Firm Profile > ECIJA > San Jose, Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Dispute resolution Tier 2

The 'very responsible, client-oriented' ECIJA expanded its regional presence in Central America with the incorporation of Expertis' offices in Costa Rica. Team heads Mauricio París, who has 'the perfect balance between world-class attorney and an academic with great knowledge of the most recent legal topics', and Mariela Hernández focus on commercial litigation and arbitration. Hernández recently represented Grupo Istmo de Papagayo in an arbitration filed by the Costa Rican Association of Composers and Musical Authors in relation to the collection of intellectual property dues. The firm's extensive client list also includes Pfizer, Coca-Cola Femsa, Maersk and Herbalife.

Real estate Tier 2

ECIJA's Costa Rican offices were established in 2018 by its incorporation of Expertis' regional operations. In November of the same year, the practice experienced a further boost with the incorporation of real estate boutique Montealegre & Asociados, led by key figure Alejandro MontealegreGuillermo E Zúniga and his team are especially adept at assisting with setting up properties within the condominium regime and structuring other special property types. In a recent example, Montealegre advised the owner of the Arenal Maleku development on securing approval from the Costa Rican authorities for the horizontal master condominium, to be developed into sub-condiminiums.

Corporate and M&A Tier 3

ECIJA, which entered the Costa Rican market through its merger with regional firm Expertis in summer 2018, provides corporate and M&A services under the leadership of Guillermo E Zúniga. Benefiting from the firm's global reach, the team assisted Pfizer with the reorganisation of its operations into three businesses. Mariela HernándezMauricio París and associate Ana Cristina Mora are other key figures in the department.

Labour and employment Tier 3

ECIJA entered the Costa Rican market in June 2018 after incorporating Expertis' local operations. In recent highlights, practice co-heads Mauricio París Cruz and Daniel Valverde Mesén advised Inprotsa and its service provider Fruver on the process of recertifying with Rainforest, which required compliance with international employment standards, and represented the client in meetings with a local union to handle claims of discrimination and employment law breaches. Other key clients of the department are Pfizer, Mexichem and DHL.


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.