Dispute resolution and bankruptcy in Puerto Rico

McConnell Valdés LLC

With a team of over 30 lawyers active in dispute resolution, McConnell Valdés LLC has invested significant resources in its practice, and focuses on both dispute prevention and litigation. Regional and international clients turn to the team for representation in local and US courts. Recognised practice head Juan Marqués-Díaz has a focus on constitutional, tax, administrative and insurance law; vice-chair Henry Freese-Souffront specialises in maritime, construction, franchise and personal injury disputes. The team's services also extend to the financial and oil and gas industries, among others; globally renowned pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions and travel companies are among the team's key clients. In one highlight, the team represented a global pharmaceutical company in a product liability action concerning an antibiotic manufactured by the client.

Practice head(s):

Juan Marqués-Díaz

O'Neill & Borges

The multi-disciplinary dispute resolution team at O'Neill & Borges includes 13 partners and a number of experienced associates, meaning that the team has the size and resources to assists clients from a broad range of sectors in litigation. In the construction sector, the team has notable experience in cases concerning defects, sub-contractor claims and delay and penalty assessments. Employment, securities and tax litigation are also standout areas; work in each of these fields is carried out by specialised teams. Salvador Antonetti-Stutts is recognised for his experience in federal and commercial litigation, securities arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Hermann Bauer-Álvarez is an acknowledged talent in bankruptcy and insolvency cases.

Pietrantoni Méndez & Alvarez LLP

While rooted in the Puerto Rican market, Pietrantoni Méndez & Alvarez LLP's litigation team is also recognised for its US and international reach and its deep sector expertise. Its broad disputes offering covers antitrust, banking, lender's liability, distribution, product liability and securities cases, among others. The department draws on the experience of several recognised litigators, including charter member Néstor Méndez-Gómez, who frequently advises on putative class action claims and multi-district litigation (MDL), and Herman Colberg, who focuses on commercial disputes in the healthcare, insurance and telecoms sectors and also handles insolvency and bankruptcy issues. In the latter area, the team represents secured and unsecured creditors and creditor committees in out-of-court workouts and US Chapter 11 cases.

Reichard & Escalera

The dispute resolution team at Reichard & Escalera focuses on commercial, labour, antitrust, product liability and bankruptcy litigation, which the team handles on behalf of clients before state and federal courts, as well as the US Supreme Court. Managing partner Rafael Escalera Rodríguez chairs the group and acts on mass tort, securities, trade mark and civil rights cases, while employment expert Sylmarie Arizmendi, who is the vice chair of the commercial litigation team, represents corporate clients from the banking, pharmaceutical, retail and energy sectors.

Antonetti Montalvo & Ramírez-Coll

Established in 2015, Antonetti Montalvo & Ramírez-Coll has established a notable reputation in the dispute resolution market in Puerto Rico. The team has longstanding experience in litigating trial and appellate cases. Special counsel Salvador Antonetti-Zequeira focuses on distribution law, while also being a domestic and international arbitrator; María Montalvo-Vera excels in defending clients (especially from the healthcare, telecoms and construction sectors) in preliminary injunction hearings and administrative proceedings regarding permits and endorsements. Montalvo-Vera leads the team together with José Ramírez-Coll, who handles product liability, class action, antitrust, IP and banking cases.

Casellas Alcover & Burgos, P.S.C.

The seasoned litigators at boutique firm Casellas Alcover & Burgos provide a comprehensive service in tax and class action claims, and are also well versed in distribution, antitrust, IP and employment cases. ADR and franchising law expert and name partner Ricardo Casellas Sánchez acts as lead counsel in federal court cases, and also works as an arbitrator and mediator. César Alcover has a flourishing health law practice, advising and defending insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and administrators, among others. Heriberto Burgos Pérez completes the partner trio; he focuses his practice on commercial, product liability and banking disputes. Natalia Morales Echeverría's practice, meanwhile, has an emphasis on health law, insurance claims and public contracts and procurement.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Casellas Sánchez

Estrella LLC

Estrella LLC stands out for its client retention; several clients have been with the firm since its inception in 1911, and have been receiving litigation-related advice since the litigation practice group was founded by William Estrella in 1974. Since then, the team has grown in number (the firm has 'more litigators than any other firm its size') and developed specific expertise in oil and gas, cybersecurity and aviation disputes. Managing partner Alberto Estrella handles contract disputes, liability, insurance and franchise cases. Head of the federal practice Kenneth Suria is also a leading lawyer for the representation of insurers for matters of chiropractic malpractice; he attracts praise for being 'responsive, calm and with a very good demeanour.' Yasthel González and Luis Morera head up the state litigation and consumer affairs practices, respectively.

