Arias > Guatemala, Guatemala > Firm Profile

6ª. Avenida 12-24 zona 10
Edificio HQ Fontabella, Nivel 8
Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala. C. A.

Guatemala > Banking and finance Tier 1

Central American firm Arias handles a mix of transactional and regulatory banking and finance matters in Guatemala, with a strong track record in leading the firm’s regional teams on cross-border mandates. The practice is especially adept at advising international lenders, including banks, multilateral institutions and private funds, on granting loans to domestic borrowers, although the team has experience on both sides of transactions. On the regulatory front, the team has marked expertise in fintech matters, and also assists with securities and insurance regulatory issues. Following the departure of former department head Jorge Luis Arenales in March 2023, Luis Pedro del Valle now leads the team, bringing wide-ranging experience in domestic and cross-border transactions to the table. Among the strong cohort of junior team members, key names include senior associate Cindy Arrivillaga (who is noted for international matters) and associates Francisco Zuluaga, Andrés Marroquín and Florencio Gramajo (who recently returned from the foreign lawyer trainee programme at Holland & Knight LLP‘s Miami office).

Practice head(s):

Luis Pedro del Valle

Work highlights

  • Advised Truist Bank, as administrative and facility agent, on granting a two-tranche $615m loan to Evertec Group and its subsidiaries.

Guatemala > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Arias has a comprehensive corporate and M&A practice in Guatemala, as well as providing region-wide services to clients investing in Central America, with a network of seven offices (including a presence in Panama) to draw upon for support. The team advises a diverse roster of multinational companies across the energy, real estate, telecoms, pharmaceutical and banking sectors, to name a few, and has also expanded its base of domestic clients, recently acting for a number of prominent local businesses. Strengths include domestic and cross-border M&A, corporate restructurings, the incorporation of local operations, corporate governance and commercial issues. Luis Pedro del Valle took over leadership of the department in March 2023 following the departure of Jorge Luis Arenales; del Valle is noted for his broad expertise, covering M&A, corporate restructurings and venture capital transactions. The team also benefits from a deep bench of talented junior members, including senior associates Cindy Arrivillaga (who is experienced in cross-border transactions) and the recently promoted Jorge Ordóñez. Since the conclusion of research, the team has been strengthened further with the August 2023 hire of former PepsiCo legal manager for Central America and the Caribbean Luis Pedro Jegerlehner, as of counsel; an experienced corporate all-rounder, he brings additional expertise in matters including ESG, compliance, FCPA and conflict management.

Practice head(s):

Luis Pedro del Valle

Key clients

High Q International

IMCD Group


Walmart Mexico y Centroamerica

McAfee (through Baker McKenzie)

Brookfield Asset Management (through Kirkland & Ellis)

Akzo Nobel (through Baker McKenzie Colombia)


Coca Cola


Work highlights

  • Advising on the complete due diligence of Compushare’s global clients’ subsidiaries in Guatemala.
  • Advised IMCD on the acquisition of 100% of the business and subsidiaries of Quelaris Internacional.
  • Acted as local counsel to Spectrum Banks on the spin-off of its home and personal care business.

Guatemala > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Highlighted for its willingness to ‘take the time to individually analyse each case‘, Arias houses a broad dispute resolution practice with signature strengths in civil, administrative and labour litigation and arbitration. The team represents major local companies and multinationals, and continues to expand the scope of its practice to act for individuals in sensitive family law and human rights cases. Other growing areas of focus include tax litigation and public procurement disputes. Mario René Archila, who also acts as an arbitrator, leads the team; between them, Archila and senior counsel Luis Fernando Zelada bring almost six decades of experience to the practice, handling a vast array of civil, commercial, constitutional and criminal cases. The strong cohort of junior lawyers includes senior associate Mónica Medrano (who focuses on anti-corruption, money laundering and white-collar criminal cases, drawing on her previous experience as a district attorney), and associates Alvaro Reyes (who mainly handles civil litigation) and Karla Gómez (a specialist in labour disputes). Since publication, Zelada has moved to BLP.

