Corporate and M&A in Ecuador

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

The 'prestigious and well-regarded' Pérez Bustamante & Ponce remains one of the strongest firms for corporate work in Ecuador, with a large department that is especially notable for its work on M&A deals. In a recent highlight, Juan Manuel Marchán advised Fyffes International on its negotiation of the acquisition of an Ecuadorian banana producer, alongside handling the full range of due diligence and compliance matters. Marchán also leads the firm's Guayaquil practice, while M&A specialist Diego Pérez-Ordoñez leads the broader corporate team, and advises a range of high-profile foreign and domestic companies on their transactions. Moreover, the practice gained further partner-level strength with the July 2021 return of Esteban Ortiz-Mena after almost three years at the Superintendencia de Compañías, Valores y Seguros; he focuses on complex corporate matters, commercial contracts and public procurement processes. From the junior ranks, senior associate Andrés Brown-Pérez is highly active on cross-border deals, being triple-qualified in Spain and the US as well as Ecuador, while November 2020 saw the return of associate Camilo Muriel from Holland & Knight LLP in the US.

Practice head(s):

Diego Pérez-Ordóñez

Testimonials

‘Fast and efficient responses. Excellent technical legal knowledge.’

‘The PBP team is highly committed and professional, with outstanding service and innovative solutions. It is without a doubt one of the best choices in the Ecuadorian legal market.’

‘Andrés Brown is a very responsive, hands-on and knowledgable lawyer. His work consistently exceeds expectations, both in substance and speed of delivery, and he provides a very personalised service.’ 

‘The service provided by PBP is of the highest quality. Their advice on complex problems is agile and technical. They keep the client’s interests at the forefront of their minds at all times. The quality of their work is exceptional and  they have the resources to deal with complex matters.’

‘They provide a high-quality and innovative service. Their focus on their clients is really admirable, and makes it a pleasure to work with the firm. Three things stand out in particular: their professionalism, innovative approach and the close involvement of the partners.’

‘The team led by Juan Manuel Marchán is first rate. They are highly specialised, have good commercial sense and are good negotiators.’

‘PBP is a prestigious and well-regarded Ecuadorian firm which demonstrates a precise and very detailed knowledge of M&A issues. The team is close-knit and proactive.’

‘A highly knowledgeable, detail-oriented team with creative ideas that they adapt according to the deal being worked on.’

Key clients

Fyffes International

Grupo GTD Grupo Teleductos

Synlab Ecuador/Synlab Diagnósticos Globales

Ferro Corporation

Apollo Global Management

Aris Industrial

Rappi

IQ Capital Management

Visa International

Maersk

Work highlights

  • Advised Fyffes International on the acquisition of a local banana producer in Ecuador, including conducting due diligence.
  • Advised Grupo GTD on the Ecuadorian aspects of its acquisition of 75% of SecureSoft Corporation.
  • Advised Synlab Ecuador and Synlab Diagnósticos Globales on the acquisition of Ecuadorian company Asmedlab.

Robalino Law

Following its split from Ferrere and establishment as an independent domestic firm in July 2021, the ‘exceptional‘ Robalino Law continues to handle a wide range of matters in the corporate governance space, advising both international and domestic clients on their operations. The firm is best known, however, for its work on large cross-border M&A transactions, such as the acquisition of Forever21’s Latin American operations by AR Retail, where managing partner Javier Robalino Orellana lead the team. The corporate practice is jointly led by Jesús Beltrán, Martín Pallares and Daniel Robalino, all of whom handle M&A deals, while new partner Ernesto Weisson is recommended for restructuring and joint venture work. Senior associates Juan Bernando Guarderas and Daniel Peré are also key contacts for major deals. Since publication, the firm has further built out its capabilities with the late-November 2021 opening of a fifth office (following on from those in Quito, Guayaquil, Manta and Machala), in Cuenca, Azuay province, southern Ecuador.

Practice head(s):

Jesús Beltrán; Martín Pallares; Daniel Robalino

Testimonials

‘A talented team who are available to assist clients at any time and in an efficient manner, providing immediate responses and delivering work within a very short period of time.’

‘They feel like partners in our company.’

‘Robalino provide us with ongoing advice in relation to various corporate matters. The service is very good and they have shown a real interest in getting to know the requirements of our company and finding solutions to the different challenges that have arisen. Their attitude is also very positive.’

‘Juan Bernardo Guarderas provides us with continuous support, showing a real interest and willingness to assist the company. He is a very competent lawyer.’

‘Their agility in responding to queries and deep knowledge of business enables them to provide high-quality advice.’

‘Ernesto Weisson is an excellent lawyer, both on a personal and a professional level. He is always available to deal with our requirements, and does so in a prompt and friendly manner, providing thorough advice that enables us to minimise risks.’

‘Jesús Beltrán’s knowledge of both US and Ecuadorian law is incredible, as his ability to work on cross-border matters. He is very hospitable.’

‘The team is exceptional and works very well with other firms.’

