‘With an exceptional level of technical legal knowledge’, Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee is highly regarded for its expertise in complex civil and commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on disputes in the banking, insurance, telecoms and construction industries. The firm, which is rated for its ‘vast knowledge of judicial processes‘, also has an active arbitration practice which encompasses high-profile international commercial and investment treaty cases. Jorge Federico Lee, who is renowned for labour disputes, jointly oversees the team with Alejandro Ferrer, who recently returned to the firm after serving as Panama’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Other names to note include Eduardo Gómez, who stands out for international arbitration and construction and commercial litigation, and Jaime Castillo, a specialist in tax and antitrust litigation. Partners receive key support from a strong team of associates, which includes Anel Roach, Arcelio Vega and Doris Nieto.
Dispute resolution in Panama
Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee
Jorge Federico Lee; Alejandro Ferrer
‘A team of highly qualified and competent lawyers, available 24/7, with an exceptional level of technical legal knowledge. They are a team that works very closely and collaboratively with our company.’
‘The litigation team is exceptional, and I would particularly like to highlight Eduardo Gómez. They have a very deep understanding of the banking and finance industry, and their handling of litigation is efficient, resourceful and highly professional, with tremendous attention to detail. They are also one of the few firms with a lot of experience in administrative processes before financial regulators.’
‘Vast knowledge of judicial processes.’
‘Eduardo Gómez and Doris Nieto both provide a personalised and diligent service.’
‘ALCOGAL is a law firm that demonstrates at first glance that it has extensive knowledge and experience in litigation matters. I like that they approach the conflict from the perspective of the client’s interests, always with the aim of achieving the best possible result.’
‘Jaime Castillo, as head of strategy and procedural analysis, and Doris Nieto, who is in charge of drafting documents and legal logistics, make a great team.’
Grupo Unidos por el Canal
Cable & Wireless (Panama)
Ideal Panamá (Grupo Carso)
The Bank of Nova Scotia
Procter & Gamble
Cemento Bayano (Cemex)
- Representing four Panamanian banks – Banco General, Banistmo, Banco Aliado and Banesco – as creditors in judicial reorganisation proceedings filed by Importadora Maduro, in which the commercial and banking debt amounts to $65m.
- Acting as Panamanian counsel to Grupo Unidos por el Canal, the contractor of the Panama Canal Third Set of Locks expansion project, in three related international arbitration proceedings under ICC rules and seated in Miami, Florida, brought against the Panama Canal Authority, as the employer.
- Defended BNP Paribas in claims brought against the bank, seeking to annul the sale of real estate in the Colón free trade zone which was previously owned by the plaintiff.
Galindo, Arias & López
Galindo, Arias & López has extensive experience in high-profile litigation before Panama’s Supreme Court, as well as in international arbitration and cross-border disputes relating to the enforcement of arbitral awards. Key areas of expertise for the team include contentious-administrative litigation, cases against the Panamanian government and disputes in the energy sector. At the helm of the practice, Diego De La Guardia ‘stands out for his close relationships with clients, his experience and the quality of his work'. He is highly regarded for disputes in the telecoms, energy, construction and public utilities sectors, while fellow co-head Selva Quintero has significant experience in complex public administrative litigation. Also part of the core team, of counsel Adán Arjona is noted for corporate-related disputes and associate Jeimy Lasso is highlighted for labour and IP cases.
Diego de la Guardia; Selva Quintero
‘Total transparency. Advice is absolutely clear and delivered on time.’
‘Diego de la Guardia stands out for his close relationships with clients, his experience and the quality of his work.’
‘Selva Quintero is very attentive, punctual and accurate in her analyses.’
Empresa de Distribución Eléctrica Metro-Oeste
Empresa de Distribución Eléctrica Chiriquí
Petroterminal de Panamá
Sonama Panamá y Sonama
- Acting for Petroterminal de Panamá in multiple actions brought against the Municipality of Barú relating to the construction permit for the repair of a dock owned by the client.
- Acting for Sonoma and Sonoma Panamá in an appeal brought against a judgment of the Superior Court of the First Judicial District, which ruled that FCC Construcción and Constructora Meco should pay the client the amount of $25m.
- Acting for Obras Portuarias Coatzacoalcos and Matrix Concesiones in opposing an appeal against the granting of an arbitral award to the client following ICC proceedings over the violation of an contract for the construction of the Coatzacoalcos underwater tunnel in Mexico.
