Corporate and M&A in El Salvador

Arias

Arias fields a 'highly academically and technically skilled' corporate and M&A department, attracting particular praise for handling regional matters in Central America. Its focus lies on providing multi-disciplinary advice to global corporations from the aviation, hospitality, food and beverage, and banking and finance sectors. Practice heads Roberta Gallardo and Lilian Arias both have deep expertise in cross-border M&A, one of the main strong suits of this practice. Carolina Lazo is particularly active in the aeronautical, textiles and manufacturing sectors, in addition to her speciality in investment projects. Both Ana Mercedes López and Luisa Rivas are renowned experts in energy matters and often handle corporate matters in this area of law. At associate level, Adán Araujo provides advice on corporate transactions, especially to telecoms clients.

Practice head(s):

Roberta Gallardo; Lilian Arias

Testimonials

‘What makes them unique is, firstly, their ability to handle matters involving various areas of the law, thanks to their specialist lawyers and their good relationships with others in the field, and, secondly, the high level of service and their availability to assist us with our needs.’

‘Their standout feature is their availability and 24/7 client service, in addition to the fact that the team is made up of professionals who are able to cover every facet of the law, depending on the requirements of our business. Furthermore, their partners are highly academically and technically skilled, so they can handle any request and have excellent relationships, both personally and professionally, with others in the public and private sector.’

‘Carolina Lazo and Luisa Rivas de Miguel meet our highest expectations. Lilian Arias is an excellent professional and coordinates her team perfectly, depending on the area of law or the type of matter that needs to be resolved, achieving the desired result.’

‘Arias’ experience makes a great difference, together with the business perspective that allows it to create legal solutions with a strategic vision.’

‘They stand out for their degree of expertise paired with a team that’s ready to support our business needs at all times.’

Key clients

Telefonica Centroamerica Inversiones, Telefónica and TLK Investments

Aeromantenimiento

Invenergy

Bank of Nova Scotia

PRB

La Constancia

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel in Central America to Telefónica Centroamérica Inversiones in the sale of its El Salvador business to América Móvil
  • Advised Unilever on an antitrust filing related to the divestment of its laundry business to Guatemalan company Industria La Popular
  • Advised the Bank of Nova Scotia on the sale of its participation in Inversiones Financieras Scotiabank El Salvador, Scotiabank El Salvador and its subsidiaries, and Scotia Seguros to Imperia Intercontinental

Consortium Legal

Regional heavyweight Consortium Legal is highly regarded for corporate and M&A services in El Salvador. The department advises on the incorporation of companies, board resolutions, contract drafting, distribution licensing and international trade, among other areas. A particular focus lies on due diligence processes and business operation advice. The group is led by a trio of partners: Oscar Samour, Diego Martín and Maria Alejandra Tulipano. Samour has key experience in large transactions on a domestic and regional level, while Martín is skilled in insurance law, international trade and foreign investment, and Tulipano focuses on regulated sectors such as new technologies, energy and natural resources. Associate Gustavo Vega supports all aforementioned practitioners, particularly in M&A transactions and solar projects.

Key clients

Credit Suisse, Cayman Islands Branch

Walmart

Volaris

Banco Agromercantil

AB InBev International (La Constancia)

Grupo Terra (Imperia Intercontinental)

Grupo CMI (Pollo Campero, Avícola)

Grupo Barceló

Amcor Rigid Plastics

Uber

Work highlights

  • Advised joint venture UDP Coyatoc Labtop on a tender process to carry out a public infrastructure project in Colonia Santa Lucía
  • Acting for HDI Global Network in the renewal process of a foreign reinsurance company before the Financial System Superintendence (SSF)
  • Advising Pollo Campero on the restructuring of its association of employees

García & Bodán

García & Bodán is in a good position to assist clients from all industry sectors with a range of corporate matters. The team's additional expertise includes niche areas such as infrastructure and aviation law as well as government contracts. The group is led by cross-border transaction expert Oscar Torres and offers related labour law and tax advice. At associate level, David Claros Flores often takes the lead on advising national and international corporations on day-to-day corporate matters, while Mauricio Orellana, who heads the firm's tax practice, shines in matters with a fiscal aspect.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Torres

Testimonials

‘They are highly specialised attorneys with many years of experience in their fields of practice.’