Key clients

Socofar/Femsa

Autolider

La Fabril

Bomi

Nord Anglia Education and Colegio Menor

Pluspetrol Eni

Tipti

Delivery Hero

Nucopsa

Acepta.com

Work highlights

  • Advised Delivery Hero on the Ecuadorian leg of the acquisition of Glovo’s Latin American operations.
  • Acted as Ecuadorian counsel to BASF in the sale of its construction chemicals business to Lone Star Funds.
  • Advising Wnetdev and SigFox on the promotion of new telecoms regulations for the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) in Ecuador.

Bustamante Fabara

Bustamante & Bustamante has ‘extensive experience‘ across the full spectrum of corporate matters, with a strong track record in the fields of transactional due diligence, corporate reorganisations and joint ventures. M&A is another key area of practice for the team, with a bevy of international clients instructing the firm in relation to deals in the telecoms, logistics, and food and beverage sectors, among others; practice co-head José Rafael Bustamante Crespo frequently leads on such matters. Fellow co-head José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa is particularly recommended for advising foreign clients seeking to enter the local market, handling a range of structuring and corporate issues. Other key figures in the team include senior partner Juan Carlos BustamanteJuan Felipe Bustamante Crespo, and associates Kirina González and Valentina Morillo. Since publication, the firm has announced its merger with fellow local firm Fabara & Compañía to become Bustamante Fabara, effective as of November 2021.

Practice head(s):

José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa; José Rafael Bustamante Crespo

Testimonials

‘The Bustamente & Bustamente team has extensive experience in the sale and purchase of businesses, representing both buyers and sellers. Its multi-disciplinary approach and personalised service are the key attributes of B&B, and set it apart from other firms.’

‘In addition to having broad knowledge of local legislation and its application, the team have the ability to relay this to clients, clearly understanding their needs and translating this understanding into documents, agreements and other vehicles to assist with closing transactions.’

‘Excellent client service and very effective response times.’

‘The team are friendly, have excellent knowledge of the subject and are masters of their profession.’

Key clients

Phoenix Tower International

Transportadora Ecuatoriana de Valores (Tevcol)

Grupo Sur

AKD International

World Learning

Orbcomm – Leosatellite

Work highlights

  • Advised Tevcol on its 100% sale to Prosegur.
  • Handled the post-closing for Phoenix Tower International following the acquisition of 1,406 telecoms towers from Telefónica, and advised on two separate asset purchase agreements for telecoms towers and DAS systems.
  • Advised Grupo Sur, a Costa Rican-headquartered regional business group, on all aspects of setting up operations in Ecuador.

CorralRosales

With 'strong industry knowledge', CorralRosales is instructed by several of the best-known foreign businesses operating in Ecuador, including the likes of Nestlé, General Electric and Bayer, and has a full-service practice that covers operational advice as well as transactions. The 'exceptionalXavier Rosales heads the department, and recently advised Internet of Things business Location World Holdings on its corporate restructuring, as well as distribution and collaborative agreements to enable its operation in foreign markets. Santiago Palacios, Francisco Rosales and Rafael Rosales round out the four-partner team, focusing primarily on market entry issues for foreign clients, while Milton Carrera is a key figure from the associate ranks, particularly for matters with an employment element such as corporate immigration.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Rosales

Testimonials

‘The team stands out for its responsiveness and the quality of its advice.’

‘They have a strong work ethic, both as a team and as individuals, and seek out solutions for clients.’

‘The team is a business partner in every sense and can anticipate the needs of our company.’

‘Xavier Rosales is exceptional. He shows total and extraordinary commitment and equanimity at critical moments.’

‘They handle all of our corporate matters in Ecuador and have a lot of experience. They are very quick and reliable.’

‘Milton Carrera and Xavier Rosales are very attentive to our needs and willing to participate in training sessions for our team, as well as being trusted partners to our business.’

‘The team has strong industry knowledge and experience. They are very responsive and helpful.’

‘Xavier Rosales is a subject matter expert and always available if we need him.’

Key clients

Nestlé

Bayer

IBM

Grupo Familia

Compañía de Petróleos de Chile (Copec)

Immunotec

United Airlines

Mastercard

Fresenius Medical Care

BMI

Nielsen

Claro (Conecel/América Móvil)

General Electric

Ferrero

Grünenthal

Terpel

Yildirim

SAP

Syngenta

Securitas

Fresenius Kabi

Santillana

Work highlights

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

ECIJA GPA

ECIJA GPA is particularly active in the field of corporate restructuring, with several high-profile clients, including oilfield services provider Baker Hughes International, instructing the firm in this regard. On the transactional front, recent work has included joint ventures and M&A transactions, with a particular focus on cross-border deals, primarily for European clients. The firm also handles a range of commercial contracting matters, market entry advice for foreign clients and procurement cases. Michael Veintimilla specialises in M&A and related competition matters; he heads the team alongside cross-border specialist Bayardo Poveda and M&A specialist Francisco Alarcón. Other key figures in the team include Édgar Méndez and associate Karen Álava.

Practice head(s):

Michael Veintimilla; Bayardo Poveda; Francisco Alarcón

Testimonials

‘What makes ECIJA unique is its specialised and personalised client service. The response times are excellent.’

‘Michael Veintimilla is highly knowledgeable in various matters such as corporate law and competition, among others. He leads and co-ordinates his team very efficiently and with respect for the strengths of each member of his team. He provides a personalised service to deal with urgent client requirements.’

