Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez > Panama, Panama > Firm Profile

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez

Panama > Labour Tier 1

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez wins praise for striking an ‘excellent balance between consulting and litigation‘, advising on employment contracts and the employment aspects of corporate transactions, negotiating collective bargaining agreements with unions, and representing clients in labour disputes. The team is also well versed in immigration law, including obtaining work and residency permits for foreign nationals. Its broad domestic and multinational client base spans the aviation, ports, hospitality, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and financial sectors, among others. The highly experienced leadership group is made up of ‘eminent practitionerEnna Ferrer (an expert in both labour and immigration law), Juan Gabriel González and ‘dedicated labour litigatorFrancisco Iglesias. ‘Young talentNelson Sales stands out at the associate level.

Practice head(s):

Enna Ferrer; Juan Gabriel González; Francisco Iglesias


AFRA’s employment law team is very well structured. They combine youth with a lot of experience and have an excellent balance between consulting and litigation, as well as union issues. A diverse team that is fast working, has a clear understanding of the client’s needs and is with us throughout the process. Compared to other firms in this area, I think they are more assertive and direct with what the client needs. Billing is very well detailed in terms of hours, type of consultation, description, etc.

Enna Ferrer is an eminent practitioner in this field, with vast experience in all aspects of the law and excellent ease in the negotiation and structuring of cases.

Francisco Iglesias is a dedicated labour litigator, who knows how to structure a case very well and advise on the realistic outcome. He guides you by the hand throughout the process.

Nelson Sales is a young talent, who is very quick and has excellent availability. He is able to assist the client by thinking outside the box on complicated projects.

Key clients

L’Oréal Panama

DHL Panama

Port of Singapore (PSA)

Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)

International School of Panama (ISP)

Arcos Dorados (McDonald’s)

Ricardo Perez (Itochu Group)

Hospital Paitilla (Hospiten Group)

ALS Global Panama

Productos Toledano

Industrias Lácteas (Estrella Azul)


Hilti Latin America

Puma Energy



Felix (Importadora Maduro)


Banistmo (Grupo Bancolombia)

Cervecería Nacional (AB InBev Group)



Trane Technologies

Farmacias Arrocha


Alimentos del Istmo (PepsiCo)

Stanley Black and Decker



Western Union

Work highlights

  • Assisted Cervecería Nacional (part of the AB InBev Group) with the successful negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement with its union, amidst the announcement of a strike.
  • Assisted Papelera Istmeña with the negotiation of a new collective agreement with the paper union.
  • Advised Logytech Mobile on the employment aspects of the strategy and execution of the reorganisation process.

Panama > Banking and finance Tier 2

Hailed by clients as ‘technical and precise‘, the banking and finance team at Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez handles a healthy mix of transactional and regulatory work, with a notable strength in advising international lenders, although it is also active on the borrower side. In particular, the team frequently advises on multilateral financings by foreign development agencies, assisting with the financing of energy and real estate projects and on-lending operations. The ‘very technically skilled and attentiveRoberto Harrington, who stands out for his advice to multilateral organisations, and Alfredo Ramírez Jr focus on the transactional side of the practice, while María Alejandra Cargiulo and Luis López Alfaro are high-profile names on the regulatory front. Annette Bárcenas also lends her extensive expertise in project finance to the practice. At the junior level, associate Alfredo Ramírez Pabón and international associate Ana Cristina Negrón provide capable support.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Harrington; Alfredo Ramírez Jr; Luis López Alfaro; María Alejandra Cargiulo


AFRA is very technical and precise in evaluating documents and providing advice.

Roberto Harrington is very technically skilled and attentive.

Key clients

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)

Global Bank Corporation

Safra Bank Lux






Work highlights

  • Advised BID Invest in connection with a syndicated project finance loan for the construction and equipment of Hotel La Compañía, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, located in Casco Viejo, Panama City.
  • Advised BID Invest on a $35m secured loan to Banco La Hipotecaria Panama and Banco La Hipotecaria El Salvador for the origination of preferential-rate housing loans.
  • Advised Global Bank Corporation on factoring agreements to finance the construction of major public works, under the new IPT regime.

Panama > Capital markets Tier 2

The capital markets practice at Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez is renowned for its ability to handle both transactional and regulatory matters. The team has a marked focus on debt offerings, particularly in the real estate sector, where it advises a growing number of developers on the use of capital markets structures to finance projects and acquisitions. In addition, it has a significant practice in the structuring and registration of investment funds, and is increasingly prominent in the fintech space. María Alejandra Cargiulo takes the lead on the transactional side of the practice, with strengths in public and private offerings and securitisations, and senior partner Luis López Alfaro focuses on compliance matters. Associate Ana Raquel Sedda provides capable support to both partners.

