ECIJA GPA > Quito, Ecuador > Firm Profile


Ecuador > Energy and natural resources Tier 1

ECIJA GPA is particularly experienced in matters involving the oil and gas industries, acting for some of the sector's most important players, including Baker Hughes, Repsol and Schlumberger, among others. The team is jointly led by Gonzalo González, a highly experienced practitioner who handles the full range of matters for both upstream and downstream oil companies, and Bayardo Poveda, who focuses on corporate and financing matters. The team is involved in some of the market's most notable transactions, with González recently advising Baker Hughes in relation to negotiations surrounding the privatisation of the Sacha oil field, including advice on environmental and liability issues. Key names from the associate ranks are Gustavo Arrobo Moncayo, who is experienced in alternative dispute resolution as well as corporate work, and contract law specialist Francisco Mendoza.

Practice head(s):

Gonzalo González; Bayardo Poveda


‘Solid knowledge of both local and international legislation and strong ethical values.’

‘Bayardo Poveda and Gonzalo González stand out. Their main qualities are their experience and their resilience during the negotiation processes in the litigation in which they are acting for us.’

‘The work of this firm is very good. They are very business oriented, which makes them very practical with very beneficial legal solutions for their clients.’

‘Practical legal solutions focused on business continuity.’

‘High level of seniority and a lot of experience in the sector. Excellent relationships, links and deep knowledge of the sector.’

‘They are very committed to their work and to meeting the objectives set. My impression has been very positive, especially since I received very attentive advice from a team of experts who cover different legal areas, achieving a holistic and comprehensive solution in less time.’

‘The benefit of this firm is that the people who make up the ECIJA Ecuador team have managed to find a special synergy as a team. They are experts from different areas but they always serve us as a team, showing great commitment to delivering comprehensive answers to any problem. Gonzalo González and Bayardo Poveda do a great job.’

Key clients

Ecuador TLC

YPF Ecuador

Baker Hughes



GME Cita (Alstom, Ineo UTS, Compagnie Internationale de Maintenance and TSO)

ACTN (Alstom, CIM and the NGE Group (TSO and NGE))



GEBH (subsidiary to General Electric)

Work highlights

  • Advising Ecuador TLC in a breach of contract dispute with EP Petroecuador over an agreement for the transportation of crude oil, using the total available transport capacity of Ecuador TLC, through the heavy crude oil pipeline.
  • Advising GME Cita and ACTN, two French company consortiums in charge of the construction the Cuenca Tramway System, on the finalisation and delivery of the works.
  • Advising Schlumberger, one of the major oil services providers in Ecuador, on the termination of the Kamana and Panacocha fields, located at the Amazon basin.

Ecuador > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

ECIJA GPA is particularly active in the field of corporate restructuring, with several high-profile clients, including oilfield services provider Baker Hughes International, instructing the firm in this regard. On the transactional front, recent work has included joint ventures and M&A transactions, with a particular focus on cross-border deals, primarily for European clients. The firm also handles a range of commercial contracting matters, market entry advice for foreign clients and procurement cases. Michael Veintimilla specialises in M&A and related competition matters; he heads the team alongside cross-border specialist Bayardo Poveda and M&A specialist Francisco Alarcón. Other key figures in the team include Édgar Méndez and associate Karen Álava. In further developments since publication, the firm has opened a new office in Manta (as of February 2022) under the direction of new partner hire, Ingrid Rodríguez-Velasco, a corporate and IP specialist formerly at local Manta firm, Bullo Rodríguez Bureau.

Practice head(s):

Michael Veintimilla; Bayardo Poveda; Francisco Alarcón


‘What makes ECIJA unique is its specialised and personalised client service. The response times are excellent.’

‘Michael Veintimilla is highly knowledgeable in various matters such as corporate law and competition, among others. He leads and co-ordinates his team very efficiently and with respect for the strengths of each member of his team. He provides a personalised service to deal with urgent client requirements.’

‘Thorough and agile advice on contract law.’

‘Michael Veintimilla provides high-quality advice.’

‘In addition to knowledge of the subject, the team members have a mastery of their particular area of expertise. They have close connections with government organisations in this area, which allows for better interactions and timely responses.’

