Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

Based in the port city of Guayaquil, Apolo Abogados' litigation department specialises in shipping and maritime disputes, representing major shipowners and insurance companies.
The team at Flor & Hurtado focuses on disputes in the energy and natural resources sectors, acting in litigation, commercial and investment treaty arbitration, and mediation.
Specialising in criminal and constitutional law, García Falconí & Asociados is active in litigation relating to corruption, environmental issues, freedom of the press and forgery, among others.

Dispute resolution in Ecuador

Carmigniani Pérez Abogados

'One of the best practices in Ecuador', Carmigniani Pérez Abogados is particularly recommended for arbitration matters, representing both foreign and domestic clients in ICC arbitrations seated outside of Ecuador, as well as in cases before domestic arbitrators. On the litigation side, the firm handles a wide range of cases, with notable recent instructions involving annulments of tax judgments, procurement disputes and large-scale litigation in the construction sector. Among the team's recent highlights is a $120m EPC contract dispute, in which practice co-head Hugo García Larriva is representing Sinohydro in a claim against the Ecuadorian state. García's fellow co-heads are experienced arbitrator and founding partner Eduardo Carmigniani and international arbitration specialist Álvaro Galindo, who joined the team from the Washington DC office of Dechert LLP in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Carmigniani; Hugo García Larriva; Álvaro Galindo

Testimonials

‘The team has a winning mentality and does not see losing as an option, while never departing from its high ethical and moral standards.’

‘They stand out for the depth of expertise and creativity in seeking solutions.’

‘It is a serious and experienced team with an excellent understanding of the economical and political aspects of the cases they handle.’

‘Eduardo Carmigniani is a truly great legal adviser.’

‘It is one of the best practices in Ecuador. The lawyers are well prepared and eloquent in presenting their case and keep the client’s interests in mind at all times. Hugo Garcia is a clear future leader in Latin America. Alvaro Galindo also stands out; he is one of the great specialists in international arbitration with exceptional intellectual gifts.’

‘Carmigniani Pérez Abogados is an extremely professional firm with strength in various areas of law. They provide a personal service to deal with all of our requirements. In our option, they are by far the best team of lawyers in this area.’

‘High professional standards, personalised and timely client service, and mastery of the subject matter.’

Key clients

Conecel (Claro-América Móvil)

Power China Corporation

Tuchok

Unilever Andina Ecuador

Holcim Ecuador

SBA Communications Corporation

Valango

Cervecería Nacional (AB InBev)

Sociedad Matriz SAAM

Urbaser

Motransa

Work highlights

  • Filed a constitutional action on behalf of Conecel seeking the annulment of an arbitral award due to the failure of the arbitral tribunal to request an interpretation of Andean law by the Andean Court of Justice.
  • Acting for SAAM (part of the Chilean Luksic Group) in various procedures filed by Contecon, its biggest competitor, before the Port Authority, the Minister of Transportation and the Attorney General’s Office of Ecuador in order to obtain the revocation of SAAM’s permit to operate its port facility.
  • Acting for Holcim Ecuador in a long-running constitutional case in which former employees of the company (then Cemento Nacional) are seeking the adjustment of their special retirement pension following Ecuador’s adoption of the dollar as its official currency.

Coronel & Pérez

Coronel & Pérez is 'a step ahead' in cross-border disputes and frequently acts alongside large international firms in arbitration matters, including a recent bilateral investment treaty arbitration case in which the firm acted for Chevron in a claim against the Ecuadorian state, with arbitration specialist and practice co-head César Coronel Jones leading the team. Fellow co-head Jorge Sicouret Lynch handles both litigation and arbitration matters, including several substantial actions brought against state agencies by large multinationals. Senior associate César Coronel Ortega recently re-joined the firm, having spent two years at Three Crowns LLP in London, and recently represented the Municipality of Guayaquil in an Chile-seated arbitration case concerning service contracts for the Port of Guayaquil. Associate Juan Pablo Álava is also noted for his strength in local litigation.

Practice head(s):

César Coronel Jones; Jorge Sicouret Lynch

Testimonials

‘The team at Coronel & Pérez have knowledge and skills in diverse areas of law. In complex cases, several lawyers work together to carry out a detailed analysis of the situation and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the case. They are head and shoulders above other firms.’

‘The level of knowledge that they possess is their greatest attribute, as well as their ability to analyse situations and to inspire confidence in clients and the authorities, bringing a sense of calm to the process. Their level of preparation for each case is immense and detailed. Nothing escapes them, and that makes their defence highly effective. César Coronel, Jorge Sicouret and Juan Pablo Álava stand out.’

‘The entire team was at the disposal of our company, banishing all doubts we had regarding our litigation. Coronel & Pérez has a young team which quickly understood the difficulties with our case and proposed favourable solutions.’

César Coronel Jones and César Coronel Ortega stand out. They were available at all times to propose solutions to various problems we encountered in our case.’

‘They have a great ability to understand the problems and requirements of the client. They are a step ahead of other firms.’

