Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution

With a strong presence in the shipping and maritime sectors, Guayaquil-based Apolo Abogados frequently acts for major shipowners and insurance companies in litigious matters.
Boutique firm Estudio Jurídico Morales & Asociados focuses on litigation, while also acting for public and private companies in mediation, arbitration and nullity of agreement cases; former magistrate of the Constitutional Court and firm founder, Marco Morales Tobar, is the key contact.
Founded in March 2021, TADIR Dispute Resolution constitutes Ecuador’s first, specialist, international arbitration boutique; founding partner David Toscano – a former foreign associate at Three Crowns LLP – has experience of sizeable cases under ICSID, ICC and UNCITRAL rules with recent matters including a multimillion-dollar UNCITRAL case against Petroecuador and a case brought against the State under the US-Ecuador bilateral investment treaty.

Dispute resolution in Ecuador

Bustamante Fabara

Following the merger between Bustamante & Bustamante and Fabara & Compañía, which took effect in November 2021, Bustamante Fabara benefits from an expanded offering, encompassing civil, commercial, administrative and constitutional expertise. With ‘long-term business and profit vision’, the firm is also active in alternative dispute resolution, handling complex arbitration and mediation on behalf of clients in the energy, insurance and telecommunication industries. The team is led by José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa and Maria Rosa Fabara, both of whom are noted for their longstanding expertise in the full spectrum of disputes work; their recent respective mandates include acting for telecoms regulator Arcotel in arbitration proceedings and for Pfizer in a constitutional action. Other notable figures include Mariana Villagomez Álvarez, whose practice centres on contentious insurance matters. Working alongside her is senior associate María Fernanda Palacios, with a similar focus on the pharmaceutical and insurance sectors. Additional stand-out figures in the associate pool include Francisco Alvear, who is active in litigation and alternative dispute resolution; José Francisco Mejía, an expert in civil, labour and administrative disputes; and Antonio José Pérez, a public law specialist.

Practice head(s):

José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa; María Rosa Fabara

Testimonials

‘Long-term business and profit vision.’

‘The strength of the firm lies in the knowledge and experience of José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa.’

Key clients

JSV Belzarubezhstroy

Arcotel

China International Water & Electric

Zurich Seguros

China Railway No. 9 Engineering Group

Pfizer

Fideicomiso Mercantil Las Plazas

AIG Metropolitana

Eni Ecuador

Herbalife del Ecuador

Comisersa

Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Pedro Moncayo

Alltech

Work highlights

  • Represented China International Water & Electric in two lawsuits demanding payment of indirect costs and the termination of a civil works contract for an aggregate amount of $90m.
  • Represented Zurich Seguros Ecuador in a constitutional protection action, following a ruling which ordered it to pay $40m to an insured company.
  • Successfully represented Arcotel in an arbitration dealing with sectorial competition regulation in the Ecuadorian telecommunications market.

Carmigniani Pérez Abogados

Carmigniani Pérez Abogados remains a leader in disputes and is very highly-regarded for its expertise when representing foreign and domestic clients in arbitration before the ICC and domestic forums. With ‘excellent litigators’, the practice also acts in a range of proceedings, with recent cases ranging from annulment challenges to large-scale litigation in the construction sector. Hugo García-Larriva is active in this regard; he co-heads the practice and recently lead a case on behalf of Sinohydro by filing four claims against Ecuador’s General Comptroller's Office in connection with an infrastructure project. Expert arbitrator Eduardo Carmigniani and fellow arbitration specialist Álvaro Galindo co-lead the practice alongside García, with Galindo having joined the firm from Dechert LLP’s Washington DC office in January 2021. Further changes to the team include the promotion of Daniel Dzioba to the partnership in January 2022, and the departure of former senior associate Priscilla Falconi  to Falconi Puig Abogados in July 2021.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Carmigniani; Hugo García-Larriva; Alvaro Galindo