Morgan & Morgan
Morgan & Morgan's 'well-rounded' dispute resolution practice is highly active in civil and commercial litigation, and fields equal strength in domestic and international arbitration, including investment treaty cases. The department has a strong reputation for arbitrations relating to construction contracts and insolvency litigation, where practice co-head Jose Carrizo has particular expertise. Fellow co-leader Luis Vallarino is experienced in disputes involving government contracts and regulated sectors. Omar Rodriguez leads the criminal law team, with a focus on white-collar crime and fraud cases, while Mayte Sánchez González, who was promoted to partner in December 2021, heads the arbitration practice. Key contacts at associate level include Analissa Carles, Orlando Tejeira and Alejandro Chevalier, the latter of whom joined from Akerman LLP in Miami in June 2021 and focuses on international litigation and arbitration.
Jose Carrizo; Luis Vallarino
‘A well-rounded team, with lawyers who specialise in this field of law and are in daily communication with us about our case.’
‘Jose Carrizo and Analissa Carles stand out for their attention to detail and quick and direct communication.’
‘In my opinion, the litigation team at M&M is unique in its sense of commitment to the client. They maintain an overall vision of their client’s business and their recommendations are always aimed at obtaining results in short term and with low-risk strategies.’
‘The lawyers of the litigation team stand out for their technical skills, diverse experience and people skills that go beyond simply providing services.’
‘It’s a great team with a lot of strengths, specifically in the area of dispute resolution. It compares very favourably to other local and international firms’
‘They are really dedicated people who care about the client as well as solving the case. They differ from others since they provide a very personalised service.’
Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega
Fielding extensive experience of representing clients at all levels of the judicial system, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega offers advice to clients involved in civil and commercial, administrative, labour, IP, shipping and tax litigation. The team is also skilled in local and international arbitration, demonstrating particular strength in the construction, public utilities, energy and transportation sectors. Civil, commercial, tax and administrative litigator Fernando Arias jointly manages the team with Claudio De Castro, an expert in representing foreign clients in contentious matters in Panama. Of counsel Octavio Amat, Juan Fernando Corro and international associate Isabella de la Guardia, who joined the firm from Baker McKenzie LLP‘s Miami office in July 2022, are also recommended.
Lovill‘s dispute resolution practice specialises in complex international cases, and stands out for its track record of representing sovereign states and state-owned enterprises in contentious matters. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the team has been particularly active in cross-border asset recovery and insolvency cases. Key sectors of expertise include infrastructure and construction, banking, energy, logistics, telecoms and real estate. Practice head Isabel Cristina López has longstanding experience in complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration (acting as both arbitrator and counsel in proceedings). She is particularly well placed to assist clients from the construction, logistics and banking sectors. Associate Christopher Glasscock is also highlighted for international cases.
Isabel Cristina López
‘This firm provides high-quality advice in all areas, and is well known and highly respected in the courts and by the legal community.’
‘They are tireless workers, totally committed to their work and the clients. Very professional but readily accessible at any time to solve a problem.’
‘They have an ability to handle complex cases and large volumes of documents better than many other firms I have worked with, even with a relatively small team.’
‘Cristina Lopez is a creative thinker and energetic advocate. She is hands-on in the cases and provides a great service to her client but also does an excellent job of keeping an eye on the big picture. Christopher Glasscock provides excellent client service as well and has good attention to detail.’
‘The team at Lovill has been excellent to deal with during our legal case. They are fluent in English which has had an incredible impact on our communication and collaboration.’
‘Lovill’s litigation team showed a keen interest in understanding our business in order to present us with the most efficient litigation solutions. In addition to the team’s technical knowledge, the personalised client service and attention to detail was fundamental to our decision to seek their advice.’
‘A coordinated and organised team. Christopher Glasscock is an excellent lawyer who has a personal touch and is very professional, follows up on the case, meets deadlines, and is well trained and honest.’
‘The Lovill team is always willing to collaborate with us on our matters, and always acts with great professionalism and uses the technology we have available to meet our requests. The firm’s lawyers stand out mainly because of their ability to analyse and plan strategies. They are always focused on objectivity and being transparent with us as clients.’
Latin American Ventures
Republic of Ecuador
Grupo Especializado de Seguridad e Investigaciones (GRESINSA)
- Representing Latin American Ventures in a claim against Hacienda de Cerro Azul and Promised Land Development relating to the failure to repay a loan of $5m granted by the client to the defendants for the construction of a real estate project in Cerro Azul.
- Defending Southern Dreams in a lawsuit brought against it by Extreme Corp for the alleged usurpation of land in the province of Panamá Oeste.
- Acting for a former shareholder and manager of the Crepes and Waffles restaurant brand in Panama City in a dispute over the non-payment of his shares, which were sold to the majority shareholders in late 2020.
Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez
Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez is particularly experienced in handling domestic litigation on behalf of a diverse client base that features a number of well-known multinationals. Civil and commercial disputes are at the core of the department, which also fields strong credentials in arbitration proceedings before the Conciliation and Arbitration Centre of Panama, standing out for its expertise in matters relating to construction issues and commercial contracts. Alfredo Ramírez Jr, who has combined experience in corporate law, finance and contentious matters, leads the practice alongside Katherine Aparicio, a name to note for civil, commercial, corporate and financial litigation, as well as arbitration. Civil, commercial and probate disputes are core areas of focus for associate Joelis Arauz.
