Castillo y Castillo has a prominent tourism practice and recognised standing in the real estate market. Práxedes Castillo Báez has longstanding experience in financing operations, transactions and foreign investment, and leads the practice together with senior associate Maria Portes, who is regularly sought by foreign clients for assistance in obtaining permits for tourism projects. Sebastián Jiménez is another name to note; he is often involved in real estate transactions across a range of sectors, including retail, aviation and tourism.
Real estate and tourism in Dominican Republic
Castillo y Castillo
Maria Portes; Práxedes Castillo Báez
Riu Hotels Group
Sol Melia Hotels Group
Iberostar Hotels Group
Hard Rock Hotel
Centro Cuesta Nacional
Mac Hotels Group
Best Hotels Group
- Assisted Evelop Airlines before the Civil Aviation Board in the renewal of its Air Operator Permit.
- Representing Iberostate in the development of its first real estate project of premium villas and condos in Playa Bávaro, Dominican Republic.
- Assisted British Airways before the Civil Aviation Board in the renewal of its Air Operator Permit.
DMK Abogados has a strong focus on the tourism industry, and provides cross-practice advice in a broad range of matters, spanning from transactions to government negotiations and tax incentives. During 2020 and 2021, active areas for the team included tax compliance, disputes, regulation and franchising, among other areas. The group also stood out for acting as lead counsel to Corporación Aeroportuaria del Este on the public-private matter regarding the construction project of the Bavaro International Airport; practice head Enrique De Marchena Kaluche leads on this. In addition to her tourism focus, Patricia Guzmán is recognised for her activity in environmental and administrative law.
Enrique De Marchena Kaluche; Patricia Guzmán
Corporación Aeroportuaria del Este
Tenedora las Terrenas
Punta Cana Group
Senator Hotels and Resort
Sol Meliá International
Los Corales Development
- Representing Corporación Aeroportuaria del Este in an administrative appeal against the construction project of the Bavaro International Airport, promoted by ABRISA Group.
- Providing advice to Tenedora Las Terrenas on re-obtaining tourism tax incentives that in the past it obtained to develop the project Las Terrenas Golf Course, as well as renewing all permits, including environmental permits.
- Assisting Popular Bank in a matter related to La Estancia Golf Resort tourism project, obtaining all the permits and the renewal of an environmental licence.
Guzmán Ariza has one of the most recognised real estate departments in the Dominican Republic. It covers day-to-day matters and operations, permits and licences, in addition to project financing and acquisition deals for hotel chains. As a key differentiator, the team's expertise also encompasses projects regarding condominiums, luxury second homes and agricultural properties. Fabio Guzmán Ariza is a highly regarded real estate lawyer with longstanding experience in this area. Alfredo Guzmán Saladín is the head of the firm’s Bávaro-Punta Cana and La Romana offices; he has extensive experience in assisting multinational clients with transactions in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Julio Brea Guzmán also receives praise; he focuses on condominium transactions and litigation. Associate Achelis Santana is also noted.
Fabio Guzmán Ariza; Alfredo Guzmán Saladín; Julio Brea Guzmán; Rubén García
‘The personal treatment of Alfredo Guzman and Achelis Santana makes the client feel secure.’
‘One can count on any of their lawyers to be able to advise you on all the issues you handle with them. A firm that supports and sustains the client at all times.’
‘Achelis Santana is extremely careful with all the follow-ups. Guzman Ariza’s team works like a great machine: fast, efficient, impeccable.’
‘Julio Brea stands out.’
Meliá Hotels International
Sunwing Travel Group
Viva Wyndham Resorts
Sosúa Ocean Village
Tierra del Sol Beach Hotel and Casino
Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Athelia Blue Finance
Blue Jack Tar
- Acted as outside general counsel to Club Med on all its legal matters in the Dominican Republic, including real estate transactions, government permits, corporate matters, and other areas.
- Acting as counsel for Meliá’s Dominican subsidiaries since 2005.
- Assisting Anex Tours in the acquisition of a 370-acre property in the Macao-Punta Cana area for $41m.
In the real estate space, ECIJA DVMS is best known for assisting high-end hotel clients with their acquisition and construction projects. Another significant focus for the practice is the sports industry; here, the firm stands out for advising sport teams with the acquisition of real estate and construction projects. Gabriel Dejarden focuses on the hospitality, baseball and financial services sectors, and Polibio Valenzuela combines his real estate expertise with experience acting in the tourism sector, including handling construction financing and construction agreements; the duo co-head the department. Christian Molina, who additionally covers trusts, affordable housing and public infrastructure, is also noted.