César Coronel, Jorge Sicouret and Juan Pablo Álava are diligent and keep in close contact with their clients. They treat clients’ problems as their own.’

‘Our experience with Coronel & Pérez has been extraordinary. Their dedication and professional makes them stand out from other firms – they get involved in cases and show a real sense of commitment and responsibility.’

César Coronel shows real passion for his work.’

Key clients

Egis International

Chevron

Amdocs

Municipality of Guayaquil

Gente Oil

Kimberly Clark/Kimberly Clark Ecuador

GolTV

Dow Chemical

Inmourbanist

Odin Mining

Ecuavisa

Nestlé Ecuador

Aecom

El Universo

Latitude 20

Tech Mahindra

Banco Internacional

Work highlights

  • Representing Egis International (which is majority-owned by the French government) in various administrative and judicial proceedings, including before the Comptroller General of the State, related to contracts with the public company Petroecuador for an amount of approximately $100m.
  • Representing Israel-based telecoms and software company Amdocs in multiple judicial proceedings regarding contractual disputes related to telecoms projects with the public telecoms company Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT).
  • Representing international media company GolTV, which operates throughout Latin America and the United States, in litigation regarding the exclusive rights to broadcast the Ecuadorian National Football Championship.

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

'Unmatched in the Ecuadorian market', Pérez Bustamante & Ponce is active across the full spectrum of disputes work in Ecuador, with significant recent instructions in the fields of torts, constitutional law, post-M&A litigation and procurement disputes. Arbitration, both domestic and international, is another key facet of the team's practice, with clients such as Corporación Quiport and Cardno instructing the firm in complex proceedings. Highly experienced practitioner Rodrigo Jijón-Letort heads the team, handling both litigation and arbitration, alongside Juan Manuel Marchán, who heads up the arbitration team and is particularly recommended for investment treaty cases, and Edgar Ulloa Balladares, who takes point on constitutional law and Supreme Court litigation, as well as handling the strategic element of the firm's largest litigation cases. At the associate level, key figures include Javier Jaramillo-Troya, Alegría Jijón-Andrade and Patricio Quevedo on the arbitration side, along with Ricardo Velasco and José David Ortiz for litigation.

Practice head(s):

Rodrigo Jijón-Letort; Juan Manuel Marchán; Edgar Ulloa

Testimonials

‘Juan Manuel Marchán is a great litigator.’

‘PBP is the best firm in Ecuador and its lawyers are the first we think of when looking for local advice. They are unmatched in the Ecuadorian market and are among the best in Latin America. Not only do they have quality and experience, but they understand what international clients are looking for and are available at any time.’

‘Juan Manuel Marchán, Rodrigo Jijón, Edgar Ulloa and Javier Jaramillo are outstanding in arbitration and litigation matters and we have worked with them successfully in various international and local disputes.’

‘The team were practical, efficient and proactive in the management of the case, and their advice gave us peace of mind during the process. They stand out for their versatility, sense of responsibility and positive results.’

Key clients

ACS Group (Tesca, Maessa y Consorcio GLP)

Cardno (Caminosca y Consorcios)

Corporación Quiport

Consorcio CGGC-Fopeca

Petrex

Banco Pichincha

Abbott Laboratories

Nobis Group and Pachano Group (Conprogra, Hotecu y Operinter)

Conclina (Hospital Metropolitano)

Work highlights

  • Representing Corporación Quiport in four litigation proceedings challenging findings of civil liability by the Comptroller General’s Office against the company for approximately $140m.
  • Defended Maessa in two lawsuits filed by an insurance company seeking payment of counter indemnities issued in relation to insurance bonds for two public contracts.
  • Representing Consorcio CGGC-Fopeca in a judicial process challenging a finding of civil liability by the Comptroller General’s Office with regard to the Paute-Sopladora hydroelectric project.

Robalino Law

Robalino Law remains a prominent force in the Ecuadorian market following its split from the Ferrere network and establishment as an independent domestic entity. Highlighted for its 'technical expertise', the firm is highly active across the full spectrum of disputes work, with teams focusing on complex litigation, arbitration and mediation matters. Managing partner Javier Robalino Orellana is a key member of the firm's arbitration practice, with experience in a range of international cases, including those dealing with multinational governing bodies such as the World Trade Organisation and the Andean Community. The arbitration team was further expanded at partner level in 2021 with the promotion of Luis Carlos Fernández, who also handles a wide range of civil, commercial and labour litigation cases. 'Excellent' senior associate María Teresa Borja is also a key figure in the team.

Practice head(s):

Luis Carlos Fernández; Javier Robalino Orellana

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical expertise.’

‘They have experience in a number of big cases in Ecuador and have a deep understanding of the country and its peculiarities, and many useful contacts.’

‘They have the highest possible capacity for work, dedication and enthusiasm.’

‘It is a very professional team that is very attentive to our needs and problems, committed to the work, and available.’

‘Maria Teresa Borja is an excellent lawyer. She shows her passion for her work through her level of motivation. She has a very good perspective of cases.’

