Fabara & Compañía‘s ‘commercially oriented‘ team is particularly active in the field of sovereign debt, advising an array of foreign institutions in relation to bond issuances and other transactions involving the Ecuadorian state, with recent work in this field including advice to Goldman Sachs, as the arranger, on the first sovereign social bond issued by Ecuador to finance a programme of mortgage loans. The ‘responsive and knowledgeable‘ Diego Ramírez Mesec heads the team and is highly recommended for international work, frequently acting as local counsel for large foreign firms such as Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Allen & Overy, among others. At the associate level, Diego Pino Roditti is the key name to note for tax matters within the financial industry, while James Keeble López specialises in financial regulatory matters and proceedings. Since publication, the firm has announced a tie-up with fellow local heavyweight, Bustamante & Bustamante, becoming Bustamante Fabara as of November 2021.
Banking and finance in Ecuador
Fabara & Compañía
Diego Ramírez Mesec
‘The team is very commercially oriented and has excellent problem-solving skills.’
‘Diego Ramirez is very responsive and knowledgeable. He provides insightful local law advice which makes commercial sense as well.’
‘Fabara has an in-depth knowledge both of Ecuadorian law and international standards in documentation. They provide practical and expert advice to their clients to get transactions done consistent with local law requirements.’
‘I have worked with Diego Ramirez many times over the years, and he is a gentleman with great knowledge and experience, who facilitates closing deals.’
China Development Bank Corporation
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Corporation
- Advised Goldman Sachs on the first sovereign social bond issued by Ecuador to finance “Casa para Todos”, a programme of mortgage loans for first-time home buyers.
- Advised Credit Suisse on non-deliverable FX trading to hedge exposure to currency risk by Banco Pichincha, the largest private bank in Ecuador.
- Advised Nomura Securities on financial derivatives including bonds to provide finance to Corporación Financiera Nacional, a state-owned development bank in Ecuador.
Pérez Bustamante & Ponce remains one of the strongest firms in Ecuador for banking and finance work, with a client list that includes several major international banks and foreign investors, as well as many of the largest domestic players. Among its recent highlights, the team advised on two interbank loans, including assisting FMO with extending two joint loan facilities to Banco Bolivariano, in addition to handling some of the local market’s most novel deals, including the first two diversified payment rights transactions in Ecuador, in which the firm acted for the foreign arranger on one and the domestic issuer on the other. Bruno Pineda heads the team, which is spread across both Quito and Guayaquil, and is highly experienced in a wide range of matters, including sovereign debt deals, insurance, project financing and capital markets. Ricardo Pérez is the key contact at associate level. Since publication, the team has been further strengthened with the November 2021 hire of Juan Francisco Simone, who specialises in corporate and financial transactions, financial regulation and fintech.
Citigroup Global Markets
International Finance Corporation
- Advised Citibank on the negotiation and execution of two joint loan facilities to a local bank, Banco de Guayaquil.
- Acted as the Ecuadorian adviser to Goldman Sachs Lending Partners, as the arranger, in the first diversified payment rights transaction of its kind in the Ecuadorian market, in which Banco del Pacífico sold diversified payment rights to a foreign vehicle to receive better priced financing from targeted investors abroad.
- Acted as the Ecuadorian adviser to Banco Pichincha on the sale of its diversified payment rights to a foreign vehicle, the second deal of its kind in the Ecuadorian market.
Robalino Law continues to handle a wide range of high-profile banking and financing matters following its departure from the Ferrere network in December 2020 and establishment as an independent domestic firm. The firm has ‘significant experience‘, particularly in cross-border transactions, debt restructurings, project finance, bond offerings and derivatives, in addition to both secured and unsecured loans. Cross-border securitisations are another key area of strength for the team, with ‘excellent‘ practice head Jesús Beltrán advising Banco del Pacífico on the securitisation of existing and future direct payment rights arising from foreign remittances. Beltrán is also particularly noted for his work on debt restructuring, social finance and development finance. However, associate Juan Francisco Simone left the firm in May 2021 to become an advisor at Ecuador’s National Assembly.
‘They have significant experience and knowledge of the subject and the market.’
‘Jesús Beltrán is an excellent lawyer.’
