Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

Infante & Pérez Almillano acts for an enviable roster of domestic and regional banks, with an emphasis on handling transactions in the real estate sector, including project and acquisition finance.

Banking and finance in Panama

Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

A longstanding leader in the Panamanian market, Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee houses a comprehensive banking and finance practice, which spans the full range of related matters, from leveraged and acquisition finance to project finance, asset finance and real estate finance. In particular, the team is renowned for its expertise in cross-border transactions, with a particular emphasis on financings governed by New York law. The firm is predominantly focused on the lender side of deals, acting for an impressive roster of major domestic banks as well as prominent international lenders, but also advises a host of corporate borrowers, including well-known multinationals. Managing partner Arturo Gerbaud leads the practice, bringing over three decades of experience in complex financial transactions. The sizeable team also includes a trio of up-and-coming partners: Rita de la Guardia (who is also qualified in New York), Patricia Cordero and Rafael Marquínez. Experienced associates Karla Rivera and Mario Vlieg are also key contacts.

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega

Banking and finance heavyweight Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega fields a diverse practice and stands out for its well-established expertise in multi-jurisdictional transactions. The team frequently acts for lenders, including international banks, multilateral agencies and leading Panamanian financial institutions, on cross-border syndicated loans, refinancings, acquisition finance and project finance. The firm is particularly prominent in advising on the financing of major domestic infrastructure projects, most recently assisting with the financing of Line 3 of the Panama City metro system. It also has a growing emphasis on advising fintech clients. Practice head Estif Aparicio is heavily focused on representing lenders, both local and international, most notably in relation to the financing of energy and infrastructure projects. He is supported by a sizeable team, which includes talented junior partners Fernando Arias F and Javier Yap Endara (who were elevated to the partnership in 2022 and 2023, respectively), senior international associates Cedric Kinschots (who has significant project finance experience) and Donald Canavaggio, and associate Ana Quijano. The practice can also rely on the senior expertise of co-managing partner Ricardo Arango.

Practice head(s):

Estif Aparicio

Key clients

UBS Securities

Citigroup Global Markets

JP Morgan Securities

Scotia Capital (USA)

Credit Suisse Securities

Banco General

The Bank of Nova Scotia


Deutsche Bank

Global Bank Corporation

Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE)

Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura (CIFI)


Work highlights

  • Acted for Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex), as the sole lead arranger and bookrunner, as well as the administrative agent, on the first international syndicated facility led by Bladex for CrediQ.
  • Represented The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) in combining, amending and restating Phoenix Tower International’s five senior secured credit facilities to consolidate and expand them into a single $2bn senior secured multi-facility transaction.
  • Advised various export credit agencies and banks in connection with a $2,264,037,941.16 and JPY 51,458,523,871.00 receivables purchase facility and related credit facilities agreements for the financing of Line 3 of the Panama Metro System.

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez

Hailed by clients as ‘technical and precise‘, the banking and finance team at Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez handles a healthy mix of transactional and regulatory work, with a notable strength in advising international lenders, although it is also active on the borrower side. In particular, the team frequently advises on multilateral financings by foreign development agencies, assisting with the financing of energy and real estate projects and on-lending operations. The ‘very technically skilled and attentiveRoberto Harrington, who stands out for his advice to multilateral organisations, and Alfredo Ramírez Jr focus on the transactional side of the practice, while María Alejandra Cargiulo and Luis López Alfaro are high-profile names on the regulatory front. Annette Bárcenas also lends her extensive expertise in project finance to the practice. At the junior level, associate Alfredo Ramírez Pabón and international associate Ana Cristina Negrón provide capable support.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Harrington; Alfredo Ramírez Jr; Luis López Alfaro; María Alejandra Cargiulo


AFRA is very technical and precise in evaluating documents and providing advice.

Roberto Harrington is very technically skilled and attentive.

Key clients

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)

Global Bank Corporation

Safra Bank Lux






Work highlights

  • Advised BID Invest in connection with a syndicated project finance loan for the construction and equipment of Hotel La Compañía, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, located in Casco Viejo, Panama City.
  • Advised BID Invest on a $35m secured loan to Banco La Hipotecaria Panama and Banco La Hipotecaria El Salvador for the origination of preferential-rate housing loans.
  • Advised Global Bank Corporation on factoring agreements to finance the construction of major public works, under the new IPT regime.