Bustamante & Bustamante

Bustamante & Bustamante handles a wide range of matters in the dispute resolution space, with notable recent instructions in the field of civil, commercial and administrative disputes. The firm is also particularly experienced in alternative dispute resolution, with several practitioners handling complex arbitration and mediation matters. José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa, who is active across the full spectrum of disputes, heads the team alongside senior partner Juan Carlos Bustamante. Other key figures within the team include Juan Felipe Bustamante Crespo, who focuses primarily on contentious corporate matters, José Rafael Bustamante Crespo, who handles cross-border commercial litigation, and associates Francisco Alvear, who is highly recommended for constitutional law, José Francisco Mejía and public law specialist Antonio José Pérez. 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; Juan Carlos Bustamante

Testimonials

‘The disputes team at the Bustamante & Bustamante has dealt with major cases in Ecuador and we are happy we decided to work with them.’

‘José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa and José Rafael Bustamante Crespo are outstanding lawyers. We have worked with them for several years now and the results have been extraordinary.’

‘The team’s knowledge, client service and availability are all strong points, but if I had to highlight one aspect of the practice, it is that they understand our requirements.’

‘Bustamente & Bustamente has a well-rounded team with lawyers who can assist clients in any area of law. They are very methodical and orderly, making the service they provide very efficient and smooth.’

‘What stands out is their knowledge and ability to suggest alternatives to their clients. José Rafael Bustamante has a very commercial perspective, and his advice is effective and profitable.’

‘Bustamante & Bustamante has always been a strategic ally for us in litigation and arbitration cases, advising us and seeking out the best option for our company.’

‘Their strongest point is their client service and timely communication. They explain what can happen in a case, and the best and worst case scenarios, and they take the time to listen to clients and explain all legal terms in detail.’

Key clients

Industrias Ales

China Railway No 9 Engineering Group

Arcotel

Eni Ecuador

Comisersa

Herbalife del Ecuador

Husqvarna Triumph

Instituto de Seguridad Social de las Fuerzas Armadas (ISSFA)

Work highlights

  • Represented Industrias Ales in a multi-jurisdictional lawsuit against CNH International following a $160m claim for unilateral and early termination of a distribution agreement.
  • Represented China Railway No 9 Engineering Group in a lawsuit for $150m against the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education following its decision to terminate a contract for the construction of 200 educational units.
  • Represented Arcotel, the Ecuadorian telecoms regulator, following a constitutional appeal to overturn an arbitral award (in its favour) and a court dismissal of a nullity action.

Consulegis Abogados

Xavier Castro Munoz heads the dispute resolution practice at Guayaquil-based Consulegis Abogados, and handles a wide range of the firm's highest-profile and most complex matters. The firm is particularly well known for its experience in corporate litigation, with notable recent work including Roberto González Torre's representation of Firesa's shareholders, who were seeking to prevent the transfer of assets to a trust by the company's liquidator. The firm takes a multidisciplinary approach to contentious work, with key figures including criminal law specialist Carlos Cortaza Vinueza, labour and asset recovery specialist Gonzalo Jaramillo Loaiza and Carlos Martinez Viteri, who focuses primarily on civil law.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Castro Muñoz

Key clients

Claro – Conecel

Omnilife del Ecuador

Contecon Guayaquil

National Lottery of Ecuador

Boanerges Pereira Espinoza

Consorcio Hidrochone

Chiquita Banana

Financiera de la República (Firesa)

Banco Bolivariano

Work highlights

  • Represented Conecel – Claro in a successful application for injunctive relief from Executive Decree 1027, issued in March 2020, which ordered companies to retain 1.75% of their net monthly sales, representing the charge of income tax in advance.
  • Acted for Amerra Capital Management in seeking the eviction of the opposing party from land owned by a trust of which the client is the beneficiary.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Finesa in an action before the Constitutional Court of Ecuador to prevent the sale of assets of the company valued at $2m to a trust.

CorralRosales

CorralRosales is highly active in the fields of civil, commercial and administrative litigation, alongside a strong alternative dispute resolution and arbitration practice. The firm primarily acts for international clients, with  notable recent instructions from IBM, MasterCard and Mondelez, among others. The team is led by Santiago Palacios, who has a focus on the real estate, finance, insurance, energy and mining sectors, handling a wide range of litigation and arbitration cases, though he is particularly notable in procurement disputes. Xavier Rosales is another key figure within the department, specialising in arbitration cases and competition disputes, as is associate Mateo Zavala, who assists on a wide range of the firm's highest profile cases.

Practice head(s):

Santiago Palacios

Testimonials

‘The most important thing is that the team is capable of handling highly complex international arbitrations involving a huge workload, even when the counter-party is being advised by a large international firm with much greater means and resources.’

‘Xavier Rosales stands out for his enormous knowledge of Ecuadorian law, his commercial insight and his ability to understand the client’s needs.’

‘The level of expertise and knowledge that they have shown during the litigation process is significantly higher than with other firms.’

‘Santiago Palacios has a high level of knowledge, experience and trustworthiness, which has assisted with our defence.’

‘The team are closely involved with their clients and are genuinely interested in understanding their businesses. They offer a personalised service, unlike in very large firms where everything is impersonal.’

