Energy and natural resources in Guatemala

Aguilar Castillo Love

Aguilar Castillo Love counts two of Guatemala's three main electricity distribution companies among its clients, in addition to energy generators and market operators. The team is noted for its expertise in disputes in the energy sector, including arbitration, and also maintains an active project finance practice (particularly involving renewable energy projects). Regulatory matters also feature in the team's workload. The practice is led by Juan Carlos Castillo-Chacón, who has extensive experience in the electricity sector, and Natalia Callejas Aquino. René Vicente Rodriguez is a key contact for energy-sector litigation.

Key clients

Jaguar Energy

Empresa Eléctrica de Guatemala (EEGSA)

Energuate

Administrador del Mercado Mayorista (AMM)

Transelec

Carrillo & Asociados

Carrillo & Asociados has extensive experience in the energy and mining sectors. The team advises on commercial and regulatory issues, including permits, contracts and the transfer of mining rights and licences, as well as the financing and development of energy projects. It also has expertise in handling disputes relating to mining and energy, including arbitration and high-profile constitutional litigation. Practice Rodolfo Alegría provides advice to multinational clients on complex project financing, as well as in arbitration. Senior associate Mélida Pineda, who has expertise in M&A, project finance and insurance matters in the energy sector, is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Rodolfo Alegría

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client in litigation related to land acquired for a project that affects revenue from the operation of the electricity market.
  • Represented a client in arbitration proceedings, claiming damages for the default of a power purchase agreement by a utility company.
  • Acted for a client in a claim for the default of a utility company to purchase energy under the provisions of a power purchase agreement.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C.

Mayora & Mayora, S.C. has longstanding experience in the energy sector, advising on government bids involving power, mining and hydrocarbon projects, as well as regulation and administrative proceedings. Recently, the team has been increasingly active advising on energy-related M&A, renewable energy matters and the new tariff rate for energy distributors. Clients include leading local and multinational energy distribution and generation companies. The practice is led by the highly experienced Rafael Briz, with the support of senior associates Juan Carlos Foncea  in energy matters and Carmen Escobar in relation to hydrocarbons.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Briz

Key clients

Arroyo Energy Group

Deocsa-Deorsa

Grupo Cobra

Grupo Ortiz

Generación Limpia De Guatemala

Inkia Energy

Ingenio San Diego

Isagen

Redes Electricas

Obrascón Huarte Lain

Work highlights

  • Advised Grupo Cobra on the legal aspects of the construction of a hydroelectric power plant.
  • Advised Energuate on the settlement of electricity distribution rates in Guatemala for the next five years.
  • Acting for a client in arbitration proceedings seeking compensation for investment from the Guatemalan government.

Alta QIL+4 Abogados

QIL+4 ABOGADOS, S.A. stands out for its knowledge of electricity-sector regulation both in Guatemala and across Central America. The team also advises on public bidding and contracting, the financing of energy projects, including wind and solar power plants, and the development of energy infrastructure. Another area of strength is high-profile constitutional litigation relating to energy and mining projects. The highly regarded Gabriela Roca leads the practice, which includes a number of experienced associates; Ignacio Gracioso, who focuses on public contracts, and Estuardo Marchena, who is experienced in regulatory matters, are key names.

Practice head(s):

Gabriela Roca

Testimonials

‘Gabriela Roca has a lot of expertise in the industry. She has an excellent network, in-depth knowledge, a lot of experience and is an excellent lawyer.’

‘Despite his young age, Estuardo Marchena has a great capacity for analysis and understands matters quickly. He is a very good lawyer.’

Key clients

Enel Green Power

MultiEnergía-Corporación Multi-Inversiones

Generadora San Andres y Generadora San Mateo

Horus-Anacapri

Minera San Rafael

Asociación de Generadores con Energía Renovable (AGER)

Asociación Nacional de Generadores

Viento Blanco

Work highlights

  • Acting for Minera San Rafael in longstanding constitutional litigation relating to the suspension of the company’s mining licence.
  • Acted for an electricity company in Guatemala in a dispute over the conditions of a power purchase agreement.
  • Advised Guatemala’s National Generators Association (ANG) in a claim against the Regional Interconnection Commission (CRIE) over the disconnection of the Guatemalan electrical system from the regional system.

A. D. Sosa & Soto

Local firm A. D. Sosa & Soto distinguishes itself in the market through its in-depth knowledge of the oil industry; it regularly advises clients on regulation and foreign investment in this sector. The team also assists with the development of mining and renewable energy projects, including advising on connected environmental, social and political issues. The practice is led by Carlos Rafael Pellecer, who is highly experienced in the development of significant mining projects; Manuel Arturo Soto; Rodolfo Sosa, who advises on energy, petroleum and mining regulations; and José Javier Soto.

CENTRAL LAW Guatemala

CENTRAL LAW Guatemala advises on foreign investment, the development of hydroelectric, geothermal, mining, and oil and gas projects, and regulatory issues in the energy and natural resources sectors. It also assists international clients - particularly the Guatemalan subsidiaries of large natural resources companies - with transactions in the sector, including M&A. Practice head Juan Pablo Carrasco de Groote is experienced in investments and acquisitions of projects in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America. He is supported by associate Carlos Cabrera, who handles compliance and transactional matters.

Key clients

Ecolab

Gaspro

Kerry Group

Bluestone Resources

Anfield Ventures Inc.

TELF

APM Terminals

Work highlights

  • Advised Bluestone Resources on the environmental and social aspects of resuming the operation of a mine in Guatemala.
  • Providing ongoing advice to APM Terminals in Guatemala on environmental matters.
  • Providing ongoing advice on corporate and natural resources issues to the Guatemalan subsidiary of Gaspro.

Novales Abogados

Guatemalan law firm Novales Abogados is active in the energy sector, where it counts leading Central American power company Transportadora de Energía de Centroamérica among its clients. The team advises on matters relating to electricity transmission, the sale and export of energy, and litigation, particularly in relation to challenges to the installation of energy infrastructure. Javier Novales Schlesinger is the key contact.

Alegalis

With particular strength in renewable energy and distribution, Alegalis is experienced in energy-related transactions and project development. The team is also able to assist with the financial, tax and regulatory aspects of energy matters, and to handle litigation and arbitration in the sector. Managing partner Juan Antonio Mazariegos is the key contact.

BLP

BLP counts regional and international financial institutions among its clients, which the team advises on the financing of energy projects, including renewable energy projects. It also assists investors, developers and operators with mining projects, covering financing and regulatory issues. Rodolfo Salazar, who has experience in disputes, project finance and environmental matters, leads the practice.

Lexincorp

Lexincorp advises local and regional energy companies on accreditation by the regulator and the establishment of operations in Guatemala. It also assists with the financing of electricity generation projects, the development of renewable energy projects and carbon credits. Associate Leslie Henry Ayau, who has particular expertise in the regulation of the electricity sector, is the key contact.