Testimonials

‘The firm has the capacity to handle high dollar litigation.’

Kenneth Suria is responsive, calm and with a very good demeanour.’

More litigators than any other firm its size.’

Key clients

Site Centers

The Home Depot

Simon Properties

Sunnova Energy Corporation

T-Mobile

Copa Airlines

Continental Claim Services

MMM

NCMIC Insurance Company

James River Insurance

Fidelity National Title Insurance Company

TiX.By, LLC d/b/a Ticketera

Burlington Coat Factory

Strategic Claim Consultants

Chevron

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Wal-mart Puerto Rico since the corporation began conducting business in Puerto Rico.
  • Acts as exclusive regional litigation counsel for Home Depot in Puerto Rico. This includes handling at any given time approximately 20 to 25 active premises liability cases and dozens of administrative consumer claims.
  • Acts for longstanding client Simon Property Group on premises liability cases in Puerto Rico.
  • Handling personal injury and premises liability defence matters for clients of third-party administrator Sedgwick, Advance Auto Parts and CVS Pharmacy.

Ferraiuoli LLC

At Ferraiuoli LLC, the bankruptcy and creditors' rights team collaborates with the corporate and government affairs departments to provide full-service advice on matters involving US chapter 7, 11 and 12 regulation, as well as PROMESA cases in Puerto Rico. Lenders, investors, equity holders and insurance companies turn to the team - which is led by Sonia Colon from Orlando, Florida - thanks to its strong reputation in debt restructuring, workouts and litigation. In 2019, Gustavo Chico-Barris's considerable skills (for example, in out-of-court negotiations and disputes in federal trials, appellate courts and arbitration forums) earned him a promotion to senior member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Sonia Colon

Key clients

PR Recovery and Development JV

Condado 4

Santa Rosa Mall

MMM Healthcare and MMM Healthcare

Estate of Leopoldo Cabassa

Sargeant Marine and Sargeant Trading

AMBAC Assurance Corp.

Luan Investment

Banco Poular de Puerto Rico

Scotiabank de Puerto Rico

IBT Group

Work highlights

  • Representing PR Recovery and Development, successor in interest of Banco de Desarrollo Economico.
  • Represented secured creditor Condado 4  before the US Bankruptcy Court of the district of Puerto Rico to recognise a “Bankruptcy Exception” in order to ensure a successful reorganisation.
  • Representing Santa Rosa Mall, a creditor in a highly contested matter regarding the reorganisation of Sears Holding Corporation and its affiliated co-debtors.

Marini Pietrantoni Muñiz, LLC

Marini Pietrantoni Muñiz, LLC's highly respected commercial litigation practice offers 'vast experience in bankruptcy and commercial credit litigation.' The team acts for clients of all sizes and from all sectors, and handles claims from low to high value. A significant number of recent cases in the team's portfolio are fought for victims of 2017 hurricane María. The team also handles securities arbitration and mass tort, dealer termination and lender liability cases. Recognised practitioner Manuel Pietrantoni is involved in commercial and civil litigation before local and federal courts (including appeal courts and the Puerto Rico Supreme Court) and heads the team together with Mauricio Muñiz, who is an expert in government investigations, class and enforcement actions, foreclosure and IP cases. Bankruptcy litigation and restructuring cases are also mainstays for the firm, the related team being led by Luis Marini-Biaggi and Carolina Velaz Rivero, who receive particular praise.

Testimonials

‘Diligent, receptive to dialogue attorneys who are well accessible for urgent inquiries and are practical in their analysis and recommendations. In addition, they promote negotiation and recommend cost-effective strategies and courses of action.’

‘Vast experience in bankruptcy and commercial credit litigation.’

Key clients

Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC

AES PR LLP

Alproem Engineering Corp.

Attenure Holdings Trust

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico

Daikin Applied Latin America, LLC

De la Cruz & Associates, Inc.

Diabetic Solutions Corp.

Fuller Group

Gramercy Management Funds

Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc.

Helapan, Inc.

M&M Manufacturing LLC

Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

North Janitorial Corp.

Parliament Capital Series, LLC

Popular Securities, LLC

PRISA Group

Publi-Inversiones PR, Inc.

