Tobar ZVS > Quito, Ecuador > Firm Profile

Tobar ZVS

Ecuador > Energy and natural resources Tier 2

With profound knowledge of the mining sector, Tobar ZVS offers a specialised service to multinational corporations from Australia, North America and Europe, advising on the management of concession agreements and mining, energy and infrastructure projects. Mining regulatory specialist César Zumárraga leads the team, which is regularly engaged to act on licensing, financing, construction and regulatory matters; he is closely backed by Juan Fernando Larrea, who demonstrates considerable knowledge of the renewable energy and biotechnology spaces. Also active in this regard is Andrés Paz y Miño, a key contact for the corporate aspects of energy matters.

Practice head(s):

Cesar Zumarraga


‘Tobar ZVS’ knowledge of the participants and the energy industry is exceptional. Juan Fernando Larrea as well as Cesar Zumarraga have been a very important support in our current and future projects. The two of them, as well as their work teams, make a difference in their energy practice.’

‘Very professional and highly trained team. It compares favourably with other firms in that most of the time they are available to tend to our needs effectively. They have suitable technological tools for information management and reporting to the client.’

‘The team has human qualities such as honesty and professional qualities such as knowledge, preparation and ethics.’

‘They are a team of excellent professionals! They are very executive, they respond quickly and precisely; and above all they are very human.’

‘They are very human and empathetic, they make you feel that all your problems have a solution, and they are very frank in telling you things.’

Key clients


Lumina Gold Corp

Polaris Renewable Energy

Minera Mesaloma

Challenger Exploration

Aurania Resources

Exploraciones Novomining

Barka Capital

Titian Minerals

Green Rock Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised Solgold on the issuance of $36m shares and a $50m royalty agreement in order to secure further financing for its Cascabel Mining Project.
  • Acted for Luminex Resources in the structuring of an earn-in agreement with Codelco for the Chalapo Mining Project, and negotiations with the Ecuadorian state for an investment protection agreement for the Condor project.
  • Advising Titan Minerals on reorganising its mining portfolio and judicial trials to defend the company’s interests.

Ecuador > Intellectual property Tier 2

Tobar ZVS houses an intellectual property and anti-piracy team capable of protecting patent, trade mark and copyright portfolios, with particular experience handling enforcement campaigns and border measures relating to the Andean community. Alvaro Sevilla heads the practice and is active in an array of IP litigation and matters surrounding plant breeder’s rights, while of counsel Alfonso Rivera, a name to note for retail, biotechnology, automotive and apparel clients, focuses on anti-counterfeiting and copyright issues. Dispute resolution head Oscar Vela is also noted alongside associate Andrea Guevara Terán, who is recommended for infringement matters.

Practice head(s):

Alvaro Sevilla

Work highlights

  • Advised an apparel multinational on claiming notoriety status on trade marks.
  • Represented a food consortium in filing a trademark opposition to protect designation of origin.
  • Advised a consumer electronics company on a trade mark opposition against the registration of a conflicting sign.

Ecuador > Corporate and M&A Tier 3

Founding and managing partner Bernardo Tobar, who has over thirty years of infrastructure experience, leads the Tobar ZVS team and bolsters the group’s corporate work in this sector. Another key team member is Alvaro Sevilla, who works on the structure of legal vehicles for businesses, commercial contracting, M&A and project financing. The full-service team is also proficient in corporate design, restructuring, governance and corporate tax. As a whole, the firm incorporates technology, and provides clients with an online self-service facility (ExponentiaLaw) for some issues.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Tobar


‘Practicality, speed of response, business sense, expertise.’

Key clients

Polaris Renewable Energy

Flower Investment Capital Fund

NBC Universal

Lumina Gold Corp

Sony Pictures Entertainment

The Walt Disney Company

The Coca-Cola Company



China Road and Bridge Corporation

SolGold Plc

Oleducto de Crudos Pesados OCP Ecuador


Work highlights

  • Advised Polaris Infrastructure as lead and only counsel on the acquisition of a hydroelectric plant located in Ecuador for $28m.
  • Advised Flower Investment Capital Fund, operating as Elite Flowers Group, on a corporate restructuring in order to achieve investment grading.
  • Advised NBC Universal on regulatory matters concerning the network’s broadcasts, including rights relating to children and adolescents.