Key clients

Conecel

Power China

Holcim Ecuador

SBA Communications

Valango

Cervecería Nacional

Sociedad Matriz SAAM

Urbaser

Consorcio Hospital Machala

Inversiones Inmobiliarias IGSA

Luzar Trading

Mapfre

Steen International

ZTE

Proenergy Services

Guillermo Lasso Mendoza

Superdeporte

Equinox

Mundo Deportivo Medeport

Dinadec

Conservas del Mar

Coronel & Pérez

Coronel & Pérez provides an ‘exceptional’ service tailored towards cross-border disputes. It is particularly active in arbitration in the oil sector, with recent highlights including its representation of Chevron in a bilateral investment treaty case against the Ecuadorian state. Leading this matter and the firm’s wider practice is César Coronel Jones, who has deep experience in international arbitration. Fellow co-heads Hernán Pérez Loose and Jorge Sicouret further strengthen the firm’s arbitral expertise, with Sicouret’s practice also extending to litigation and claims brought against state entities. Another key figure in the team is senior associate César Coronel Ortega, noted for his role in representing the Municipality of Guayaquil in Chile-based arbitration. In August 2021, the firm saw the departure of longstanding partner Boanerges Rodríguez Freire and senior associate Boanerges Rodríguez Velásquez, who went on to establish Rodríguez | Rodríguez. The following month, the team welcomed back Verónica Rodríguez after almost four years at the Constitutional Court of Ecuador and the Arbitration Center of the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce.

Practice head(s):

César Coronel Jones; Hernán Pérez Loose; Jorge Sicouret Lynch

Testimonials

‘The service has been exceptional because of their personalized attention.’

‘Deep analysis in terms of decision making, as well as quick responses.’ 

 

Key clients

Electroquil

Servicios Integrados Pañaturi

Servicios Petroleros Igapo

Egis International

Inmourbanist

Aecon Group

Acon

Ecuavisa

Kimberly Clark

Gente Oil

Amdocs

Odin Mining del Ecuador

Grupo Ferrer Internacional

Aecom

Municipality of Guayaquil

Dow Chemical

El Universo

Work highlights

  • Represented Inmourbanist in high-profile $12m competition-related litigation.
  • Represented Ecuavisa in litigation against the tax authority worth more than $1m.
  • Represented El Universo in proceedings at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in relation to breaches of the freedom of expression rights.

Consulegis Abogados

Celebrating twenty years in the market, the Guayaquil-based Consulegis Abogados is particularly active in corporate litigation, frequently acting for shareholders in relation to asset transfers and liquidation proceedings. The team is led by Xavier Castro Munoz, who handles complex and/or sensitive civil and commercial litigation and arbitration (including matters of high public interest). Other key figures include criminal law expert Carlos Cortaza Vinueza; contentious labour law and asset-recovery specialist, Gonzalo Jaramillo Loaiza; civil law expert Carlos Martinez Viteri; and Roberto González Torre who handles shareholder conflicts and arbitration. At associate level, Javier Freile (litigation, company law and tax) is also noted; as are procedural specialist José Francisco Acosta and penal specialist Jorge Luis Sánchez Cobo. The practice was further strengthened with the July-2021 hire of compliance, transparency and anti-corruption focused litigator José Leopoldo Quirós Rumbea in July 2021.

Practice head(s):

Xavier Castro

CorralRosales

CorralRosales is particularly active in the field of civil, commercial and administrative litigation. It is also active in arbitral matters and has experience in alternative dispute resolution and mediation. The team is led by Santiago Palacios, with a focus on the real estate, insurance, energy and finance sectors; he represents clients in a broad range of litigious and arbitral disputes and has a particular niche in procurement disputes. Additional partner level participation is provided by managing partner Xavier Rosales who is noted for arbitration cases and disputes relating to competition; while at associate level, senior Mateo Zavala, undertakes civil, administrative, constitutional and labour litigation (including procedural elements), along with administrative sanctioning proceedings.