Key clients

Aeroméxico

Logística Comercial El Salvador (Herbalife Distributor)

First Cash Financial Services

IBT Group

Grupo Lala

Industrias La Constancia

Stanley, Black and Decker

Eurofinsa

Grupo Almo

Work highlights

  • Assisted Eurofinsa in the development of the El Amatillo border crossing  between El Salvador and Honduras
  • Providing ongoing legal advice and assistance to Mexican airline Aeroméxico in El Salvador, including on contractual issues
  • Assisted IBT Group with the development of the construction project of the San Miguel Regional Hospital, budgeted at $65m

MCM Legal

MCM Legal is a small but notable law firm with a strength in corporate law, and is praised for its 'professional ethics, honesty and sincerity'. Department head and 'true strategist' Daniel Martinez and key figures Ricardo Milla and David Aguilar are heavily involved in advising on tenders and government contracts, especially in the construction and hospitality sectors. Martinez has significant experience in transactions related to foreign investment and Milla regularly advises on company formation and restructuring processes. The firm also advises on novel issues in the industrial, tourism and renewable energy sectors. Other services offered include contract execution, operation authorisation and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Martinez

Testimonials

‘The team has been very diligent and responsible in its handling of all of our cases. Its advice is clear and delivered on time. We have seen that the team at MCM Legal is characterised by professional ethics, honesty and sincerity. It is highly professional.’

‘The team at MCM Legal has been very helpful to our business. Their knowledge about corporate and contractual issues is first class, allowing us to handle contracts and bids with private and government entities efficiently.’

‘The team at MCM Legal have very good response times. Daniel Martinez, Ricardo Milla and David Aguilar are very well prepared, respond quickly to our requests and, above all, provide practical advice; this is, in our opinion, what makes the difference between them and their competitors.’

‘MCM Legal advised us in a competent, skilful and effective way, demonstrating their knowledge of legal issues, which helped us to do business in El Salvador.’

‘The team know the law very well. The team leader, Daniel Martinez, is a very capable lawyer who has a practical attitude to deals. Ricardo Milla and David Aguilar are also very competent and are always available to assist us.’

‘The service they provide is exceptional. They are always aware of any situations that could affect us and are available 24 hours a day. They follow up on matters well, have good teamwork and the lawyers in the team are all very specialised.’

‘They are responsive, dedicated and patient with their clients. They get directly involved and adjust to clients’ requirements, not just as part of their job but as part of a personalised service.’

‘Daniel Martí­nez is an outstanding lawyer. He is a true strategist and partner to us, assisting us with our operations in countries where we do not have a direct presence. His legal representation and business advice has been fundamental to our success in Central America.’

Key clients

United Airlines

Huawei Telecommunications

Preferred Hotel Group

Cummins

Nature’s Sunshine Products

Hamburg Süd

Telefonica

Unlimited Health

Nikken

Intertelco

Fiat Chrysler

CV Credit

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Alfa Security

Medtrition

Pryma

Serdi

Smart Strategic Marketing

Diper Exhibitions

Sysde

Musicar

Inversiones Birm

Assemblies of God

Sistemas de Gestion

Work highlights

  • Acting as local counsel to Preferred Hotel Group on a contract execution
  • Assisting United Airlines with obtaining authorisation for 950 additional flights between the US and El Salvador
  • Assisted Inversiones Birm with the registration and authorisation of a local branch of the holding company

Aguilar Castillo Love

Particularly active in corporate advice and business strategy, Aguilar Castillo Love is retained by foreign companies, investors and start-ups as well as private equity firms to assist with restructurings, distribution issues and day-to-day corporate matters. El Salvador managing partner Carlos Alfaro leads the firm's corporate practice. His areas of expertise further include tax and labour law, as well as public law and the telecoms sector. Associate Lorena Madrid is also active in this field, offering additional knowledge of antitrust and competition law.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Alfaro

