Arias > San Jose, Costa Rica > Firm Profile

CLS Business Center
9no piso / 9th floor
Sabana, San José
Costa Rica

Costa Rica > Intellectual property Tier 1

The powerhouse intellectual property group at Arias remains a market leader, coordinating with seven offices in six countries across Central America to employ regional strength when managing and safeguarding the intellectual property portfolios of household-name global corporates (including Bayer), across sectors ranging from pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, consumer goods and chemicals to entertainment, hospitality and the automotive industry. The practice’s comprehensive service covers litigation and enforcement, licensing, brand management and the development of registration strategies for copyrights, trade marks, trade names, slogans and patents. The practice is jointly led by IP authority María Del Pilar López, who brings expertise to regulatory affairs, personal data protection, and judicial and administrative processes; veteran patent prosecutor Simón Valverde; and biotech patent expert Luis Diego Castro. Key support is provided by senior associate Ariana Lizano, who develops strategies for Costa Rica market entrants in the food and consumer products industries, and associate Valeria Grant, who handles patent registration procedures. Associate María Laura Torres joined in October 2022 from trade mark boutique RJM Abogados.

Practice head(s):

Simón Valverde; Luis Diego Castro; María del Pilar López


A team of professionals with great experience and up-to-date knowledge in the services they offer.

Luis Diego Castro not only has knowledge and experience, he also has an excellent relationship with clients and follows up on their matters.

Arias has an important presence in the region with qualified personnel who are responsive to customer needs.

The quality of service stands out from other lawyers in the region.

At Arias we receive a quick and accurate response to queries. María del Pilar López stands out.

The partners have great legal judgment, which can only be found in lawyers who have been highly trained in their jurisdiction and abroad, which gives them an advantage in the field in which they compete. Simón Valverde and Luis Diego Castro stand out; with their great legal expertise they have resolved various important issues for our clients.

The team at Arias is highly skilled, provides tailor-made advice and keeps an eye on detail.

María del Pilar López has vast experience in all fields of IP practice. She is very responsive and is always willing to lend a hand to clients for matters in her country. She provides detailed and valuable advice.

Key clients

Lanotec (Laboratorio Nacional de Biotecnología)


Costa Rica > Banking and finance Tier 2

The banking and finance practice at regional firm Arias brings strength to advising multinational law firms and local and global banks and financial institutions (including HSBC, JP Morgan, Citibank and BNP Paribas) on day-to-day matters and high-value, multi-jurisdictional transactions. The group’s comprehensive services range from debt restructuring, the structuring of local security documents, debt financing and loan security packages to equity investments, insolvency and bankruptcy law, the issuance of negotiable instruments, regulatory compliance and asset securitisation. The team is led by Diego Gallegos, an expert in asset and project finance, and Vicente Lines, who brings decades of experience in adversarial negotiations, acquisitions and financing matters in regulated industries. Senior counsel Mariella Quirós joined in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Diego Gallegos; Vicente Lines


We work closely with Diego Gallegos, who is the partner in charge for financial institutions transactions in Costa Rica. In the past he was dealing directly with all matters related to our business, he is now delegating more tasks to his associates while remaining very involved in the transaction. We see this as a positive development, as it helps with knowledge distribution within the firm.

Diego Gallegos is very knowledgeable in the scope of work we require, and he is familiarised with our way of working. He is proactive in finding solutions that fit our needs.

Key clients



JP Morgan

IDB Invest


US International Development Finance Corporation

Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group

Baker McKenzie

Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund

Norton Rose Fulbright

BNP Paribas


Work highlights

  • Advising the lenders and the agent (Bladex) in El Salvador and Costa Rica on a syndicated loan to CrediQ with a value of over $100m.

Costa Rica > Compliance Tier 2

The San José office of regional firm Arias leverages the experience of its team to design programmes to address national and international compliance regulations for such major multinational corporates as Coca-Cola FEMSA and Dos Pinos, across the food and beverages, tech, consumer goods and financial services sectors. The group’s full service covers matters ranging from risk identification and status analysis to anti-money laundering and anti-corruption policies, the preparation and drafting of regulatory compliance policies and the preparation of monitoring, auditing and periodic compliance assessments. The team is headed by senior counsel German Rojas, who also leads the firm’s Costa Rican litigation practice. Key support is provided by senior counsel Abraham Balzer, a specialist in civil liability and consumer rights, who brings experience in judicial and arbitral procedures.

