Firm Profile > Arias > Guatemala, Guatemala

DIAGONAL 6 10-01 ZONA 10

Corporate/M&A Tier 1

The 'extremely friendly and diligent' team at Arias makes clients feel 'confident that they are in good hands'. The firm recently added major companies including Coca-Cola Femsa and McDonald's Guatemala to its impressive client base; it acts for a range of local and international businesses, including a number of leading pharmaceutical companies. Alongside the firm's El Salvador office, Luis Pedro Del Valle (who is 'highly skilled and motivated' and 'a fine lawyer') acted as local counsel to Telefónica Centroamérica Inversiones on the sale of its businesses in Central America and Panama. In another recent highlight, practice head Jorge Luis Arenales advised Brazilian multinational Eurofarma on the acquisition of products from Laboratorios Stein. The team also includes senior associates Vivian Morales, who specialises in corporate governance matters, and Jorge Luis Molina, who is 'great in negotiations and business orientated'.

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Arias' 'excellent' dispute resolution practice stands out for its 'all-round support', 'practical approach' and 'efficiency in handling any matter'. The team acts for large local and multinational companies across a range of areas, including the oil, retail, automotive, technology and telecoms sectors, as well as representing financial institutions and government entities. The firm is also noted for its growing national and international arbitration practice. The 'highly esteemed' Mario René Archila heads the team, and is praised for his 'experience and negotiation skills'; he is supported by 'knowledgeable and thorough' associate Luis Fernando Zelada and special counsel Aurélie Huet, who is qualified in Guatemala, the US and France and specialises in international arbitration.

Labour Tier 1

Arias' 'outstanding' team 'provides a personalised and efficient service and has highly capable lawyers with a broad mastery of labour law and business acumen'. In addition to handling employment-related litigation, the firm advises on contracts; terminations, particularly those involving senior management or large numbers of employees; the employment aspects of corporate transactions; and immigration matters. The practice is led by Liz Gordillo, an 'expert in labour law' who stands out for her 'commercial astuteness' and 'impressive ability to solve complex problems'. Among other significant matters, Gordillo and associate María Elena Barrientos advised Ricoh Latin America on the termination of several high-level company executives' employment with the client, and associate Rosa María Arenales assisted Telefónica Centroamérica Inversiones with the employment aspects of the sale of its operations in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Jorge Luis Arenales leads the team at Arias, which advises local and international clients on secured and unsecured lending, structured financing, project finance, and private equity financing, among other matters. The practice is particularly noted for its expertise in multi-jurisdictional transactions. Highlights included acting for longstanding clients Bladex, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank as lenders on the completion of a $223m syndicated credit facility granted to Proamerica Financial Corporation to finance its acquisition of Banco Citibank de Guatemala. Luis Pedro Del Valle, who specialises in investment grade and acquisition finance, and senior associate Ligia Salazar, who has expertise in advising on financial transactions in the aviation sector, are also key contacts.

Intellectual property Tier 2

Arias counts numerous leading names from the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, fashion and automotive sectors among its clients, including Proctor & Gamble, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Inditex and Crocs. The team handles trade mark and patent filings; geographical indication, domain name and copyright issues; software licensing; and civil and criminal litigation, such as anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy cases. Highlights included senior associate Ivón Hernández, who leads the practice, representing a fashion brand in an infringement case, and litigation partner Mario René Archila acting alongside Hernández for the US Dairy Export Council in a claim relating to the use of the term "parmesan".

Tax Tier 2

Arias has particular strength in advising foreign investors on the tax aspects of financing projects in Guatemala. The team also assists local and international clients with tax planning and compliance, tax advice relating to M&A and other corporate transactions, real estate tax and transfer pricing. Ximena Tercero leads the practice; she recently advised a large retail company on the mitigation of tax contingencies derived from cross-border inter-company operations, as well as advising a technology supplier on whether its digital services were subject to taxation in Guatemala. While it is better known for advising on non-contentious matters, the firm also handles tax litigation.

Arias is the leading global business law firm in Central America and the firm of choice in the region. The firm stands out for providing innovative and effective solutions that help clients achieve their business goals, while enjoying the benefits of working with an integrated firm, with presence in six countries through seven offices and 160 highly trained and experienced attorneys.

The firm: Since 1942, Arias has been setting the standards in the region by combining its global reach with local expertise, and providing a visionary outlook on the world’s business environment.

The firm’s most recent recognitions include: Central America Law Firm of the Year by the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) (2016, 2015 and 2008); Client Service Awards by Chambers Latin America (2015, 2013, 2012 and 2011); Central America Law Firm of the Year by Chambers Latin America (2014 and 2009); Central America Tax Firm of the Year by International Tax Review (2016 and 2015) and Women in Business Law Awards for Central America and Panama by Euromoney (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012), Best Individual Award for Central America by Chambers Women in Law Awards (2018), among others that reconfirm the firm’s commitment to excellence.

Areas of practice: Arias is a full-service firm, providing advice in over 30 practice areas, with renowned specialists in each jurisdiction. Some of the firm’s main practice areas include: corporate, antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, tax, arbitration and litigation, banking and finance, intellectual property, labor law, energy, oil and gas, real estate and immigration, among others.

International work: the firm advises on local and cross-border transactions, assisting some of the major international corporations doing business in the region, and also providing legal support to local clients going abroad.

Languages spoken: Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Liz Gordillo E:
Partners Mario Archila E:
Partners Luis Pedro Del Valle E:
Partners Ximena Tercero E:
Other fee-earners : 130+
Partners : 32