Aguilar Castillo Love > San Jose, Costa Rica > Firm Profile

Aguilar Castillo Love
Costa Rica

Costa Rica > Banking and finance Tier 1

The 'robust and efficient' banking and finance group at Aguilar Castillo Love continues to be a vital line of support for major international and regional financial institutions engaged in high-value, cross-border transactions. Led by finance expert Marco Solano Gómez and senior partner John Aguilar-Quesada, the team advises such clients as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, HSBC, Bank of America, Credit Suisse Group and American Express on financial transactions in a broad range of sectors, including financial services, real estate, agrochemical, automotive, technology and fintech. The regional firm's broad practice covers advice on secured and unsecured financings, due diligence, regulatory matters, and single bank and syndicated loan facilities. Securities specialist Stephanie Howard Peña provides valuable support at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Marco Solano Gómez; John Aguilar-Quesada


‘Very reliable and practical local advice. As an in-house counsel having no experience in Costa Rica, we were very happy about the robust, efficient support we received.’

‘Marco Solano was always willing to go beyond the instructions given, providing us with an insight into the local market which we could not foresee without his support. His efficient and practical advice helped us to go through a difficult matter which was Covid-affected and required a swift response.’

Key clients

American Express Company

Bank of America Corporation

Credit Suisse Group


Goldman Sachs

JP Morgan

Banco Ficohsa (Panama)

UBS Group


The Blackstone Group

Work highlights

  • Advising JP Morgan on its debtor-in-possession financing to Avianca.

Costa Rica > Compliance Tier 1

Aguilar Castillo Love remains 'at the forefront' in compliance matters, taking a multi-disciplinary approach to safeguarding high-level clients from changing regulatory regimes. A team led by experienced criminal litigator Rodolfo Brenes Vargas and corporate compliance and free trade expert Tatiana Rojas Hernández advises a diverse client base that includes Synthes (part of Johnson & Johnson), Pfizer and Hewlett-Packard as well as newer clients such as Feilo Sylvania and Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada. The group’s reach extends over a broad range of industries, from aviation, food and agrochemicals to telecoms and pharmaceuticals. The arrival of senior associate and white-collar crime specialist Sergio Herra Rodríguez has brought added value to an ever-growing team.

Practice head(s):

Rodolfo Brenes Vargas; Tatiana Rojas Hernández


‘The partners who advise us are at the forefront of issues, in addition to being highly ethical.’

‘Personalised service and detailed evaluations of each request.’

‘The firm has lawyers with a lot of experience and with a very practical sense of risk analysis that facilitates the exchange of information and validation of opinions, which has made them a strategic ally for our in-house lawyers.’

‘The team stands out for its focus on developing relationships based on trust. There is openness and accessibility on their part that makes it easier to engage in an open, transparent, objective and highly practical conversation. They have a high standard of integrity that makes them very reliable.’

Key clients

Synthes (Johnson & Johnson)

Cooperativa de Productores de Leche

DHL Aviation

DHL Costa Rica

Latin Trading

Quimicas Mundiales

Corteva Agriscience

Feilo Sylvania



Televisora de Costa Rica (Teletica)

Hewlett Packard

Colegio Santa María

Conferencia Espiscopal Nacional Costa Rica

President Carlos Alvarada Quesada

Former President Oscar Arias Sánchez

Work highlights

  • Providing advice to Tribute Holdings (MIC Food) on a number of important matters, including the renegotiation of a joint venture agreement, a division’s spin-off, and a potential acquisition.

Costa Rica > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Led by legal industry veteran John Aguilar-Quesada, the corporate and M&A team at Aguilar Castillo Love is praised by clients for its 'personalised service' and for its combination of 'experienced' leads and 'tech-savvy' younger lawyers. The group takes a multidisciplinary approach to representing such multinationals as WarnerMedia, Johnson Controls International, AstraZeneca, and Coca-Cola, with a client portfolio that spreads across a variety of sectors, including telecoms, food, hospitality, and pharmaceuticals. The team's services extend to advising on antitrust matters, joint venture negotiations, and compliance and detection of criminal risks in high-value transactions. The regional firm is also known for its work with Magic Circle firms, among them Linklaters and Slaughter and May. The group is backed by regulatory expert Tatiana Rojas Hernández, restructuring specialist Marco Solano, the technology-focused Fabián Solis (who arrived from Deloitte Legal in July 2021), Esteban Agüero Guier, who has notable merger control expertise, and Andrea Sáenz, who is an authority on free trade zones. Key associate-level support is provided by Stephanie Howard Peña and Laura Rodríguez Amador.

