Carrillo & Asociados > Guatemala, Guatemala > Firm Profile

Carrillo & Asociados
DIAGONAL 6 10-01 ZONA 10

Guatemala > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Full-service domestic firm Carrillo & Asociados has seen a recent growth in distressed M&A work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and has particular experience advising on M&A transactions (distressed or otherwise) in the energy, retail, agroindustrial, real estate, telecoms and banking sectors. Other areas of strength include incorporations, reorganisations, joint ventures and commercial agreements. The team is jointly led by Rodolfo Alegria, who has experience in M&A throughout Central America, with a focus on the telecoms and energy sectors, and Rodrigo Callejas, while founding partner Alfonso Carrillo is also a key figure in the practice. At senior associate level, Mélida Pineda has notable expertise in corporate restructurings and cross-border M&A (particularly in the energy sector) and Sara Santacruz adds key experience in competition and labour issues to the team. Since publication, Alegría has left the firm after more than 30 years, moving to Estudio Chávez Bosque S.A. as of March 2022, as has Pineda.

Practice head(s):

Rodrigo Callejas

Work highlights

  • Advised the real estate investment vehicle of a high-net-worth family, as a shareholder in a real estate and tourism development, on corporate, financing, regulatory and restructuring matters.
  • Advised the minority passive shareholder of a vehicle imports and sale company on the sale of his stake to a majority shareholder.
  • Advised a pre-payment platform for gift cards on its commercial agreements with different establishments.

Guatemala > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Constitutional litigation is a key area of expertise for Carrillo & Asociados, which is particularly well known for representing international organisations operating in Guatemala in public interest actions. However, the firm’s broad litigation experience also spans civil, commercial, administrative and criminal cases, and it is highly active in arbitration involving energy, telecoms, construction and distribution contracts. While the practice saw the departure of founding partner Francisco Chávez in August 2020, it remains a sizeable team. At senior level, Alfonso Carrillo focuses on public interest litigation (including pro bono cases defending the rule of law), Rodrigo Callejas specialises in asset recovery and insolvency cases, and Luis Mazariegos has extensive experience in civil, criminal, commercial and labour litigation. Senior associates Emanuel Callejas, Ricardo Recinos and Fernando Mendizábal have expertise in fraud, civil and constitutional, and criminal litigation, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Alfonso Carrillo; Luis Mazariegos; Rodrigo Callejas

Key clients

Importadora de Alimentos de Guatemala

Industria Forrajera de Mazatenango

Alta Tecnología en Envases

Tapametal de Guatemala

Pricewaterhouse Coopers, as a custodian of Bancafe International Bank

Eco Young & Rubicam

Fundación Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

Universidad del Valle de Guatemala

Correo de Guatemala

Universidad Mesoamericana

George Lucas

Cargo Expreso

Work highlights

  • Acted for the George Lucas Educational Foundation in a dispute over the wrongful use of the clients’ “Edutopia” trade mark by another party in Guatemala.
  • Represented Importadora de Alimentos de Guatemala in a dispute over the payment of profits to shareholders.
  • Acted for Alta Tecnología en Envases in a claim to declare void ab initio a contract with Hencorp Becstone Capital on the basis that it was entered into by a manager who did not have the power to encumber the company’s property.

Guatemala > Energy and natural resources/projects Tier 1

Carrillo & Asociados has significant strength in disputes, corporate and commercial matters, project finance and regulatory issues in the energy and mining sectors, including advising on permits to operate in the energy market and acting in commercial, regulatory and constitutional litigation and arbitration in these sectors. Practice head Rodolfo Alegria has extensive experience in the financing of high-profile telecoms, energy and natural resources projects, acting on behalf of major multinationals; he also handles related arbitration proceedings. Senior associate Mélida Pineda is also a key member of the team, with experience in project finance, M&A and insurance cases in the energy sector, as well as in advising on power-purchase agreements (PPAs). Since publication, Alegría has left the firm after more than 30 years, moving to Estudio Chávez Bosque S.A. as of March 2022, as has Pineda.

Key clients

Enel Green Power

Grupo Terra

Axa Impact Fund

Work highlights

  • Acted for Enel Green Power in a dispute over land acquired for the development of a hydropower plant which was suspended and not built.
  • Representing Grupo Terra in arbitration proceedings relating to the default of a PPA which the client executed with a utility company.
  • Advising Axa Impact Fund, as underwriter, on the planned issuance of bonds of Guatemalan NGO Fundaeco, to be secured by the revenues of the sale of carbon units of Fundaeco’s forestry projects.

Guatemala > Banking and finance Tier 2

Full-service domestic firm Carrillo & Asociados particularly stands out for its strength in insolvency matters and asset recovery actions for international banks and financial institutions, as well as in advising foreign investors on regulatory compliance. However, the team has experience in a wide range of banking and finance matters, including commercial lending, debt restructuring, and aviation and project finance. At the head of the practice, Rodolfo Alegria focuses on commercial lending and project finance, particularly in the energy sector, Rodrigo Callejas specialises in cross-border insolvencies and banking regulation, and the experienced Alfonso Carrillo has expertise in multi-jurisdictional transactions. Senior associates Emanuel Callejas and Mélida Pineda are noted for their strength in asset recovery and project finance, respectively. Since publication, Alegría has left the firm after more than 30 years, moving to Estudio Chávez Bosque as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Rodrigo Callejas; Alfonso Carrillo

Key clients

Pricewaterhouse Coopers (as a custodian of Bancafe International Bank)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, as a custodian of Bancafe International Bank, to trace and recover the assets of more than 3,000 creditors in Guatemala.

