Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega > Panama, Panama > Firm Profile

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega
PO BOX 0816-01098, PANAMA

Panama > Banking and finance Tier 1

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega‘s wide-ranging banking and finance practice is singled out for its wealth of experience in assisting major international financial institutions on cross-border lending transactions in Panama and the Central American region. High-profile domestic transactions also feature on the team’s busy workload, which is further populated by financial restructurings of companies from the infrastructure, energy, retail and aviation sectors. The firm – a member of the Lex Mundi, Interlaw and Pacific Rim Advisory Council networks- offers additional expertise in the fields of financial services M&A and banking regulations, often advising on banking and trust licensing issues. Department head Estif Aparicio stands out for his strength in project finance, particularly in the energy and transportation sectors. He receives support from other key practitioners in the team including Ricardo Arango, a specialist in regulatory issues, newly promoted partner Fernando Arias F and international associate Cedric Kinschots, the latter of whom is noted for his experience in project finance.

Panama > Capital markets Tier 1

The capital markets practice at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega advises major international financial institutions and domestic banks on high-profile, cross-border and local debt offerings and securities regulation. The firm is highly regarded for its strong track record in sovereign bond issuances and initial public offerings by Panamanian corporations. Practice head Estif Aparicio has notable experience in complex financial structures, including bond offerings, to finance major infrastructure and construction projects, while co-managing partner Ricardo Arango is particularly recommended for structured finance, securitisations and initial public offerings (IPOs). Other key team members include international senior associates Donald Canavaggio and Cedric Kinschots.

Panama > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega is highly active in significant M&A in the Panamanian market, with a particular focus on the banking sector. The corporate practice is also frequently engaged in cross-border transactions, benefitting from the international experience of the team, many of whom are admitted to practise in New York and Florida. The firm also advises major public and privately owned companies on matters such as shareholders’ agreements and corporate reorganisations. Practice head Ricardo Arango focuses on M&A; other notable contacts in the sizeable team include Andrés Rubinoff, who handles local M&A and international business transactions, Estif Aparicio, newly promoted partner Fernando Arias F and senior associate Javier Yap Endera.

Panama > Transport: Shipping Tier 1

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega remains at the forefront of the market, fielding a strong reputation in shipping finance, both in relation to vessels and platforms registered in Panama. The team is also well versed in the registration and mortgaging of vessels under the Panamanian flag, and assists port operators with the negotiation of concessions. On the contentious side, practitioners are active in maritime disputes before local and international admiralty courts. Practice head Jorge Loaiza has extensive experience in shipping finance, which is also among Pilar Castillo‘s areas of expertise. Other noteworthy individuals include Roy Durling, who frequently advises clients in the port industry, and associate Juan Fábrega, who handles vessel financing and maritime litigation.

Panama > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Fielding extensive experience of representing clients at all levels of the judicial system, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega offers advice to clients involved in civil and commercial, administrative, labour, IP, shipping and tax litigation. The team is also skilled in local and international arbitration, demonstrating particular strength in the construction, public utilities, energy and transportation sectors. Civil, commercial, tax and administrative litigator Fernando Arias jointly manages the team with Claudio De Castro, an expert in representing foreign clients in contentious matters in Panama. Of counsel Octavio Amat, Juan Fernando Corro and international associate Isabella de la Guardia, who joined the firm from Baker McKenzie LLP‘s Miami office in July 2022, are also recommended.

Panama > Offshore Tier 2

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega provides support to high-net-worth individuals and families on estate planning, asset protection structures, and the creation of trusts and foundations in Panama and the British Virgin Islands. The firm assists Latin American clients based in Geneva through its affiliate SwissARIFA, while its ARIFA Corporate Services arm provides foundation council and nominee director services to clients in multiple jurisdictions. Gian Castillero heads the trusts and foundations practice, with a focus on estate planning and international taxation, and senior partner Fernando Arias oversees the corporate services practice group. Rosa Restrepo is also regarded for her advice on trusts and estates matters.

Panama > Projects and energy Tier 2

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.

Panama > Real estate Tier 2

María Carolina Arroyo leads the real estate and hospitality practice group at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega, which is particularly focused on project finance and Panama’s horizontal property regime. The team has experience advising on real estate and tourism joint ventures, construction and development agreements, commercial leasing, property tax and real estate finance. Its diverse client base is made up of real estate owners, developers, hotel and resort operators, and construction companies.

Panama > Intellectual property Tier 3

The intellectual property practice at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega has a strong track record in trade mark registrations, both in Panama and throughout Latin America. Copyright issues, IP infringement actions and IP licensing are other areas of activity for the team, which acts for a broad client base, including major multinationals from the food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, telecoms and automotive sectors. The department is managed by Rosa Restrepo. Associate Melissa del Busto is also noted for her experience in trade mark, patent and copyright portfolios, licensing issues, and IP-related litigation.

ARIFA, in the forefront of Panama’s legal industry since 1914, offers full-service advice to international financial institutions, multinationals and some of Panama’s largest domestic companies. Long recognized for structuring innovative solutions in M&A, capital market and financing transactions, ARIFA also has a strong offshore practice. The firm’s lawyers, many educated in top law schools in the US and Europe or trained at New York law firms, are the backbone of the firm’s success.

