Alta QIL+4 Abogados‘s broad labour practice spans contentious and non-contentious matters, with the team advising on the employment aspects of corporate transactions and assisting with the termination of employment contracts. On the litigation side, the department is particularly renowned for its counsel to clients in the BPO industry. Another key area of activity has been advising employers on workplace issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination rollout. Practice head Evelyn Rebuli is highly experienced in labour matters ranging from disputes to compliance and labour audits, counting many major multinationals among her clients. Also noted are senior associate Javier Castellán, who has 11 years of labour law experience, and associate Ingrid Fuentes, who advises on social security and immigration issues. Since publication, Castellán has been raised to the partnership - effective as of February 2023.
Labour in Guatemala
Alta QIL+4 Abogados
‘Personalised attention supplied 24/7.‘
‘It is a very good team: technical and involved with the operation. Sometimes they are not personally available but in those cases the calls or communications are always adequate.‘
‘They have experience in the challenges we face and the risks we want to avoid, and they understand the balance of risks inherent in operations.‘
Ingenio San Diego
Banco G&T Continental
Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala
Innovative Contact Solutions
Singled out for its ‘high-quality advice, expertise’ and ‘reputation in the market’, Arias has been highly active in advising its multinational clients on the labour law aspects of M&A and restructurings, as well as on implementing global employment policies. The practice is well known for its advice on labour compliance, as well as on hirings, collective terminations, benefits policies, and complex labour litigation. Guatemala managing partner and practice head Liz Gordillo has vast experience of handling employment issues, including labour audits and investigations. Rosa María Arenales has been particularly active advising on the employment side of corporate transactions and senior associate María Elena Barrientos specialises in occupational health and safety matters, and has client recommendation for her ‘speed, experience and flexibility’.
‘The team stands out for its high-quality advice, expertise, reputation in the market, speed and flexibility. In short, the firm is a business partner to us.’
‘Liz Gordillo has a high level of experience and quality.’
‘Maria Elena Barrientos stands out for her speed, experience and flexibility.’
‘Fundamentally, it’s the service that sets the team apart. In terms of billing, the person in charge of our case handles the necessary follow-up and provides information according to our requirements.’
‘In labour matters, the expertise of Liz Gordillo sets the team apart.’
‘Our concerns regarding labour legislation in Guatemala have been resolved favourably. The team inspire confidence in their clients.’
Fox International Channels
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
BIC Latin America
International Development Bank
- Advised Brookfield Asset Management on the labour aspects of its acquisition of Everise Holdings.
- Advised Webhelp on the employment issues relating to its acquisition of the Latin American operations of OneLink.
- Advised AkzoNobel on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Grupo Orbis companies in South and Central America.
The ‘exemplary’ team at Consortium Legal stands out for its expertise in labour litigation, in addition to its advice on regulatory compliance and conflict prevention. With numerous multinationals among its clients, the team is also experienced in advising on the employment aspects of M&A, collective bargaining processes, and social security and immigration matters, including contracts for foreign workers. The practice is led by Lionel Aguilar, who is highly regarded for his experience in labour litigation. Federico Zelada was promoted to partner in December 2021 and is known for his expertise in collective labour disputes and collective bargaining, clients noting that his ‘experience and practical knowledge of employer regulations is extraordinary’. Senior associate Cristina Sandoval focuses on immigration and occupational health and safety matters.
‘The experience of the labour team makes it unique.’
‘Federico Zelada stands out for his experience and passion for what he does.’
‘They have good knowledge of the subject and their advice is successful.’
‘They provide concrete and direct analyses of our matters.’
‘Few law firms in Guatemala have the same experience and knowledge in labour matters as Consortium. The labour team is exemplary – it provides advice on all sorts of labour-related inquiries, which has been extremely important during the pandemic. The team’s availability and response times were never affected.’
‘Cristina Sandoval constantly surprises us with her diligence, knowledge and availability to answer questions on such varied topics as health and occupational safety and immigration issues for ex-pats.’
‘Federico Zelada has supported and advised us on general labour issues for many years now. His experience and practical knowledge of employer regulations is extraordinary.’
Corporación Multi Inversiones
Industrias Alimenticias Kern’s (FIFCO)
Ternium Internacional Guatemala
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Banco de América Central (BAC)
Enel Green Power
Samsung Electronics Latinoamerica (Zona Libre)
Standard Fruit (Dole)
- Assisted PepsiCo in negotiations with the union of a food factory in Guatemala relating to a new model of remuneration based on productivity and the regularisation of employees’ work schedules.
- Advised Spanish pharmaceutical group Faes Farma on the labour issues relating to its acquisition of Guatemalan company Global Farma.
- Assisted Corporación Multi Inversiones with the preparation of a digital questionnaire and related electronic platform to review compliance with labour legislation across the client’s companies.
BLP’s employment practice specialises in advising multinationals, particularly those operating under Guatemala’s free trade zone regime, on employment issues arising from corporate transactions. The team is also active in defending employers in labour litigation, and in advising on employee compensation and benefits, occupational health and safety issues, and workplace policies stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. Practice head Luis Ruiz is experienced in advising on the employment aspects of M&A and other corporate matters, and director Fernando Méndez handles global mobility and relocation matters. Senior associate Jacobo Martínez assists with day-to-day matters.
Papa John’s – Drake Food Service
Grupo de Energía de Bogotá
Grupo Orbis (Pintuco)
Operador Logístico Ransa
- Advised Papa John’s on the labour aspects of the sale of its franchise in Guatemala to a Chilean company.