‘Thorough and agile advice on contract law.’

‘Michael Veintimilla provides high-quality advice.’

‘In addition to knowledge of the subject, the team members have a mastery of their particular area of expertise. They have close connections with government organisations in this area, which allows for better interactions and timely responses.’

‘Michael Veintimilla is a first-class lawyer.’

Key clients

Coheco (a subsidiary of Mitsubishi)

Ludwig Pfeiffer Hoch und Tiefbau

Inoneride

Baker Hughes International

Empresa de Sistemas y Recursos Informáticos (ESRIEC) (a subsidiary of ESRI)

Imasa, Ingeniería y Proyectos

Ineo Urban Transport Solutions (a subsidiary of Engie France)

Wayra Energy

SMBC Aviation Capital

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Nobilé Group

Belac Invest

Grupo Brucosa

Supralive

Nefrosalud

Work highlights

  • Advised Coheco on corporate, commercial and competition issues relating to its operations in Ecuador.
  • Advised SMBC Aviation Capital on several sublease and exchange agreements, which were aimed at allowing Avianca Ecuador to incorporate new Airbus A-320 aircraft into its fleet for domestic flights, to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Fabara & Compañía

Fabara & Compañía is particularly well known for its work with clients in the insurance industry, fielding a dedicated team with substantial experience in the sector that provides the full range of services to industry clients and is led by Mariana Villagomez Álvarez. Villagomez also co-leads the ‘skilled and knowledgeable‘ corporate team alongside Diego Ramírez Mesec, who is particularly experienced in international trade matters, and María Rosa Fabara Vera, who is highly active in the pharmaceutical, construction and telecoms sectors, among others. Senior associates María Fernanda Palacios Miranda and Andrés Becdach provide support. Key areas of recent work for the firm include cross-border M&A, commercial contracts and procurement, and governance advice. Since publication, the firm has announced a tie-up with fellow local heavyweight, Bustamante & Bustamante, becoming Bustamante Fabara as of November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Maria Rosa Fabara Vera; Mariana Villagomez Álvarez; Diego Ramírez Mesec

Testimonials

‘Very skilled and knowledgeable lawyers, who have a deep knowledge of the subject matter and are used to working with foreign clients. It is a very committed and hard working team.’

‘Besides their deep knowledge of the matters at stake, Fabara’s lawyers are very committed and work hard to meet the client’s needs and timelines. The commitment and involvement of Mari­a Rosa Fabara and Andrés Becdach really stands out.’

‘It is a solid team focused on dealing with issues that may lead to problems later on as well as resolving problems encountered during the transaction. Maria Rosa Fabara raises the level of analysis.’

‘Both partners and associates are very skilled in different matters. Maria Rosa Fabara and Andrés Becdach stand out for corporate matters and negotiations.’

‘A capable and efficient team.’

‘They have the best possible understanding of the client’s needs and how to solve any problems that are encountered.’

Key clients

China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE)

Pascal Universal

New Sea Development Services

Abako

Work highlights

  • Advising China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE) on the execution of a contract for the construction of the Toachi-Pilatón Hydroelectric Plant, procured by state-owned company Empresa Pública Estratégica Corporación Eléctrica del Ecuador (CELEC).
  • Advised Pascal Universal, New Sea Development Services and Abako on the acquisition of the remaining shares of Pacific Bank from Pacific Blue Ocean Holding.
  • Advised Zurich Seguros Ecuador on an insurance claim made by Aeropuertos Ecológicos Ecogal for compensation for economic losses suffered due to the cessation of operations of the airport of Galapagos due to Covid-19.

Lexvalor Abogados

Lexvalor Abogados' corporate practice has expanded with new developments in the market, with several recent matters involving the new simplified stock company structure, including the incorporation of new companies under this structure as well as the conversion of existing limited companies. Alfredo Peñaherrera Wright is particularly active in the field of M&A, and leads the group alongside capital markets specialist Margoth Chiriboga López and Héctor Barahona Moncayo, who is acts for clients across the full spectrum of corporate work. Juan Francisco Almeida Granja is another key member of the team, focusing on corporate restructurings, while Ricardo Peñaherrera is particularly notable for his work with supermarket clients and their suppliers on regulatory issues. At senior associate level, the key contacts include María Pia Rivadeneira Mosquera.

Practice head(s):

Héctor Barahona Moncayo; Alfredo Peñaherrera Wright; Margoth Chiriboga López

Testimonials

‘The lawyers at Lexvalor provide a personal and timely service and resolve issues quickly.’

‘Lexvalor has specialists in different areas, which means we can use one firm for all our legal requirements, and they provide a comprehensive service.’

‘They understand how our business works so can provide thorough advice.’

‘The team at Lexvalor is very committed and, most importantly, multi-disciplinary, which means it can advise on all the areas of law that we need. The personal service makes it different from other firms.’

‘Héctor Barahona and Margoth Chiriboga stand out for their personal approach.’

‘With Lexvalor, we can be sure that our transaction is in the safest possible hands and that they will always follow the right path.’

‘We consider the Lexvalor team to be essential partners and advisers to our business. The close attention and openness of its lawyers means we get the legal support we need for our day-to-day operations.’