Practice head(s):

Mario René Archila


What stands out to us is the commitment that the Arias team have to us and their ability to find solutions and alternatives to the different cases that we deal with. Unlike other law firms, they take the time to individually analyse each case, and undertake to provide solutions for the benefit of the company. We have worked with them since the launch of the company and we have no reason not to recommend them as they are very responsible and diligent.

Karla Gómez and Luis Fernando Zelada are very competitive, which I consider to be an excellent quality in this area of law.

Guatemala > Labour Tier 1

Arias houses a comprehensive labour practice, which is singled out for its ‘extensive experience and knowledge of the law‘ and ‘impeccable service‘. Often working alongside the firm’s top-flight corporate department, as well as leveraging its extensive regional network, the team is widely recognised for its advice to major multinationals on the labour aspects of carve-outs and restructurings, with notable expertise in collective dismissals and the relocation of employees. On the contentious side, the practice is particularly experienced in conducting sensitive internal investigations and representing employers in litigation over the dismissal of employees. Office managing partner Liz Gordillo, whose broad practice covers all aspects of labour matters, leads the team with the ‘excellentRosa María Arenales. Since publication, former senior associate María Elena Barrientos has left the firm, effective as of November 2023.

Practice head(s):

Liz Gordillo; Rosa María Arenales


Their advice has helped us to make decisions in a timely and accurate manner. We feel that they are interested in understanding in depth the cases that we present to them, giving recommendations that cover all possible scenarios but without losing sight of the practical management of the processes. Similarly, they are differentiated by their strategies to prevent and mitigate potential risks.

Impeccable service, and proactive and clear explanations. Easy access and timely responses. Friendly and easy communication and discussion.

Rosa María Arenales is an excellent lawyer and person. She is always alert to issues that may affect our business. She keeps us informed and always has an excellent attitude when attending to our requests. She is a very prepared and experienced lawyer.

The Arias team are highly professional but have a personal touch in their client service. They take the time to understand the corporate culture and those things that are important to the organisation, which is important when advising on compliance with the law, but also on practices that adapt to the corporate culture.

I want to highlight Rosa María Arenales. She is a great professional with a lot of knowledge, a lot of leadership skills, but above all, close relationships and good communication with her clients. She seeks to get to know the needs of our organisation and keep up to date with all legal aspects that are relevant to our line of business. I feel very happy working with her and I feel like I am in excellent hands with each recommendation she gives us.

‘Practical solutions for complicated issues.

They are up to date with everything that is happening in the national context, which means that when we have a case, they know how to act in the legal context, in addition to giving us constant updates on new reforms.

The team have extensive experience and knowledge of the law, and the members complement each other very well.’

Key clients




Fox International Channels



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


BIC Latin America

International Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised AC Nielsen on the modification of its employment contracts to implement remote working, as well as the review of its internal policy to regulate remote working.
  • Acted as local counsel for Spectrum Brands on the carve-out of its Home and Personal Care (HPC) division, advising on all the employment aspects.

Guatemala > Tax Tier 1

Arias has a full-service offering and network of offices across Central America, making it a strong choice to advise foreign investors in the region on the gamut of tax issues. The team acts as local counsel to an array of prominent multinationals on cross-border M&A transactions, as well as assisting with restructurings and compliance, and it is also a standout in customs matters. The firm is equally active in tax litigation, leaning on the vast expertise of dispute resolution head Mario René Archila to handle complex contentious-administrative cases against the SAT. At the helm of the practice, Ximena Tercero is well versed in transfer pricing, tax structuring and litigation. She is supported by a capable pool of junior lawyers, including senior associates Elisa Lacs, a specialist in customs tax, and the recently promoted Claudia Vega, and associate Estaymer Mendoza, who joined the firm from an in-house role at Grupo CFE in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Ximena Tercero

Guatemala > Intellectual property Tier 2

The IP practice at Arias leverages the firm’s full-service model and wide regional network to offer clients comprehensive advice on trademarks, patents, geographical indications, domain names and copyright, both in Guatemala and internationally. Frequently acting alongside its counterparts in Central America, the team advises on trademark and patent prosecutions and coordinates the management of IP portfolios for an impressive roster of multinational clients, with a focus on the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and automotive sectors. Other notable areas of expertise include advertising, software licensing and royalties. Drawing on the skill of experienced litigator Mario René Archila, the practice is also well equipped to handle civil and criminal litigation, including anti-piracy claims. Senior counsel Ivón Hernández, who has extensive experience in contentious and non-contentious IP matters, leads the team with office managing partner Liz Gordillo.