Practice head(s):

Luis López Alfaro; Maria Alejandra Cargiulo

Key clients

Global Bank Corporation

Grupo Aliado

AV Securities

Eco Group Holdings


J Safra Sarasin Group

Insignia Financial Advisors

Caribbean Financial Group

Administradora e Inmobiliaria

Work highlights

  • Advised fund promoter and administrator AV Securities on the structuring, registration and listing of a $400m multi-class umbrella public investment fund, AV Funds.
  • Advised Banco Aliado and Grupo Mayo on the structuring, registration and underwriting of the $80m secured revolving corporate notes and bond programme of Administradora e Inmobiliaria.
  • Advised Eco Group Holdings on the sale of 100% of its stake in local brokerage house and fund manager Lifeinvest Asset Management.

Panama > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Lauded by clients as ‘one of the best teams of lawyers in the market‘, the ‘dynamic, fast-moving and successful‘ corporate group at Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez has seen strong recent activity on the M&A front, advising on significant deals in the banking, energy, aviation and retail sectors, including multi-jurisdictional transactions. The team is also well versed in commercial contracts, corporate governance and regulatory issues (such as antitrust). At the helm of the practice, Alejandro Alemán, who is praised for his ‘practical, business-savvy advice‘, particularly on M&A, and Ricardo Moreno handle transactional, commercial and regulatory matters; as co-heads of the tax practice, the pair are also well equipped to assist with related tax issues. They can also call upon the expertise of Roberto Harrington (a specialist in transactional work), Luis López Alfaro (a high-profile name for regulatory and compliance issues), the ‘outstandingJuan Antonio Alfaro (an expert in the free trade zone, hydrocarbons and energy spheres) and Alfredo Ramírez Jr. The team benefits from a deep bench at junior level, which includes associates Alfredo Ramírez Pabón (who is ‘very knowledgeable‘ in both domestic and cross-border matters) and Daniela Meana, and international associate Ana Cristina Negrón (whose practice spans M&A, company formations and due diligence).

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Moreno; Alejandro Alemán


In my experience, the AFRA lawyers not only have a lot of knowledge and experience, but also have the best attitude and willingness to assist clients. They have always been very efficient and accurate in their responses and advice. They are lawyers who seek to help resolve issues in the fastest and most efficient way, always complying with the law.

We have worked with a number of different people in the department and they are all very strong attorneys and business advisers. They provide advice to get to a result and not just on the law. We have dealt with various unusual issues and they suggested creative solutions in all situations. They are also reasonably priced and efficient with their time (using lower priced associates and paralegals where appropriate).

Alejandro Alemán is very knowledgeable on business issues generally. He provides practical, business-savvy advice and keeps an even-keeled perspective, even when the other side is trying to escalate a matter. Alfredo Ramírez Pabón is also very knowledgeable across a range of corporate and general business issues. He too excels at finding paths forward when the project we are trying to complete does not fit the norm. Both are incredibly responsive and very easy to work with.

The team is very dynamic, fast-moving and successful. They suggest very practical solutions to any problem.

Alejandro Alemán and Alfredo Ramírez Pabón come up with simple solutions to problems thanks to their ability to take an outside perspective on the situation and their knowledge of the law. Their response times and availability are exceptional. They are true business partners.

I think that this firm has one of the best teams of lawyers in the market. In my experience, they have provided me with a personalised service that shows a deep knowledge of the subject matter and they do so in an expeditious and precise manner.

I would like to highlight Juan Antonio Alfaro, the partner with whom I maintain the most contact, as an outstanding lawyer. But Luis López Alfaro, Ricardo Moreno and Roberto Harrington are also outstanding in their areas of expertise.

The team provides an excellent service, always in pursuit of ensuring the good of the client. Their attitude is always super professional. They are very friendly and always well disposed towards us.

Key clients


Stanley Black & Decker


The Western Union Company




Hilti Latin America

Global Bank Corporation

Trane Technologies Latin America

Banco Aliado

ABB (Latin America)

Southern Cross Group

Petrolera Nacional/Organización Terpel


Panama Transshipment Group

Varela Hermanos

Grupo Comercial de Comunicaciones


Work highlights

  • Advised Polaris Infrastructure on the acquisition of 100% of two construction-ready solar power plants in Aguadulce (in the Coclé province of Panama).
  • Advised Experian on the acquisition of 70% of the shares of APC Buro, the leading credit rating and reporting agency in Panama.
  • Acted as lead counsel to Balboa Academy, as well as to its shareholders, during the sale of the shares of Balboa Academy to Latam Education Holdings, a member of Inspired Education Group.

