ECIJA > Panama, Panama > Firm Profile

Calle 50, Edificio Embajador,
Mezzanine 1, Bella Vista
Ciudad de Panamá

Panama > Labour Tier 2

The 'highly skilled' and 'detail-oriented' Antonio Alberto Vargas leads the team at global firm ECIJA, which established its presence in Panama through a merger with local firm Shamah, Vargas & Córdoba in November 2019. The firm has specialist expertise in the sports, pharmaceuticals, logistics and NGO sectors, and is particularly active in contentious labour matters, regularly defending its clients against claims brought by former employees, including high-level executives. The team has also assisted with labour matters arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, including the suspension of labour contracts, reduction of working hours and implementation of teleworking policies. Its diverse client roster includes large local companies, as well as the Panamanian subsidiaries of multinationals.

Practice head(s):

Antonio Alberto Vargas


‘The firm’s strengths are that the lawyers clearly work together as a team and they are always ready to provide clear, rapid and assertive answers to our questions. The service is excellent.’

‘What makes the difference is the availability and flexibility of the lawyers. Antonio Vargas is patient, highly skilled in negotiation, an expert in labour matters and detail-oriented.’

‘Prompt, excellent client service and tailor-made advice.’

‘Antonio Vargas is an excellent lawyer, who is focused on the needs of the client and provides solutions that are tailored to the client in a timely manner.’

‘ECIJA Panama has a team of professionals with experience in this area, not only at a theoretical level, but in practice. They understand the issues of jurisprudence and help our company to evaluate work situations with a wide perspective.’

‘The lawyers stand out for their availability, dynamic approach and ability to address situations that have never arisen before, for example all the labour issues stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. Antonio Vargas has been a key part of our company, advising on how to protect the interests of both the company and the workers.’

‘They are very professional but also have a personal touch. They are always able to innovate.’

‘The team stand out for their respect, confidentiality, punctuality and humanity towards clients. Antonio Vargas is an excellent lawyer.’

Key clients

DHL Panama

Mercantil Farmacéutica (Mefasa Panama)

Agricenter Panama

Foster International Corporation

Jean Center

Distribuidora Panatex

Fundación Danilo Pérez

Fútbol con Corazón (FCC)

Work highlights

  • Advised DHL Panama on all employment issues relating to the deployment of its Disaster Prevention Team, which supplied warehouses and distributed food rations during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising Mercantil Farmacéutica, part of the global pharmaceutical group Profarmaco, on employment issues relating to the impact of Covid-19, including the suspension of contracts, terminations, the reduction of working hours and the implementation of teleworking.
  • Acting for Agricenter in a claim against it brought by a former senior executive.

Panama > Corporate and M&A Tier 4

Ibero-American firm ECIJA established its presence in Panama in November 2019 through a merger with local practice Shamah, Vargas and Cordoba. Providing 'practical solutions with impeccable results', the team has significant experience in advising companies on reorganisations, relocations in to Panama and investments in the country, with specialist expertise in the retail, pharmaceutical, logistics and agrochemicals sectors. Daniel Shamah leads the practice, and is skilled in incorporations and corporate governance issues. Armando Cordoba brings additional strength in commercial, tax and IP issues to the team.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Shamah


‘They provide a personalised service. Daniel Shamah advised us in a very professional and timely manner.’

‘Daniel Shamah is always available for whatever the client needs. If he can’t answer right away, he calls back ASAP. He is tremendously enthusiastic and a great lawyer.’

‘Daniel Shamah handled our work in a very agile and efficient way.’

‘Whenever I deal with lawyers, I feel that they see me as an ATM more than a client, and that has always bothered me a lot. I also feel that the partners of the firm greet me the first time, but then the new interns end up managing my affairs. With Daniel Shamah and Armando Cordoba, this has never been the case. They are young but surprisingly they handle corporate issues both locally and internationally as well as if they had decades of experience, and they have always advised me while keeping my best interests in mind, and not thinking about how much money they can get from me, but about how they can help me.’

‘The ECIJA team have close relationships with their clients. The lawyers are always up-to-date, which means that their client stay ahead of all the legal requirements.’

‘ECIJA stand out for the personal and empathetic approach they have to clients, providing support at all times.’

