Arias > Guatemala, Guatemala > Firm Profile

DIAGONAL 6 10-01 ZONA 10

Guatemala > Banking and finance Tier 1

Highlighted for its ‘very quick response times and pragmatic solutions‘, the experienced team at Arias handles a wide range of financial transactions, spanning real estate finance, corporate finance and the financing of large-scale energy and infrastructure projects. It has recently been particularly active advising global development institutions on loans to local banks intended to support the SME sector in Guatemala during the pandemic. Cross-border financing is a key area of expertise, with the team regularly drawing on the support of the regional firm’s other offices in Central America, as is financial regulation, particularly fintech matters. Senior partner Jorge Luis Arenales, who has extensive experience in trade finance, project finance and corporate lending, leads the team with the ‘attentive and promptLuis Pedro Del Valle. The strong cohort of associates includes Cindy Arrivillaga, who has particular strength in international transactions. Since publication, Arrivillaga has been raised to senior associate - effective as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Luis Arenales; Luis Pedro del Valle


‘They are aware of the technicalities of local financial law and have an accurate understanding of Central Bank and stock exchange regulations.’

‘The global structure of the firm means it can provide thorough advice in cross-border transactions, with an understanding of all the risks and the impact on other countries in the region.’

‘Very quick response times and pragmatic solutions.

‘Luis Pedro Del Valle is extremely capable of working with both internal and external counsels from New York, and finding solutions to complement NY law documents with Guatemala law ancillary documents. Client service is superb.’

‘Solid and reliable.’

‘Luis Pedro del Valle is attentive and prompt.’

Key clients

Banco de Desarrollo Rural

The OPEC Fund for International Development

Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest)

Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Co-operative Society

BlueOrchard Finance

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO)

Cargill Financial Services

Foreign Trade Bank of Latin America (Bladex)

United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Catholic Relief Services

The Bank of Nova Scotia

Work highlights

  • Advised IDB Invest on a $100m loan to Banco de América Central, intended to increase access to financing for SMEs in Guatemala and contribute to the recovery of sectors most affected by Covid-19.
  • Advised the IFC on a $20m loan to Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala (BAM), as part of the IFC’s global Covid-19 response to support the SME sector.
  • Assisted Banco de Desarrollo Rural with the selection of host of systems and platforms from technology vendor Oracle.

Guatemala > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

The ‘experienced‘ and ‘efficient‘ team at Arias acts for both local companies and large multinationals from a diverse range of sectors, including energy, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, telecoms and financial services. The team has been highly active in advising on restructurings due to the pandemic, and has also assisted major international clients with setting up operations in Guatemala and with corporate governance issues. On the M&A side, large-scale regional transactions are a key part of the team’s workload, often with the support of the firm’s other offices in Central America. The firm is also part of the Vance Centre’s “Keep Families Together” pro bono initiative, launched in 2018. Highly regarded practice co-head Jorge Luis Arenales has notable expertise in corporate transactions in the energy, power and telecoms sectors, while fellow co-head Luis Pedro Del Valle is skilled in corporate restructurings, venture capital transactions and cross-border matters. The sizeable associate team includes Ana Avila and Jorge Ordoñez.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Luis Arenales; Luis Pedro del Valle


‘The quality of their work was very good and they were very efficient. The calendar of the transaction was very demanding and many other jurisdictions were involved in the same deal, and their delivery was very good.’

‘Luis Pedro del Valle stands out for the quality of his work, punctual delivery and compliance with deadlines.’

‘A very good team that is very specialised and experienced.’

‘All the members of the team are good. They work with a sense of urgency and are focused on providing a good service.’

‘Arias provides a firm with a variety of legal expertise. We have been able to receive advice on different issues inside the same firm.’

‘I have worked with Jorge Luis Arenales, who I find always available to answer questions regarding corporate issues in Guatemala. His responses are always prompt and thorough.’

Key clients


Delivery Hero

Coca Cola


Fyffes’ subsidiary in Guatemala (High Q International)

Avon Products

Mondelēz International









Empresas Públicas de Medellín

Johnson & Johnson

S2 Global

Cable & Wireless

Insud Pharma

Acino Pharma


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Work highlights

  • Acting as local counsel to delivery platform Delivery Hero on the €230m acquisition of Spanish app Glovo’s operations in Latin America.
  • Advised screening services company S2 Global on the corporate structure of its local subsidiary prior to its participation in the public procurement process in Guatemala for the provision of non-intrusive scanning services at the port of Santo Tomás de Castilla.
  • Advising Guatemalan real estate developer Grupo HPB on the structuring of an innovative ownership model.