‘Santiago Palacios keeps in regular contact with clients and holds weekly meetings to follow up on issues.’

‘It is a comprehensive and multidisciplinary team, which allows us to have a complete view of the possible risks associated with litigation.’

‘Santiago Palacios stands out for his knowledge and integrity.’

Key clients

Banco Pichincha

Repsol

Terpel

Nestle

Grupo Familia

Acciona

Indra Sistemas

BMI

IBM

Elementia – Eternit

Productos Familia

Energizer

Fresenius Kabi

Mastercard

Mondelez

Grünenthal

SAP

Payless ShoeSource

Acería del Ecuador (Adelca)

Copa Airlines

Hannover

Securitas

Work highlights

  • Defended Indra Sistemas in a claim for alleged breach of contract brought by the General Comptroller’s Office, following an audit of the client’s performance of a contract to develop an electronic case management system for the Ecuadorian judiciary.
  • Acted successfully for Banco Pichincha in a claim brought by a judge from the Portoviejo Civil Judicial Unit for non-pecuniary damages of $1.5m, arguing that the bank had published a statement in a newspaper through which his integrity and good name were questioned.
  • Acted for Producto Familia in an investigation initiated by the General Secretariat of the Andean Community into Productos Familia and Kimberly Clark, both the Colombian entities and their Ecuadorian subsidiaries, based on an alleged cartel in the tissue paper industry.

Dentons Paz Horowitz

Dentons Paz Horowitz, the Ecuadorian branch of global firm Dentons, which was formed through its merger with local practice Paz Horowitz Abogados in July 2021, is well placed to handle cross-border matters, and has seen a recent uptick in arbitration and mediation work, including several international cases. The team represents clients from a wide range of industries, with notable recent instructions in the fields of aviation, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and mining. Procurement and administrative law specialist Agustín Acosta Cárdenas leads the team alongside Patricia Andrade, who handles labour disputes, and associate Leyre Suarez, who is active across the full spectrum of contentious work. Founding partner Jorge Paz Durini is another key figure within the team, particularly for arbitration matters.

Practice head(s):

Agustín Acosta; Leyre Suarez; Patricia Andrade

Testimonials

‘They are very professional and handle cases with expertise.’

‘Jorge Paz is our main contact and is very knowledgeable about Ecuadorian law and court procedures.’

‘It is truly a great team. The advice is very good and covers all of our concerns about the case.’

‘They are very attentive, knowledgeable and available, and take the time to explain all the different scenarios.’

‘The team have many strengths: they maintain good communication with clients, they are organised and work well internally, they anticipate problems and correct them immediately, and they pay attention to detail. They are skilled in negotiating and reaching agreements with the other party, and they have good experience in handling litigation.’

‘They identify the priorities so they can address what is needed at the right time. They are organised and follow up on details. We feel they really care about the welfare of our company.’

Key clients

Titan Mineral Group (Elipe, GVR and GVP)

Quifatex

Condon & Foresyth

Novacero

Talma Ecuador Servicios Aeroportuarios

Tuscany Perforación Petrolera (Tuscanyperf)

KLM Cia Real Holandesa de Aviación

Sevmorgeo

Aecon AG Constructores

Almacenes De Prati

Empresa Durini Industria de Madera (Edimca)

Goodyear de Colombia

CenturyLink

Natural Capital Mining

Work highlights

  • Acting for Sevmorgeo in a $20m claim for breach of contract by the Ecuadorian state.
  • Acting for Aecon AG Constructores in an investment arbitration case relating to a fine imposed by the Internal Revenue Service of Ecuador to pay income tax to the Ecuadorian state despite a legal exemption.
  • Acted for Aerogal (now Avianca Ecuador) in claim for damages due to an accident caused to an engine by one of Tabacarcen’s employees.

ECIJA GPA

As one of the few international firms operating in Ecuador, ECIJA GPA is particularly prominent in cross-border disputes; in a recent highlight, Blanca Gómez de la Torre represented state-owned company Arcotel in an arbitration initiated by Mexican telecom company Conecel, claiming breach of contract. De la Torre specialises in alternative dispute resolution, and heads the practice alongside Juan Carlos Montenegro, who focuses on civil and labour litigation,  and Byron Sotomayor, who handles both litigation and arbitration work from the Guayaquil office. Camila Andrade and Juan Domingo Cárdenas are key figures from the associate ranks.

Practice head(s):

Blanca Gómez de la Torre; Juan Carlos Montenegro; Byron Sotomayor

Testimonials

‘The team has a lot of experience and is up to date with changes to the different regulations. They are always available when we contact them and make sure to follow up on the matters we have discussed.’

‘Byron Sotomayor is always available to take care of situations, even outside office hours. He provides a very professional service.’

‘ECIJA’s lawyers have extensive experience in arbitration and litigation proceedings.’

‘The firm’s strength lies in the experience of each of the lawyers in litigation and arbitration, including several international arbitration processes that have been carried out in the country.’

‘They have a varied team with specialists in different areas.’

