BLP > Guatemala City, Guatemala > Firm Profile


Guatemala > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

In a significant development, the ‘highly committed‘ team at BLP now benefits from the expertise of three partners, following the arrival of Jorge Luis Arenales, who brings an enviable track record in M&A and specialist knowledge of highly regulated industries to the firm, from Arias in June 2023; he joins well-regarded practice heads María Inés Arenales and Luis Ruiz. The corporate department attracts praise for its ‘extensive experience‘, with a wide-ranging practice that encompasses M&A, spin-offs, commercial and distribution issues, and compliance, and can also draw on the full-service firm’s strengths in the environmental, real estate, labour, IP and litigation fields. With a growing international client base, the team is well equipped to handle cross-border transactions, taking advantage of its regional footprint to advise on Central America-wide deals. Senior associates Gustavo Gamboa (who was promoted in April 2023) and Carolina Saadeh (who joined from an independent practice in January 2022) are the key names at the junior level. The firm has also established an Innovation Commission aimed at implementing new technologies, and an internal programme to promote integration and non-discrimination. Since publication, María Inés Arenales has left the firm for her own practice.

Practice head(s):

María Inés Arenales; Luis Ruiz


It is a responsible law firm that follows the cases and maintains relationships with its clients.

Experience, knowledge, commitment, discretion and professionalism.

María Inés Arenales stands out for her dedication to each project plus her legal, fiscal and financial knowledge. No other lawyer brings all this together in one person.

It is a highly committed team of professionals with extensive experience, who provide their services guided by ethical principles and values. Their knowledge and close relationship with our business have made their legal opinions very helpful to us, generating value and mitigating risks.

Luis Ruiz has extensive experience advising transnational companies, so he understands their needs and way of working. Luis is highly efficient in managing cases. He is also set apart by his great ability to successfully negotiate complex issues.

Gustavo Gamboa contributes positively to our matters thanks to his great technical knowledge, attention to detail, and involvement in each of the steps related to the case, providing his opinion based on his extensive experience in professional practice.

Key clients

IDB Invest

Emergent Cold Latam

Barentz International

Huntsman Corporation

HH Global




EOS Organization

Work highlights

  • Advised Emergent Cold Latam on the acquisition of Bodegas Frias, including on all corporate, real estate, environmental and compliance aspects of the transaction.
  • Advised Barentz International on the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Distribuciones Industriales Variadas (Divsa).
  • Providing daily corporate advisory and review services to HCL, including reviewing all corporate and other contracts issued by the client in Guatemala.

Guatemala > Intellectual property Tier 1

BLP‘s IP team attracts high praise from clients for its ‘great ability to handle work in various jurisdictions‘, leveraging the firm’s regional footprint to advise clients on the management of IP portfolios across Central America. The firm offers an impressively broad practice, with its workload ranging from trademark and patent prosecutions to complex copyright matters, IP-related litigation, and the acquisition of IP assets in high-profile transactions. In particular, the team is commended for its advice to multinationals, most notably in the pharmaceutical and technology sectors, where it counts a host of household names among its clients. Other areas of expertise include health registrations (where the team is supported by regulatory affairs specialists Jennifer Calderón and Diana Godoy), data privacy and consumer protection. ‘Wonderful adviserLuis Ruiz leads the IP group in Central America, while the ‘outstandingPamela López is head of IP in Guatemala. The growing team also includes associates Marleni García and Melanie Avea, who joined from Sfera Legal in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Luis Ruiz; Pamela López


The BLP team is always attentive to news in the legal market in order to be able to provide a legal service that goes hand in hand with market innovation.

Excellent service provided. Always take care of the smallest detail.

What makes this practice unique is its speed and efficiency in responding to clients’ questions. They have a varied and diverse team that greatly enriches the practice and the recommendations and strategies for clients. Compared to other offices in Latin America, BLP stands out for its cordiality and excellence.

The plus is its diversity and the different backgrounds of its lawyers. Pamela López, who demonstrates knowledge, quality and human warmth, is outstanding.

They have a great ability to handle work in various jurisdictions and produce a well-unified final document. They are excellent managers.

Luis Ruiz has a great and solid knowledge of the subject and understands our business very well, which makes him a wonderful adviser on intellectual property issues for Central America.

A strong team, with professionals who are clearly masters of the subject. Luis Ruiz and Pamela López stand out.

Luis Ruiz provides a first-class service. Pamela López always demonstrates knowledge, good judgement and excellence.

Key clients

Meta Platforms


Warner Media



H & M Hennes & Mauritz




Work highlights

  • Advised Home Box Office on protecting its intellectual property assets in Guatemala, and provided assistance to Warner Bros International Television Production during the filming of Dutch TV show “De Gevaarlijkste Wegen van de Wereld” in Guatemala.
  • Advised GoDaddy on intellectual property, data protection and consumer regulations in relation to launching a product in Guatemala.
  • Advised Meta Platforms on a risk assessment for a new Instagram feature launched in El Salvador and Guatemala.

