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

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

Panama > Capital markets Tier 1

Highlighted for its ‘superior knowledge‘ of capital markets matters, Galindo, Arias & López advises a wide range of domestic and international banks and corporations on high-profile debt and equity security offerings in Panama and abroad. In addition to its notable expertise in public offerings, the team is well known for advising on banking and securities regulatory and compliance matters, and assisting with registrations on the local stock market and the New York Stock Exchange. Regulatory issues and capital markets transactions in the aviation sector are among department head Cristina Lewis de la Guardia's core areas of expertise. Roberto De Araujo López stands out for his in-depth knowledge of securities regulation, whereas associate Carla López is particularly noted for debt capital markets mandates.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Lewis de la Guardia

Testimonials

‘The practice of Galindo, Arias and Lopez stands out for its superior knowledge in the field of capital markets. The main difference is in the ability of the people.’

‘The two lawyers who stand out the most are Cristina Lewis and Carla López, who are probably the best lawyers for local capital markets matters. Our level of confidence in their advice is extremely high. We have worked on multiple matters together and they have guided us successfully through the process, with excellent results.’

Key clients

Cable Onda

Desarrollos Comerciales

Kadima Holdings

BAC Valores Panamá

Mercantil Servicios Financieros

Copa Holdings

BAC International Bank

Corporación de Finanzas del País (Panacredit)

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Holdings on a $350m bond offering, guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States, to finance seven of its MAX aircraft.
  • Advised BAC International Bank on the public offering of commercial notes of up to $100m.
  • Acted as Panamanian counsel to Cable Onda in connection with the pre-payment of $75m in corporate bonds to complete the payment of its $200m public offering of 2015.

Panama > Corporate and M&A Tier 1

Galindo, Arias & López's 'commercial, available and attentive' corporate practice is active in domestic transactions but particularly stands out for its expertise in cross-border mandates involving highly regulated industries. The team handles a wide range of matters, spanning corporate restructuring, hybrid M&A and corporate financings (including capital raising and other investment transactions), joint ventures, divestments and spin-offs. Diego Herrera, who is highlighted for his experience in multi-jurisdictional M&A and corporate finance transactions, oversees the team with Ramón Ricardo Arias, who has notable expertise in the aviation, finance and telecoms sectors. Other names to note include Jose Luis Sosa, who has a proven transactional track record in the energy and real estate spaces and 'stands out for his academic background, availability, and technical ability', Beatriz Cabal, and associates Andrés Sanjur and Raúl Morales.

Practice head(s):

Diego Herrera; Ramón Ricardo Arias

Testimonials

‘The professionalism and specialist knowledge of the M&A team is what sets it apart from other firms.’

‘Diego Herrera and Andrés Sanjur are exceptional.’

‘The team stands out for its confidence and speed in dealing with our queries.’

‘We have worked with Raúl Morales – he is very efficient in his management of our matters and that is appreciated.’

‘It is the best firm I have worked with in Panama. They are always commercial, available, attentive and willing to help. The technical level is very good.’

‘Jose Luis Sosa stands out for his academic background, availability, technical ability and kindness.’

Key clients

Millicom International Cellular

Copa Airlines

Panafoto

Cable Onda

América Móvil

Work highlights

  • Acting as local counsel to América Móvil on the $200m sale of all the issued and outstanding shares of Claro Panamá to Cable & Wireless Panama (a subsidiary of Liberty Latin America).
  • Advised Copa Holdings on the contractual and regulatory aspects of the sale of 14 Embraer 190 aircraft to Australia-based Alliance, and of three Boeing 737-700 aircraft to Europe-based Royal Aero.

Panama > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Galindo, Arias & López has extensive experience in high-profile litigation before Panama’s Supreme Court, as well as in international arbitration and cross-border disputes relating to the enforcement of arbitral awards. Key areas of expertise for the team include contentious-administrative litigation, cases against the Panamanian government and disputes in the energy sector. At the helm of the practice, Diego De La Guardia ‘stands out for his close relationships with clients, his experience and the quality of his work'. He is highly regarded for disputes in the telecoms, energy, construction and public utilities sectors, while fellow co-head Selva Quintero has significant experience in complex public administrative litigation. Also part of the core team, of counsel Adán Arjona is noted for corporate-related disputes and associate Jeimy Lasso is highlighted for labour and IP cases.

Practice head(s):

Diego de la Guardia; Selva Quintero

Testimonials

‘Total transparency. Advice is absolutely clear and delivered on time.’

‘Diego de la Guardia stands out for his close relationships with clients, his experience and the quality of his work.’

‘Selva Quintero is very attentive, punctual and accurate in her analyses.’

Key clients

Empresa de Distribución Eléctrica Metro-Oeste

Empresa de Distribución Eléctrica Chiriquí

Petroterminal de Panamá

Sonama Panamá y Sonama

Mercantil Banco

BAC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Petroterminal de Panamá in multiple actions brought against the Municipality of Barú relating to the construction permit for the repair of a dock owned by the client.
  • Acting for Sonoma and Sonoma Panamá in an appeal brought against a judgment of the Superior Court of the First Judicial District, which ruled that FCC Construcción and Constructora Meco should pay the client the amount of $25m.
  • Acting for Obras Portuarias Coatzacoalcos and Matrix Concesiones in opposing an appeal against the granting of an arbitral award to the client following ICC proceedings over the violation of an contract for the construction of the Coatzacoalcos underwater tunnel in Mexico.

