Fabara & Compañía > Quito, Ecuador > Firm Profile

Fabara & Compañía
AV DIEGO DE ALMAGRO
N30-118 Y REPÚBLICA
QUITO
Ecuador

Ecuador > Banking and finance Tier 1

Bustamante Fabara is the result of the November-2021 merger of local heavyweight Bustamante & Bustamante and the smaller -but nevertheless top flight- corporate finance player Fabara & Compañía. The combined firm’s banking and finance practice handles a broad range of financing matters, complex collateral structures, debt securities’ issuances and liability management mandates, with cross-border work constituting a large proportion of the group’s caseload. The team is co-led by Juan Felipe Bustamante Crespo and Diego Ramirez, who both have extensive experience acting as counsel for major development finance institutions and foreign lenders; recent madnates include advisory to Goldman Sachs on the first sovereign social bond issued by Ecuador, and to Phoenix Tower International on a co-financing agreement with the International Development Bank (IDB). Other key team members include Juan Felipe Bustamante, who regularly acts on behalf of foreign investors on public procurement and major project finance mandates; and senior associate Kirina González, who has experience dealing with syndicated and asset-backed lending, securities offerings and liability management mandates. Since research concluded the firm has hired Jesús Beltrán, formerly head of the banking pracitce at Robalino, along with senior associate Patricio Santos - effective as of September 2022.

Practice head(s):

José Rafael Bustamante Crespo; Diego Ramirez

Testimonials

‘The team has in-depth knowledge both of Ecuadorian law and international standards in documentation. It is very commercially oriented and has excellent problem-solving skills.’

‘I have worked with Diego Ramirez many times over the years. He is a gentleman, very responsive and knowledgeable. He provides insightful local law advice which makes commercial sense as well.’

Jesús Beltrán has excellent technical command of NY law; fully bilingual in Spanish and English; great knowledge of industry issues in the region.

Jesús Beltrán has invaluable knowledge of international transactions, highly complex structuring involving multilateral organisations, foreign government agencies and large banks. His financial understanding combined with legal practice makes his advice outstanding.

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Credit Suisse

Phoenix Tower International

Nomura Securities

AT&T Services Inc

China Development Bank Corporation

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Corporation

UBS AG

JP Morgan

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised Goldman Sachs on the first sovereign social bond issued by Ecuador; the proceeds will finance “Casa Para Todos”, a program of mortgage loans on concessional terms to first-time home buyers.
  • Advised Credit Suisse on a matter relating to non-deliverable FX trading to hedge exposure to PEN currency risk.
  • Advised Phoenix Tower International on a co-financing agreement with the International Development Bank whereby Proparco was invited by IDB Invest to participate in the financing of PTIE through a loan of USD 25 million.

Ecuador > Competition and antitrust Tier 1

Born of the November 2021 merger between Bustamante & Bustamante and Fabara & Compañía, Bustamante Fabara fields an integrated and experienced team that handles the full range of competition matters, including abuse of dominance, merger control, investigations, unfair competition, and antitrust litigation. Recent mandates saw the team represent Chaide & Chaide in two claims against Lamitex -one for unlawful competition and one alleging abuse of market position- before the national antitrust authority. The practice is divided between co-led by senior partners José Rafael Bustamante Crespo  and José Rafael Bustamante Crespo, both of whom have lengthy experience of the competition sector, particularly on the merger-filings aspect. At associate level, senior Daniel Castelo regularly represents clients before the competition authorities as well as handling merger filings; while director Kirina González, who also handles merger-filing matters, also has particular knowledge of vertical and horizontal concentration issues. Competition-dedicated intermediate associate Esteban Dávila is also noted. Since research concluded, Castelo has been raised to practice director, effective as of October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Maria Rosa Fabara; José Rafael Bustamante Crespo

Testimonials

‘The advice and analysis is not limited to the legal framework, Bustamante Fabara adds its knowledge of the market and its experience with other operators.’

‘Direct communication and extensive experience.’

‘The experience we had with them was really very good. Quick and clear in their answers. They achieved an authorization of the transaction in record time, thus fulfilling the objective pursued to be able to close the transaction. At all times, they kept us abreast of developments in the file.’

‘José Rafael Bustamante Crespo is always predisposed and attending to queries at any time. I would highlight the clarity in answering questions by the client, the speed in doing so and the positive results obtained in our particular case.’

‘They have a good knowledge of the subject as well as a good network built with the antitrust authorities.’

‘Precise, forward looking, pan regional approach and learning.’