Practice head(s):

German Rojas

Key clients

Dos Pinos

Coca Cola – FEMSA


Colegio de Contadores Privados



Work highlights

  • Acting for Dos Pinos as permanent counsel to the compliance department.
  • Provided Essity with support in compliance related matters such as anticorruption and competition training, due diligence for third parties, and updates on its anticorruption and data privacy obligations.
  • Aided Mondelez with anticorruption services such as training and analysis of its anticorruption clauses.

Costa Rica > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

The experienced corporate team at regional firm Arias brings strength to advising major multinationals (including Telefónica and Mondelez) across such sectors as telecoms, pharmaceuticals, sports, food and beverages, professional services, chemicals and energy on day-to-day matters and complex, cross-border transactions. The team is headed by due diligence and contract negotiation specialist Andrey Dorado; energy sector expert Melania Dittel; Vicente Lines, who assists telecoms infrastructure and service providers with establishment in the Costa Rican market; Víctor Manuel Garita, who brings expertise to multi-jurisdictional M&A; and international trade authority (and former consul for the Costa Rican Consulate General in New York) Carlos Camacho. Diego Gallegos employs a project and asset finance skill set and provides support with political risk mitigation. Senior counsel Tracy Valera advises on shareholders’, stock purchase and asset purchase agreements and senior associate Sebastián Solano also provides key support.

Practice head(s):

Andrey Dorado; Melania Dittel; Vicente Lines; Víctor Manuel Garita; Carlos Camacho


They have very good communication.

Personalised attention makes the difference.

The Arias team always shows interest and passion. They adapt very well to the company’s processes, providing a quality service.

Melania Dittel and Sebastián Solano are professionals who are very committed to excellence in the legal service they offer.

The Arias team has established itself as one of our main external advisers in Latin America, due to the fact that they are a very high-performance team.

Melania Dittel offers a service that, in addition to being friendly and precise, allows us to have the peace of mind of knowing that at all times she is ready to assist us with a first-class service.

Key clients

Natural Partners and ReFeel






Pintuco/Grupo Orbis

IMCD Group/Andes Chemical

Work highlights

  • Advised the seller, Pintuco, on a transaction by providing the necessary documentation for the due diligence process and negotiating and revising the transaction agreements.
  • Advised Rather Outdoors on the $3m share purchase of Productos Deportivos KS from a local perspective throughout the due diligence stage, closing and post-closing processes.

Costa Rica > Energy and natural resources Tier 2

The energy team at regional firm Arias provides advice on major energy generation projects at every phase – from initial investment to operations. The group’s comprehensive service extends to assistance with bidding processes, regulatory compliance issues and advisory services to large energy consumers in the development and support of contracts of sale or supply. The team is led by project finance expert Carlos Ubico, who brings strength to administrative procedures and litigation proceedings, the creation of public-private partnerships, public works concessions and challenges before the Constitutional Court. Ubico is supported by senior counsel Luis Diego Obando, an administrative law specialist with experience litigating at both the national and international levels.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Ubico

Key clients

Natural Partners

Real Infrastructure

Work highlights

  • Advised Pacific Biofuel on the process of obtaining the corresponding water permits for the implementation of a biofuel plant.

Costa Rica > Environment Tier 2

The environmental group at Arias employs regional strength to advise national and international corporates and developers on a wide spectrum of matters across the practice area. With a client base spanning such sectors as pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, agriculture, energy and chemicals, the team’s comprehensive service covers environmental litigation and alternative dispute resolution, legal permits and licences, ESG services, expansion planning, regulatory compliance, renewable projects and environmental due diligence. The team is led by seasoned environmental litigator Roberto Cordero, who brings over 20 years of experience and who assists clients with environmental health and safety, sustainability, and crisis management, and Carlos Ubico, who utilises a background in project finance, public law, administrative litigation, and constitutional claims before the Costa Rican Constitutional Court. Other key figures include senior counsel Luis Diego Obando, who has litigated internationally before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and associate Mónica Espinoza, who handles the environmental aspects of major transactions for clients across the fishing, automotive and hospitality industries.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Cordero; Carlos Ubico


The team stands out for its extensive knowledge and expertise, and its client service.

Key clients


Grupo Orbis

IMCD Holdings US

Work highlights

  • Advising Laboratorios Zepol on environmental, health and safety and quality compliance assessments and regulatory monitoring.

