ECIJA > San Jose, Costa Rica > Firm Profile

Costa Rica

Costa Rica > Labour and employment Tier 1

With offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia, the dispute resolution practice at ECIJA combines global bench strength with the experience of its team to provide a comprehensive service to national and multinational corporates, including major pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Sanofi. Providing full support on matters ranging from employment discrimination lawsuits, data privacy and collective bargaining to terminations and employment contract regulation, the firm’s active client base also spans the hospitality, logistics, agrochemicals, manufacturing, direct sales, government, education and NGO sectors. The department is led by labour and human rights expert Daniel Valverde, who advises clients on the creation of compensation schemes, review of workdays and work shifts, and sexual harassment claims, among other issues.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Valverde


The labour practice has been one of the fastest-growing and best-positioned in the market in recent years, providing services of remarkable quality and professionalism within it.

Daniel Valverde is a professional whose knowledge in the field of labour law and constant updating of it guarantees his clients a professional, efficient service, in accordance with the needs of each one of them. This, together with the training in human rights that he has, and the warmth and human quality that distingusish him, makes him an excellent professional within the national market.’

Impeccable. They are an exceptional firm, with an outstanding quality of professionals.

Daniel Valverde, who is the partner of the labour department, is an outstanding lawyer.

Accessibility and availability. The team is willing to assist us in emergencies and provide immediate responses.

Key clients





GSD International School




Grupo SEGA

Quálitas Seguros


Mercantil Farmacéutica (MEFASA)


Hotel Croc’s & Casino

American Data Networks

Estación de Servicios San Juan

Pedidos Ya

Work highlights

  • Assisted Fundación Huésped with the preparation of a LATAM report regarding the regulation of HIV and the applicable employment protections against discrimination regarding HIV.
  • Represented several former employees of a medical company in employment claims regarding the payment of severance in cases of unjust termination.
  • Advised a multinational pharmaceutical company on drafting an employment manual for Central America and the Dominican Republic.

Costa Rica > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Leveraging the bench strength of offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia, and working relationships with Magic Circle firms such as Clifford Chance LLP, and bolstered by the firm’s March 2023 alliance with Taylor Wessing, the corporate and M&A team at ECIJA advises major multinationals (including Sanofi) on day-to-day matters and high-value, cross-border transactions. The practice’s services cover matters ranging from M&A, due diligence and corporate governance to commercial contracts and foreign investments. The group’s active client base spans the pharmaceuticals, energy, financial services, consumer goods, e-commerce, tourism, automotive and agrochemicals industries. The team is headed by corporate structure expert Guillermo Zúñiga, who has led the practice for over 20 years, and who brings strength to managing complex distribution schemes and matters involving the real estate and energy sectors. Other key figures include real estate specialist Mercedes Sancho, who brings expertise to advising NGOs and foundations seeking to establish a presence in Costa Rica, and experienced associate Monserrat Soto Roig. Since publication, the firm has also strengthened it global hallmark practice of TMT with the hire of former vice minister Edwin Estrada; previously at the country’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunication, he joined the firm as of counsel in March 2024.

Practice head(s):

Guillermo Zúñiga


A very high level of commitment and service, 100% availability and, above all, a very high service capacity.

Guillermo Zuñiga’s attitude is always professional and friendly.

“Impeccable” is the word to describe the ECIJA team. What distinguishes them is the 360-degree ​​approach with which they address each of the queries that are made to them.

Precise, clear approach and excellent response times for day-to-day queries and more complex issues. Its answers are easy to understand and digest both for lawyers and for the members of the company in the commercial area that are usually involved in the processes. In addition to this, all the firm’s lawyers have an enviable disposition. They really are an outstanding firm.

They have trained and expert people in our areas of activity. They provide support to meet the needs and queries of our parent company.

Guillermo Zúñiga stands out for his personalised and committed service.

Key clients

Opella Healthcare – Sanofi


Sunshine Financial

Toro Energia

Operation Underground Railroad


Triple-S Blue


Work highlights

  • Assisted with the negotiation of a distribution scheme for a newly created company of Sanofi, involving the negotiation of over 20 distribution agreements in different jurisdictions.
  • Assisted Conelectricas in the negotiation and drafting of a $35m five-year contract to design, implement and install a new infrastructure project.
  • Advised Toro Energia on the negotiation, structuring and drafting of the contractual agreements to close the acquisition of its crypto-mining hosting business.

Costa Rica > Dispute resolution Tier 2

With offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia, the dispute resolution practice at ECIJA pairs global bench strength with the experience of its team to represent private investors and major multinational corporates such as Sanofi and Pfizer involved in high-value, cross-border disputes, across sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals, energy and government to software, health and insurance. The team’s comprehensive service extends to complex commercial litigation, arbitration, and tax and administrative proceedings, as well as debt collection matters. The team is headed by Mauricio París, an expert in the enforcement, recognition and annulment of arbitration awards who brings expertise in the tech and pharmaceutical sectors, and Mariela Hernández, who handles consumer law matters. Other key figures include Arturo Guerrero, who launched the firm’s insolvency practice in Costa Rica, and who was appointed to partner in June 2022, and associate Mauricio Rapso, who will re-join the firm in September 2023 after studying abroad. Associate and family law specialist Andrea Rodríguez arrived in October 2022 from in house.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio París; Mariela Hernández


Mauricio París is outstanding. He has an excellent combination of pragmatism with academic knowledge. He is very attentive, diligent and efficient.