- Advised Grupo de Energía de Bogotá on labour issues relating to its merger with the operations of Enel Green Power in Latin America.
- Advising logistics operator Ransa on the labour issues relating to the sale of its operations in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
BUFELCO Bufete López Cordero
Bufelco Bufete López Cordero is best known for its strong labour litigation practice, representing employers in both individual and collective labour disputes. The team also handles collective bargaining processes and advises on regulatory issues, the termination of employment contracts and the implementation of HR policies. Juan José Jiménez is the key contact.
Juan José Jiménez
Mayora & Mayora, S.C.
The lawyers in Mayora & Mayora, S.C.’s labour practice ‘always go the extra mile’ and are particularly focused on non-contentious matters, including work and residence permits, occupational health and safety issues (particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic), employment contracts and internal labour policies. The team is also active in labour disputes and negotiations with trade unions. As president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala, practice head Rafael Briz is well placed to advise Spanish companies on labour and immigration issues. Senior associate Suzel Obiols is also highly regarded for her advice to major multinationals.
‘Mayora & Mayora are usually proactive and are very aware of all the labour issues that are important to us, so they always keep us up to date. The lawyers in the team always go the extra mile in all their advisory services – they are very prepared and focused on resolving any matter that we bring to them.’
‘The team at Mayora & Mayora demonstrate wonderful preparation, experience, values and professionalism in each interaction with us as a client.’
AC Marriott (Marriott Internacional)
Elevadores OTIS of México and Central América
Ogilvy & Mather
Payless Shoesource de Guatemala
Productos Roche Guatemala
Refractarios Nacionales (Grupo Morgan)
Grupo Proval Internacional (Prosegur)
- Assisting the AC Marriott hotel chain with labour disputes, the hiring and dismissal of employees, work regulations and the review of internal policies.
- Advising Payless Shoesource de Guatemala on all day-to-day labour matters, including disputes, internal regulations and policies, and the dismissal of employees.
- Advising leading conservation organisation WWF on general labour matters.
Valenzuela Herrera & Asociados
Founding partner Augusto Valenzuela Herrera is the primary contact at boutique firm Valenzuela Herrera & Asociados. The group's broad practice encompasses employment contract drafting, labour audits, work and residency permitting issues, and occupational health and safety, as well as being adept in labour disputes and collective bargaining.
Augusto Valenzuela Herrera
Aguilar Castillo Love
Aguilar Castillo Love focuses on advising corporate clients on day-to-day employment issues, including the termination of contracts, health and safety regulations, outsourcing agreements and employee benefits. Led by litigator René Vicente Rodriguez, the team is also able to handle labour disputes.
René Vicente Rodriguez
Deloitte Legal Guatemala
Deloitte Legal Guatemala regularly advises on labour due diligence and the design of compensation plans, drawing on the tax expertise of its global consultancy arm. The team assists a predominantly international client base with contracts, immigration and work permits for foreign employees, and disputes relating to the termination of employees and benefits claims. Estuardo Paganini leads the team, while manager Manuel Lara advises on labour, migratory and social security law.
Estuardo Paganini; Manuel Lara
Norton Lilly International
EY Law Central America is well placed to advise international clients on immigration issues, utilising the wider organisations global network of labour lawyers. The Guatemala office most frequently advises on obtaining work and residency permits for foreign employees. In addition, the team assists with the employment aspects of M&A and restructurings, and advises on day-to-day contractual and health and safety issues. Managers Mirla Tubac and Elmer Vargas are the primary contacts at the Guatemala office, coordinating with Hernán Pacheco and Fernando Vargas in Costa Rica to oversee the practice. Associate Diego Mendoza comes with client recommendation for his ‘excellent service’.
Hernán Pacheco; Manuel Ramirez; Fernando Vargas; Mirla Tubac
‘The advice we have received from EY Law has been satisfactory – they know a lot about the labour laws of the country and based on their experience they know how to create the best strategy to deal with the issues that arise. Compared to other offices, the response time is really good and there is good follow-up from our contacts who are always willing to support us.’
‘We have received an excellent service from Diego Mendoza, who is always aware of our cases and who keeps us informed of the procedures. He is very helpful and, above all, available when required.’
Procter & Gamble Interamericas de Guatemala
Comidas Especializadas y Servicios de Guatemala (Denny’s)
France Medias Monde Latina (France24)
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Irish Distillers Group
TK Elevadores Centroamerica
- Assisted Procter & Gamble Interamericas de Guatemala with a review of its compliance with labour and employment law, immigration law, social security regulations, and occupational health and safety regulations.
- Advising Neurons Latam on various employment matters, particularly in relation to the restructuring of its operations in Guatemala.
- Advising Comidas Especializadas y Servicios de Guatemala, the operator of Denny’s restaurants in Guatemala, on compliance with employment, immigration and occupational health and safety laws.
Litigation is the forte of Sfera Legal’s labour practice, where it represents both employers and high-level executives in disputes over the termination of employment relationships and claims for employment benefits. The team also handles labour due diligence, contracts and severance agreements. Clients include major domestic companies from the agroindustry, telecoms, tobacco and mining sectors. Experienced senior associate Luis Enrique Solares leads the practice, and managing partner Ignacio Andrade Aycinena is also a key contact. Since publication, Andrade has left the firm, as of October 2022.
Luis Enrique Solares
‘They have good knowledge of the way in which the courts operate and the strategies they carry out to confront the counterpart. Good strategies and a genuine interest in the needs of their clients.’