Firms To Watch: Corporate and M&A

With offices in both Quito and Guayaquil, the team at Consulegis Abogados acts for clients in a range of corporate transactions and company law matters; it also has expertise in the incorporation of simplified joint stock companies.
The Quito-based Solines y Asociados has a broad corporate service offering primarily devoted to corporate transactions and compliance matters, and also evidencing expertise in capitalisation matters.

Corporate and M&A in Ecuador

Bustamante Fabara

The November-2021 merger of Bustamante & Bustamante and Fabara & Compañía saw the establishment of Bustamante Fabara. The combined firm’s corporate practice provides an ‘impeccable’ offering to its roster of domestic and multinational clients, advising on due diligence, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and M&A, among other matters, with the latter representing a key area of work for the firm. José Rafael Bustamante Crespo has expertise in complex cross-border transactions and co-leads the practice alongside ‘very highly recommended‘ corporate practitioner María Rosa Fabara, who stands out for her experience advising foreign clients in connection with M&A and corporate reorganizations. Other key practitioners include senior figure Juan Carlos Bustamante , who has over 50 years’ experience and supports the team in cross-border matters; while Juan Felipe Bustamante focuses on corporate restructurings and foreign investment. At the senior associate level, Kirina González is noted for her work on a range of cross-border transactions; and Andrés Becdach for his handling of foreign direct investment, corporate restructuring, and incorporations.

Practice head(s):

José Rafael Bustamante Crespo; María Rosa Fabara

Testimonials

‘We were attended by Maria Rosa Fabara and Andres Becdach. Both excellent!’

‘Technically they are very strong and have everything necessary to help foreign clients who wish to make investments in Ecuador.’

‘Maria Rosa Fabara and Andres Becdach are excellent lawyers, with a lot of experience with foreign clients, always available.’

‘Impeccable work; very highly recommended. Maria Rosa Fabara is recognized even outside of Ecuador.’

Key clients

Veolia

Grupo Romero

Grupo Werthein

AT&T

Seguros Equinoccial

Equivida Compañía de Seguros

Barnana

Phoenix Tower International

Evergreen

Adium Pharma

Confiteca

Medicamenta Ecuatoriana

Heineken

Work highlights

  • Advised Veolia on the Ecuadorian law aspects of its cash tender offer for the shares of Suez in what is a multibillion-dollar global deal.
  • Advised Grupo Romero on the sale of a majority stake in Grupo Ransa to HIG Capital, a major cross-border deal in Latin America.
  • Fabara y Compañía advised AT&T on the sale of its Vrio business unit (the Latin American arm of DirecTV) to Argentina’s Grupo Werthein, whch was -in turn- advised by Bustamante & Bustamante.

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

Full-service market powerhouse Pérez Bustamante & Ponce fields a 40 strong corporate practice (including 15 corporate tax advisers) and can comfortably undertake sizeable transactions and mandates. Recent highlights saw the team advise Procesadora Nacional de Alimentos on the purchase and lease of all poultry-company Avesca Avicola Ecuatoriana’s productive assets – a transaction that also involved employment matters, service agreements, trade mark licensing and a purchase option agreement as well as the contractual framework to implement the deal. Handling this matter and leading the wider corporate practice is Diego Pérez, who has profound experience in transactions involving both domestic and foreign companies. Fellow partner Juan Manuel Marchán heads up the firm’s growing Guayaquil presence and frequently handles M&A work related to infrastructure and projects. On the corporate side, the team has benefitted from Esteban Ortiz Mena’s July-2021 return (as a partner) from the Superintendencia de Compañias, Valor y Seguros; his practice focuses on company law, corporate affairs and corporate governance matters. At associate level, senior Andrés Brown is an up-and-coming figure of note; admitted to practice in Spain, New York and Ecuador, he regularly advises clients on local and international transactions in relation to acquisitions, joint ventures, asset purchases and share purchase agreements.

Practice head(s):

Diego Pérez

Testimonials

‘Simply our firm in Ecuador! Its team is of excellent level, available and delivers on time. Its team is spectacular, Juan Manuel Marchán and Diego Pérez, they are the people I have a working relationship of approximately 20 years.’

‘PBP has accompanied us since the beginning of our project in Ecuador, they have been a law firm that has understood the complexities of the business and has been an invaluable support for our operation. We believe that the attention provided by Juan Manuel Marchán and the PBP team is first class and we recommend it.’

‘The plus that we consider makes them stand out is in-depth work and with a lot of knowledge of the client’s business. In particular, we want to highlight the hands-on work that Juan Manuel Marchán does in the corporate and transactional areas, we fully trust his criteria and consider him a strategic business ally.’

‘Juan Manuel Marchán is a pro-client and service-oriented lawyer. He is commercially driven and always willing to hear and accept a practical approach over technical and sometimes unnecessary discussions.’

‘PBP is the most complete firm in Ecuador. It has lawyers with the technical capacity, disposition and speed that are usually required in M&A operations, regardless of the industry in question. It has work standards equal to what one would expect to receive from a top-tier international firm.’

‘Diego Pérez is an excellent team leader. He not only has vast legal knowledge but also an ideal personality to be able to carry out complex negotiations. It is always a pleasure to be able to work with Diego. Juan Manuel Marchán is a very complete lawyer, with in-depth knowledge of corporate matters and M&A. His capacity for response and organization is admirable, as well as his commitment to work. He is a partner that you can certainly trust for any M&A transaction in Ecuador, both from the point of view of quality of work and speed.’

‘Undoubtedly, the novelty of PBP compared to other firms is the internal synergies of the team. All team members are always willing to help the client, which makes their service fantastic and at the level of the best firms we have worked with in the region. PBP is truly a multidisciplinary team in which all the lawyers work towards a single goal, the well-being and comfort of the client.’

