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

Aguilar Castillo Love
Costa Rica

Costa Rica > Banking and finance Tier 1

With the combined bench strength of ten offices in nine countries throughout Latin America, the powerhouse banking and finance group at Aguilar Castillo Love remains a market leader, assisting major regional and global financial institutions, private equity firms and corporates on high-value, multi-jurisdictional transactions. The group’s active client base includes such household names as JP Morgan, American Express, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Goldman Sachs, and spans the medical devices, automotive, telecoms, financial services, and retail sectors. The team’s comprehensive service covers syndicated loan facilities, asset-backed financing structures, default swaps, project finance, credit facility agreements, regulatory matters, due diligence and debt structuring. Finance expert Marco Solano Gómez leads the team, bringing over 25 years of experience advising underwriters, issuers and trustees on debt instruments, including the private and public offering of bonds. The team is supported by senior associate Stephanie Howard Peña, who provides expertise in finance law and securities, and associate Karlo Suñol, whose utilises a background acting for multinationals in complex proceedings before Costa Rica’s financial regulators.

Practice head(s):

Marco Solano Gómez

Key clients

Glas Americas

Charles Schwab

CVC Capital Partners

JP Morgan


Ares Capital

Bank of America

Banco Ficohsa (Panamá)

Credit Suisse Group


Goldman Sachs

UBS Group


American Express Company

TMF Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised debt administration services provider Glas Americas, which acted as collateral trustee, on the exit financing transaction (valued at over $1bn) in the Avianca bankruptcy process.
  • Advised Ares Capital Corporation on a credit facility to finance the acquisition of Precision Concepts Costa Rica, a vertically integrated moulder and assembler of medical devices, by Intrapac International.
  • Advising fintech client WorldRemit/Sendwave, an online money transfer business that provides international money transfer services in more than 50 countries, on its regulatory compliance in order to offer its services in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica > Compliance Tier 1

The powerhouse compliance and investigations practice at Aguilar Castillo Love remains a market leader, leveraging the bench strength of nine offices throughout the region to advise public figures (including former Costa Rican presidents Carlos Alvarado Quesada and Óscar Arias Sánchez) and such major household names as BMW, DHL and Hewlett Packard, across the pharmaceuticals, food, logistics, tech, construction, automotive and education sectors. The team’s comprehensive service covers matters involving anti-money laundering, compliance, anti-bribery and corruption investigations, risk management and corporate defence strategy. The team is led by experienced criminal litigator Rodolfo Brenes Vargas and Tatiana Rojas Hernández, the president of the Costa Rican Chapter of the World Compliance Association, who assists clients with free trade zone matters. Key support is provided by associate Sergio Herra Rodríguez, a white-collar crime specialist.

Practice head(s):

Rodolfo Brenes Vargas; Tatiana Rojas Hernández

Key clients

Synthes (Johnson & Johnson)

Cooperativa de Productores de Leche

DHL Aviation

DHL Costa Rica

Latin Trading

Quimicas Mundiales

Corteva Agriscience



Televisora de Costa Rica (Teletica)

Fragomen Costa Rica Inmigration Services

Hewlett Packard

Colegio Santa María

Conferencia Espiscopal Nacional Costa Rica

Carlos Alvarado Quesada

Oscar Arias Sánchez




Boston Scientific

ASOKELPAC (Asociación de Empleados de Kelpac)

Habitat For Humanity

Azul y Verde


Copey Estate Winery

Work highlights

  • Assisted Stryker in the drafting of internal policies on internal investigations as well as on the implementation of a hotline to inform of incidents of crimes and corruption.
  • Represented Quimicas Mundiales as a victim in a four-month criminal trial relating to a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme fraud case.
  • Reviewed the Boston Scientific’s anticorruption policies and conducted compliance training for high-level executives.