‘Active team with a business orientation.’

‘José Rafael Bustamante Crespo combines a business mentality with good negotiation skills.’

Key clients

Chaide & Chaide

Grupo Werthein

AT&T

AIG Metropolitana

Equivida

CMA CGM Ecuador

Adium Pharma

Grupo Romero

Pfizer

Tiendas Industriales Asociadas

F & E Ecuatoriana

Work highlights

  • Advised Chaide & Chaide on two processes before the Antitrust Authority against mattress producer Lamitex.
  • Advised Grupo Werthein on the merger clearance filing process for the acquisition of AT&T’s Vrio business unit, the Latin American arm of DirecTV.
  • Defended AIG Metropolitana in an unfair competition investigation in the insurance sector regarding unauthorised credit card charges to customers in the financial sector.

Ecuador > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

The November-2021 merger of Bustamante & Bustamante and Fabara & Compañía saw the establishment of Bustamante Fabara. The combined firm’s corporate practice provides an ‘impeccable’ offering to its roster of domestic and multinational clients, advising on due diligence, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and M&A, among other matters, with the latter representing a key area of work for the firm. José Rafael Bustamante Crespo has expertise in complex cross-border transactions and co-leads the practice alongside ‘very highly recommended‘ corporate practitioner María Rosa Fabara, who stands out for her experience advising foreign clients in connection with M&A and corporate reorganizations. Other key practitioners include senior figure Juan Carlos Bustamante , who has over 50 years’ experience and supports the team in cross-border matters; while Juan Felipe Bustamante focuses on corporate restructurings and foreign investment. At the senior associate level, Kirina González is noted for her work on a range of cross-border transactions; and Andrés Becdach for his handling of foreign direct investment, corporate restructuring, and incorporations.

Practice head(s):

José Rafael Bustamante Crespo; María Rosa Fabara

Testimonials

‘We were attended by Maria Rosa Fabara and Andres Becdach. Both excellent!’

‘Technically they are very strong and have everything necessary to help foreign clients who wish to make investments in Ecuador.’

‘Maria Rosa Fabara and Andres Becdach are excellent lawyers, with a lot of experience with foreign clients, always available.’

‘Impeccable work; very highly recommended. Maria Rosa Fabara is recognized even outside of Ecuador.’

Key clients

Veolia

Grupo Romero

Grupo Werthein

AT&T

Seguros Equinoccial

Equivida Compañía de Seguros

Barnana

Phoenix Tower International

Evergreen

Adium Pharma

Confiteca

Medicamenta Ecuatoriana

Heineken

Work highlights

  • Advised Veolia on the Ecuadorian law aspects of its cash tender offer for the shares of Suez in what is a multibillion-dollar global deal.
  • Advised Grupo Romero on the sale of a majority stake in Grupo Ransa to HIG Capital, a major cross-border deal in Latin America.
  • Fabara y Compañía advised AT&T on the sale of its Vrio business unit (the Latin American arm of DirecTV) to Argentina’s Grupo Werthein, whch was -in turn- advised by Bustamante & Bustamante.

Ecuador > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Following the merger between Bustamante & Bustamante and Fabara & Compañía, which took effect in November 2021, Bustamante Fabara benefits from an expanded offering, encompassing civil, commercial, administrative and constitutional expertise. With ‘long-term business and profit vision’, the firm is also active in alternative dispute resolution, handling complex arbitration and mediation on behalf of clients in the energy, insurance and telecommunication industries. The team is led by José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa and Maria Rosa Fabara, both of whom are noted for their longstanding expertise in the full spectrum of disputes work; their recent respective mandates include acting for telecoms regulator Arcotel in arbitration proceedings and for Pfizer in a constitutional action. Other notable figures include Mariana Villagomez Álvarez, whose practice centres on contentious insurance matters. Working alongside her is senior associate María Fernanda Palacios, with a similar focus on the pharmaceutical and insurance sectors. Additional stand-out figures in the associate pool include Francisco Alvear, who is active in litigation and alternative dispute resolution; José Francisco Mejía, an expert in civil, labour and administrative disputes; and Antonio José Pérez, a public law specialist.

Practice head(s):

José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa; María Rosa Fabara

Testimonials

‘Long-term business and profit vision.’

‘The strength of the firm lies in the knowledge and experience of José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa.’