Guatemala > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Arias has ‘great experience‘ in litigation, with a broad practice spanning real estate, IP, labour, tax and telecoms-related disputes. The team has also been highly active recently in arbitration, both national and international, particularly in relation to commercial disputes and international investment cases. A major regional player, the firm counts multinational companies, government entities, financial institutions and high-profile individuals among its clients. Mario René Archila, whose extensive dispute resolution experience includes acting as an arbitrator, leads the team; Luis Fernando Zelada, who was promoted to senior counsel in April 2021, is also a key contact for civil, commercial, criminal and constitutional litigation. They are supported by a strong cohort of associates, including Mónica Medrano, a former assistant district attorney with significant expertise in white-collar criminal cases, and Marco Castro. Since publication, Medrano has been promoted to senior associate - effective as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Mario René Archila Cruz


‘The team led by Mario Archila has great experience in taking on cases like ours, as well as understanding of the jurisdiction and court practice. Likewise, it has a great knowledge of the internal functioning of companies such as ours, which means their work and research is always well directed and saves time and effort.’

‘Mario Archila has excellent legal training, great experience in international arbitration, and a personal and empathetic attitude to clients.’

Guatemala > Labour Tier 1

Highlighted for its ‘expertise in labour matters‘, Arias has recently been particularly active in advising clients on labour issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, including reorganisations, remote working policies, the termination or suspension of employment contracts, and compliance with the changing government regulations. The team has also seen an increase in work advising clients on internal and Ministry of Labour and Social Security inspections, and on immigration issues including the hiring of foreign employees. Assisting with the labour and regulatory side of large-scale M&A transactions, including multi-jurisdictional matters, is another area of strength. Managing partner Liz Gordillo, described as ‘one of the best labour lawyers in the region‘, leads the team. She receives strong support from senior associates Rosa María Arenales, who regularly advises on compliance with labour policies and on resolving labour disputes, and María Elena Barrientos, who is experienced in occupational health and safety issues. Since publication, Arenales has been promoted to the partnership - effective January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Liz Gordillo


‘The firm stands out for its knowledge of labour laws and their application. What is valuable is that they explain to us all the different risks that we may face, depending on which strategy we are considering.’

‘What sets Arias apart is its knowledge and expertise in labour matters. I believe that the firm has one of the best labour lawyers in the region in Liz Gordillo.’

‘They have specialised knowledge, which is very important for us because, as a global company, we must align the different local practices to the internal policies of the company. Labour matters in Latin America are complex, and specialisation is required.’

‘A local firm with a focus on global companies.’

‘Good availability.’

Key clients




TFCF International Channels (previously FOX) / Disney



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Johnson & Johnson

International Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Delivery Hero on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Glovo’s operations in Latin America.
  • Advised numerous multinationals on complying with regulations issued by the Guatemalan government during the Covid-19 pandemic, including in relation to the suspension of employment and modifications to working conditions.
  • Advised VXI Global on developing a policy to regulate the remote working of employees in its call centre operations in Guatemala.

Guatemala > Intellectual property Tier 2

Arias regularly advises on the filing of trade marks and patents in Guatemala and Central America, often assisted by its offices throughout the region. The team has additional experience in contentious IP matters, including anti-counterfeiting claims, as well as in domain name, geographical indication and copyright issues, advertising and software licensing. Clients include major international names from the pharmaceutical, automotive, cosmetics and consumer product manufacturing sectors. Senior associate Ivón Hernández leads the practice, with experience in IP litigation, IP-related due diligence and the coordination of clients’ trade mark and patent portfolios outside Guatemala. Head of dispute resolution Mario René Archila brings additional litigation expertise to the team. Since publication, Hernández has been promoted to senior counsel - effective as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Ivón Hernández

Key clients

Procter & Gamble




US Dairy Export Council


Philip Morris Products

Lorenzetti S/A Industrias Brasileiras Electrometalúrgicas


Boehringer Ingelheim International

Work highlights

  • Representing the US Dairy Export Council in the defence of a claim brought by the European Union, challenging a resolution of the Ministry of the Economy which grants protection to the appellation of origin “Parmigiano-Reggiano” but declares the name “Parmesan” to be generic.
  • Acting for Industrias Sol in a dispute with a trade mark squatter which tried to register the trade mark “Sol”.
  • Defending Argentina wine producer Federación de Cooperativas Vitivinícolas Argentinas (Fecovita) against an opposition to its registration of the trade mark “Bodega Toro Centenario”, filed by Spanish company Miguel Torres based on the trade mark “Sangre de Toro”.

