Dispute resolution and bankruptcy in Puerto Rico

McConnell Valdés LLC

McConnell Valdés LLC stands out for its first-class litigation offering and in particular for its experience in jury trials and sizeable class action cases. Juan Marqués-Díaz, whose focuses include tax disputes, administrative law, constitutional law and arbitration, heads up the department. He is seconded by vice-chair Henry Freese, who also leads the maritime practice and specialises in maritime and admiralty law cases, high-profile commercial construction disputes, insurance defence cases and franchise disputes. Managing director Arturo García Solá‘s practice is concentrated on constitutional law, contractual disputes, and trusts and estates litigation. Isabel Torres‐Sastre has a focus on IP litigation but is also highlighted for representing clients in class actions and insurance and damages claims.

Practice head(s):

Juan Marqués-Díaz

Key clients

AIG Insurance Company

AmeriNational Community Services

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

Best Buy

Coco Condominium 1

Destilería Serrallés

Johnson & Johnson

Lilly del Caribe

MMM Healthcare

McKesson Corporation

Medtronic Puerto Rico Operations

Office of the Courts Administration, Puerto Rico Judicial Branch

Petrobras

TransCore Atlantic

Attenure Holdings Trust

HRH Property Holdings

Work highlights

  • Representing AmeriNat, as servicer for the GDB Debt Restructuring Authority, in PROMESA Title III proceedings for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Buildings Authority and the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority.
  • Representing AIG in an action filed by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority against an international contractor (Abengoa) and the bond company (AIG) in relation to a major construction project to revamp the electric power infrastructure in Puerto Rico.
  • Assisting Petróleo Brasileiro and its affiliate Petrobras America in a class action complaint on behalf of over 3 million customers of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, certain former PREPA employees, multiple fuel oil suppliers and various fuel oil laboratories under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

O'Neill & Borges

O’Neill & Borges is among the go-to firms in Puerto Rico for litigation and particularly distinguishes itself in the areas of alternative dispute resolution and construction, securities and tax litigation. Salvador Antonetti-Stutts focuses on commercial litigation before the local and federal courts and cultivates a strong appellate practice. Hermann Bauer-Álvarez is highlighted for his significant experience in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights litigation, business transactions with bankruptcy estates and anti-bankruptcy transactional consultation. Mariacté Correa-Cestero is an expert in distribution and franchising, insurance, product liability and land use litigation.

Practice head(s):

Salvador Antonetti-Stutts

Pietrantoni Méndez & Alvarez LLP

Pietrantoni Méndez & Alvarez LLP‘s dispute resolution team covers a wide range of civil and commercial cases, administrative proceedings and lenders’ liability cases, as well as antitrust, healthcare and tax disputes. Néstor Méndez-Gómez‘s practice is focused on class actions and international arbitration, especially in the areas of antitrust, IP, finance, government regulation, securities and telecoms. Herman Colberg and Jorge Peirats are also key figures in the department thanks to their deep expertise in insolvency and bankruptcy, which they apply to out-of-court workouts and bankruptcy litigation.

Practice head(s):

Néstor Méndez-Gómez

Reichard & Escalera

Reichard & Escalera's disputes team demonstrates considerable skills in handling cases before all Commonwealth courts, with a focus on the US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and the Court of Appeal for the First Circuit, as well as having handled cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Common litigation cases including contract disputes, constitutional and civil rights issues, antitrust actions, products liability and bankruptcy are complemented by specialized litigation regarding the Puerto Rico Dealer’s Act and the Puerto Rico Sales Representative’s Act. Rafael Escalera Rodríguez's expertise spans from mass tort and complex labour litigation to securities, regulated market cases, trademark litigation and civil rights actions. Sylmarie Arizmendi has a successful multidistrict class actions practice.

Work highlights

    Casellas Alcover & Burgos, P.S.C.

