Real estate and tourism in Dominican Republic

Castillo y Castillo

Firm president Práxedes Castillo Báez and senior associate Maria Portes are the key contacts at Castillo y Castillo, which advises on real estate and hospitality projects across the country from its offices in Santo Domingo, Santiago and Punta Cana; indeed the firm recently established a new regulated industries' business unit specifically focused on the tourism and energy sectors. The team is notably strong in handling condominiums and hotel development projects; recent work includes Portes advising the Iberostate Group on a $295m condominium and villas project. Real estate litigation is another area of expertise. On the tourism side, the firm recently assisted Orbest Airlines with renewing its security programme to operate a route between Punta Cana International Airport and Lisbon. Evelop Airlines is another client. Sebastián Jiménez, well known for his expertise in financing, made partner in March 2019.  

DMK Abogados

Experienced in handling corporate real estate mandates, including project finance, environmental matters and project development, DMK Abogados' practice is jointly led by managing partner Enrique de Marchena and newly promoted junior partner Patricia Guzmán. Hotel projects have been prominent in the team's recent workload: Marchena and Guzmán are advising Meliá Hotels International on a broad range of tourism matters, and assist Senator Hotels & Resorts, a Spanish chain, with the tax aspects of its acquisition of three hotels in Puerto Plata. In another matter, both lawyers are advising the Punta Cana Group on the development of an aqueduct in the Punta Cana-Bávaro-Veron-Macao district, a prominent tourist zone in the Dominican Republic.

Guzmán Ariza

Hotels and condominiums are core strengths of Guzmán Ariza's real estate department, which is also recognised for its capabilities in transactional work. Practice head Fabio Guzmán Ariza, based in the Santo Domingo office, is widely recognised in the market for his expertise across the full range of real estate matters, with a focus on condominium-related law. Christoph Sieger and Alfredo Guzmán, based in Punta Cana and La Romana respectively, advised Club Med on all aspects of a $150m acquisition of a 365,000sqm property in Miches to construct a hotel as part of a prominent tourism development project. Puerto Plata-based Julio Brea Guzmán is well known for his expertise in real estate litigation, while César Calderón and Rubén García are key contacts in Samaná. Other clients include Sunwing Travel Group, Meliá Hotels International, Dream City and Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort.

Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández

The team at Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández handles projects, transactions and regulatory real estate work, and is well known for its capabilities in administrative and corporate matters. Recent mandates include Jaime Senior assisting Playa Grande Holdings with the $150m development of the Playa Grande Golf Resort, while Marisol Vicens is advising Casa de Campo on real estate and environmental issues. Grupo Puntacana and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are regular clients; Mary Fernández advises the latter on ownership issues. Associate César Ledesma is recommended for administrative and project development work.

OMG

The 'excellentOMG is 'very reliable' and houses 'a very professional' team, which has extensive experience in real estate tax, construction, planning, development, permits and zoning, and due diligence work. Juan Alcalde and Leonel Melo are advising Terra RD Partners on its joint venture with a Spanish hospitality brand to develop a $15m hotel in Santo Domingo, and are also assisting the client with designing a low-income housing project in Guayacanes. Alcalde jointly heads the practice with director Laura Troncoso, who has expertise in corporate real estate law. Greincor, Casas del XVI, and Playa Hotels & Resort are also clients.

Pellerano & Herrera

Well known for its strength in financing mandates, Pellerano & Herrera’s team also handles M&A-related real estate work, property acquisitions and disposals, and tourism developments, notably in the aviation sector. Newly promoted partner Carolina Leon led the advice to International Finance Corporation and IDB Invest on financing the high profile $258m 'Tropicalia' resort being developed in Miches. Managing partner Ricardo Pellerano heads the practice jointly with corporate expert Joanna Bonnelly, who was promoted to partner in 2018. In December 2018 Luis Pellerano left the firm to set up Pellerano Nadal ; Alessandra Di Carlo made partner in January 2019.

ECIJA DVMS

ECIJA DVMS' department is strong in tourism projects, land acquisitions and disposals, and M&A-related real estate matters, and has been particularly active in hotel development and construction matters. Polibio Valenzuela, who is very experienced in handling large tourism projects, heads the practice jointly with Gabriel Dejarden, who is noted for his specialist expertise in assisting baseball teams with a range of real estate issues. Edward Salcedo advises on the litigation aspects of real estate M&A mandates.

Pellerano Nadal

In operation since late 2018, boutique firm Pellerano Nadal counts project finance as a key capability and construction, corporate real estate and environmental matters as  additonal areas of expertise. Recent matters saw the team advise a power company on contractual issues with the Dominican government, and assist US company Incoa Performance Minerals with the construction and financing of a calcium carbonate project. On the tourism and hospitality side, the group advises JetBlue on regulatory matters. Luis Rafael Pellerano is well known for handling high-profile infrastructure projects, while Gustavo Mena is an experienced environmental law practitioner, having previously been at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Senior counsel Urania Paulino and senior associate Belkys Génesis Rodríguez are also noted.

Squire Patton Boggs

The team at Squire Patton Boggs is noted for its expertise in advising clients from the hospitality sector, and is also adept at handling corporate real estate, litigation, due diligence, and environmental matters. Alejandro Peña-Prieto and Pedro Gamundi have expertise in assisting clients with high-value acquisitions, while Rhina Martinez Brea is well known for handling hotel development projects. Senior associate Joey Núñez Aybar acts on real estate acquisition matters.

Jiménez Cruz Peña

Jiménez Cruz Peña's practice reports an uptick in real estate investment work; development and transactional mandates are also core strengths. Vilma Veras advised Fondo de Inversión Cerrado Inmobiliario Excel I on a $5m property acquisition as part of the client's investment portfolio. Marcos Peña Rodríguez handles corporate real estate and litigation. Jennifer Beauchamps is a noted senior associate.

Pereyra & Asociados

Managing partner Luis Miguel Pereyra heads the department at Pereyra & Asociados, which has strengths in real estate litigation, projects, transactional work and leases. The group is well known for handling instructions from foreign clients: Pereyra and Gregorio García represented the Bank of Nova Scotia in a property rights dispute in Puerto Plata. On the transactional side, the group is assisting McDonald's with acquiring properties in the Dominican Republic. Emma Mejía Batlle has expertise in corporate real estate matters. Hospira is another client.

Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti

Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti has a solid reputation for its real estate capabilities, handling land and property transactions, development, and construction mandates. Other areas of expertise include due diligence, litigation and regularisation. José Maldonado Stark is advising Turkish multinational Kiliç Deniz Urunleri Uretimi Ihracat Ithalat Ve Ticaret on setting up a production and processing plant and mariculture project in the Dominican Republic, and is assisting Edwards Lifesciences with its purchase of a property to develop a manufacturing plant. In Puerto Plata, Román Medina Diplan advises on tourism project developments.

Quiroz Santroni

Following the split of legacy firm Quiroz Santroni in September 2019, the real estate and tourism team moved with founding partner Romina Santroni to Santroni Parsons, which focuses on environmental law and sustainable development, tourism and real estate. The the team also handles energy and natural resources, agroindustry, and construction and development matters. Senior associates Guily Shemer, who handles regulatory work, and Franchesca Soto, noted for her expertise in environmental compliance matters, are the other key names. Quiroz Santroni's other former name partner, José Quiroz, has established QA Legal.