‘Knowledge of the M&A practice and attention to detail is outstanding. Clearly, PBP is the key player in the transactional M&A practice, due to its professionalism and the internal synergies of the global PBP team. Knowledge of the practice and professional background of each of the team members is the factor that differentiates PBP from its competitors. Juan Manuel Marchán has an excellent ability to communicate his ideas and a spectacular ability to handle complex situations. Andrés Brown is an excellent lawyer who not only has a deep knowledge of M&A, but also has the virtue of making everything easier. Andrés’ commercial sense places him as a key player in the practice of the region.’

Key clients

San Miguel Industrias PET

DP World

Continental Grain

Seaboard Corporation

Procesadora Nacional de Alimentos

Arca Continental

Inchcape

Autolider

Metropolitan Touring

Visa International

Conjunto Nacional Clínico

Hospital Metropolitano

Corporación Maresa Holding (CMH)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Procesadora Nacional de Alimentos in the purchase and lease of all productive assets of Ecuadorian poultry company Avesca Avicola Ecuatoriana.
  • Advised Arca Continental Alimentos y Botanas on the acquisition of Carlita Snacks Carlisnacks CIA.
  • Acted as local counsel (in conjunction with Morrison Foerster) to Visa International on its purchase of telecommunications and technology multinational, Yellow Pepper Corporation.

CorralRosales

CorralRosales often ‘exceeds expectations’ when it comes to instructing high-profile foreign businesses with regard to operations in Ecuador. With a full-service offering, the practice acts for the likes of Nestlé, Bayer and Marriot Hotels on a range of M&A, corporate restructurings, financing transactions and shareholder agreements. Recently, it acted for "Internet of Things" company Location World Holdings on a restructuring tailored towards the transfer of a holding company to a foreign market and the opening of several subsidiaries across Latin America. The matter was led by Leading this matter and heading the wider corporate practice is founding partner Xavier Rosales, who is highly-regarded for his work on complex cross-border transactions. Co-founding partner Francisco Rosales, along with Santiago Palacios  and Rafael Rosales, round out the practice’s four-partner team, further extending the firm’s expertise regarding entry into the Ecuadorian market: all three are senior figures who have amassed considerable experience across the corporate transactional spectrum. From the associate ranks, seniors Milton Carrera and Ricardo Mancheno are both highlighted for their broad practices that range across corporate day-to-day matters to transactional and immigration work.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Rosales

Testimonials

‘Corral Rosales is a firm that has an excellent reputation from different aspects, mainly in terms of experience and ethics. It is capable of offering legal services in the different branches of law, guaranteeing the experience, capacity, and knowledge of its team.’

‘They remain open to support their clients with the opening and availability of schedules according to the client’s needs. As an in-house lawyer for a company, I feel fully supported by the firm.’

‘Its adaptation during the pandemic was essential given the limitations of access to meetings and travel. I highlight the organization and discipline they have not only for the attention of queries and procedures but also the administrative part, especially the control of hours and billing.’ 

‘It is excellent, very thorough, excellent recommendations, high review of the case with alternatives and with the best options and times for the client.’

‘His times, his diligence, his recommendations, understanding the client’s business. Xavier Rosales and Milton Carrera.’

‘They manage to stand out both in the knowledge of the areas such as the business and customer needs. This allows them to respond by going the extra mile and exceeding customer expectations. I have worked with several law firms in Ecuador and none compare to CorralRosales.’

‘The service and attention to what the client needs. There will always be risks but the experience they have comes to light and gives them the peace of mind to think of solutions. Xavier Rosales is absolutely wonderful.’ 

Key clients

Nestlé

Bayer

IBM

Grupo Familia

COPEC

Immunotec

United Airlines

Mastercard

Fresenius Medical Care

BMI

Nielsen

Claro

General Electric

Ferrero

Grünenthal

Terpel

Yildirim

SAP

Syngenta

Securitas

Fresenius Kabi

Santillana

Work highlights

  • Advised Nielsen in the sale of its Global Connect business to Advent International, on a matter valued at $2.7bn.
  • Advised Palladin Consumer Retail Partners in the acquisition of a majority stake in Decowraps.
  • Represented CBOE Global Markets in connection with the sale of ETF.com by ETFS Capital.

ECIJA GPA

With the opening of its new office in Manta in February 2022, ECIJA GPA has further expanded its capabilities and coverage, with the firm’s corporate offering exhibiting a particular orientation towards high-profile European clients seeking advice on a range of cross-border M&A work. (Indeed this expansion comes on the back of the opening of a Guayaquil office last year and a considerable expansion of the team, which has jumped from around 25 lawyers to 60 in the last four years). A focus on the energy sector also means the firm acts for clients such as Nobilé Group and Hoerbiger Group, advising them on the incorporation of local subsidiaries and the restructuring of shareholder agreements, respectively, of late. Leading the team is Michael Veintimilla, who has over 15 years’ experience in M&A and competition matters, and the additional ability to advise clients in German. Also noted for his cross-border work and foreign language skills, Bayardo Poveda often advises French clients on M&A transactions an associated corporate matters. At associate level, Gustavo Arrobo and Karen Álava are both noted and bring particular expertise in commercial contracting matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Veintimilla

Testimonials

‘We have been in contact with ECIJA for a year. The law firm with Michael Veintimilla was recommended to us by the German Chamber of Foreign Trade (AHK) in Quito. We entrusted it with analyses on a legal form for our foundation in Ecuador and finally appointed it as our authorised representative. The firm is characterised by its outstanding competence and quick response to concerns and requests; it provides targeted information and elaborations.’

‘Our main contact and representative for our foundation is Michael Veintimilla, who can act for our interests in three languages (Spanish, German and English). This is of immense advantage. He is competent and has expert solutions for all questions and concerns. The work results are excellent. The reactions are very fast.’

‘Among the strengths is the knowledge of the processes and the applicable regulations so that an adequate response can be requested from the relevant authorities, in addition to the follow-up of the processes.’

‘Multi-Language (German, English and Spanish in our case). Wide service range, from support in elaborating solutions to defense in court.’

