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

Galindo, Arias & López

Panama > Capital markets Tier 1

Highlighted for its 'knowledge and agility', Galindo, Arias & López regularly advises on public offerings of both debt and equity securities, including cross-border listings. The team focuses on advising issuers, acting for domestic, regional and international corporations from a range of sectors, most notably real estate, telecoms and aviation. The firm also has a strong regulatory compliance practice, assisting with the regulation and operation of foreign entities on the Panama and New York Stock Exchanges. Practice head Roberto de Araujo López is noted for his 'aptitude' in the field, particularly his expertise in securities regulation. Cristina Lewis de la Guardia, who has extensive experience in the structuring and issuance of securities, and senior associate Carla López, who assists with both securities issuances and regulatory compliance, are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Roberto De Araujo López


‘What made the firm stand out was the knowledge and agility with which they dealt with the issue, and especially the follow-up with the regulators. They exceed other firms we have worked with in terms of client service and agility in resolving matters.’

‘I recommend Roberto de Araujo López for his close relationships with his clients and aptitude in this field of law.’

Key clients

Cable Onda

Desarrollos Comerciales

Kadima Holdings

BAC Valores Panamá

Mercantil Servicios Financieros

Copa Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acted as Panamanian counsel to Copa Holdings in connection with its offering of senior, unsecured and convertible bonds for an aggregate principal amount of $350m.
  • Advised Kadima Holdings on its first public offering of $90m in corporate bonds and on the authorisations required by the Stock Market Superintendence of Panama.
  • Continuing to advise Cable Onda on the regulatory and compliance aspects of its November 2019 global offering of unsecured notes in the amount of $600m.

Panama > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

The 'very solid' team at Galindo, Arias & López has wide-ranging experience in corporate matters, advising on major domestic M&A, corporate finance, restructurings - where it has been particularly active recently - joint ventures, and corporate governance and compliance. It has notable strength in advising clients in highly regulated sectors, including telecoms, energy and financial services, as well as the technology, food and logistics industries. In addition, the firm has a strong pro bono offering for non-profit organisations as a signatory of the Pro Bono Declaration of the Americas. At the head of the practice, Diego Herrera focuses on advising large multinational clients on M&A and corporate finance, and Ramón Ricardo Arias has significant strength in M&A and restructurings. They are supported by strong up-and-coming partners Jose Luis Sosa and Beatriz Cabal.

Practice head(s):

Diego Herrera; Ramón Ricardo Arias


‘The team is very solid, both in terms of legal knowledge and practical experience, which allows it to develop matters very easily when consulting with the client. The team is very structured, they react very quickly and are always ready to attend to the client’s needs. They stand out from their Panamanian peers.’

‘José Luis Sosa is always available to solve clients’ issues and his solutions are always innovative, cutting-edge and practical. The team is very quick to respond with quality answers and their experience, local and international, means their advice is comprehensive.’

‘The firm has a solid tradition and reputation. It has a professional team, with experience and knowledge in the corporate field.’

‘Diego Herrera has great leadership and negotiation skills.’

‘It is a team with a lot of knowledge and it is very skilled in handling legal issues.’

‘Jose Luis Sosa is extremely professional and strategic when carrying out any type of transaction.’

Key clients

Millicom International Cellular

Fontus Hydro

One Equity Partners

Petróleos Delta

Copa Airlines


Drake Group

Cable Onda

Claro Panamá

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel to Coca-Cola FEMSA regarding the sale of two of its Panamanian subsidiaries engaged in the dairy business – Inversiones Lacteas and Inversiones Elisia – to Panama Dairy Ventures, and the restructuring of its Panamanian operative entities.

Panama > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Specialising in disputes in the electricity sector, the team at Galindo, Arias & López acts for major electricity distribution and generation companies, including in significant claims against the National Public Services Authority. However, the firm is active in the full range of civil, constitutional, administrative and labour litigation, appearing before domestic courts of all instances in addition to acting in multi-jurisdictional disputes. Arbitration is also a growing area of expertise for the sizeable team. The practice is led by the 'absolutely excellent' Diego de la Guardia, who has particularly notable experience in disputes in the public utilities, telecoms, construction and healthcare sectors. The 'standout' Selva Quintero is skilled in handling civil and public administrative litigation in the energy and utilities sectors, and senior counsel Adán Arjona is also noted for his experience in international arbitration and defamation cases. At associate level, Jeimy Lasso is particularly experienced in labour litigation.

Practice head(s):

Diego de la Guardia


‘The firm stands out for its strength in resolving conflicts outside the courts.’

