ECIJA GPA > Quito, Ecuador > Firm Profile

ECIJA GPA
AV. 12 DE OCTUBRE Y LINCOLN
OFICINA 1005
QUITO
Ecuador

Ecuador > Energy and natural resources Tier 1

With a roster of high-profile clients -including the likes of Baker Hughes, Repsol, Schlumberger and Engie- ECIJA GPA has proven strength in the oil and gas sectors. The team, which acts out of Quito, is co-led by Gonzalo González, who has nearly 40 years’ experience handling upstream and downstream matters for public and private hydrocarbons entities; and Bayardo Poveda, who has expertise in corporate and financing arrangements in the sector. Involved in a variety of complex transactions, the team recently advised Baker Hughes on its corporate restructuring, involving the transformation and merger of two foreign and two local companies in the group. Also noted as a key contact, associate Gustavo Arrobo is highly regarded for his experience with alternative dispute resolution and corporate work. Key developments in the team include the arrival of Alvaro Ordóñez from Robalino Law in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Gonzalo González; Bayardo Poveda

Key clients

Baker Hughes

Sertecpet

Energy Petrol

Enap

Consepetro

New Stratus Energy

Ecuador TLC

Schlumberger

Ditemaq Consortium

Repsol

GEBH

YPF Ecuador

Alstom

Engie

Work highlights

  • Advised Baker Hughes on a complex corporate restructuring involving four companies, two local, and two foreign branches.
  • Negotiated an an amicable solution on behalf of Cosepetro aimed, at making the execution of a contract viable instead of pursuing litigation.    
  • Advised New Stratus Energy on a decision taken by the Enerrgy ministry, successfully overturning it and thereby helping the company unlock over $200m in investments.

Ecuador > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

With the opening of its new office in Manta in February 2022, ECIJA GPA has further expanded its capabilities and coverage, with the firm’s corporate offering exhibiting a particular orientation towards high-profile European clients seeking advice on a range of cross-border M&A work. (Indeed this expansion comes on the back of the opening of a Guayaquil office last year and a considerable expansion of the team, which has jumped from around 25 lawyers to 60 in the last four years). A focus on the energy sector also means the firm acts for clients such as Nobilé Group and Hoerbiger Group, advising them on the incorporation of local subsidiaries and the restructuring of shareholder agreements, respectively, of late. Leading the team is Michael Veintimilla, who has over 15 years’ experience in M&A and competition matters, and the additional ability to advise clients in German. Also noted for his cross-border work and foreign language skills, Bayardo Poveda often advises French clients on M&A transactions an associated corporate matters. At associate level, Gustavo Arrobo and Karen Álava are both noted and bring particular expertise in commercial contracting matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Veintimilla

Testimonials

‘We have been in contact with ECIJA for a year. The law firm with Michael Veintimilla was recommended to us by the German Chamber of Foreign Trade (AHK) in Quito. We entrusted it with analyses on a legal form for our foundation in Ecuador and finally appointed it as our authorised representative. The firm is characterised by its outstanding competence and quick response to concerns and requests; it provides targeted information and elaborations.’

‘Our main contact and representative for our foundation is Michael Veintimilla, who can act for our interests in three languages (Spanish, German and English). This is of immense advantage. He is competent and has expert solutions for all questions and concerns. The work results are excellent. The reactions are very fast.’

‘Among the strengths is the knowledge of the processes and the applicable regulations so that an adequate response can be requested from the relevant authorities, in addition to the follow-up of the processes.’

‘Multi-Language (German, English and Spanish in our case). Wide service range, from support in elaborating solutions to defense in court.’

‘Michael Veintimilla is a great contact for beginning-to-end support (intitial explanation/brainstorming, process of opening and closing branch, local support for activites (such as banks).’

‘ECIJA is a strategic ally for the management of the company. Its experience and agility are its strongest letter of introduction.’

‘Its treatment is very professional, direct and cordial.’

Key clients

Eni International

Hoerbiger Group

WTZ

Nobilé Group

SMBC Aviation Capital

Ineo UTS

Ferremundo

Hotel del Mar

Maquinarias y Vehiculos

Grupo Mavesa

Work highlights

  • Advised Nobilé Group on finalizing an acquisition transaction, including all required registrations in the local jurisdiction in the province of Loja.
  • Advised Geran company, WTZ, on simplifying and streamlining its operations in Ecuador.
  • Advised Ferremundo on the execution of a contract with the Ecuadorian government (through the ministry of production) so as to obtain tax benefits for investments.

Ecuador > Dispute resolution Tier 2

ECIJA GPA is noted for its international reach, acting for domestic and foreign clients in international arbitration, mediation and administrative litigation. Recent highlights saw the local team act for Consepetro in a mediation procedure with Petroecuador, concerning contractual failures and which could as yet result in international arbitration. Active on this matter (and also leading the Quito-based disputes practice) are Blanca Gómez , who has over 20 years’ experience in civil, commercial and administrative litigation, along with national and international arbitration; and Juan Carlos Montenegro a procedural specialist with over two decades’ experience and a particular focus on civil and labour matters. In Guayaquil, Byron Sotomayor heads the practice; his experience centres on civil, labour, commercial and administrative litigation. Other notable figures include Christel Gaibor, an arbitration specialist with particular knowledge of administrative and tax matters (as well as litigation); and Bayardo Poveda, whose deep knowledge of corporate, competition and oil-and-gas matters ensures he is frequently involved in both litigation and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

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

Testimonials

‘Its composition by a multidisciplinary team of lawyers favors synergies both between the firm’s own lawyers and the company’s internal team, obtaining a global and comprehensive vision of the matters they deal with.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the regulatory framework in the country for conflict resolution. The firm has supported us and provided timely advice with a team of professionals with high professionalism and values, which is the main thing that our company seeks.’

