Dispute resolution in Guatemala

Arias

Noted for offering a 'personalised service to clients', Arias stands out for its litigation experience across a wide range of sectors, with particular expertise in real estate, telecoms and IP disputes. The team also handles national and international arbitration proceedings relating to commercial disputes and international investments, where it acts for multinationals, government bodies and financial institutions. Its strong criminal defence practice is also of note; the team represents clients in criminal investigations and litigation, and advises on anti-money laundering and anti-corruption compliance. The department is led by the highly regarded Mario René Archila, who is praised for his 'dedication to client care'. He is supported by senior associate Luis Fernando Zelada, who has extensive experience in civil, commercial, labour, criminal and constitutional litigation.

Practice head(s):

Mario René Archila

Testimonials

‘The team in Guatemala is of a high standard and offers a personalised service to clients.’

‘Mario Archila has a high level of dedication to client care, and always comes up with the best option.’

Carrillo & Asociados

Local litigation powerhouse Carrillo & Asociados is noted for its strength in constitutional actions, handling civil rights and public interest litigation and proceedings against government entities. The team also handles administrative and civil litigation, where it is highly active in debt recovery proceedings and shareholders' disputes. Arbitration - especially relating to agency and distribution, energy, telecoms and construction - is another area of expertise. The practice is led by experienced senior partners Alfonso Carrillo, who specialises in rule of law cases; Francisco Chávez; Luis Mazariegos, who has extensive experience in constitutional and administrative litigation; and Rodrigo Callejas, who focuses on asset recovery matters. The strong cohort of associates includes Mynor García and Ricardo Recinos, who focus on civil and constitutional litigation.

Key clients

Importadora de Alimentos de Guatemala

Industria Forrajera de Mazatenango

Correo de Guatemala

Alta Tecnología en Envases

Tapametal de Guatemala

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Eco Young & Rubicam

Defense of Rule of Law

Fundación Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

Work highlights

  • Acted for Importadora de Alimentos de Guatemala in an action to declare that the statute of limitations had run out on the obligation to pay profits to a shareholder which had failed to collect them.
  • Represented Correo de Guatemala in constitutional relief proceedings to suspend a ruling by the Communications, Infrastructure and Housing Ministry imposing sanctions.
  • Acted for Alta Tecnología en Envases in an action to declare void a legal transaction between a manager of the company and the legal representative of another entity.
  • Acting for Industria Forrajera de Mazatenango in filing a legal action to declare the statute of limitations has run out on the obligation to pay profits  which were not collected by the shareholder.

Legalsa

Praised for its 'knowledge', 'dedication' and 'skill in handling disputes', Legalsa has expertise in litigation across a range of areas, including civil and administrative, credit recovery, IP, constitutional and criminal matters. The team's key strengths lie in high-profile, 'bet the company' litigation, shareholder disputes, litigation relating to government procurement, tenders and concessions, and white-collar crime. The practice is led by Alejandro Penados, who handles civil, commercial, constitutional and administrative litigation, IP enforcement and unfair competition disputes; Marisol Fión, who has particular expertise in shareholder disputes; and founding partner Henry Comte, who is not currently practising while he serves as an alternative magistrate in the Guatemalan Constitutional Court.

Testimonials

‘In the Legalsa team we have found knowledge, dedication, good delivery of work and strong ethics.’

‘They stand out for their skill in handling disputes and knowledge of matters on both a national and international level.’

Key clients

Industrias Licoreras Guatemaltecas

Multiproyectos

CBC-Cabcorp

Vivabanco

Valores Guatemaltecos

Compañía Agrícola Industrial Santa Ana

Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala

Desarrollos Los Manglares

Oceana Beach Resort

Hunter Warfield

América Móvil

Work highlights

  • Advised América Móvil on a review of 700 ongoing lawsuits to evaluate liability contingencies during its acquisition of Telefonica Móviles Guatemala.
  • Defended one of Guatemala’s largest manufacturers and bottlers of soft drinks and other beverages against a claim for trade mark infringement brought by a competitor.

Alta QIL+4 Abogados

'An experienced team, which can draw on the talents of other members of the firm', QIL+4 ABOGADOS, S.A.'s dispute resolution department has been particularly active in high-profile constitutional litigation relating to the suspension of mining and renewable energy projects in Guatemala. The firm also has a growing arbitration practice, acting on disputes in the energy sector as well as proceedings relating to distribution and software agreements and construction disputes. White-collar crime and debt collection actions are other areas of strength. Senior associate Alejandro Solares, who focuses on domestic and international arbitration and multi-party litigation, leads the practice, while experienced senior partners José Quiñones and Marcos Ibargüen head the firm's litigation committee. The team also includes Gabriela Roca, who specialises in energy and environmental litigation.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Solares

Testimonials

‘They have a lot of experience in dispute resolution, and the combination of their expertise in this practice area and their expertise in energy generation projects is very effective.’

