Firm Profile > ECIJA > San Jose, Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

ECIJA covers all areas of corporate and commercial law, especially the establishment of new companies and their incorporation under the free trade zone regimes. The group, which has significant strength in matters at the intersection of corporate and energy law, is jointly led by a trio comprising Guillermo E Zúniga, Mariela Hernández and Mercedes Sancho, 'who is focused on resolving problems'. Of late, the firm has also been prominent in corporate restructurings for local clients adapting to Costa Rica's 2019 tax reform. Associate Alonso Lopez joined from Latamlex / Gómez y Galindo Abogados in October 2019, enhancing the department's public law and public procurement offering.


‘Mercedes Sancho is always available and focused on resolving problems.’

Key clients

UPL Corporation – Arysta LifeScience

Maersk Sealand


Mexichem – Orbia Advance Corporation

Total Eren

Perfiles Tecnológicos

Recap Investsments

Shared Expertise

Arenas del Mar Hotel

TechMarine and Logistics

Midea Corporation

Hunt Enery Horizons


Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality

Fonda Jacó

Auto Mercado

Nyesa Corporación

Fundes Costa Rica

Medi Asis Health Services

Redetel Redes de Electricidad y Telefonía

APP 2 Soft

Amecsa Soluciones Innovadoras de Empaque y Embalaje

Tres Generaciones – Doka Estate

Tropical Foods

Tech Logic de Centroamérica

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Although its primary focus is on advising clients on avoiding litigation, ECIJA assists with the resolution of domestic and international court and arbitration proceedings. Investment disputes, collection procedures, and corporate and commercial issues are at the forefront of the practice, which is headed by 'expert in litigation and arbitration' Mauricio París and Mariela Hernández. The former is highly regarded for commercial and construction disputes, while the latter shines particularly in litigation against government agencies, for instance in tax-related disputes. Real estate, construction and food industry corporations are especially well represented on the group's client roster. In August 2020, the team was bolstered by the addition of special counsel Arturo Guerrero, an experienced litigator and arbitrator, from Sáenz & Asociados.


‘ECIJA’s dispute resolution team in Costa Rica stands out for its technical abilities and specialisation, particularly in arbitration and commercial disputes. The lawyers are very highly regarded in the local market and are an opponent that any firm would take seriously. I think they stand out most of all for their understanding of highly specialised sectors such as technology and TMT.’

‘In addition to being a great academic, university professor and author, Mauricio Parí­s is a lawyer with a lot of commercial skill and the ability to handle complex litigation.’

‘Mauricio Parí­s is a professional who is completely dedicated to what he does, whatever the size of the case or the client. His attention to detail and pursuit of excellence make it a pleasure to work with him.’

‘Mauricio París is extremely dedicated, has excellent response times, and is studious as well as practical and efficient, and he knows a lot about the subjects that he deals with.’

‘They have a high level of knowledge about the technical aspects of arbitration.’

‘They are always available and come up with creative strategies.’

‘Mariela Hernández does an outstanding job in handling our needs and is extremely competent in the subject matter and stays on top of and resolves issues on our behalf.’

‘Mauricio Paris is an outstanding lawyer and an expert in litigation and arbitration, who has a complete mastery of his specialist area and gets effective results for his clients.’

Key clients

Rena Ware





Coca Cola Femsa




Constructora Meco

Labour and employment Tier 2

Following the official merger with Expertis Legal in 2018, ECIJA has managed to gain significant ground in the labour and employment market. Practice heads Mauricio París and Daniel Valverde Mesén advise agro-industry, pharmaceutical and retail companies on a wide range of matters including employment discrimination, data privacy compliance and outsourcing. The team, which is highlighted for its 'proactive attitude', demonstrates expertise in the new technologies sector and advises on digital workplace issues such as teleworking, bring your own device policies and the right to digital disconnection. The duo also provides labour and employment advice to the firm's corporate clients, for instance in mergers and acquisitions.


‘The labour team at ECIJA are unique – for us – because of the experience they have built up with us as a business, and their deep knowledge of our company. Their advice is always business oriented. From our point of view, ECIJA stand out from other firms because of their dedication and continuity of service. In addition, at an administrative level, their handling of regional matters is exceptional and allows us to deal with all of our issues through one point of contact, so that we don’t have to coordinate with a different person in each country. Finally, in terms of costs, the practice lets us manage our budget accurately, as their process of billing and managing projects is very effective.’

‘Daniel Valverde stands out for his proactivity, availability and skill in handling all of our company’s needs. For me, ECIJA’s labour team – and Daniel in particular – differentiates itself from other firms by its proactive attitude.’

‘The team has broad experience and keeps up to date with labour issues, guaranteeing strong responses to our concerns and queries.’

‘Knowledgeable and experienced.’

Key clients





GSD International School






Rena Ware


Inversiones Ludycado

Pitzer College

Hotel Sunset del Mar


Quálitas Seguros



Roles y Muñoneras

Real estate Tier 2

ECIJA covers the three main aspects of the local real estate market, namely tourism, residential and commercial project development. The department is led by its four partners, Guillermo E Zúniga, Mariela Hernández, Alejandro Montealegre and Mercedes Sancho. Zúniga is particularly active in projects involving concessions and protected areas, as well as advising on condominium regime properties. Montealegre, who led a boutique firm of the same name until 2018, focuses on acting for clients from the agricultural export sector and urban development companies in the tourism sector. Other areas of expertise range from asset transactions and restructurings to obtaining financing facilities.


‘They understand the way I like to work and I only need to explain a problem once.’

Key clients

Recap Investments – Playa Lagarto Eco-Resort

Mar Vista

Arenal Maleku

Ladera del Mar


Grupo Istmo de Papagayo

Playa de las Palmitas

Arenas del Mar Hotel

Centurion Projects and Development

Fonda Jaco


Amore del Mar Development

Cayuga Collection


The firm: ECIJA is a European law firm with headquarters in Spain and offices in Portugal, Chile, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and El Salvador. ECIJA has a multidisciplinary team of over 300 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 in Central America and the Caribbean.


Main areas of practice

Corporate: the firm provide 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.

Banking and finance: the team includes prestigious attorneys who have assisted important international and local banks with sophisticated transactions. 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 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 the 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 restructuration, 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 in these 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.

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 which employ trust structures, including philanthropic, administration, guaranty, and real estate development trusts. Likewise, ECIJA have advised local banks in connection with the implementation of 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 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.