Panama > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Praised for its ‘practical solutions and analysis‘ and ‘good professional judgement‘, the team at Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez has robust experience in domestic litigation, and its strength in alternative dispute resolution is also highlighted by clients. The firm is well versed in civil and commercial disputes - with a strong recent focus on the insurance, construction and financial sectors - acting for leading Panamanian and multinational clients. Katherine Aparicio, who is singled out for her ‘rapid responses, diligence, timely follow-up, clarity and integrity‘, has a wide-ranging practice spanning civil, commercial, corporate and financial litigation, and local and international arbitration. She heads the team alongside seasoned litigator Alfredo Ramírez Jr. They are supported by associates Juan Diego Ng, who is active in civil litigation as well as domestic commercial arbitration, and Joelis Araúz, who focuses on civil, commercial and probate litigation.

Practice head(s):

Alfredo Ramírez Jr; Katherine Aparicio


They are diligent and carry out in-depth evaluations of all the aspects of the case to be taken into consideration, and offer alternative options to lawsuits to resolve conflicts in a more expeditious and less onerous way for the client. They offer practical solutions and analysis, and they provide weekly reports on active lawsuits. They are available to explain issues in a simple way to those members of the company who may not understand because they are not part of the legal department.

Katherine Aparicio and Joelis Araúz have good knowledge of the subject matter and work smoothly. They are attentive in their services.

What has stood out during the time that we have worked with the team is the relationship they have and support they provide to the client. It is a united team with good professional judgement. Unlike other law firms with which we have worked, this team has shown professionalism and presented a good defence in the matters that we have taken to them.

Juan Diego Ng and Katherine Aparicio provide good client service, effective recommendations and professional advice.

The team (particularly Katherine Aparicio) stand out for their rapid responses, diligence, timely follow-up, clarity and seriousness.

Key clients

Distribuidora Cummins



Elevadores Otis

Hannover Re

LG Electronics


Grupo Hospiten


Western Union

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a maritime construction company in two million-dollar arbitrations against a port owner.
  • Advised one of the major real estate developers in the country in a multimillion-dollar dispute with a contractor.
  • Represented a government institution in an ICC arbitration claim of over $8m filed by a contractor.

Panama > Intellectual property Tier 2

Praised by clients as a ‘robust, professional team with in-depth and fast responses‘, Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez‘ IP department advises an enviable list of multinationals on the protection of their IP rights. The team is well versed in trade mark prosecutions and litigation (including opposition, cancellation and nullity actions), and also has recent experience in copyright-related matters. Advising clients in the cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical industries on health registrations and other regulatory issues is also a core area of activity. The ‘always availableMarissa Lasso de la Vega, who is skilled in IP litigation and related consumer protection claims, leads the team with Monique Ferrer, a specialist in prosecutions and the head of the regulatory and compliance department. The team also draws on the input of associates Marycarmen González, who has a focus on the health and life sciences sectors, and Nicole López, who frequently provides support in IP litigation.

Practice head(s):

Marissa Lasso de la Vega; Monique Ferrer


It is our first choice in Panama. A robust, professional team with in-depth and fast responses.

Marissa Lasso, Monique Ferrer, Marycarmen González and Nicole López all stand out.

It seems to me to be a very organised team. The two leaders of the practice area are women, demonstrating diversity and equity in the group. They handle matters in the best way in their area of expertise. The whole team is very professional and efficient.

Monique Ferrer knows our entire team and how to solve our issues, which gives us agility when dealing with matters internally and externally. Her warm attitude and response times stand out.

A good team. Marissa Lasso de la Vega is always available.

Key clients



Conair Corporation

Pisa Farmaceutica

Varela Hermanos/Nacional Quimica

Target Brands



Koninklijke Philips Electronics


Haribo/Rigo Trading

Work highlights

  • Carried out a successful opposition process on behalf of Billboard IP Holding against a trade mark application for the registration of “Billboard” to identify products in class 25 and obtained recognition by the Panamanian courts of the worldwide use of “TM Billboard”.
  • Advised companies in the telecoms, health, banking, e-commerce and other sectors on the drafting and adequacy of their policies on data collection and privacy and compliance with new Panamanian regulations.
  • Advising on the maintenance and protection of the Panamanian trade mark portfolio of Tommy Hilfiger.

Panama > Projects and energy Tier 2

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez garners praise from clients for its ‘extensive experience and knowledge‘ in the full range of projects and energy matters, including public procurement and concessions, project finance, regulatory matters, and the sale and acquisition of energy companies. The team stands out for its diverse sector expertise, which spans the energy, oil and gas, logistics, marine infrastructure, telecoms and transport industries. Annette Bárcenas is widely regarded as a leader in public procurement, routinely advising on the bidding processes for high-profile transport and renewable energy projects. She shares leadership of the practice with Juan Antonio Alfaro, who is highly sought after for his advice on maritime and port concessions, and Luis Horacio Moreno, an expert in energy, telecoms and government contracts. Corporate partner Roberto Harrington and associate Daniela Meana provide key support.

