Corporate and finance in Honduras
Aguilar Castillo Love is 'a place where honesty and ethics reign supreme, which is refreshing and allows for efficient communication between those involved; and the corporate and finance work produced is top-notch'. The firm is highly experienced in advising on complex transactions involving the banking and finance, renewable energy, infrastructure, telecoms, mining and real estate sectors. Significant clients include Ferrero Rocher, Ormat International, Vestas Mediterranean, Uno Petrol, Bank of America, Goldcorp and Cargill. Highlights include assisting US-based steel producer Nucora with the acquisition of a stake in Honduras' Aceros Alfa, a regional steel producer; in other cross-border deals, the team provided Honduran legal advice (including antitrust clearance assistance) to Mexichem, a Mexican producer of plastic pipes, on its $1.5bn acquisition of a majority stake in Netafim, an Israeli manufacturer of irrigation equipment. It also acted for Bank of America in a financing in Honduras to Gildan, a Canadian-American manufacturer of branded clothing. The team heads are Juan José Alcerro Milla, 'a calm, professional, ethics-oriented lawyer who continues to develop a strong team of associates', and Enrique Rodríguez Burchard. Carolina Aguirre Larios is also a key practitioner, while the associates to note are Juan Diego Lacayo González, Víctor Alejandro Martínez Urquía and Ondina María Santos Ochoa.
Arias' 'excellent, capable and reliable team' is widely respected for corporate law advice that is frequently cross-border, including M&A, and the practice's corporate services are complemented by tax, labour, antitrust and administrative law expertise. Notable clients include Essilor Optica International Holding (EOIH), EZCorp, AS Solution North America, Avent Holding and Global Partnerships Social Investment Fund. The team acted for EOIH in the acquisition of a majority stake in Optica Popular, which owns a prescription lens laboratory and optical lens retail spots; it also advised Caña de Azúcar Holding on the acquisition of a sugar business in Honduras, which included sugar cane fields and a sugar mill operation. In other matters, the team acted for AS Solution North America in the acquisition of shares in a security service provider. Managing partner Evangelina Lardizabal's key client list includes both local and international companies as well as banks and insurance companies, and Mario Agüero is highly rated for structuring local business operations for international companies. In recent years, Agüero has been active in regulated sectors such as telecoms, oil, energy, mining and finance. Claudia Midence and Antonio Montes are notable associates.
Consortium Legal regularly acts for multinational corporations, domestic and international banking groups and investment firms, among others. The practice covers contract law as well as banking and finance, securities, foreign investment and international trade. Recent work includes advising a steel producer on a capital contribution into a competitor and assisting a brewer with the sale of a sugar refinery. It also acted for Vizion Developments, as owners and contractors, in relation to the construction of a 30-story luxury apartment building, including obtaining the environmental, municipal and national aeronautics permits. Managing partner José Ramón Paz Padilla is recommended for large, cross-border financial transactions and José Rafael Rivera frequently advises on foreign investment, financial, corporate and commercial law matters. Other names to note are banking law specialist Gustavo León-Gómez, along with senior associates José Ramón Paz Morales and Karla Andino.
BLP is praised for its 'commitment, responsibility and knowledge, and for always providing solutions'. The corporate and commercial department is complemented by the firm's expertise in energy and environmental law and its prowess in labour law. Active clients of the practice are Finance in Motion, KLP Norfund Investments, Pepsico, TVS Motor, Walmart and Holiday Inn. Other clients include Owens & Minor, a healthcare logistics company, for whom the Honduras team acted in the acquisition of the surgical and infection prevention business of medical technology player Halyard Health, which involved the acquisition of a Honduran company. Jose Miguel Álvarez, who manages the corporate and commercial department, 'always prioritises clients' affairs and give immediate responses', Karla Aguilar is an energy and environmental law specialist, and Roy Zavala and Nadia Arriaga are the associates to note.
ECIJA was formed following the tie-up between Spanish firm ECIJA and Casco-Fortín, Cruz & Asociados. The corporate group, which is 'very talented from top to bottom', is noted for its work for national and international companies and fields experts in banking, financial and insurance law as well as PPPs. Active clients include Banco Lafise, Assa Seguros, Pfizer and DHL Honduras. The team also regularly advises ceramics distributor Pisos y Mármoles on corporate matters, including its recent social capital increase. Rosalinda Cruz Sequeira is an insurance, finance and banking law specialist and Leonardo Casco-Fortin is an expert in corporate and civil law and banking matters.
García & Bodán 'has very professional people who have good knowledge of local laws and deliver work in a timely manner'. The practice covers cross-border M&A, establishing international companies' domestic businesses, international capital markets and financing, and the team has specific expertise in energy, infrastructure, aviation and insurance. Key clients include Arch Reinsurance, Software One and United Airlines. Aerovías de México (Aeroméxico) instructed the group to assist with the renewal of a license for passenger and cargo transportation. Managing partner Vanessa Oquelí's experience includes advising on sovereign bond issues, company acquisitions and solar energy projects; energy and natural resources practice head Godofredo Siercke, who is 'very keen to assist and responsive', made partner and Miguel Zapata is an experienced senior associate.