Key clients

JSV Belzarubezhstroy

Arcotel

China International Water & Electric

Zurich Seguros

China Railway No. 9 Engineering Group

Pfizer

Fideicomiso Mercantil Las Plazas

AIG Metropolitana

Eni Ecuador

Herbalife del Ecuador

Comisersa

Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Pedro Moncayo

Alltech

Work highlights

  • Represented China International Water & Electric in two lawsuits demanding payment of indirect costs and the termination of a civil works contract for an aggregate amount of $90m.
  • Represented Zurich Seguros Ecuador in a constitutional protection action, following a ruling which ordered it to pay $40m to an insured company.
  • Successfully represented Arcotel in an arbitration dealing with sectorial competition regulation in the Ecuadorian telecommunications market.

Ecuador > Intellectual property Tier 1

The November 2021 formation of Bustamante Fabara has seen its IP team benefits from combined expertise in both contentious and non-contentious matters. The practice group advises the likes of DirectTV, Heineken and Warner Bros Entertainment, and demonstrates a certain emphasis on the filing and cancellation of trade marks, disputes in relation to design rights, and proceedings focused on infringement. The practice is co-led by José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa and Maria Rosa Fabara, who are active in patent prosecution and trade mark opposition cases, respectively. Primary associate support comes from Pablo Fabara Vera, who is noted for his expertise in a range of IP litigation; and Avelina Ponce, who is the key contact for patent related work.

Practice head(s):

José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa; María Rosa Fabara Vera

Key clients

DirecTV

Warner Bros Entertainment

Carolina Herrera

Blenastor

Heineken Ecuador

Grupo Bimbo

Bayer

Fundación Vista Para Todos

Discovery

Gloria

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Grupo Bimbo in an opposition action filed by a competitor, demonstrating the inadmissibility of the action and bad faith by the counterparty.
  • Represented Heineken Ecuador in a lawsuit alleging a violation of constitutional rights after its trade mark application was denied.
  • Acted for The Conversation in relation to the challenge of a decision to deny the client’s registration of the sign “The Conversation”.

Ecuador > Labour and employment Tier 1

Bustamante Fabara’s newly constituted labour team deals with a range of both contentious and non-contentious work. Led by the ‘experienced’ Francisco Vacas and Patricia Ponce, who are both highly-regarded for their individual expertise in restructurings and wrongful dismissals, the team handles collective bargaining, investigations, litigation and immigration-related issues. Among recent highlights, the firm acted for Cobra Fácil, FlowerVillage and Comercial Casa Linda in multiple lawsuits filed in connection with wrongful terminations in the context of the pandemic. At the associate level, key figures include Valentina Morillo and María Belén San Andrés, noted for their work in labour mandates and administrative procedures before the Ministry of Labour.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Vacas; Patricia Ponce

Testimonials

‘The strong point is the speed and security they provide to the client when receiving and managing a process. The staff is always ready to collaborate and support their clients.’

‘I think that the differentiator is that they have personnel with a lot of experience and capacity in the sector, such as Francisco Vacas.’

‘The team is extraordinary, they keep all the processes organized, they give us constant advice and they inform us in a timely manner of the progress, their management is outstanding.’

‘Communication, continuous advice and knowledge of the subject, is the additional plus that the firm has, I feel very comfortable and confident working with Francisco Vacas, a thorough professional and knowledgeable about all the processes.’

‘Knowledge, good disposition, they put themselves in the client’s shoes, they meet the requested response times. They are always willing to help and respond in a timely manner.’

‘Valentina Morillo is very skillful, attentive, responds to us in a timely manner. I can contact her easily, her communication is very clear and she understands the needs of the business and what we ask of her. We are very satisfied with the service.’

‘The relationship with Fabara has been punctual for a labour matter that arose in the company that I manage, which is a hotel.’

‘The knowledge they have of laws and all their changes. They are friendly and have the patience to explain the pros and cons of the strategies to be taken.’

Key clients

Cobra Fácil Fabracilisa

FlowerVillage

Comercial Casa Linda

Agrivaldani

La Cienega

Icesa

Michelin del Ecuador

Denmar

UPS

Eni Ecuador

Adelca

Bupa Ecuador

Texticom

Créditos Económicos (CRECOSCORP)

RIPCONCIV

El Hornero

Herbalife Ecuador

Work highlights

  • Acted for Cobra Fácil Fabracilisa, FlowerVillage, and Comercial Casa Linda in several lawsuits regarding the termination of labour contracts due to force majeure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Represented Agrivaldani before the Constitutional Court challenging its decision to revise article 169 numeral 6 of the Labour Code, which prior to the revision made it possible to lay off employees without severance in cases of force majeure.
  • Advised Hosteria La Cienaga on the collective dismissal of its workforce due to the closure of the business, successfully reaching agreements with 98% of the former staff.