‘Michael Veintimilla is a first-class lawyer.’

Key clients

Coheco (a subsidiary of Mitsubishi)

Ludwig Pfeiffer Hoch und Tiefbau


Baker Hughes International

Empresa de Sistemas y Recursos Informáticos (ESRIEC) (a subsidiary of ESRI)

Imasa, Ingeniería y Proyectos

Ineo Urban Transport Solutions (a subsidiary of Engie France)

Wayra Energy

SMBC Aviation Capital

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Nobilé Group

Belac Invest

Grupo Brucosa



Work highlights

  • Advised Coheco on corporate, commercial and competition issues relating to its operations in Ecuador.
  • Advised SMBC Aviation Capital on several sublease and exchange agreements, which were aimed at allowing Avianca Ecuador to incorporate new Airbus A-320 aircraft into its fleet for domestic flights, to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Ecuador > Dispute resolution Tier 2

As one of the few international firms operating in Ecuador, ECIJA GPA is particularly prominent in cross-border disputes; in a recent highlight, Blanca Gómez de la Torre represented state-owned company Arcotel in an arbitration initiated by Mexican telecom company Conecel, claiming breach of contract. De la Torre specialises in alternative dispute resolution, and heads the practice alongside Juan Carlos Montenegro, who focuses on civil and labour litigation,  and Byron Sotomayor, who handles both litigation and arbitration work from the Guayaquil office. Camila Andrade and Juan Domingo Cárdenas are key figures from the associate ranks.

Practice head(s):

Blanca Gómez de la Torre; Juan Carlos Montenegro; Byron Sotomayor


‘The team has a lot of experience and is up to date with changes to the different regulations. They are always available when we contact them and make sure to follow up on the matters we have discussed.’

‘Byron Sotomayor is always available to take care of situations, even outside office hours. He provides a very professional service.’

‘ECIJA’s lawyers have extensive experience in arbitration and litigation proceedings.’

‘The firm’s strength lies in the experience of each of the lawyers in litigation and arbitration, including several international arbitration processes that have been carried out in the country.’

‘They have a varied team with specialists in different areas.’

‘They are always available and bring different ideas to the table, giving us various options to resolve the conflict.’

‘ECIJA stands out, in particular, for its strength in coming up with litigation strategies and its speciality in the procedural sphere. The team is agile and always takes care to answer any questions that we have about our case.’

Key clients

GME Cita and ACTN Consortium



Baker Hughes International Services (a subsidiary of General Electric)

Comercializadora Ledesma & Ledesma Agrogruled

Maquinarias y Vehiculos (Mavesa)

Tecnovia Madeira Sociedad de Empreitadas


Sonorizaciones Tecnologicas del Ecuador (Sonotec)




Acerias Nacionales del Ecuador (ANDEC)

Banco Pichincha

Banco Internacional

Banco Amazonas

Work highlights

  • Acting for state telecoms regulator Arcotel in arbitration proceedings for breach of contract brought against it by Mexican telecoms company Conecel.
  • Acting for DirecTV Ecuador (a subsidiary of AT&T) in two extraordinary protection actions against judgments of the Provincial Court, arguing that the client’s constitutional rights were violated.
  • Acting for Banco Pichincha in the collection of outstanding debts.

Ecuador > Tax Tier 2

ECIJA GPA (formerly Gonzalez Peñaherrera & Asociados, before joining the ECIJA network in 2020) houses a tax department with strong experience in the oil and mining, telecoms, construction and service sectors, alongside an expanding digital services practice. Litigation is a key facet of the firm's practice, with several recent cases involving successful challenges to assessments carried out by the SRI. Paola Robalino and Édgar Méndez head the team, while Christian Rosero is another key figure, focusing on compliance and internal policies, as well as the tax implications of outsourcing.

Practice head(s):

Paola Robalino; Edgar Mendez


‘The lawyers know how our industry works so they can provide the advice our company requires.’

‘Paola Robalino and the other members of the team have experience, status and knowledge.’

‘The team are very agile and efficient. Their client service is excellent.’

‘Edgar Mendez provides prompt and clear advice, and a personal service.’