Practice head(s):

Annette Bárcenas; Juan Antonio Alfaro; Luis Horacio Moreno


A team of lawyers with extensive experience and knowledge.

Compared to other firms, AFRA has shown great knowledge of the topics on which we have required advice, as well as speed in its responses. The different departments at the firm work together in a very coordinated way and there is very good communication with the client.

All the partners and associates are very competent.

I have personally worked with Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez for a few years, throughout which they assisted me and my client with great professionalism and followed a clear path, even on the most unexpectedly complex matters. In our experience, among the other strengths which makes the firm a true asset for its clients (apart from the strong client recognition strategy, which naturally creates a feeling of trust) are its people and the effectiveness of the service, which is always very available and open. We believe that the firm’s practices fully meet our expectations, with solid interest in our business and a plan which is long term and of an equally broad scope.

I would say that the best qualities of the people at Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez with whom we interact are openness and kindness. Luis Horacio Moreno is a fitting example of this.

Key clients

Petroamerica Terminal (PATSA) (VTTI Group)


PSA International Terminal (PPIT).

Colon Logistics Park (CLP)

Astilleros Puertos de Balboa

Grupo Machetazo

SGP Bioenergy

Islas Secas Resort

Panama Digital Gateway

Elevadores Otis


Polaris Energy

Puma Energy

Consorcio Panameño De Construcciones Hospitalarias

Consorcio De Instalaciones Médicas De Panamá

Proyectos Mar Azul

Promotora y Desarrolladora Mexicana de Infraestructura (Proinfra)

Work highlights

  • Advised Consorcio Panameño De Construcciones Hospitalarias, a consortium of three local construction companies, on a $1bn infrastructure project for the design, construction, financing and equipment of the City of Health Hospital.
  • Advising Astillero de Balboa (Astibal) on the public procurement process and project financing of the Balboa shipyard, located in the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal.
  • Advising Polaris Energy on the acquisition of two solar power plants from a Panamanian developer, including due diligence, transactional and regulatory matters.

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramirez (AFRA) was established in 1965, and since then has grown into one of Panama’s leading full-service law firms.

The firm is recognized for its solid integrity, ability to successfully address legal issues in sophisticated deals, and the reliability and trust offered to its clients by its lawyers and staff. AFRA has a strong local practice and is focused on international companies coming to Panama to carry out business operations. In addition to that, it has a representative group of local companies engaged in important sectors of the economy. The firm’s corporate practice is complemented by the services offered through its BVI office.

AFRA has become a leading firm in advising on and handling complex M&A transactions involving international companies, public procurement on high-profile infrastructure contracts sought by international engineering firms, and internationally known companies establishing their regional offices in Panama.

Areas of practice
The following are only a few of the firm’s representative areas of practice:

Intellectual property: AFRA’s intellectual property department is perhaps one of the strongest and most prominent in the country. AFRA’s experienced intellectual property lawyers and staff provide services in registration and protection of trademarks, patents, trade names, copyrights, trade secrets, franchises, industrial designs, domain names and commercial names in general.

Banking and finance: the firm serves as external counsel for local banks and private international finance institutions, and multilateral agencies operating in Panama. Its services range from addressing everyday regulatory questions, to structuring complex finance and securitization deals.

Public contracting and infrastructure: over the last 20 years, Panama has witnessed an outstanding increase in infrastructure projects. The firm has attained experience acting as legal counsel to many international engineering and telecommunications firms that have been awarded contracts for the construction of highways, roads, hydroelectric facilities, energy transmission systems, ports, airport expansion and Metro.

Labor and immigration: the firm provides extensive experience to international clients carrying out business activities in Panama in connection with labor disputes and litigation, as well as in regulating the presence of expatriate officials sent to Panama by multinational companies.

Taxation: the firm offers practical tax advice to international clients and guides them in attaining tax efficiency in their local operations.

Commercial, M&A: the firm handles a variety of general commercial matters, and is frequently retained to handle sophisticated and high-profile M&A deals.

Capital markets: the firm has expertise in securities regulation issues and serves as legal advisor for the most prominent players in the capital market industry. The firm has been actively involved in structuring secured and unsecured financing, from debt and equity offerings to bonds, equity-related debt and establishment of mutual funds.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate/M&A Alfredo Ramírez Jr
Trusts and foundations Luis R López Alfaro
Intellectual property Marissa Lasso de la Vega F
Commercial and real estate Rodrigo A Moreno Jr
Public contracting Annette Barcenas
Labor and immigration Enna Ferrer de Carles
Energy and telecommunications Annette Barcenas
Litigation Alfredo Ramírez Jr
Tax Rodrigo A Moreno Jr
Banking and insurance Luis R López Alfaro
Securities market and project finance Alfredo Ramírez Jr
Total staff : 150
Partners : 16
Associates/attorneys : 24