Firm Profile > Bustamante & Bustamante > Quito, Ecuador

Bustamante & Bustamante

Intellectual property Tier 1

Led by José Rafael Bustamante, the team at Bustamante & Bustamante is particularly well versed in sanitary registrations and foreign trade as well as contentious IP matters. Recent highlights include filing an opposition proceeding for Hard Rock Café against a trade mark application concerning the client's signs. The group is also representing Incyte Corporation in a patent litigation against Alafar. Other clients include Walgreen's, AT&T, Facebook and GlaxoSmithKline. Carmen Robayo has more than 25 years of experience. Other noted team members include Roque Bernardo Bustamante and associate Kirina González. Patent specialist Avelina Ponce joined the firm in late 2018 from Ponce & Ponce Abogados.

Labour and employment Tier 1

Bustamante & Bustamante has considerable experience in the employment law sphere as well as in immigration matters. Patricia Ponce is a widely recognised expert in the field; she recently assisted Michelin with restructuring its labour benefits arrangements to bring them in line with the company's Colombian ones. Other work includes advising Subway on the hiring process for a new commerce agent, which included advice on the labour contract and the acquisition of the agent's visa, among other work. José Rafael Bustamante Crespo, who jointly leads the team with Ponce, represents Franks International in two occupational disease litigation cases; the employee claimants are pursuing damages for workplace diseases alleging arising from work in  the oil fields. Other names to note are Juan Felipe Bustamante Crespo as well as associate Tania Irigoyen.

Competition and antitrust Tier 2

The antitrust team at Bustamante & Bustamante advises national and international companies on the full spectrum of competition work. In a recent highlight, practice head José Rafael Bustamante Crespo and Roque Bustamante assisted AB InBev with the merger clearance process for the global acquisition of SABMiller, which saw the client's beer market share in Ecuador rise to over 99.7%. Bustamante Crespo's background in studying economics gives him an additional edge when strategically advising companies. Other names to note include Jose Rafael Bustamante and associate Kirina González.

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Bustamante & Bustamante, which is a popular choice for multinational companies, is led by José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa and José Rafael Bustamante Crespo. Recent work includes acting for GPF on its sale to Femsa through its majority-owned subsidiary Socofar. The group also assisted Coveris with the acquisition of its Americas division by TC Transcontinental. Bacardi, Future Healthcare and Tevcol are among its other clients. Juan Carlos Bustamante is also highly regarded and Juan Felipe Bustamante Crespo is a key name for public procurement and infrastructure-related matters. Kirina GonzálezTania Irigoyen and Pedro Gomez de la Torre are the key names at associate level.

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Bustamante & Bustamante handles an impressive range of matters, ranging from commercial, civil and labour to bankruptcy, taxation and administrative disputes. José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa, who jointly leads the team with José Rafael Bustamante Crespo, is defending Diegeo Brands in litigation concerning alleged damages due to the unilateral termination of a distribution contract in Ecuador. In other work, Juan Felipe Bustamante is acting for Bacardi in a dispute valued at $20m arising from the unilateral termination of the distribution and co-packing agreement with Grupo Eljuri. Other key contacts are Francisco AlvearAlfredo Larrea and associate José Francisco Mejía.

Energy and natural resources Tier 2

Bustamante & Bustamante's team which is experienced in risk assessments, compliance issues and the establishment of operations within the energy industry, is a popular choice for international companies. Juan Carlos Bustamante and Roque Bernardo Bustamante jointly lead the practice; the latter recently advised oil exploration company Geopark on entering the Ecuadorian market, particularly on the bidding processes for oil contracts with the government. Other clients include Anglo American, BHP and Mitsubishi. Juan Felipe Bustamante Crespo knows the mining sector well. Senior associate Ximena Cabezas is also noted.

Real estate Tier 2

Bustamante & Bustamante's real estate team covers an impressive variety of matters, ranging from  advice on asset planning, project development, private equity and investment trusts, to real estate litigation and conflict resolution. Practice co-head and senior associate Juan Felipe Bustamante Crespo assisted Hotusa with the investment into and project development of a hotel in the city of Guayaquil. He and fellow co-head José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa routinely advise Harvard Management Company on the structuring, documenting and negotiating concerning the joint ventures of forestry projects in Ecuador. Roque Bustamante and associate Olinda Vera are other names to note.

Tax Tier 2

Bustamante & Bustamante has a good track record in tax litigation and structuring. Other areas of expertise include advising clients, in particular companies from the energy and services sectors, on double taxation treaties, transactions and compliance. Juan Carlos Bustamante heads the group; he combines experience in the corporate, energy and tax areas. Senior associate María Fernanda Saá-Jaramillo is a key name for customs, wealth management, tax disputes and transfer pricing. Associate Lorena Ortiz joined in 2018 from IRS Ecuador.

Banking and finance Tier 3

Bustamante & Bustamante is well versed in advising on loans, bonds, capitalisation and securitisation, among other areas. José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa advised manufacturer Cisa on a $10m investment for the construction of its new sanitary ceramics plant in Ecuador. Senior partner Juan Carlos Bustamante has more than 50 years of experience in the field. Francisco Bustamante Luna combines his strength in banking with commercial and corporate expertise. Other names to note include José Rafael Bustamante Crespo and Juan Felipe Bustamante, as well as associates Kirina González, who is involved in the firm's new emerging growth and entrepreneurship practice, and Pedro Gomez de la Torre.