Dentons Paz Horowitz

Dentons Paz Horowitz benefits from its position as the local (Ecuadorian) office of a global international platform insofar as that this permits the team immediate access to profound knowledge and understanding of legal practice in different national jurisdictions, thereby greatly facilitating its capability to effectively design strategy when handling cross-border cases. The practice represents a broad array of clients, notably from regulated sectors such as pharma, insurance, finance and the extractive industries (but also as regards matters including , construction, tourism and public procurement), and regularly handles public, administrative, constitutional, civil, labour, IP, consumer protection and contract law litigation. The department is divided into a dispute resolution team led by dual-qualified (Ecuador/New York) associate-director Leyre Suarez, who specialises in complex litigation regarding administrative, commercial, labour and civil liability matters. Suárez also handles domestic and international arbitration, both commercial (under ICC and UNCITRAL rules) and investor-state (ICSID). Nevertheless, the arbitration and ADR practice is led by Agustin Acosta who has experience of ICSID and ICC cases (as well as ad hoc cases under other rules), and whose experience includes time as an international associate in Shearman & Sterling LLP‘s international arbitration team in both Washington DC and Paris. The practice group also has recourse to co-founding partner Jorge Paz-Durini who has extensive (private) arbitration and litigation experience.

Practice head(s):

Leyre Suarez; Jorge Paz-Durini

Key clients

Avv Aviation Industries

Applus

Dentons Uruguay

Goodyear de Colombia

Edimca

KLM

Condon & Forsyth

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Law Office

Quifatex

Byzantium

Work highlights

  • Represented Goodyear de Colombia in connection with a process to demand the annulment of an outstanding obligation of $4.5m.
  • Sponsored Titan Minerals in a judicial processes of a civil nature for patrimonial debts of $5m.
  • Sponsored Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Law Office in relation to contractual breaches in the execution of work with the Ecuadorian state, seeking damages of approximately $21.5m.

ECIJA GPA

ECIJA GPA is noted for its international reach, acting for domestic and foreign clients in international arbitration, mediation and administrative litigation. Recent highlights saw the local team act for Consepetro in a mediation procedure with Petroecuador, concerning contractual failures and which could as yet result in international arbitration. Active on this matter (and also leading the Quito-based disputes practice) are Blanca Gómez , who has over 20 years’ experience in civil, commercial and administrative litigation, along with national and international arbitration; and Juan Carlos Montenegro a procedural specialist with over two decades’ experience and a particular focus on civil and labour matters. In Guayaquil, Byron Sotomayor heads the practice; his experience centres on civil, labour, commercial and administrative litigation. Other notable figures include Christel Gaibor, an arbitration specialist with particular knowledge of administrative and tax matters (as well as litigation); and Bayardo Poveda, whose deep knowledge of corporate, competition and oil-and-gas matters ensures he is frequently involved in both litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

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

Testimonials

‘Its composition by a multidisciplinary team of lawyers favors synergies both between the firm’s own lawyers and the company’s internal team, obtaining a global and comprehensive vision of the matters they deal with.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the regulatory framework in the country for conflict resolution. The firm has supported us and provided timely advice with a team of professionals with high professionalism and values, which is the main thing that our company seeks.’

‘Knowledge and professionalism, added to their human quality, mean that we have the support of an advisory team for conflict resolution in the projects where ECIJA supports us. Bayardo Poveda, Blanca Gomez and Christel Gaibor have stood out in our relationship.’

‘ECIJA GPA is a firm that has given us a lot of confidence in technical-legal defense, with professionals with solid knowledge in matters, especially in arbitration.’

‘ECIJA GPA is different from other law firms since they provide a direct, personalized, confidential service, based on ethical and moral principles, which generates trust with the client. The company is very satisfied with the service provided.’

‘The lawyers are very open to listening and understanding the details of the case.’

‘The people at ECIJA GPA are very close and empathic.’

Key clients

Constructora Villacreces Andrade

Groupe Momentané d’Entreprises

Central National Gottesman Europe

Trecx

Directv Ecuador

Banco del Pacífico

Carlos Posligua

Condor Servicios Petroleros

Joshue Daniel Manobanda Muñoz

PFC Controls

Work highlights

  • Advised Ecuador TLC in an arbitration claim in the chamber of commerce of Quito against Petroecuador in relation to a contractual breach.
  • Advised PFC Controls in filling an access to information action to prove illegitimacy in contracting processes.
  • Advised the President of the Republic of Ecuador on the partition of an inheritance.

