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El Salvador > Corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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  1. Corporate and M&A
  2. Leading lawyers

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Arias’ ‘excellent’ corporate department is a first port-of-call for high-profile clients -both domestic and international– seeking advice on the full array of contentious and non-contentious corporate and M&A matters, including due diligence and antitrust proceedings as well as labour and tax matters. The nine-partner team ‘has always shown the highest level of quality and professionalism’ according to clients, which include the likes of ASSA Compañía de Seguros, Anheuser-Busch InBev and KDAC Aircraft. Among recent headline mandates, Zygmunt Brett acted on behalf of Logisgroup in the $4.4m sale of Urbano Express & Mailroom to United Logistics de El Salvador; while Ana Mercedes López advised borrower LifeMiles on a $370m credit agreement with lead arranger Deutsche Bank. The firm has an impressive presence in the energy sphere, where practice head Lilian Arias, who ‘shows great knowledge and skills’, assisted Invenergy with the $13m acquisition of an 85% equity share in Energía del Pacífico, a major power plant developer. Other key advisors include highly-regarded Armando Arias, Roberta Gallardo and Luisa Rivas.

One of the leading corporate and M&A practices, Consortium Legal draws on a wealth of experience in advising on high-profile transactions, corporate structuring, compliance as well as antitrust matters and is adept in handling due diligence, tax and regulatory issues. Under the joint leadership of Diego Martín and Maria Alejandra Tulipano, the 11-strong team assisted Interbrand with its incorporation in the Salvadoran market and its cooperation with Proesa; represented Walmart in a 50-year lease for the establishment of one of the biggest stores in the country; and advised Mexican ultra-low-cost airline Volaris on the full range of regulatory matters related to its initial branch establishment. Another mandate was the advice for urban developer Urbanisa: work included obtaining construction and environmental permits as well as tax structuring. M&A specialist Oscar Samour and associates Gustavo Vega and William Escobar, who specialises in tax law, are noteworthy practitioners.

Excellent industry knowledge’ and ‘fast responses’ are characteristics of García & Bodán’s corporate and M&A department, which regularly handles contractual issues, corporate restructurings and incorporations, as well as tax and labour matters. Leveraging its broad regional capabilities, the team advises on cross-border matters such as its advice to Panasonic Centroamérica, which instructed the firm in relation to its corporate and labour restructuring in El Salvador and Guatemala. Other work included assisting Aerovías de México with regulatory matters regarding the establishment of new flight routes; advising Creative Associates International on the registration of a local company; and providing ongoing legal advice to Herbalife distributor, Logística Comercial El Salvador. The client roster also features Marcopolo, Black & Decker, IBT Group and Rainbow Agrosciences. Highly-regarded practice head Oscar Torres was made partner.

LatamLex | Guandique Segovia Quintanilla (GSQ) has carved out a strong position in the corporate and M&A market, representing a wide ranging domestic and international clientele on matters including transactions, incorporations, joint ventures, corporate restructurings as well as franchise structures and commercial agreements. Managing partner Carlos Quintanilla, who is particularly active in the banking and commercial sectors, and antitrust expert Carlos Guzmán, form the backbone of the practice.

Lexincorp’s personnel expansion, including the recent hire of associate Adriana Portillo (who specialises in antitrust and corporate matters), has evidently born fruit as an increasing number of clients –such as Superprint and Supertex El Salvador– seek the team’s advice on corporate, transactional and regulatory matters. The team advised recent client addition Pettenati Centroamerica on procurement contracts with Zeta Gas and Gas One. A particular area of expertise is the energy sector: co-practice head Enrique Escobar continues to assist Comisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctrica del Rio Lempa with the construction of the $300m El Chaparral hydroelectric project; while Stefany Rascon assisted MGM Sustainable Fund El Salvador, a PE fund that acts in the energy-efficiency and renewable energy sectors, with the opening of operations in El Salvador. Other long-standing clients include Grupo Monge, Sony and Banco General.

The wide-ranging expertise of Aguilar Castillo Love’s corporate practice encompasses commercial and regulatory matters, corporate restructurings as well as labour issues. The group excels in work with a cross-border element, where it can leverage off its regional capabilities: clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard and Nokia instruct the firm with corporate and commercial matters across El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The team’s recent mandates include assisting HP Caribe y Andina with the deregistration of its local branch; and advising security-devices provider, Diebold, on a merger. Practice head Carlos Alfaro is the main contact.

Romero Pineda has an impressive presence in the aviation sector where it counts various international airlines among its clients. Recent work saw Francisco Martinez and Roberto Pocasangre assist Copa Airlines with the renewal of a courier permit before the General Direction of Customs; and the well-regarded José Roberto Romero advise DFA Americas (Grupo UETA) on all aspects of the tender to expand its duty free stores in the international airport of El Salvador (the work included due diligence of the legal, tax and financial aspects of the deal). On the transactional side, Romero acted on behalf of Western Energy in the purchase of a vessel from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. Other focus areas include commercial contracts, competition and labour matters as well as compliance issues.

While Sáenz & Asociados is predominantly known for its dispute resolution expertise, the firm also fields a commercial and corporate practice that spans M&A, joint ventures, corporate restructurings as well as contractual matters, and demonstrates particular strength across the pharmaceutical, telecoms and electricity sectors. The team’s broad client portfolio includes Procter & Gamble, SBA Communication and Apotex among others. Key partners Mario Antonio Sáenz and Humberto Sáenz Marinero are established names in the market.

Lauded for its ‘great response times’, ‘industry knowledge’ and ability ‘to think outside the box’, BLP covers the full array of corporate and transactional matters, with a particular focus on the energy, telecoms, transportation, pharmaceutical and technology sectors. Key client Uber instructed the team on its incorporation into the Salvadoran market, including advice on regulatory issues. Another recent highlight was advising Urbano Express on a $4m shares purchase by one of its shareholders. The team also acts for Bosch, Pfizer and PepsiCo. Practice head Ricardo Cevallos is the main contact, with key support coming from associates Marcella Romero and Luis Vega.

Established in 2016, Benjamín Valdez & Asociados Abogados/Notarios specialises in corporate-and-financial legal services and covers a broad spectrum of services for clients such as Marriott, Colgate Palmolive, Puma Energy and Refinería Petrolera Acajutla. In addition to advising Livsmart Américas on a $56m infrastructure development project (related to the implementation of a carbonated beverages production), the team also represented PriceSmart El Salvador in a tax recovery dispute. Moreover, the firm recently expanded its bench strength with the hire of partners Mario Martínez Sandoval (formerly with Grupo Roble), in the real estate area; and Ricardo López Araniva, who arrives from Deloitte El Salvador, as head of the tax department. Founding partner Benjamín Valdez Iraheta and Benjamín Valdez Tamayo are key contacts.

The two-partner corporate-and-commercial practice at Espino Nieto & Asociados handles day-to-day corporate matters, antitrust, labour and tax issues for a broad client base that includes names such as France Telecom, Duke Energy International and Colgate-Palmolive. Other areas of expertise include regulatory advice and distribution agreements. Rafael Mendoza is the name to note.

Under the joint leadership of Freddy Zometa and Mario Costa, LatinAlliance El Salvador’s corporate team handles corporate structuring, incorporations and joint ventures, as well as transactional matters – frequently with a cross-border element. Headline 2017 mandates include assisting Panamanian company La Casa de Las Baterías with its business expansion into El Salvador; advising Rodio Swissboring El Salvador on compliance policies for money laundering prevention; and representing Grupo La Santé in distribution and labour matters. Other notable clients are GlaxoSmithKline, Copa Airlines Colombia and Grupo Emco.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.’s corporate and commercial team undertakes matters including corporate structuring, contractual work and due diligence as well as M&A and regulatory advice. Led by the eminent Manuel Telles, the team advises across a broad range of industries; it is particularly adept at advising clients from the telecommunications, energy, financial services and pharmaceutical sectors. Recent mandates saw the team advising Telus International on a lease contract with Inmobiliaria Las Cascadas; assisting Costa Rican organic food manufacturer BioLand with its business set-up in El Salvador; and handling corporate restructuring for Laboratorios Vijosa. Kimberly Clark, Grupo Publimovil and Franquicias Internacionales are also on the client list.

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