Costa Rica > Insurance Tier 2

Specialising in regulatory insurance matters, the multidisciplinary team at the San José office of regional firm Arias brings strength to advising major insurers and multinational corporates across such sectors as infrastructure, tourism and tech. The firm’s comprehensive service covers high-value transactions, agreement drafting and interactions with the General Superintendency of Insurance (SUGESE). The team is headed by former consul for the Costa Rican Consulate General in New York Carlos Camacho and Diego Gallegos. Key support is provided by senior counsel Rolando García, who brings strength to complex contractual negotiations.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Camacho; Diego Gallegos

Costa Rica > Projects and infrastructure Tier 2

The team at Arias utilises its regional presence to advise investors, government agencies, NGOs and multinationals including Telefónica and McKinsey & Company on a diverse spectrum of matters, ranging from administrative procedures, lawsuits against the government and government procurement proceedings to public works, infrastructure concessions, public project financing, and claims before the Costa Rican Constitutional Court. The firm’s active client base spans such sectors as telecoms, construction, pharmaceuticals, tech, energy, and hospitality. The team is led by Carlos Ubico, who brings experience in administrative procedures, work concessions and project finance, along with Vicente Lines (an expert in energy and infrastructure), Carlos Camacho, Andrey Dorado and Diego Gallegos (who brings expertise to asset finance transactions). Other key figures include senior counsel Luis Diego Obando and associate Mónica Espinoza, both seasoned international litigators.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Ubico; Vicente Lines; Carlos Camacho; Andrey Dorado; Diego Gallegos


Carlos Ubico stands out for his support, guidance and good knowledge of the matter in which he is advising.

Arias has a very innovative and young team. They are more proactive than reactive and that is what companies look for – they follow up and manage up-to-date information to provide the best recommendations and solutions.

Carlos Ubico has extensive knowledge of legislation and jurisprudence; he is a lawyer who does not doubt his position in situations and specifically offers you solutions and options, which in decision-making and strategic planning is vital for the success of foreign investment.

The Arias office provides a comprehensive and high-quality service. There is always a specialised person who meets our needs.

Luis Diego Obando has great professional ability and extraordinary values.

Key clients


McKinsey & Company

Natural Partners


Sardinal Water Trust


Work highlights

  • Provided legal advice to Judesur on the public bidding process for the design and construction of warehouses in Golfito.
  • Provided support to Rythmia in establishing the legal grounds to defend the legality of the ayahuasca plant in Costa Rica.
  • Provided legal support in a public procurement procedure for Datasoft, by submitting appeals before the General Comptroller’s Office, and achieving the reversal of other bidder’s award.

Costa Rica > Tax Tier 2

The experienced tax team at Arias brings strength to advising major multinationals such as Telefónica on a comprehensive range of tax matters. With an active client portfolio spanning sectors ranging from hospitality, aviation and food to manufacturing, energy, real estate and delivery services, the firm’s full service covers tax ​​compliance, planning, due diligence, litigation, transfer pricing and the tax implications of M&A transactions. The team is led by corporate tax compliance expert Carolina Flores and Carlos Camacho, who advises companies on the free trade zone regime and specialises in advising investors in the telecoms, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, and retail sectors. Senior counsel Ligia Alfaro provides support in day-to-day consulting and in complex tax litigation.

Practice head(s):

Carolina Flores; Carlos Camacho


The great advantage that the Arias team has in its tax practice is its very high technical level, accompanied by impeccable customer service. In this way, Arias manages to analyse highly technical topics and transmit recommendations and answers in a simple, concise and effective way.

Ligia Alfaro is an exceptional lawyer who seeks innovative solutions while managing to provide the best service in tax practice in Costa Rica. Studious, analytical and with unmatched personal qualities.

The team are super knowledgeable and have a lot of experience. They are very technical, responsive and great writers.

Ligia Alfaro and Carolina Flores are super responsive, articulate and business friendly. They have deep knowledge and deep understanding of the law but are also quick learners of client facts. They do not do superficial analysis – they really focus and analyse the client’s issues. They are great with clients as well. They have great connections in the market and understand the status of things.

Key clients



Work highlights

  • Designed a tax strategy to install a services operation for Clearsource under the free trade zone regime, preparing all regulatory matters and completing the two-step complex approval process for the company.

Costa Rica > Dispute resolution Tier 3

The experienced team at regional firm Arias brings strength to representing major multinational corporates such as Pfizer in diverse range of dispute resolution matters.  The firm’s comprehensive service ranges from litigation prevention, commercial disputes and white-collar criminal cases to complex distribution matters, fraud and debt collection proceedings, and disputes related to intellectual property and environmental law. The team is led by Víctor Manuel Garita, an expert in arbitration related to concession disputes, construction and distribution contracts; and senior counsels German Rojas, an experienced civil litigator, and Abraham Balzer, a specialist in civil liability, consumer rights and class actions.

