Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

The developing banking practice at A. D. Sosa & Soto advises international clients on the financing of their ongoing operations and the development of specific projects.
Led by associate Gabriel Gómez, who is noted for his extensive in-house experience, Mollerlaw‘s banking and finance team is a preferred choice for trusts, compliance and regulatory issues.

Banking and finance in Guatemala

Alta QIL+4 Abogados

A well-established powerhouse in the Guatemalan banking and finance space, Alta QIL+4 Abogados, which formed a regional outfit in May 2021, can now leverage its presence across Central America to handle a greater volume of cross-border transactions. The ‘extremely knowledgeable‘ team is also well versed in international financial deals governed by New York law, with several members who are dual qualified. Its enviably broad practice spans syndicated and bilateral loans, debt refinancing, the financing of infrastructure and energy projects, and capital markets transactions. Leading the five-partner team are managing partner Marcos Ibargüen, Alejandro Cofiño (a high-profile name for international bond offerings and energy project finance), José Quiñones (who brings extensive tax expertise in financial transactions) and the ‘fantasticAndrés Lowenthal (an expert in international deals). The deep bench also includes recently promoted partner Melissa Echeverría and senior associates Santiago Granados and Ignacio Grazioso, who are noted for their expertise in aeronautical matters and public services projects, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Cofiño; Marcos Ibargüen; José Quiñones; Andrés Lowenthal


The Alta QIL+4 team are extremely knowledgeable in their field and are very proactive in attending to the client’s needs.

Andrés Lowenthal is a fantastic lawyer, very empathetic. His expertise is unmatched in Guatemala.

A very professional and efficient team. Available to meet our needs and respond to queries in a short period of time. Great knowledge of the laws of Guatemala and how they affect foreign institutions doing business in that country. The team is led by excellent professionals and they maintain a new generation of lawyers supporting the management of the main lawyers.

Marcos Ibargüen, Melissa Echeverría and Santiago Granados are agile and respond on time, have a high level of knowledge of local laws, and make valuable contributions to the documents being reviewed to ensure that our interests are well protected.

Key clients


JP Morgan Chase

The Royal Bank of Nova Scotia

Banco General


Macquarie Bank

HIG Capital

Banco Panamá

Banco de América Central (BAC)

Global Bank

Banco G&T Continental

Work highlights

  • Acted as Guatemalan counsel for Telus International and its Guatemalan and Salvadoran subsidiaries in a $2bn refinancing by the Bank of Nova Scotia to refinance its current debt and acquire WillowTree.
  • Advised Citigroup Global Markets, JP Morgan Securities and Scotia Capital, as purchasers, on a Rule 144A/Regulation S international capital markets debt issuance by the Central America Bottling Corporation.
  • Advised Banco General on a cross-border deal consisting of a $50m fixed-interest short-to-medium-term loan to Banco Industrial for general corporate and operational purposes.


Central American firm Arias handles a mix of transactional and regulatory banking and finance matters in Guatemala, with a strong track record in leading the firm’s regional teams on cross-border mandates. The practice is especially adept at advising international lenders, including banks, multilateral institutions and private funds, on granting loans to domestic borrowers, although the team has experience on both sides of transactions. On the regulatory front, the team has marked expertise in fintech matters, and also assists with securities and insurance regulatory issues. Following the departure of former department head Jorge Luis Arenales in March 2023, Luis Pedro del Valle now leads the team, bringing wide-ranging experience in domestic and cross-border transactions to the table. Among the strong cohort of junior team members, key names include senior associate Cindy Arrivillaga (who is noted for international matters) and associates Francisco Zuluaga, Andrés Marroquín and Florencio Gramajo (who recently returned from the foreign lawyer trainee programme at Holland & Knight LLP‘s Miami office).

Practice head(s):

Luis Pedro del Valle

Work highlights

  • Advised Truist Bank, as administrative and facility agent, on granting a two-tranche $615m loan to Evertec Group and its subsidiaries.

Consortium Legal

Regional firm Consortium Legal houses a comprehensive banking and finance practice in Guatemala, with expertise spanning syndicated and cross-border loans, debt restructuring, and the development and implementation of new financial products. Capital markets transactions are an additional strength, where the team has a strong recent record in assisting on both the lender and borrower side. The ‘attentive‘ department, which offers ‘personalised attention‘ to clients, is particularly adept at advising international banks and multilateral development finance institutions and can leverage the firm’s sizeable network of offices in Central America to handle regional mandates. Other thriving areas of the practice include regulatory and, in particular, fintech matters; the firm offers a dedicated team of practitioners from its regional offices in this space. Firm president Álvaro Castellanos leads the department and is widely recognised for his longstanding practice in the banking, fintech and insurtech spheres, and highly experienced senior associate Melissa Morán has also established an active practice, covering syndicated loans, international debt issuances and project finance.