‘Knowledge and professionalism, added to their human quality, mean that we have the support of an advisory team for conflict resolution in the projects where ECIJA supports us. Bayardo Poveda, Blanca Gomez and Christel Gaibor have stood out in our relationship.’

‘ECIJA GPA is a firm that has given us a lot of confidence in technical-legal defense, with professionals with solid knowledge in matters, especially in arbitration.’

‘ECIJA GPA is different from other law firms since they provide a direct, personalized, confidential service, based on ethical and moral principles, which generates trust with the client. The company is very satisfied with the service provided.’

‘The lawyers are very open to listening and understanding the details of the case.’

‘The people at ECIJA GPA are very close and empathic.’

Key clients

Constructora Villacreces Andrade

Groupe Momentané d’Entreprises

Central National Gottesman Europe

Trecx

Directv Ecuador

Banco del Pacífico

Carlos Posligua

Condor Servicios Petroleros

Joshue Daniel Manobanda Muñoz

PFC Controls

Work highlights

  • Advised Ecuador TLC in an arbitration claim in the chamber of commerce of Quito against Petroecuador in relation to a contractual breach.
  • Advised PFC Controls in filling an access to information action to prove illegitimacy in contracting processes.
  • Advised the President of the Republic of Ecuador on the partition of an inheritance.

Ecuador > Tax Tier 2

ECIJA GPA houses a tax department co-led by Paola Robalino (tax advisory, tax planning, legal sponsorship and international business) and Édgar Méndez (tax consulting and tax controversies), both of whom have expertise in local and international tax law matters. The practice group also regularly undertakes tax litigation, and advises a range of clients (particularly from the oil, mining, telecoms, construction and digital-services sectors) on tax adjustments, tax planning and M&A transactions. At associate level, Jessica Dillon has over 10 years’ experience of -primarily- tax advisory, tax planning and international tax law; however, former fellow associate Alberto Vivanco left in May 2022 to found VAC Abogados & Consultores.

Practice head(s):

Paola Robalino; Édgar Méndez

Testimonials

‘It is a team that directly helps the client so that it can resolve legal situations that arise.’

‘Our company has been working proactively and permanently for no less than 8 years. During this period, the team of lawyers headed by Paola Robalino, have carried out their tasks in an efficient and pertinent manner.’

‘Gonzalo Gonzalez is an expert in arbitration, mediation and negotiation issues. Paola Robalino is an expert in taxes and communication relations with the tax administration.’

Key clients

Sinohydro Corporation

Hydrochina Corporation

Unacem

Pampa Energía

Wayra Energy

DirecTV

BAS Corporation

Banco Procredit

China Sinopharm International Corporation

China Railway No.9 Engineering Group

Ecuavisa

ENAP

Baker Hughes

Aggreko

Work highlights

  • Advised Sinohydro on two lawsuits against the SRI.
  • Advised China Hidroelectricidad Ingeniería Consultorio Grupo on a lawsuit against the SRI regarding an outflow-tax assessment for 2012 and 2016.
  • Advised DirecTV on initiating 19 lawsuits against several municipalities regarding municipal asset taxes on the use of public airspace.

Ecuador > Competition and antitrust Tier 4

The antitrust team at ECIJA GPA focuses on cross-border competition matters, with further emphasis on multi-jurisdictional M&A activity. Led by Michael Veintemilla and Bayardo Poveda, with joint experience handling abuse of dominance claims and managing relations with the national competition authority, the practice is also regarded for its advisory role in connection with regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Michael Veintimilla; Bayardo Poveda

Testimonials

‘In relation to competition regulations and the analyzes that are carried out, the ECIJA team takes its time in the investigation to later issue criteria that resolves the cases of clients.’

‘ECIJA is involved not only in the event or case consulted, but also in the entire environment and management of the client.’

‘Michael Veintimilla oversees a multidisciplinary team of lawyers who contribute to the resolution of the case effectively and efficiently.’

Key clients

Comdecsa

WTZ

Alstom Transport

Ludwig Pfeiffer Hoch und Tiefbau

Work highlights

  • Advised Coheco on whether its sales and discount policies were consistent with domestic competition law.
  • Advised Comdecsa in the issuance of a recommendation from the national competition authority in favour of the client.
  • Advised Ludwig Pfeiffer Hoch und Tiefbau on compliance with competition law principles.

Ecuador > Labour and employment Tier 4

ECIJA GPA acts on behalf of a range of domestic and international clients, providing advice on labour contracts, the termination of employment relationships and compliance. The team is co-led by Juan Carlos Montenegro, Byron Sotomayor and Édgar Méndez, all of whom have experience in mediation and collective negotiations.

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.