Ecuador > Energy and natural resources Tier 2

Following the merger between Bustamante & Bustamante and Fabara & Compañía in November 2021, Bustamante Fabara’s focus remains primarily on compliance and corporate advice in relation to the oil and gas sectors. Notable members of the team include Juan Carlos Bustamante and José Rafael Bustamante, who both have expertise in M&A and joint venture work. Ximena Cabezas is also noted for her advice on mining regulations. While former energy and natural resources practice head Roque Bernardo Bustamante  left the firm to establish his own boutique (which subsequently merged into the former Flor Hurtado firm in December 2021), the firm has since hired former Robalino practice co-head, Rafael Valdivieso, an oil and gas specialist, along with senior associates Gustavo Almeida and Bruno Pesantes, who both advise energy and natural resources companies on transactions, operations, regulatory matters and infrastructure development – effective as of September 2022. Since publication, the firm has hired Juan Carlos Domínguez as associate director of its infrastructure practice; he arrives from an in-house position as legal director at Santoscmi / Acero de los Andes – effective as of January 2023.  

Ecuador > Real estate Tier 2

Bustamante Fabara‘s real estate team is primarily focused on the hospitality and tourism industries, representing largely high-profile clients on the sale, purchase and leasing of urban and rural developments. Regarded for an ‘exceptional advisory service’, it also acts for the likes of Phoenix Tower International and Textiles El Rayo on due diligence and transactional work for the acquisition of real estate properties. José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa leads the practice alongside Juan Felipe Bustamante, who is well-regarded for his expertise in regulatory issues, as well as matters relating to the hospitality industry. Other key figures in the team include José Rafael Bustamante Crespo, who handles transactional aspects of acquisitions and financing; and associates José Antonio Bustamante and Andrés Becdach, who focus on construction permits and M&A transactions relating to real estate development.

Practice head(s):

José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa; Juan Felipe Bustamante

Testimonials

‘The confidence they transmit through knowledge. They are efficient and detail-oriented.’

‘The knowledge, the details and how they reach the end of the processes.’

‘They form an excellent team together, they work like clockwork. Each one takes care of what corresponds to them and the processes flow and advance.’

‘They have an excellent relationship with the people, the officials and that facilitates the procedures. Billing processes are timely and clear; we have dealt with many women in the administrative part, they have sophisticated communication systems. They are at the top of the legal studies of Ecuador.’

‘We like Bustamante Fabara because their lawyers are ahead of the facts, anticipate problems and are ready to provide solutions.’

José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa brings years of good experience and knows how the market and the laws of the country work. José Rafael Bustamante Crespo is extremely agile and offers exceptional advice.’

‘Kirina González is dynamic, experienced, knowledgeable and always available. The firm has provided advice in multiple areas and in all of them we have had the positive results we were looking for.’

Key clients

Textiles El Rayo

Phoenix Tower International

Distribuidora Latinoamericana Farmalatina

Accor Hotels

ISSFA

Guerrero y Asociados BR Impakto Inmobiliaria

Inmobiliaria Mercantil

Fideicomiso Piedras Blancas

Applus

Work highlights

  • Advised Textiles El Rayo on the acquisition of a property, through its subsidiary Inmopremier, consisting of several warehouses purchased from Dexixorp.
  • Advised Phoenix Tower International on a ground lease buyout project which includes the real estate due diligence of over 200 properties nation-wide and the closing of land acquisitions valued at over $10m.
  • Represented Accor Hotels in an extraordinary shareholders meeting where local Ecuadorian Swisshotel requested a capital contribution in order to construct a hotel in the City of Guayaquil.

Ecuador > Tax Tier 2

The result of the November-2021 merger of Bustamante & Bustamante and Fabara & Compañía, Bustamante Fabara fields a tax practice with capabilities across advisory and planning matters, contentious tax issues and tax restructurings for a consolidated client roster of both domestic and international companies. The team is co-led by senior partners Juan Carlos Bustamante and Maria Rosa Fabara who provide deep knowledge of tax planning and structuring, and contentious tax disputes before the Tax and Constitutional Court, respectively; as well as advice on non-contentious issues including customs, refunds and transfer pricing arrangements. At associate level, senior Diego Pino is a former legal head of the SRI’s revenue department; with over 20 years’ experience, he has a particular niche specialism representing clients in the pharmaceutical sector in disputes with the tax authority. An additional name to note is that of associate María Fernanda Saá-Jaramillo, whose practice covers corporate tax and tax litigation, transfer pricing, customs, and indirect taxation as well as wealth management. Since research concluded, both Pino and Saá-Jaramillo have been promoted to practice directors, effective as of October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Bustamante; Maria Rosa Fabara