Lexvalor Abogados

The dispute resolution team at Lexvalor Abogados regularly acts for clients -particularly in the financial and real estate sectors- in a variety of litigation, arbitration and mediation processes. Among recent highlights, the team acted for Imbauto in a judicial recovery of credits and a consumer defence claim. Leadership of the practice is divided between Daniela Irigoyen Samaniego, an expert in contract disputes involving investment managers; Juan Francisco Almeida, who focuses on real estate litigation and commercial arbitration; and César Sánchez, who is noted as a key contact for arbitration and litigation focused on contractual and extra-contractual civil liability. Sánchez joined the team from Axis Consultores Legales in May 2021. Also noted, associate Mariela Moreno is highly regarded for her preparation and handling of administrative, judicial and arbitration proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Daniela Irigoyen; Juan Francisco Almeida; César Sánchez

Testimonials

‘Personalised attention and timely clarification of legal queries. It is a team that complements itself in the various professional areas, with specialists of a high professional level. The cost-benefit ratio is adequate, so billing is within that ratio.’

‘The professionals are young people with great academics and training, which helps keep the firm relevant.’

‘What we like about this law firm is that they are interested in our market and know how it works, in such a way that, when there is any problem, they advise us with knowledge of the sector. On the other hand, they provide advice in several areas.’

‘The lawyers are very empathetic and above all they are always available to our requirements at any time and on any day when there are urgent cases, especially Juan Francisco Almeida.’

‘This practice provides comprehensive solutions under one roof, has extensive experience in different branches of law, provides personalized attention, understands our business in depth, which greatly facilitates management, and maintains relationships within the union and with authorities.’

‘The firm’s lawyers are strategic business allies due to their knowledge, experience, involvement and commitment. Daniela Irigoyen leads the legal strategy for all conflicts we have in our line of business. In recent years we have had to face complex, high-risk and high-quantity legal processes, where Lexvalor led the litigation management strategy.’

‘Juan Francisco Almeida is very professional and empathic.’

Key clients

Fideval

Banco Pichincha

Nestle Ecuador

Vallejo Araujo

Industrias Ales

Cervecería Nacional

Asociación Mutualista de Ahorro y Crédito para la Vivienda Pichincha

Consorcio Pichincha

Pontificia Universidad Católica Del Ecuador

Holcim

Lafarge

Work highlights

  • Acted for Holcim on the recovery of several credits in its favour, totalling  $3.5m.
  • Represented Fideval in a protection action initiated by Criera Ecuador in relation to a construction contract terminated unilaterally for the amount of $9m.
  • Acted on behalf of Drivum Capital on a breach of contract for the amount of $500k.

Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados

With a presence in Quito and Guayaquil, Noboa, Peña & Torres, Abogados acts in a range of litigation and has a particular focus on tort-related claims arising in the context of civil and commercial cases. Name partner Gonzalo Noboa leads the team and has over 30 years' experience in the dispute resolution arena - particularly in civil litigation with a focus on defamation, unfair competition, and contract disputes. Working alongside him is Patricio Peña Romero, an expert in financial disputes and asset recovery cases. Other key figures include practice directors (of the dispute resolution and oil-and-gas practices, respectively), Margarita Vélez, who handles constitutional, administrative, civil and family litigation, as well as arbitration); and Francisco Larrea, whose practice includes local and international litigation and arbitration related to the hydrocarbons and projects sectors).

Practice head(s):

Gonzalo Noboa

Pino Elizalde Abogados

With a growing profile in the sector, Marco Elizalde leads the litigation practice at Pino Elizalde Abogados, which is particularly active in contentious matters in the regulated sectors – notably brewing, oil and gas, mining and banking; recent cases have seen the team representing major entities such as Cervecería Nacional and Holcim in appeals before the Constitutional Court and National Court of Justice. Active on these matters in support of Elizalde,  are Key associates Jorge Cedeño (litigation, mediation, arbitration and administrative law) and Rafael Ulloa (dispute resolution, administrative law, insurance disputes and public procurement) both acted in support of Elizalde on these matters. Fellow associate Paulette Ocampo left to join President Lasso’s administration as a regulatory specialist in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Marco Elizalde

Testimonials

‘It is a very dynamic team with a personalized service.’

‘They are people who care about the personal needs of the client, as if they were part of the company’s internal team.’

‘It is a great work team with specialists in different areas of law.’