‘They are always available and bring different ideas to the table, giving us various options to resolve the conflict.’

‘ECIJA stands out, in particular, for its strength in coming up with litigation strategies and its speciality in the procedural sphere. The team is agile and always takes care to answer any questions that we have about our case.’

Key clients

GME Cita and ACTN Consortium

Arcotel

DirecTV

Baker Hughes International Services (a subsidiary of General Electric)

Comercializadora Ledesma & Ledesma Agrogruled

Maquinarias y Vehiculos (Mavesa)

Tecnovia Madeira Sociedad de Empreitadas

Centralmotors

Sonorizaciones Tecnologicas del Ecuador (Sonotec)

Hospimagenes

Adelprocao

Esbeli

Acerias Nacionales del Ecuador (ANDEC)

Banco Pichincha

Banco Internacional

Banco Amazonas

Work highlights

  • Acting for state telecoms regulator Arcotel in arbitration proceedings for breach of contract brought against it by Mexican telecoms company Conecel.
  • Acting for DirecTV Ecuador (a subsidiary of AT&T) in two extraordinary protection actions against judgments of the Provincial Court, arguing that the client’s constitutional rights were violated.
  • Acting for Banco Pichincha in the collection of outstanding debts.

Romero Arteta Ponce

Alternative dispute resolution specialist Diego Romero heads the team at Romero Arteta Ponce and has acted in several recent arbitration cases, including representing Zaimella del Ecuador in a contractual dispute with a franchisor, as well as handling mediation. Amparo Romero is another key figure in the field of mediation, while Gustavo Romero stands out on the litigation side of the practice. Associate Gabriela Villagómez is also noted for her strength in arbitration matters.

Practice head(s):

Diego Romero

Testimonials

‘A very knowledgeable team.’

‘Diego Romero and Gustavo Romero have knowledge and experience in this area and work closely with clients.’

‘Diego Romero has extensive experience in dispute resolution. He has advised us in many cases and enabled the company to avoid litigation.’

‘The team’s experience is undoubtedly good.’

‘Their knowledge of dispute resolution and good relationships with conciliation bodies and the courts are a plus.’

Key clients

Suelopetrol

Westcon & Comstor Americas – Synnex

Toyota del Ecuador

General Electric

Zaimella del Ecuador

Banco Pichincha

Siemens

Weatherford

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Lipesa

Mafre Seguros Spain

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

Work highlights

  • Acting for Suelopetrol in an international arbitration over a claim for damages for the termination of two contracts in Ecuador.
  • Acting for Westcon & Comstor Americas – Synnex in a mediation process.
  • Defended General Electric in three lawsuits over the termination of distribution agreements in Ecuador, in addition to a New York arbitration case.

Cevallos Casals Balseca & Bilbao Abogados

Roberto Bilbao Rosati heads the team at Cevallos Casals Balseca & Bilbao Abogados, which handles civil, labour, administrative and tax litigation, in addition to mediation and arbitration, particularly for commercial cases. The team is also highly experienced in contract disputes arising from the TMT sector, with both Daniela Cevallos and Carlos Julio Balseca Avila having handled such work recently. At the associate level, Luis Anibal Garcés Paredes is one to watch, particularly for clients in the automotive retail industry.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Bilbao Rosati

Key clients

Amdocs

CNEEC

Enerpretrol

Finlink

Lolcom

Ciberc

Autofenix

Protecompu

Bluestone Recoveries International

SIAE

Work highlights

  • Acted for Finlink in the collection of more than $500,000 of debt.
  • Representing Protecompu in the collection of debt from the public company Fabrec for the provision of two data centre for a value of $200,000 plus interests and damages.
  • Representing CNEEC in an enforcement trial against the company Proyaben before the civil court in the city of Quito for a value of $500,00 plus interest.

Durini & Guerrero Abogados

Durini & Guerrero Abogados is particularly active in contentious-administrative cases, representing public and private sector clients in disputes relating to tax and public contracts, among other matters. It has notable strength in acting for clients in the financial, mining and construction industries. In addition, the team has a strong alternative dispute resolution practice, with experience in international arbitration and mediation. At the head of the practice, Juan Francisco Guerrero focuses on constitutional cases, and senior associate Tomás Barrionuevo has experience in a wide range of litigation.

Practice head(s):

Juan Francisco Guerrero del Pozo; Tomás Barrionuevo Vaca

Testimonials

‘Durini & Guerrero has very professional lawyers who are very strong in technical legal matters, and deal personally with the doubts and concerns of the client. I have noticed their very careful and committed prior preparation for hearings. I feel comfortable and safe with the work of this firm, in all cases in which they represent us.’

‘Beyond their excellent technical skills, Juan Francisco Guerrero and Tomás Barrionuevo are responsible lawyers who are fully aware of our cases and concerns, and this is Durini & Guerrero’s best asset. Empathy is a common soft skill among the partners and members of the law firm.’

‘The team are prompt, well prepared, accessible and provide good advice.’

‘They are masters of the subject matter and of the legal strategy.’

‘It is a very well-rounded team.’