Puerto Rico Farm Credit, ACA

Riceland Foods, Inc.

Santander Securities LLC

Spanish Broadcasting System

TASIS Dorado

Telemundo of PR, Inc.

TLS Management & Marketing Services, Inc.

TraFon Group

Urban Edge Properties

Western Aviation Services Corp.

Viskase Co., Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represents various entities with the base name Attenure Holdings Trust, which purchased interest in eighty different claims against insurance companies owned by insured entities from Puerto Rico that suffered catastrophic damages as a result of Hurricane María.
  • Represents Daikin Applied Latin America in a case originally filed in the Puerto Rico state court, subsequently removed to the US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, asserting allegations of violations under the Puerto Rico Dealer’s Act against the client.
  • Represents Bautista Cayman Asset Company in a collection of monies and foreclosure complaint, requesting over $5 million in past due amounts.
  • Acts as counsel to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico through the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory, as debtor in possession in the Commonwealth’s Title III proceeding under PROMESA.

Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa

Adsuar Muñiz Goyco Seda & Pérez-Ochoa's litigation and trial department balances a very broad caseload, engaging in civil and commercial litigation matters in various areas of law, from IP, antitrust, distribution and franchising to construction, insurance and bankruptcy. Serving corporate clients and executives in trial and appellate courts (in the US as well as Puerto Rico), and in arbitration proceedings, practice head Eric Pérez Ochoa is an expert in product liability, mass tort and class action defence.

Practice head(s):

Eric Pérez Ochoa

Cancio Covas & Santiago LLP

For more than ten years, the attorneys at Cancio Covas & Santiago LLP have been defending clients in the goods and services, health insurance and healthcare, and real estate and financial sectors, with notable success. Practice head Juan Ramón Cancio has experience in litigating before appellate courts in the US and, in a recent highlight, won a significant contractual and tort damages case for a shopping centre owner against a supermarket chain. The department also offers representation to clients in arbitration and mediation, and in bankruptcy and administrative proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Juan Ramón Cancio

Key clients

GDB Debt Recovery Authority

Sociedad Española de Auxilio Mutuo y Beneficencia de Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority

Inspectorate America Corporation

Multi-Clean, Inc.

National Copier & Office Supplies, Inc.

Cemex de Puerto Rico, Inc.

Pan American Grain Company, Inc.

Buena Vibra Group, Inc.

Hospital Español Auxilio Mutuo de Puerto Rico, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Defending the Puerto Rico Debt Recovery Authority against allegations that it fraudulently induced the plaintiff to purchase debt securities issued by the defendant.
  • Defending Inspectorate America Corporationon during an adversary proceeding to recover alleged improper compensation and other damages arising from allegedly inferior, non-conforming fuel oil supplied to PREPA for use in electricity generation.

DLA Piper (Puerto Rico) LLC

Co-ordinated from New York by Latin America practice chair Roger MeltzerDLA Piper Puerto Rico's San Juan team benefits from the firm's global resources, which, combined with local expertise, enables it to act on a local and international basis, with coverage stretching beyond Puerto Rico and the US to Mexico, Chile and other countries. Managing partner Nikos Buxeda is currently working on a high-profile breach of contract case. He is assisted in the case by Mariana Muñiz-Lara, who is also the lead attorney on numerous disputes in the insurance, manufacturing and food sectors and receives praise for her 'expertise' and 'promptness of response'. Janine Guzman handles employment-related disputes. The firm also distinguishes itself for its pro bono engagement and diversity and inclusion events.

Testimonials

‘Expertise makes this practice unique. Their availability and the promptness with which legal advisory services are provided are a true asset.’

‘Mariana Muñiz-Lara is recommended for her expertise, promptness of response and personalized services.’

Goldman Antonetti & Córdova

Particularly strong in regulatory matters, land use and the review of licenses, Goldman Antonetti & Córdova's litigation and trial lawyers are also experienced in alternative dispute resolution, covering negotiation, arbitration and mediation. The team is involved in civil, commercial and construction-related disputes, as well as bankruptcy matters. The latter is one of Solymar Castillo-Morales' key areas of expertise; she advises on creditors' rights, asset sales, cash collateral and valuation issues. Carlos Rodríguez-Vidal is chair of the department and managing member.