Alfredo Ramirez Jr; Katherine Aparicio
- Acting for Panabinacia Forest, a supplier of wood products, in an arbitration brought against one of its clients for the failure to pay a debt of over $1m.
- Acting for Saltus Panama, a supplier of wood products, in an arbitration brought against one of its clients for the failure to pay a debt of over $200,000.
- Acting for maritime and port engineering company Intercoastal Marine in an arbitration brought before the Conciliation and Arbitration Centre of Panama by Telfer, the local operator of a petroleum storage terminal at the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal, over damage to the mooring facilities.
Britton & Iglesias
Singled out for its 'excellent results', the dispute resolution team at Britton & Iglesias is highly active in commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular emphasis on disputes relating to construction, energy, banking and distribution agreements. Clients rate the team's 'legal knowledge and ability to propose alternatives' in complex contentious matters, including high-value debt recovery and insolvency cases. The firm has been developing a maritime litigation practice led by Diego Maximin, who was promoted to partner in October 2021. Maximin focuses on the litigation side of the practice, while Eric Britton leads on commercial arbitration (with additional experience acting as an arbitrator) and construction-related disputes. Graciela Dixon is also noted for civil and commercial litigation.
Eric Britton; Diego Maximin
‘Britton & Iglesias provides services in an efficient, highly personalised manner. The partners directly attend to the cases and are always willing to go the extra mile to meet our requirements, with excellent results. They stand out for their experience, track record, integrity, responsibility and obviously legal knowledge and ability to propose alternatives and mitigating factors.’
‘Eric Britton and Diego Maximin are available 24/7, every day of the year. We can always count on the participation of partners with immediate, effective responses and follow-up, even if it is not requested. They show a genuine interest in seeing that everything has been attended to and resolved thoroughly and in the client’s interests.’
Caja de Seguro Social
Bac International Bank
St Georges Bank
Consorcio Cuarto Puente
- Acting for Caja de Seguro Social in a dispute with Construcciones Hospitalaria relating to damages and losses caused by delays in construction works.
- Acting for a group of shareholders of Balboa Bank & Trust in a claim against the State of Panama and the Superintendency of Banks relating to damages incurred during the intervention, reorganisation and sale of the bank.
- Represented Consorcio Cuarto Puente (made up of Communications Construction Company and China Harbour Engineering) in a claim against a resolution of the Ministry of Public Works, which fined the client for delays to a project.
Benefiting from a strong international network of offices, the 'precise and creative' dispute resolution team at Dentons Muñoz is well positioned to handle multi-jurisdictional disputes, most notably cases involving Panamanian maritime and corporate law. In addition, the team represents clients in civil, commercial and administrative litigation and commercial arbitration, with an emphasis on disputes relating to construction and public utilities. Department head Fernando Aued is experienced in civil and commercial litigation, including cross-border disputes. María del Rosario de Roux is also a key contact for construction and infrastructure-related disputes.
‘The team provided us with a very good, responsible service that concluded with a very favourable result for us. We really liked the personalised attention and the follow-up on the procedure that we requested.’
‘Good client service and practical advice focused on achieving the desired objective.’
‘Immediate attention and impeccable diligence.’
‘They are litigation specialists and are always offering alternatives.’
‘They are very precise and creative lawyers, and are always only one call away.’
‘The team stands out for its knowledge of the law, quick responses to questions raised, willingness to be of service, hard work and friendliness.’
Litigation and arbitration boutique Evans Group has extensive experience in civil, commercial, administrative and constitutional litigation, where it acts for a diverse client roster made up of domestic and international players from key sectors, including construction, banking and energy. Shipping litigation and debt recovery claims are strong points for the practice, which is also often engaged in disputes arising from distribution contracts. Founding partner Evans Gonzalez is seasoned in disputes in the energy, construction, transport, maritime and infrastructure spaces. He receives key support from senior associate Rubén González, a key contact for civil litigation and insolvency cases.
Ingenieros Civiles y Asociados (ICA)
King’s College Panama
adidas Latin America
Sanofi – Aventis
- Acting for Cemento Bayano (Cemex) in multiple debt recovery claims, as well as defending the client in a civil claim against it brought by Energia Renovable.
- Acting for Ingenieros Civiles y Asociados (ICA) in various civil proceedings stemming from sub-contracts for the construction of road works in Panama City, in addition to seeking the enforcement of an arbitral award in favour of the client.
- Defending King’s College Panama against a civil claim brought by General Atlantica de Inversiones for approximately $1.5m.