Main areas of practice
Capital markets and banking: ARIFA is widely recognized for its innovation in bank finance, pioneering many financial structures in Panama regularly used today. The firm is also acclaimed for its expertise in structuring cross-border transactions, securitizations and domestic IPOs. Notably, ARIFA-led Panamanian IPOs are listed on the NYSE.

Mergers and acquisitions: ARIFA is one of Panama’s M&A leaders, both by deal volume and number of deals. The firm is sought after for acquisitions in Panama and the Central America region, especially those deals with high degrees of difficulty.

Projects and government concessions: ARIFA assists leading multinationals and domestic companies in their dealings with the government of Panama, providing counsel in sectors such as port operations; petroleum storage, transportation and refining; telecommunications; power generation and distribution; toll-roads; mining; and other public works.

Offshore services: ARIFA, with a network of fully integrated offices in Panama, London, Hong Kong, BVI, Belize and Uruguay, is a leading offshore business brand. ARIFA has more than 50 years of experience providing offshore solutions to thousands of companies around the world under its administration. Services include company formation, management services, and trust and estate planning foundation services, among many others.

Real estate: ARIFA covers the spectrum of real estate activities, drafting joint ventures, land purchases, construction and lease agreements. The firm guides clients through complex regulatory issues in hotel, casino, zoning, environmental, construction and property law, allowing them to proceed with confidence.

Shipping: ARIFA facilitates vessel registration and financing for clients around the world through a proprietary network of offices in London, Hong Kong and Panama. A premier firm for ship financing in Panama, ARIFA is also Panama’s leader for platform financing. ARIFA has a growing interdisciplinary maritime litigation practice for clients’ shipping-related disputes.

Intellectual property: ARIFA offers clients a full range of intellectual property (IP) legal services. The firm also uses a well-established network of IP corresponding firms to co-ordinate trademark and other IP rights registrations around the world, particularly in Latin America.

Capital markets and banking; M&A; taxation Ricardo M 205-7000
Commercial and real estate María C 205-7000
Corporate services Fernando A 205-7000
Estates and private clients Gian 205-7000
Regulatory work Sofía J 205-7000
Government contracts and permits Rosa 205-7000
Intellectual property Melissa Del 205-7000
Labor and migration María del Carmen Zúñ 205-7000
Labor and migration Vivian 205-7000
Litigation and arbitration Claudio De 205-7000
Shipping Jorge Loaiza 205-7000
Capital markets and banking; taxation Estif 205-7000
M&A Andrés N 205-7000
Corporations Rodrigo 205-7000
Federico Alfaro photoMr Federico AlfaroFederico Alfaro joined the firm in 2007 and became a partner in…
Octavio Amat photoMr Octavio AmatAt present, Octavio Amat is a well-known retired litigation partner serving as…
Estif Aparicio photoMr Estif AparicioMr. Aparicio is a skilled corporate lawyer used to advise clients on…
Ricardo M Arango photoMr Ricardo M ArangoRicardo M. Arango joined the firm in 1987 and became a partner…
María Carolina Arroyo photoMs María Carolina ArroyoMs. Arroyo is Head of the firm’s Commercial and Real Estate Practice…
Rodrigo Cardoze photoMr Rodrigo CardozeMr. Cardoze is a member of ARIFA’s Executive Committee.
Gian Castillero photoMr Gian CastilleroMr. Castillero is Head of ARIFA’s estate and private clients group and…
Pilar Castillo photoMs Pilar CastilloPilar Castillo joined the firm in 2010 and became a partner in…
Sofía J. Cohen photoMs Sofía J. CohenMs. Cohen is Head of the firm’s Regulatory Work Group.
Juan F. Corro photoMr Juan F. CorroJuan F. Corro joined the firm in 1990 and became a partner…
Claudio De Castro photoMr Claudio De CastroClaudio De Castro joined the firm in 2011 and became a partner…
Roy C Durling photoMr Roy C DurlingMr. Durling heads the firm’s Business & Corporate Law Group.
Vivian D. Holness photoMs Vivian D. HolnessMs. Holness has been an associate of the firm since 2006.
Jorge Loaiza photoMr Jorge LoaizaMr. Loaiza is Head of the firm’s Shipping and Transportation Group and…
Rosa Restrepo photoMs Rosa RestrepoMs. Restrepo heads ARIFA’s Government Contracts and Permits Group. She is a…
Andres N. Rubinoff photoMr Andres N. RubinoffAndrés N. Rubinoff joined the firm since 2009 and became partner in…
LeRoy W. Watson photoMr LeRoy W. WatsonMr. Watson is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
María del C. Zúñiga photoMs María del C. ZúñigaMs. Zuñiga is a senior partner member of the firm’s Executive Committee…
Eduardo de Alba photoMr Eduardo de AlbaAt present, Mr. de Alba is a retired partner and serves as…
Other fee-earners : 28
Total staff : 150+
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