Practice head(s):

 Carlos Rodríguez-Vidal

Hernández & Gorrín LLC

Hernández & Gorrín LLC maintains a significant focus on litigation. Covering employment, insurance, commercial and transactional disputes, the practice gravitates around founding partners Ignacio Gorrín, who also covers real estate and financing, and Gerardo Hernández, who offers counselling and in-court representation in employment law and premises liability cases. Recent work includes the drafting and negotiation of numerous distribution agreements, unfair competition litigation, discrimination and wrongful termination, and a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Jiménez Graffam & Lausell

Assisting local and international clients in administrative proceedings, appellate cases, distribution and franchising disputes as well as personal injury matters, Jiménez Graffam & Lausell demonstrates strong expertise in civil and commercial litigation. The group includes name partner Steven Lausell, who has a strong focus on construction law, product liability and tort litigation. William Graffam has longstanding experience in admiralty, maritime and transportation law, which are key areas for the firm. Focusing in particular on oil pollution, environmental damage and collision litigation, Graffam's contentious practice spans bench and jury trials and arbitration and mediation proceedings.

Practice head(s):

William Graffam 

Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret

Sepulvado, Maldonado & Couret is noted for its expertise in complex litigation. Lee Sepulvado-Ramos leads the dispute resolution team, which also includes Albeniz Couret-Fuentes; Couret-Fuentes is an expert in antitrust and trade regulation, IP, securities and commercial litigation. This expertise adds up to a comprehensive offering that is dedicated in particular to shareholders, directors, partnerships and limited liability companies involved in corporate governance, fiduciary duty and M&A disputes. Past highlights include the team's representation of Total Petroleum Puerto Rico Corp in two complaints filed by gasoline retailers, where it obtained summary judgment in favour of the client.

Practice head(s):

Lee Sepulvado-Ramos

Cancio, Nadal, Rivera & Diaz

At the core of Cancio, Nadal, Rivera & Diaz's legal work is a robust and well-staffed litigation team; the sizeable team acts on corporate, antitrust, banking and construction claims, with a particular focus on product liability, insurance coverage and medical malpractice. Fernando Fornaris-Fernández leads the practice and is often seen in federal courts in civil trials; Carlos González-Soler takes on tort, contractual and commercial litigation cases; while Carlos Rivera-Vicente represents borrowers and lenders in lender liability claims and supervises local civil disputes.

Casillas Santiago & Torres LLC

Casillas Santiago & Torres LLC's commercial and civil litigation expertise goes hand in hand with its ability to handle significant insurance, construction, tort and contractual liability disputes. Juan Casillas-Ayala handles labour and employment disputes, and seasoned litigator René Comas-Pérez represents clients (for example, in a significant highlight, the President of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) before local courts in matters of administrative and constitutional relevance. Cases are dealt with not only at the local level, but also the federal level, in arbitration proceedings and before administrative agencies.

Colon & Colon, PSC Attorneys at Law

Colon & Colon, PSC Attorneys at Law fields a team of highly skilled litigation lawyers and handles corporate, commercial and product liability cases. Insurance is a strategic area for the firm and is covered by managing partner Francisco Colón-Pagán, who deals with health and property insurance and coverage disputes, and junior partner Francisco Mercado-Olivero, who also advises on regulation, personal injury and marine cases.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Colón-Pagán

Del Toro & Santana

Litigation law firm Del Toro & Santana has a longstanding presence in the Puerto Rican legal market and represents industrial and commercial companies as well as financial institutions, insurers and individuals, with past clients including GlaxoSmithKline and The Home Depot. Specialising in construction, banking and employment law, Russell Del Toro co-ordinates the team together with Roberto Santana-Aparicio, who leads on cases involving real estate, health insurance and corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Russell Del Toro

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP

US litigation firm Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP has an office in Puerto Rico, which is overseen by senior counsel David Toledo, with support from Puerto Rico-admitted and San Francisco-based associate Kyle Bates. Together, their practice focuses on insurance litigation as well as mass tort and government claims. In recent engagements, the duo represented the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in a case involving data privacy law breaches and other matters of alleged price-fixing and antitrust violations.

Practice head(s):

David Toledo

Toro Colón Mullet, P.S.C.

The litigators at Toro Colón Mullet, P.S.C. appear in trials before local and federal appellate courts and are admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court. Concentrating on plaintiffs and defendants, the team handles disputes in a number of areas, from banking to antitrust to IP. Manuel Fernandez-Bared has acted as lead counsel and as local counsel for US law firms in several large bankruptcy cases.