Panama > Projects and energy Tier 1

Galindo, Arias & López‘s multi-disciplinary practice offers advice to a diverse client roster of financial institutions, major developers, energy companies and venture capital investors on the full spectrum of project finance and development matters. Its broad service offering also covers public procurement, government contracts, and regulatory matters. The team is particularly experienced in advising on the development of large-scale renewable energy projects, but acts for clients across the construction, infrastructure and healthcare sectors. Of counsel Salomón Behar heads the project finance practice, with a focus on acting for key names in the energy space, while Cristina Lewis de la Guardia leads the regulatory department and possesses notable expertise in project development. Other key names include Diego Herrera, who focuses on project finance and M&A deals involving energy assets, and Jose Luis Sosa. Cristina Thayer  is no longer at the firm.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Lewis de La Guardia; Salomón Behar

Key clients

Servair

Goldwind International Penonomé

Panama Canal Expansion Project

Systra

Edemet & Edechi

Petroterminal de Panama (PTP)

Real Estate Infrastructure Company

Compañía Insular Americana (Ocean Reef Islands)

Inmobiliaria San Fernando

Work highlights

  • Advised Goldwind International Holdings on the sale to AES Panama of its equity interests in UEP Penonomé I, the operator of a major wind farm in the province of Coclé.

Panama > Real estate Tier 1

Galindo, Arias & López‘s diverse real estate practice covers financing and corporate transactions, commercial agreements, regulatory matters in the sector, and the development of major office, commercial and high-end residential projects. The team is noted for its advice on real estate transactions and developments in Panama City’s historic Casco Antiguo district, and has carved out a niche in the creation and operation of real estate investment trusts. Of counsel Salomón Behar spearheads the practice and has longstanding experience in project finance. Ramón Ricardo Arias also plays a key role in advising major Panamanian real estate developers.

Panama > Transport: Aviation Tier 1

Galindo, Arias & López fields a dedicated aviation practice that stands out for its expertise in aviation finance, where it acts for an impressive client roster that includes major banks and Panamanian flag carrier Copa Airlines. The team also advises on the contractual and regulatory aspects of the sale and acquisition of aircraft. Cristina Lewis de la Guardia, who has longstanding experience in the financing and acquisition of aircraft, heads up the practice. Consultant Daniel Sessa is another contact for aviation finance, while associate Claudia Juárez focuses on regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Lewis de la Guardia

Testimonials

‘Daniel Sessa is the best there is.’

Key clients

Copa Holdings

Compañía Panameña de Aviación

North Pole Investments (part of the Helistar group)

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Holdings on the purchase and financing of seven Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft delivered to its subsidiary, Copa Airlines, as well as on the $6.6bn order for the acquisition of 71 new Max aircraft.
  • Advised Compañía Panameña de Aviación (Copa Airlines), the flag carrier of Panama, on the payoff of guaranteed loans initially contracted to finance the acquisition of several of its aircraft.
  • Advised aircraft leasing company North Pole Investments (part of the Helistar group) on the purchase and financing of one Gulfstream GVII-G500 aircraft.

Panama > Banking and finance Tier 2

An impressive roster of lender and borrower clients turn to Galindo, Arias & López for advice on high-profile financing transactions taking place in the Panamanian market and involving other jurisdictions. Demonstrating considerable expertise in highly regulated sectors, notably energy, real estate and telecoms, the firm particularly stands out for its dedicated aviation finance practice, led by the highly experienced Cristina Lewis de la Guardia. The team, which has reported a recent uptick in instructions related to ESG-related financings, is chaired by Roberto de Araujo López, a leading figure in the market for regulatory issues affecting the financial services sector. Diego Herrera and Jose Luis Sosa, both of whom possess a strong track record in project finance, are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Roberto de Araujo López

Key clients

Copa Holdings

Atlantic Security Bank

Compañía Panameña de Aviación

BiBank (Bicapital Corporation)

BAC International Bank

Mercantil Banco

Altra Investments

Mercantil Colpatria

ASB Bank

Cable Onda

Banco del Pichincha Panama

Finance in Motion

Work highlights

  • Advised Copa Holdings on the purchase of seven Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft, delivered to its subsidiary Copa Airlines, under a financing guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
  • Acted as Panamanian counsel to Lenus Capital Partners in connection with the acquisition and financing of Socimédicos, the owner and administrator of IPS Clínica San Rafael, a hospital in Pereira, Colombia, as part of the client’s strategy of deploying over $400m in the Colombian health sector.
  • Advised Eco Business Fund and its fund manager Finance in Motion on two different unsecured loans to banks licensed in Panama, Unibank and Banco Internacional de Costa Rica (BICSA), for an aggregate amount of up to $40m.

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.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Labor & Inmigration Beatriz Cabalbecabal@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Intellectual Property Carla Lópezcalopez@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Aviation Cristina Lewisclewis@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Regulatory Cristina Lewisclewis@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Litigation & Dispute Resolution Diego de la Guardiadiegoag@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Corporate Diego Herreradherrera@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Commercial / Mergers & Acquisitions Diego Herreradherrera@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Commercial / Mergers & Acquisitions Ramón Ricardo Ariasrrarias@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Data Protection & Security Ramón Ricardo Ariasrrarias@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Tax (domestic and international) Ramón Ricardo Ariasrrarias@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Banking, Insurance & Capital Markets Roberto De Araujoroberto@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Government Contracts & Public Procurement Salomón Beharsbehar@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Project & Assets Financing Salomón Beharsbehar@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
Real Estate Salomón Beharsbehar@gala.com.pa+507 303-0303
PhotoNamePositionProfile
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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