‘Michael Veintimilla is a great contact for beginning-to-end support (intitial explanation/brainstorming, process of opening and closing branch, local support for activites (such as banks).’

‘ECIJA is a strategic ally for the management of the company. Its experience and agility are its strongest letter of introduction.’

‘Its treatment is very professional, direct and cordial.’

Key clients

Eni International

Hoerbiger Group

WTZ

Nobilé Group

SMBC Aviation Capital

Ineo UTS

Ferremundo

Hotel del Mar

Maquinarias y Vehiculos

Grupo Mavesa

Work highlights

  • Advised Nobilé Group on finalizing an acquisition transaction, including all required registrations in the local jurisdiction in the province of Loja.
  • Advised Geran company, WTZ, on simplifying and streamlining its operations in Ecuador.
  • Advised Ferremundo on the execution of a contract with the Ecuadorian government (through the ministry of production) so as to obtain tax benefits for investments.

Lexvalor Abogados

Lexvalor Abogados continues to grow and consolidate its presence in the upper echelons of Ecuador’s corporate sector, with the 22-strong practice busy across the full range of transactional matters and associated corporate assistance; in particular it’s activity has focused on the incorporation of companies using the simplified stock company structures, and on the migration of limited companies to this “SAS” model. The corporate practice is jointly led by firm president Alfredo Peñaherrera Wright, securities specialist Margoth Chiriboga López, and increasingly key corporate practitioner Juan Francisco Almeida; their combined experience encompasses, M&A, capital markets and financing, and the full range of corporate advisory matters. While Peñaherrera Wright’s practice centres on M&A, Ricardo Peñaherrera handles corporate, competition and data privacy matters, and is also noted for his expertise in restructurings and commercial contracts. Moreover, the corporate partner-level bench was strengthened with the arrival of Gabriela Guzmán Flores and Fabricio Dávila as part of the absorption of Axis Consultores Legales (a 2019 spin-off from Coronel & Pérez), which also gives the firm a presence in Guayaquil. At associate level, senior María Pia Rivadeneira is the name to note; she is particularly active with clients in the pharmaceutical sector.

Practice head(s):

Alfredo Peñaherrera Wright; Margoth Chiriboga; Juan Francisco Almeida

Testimonials

‘There are several reasons that make Lexvalor different. In the first place, it is necessary to highlight the deep technical knowledge they have of the legislation, in particular of all the laws that may have an impact.’

‘Lexvalor Abogados is a full service firm, specialized in various legal matters with an extensive understanding of the business. in which we are immersed, this is of vital importance when solving our needs.’

‘The team knows how to integrate to work perfectly with all areas of the company and all the executives who work in the company. In fact, the rapport between Alfredo Peñaherrera and Ricardo Peñaherrera has reached such a level that all company executives know them, can speak with them directly and know in which cases they should consult them. Thus, their abilities to work in a team and to know the internal processes of the company are remarkable when dealing with external advisors for the company. Finally, we are aware of the different efforts and innovations that have been carried out at Lexvalor, which are always aimed at improving the services they offer us.’

‘Both Alfredo Peñaherrera and Ricardo Peñaherrera stand out for their knowledge of the law. They differ from other lawyers in that they know our industry in great depth, which allows them to understand the impact of laws and bills in the National Assembly, and they inform us of the changes or adjustments that we need, even before, allowing the company to make inquiries.’

‘They maintain very good relations with the authorities, which facilitates daily activities in legal matters. Alfredo Peñaherrera is a very reliable person, with an excellent ability to understand legal problems and find solutions. His experience in transactions and negotiations on behalf of the company are remarkable. These qualities were reflected in its management in the negotiations and instrumentation of contracts and reforms of the loans that the company has contracted, as well as all its participation in the purchase of a very important supermarket and retail chain.’

‘Lexvalor lawyers are always available to the corporation, no matter the day or time, they are always ready to resolve our needs, they are a fundamental piece in the development of the group.’

‘The team is extremely knowledgeable about our business and the law, which allows them to give precise advice for the reality of the company.’

‘Human quality and its sharing with our corporate values. Alfredo Peñaherrera and Ricardo Peñaherrera are exceptional in their work and quality of responses.’

Key clients

Fideval

Corporación Favorita

Vallejo Araujo

Nestlé

DirecTV

Grupo Difare

Superdeporte

Jabonería Wilson

Industrial Ales

Alpina Productos Alimenticios

Unión Cementera Nacional

Arbaro Fund

Industrial Ales

Work highlights

  • Advised Unión Cementera Nacional on its $30m acquisition of Enermundo.
  • Advised Grupo Link on the sale of part of its business to Spanish group BTS.
  • Advise Ecuamolsa on the acquisition of a flour mill, along with its operations, from Universal Sweets Industries.

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados

Working from its offices in Quito and Guayaquil, Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados’ corporate practice is co-led by firm managing partner Patricio Peña (corporate and commercial law, M&A, capital markets, and banking & finance) in the capital; and Marcelo Torres (corporate and commercial law, M&A, and labour matters) in the country’s key industrial base, the port city of Guayaquil. The team handles a broad range of corporate and commercial work, with a focus on restructuring, governance, and financing agreements – although, M&A also represents a key area of work for the firm.  At the associate level, key support comes from corporate and commercial law focused senior Patricia Marchán, with fellow senior Francisco Larrea  and María Elena Sanmartín -both of whom primarily focus on oil, gas and power matters- also active members of the corporate practice group.

Practice head(s):

Patricio Peña; Marcelo Torres

Testimonials

‘The attention of its lawyers is personalized to our operations. NPT staff is involved from the beginning until the case is closed.’

‘Very good legal support in corporate legal matters.’

‘Patricio Peña has very solid knowledge and experience, very good contacts in the public and private environments, proactive and in good timing advise.’

‘Excellent coordination and definition of the legal strategy.’