‘They deal with their clients in a professional and at the same time friendly manner, giving clients a feeling of confidence and demonstrating their in-depth knowledge of this area of law. Alfredo Peñaherrera and Ricardo Peñaherrera are always available. They are very knowledgeable and up to date with changes to Ecuadorian law.’

Key clients

Fideval Administradora de Fondos y Fideicomisos

Corporación Favorita (and all its related companies, including Comercial Kywi, Comohogar, Mall El Jardín and Flexiplast)

Vallejo Araujo

Nestlé Ecuador

DirecTV

Grupo Difare

Superdeporte

Jabonería Wilson

Johnson & Johnson del Ecuador

Alpina Productos Alimenticios del Ecuador

Industrial Ales

Arthrex

Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Andalucia

TGS Ecuador

R2 Capital

Golderie

Work highlights

  • Advising Superdeporte, the largest chain of sports stores in Ecuador, on its restructuring process resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising Hojaverde on its merger by absorption with Floricola Las Marías Flormare.
  • Advising various companies on restructuring to take advantage of the new simplified stock company structure.

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados maintains a strong presence in both Quito and Guayaquil, with Patricio Peña Romero leading the team based in the capital, while Marcelo Torres heads up the Guayaquil outfit. The team handles a wide array of corporate and commercial work, with notable recent instructions involving joint venture agreements, corporate restructuring, governance advice and the entry of foreign companies into Ecuador, among other matters. M&A is another key area of practice, with both practice heads handling such deals. While Sebastián Cortez Merlo departed for Pérez Bustamante & Ponce in January 2021, the team receives strong support at the associate level from María Elena Sanmartín and energy specialist Francisco Larrea.

Practice head(s):

Patricio Peña Romero; Marcelo Torres

Testimonials

‘The team at Noboa, Peña & Torres is characterised by its personal treatment of clients, which makes you feel satisfied that they really care about all of the cases they are handling.’

‘The team’s experience and knowledge makes it a reliable and safe partner to resolve our issues.’

‘Marcelo Torres is extraordinarily well prepared every time we go to him for advice.’

‘They understand business.’

‘It is a very agile team that responds quickly to enquiries. The lawyers have extensive experience in their fields of specialisation.’

‘Patricio Peña stands out. His greatest attribute is his availability at any time to deal with urgent matters and speed up deals.’

‘NPT has a great team for corporate and M&A issues, particularly Patricio Peña, who has been a great support to us.’

‘I am very satisfied with the work done by the team. What stands out most about the service they provide is the patience and clarity with which they have guided us through the different phases of the process. Despite its being a complicated matter, I never felt confused or neglected.’

Key clients

Heineken

Grupo Produfuente

Asociación de Productores de Biocombustibles del Ecuador (Apale)

Pinturas Unidas

Comercializadora Nutri Med NutrimedEcuador

Nestlé Ecuador

Iván Bohman

Transfuel Group

Aifa

Agrinag

Minutocorp

Abcalsa

Inversiones BalesiaTowers

Casabaca

Inmobiliaria Omicron

Solubles Instantaneos

Barry Callebaut Ecuador

Asociación de Empresas de Courier (Asemec)

Sociedad De Inversiones F Y A.; Drinzo; Sociedad Nacional De Galapagos; Expalsa Exportadora De Alimentos

Citibank

Grupo Cobra (ACS)

Banco Santander

Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex)

Zurich Ecuador

Telefónica

Quanta Services

Cisco Systems

Herdoiza Crespo Construcciones

Interoc

Carlita Snaks Carlisnacks

Trenes Caf Venezuela

Adeccobusiness

DHL Express

Ecuahielo

Laboratorios Industriales Farmacéuticos Ecuatorianos (Life)

Soderal Sociedad De Destilación De Alcoholes

Plásticos Del Litoral Plastlit

Grupo Holco

Grupo Corpesa

Unión Ferretera Unifer

Axaquímica

Llorente & Cuenca

ETFS Capital

Goldman Sachs

Roddome Pharmaceutical

Edisa

Work highlights

  • Advised Heineken on the acquisition of an additional stake of Biela y Bebidas del Ecuador, giving it approximately 90% of the interest in the company.
  • Advised Grupo Holco on a joint venture agreement and shareholders’ agreement with Medlog (a subsidiary of Swiss company MSC) in order to operate a warehouse for storage, logistics and maintenance of containers in the Port of Guayaquil.
  • Advised Grupo Corpesa on the corporate restructuring of the entire group of six companies.

Apolo Abogados

Apolo Abogados' 'excellent' corporate practice is particularly geared toward export industries, with a client list that includes several large players in aquaculture and fishing, as well as agribusinesses and shipping companies. Additionally, the firm advises auto importers such as Grupo Induauto, alongside several foreign clients, including gig-economy companies like Delivery Hero. The firm handles a wide spectrum of work for its clients, including M&A transactions, commercial contract drafting and spin-outs of group companies, among other matters. Rafael Balda Santistevan heads the practice alongside Andrés Suárez and José Gabriel Apolo.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Balda Santistevan; Andrés Suárez; José Gabriel Apolo

Testimonials

‘They have extensive experience in my industry and are very professional. They make it easy to close deals.’