‘They stand out for their expertise in the energy sector and in ICC arbitrations.’

‘The dispute resolution team have experience in judicial proceedings and case law, despite their young age. They dedicate the necessary time to getting to know the case, the client and the relevant aspects of the industry in which the client does business.’

‘It is an experienced team which can draw on the talents of other members of the firm in order to properly handle the client’s requirements. They are always available.’

Key clients

Minera San Rafael

Contact Center Distribution Service

Abbott

British American Tobacco

Cresta Resources

Kaefer Aislamientos

Radiovisión

Empresa De Ingenieros Guatemaltecos (EIG)

Renace

Servicios Administrativos Zona Pradera

Grupo Disagro

Energía Limpia De Guatemala

Uno Guatemala

Ternium Internacional Guatemala

Banco Agromercantil De Guatemala

Grupo Frito Lay

Pan-American Silver

Universidad Del Valle De Guatemala

Young & Rubcam And Wunderman Latam

Arquitectos Asesores

Belluno

Daimler

Cadejo Brewing Co

Créditos Centroamericanos Aktúa

Denimatrix

IDC Asesores Financieros

Calidad Inmobiliaria

Asociación De Generadores Renovables

Grupo Secacao

Anacapri

Viento Blanco

Grupo Suca

Jaguar Energy Guatemala

Maquinas Exactas

Petrolatin

Naturaceites

Procesadora Unitab

Servicios Industriales Y Agrícolas

Transactel

Cadefarma

Ajemaya

Grupo Rosul

Asociación Nacional De Generadores

Work highlights

  • Representing Minera San Rafael in an action brought by environmental organisations which are seeking to revoke the company’s mining licence, on the basis of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169 on the rights of indigenous peoples.
  • Representing Renace (part of CMI) in an ICC arbitration claim against the largest energy distributor in Guatemala over a contract dispute, claiming damages and lost profits.
  • Acting for Naturaceites in a criminal action brought by the tax authorities alleging tax fraud arising out of a merger of multiple agricultural companies.
  • Representing Energía Limpia de Guatemala (part of Grupo Terra) in an amparo action brought by an indigenous community against the Ministry of Energy and Mines under ILO Convention 169, seeking to revoke the licence to operate two hydroelectric power plants.

Aguilar Castillo Love

'Highly regarded' Central American firm Aguilar Castillo Love has extensive experience in litigation and arbitration, with particular expertise in disputes in the energy sector. Its clients include major domestic power distribution and generation companies. The practice also handles high-profile civil, commercial, constitutional and labour litigation. The team has recently undergone a rapid expansion with the arrival of practice head René Vicente Rodriguez (who joined from Carrillo & Asociados in December 2018) and two new associates, including the arbitration-focused María Lilian Franco. Juan Carlos Castillo-Chacón, who is renowned for his experience in arbitration and energy disputes, is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

René Vicente Rodríguez

Testimonials

‘The team is highly regarded in the local market.’

Key clients

Jaguar Energy

Empresa Eléctrica de Guatemala (EEGSA)

Energuate

Transelec

Work highlights

  • Acting for Energuate in six separate disputes arising from breaches of power purchase agreements.
  • Representing Energuate in an appeal against a resolution issued by the CNEE regarding the collection of municipal public lighting tariffs.

Alegalis

As a member of the Legic regional alliance and with an office in Hong Kong, Alegalis benefits from connections across Central America and worldwide. Dispute resolution is a key practice area for the firm, which is particularly active in criminal IP litigation, frequently representing international brands in anti-counterfeiting cases. The team also handles real estate litigation, bankruptcy-related cases and white-collar crime. Carlos Gustavo Palacios heads the firm's litigation department, focusing on civil and commercial litigation, while Cristian Rojas leads the criminal litigation practice. Senior partner Juan Antonio Mazariegos, whose experience spans civil, commercial, criminal and constitutional cases, is also a key contact.

Key clients

Nike

Converse

Calvin Klein

Levi’s

Michael Kors

Casio

Vans

Fox Head

Toms

Monster

Access Telecom Group

Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI)

Spectrum

Capital Buró

Axis

Qualicons

Iruña

National Association of Poultry Farmers (ANAVI)

Grupo Terra – UNO Guatemala

Avícola Villalobos

Laboratorios Alcon

Asociación de Médicos Especialistas de Guatemala

Tiba Guatemala

Work highlights

  • Acted for an international sports brand in an anti-counterfeiting case.
  • Acting for real estate developers in litigation before the municipal courts.
  • Representing a rubber production company in a case relating to the recovery of areas of land.