Galindo, Arias & López

Galindo, Arias & López‘ banking practice attracts strong praise from clients for its ‘extensive experience in cross-border transactions‘, although it is also highly active in assisting with local loans. Advising both leading banks and large corporate borrowers, the team stands out for its expertise in transactions in highly regulated industries, including telecoms, energy and finance. The firm also shines in aviation finance, where Cristina Lewis is highlighted for her ‘great knowledge‘; the department's clients in this field include Panamanian flag carrier Copa Airlines. Practice head Roberto De Araujo López is commended for his experience in advising domestic banks, particularly on financial regulatory matters. Diego Herrera and Jose Luis Sosa are also key names in the practice, with an emphasis on international transactions with Panamanian aspects. The capable pool of junior lawyers includes consultant Daniel Sessa and associate Claudia Juárez, who focus on the aviation sector, and associate Andrés Sanjur, who is noted for his project finance experience.

Practice head(s):

Roberto De Araujo López


It is a very solid banking practice with extensive experience in cross-border transactions. Their service is spectacular, with unmatched response times.

Great attention to detail and experience in international transactions make the service of the highest quality. Diego Herrera shows great mastery of the issues and gets involved in transactions.

Cristina Lewis and her team are responsive and demonstrate great attention to detail. I work with several law firms in Panama, and GALA are the most responsive.

Cristina has great knowledge in the aviation sector.

GALA has stood out for its ability to offer us practical solutions and adjust its advice and processes based on the legal insights of our in-house lawyers. They have always had a great understanding of our needs and fit into our culture of how to do things well and efficiently.

Roberto De Araujo listens to us and does not lock himself into pre-established processes and structures. He understands that the traditional methods of working can be perfected and he is open to change.

Key clients

Copa Holdings

Atlantic Security Bank

Compañía Panameña de Aviación


Bicapital Corporation

BAC International Bank

Mercantil Banco

Altra Investments

Mercantil Colpatria

ASB Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Holdings in connection with the purchase and financing of four Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft, delivered to its subsidiary Copa Airlines under a financing guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States of America (EXIM).
  • Acted as lead counsel to Patria Investments in connection with its bid to win the tender for the first public-private partnership transaction under Panama’s new PPP law.
  • Acted as Panamanian counsel to Concesionaria Vial del Pacífico in connection with the refinancing of the credit facilities granted by Banco de Bogota, Banco de Occidente, Banco Popular and Banco AV Villas for the construction and operation of the Pacific Highway in Medellín.

Morgan & Morgan

Winning high praise from clients for its ‘technical capacity‘ and ‘extensive knowledge‘, Morgan & Morgan fields a broad banking and finance practice, encompassing commercial loans, real estate finance, debt refinancing and financial regulatory issues. The firm has also established an active insolvency-related practice (following the introduction of new legislation in Panama) and has growing expertise in the fintech and start-ups space. The financing of high-profile infrastructure and energy projects is another core source of mandates. The team is headed by Kharla Aizpurúa, whose wide-ranging practice takes in syndicated loans, project finance and M&A in the banking sector, and the highly experienced Inocencio Galindo. Ramon Varela and Ana Carolina Castillo, who was promoted to partner in January 2023, are key names to note on the energy and project finance front, and the team also includes Francisco Arias, Roberto Vidal, international associate Miguel Arias M and senior associate Alejandro Vasquez, who joined from Fabrega Molino in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Kharla Aizpurúa; Inocencio Galindo


Morgan & Morgan has built a great level of trust with our organisation as they support us with the advice that we require to ensure the business progresses in the right way and have assisted us in the most significant transactions that we have executed to date. They stand out for the professional and timely nature of their responses.

The team we have worked with has distinguished itself through its level of professionalism and technical capacity to meet our requirements. We have worked very closely with Roberto Vidal and Francisco Arias.

Morgan & Morgan’s extensive knowledge of the Panama Stock Exchange and the financial system, in addition to the particularities of trust and loan agreements, mean they are in a unique position to be able to represent us in the most favourable way in the structuring of different transactions and negotiations with financial institutions.

The team at Morgan & Morgan have positive attributes such as attention to detail when preparing and reviewing documents, and knowledge of complex financial structures and instruments that allow them to stand out among the different firms in the market. In particular, Ana Carolina Castillo stands out as she has extensive knowledge and experience both in the financial markets and regulations, and in the energy industry.