‘Team with top-level lawyers. There is permanent, fluid and constant communication with the client.’

Key clients

Univisa

Diebold Nixdorf

Liris

Forfaiting Trade Bermuda

Traxys Europe

Makita Latin America

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Holcim Agregados

Universal Sweet Industries

Biosuper

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

With a ‘broad and holistic vision’, Pérez Bustamante & Ponce offers a full range of dispute resolution avenues for its clients -particularly those in the energy, infrastructure and oil and gas sectors- handling post-M&A litigation and cases concerning procurement, tort, and constitutional law. Active in litigation, the practice recently represented Corporación Quiport in four court proceedings to challenge resolutions of civil liability ordered by the Comptroller General’s Office. On the arbitration front, the team also acted for Cardno, obtaining favourable results in two domestic proceedings. Firm president Rodrigo Jijón, who has over 40 years’ experience in litigation and arbitration in both local and international contexts, is also the overall head of the firm’s contentious department; he co-leads the practice alongside Juan Manuel Marchán, who heads-up the arbitration unit and handles investment treaty cases; and head of litigation Edgar Ulloa, who was promoted to the partnership after seven years as practice director, and who is noted for his expertise in constitutional law and Supreme Court litigation. Notable figures from the associate ranks include Javier Jaramillo-Troya (who was promoted to practice director in October 2022) and senior Alegría Jijón-Andrade, both of whom are highly regarded for domestic and international arbitration; and associates José David Ortiz (a key contact for litigation) and Patricio Quevedo (who supports the team in arbitration). The team was further strengthened at senior associate level with the arrivals of Maria Teresa Borja, Juan Carlos Darquea and Esteban Baquero from Robalino in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Rodrigo Jijón Letort; Juan Manuel Marchán; Edgar Ulloa Balladares

Testimonials

‘It has a team of lawyers that complement each other very well and this allows them to have a broad and holistic vision, necessary to establish the strategy and execute the required litigation actions. There are very few firms that can offer these qualities that help win cases.’

‘It offers collaboration alternatives to achieve better empathy among professionals who participate, organizing very well-achieved and valued training sessions. This stands out, because I don’t know of any other firm that does it.’

‘Rodrigo Jijon, Javier Jaramillo, Edgar Ulloa, and Patricio Quevedo are among the trial lawyers that I find very outstanding for their professional excellence. They have a very suitable profile for the management that I have entrusted to them, they are very balanced.’

‘They manage their practice applying the ethics and values that stand out for us, which is an important feature.’

‘PBP compares favorably to other firms for its knowledge and closeness to us, and for an excellent analysis of the context, which allows it to be very assertive when advising on a dispute.’

‘It pays attention to whether litigation is appropriate or not based on the probabilities of obtaining favorable results, and about the impacts (economic and other) that a dispute may have for us.’

‘PBP’s advice is comprehensive and knowledgeable about the client.’

‘The knowledge of the client and the availability to review the issues always in depth. The advice they provide exceeds expectations and adds value to us in decision making.’

Key clients

Corporación Quiport

Consorcio Cggc Fopeca

Cardno

ACS Group

Cervecería Nacional

Petrex

Banco Pichincha

EKN

ABBOTT Laboratories

Adelca

Work highlights

  • Represented Quiport in four litigation proceedings to challenge resolutions of civil liability ordered by the Comptroller General’s Office against the company for approximately $150m.
  • Represented Maessa in two lawsuits filed by an insurance company seeking payment of counter indemnities issued in relation to insurance bonds for two public contracts.
  • Represented two subsidiaries of Cervecería Nacional in lawsuit over the death of a worker within the first two weeks of the initial lockdown in April 2020, due to Covid-19.