Ecuador > Dispute resolution Tier 3

Led by Oscar Vela, Tobar ZVS‘ dispute resolution unit utilises mediation to resolve most of its clients’ disputes. Sector strengths for the group include mining, insurance, food and drink, plant breeding and construction, among others. A key addition to the group in 2022 was Marielena Zary, who is particularly known for her work in insurance disputes and supports René De Sola, who is also extremely active in insurance cases.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Vela

Key clients



Plantas Técnicas Plantec

Work highlights

  • Representing multinational insurer Generali in an appeal before the National Court.
  • Acted for a client in a medical negligence lawsuit against Conclina and two of its medical professionals.
  • Carried out an investigation to present eight legal processes against small plant breeders who are producing and commercialising protected plant varieties in the province of Cotopaxi.

Ecuador > Labour and employment

The arrival of practice director Marta Villagómez in August 2022 from CorralRosales established the employment department at Tobar ZVS, with main areas of focus including litigation, compliance, restructurings, termination processes and the labour law aspects of M&A.

The firm is recognized as one of the preferred choices for corporate clients with an international presence in Ecuador as well as local clients and entrepreneurs. Tobar ZVS strives to become a strategic partner of its clients through a comprehensive, business-oriented and strategically conceived product with distinctive elements. With recognized expertise in major business sectors, the firm’s philosophy is based on teamwork and the use of technology with specialized professionals within industry-focused units. Tobar ZVS’s heart is its people, therefore the firm seeks to retain its best talent and offer them all the necessary tools to develop their personal and professional potential.

This full-service law firm was founded in 1993 as Tobar & Tobar and changed its name to Tobar & Bustamante in 1996. In 2021 the firm was renamed Tobar ZVS.

Main areas of practice
Antitrust and competition: renowned practice in M&A approvals by the antitrust authority, successfully initiated and defended clients in unfair competition actions, counseling on antitrust law in Ecuador for food, beverages, medical devices, educational books, and advisory and defense in all matters related to this field.

Corporate, M&A: focuses on overall legal risk management, corporate structuring and investment protection, project financing, commercial contracting, corporate governance, compliance for international clients locally operating, and for local companies working abroad. The unit’s culture is becoming a key supporter to clients’ in-house teams in achieving strategic goals and operational priorities. Teaming up with the tax and corporate/M&A division, the practice offers a full range of services for international business transactions, including IPOs, project financing and access to capital markets in the last ten years. Also deals with major investment agreements; recently closed as lead counsel the major concession deal for road infrastructure in Ecuador.

Natural resources, energy and infrastructure: recognized as a leader in mining practice in Ecuador. Clients’ portfolios represent more than half of the mining concessions granted in Ecuador since 2016. Moreover, at least four of these have been categorized as second-generation projects due to their importance within the mining sector. The team has multidisciplinary expertise in mining, energy, environment and sustainability, advising on complex legal issues and sustainable practices including concession acquisition, permitting, environmental compliance and licensing, land acquisition, consultation, aboriginal rights, negotiation of investment protection agreements and general regulatory matters. Drawing on this broad experience, the firm has successfully expanded its practice to renewable energy, oil and gas.

Tax and finance: its main proposition is a deep understanding of the clients’ operations, cost structure, financial needs and key drivers of growth and profitability. Articulates domestic and international tax law in providing tax advice/planning services. Also, transaction assessment/design, international tax planning, corporate structure design, tax litigation, tax modeling, international financial planning, liquidity management, transfer pricing, business valuation and risk and econometric studies.

Intellectual property: the specialized team provides a full range of IP services both locally and internationally, including consultancy, protection and enforcement of IP rights of all kinds, monetization of intangible assets. The firm has been a trailblazer in systematic enforcement campaigns to protect the IP rights of the world’s largest software producer and reputed entertainment firms. As to plant breeders rights, the firm’s combined portfolio of clients represents 65% of local rose varieties with a presence in international markets.

Conflict and dispute resolution: firm members are strong and successful litigators, however negotiation and alternate dispute resolution practice have grown considerably. It has several qualified arbitrators for arbitration centers, and members have been expert witnesses in numerous international arbitrations, mainly investor-related cases.

Insurance: experienced specialists and industry insiders offer assistance in all aspects of insurance.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate/M&A Bernardo Tobar +593997102059
Corporate/M&A Alvaro Sevilla +593997101450
Natural Resources and Infrastructure Cesar Zumarraga +59322986456
Environment and Sustainability Juan Fernando Larrea +593988020895
Dispute resolution Oscar Vela +593997099990
Intellectual Property Alfonso Rivera +593997101859
Insurance Rene De Sola +593984879104
Tax Iván García igarcia@tzvs.cec +593999713064
Labor and Employment Marta Villagómez +593983717203
LegalTech Hipatia Donoso +593995415318
Total staff : 50
Number of Partners : 7
INTA - International Trademark Association