For 60 years, Bustamante & Bustamante has been a leader in serving national and international corporate clients doing business in Ecuador. By Andean community standards, the firm is large and includes four senior partners, six partners, 35 associates and over 70 supporting staff members, all largely bilingual. Bustamante & Bustamante was recognized as the Ecuador Law Firm of the Year in 2015 by Who’s Who Legal. In 2012, the firm was the winner in Ecuador of the Chambers Latin American Award for Excellence. Bustamante & Bustamante is consistently rated in Tier 1 by IFRL. The firm has also been recognized by Managing Intellectual Property as a leading law firm for intellectual property matters in Ecuador.

The firm maintains a system of co-operation with law firms throughout the Andean community sub-region, which is particularly important for handling foreign investment and intellectual property matters. Bustamante & Bustamante is a member of MULTILAW, an association of independent law firms in private practice throughout the world, whose purpose is to aid members in serving their international clients. The firm is also a member of The Bomchil Group, an association of Latin American law firms providing services to international clientele. Bustamante & Bustamante is also a member of the International Bar Association, American Society of International Law, INTA, ASIPI, AIPPI, AIJA, LAWASIA, Asia Pacific Bar Association, Global Anti-Counterfeiting and World Services Group.

Main areas of practice

Intellectual property: the firm offers a broad variety of services including trademark and domain name and patent registration, as well as prosecutions, with vast experience in licensing agreements, customs recordals and IP litigation.

Oil and gas: the firm has traditionally provided legal services to global petroleum companies in their investments in Ecuador for upstream, midstream and downstream activities. The firm has been involved in almost all major deals, negotiations with the government and arbitration in Ecuador.

Mergers and acquisitions: Bustamante & Bustamante advises local and international clientele on initial due diligence as well as the subsequent planning and structuring of transactions. The firm has broad experience in representing acquirers and targets in a variety of transactions, including mergers, stock purchases, and recapitalisations for joint ventures, strategic alliances, spin-offs and cross-border deals. The firm represents companies from diverse industries including technology, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, telecommunications, consumer products, and food and beverages.

Taxation: in view of the complexity of tax matters in Ecuador and the growing number of tax litigation cases the firm handles, Bustamante & Bustamante has reinforced its tax department to offer specialized services. The tax department is headed by senior partner and prominent tax expert Juan Carlos Bustamante.

Antitrust: Bustamante & Bustamante has successfully represented various multinationals in antitrust compliance procedures, assisting investors in the mandatory authorization process required for economic concentration operations.


Spanish, English and French.


Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partners Juan Carlos Bustamante
Managing partners José Rafael Bustamante
Photo Name Position Profile
Dr Erika Alarcón  photo Dr Erika Alarcón
Mr Francisco Alvear  photo Mr Francisco Alvear
Ms Emilia Arteta  photo Ms Emilia Arteta
Ms Mary Paz Bueno  photo Ms Mary Paz Bueno
Dr Roque Bernardo Bustamante  photo Dr Roque Bernardo Bustamante
Dr Francisco Bustamante  photo Dr Francisco Bustamante
Dr Juan Carlos Bustamante  photo Dr Juan Carlos Bustamante
Dr Josemaría Bustamante  photo Dr Josemaría Bustamante
Mr Roque Javier Bustamante  photo Mr Roque Javier Bustamante
Dr José Rafael Bustamante Crespo  photo Dr José Rafael Bustamante Crespo
Dr José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa  photo Dr José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa
Dr Juan Felipe Bustamante   photo Dr Juan Felipe Bustamante 
Mrs Ximena Cabezas  photo Mrs Ximena Cabezas
Mr Kléver Chila  photo Mr Kléver Chila
Mr Sebastián Corral  photo Mr Sebastián Corral
Mr Sebastián Donoso  photo Mr Sebastián Donoso
Ms Andrea Egas  photo Ms Andrea Egas
Ms Guillermina Estévez  photo Ms Guillermina Estévez
Mr David Estrella  photo Mr David Estrella
Mr Edmundo Flores  photo Mr Edmundo Flores
Mr Pedro J. Freile  photo Mr Pedro J. Freile
Mr Pedro Gómez de la Torre  photo Mr Pedro Gómez de la Torre
Dr Damián Hidalgo Robayo  photo Dr Damián Hidalgo Robayo
Ms Tania Irigoyen  photo Ms Tania Irigoyen
Mr Gino Ivich  photo Mr Gino Ivich
Dr Alfredo Larrea-Falcony  photo Dr Alfredo Larrea-Falcony
Ms Adriana Lasso  photo Ms Adriana Lasso
Mr José Francisco Mejía  photo Mr José Francisco Mejía
Ms María Soledad Noboa  photo Ms María Soledad Noboa
Ms Lorena Ortíz  photo Ms Lorena Ortíz
Mr José Daniel Páez  photo Mr José Daniel Páez
Mr Antonio José Pérez  photo Mr Antonio José Pérez
Dr Clementina Pomar Anta  photo Dr Clementina Pomar Anta
Mr Diego Ponce  photo Mr Diego Ponce
Dr Patricia Ponce  photo Dr Patricia Ponce
Dr Carmen Robayo de Hidalgo  photo Dr Carmen Robayo de Hidalgo
Dr María Fernanda Saá-Jaramillo  photo Dr María Fernanda Saá-Jaramillo
Mr Galo Sanchez  photo Mr Galo Sanchez
Dr Olinda Vera  photo Dr Olinda Vera
Other fee-earners : 45
Total staff : 126
Partners : 10