Robalino

Robalino Law’s ‘extensive experience’ ensures it retains its place as one of the prominent firms in Ecuador for disputes matters. With a broad and sophisticated offering, the practice is active in complex local (administrative and judicial) and cross-border litigation, local and international arbitration, expropriation cases and mediation, Managing partner Javier Robalino (currently first Vice-President of Ecuadorian chapter of the ICC Arbitration Commission) is highly active in investment and commercial arbitral disputes before panels constituted under ICSID, UNCITRAL, IACAC and ICC rules. He co-leads the practice alongside Luis Carlos Fernández, an expert on civil, commercial and labour litigation cases. Also from the senior associate ranks: Verónica Arroyo is regarded as doing an ‘exceptional job’ in investment arbitration cases; and Emilio Aguayo (local litigation concerning regulatory, tax, labour, civil and commercial disputes), heads up the litigation practice in the Guayaquil office. However, former associate Gonzalo Santillán moved to Ecuador’s Superintendencia de Bancos in April 2022; while seniors María Teresa Borja, Esteban Baquero and Juan Carlos Darquea all exited in October 2022. Since publication, the firm has hired Cristina Viteri, an administrative law and dispute resolution specialist, from Heka Law Firm – effective as of November 2022.

Practice head(s):

Javier Robalino Orellana; Luis Carlos Fernandez; María Teresa Borja

Testimonials

‘It is a robust team, with extensive experience in various areas of law. They provide an adequate and timely service.’

‘I highlight the participation of María Verónica Arroyo, who as the firm’s point of contact with our company has done an exceptional job in managing the relationship and our various needs.’

‘The continuous work of Gonzalo Santillán, who gives a correct and complete follow-up to the activities carried out.’

Key clients

CNH Industrial Brasil

CNHI International

Banco de Guayaquil

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Uber Technologies

Worley International Services

Hyundai Engineering and Construction

Ufinet Ecuador

Generali Ecuador Compañía de Seguros

SK Engineering and Construction

Junefield Gold Investment

Romero Arteta Ponce

With considerable experience in both arbitration and mediation built up over more than 25 years, Diego Romero leads the team at Romero Arteta Ponce, which has a strong reputation for arbitral matters - a case in point being its representation of multinational clients such as Chevron in a number of proceedings; the practice group’s expertise also extends to negotiations between companies and other relevant parties. Other key figures in the team include fellow partners Amparo Romero, a key contact for mediation; and Gustavo Romero, who plays a key role in the department’s litigation activities. At associate level, Gabriela Villagómez has extensive experience acting as secretary of tribunals over more than a decade and is noted for her work on arbitral matters.

Practice head(s):

Diego Romero

Testimonials

‘They are a reliable firm, quick to respond to their clients, always attentive.’

‘Availability and professionalism.’

Key clients

Suelopetrol

Westcon & Comstor Americas

Toyota del Ecuador

General Electric

Zaimella del Ecuador

Banco Pichincha

Siemens

Chiquita Brands

Mafre Seguros

Work highlights

  • Acted for Chiquita Brands on the process of executing an international arbitration award.
  • Represented Suelopetrol in an international arbitration case against the Ecuadorian State under UNCITRAL Rules.
  • Acted for General Electric in relation to multiple law suits brought by Indexport and Findex due to the termination of their distribution agreements.

Cevallos Casals Balseca & Bilbao Abogados

Cevallos Casals Balseca & Bilbao Abogados handles a broad range of civil, labour, commercial, administrative and tax disputes, regularly representing clients -particularly those drawn from the electricity, finance and construction industries- in litigation, mediation and arbitration. With further emphasis in the TMT sector, the team is also experienced in a variety of contractual disputes. The practice is led by name partners Roberto Bilbao and Daniela Cevallos. Bilbao's broad disputes practice encompasses judicial and arbitral proceedings concerning civil, labour, commercial, and family matters; he also has expertise in ADR involving mediation, conciliation, and negotiation proceedings. Cevallos' practice, in turn, centres on acting for private entities in administrative proceedings against state bodies - particularly as regards public procurement disputes. Other key figures include corporate and tax head Carlos Julio Balseca, whose practice includes judicial and administrative tax proceedings; and young associate Luis Anibal Garcés who focuses on procedural matters and portfolio recovery.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Bilbao; Daniela Cevallos

Key clients

China National Electric Engineering Company

Finlink

Klaere

Filestorage

Enerpetrol

Norweigian Refugee Council

Amdocs

Work highlights

  • Represented China National Electric Engineering Company in connection with the unilateral termination of a contract for the construction of the  Mazar–Dudas hydroelectric plant.  
  • Acted on behalf of China National Electric Engineering Company regarding the unilateral termination of a contract for the construction of the Quijos hydroelectric plant.  
  • Acted for China National Electric Engineering Company in relation to a liability claim by the audit authority for the sum of approximately $8.5m.

