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    • Julia Sandoval - Gutiérrez Falla & Asociados, Bufete

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The tax practice at Aguilar Castillo Love handles matters ranging from the planning issues related to corporate transactions and energy financings to employment-related matters; the tax group also assists with international trade issues; and the fiscal aspects of import and export activities, including duty free areas and free trade zones. The team recently acted for Vestas Mediterranean’s Honduran subsidiary on the tax aspects of the construction, operation and management of a renewable energy generation project. In other matters, it assisted Grupo Financiero Ficohsa with the tax aspects of the acquisition of shares in Astra Holdings, a key player in the payment systems and e-money sector. Other notable clients include Cementos Argos, InterAirports and Bank of America. Key figures Enrique Rodríguez Burchard and Juan José Alcerro Milla co-lead the department.

Arias regularly advises corporate clients and individual investors throughout Central America on complex tax planning and structuring issues. The local Honduran practice group is also widely respected for its assistance with matters concerning free trade zone operations and customs issues, and also fields advisers with specific expertise in the energy and agribusiness sectors. The team advised Honduran renewables company, Energía Cinco Estrellas, on obtaining a sales tax exemption for the local purchase of materials required for the construction of a renewable energy plant. It also regularly assists US-headquartered automotive-systems manufacturer Lear Corporation on its tax matters in Honduras, including tax compliance issues. Honduras-office managing partner Evangelina Lardizábal is the name to note.

Consortium Legal is highly rated for both transactional tax structuring and tax planning matters. Other areas of focus include tax-related corporate reorganisations and the tax aspects of estates and inheritance; the team also acts for clients in relation to assessments by the tax authority. Recent matters include assisting a client with notifying the tax authorities about a merger process; key clients include AIG. Armando Manzanares is the main contact.

BLPprovides an excellent service’. The practice undertakes ongoing tax advice to international corporations, including counsel on transactional matters. The firm also has an active contentious tax practice. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Lillian López is a customs law expert; in addition, she acts in tax litigation and advises on adjustment oppositions, tax planning and tax credits. Jorge Brizuela is also widely praised.

García & Bodán’s tax practice is best known for its experience in tax planning and tax litigation. In recent work it advised US-based investment bank Oppenheimer & Co, as underwriter, on the tax liabilities arising from Honduras-based Inversiones Atlántida’s $150m note issuance. Managing partner Vanessa Oquelí is the key adviser.

Bufete Gutiérrez Falla & Asociados’s highly regarded associate Julia Sandoval leads the firm’s tax practice. The team recently assisted major jewellery retailer Diamonds International with tax amnesty matters, as well as with changing its tax regime to a duty-free model. It also advised PartnerHero, which builds globally-distributed operations, support and engineering teams, on tax regulation compliance matters. Mauricio Villeda Jr is another key contact.

Latamlex / Matamoros Batson y Asociados regularly provides tax advice to company clients regarding the acquisition of domestic and foreign businesses and the tax aspects of investments, as well as undertaking the representation of clients before the tax authorities. The names to note are Paul Handal and founding partner Dennis Matamoros Batson.

Bufete Melara & Asociados’ tax practice is particularly focused on corporate and transactional matters, and offers specific sector experience in the telecoms, banking and energy areas in particular. Recent highlights include advising Inter-American Development Bank on the tax aspects of the design and structuring of an investment fund in Honduras (including the structuring of tax exemptions to create an attractive investment vehicle for private investors). Managing partner Oscar Melara is the main contact.

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