Practice head(s):

John Aguilar-Quesada


‘All members of the team and the firm offer extensive knowledge of their specific area of law. They are always willing to do more to help, and they see the different options and ways to achieve the objectives we seek.’

‘There is always a personalised service. I really appreciate the attention of the senior partner and the fact that they are available at any time of the day to answer our questions.’

‘ACL’s corporate and M&A team stands out not only for the sophistication of its members and its geographic coverage throughout Central America, but also for its level of response and efficient service. They know the most important issues in the different jurisdictions, but above all, they anticipate the needs of their clients.’

‘The team at ACL stand out for various reasons. They have a mix of experienced lawyers and tech-savvy younger lawyers who understand the most important business issues and have the ability to find the best way to meet clients’ requirements in complex and cross-border matters.’

‘They provide thorough advice on all subjects, taking into account all the different perspectives involved.’

‘Well-rounded service and good ideas.’

‘The firm provides a personalised service. It is not just good on the technical legal side but also gives us practical advice that is aligned to our credo and ethical principles. I am extremely happy with the quality, speed and holistic nature of the firm’s services.’ 

‘Esteban Agüero’s availability, focus on our matters – including critical issues – and ability to not only provide a legal opinion but also practical advice, all to the highest ethical standards, is what makes the difference.’

Key clients

Terumo Corporation / MicroVention

TMF Group


DXC Technology Company

Swissport Group

Johnson Controls International


Assa Abbloy


Stryker Corporation




Janssen Cilag/Johnson & Johnson Services



Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas (INCAE)

Marriott International


Sonoco Products Company

Work highlights

  • Acted alongside Norton Rose Fulbright as local counsel to Accenture on its acquisition of CreativeDrive, a global, tech-driven content production company.
  • Acted for Coca-Cola in the launch of its first alcoholic beverage worldwide, named Topo Chico.
  • Advised Stryker Corporation in relation to its acquisition of the Wright Medical Group, which has an important operation and facility in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica > Dispute resolution Tier 1

The dispute resolution team at Aguilar Castillo Love provides a 'personalised service' to a client roster of household names, advising on a wide spectrum of matters. These range from corporate crime, international arbitration and civil litigation to contentious administrative disputes and cases involving sensitive reputational issues. The group is headed by litigation lead Esteban Agüero Guier, senior partner John Aguilar-Quesada and criminal litigation authority Rodolfo Brenes Vargas, and supported by alternative dispute resolution expert Tatiana Rojas Hernández and associate Laura Rodríguez Amador, who specialises in administrative law. The team represents such clients as DHL, Cargill and AstraZeneca, with expertise over a broad span of sectors including pharmaceuticals, beverages, logistics, food, chemicals and telecoms. New senior associate Sergio Herra Rodríguez, who joined the firm from Nassar Abogados in July 2020, brings additional expertise in white-collar crime cases to the team.

Practice head(s):

Esteban Agüero Guier; John Aguilar-Quesada; Rodolfo Brenes Vargas


‘They provide a personalised service and keep in close contact with clients.’

‘Esteban Agüero builds good relationships with his clients, which gives them a sense of trust and security.’

Key clients

Synthes (Johnson & Johnson)

Cooperativa de Productores de Leche (Dos Pinos)



Latin Trading


Quimicas Mundiales

Feilo Sylvania

CBRE (Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis)

Corteva Agriscience (Dow/Dupont)

Work highlights

  • Defending Synthes (Johnson & Johnson) in a criminal trial for social security fraud, allegedly committed by former employees.
  • Representing Cooperativa de Productores de Leche (Dos Pinos) as a defendant in criminal litigation related to an alleged tax offence.
  • Representing DHL as a creditor in one of the most important bankruptcy proceedings in Costa Rica against the company Yanber.