BLP

Arbitration is an area of strength for regional firm BLP, which is also well versed in constitutional, civil and criminal litigation, including labour, IP, environmental and anti-corruption cases. Founding partner Rodolfo Salazar leads the practice and is particularly experienced in disputes relating to energy, infrastructure and public law, while highly regarded special counsel Alejandro Arenales, who has notable expertise in financial and real estate disputes, is another key member of the team. A strong cohort of associates, including José Antonio López, who has strength in piracy and counterfeiting litigation, and Elizabeth Cardona, who specialises in criminal environmental cases, provides support.

Practice head(s):

Rodolfo Salazar

Key clients

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer/State of Guatemala

Abbott Laboratories

Comisión Regional de Interconexion Electrica (CRIE)

Hidroelectrica Rio Hondo

GlaxoSmithKline

Aseguradora General

Accesorios Globales

Terminal de Granos del Pacifico

Banco Promerica

Bayer

Work highlights

  • Acting as local counsel to Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer in representing the State of Guatemala in a dispute with Teco Holdings over an alleged breach of telecoms contracts.
  • Defending Comisión Regional de Interconexión Eléctrica (CRIE) against a claim brought by Grupo Generador de Oriente.
  • Representing Hidroeléctrica Río Hondo in separate proceedings against the National Institute of Electrification (INDE) and the Ministry of Energy and Mines over the cancellation of authorisations needed for the client’s power plant to operate.

Consortium Legal

Consortium Legal is noted for its 'deep knowledge of litigation proceedings' and 'attention to even the smallest details'. The team is highly active in tax litigation, and regularly represents leading national banks and financial institutions in proceedings brought by the tax authorities in the country's highest courts. The practice also covers civil and commercial litigation, including contractual and shareholder disputes, administrative litigation and constitutional actions, for clients including major regional and international corporations. The team is jointly led by tax litigation specialist David Erales and Elías Arriaza, who is praised for his 'dazzling mental clarity and the ability to communicate concepts simply and directly'.

Practice head(s):

David Erales; Elías Arriaza

Testimonials

‘The team at Consortium stand out for their constant availability and accessibility, as well as their deep knowledge of litigation proceedings, their clear and consistent explanation of legal strategies, and their attention to even the smallest details.’

‘What sets Elías Arriaza apart is his experience, knowledge and equanimity, which translates into the highest level of confidence and credibility, which is essential in order to stay calm during the most difficult moments of every proceeding. Elías has a dazzling mental clarity and the ability to communicate concepts simply and directly to clients. He is totally pragmatic and focused on taking action and getting results.’

‘The team is always available and looks for agile and rapid solutions. The associates follow up very well on matters and have a very good general knowledge of the applicable regulations. Consortium’s availability and case management is impeccable.’

‘They are clear and precise. The team is young but very well prepared, as is the case with associate Efrén Pérez. His assistance with our cases always gives us peace of mind and the certainty that we are in good hands.’

Key clients

Corporación CMI

Industria Licorera De Guatemala

AT&T Servicios De Comunicaciones De Guatemala

Telxius Cable Guatemala

Banco Internacional

Citibank

Colgate-Palmolive Central America

Chevron Guatemala

Walmart

Enel

Financiera Summa

Syngenta

Axio

United Airlines

Banrural

Ternium

Bantrab

Ninoshka

Unipharm

Intertechne

Multiproyectos

Campiellos

Pollo Campero

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.

Expanding Central American firm Mayora & Mayora, S.C. is praised by clients for its 'warm manner, close relationships with clients and high-quality service'. The team has experience across the full spectrum of litigation, and is also noted for its expertise in arbitration, particularly in relation to energy, telecoms and foreign investment. Paola Galich, who is recommended for her 'excellent advice and client service', leads the team alongside the highly regarded Rafael Briz, who specialises in arbitration and administrative and labour litigation. Experienced associates in the team include labour and white-collar crime specialist Luis Fernando MéndezJosé Ramos and Byron Deulofeu.

Practice head(s):

Paola Galich; Rafael Briz

Testimonials

‘The team stands out for the quality of its client care and its response times.’

‘The communication is excellent and the advice is helpful and effective.’

‘Warm manner, close relationships with clients, high-quality service.’

‘Paola Galich provides excellent advice and client service.’

‘We have worked with Mayora for many years and are very happy with the service they provide. The firm’s lawyers are highly qualified and the service they provide is excellent. We can rely on their total availability and excellent response times.’

‘Rafael Briz is exceptional and is always ready and willing to attend to our matters. We are very happy to rely on his advice and support.’

‘They respond in good time and their advice is clear and practical.’

‘Paola Galich and Rafael Briz are always available and their advice is always focused on the best interests of our business. They are very practical, which we really appreciate.’

