Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee stands out for its expertise in the financing and development of large-scale transport infrastructure projects, including the construction and expansion of ports and highways and, most significantly, projects relating to the Panama Canal. The team is also adept at handling the development of renewable and conventional energy projects, and fields further strength in corporate transactions involving the energy and natural resources sector, most notably mining assets. Eloy Alfaro is recurrently retained by developers in major infrastructure projects; he oversees the department alongside Alejandro Ferrer, a specialist in energy, natural resources and infrastructure matters, who recently returned to the firm after serving as Panama’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mandates in the energy sector are a core area of focus for Jaime Castillo. Raúl Borrell has a strong track record in public tenders, concessions and project finance.
Projects and energy in Panama
Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee
Eloy Alfaro; Alejandro Ferrer
Empresas Públicas de Medellín (Elektra Noreste, Ensa Servicios and Hidroecológica del Teribe)
Puentes y Calzadas Infraestructuras (Grupo Puentes)
Constructora Pirenaica (Grupo Copisa)
Celsia, Celsia Centroamérica, Alternegy, Bontex and Bahia las Mismas (Grupo Celsia)
Petroterminal and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Inversiones (Grupo Liberman)
Gas Natural Atlántico, Gas Natural Atlántico II, Costa Norte LNG Terminal and AES Panama (Grupo AES)
Grupo Unidos Por El Canal
Consorcio Loma Cova (Acciona Construcción and Constructora Meco)
- Advising Puentes y Calzadas Infraestructuras on the design, construction and restoration of the Atalaya-Mariato-Quebro-Las Flores highway and the improvement of the branch of road between Ramal and Varedero.
- Advising ASM Global on the negotiation of an agreement with the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) for the management of the newly developed Panama Convention Centre.
- Assisting Cable & Wireless Panamá in all of its projects and operations in the country.
Galindo, Arias & López
Galindo, Arias & López‘s multi-disciplinary practice offers advice to a diverse client roster of financial institutions, major developers, energy companies and venture capital investors on the full spectrum of project finance and development matters. Its broad service offering also covers public procurement, government contracts, and regulatory matters. The team is particularly experienced in advising on the development of large-scale renewable energy projects, but acts for clients across the construction, infrastructure and healthcare sectors. Of counsel Salomón Behar heads the project finance practice, with a focus on acting for key names in the energy space, while Cristina Lewis de la Guardia leads the regulatory department and possesses notable expertise in project development. Other key names include Diego Herrera, who focuses on project finance and M&A deals involving energy assets, and Jose Luis Sosa. Cristina Thayer is no longer at the firm.
Cristina Lewis de La Guardia; Salomón Behar
Goldwind International Penonomé
Panama Canal Expansion Project
Edemet & Edechi
Petroterminal de Panama (PTP)
Real Estate Infrastructure Company
Compañía Insular Americana (Ocean Reef Islands)
Inmobiliaria San Fernando
- Advised Goldwind International Holdings on the sale to AES Panama of its equity interests in UEP Penonomé I, the operator of a major wind farm in the province of Coclé.
Morgan & Morgan
Noted for its ‘extensive knowledge and experience‘ in the projects and energy spaces, Morgan & Morgan acts for an impressive client base, comprised of multilateral agencies, financial institutions, public bodies, mining and energy companies, in the full range of mandates. Project finance is a particular area of strength for the team, which showcases significant expertise in the development of major transport infrastructure projects, including the recent expansion of the Panama Metro, as well as hydroelectric, solar power and mining plants. The practice also ‘facilitates the development of legal strategies‘ in the context of public tenders and concession contracts. Leading the department, Ramón Varela stands out for his wealth of experience in project finance in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Other noteworthy practitioners include finance specialists Inocencio Galindo and Kharla Aizpurúa; Aristides Anguizola, a key name for mining clients; and senior associate Ana Carolina Castillo, who specialises in energy transactions. Since publication, Castillo has been raised to the partnership - effective as of January 2023.
‘The projects and energy team has extensive knowledge and experience in the sector, which facilitates the development of legal strategies to reach our objectives as a company.’
‘Ramón Varela and Ana Carolina Castillo go the extra mile to assist with the various issues that we have asked for advice on and their extensive knowledge allows them to carry out comprehensive analyses of the situation from various points of view.’
International Finance Corporation
Seven Seas Water
Ministry of Public Works of Panama
First Quantum Minerals
Metro de Panama
First Transit de Panama
Panama Ports (subsidiary of Hutchinson Ports Holding)
Corporacion Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura
- Advising the International Finance Corporation, as the original lender, on a $300m refinancing and takeout loan for the construction, operation and maintenance of the second phase of the Penonomé 215 MW wind power project.
- Advising Minera Panamá on several matters arising from its concession agreement for the $6.7bn Cobre Panama copper mining project, including regulatory, financial and environmental issues.
- Advised Banistmo, as facilities agent and administrative agent, on the $2bn financing of Line 3 of the Panama Metro, one of the largest public infrastructure projects in Panama.
Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez
With notable experience in the oil & gas, logistics and maritime sectors, Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez fields a 'competent' practice that provides legal support to a host of clients in relation to the financing and construction of projects. Typical mandates also include public procurement, concession contracts and regulatory issues. The department is under the leadership of Annette Bárcenas, whose areas of focus span public procurement, regulatory matters and project finance. 'Excellent lawyer' Juan Antonio Alfaro specialises in regulatory matters relating to oil free trade zone projects. Other names to note include corporate and project finance expert Roberto Harrington, and recently promoted partner Luis Horacio Moreno, a key contact for procurement mandates.
