Transport: Shipping in Panama

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega

The 'responsive and knowledgeable' team at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega has extensive experience in shipping finance, acting for a number of international financial institutions and shipping companies. In addition, the firm advises on a high volume of vessel registrations under the Panamanian flag with the Panama Maritime Authority and assists clients with obtaining port operating licences. Maritime litigation is also an area of strength, with the team handling disputes before the Panamanian and international maritime courts. Jorge Loaiza heads the shipping and transportation group, and Pilar Castillo is also noted for her shipping finance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Loaiza


‘I have used ARIFA as Panamanian counsel on ship finance matters for several years. They are responsive and knowledgeable and also have competitive fees.’

‘Pilar Castillo is responsive and knowledgeable in relation to ship finance matters.’

Morgan & Morgan

Morgan & Morgan‘s broad maritime practice spans shipping registration, financing and litigation matters, with clients including financial institutions, ship owners and agents, and port operators. The team is highly active in the registration of Panamanian flag vessels with the Panama Maritime Authority and also handles a wide range of maritime disputes, including litigation relating to collisions, cargo, oil spill pollution, charter party disputes and insurance claims. Juan David Morgan Jr leads the shipping and admiralty litigation practice, while Jazmina Rovi heads the ship finance and registration team. Other notable contacts include Francisco Linares, Luis Raven and associate Diego Abadia, all of whom have extensive experience in maritime disputes.

Practice head(s):

Juan David Morgan Jr.; Jazmina Rovi

Key clients

AES Panama


Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation

HMM (formerly known as Hyundai Merchant Marine)

KN Trading

Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation


Panama Ports Company

SK Shipping

Pan Ocean

Polaris Shipping

Tri Marine Group

Tsakos Energy Navigation

Forever Oceans Corporation

Assa Compañia de Seguros

British Marine P&I Club


Melones Oil Terminal

Panama Ports Company

The Britannia Steamship Insurance Association

The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association

UK P&I Club

Tokyo Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance

North of England P&I Club

Maersk Line

The American P&I Club

The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association


World Fuel Services Corporation

Patton, Moreno & Asvat

With an 'excellent reputation' for maritime matters, Patton, Moreno & Asvat is particularly experienced in shipping finance, counting major international financial institutions and shipping companies among its clients. Thanks to its presence in London, where the 'helpful and responsive' Enrique Sibauste is based, the firm is particularly well positioned to handle multi-jurisdictional transactions. The team is led by María Teresa Díaz and Belisario Porras, who is highly active in advising maritime financial entities in Greece and Germany on financial transactions. Nadya Price is also a key contact, advising shipowners on corporate matters and assisting international banks with maritime finance.

Practice head(s):

Maria Teresa Diaz; Belisario Porras


‘Patton, Moreno & Asvat is always responsive and has good strength in depth in its maritime practice, especially on the lender side.’

‘Belisario Poras is always available and is very knowledgeable on Panamanian  maritime and corporate matters.’

‘The client services is very good and the partners are closely involved in the matters. The clarity with which they explain the issues is excellent.’

‘They have an excellent reputation for having extensive experience in the field. María Teresa Díaz is responsive, works quickly and provides an excellent service to clients. Furthermore, her knowledge of clients’ matters denotes a lot of experience.’

‘We trust the team to deliver and they are our preferred counsel in Panama.’

‘Enrique Sibauste is helpful, responsive and understands the time pressures we are under.’

Key clients

Watson, Farley & Williams


Ince & Co

Norton Rose Fulbright

National Bank of Greece

TLT (formerly Constant & Constant)

Stephenson Harwood

Allen & Overy

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Mayer Brown

Pusan Pacific Law Office

Pinsent Mason

Latham & Watkins

Work highlights

  • Advising JP Morgan Chase Bank, in its capacity as administrative agent, on a term loan agreement with cruise ship operator Carnival Corporation, Carnival Finance and Carnival plc.

Arias B Associates

Arias B Associates specialises in shipping finance and the registration of vessels with the Panama Maritime Authority, and has notable expertise in multi-jurisdictional transactions involving parties as far afield as Liberia, the Marshall Islands and Madeira. The firm also handles shipping litigation, advising on the arrest and release of vessels in Panama. Yvonne Arias leads the team, which also includes Jorge Ramirez Arias and Juan Ramon Ramirez.

Practice head(s):

Yvonne Arias

De Castro & Robles

De Castro & Robles has long-standing experience in shipping litigation, advising on the arrest and release of vessels transiting the Panama Canal and in Panamanian ports. The team has particular expertise in representing clients in claims before the Panama Canal Authority, including claims over personal injury to crew or passengers during transit of the canal. It also advises on the registration of vessels under the Panamanian flag. Gabriel Ramón Sosa and Anamae del Carmen Ortiz, who is noted for her strength in collision claims, are among the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Ramón Sosa

Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee

Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee acts for a range of shipping companies, financial institutions and intermediaries, advising on the construction, acquisition and financing of ships, barges, drilling rigs, liquified natural gas tankers and other vessels. In addition, the firm has a strong port facilities practice, which advises on port-related transactions and infrastructure projects. The experienced Aníbal Galindo leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Anibal Galindo

Avila & Co

Specialist maritime firm Avila & Co advises on the registration of ships under the Panamanian flag, the sale and purchase of vessels, and shipping finance and mortgage registrations. Clients include ship owners, operators and charterers, financial institutions, insurers and underwriters. Tomás Avila has considerable expertise in shipping finance and registration and maritime commercial law.

Practice head(s):

Tomás Avila

Dentons Muñoz

Dentons Muñoz's active maritime practice focuses on shipping finance, the registration of vessels and mortgages, and the sale and purchase of vessels, although it also handles admiralty and maritime litigation. With offices in key shipping jurisdictions around the world, including Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, the team is able to advises on significant multi-jurisdictional transactions, and to represent international clients before the Panamanian maritime courts. Practice head Gisela Porras is highly experienced in shipping finance. Fernando Aued, who focuses on maritime litigation, and associate Angie Mei Sánchez are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Gisela Porras

Fabrega Molino

Ana Lorena Morales leads the practice at Fabrega Molino, which is experienced in shipping finance and the registrations of vessels and naval mortgages. In addition, the team advises on fishing licences, multiple flag authorisations and other permitting issues.

Practice head(s):

Ana Lorena Morales

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán handles a range of maritime matters, including the registration of vessels - both in Panama and in overseas jurisdictions including Belize, the Bahamas, Liberia and the Marshall Islands - the purchase and sale of ships, shipping finance and maritime litigation, including proceedings before the Panama Canal Authority. Among the key members of the team are of counsel Joel Medina and Alexis Herrera Jr.

Practice head(s):

Joel Medina; Alexis Herrera Jr

Quijano & Associates

Quijano & Associates advises a large proportion of the Panamanian merchant marine fleet, with clients including ship owners, vessel operators, charterers, shipping agents, financial institutions and insurance companies. The team assists with the registration of vessels, shipping finance, the issuance of licences and permits, and the registration of naval mortgages. Carla Rojas Pardini heads the admiralty and maritime law practice, and Randall Webster and Jorge Quijano, who is experienced in shipping finance, are also active members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Carla Rojas Pardini

Tapia, Linares y Alfaro

With ship owners, charterers, insurers, cargo owners and P&I clubs among its clients, Tapia, Linares y Alfaro is experienced in disputes before the Panamanian Maritime Courts, and the registration of vessels under the Panamanian flag, as well as the preparation and registration of naval mortgages and the sale and purchase of vessels. Mario Correa, who has expertise in ship registration and financing, is a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Mario Correo