What sets the team apart is the quality of the lawyers, their experience and personalised service. Competitive and reasonable fees.

The team show empathy for their clients, kindness and genuine interest.

Key clients


Banco General


Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (CAT)


Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)

Credit Suisse

MMG Bank Corporation

Global Bank Corporation


Empresa Nacional de Autopistas (ENA)

Bank of China

BBP Bank

International Finance Corporation (IFC)


Banco Mercantil

ITAU Corpbank

Avianca Holdings

Generadora de Gatun

Republic Bank Limited

The Bank of Nova Scotia (ScotiaBank)

Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy

Consorcio Transeq-Estrella

Waterfield Group


Banistmo Investment Corporation

Global Financial Funds

IDB Invest

Orla Mining – Cerro Quema

Alpha Credit

Minera Panama

AES Panama

Electron Investment


Greenwood Energy Central America

Empresa Nacional de Energia

EFG Capital International

Lombard Odier & Cie.

Ingeniería Estrella


Work highlights

  • Advising Generadora de Gatun and AES Panama on the collateral package related to the senior and mezzanine financing for the companies to develop, own and operate an approximately 670 MW combined cycle natural gas-fired power plant.
  • Advised Orla Mining, as borrower, and Minera Cerro Quema, as guarantor, with respect to a secured credit facility of $150m used to repay the existing project finance facility.
  • Advised MMG Bank, as lender, on a financing for Daconan Star Solar to be used for the expansion of the capacity of the 3.24 MW Daconan Solar photovoltaic project, located in the province of Veraguas.


The Panamanian branch of leading regional firm Arias is highlighted by clients for its ‘strategic approach and ability to find innovative solutions‘, frequently joining up with the firm’s network of offices to advise on Central America-wide transactions. It also enjoys close connections with international firms in the US and UK. The team can regularly be found acting for lenders, with significant experience in advising international financial institutions, multilateral development agencies and syndicates of banks on cross-border loans to Panamanian entities. Practice head María Cristina Fábrega, who garners high praise for her ‘extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the law‘ as well as her ‘personalised and client-oriented approach‘, is well versed in multi-jurisdictional banking and securities transactions.

Practice head(s):

Maria Cristina Fábrega


The lawyers in this practice are noted for their experience, specialised knowledge, strategic focus, conflict resolution skills, and commitment to excellence. These attributes position them favourably in comparison to the teams of other firms, ensuring high-quality legal services and successful results for their clients.

One of the team’s strengths is their strategic approach and ability to find innovative solutions to the legal challenges clients face. They are committed to fully understanding the needs and objectives of their clients, which allows them to provide personalised advice adapted to each particular situation.

María Cristina Fábrega has extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the law in her area of expertise, which enables her to offer solid, high-quality advice to her clients. She has a strong focus on understanding the needs and goals of her clients, and she works closely with them to develop personalised legal strategies tailored to their specific circumstances. This personalised and client-oriented approach means she is able to provide high-quality legal services and meet the expectations of her clients.

Key clients



EMF Microfinance Fund

Blue Orchard

1st Source Bank

Banco Agrícola

United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Huruma Fund

Leader Global Solutions

Banco Santander

Work highlights

  • Advised Banco Atlántida El Salvador on a $3.5m loan granted to GMG Holding.

Fabrega Molino

Fabrega Molino draws upon its ‘extensive knowledge of local laws‘ to advise both local and international banks, financial institutions and trust companies on a broad range of financial transactions, including syndicated loans, project finance, acquisition finance and debt restructuring. On the regulatory side, the firm frequently assists with obtaining banking licences and setting up operations in Panama. Following the departure of Tatiana Abadía in 2022, the team is headed by senior partner Juan Pablo Fábrega and senior associate Denisse Correa, who is highlighted for her ‘efficiency, charisma, sensitivity and support‘. The department was also strengthened by the addition of associate Pablo Martinelli, whose practice includes debt restructuring and project finance, from Galindo, Arias & López in May 2022. Principal partner Ana Lorena Morales also adds senior expertise.

Practice head(s):

Denisse Correa; Juan Pablo Fábrega


The team stands out for its trustworthiness, security, knowledge and, most importantly, its close relationship with us.

We would like to highlight Denisse Correa for her efficiency, charisma, sensitivity and support at all times.

