Firm Profile > BLP > Guatemala City, Guatemala


Intellectual property Tier 1

The 'efficient and trusted' team at BLP is 'proactive and well aware of the current trends and criteria of the Guatemalan Patent Office', and the full-service IP practice is also noted for its expertise in trade marks and anti-counterfeiting. Clients include a number of major pharmaceutical companies; practice head Luis Ruiz acted for Abbott Laboratories in its claim against local pharmaceutical laboratory Provimed over the counterfeiting of drugs - the largest such case in Guatemala's history - and also represented GlaxoSmithKline in its opposition to the registration of the trade mark Plaxil for a medication. Ruiz and senior associate Pamela López also advise large corporations including H&M on the protection of their trade mark portfolios in Central America.

Banking and finance Tier 2

BLP's 'very efficient', 'business-oriented' team has 'a wide spectrum of knowledge' in the banking and finance sector, advising on project financing, debt restructuring, loan facilities, commercial banking, bond issuances and private equity transactions. The team mainly acts for local and international banks, including Credit Suisse, Scotiabank and BAC Florida Bank, but has also been active on the borrower side. Among other highlights, 'impressive' practice head María Inés Arenales and 'efficient and diligent' associate Alcy Martínez advised Cinven Management on the financing of its $628.5m acquisition of Ufinet Group’s operations in the region, and assisted Proamerica Financial Corporation with the amendment and restatement of a credit agreement with a number of banks.

Corporate/M&A Tier 2

BLP's 'involvement in a project is its greatest strength'; the team is praised for its 'ability to communicate' and 'understanding of business'. The practice advises on franchising issues, assists foreign companies with setting up operations in Guatemala, conducts due diligence and advises on M&A transactions. The firm has particular strength in the technology, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and banking sectors, with clients including Samsung, Uber, Abbott Laboratories, Kraft-Heinz and Promerica Financial Corporation. Highlights included María Inés Arenales and associate Alcy Martínez advising Quala on the sale of its portfolio of cosmetics and personal care items in Central America to Unilever, and Luis Ruiz assisting Brazilian gym franchise Smart Fit with its entry into the Guatemalan market and opening of gyms in 12 locations in the country. Senior counsel Alejandro Arenales is also highly regarded.

Dispute resolution Tier 2

BLP handles constitutional, commercial and white-collar crime cases, and is also noted for its strong international arbitration practice. Highlights included team head Rodolfo Salazar acting as local counsel to the state of Guatemala, alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, in international arbitration brought by Teco Holdings relating to the breach of telecoms contracts; Salazar and associate José Antonio López also represented Terminal de Granos del Pacífico in a dispute with Empresa Portuaria Quetzal de Guatemala, the state company which administrates Guatemala's largest port, over illegal lease service charges. Special counsel Alejandro Arenales is also highly regarded.

Labour Tier 2

BLP's labour practice 'goes beyond the typical service' and is praised for its 'attention, fast responses and quality of work'. The team has a strong international client base, advising companies including Uber, Mastercard, Scotiabank and Samsung Electronics on the management of employment relationships, matters relating to working hours and conditions, and immigration issues. Employment-related litigation is also a key area for the firm, which is acting for BMI Seguros Guatemala in a dispute between the company and a former senior executive. Luis Ruiz leads the team, which also includes associate Jeimy Aldi and was joined in March 2019 by special counsel Cynthia Sequeira from GCTLEGAL.

Energy and natural resources Tier 3

BLP advises on matters from energy generation through to transportation, distribution and regulation, as well as acting in energy-related litigation and and arbitration. The team regularly advises private companies investing in the Guatemalan energy sector, and has also acted for the state of Guatemala. Practice head Rodolfo Salazar and associate Elizabeth Cardona advised Colombian bank Banco Davivienda on providing the financing to a local company for the construction of transmission lines and substations in Guatemala; Salazar also represented Hidroeléctrica Río Hondo in proceedings relating to the withdrawal of contracts and authorisations necessary for the operation of the power plant.