Durini & Guerrero Abogados

The dispute resolution practice at Durini & Guerrero Abogados specialises in contentious-administrative cases, acting for public and private sector clients on the challenging of actions through appeals processes and mediation proceedings. Demonstrating a particular focus on the financial, mining and construction industries, the team is also active in alternative dispute resolution, with an emphasis on international arbitration and mediation. Name partner Juan Francisco Guerrero, who focuses on constitutional cases, leads the practice alongside senior associates Tomás Barrionuevo (civil, labour, administrative litigation, tax and commercial matters) and Xavier Palacios (public law in relation to the administrative and constitutional field; procedural law and arbitration) who coordinates the area of jurisdictional guarantees and constitutional control. Also of note, name partner Felipe Durini handles litigation, constitutional defence, local and international arbitration and conflict mediation as part of his wider practice; and senior associate Diego Jiménez Paz has experience in procedural law, focusing on complex litigation in civil, commercial and family law matters.

Flor Bustamante Pizarro Hurtado Abogados

Representing clients in litigation, mediation, and commercial and investment treaty arbitration, the dispute resolution team at Flor Bustamante Pizarro Hurtado Abogados is principally focused on disputes in the energy and natural resources sectors. The team is co-led by Mario Alejandro Flor, who has more than 20 years’ experience representing clients in international arbitration; while leading oil-and-gas expert Roque Bernardo Bustamante is well-regarded for his handling of litigation in the hydrocarbons sector. The firm also has a healthy  capability as regards tax controversy mattes, where Juan Carlos Peñafiel is the key figure, handling such matters in the administrative, judicial and constitutional courts; he is closely supported by senior associate Alejandra Soriano who litigation practice is centred on judicial and constitutional tax matters. Also at associate level: Juan Carlos Herrera has experience advising clients on investment protection issues; Carlos Torres provides key support on international commercial and investment treaty arbitration and mediation proceedings (once again, particularly as regards the oil-and-gas sector); and Roque Javier Bustamante has experience of civil and commercial litigation and arbitral matters, but is particularly noted for his criminal litigation practice. 

Practice head(s):

Mario Alejandro Flor; Roque Bernardo Bustamante

Key clients

Andes Petroleum Ecuador

Atico Mining

Nokia Ecuador

Financonser

Tecnovoladuras

Auxen Norbenco

Consorcio Petrosud

Petroriva

Smith & Nephew

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Andes Petroleum Ecuador in a constitutional protection action against the requirement to halt the use of gas flares during oil extraction.
  • Represented Atico Mining in a series of cases before the Constitutional Court challenging mining activities.
  • Represented Nokia in several constitutional challenges to the behaviour of the Inland Revenue Service due to its behaviour toawards teh comapny during the Covid-19 pandemic when, administrative procedures had supposedly been suspended due to force majeure.

López Ribadeneira Mora

López Ribadeneira Mora specialises in the field of administrative litigation, regularly acting against public entities on behalf of clients from a broad array of sectors (notably education, hydrocarbons and construction), and is also noted for its increasing arbitral capability. Co-founding partner Daniel López has over 15 years’ experience in dispute resolution, administrative and contentious-administrative proceedings, and arbitration against administrative rulings and contracts related to public administration; he has particular expertise as regards projects and disputes related to public procurement. He co-leads with fellow name-partner Sebastián Mora, who is similarly specialised in administrative law, public procurement and related contentious matters – especially as regards the regulations governing the acquisition of goods, execution of works and provision of services in the oil sector and national defence; his experience includes bringing cases against entities such as the Hydrocarbons Control and Regulation Agency (ARCH), the office of the General Comptroller of the State and the Ministry of Environment. In a significant October-2021 hire, the firm further reinforced its arbitral capabilities with the incorporation of former Tobar ZVS partner, Maria de Lourdes Maldonado; a listed arbitrator of the Arbitration Centre of the Quito Chamber of Commerce, she also participates in negotiations and mediation and has a background in commercial, labour and IP matters. This general strengthening of the team was further consolidated with the welcoming of associate Galo García the same month; since July 2022 he has also been acting as arbitral secretary at the Centro de Mediacion y Arbitraje FEDEXPOR.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Lopéz; Sebastián Mora

Testimonials

‘I know Sebastián Mora and Daniel López, two excellent professionals dedicated to procedural issues with whom we have had excellent results in work that we have handled together.’

