Firms To Watch: Environment

Advising on compliance with environmental legislation is a key area of activity for the team at regional powerhouse Consortium Legal, led by Rolando Laclé Zuñiga, David Reuben and Juan Manuel Cordero.
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Environment in Costa Rica

Arias

The environmental team at Arias maintains a top-shelf client roster that spans a diverse spectrum of sectors, including energy, hospitality, automotive, construction and tech. An experienced team led by Carlos Ubico, Carlos Camacho, and energy and infrastructure expert Vicente Lines advises on a wide range of matters related to the environment, such as due diligence procedures, regulatory compliance, the development of energy and renewable resources, expansion planning and corporate responsibility management. In addition to preparing legal frameworks for day-to-day transactions to meet governmental requirements, the firm specialises in constitutional claims and procurement proceedings. Additional expertise is brought to the team by associates Luis Diego Obando, Ignacio Flores, Vivian Gazel and environmental specialist Mónica Espinoza. Since publication the firm has hired Roberto Cordero – the director and founder of long-standing environmental consultancy ENLACE – from EY Law Central America, effective as of February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Ubico; Carlos Camacho; Vicente Lines

Key clients

Green Generation Go

Work highlights

  • Advising Green Generation Go on the legal structure of the agreements for the execution of a renewable energy project in Costa Rica.

BLP

The environmental team at BLP takes a multi-disciplinary approach to assisting clients in both the public and private sectors. Led by 'highly experienced litigatorMauricio Salas, the group represents a portfolio that includes international clients such as Uber, Kraft and Medtronic, and spans a variety of sectors, ranging from tourism and food to transportation and medical. The group provides a full range of services, advising on obtaining environmental permits, securing concessions for the usage of natural resources, keeping clients up-to-date on governmental safety requirements, and representing clients in complex litigation before the civil, criminal and administrative courts. The team is supported by business law expert Andrea González and associate Luis Palacios, who is an environmental specialist.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio Salas

Testimonials

‘What I like about this practice is that they have realised that environmental health and safety services must be provided in an interdisciplinary way.’

‘Mauricio Salas also has a background in environmental management. He has a multi-disciplinary approach and is also a highly experienced litigator. Associate Luis Palacios is a young man with great promise.’

‘The BLP team are very professional and know the environmental legislation very well. The team members are very available and they have specialised personnel in different areas (such as water or tax law). In our particular case, Mauricio Salas is the lawyer who has been working with us for almost 15 years, and he is an excellent professional.’

‘BLP is distinguished by having a multi-disciplinary team that allows situations to be addressed in a comprehensive manner.’

‘They offer a personal service and follow-up on matters, not to mention knowledge and professionalism.’

Key clients

Gencom

Medtronic

Cardinal Health

Las Catalinas

Uber

Kraft

Garnier & Garnier

Texas Tech University

Alpemusa

Heredia Public Utilities Company (ESPH)

Work highlights

  • Advised Gencom on environmental matters related to its operation of most of the Golfo de Papagayo Tourist Project.
  • Advised Medtronic regarding environmental, occupational health and safety, and food safety compliance.
  • Advising Cardinal Health’s quality and compliance teams for Central America and the Caribbean.

COLBS Estudio Legal

The environment team at COLBS Estudio Legal remains a market leader. The group is led by supervising partner Javier Escalante, water systems expert Sebastián Jiménez and biodiversity authority Fernanda Jimenez, who is praised for her ‘extensive knowledge of environmental law‘. Advising domestic leaders and multinationals across such sectors as construction, real estate and agriculture, the team provides regulatory support on a broad range of matters, including water project infrastructure, forestry management, emissions standards and land use. In addition to its work for key corporate clients such as LafargeHolcim, the group maintains a firm commitment to educating the public on biodiversity, offering technical input to the International Council of Environmental Law and participating in Project Lifeplan, a six-year initiative funded by the European Research Council. Since publication, the firm has endured a spin-off with Escalante departing to establish TACTIC Estudio Legal in February 2022, and taking Jiménez -among others- with him.

Practice head(s):

Sebastián Jiménez

Testimonials

‘Fernanda Jiménez has extensive knowledge of environmental law and Javier Escalante provides very professional direction. Both always show great willingness to advise and guide us.’

‘The team stand out for their availability to assist clients and their professionalism.’

‘They are very professional and the fact that they speak English was very helpful to me.’

‘Fernanda Jimenez has been very prompt in returning my emails and phone calls, and is very professional and courteous.’

Key clients

Hermosa Oceanfront Development

ABS-Int

LafargeHolcim

Alchemical Courtyard

Tucan Terra

Hotel y Club Punta Leona

Pórtico de las Cariátides

International Council of Environmental Law

Work highlights

  • Advised LafargeHolcim on a wide array of issues, including analysing emissions standards and regulations for cement-producing plants in Costa Rica.
  • Advised Punta Leona on several issues, including an extensive study on the legality and requirements of its internal water distribution system.
  • Advised Pórtico de las Cariátides when it was contacted by the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA).

EY Law Central America

The ‘experienced‘ team at regional powerhouse EY Law Central America continues to provide essential support for clients on environmental matters. The group offers a full range of services, from due diligence procedures and health and safety audits to risk assessment strategies and advice on governmental health requirements. Roberto Cordero leads the team, which works to meet the needs of multinationals across a variety of sectors, including energy, agri-business, consumer products, medical devices and IT.  The group is supported by manager Marco Quesada and senior associate Jéssica Castro, both of whom are compliance experts. Since publication, Cordero has left the firm, moving to Arias as of February 2022.

Testimonials

‘The team are experienced and are clear about their roles and responsibilities.’

‘What is most notable is the support they have from an international firm like EY. They are always looking to improve their processes and services and adapt quickly to changes. Marco Quesada and Jéssica Castro stand out.’

Key clients

Recope

Abbott Medical Costa Rica

Cámara Nacional de Productores de Piña

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad

Baxter Productos Médicos

Flex (previously AGM Automotive Costa Rica)

Florida Ice and Farm

Cemex Costa Rica

Unilver Costa Rica

Zollner Electronics

Work highlights

  • Advised Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad on the environmental, health and safety audits and compliance for 38 power generation plants.
  • Advised Abbott Medical Costa Rica on compliance with environmental, health and safety regulations and conducting audits of its facilities.
  • Advised the Chamber of National Pineapple Producers on auditing production plants and crops to ensure environmental, health and safety compliance.