Key clients

Ferrero

Apple

Facebook

McBride Caribbean

Grupo David Enterprises

Johnson Controls

Cooperativa de Productores de Leche Dos Pinos

Diebold

Work highlights

  • Represented Cooperativa de Productores de Leche Dos Pinos in a price dumping case
  • Acting as ADT Security Services’ main local counsel in El Salvador
  • Advised Facebook on the impact of the presidential elections in El Salvador to protect the company from litigation by the electoral authority

Benjamín Valdez & Asociados Abogados/Notarios

Boutique firm Benjamín Valdez & Asociados Abogados/Notarios has a notable transactional practice with a particular skill set in banking and finance sector M&A. Furthermore, the department led by Benjamín Valdez TamayoBenjamín Valdez Iraheta and Mario Martinez shows deep knowledge of energy law and has recently expanded its regulatory and compliance services to include advice on money laundering, data protection, and technology and intellectual property law.

Key clients

Puma / Rasa

Colegio Internacional de El Salvador

Trust for Water Security (Fideagua)

CBC

LIVSmart

Marriot

Banco Azteca Mexico

El Encanto Country Club

America Movil

Work highlights

  • Acted for Banco Azteca Mexico in the sale of all of its shares in Banco Azteca El Salvador to a local investment group
  • Acting as legal advisers to Puma Energy on corporate, commercial and regulatory issues

BLP

BLP takes on standard corporate work as well as advising on cross-border transactions and e-commerce issues. Ricardo Cevallos, who divides his time between La Libertad and Dallas, leads the team together with new arrival Zygmunt Brett, who joined the firm from Arias in February 2020. The former focuses his practice on corporate shareholder agreements as well as advising start-ups, while the latter applies his valuable banking and finance expertise to M&A transactions in a diverse array of industries.

Practice head(s):

Zygmunt Brett; Ricardo Cevallos

Key clients

Ferro Investments

GBM

World Business Capital

Bank of Nova Scotia

FMO Nederland

Suez

Takeda

Denny’s (Grupo Corinsa)

Hamburg Sud

Corporacion Multi Inversiones (CMI)

Work highlights

  • Assisted GBM with the renegotiation of distribution contracts and labour agreements related to the consolidation of three local companies
  • Advising Suez on corporate, immigration and environmental matters related to the overhaul of a water plant owned by the Salvadoran water authority
  • Performed a due diligence of Applaudo Studios for Kingsland prior to its purchase of up to 25% of the share capital of Applaudo Studios

CENTRAL LAW El Salvador

The corporate department at Central Law El Salvador, which is jointly led by Piero Rusconi GutiérrezPiero Rusconi Bolaños and Sandra Cabezas, is frequently instructed by multinationals to handle a wide variety of corporate matters. Thanks to the recent hires of Francisco Murillo from MH Legal in February 2019 and Pablo Rusconi from the Directorate General of Immigration and Foreign Affairs in August 2019 - as well as the promotion of Rusconi Bolaños and the 'excellent' José Manuel Argüello to partner in the same month - the firm has been able to develop new areas of expertise such as technology, renewable energy, tax and aviation.

Testimonials

‘Central Law’s national presence gives us confidence that they will be able to handle sensitive issues for our business.’

‘The team has a lot of knowledge about various matters that we have had to deal with, as well as about our business in general, which makes them a strategic partner in advising on the application of local legislation, which allows us to operate according to the conditions of the country.’

‘José Manuel Argüello is an excellent lawyer and a great person. He provides us with a lot of support in the legal matters he handles for us.’

Key clients

Towerbank International

Hugo Technologies

Airplus Lufthansa

British Telecommunications (BT)

Mabe Group

Palladium International

Nathan Associates

St. Francis Community Ministries

Roche

Work highlights

  • Provided legal support to Towerbank International to close a transaction with Inversiones Simco
  • Assisting Roche with the management of its Central American operations, in particular the regulation of biotechnological products

Espino Nieto & Asociados

When it comes to corporate law, Espino Nieto & Asociados puts an emphasis on advising foreign investors on projects in El Salvador. The practice covers due diligence processes, shareholder agreements and contract drafting. José Manuel Cañas and Rafael Mendoza are the names to note.