Offering representation to clients in a wide range of dispute resolution matters, spanning civil, commercial, IP, competition, banking and securities, and employment litigation, Fabrega Molino is sought after by multinational corporations and high-net-worth individuals engaged in disputes throughout Latin America. Practice co-head Jorge Molina, a go-to lawyer for HNWI and family offices, is highly experienced in commercial, banking and insurance litigation. Fellow co-head Juan Pablo Fábrega leads the arbitration side of the practice and has niche expertise in proceedings involving sports law. Miguel Urriola, head of the labour department, focuses on employment tribunal cases.
Jorge Molina; Juan Pablo Fábrega
Patton, Moreno & Asvat
Noted for its ‘in-depth knowledge‘ of civil, commercial, administrative and maritime litigation, Patton, Moreno & Asvat the team has significant experience in cross-border proceedings. Arbitration is another area of focus for the team, which benefits from its close relationship with the firm’s London office. Typical instructions also include shareholders’ disputes involving Panamanian companies and cross-border probate cases. Dispute resolution ‘expert’ Khatiya Asvat specialises in shipping litigation. She spearheads the practice which also features associates Joaquín De Obarrio, who frequently represents shipping companies, owners, financial institutions and P&I clubs in maritime cases, and Maximiliano Quintero.
‘The firm’s lawyers have in-depth knowledge of maritime, administrative and regulatory law, as well as a great ability to work as a team, and they always value the client’s interest.’
‘Our contacts in the office are Khatiya Asvat and Joaquín de Obarrio. Both have proven to be experts in dispute resolution and develop efficient strategies to achieve the desired objectives. We would like to highlight their professional excellence and their ability to deal with the local authorities, as well as their proactivity in giving impetus to the matters entrusted to them.’
‘Joaquín DeObarrio has been my main contact throughout this process.‘
Cedeño & Méndez
Highly regarded for its IP expertise, Cedeño & Méndez has continued to develop its dispute resolution practice focused on administrative, civil and criminal law. The 'diligent and knowledgeable' team has recently reported an uptick in mandates related to debt recovery cases and breach of contract disputes, particularly in the construction and real estate sectors. The team also has experience in domestic arbitration. 'Outstanding' director Ricardo Arosemena, who has represented clients before the civil, criminal and maritime courts of Panama, is rated for his 'legal knowledge and negotiation skills'.
‘Cedeño & Méndez is a good legal team with the proper knowledge of the law and its practice in Panama. Its transparency on what the outcome/risks/cost scenarios could be is what we valued most from the firm and from Ricardo Arosemena.’
‘Ricardo Arosemena has been outstanding in his performance in our case and achieved a good result in resolving the conflict. He certainly has the legal knowledge and negotiation skills to face any dispute, with the support of the Cedeño and Méndez team. He also showed particular strengths during the management of our case that made the difference to achieving a good result: determination, commitment, and straightforward communication, support and guidance.’
‘Cedeño & Méndez has always been very diligent and knowledgeable about the legal areas that we have consulted the firm on.’
‘The best thing about Cedeño & Mendez is the qualified and suitable team that has attended to our problems in a timely manner and has always provided us with solutions. The lawyers have a great willingness to collaborate and show great honesty and quality in their service.’
‘We would like to highlight the relationship of trust that we maintain with the firm, built on its excellent performance.’
‘Our reference contact in the office is Ricardo Arosemena. Ricardo has demonstrated extensive knowledge in regulatory, administrative and litigation matters. His proactivity and tenacity are fundamental to fulfilling the tasks entrusted to him. We also value his high level of dedication and understanding of the local authorities in Panama.’
Arrendadora Global/Budget Rent a Car
Inter Marketing/Thrifty Car Rental
Empresa de Alquileres de Automóviles/Hertz
Sky Climber Access Solutions Panama
Crawford & Company Panama
Subaru del Canal
Agroinsumos La Carreta
ICEE Management Services
SB&Co. Legal offers representation to domestic and international clients in corporate, labour, administrative, civil, banking and IP-related litigation. Debt collection and breach of contract cases also feature on the caseload. Founding partner Franklin Briceño Salazar maintains a broad litigation practice, covering corporate, labour, commercial and administrative disputes, while senior associate Francisco Perdomo Sandoval advises on IP, labour and banking cases.
Franklin Briceño Salazar; Francisco Perdomo Sandoval
Mishcon De Reya
Klein Law Firm
Adolfo Olloquí Domínguez
BAC International Bank
Arka Servicios de Recursos Humanos
- Defended Cacique Contadora against a claim brought by Isla de las Perlas for the alleged breach of obligations in a property sale contract.
- Acting for BAC International Bank in debt collection proceedings.
- Assisting Canal Bank in the management of its litigation portfolio, including debt recovery proceedings.