connection with alleged intellectual property rights
  • Representing Rena Ware in a series of cases related to fraud committed by independent associates

Sfera Legal

The litigation and arbitration group at Sfera Legal represents clients in a diverse range of contentious matters, including shareholder disputes, commercial development conflicts and investment disputes. The team under the leadership of Robert van der Putten and José Schroeder is also instructed by private clients. Van der Putten further specialises in real estate disputes and Schroeder is known for his negotiation skills. In May 2019, the team was strengthened by the arrival of associate Arnoldo Acuña Alvarado from Robles Oreamuno, who adds valuable know-how in the field of white-collar crime to the practice.

Key clients

Sirenis Hotels

Mabeca

Stewart Title

Pan-American Life Insurance Group

Real Hotel & Hotels

Byker & Associates

Abonos del Pacífico

Praxair Costa Rica

SLB Investments

Lantech Costa Rica

Publicidad Total

Alessandro Dall Bello Group

Biomar Aquaculture Corporation Group

Grupo Luko

Grupo Lyon

Rupert Alfred Hill

Kwuiki Credit CR

Soares Da Costa

Holcim Costa Rica (LafargeHolcim)

Agencia Marítima Transmares

Aqua ABL Fund Limited

BîldTEK

RF Management

Daniel Drew Espinoza

Hattitude

Grupo Baharet

William Cobert

Work highlights

  • Represented almost 20 investors in various arbitration proceedings before the International Centre for Conciliation and Arbitration of the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
  • Representing a major US insurance company in several insurance disputes

BG&A Abogados

Interdisciplinary law firm BG&A Abogados is active in litigation in a variety of areas, such as antitrust, administrative and criminal law, and regularly represents clients in lawsuits against the government. Benjamín Gutiérrez heads the department, and has significant trial experience as well as alternative dispute resolution expertise. María Gabriela Monge is also a key figure in the litigation team, with particular strength in contentious labour and employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Benjamín Gutiérrez

Key clients

Office Depot

Universidad Internacional Sek de Ecuador

Universidad Internacional Sek de Chile

Colegio Internacional Sek – Costa Rica

Colegio Internacional Sek- Chile

Colegio Internacional Sek- Quito

Colegio Internacional Sek – Guayaquil

Colegio Internacional Sek – Los Valles

Colegio Internacional Sek – Pacífico (Viña del Mar)

Colegio Internacional Sek – Austral

Colegio Internacional Sek – Colombia

Colegio Internacional Sek – Guadalajara

Colegio Internacional Sek – Paraguay

Colegio Internacional Sek – Las Américas (República Dominicana)

Colegio Internacional Sek – Budapest

Colegio Internacional Eiris (La Coruña, España)

Colegio Internacional de Levante (Valencia)

Hotel Planas (Salou, España)

International Education Systems

Boca Ratón Preparatory School

Panamá Preparatory School

Tiempo Libre TILISA S.A. (Ecuador)

Uniformes Designs S.A. (Ecuador)

Unión Española

Grupo Creativo Diseño y Construcción (Chile)

SEPER

Iunit

Concretera Nacional

Eulen Costa Rica

RGIS Servicios Costa Rica

BSDEV Internacional

PVI Costa Rican Optics

Corporación Siete

Productos de Concreto

Sherwin-Williams

Transacciones Ferreteras de Costa Rica

Colegio Nuestra Señora de Sion

Metalco

Mexichem

Grupo Sur

Multillantas Panamá

Datatecnología DTCR

Telefónica (Movistar)

Banco Nacional de Costa Rica

Proyectos de Acceso Proa

Constructora Volio y Trejos

Consultora, Constructora y Desarrolladora Ecoaire

Plycem

Saint Clare

AASA Automatización Avanzada

Municipalidad de San José

Junta Administrativa del Hospicio de Huérfanos de Cartago y COVAO

Paradise Medical Services

Colegio Santa María

Artelec

Autosasa

Tecnología Express

Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social

Mafisa

German – Tec

Asesores Contables Duarte Duarte

Grupo Lázaro

Inmobiliaria Madreselva (Ecuador)

Civitar

La Coruña Zaragoza de Palmares

Nexsys Centroamérica

Work highlights

  • Represented Parque Recreativo los Manantiales in a contentious administrative matter concerning non-contractual liability and the alleged damages and losses caused by an accident
  • Represented ADD in a claim for unfair competition and monopolistic practices against the multinational Access before the National Consumer Commission
  • Represented KMC in a contentious administrative claim for damages filed against KMC, Plaza Roble, Grupo Meridiano, the Ministry of Health and the Municipality of Escazú

Colbs Estudio Legal

Colbs Estudio Legal is active in administrative disputes and arbitration, with a particular skill set in corporate, commercial contract and real estate litigation. Disputes between foreign investors and their agents or vendors, as well as tort law, public law and environmental law litigation, are the focal points of Javier Escalante's practice. He heads the team with Sebastián Jiménez, who frequently handles civil liability matters, condominium conflicts and other real estate disputes.

Key clients

Soares da Costa

Lapas Nitrógeno Siete

LafargeHolcim

Hermosa Oceanfront Development

Condominio Mapaches

Il Pomodoro

Alessandro Dal Bello Group

Progreso Desarrollo Empresarial Prodesa

Fiduciaria Brunca

Grupo Financiero Acobo

Instituto Humanista para la Cooperación con los Países en Desarrollo (Hivos)

Real de Punta Leona

Hotel y Club Punta Leona

Work highlights

  • Acting as legal counsel for Soares da Costa in a dispute with the Costa Rican government concerning an infrastructure project in San José
  • Led the legal defence of LafargeHolcim in a commercial arbitration
  • Acted as legal counsel for the owner of Hermosa Ocean Development after the project was accused of causing environmental damage to one of the wetlands nearby

Zürcher, Odio & Raven

Zürcher, Odio & Raven fields a litigation and arbitration group which represents both plaintiffs and defendants, for instance in the fields of competition, consumer and construction law. Jonatán Picado is particularly active in this area of practice.

Nassar Abogados

Nassar Abogados fields a specialised litigation team which handles contentious matters concerning breach of contract, civil liability and regional regulations. Name partner Tomás Nassar is the first point of contact.

Oller Abogados

Oller Abogados is often instructed to represent local clients in labour-related lawsuits as well as debt collection processes. Other contentious matters covered by Pedro Oller and Ricardo Vargas' group include public law, distribution and construction cases. Both practice heads are also active arbitrators, while Roberto Esquivel handles administrative litigation.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Oller; Ricardo Vargas

Key clients

Asebanacio

ASEHNN

Sylvannia

Experian

Western Union

Copa Airlines

Work highlights

  • Acted in a labour lawsuit relating to a termination of employment
  • Acted in a social security lawsuit filed by a travel agency against the Costa Rican government