    Litigation boutique Casellas Alcover & Burgos, P.S.C. is a top destination for commercial disputes and class action lawsuits in Puerto Rico. Ricardo Casellas is recognised for appearing as lead counsel in civil jury trials in federal cases, with an emphasis on Law 75 termination cases. César Alcover has longstanding experience in shareholder disputes. Banking litigation expert Heriberto Burgos also handles cases concerning public contract collections and procurement, product liability and non-competition agreements. Healthcare law expert Natalia Morales is also noted.

    Practice head(s):

    Ricardo Casellas

    Estrella LLC

    Estrella LLC has had a longstanding focus on litigation and dispute resolution. It enjoys a solid reputation in the market, especially in commercial and liability litigation for retail clients and, as a niche expertise, for chiropractors. Oil and gas litigation is also an area which deserves particular mention, with the team taking on landmark engagements for flagship client Puma Energy, which it also assists in IP litigation. While Alberto Estrella acts as managing partner, Kenneth Suria and Yasthel González are responsible for the federal litigation and state litigation groups, respectively. Carlos Infante leads the firm’s bankruptcy practice, which is known for both its creditor and debtor work. Recently, the team has handled significant cases in Puerto Rico, including injunction proceedings and class actions.

    Practice head(s):

    Alberto Estrella; Kenneth Suria; Yasthel González

    Testimonials

    ‘The accessibility and the collaborative structure to facilitate all processes is extraordinary. Communication is open and thorough.’

    ‘Alberto Estrella is always available and present in the most significant moments of the case.’

    ‘The team at Estrella has continually demonstrated a true team effort in helping our company navigate the insurance adjudication nuances of Puerto Rico.’

    ‘Alberto Estrella and many more at the firm are always incredibly responsive and detailed in assisting with our needs.’

    Key clients

    Chevron

    Copa Airlines

    NCMIC Insurance Company

    The Home Depot

    Simon Properties

    Puma Energy Caribe

    Sunnova Energy

    Site Centers

    Burlington Coat Factory

    Fidelity Land Title

    American Airlines

    MMM

    Work highlights

    • Acting as counsel for Wal-Mart Puerto Rico since the corporation began conducting business in Puerto Rico, managing the client’s active premises liability claims.
    • Acting as exclusive regional litigation counsel for the Home Depot in Puerto Rico, handling active premises liability cases and administrative consumer claims.
    • Assisting Puma Energy with its local and regional operations and handling all of the client’s litigation in Puerto Rico.

    Marini Pietrantoni Muñiz, LLC

    Marini Pietrantoni Muñiz, LLC has a prominent role in the bankruptcy/creditor rights and commercial litigation space, and is best known for covering restructurings and workouts, foreclosures, collections and the transferral of collateral, as well as redemption rights, lender liability and insolvency litigation, along with antitrust, IP, insurance and general contract disputes. On the bankruptcy-side, founding partner and chair Luis Marini-Biaggi focuses on the acquisition of distressed assets and public and private sector restructurings; while practice co-head Carolina Velaz Rivero specialises in distressed situations, bankruptcy and in-court and out-of-court restructurings. Velaz also participates in commercial litigation matters, a practice co-led -in turn- by Manuel Pietrantoni and Mauricio O Muñiz, and which acts for both defendants and plaintiffs at federal, state, and administrative levels, as well as handling appellate processes and arbitral/mediation proceedings.

    Practice head(s):

    Luis Marini-Biaggi

    Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa

    Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa‘s litigation and trial practice focuses on complex litigation and investigation matters in multiple fields, including IP, antitrust and insurance. The team is co-led by Eric Pérez Ochoa and Luis Oliver-Fraticelli; Pérez concentrates on civil and commercial litigation in a variety of areas, while Oliver is best known for handling appellate matters before the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for representing defendants in cases relating to Puerto Rico’s dealer protection laws.

    Practice head(s):

    Eric Pérez Ochoa; Luis Oliver-Fraticelli

    Antonetti Montalvo & Ramírez-Coll

    In the litigation and bankruptcy space, Antonetti Montalvo & Ramírez-Coll stands out for its practice groups focusing on creditor rights and lender’s liability, aviation and product liability defence, as well as alternative dispute resolution, appellate trials, and bankruptcy and business reorganisation. Founding members María Montalvo-Vera and José Ramírez-Coll are active litigators and focus on healthcare and telecoms, and class actions and RICO matters, respectively.