International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group)
IDB Invest (Inter-American Development Bank Group)
Banco de Guayaquil
US International Development Finance Corporation
Banco del Pacifico
Oaktree Capital Management
Franco Nevada Corporation
- Acted as Ecuadorian counsel to Banco del Pacifico in connection with a $200m cross-border securitisation of existing and future direct payment rights arising from foreign remittances, which was underwritten by Goldman Sachs though a Cayman Islands special purpose vehicle.
- Acted as Ecuadorian counsel to Franco Nevada Corporation in an agreement with SolGold to acquire a 1% net smelter royalty with reference to all minerals produced from the Alpala copper-gold project in northern Ecuador for $100m.
- Acted as Ecuadorian and New York counsel to IDB Invest (the private-sector arm of the IDB Group) as investor in a $20m social bond offering by Banco Guayaquil, which was executed locally through the Quito Securities Exchange.
Bustamante & Bustamante is highly active in cross-border financings, with a client list that includes a range of multinational banks as well as borrowers. Recent work has included the restructuring of loans in the infrastructure sector, and local counsel roles on loan deals for multinationals with a presence in Ecuador. Francisco Bustamante and José Rafael Bustamante Crespo head the team, with the former being particularly noted for his work with lenders to the Ecuadorian state such as the European Investment Bank. Since publication, the firm has announced its merger with fellow local firm Fabara & Compañía to become Bustamante Fabara, effective as of November 2021.
Francisco Bustamante; José Rafael Bustamante Crespo
European Investment Bank
- Advised Credicop and Scotiabank on a credit agreement worth $80m granted to to Peruvian companies Ransa Comercial, Almacenera del Perú, Depositos and Procesadora Torre Blanca, as well as Ecuadorian companies Logiran and Transporte Pesado Nacional.
- Represented lender and collateral agent Itaú Corpbanca in a $189m multi-currency credit agreement granted to Hoteles Decameron to refinance its debt.
- Advised the European Investment Bank on a $70m loan granted to the Ecuadorian government to finance the construction of several technical and technological educational institutes.
Coronel & Pérez is highly experienced in a range of financing matters, with recent work including large-scale syndicated loans, debt restructurings and project financing. The firm is also particularly active in government financing matters, and frequently acts on behalf of the Latin American Reserve Fund in its discussions with the Ecuadorian state. Boanerges Rodríguez Freire leads the team from the Guayaquil office, and acts for a range of clients including international banks, funds and development agencies, alongside a substantial domestic client base.
Boanerges Rodríguez Freire
FLAR (Fondo Latinoamericano de Reservas)
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica (BICSA)
Advance Global Capital
- Advising the Latin American Reserve Fund (FLAR) on the structuring of financing in favour of the Ecuadorian state.
- Advising BID Invest on the termination of a financing approved in 2018 for the agro-industrial sector in Ecuador for approximately $35m.
- Advised Cifi Latam on the restructuring of obligations for over $8m.
Lexvalor Abogados is home to a large team with 'excellent experience' in banking and finance, spanning both domestic and cross-border work, with notable recent matters involving the formation of investment trusts to deal with the economic challenges caused by Covid-19, bond issuances and securitisations. Project finance specialist Daniela Irigoyen Samaniego leads the group alongside managing partner Hector Barahona Moncayo and Margoth Chiriboga López, who is highly experienced in capital markets matters, advising firms such as Mercapital and Sucaval on both equity and debt issuances. Senior associate Mariela Moreno Vaca is also noted for financial and securities matters.
Héctor Barahona Moncayo; Daniela Irigoyen Samaniego; Margoth Chiriboga López
‘The team at Lexvalor have excellent experience and specialist knowledge in the field of banking and finance – this is one of their strong points. They understand financial matters, including insurance, fiduciaries, banking, cooperatives and stock market issues. They also have an excellent sense of business and understand how the market works, which sets them apart from other firms.’
‘While other firms might have one or two lawyers who are renowned and experienced, Lexvalor has a team of well-prepared and responsible professionals. They provide a personalised service, are always available to their clients and adapt to our requirements. They are not merely consultants but help us do business, which has made them an important part of our value chain and strategic allies of our organisation.’
‘It is a specialised and capable team which resolves conflicts well and provides a personalised service. They have a track record of getting good results.’
‘Daniela Irigoyen and Mariela Moreno are excellent lawyers who deliver work in a timely manner and are up to date with developments in the market.’