Practice head(s):

Víctor Manuel Garita; German Rojas; Abraham Balzer


This practice has very intelligent, highly experienced lawyers who also form a very good team that complements each other. What makes this dispute resolution practice different is that the different members of the team know about topics as diverse as the civil process itself, corporate, banking, commercial law, securities and relevant topics of criminal law. Finding a practice with such a wealth of accumulated knowledge is very difficult.

The team is led by Víctor Manuel Garita, who has a great capacity to develop applicable strategies and the theory of the case. His knowledge of both commercial and banking law and litigation distinguish him.

Abraham Balzer is extremely diligent, responds and attends to the client’s needs immediately, and has great capacity in procedural law.

Key clients


Desarrollos Hotelers Guanacaste





Costa Rica > Labour and employment Tier 3

Coordinating with seven offices in six countries across Central America, the labour team at Arias provides regional corporates, major multinationals, financial institutions and private universities with support in their day-to-day operations and representation in complex, high-stakes litigation. With an active client base spanning sectors ranging from consumer goods, telecoms and education to healthcare, hospitality, and food and beverages, the practice’s comprehensive service extends to advice on HR management procedures and the labour aspects of M&A, internal investigations, the establishment of training programmes, due diligence, risk assessment and administrative claims. The team is led by Carolina Soto, who is experienced in proceedings before the Supreme Court of Justice.

Practice head(s):

Carolina Soto

Key clients

American Tower








Work highlights

  • Advising American Tower in a labour lawsuit for over $5m against the economic group alleging an employment relationship with a former business partner.
  • Acting for INCAE in a lawsuit filed by a former employee who had international mission status.
  • Advised IMCD Group on the labour aspects of the acquisition of 100% of the business and subsidiaries of Quelaris Internacional.

Costa Rica > Real estate Tier 3

The real estate practice at regional firm Arias employs a multidisciplinary approach, coordinating with its tax and free trade zone teams to advise private investors, developers, and national and multinational corporates across the tech, government, retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, hospitality and pharmaceuticals sectors on high-value transactions involving the expansion of their facilities in Costa Rica. The practice’s comprehensive service extends to the negotiation and drafting of share purchases, construction contracts, lease and services agreements, concession rights, mortgages, and due diligence and title verification. The team is led by former consul for the Costa Rican Consulate General in New York Carlos Camacho, who brings expertise to developments and acquisition projects, along with experienced regulatory adviser Vicente Lines and Luis Diego Castro. The group is supported by senior counsel Vicente Lines.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Camacho; Vicente Lines; Luis Diego Castro


Arias has provided outstanding comprehensive real estate business services well beyond those that are typical, including the full range of representation for government affairs and tax matters.

They are very proactive and responsive. They anticipate needs well. Highly recommended.

They are very clear lawyers. They fully understand what is needed and the steps to carry it out. Real estate audit reports are easy to read and understand. They have very good sensitivity to determine issues that may cause a problem.

They’re available. They perfectly know how to measure the sense of urgency and what requires an immediate response.

The team’s collaboration and willingness to innovate in services and scope sets them apart from other law firms without a doubt.

They have expertise in each sector they serve and the degree of specialisation is very high.

Key clients


Justin Palmer

Reginald Webb


Micro Stamping Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisted Regenerative Medicine Institute (RMI) with the negotiations of the lease agreement for both an office and medical centre and new lab facilities for over $1m.
  • Assisted medical technology company Viant with advice on the negotiation of its new free trade zone satellite facilities.
  • Assisted 3M with the $4.3m sale and leaseback agreement of its current facilities.

Central America > Corporate and finance Tier 1

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, 41 partners,  and 130 highly trained and experienced attorneys with offices in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panamá.

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 35 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 the 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 Carolina Flores (506) 40362800
Managing partner Vicente Lines (506) 40362800
Partner Carlos Camacho (506) 40362800
Partner Carlos Ubico (506) 40362800
Partner Andrey Dorado (506) 40362800
Partner Simon Valverde (506) 40362800
Partner Victor MI Garita (506) 40362800
Partner Carolina Soto (506) 40362800
Partner Luis Diego Castro (506) 40362800
Partner Melania Dittel (506) 40362800
Partner Diego Gallegos (506) 40362800
Partner María del Pilar López Quirós (506) 40362800
Partners : 13
Senior Counsel : 7
Associates : 12
Government Affairs Coordinator : 1
Of Counsels : 2
INTA - International Trademark Association
World Law Group (WLG)

AIPPI (Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property)
IBA (International Bar Association)
Partners throughout the region : 41
Partners in Costa Rica : 12