Gabriel Dejarden; Polibio Valenzuela
‘Very fast response and availability, experience and competence. ECIJA lawyers are fast and reliable with respect to what is asked of them.’
CCI Puesto de Bolsa
Capital Crédito e Inversiones CCI
Apple Leisure Group
Fundación Fuente de Amor
- Assisting Limburg Investment with the building of a new high-end hotel in downtown Santo Domingo, including taking all steps necessary to remedy the real estate issues affecting its land.
- Assisting Capital Credito e Inversiones CCI in negotiating with Terra RD Partners and Constructora Aybar regarding the development of a residential, commercial and office project.
- Providing counsel to Texas Rangers with all due diligence and title insurance aspects, and the drafting and negotiation necessary to complete the purchase of the land where the team is operating a new baseball academy.
Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández is appreciated in the market for providing cross-practice advice and a full-service offering to clients in the real estate and tourism sectors. Key additional areas of expertise include tax, environmental, social security and labour law, among others. The firm often represents large tourism groups and real estate investment firms in complex tourism projects, restructurings of real estate holdings, and concessions. Jaime Senior is an active member of the team, who focuses on M&A, negotiation of commercial agreements, and tourism investments. Mary Fernández and Marisol Vicens are also noted.
Mary Fernández; Marisol Vicens; Jaime Senior
‘The attention to detail of each case and in the service are excellent. The quality of the response and the professional point of view make them stand out in the market.’
‘Mary Fernandez is a senior partner of the firm who worked well, thoughtfully and seamlessly with her litigation colleagues.’
‘Jaime Senior is professionally very competent, always responds attentively to any questions and manages to create a very constructive relationship of trust with the client.’
One World Surgery
Parque Zona Franca Las Americas
Grupo Punta Cana
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Consorcio Azucarero Central
Discovery Land Group
Asociacion Dominicana de Empresas Turisticas Inmobiliarias
Playa Nueva Romana
- Assisting Playa Grande Holdings in the drafting of all of the contracts, permits and other legal requirements for the development of the Playa Grande Golf Resort.
- Acting as counsel to Inversiones Cuatro Estaciones, as borrower, in a multilateral credit facility for the construction and development of a Four Seasons Resort in the Dominican Republic.
- Acting as counsel to Grupo Punta Cana in regulatory aspects related to property rights, coastal resources, public domain areas, real estate regulations, environmental regulations and other related matters.
OMG stands out in the area of real estate and tourism, where it assists clients in a wide variety of projects. In particular, the team has a notable track record in mixed-use tourist real estate developments, resort properties and timeshare and fractional ownership agreements, among others. The lawyers also have knowledge of demarcation procedures, regulation and condominium development, as well as construction, licences and permits, which testifies to the group's dedication to this sector. Practice head Laura Troncoso's experience takes in hotel operations, real estate, zoning and finance, while Juan Alcalde focuses on cross-border commercial and financial transactions.
‘It is a productive team; always ready; very capable and with diverse knowledge.’
Park Adventure Group
Terra RD Partners
Melia Hotel International
Andares del Mirador Trust
LAFE Development Company
Macao Beach Real Estate
- Working as project manager in the Park Adventure Group’s new project regarding the building and operation of the Korala theme park and hotel.
- Acting as lead counsel in regard to all strategic and legal related components in the development and execution of the mixed-use project by Murales Trust.
- Advising Meliá Hotel International on reorganising and relocating its main time share units to the Dominican Republic.
Pellerano & Herrera stands out for its highly international client base. It represents investors, lenders and underwriters in real estate finance transactions, while also counselling clients in the tourism sector. These include airlines – which the team is able to assist leveraging its aviation practice, led by Vitelio Mejía Ortiz – booking companies and cruise lines, among others. Ricardo Pellerano, who acts as managing partner and co-head of the firm's Chinese desk, is often involved in complex transactions in the banking, real estate and tourism sectors. Caroline Bonó heads up the tourism industry group and regularly advises real estate developers and clients in the tourism sector entering the Dominican Republic. Special counsel Ramón Luciano leads the real estate practice, focusing on mortgage financing, contracts and regulations affecting real estate transactions.
Caroline Bonó; Ricardo Pellerano; Ramón Luciano
Carnival Cruise Corporation
Nesthler poletto Sotheby’s international
- Provided legal assistance to the German financial institution Landesbank Baden-Württemberg on a €7.8m real estate financing to Laboratorios LAM.
- Provides day-to-day legal assistance to Carnival Cruise Corporation in regulatory, corporate, labour and environmental matters, in relation to Amber Cove port’s operations in Puerto Plata.