‘The office is very well connected centrally, it has prestigious and recognized lawyers.’

‘Analytical, subject matter experts and thorough.’

Key clients

Heineken International

Grupo Produfuente

Asociación de Productores de Biocombustibles del Ecuador

Pinturas Unidas

Comercializadora Nutrimed

Nestlé

Iván Bohman

Transfuel Group

AIFA

Minutocorp

Abcalsa

Inversiones BalesiaTowers

Casabaca

Inmobiliaria Omicron

Solubles Instantaneos

Barry Callebaut

Asociación De Empresas De Courier Asemec

Sociedad De Inversiones F Y A

Drinzo

Sociedad Nacional De Galapagos

Expalsa Exportadora De Alimentos

Citibank

Grupo Cobra

Banco Santander

Banco Latinoamericano De Comercio Exterior

Zurich Ecuador

Telefónica

Quanta Services

Cisco Systems

Herdoiza Crespo Construcciones

Interoc

Carlita Snacks Carlisnacks

Trenes Caf Venezuela

Adecco

Dhl Express

Ecuahielo

Laboratorios Industriales Farmacéuticos Ecuatorianos, Life

Soderal Sociedad de Destilación De Alcoholes

Plásticos Del Litoral Plastlit

Grupo Holco

Grupo Corpesa

Unión Ferretera

Axaquímica

Exposynergy

Pesquera Polar

Llorente & Cuenca

Etfs Capital

Goldman Sachs

Roddome Pharmaceutical

Edisa

Federación Nacional de Azucareros del Ecuador

InDriver

Global Ratings

Laboratorios Biomont

AGP

Grupo Jácome

Santa Elena Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Advised Exposynergy in carrying out the subscription process of an investment contract between Exposynergy and the Ecuadorian State.
  • Advised Nature Barrels on an NFT merchandise project, with a strong focus on sustainability, to be released in 2022.

Robalino

Now operating from offices in Quito, Guayaquil, Manta, Machala and -since November 2021- Cuenca, Robalino Law continues to grow its participation in a range of complex corporate, commercial, and M&A matters. Clients highlight the team’s ‘level of commitment and attention to detail by the partners‘, ‘agility in response‘ and ‘excellent attention to and follow-up on the topics‘, suggesting the lawyers ‘become more than advisors, a true partner‘. The practice group -over 30-strong and including six partners- is a near-constant presence in significant transactions in the market; recent matters include acting for the shareholders of Avesca on the company’s sale to Pronaca, via a seller’s financing scheme. The advisory was co-led by Martín Pallares and Jesús Beltrán, who also jointly lead the corporate and M&A practice; both have extensive experience in the full range of corporate transactional matters, including private equity projects. Other key members of the team include senior partner Javier Robalino, whose multifaceted practice takes in high-end M&A work; and -heading up the Guayaquil office- Ernesto Weisson, who is recommended for his work on restructurings and joint ventures. At associate level, senior Juan Bernando Guarderas and Daniel Peré are key contacts for corporate and transactional matters. Since the conclusion of research, Beltran and Guaderas have left the firm for Bustamante Fabara (effective as of September 2022), as have Weisson and Peré, the following month, the latter pair moving to Deloitte.

Practice head(s):

Martín Pallares

Testimonials

‘Good people management.’

‘The level of commitment and attention to detail by the partners assigned to the transaction. The use of multidisciplinary resources to address technical issues and the ability to effectively use legal resources to achieve business objectives.’

‘Martín Pallares: Technical knowledge and business vision.’

‘Always available, a lot of experience in the Ecuadorian market, flexibility and good understanding of the client’s WoW, their business needs.’

‘A lot of agility in response, that is greatly appreciated, especially in the face of scenarios where there is little time to achieve very specific objectives in such complicated times with the pandemic, travel and the impossibility of holding face-to-face meetings.’

‘Excellent attention and follow-up to the topics. They become more than advisors a true partner, key to the company for the opening of a new market.’

‘Robalino as a firm has given us an outstanding legal counselling in our recent M&A transactions. The expertise the firm has in terms of due diligence processes, and SHA/SPA contracts has given us great results in closing our deals without any contingencies nor unplanned consequences.’

‘The firms as a whole is a great firm but we should give credit to Martín Pallares for his SHA/SPA expertise.’

Key clients

Socofar

FEMSA

La Fabril

3M

Bomi Group

Omni Invest Omninvest

Kimberly Clark

H&M

Cargill

Kushki

Colgate

Work highlights

  • Advised Avesca’s shareholders in its sale to egg producer and incubator Pronaca via a sellers’ finance scheme.
  • Advised Agroapoyo’s shareholders in the sale and share swap of shares to Californian company Barnana Snacks.
  • Advised Ufinet in the purchase of a majority stake in Negocios y Telefonía Nedetel, a top three wholesale player in the country.

Apolo Abogados

Apolo Abogados is perhaps best known for its focus on the export industry, with a corporate practice that features a client base revolving around aquaculture, fishing, and shipping. Beyond these sectors, the firm also advises auto-importers including Grupo Induauto and delivery platform services such as Delivery Hero. With experience that ranges across capital markets matters, M&A transactions, and the implementation of commercial contracts, the team is co-led by Rafael Balda Santistevan and Andrés Suárez . Key corporate associate Adelina Barahona Gonzalez focuses on structuring arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Balda Santistevan; Andrés Suárez Trujillo

Testimonials

‘Apolo has an excellent team, with experts in different areas of the legal field. They are very up-to-date and are top-notch professionals, unlike other studios that do not have professionals trained in different legal areas.’

‘Their professionalism, quality of people, kindness and transparency stands out.’

‘Each team member is an expert in a different legal area and they support us very efficiently.’

‘The Apolo lawyers carries out a complete and multidisciplinary accompaniment in all the matters that we have requested, with the speed and the treatment that they always given us being important for us.’

‘Their theoretical knowledge, reactivity and close and professional treatment.

