Firm Profile > Galindo, Arias & López > Panama, Panama

Galindo, Arias & López
SCOTIA PLAZA, 11TH FLOOR
FREDERICO BOYD AVE AND 51ST STREET
PANAMA
Panama

Corporate and M&A Tier 1

The corporate, commercial and M&A team at Galindo, Arias & López demonstrates 'impressive capabilities to manage major projects' related to acquisitions, joint ventures, equity interest sales and private bids, as well as corporate restructurings, franchises and cross-border mergers. Commended for its 'ability to identify key issues and address them from a business-oriented and practical perspective', the fifteen-strong practice is frequently retained by both domestic and international companies from a range of sectors. Responsive and proactive', the team recently represented Petróleos Delta on its acquisition of Total’s downstream gas business in Costa Rica. Other headline mandates saw the 'very experienced and knowledgeable' Diego Herrera lead the team that acted as local counsel to Millicom on its $1.46bn global acquisition of 80% of the shares of Cable Onda; while practice co-head Ramon Arias led advice to Copa Airlines in the negotiation of a joint business agreement with United Airlines and Avianca.  Senior associate Jose Luis Sosa provides key support in most deals.

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Led by well-regarded Diego De La Guardia, the litigation and dispute resolution group at Galindo, Arias & López has notable experience handling complex, high-stakes and often multi-jurisdictional disputes. Besides offering preventative advice to corporate, private clients and governmental entities, the seventeen-strong team is also adept at assisting them in civil, administrative and constitutional disputes. The practice group is also active in international arbitration, as evidenced by the recent representation of the Republic of Panama, as defendant, in a $100m compensation claim for the violation of a Free Trade Agreement. In ongoing work, key practice figure Selva Quintero is advising Unión Eólica Penonomé I (UEPI) in a $20m administrative process brought by pulic service autority ASEP concerning compliance with the operating regulations of the Centro Nacional de Despacho (CND). Other notable mandates saw counsel Adán Arjona López represent publisher Corporación La Prensa, as defendant, in a defamation lawsuit brought by a former First Lady of Panama regarding an article suggesting connections to the Odebrecht corruption scandal. In 2017 both Quintero and Arjona López were appointed members of the Commission to reform the country's Constitutional Procedural Code. Associate Ricardo Delvalle left in December 2018 to co-establish Delvalle, Escalona, Levy & Corró.

Real estate Tier 1

Galindo, Arias & López is among the leading market-players advising clients on real estate transactions and developments. The nine-strong team receives instructions from developers, investors and mortgage lenders in relation to real estate funds, sales, the incorporation of projects into the Horizontal Property Regime and joint venture financing structures. In current headline work, the team is acting as lead counsel to China State Construction Engineering Company on the $137m Ciudad de Esperanza development - comprising 2250 housing units, a high school, university campus and other recreational spaces. In another on-going matter, the practice group is representing Ocean Reef Islands Financing as the promoter of the first residential complex on man-made islands in Panama. Of counsel Salomón Joseph Behar heads a practice that also count on highly-regarded associate Lizbeth Villarreal.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Galindo, Arias & López boasts a ten-strong banking and finance team, which is adept at advising local and international clients on credit facilities, loan agreements, financial restructuring and project finance. Highly commended for its 'knowledge and experience', one of the key strengths of the practice is high-end aviation and energy-projects financing, as demonstrated by its regular involvement in related matters. The 'always available' Cristina Lewis de la Guardia recently led a team advising Copa Holdings on several transactions, including the $625m financing of five Boeing 737-9 planes; the team also acted as local counsel to several international banks on a $36m credit facility to refinance an aircraft fleet. Practice head Roberto de Araujo López led advice to BCT Bank International and Balboa Bank and Trust on their merger process. The reputable Diego Herrera is also a key practitioner in the 'solution-oriented' department.

Galindo, Arias & Lopez, one of the most renowned full-service law firms in Panama, prides itself on a 50-year tradition of excellence and building long-term relationships with its clients. Committed to providing legal services of the highest quality and ethical standards, the firm maintains a high-profile, international client base with business interests in Panama and abroad. GALA stands out among its competitors, thanks to its expertise in complex regulatory issues, local and cross-border transactions and a stellar dispute resolution track record, servicing clients throughout Panama’s key business sectors: aviation, energy, telecommunications, banking, finance, infrastructure, real estate, transportation and logistics, tourism, and commerce.

Main Areas of Practice

Banking, Insurance & Capital Markets: GALA has a long and impressive trajectory in the Panamanian market and boasts one of the largest banking and finance teams in Panama. The team focuses on project finance, financial services regulatory advice, day-to-day advice to traditional banks, and financial institutions, high-end financing for precedent-setting energy and natural resources projects, as well as advice on growing areas such as aviation finance. GALA also has a strong capital market practice focused primarily on public offerings of both debt and equity securities and regulatory compliance.

Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions: GALA advises on domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances and reorganisations. The firm has been involved in many of the region’s most important M&A transactions, including the acquisition of Balboa Bank and Trust by Corporacion BCT S.A., the acquisition of Total’s gas retail business in Costa Rica by Petroleos Delta and the alliance agreement between Copa Airlines and United Airlines.

Intellectual Property: the experienced team can assist clients on the registration and protection of trademarks, patents, slogans, trade names, industrial designs, and invention patents. It has wide experience in IP litigation.

Litigation & Dispute Resolution: the firm has a long-standing and highly accomplished litigation practice. GALA’s litigation attorneys have successfully argued on behalf of clients in a broad range of industries, including energy sector leaders Petroterminal de Panamá, and Gas Natural Fenosa. Among its most recent achievements is advising the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)’s international legal team on issues of Panamanian law in the ACP’s recent arbitration victory over the contractor responsible for the Panama Canal Expansion Project.