Very good customer service.

Creative solutions and attention to detail.

Excellent management of assigned issues.

Detailed knowledge of the issues, personalised attention, and diligent management of cases with the achievement of favourable results.

They are extremely thorough in their analysis, from different angles. Teamwork is promoted in a very conscious way. I would like to highlight the work of Mauricio París.

Arturo Guerrero is a careful and diligent trial lawyer with extensive experience and deep knowledge.

They work as a team – they have high-level professionals in the dispute resolution team, but they can also rely on professionals in the underlying subject matter of the conflict, which allows them to participate in multiple matters. Their goal is to provide most professional and efficient support for the client.

Key clients



Pedidos Ya


Union Fenosa Generadora La Joya


Rapi Credit


ITCA (Software License Compliance Solutions)

Work highlights

  • Representing a Latin American State before the Supreme Court of Justice of Costa Rica in a proceeding for the annulment of an investment arbitration award, in a dispute of more than $100m.
  • Represented Sanofi in a dispute with a former distributor, allowing the company to recover debts nearing $1m.
  • Represented Herbalife in a proceeding against the State that reversed an administrative sanction.

Costa Rica > Real estate Tier 2

The real estate team at ECIJA utilises the bench strength of offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia, and working relationships with Magic Circle firms such as Clifford Chance LLP, to advise national and multinational developers, investors and corporates, across such sectors as energy and hospitality, on the financing and construction of projects including resorts and residential communities. The firm’s full service extends to matters ranging from acquisitions of assets, construction agreements, concession processes and environmental matters to the obtaining of financing facilities, and setting up property in a condominium regime. Guillermo Zúniga leads the team, bringing decades of experience to assisting with complex real estate projects and transactions involving concessions in the Maritime Zone, the forestry industry, protected areas, condominiums and luxury hotels. Other key figures include Mercedes Sancho, who utilises a background as a real estate, tourism and luxury development in-house counsel, and associate Ana Cristina Mora, who assists with due diligence research procedures on properties, procedures to obtain transaction permits and the creation of investment vehicles.

Practice head(s):

Guillermo Zúñiga


Quick and appropriate responses. Knowledge of the regulatory and business environment. Ability to offer solutions to the needs raised by transactions.

Guillermo Zúñiga is highly qualified and has a strong background in transactions and industry knowledge.

I have worked with many lawyers in Costa Rica, and the team at ECIJA is the best of all of them. They are fully prepared to handle a wide variety of issues, diligent in their work, and responsive to questions. I recommend them anytime another person asks for a recommendation.

Mercedes Sancho embodies the best of the ECIJA values, and even anticipates some of my needs before they are apparent to me.

The lawyers in the ECIJA Costa Rica team present much more innovative options and strategies than other firms.

Key clients

Argo Estrategia

Grupo G-24

Playa Lagarto

Arenal Maleku

CRGAR/Costa Rica Global Association of Real Estate

Blue Water Properties

Mango Walk Development

Work highlights

  • Assisted Argo Estrategia in the construction process of two mixed-use (residential and commercial) buildings in San José.
  • Advised Group G24 in the restructuring of the ownership of real estate assets for a refinancing project to convert short-term debt into long-term debt.
  • Assisted Playa Lagarto Eco-Development and Recap Investments by designing a closing package for such lots, aligning with the firm’s tech partner, Legito, in order to deliver the title of the lots and parcels to foreign individuals located in any part of the world.

Costa Rica > Intellectual property Tier 3

With offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia (in addition to one in the metaverse), the team at ECIJA utilises deep bench strength to safeguard and manage the trade marks, copyrights and patents of national and multinational corporates, such as Pfizer and Church & Dwight, across a diverse range of sectors, including consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, health, logistics, textiles and beverages. The practice’s full service offering extends to utility models, industrial designs, advertising, merchandising and sponsorship, and assignments. Senior associate Monserrat Soto Roig leads the team, bringing expertise to such matters as IP risk assessment, image rights, software licences and work-for-hire agreements.

Practice head(s):

Monserrat Soto Roig


The extensive knowledge that they manage allows us to achieve our objectives – they have remarkable experience in the area of intellectual property, and provide clear and prompt responses from anywhere in Central America. They commit to the case and solve it strategically by implementing action plans that achieve favourable results.

Their commitment to the client makes us feel that our needs are their priority, and they achieve quick and effective responses. The work team shows a capacity for teamwork and professional ethics. And, most importantly, it achieves results.

Regional service. Prompt responses. Knowledge of the matter.

Monserrat Soto responds quickly, listens to the client’s needs and is always willing to collaborate. She proposes alternative solutions.

Monserrat Soto is very professional and looks for quick and efficient solutions. She stays in communication throughout the process to keep us up to date with progress.