Key clients

Isca Camaronera – Grupo Fajardo

Shrimpcorp

Grupo Burgos

Sopace

Monica Mora

Grupo Solano

Delivery Hero

SC Johnson

Induauto

Agrizon

Work highlights

  • Advised Sopace on the acquisition of a business that consists of an industrial shrimp processing plant, incouding the drafting of various agreements in order to ensure all the assets inherent to the business were transferred.
  • Undertook due diligence on behalf of Cosco Shipping Lines Ecuador, so as to facilitate the forming of a new company and the signing of a joint venture agreement with Delpac.
  • Negotiated and drafted contractual documents for Induwagen to obtain the representation and distribution of SMAC brand vehicles and spare parts manufactured by the Chinese company SAIC Maxus Automotive.

Carmigniani Pérez

The 16-strong, Guayaquil-based Carmigniani Pérez Abogados has a close focus on corporate and M&A along with the complimentary areas of banking (and finance), competition, corporate risk management and dispute resolution. The team is led by dual-qualified (Ecuador/New York) founding partner Pedro Pérez, whose corporate practice centres on inbound matters and foreign investment; his recent mandates include asisting Chilean group SAAM with the $9.26m acquisition of a gantry crane from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries – a mandate on which he also undertook the financing aspects. Litigator Daniel Dziouba (who was raised to the partnership in January 2022), also handles M&A advisory matters and financings; while at associate level, key support is provided by dedicated corporate and transactional practitioner, Alfonso Trujillo. Former senior associate Priscilla Falconi left the firm in mid-2021.

Practice head(s):

Pedro Pérez

Key clients

Credimatic

Banco Bolivariano

Oro Verde Hotels

Inarpi

Ecoventura

Canodros

Berlin Group

Consorcio Ecuatoriano de Telecomunicaciones

Sinohydro Corporation

Expalsa

Work highlights

  • Advised Banco Bolivariano, Banco Internacional, and Produbanco in the sale of their shares in a leading credit card processing company, to a Spanish group for $7.5m.
  • Advised Inarpi on the purchase of a ship-to-shore handling gantry crane for $9m, as well with the financing of said operation with Banco Santander.
  • Advised Oro Verde Hotels in the negotiation and acquisition of a hotel in Ecuador for $1.3m.

Dentons Paz Horowitz

The establishment of Dentons Paz Horowitz (the result of the July 2021 integration of local firm Paz Horowitz Abogados into the Dentons network) marks the arrival of a major global platform in the Ecuadorian market. With a particular focus in M&A, the practice advises domestic and multinational clients on a range of transactions, but is also regarded for its work on restructurings and capital processes. Leading the team is well known market figure, senior partner Jorge Paz. He in turn is flanked by Juan Carlos Pérez and David Benalcazar – both of whom have over 20 years’ experience; Perez maintains a broad corporate practice, while Benalcazar is closely focused on corporate advisory and company law – ensuring that he is frequently active on contractual review and structuring matters. Younger partners Agustin Acosta (corporate/M&A, public procurement, compliance and regulatory), and Rocio Córdova (corporate and contractual matters, M&A, corporate restructuring and corporate governance), are also integral members of the practice, with Acosta acting as corporate practice coordinator. At senior associate level, practice directors María del Mar Heredia, Paulo Maruri and Gabriel Santelices all participate in corporate and transactional matters as part of their wider practices.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Paz; Agustín Acosta; Rocío Córdova

Testimonials

‘Very trained, accessible and great professionals.’

‘In our type of business, lawyers need to know how each part of our business works and the services they offer us, since we are negotiating and signing agreements or contracts all the time. In this context, as corporate lawyers, we have received from Dentons Paz Horowitz that support and advice, which has allowed us to improve our internal process of analysis, review, corrections of contracts and be more agile to be able to finish on time with the negotiations and requirements of our clients. and future clients.’

‘The plus that makes the work of Dentons Paz Horowitz stand out is the organization and quick agile responses to our requirements, we feel very happy with the partner assigned to our account Agustín Acosta, I always highlighted the great capacity that Agustín has to negotiate and reach agreements, is very recursive when negotiating looking for a win-win for the parties.’

Key clients

Aqua Expeditions

Siigo

Zukalo

Quifatex

Oriental Industria Alimenticia

New Stratus Energy

Baker Hughes

Belia Trading

Mafer Real Estate

Juliecom

Quasar Expeditions

Hotel Colon Internacional

Titan Minerals

Mosumi

Motransa

Lexmark International

Talma Ecuador Servicios Aeroportuarios

Lidenar

Durini & Guerrero Abogados

Durini & Guerrero Abogados is noted for handling a range of M&A, capital raising, and commercial contract work for local and international corporations looking to initiate or develop their business activities in Ecuador. Operating from offices in both Quito and Guayaquil, the team is led by founding partner Felipe Durini and senior associate Max Salcedo. Durini maintains a broad practice that takes in corporate matters but Salcedo has a closer focus on the area and has experience in general corporate matters (be they company law-related, contractual or transactional), as well as on capital increases, M&A, and spin-offs, dissolutions and liquidations; he also has a tax aspect to his practice. Fellow partners Juan Francisco Guerrero Juan Francisco Guerrero and Emilio Suárez Salazar both also regularly lead on corporate mandates and transactions. Senior associate Pedro Campozano Cruz leads the Guayaquil office and handles corporate matters as part of his wider practice that also takes in real estate, among other matters. The team was further strengthened with the June-2021 hire of associate Gabriela Del Salto, formerly at  Consulegis Abogados.