Guatemala > Tax Tier 2

Advising multinationals with operations in Guatemala on tax planning is a key area of strength for the team at Carrillo & Asociados, which also advises on the tax aspects of corporate transactions and customs and import tariff issues, and assists foreign and Guatemalan ultra-high-net-worth clients with estate planning and international tax matters. On the contentious side, senior associates Ricardo Recinos and Fernando Mendizábal have expertise in tax disputes. Founding partner Alfonso Carrillo, who has experience in complex, cross-border tax matters, and Rodolfo Alegria, who advises major Central American companies on tax planning and the tax aspects of M&A and restructurings, lead the team. Senior associate María de Lourdes Villanueva brings additional expertise in customs and international trade issues and cross-border tax structures to the team. Since publication, Alegría has left the firm after more than 30 years, moving to Estudio Chávez Bosque as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Alfonso Carrillo

Key clients



Nestlé Guatemala

Assa Abloy Guatemala

Olam Agro


Work highlights

  • Acting for software company Datum in a dispute with the tax authority over the payment of income tax.
  • Assisting agrochemicals production and distribution company Syntenga with the tax issues associated with changes to its value chain in Central America and the Caribbean.
  • Defending Nestlé Guatemala against a criminal complaint brought by the tax administration over alleged customs fraud.

Guatemala > Intellectual property Tier 3

Carrillo & Asociados handles a high volume of trade mark registrations, both in Guatemala and internationally, as well as advising on patents, utility models and industrial designs. The team is skilled in contentious IP matters, most notably anti-counterfeiting litigation, where practice heads Luis Mazariegos and Rodrigo Callejas are particularly active. The cosmetics, pharmaceutical, fashion, food and beverage, and communications sectors are areas of particular strength. Associates Alfaro López, who focuses on the management of clients' IP portfolios in Guatemala, and Carlos Meza, who also advises on health registrations, are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Luis Mazariegos; Rodrigo Callejas

Key clients

Moeller IP

Alcon Laboratories

Fundación George Lucas

Work highlights

  • Acted for Fundación George Lucas in an infringement case relating to its “Edutopia” trade mark.

Carrillo & Asociados is a distinguished regional leader in a wide range of international commercial transactions and litigation, which is managed directly from its office in Guatemala, with 35 attorneys, often involving strategic law firm partners in other countries. Its legal talent has shaped many of the largest and most complicated cross-border transactions in Central America and its landmark work in Guatemalan and regional jurisprudence and business regulation has resulted in contacts and experience at the highest levels of industry. The incorporation of economic, financial, entrepreneurial and personal dimensions enables the firm to identify better strategies in each case and to offer integrated services to their clients.

History: Founded in 1947, Carrillo & Asociados merged with another of Guatemala’s most prestigious firms, Beltranena, De la Cerda, Chavez in 2009. This has enabled it to offer a sophisticated, full-service portfolio that encompasses strategic litigation, fraud and asset recovery, insolvency, restructuring, energy and natural resources, foreign investments (including project finance) and international banking.

In recent years, the firm has become the chosen Latin American legal partner for international trustees and liquidators in some of the world’s highest-profile, highest-value insolvencies involving fraud and corruption. In addition, the firm is the sole Guatemalan member of FraudNet, the world’s leading network of asset tracing and recovery lawyers operating under the aegis of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Practice areas: Carrillo & Asociados is organized into the following departments: criminal litigation, arbitration, civil litigation and insurance; bankruptcy, insolvency, fraud and asset recovery, taxation and customs; corporate, M&A, banking and finance, restructuring, crisis management, energy, intellectual property, real estate and immigration.

Through its expansive and expert corporate practice, the firm advises some of the region’s top multinationals on the most complex and sophisticated matters, as well as strategic litigation, regulatory, capitalization, taxes, growth and investment.

In every client matter, counsel is given from a 360-degree perspective made possible by seamless teamwork across diverse practice groups and deep technical insight into the industry sector(s) in which clients operate. These unique capabilities derive from the firm’s cutting-edge representations across a wide spectrum of industries, such as retail, transport, chemical and pharmaceutical, financial services, energy, communications, media, technology, among many others.

Carrillo & Asociados is recognized for its scalability in creating results-oriented teams that successfully handle multi-jurisdictional litigation and transactions of varying size and complexity. The firm heavily invests in technology, as well as in the specialization of its talented professionals.

Corporate and commercial Alfonso Carrillo
Corporate and commercial Rodolfo Alegría
Corporate and commercial Mélida Pineda
Employment and employee benefits Rodolfo Alegría
Employment and employee benefits Rodrigo Callejas
Employment and employee benefits Sara Santacruz
Finance Alfonso Carrillo
Finance Rodrigo Callejas
Finance Francisco Chávez
Finance Mélida Pineda
Insolvency, fraud and asset revovery Alfonso Carrillo
Insolvency, fraud and asset revovery Rodrigo Callejas
Insolvency, fraud and asset revovery Emanuel Callejas
Litigation and dispute resolution Alfonso Carrillo
Litigation and dispute resolution Luis Mazariegos
Litigation and dispute resolution Rodrigo Callejas
Litigation and dispute resolution Fernando Mendizábal
Litigation and dispute resolution Ricardo Recinos
Litigation and dispute resolution Mynor García
Intellectual property Analucia Carrillo
Intellectual property Alfaro López
Real estate AnalucÍa Carrillo
Real estate Rodolfo Alegría
Real estate Juan Francisco Sandoval
Regulated sectors Rodolfo Alegría
Tax and customs Alfonso Carrillo
Tax and customs Rodolfo Alegría
Tax and customs Maria de Lourdes Villanueva
Criminal/counterfeit/contraband Alfonso Carrillo
Criminal/counterfeit/contraband Rodrigo Callejas
Energy and natural resources Rodolfo Alegría
Other fee-earners : 28
Total staff : 82
Partners : 6