LatamLex | Guandique Segovia Quintanilla (GSQ)

LatamLex | Guandique Segovia Quintanilla (GSQ) is retained by national and international clients to assist with corporate and antitrust matters as well as M&A. Managing partner Carlos Quintanilla and Carlos Guzmán play a key role in this department.

LatinAlliance El Salvador

LatinAlliance El Salvador is active in day-to-day corporate matters such as contract drafting and obtaining operation permits. José Adolfo Torres and Michelle Sutter, who is also the regional director of the corporate department, jointly lead the team. Torres has particular expertise in matters in the banking and finance sector, and Sutter focuses on due diligence and compliance advice.

Testimonials

‘Latin Alliance offers professional services with the support of specialised personnel in different legal areas, who are ready to offer their services at any time that is requested.’

‘Deep knowledge in commercial and labour matters. Available at any time. Trustworthy, honest and willing to collaborate.’

Key clients

La Casa de las Baterías

Grupo Cargill

Yobel SCM Logistics

Omnilife

Latam Hotel Corporation

QHA Guatemala

Aseguradora General

Farmacéutica Farmandina

Grupo Coinpro

Alutech (Grupo EMCO)

Duralita Centroamérica

Profilaxis Guatemala

Work highlights

  • Advised Prival Bank on the analysis and formalisation of the necessary documentation for the payment authorisation of a line of credit granted to Alati
  • Assisted different subsidiaries of La Casa de las Batería with securing municipal permits for their operations

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.

The practice at Mayora & Mayora, S.C. ranges from day-to-day corporate advice and obtaining operation permits to assisting with public-private partnerships, transactions and the setting up of business entities. A trio comprising senior associates Lorena Villacorta and Eduardo Telles and senior partner Manuel Telles jointly leads the department, with industry expertise in real estate, pharmaceuticals, financial institutions and telecoms. The group, which is praised for its 'rapid and clear responses', also excels in advising on energy projects.

Testimonials

‘In my experience, the personalised and prompt service is what makes this team unique.’

‘Manuel Telles shows very good client care, and is responsible, punctual and very knowledgeable about corporate and contractual matters.’

‘Our relationship with the partners and associates at the firm is exceptional. They always provide us with rapid and clear responses. Communication is very smooth and the costs of their services are quite reasonable.’

‘Excellent availability to respond to and resolve queries and legal issues of any kind.’

‘Manuel Telles is an excellent lawyer. He gives us fast, regular updates on our matters, and his preparation, work and advice are excellent.’

‘All of the attorneys I have had a working relationship with have been very competent and diligent.’

‘The lawyers are very accessible and respond promptly to calls and emails.’

Key clients

Aeroman

Banco General

Grupo Emasal

Inmobiliaria Las Cascadas

Laboratorios Vijosa

Lafise

Neoen

Nordea Bank

Telemovil El Salvador (Millicom Group)

The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund)

Telus International

Viasat

Work highlights

  • Advised Laboratorios Vijosa on the constitution of a new company to generate clean energy through the installation of solar panels
  • Providing ongoing corporate advice to Telemóvil El Salvador, a Millicom subsidiary
  • Assisted Aeroman with obtaining authorisation to operate as a BPO in El Salvador

Romero Pineda

Romero Pineda advises national and multinational companies on the establishment, diversification and expansion of their operations in Central America. Areas of specialisation include aviation, procurement and energy law. Antitrust expert Francisco Martinez, who was promoted to partner in January 2020, is the key contact in the corporate group and leads the department together with Camila Villafuerte, who also has expertise in banking, finance and insurance law.

Key clients

Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

International Finance Corporation

FMO

Interjet

Grupo SMI

AIG

Copa Airlines

Alltech

Grupo Vape

Amway

Microsoft

Laboratorios Kin

Cinemark

Kellogg

JICA

Compassion International

Evergreen Packaging

Banco Lafise Panama

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Airlines on authorisations and approvals
  • Assisted UPS with the renewal process of its freight permit
  • Assisted Calidad Inmobiliaria and ITS Group on the operation of a new office centre

Sáenz & Asociados

As a regional firm with partners in Guatemala and Costa Rica in addition to the Salvadoran office, Sáenz & Asociados acts on M&A transactions in the region and provides a diverse range of corporate advisory services. Mario Enrique Sáenz and Humberto Sáenz Marinero are the key contacts.