Practice head(s):

Felipe Durini; Max Salcedo

Key clients

Nipro Medical Corporation

Alvarez Larrea Equipos Medicos Alem

Vallescan

Hyundai Group

Easysoft

KIA Group

Agroindustrias Tomardie

Hanaska Group

EQR- Equatoroses

Proají

Capricornus Holding

Garner Espinosa

Ecuatoriana de Servicios, Inmobiliaria y Construcción

Prosunat

Novacargo

Servipallet

Baker Tilly

Work highlights

  • Advised Alvarez Larrea Equipos Medicos Alem in relation to a vote at the general meeting of Hospital del Rio Hospirio, where it holds a 17% shareholding, to approve the repurchase of the company’s trust rights from Financiera Unión del Sur.
  • Advised Honda on the acquisition of Cardiomil, in order to acquire strategic land valued at $1.6m by means of a corporate liquidation scheme.
  • Advised Easysoft on the corporate and commercial structuring for the implementation of a new business model.

Pino Elizalde Abogados

The corporate practice at Pino Elizalde Abogados  undertakes M&A transactions, joint ventures, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and corporate restructurings, and has seen particular growth in terms of transactional mandates related to the real estate and agribusiness-exports sectors over the last couple of years. Clients highlight ‘great teamwork‘ and the firm prides itself on the corporate practice’s thorough integration with its other capabilities – particularly in tax, antitrust, IP, litigation, capital market and compliance. The team is led by name-partner Daniel Pino, who handles strategic corporate matters, corporate restructurings, international investment, financial and capital markets, commercial arbitration & bankruptcy proceedings, typically for clients in the oil, mining and natural resources, brewing & beverages, retail, pharmaceutical and agroindustrial sectors. At associte level, key support comes from dedicated corporate practitioner Fernanda Guzmán, with tax-specialist senior Montserrat Sánchez also leaning into the corporate areas as necessary. Associate Paulette Ocampo left the firm in April 2022 to join the Presidencia de la República del Ecuador as a regulatory specialist.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Pino

Testimonials

‘Personalised assistance and good service.’

‘Pino Elizalde differs from the rest due to the skills and knowledge that its partners have in the different branches of law, they are always cordial and ready to help their clients solve their problems or needs, a very direct and cordial relationship.’

‘Daniel Pino is a trained lawyer, his level of knowledge in different areas of law makes him stand out from the rest.’

‘Excellent people.’

‘Very united and agile team.’

‘Great knowledge on the points covered.’

‘Great teamwork.’

Key clients

Cervecería Nacional

The Tesalia Springs Company

Biosuper

Pigalle

Laboratorios Dr A Bjarner

Grupo Fajardo

Tropical Fruit Export

Biofeeder

Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila

Ecoluxen

Mincosmo

Assistecviajes

Work highlights

  • Advised Panasonic on matters relating to its daily operations in Ecuador, including contractual issues, import tariffs, custom regulations, and the liquidation of the company.
  • Advised Diebold Nixdorf on the banking regulator’s demand that it should be considered an “auxiliary entity”.
  • Advised Expoguayaquil in connection with its fulfilment of multiple corporate requirements, including board meetings, and rental and supply contracts.

Tobar ZVS

Tobar ZVS is among the most technologically advanced of firms – certainly in Ecuador – and even offers an online self-service facility (“ExponentiaLaw”) for certain matters. On the corporate front, the eight-strong practice group handles the full spectrum of corporate and transactional work, including corporate design, restructuring and governance, project financing and M&A, for a diverse client roster primarily drawn from the construction, infrastructure, mining, pharmaceuticals, media, food, beverage, and energy & natural resources sectors. Managing partner Bernardo Tobar (the driving force behind the firm’s technological advances) is the key figure and practice head for corporate matters – his practice encompasses M&A, private equity, financing, corporate structuring, investment protection and risk management; his recent mandates include advising Flower Investment Capital Fund on a number of acquisitions in the exports sector. Also at partner level, Alvaro Sevilla is head of the firm’s competition and antitrust practice but also undertakes the structuring of legal business vehicles, commercial contracting, M&A and project finance. Significant associate suport is provided by senior Hipatia Donoso, who assists with M&A, handles data protection and is director of the firm’s legaltech department; and associate Ana Mogollón, who divides her time between corporate matters and dispute resolution. Former senior associate Agustin Mora-Bowen left to join Greenberg Traurig LLP as a foreign associate in early 2022 and is currently pursuing his LLM at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law. In other significant developments, May 2022 saw the firm announce that it had entered into a strategic alliance with global-insurance firm Kennedys.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Tobar

Testimonials

‘Tobar ZVS has provided services to the company where I work for several years in different areas. What strengthens it, from my point of view, is that the firm’s team has specialties, which allows it to provide comprehensive advice for any legal query and does not depend on a single partner to highlight its practice.’

‘Personally, I consider that the most outstanding thing about the firm is that its advice is not limited to consultation, but rather that it transmits recommendations for strategy, planning, and risk anticipation, which is an essential contribution in decision-making.’

‘I want to highlight the technological tools that the firm has available to clients, which allows a permanent and online review of the status of cases and allows updated and structured information.’

Key clients

Flower Investment Capital Fund

Luminex Group

Sony Pictures Entertainment

essity

The Coca Cola Company

Federal Express – Fedex / Grupo Entregas Especiales

Dystar

Work highlights

  • Advised Flower Investment Capital Fund on several acquisitions of flower exporters with a combined value of $33m, as wel as with the subsequent corporate restructuring of the group.
  • Advised Luminex Group on a tax-efficiency led restructuring of its holding company in Ecuador.
  • Advised The Coca Cola Company on routine corporate and labour matters including new labour regulations issued in response of the pandemic.