‘They are highly qualified lawyers. Selva Quintero has solid and up-to-date knowledge that makes the client feel comfortable and secure with her advice.’

‘The quality and preparation of the lawyers is really impressive. Coordination and feedback ensure that the entire team always knows the case in detail and anyone can meet a client’s request. It is much better than other law firms where only one lawyer is assigned to the case and the other team members do not actively participate in its development.’

‘The ethics and up-to-date knowledge demonstrated by the team was decisive in achieving a successful result for us. The advice provided by Selva Quintero was more than high quality, precise and efficient.’

‘They are very precise, dedicated and very strong in strategy. The standout in the team is undoubtedly Selva Quintero, a lawyer who is always available to her client, with a great personality.’

‘Selva Quintero is always willing to answer calls and responds to clients’ requests very quickly.’

‘Experienced, knowledgeable, pragmatic and efficient.’

‘Diego de la Guardia is absolutely excellent – he is knowledgeable, experienced, approachable and keeps the client informed up to the second. He is one of the best lawyers – if not the best – I have met in my life and I am 71 years old. Selva Quintero is highly qualified and fits perfectly into the team.’

Key clients

Empresa de Distribución Eléctrica Metro – Oeste

Empresa de Distribución Eléctrica Chiriquí

Petroterminal de Panamá

América Móvil

Sonama Panamá y Sonama

BCT Bank

Mercantil Banco

Uber Panama Technology

Atlantic Security Bank

Work highlights

  • Representing Petroterminal de Panama in a multi-party claim for damages stemming from an oil spill in Laguna de Chiriquí Grande in 2007.
  • Representing Professors Alcibiades Mayta and Edilberto Hall in a claim concerning the protection of constitutional guarantees against the prestigious public university Universidad Tecnológica de Panama (UTP), resulting from its refusal to allow them to take office as decano (principal) and vice decano (vice principal), a position reached though an internal electoral process.
  • Representing Corporación La Prensa and Supermercado Xtra in litigation initiated by Roberto Durán, the former boxing world champion, over the publication and distribution of a collectable album using his image.

Panama > Projects and energy Tier 1

The 'methodical' and 'dynamic' team at Galindo, Arias & López has significant expertise in the financing of energy and infrastructure projects, as well as in public bids for major developments, and also assists with a wide range of regulatory, commercial and corporate matters in the energy sector. It also has a niche specialism in the storage and transportation of petroleum fuels and liquified petroleum gas. The team's impressive client roster includes financial institutions, venture capital investors, and major construction and energy companies. At the head of the projects team, Salomón Behar focuses on public bids and project finance, while Cristina Lewis de la Guardia leads the firm's regulatory department and is particularly experienced in the development of renewable energy projects, and the 'excellent' Cristina Thayer specialises in government contracts and public procurement. Another key contact in the sizeable team is Diego Herrera, who has extensive experience in project finance and M&A in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Lewis; Salomón Behar; Cristina Thayer


‘The firm is very organised and works to a high standard. They have always been our go-to firm – their advice has given us excellent results and we do nothing without consulting them. The level of professionalism is very high and that gives us confidence.’

‘They are very professional and methodical. They analyse all the points before offering an answer and study the issue in depth to make sure that their opinion is the best.’

‘What makes this practice unique is their ability to solve the client’s problems under the most difficult of circumstances. Clients know that they can trust the team with both simple and sophisticated matters and they will be treated with the same care. The Gala team work responds well, on time and in a concise manner.’

‘The lawyers at Gala know the client’s matters well and are aware of the client’s needs. They are dynamic and go the extra mile to ensure that the client achieves its objectives. They respond quickly to the client’s concerns and provide clear and viable solutions to the problems that arise. Cristina Thayer is an excellent attorney. She provides clear, effective, to-the-point responses that the client needs to hear and helps to solve impossible problems. I highly recommend the firm.’

‘The team are very professional and expert in their area of work. Their advice is delivered on time and with detailed research, which is very important.’

‘Cristina Thayer is very kind and supportive, always prompt in responding, very well prepared for her work, and brilliant in her findings. Her best quality is that she understands and adapts to new situations and handles them like an expert.’

‘They try to anticipate problems, inform us of all the changes made by the government and are prompt in answering our requests.’

‘We are very satisfied with Cristina Thayer’s work.’