Key clients

Sinohydro Corporation

Hydrochina Corporation


Pampa Energía


Directv Ecuador

BAS Corporation

Banco Procredit

Baker Hughes

Aggreko & Consorcio Aggreko Santos CMI

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for Sinohydro Corporation in two claims against the SRI.
  • Successfully acted for Hydrochina Corporation in a case against the SRI challenging a tax assessment.
  • Acting for Directv Ecuador in claims against several municipalities regarding the imposition of municipal asset taxes on the use of public air space.

Ecuador > Labour and employment Tier 3

ECIJA GPA acts for growing client base of both local and international companies, advising on day-to-day issues including labour contracts, compliance with Ecuador's labour laws and the termination of employment relationships, as well as on interactions with public institutions such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Institute. In addition, the team has a strong mediation and litigation practice. Juan Carlos Montenegro, who is highly experienced in labour litigation and collective negotiations, leads the team with Byron Sotomayor and Édgar Méndez, both of whom are based in the Guayaquil office.

Practice head(s):

Byron Sotomayor; Juan Carlos Montenegro; Édgar Méndez


‘ECIJA GPA responds quickly and efficiently to our requests, always looking after our company’s interests. They are always up to date with any reform or change in the law, which means that they can provide a timely response to our queries. The team focuses on the prevention of conflicts between employees and employers; they have quickly assisted us with mediation processes, policies and internal training, among other things.’

‘The team members have experience in various industries and that gives them a broader perspective when advising us. It is evident that they put themselves in our shoes, without ever neglecting the regulatory frameworks, which allows us to avoid future problems. The team’s business vision is very dynamic and proactive, its lawyers are highly specialised and they do not care about increasing their fees but about acting in our interests. The service has been very good; they have advised on the complication solutions that the government proposed for employers to solve labour problems caused by the pandemic and provided clear and simple advice, with efficient results.’

‘The ECIJA GPA team is made up of lawyers focused on various areas, which I consider to be a strength that many other law firms in the country do not have. Its members also have a personal touch, which allows us to explain problems and difficulties and seek solutions according to our needs. Additionally, this team has vast knowledge of the law and of the government institutions and contacts within them, which facilitates matters, since in Ecuador these processes can be cumbersome and long if there are no clear points of contact.’

‘The team were always ready to answer our questions, regardless of the time or day of the week. We had to contact to them even during holidays and we received timely and effective responses to resolve our problems and concerns. It is important for us to have this level of responsiveness, and we will continue to request their services, above all because of their awareness of our needs, their expertise and experience, and their personal qualities.’

Key clients

Petroleos Del Pacifico (Pacifpetrol)

Promotora Hotel Dann Carlton Quito (Promodann)

DNI Democracy National Institute

Fresh Logistics


Maquinarias y Vehículos (Mavesa)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Pacifpetrol in claims brought by numerous former workers relating to the termination of employment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advised Dann Carlton on the modification of labour contracts and employees’ schedules to allow the company to continue operating during the pandemic.
  • Advised the National Democracy Institute on its launch in Ecuador, including reviewing corporate policies and adapting them to Ecuadorian labour legislation, and creating contracts for new personnel in Ecuador.

Ecuador > Competition and antitrust Tier 4

ECIJA GPA is particularly active in cross-border competition work, frequently collaborating with its global network of offices to assist clients in multi-jurisdictional mergers, with the local office handling the Ecuadorian approval processes for such deals. Michael Veintimilla heads the team alongside Bayardo Poveda, with the former handling abuse of dominance and other regulatory issues, while the latter is primarily focused on transactions. Other key figures in the team include litigator Blanca Gómez de la Torre and associate Camila Andrade. In a notable move, since publication the firm has hired Bernardo Maya  as an associate (as of April 2022); formerly at his own firm, Maya was previously National Director of Investigations into the abuse of market position / dominance at the Superintendency for the Control of Market Power.

Practice head(s):

Michael Veintimilla; Bayardo Poveda

Key clients

Combustibles del Ecuador (Comdecsa)

Work highlights

  • Advising Combustibles del Ecuador (Comdecsa) on an action against a regulatory barrier which may be having an exclusionary effect on the petrol station market.

