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Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee’s dispute resolution practice has a strong track-record representing clients in civil and commercial litigation, as well as arbitral matters, and is particularly active in the energy, finance and construction sectors. Led by department head Alejandro Ferrer the team is acting as local counsel to longstanding client Group Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), as plaintiff in a $150m ICC arbitration related to the expansion of the Panama Canal and involving claims that unforeseen geological conditions led to additional cost and time extensions. Other significant clients include Copa Airlines, Elektra Noreste and Cable & Wireless. Jorge Lee and associate Eduardo Gómez are also frequently involved in mandates in the sector.

The sizeable dispute resolution team at Galindo, Arias & López is led by Diego de la Guardia and advises governmental bodies, multinational companies and private clients on litigious and arbitral matters, as well as preventative measures. In one recent highlight, the team advised the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on several litigation processes related to the ownership of an island within the Coiba National Park. Diego Herrera continues to advise the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) on claims brought by GUPC concerning the expansion of the Panama Canal; other work includes representing Petroterminal de Panama (PTP) in a $47.5m litigation related to an oil spill in 2007. Other key figures include Selva Quintero, who is particularly experienced in energy-related litigation, and senior counsel Adán Arjona; associate Karla Léon moved to new firm Evans Gonzalez Moreno & Asociados Abogados.

Morgan & Morgan’s 14-strong dispute resolution department is well reputed across the full array of contentious work, including civil, administrative and commercial litigation, and both domestic and international arbitration. Another key aspect of the practice is its representation of banks in the recovery of mortgages and loans. Recent headline mandates saw Carlos Gonzalez advise the Panamanian government on an arbitration filed by Guatemala and concerning the cancellation of import registers for fruit juices required by Guatemala to enter Panamanian territory. José Carrizo heads the department, which also includes the well regarded Omar Rodríguez and the very active Luis Vallarino, who handles disputes in various regulated sectors including energy, banking and telecoms.

Led by senior partner Fernando Arias A, the litigation and arbitration department at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega stands out for the breadth of its service offering and expertise in a multitude of areas, including administrative, commercial, civil and labour litigation, as well as IP, shipping and tax disputes. The team includes senior partner María del Zúñiga, who handles labour and employment disputes; senior associate and IP expert Carol Durling; and Jorge Loaiza, who is particularly experienced in maritime litigation. Juan Corro and the highly talented Claudio de Castro are other names to note. Octavio Amat retired.

In July 2017, Evans Gonzalez Moreno & Asociados Abogados emerged as a new player in the Panamanian legal market, principally in terms of dispute resolution. Founded by Evans González, formerly at Patton, Moreno & Asvat, the four-strong team offers advice on civil and commercial litigation, shareholder disputes and arbitral matters, and is particularly active in the construction, energy and shipping industries. In one recent highlight, the ‘knowledgeable and hard-working’ González, who is noted for his ‘professionalism and ethics’, led advice to Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA) as defendant against a civil suit filed by Banistmo, concerning financing matters. Formerly a senior associate at Galindo, Arias & López, Karla Léon has a growing practice in construction arbitration. Clients also include World of Commerce and Cemex.

Led by co-founding partner Cristina López, the dispute resolution department at Latamlex / Lopez, Villanueva & Heurtematte handles mediation, civil and commercial litigation, and both domestic and cross-border arbitral matters. The team has been particularly active in the finance, construction and hospitality sectors, and regularly receives instructions from state and public entities.

Pardini & Asociados’ dispute resolution department advises domestic and foreign companies on administrative, commercial, civil and criminal litigation, arbitration, mediation and the enforcement of foreign judgements. The client base includes United Airlines, Norinko Trading and Fedex. Juan Francisco Pardini heads the practice; Juan José Espino is another name to note.

Khatiya Asvat handles dispute resolution matters at Patton, Moreno & Asvat, after the department suffered the departures of former practice head Evans Gonzalez1 to establish his own firm and senior associate Fernando Aued to Dentons Muñoz. The team handles both arbitral and litigious matters, and counts Union Fenosa and Cemex Panama on its client roster.

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