Guatemala > Banking and finance Tier 2

Regional firm BLP significantly strengthened its banking and finance practice in June 2023 with the high-profile hire of Jorge Luis Arenales, founding partner of Arias‘ Guatemala office. Arenales is renowned for his expertise in financial transactions, particularly project finance. The team advises on the full spread of financial matters, from acquisition finance and debt restructuring to syndicated loans and bond issuances, with a strong skill set in multi-jurisdictional transactions. In particular, the practice is consistently active in assisting international lenders, including banks and multilateral financial institutions, while thanks to the firm’s strength in the corporate sphere, major regional companies also make up a substantial portion of its client base. María Inés Arenales, who brings extensive experience in cross-border financial transactions and capital markets matters to the table, leads the team. The growing associate bench includes senior associates Carolina Saadeh, who joined the firm from independent practice in 2022 and has a focus on regulatory matters, and the recently promoted Gustavo GamboaSince publication, María Inés Arenales has left the firm for her own practice.

Practice head(s):

María Inés Arenales

Key clients


IDB Invest

Barentz International

ING Bank


Coöperatieve Rabobank

Nedbank, London Branch

Emergent Cold Latam

Grupo Hencorp

Reserva las Verapaces I

Bank of Nova Scotia

Banco Promérica

Work highlights

  • Advised Avianca and its Salvadoran subsidiary, Taca International Airlines, on the structuring of a future flow securitisation of credit card receivables by Grupo Aval.
  • Advised IDB Invest on the granting of a senior loan of up to $70m to finance Pantaleon’s industrial and agricultural fixed investment plans and working capital needs.
  • Advised Grupo Hencorp on capital lending and the acquisition of guaranteed inventories for a foreign entity incorporated in the US.

Guatemala > Dispute resolution Tier 2

BLP continues to grow its diverse dispute resolution practice, which handles a wide array of constitutional, criminal, civil and commercial litigation and arbitration. The team’s recent caseload reflects its strengths in representing both multinational clients (where highlights include assisting international brands with IP and distribution-related litigation) and major domestic companies (including acting for key players in the insurance sector in constitutional and other actions). Rodolfo Salazar draws on extensive experience in handling disputes in the public and private sectors, particularly in the energy and public procurement spaces, to lead the practice. He is supported by an impressive junior team, including senior associate Rubén Fuentes, who focuses on administrative litigation, and associates Javier Chacón, who has an active constitutional litigation practice, and Julio Luján, an expert in criminal law.

Practice head(s):

Rodolfo Salazar

Key clients

Terminal de Granos del Pacífico

BMI Compañía de Seguros de Guatemala



Empresa Agrícola El Hato

Los Parques


Petróleos del Sur



Banco Promerica

Servicios Portuarios

Guatemala Avocados/Mission South and Central America

Work highlights

  • Defended BMI against an amparo action (an appeal for constitutional protection) brought against the client for terminating a personal insurance policy.
  • Representing Terminal de Granos del Pacífico in various cases opposing the illegal collection of lease fees in Puerto Quetzal.
  • Defended TATA against a criminal claim brought by the Guatemalan tax authority over the alleged alteration of documents.

Guatemala > Labour Tier 2

BLP garners praise for providing ‘comprehensive advice‘ on labour law to a growing client base of multinational companies, assisting with employee compensation and benefits, occupational health and safety, and HR matters, as well as sensitive issues such as the dismissal of high-level employees and fraud and discrimination investigations. In addition, it has a strong recent track record in labour litigation, including defending employers in claims brought by the social security administration. Practice head Luis Ruiz draws on his ‘extensive experience advising multinational companies‘ to handle the full spectrum of labour matters, ably supported by director Fernando Méndez, who is also an expert in global mobility and relocation. Other key contacts include senior associate Gustavo Gamboa and associate Luisa Thomae. Since publication, María Elena Barrientos has joined as special counsel from Arias, effective as of November 2023.

Practice head(s):

Luis Ruiz


They offer comprehensive advice – even if we request advice on labour issues, they anticipate any other legal requirements.

Extremely professional.

They are fully up to date with the current situation. The attentive service and versatility of Gustavo Gamboa and Luis Ruiz stands out.

They are a group of professionals who are up to date with the most recent legal judgments and legislative developments, which allows them to give current advice. They are always available, they keep in close contact and they know our company very well. They are distinguished by their organisation, and their responses are always very fast. They have a focus on values and ethical principles.

Luis Ruiz is a lawyer who, thanks to his extensive experience advising multinational companies, knows our needs and our way of working, so his contribution in managing our cases generates value and contributes to the mitigation of risks and creation of opportunities.’

Fernando Méndez’ experience as a litigator and his academic perspective contributes greatly to the analysis of the cases. He is always available, organised and has great negotiating skills.