Ecuador > Intellectual property

ECIJA GPA recently expanded its trade marks-focused intellectual property practice, with associate Gonzalo Muñoz joining Michael Veintimilla's team from MHM Abogados in February 2020.

ECIJA is a European law firm with headquarters in Spain and offices in Portugal, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and El Salvador. ECIJA has a multidisciplinary team of over 750 professionals with exceptional experience in their areas of specialization, working in different jurisdictions, with extensive knowledge of the various industries and international markets. ECIJA is a client-focused law firm with the agility and personal service of a high-end boutique firm and the multidisciplinary experience of a large firm. ECIJA is a full-service firm with significant experience and specialized in the practice areas required by international clients to invest and operate globally.

ECIJA’s international capacity is outstanding, and the firm offers integrated cross-border advice. Since 2019, ECIJA has merged with 16 law firms and has become the largest Spanish law firm in Latin America. Nowadays, ECIJA has 29 own offices in 16 countries. Furthermore, in 2019 ECIJA signed the most significant strategic agreement between a Spanish and Chinese firm being a joint venture with the 4th largest firm in China (Grandall Law). The agreement brought together 3,500 lawyers and 54 offices in Iberia, Latin America, and Asia. “To put that in perspective, that is comparable with CMS and Norton Rose Fulbright, some of the biggest firms in the world by headcount.”

ECIJA GPA with more than 20 years of experience is considered one of the best multidisciplinary, full service, and independent law firms in Ecuador. GPA is accredited by the most prestigious international legal ranking platforms, such as Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500, and Who’s Who Legal, among others.

ECIJA GPA has a team of 40 qualified lawyers in Quito and Guayaquil, with experience in various areas of public, private, national, and international law, specializing in the leading legal areas, corporate and commercial issues. As a policy, our professionals consistently and rigorously update their knowledge, allowing us to respond promptly and appropriately to the specific needs of our clients and act with the required competence.

Main areas of practice
Corporate: the firm provides corporate and M&A services for both local and international clients. The practice in M&A is multi-jurisdictional, focused on transactions with a regional component in Latin American markets. The team’s knowledge in legal project management adds value to our clients to control the time and cost of any transaction.

Banking and finance: the team includes prestigious attorneys who have assisted important international and local banks with sophisticated transactions. The firm’s services involve many aspects of the complex regulatory financial world, including syndicated credit facilities, project finance, and banking products such as leasing, factoring, confirming, mortgages, pledges, and credit cards.

Dispute resolution: ECIJA has a strong practice for dispute resolution both in local courts and arbitration. The disputes include commercial, civil, investment, and public. Regarding arbitration, the firm has a regional practice of several partners with strong experience and skills in international arbitration using the ICC, AAA, and UNCITRAL rules and local rules in each country.

Tax: ECIJA has a team of firmly committed professionals reputed to address their clients’ needs involving taxation thoroughly. ECIJA provides insightful advice on local and international tax issues pertaining to businesses endeavors and personal concerns. In addition, they are effective litigators and have obtained significant awards on tax claims and suits on behalf of their clients.

ECIJA’s tax law practice focuses on two main areas: legal advice and litigation. ECIJA’s legal advice provides tax planning, specialized advisory services, international advice, and tax contingencies analysis. Furthermore, the litigation area handles tax claims in the administrative venue and judiciary processes. The current global investment surge has triggered an array of tax advisory services related to international tax issues.

Technology and data privacy: ECIJA is considered one of the leading firms in LatAm for technology and data privacy. The team focuses on the technology industry for complex transactions, M&A, and software developments.

Employment and human rights: the firm has a strong practice in employment matters from the employer’s perspective. The services include litigation, technology issues relating to employment, restructuring, immigration, and compliance. ECIJA’s practice in human rights focuses on compliance with international standards in five areas: gender, age, functional diversity, social origin, and diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Competition and antitrust/merger control: ECIJA advises large US, European, and Latin American corporations in antitrust and merger control investigations at national and cross-border level. Clients come from several industries, having strong expertise in regulated industries such as telecoms and ICTs.

