Legal Market Overview
Honduras endures the most unequal income distribution in Latin America as well as chronically high unemployment levels. Further to ongoing economic, political and humanitarian crises and a 2017 election that was widely considered fraudulent, 2018 saw the country endure mass protests and the deaths of several demonstrators. In response, thousands of Hondurans left the country, as part of a migrant caravan that was keen to seek asylum in the US.
In spite of these crises and the Honduran economy’s historical dependency upon banana and coffee exports as well as on US trade, Central America’s second poorest country’s real GDP growth was 3.5 per cent in 2018. The finance, transport and manufacturing sectors all underwent expansion and overall economic growth for 2019 is currently forecast at 3.8 per cent.
In Honduras’ legal market, several high-profile corporate law firms are part of broader Central American platforms. Local branches of regional law firms include Aguilar Castillo Love, Arias, BLP, CENTRAL LAW, Consortium Legal, García & Bodán, Latamlex / Matamoros Batson y Asociados and Lexincorp, while independent legal practice Bufete Gutiérrez Falla & Asociados is the exclusive Honduran member firm of global legal association Lex Mundi. Notably, as we go to press, Gustavo Zacapa y Asociados, Abogados & Notarios has announced its forthcoming merger into Dentons Muñoz, a move likely to be mutually beneficial as the local firm gains notable international backing and the regional entity an important additional piece in its Central American regional coverage.
Other significant legal market news included the merger of Casco-Fortín, Cruz & Asociados into Spain-based ECIJA, which also recently forged an alliance with Costa Rican firm Expertis Legal. to become one of the largest law firms in Latin America, the merger adding nine new offices in seven countries to ECIJA now has a presence in six central American jurisidictions, in addition to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Miami and Chile.