Project & Asset Finance: GALA has offered legal counsel on innovative finance structures for the acquisition of assets and the development of some of the largest projects in Panamanian history. The most notable transactions include advising the Panama Canal Authority on financing of the US$5.25 B Panama Canal Expansion Project, as well as advising both developers and financial institutions regarding financing of energy projects of multiple technologies, including hydro, thermal and natural gas generation, the first wind and solar farms in the Republic of Panama, and both the construction, re-deployment and expansion of the trans-isthmian pipeline.

Real Estate: the practice focuses on complex real estate development projects, zoning matters, and issues arising from condominium incorporation and regulation. The team is actively involved in advising the developer of the 1,400-hectare project known as Ciudad Costa Verde in all legal matters, including regulatory, transactional and tax matters.

Tax (Local & International): GALA advises clients on the tax implications arising from cross border transactions and structuring, guiding them on the best way to manage and use the available tax incentives and regimes, including the application of double tax conventions.

Highlighted Industries of Expertise

Aviation: GALA provides expert counsel to clients in the aviation industry, primarily focusing on aircraft acquisition, finance and leasing, as well as corporate, regulatory and litigation. Recent transactions include, advising Copa Airlines on the US$ 2.6 B order placed for the acquisition of 32 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft and the acquisition of the first 15 Boeing 737-MAX 9 aircraft to be delivered by 2019, part of the US$6.6B order of 61 737-MAX.

Energy: with experienced lawyers in heavily regulated industry, GALA advises an international clientele on the full range of energy-related matters. The team comprises of lawyers within M&A, regulatory, project financing, and dispute resolution practice groups, being able to safeguard client’s interests in every possible way. Working in the development of the largest solar, wind, and hydroelectric projects settled in Panama and the region, as well as, counseling two of the three energy-distribution companies in the country, has made Galindo, Arias & Lopez the go-to firm for power-related matters.

Clients: America Movil; ASSA Compania de Seguros, S.A; Banco Ficohsa; BAC International Bank, Inc., Banco General SA; Banco Industrial, SA; Banco Santander Central Hispano, SA (NY Branch); Cargolux Air-lines; Casa Comfort, S.A.; China State Construction and Engineering Company (CSCEC); Citibank International PLC; Clinica Hospital San Fernando, SA; Copa Airlines; Copa Holdings, S.A.; Credomatic de Panama, SA; Deloitte; Emirates; Gates and Partners; GBM de Panama, SA; Glenfarne Group, LLC; Gold-wind Americas; Grupo Pellas; Hospital Punta Pacifica; Hoteles Decameron, Grupo REY; International Finance Corporation (IFC); Motta International, S.A.; Mayer Brown; MED Centroamerica, SA; Mercantil Banco, S.A.; Metrobank, SA; Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group; Panama Canal Authority; Petroterminal de Panama, S.A.; Servair Newrest Panama, S.A.; Sherman & Sterling LLP; Sony BMG Music Entertainment; Uber, B.V.; UEP Penonome I, S.A.; Unión Eolica Panamena, S.A.

Department Name Email Telephone
Antitrust and international trade Cristina Thayer cethayer@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Aviation Cristina Lewis clewis@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Banking, finance and capital markets Roberto De Araujo rdearaujo@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Corporate and commercial Ramón Ricardo Arias rrarias@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Dispute resolution Diego de la Guardia diegoag@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Incorporation services Diego Herrera dherrera@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Intellectual property Carla López calopez@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Mergers and acquisitions Diego Herrera dherrera@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Project finance Salomón Behar sbehar@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Real estate Salomón Behar sbehar@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Tax (domestic and international) Ramón Ricardo Arias rrarias@gala.com.pa +507 303-0303
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Ricardo Alberto Arias Arias  photo Mr Ricardo Alberto Arias Arias
Mr Jaime Arias Calderón  photo Mr Jaime Arias Calderón
Mr Alfonso Arias Loredo  photo Mr Alfonso Arias Loredo
Mr Ramón Ricardo Arias Porras  photo Mr Ramón Ricardo Arias Porras
Mr Adán Arjona López  photo Mr Adán Arjona López
Mr Salomón Behar  photo Mr Salomón Behar
Ms Beatriz Cabal  photo Ms Beatriz Cabal
Mr Boris Chanis  photo Mr Boris Chanis
Mr Peter Chatlani  photo Mr Peter Chatlani
Mr Diego De La Guardia  photo Mr Diego De La Guardia
Ms María Montserrat Dorado  photo Ms María Montserrat Dorado
Mr Mario Galindo  photo Mr Mario Galindo
Mr Diego Herrera  photo Mr Diego Herrera
Mr Edgar Herrera  photo Mr Edgar Herrera
Mr Tomás Herrera Díaz  photo Mr Tomás Herrera Díaz
Ms Carla López  photo Ms Carla López
Mr Carlos Lucas López Tejada  photo Mr Carlos Lucas López Tejada
Ms Jeimy Lasso  photo Ms Jeimy Lasso
Ms Cristina Lewis de la Guardia  photo Ms Cristina Lewis de la Guardia
Mr Raúl Morales  photo Mr Raúl Morales
Ms Jenny Nieto  photo Ms Jenny Nieto
Ms Selva Quintero  photo Ms Selva Quintero
Mr Jose Luis Sosa  photo Mr Jose Luis Sosa
Ms Cristina Thayer  photo Ms Cristina Thayer
Ms Gabriela Vásquez  photo Ms Gabriela Vásquez
Mr Anna Cristina Valdes  photo Mr Anna Cristina Valdes
Mr Roberto de Araujo López  photo Mr Roberto de Araujo López
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