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BLP

1 DIAGONAL 6 10-50, ZONE 10, INTERAMERICAS BUILDING, NORTH TOWER, LEVEL 8, OFFICE 801, GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
Tel:
Work +507 2225 7000
Email:
Web:
www.blplegal.com/

Guatemala

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

BLP

Clients praise the lawyers in BLP’s banking and finance team for their ‘great response times’, ‘excellent customer service’ and ‘deep knowledge of local financial systems and laws’, as well as their willingness to ‘go "the extra mile" in every aspect of their job’. The team has been particularly active in the insurance sector, advising both international insurance and reinsurance companies on their activities in Guatemala, as well as acting for local companies such as Aseguradora General and BMI Compañía de Seguros de Guatemala. Finance matters saw the team recently advise a financial group on a $25m pre-export credit agreement with a sugar mill and assist an international bank with a finance agreement regarding the construction of power transmission lines. The ‘very knowledgeable’ María Inés Arenales, who is recommended for her ‘excellent advice’ and for making clients feel ‘comfortable and protected’, leads the team, which also includes senior counsel Alejandro Arenales. Other key clients include American International Bank (AIG), Banco Promérica, Chubb and BAC Florida Bank.

Next generation lawyers

María Inés Arenales - BLP

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Corporate/M&A
Corporate/M&A - ranked: tier 2

BLP

BLP’s ‘responsible and very talented’ team, which is praised for providing a ‘quality service’ to clients, has had an active year, handling a number of complex M&A and due diligence matters and taking on new clients including Kraft Heinz, Mission Produce, The Results Companies and Donovan Werke. It also continues to assist Facebook and Uber with their operations in Guatemala. Recent highlights include advising Promerica Financial Corporation on the implementation of the post-closing process of its acquisition of Citibank’s Guatemalan assets, valued at $600m; and advising the minority shareholders of Aseguradora General on the acquisition of a majority stake sold by Italian insurance company Generali Group. The ‘trustworthy and responsible’ Luis Ruiz and María Inés Arenales, ‘a balanced lawyer, with knowledge and firmness, but reasonable and conciliatory’, co-lead the practice; and ‘very solid and reliable’ senior counsel Alejandro Arenales is recommended as ‘a leader and a mentor for the people around him’. Associate Alcy Martínez is also noted.

Leading lawyers

Alejandro Arenales - BLP

Next generation lawyers

María Inés Arenales - BLP

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

BLP

BLP represents high-profile international and domestic clients across the full range of constitutional, criminal and civil litigation. It is advising Servicios Portuarios and Terminal de Granos del Pacífico (Terpac), Central America’s largest grain port terminal, in disputes with Empresa Portuaria Quetzal (EPQ) regarding EPQ’s irregular collection of port fees. The team is also defending Comisión Regional de Interconexión Eléctrica (CRIE), a multinational enterprise, against a claim brought by Grupo Generador de Oriente (Genosa) over an alleged debt on the part of the client. The practice group is also known for its expertise in international arbitration cases; in a recent highlight, Rodolfo Salazar led the team that successfully defended the Republic of Guatemala against allegations by the US that it had violated terms of the CAFTA-DR international free trade agreement relating to labour, while the team also defended the state in a $230m dispute over electricity tariffs in Guatemala brought by TECO Guatemala Holdings. Other key clients include Hidroeléctrica Río Hondo, Chubb, Abbott Laboratories USA and Aseguradora General. International arbitration expert Alejandro Arenales, who joined the firm as senior counsel in 2017, is also noted.

Leading lawyers

Alejandro Arenales - BLP

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Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 3

BLP

BLP’s ‘very capable lawyers’ have ‘specialised expertise in the regional electricity market’, are ‘always available to give advice and listen’ and show particular strength in regulatory matters, but also handle energy projects and disputes, where the firm is noted for its ‘rapid responses’ while nevertheless ‘taking time to raise various defence strategies, outlining the pros and cons of each scenario’. Rodolfo Salazar is considered a ‘good listener and team player’ and the practice was further strengthened with the arrival of associate Elizabeth Cardona from the former Pacheco Coto; she brings nine years’ experience advising both the public and private sector with particular expertise in environmental law and protected areas. The practice group is currently acting for CRIE in relation to guaranteeing its jurisdictional immunity as a Central American energy regulatory entity against legal challenges brought in the Central American Court of Justice; and the Energy & Infrastructure Analysis Center, for which it is evaluating of the possibility of transmitting intraregional electricity through private lines between Guatemala and Honduras so as to enable the transnational sale of more than 110 MW surplus energy. Other clients include Constructora Norberto Odebrecht and Banco Santander.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

BLP

BLP’s broad IP practice covers both prosecution and litigation and provides advice on a highly diverse range of matters, not only handling trade marks (including local and regional trade mark clearance and prosecution as well as administrative and judicial litigation), but also patent applications, anti-counterfeiting advice, copyright matters and IP due diligence in connection with transactions. Concha y Toro and Philips Electronics are clients as regards trade mark portfolio protection and the team acts for Sanofi in connection with its patent portfolio. Under the instruction of Baker McKenzie’s London office, the team advises Google on complex copyright matters in Guatemala, and it also represented Abbott Laboratories in a case against Guatemalan pharmaceutical laboratory Provimed in relation to the counterfeiting of drugs from several foreign pharmaceutical houses. Luis Ruiz heads the practice and is assisted by associate Pamela López, who has ten years’ experience specialising in IP matters. Other prominent clients include Facebook, Apple, Abbvie, GlaxoSmithKline, Samsung Electronics and Quala.

Leading lawyers

Luis Ruiz - BLP

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Labour
Labour - ranked: tier 2

BLP

Clients have ‘very positive experiences locally in Guatemala’ with the labour practice of ‘good regional firmBLP and ‘appreciate the professional relationship’. The team advises local and international companies on a broad spectrum of labour matters, including administrative and judicial litigation, regulatory compliance, employment strategy, internal regulations and crisis management, among others; it also houses immigration expertise, handling residence and work permits, along with visas for company executives and their families. Practice head Jeimy Aldi is recommended for her ‘know-how and experience in her field’ and ‘providing services with a high level of professionalism’. One recent highlight involved advising Uber on potential labour risks in Guatemala, and the revision of collaboration contracts and the establishment of potential contingency plans from a labour standpoint. The team also verified compliance with employer obligations related to occupational health and safety for Banco Promérica. Another key client is Samsung Electronics Latinoamerica, for which recent matters include advising on the obligations related to occupational health and safety regulations and representing the company in a litigation case regarding the dismissal of an ex-worker. Other clients include SGS Central America, Bimbo de Centroamerica, Quala Guatemala and new client Lion Resources.

Next generation lawyers

Jeimy Aldi - BLP

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