Guatemala > Tax Tier 2

Arias has been particularly active recently advising on customs tax issues, as well as advising technology companies on the growing area of digital services taxation. The team acts primarily for multinationals operating in Central America, often advising on cross-border issues alongside the firm’s other offices in the region; its areas of strength include the retail, oil and gas, logistics and BPO sectors. In addition, the team advises on the tax aspects of financial, M&A and real estate transactions and draws on its strong litigation department to handle tax disputes. An increasingly established figure, practice head Ximena Tercero is experienced in transfer pricing and international trade matters, and is a key member of the firm’s pro bono practice. Associate Elisa Lacs is noted for her customs law expertise.

Practice head(s):

Ximena Tercero

Central America > Corporate and finance Tier 1

Arias has maintained its strong regional presence following the split of leading Central American firm Arias & Muñoz in 2016, and retains offices in all six countries in the region. It is highly active in multi-jurisdictional transactions, including large-scale M&A and financings, acting for leading international clients from a wide range of sectors. On the corporate side, the firm also advises on group reorganisations and investments into the region by international companies. In addition, it is well versed in debt restructuring, project finance and financial regulation. In El Salvador, the standout names for corporate and finance work include Lilian Arias and Roberta Gallardo, who heads the M&A practice. In Guatemala, Jorge Luis Arenales is highly experienced in both corporate and finance matters, particularly in highly regulated sectors, while Evangelina Lardizabal, who has significant M&A and project finance expertise, is the key contact in Honduras. Vicente Lines leads the banking and finance practice in Costa Rica, where Melania Dittel is well regarded for corporate matters. Bertha Argüello and Ana Teresa Rizo, an expert in foreign investment matters, are the names to note in Nicaragua. In Panama, Yuri Moreno and Maria Cristina Fábrega are the key contacts for corporate and finance matters, respectively.

Our firm
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, 42 partners,  and 130 highly trained and experienced attorneys and offices in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

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.

Our team
Among our staff, we have attorneys with vast experience in several practice areas combined with young lawyers, that makes our firm to be constantly innovating and adapting to today’s world needs, ensuring to offer our clients the best legal talent in the region. 

Areas of practice
Arias is a full-service firm, providing advice in over 33 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, compliance, banking and finance, intellectual property, labor law, energy, oil and gas, real estate, immigration, and general counsel services, among others.

Our focus: We make things happen
We provide creative and innovative legal solutions that add value to our clients, taking the time to know and understand their business goals, while always focused on providing reliable and accurate legal services, with their best interests in mind.

International reach
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.

Recognitions and awards
Consistently, we have been honored with important recognitions and awards such as “Firm of the Year in Central America”, “Firm of the year” in the countries we operate, “Client Service Award”, “Best Regional Firm for Women in Business  Law”, “Deal of the Year”, among other relevant regional and local awards for the firm and our members.

Equal opportunities
We promote diversity within the firm, professional growth is based on each individual’s merit regardless of gender or ethnics.

  • 47% of our partners are women
  • 48% of our associates are women
  • 57% of our management positions are held by women
  • 100% of our managing partners are women

2,000 Pro-bono hours per year
Corporate social responsibility and Pro-bono work have always been an important part of our DNA. We believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to inspire and generate positive changes in our environment in order to achieve and ensure a better future for the next generations.

Languages spoken
Spanish, English, French, German, and Portuguese

Managing Partner, Head of Labour Liz 23827700
Partner, Head of M&A, Banking and Finance Jorge Luis 23827700
Partner, Head of Litigation Mario 23827700
Partner, Head of Corporate, Commercial and M&A Luis Pedro Del 23827700
Partner, Head of Tax Ximena 23827700
Partner, Labour and Corporate Rosa Maria 23827700
Mr Mario Archila  photo Mr Mario Archila Partner. Head of the Dispute Resolution department in Guatemala.
Mr Jorge Luis Arenales  photo Mr Jorge Luis Arenales Partner. Head of Corporate and Finance.
Mrs Rosa María Arenales  photo Mrs Rosa María Arenales Partner
Mr Luis Pedro Del Valle  photo Mr Luis Pedro Del Valle Partner.
Ms Liz Gordillo  photo Ms Liz Gordillo Partner.
Mrs Ivón Hernández  photo Mrs Ivón Hernández Associate
Ms Ximena Tercero  photo Ms Ximena Tercero Partner
Partners : 6
Associates : 17
INTA - International Trademark Association
AIPPI (Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property)
World Law Group
Pacific Rim Advisory Council (PRAC)
IBA (International Bar Association)
Number of partners throughout the region : 42
Number of partners in Guatemala : 6