Our relationship with Fábrega Molino is very close, effective and efficient. The lawyers are readily available to answer our queries. They comply with the deadlines for reviewing documents that we request. They have extensive experience in legal issues in Panama.

The team have extensive knowledge of local laws and they actively support other legal and business associations. They have highly trained and proactive lawyers who are empathetic, kind and efficient in handling cases. We work with Juan Pablo Fábrega, Denisse Correa and Ana Lorena Morales, whose advice is valuable to our institution.

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán‘s expertise in project finance makes it a popular choice to advise leading domestic and international banks on high-profile infrastructure developments; its recent work highlights include advising on the financing of the expansion of the Panama City metro, and it has also been highly active in transactions relating to healthcare facilities and road construction. The experienced leadership group is made up of Gabriel González-Ruiz, a standout name for advising international consortiums on project finance; Luis Chalhoub, who has a broad banking and finance practice that notably includes advising on factoring transactions; and Michelle O de de la Guardia. Alfredo Fonseca, who was elevated to the partnership in June 2023, is also a key contact for project finance in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel González-Ruiz; Michelle O. de de la Guardia; Luis Chalhoub

Key clients

Banco Nacional de Panamá

Banco Internacional de Costa Rica (BICSA)

Caja de Ahorros

Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama

Global Bank Corporation

Factor Global

BHD International Bank


Atlas Bank



Work highlights

  • Advised Caja de Ahorros and Banco Nacional de Panamá on granting a revolving credit facility to finance the construction and equipment of the City of Health Hospital in Panama City.
  • Advised BICSA Factoring, a subsidiary of Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, in connection with the granting of a revolving credit facility to finance the construction of the Manuel Amador Guerrero Hospital in Colón, Panama.
  • Advised Global Bank Corporation in connection with the financing of a $23m road infrastructure project for the construction of a vehicular bridge over the Bayano River in the port of Coquira.

Arosemena Noriega & Contreras

Arosemena Noriega & Contreras has a strong profile in international business transactions, counting a number of foreign banks and multinational corporations among its clients. As the Panamanian member of Club de Abogados Iberoamérica, a network of law firms in Europe and Latin America, it also has close links with various international firms. The team frequently advises foreign lenders on granting loans to local companies and foundations, and also assists with bank registration and licensing, refinancings, debt recovery and securities transactions. Julio César Contreras III leads the practice, supported by associate Mario Rognoni.


Lauded for its ‘knowledge, prestige, availability, efficiency and proactivity‘, the Panamanian branch of Dentons leverages the firm’s extensive global network to act as local counsel to an array of leading international banks and development finance institutions on loans granted to domestic borrowers. The team’s expertise in multi-jurisdictional financing transactions extends to the maritime sector, where it frequently advises on mortgages over Panama-flagged vessels. The practice is headed by office managing partner Gisela Álvarez de Porras, who focuses on financial regulatory matters and asset finance. Associate Angie Mei Sánchez stands out for her experience in shipping finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Gisela Álvarez de Porras


The team stands out for its knowledge, prestige, availability, efficiency and proactivity.


LOVILL‘s ‘excellent‘ and ‘highly technically skilled‘ banking and finance team handles a steady stream of transactional and regulatory matters, advising an impressive client roster that includes banks, foreign investment funds, multilateral development agencies and multinational corporations. The team assists with syndicated loans, debt refinancing, project and acquisition finance, and compliance issues, and also has growing expertise in the fintech space. Elizabeth Heurtematte, who divides her time between Panama City and Tokyo, leads the practice and has noteworthy experience in multi-jurisdictional financial transactions and project finance. The team has also been strengthened at the senior level, with Alejandro Fung rising to the partnership ranks in July 2023.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Heurtematte


I believe that Lovill has an excellent team – very professional and dynamic.

The standout quality of the lawyers, apart from their knowledge in their area of practice, is that their responses are of good quality and timely. The service is more personalised than at other law firms.

Excellent. Very professional and highly technically skilled.

They understand clients’ requirements very well. They seek practical solutions without neglecting their clients’ interests.

Key clients

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)


Inversiones CrediQ Business

Banco Lafise Panamá

BAC Credomatic

Inversiones Amilena

Grupo Terra/Uno

Banco Agrícola

SGS Central America

Financiera Autocash

Riba Smith

Grupo Q


Work highlights

  • Acting as local counsel for Grupo Q in negotiations regarding a multimillion-dollar credit agreement with Banco Latinoamericano De Comercio Exterior, where four companies of the group act as co-borrowers and Grupo Q is the guarantor.
  • Advised IDB Invest on a $12m cross-border loan to Rent-A-Pallet.
  • Advising a regional fintech company on the process of its dissolution.