‘Mainly I can refer Daniel López. He is very knowledgeable about the issues, especially administrative litigation. He is dedicated to the study of cases and is usually compliant with the times offered.’

Key clients

Universidad Nacional de Educación de Ecuador

Juan Francisco Herdoiza

Montecz

First Collect International

Snetor Chimie Sas

Construcciones Jofelu

Operaciones Rio Napo Cem

Trazados

Sixto Rodriguez

Carlos Espinoza and Others

Reybanpac Rey Banano del Pacifico

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Construcciones Jofelu in a multi-year trial against a public entity in Ecuador, regarding contractual rights and economic sanctions.
  • Defended Universidad Nacional de Educación de Ecuador against a lawsuit filed by an international Chinese company.
  • Acted for Montecz in a trial against Petroecuador regarding a contract for the modernisation of pumping stations on the Esmeraldas-Quito pipeline; value: $16m, approx.  

Quevedo & Ponce

Quevedo & Ponce is noted for its focus on appellate work, acting for a range of clients in complex cases before all relevant courts. Ernesto Guarderas heads the practice in Quito, with a wide offering encompassing civil, commercial and constitutional litigation. Leading the Guayaquil office is Monserrat Barreno, a specialist in cross-border work; while Santiago Ponce heads the firm’s Cuenca office and focuses on IP litigation. Arbitration expert Alejandro Ponce Martínez is an important practitioner in the Quito office; and associate Camila Guarderas, who focuses on civil, administrative and constitutional issues, is also noted

Practice head(s):

Ernesto Guarderas; Monserrat Barreno; Santiago Ponce Ross

Sempértegui Abogados

Sempértegui Abogados handles litigation, arbitration and mediation, and frequently advises clients on all relevant steps of a given case, including asset recovery and appeals. Pracitce head Santiago Salazar has a broad disputes offering and a track record that shows a certain orientation towards contractual disputes, real estate litigation and actions against public bodies.

Practice head(s):

Santiago Salazar

Testimonials

‘Immediate attention and multidisciplinary team of professionals.’

‘Marcelo Dávila provides personalized attention and has knowledge of the cause.’

Key clients

Sedemi SCC

Camberley Development Limited

Weatherford South America

Airtificial Inteligence Structures

Kreston Audit Services

AWT

Work highlights

  • Advised SEDEMI on the process of claim and recovery contractual values in controversy.
  • Advised ISSPOL on the recovery of its investment in the US.
  • Advised Ecuaservoil on a dispute process, proposing a technical defence.

Tobar ZVS

The dispute resolution team at Tobar ZVS works in close alignment with the firm's the insurance practice, and has built a reputation for obtaining resolutions via mediation and withouth the need to resort to judicial proceedings. Led by Oscar Vela, who has experience in commercial, IP and constitutional cases, the team also handles litigation and arbitration for a range of clients in the agricultural, mining and construction industries (among others). Vela has particular expertise in the  plant varieties niche, acting for growers and breeders in administrative actions inconjunction with the Ecuadorian IP authorities to prevent theft and bio-piracy. Fellow partner René De Sola is the key figure for contentious insurance related matters, while associate Andrés Larrea -who has acted as arbitral secretary in more than 60 cases- handles complex commercial and constitutional litigation and domestic and international arbitration (particularly matters involving foreign companies and State entities).

Practice head(s):

Oscar Vela

Key clients

Plantas Técnicas Plantec

Rosen Tantau

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained a precautionary measure on behalf of W Kordes Sohne Rosenschulen to avoid the selling of plants without a licence.
  • Acted for Plantec in coordinated actions with the Customs and IP authorities in order to avoid the export of illegal plants to Europe and the US.
  • Acted for Rosen Tantau in an administrative inspection with the authority, which imposed an economic sanction due to IP infringement.