‘The team provides personalised attention and is very focused on guiding us through the options and on to the best way forward.’
‘We work with Roberto Harrington and Juan Antonio Alfaro, who are stellar in their subjects.’
‘It is an agile firm, which responds in a short time. Even though we are a small company, they treat us like an important client, particularly Annette Bárcenas and Juan Antonio Alfaro.’
‘A competent group with wide experience and expertise across the partners. It has been noticeable how often expertise from other partners has been used to further our interests as a company, and we have found that to be a great strength in our relationship.’
‘I have enjoyed the relationship we have built with the firm, and this relationship has strengthened us as a company.’
‘Juan Antonio Alfaro is an excellent lawyer, and he guides us very well.’
Petroamerica Terminal (a VTTI Group company)
PSA International Terminal (PPIT)
Colon Logistic Park (CLP)
Astilleros Puertos de Balboa
Otis Elevator Company
Campo Las Cabras
Islas Secas Resort
Panama Digital Gateway
- Advising Astillero de Balboa on obtaining the concession for the restoration, development and operation of the Balboa Shipyard, located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal.
- Advising Logistic Park on the development, construction and operation of Colon Logistics Park, which will be located inside the Colon Container Terminal, one of the major terminal facilities in Panama in the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal.
- Advising Puma’s Future Energy division on the implementation of a new green project in the region aimed at transforming all gas stations into sustainable facilities by installing solar panel systems as energy generators.
Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega
Standing out for its extensive experience in the financing of infrastructure projects, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is also well placed to advise on government contracts, concessions and the development of major toll roads and metro lines. In the energy sector, the practice is regularly instructed in project finance and regulatory mandates, and offers representation to key clients in administrative proceedings before the public services regulator. Estif Aparicio has handled the financing of major energy, transportation and healthcare projects, while Roy Durling is the main point of contact for clients from the mining, and oil & gas sectors. Fernando Arias F, who was promoted to partner in 2022, is also seasoned in infrastructure projects.
The multi-disciplinary projects, energy, government contracts and public procurement practice at Dentons Muñoz is particularly active in the development of large-scale infrastructure projects, advising on all stages of financing and related regulatory issues. Its diverse client base includes major financial institutions and multinationals from the energy, construction and infrastructure sectors. The team is led by María del Rosario de Roux, whose notable areas of practice range from project development to government contracts, and administrative disputes. Litigator Fernando Aued handles contractual disputes and regulatory matters. Panama managing partner Gisela Porras 'brings a high level of specialisation and expertise' in the intersection of the public and private sectors.
María del Rosario de Roux
‘The team is very professional and able to deliver solutions efficiently. Gisela Porras shows unique leadership and brings a high level of specialisation and expertise to the practice.’
‘Gisela Porras has extensive experience managing complex private and public matters. Her experience as an adviser in governmental matters and public positions has strengthened her practice and allows her to bring a unique, integrated perspective to her team and clients in the energy and projects practice.’
The ‘professional, friendly and cooperative‘ practice at Fabrega Molino has standout strength in project finance, and offers advice to the full range of participants, including multilateral institutions and government agencies. The practice excels in the development of large-scale projects in the transport, renewable energy and mining spaces, and is adept at handling regulatory matters and major acquisitions in the energy sector. Principal partner Ana Lorena Morales manages the team which is noted for its 'deep knowledge of Panamanian law'. Her legal specialisms include public contracting, energy law and projects. Of counsel Tatiana Abadía is highlighted for her project finance expertise.
Ana Lorena Morales
‘The team stands out for its understanding of the needs of all the parties and the relevant authorities, its level of service and its transparent billing. They complement us with their deep knowledge of Panamanian law.’
‘Communication with Ana Lorena Morales has always been very agile and her level of service is extraordinary. All our doubts are resolved promptly and clearly.’
‘They are experts in their field, work as a team, comply with the agreed terms and handle information confidentially. The firm has tools such as invoicing, links and educational material on different topics that add value and make communication fluid.’
‘A professional, friendly and cooperative team who support us with resolving issues.’
SIGMA International and Global Market Attorneys
Project finance is a key area of expertise for boutique firm SIGMA International and Global Market Attorneys, which has a strong track record in both local and cross-border transactions, particularly those involving New York-based lenders and Panamanian borrowers. The team of 'well-trained attorneys' fields 'specialised knowledge' of project finance, especially in the renewables segment, and also advises on M&A transactions in this space. Founding partner Cecilio Castillero, who was previously at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega and Milbank in New York, is highly regarded for his project finance expertise. Senior associate Mónica Moreno and associate Eric Carles, both of whom have a relevant international background, are also active in the group.
‘Well-trained attorneys with specialised knowledge in this area of practice.’
‘Knowledgeable, available and with a great approach to transactions.’
- Advised InterEnergy in connection with the purchase of the shares of Generadora de Gatún, which will be responsible for the construction of a liquified natural gas-based electricity generation facility in Telfers Island in Colón.
- Acted as Panamanian counsel to US energy investor Glenfarne Group in connection with a $1.76bn debt raise.
- Acted as Panamanian counsel to InterEnergy Group in connection with the $262.7m green bond offering by its subsidiary UEP Penonomé II, the owner of the largest wind farm in Central America.