Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Labour

As part of the firm’s multidisciplinary corporate counsel and 360 legal solutions practice group, the labour team at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega focuses on assisting international clients; senior associate Vivian Holness and counsel Alfonso Rosas (a specialist labour litigator who joined from his own firm in January 2023) are the main contacts.
Under the leadership of the experienced Javier José Vallarino, Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán assists a range of multinational and domestic clients with labour and social security issues, particularly the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements.

Labour in Panama

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez wins praise for striking an ‘excellent balance between consulting and litigation‘, advising on employment contracts and the employment aspects of corporate transactions, negotiating collective bargaining agreements with unions, and representing clients in labour disputes. The team is also well versed in immigration law, including obtaining work and residency permits for foreign nationals. Its broad domestic and multinational client base spans the aviation, ports, hospitality, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and financial sectors, among others. The highly experienced leadership group is made up of ‘eminent practitionerEnna Ferrer (an expert in both labour and immigration law), Juan Gabriel González and ‘dedicated labour litigatorFrancisco Iglesias. ‘Young talentNelson Sales stands out at the associate level.

Practice head(s):

Enna Ferrer; Juan Gabriel González; Francisco Iglesias


AFRA’s employment law team is very well structured. They combine youth with a lot of experience and have an excellent balance between consulting and litigation, as well as union issues. A diverse team that is fast working, has a clear understanding of the client’s needs and is with us throughout the process. Compared to other firms in this area, I think they are more assertive and direct with what the client needs. Billing is very well detailed in terms of hours, type of consultation, description, etc.

Enna Ferrer is an eminent practitioner in this field, with vast experience in all aspects of the law and excellent ease in the negotiation and structuring of cases.

Francisco Iglesias is a dedicated labour litigator, who knows how to structure a case very well and advise on the realistic outcome. He guides you by the hand throughout the process.

Nelson Sales is a young talent, who is very quick and has excellent availability. He is able to assist the client by thinking outside the box on complicated projects.

Key clients

L’Oréal Panama

DHL Panama

Port of Singapore (PSA)

Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)

International School of Panama (ISP)

Arcos Dorados (McDonald’s)

Ricardo Perez (Itochu Group)

Hospital Paitilla (Hospiten Group)

ALS Global Panama

Productos Toledano

Industrias Lácteas (Estrella Azul)


Hilti Latin America

Puma Energy



Felix (Importadora Maduro)


Banistmo (Grupo Bancolombia)

Cervecería Nacional (AB InBev Group)



Trane Technologies

Farmacias Arrocha


Alimentos del Istmo (PepsiCo)

Stanley Black and Decker



Western Union

Work highlights

  • Assisted Cervecería Nacional (part of the AB InBev Group) with the successful negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement with its union, amidst the announcement of a strike.
  • Assisted Papelera Istmeña with the negotiation of a new collective agreement with the paper union.
  • Advised Logytech Mobile on the employment aspects of the strategy and execution of the reorganisation process.

Morgan & Morgan

Counting key local and international players from the retail, manufacturing, hospitality, technology and ports sectors among its clients, Morgan & Morgan houses a comprehensive labour practice, which ranges from advising on employment contracts and employee dismissals to assisting with collective bargaining negotiations with unions and labour litigation. The firm also has an active immigration practice group, which is overseen by Albalira Montúfar. Ricardo Alemán, who brings to bear four decades of experience in employment law, steers the team alongside Maria Teresa Mendoza, whose wide-ranging practice also takes in social security matters. Senior associate Milagros Caballero is a name to note for employment issues relating to establishing regional headquarters in Panama.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Alemán; Maria Teresa Mendoza

Key clients



Banco Davivienda

Bavarian Motors

Calox Panameña

Canon de Panama

Chanel Panama

Christian Dior



Dolce & Gabbana

Esteé Lauder


Marriott Hotels

Nikon Latin America

Nippon Express

Panama Ports Company (subsidiary of Hutchinson Ports Holding)


PriceSmart Panama

Ralph Lauren

Walter P Moore



Minera Panamá (subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals)



Grupo Roble

Delivery Hero (Pedidos Ya)


Arias has a regional presence, making it a strong choice to advise multinational companies, with a diverse client base including high-profile names in the pharmaceutical and media sectors. The team regularly assists with day-to-day labour, immigration and social security matters, as well as joining up with the active corporate department and the firm’s Central American offices to provide support with the labour aspects of multi-jurisdictional M&A. Its recent workload also includes handling sensitive investigations involving fraud and sexual harassment allegations. ‘Very responsive‘ Panama managing partner Siaska SSS Lorenzo heads the practice, bringing extensive regulatory and compliance expertise to the table.

Practice head(s):

Siaska SSS Lorenzo


Siaska is very responsive and provides sound legal advice in a friendly and sensible manner. She understands our business needs and properly assesses the risks.

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson


Miguélez Cables


Nielsen IQ

Master Builders Solutions (MBS)

Honeywell Aerospace


Baker McKenzie


Work highlights

  • Advising Honeywell Aerospace on sensitive labour and employment matters in Panama.
  • Assisted Spectrum Brands with the labour aspects of the plan to carve out its Home and Personal Care (HPC) segment.
  • Advising Master Builders Solutions on sensitive labour and employment matters in Panama.