Bufete Gutiérrez Falla & Asociados
Bufete Gutiérrez Falla & Asociados is the only Lex Mundi (a global network of independent legal practices) firm in Honduras and is highly regarded for its 'integrity, subject matter expertise, professionalism and effectiveness'. The team has particular sector expertise in the mining, energy and infrastructure sectors, including PPP projects, and the client list includes Compassion International, TMS Global and Swissport. Highlights include acting for Honduran bank Ficohsa in the review of an approximately $265m syndicated loan contract, and advising Pinkerton, a global provider of corporate risk management solutions, on the opening of a local branch in Honduras. Mauricio Villeda Jr is a corporate and energy law expert, and co-corporate and mining department head Eduardo Pedemonte was promoted to the partnership.
CENTRAL LAW's corporate law team is experienced in advising on commercial contracts, technology, aviation and retail real estate matters. Other areas of strength are mining, energy and PPP projects. Representative work includes assisting with M&A deals, international financing, commercial strategies, foreign investment, establishing free trade zones and technology transfers. The team acts for British multinational telecoms services company BT in Honduras on an ongoing basis in its business operations and commercial agreements. San Pedro Sula's Jesús Humberto Medina-Alva heads up the banking, corporate, and foreign investment departments. Claribel Medina De León and senior associate Marcela Aguilar are also key team members.
López Rodezno & Asociados
López Rodezno & Asociados fields specialists in business incorporations, M&A deals, corporate reorganisations and shareholder agreements; but the team also assists with associated regulatory issues, labour law matters, tax and antitrust advice. The firm is a member of both Club de Abogados, an independent law firm association with members in Latin America, Europe and Asia, and the International Network of Boutique Law Firms. Senior partner René López Rodezno leads the corporate law and M&A team, Jorge López Loewenberg heads the banking law group, and Fernando Fiallos Gutiérrez is commercial law leader.
Latamlex / Matamoros Batson y Asociados
Latamlex / Matamoros Batson y Asociados advises both Honduran companies and international groups on general commercial activities, contract drafting and negotiation, distribution law and agreements, the formation of business entities, regulatory compliance, and real estate matters. Clients of the firm include Banco Ficohsa, International Finance Corporation, Chevron and Desarrollos Energéticos. Dennis Matamoros Batson's experience includes project and corporate finance, trusts, M&A, bank regulatory, and general corporate and commercial matters, and Manuela Bueso is recommended for loan transactions, project finance, M&A and commercial and contractual issues.
Lexincorp’s Honduran office is experienced in advising on M&A, franchise agreements, asset purchases, joint ventures and civil and commercial contracts. The client list includes Blue Orchard, Corporacion Inmobiliaria, Geo Estructuras, Grupo Uma, Ralos New Energy and Sony. Panamanian private financial institution Metro Bank was advised on the structuring of a syndicated loan that it granted with Banco Ficohsa and Multibank. Honduras managing partner Benito Zelaya is highly regarded for corporate and regulatory law, Engels Zelaya is a public law and energy expert, and associate David Mejía is a banking and finance specialist.
Bufete Melara & Asociados
Bufete Melara & Asociados' practice includes advising on local and cross-border M&A, corporate restructuring and project finance. The team is particularly active in deals involving the telecoms, energy, banking and agricultural sectors. The Inter-American Development Bank and Honduras-based conglomerate Grupo Terra are clients. Managing partner and corporate law expert Oscar Melara, project finance and energy specialist Jaime Turcios and associate Andrea Idiáquez are the key contacts.
EY LAW HONDURAS' active clients include Office Depot, DHL Honduras, Monty Farms, Thyssenkrupp Honduras and Merz Pharmaceutical. Alongside the firm's Guatamala office, the Honduran team acted for Spain-headquartered international private security company Prosegur in the acquisition of Grupo Almo (Proval) in Honduras, which included due diligence and post-closing legal advice. Manager Andrés Lacayo is the name to note.
Dentons Muñoz Zacapa 'has great knowledge, always goes the extra mile and is willing to understand clients' needs'. The practice advises multinational companies and international organisations that conduct business in Honduras; the corporate law practice includes assistance with regulatory matters, environmental law, consumer protection, commercial distribution, commercial and government contracts, and company formation. Clients include Philip Morris International, The Procter & Gamble Company, International Committee of the Red Cross and Pan-American Life Insurance Company. Managing partner Gustavo Zacapa directs the corporate practice which includes Arturo Zacapa as another key contact. Significantly, as we go to press, the firm has announced its forthcoming merger -from September 2019- with Dentons Muñoz, further extending the latter's Central American coverage.
The Honduras office of Guatamala-headquartered Mayora & Mayora, S.C. advises multinationals on M&A, corporate and commercial law and corporate governance, and it fields sector experts in construction, energy, telecoms and pharmaceuticals. Significant clients include Cementos Progreso, Credimas, Drug International, Hidroenergia and Proteger. The team also acts for Galeas Arquitectos, which it recently assisted with corporate, commercial and corporate governance matters as well as with construction and architectural design contracts and investment funding in relation to a 20-story high-rise building in Tegucigalpa. Odín Guillén Leíva and senior associate Sergio Sanchez are the key contacts.