‘Lexvalor has a solid team which is able to handle complex matters, with consistently good results.’
‘They are excellent lawyers.’
‘The team understand the mission, vision and values of our business. They keep in regular contact and are very empathetic with clients. The personal and professional qualities of the team set them apart from other firms.’
‘They are knowledgeable about the market and respected by their colleagues. Margoth Chiriboga stands out for her personal approach and technical knowledge.’
Citibank, Sucursal Ecuador
Mutualista de Ahorro y Crédito para la Vivienda Pichincha
Mercapital Casa de Valores
Su Casa de Valores (Sucaval)
Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Andalucía
- Advised leading brokerage firms Mercapital and Sucaval on the structuring of bond issuances of a total amount of $118m.
- Advised Fideval on the structuring and approval of three new investment funds to manage portfolios.
- Advising Banco Pichincha on the structuring of the “Sumar Juntos” investment trust, established to collect resources and assets to support groups vulnerable to the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.
Carmigniani Pérez Abogados acts for a range of both domestic and foreign banks, investment funds and corporate borrowers, negotiating a variety of loan agreements and other financial structures. Roberto Carmigniani and Pedro Pérez head the team, while Roxana Aguirre is recommended for capital markets work.
Roberto Carmigniani; Pedro Pérez
Ecuadorian firm Paz Horowitz Abogados greatly expanded its capacity for international work through its merger with global powerhouse Dentons to form Dentons Paz Horowitz in July 2021. The 'hugely knowledgeable' Rocio Córdova leads the banking and finance team and focuses her practice on advising foreign lenders in relation to both secured and unsecured loans in Ecuador, as well as local regulations. Jorge Paz Durini is another key figure in the team, with a long track record of advising international financial institutions.
‘The team is always available to assist us with the greatest possible speed, helping us to close transactions efficiently. The team is very knowledgeable about our organisation and so can advise us properly on how to protect our interests.’
‘Rocio Cordova is hugely knowledgeable about the subject and we have no hesitations about her ability. The personalised service that we receive from her is very important to us – we know she will always be available to assist us, even at short notice.’
‘The team provided a very thorough analysis of our matter.’
‘Rocio Cordova’s best qualities are her promptness in responding to queries, clarity in explaining how to resolve problems in the most efficient way, and availability.’
Trilinc Global Sustainable Income Fund II Master
GAWA Capital Partners
Fundacion Nova Assets
- Advised Trilinc Global Impact Fund on a $15m loan agreement.
- Advised GAWA Capital Partners on a loan agreement for €4m negotiated with local microfinance institute Insotec.
- Advised Enabling Qapital on negotiating a $2m loan agreement with local institution Insotec.
Mario Alejandro Flor heads the team at Flor Bustamante Pizarro Hurtado Abogados, with a practice that focuses on infrastructure financing, in addition to handling several more general financing deals for large foreign investors and banks. José Cisneros Pazmiño is another key figure within the team, providing a range of advice across the finance practice, with an emphasis on matters involving the infrastructure sector.
Mario Alejandro Flor
Inter-American Investment Corporation
Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura
Darby Overseas Partners
- Advised BID Invest, as senior lender, on the $230m financing granted to Corporacion Favorita, one of the largest companies in Ecuador.
- Advised Cifi Latam on the $10m financing granted to Ecuador Tower Company to put in place new telecoms towers.
Heka Law Firm is particularly recommended for local counsel work in large international deals, particularly those related to restructurings and distressed situations, such as the firm's recent advice to Qatar Airways on the Ecuadorian aspects of its debtor-in-possession financing of Latam Airlines. The team is led by capital markets specialist Daniel Fernández-Salvador and Juan Andrés Gortaire, who joined the firm from Cordero Moreno Corral in July 2020.
Daniel Fernández-Salvador; Juan Andrés Gortaire
‘An excellent firm.’
Agripac Boliviana Agroindustrial
Proyectos Unidos Empresariales (Prounem)
- Advised Qatar Airways on the Ecuadorian aspects of the negotiation and execution of a debtor-in-possession financing to Latam Airlines for up to $2.4bn.
- Advised Edesa on planning the legal strategy for the restructuring of its debt.
- Advised Proyectos Unidos Empresariales (Prounem) on the structuring of a logistics project.