Mrs María Inés Arenales > BLP > Guatemala City, Guatemala > Lawyer Profile


Work Department

Banking & Finance, Tax, Insurance & Reinsurance, Business Law




María Inés is a founding Partner of BLP in Guatemala. She specializes in the practice areas of Banking & Finance, Business Law, Insurance & Reinsurance, and Tax.

During her more than 12 years as a lawyer, she has advised both national and multination financial companies on the financing of important projects in the public and private sectors of Guatemala, involving large numbers of creditors, debtors and guarantors in a multiplicity of jurisdictions.

She has participated in mergers and acquisitions of recognized importance in the region, both within regulated and unregulated industries, successfully leading legal teams in the coordination of due diligence. Likewise, she has played a key role in the structuring of various companies and in the successful registration for the public offering of shares to be traded on the National Securities Exchange and in the OTC market.

María Inés maintains a noteworthy practice in the design of fiscal and corporate structures, corporate governance, minority rights, shareholder agreements, and the organization of Guatemalan and foreign companies as of offshore entities. She has extensive knowledge in all regulatory aspects of the regional insurance and reinsurance market, including recent regulations on authorizations, and the registration of new insurers, intermediaries, and service providers.

She has been recognized by prestigious publications in the legal field such as Chambers and Partners, and The Legal 500 and is valued by clients as a lawyer with a business vision that combines technical knowledge with a perfect balance between flexibility and firmness. María Inés worked first as a Legal Assistant and then as an Associate at Arenales & Skinner-Klee – LatamLex from 2001 until 2016 when she left to become Partner at BLP.


Spanish, English


  • International Bar Association (IBA): Member.
  • Guatemalan Bar Association (CANG): Member.


  • Legal Banking and Finance Program, INIDEM Business Law School, Panama, 2015.
  • Bachelor of Legal and Social Sciences, Lawyer and Notary, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala, 2009.
  • Foreign Trade Program, INCAE Business School, Costa Rica, 2011.
  • Master’s degree in Law, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile, 2013.

Lawyer Rankings

Central America > Corporate and finance

BLP has offices in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and has since opened a representative branch in Spain to expand its offering for international clients. The firm is well known for its strength in cross-border transactions, including M&A and project finance, advising numerous household names. It also covers syndicated loans, fintech and financial regulation, foreign investment and commercial matters, including distribution and franchising agreements. In Costa Rica, Vivian Liberman and Andrés López lead the banking and finance practice, with David Gutiérrez (who is also based in the Madrid office) and Adriana Castro heading the corporate and M&A team. María Inés Arenales is the key name for banking and finance matters in Guatemala, while Luis Ruiz is noted for his corporate and IP expertise. In El Salvador, the corporate and finance practices were bolstered in 2020 by the arrival of the highly experienced Zygmunt Brett, a former Arias partner. Ernesto Rizo leads the corporate and finance practices in Nicaragua, and tax expert Lilian López, Jose Miguel Álvarez and Karla Aguilar are the key names in Honduras, where the firm has significant strength in the energy sector.

Guatemala > Corporate and M&A

(Leading individuals)

María Inés ArenalesBLP

Regional firm BLP is highly experienced in multi-jurisdictional corporate matters, regularly advising on M&A for major international clients from the pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, real estate, retail and logistics sectors. Advising on day-to-day corporate matters, distribution and agency contracts, and shareholders’ agreements also makes up a large part of the team’s workload. The firm also has a region-wide commitment to corporate social responsibility: it has established a sustainability strategy encompassing diversity policies, environmental management and a pro bono offering, through its BLP Foundation, which advises more than 100 NGOs. María Inés Arenales, who frequently handles the regional coordination of due diligence and M&A matters, heads the team with the experienced Luis Ruiz. Special counsel Alejandro Arenales also plays a key role in the practice, as does senior associate Alcy Martínez.

Guatemala > Banking and finance

(Leading individuals)

María Inés ArenalesBLP

The ‘practical‘ and ‘first-rate‘ team at regional firm BLP advises on financial transactions across Central America, assisting with cross-border loan facilities, debt restructurings, project finance, bond issuances, and regulatory and compliance issues. The team, which acts for local and international banks, corporate borrowers and a growing number of fin-tech companies, has recently been particularly active advising on financings in the energy and mining sectors, as well as on private equity investments in real estate projects. ‘Excellent‘ practice head María Inés Arenales has notable experience in syndicated loans and project finance, in additional to her expertise in tax matters. Experienced special counsel Alejandro Arenales, who is particularly well known for advising foreign banks on investments in Guatemala, and senior associate Alcy Martínez are also noted.

Guatemala > Tax

As a full-service firm, BLP is able to draw on the strength of its corporate and finance departments to assist clients with various tax issues, regularly advising national and international companies on the tax implications of setting up operations in Guatemala and investing in local companies. In addition, the team advises on administrative processes and audits conducted by the tax authority. Practice head María Inés Arenales handles the tax structuring of corporate and financial transactions, and senior associate Rogelio Muñoz is experienced in tax compliance and due diligence.