Key clients


Goldwind International Holdings

Panama Canal Expansion Project


Edemet & Edechi

Petroterminal de Panama (PTP)

UEP Penonomé I

Kalpataru Power Transmission

Work highlights

  • Represented Systra in the public bid process undertaken by Metro de Panamá for the project management services coordination and technical assistance for the extension of Line 1 of the Panama metro system to Villa Zaíta.
  • Representing Kalpataru Power Transmission in a claim relating to its public bid for the construction of the 230kV Sabanitas – Panama III transmission line and associated substations of Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica.
  • Advised Goldwind International Holdings and Goldwind International Penonome on the sale to AES Panama of their equity interests in UEP Penonomé I, the operator of a 55MW wind farm on Panama’s southern coast.

Panama > Real estate Tier 1

Galindo, Arias & López has a wide-ranging real estate practice, spanning the financing and development of office, hotel, shopping centre and luxury residential projects; purchase and leasing transactions in the real estate sector; and regulatory issues, including condominium regulation. In addition, the firm has notable expertise in the creation and operation of real estate investment trusts, and a niche specialism in real estate transactions and developments in Panama City's Casco Antigua, a Unesco heritage site. Practice head Salomón Behar specialises in project development and financing. Ramón Ricardo Arias, who advises many leading Panamanian real estate developers, is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Salomón Behar

Key clients

Grupo Durex

Grupo Attie

Grupo Amarilo

Ocean Reef Island


Grupo Casas Grandes

Grupo Los Pueblos

Hacienda El Limón (Costa Verde)

Inmobiliaria P&P

Work highlights

  • Advised Grupo Durex on all aspects related to the development of the Panama Design Center Costa Del Este real estate project.
  • Advising Grupo Attie on the development of the PH Dorado Strip / City Centre project, including corporate and administrative matters.
  • Advising Grupo Amarilo on the development of various horizontal property projects, including Hacienda Golf, La Campiña Club Residential.

Panama > Transport: Aviation Tier 1

Galindo, Arias & López is renowned for its expertise in aviation finance, with clients including Copa Airlines, Panama's flag carrier, and major domestic and international banks. The team advises on the financing of the acquisition and leasing of aircraft, including multi-jurisdictional transactions, as well as related corporate, regulatory and registration issues. Cristina Lewis de la Guardia chairs the firm's aviation practice group and regularly advises airlines and financial institutions on the acquisition, finance, leasing and regulation of aircraft. Consultant Daniel Sessa and associate Claudia Juárez are also key members of the group.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Lewis de la Guardia

Key clients

Copa Holdings

Copa Airlines


Compañía Panameña de Aviación

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Holdings (the holding company of Copa Airlines) with respect to a guaranteed revolving credit facility agreement for an initial amount of $105m (with a withdrawal option of up to $350m), in which Citigroup Global Markets acted as structuring agent.
  • Advised Copa Holdings on all Panamanian legal matters relating to the pay-off of guaranteed loans, initially contracted to finance the acquisition of several of the group’s aircraft.

Panama > Banking and finance Tier 2

'Knowledgeable, experienced, pragmatic and efficient', Galindo, Arias & López has notable experience in financial services regulatory compliance, project finance and asset finance, with particular niche expertise in financings in the aviation sector. It also advises on syndicated loans, debt refinancing, and leveraged and acquisition finance, acting for both lender banks and financial institutions and corporate borrowers, particularly in highly regulated sectors (including energy, aviation, real estate, telecoms and insurance). The practice is led by regulatory specialist Roberto de Araujo López and Salomón Behar, who focuses on project and real estate finance. Diego Herrera, who is experienced in advising international clients, as well as in project finance, and aviation finance expert Cristina Lewis de la Guardia are also noted members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Roberto De Araujo López; Salomón Behar


‘The team is up-to-date on all legal and technical issues in the banking industry, maintains an excellent relationship with the regulator and stands out for being proactive in seeking practical and quick solutions.’

‘They are distinguished from competitors by their relationships with clients as well as with regulators. They stand out in terms of their collaboration in the development of transactions.’

‘Knowledgeable, experienced, pragmatic and efficient.’

‘Concise, clear and direct advice. Customer resources are used effectively.’

‘What stands out about the team is their close relationship with clients and the quality of the service provided.’

Key clients

Copa Holdings

Atlantic Security Bank

Compañía Panameña de Aviación

BTMU (Europe)

BIBANK (Bicapital Corporation)

BCT Bank International

Balboa Bank and Trust

Altra Investments

Mercantil Colpatria

Cable Onda

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Holdings and its subsidiaries with respect to a guaranteed revolving credit facility agreement for an initial amount of $105m (with a withdrawal option of up to $350m), in which Citigroup Global Markets acted as structuring agent.
  • Acted as Panamanian counsel to Cable Onda in connection with a loan agreement granted by the Bank of Nova Scotia in the amount of up to $110m, to be partially used to prepay publicly traded securities.
  • Advised ASB Bank on all issues related to obtaining a permanent international banking licence.