Costa Rica > Labour and employment Tier 3

The seasoned team at Aguilar Castillo Love offers 'detailed and practical' advice to multinational and international clients on a diverse span of labour issues, including compliance and claims relating to discrimination, mobbing and sexual harassment. The group’s full service extends to handling litigation and alternative dispute resolution, advising on outsourcing contracts and training programmes, and managing employment relationships. The team includes experienced head Álvaro Aguilar, labour litigation expert Eric Romero,  who joined the firm from Grupo Jurídico Latinomericano in June 2020, María Lucía Fischel, who specialises in corporate reputation issues, and associate Gloriana Lara Rams. The client roster includes household names such as the Coca-Cola Company, Paypal, AstraZeneca and L’Oréal.

Practice head(s):

Álvaro Aguilar


‘I really admired the solid legal background that was a basis to all the advice we received when working together with the firm, paired with practical experience and smooth cooperation throughout our case. They always aimed at finding solutions for our situation and ensuring we were aware of the advantages and risks associated with any of the possible scenarios.’

‘Absolutely valued the solid experience, the 100% professional style, the detailed and practical advice, the reaction time and the manner of the team.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Coca-Cola on day-to-day labour matters, including the employment aspects of the global restructuring of a business unit.
  • Advised Stryker Corporation in relation to all labour and employment aspects of its acquisition of the Wright Medical Group.
  • Advised Moody’s Shared Services, a global financial services company, across a range of labour matters.

Costa Rica > Projects and infrastructure Tier 3

The projects group at Aguilar Castillo Love assists national and multinational companies with the development of infrastructure projects from the ground up. Headed by energy and infrastructure project expert Ruben Zamora Castro, and backed by associate María Cristina Corrales, a public law specialist, the team’s services extend to advising on regulatory compliance and public law, public service concession contracts, and public procurement. The group’s client roster spans the banking and financial services, energy and tech industries.

Practice head(s):

Ruben Zamora Castro

Key clients


Camara Empresas Distribución Energía & Telecomunicaciones (CEDET)

Sociedad Portuaria de Caldera



Compañía Hidroeléctrica Doña Julia (CHDJ)

Hidroeléctrica Platanar (HPSA)

Hidroenergía del General

Compañía Palma Tica & Grupo Numar


Work highlights

  • Advised Temenos México on the public bidding for the acquisition and implementation of an integrated solution for the credit processes of Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal.
  • Advising DXC Technology in relation to the public bidding to the Ministry of Finance of Costa Rica for technology cloud services.
  • Advising Empresa Eléctrica Matamoros, which specialises in project operation and maintenance in the power industry, on the sale of Compañía Hidroeléctrica Doña Julia.

Costa Rica > Real estate Tier 3

The real estate group at Aguilar Castillo Love advises multinational clients on high-value transactions. Its services include assisting with due diligence processes, swap agreements, and the investment, financing and disposal of real estate assets. The team’s client portfolio spans the hospitality, real estate, manufacturing and retail industries. Following the departure of Álvaro Quesada Loría to ECIJA in November 2020, senior partner John Aguilar Osborne and Álvaro Aguilar are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

John Aguilar Quesada; Álvaro Aguilar

Costa Rica > Tax Tier 3

Aguilar Castillo Love is highlighted for its 'personalised' and 'boutique style' of client service. Tax compliance expert José Pablo González leads the team, advising household names including Hewlett-Packard Centroamérica and Coca-Cola, with experience across a wide range of sectors including agribusiness, energy, food, automotive, pharmaceuticals and real estate. The team assists regional and multinational companies with audits, investigations, litigation and tax adjustments imposed by the authorities. The group also assists with the tax aspects of joint ventures, start-ups and cross-border direct investments.

Practice head(s):

José Pablo González


‘The Aguilar Castillo Love team provides a boutique style of service that makes it unique. They are always available, regardless of the time, the day or the complexity of the issues we are dealing with. In addition, they understand the needs of our company very well and do not just tell us about the applicable laws and their interpretation, but go further in offering us guidance on how to apply the laws in the best way for our business.’

‘The top, personalised service that we receive from Jose Pablo Gonzalez is exceptional.’

‘Swift, timely and practical answers to the queries presented.’

‘Jose Pablo Gonzalez provides a personalised and skilled service.’

‘We have always been supported by the firm with issues in Central America.’

‘It is a personalised service. With other firms, clients sometimes have to adjust to the partners’ schedule, while with this firm we have always been well served. José Pablo González stands out.’