Key clients

Asociación Española De Beneficencia

Acino International

Deorsa-Deocsa

Belcorp

Grupo Cobra

Productos Roche

DSM

Embajada De El Reino De España

Cindu

GBM (IBM Alliance Company)

EY Law Central America

EY Law Central America is particularly experienced in handling criminal cases, covering investigations, audits and litigation, with an emphasis on tax fraud and white-collar crime. The team also assists clients in administrative, commercial and IP litigation, and has arbitration experience. The practice is led by Enrique Möller Sánchez, whose clients include companies in the retail, infrastructure and energy sectors, and senior manager Fernando Rosales Gramajo, who has particular expertise in criminal procedural law and tax litigation.

Novales Abogados

Novales Abogados is known for its experience in litigation in the energy sector, with clients including several local power companies. The team also acts on construction and infrastructure-related disputes and debt collection actions. The key contacts are Cristián Novales Schlesinger, Javier Novales Schlesinger and founding partner Alfonso Novales Aguirre, who previously served as a judge in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica.

A. D. Sosa & Soto

The 'committed' team at A. D. Sosa & Soto handles a range of civil and commercial litigation, including contract enforcement, foreclosure and debt collection procedures. It also has experience in IP (with a particular focus on anti-counterfeiting actions), white-collar crime and constitutional litigation, and national and international arbitration. Juan Sebastián Soto, who specialises in IP disputes, leads the practice alongside Rodolfo Sosa and Carlos Rafael Pellecer.

Testimonials

‘The team is committed to its clients and seeks to first and foremost get to know the clients’ needs.’

‘They are very accessible, always respond quickly to calls and emails, and are always very attentive during meetings. The service is excellent.’

Key clients

Compañía Procesadora de Níquel de Izabal

Distribuidora Agrícola

Kimberly-Clark Guatemala

Bimbo De Centro America

Standard Fruit De Guatemala

PriceSmart (Guatemala)

Compañia Distribuidora

Procter & Gamble

Aceros de Guatemala

Industria de Tubos y Perfiles

Dormitorios Estudiantiles

Unisuper

Suministros Médicos

Embotelladora Central

Chocoladefrabriken Lindt & Sprüngli

Alimentos Corporativos Coralsa

Work highlights

  • Represented Codisa in three civil complaints against Hershey Foods Corporation over the right to distribute Hershey’s products in Guatemala.

LatamLex | Skinner-Klée & Asociados

The Guatemalan branch of the Central American LatamLex Abogados network, LatamLex | Skinner-Klée & Asociados counts multinational corporations and leading regional banks and financial institutions among its clients. The team handles tax litigation, commercial cases and shareholder disputes, and arbitration. Practice head Alfredo Skinner-Klée also has experience acting as an arbitrator in the Arbitration Centre of the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce. Other key contacts include Alfredo Skinner-Klée Sol and María Gabriela Coronado Díaz.

Practice head(s):

Alfredo Skinner-Klée

Key clients

Compañía de Desarrollo Bananero de Guatemala

Agrícola San Agustín Las Minas

Bandegua

Marguerite Holding

Clover Venture

Work highlights

  • Acted for Del Monte Fresh Produce in litigation against the Guatemalan government relating to the deeds to the company’s properties.

Palomo Abogados

Formerly Palomo & Porras, Palomo Abogados acts for a range of domestic and international clients, including logistics, insurance, advertising and pharmaceutical companies. The team has particular expertise in IP, maritime and insurance-related litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution. The team is led by Héctor Palomo and Federico Palomo, following the departure of former practice head Juan José Porras, who left the firm to establish his own practice, GT Legal, along with Mario Guadrón.

Key clients

Arochi & Lindner SC

Starbucks Coffee Company

React – The Anti-Counterfeiting Network

Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma

Ulmer & Berne LLP

Lincoln Electric

Work highlights

  • Acting for non-profit organisation React in anti-counterfeiting cases.

Sfera Legal

Central American firm Sfera Legal, which made its entry into the Guatemalan market in September 2018 through its merger with local firm Asensio Andrade Flores, handles domestic and regional litigation. It has expertise in civil, commercial, constitutional, IP and tax disputes, and the team is also active in arbitration, particularly in the construction, energy and telecoms sectors. The 'dynamicIgnacio Andrade Aycinena leads the practice and is supported by a strong team of associates.

Practice head(s):

Ignacio Andrade Aycinena

Testimonials

‘An excellent team with a high level of synergy. They all analyse and share their cases with their colleagues in order to find the best solution.’

‘They have excellent judgement and academic knowledge.’

‘It is a very experienced team.’

‘Ignacio Andrade is a dynamic lawyer with a lot of experience and character.’

Key clients

Comunicaciones Celulares – Tigo

Inversiones Pasabién

Work highlights

  • Acted for MacDermid in a case relating to the termination of a distribution agreement.