Practice head(s):

Álvaro Castellanos


‘Consortium Legal has a unique team that is very experienced and innovative in the banking and financial area, not only in Guatemala but throughout Central America.’

‘It is a very professional team, with personalised attention. They always answer our questions in a very attentive and friendly way. In addition, they are competitive in their prices.’

‘We are attended to on a day-to-day basis by Melissa Morán, who provides a very personalised service and has very good response times.’

‘Personally, I have been working with Consortium for 25 years, specifically with Álvaro Castellanos, who has extensive experience in the field and great interest in working hand in hand with us to find innovative solutions that at the same time protect our interests.’

Key clients


Bank of America

JP Morgan & Chase

IDB and IDB Invest

Deutsche Bank

Banco Azteca

Banco de América Central

Credit Suisse

Bupa Global and Bupa Guatemala

Bancolombia/Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala

Nexa Banco

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel to Comunicaciones Celulares on the issuance of $900m senior notes through a trust in the Cayman Islands.
  • Advised Credit Suisse Securities, as lead arranger and lender, on the granting of a senior secured holdco loan in favour of Estrella Cooperatief, as borrower, and Deocsa and Deorsa, as guarantors, for $175m.
  • Advised Commerzbank and Commerzbank Finance & Covered Bond, as lender and security agent, respectively, on a $100m term loan facility granted to Banco Industrial, secured by a pledge of Guatemalan government bonds.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.

With an expanding presence in the Northern Triangle region of Central America, Mayora & Mayora, S.C. is equally skilled in handling domestic and regional financial transactions. Praised for its ‘quality client service‘, the team advises on the gamut of banking and finance matters, from syndicated loans and regulatory issues to project finance and debt restructuring, with particular expertise in acting for international and regional banks and development finance institutions. The capital markets sphere is also a key source of mandates; the practice, which is experienced in international debt issuances and derivatives transactions, counts the National Stock Exchange among its clients. Claudia Pereira, an expert in secured transactions, trusts and project finance, leads the team. María Fernanda Morales Pellecer has significant strength in banking regulation, benefitting from her past in-house experience at several major banks, and regional managing partner Eduardo Mayora remains a leading figure in the practice. Senior associate Carlos Ortega provides support across the full range of matters.

Practice head(s):

Claudia Pereira


Personal attention and professional follow-up on the issues raised.

Quality client service. Empathy.

Mayora & Mayora has a multidisciplinary, diverse and very strong team in the financial area. The firm also has a robust group of legal assistants which allows it to adequately respond to client requirements.

Eduardo Mayora is an expert in the stock market, and María Fernanda Morales has extensive experience in the banking and finance area. I know her work and her experience and attention to detail very well.

Key clients

Banco Industrial

Banco Azteca

Banco Cuscatlán

Tarjetas Cuscatlán

Bolsa De Valores Nacional


Banco Davivienda

Kiva Capital Management

Sucden Americas/Sucden Geneva

Work highlights

  • Assisted Tarjetas Cuscatlán with the constitution of bonds and corporate guarantees for loans granted abroad.
  • Advising various financial institutions, including Banco Azteca, Banco Industrial, Citibank, Banco de Occidente, Banco Cuscatlán and the National Stock Exchange, on banking matters.
  • Advising Sucden Americas Corporation on the drafting and issuance of promissory notes and the constitution of guarantees attached to these obligations, including the constitution of a movable security over sugar.

Aguilar Castillo Love

International mandates are a mainstay of the banking and finance practice at Aguilar Castillo Love, which benefits from the firm’s growing footprint in Latin America when advising international lenders, particularly banks and investment funds, on cross-border transactions. The firm has a thriving practice in the regulatory (particularly fintech) and capital markets spaces, with a strong record of handling bond issuances, and is also developing significant expertise in ESG-related financings. In addition, the team is experienced in advising domestic borrowers, particularly on the financing of energy projects, drawing on firm-wide expertise in the sector. At the head of the practice, Juan Carlos Castillo Chacón is widely sought after for his advice on regulatory issues, securities and project finance, and Natalia Callejas Aquino stands out for her strength in fintech matters, with an emphasis on cryptocurrencies. Associate Rudy Villatoro is currently on secondment at leading Mexican firm Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Castillo Chacón; Natalia Callejas Aquino

Key clients

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Banco Santander





Regional firm BLP significantly strengthened its banking and finance practice in June 2023 with the high-profile hire of Jorge Luis Arenales, founding partner of Arias‘ Guatemala office. Arenales is renowned for his expertise in financial transactions, particularly project finance. The team advises on the full spread of financial matters, from acquisition finance and debt restructuring to syndicated loans and bond issuances, with a strong skill set in multi-jurisdictional transactions. In particular, the practice is consistently active in assisting international lenders, including banks and multilateral financial institutions, while thanks to the firm’s strength in the corporate sphere, major regional companies also make up a substantial portion of its client base. María Inés Arenales, who brings extensive experience in cross-border financial transactions and capital markets matters to the table, leads the team. The growing associate bench includes senior associates Carolina Saadeh, who joined the firm from independent practice in 2022 and has a focus on regulatory matters, and the recently promoted Gustavo GamboaSince publication, María Inés Arenales has left the firm for her own practice.