- Provides legal assistance to the Mexican airline Interjet in the establishment of operations in the Dominican Republic.
Pellerano Nadal's real estate and environmental practice groups often act for clients in the tourism sector. The team has significant experience in real estate transactions, while also covering renegotiations of rental contracts, disputes and environmental due diligence. Land use is one of practice head Luis Rafael Pellerano's key specialisms, and he is also known for handling projects involving hotels, retail centres, office buildings and mixed-use developments. Development, investment, leasing, financing and asset management are among his areas of expertise. Gustavo Mena, Urania Paulino and Belkys Génesis Rodríguez are also names to note.
Luis Rafael Pellerano
‘The firm really understands business needs. The lawyers are very available and responsive. They are very helpful problem solvers during challenging times.’
‘Luis Rafael Pellerano is someone you really trust and you can turn to for support during challenging times. He is an exceptional lawyer.’
‘Urania Paulino works hard to learn about new industries and to develop important contacts in the Dominican Republic. Belkys Génesis Rodriguez provides counsel on many topics and is a subject-matter expert on issues relating to consumer protection.’
JetBlue Airways Corporation
Barrick Gold Corporation
Goldquest Mining Corporation
Dentons United Kingdom
- Advising JetBlue with the management of the Covid-19 crisis, which severely impacted the aviation industry.
- Assisting Barrick Gold with the expansion of the Pueblo Viejo Mine.
- Advising Belfond Enterprises in all procedures before government entities regarding the concession of a mining exploration and exploitation licence, and other matters.
Russin, Vecchi & Heredia Bonetti has a notable track record acting in a wide variety of non-contentious real estate matters, spanning from sales and purchases, financing, development projects to trusts, due diligence and tax matters. Real estate litigation also features in the team's workload; in particular, the team's caseload includes eviction disputes, fraud investigations, inheritance matters and foreclosures. In the tourism space, the firm focuses on tax incentives under the Tourism Incentives Law of the Dominican Republic. Román Medina Diplan and Luis Heredia Valenzuela jointly head the practice.
Roman Medina Diplan; Luis Heredia Valenzuela
‘They have up-to-date and accurate information on the market, and have extensive knowledge.’
‘Availability, extensive knowledge of various fields, quality of service.’
‘Able to work with clients with multiple languages; very responsive and attentive; aware of clients’ needs and attention to making sure they are updated on progress of the case.’
ICAS Ingenieros Constructores & Asociados
Recio & Co.
Rising Bay Investments
Nizao Capital 4 Enterprises
- Assting Mr. Bodeguitas and Tenedora Amanda in a real estate operation involving land for the development of an ambitious self-storage project.
- Assisting Delivery Hero in the implementation of a new project involving premises not open to the public for sale and dispatch of warehouse/supermarket products.
- Advising Rising Bay Investments on the acquisition of a mall located in the tourist area of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Squire Patton Boggs
Squire Patton Boggs' team stands out for its involvement in significant real estate and hospitality transactions in the Dominican Republic. Its recent highlights included advising on transactions for the development of retail outlets and the development of high-end resort and condominium projects. Thanks to its Latin American desks and extensive network, the firm is able to handle an international and multinational workload. American, Latin American and European investors are among the group's key clients and feature prominently in managing partner Alejandro Peña-Prieto's practice. Rhina Martinez Brea is a standout lawyer in this area.
Alejandro Peña-Prieto; Rhina Martinez Brea
DR Development Group
Implementos & Maquinarias
Parque Industrial y Zona Franca Santo Domingo
Gol Linhas Aéreas
Banco Popular Dominicano
- Representing Earthbound Holdings at the Supreme Court in a complex commercial claim seeking damages, involving the alleged breach of an assignment of rights over a lease.
- Acting as legal counsel for DR Development Group and Zejtun Investments in the purchase of several real estate properties for the development of a Ritz Carlton Reserve, property of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
- Advised Implementos y Maquinarias on all legal aspects related to the transfer of rights of a property located in Ciudad Modelo.
At Jiménez Peña, the real estate and tourism team is led jointly by founding partner Luis Julio Jiménez and Vilma Veras, who often co-lead on matters involving foreign investment in Dominican tourism; hotel remodelling and refurbishment; and the set-up of free zones. The group's client base notably includes operators in the hospitality and tourism industries, as well as aviation companies and real estate investment funds. Jiménez is an expert in administrative law, economic regulation, project finance and government relations, and Veras specialises in corporate and commercial work.
Luis Julio Jimenez; Vilma Veras
‘Experienced, responsive, well respected in government and industry circles, good English language skills, good collaboration between RE-tourism and litigation teams.’