Galindo, Arias & López is a Panamanian full-service law firm with a 50- year tradition of excellence and a commitment to providing legal services of the highest quality and ethical standards. The firm has built long-term relationships with a high-profile, local and international client base, with business interests in Panama and abroad. GALA stands out due to its expertise in complex regulatory issues, local and cross-border transactions, complex asset and project financing transactions from highly regulated industries, 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 and capital markets: The firm has a long and impressive trajectory in the Panamanian market and boasts one of Panama’s largest banking and finance teams. The team focuses on project finance, financial services regulatory advice, day-to-day advice to full licensed banks and financial institutions. GALA’s expertise also includes high-end financing for precedent-setting energy and natural resources projects, as well as advice on growing areas such as aviation finance. GALA’s robust capital market practice handles a diversified portfolio of domestic, regional, and international clients mostly from highly regulated industries, on complex and innovative security offerings and regulatory compliance.

Corporate mergers and acquisitions: GALA advises on domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and reorganizations. The firm has been involved in many of the region’s most significant M&A transactions, including the acquisition of Cable Onda, S.A. by Millicom International Cellular, S.A., Panavicola, S.A. by Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI), the acquisition of Grupo Machetazo by Grupo Mays, the strategic alliance between Copa Airlines and United Airlines, and the sale by Goldwind International Penonome, S.a.r.l. of its equity interest in the first wind farm in Panama.

Litigation and 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 Naturgy Panama. Most recent achievements include 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 and 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. Among the most notable transactions are advising the (1) Panama Canal Authority’s international team on the financing of the US$5.25bn Panama Canal Expansion Project, (2) developers and financial institutions in financing energy projects of multiple technologies, including hydro, thermal, and natural gas generation, the first wind, and solar farms in the Republic of Panama, and the (3) construction, redeployment, and expansion of the trans-isthmian pipeline.

Real estate: The practice focuses on complex real estate development projects, zoning and condominium (horizontal property regime) incorporation, and other regulatory matters. 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 and international): The firm advises clients on the tax implications arising from cross-border transactions and structuring, guiding them on the best way to manage available tax incentives and regimes, including the application of double tax conventions. GALA also represents its clients before the Tax Administration and the Administrative Tax Court in complex litigation cases, including transfer pricing and cross-border investment.

The firm complements its portfolio with experienced legal professionals in practice areas such as aviation, data protection and security, intellectual property, government contracts and public procurement, labor and immigration, and regulatory. All services are delivered in compliance with GALA’s core values: excellence, integrity, respect, loyalty, empathy, confidentiality.

Highlighted industries of expertise
Aviation: GALA provides expert counsel to clients in the aviation industry, focusing on aircraft acquisition, finance and leasing, corporate, regulatory, and dispute resolution. Recent transactions include advising Copa Airlines on the US$2.6bn order placed for the acquisition of 32 Boeing 737-800 Next-Generation aircraft, the acquisition of the first 13 Boeing 737-MAX 9 aircraft, delivered between 2018 and 2021, part of the US$6.6bn order of 61 737-MAX and the sale of 14 EMB 190 aircraft, spare engines, and spare parts to Alliance.

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

Clients: Academia Latinoamericana de Aviación Superior S.A.; Altra Investments; América Móvil; ASSA Compañía de Seguros, S.A; Banco Ficohsa; BAC International Bank, Inc., Banco General SA; Banco Industrial, SA; Banco Santander Central Hispano, SA (NY Branch); Beaumont & Son Aviation at Clyde & Co.; Cable Onda, S.A.; Cargolux Airlines; Casa Comfort, S.A.; Citibank International PLC; Clínica Hospital San Fernando, SA; Condon & Forsyth LLP; Copa Airlines; Copa Holdings, S.A.; Credomatic de Panamá, SA; Deloitte; Emirates; El Machetazo, S.A.; GBM de Panamá, SA; Goldwind Americas; Grupo Pellas; Grupo Mays; Hospital Punta Pacífica; Hoteles Decameron; Grupo REY; International Finance Corporation (IFC); Los Castillos Real Estate, Inc.; Mayer Brown; MED Centroamérica, SA; Mercantil Banco, S.A; Mercantil Servicios de Inversión, S.A.; Metrobank, SA; Millicom International Cellular, S.A.; Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group; Motta International, S.A.; MTU Maintenance Hannover GmbH; Naturgy Panama; Panama Air Cargo Termminal Inc.; Panama Canal Authority; Petroterminal de Panamá, S.A.; Sherman & Sterling LLP; Sony BMG Music Entertainment; Uber, B.V.