Pardini & Asociados

Pardini & Asociados‘ banking and finance practice stands out for its strength in shipping, aviation and real estate finance, predominantly acting for private and corporate borrowers. The team’s growing – and increasingly international – client base ranges from family businesses to multinational corporations, including shipping, mining and aviation leasing companies. The firm also assists with the incorporation and establishment of banks, leasing and factoring transactions, and corporate and project finance. Managing partner Juan Francisco Pardini, who counts structured and asset finance among his core areas of expertise, leads the team with Juan José Espino, whose practice covers foreign investments and ship and aviation finance.

Practice head(s):

Juan Francisco Pardini; Juan José Espino

Key clients

Wheaton Precious Metals

MLM Leasing USA

Vosges Shipping

MLM Leasing USA

Deep Sky Holdings

BZH Capital

Alsabahia and Vision Holding

Motcomb International

Work highlights

  • Advised MLM Leasing on the financing for the leasing of two aircraft for a new regional airline.
  • Advised Deep Sky Holdings on a property financing of $7m.
  • Advising BZH Capital on an $11m financing for a medium-sized property development.

Quijano & Associates

The banking and finance team at Quijano & Associates is equally adept at advising lender banks and corporate borrowers on a wide range of financial transactions, including syndicated loans, bridge loans, mortgages and acquisition finance. The firm has robust experience in domestic loans, but also assists with cross-border matters, benefitting from its close relationships with prominent international law firms. Oliver Muñoz leads the team; in addition to banking and finance and securities matters, he has notable expertise in regulatory issues relating to blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital assets. He receives capable support from senior associates Ileana Céspedes and Luis Miguel Rojer.

SIGMA International and Global Market Attorneys

Clients praise the ‘excellent responsiveness and availability‘ of corporate and financial services-focused boutique SIGMA International and Global Market Attorneys, which is widely recognised for its prowess in the project finance arena. Drawing on the strong international backgrounds of its team members, the firm frequently advises on the Panamanian aspects of complex, cross-border transactions relating to the construction of energy and healthcare infrastructure projects. Practice head Cecilio Castillero, who is dual-qualified in New York and Panama, brings ‘extensive experience, knowledge and attention to detail‘ in financial transactions. Senior associate Mónica Moreno and associate Eric Carles are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Cecilio Castillero


Excellent responsiveness and availability.

The personalised service provided by Cecilio Castillero stands out, as well as his extensive experience, knowledge and attention to detail.

Key clients

InterEnergy Group

Glenfarne Group



Global Bank

Generadora Gatún



Work highlights

  • Acting as Panamanian counsel to InterEnergy Group on the financing of the construction of the 670MW combined cycle natural gas-fired Generadora Gatún power plant and its transmission line.
  • Advised Global Bank, as the agent, on the agency agreement for the international financing to be granted to Acciona for the construction of the new children’s hospital.
  • Acted as Panamanian counsel to Glenfarne Group in connection with a credit facility granted by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and other lenders for the acquisition of Termonorte Colombia, a power plant located in Colombia.

Virtù Atelier Legal

Financial and corporate services specialist Virtù Atelier Legal wins over clients thanks to its ‘extensive experience in the financial world‘. The team places a significant emphasis on project finance in the public infrastructure, tourism and energy sectors, and is also well versed in regulatory matters, taking advantage of practice head Ana Lucrecia Tovar and Marelissa Quintero‘s vast in-house experience with the Panamanian banking and securities regulators. The growing team also includes Melissa Cortizo and new arrivals Marcia Arosemena de Paz (a specialist in the projects space) and senior associate Aixa Noriega, who joined in 2022 from independent practice and an in-house role at Grupo Verde Azul, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Ana Lucrecia Tovar


A team with a high degree of specialisation in financial, banking and contractual matters. They have a high level of sophistication that is comparable to the largest law firms in the country. They provide a personalised treatment and ensure the wellbeing of their clients.

Their extensive experience in the financial world means the lawyers handle financial concepts in a practical, not just theoretical, way. Excellent client service. Always available.