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Who Represents Who

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Highly knowledgeable and responsiveAriastailors its advice’ to clients’ requirements and ‘helps to structure deals efficiently’. The firm has a tremendous reputation for its banking and finance practice and is highly adept at counselling a predominantly international clientele on traditional loans, syndicated loans and capital markets issuances, frequently with a cross-border element. Recent mandates saw the team assist Grupo Unicomer with the placement of $350m bonds on the international markets; counsel Citibank on the granting of a $1.3bn loan to Digicel International Finance (and subsidiaries) for the refinancing of short-term debt; and advising International Finance Corporation (IFC) on a $25m loan to Scotiabank El Salvador. The stellar client roster also includes Bladex, Aje Group and Hencorp Becstone Capital (HBC). The practice group is co-led by the renowned Armando Arias and ‘stand-out figureZygmunt Brett; project finance specialist Ana Mercedes López and associate Mariana Nóchez, who specialises in the structuring of syndicated loans, are other key figures in the team. Real estate specialist Carolina Lazo has been made partner.

Consortium Legal’s four-partner, banking and finance practice is one of the first destinations for domestic and international high-profile clients, such as Bladex, Digicel International Finance and Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), seeking advice on loan structuring, asset securitizations, project finance and complex cross-border transactions. Recent mandates saw eminent practice head Oscar Samour act as local counsel for the Cayman Island branch of Credit Suisse on the structuring of a $40m credit facility to Empresa Transmisora de El Salvador; and assist First Citizens Bank with a $10m loan to Grupo Q’s financial arm, Credi Q. In other standout work, assisted by associate Felipe Aragón, Samour advised the Republic of El Salvador on a $600m notes issue, the matter including a compliance review of the purchase agreement, pricing term sheet, and preliminary and final offering circulars.

The ‘very good’ two-partner banking and finance practice at BLP acts ‘promptly’ and ‘provides good advice and legal services’ for a lender-heavy client base that includes names such as Banco Agricola, FMO Nederland, Wells Fargo and Banco Promerica. The group demonstrates strength across loan structuring, credit facilities and debt restructurings as well as commercial banking and private equity. Recent work saw ‘experienced’ department head Ricardo Cevallos, assisted by ‘knowledgeable’ associate Marcella Romero, advise World Business Capital on a $15m loan to Fedecrédito. Project finance is another mainstay of the practice; headline mandates saw the team counsel the Bank of Nova Scotia on a $120m loan for the Phoenix Towers project.

LatamLex | Guandique Segovia Quintanilla (GSQ)’s banking and finance practice centres around assisting domestic and multinational banks and financial institutions with traditional and syndicated loans, asset securitizations and bond issuances. Clients benefit from the firm’s strong regional capability, with LatamLex offices in Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Managing partner Carlos Quintanilla is the main contact, with key support coming from Ana Reyes.

Lexincorp is adept at advising domestic and international clients, both borrowers and lenders, on traditional as well as syndicated loans, credit agreements and asset securitizations. Among renowned practice head Enrique Escobar’s key clients is Blue Orchard Microfinance Fund, for which recent work includes advisory on three different loans (aggregate value: $22m) to Salvadoran banks Optima Servicios Financieros and Banco Hipotecario. Other matters saw associate Antonio Guirola undertake the cancellation of $4m warranties on behalf of Grupo Monge; advised Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium II on various loans totalling up to $3.5m; and represent Puma El Salvador, as borrower, in the negotiation of a $10m loan granted by Banco Agricola. The client list also features Productos Atlas, Fid Energetica and Bandesal.

The banking and finance group at Romero Pineda excels in advising national as well as international banks and financial institutions on regulatory issues and is commended for its wide-ranging expertise in loan structuring, securitizations and project finance. On the lending side, José Roberto Romero advised Banco Lafise Panama on the structuring and execution of loans totalling up to $8.5m for Grupo Ravi de Centroamerica and Grupo Sigma Q; while practice head, associate Daisy Martinez, acted as local counsel to Banco Santander on the structuring of a $100m loan to a polypropylene film production plant as part of a UK Export Finance credit line. On the project finance side Romero also represented a group of senior lenders (including OPIC, IFC, Finnvera and KfW) on the Salvadoran legal aspects of an $850m investment in a natural gas generation facility.

Traditional and syndicated loans, credit agreements and financial leasing are focus areas for the two-partner banking and finance group at LatinAlliance El Salvador. Under the joint leadership of José Adolfo Torres and José Freddy Zometa, the team serves a broad client base that features names such as Cargill and Prival Bank. Recent highlights include advising GTC Bank on a $9.3m loan to Grupo Terra for its expansion in Central America; assisting GTC Bank and Banco G & T Continental with a $24m syndicated fiduciary loan to Salvadoran company Jor; and counselling Grupo Coinpro on the formalization of a financial leasing for the expansion of the operations of Airline Support Services de El Salvador.

The most recent significant arrival to the Salvadoran legal market, the local office of Guatemala-based Mayora & Mayora, S.C. opened its doors in 2017 and covers a broad spectrum of banking and finance work, including secured and syndicated loans, structured finance, financial leasing and project finance. The team has already established a notable profile, acting as local counsel for Transactel El Salvador and Transacciones Telefonicas (as part of Telus International), in the negotiation of a $470m syndicated credit from Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto Dominion Bank; and advising borrower Providencia Solar on the transfer of shares from Neoen to Neoen Production 2, which served as a guarantor for a $200m IDB credit. The department is led by recommended Manuel Telles and includes associate Alejandra Sanchez, who specialises in capital markets and regulatory issues.

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