‘The availability, client service and speed of response from the Panama team is exceptional. They provide practical solutions with impeccable results and subject to what the client needs. All these qualities were demonstrated at an even higher level during the pandemic, when total and partial closures made things very difficult. Even so, the firm’s teamwork, its tireless staff and its professional attitude, always at the service of the client, made it possible to overcome all obstacles for the delivery of very satisfactory results.’

‘The team stand out for their commitment to providing good client service and their ability to respond quickly and efficiently to all clients’ concerns and proposals. Armando Cordoba is not only knowledgeable in the field of corporate law, but also provides impeccable client service, with attention to detail and quick responses and results, even in the most challenging scenarios. Daniel Shamah, for his part, in addition to his extensive knowledge of the fundamental legal issues, always shows a particular sensitivity to the most important aspects of the client’s business, which makes him an important ally in decision-making.’

Key clients

Jeancenter Corp

Grupo Shalom


Novillo Alegre

DHL Panama

Work highlights

  • Advised clothing importer and distributor Jeancenter Corp on the restructuring of its group.
  • Advised Grupo Shalom, the owner of one of Panama’s largest department stores, on a capital raising.
  • Advised Agricenter, a distributor of crop protection products in Central America and the Caribbean, on the reorganisation of its corporate structure.

Central America > Corporate and finance

Spanish firm ECIJA expanded into several jurisdictions in Central America and the Caribbean in 2018 through a merger with regional firm Expertis Legal - and has since merged with local firms to launch offices in Panama and Guatemala. The firm is particularly strong for corporate work, with experience in the establishment of new companies, M&A and corporate restructurings, acting for a range of regional and international clients. Guillermo E Zúniga is the key name for corporate matters in Costa Rica. In Nicaragua, Edmundo Castillo and María Antonieta Fiallos handle corporate and finance matters, while in El Salvador, Alfredo Navas and Carlos Gil lead the growing banking and finance practice. Rosalinda Cruz Sequeira is the key contact in Honduras, and Armando Cordoba and Daniel Shamah handle corporate matters in Panama.


The firm: 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 800 professionals, with exceptional experience in their areas of specialization, enabled to work in different jurisdictions, with extensive knowledge of the different 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, 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 offices in 16 countries. Furthermore, in 2019 ECIJA signed the biggest strategic agreement 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.”

Main areas of practice: The corporate and intellectual property departments are one of three specialist areas our full-service firm offers, by establishing a boutique firm in 2013.

The success of this firm gained the attention of leading Spanish firm ECIJA which was looking to establish a footing in Panama. In 2019, the firm merged with ECIJA which is now developing its brand in Panama and across the region.

Dispute resolution: ECIJA has a strong practice for dispute resolution both in local courts and arbitration. We have a specialized area in commercial, civil and labor litigation, as well as domestic commercial arbitration.

Also, we have more than five years advising national and international companies mainly in labor law matters. Likewise, representing important national companies dedicated to the banking and insurance business activity in civil and commercial litigation.

The sectors the practice works in cover retail, non-government organizations, pharmaceuticals, logistics, agrochemicals, and others.

What sets our firm apart is that we have a tailored and personalized approach to each client given our origins as a boutique, which the partners have maintained after the merger with ECIJA.

Clients rely on our partners for full corporate advice so our lawyers are also experienced in tax and IP matters as part of their advisory work to clients.

We have experience in import and export management for companies operating in the Panamanian free zones, business structuring and commercial operations including agricultural operations.

We receive many referrals from the Jewish diaspora in Israel, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico coming to live and/or work and invest in Panama.

Managing Partner | Intellectual Property Armando Có Office: 209-6614 Mobile: 6490-6088
Partner | Corporate/M&A Daniel Office: 209-6614 Mobile: 6676-2887
Partner | Dispute Resolution Antonio Vargas Office: 209-6614 Mobile: 6275-7393
Armando Cordoba photo Armando CordobaManaging Partner at ECIJA Panama
Daniel Shamah photo Daniel ShamahPartner
Antonio Vargas photo Antonio VargasPartner Dispute Resolution: Litigation and arbitration, Distribution and consumer law, Labour Law…
Diana Tejada : Marketing & Communication
Ana Raquel Guerra : Marketing & Communication

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