Costa Rica > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

The corporate team at Aguilar Castillo Love leverages the bench strength of nine offices throughout the region to advise major multinationals such as Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelez and AstraZeneca on high-value, multi-jurisdictional transactions. With a client base spanning sectors ranging from tech, financial services, manufacturing and healthcare to food and beverages, hospitality and consumer goods, the multidisciplinary team’s comprehensive service extends to complex negotiations, antitrust matters, labour matters, tax issues and the detection of criminal risks. Foreign investment authority and senior partner John Aguilar Quesada leads the team, bringing expertise to complex M&A. Other key figures include Esteban Agüero Guier, the former head of the Costa Rican government’s international investment and trade disputes department; Tatiana Rojas Hernández, who brings expertise to corporate compliance and investigations; Marco Solano Gómez, who has over 20 years’ experience managing major cross-border deals and day-to-day operations; free trade zone regime expert Andrea Sáenz; and senior associate Stephanie Howard Peña. Laura Rodríguez Amador was promoted to partner in September 2022. Since publication, the firm has appointed Mary Ann Drake -formerly the firm's regional manager- as both a partner and the firm's General Counsel - effective as of December 2023.

Practice head(s):

John Aguilar Quesada


The team understands the technical terms but is also sensitive about business issues and its ethical standards are aligned with ours.

We have more than 7 years of experience working with them. Our relationship began in Costa Rica and we currently have a relationship in different countries in Central America. I would like to emphasise that they are always focused on excellence and clear and effective communication.

The academic and professional preparation of its lawyers is first class and additionally the relationship with its clients is exceptional.

Key clients



Mondelez International


Johnson Controls

DXC Technology

Johnson & Johnson


Work highlights

  • Advised Hapag-Lloyd on the acquisition of the terminal business of SM SAAM in Costa Rica and Honduras.
  • Assisted Bayer with the sale of its environmental science professional business to international private equity firm Cinven.
  • Advising Stryker in Costa Rica on various corporate issues linked to its internal reorganisation.

Costa Rica > Dispute resolution Tier 2

The dispute resolution team at Aguilar Castillo Love leverages the bench strength of nine offices throughout the region to represent public figures (including former Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado Quesada) and such major multinationals as Synthes (Johnson & Johnson), DHL and Hewlett Packard in high-stakes domestic and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Acting in matters ranging from international arbitration and distribution contract disputes to white-collar criminal proceedings, the firm’s broad client base spans the energy, government, healthcare, tech, logistics, food and beverages, media and financial services sectors. The practice is led by seasoned international investment arbitrator Esteban Agüero Guier, who heads the dispute resolution group, and Rodolfo Brenes Vargas, who leads the team’s corporate crime, anti-corruption investigations and compliance work. Other key figures include alternative dispute resolution expert Tatiana Rojas Hernández; Laura Rodríguez Amador, who brings experience in handling disputes in the telecoms sector, and who was promoted to partner in September 2022; and associate Sergio Herra Rodríguez, a specialist in white-collar crime.

Practice head(s):

Esteban Agüero Guier; Rodolfo Brenes Vargas


The team knows the technical terms but is also sensitive about business issues and its ethical standards are aligned with ours.

Key clients

Hydro China

VWR Avantor

Synthes (Johnson & Johnson)

Carlos Alvarado Quesada

Corteva Agriscience

Quimicas Mundiales


Hewlett Packard



Fidelity National Financial

Pueblo Mar

Televisora de Costa Rica (TELETICA)

Work highlights

  • Representing HydroChina in bringing a lawsuit against a former commercial partner arising from the construction of a cancelled hydropower project.
  • Providing a criminal defence to the former President of Costa Rica in two high-profile cases, currently being investigated by the Head of the Prosecution’s Office in Costa Rica and being held at the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court.
  • Representing Synthes (Johnson & Johnson) in administrative litigation against the Costa Rican social security entity (Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social), the Comptroller General’s Office and against a local distributor of medical devices over the existence of multiple defects in the public bidding process in the orthopaedics area by Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social.

Costa Rica > Energy and natural resources Tier 2

Aguilar Castillo Love employs the full regional bench strength of 11 offices in nine countries across Latin America when advising national and international energy generators and distributors on renewable energy and infrastructure projects over the course of their lifecycle. In addition, the team brings experience in the transport and mining sectors. Rubén Zamora Castro and associate María Cristina Corrales are the key contacts.

Costa Rica > Labour and employment Tier 3

With ten offices in nine countries throughout Latin America, the experienced practice at Aguilar Castillo Love leverages regional bench strength to assist major multinational corporates with day-to-day employment issues, regulatory matters and complex labour litigation. Active across such sectors as medical devices, food and beverages, logistics and financial services sectors, the practice’s full service extends to such issues as discrimination, sexual harassment and teleworking issues. Alvaro AguilarEric Romero and associate Gloriana Lara Ramos are the key contacts.