Key clients

Abbott Laboratorios del Ecuador

Tiendas Industriales Asociadas

Siemens

Aspen Pharma

AON Risk Services Ecuador

Plasticsacks

Lactalis del Ecuador

Pfizer

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Abbot Laboratories in a series of cases before the Tax and the Constitutional Courts arising from the classification by Ecuador’s Customs Authority of pharmaceuticals as food products for tariff purposes.
  • Represented Tiendas Industriales Asociadas in a contentious tax lawsuit challenging a resolution which had denied an administrative claim against tax calculations by the SRI.
  • Represented Siemens in an appeal filed by the SRI before the National Court of Justice following a successful outcome for Siemens in the first instance relating to a VAT refund.

Fabara & Compa??a Abogados is a prominent law firm in Ecuador with a general full-service practice, providing legal services and counsel throughout all of Ecuador to investors and corporations.

Fabara & Compa??a Abogados is renowned not only for the depth and breadth of its legal counsel in every major area of the law relevant to corporations, but also for the extensive experience accumulated by the members of the firm in government, academia and business, as well as for the team’s professionalism, personalized service and accessibility.

The firm

Following the split of a law firm in 1993, Fabara & Compa??a was founded in the city of Quito, Ecuador in 2003, as law offices of general practice with the ambition to reach the highest standards of service and professionalism.

Main areas of practice

Litigation/ADR: the firm handles civil and commercial litigation, administrative proceedings and ADR, enforcement of foreign judgments and awards in Ecuador.

Banking and finance: the firm advises on secured and unsecured credit facilities, sovereign and sub-sovereign credit, trade finance leasing transactions, vendor and leveraged lease financings, structured finance, project finance, buyouts, acquisition finance and bank regulatory matters.

Telecommunications: the firm is extremely active in this field, acting on behalf of telecommunications and TV satellite companies.

Energy and mining: the firm has advised several multinationals involved in the energy sector and gas and power industries. The firm is also at the forefront of protecting foreign investors interested in unlocking Ecuador’s enormous mining potential.

Corporate/M&A: working for a wide commercial spectrum, the firm deals with all corporate matters. It has extensive experience in M&A transactions, assisting sellers, buyers and financiers in all stages, from initial due diligence and negotiation to close of transaction. It is also actively involved in corporate litigation.

International trade: the firm advises on a wide range of transactions, covering the application of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and regulations to safeguards, subsidies and technical obstacles to trade.

Government procurement/public contracting and concessions: in Ecuador this area is subject to special, sometimes obscure and arcane, laws and regulations which need to be strictly observed. The firm has expertise second to none, as well as extensive relations with regulators.

Insurance: the firm’s specific expertise in insurance has gained it the trust of some of the key players, both national and foreign.

Intellectual property: the firm handles IP protection and management, transfer of technology and license agreements, and international franchising agreements and licensing. It also advises on the protection of patents, utility models and ornamental design rights, general trademark matters and worldwide trademark protection.

Labor and employment: the firm advises on restructuring collective bargaining and government/union negotiations, as well as employee stock options and benefit plans. It also handles litigation.

Taxation: the firm advises on tax-efficient structures for domestic and international transactions.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Antitrust and competition María Rosa Fabara E: mrfabara@fabara.ec
Antitrust and competition Diego Ramírez E: dramirez@fabara.ec
Banking and finance Diego Ramírez E: dramirez@fabara.ec
Corporate and M&A María Rosa Fabara
Corporate and M&A Diego Ramírez
Corporate and M&A Mariana Villagómez E: mvillagomez@fabara.ec
Foreign investment María Rosa Fabara
Foreign investment Diego Ramírez
Insurance Mariana Villagómez
Intellectual property María Rosa Fabara
Intellectual property Pablo Fabara E: pfabara@fabara.ec
Labor and employment Francisco Vacas E: fvacas@fabara.ec
Litigation and ADR María Rosa Fabara
Litigation and ADR Mariana Villagómez
Tax María Rosa Fabara
Tax Diego Pino E: dpino@fabara.ec
Other fee-earners : 35
Total staff : 96
Partners : 4