Luisa Thomae provides valuable advice thanks to her years of experience as an in-house lawyer. In addition, she understands how to explain the complexities of a case to the corporation.

Key clients




Promerica Bank



Ceva Logistics




Work highlights

  • Advised Siemens on labour issues in Guatemala, including payroll deductions, data privacy, share option plans, and reporting obligations to the Ministry of Labour.
  • Advising Zoetis on labour issues concerning vacation and car plans for employees, as well as the regularisation of local contracts.
  • Advising HCL on various labour law matters, including the dismissal of non-performing employees, working conditions, and labour risk prevention.

Guatemala > Energy and natural resources/projects Tier 3

BLP has experience across a wide range of energy and natural resources matters, from the development and financing of projects (including clean energy projects) to domestic and regional transactions and regulatory matters in the sector, particularly in electricity. Rodolfo Salazar, who brings extensive expertise in energy-related litigation and arbitration, is the key contact for advice on energy and infrastructure projects (with an emphasis on public tenders) and environmental impact studies.

Guatemala > Tax Tier 3

BLP‘s tax team has robust experience in advising large regional and multinational clients on tax compliance and planning, and the tax elements of M&A and corporate restructurings, frequently joining up with the firm’s busy corporate and finance departments, as well as its broad network of regional offices, to assist with multi-jurisdictional matters. Tax disputes also form a key pillar of the practice, and the team is active in challenging audits conducted by the tax authority. María Inés Arenales is the key contact in the department, with a broad tax practice that is supplemented by her strength in corporate and financial matters.

Central America > Corporate and finance

BLP has continued to expand its presence in Central America, launching its fourth Costa Rica office, which focuses on real estate transactions, in Marina Flamingo in January 2023, as well as providing environmental and immigration advisory services through two innovative companies: Zone and Moval. The firm houses comprehensive corporate and finance practices in the region, with standout expertise in infrastructure and energy-related transactions, and is widely recognised for its representation of Fortune 500 companies. Its strength in international transactions is reinforced by its representative office in Madrid, where David Gutiérrez is the key name. Gutiérrez, an expert in M&A and infrastructure financing, also heads the corporate practice in Costa Rica (where the firm has additional branches in San José, Marina Los Sueños and Las Catalinas), while Vivian Liberman and Andrés López lead the banking team. In Guatemala, the firm strengthened its practice with the hire of former Arias senior partner Jorge Luis Arenales, who has a wealth of experience in corporate and finance transactions, in June 2023; he joins the well-regarded duo of Luis Ruiz, who is also a skilled IP lawyer, and María Inés Arenales. Zygmunt Brett, an authority in financing, capital markets and M&A matters, is the name to note in El Salvador, and Ernesto Rizo, an expert in the mining and agribusiness spheres, leads the corporate and finance team in Nicaragua. In Honduras - where the firm has branches in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula - José Miguel Álvarez and energy specialist Karla Aguilar are the key contacts.

Work highlights


BLP is consistently ranked as one of the top law firms in Central America by well-known legal and business rankings. They focus on the firm’s culture of client service, as well as the quality of its work. It is also one of the law firms that is referred to by the embassies of the world’s largest economies.

The firm’s international capabilities extend worldwide. BLP has developed a network of law firms around the world, not only through years of working with some of the leading lawyers in each country, but also through exclusive legal networks in which it actively participates: Meritas (, the State Capital Law Firm Group ( and Interlaw ( among other specialized networks. Today, BLP is one of the very few law firms in Central America that works with a true business structure, where all its professionals and staff work together towards a common goal: to satisfy the demands of its clients. BLP’s professionals do not simply share costs or a logo; they also share values and principles, all for the benefit of its clients. BLP operates under a series of guiding criteria, which allow it to pursue the total satisfaction of its clients. These are: commitment to quality; commitment to service; ethics; teamwork and cost-consciousness; commitment to leadership and development; talent; and pro bono work.

BLP was founded in March 2003 by a group of lawyers who shared the same view of the practice of law. They were convinced that legal advisors should become true business partners of their clients, especially by providing top legal advice with business sense. Hence the name: Business Law Partners.

Since its opening, the firm has remained loyal to this vision and understood that clients are not only seeking the best legal advice, but also efficiency and business-orientated advice. BLP defines efficient service as one provided with world-class quality, in a timely and cost-conscious manner, while being open to alternative fee arrangements with clients. Consequently, leading multinationals have retained BLP’s services, either for one or more transactions, or for their day-to-day needs.

The main international practice of BLP is focused on coordinating legal services in Latin America for its clients. The firm has offices in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. BLP has formed a high-quality network of firms in other countries of the Latin American region and in different areas of law for the benefit of its clients.

Other offices

San Salvador – El Salvador; Managua and San Juan del Sur – Nicaragua; Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula – Honduras; San José, Guanacaste and Bahía Herradura – Costa Rica

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Jorge Arenales
Other fee-earners : +150
Total staff : +400