Key clients

Church & Dwight


Herbalife of America

Pfizer Zona Franca


Sparx Logistics

Work highlights

  • Advising Church & Dwight on the management and administration of its complete trade mark portfolio in Costa Rica.
  • Providing constant monitoring of Profarmaco’s trade mark portfolio for the filing of renewals, the defence administrative and judicial actions and new trade marks.
  • Advising on the intellectual property components of Pfizer’s advertising, marketing, trainings and other activities, to provide risk assessments.

Costa Rica > Tax Tier 4

The tax team at ECIJA leverages the combined bench strength of offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia (plus one in the metaverse) to provide national and international corporates including Coca-Cola FEMSA with comprehensive tax advisory services, covering tax contingencies analysis and planning and representation before administrative tribunals and in judicial proceedings. The practice’s active client base spans a broad range of sectors such as hospitality, real estate, energy and beverages. The team is headed by experienced litigator and arbitrator Mariela Hernández, who assists clients with tax adjustments and the annulment of fines on administrative contracts.

Practice head(s):

Mariela Hernández


Knowledge in tax matters and clear and prompt responses.

The experience and knowledge of the team is unique. There is a solidity in the service and a clarity in the explanation of each situation, regulation, or action to take that gives you confidence in the advice received.

Mariela Hernández’ knowledge of tax matters is incredible.

ECIJA’s team includes lawyers with great empathy for the client’s needs and a robust knowledge of tax legislation and associated jurisprudence, which marks an important difference compared to other firms.

Empathy, technical knowledge, close communication and the ability to put themselves in the client’s shoes, which allows them to provide us with tax advice with great added value.

Key clients

Union Fenosa Generadora La Joya

Ecodesarrollo Papagayo


Rosvil de Grecia

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Union Fenosa Generadora La Joya in the annulment of a VAT adjustment, interests and penalties imposed in connection with the building and operation of a 50 MW hydroelectric plant.
  • Successfully disputed for Ecodesarrollo Papagayo the legality of the Municipality of Liberia’s intention to collect unlawful amounts in excess for royalties over the maritime zone, for the past several years.
  • Achieved a significant reduction in the amount Riteve is bound to pay the state for a lost tax lawsuit.

Central America > Corporate and finance Tier 3

Spanish firm ECIJA has continued apace with its expansion in Latin America, launching an office in Uruguay in April 2023, and has already established a strong platform in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic. Clients in the region can also benefit from the firm’s recent alliance with Taylor Wessing LLP. Commercial and M&A specialist Guillermo Zúñiga leads the corporate team in Costa Rica (which is based across two offices), while Alfredo Navas Duarte is the key contact for corporate and finance matters in El Salvador. Rosalinda Cruz Sequeira and Roberto Williams steer the corporate practice from the firm’s two Honduras offices. Marcos Palma is the key figure in Guatemala and Daniel Shamah heads the corporate team in Panama.

Work highlights

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 750 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 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 own offices in 16 countries. Furthermore, in 2019 ECIJA signed the biggest 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.”

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 Central America and Caribbean markets. The team is trained in legal project management tools in order to control time and cost of any transaction.

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

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

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

Administrative and infrastructure: the services provided by ECIJA 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.

Energy: ECIJA is one of the most recognized and acknowledged law firms in the structuring and development of energy projects in the Central American region because of its vast experience in the field. The services include regulatory aspects related to obtaining licenses and authorizations, as well as 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 financing agreements.

Competition/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 a several sectors, having strong expertise in regulated industries such as telecom and ICTs.

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 aspects such as obtaining the benefits of various 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 Costa Rica.  The team has developed special capacities in the development of multi-purpose projects, including housing, commercial, offices and leisure spaces.  ECIJA provides its services to developers of projects up to individual investors willing to have a second home or retirement place in Costa Rica.  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.  The practice is fulfilled with the experience of the partners in the construction industry.

The opening in 2019 of the office in Flamingo, Guanacaste and in 2020 of the office in Nosara, Guanacaste, have strengthened the practice on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Tax: ECIJA is a team of strongly committed professionals reputed to thoroughly address their clients’ needs involving taxation.  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 in two main areas: legal advice and litigation, for both national and municipal taxes.  ECIJA’s legal advice ​provides specialized advisory services, tax contingencies analysis and tax planning.  The litigation area ​handles tax claims in the administrative venue and judiciary processes.  International taxation queries ​are also prevalent.  The current international investment surge has triggered an array of tax advisory services in connection with international tax issues.

Department Name Email Telephone
Dispute Resolution, TMT, Corporate Mauricio Paris +506 4000 1141
Photo Name Position Profile
Arturo Guerrero photo Mr Arturo Guerrero Arturo, partner at ECIJA Costa Rica has 24 years of experience in…
Mariela Hernández photo Mariela Hernández Partner
Alejandro Montealegre photo Alejandro Montealegre Partner
Mauricio Paris photo Mauricio Paris Regional Managing Partner in Latin America
Álvaro Quesada photo Álvaro Quesada Partner
Mercedes Sancho photo Mercedes Sancho Partner
Daniel Valverde photo Daniel Valverde Partner
Guillermo Zúñiga photo Guillermo Zúñiga Partner
Johanna Gutierrez : Communication and Marketing