Praised by clients for its ‘exemplary service‘, the labour practice of global firm ECIJA is frequently engaged by well-known multinationals to advise on compliance with local labour regulations, employment contracts, employee transfers and dismissals, social security, immigration and human resources policies. The team’s extensive client roster covers the logistics, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and retail industries, and it also has niche expertise in the sports sector. The ‘exceptionalAntonio Alberto Vargas combines his strengths in employment law and litigation and arbitration to represent employers in labour disputes before the Ministry of Labour and the national courts. Associate Diana Tejada is highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Diana Tejada


ECIJA Panama’s support has been invaluable in providing a quality service to deal with local labour issues, given the particularities of the Panamanian market. They provide an exemplary service, and they are always available despite the difficulties faced on a project.

Antonio Vargas is an exceptional lawyer. He provides great management of labour issues, and is always available to assist with the various projects on which we require advice in Panama.

Diana Tejada’s willingness to resolve client issues has been invaluable. She is always positive, and achieves the objectives despite the strict deadlines that we are working to. A lawyer with a bright future.

They are young lawyers but well versed in all of the issues that we have consulted them on.

Key clients

DHL Panama

Mercantil Farmacéutica (Mefasa Panama)

Foster International Corporation

Jeancenter Corp

Distribuidora Panatex

Fundación Danilo Pérez

Fútbol con Corazón (FCC)

Denim Retail Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Helix International on labour issues in Panama, including the termination of employee contracts and Panamanian legislation relating to wages.
  • Advising Mercantil Farmacéutica on employment matters relating to the impact of Covid-19, including labour contract suspensions and terminations, reduced working hours and the implementation of teleworking.
  • Successfully represented Foster International in a claim brought by an employee before the Colón provincial court for unpaid benefits.

Fabrega Molino

Fabrega Molino‘s labour team is highlighted by clients for its ‘experience and mastery of the subject‘, covering the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm frequently assists with day-to-day issues such as the drafting of employment contracts and compliance with local labour regulations, in addition to handling labour disputes and the employment aspects of M&A transactions. Practice head Miguel Urriola has a strong track record in labour litigation and the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements. He receives stellar support from the ‘outstandingCarlos Molino, who heads the immigration department, and senior associate Lourdes Bishop, who has a focus on advising multinational companies.

Practice head(s):

Miguel Urriola


Fabrega Molino has a highly qualified team, with a strong track record and excellent client service. They have been our legal advisers for more than 30 years.

Carlos Molino is an outstanding professional, who is very knowledgeable about our company and industry, enjoys a strong network locally and internationally, which is very valuable, and has been highly effective in understanding our needs and providing an excellent service.

Fabrega Molino is very responsive. I like the relationship that has been built with this firm because, despite the fact that we have not been working together for very long, they have exceeded my expectations. Fabrega Molino has interesting programmes that make the firm an inclusive entity, which today is very important.

Lourdes Bishop is skilled in labour and commercial issues, which has been useful for us. I feel satisfied with the service.

The service and advice received from Fabrega Molino is always comprehensive and on time.

They know the particularities and needs of the client. Lourdes Bishop’s employment advice is exceptional, always taking into consideration all aspects of each case and providing us with the correct guidance.

They have a lot of experience and knowledge on the subject. They give accurate and precise answers.

Experience and mastery of the subject.


Standing out for its ‘response times, flexibility with fees and quality of responses‘, LOVILL advises a host of multinationals and local SMEs on the drafting of employment contracts, adapting global policies to their operations in Panama, employee dismissals (including in sensitive cases) and immigration matters, as well as the labour aspects of corporate transactions. In addition, the team handles the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements with unions and frequently represents employers in labour litigation. The ‘exceptionalJeannette Bravo, who was elevated to the partnership in July 2023, leads the team and is particularly sought after for her advice to major multinationals on day-to-day employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Jeannette Bravo


The firm stands out for its response times, flexibility with fees and quality of responses.

It is very easy to work with them – they have a great capacity to adapt to working with our team. Swift and thorough responses.

Lovill’s labour team work in a very professional, timely and reliable manner.

The labour practice is highly up to date with labour law, which allows it to adequately and effectively meet the requirements of clients.

Her personal qualities, as well as her specialisation and knowledge in labour matters, make Jeannette Bravo an exceptional lawyer.

Key clients


SGS Panamá

Banco Lafise Panamá

Ceva Logistics

Grupo Terra



Atrio Mall



Isthmian Investment Corporation

Hacienda San José

SBA Communications Panama

Financiera Turbocash

Mexichem Panama/Wavin


UDI Services

Work highlights

  • Advised Gresinsa on all labour matters related to the winding down of the company and assessment of its relationship with the employees’ union.
  • Acting as local counsel to SBA on day-to-day labour and immigration issues.
  • Acting as local counsel to Unilever on all labour and immigration law matters, including advising the company on the relocation of C-level executives as part of the company’s global strategy.