La Estancia Golf Resort
Grupo Punta Cana
Hola Tours & Travel
CCS Holding Group
- Advised Marriot International on management agreements for major hotel projects in different locations in the Dominican Republic.
- Advised Sirenis Hotels on all corporate, tax and real estate aspects involved in the $90m remodelling and refurbishment of two of its hotels.
- Assisted Grupo Punta Cana with the setting up of an export free zone around the Punta Cana International Airport for the operation of a logistic hub to provide goods and services related to the operation of the airport.
ONTIER Dominican Republic
ONTIER Dominican Republic specialises in assisting local and international operators in the tourism industry, with an emphasis on hotel chains and foreign investors. Leasing contracts, due diligence, licensing and permits are among the team’s main areas of focus. Real estate acquisitions, construction and tax matters also feature in its workload. Gina Hernández Vólquez jointly leads the practice alongside managing partner José Alburquerque Prieto. Laura Polanco Coste focuses on related tax matters, real estate M&A and the financing of projects and operations.
José Alburquerque Prieto; Gina Hernández Vólquez; Laura Polanco Coste
‘Very pleasant and professional experience. Very good direction, decentralisation. Knowledge of the real estate market, suitable contacts and agility in the processes.’
‘Available and close to the client, they are understanding and transparent, with detailed follow-up.’
Compañía Dominicana de Hipermercados
Hotel Catalonia Bávaro Resort
Inversiones Playa Cabeza de Toro
Inversiones Azul del Este Dominicana
Arriol International Corporation
Fundación Dominicana Universitaria Pedro Henríquez Ureña
Banco de Sabadell
Elias Cornelio & Asociados
World 2 Fly
- Assisted Inversiones Azul del Este Dominicana in project management, including in the feasibility analysis of the design of the tourist project Catalonia Cabeza de Toro before the Ministry of Tourism.
- Advised Inversiones Azul del Este Dominicana on a due diligence process and on the negotiation for the closure of this client’s first urban project in the country.
- Advised Compañía Dominicana de Hipermercados on the leasing contracts of commercial premises for the exploitation of its real estate properties located in the country.
Pereyra & Asociados assists commercial brokers, real estate developers, investors and lenders in a wide spectrum of real estate matters, including drafting and negotiating transactions, permits and licences, tax incentives, as well as project financing and environmental feasibility studies. The team, led by Luis Miguel Pereyra, recently stood out for assisting a foreign bank in a tourism project on the island, which included elements of corporate real estate - Emma Mejía Batlle's specialism - M&A, mortgage issues, leases, labour matters and dispute resolution. Gregorio García focuses on real estate and tourism-related litigation. Estate planning for private clients is also covered by the firm.
Luis Miguel Pereyra
In real estate and tourism, Santroni Parsons' main focus is in assisting hotels and resorts with the development of tourism and property projects, permits, feasibility studies and tax exemptions. The team, which is co-led by highly regarded partners Romina Santroni and Guily Shemer (who was promoted to the partnership in August 2021), leverages its strength in environmental law to act in projects involving sustainable development, urban law, land planning and compliance.
Romina Santroni; Guily Shemer
‘Great experience in different fields, with great specialisation in the tourism and real estate sector. They have great contacts throughout the country, and when starting a project they become 100% involved and become part of the team, working together with total commitment towards the established objective.’
‘Romina Santroni has vast experience in this sector and has a great team, also headed by Guily Shemer.’
‘Tightly-knit younger boutique firm. Romina Santroni is a partner of impressive legal authority, with the correct governmental connections. Guily Shemer is an associate with the energy and commitment to efficiently deliver detailed legal analyses of all matters in hand.’
Moon Palace Resorts
Real Hotel Intercontinental Santo Domingo
Hotel Casas del XVI
Hacienda Samana Bay
Hotel Quality Santo Domingo
Sanctuary Cap Cana
Hotel AC Santiago
Eco del Mar
Inversiones inmobiliarias de la Republica Dominicana
Baobinio Asuncion Inmobiliaria
Hotelera Real del Atlantico
Fideicomiso Andares del Mirador
Courtyard by Marriott Santo Domingo
Constructora Vista Azul
- Acting as key legal and environmental advisor for Moon Palace Punta Cana in all aspects related to the development of a touristic project in the Dominican Republic, an 18-floor luxury all-inclusive hotel.
- Advising the Playa Grande Project in aspects related to real estate transactions, environment (compliance, permits and plans), sustainability strategies, governmental relations, land use and regulatory matters.
- Assisting Hotel Casas del XVI with environment matters, the implementation of the environmental management programme, compliance reports, taxes, permits, training and environmental audits.