Practice head(s):

María Inés Arenales

Key clients


IDB Invest

Barentz International

ING Bank


Coöperatieve Rabobank

Nedbank, London Branch

Emergent Cold Latam

Grupo Hencorp

Reserva las Verapaces I

Bank of Nova Scotia

Banco Promérica

Work highlights

  • Advised Avianca and its Salvadoran subsidiary, Taca International Airlines, on the structuring of a future flow securitisation of credit card receivables by Grupo Aval.
  • Advised IDB Invest on the granting of a senior loan of up to $70m to finance Pantaleon’s industrial and agricultural fixed investment plans and working capital needs.
  • Advised Grupo Hencorp on capital lending and the acquisition of guaranteed inventories for a foreign entity incorporated in the US.

Carrillo & Asociados

Leveraging the wider firm’s longstanding strength in litigation, the banking and finance team at established Guatemalan practice Carrillo & Asociados is widely recognised for its specialism in restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy matters, with an emphasis on cross-border proceedings. In addition to transactional and regulatory matters, another key element of the workload is assisting local and international clients with fraud investigations and the recovery of assets. Rodrigo Callejas, who leads the strategic litigation practice group, is a go-to name for restructurings and insolvencies, and partner and certified fraud examiner Emanuel Callejas stands out for international asset recovery matters.

Clarity Law

Notwithstanding its compact size, since its establishment in 2019 Clarity Law has built an active banking and finance practice with an impressive client base that includes global development finance institutions and funds. In particular, the team is well versed in advising international lenders on granting loans to domestic companies and micro-finance entities. At the helm of the practice, José Augusto Toledo is a well-known name for both local and cross-border financial transactions and Ligia Salazar is noted for her broad experience, including niche expertise in financings in the aviation sector. Associate Georgina Jiménez provides key support. Gustavo Hernández left the firm in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Ligia Salazar; José Augusto Toledo

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Financiera Summa

Locfund Next

Stitching Cordaid

Global Partnerships

Forestry and Climate Change Fund

MCE Social Capital

Working Capital for Community Needs

Pro Mujer

Lex Atlas

Founded in October 2022 by Ignacio Andrade Aycinena, the former managing partner of Sfera Legal‘s Guatemala office, Lex Atlas houses a busy banking and finance practice with experience in both regulatory and transactional matters. In particular, the team stands out for its advice to international lenders and leading domestic banks on cross-border loans, including acquisition and project finance, and corporate transactions in the banking sector. Andrade Aycinena, who is well regarded for his experience in advising international clients on financial and capital markets transactions in the Guatemalan market, leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Ignacio Andrade Aycinena


The firm continues to provide us with personalised service.

Ignacio Andrade stands out for his knowledge of legal financial issues and the procedural aspects.

Key clients

Banco Industrial

Banco G&T Continental

Aseguradora Confio

Comunicaciones Celulares

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of an important telecoms company.
  • Advised a client on a subordinated loan for $120m.
  • Advised a client on a green loan for $15m.


With an extensive network of offices in Central America to draw on for support, Lexincorp‘s banking and finance team has significant experience in regional transactions, where it is skilled in acting on both the lender and borrower sides. Its wide-ranging practice spans national and international syndicated loans, the establishment of trusts, refinancings, debt recovery, and regulatory and fintech matters. Julio Aparicio, who is also sought after for his expertise in M&A in the banking sector, leads the team in conjunction with Gonzalo Menéndez González.

Practice head(s):

Julio Aparicio


The team has great technical, specialised knowledge. Very strong client service and follow up.

Legal knowledge, contacts and client service.

Key clients

North International Bank (NIBank)

Petszer International

Kumon Instituto de Educación


Miyoshi and Associates Law Firm


Atradius Collections

Peppertree Capital Management

Banco Industrial

Work highlights

  • Advising NIBank on the legal implications of issuing credit cards, debit cards and prepaid cards in Guatemala.
  • Advising Banco Industrial El Salvador on the extension of two lines of credit for its client in El Salvador, guaranteed by a company in Guatemala.
  • Advising Soluciones Crediticias on factoring, leasing and private capital matters.

Sfera Legal

Following the departure of former managing partner Ignacio Andrade Aycinena in October 2022, the key contacts in regional firm Sfera Legal‘s Guatemalan banking and finance practice are Christian Michelangeli Toriello (who joined the firm in January 2022 from Valorem Legal) and Gabriel Pallarés. The team’s experience includes advising on domestic and cross-border loans, debt restructuring and regulatory compliance.