    Practice head(s):

    María Montalvo-Vera; José Ramírez-Coll

    DLA Piper Puerto Rico

    DLA Piper Puerto Rico‘s dispute resolution practice has experience appearing before the state and federal courts as well as arbitration forums. The team handles commercial litigation in a range of industries, including retail, financial services, technology and healthcare, and has notable clients in the energy sector. Margarita Mercado, who previously served as solicitor general for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, joined the firm in May 2021 from her own practice and is the key contact for litigation and regulatory matters. Of counsel Mariana Muñiz-Lara is also noted for commercial litigation and arbitration. Since research concluded the department has been strengthened significantly with the hire of Nereida Meléndez-Rivera and Sonia Torres-Pabón, former founder partners of Meléndez Torres Law, PSC, effective as of July 2022. Mélendez-Rivera’s practice is principally oriented towards white-collar matters, while that of Torres-Pabón also takes in complex civil law matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Margarita Mercado

    Testimonials

    ‘The team members are phenomenal, with a high degree of knowledge in their respective areas of law. They are always attentive to detail and provide us with solutions.’

    Ferraiuoli LLC

    Ferraiuoli LLC is particularly well known for its expertise in IP litigation, while it also covers personal injury claims and commercial litigation in the media and entertainment, healthcare and insurance sectors, among others. The bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice, led by Sonia Colón, offers additional expertise in complex bankruptcy litigation, especially with regard to dischargeability, fraudulent transfers and preference actions cases. Gustavo Chico-Barris specialises in judicial proceedings in Chapter 7, 11, 12 and 13 cases.

    Practice head(s):

    Sonia Colón; Gustavo Chico-Barris

    Goldman Antonetti & Córdova

    Goldman Antonetti & Córdova‘s litigation and trial practice assists clients from the healthcare, telecoms, internet services, retail, manufacturing and tourism industries in regulatory, land use and planning cases, as well as in hearings relating to the review of awards of government contracts and licences and in administrative investigation proceedings. The department is led by managing partner Carlos Rodríguez-Vidal, who has longstanding experience in franchise, distribution and construction disputes, among others. Litigator Solymar Castillo-Morales is also active in commercial, tax and bankruptcy-related disputes.

    Practice head(s):

    Carlos Rodríguez-Vidal

    Jiménez Graffam & Lausell

    Jiménez Graffam & Lausell is mostly known for its labour union litigation expertise, but is also valued in the commercial litigation space, where it covers class actions and maritime, cargo and IP disputes, among others. Of counsel William Graffam has a strong focus on maritime law, especially oil pollution, environmental damages, personal injury and collision litigation. Steven Lausell is an expert in construction disputes, commercial litigation and product liability cases, as well as tort litigation.

    Practice head(s):

    William Graffam; Steven Lausell

    Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret

    Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret is recommended for providing expert advice and client representation in cases involving gas and oil distribution, shareholder litigation, and contractual and commercial disputes. Lee Sepulvado-Ramos heads the practice and also leads the firm’s government affairs practice group. Albéniz Couret-Fuentes is also a key litigator in the team, focusing on antitrust and trade regulation, trade mark and copyright, and distribution and franchising cases.

    Practice head(s):

    Lee Sepulvado-Ramos

    Cancio Covas & Santiago LLP

    Clients turn to Cancio Covas & Santiago LLP for its expertise in handling contractual and tort litigation before the appellate courts of Puerto Rico and the US, as well as its experience in bankruptcies and administrative proceedings. Corporate chair Juan Ramón Cancio is also the firm’s main litigator.

    Practice head(s):

    Juan Ramón Cancio

    Cancio, Nadal & Rivera

    Fernando Fornaris-Fernández leads Cancio, Nadal & Rivera‘s litigation department, with a focus on product liability, personal injury, construction law, permitting and bond disputes, among other areas. Former partner Arturo Díaz-Angueira recently left the firm to found his own practice.