‘What stands out about the lawyers in the team is their years of experience and their professional attitude.’

‘They have a team that covers all our needs, in various areas of law. In our case, it is important that they have a long experience and a great reputation in Ecuador in maritime and port matters. There is no other law firm that has that level of knowledge and experience in this sector.’

‘The Apolo team is unique because it specialises in areas that other firms do not cover, particularly fishing, maritime and port law. It offers a well-rounded team, good relationships with national organisations and connections to international firms.’

‘Rafael Balda and José Gabriel Apolo are excellent for corporate and aquaculture issues. The team is available to us 24/7 and that makes a great difference compared to other firms.’

‘Quick and accurate attention to our requests.’

‘It is an excellent team, made up of lawyers with extensive experience in all areas, who provide good support to their clients. They promote the continuous professional and academic growth of their team.’

José Gabriel Apolo and Rafael Balda not only have the legal knowledge but also have integrity and work ethically, qualities that they transmit to their team. They are always available and they always present valid suggestions to meet their needs of their clients. They have excellent interpersonal relationships.’

Key clients

Urbaser

Delivery Hero – Pedidos Ya

Bimba y Lola

SC Johnson – Johnson Wax Del Ecuador

Grupo Induauto – Indusur

Calbaq

Corcolding

Motores y Tractores Motrac (Grupo Induauto – Indusur)

Agrihgroup (Agrizon.com)

Consorcio Veolia Proactiva

Work highlights

  • Advised waste collection company Urbaser on the expansion of its operations in Ecuador and on its relationships with its local strategic partner and the various municipalities.
  • Advised Spanish clothing company Bimba y Lola on the compliance of its operations with Ecuadorian regulations during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Advising SC Johnson’s Ecuadorian subsidiary, Johnson Wax Del Ecuador, on the termination of its commercial relationships with various authorised distributors, the renegotiation of contracts with local and international suppliers, and the negotiation and drafting of contracts with self-service stores.

Coronel & Pérez

Coronel & Pérez provides 'agile and efficient' advice on corporate issues to clients from a wide range of sectors, with agriculture, transport and infrastructure being key areas of work for the team, particularly as other sectors slowed down during the Covid-19 pandemic. Boanerges Rodríguez Freire, Hernán Pérez Loose and César Coronel Jones head the team, and are active in a wide range of corporate matters. The firm regularly advises on corporate governance and contract drafting, alongside assisting with both corporate structuring for new market entrants and restructuring for established businesses.

Practice head(s):

Boanerges Rodríguez Freire; Hernán Pérez Loose; César Coronel Jones

Testimonials

‘Coronel & Perez is a solid partner that is knowledgeable about the local market and has insights into the key players.’

‘Boanerges Rodriguez has supported us during the establishment of our company in Ecuador, and his proactivity has meant we were able to set up operations in a short period of time.’

‘They have a lot of experience in different areas of law, which enables them to provide agile and efficient advice.’

‘Hernán Pérez Loose and Boanerges Rodríguez stand out for their experience and their personalised client service.’

‘Knowledge, transparency and high ethical standards: these are the qualities our company looks for in a law firm and we have found them at Coronel & Perez. Its main strengths are its understanding of local legislation and ability to manage deals.’

‘They are knowledgeable and able to deliver solutions to our problems, seeking out alternative options. I would like to highlight Hernán Pérez and Boanerges Rodriguez for their commitment, high-quality advice, transparency and legal knowledge.’

‘From the first day we arrived in Ecuador, they have handled all the issues so that our business runs smoothly. They have all our confidence.’

‘Trustworthy, diligent and very professional in everything they do.’

Key clients

Cristalería del Ecuador (Cridesa)

Sumifru Singapore

Agroamerica Group

Alstom Transport

Chubb Seguros Ecuador

Grupo Metropolitan Touring

Wellbore Integrity Solution

Intaco Ecuador

Satlink

Yutong

Forever Living Productos de Ecuador

Canon

Stockton

Work highlights

  • Advising Cristalería del Ecuador (Cridesa) on all corporate issues affecting the company.
  • Advising Sumifru Singapore on various corporate and regulatory matters.
  • Advising Agroamerica Group on various corporate and regulatory matters.

Dentons Paz Horowitz

Local practice Paz Horowitz Abogados significantly expanded its capacity for cross-border corporate work with its July 2021 merger with global firm Dentons, forming Dentons Paz Horowitz. The firm is particularly active in the M&A field, having recently advised international clients, as well as domestic players, on their acquisitions. Jorge Paz Durini is known for his energy expertise, and leads the practice alongside Agustín Acosta Cárdenas and Rocio Córdova. Senior associate Maria del Mar Heredia provides support with M&A and corporate restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Paz Durini; Agustín Acosta Cárdenas; Rocío Córdova

Testimonials

‘Great knowledge of the current laws and regulations. Personalised client service. Available at all times.’

‘Jorge Paz Durini provides excellent advice on the matters we bring to him.’

‘The team is highly skilled and works well with the firm’s other departments.’

‘In addition to being an excellent lawyer, Jorge Paz Durini is a friendly and approachable person and provides a prompt and efficient service.’

‘The firm has senior lawyers in all its departments, offering speed, quality and a personalised service.’