‘Juan Francisco Guerrero is an excellent lawyer. He is up to date with all the matters on which he advises us. In addition, he is an academic, which gives him a particular understanding of matters and a very instructive and effective way of explaining them. He is always available, no matter the day or time.’

‘They stand out for their knowledge of our industry and up-to-date understanding of the current law and regulations.’

‘Tomas Barrionuevo is always available to deal with our queries and requirements promptly.’

Key clients

Construtora Norberto Odebrecht

Jvseimec Ingeniería

Hidrotambo

Cornucopia Holding

Amdocs Ecuador

Banco Pichincha

Cooperativa De Ahorro Y Crédito Cooprogreso

Álvarez Larrea Equipos Medicos (Alem)

Nipro Medical Corporation

Asociación De Laboratorios Farmacéuticos (Alafar)

Hanrine Ecuadorian Exploration and Mining

Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado Municipal Del Cantón Pedro Vicente Maldonado

Inv Minerales Ecuador (Invminec)

Cámara De Mineria Del Ecuador

Seguros Unidos

Asociación De Compañías Aseguradoras Del Ecuador (ACOSE)

Aekia

Work highlights

  • Advised Hidrotambo on a $2m lawsuit against Banco del Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social.
  • Acting for Aekia in an arbitral procedure for the collection of debts of $1.5m against an industrial conglomerate.
  • Acted for Etinar in a contentious-administrative lawsuit against the Office of the Comptroller General of the State.

Fabara & Compañía

Fabara & Compañía handles a wide range of cases including civil, commercial, administrative and constitutional claims, acting for domestic and international clients. The firm handles both mediation and arbitration, though it is most active in litigation before Ecuadorian courts, including follow-on cases from other disputes such as set-aside proceedings for arbitral awards. Mariana Villagomez Álvarez and María Rosa Fabara Vera head the team, with the former focusing on the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, while senior associate María Fernanda Palacios Miranda is also noted. 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 Villagómez

Testimonials

‘They have specialised technical knowledge of our area of business.’

‘Maria Rosa Fabara provides a spectacular service. Her knowledge is the pillar of the practice, as well as her affable and effective communication style. These qualities give clients peace of mind when she is handling a case.’

‘Mariana Villagomez has extensive knowledge and technical ability, and is always available to deal with enquiries and requests.’

‘The team stand out for their professionalism, specialist knowledge of their areas of law, and personalised service.’

‘Fabara & Compania has vast knowledge and experience and the team advises us from the very beginning of the legal process, suggesting all possible alternatives and providing support.’

‘Maria Rosa Fabara and Mariana Villagomez are outstanding.’

Lexvalor Abogados

Lexvalor Abogados is frequently instructed by clients in the financial and real estate sectors, advising on a range of litigation, arbitration and mediation cases. The team is jointly led by Daniela Irigoyen Samaniego, who is highly experienced in contract disputes and frequently works with large investment managers, and Juan Francisco Almeida Granja, who focuses on real estate litigation and commercial arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Daniela Irigoyen Samaniego; Juan Francisco Almeida Granja

Testimonials

‘I think the most important thing is that they always seek to protect the interests of the company over any other aspect, including economic convenience, since they seek to reach agreements before turning to lawsuits or legal processes. They are good negotiators, especially Daniela Irigoyen. The differentiating factor is that they know a lot about business and ours in particular, which gives them have an advantage in a legal process, since they do not only focus on the norm. They are responsible and go deep into the cases.’

‘Unlike at other firms, where one or two people excel, Lexvalor is made up of a team of trained and responsible professionals. They have lawyers and teams in all areas and they coordinate the work between them very well, in such a way that a case can be handled from all sides and points of view. Daniela Irigoyen knows a lot about the law in various areas and about the business, which means she can pursue or defend a case or lead a negotiation in a better way. She is charismatic, intelligent and seeks solutions. They always stick to the law and share our values, which is very important to us.’

‘Lexvalor’s team are highly committed and empathetic with their clients, in addition to having legal expertise and in-depth knowledge of the legislation. For me that is a very important differentiating factor with respect to other firms.’

‘Lexvalor handle all of our legal matters since they know all aspects of our business and have a clear vision of it. They have dealt with all of our most important legislation in recent years, with successful results for our company.’

‘It is a dynamic team that provides personal attention to clients. They cover most areas of law, which facilitates our relationship, since we can go to them for all of our issues. We have a relationship of trust earned over time and results. In litigation and arbitration, they have a lot of experience and being business savvy and having good business acumen means they can handle disputes in a better way, with knowledge that goes beyond the procedural norms. They are able to answer any question from the other party, have a clear strategy, and think about the best outcome for the client, even if that is not necessarily litigation.’

‘Daniela Irigoyen is an excellent lawyer – knowledgeable in all areas, a very good negotiator, practical and very efficient.’