    Practice head(s):

    Fernando Fornaris-Fernández

    Casillas Santiago & Torres LLC

    At Casillas Santiago & Torres LLC, the team is particularly adept at alternative dispute resolution, but also handles traditional commercial, civil, insurance and construction litigation. Founding member and of counsel Juan González-Muñoz brings his experience to civil jury trials before the US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and before the courts of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The group, which also includes labour and administrative litigators Juan Casillas-Ayala and René Comas-Pérez, also acts in disputes arising from bids with government agencies and municipalities.

    Colon & Colon, PSC Attorneys at Law

    Liability, causation and damages claims are at the centre of boutique firm Colon & Colon, PSC Attorneys at Law‘s offering. Founding and managing partner Francisco Colón-Pagán  covers commercial cases, insurance coverage matters, and other insurance-related litigation. He is seconded by associate Margarita Rosado-Toledo , who handles personal injury, premises liability and employment litigation.

    Del Toro & Santana

    Del Toro & Santana stands out for its experience in proceedings before the federal and state courts, administrative agencies and private arbitration forums. With a focus on complex civil litigation, the team handles construction, real estate and title cases, distribution and dealership law disputes, employment litigation, insurance claims and commercial contract disputes. Russell Del Toro and Roberto Santana Aparicio are the key contacts.

    ECIJA SBGB

    ECIJA SBGB‘s dispute resolution practice demonstrates skill in civil and commercial litigation, commercial arbitration, and constitutional and administrative litigation, together with the ability to handle procurement and government affairs cases. Founding members Jaime Sanabria Montañez and Antonio García Ramírez specialise in labour litigation. Luis Román-Negrón departed the firm in April 2022 to establish an independent practice.

    Practice head(s):

    Antonio García Ramírez; Enrique Del Cueteo Pérez; Jaime Sanabria Montañez

    Testimonials

    ‘The efficiency, communication skills, experience and quality of the lawyers in this office make ECIJA SBGB stand out. Their approach of understanding and listening to their clients is the thing that makes them stand out. The attorneys accomplish their goals in a shorter period of time than at other law firms and, more importantly, with positive results.’

    ‘The command of the law of the lawyers at ECIJA SBGB is impressive. Jaime Sanabria is available to address clients’ concerns at any time and has achieved results that exceed clients’ expectations. He is very responsive to specific situations and presents options that few would offer. His humanity, warmth and openness make this firm one that we recommend to others in the industry.’

    Key clients

    Triple-S Salud

    Puerto Rico Ports Authority

    Amerijet International

    Abarca Health

    Juan A. Hernández Law Offices

    Synovos

    Triple-S Propiedad

    Triple-S Vida

    MAPFRE Insurance Company

    Office of Management and Budget

    Office of the Inspector General

    Work highlights

    • Successfully represented Triple-S before the US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, which held that Puerto Rico Act 90-2019 is expressly pre-empted by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003.
    • Representing the Puerto Rico Ports Authority in a case brought by a dismissed employee, which could result in the application of sovereign immunity to a public corporation.
    • Representing MAPFRE Insurance before the Puerto Rico Supreme Court in a case concerning whether the adjustment notified during a judicial proceeding as part of the discovery process is immediately payable to the insured, even when such adjustment is not accepted by the insured.

    Hernández & Gorrín LLC

    Hernández & Gorrín LLC handles disputes in relation to employment law, commercial transactions and insurance, defending employers, distributors and sales representatives, and insurers, respectively. Ignacio Gorrín focuses on general civil litigation, Gerardo Hernández is active in labour disputes and in premises liability litigation, and of counsel José Jiménez represents clients in real estate and financing-related disputes.

    Toro Colón Mullet, P.S.C.

    Toro Colón Mullet, P.S.C.‘s disputes team mainly stands out for its experience in administrative litigation before federal and Puerto Rican agencies, while also having familiarity with alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, which it employs in environmental administrative enforcement actions, especially. Linette Figueroa-Torres is a civil and commercial litigator and an expert in warranty and products liability, distribution and franchising, and securities-related arbitration. Manuel Fernandez-Bared has an active bankruptcy practice.