‘Jorge Paz and Maria del Mar Heredia are standout members of the team. They are in daily communication with our local team in Ecuador, not only to advise on the company’s decisions and strategies, but also to offer support with all local regulations.’

‘Maria del Mar Heredia is a great lawyer and has good business sense.’

Key clients

Hotel Colón Internacional

ABC Aerolíneas (Interjet)

Pareteum Ecuador

Air France

Aqua Expeditions

BlueOrchard

Austrofood

Seara Holding

Ecocopter Ecuador

Paniju

Quifatex

Baker Hughes

Lexmark International Trading Corp

Titan Minerals

Servicio Integral Para La Industria Alimenticia (Sipia)

Ctb Del Ecuador

Canodros

Inprolac

Cecal

Oriental Industria Alimenticia

Work highlights

  • Advised Entravision Communications, a global media and marketing technology company, on the acquisition of a 51% interest in digital advertising business Redmas, which is owned by the Cisneros Interactive Group.
  • Advised Siigo on the corporate structure to develop its operations in Ecuador and on an application for an investment contract with the Ecuadorian government.
  • Advised pharmaceutical company Cheplapharm Arzneimittel on the due diligence of Ecuadorian companies Biopass and Biopasbelle and their acquisition as part of a global transactions.

Tobar ZVS

Bernard Tobar heads the corporate practice at Tobar ZVS, which handles a range of structuring, transactional and governance matters. The firm is particularly notable for franchising work, having recently acted as local counsel for US firm Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. in relation to a franchise agreement for Hilton Worldwide Holdings. Other key members of the team include Alvaro Sevilla, who provides a range of regulatory advice, and René De Sola, who is particularly experienced in the insurance industry, but also handles restructurings and real estate acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Tobar

Testimonials

‘It is a dedicated team that keeps on top of transactions.’

‘The team members are highly skilled and know the local legislation well.’

‘They are experts in M&A. It is a great team that is very well rounded, with strengths in many different areas of law.’

‘The lawyers have a lot of technical and administrative experience. They have an excellent understanding of how a business operates from various perspectives, such as corporate, tax and compliance, and so are able to provide joined-up solutions.’

‘Tobar ZVS stand out for the depth of their legal analysis – they have a strategic vision that is not limited solely to the matter under consultation. The response times are efficient.’

Key clients

Flower Investment Capital Fund

Solgold

Aromas y Sabores del Ecuador Aromacacao

Dystar

Luminex Group

Marvicnet (GoNET)

Haynes and Boone

JA Garrigues/Telefonica

Federal Expres – Fedex/Grupo Entregas Especiales

The Coca-Cola Company

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel for Solgold on the structuring and closing of a project financing for the development of the Cascabel mining project.
  • Advised Flower Investment Capital Fund on two acquisitions.
  • Advised Marvicnet on the development of a franchise network for its expansion in Ecuador.

Carmigniani Pérez

Carmigniani Pérez houses a corporate team with experience in M&A transactions, spin-outs, corporate governance and shareholder disputes. Founding partner Pedro Pérez heads the team, and specialises in advising new foreign entrants to the Ecuadorian market.

Cevallos Casals Balseca & Bilbao Abogados

Daniela Cevallos Casals heads the corporate team at Cevallos Casals Balseca & Bilbao Abogados, and is particularly focused on public procurement work, advising a range of clients on their dealings with the state, as well as frequently being instructed by clients in the telecoms industry. The firm is also experienced in the negotiation of cooperation and subcontractor agreements in a procurement context. Other key figures in the team include tax specialist Carlos Julio Balseca Avila and senior associate Valeria Naranjo, who joined the firm from a position with the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Daniela Cevallos Casals; Carlos Julio Balseca Avila

Testimonials

‘They provide a personalised service and are diligent in their handling of cases and procedures.’

‘Daniela Cevallos is committed to protecting the interests of her clients.’

‘They have extensive knowledge of this area of law and the experience to know the easiest way of resolving matters properly.’

‘Daniela Cevallos has vast knowledge of the processes and the people involved in public procurement.’

‘It is a personal service. Each lawyer at the firm has a solid knowledge of their area of expertise and clearly understands the client’s needs.’

‘They really know their specialist fields, from both a theoretical and a practical perspective.’

‘The availability of the group to deal with any matters that arise is excellent.’

‘There is direct and friendly communication between lawyers and clients.’

Key clients

RosatiMotors

LinkMotor

Autofenix

Finlink

CiberCall

Endeavour

MerkaCorp

ZTE Corporation

TotalTek

Tekmarkco

Unión Eléctrica

Filestorage

Acecoti

New Fortress Energy (NFE)

Work highlights

  • Advised TotalTek on the process of obtaining a contract for the implementation of fibre optic systems in the coastal region for Ecuadorian public telecoms company Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT).
  • Advised Merka on its negotiations with Bulgarian telecoms solutions provider Opencode Systems to become the only authorised distributor for Ecuador.
  • Advising Tekmark, a provider of technological solutions to the telecoms industry, as the authorised distributor for Huawei products.

Durini & Guerrero Abogados

With offices in Quito and Guayaquil, Durini & Guerrero Abogados acts for a range of local and international corporates, advising on M&A, capital raising and the establishment of new branches in Ecuador, in addition to assisting with commercial contracts. The team also has experience advising high-net-worth individuals on corporate structuring matters. Senior associate Max Salcedo Guzmán leads the practice, with support from experienced partners Felipe Durini Andrade and Juan Francisco Guerrero.

Practice head(s):

Max Salcedo Guzmán

Testimonials

‘The team at D&G work together in a coordinated, complementary way, adapting to the client’s needs.’

‘DG’s approach to business is satisfactory for me, because they seek the most beneficial outcome for the client, even if it even reduces the possibility of receiving a higher amount of fees.’

‘The factors that stand out are the team’s client service, extensive knowledge of the areas where we require legal support, and prompt responses.’

‘Good client service and knowledge of the subject.’

‘Juan Francisco Guerrero has shown a rapid and in-depth understanding of our needs.’

Key clients

EQR-Equatoroses

Caceres

Nipro Medical Corporation

Ampelos Enterprise

Aekia

Arrendauto

Alvarez Larrea Equipos Medicos (Alem)

Novacargo

Cooperativa De Ahorro Y Crédito Cooprogreso

Peruzzi

Easysoft

Ingesa

Hanaska

Baker Tilly Ecuador

Garner Espinosa

Work highlights

  • Advised EQR – Equatoroses on its merger by absorption with Sierraflor.
  • Advised Comercial Industrial Ecuatoriana on its dissolution and voluntary liquidation.
  • Advised Racalec on its dissolution and voluntary liquidation.

Falconi Puig Abogados

Falconi Puig Abogados is particularly notable for its work with domestic entrepreneurs and start-ups, having developed a dedicated practice focusing on the structuring of new enterprises. Additionally, the firm has established a working group dedicated to the developing cannabis industry since its legalisation for medical use in 2019, which is led by managing partner Cecilia Falconi. Lucía Cordero is another key figure within the team, while senior associate María Isabel Machado heads up the firm's recently established compliance department, which handles a range of issues and frequently collaborates with other departments such as tax and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Cecilia Falconi; Lucía Cordero Ledergerber; María Isabel Machado

Testimonials

‘A multi-disciplinary team which can advise from a corporate, tax and financial perspective.’

‘They act like a true business partner.’

‘It is a strong team of excellent lawyers who are experienced in different areas of law. What makes them stand out is their professionalism and their availability for clients, whatever the time.’

‘Falconi Puig’s greatest attribute is its people. The partners and associates are capable of handling matters we entrust to them in various areas of law. They are efficient and effective, very professional and collaborative. They have a lot of empathy with clients.’

Key clients

Alitecno Comercio de Insumos Para la Industria de Alimentos

Destilería Conejo Negro

Work highlights

  • Advising Alitecno on regulatory compliance matters.
  • Advised start-up distillery Destilería Conejo Negro on designing its business structure.

Flor Bustamante Pizarro Hurtado Abogados

Well known for its expertise in the oil and gas, mining and energy sectors, Flor Bustamante Pizarro Hurtado Abogados is highly experienced in advising international companies on cross-border M&A transactions. Mario Alejandro Flor, who is particularly active in the infrastructure sector, leads the team with Agustin Hurtado Larrea. Andrés Ycaza Palacios has a strong mining practice and frequently advises on corporate matters in the energy and natural resources space. At associate level, Juan Carlos Herrera focuses on M&A and cross-border matters, while Carlos Torres Salinas leads the firm's start-ups practice.

Practice head(s):

Mario Alejandro Flor; Agustin Hurtado Larrea

Testimonials

‘The team is dedicated to providing a timely and professional response to the client.’

‘Mario Flor is an excellent lawyer.’

Key clients

Sinch/Wavy Group

Sunstone Metals

Dundee Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Sinch on the acquisition of Ecuadorian company Cyclelogic Ecuador, which was part of the Wavy Group.
  • Advised Sunstone Metals on the staged acquisition of the El Palmar project.
  • Advised Dundee Corporation on a private placement with respect to the issuance of unsecured convertible debentures of Atico Mining Corporation for $6.5m.

Heka Law Firm

Heka Law Firm's growing practice advises local and international clients on a range of corporate matters, including incorporations, capital raisings and restructurings, as well as M&A transactions. Daniel Fernández-Salvador, who acts for clients from a range of sectors, including food and beverages, manufacturing and services, leads the team with Juan Andrés Gortaire, who joined the firm from Cordero Moreno Corral in July 2020 heading up the Sierra Sur office. Andrés Terán brings additional TMT sector expertise to the team. In further developments, the August-2021 hire of María Cristina Serrano to develop a constitutional and administrative law practice is a further indication of the firm's intention to position itself strongly with a broad service offering.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Fernández-Salvador; Juan Andrés Gortaire

Testimonials

‘They have a personalised service and are quick to direct clients to lawyers in a specialised area when needed.’

‘The firm always gives me well-analysed and founded advice.’

‘Heka’s team has solid knowledge and experience of Ecuadorian legislation. The fundamental advantage is that they correctly understand the client’s needs and propose effective and agile solutions.’

‘My experience with Heka was very good from the beginning. We had good communication and I did not feel alone or unprotected at any time. They are first-class professionals. I would recommend them without hesitation.’

‘What I liked the most about Heka was that they were always by my side to help me understand matters and involve me in the process. They always explained what was happening in the case and I felt very comfortable.’

Key clients

Qatar Airways

Doctorisy

Telconet

Marcimex

Agripac Boliviana Agroindustrial

Ambamotors

Mirasol

Proyectos Unidos Empresariales (Prounem)

Liftit

SkinCo

Biodimed

HughesNet/Echostar

Integraldata

Stephanie Eickers

Saku Mind

Edesa/Keracisa/Elaplas/Cisa

Picaval

Factorpro

Eastern Airlines

Grace James

SpeedyCom

Kryptus

Work highlights

  • Advised Marcimex, one of Ecuador’s largest retail companies, on its franchise and distribution agreement with Electrónica Steren.
  • Advised Doctorisy on a range of matters, including setting up operations internationally and restructuring for future investment.
  • Advised Agripac Boliviana Agroindustrial on commercial transactions in Ecuador for the sale of agricultural products.

Pino Elizalde Abogados

Daniel Pino heads the corporate team at Pino Elizalde Abogados, which is highly active in the governance space and advises a range of multinationals on their dealings in Ecuador, with notable clients in the pharmaceutical, technology and agriculture sectors. Restructuring and insolvency is another key area of the business, with several recent instructions involving distressed companies. Other key figures within the team include Marco Elizalde and senior associate Montserrat Sanchez.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Pino

Key clients

Cervecería Nacional (affiliate of AB InBev in Ecuador)

Corporación Jarrín Herrera

Delcorp/Ecuagran

Panasonic

C-19 Corp (DBA Covaxx)

Forfeiting Trade Bermuda Limited

Assistecviajes – Assistcard

Laboratorios Dr A Bjarner

Diebold Nixdorf

Distribuidoras de Tuberias Hecadu

bioFeeder

Biosuper

Alphacell

Industria Ecuatoriana de Cables Incable

Expoplaza/Expoguayaquil

Brush Aftermarket

Asisken Asistencia Médica

L Henriquez

Almacenes La Ganga

Gloval Shipping

Work highlights

  • Advising Panasonic on its day-to-day operations in Ecuador, as well as contractual matters, import tariffs, customs regulations and labour matters.
  • Providing general corporate advice to Diebold Nixdorf.
  • Assisting Expoguayaquil, the largest convention centre in Guayaquil, with all of its corporate requirements.

Romero Arteta Ponce

Romero Arteta Ponce provides a wide range of corporate advice to several prominent international clients, including Toyota, Siemens and Timberland. The firm is also recommended for its advice to foreign businesses on setting up Ecuadorian entities, along with providing due diligence services for companies looking into potential M&A opportunities. Diego Romero and Gustavo Romero head the practice, while Amparo Romero is particularly recommended for complex negotiations, having previously served as a mediator for the Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce.

Practice head(s):

Diego Romero; Gustavo Romero

Testimonials

‘Their strengths are that they work as a team and have solid, up-to-date knowledge of the law. The personalised service provided by Romero Arteta Ponce is very efficient and generates transparency and trust among clients.’

‘A team of high-level lawyers who are knowledgeable about this area of law and provide immediate responses.’

‘We receive a personalised service and the partners are very attentive to their clients. The response times are excellent.’

‘Diego Romero is very knowledgeable about corporate matters. He has advised our company for many years and assisted us with avoiding risks.’

Key clients

CCR Brasil

Siemens

Agip Eni

Japan Tobacco International (JTI)

Toyota del Ecuador

Bloomberg

Latam Autos

CasaBaca

Jones Day

Torres Guarín

Zaimella del Ecuador

Nano LIFE 4

Pronaca Alimentos

Berlitz Corporation

Nissan

Siemens Energy

Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

Work highlights

  • Advising CCR Brasil, which has a 50% interest in Quiport, the company which holds the concession for the operation of Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito.
  • Advising Siemens on the project for the installation and provision of electrical equipment as part of the construction of the metro line and 16 stations for Quito Metro.
  • Advising Agip Eni on its contractual relationship with the state of Ecuador relating to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in Block 10 in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Sempértegui Abogados

Sempértegui Abogados is primarily instructed by clients in the mining sector in relation to large-scale projects. Henry Troya Figueroa heads the team, and brings substantial government-side experience to the team, having previously served as the Deputy Minister of Mining before moving into private practice. Leonardo Sempértegui is another key figure in the team, focusing mainly on the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Henry Troya Figueroa

Key clients

Grupo Expobonanza

Salazar Resources

Inv Minerales Ecuador (Invminec)

Exploraciones Mineras Andinas Ecuador (Emsaec)

Western Pacific Resources

Planamb

Jacol

Angloamerican

Profitas

Robert Peter Simpson Nankervis

Banco Solidario

Weatherford South America

Ecuaservoil

Global Compact

Belorusneft

Nortec Minerals

Work highlights

  • Advised Nortec Minerals on challenging a resolution issued by the National Mining Company.
  • Advised Ecuaservoil on the bidding process for and execution of contracts related to oil operations.
  • Advising Weatherford on the closing process of several contracts that the company had open with Petroamazonas.