Key clients

Fideval Administradora de Fondos y Fideicomisos

Banco Pichincha

Nestlé Ecuador

Uribe & Schwarzkpof

DirecTV Ecuador

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

GCFNI Research Analysis

Asociación Mutualista de Ahorro y Crédito Para la Vivienda Pichincha

Creaciones Juventus

Arthrex

Work highlights

  • Acting for Imbauto, lead concessionaire of the Chevrolet brand in the Sierra Norte area of the country, in the recovery of debt owed as a result of financing vehicles.
  • Assisted Mutualista Pichincha in a mediation with Promopinto over the failure to fulfil a contract to sell several properties that were under construction.
  • Acting for US-based medical supply producer Arthrex in terminating its agreement with Silverti for the distribution of products in the coastal region of Ecuador, after Silverti was involved in a national corruption scandal.

López Ribadeneira Mora

López Ribadeneira Mora is particularly notable in the field of administrative law cases against public entities, with a focus on the construction, natural resources, infrastructure and commercial sectors. Daniel López Suárez is particularly experienced in public procurement matters, and leads the team alongside Sebastián Mora, who is recommended for cases in the oil and defence sectors. At the associate level, Daniela Fernandez provides key support.

Practice head(s):

Daniel López Suárez; Sebastián Mora

Testimonials

‘What stands out about López Ribadeneira Mora is its commitment and dedication. Thanks to them, our company is close to resolving a very long-running dispute.’

‘Their knowledge of the law and legal procedures and the forcefulness of their arguments in litigation sets them apart from other firms in the market. Daniel López is a highly prominent and respected practitioner.’

‘They stand out for their experience in public procurement cases.’

‘The firm provide a personal service to their clients. Their experience in civil litigation and public contracting matters gives me confidence that I am in good hands.’

‘Daniel López Suárez and Sebastián Mora treat me as a friend rather than a client and that is essential to me. They are very good at clearly presenting their cases in court.’

‘They have excellent knowledge and response times, and moreover they are experienced in handling litigation, which allows them to set out strategies with greater confidence.’

‘They have a broad knowledge of the subject matter which allows them to resolve cases and issues. Their responses are always on time and of a high quality.’

‘Daniel López has extensive knowledge and experience in the fields of law we consult him on, and is transparent in his actions and management of the case.’

Key clients

Grupo Wong (Reybanpac, Reysahiwal, Reyleche, Fertisa and others)

Irigoyen Corp

Sixto Rodriguez

Consortium Cueva – Bran

Jofelu

Consultora Trazados

Morken Services Ecuador

Work highlights

  • Acted successfully for private provider Trazados in several claims against the Ecuadorian Ministry of Transport and Public Works.
  • Acted for Reybanpac in a series of administrative and judicial proceedings involving a land dispute, and managed to achieve the award of a considerable area of land.
  • Successfully acted for six former officials of Petroecuador, the state oil company, in several cases against the Comptroller General’s Office, seeking the annulment of sanctions of nearly $5m.

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados is highly experienced in a range of litigation, focusing mainly on tort law in civil and commercial cases. The team operates across both the Quito and Guayaquil offices, with Patricio Peña Romero heading up the former, while Gonzalo Noboa Baquerizo leads the latter office. Peña is highly experienced in financial disputes and asset recovery cases, while Noboa is active in a wide range of civil litigation, including defamation, unfair competition and contract disputes, among others. While the team saw the departure of Sebastián Cortez Merlo for Pérez Bustamante & Ponce in January 2021, director Margarita Vélez Casanova remains a key figure within the team, and handles a wide range of litigation and arbitration cases.

Practice head(s):

Gonzalo Noboa Baquerizo; Patricio Peña Romero

Testimonials

‘They monitor their cases closely and respond efficiently to queries.’

‘Rapid responses and clear advice.’

Key clients

Otecel

Telconet

Tomislav Topic Granados

Lubricantes Internacionales (Lubrisa)

Ubesa

DHL Express

Banco Pichincha

Banco Internacional

Minutocorp

Transfuelgroup

Navipac

Masteri-Gentrack

Nutec America Costa Rica

Grupo Corpesa

Grünenthal

Unifer

Adecco Ecuador

Montecz

Ecuanave

Gente Oil Ecuador

Work highlights

  • Acting for Ubesa in a $10m claim for moral damages brought against the company.
  • Represented Otecel in a lawsuit for damages filed by a former distributor over the alleged erroneous reporting of data.
  • Acted for businessman Tomislav Topic in a family trial.

Pino Elizalde Abogados

Marco Elizalde heads the litigation team at Pino Elizalde Abogados, which is most notable for its strong following in highly regulated sectors, such as alcohol, oil and gas, and mining, alongside a substantial bankruptcy litigation practice. The team handles all levels of litigation, with recent cases including several appeals before the Constitutional Court on behalf of Cervecería Nacional, as well as an appeal before the National Court of Justice on behalf of Holcim in a case against the Ecuadorian state. Key figures from the associate ranks include bankruptcy litigation specialist Jorge Cedeño, and Paulette Ocampo, who focuses on commercial arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Marco Elizalde

Testimonials

‘Pino Elizalde has extensive strategic ability in litigation and offers creative solutions to complex problems.’