Key clients

Autostar (Mercedes Benz)

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise

NTT Data

Carlson Wagonlit Travel

The Coca-Cola Company

Seaboard Marine

Johnson Controls


DxC Technologies


Polaris Networking


Habitat for Humanity International

Asistencia Total en Mantenimiento

España (ATM)

Fyffes International

Brenntag (Químicos Holanda Costa Rica)

DLA Piper

Work highlights

  • Advised Autostar on tax issues relating to the implementation of projects in Costa Rica.
  • Provided NTT Data with advice on the tax treatment of financial leasing in Costa Rica.
  • Provided Dropbox with tax advice on the Costa Rican aspects of cross-border digital services.

Central America > Corporate and finance Tier 1

Aguilar Castillo Love has offices throughout Central America, as well as a presence in Ecuador and Paraguay. With major regional and international banks and multinational companies among its clients, the firm is well known for its advice on high-value financial and M&A transactions, including cross-border matters. Among the firm's areas of strength are project finance, bond issuances, acquisitions and corporate governance. In Costa Rica, Marco Solano and senior partner John Aguilar-Quesada lead the banking practice and are key contacts for corporate work, along with Andrea Sáenz, an expert in free trade zone matters. Senior partner Juan Carlos Castillo-Chacón is the name to note for finance and corporate matters in Guatemala, and is particularly renowned for advising major players in the energy sector. In Honduras, Juan José Alcerro Milla and Enrique Rodríguez Burchard lead the corporate and finance practices, where project finance is a notable area of expertise. In Nicaragua, Thelma Carrión-Blandón and Violeta Núñez are the key contacts for corporate and finance matters, respectively, and Carlos Roberto Alfaro leads the firm's corporate and M&A practice in El Salvador.

Aguilar Castillo Love has always been at the forefront of legal change and landmark cases. We have consistently redefined what it means to be a leading law firm and continue to provide the highest level of customer service and quality legal advice to a prestigious client base. Our multidisciplinary approach allows us to provide the top-level advice required on market-leading, cross-border transactions and cases, notably including at the intersection of corporate matters and the connected areas of antitrust and competition, finance – including technicalities of financial regulation, compliance, ABC, investigations and corporate crime, and dispute resolution.

Our regional offering now comprises offices across Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay. We regularly handle our clients’ most challenging legal issues requiring “one-country” expertise or comprehensive and unified regional, cross-border knowledge.

As a multidisciplinary team, the work types on which we advise is varied – from regulatory matters, to complex transactional, global deals and key negotiations. Our expertise cuts across multiple industries, ranging from infrastructure, energy and natural resources, to financial industries, technology, telecommunications and media among others.

We represent a broad range of clients with a particular focus on multinational companies seeking to do business in one or several of the jurisdictions in which we have a presence. We serve clients in all sectors in mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, splits, spin-offs or any kind of business combination, arrangement or restructuring. True to our commitment to quality, our corporate practice focuses on complex corporate and commercial matters, providing highly personalized service, including partner involvement.

Our business model has proven itself flexible, allowing us to make a number of important moves over the past year, including strengthening our offering across the region with new partner hires in Costa Rica, Ecuador and El Salvador, as well as entering the Paraguay market in June 2020. In our Costa Rica office, we are proud to house the President and Vice President of the Costa Rica Chapter of the World Compliance Association – Sergio Herra and Tatiana Rojas respectively. Our corporate crime team also includes one of the country’s most highly respected corporate criminal litigators – Rodolfo Brenes Vargas – who has handled some of the country’s most high-profile corporate criminal cases in the past year. Another key development is the strengthening of our technology law practice, with a new partner hire in the Costa Rica office.

This growth during the challenging times brought by the global pandemic reflects the strength in our model and direction as a business. We are no longer a Central American law firm, only, but are the first, home-grown Latin American firm – with offices in Ecuador as well as Paraguay. In addition, we frequently coordinate matters including jurisdictions outside of Central America, including – for example – Mexico and the Caribbean.

Our reputation for transparency and business integrity through the law sets us apart and continues to attract top talent to the firm. Our culture is trust, mutual respect and integrity through the law.


FIRM ADDRESS: San José, Escazú, Centro Corporativo Plaza Roble, Edificio El Pórtico III Nivel, Escazú, San José, Costa Rica

FIRM PHONE: +506 2222 3838

Managing partner John
IBA (International Bar Association)