Cevallos Casals Balseca & Bilbao Abogados

Probably best known for its profile in the public law sector, Cevallos Casals Balseca & Bilbao Abogados nevertheless has an active corporate practice that primarily advises on M&A advisory, due diligence, company formation and liquidation, the full range of company law matters (from company books to general meetings), and relations with regulatory bodies such as the Superintendencia de Compañías, Valores y Seguros. It also has a reputation for the negotiation of cooperation and subcontract agreements in the procurement space. The practice is co-led by Daniela Cevallos (administrative law, public procurement, TMT),  and Carlos Julio Balseca, who divides his time between corporate and tax matters. The partner-level team is completed by Roberto Bilbao who, in turn, divides his practice between corporate and dispute resolution, and also has a particular focus on the oil and gas industry. Senior associate Valeria Naranjo, who provides advice on all aspects of administrative contracts, including their drafting and negotiation, is also a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Daniela Cevallos; Carlos Julio Balseca

Testimonials

‘They are capable of joining multidisciplinary teams and face ambiguous situations with remarkable skills and respect for the skills of other members who make up the groups that run the company.’

‘CCB has great attention to detail and from a single event they can generate multiple reasonable options.’

‘The time and dedication towards customer service and conflict resolution by Carlos Balseca and Daniela Cevallos is far superior in quantity and quality to what we have received from other groups in the past.’

‘Personalized attention and extensive knowledge on the matter consulted. 360 degree vision.’

‘Availability and attention to consultations and total dedication to the case assigned by the partner.’

Key clients

OCP TECH

Hygge

Berkanafarma

CNEEC

CiberC

CiberCall

Endeavour

MerkaCorp

ZTE Corporation

TotalTek

Tekmarkco

Unión Eléctrica

Filestorage

New Fortress Energy

Coronel & Pérez

Guayaquil-headquartered Coronel & Pérez regularly acts for clients – particularly from the tourism, energy and agriculture industries – in connection with a range of corporate operations, commercial contracts and regulatory issues. César Coronel Jones and Hernán Pérez Loose co-lead the practice from Guayaquil and are particularly active in relation to the negotiation of investment contracts. Senior associate Felix Ivan Reyes, whose practice takes in both corporate and dispute resolution matters, is also an integral member of the team. Former partner Boanerges Rodríguez Freire  and associate Boanerges Rodríguez Velásquez left the firm in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

César Coronel Jones; Hernán Pérez Loose

Key clients

Cridesa

Metropolitan Touring

Wellbore Integrity Solutions

Forever Living Productos de Ecuador

Probanaexport

Grupo Wong

Electroquil

Interagua

Dentalislatam

Cámara de Comercio de Guayaquil

Chubb Seguros Ecuador

Solvay Ecuador

Work highlights

  • Counselled Cridesa on all matters concerning the core business of the company.
  • Advised Metropolitan Touring on a variety of corporate matters, including the drafting of commercial contracts, advising on new investments, and obtaining several local authorisations for its operation.
  • Advised Electroquil on a variety of corporate matters, including in relation to corporate finance,  corporate governance, and litigation.

Falconi Puig Abogados

Falconi Puig Abogados The corporate practice at Falconi Puig Abogados was given a significant boost in mid-2021 with the arrival of Priscilla Falconi - a former senior associate at Carmigniani Pérez - as a partner. With a practice that takes in corporate, company and contractual matters along with dispute resolution, she now co-leads the department in conjunction with Lucía Cordero (public procurement, company and commercial law, labour law and IP), and associate practice director María Isabel Machado, who also heads up the firm's compliance practice. The team is well-regarded for its work in connection with the incorporation and/or restructuring of businesses and companies, and also has a focus on the negotiation of shareholder agreements and corporate governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Lucía Cordero; Priscilla Falconi; María-Isabel Machado

Flor Bustamante Pizarro Hurtado Abogados

The corporate practice at Flor Bustamante Pizarro Hurtado Abogados was boosted earlier in 2022 with the firm’s incorporation of an competition and antitrust group (from the former Antitrust Consultores) which should further facilitate the team’s participation in transactional matters – especially in the regulated areas of energy, natural resources, telecommunications and retail where it is most active. The practice is led by experienced name partners Mario Flor and Agustin Hurtado , who both undertake corporate and transactional work as part of their broader practices, but it is probably Jorge Pizarro who is the most dedicated corporate practitioner; his recent mandates include leading the team that advised Paysafe Merchant Services on the local aspects of it $441m acquisition of SafetyPay. Also at partner level, Verónica Ruales divides her time between corporate advisory and a part-time in house role. At associate level, other key practice figures include: corporate-finance specialist Alejandro Pérez ; Juan Carlos Herrera, who focuses on commercial, corporate and contractual matters in relation to the mining sector; and Carlos Torres, who in addition to his involvement in the energy sector, co-leads the start-ups and ventures practice, which focuses on corporate and commercial advice to newly founded enterprises.

Practice head(s):

Agustín Hurtado; Mario Flor

Testimonials

‘The corporate team of this firm has knowledge, preparation and experience and is always available and attentive to resolve any eventuality. In the vast majority of cases, an expert partner in the field is the one who attends to the client.

‘One of the pluses is the attention on the part of the partners, being that they are always attentive to the requirements, or possible situations that may arise. This practice is common to all partners, in terms of corporate and tax matters.

Key clients

Paysafe Merchant Service Corporation

Solarpackteam

Telealfacom CIA

Picaval Casa de Valores

Bureau Veritas Ecuador

Work highlights

  • Advised the SPV incorporated by Solarpack and Ingeteam on the negotiation of contractual documents with the Ministry of Energy in connection with “El Aromo” project, located in Manabí.  
  • Adised Bureau Veritas Ecuador on its Complex corporate process of merger by absorption with BIVA Ecuador, obtaining a resolution approving the merger from the Superintendency of Companies in recrod time; the mandate also involve company bylaw reform and expansion of the corporate purpose of the company, among other matters.
  • Provided advice to Picaval Casa de Valores in different matters such as corporate, commercial, labour and tax.