‘The lawyers are serious and knowledgeable in their field, and work well as a team. There is clear leadership and communications with the client are transparent.’

‘They have an extraordinary sense of efficiency and empathy with the client’s needs.’

‘A very strong team of excellent lawyers and paralegals. They keep in regular communication with clients.’

‘It is a personal service. They are always available to answer any questions or concerns.’

Key clients

Cervecería Nacional (affiliate of AB InBev in Ecuador)

Holcim Agregados (affiliate of Lafarge Holcim in Ecuador)

Core Petroleum

Delcorp & Ecuatoriana de Granos (Ecuagran)

Grupo Liris

Univisa

Controles

Traxys Europe

Bank of Moscow

Bluetrust (Enmira Publicidad)

Makita Latin America

Expoguayaquil

Sociedad Promotora de Inversiones (Inversur)

Biosuper

Francisco Vera

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cervecería Nacional (the affiliate of AB InBev in Ecuador) in successfully overturning a decision ordering the client to pay more than $90m to alleged ex-workers.
  • Representing Cervecería Nacional in an action before the Constitutional Court of Ecuador challenging a governmental measure.
  • Representing the Bank of Moscow (VBT) in the collection of $150m from Russian banana business JFC Group.

Quevedo & Ponce

Quevedo & Ponce is particularly recommended for appellate work, frequently handling complex cases across all levels of the court system, in addition to a strong first-instance practice. Ernesto Guarderas Izquierdo heads the team, and handles a wide range of civil, commercial, constitutional and IP litigation, alongside arbitration work. Other key figures in the team include senior partner Alejandro Ponce Martínez, Maria Isabel Zurita, who handles a variety of procedural law disputes, and Monserrat Barreno, who is especially active in cross-border work and manages the firm's Guayaquil office.

Practice head(s):

Ernesto Guarderas Izquierdo

Testimonials

‘It is an honest, highly trained and professional team. They are agile and deliver good results.’

‘They maintain an excellent reputation and show real integrity while maintaining reasonable overall costs.’

‘They have been a tenacious and resourceful legal team throughout the years that they have handled our cases, proving to be highly knowledgable and fluent in legal matters and procedures, and keeping up to date with and applying all changes to the legislation.’

‘The lawyers have a deep knowledge of Ecuadorian law and are great strategists.’

‘They stand out for their close relationships with clients, sincerity and dedication to their cases.’

Sempértegui Abogados

Sempértegui Abogados is experienced in a wide spectrum of litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings, handling matters through their entire lifecycle, including asset recovery and appeals. Santiago Salazar heads the team, and has recently handled a range of cases including contract disputes, land and real estate litigation, and actions against local and state governments.  The highly experienced Leonardo Sempértegui is another key figure within the team, and is particularly notable for public procurement litigation.

Practice head(s):

Santiago Salazar

Key clients

Gonzalez Cano Diego Alfredo

Santa Maria

Del Pozo Guillermina Del Carmen

Estudio Juridico Sempertegui Ontaneda Abogados, Cevallos Ayala Francisco Xavier

Promont

Vicente Ocampo

Kreston Audit Services

AWT

La Cuerda Produccion Audiovisual (Cuerdavisual)

Camberley Development

Cananvalley Flowers

Kcs Ecuador

Enrique David Zárate González

David Mauricio Romo Rodríguez

Weatherford South America

Airtificial Intelligence Structures

Sedemi

Innovasystems

Vicente Ocampo Jaramillo

César Enrique Wong

Edificio Lafayette

Work highlights

  • Acting for Camberley Development in seeking a protection action against the municipality of Quito, ordering compensation for the confiscation of three of the client’s properties.
  • Acting for Kreston Audit Services in seeking compensation for the unilateral termination of its contract with the National Telecommunications Company (CNT).
  • Acting for a client in seeking the recovery of confiscated real estate in Quito.

Tobar ZVS

Tobar ZVS has a particular focus on mediation, but also handles litigation and domestic and international arbitration. The team has recently expanded its practice to act alongside the firm’s insurance department in cases for clients in the insurance sector. Other areas of strength include mining, food and beverages, plant breeding and construction. Oscar Vela leads the team, and is experienced in commercial, IP and constitutional cases. René De Sola is noted for insurance-related cases, and associate Andrés Larrea has wide-ranging litigation and arbitration experience.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Vela Descalzo

Key clients

Lumina Group

SolGold

Coca Cola del Ecuador

Rosen Tantau and Rosen Tantau del Ecuador

Fundación Guayasamin

Francisco Serrano

International Rose Breeders

Interplant

Plantas Técnicas (Plantec)

Generali

Work highlights

  • Acted for Exploraciones Novomining in relation to a petition brought by a group of citizens before the Constitutional Court, seeking to prohibit mining activities in three areas in the Imbabura province, where the client has mining concessions.
  • Representing Plantas Técnicas (Plantec) in administrative actions before the IP authority (SENADI), seeking to impose sanctions on companies growing rose varieties developed by the client.
  • Represented Fundación Guayasamín in a complex inheritance dispute over the estate of Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín.