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One of the leading dispute resolution practices in El Salvador, the ‘excellentArias acts for domestic and international clients in litigious matters, contentious administrative proceedings and arbitrations. It excels in the work on the intersection between commercial issues and compliance, as well as antitrust and IP disputes. The practice covers a broad range of sectors, with the banking, retail, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing sectors comprising the majority of instructions. A recent mandate saw the team defend Walmart against a damages claims brought by a customer after an in-store accident; ‘experienced’ practice head Eduardo Ángel, who has ‘great analytical skills’ and ‘understands clients’ needs’, led the case. A stellar client roster includes Bayer, KPMG, Novartis, Citibank and Philip Morris, among others.

Sáenz & Asociados’ nine-partner dispute resolution team showcases strong expertise across the full array of contentious matters, regularly handling litigious as well as arbitral matters. With particular clout in the public sector, the team advises the government of El Salvador and the Ministry of Public Works, Transport, Housing and Urban Development. The team is also frequently instructed by clients in the telecommunications, energy and construction sectors. The highly regarded Mario Enrique Sáenz leads the practice in conjunction with Humberto Sáenz Marinero; other names to note are financial litigation expert Estela Lissette Sáenz de Colorado and Arturo Guerrero Díaz, who specialises in arbitration and administrative litigation.

Clients ‘appreciate the business acumen’ at ‘very responsive’ firm, BLP. A broad client portfolio, comprising domestic as well as multinational companies including Coca Cola, IBM, HSBC and Omnisport, regularly instructs the two-partner team with a wide range of contentious matters, including arbitration, and commercial and IP disputes, as well as contentious administrative proceedings and white-collar crime cases. Recent work highlights include defending US-based Champion Laboratories against a $3.6m compensation claim brought by a local distributor; representing PepsiCo, as defendant, in various labour disputes; and acting on behalf of Colgate Palmolive in an administrative tax collection proceeding. The group is led by experienced arbitrator and litigator Harold Lantan and includes ‘highly appreciatedRicardo Cevallos.

Under the leadership of Piero Rusconi, Central Law El Salvador regularly acts on behalf of domestic and international clients in the full array of disputes, including commercial arbitrations and contentious administrative proceedings. Headline 2017 work saw Rusconi and recommended associate Jonathan Menjivar advise C. Imberton on $1.3m sanctions imposed by the Antitrust Authority related to alleged horizontal agreements with a Novartis distributor. Other notable mandates include the defence of Generadora Eléctrica Central against compensation claims brought by EDESAL (related to an alleged breach of contract); and representing Arrocera San Francisco in a $2m distribution dispute against Kellogg’s (El Salvador). The firm also represents PepsiCo, Grupo Roble and Salvatore Ferragamo, among others.

LatamLex | Guandique Segovia Quintanilla (GSQ) undertakes a broad spectrum of contentious matters, including commercial arbitration. The team, led by Oscar Hurtado, is particularly adept at financial services litigation, often related to foreign investment. Other areas of expertise include disputes related to the energy, retail and aviation sectors. Other names to note include arbitrator Ana Reyes and Carlos Guzmán, who handles M&A related as well as antitrust disputes.

Commercial, administrative, labour and tax are all areas of litigious expertise for the three-partner team at Consortium Legal, which attends a client base that spans domestic and international companies from various sectors, including construction and agribusiness. In 2017, a multi-million damages claim case kept the team particularly busy. Key advisors are Cesar Ramos, Oscar Samour and associate Cristina Campos.

García & Bodán demonstrates strong expertise in IP litigation, but also handles administrative and commercial litigation, ranging from financial and distribution disputes to liability cases as well as damages and compensation claims. Recent engagements saw Julio Vargas assist Crocs with antipiracy measures in the context of IP rights enforcement; as well as represent Mexican food chain LACA LACA in various trade mark infringement cases. Practice head Oscar Torres has been elevated to the partnership.

Lexincorp’s four-partner practice is best known for energy-related litigation; Enrique Escobar is currently representing Termopuerto in administrative proceedings against the Salvadoran Energy and Telecommunications Agency related to a rise in charges for the operation of a power plant. Other focus areas include commercial, financial and tax litigation; a recent example for the latter specialisation is the representation of Livsmart in a tax-return dispute. Fertilizantes Nordic and Drogueria Americana joined long-term clients Lageo, Scotiabank and Empresa Electrica de Oriente on the client list.

Romero Pineda stands out predominantly for IP litigation, although the two-partner group also has experience in commercial, administrative and criminal cases. The team’s recent caseload included defending Copa Airlines in various claims brought by customers; and representing private investors in a liability case against a large construction company. Practice head Carlos Castillo is the key contact for arbitral matters and IP litigation. Other recommended advisors include Roberto Romero and associate Karla Alas.

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