Administrative and infrastructure: the services provided range from managing regulatory aspects of the relationship from the regulatory point of view between the client and the government throughout the execution of agreements with public entities. Furthermore, the team provides services relating to PPPs.

Energy: ECIJA is one of the most recognized and acknowledged law firms in structuring and developing energy projects in LatAm, especially in Central America, because of its vast experience in the field and clientele. The services include regulatory aspects relating to obtaining licenses and authorizations and the contractual aspects of negotiating agreements for electricity purchase with distribution companies. The relevant experience and knowledge of energy project developments also covers construction and corporate financing agreements.

Energy/oil and gas: ECIJA is one of the most recognized and acknowledged law firms in structuring and developing energy and oil and gas projects in LatAm. ECIJA has participated in developing and executing the leading projects in the region’s energy and oil and gas sector: Coca Codo Sinclair 1500 MW of electricity generation with Sinohydro (Ecuador). The services include regulatory aspects related to obtaining licenses and authorizations and the contractual aspects of negotiating agreements for electricity purchase with distribution companies.

Trusts: the firm has advised regional and foreign clients in connection with the incorporation of trust companies, the opening of internal trust departments, and the design of business transactions that employ trust structures, including philanthropic, administration, guaranty, and real estate development trusts. Likewise, ECIJA has advised local banks to implement trust operations that include financing structures.

Foreign investment: ECIJA has a regional legal team that is prepared to advise foreign investors on how to structure their investment in any country of the region, including tax incentive regimes and dealing with customs issues that come up when importing or exporting goods and services.

Real estate: ECIJA is a well-known player in the real estate market in Latin America. The team has developed exceptional capacities in developing multi-purpose projects, including housing, commercial, offices, and leisure spaces. ECIJA provides its services to developers of projects to individual investors willing to have a second home or retirement place. ECIJA advises the developers from the acquisition of the land through the permit process until a final product is delivered to the customers, acting as a business partner of its clients with the tools of legal project management.

Managing partner - Oil & Gas ECIJA GPA Quito Gonzalo Gonzá (593-2) 2986528
Partner - TMT ECIJA GPA Quito Felipe (593-2) 2986528
Dispute Resolution ECIJA GPA Quito Blanca Gomez de la (593-2) 2986528
Procedural law ECIJA GPA Guayaquil Byron (593-4) 3883007
Procedural law - Labor law ECIJA GPA Quito Juan Carlos 2986528
Competition law ECIJA GPA Quito Bayardo (593-2) 2986528
Intellectual Property ECIJA GPA Quito Gonzalo Muñ (593-2) 2986528
Tax law ECIJA GPA Quito Paola (593-2) 2986528
Tax law ECIJA GPA Guayaquil Édgar Mé (593-4) 3883007
Corporate / M&A Michael (593-2) 2986528
Francisco Alarcón  photo Francisco Alarcón Partner
Simón Dávalos  photo Simón Dávalos Partner in charge of immigratory affairs and corporate matters, including: M&A and…
Blanca Gómez de la Torre  photo Blanca Gómez de la Torre Partner
Felipe González  photo Felipe González Partner
Gonzalo González  photo Gonzalo González Managing partner
Édgar Méndez  photo Édgar Méndez His specialty is in the corporate, labor and taxes, having participated in…
Edgar Méndez  photo Edgar Méndez Partner
Juan Carlos Montenegro photo Juan Carlos MontenegroPartner
Bayardo Poveda photo Bayardo PovedaPartner
Paola Robalino photo Paola RobalinoPartner
Byron Sotomayor  photo Byron Sotomayor Partner
Michael Veintimilla photo Michael VeintimillaPartner. Specialist corporate law, M&A, competition law, commercial law.
Esteban Cajiao Brito : Communication & Marketing
Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)
IBA (International Bar Association)
International Chamber of Commerce
American Arbitration Association

ECIJA GPA strengthens its presence in Ecuador with the opening of a new branch in Cuenca

ECIJA GPA expands its team by integrating the law firm Estudio Central of Cuenca.

ECIJA GPA strengthens its presence in Ecuador with the opening of a new office in Manta

ECIJA GPA starts the year reinforcing its team with Ingrid Rodriguez as the new partner of the Manta office.