Labour in Guatemala
Arias' 'outstanding' team 'provides a personalised and efficient service and has highly capable lawyers with a broad mastery of labour law and business acumen'. In addition to handling employment-related litigation, the firm advises on contracts; terminations, particularly those involving senior management or large numbers of employees; the employment aspects of corporate transactions; and immigration matters. The practice is led by Liz Gordillo, an 'expert in labour law' who stands out for her 'commercial astuteness' and 'impressive ability to solve complex problems'. Among other significant matters, Gordillo and associate María Elena Barrientos advised Ricoh Latin America on the termination of several high-level company executives' employment with the client, and associate Rosa María Arenales assisted Telefónica Centroamérica Inversiones with the employment aspects of the sale of its operations in Guatemala and El Salvador.
BUFELCO Bufete López Cordero
BUFELCO Bufete López Cordero has longstanding expertise in individual and collective labour litigation, as well as advising employers on Guatemalan labour regulations, special employment cases, termination of contracts, remuneration and the development of internal HR policies. Past clients include Cementos Progreso, sugar mill Ingenio Palo Gordo, Banco Industrial, Unilever and Exxon Mobil. Managing partner Guillermo López Davis leads the practice. Sadly, founding partner Guillermo López Cordero passed away in May 2018.
QIL+4 ABOGADOS, S.A. acts for local and foreign employers across a wide range of industries, including Telus, AbbVie and British American Tobacco. The team, which is praised for its 'vast experience', 'regional capability and resourcefulness' and 'total customer orientation', advises on contentious and non-contentious labour law, covering the termination of employment relationships; collective bargaining; the labour aspects of mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions; and labour litigation. Practice head Evelyn Rebuli and senior associate Javier Castellán are 'outstanding'; they 'have considerable expertise in labour law' and are 'tenacious about turning possibilities into reality'. In a recent highlight, the pair advised three agricultural companies - Empresa Agrícola el Pacayal, Industria Guatemalteca de Macadamia and Monte de Oro - on labour law compliance, among other matters.
BLP's labour practice 'goes beyond the typical service' and is praised for its 'attention, fast responses and quality of work'. The team has a strong international client base, advising companies including Uber, Mastercard, Scotiabank and Samsung Electronics on the management of employment relationships, matters relating to working hours and conditions, and immigration issues. Employment-related litigation is also a key area for the firm, which is acting for BMI Seguros Guatemala in a dispute between the company and a former senior executive. Luis Ruiz leads the team, which also includes associate Jeimy Aldi and was joined in March 2019 by special counsel Cynthia Sequeira from GCTLEGAL.
Lionel Aguilar leads the team at Consortium Legal, which 'stands out for its speed and good results'. The firm acts for employers in the public and private sectors, and is particularly active advising on collective bargaining and company agreements. The team also handles administrative labour proceedings before the labour and social security authorities, and advises on the employment aspects of M&A and other corporate transactions. Senior associate Federico Zelada specialises in collective bargaining matters.
Mayora & Mayora, S.C.'s 'expert' labour practice advises on employment contracts, terminations, collective bargaining agreements, compliance with Guatemalan labour regulations, occupational health and safety, and internal HR policies. The team also regularly represents clients in labour disputes. Clients include a number of large international companies and their Guatemalan subsidiaries, including GBM, Amway and Productos Roche Guatemala. Rafael Briz leads the team, which also includes senior associates Suzel Obiols and Carmen Escobar, who focuses on advising on immigration matters such as residency and work permits for foreign employees.
Valenzuela Herrera & Asociados
Founding partner Augusto Valenzuela Herrera heads the team at specialist labour firm Valenzuela Herrera & Asociados. The firm has a strong reputation for its advice on matters including compliance with current labour regulations, drafting of employment contracts, day-to-day issues relating to working time and salary, occupational health and safety, and immigration matters such as work and residency permits. The team also represents clients in individual and collective litigation.
Ruby Asturias leads the team at EY Law Central America, which counts a number of large international and regional companies among its clients, including Bayer, ThyssenKrupp, Reforestadora de Palmas del Petén (Repsa) and Corporación Multi Inversiones. The team advises employers on compliance with Guatemalan labour regulations, disciplinary actions and training, the employment aspects of M&A transactions, and immigration law. Manager Mirla Tubac is particularly active advising industrial and commercial companies such as retailers and restaurants. Oscar Pineda moved to Molina Mencos, Pineda y Asociados in February 2019.