ECIJA

ECIJA's El Salvador office provides assistance with corporate contracts and transactions. Alfredo Navas and Carlos Gil, who has additional experience in establishing and expanding foreign companies' operations in the region, jointly head the team. In January 2020, the firm welcomed Enrique Araujo Machuca through its merger with local practice Selegales; his arrival strengthens both the firm's corporate and dispute resolution departments.

Practice head(s):

Alfredo Navas; Carlos Gil

Key clients

Moto City

City Express

Waterbear Ventures

Cervecería Salvadoreña

Academia Europea

Grupo Realto

Toto

Fisherman

Laca Laca

Mediprocesos

Novalaser

Corporación Saint Germain

Tropical Foods

Don Li

Work highlights

  • Advised on the closing of a local asset purchase transaction for Moto City

EY Law Central America

EY Law Central America collaborates closely with the firm's regional branches to offer corporate and M&A assistance as well as advice on regulatory matters, licenses, labour and antitrust law. Mónica Machuca, who 'instils confidence and certainty in clients', leads the team in El Salvador, providing particular assistance to energy projects and conducting local due diligences. In August 2019, the firm lost notable practitioner Irene Arrieta, who consequently founded her own firm, Arrieta Bustamante Legal Services.

Practice head(s):

Mónica Machuca

Testimonials

‘Professional and quick responses to any query, including updates.’

‘Clear communication.’

‘Proper and straightforward communication in a timely manner.’

‘The EY team in El Salvador stands out for its promptness and efficiency. It is a team that always tries to go beyond expectations; they don’t just rely on the obvious and, as the client, we realise that we receive added-value services.’

‘Monica Machuca is very efficient, with broad knowledge of various areas of the law. She instils confidence and certainty in clients.’

‘Always available to attend to any query or customer need, immediate attention, impactful and very professional solutions.’

‘Immediate attention and excellent preparation.’

Key clients

Office Depot

TSK Electronica y Electricidad

Capella Solar TSK Gensun

Thyssenkrupp

Air France

Brambles Finance – Chep

Pprosegur Servicios de Efectivo de España

Innogen Capital Ventures

Wärtsilä Finland Oy

Cognizant Technology Solutions

Kuehne + Nagel

Licorera Cihuatan

Anheuser-Busch In Bev

Work highlights

  • Advised Amcor on the termination of distribution agreements in El Salvador for its Peruvian and Colombian branches
  • Acted for Capella Solar TSK Gensun El Salvador in the construction, operation and maintenance of a photovoltaic power plant

Lexincorp

Frequently acting as local counsel to international companies, the corporate team at Lexincorp draws on the firm's regional reach. Enrique Escobar, Antonio Guirola and modern contract expert Adriana Portillo jointly lead the team. Over the course of 2019, the firm saw a particular growth of its services in the energy sector. Guillermo Escobar left the firm in June 2019 to take up a post with the new Salvadoran government.

Key clients

Banco General

Pettenati

Productos Atlas

Banco Industrial

Work highlights

  • Advised Ventus on the installation and commissioning of a wind farm
  • Providing Banco Industrial with drafting and structuring services

Sfera Legal

Regional player Sfera Legal's corporate practice is particularly focused on the constitution of commercial companies and management of corporate governance for local and international companies. Mario Antonio Ayala and Mario Ernesto Ayala lead the team. The former has experience in corporate governance and the latter specialises in trade registry procedures.

Key clients

Orius Biotech El Salvador

Enersys Solar

The Rubber Group

Grupo Garnier

Roadgrip

Banco de Desarollo Rural

PDC Capital

Sociedad de Ahorro y Crédito Apoyo Integral

Work highlights

  • Assisted Orius Biotech El Salvador with all corporate matters, including the drafting and preparation of model contracts, complex contract drafting, consumer claims, and financial structuring
  • Assisted Banco de Desarrollo Rural with the authorisation process before the Financial System Superintendence (SSF) for the installation of a representative office in El Salvador