Heka Law Firm

Heka Law Firm’s growing practice continues to provide advice to a range of local and international clients, with corporate restructurings and M&A transactions featuring as key areas of work for the firm. To facilitate these efforts, in May 2022 the firm announced its collaboration with Spanish legal-software company ElixTech to create ‘Heka Tech’, a management tool for data protection, compliance, digital transformation and the general facilitation of efficiency in legal processes. Juan Andrés Gortaire heads up both the corporate and competition practices and frequently undertaking business structuring, M&A and due diligence, along with general corporate matters and the implementation of corporate governance models; he primarily acts for clients in the insurance, logistics and real estate sectors. He is flanked by fellow partners Andrés Terán, who brings the firm’s corporate offering to the TMT sector (such as his ongoing advisory to Fintech company Paymovil); and Ramiro Jácome whose corporate practice includes specialisations in corporate governance, company structuring, and risk management. Associate Ana Victoria Cedeño left for Robalino Law in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Juan Andrés Gortaire

Testimonials

‘Heka is a firm that has advised us since the beginning of our operation in Ecuador. The Corporate and M&A area is well structured. It is a highly trained team, which prioritizes customer service, optimizing processes leveraged by technology and that allows the advice to be excellent and agile.’

‘Its high level of knowledge, experience and agility. Juan Andrés Gortaire is very knowledgeable about the business and that allows his legal advice to be more accurate than that of his competition. In addition, having a cohesive and highly trained team allows the service to be comprehensive and with very agile responses and advice.’

‘We value the efficiency in managing projects by Heka, as well as the cohesive team with which they provide us with the service. Their rates are good, the processes they handle for submitting proposals, budgeting and charging are very well structured. It is a firm that prioritizes customer service.’

‘They are very ethical and efficient lawyers. Juan Andrés Gortaire leads our business projects from the legal field and is a brilliant lawyer who is very knowledgeable about the law and the commercial and economic field.’

‘Heka is a firm with a very high level of performance. Juan Andres Gortaire, is a brilliant professional with great management of Ecuadorian legal regulations and the commercial and economic sector.’

‘It is an efficient and high performance firm.’

Key clients

Marcimex

PLADECO

Paymovil

Prounem

Serinco

Dismirador

IPSec

Doctorisy

Agripac Boliviana Agroindustrial

Liftit

CarConnect

Annar Health Technologies

Colcan

Atlantic Asset Management Group

Kobranzcorp

RepuestoClick

3RC

Descartes Engineering

Mkp

Ipsos

Work highlights

  • Advised Marcimex on the analysis and review of its entire insurance department operation in its retail channel for $20m.
  • Advised PLADECO in corporate and tax matters for $20m.
  • Advised Paymovil on several matters for over $5m.

Romero Arteta Ponce

The Ecuadorian member of the Meritas international legal alliance, Romero Arteta Ponce regularly counsels its clients on the negotiation of contracts, commercial matters, M&A and associated due diligence, and is particularly active with companies entering the Ecuadorian market or expanding their operations in the jurisdiction. Recent matters include ongoing commercial advisory to Bloomberg; a due diligence mandate on behalf of Toyota Tsusho; and domestically, comprehensive assistance to major industrial company, Zaimella del Ecuador. Key practitioners Diego Romero and Gustavo Romero co-head the practice and have some 65 years' experience between them. Senior associate Patricia Del Pozo is experienced in corporate and commercial matters and is also noted. 

Practice head(s):

Diego Romero; Gustavo Romero

Testimonials

‘Personalised attention, professionalism, honesty, efficiency.’

‘Its kindness, outstanding customer service, timely response and its updating on the issues in question.’

 

Key clients

CCR Brasil

Siemens

Eni

Japan Tobacco International

Toyota / Toyota Tsusho

Bloomberg

LatAm Autos

Casabaca

Jones Day

Torres Guarín

Zaimella

Logicalis

Pronaca Alimentos

Berlitz Corporation

Nissan

Siemens Energy

Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

Work highlights

  • Advice to Siemens Mobility on its establishemnt of a branch in Ecuador in relation to its contract to undertake work on the evelopment of the Metro de Quito.
  • Representing CCR Brasil in relation to its %05 shareholding in Quiport, which runs the capital’s Aeropuerto Mariscal Sucre.
  • Comprehensive ongoing legal asssistance to Toyota del Ecuador, incuding all company law and corporate aspects.

Spingarn

Spingarn continues to develop its participation in the corporate sector with a growing client roster, while internally it has an expanding headcount following the arrival of seven lawyers from Robalino Law  in June 2021, including former counsel Sebastián Saa, an energy, natural resources and public procurement specialist with experience in cross-border transactions. He now co-heads the corporate practice alongside Andrés Narváez, who is also the head of the firm’s tax consultancy department. Also in both the tax and corporate teams, Diego Armas advises on start-up processes, corporate and shareholding structures, M&A, takeovers and corporate auditing. At associate level, senior Lisset Armijos (who arrived with Saa) is noted for M&A matters in relation to the energy sector. 

Practice head(s):

Andrés Narváez; Sebastián Saa

Testimonials

‘We work directly with Diego Armas and Andres Narvaez who advise us on the day-to-day needs of our companies, always showing a high level of knowledge and professionalism.’

‘They helped us with a negotiation where they demonstrated a high knowledge of both local and international laws, and in addition to the financial part, contributed ideas such as forming a guarantee trust to make the investment viable.’

‘A very dynamic work team focused on solving problems.’

‘A team with a broad understanding of the mining sector and a broad scope of coordination with the public sector.

‘Sebastian Saa is quite dynamic, and above all focused on generating practical and simple solutions.

Key clients

Atico Mining Corporation

Navent Group

Netbroker

Harmut Bock Irigoyen

Brolog

MuchFlowers

Tenderati

Seguros123 Agencia Asesora

Productora de Seguros

World Digital Connection Publicidad

Crediprime

JMI Group

Asurion

Work highlights

  • Advised Canada’s Atico Mining on the acquisition of various shareholdings (totalling more than $13.8m) in Compañía Minera La Plata so as to become sole shareholder, among other matters.
  • Advised Brolog on its restructuring process; value $1.3m.
  • Advised Assurion’s Ecuadorian branch on a capital increase of $1m.