Labor & Inmigration Beatriz 303-0303
Intellectual Property Carla Ló 303-0303
Aviation Cristina 303-0303
Regulatory Cristina 303-0303
Litigation & Dispute Resolution Diego de la 303-0303
Corporate Diego 303-0303
Commercial / Mergers & Acquisitions Diego 303-0303
Commercial / Mergers & Acquisitions Ramón Ricardo 303-0303
Data Protection & Security Ramón Ricardo 303-0303
Tax (domestic and international) Ramón Ricardo 303-0303
Banking, Insurance & Capital Markets Roberto De 303-0303
Government Contracts & Public Procurement Salomón 303-0303
Project & Assets Financing Salomón 303-0303
Real Estate Salomón 303-0303
Ricardo Alberto Arias Arias photoMr Ricardo Alberto Arias AriasPartner. Mr. Arias Arias is an expert on Administrative, International and Commercial…
Jaime Arias Calderón photoMr Jaime Arias CalderónPartner. Mr. Arias Calderón is an expert on Taxation and Commercial Law…
Alfonso Arias Loredo photoMr Alfonso Arias LoredoPartner. Mr. Arias Loredo focuses his practice on Commercial Law with emphasis…
Ramón Ricardo Arias Porras photoMr Ramón Ricardo Arias PorrasPartner. Mr. Arias Porras focuses his practice on regulatory, tax law, mergers…
Adán Arjona López photoMr Adán Arjona LópezCounsel. Mr. Arjona focuses on Administrative and Procedural Law, Litigation, and Arbitration.
Salomón Behar photoMr Salomón BeharConsultant. Mr. behar is an expert on commercial law, corporate law, hospitality,…
Beatriz Cabal photoMs Beatriz CabalPartner Ms. Cabal has vast experience in the areas of Telecommunications, Media…
Boris Chanis photoMr Boris ChanisCounsel. Mr. Chanis focuses his practice on Labor Law, Immigration, and Dispute…
Peter Chatlani photoMr Peter ChatlaniSenior Associate. Mr. Chatlani has more than 20 years of experience in Arbitration, Litigation…
Diego De La Guardia photoMr Diego De La GuardiaPartner. Mr. De la Guardia specializes on Disputes Resolution, with an emphasis…
María Montserrat Dorado photoMs María Montserrat DoradoAssociate. Ms. Dorado focuses on Labor & Inmigration, Litigation & Dispute Resolution.
Mario Galindo photoMr Mario GalindoConsultant. Mr. Galindo’s areas of practice include Constitutional, Civil, Tax and Commercial…
Edgar Herrera photoMr Edgar HerreraPartner. Mr. Herrera focuses his practice on both domestic and international Tax…
Diego Herrera photoMr Diego HerreraPartner. Mr. Herrera focuses on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions; serving key…
Tomás Herrera Díaz photoMr Tomás Herrera DíazPartner. Mr. Herrera is an expert on Banking and Corporate Law, and…
Jeimy Lasso photoMs Jeimy LassoAssociate. Ms. Lasso’s areas of expertise include Administrative Law, Procedural Law, Arbitration…
Cristina Lewis de la Guardia photoMs Cristina Lewis de la GuardiaPartner. Ms. Lewis’ practice focuses on commercial and administrative law, particularly in…
Carla López photoMs Carla LópezAssociate.
Carlos Lucas López Tejada photoMr Carlos Lucas López TejadaPartner. Mr. López Tejada focuses his practice on Administrative, Procedural, and Banking…
Raúl Morales photoMr Raúl MoralesAssociate. Raúl Alberto Morales joined Galindo, Arias & López in 2012, and…
Selva Quintero photoMs Selva QuinteroPartner. Ms. Quintero specializes on procedural civil, constitutional and administrative law, with…
Jose Luis Sosa photoMr Jose Luis SosaPartner. Mr. Sosa focuses his practice on commercial law, corporate law, project…
Anna Cristina Valdes photoMr Anna Cristina ValdesAssociate. Ms. Valdes focuses on Tax Law (local and international).
Gabriela Vásquez photoMs Gabriela VásquezAssociate. Ms. Vásquez focuses on Labor Law, Administrative Law, Administrative Procedural Law,…
Roberto de Araujo López photoMr Roberto de Araujo LópezPartner. Mr. De Araujo provides legal advise to numerous companies as a…
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