Costa Rica > Projects and infrastructure Tier 3

The team at Aguilar Castillo Love employs the full bench strength of nine offices throughout the region to bring expertise to advising major national and international energy generators and distributors throughout the entire lifecycle of renewable and infrastructure projects. The firm’s full service covers matters ranging from energy and transport concessions to public procurement processes and operation and maintenance agreements, in addition to providing assistance to operators and users of ports with the analysis and negotiation of tariffs. The team is led by Rubén Zamora Castro, who brings experience to high-value sales and purchases, permits, energy supply agreements, regulatory issues and the leasing of wind, solar and hydroelectric plants. The team is supported by associate María Cristina Corrales, a specialist in project environmental impact issues.

Practice head(s):

Rubén Zamora Castro

Key clients



Empresa Eléctrica Matamoros


Compañía Hidroeléctrica Doña Julia

Hidroenergía El General

Sociedad Portuaria de Caldera


Hidroeléctrica Río Lajas

Concesionaria SAAM

Work highlights

  • Advised on the development of a joint solar project between Coopealfaro and Conelectricas, with work including the setting up of project company Conezar, as well as the obtainment and management of all the permits for the development of the project.
  • Advising Empresa Eléctrica Matamoros, a company that builds, operates, and maintains hydroelectric plants, on rate adjustments and public hearings.
  • Advised Sociedad Portuaria de Caldera SPC, which is in charge of the concession of a port on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, on its tariffs from an annual indexation of the rates of the bulk cargo.

Costa Rica > Tax Tier 3

Leveraging the bench strength of 9 offices throughout the region, the team at Aguilar Castillo Love provides household-name multinationals (including Coca-Cola and Hewlett-Packard) with advice on the tax aspects of cross-border transactions and representation in contentious-administrative proceedings. With a client portfolio spanning such sectors as security, tech, food and beverages, and financial services, the firm’s comprehensive offering covers tax advice on M&A, joint ventures, real estate matters, restructurings and derivatives. In addition, the team assists with tax planning related to transfer pricing, advance pricing agreements and tax credits. Tax compliance expert José Pablo González heads the department, bringing extensive in-house experience (having served as Walmart’s tax counsel in Costa Rica).

Practice head(s):

José Pablo González

Key clients


The Coca-Cola Company

Consorcio Nacional de Empresas de Electrificación de Costa Rica

Johnson Controls

Assa Abloy Costa Rica



DLA Piper


Seaboard Marine

Work highlights

  • Representing Hewlett-Packard in a contentious-administrative lawsuit against the Republic of Costa Rica following a tax determination and adjustment made by the Costa Rican Tax Administration.
  • Representing The Coca-Cola Company in two tax disputes at the administrative stage derived from audit procedures initiated by the Costa Rican Tax Administration.
  • Advised Johnson Controls on all tax aspects connected with international corporate transactions, including capitalisations, intercompany debt restructuring and the implementation of software licence agreements.

Central America > Corporate and finance Tier 1

One of the first law firms to build a region-wide practice, Aguilar Castillo Love has established an extensive platform not only in Central America but also further afield; in addition to its offices in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, the firm now has a presence in Ecuador, Paraguay and, most recently, Bolivia, where it opened branches in Santa Cruz and La Paz in 2022. Thanks to its in-depth experience of advising international clients (and the strong international profiles of many of its lawyers), the firm is well versed in cross-border financial and corporate transactions, including project finance, debt restructurings, bond issuances and M&A. In the Costa Rica offices (located in central San José and Escazú), the key contacts are banking and finance head Marco Solano Gómez and John Aguilar-Quesada, who leads the corporate team. Juan Carlos Castillo Chacón, a market leader in energy-related deals, and up-and-coming partner Natalia Callejas Aquino oversee the Guatemala practice, while Esteban Agüero Guier and Flor De María Cortez, who has significant experience in foreign investments and free trade zone law, are the names to note in El Salvador, where the firm is commended for its fintech expertise. In Honduras, Enrique Rodríguez-Burchard and Juan José Alcerro Milla lead the corporate and finance teams, where the latter brings complementary strengths in antitrust and fintech issues. M&A expert Thelma Carrión Blandón and finance specialist Violeta Núñez head the corporate and banking departments in Nicaragua.

Work highlights

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 website:

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

Firm phone: +506 2222 3838

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner John Aguilar-Quesada
IBA (International Bar Association)