Practice head(s):

Liz Gordillo; Ivón Hernández


Knowledgeable about the administrative procedures in intellectual property matters. Flexible and understanding of clients’ requirements.

The team stands out for its speed in responding to issues.

Key clients

The Procter & Gamble Company




US Dairy Export Council


Philip Morris Products

Lorenzetti – Industrias Brasileiras Electrometalúrgicas


Boehringer Ingelheim International

Work highlights

  • Defending Industrias Sol against a legal action brought by a former distributor for the nullity of the trademark “Sol”.
  • Defending Mylan Pharmaceuticals against an opposition action brought by Global Farma against the client’s “Endulin” trademark application.
  • Coordinating the filing and prosecution of patent applications for Boehringer Ingelheim International in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama.

Guatemala > Real estate Tier 3

Arias‘ has a broad regional presence and full-service offering, which are clear assets for its multinational clients, which frequently turn to the firm for advice on the sale, acquisition and leasing of real estate, as well as related tax, regulatory and litigation matters. The team also counts land development projects among its core areas of expertise, assisting with drafting construction contracts and obtaining permits in different municipalities. Luis Pedro del Valle took over leadership of the practice following the departure of Jorge Luis Arenales in March 2023 and draws on extensive corporate and finance experience to advise on real estate transactions, ably assisted by senior associate Jorge Ordóñez.

Practice head(s):

Luis Pedro del Valle

Key clients

12three Finance



Chemonics International

Sealed Air

Work highlights

  • Advising Finca La Quina on the negotiations for the acquisition of land for farming purposes in the department of Guatemala.
  • Advised High Q International on the lease agreements for real estate in various departments in Guatemala.

Central America > Corporate and finance

Formed following the split of pioneering Central American firm Arias & Munoz, Arias has a well-established network of seven offices in the region, spread across Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras (where it has branches in both Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula), Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The firm has a long history of handling high-profile local and international M&A and financial transactions, acting for an impressive roster of multinationals, global financial institutions and leading regional banks. Diego Gallegos, who has expertise in asset and project finance, and Vicente Lines, an expert in the infrastructure and telecoms spaces, lead the finance practice in Costa Rica and are also key figures in the corporate team, where energy specialist Melania Dittel is also noted. In El Salvador, Mario Lozano is sought after for his advice on fintech and cryptocurrency issues, while Lilian Arias, the M&A-focused Roberta Gallardo and Luisa Rivas are among the key contacts for corporate matters. In Guatemala, Luis Pedro del Valle, who has a strong track record in cross-border M&A, took over leadership of the corporate and finance practices in April 2023. The highly experienced Evangelina Lardizábal steers the corporate and finance teams in Honduras alongside Mario Agüero, while in Nicaragua Ana Teresa Rizo, a go-to partner for foreign investments, Bertha Argüello, Gustavo-Adolfo Vargas and Rodrigo Ibarra, a specialist in the energy sector, are the names to note. María Cristina Fábrega takes the lead on M&A and financial transactions in Panama.

Work highlights

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 many years of experience in several practice areas combined with young lawyers. This means our firm is constantly innovating and adapting to the needs of today’s world, which ensures we are able 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

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner, Head of Labour Liz Gordillo +(502) 23827700
Partner, Head of Litigation Mario Archila +(502) 23827700
Partner, Head of Corporate, Commercial and M&A Luis Pedro Del Valle +(502) 23827700
Partner, Head of Tax Ximena Tercero +(502) 23827700
Partner, Labour and Corporate Rosa Maria Arenales +(502) 23827700
Partners : 5
Associates : 19
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 : 5