Legalsa > Guatemala, Guatemala > Firm Profile

5ª. AV. 5-55 ZONA 14

Guatemala > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Praised by clients for ‘maximising the strengths of each lawyer‘, the team at dispute resolution powerhouse Legalsa combines the skills of practice heads Henry Comte (whose extensive experience includes previously serving as an alternate magistrate of the Constitutional Court), Alejandro Penados and Marisol Fión to handle a wide range of civil, administrative, commercial, criminal and constitutional litigation and arbitration. In particular, the practice is highly regarded for its prowess in cross-border cases and complex shareholder litigation, routinely representing clients in high-profile disputes involving Guatemala’s largest corporate groups. The team is also active in white-collar crime cases, including fraud investigations and asset recovery, and also counts tax and IP disputes, bet-the-company litigation and disputes involving government procurement, concessions and public tenders among its areas of expertise. The team fields a strong cohort of associates, including Andrés Dubón, who handles corporate, commercial and financial disputes, Marcela Argueta, Juan Carlos Alvizúrez and Julia González, who focus on criminal law.

Practice head(s):

Henry Comte; Alejandro Penados; Marisol Fión


They work very well as a team, maximising the strengths of each lawyer.

The office has a wide range of services and they work very well as a team, so they cover the client’s needs very well. Henry Comte stands out.

Very efficient and knowledgeable about the law.

Experience and availability.

Key clients

CBC (formerly Cabcorp)


Constructora del Sur

Compañía Agrícola Industrial Santa Ana

Telecomunicaciones de Guatemala (Claro Guatemala)

Desarrollos los Manglares/Oceana Beach Resort

Hunter Warfield

América Móvil


Administrador del Mercado Mayorista


Work highlights

  • Successfully defended CBC against a claim that its Aqua Eco brand infringed on a competitor’s trademark.
  • Represented majority and minority shareholders of several of Guatemala’s largest privately held companies in complex shareholder disputes.

Guatemala > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Clients of Legalsa highlight the full-service firm’s personal approach and praise the team’s ‘humility and seriousness‘. The corporate department has an impressive record in cross-border M&A, advising international companies and major local and regional players, and has recently been active in assisting foreign direct investors with the expansion of their operations into Guatemala. Infrastructure, energy, aviation and telecoms are among the firm’s core sectors of expertise, and it also has a growing niche in the fintech and mobile apps space, as well as a practice dedicated to advising start-ups on corporate and IP issues (with an emphasis on the food and technology industries). David Font, an expert in M&A, foreign direct investment, real estate and fintech, jointly heads the practice with Johann Hartleben, whose experience spans domestic and international transactions. Senior associates Mónica Linares and Andrés Dubón focus on real estate issues and corporate disputes, respectively.

Practice head(s):

David Font; Johann Hartleben


The lawyer I work with most is Johann Hartleben. He is a professional whose ethics and honour are his main characteristics.

It is a large firm, but they serve the client as if they are friends or family, with humility and seriousness.

They are quick to respond, have an excellent knowledge of Guatemalan law and the memos they write are very clear and thorough. They provide solutions and have extensive experience in almost every type of transaction. They speak fluent English.

Key clients

América Móvil

Claro Guatemala (Telgua)

Grupo Ultramar

Fosforera Centroamericana


Prime Media & Entertainment

Norton Lilly International

Compañía Agrícola Industrial Santa Ana

Zuma Pagos

Super Auto Repuestos Acquaroni

Work highlights

  • Provided comprehensive advice on corporate, commercial, tax and labour issues to Zuma Pagos in relation to the expansion of its business from Mexico to Guatemala.
  • Advised Doctorisy on the expansion of its mobile app business into Guatemala.
  • Advised Watermania on establishing a joint venture with a company in the Cayman Islands, which will allow the client to establish operations in that country.

Guatemala > Intellectual property Tier 2

Legalsa‘s IP practice wins praise from clients for its ‘broad command of the subject‘ and ‘mastery of the legal procedures‘, making it a strong choice to advise a host of well-known domestic and multinational companies on the management of their IP portfolios throughout Central America. The team frequently assists with trademark registrations and renewals, and also has notable experience in niche areas such as motion trademarks and copyright licensing agreements for works of art. On the contentious front, the department leans on top-flight litigators Alejandro Penados and Henry Comte in opposition, infringement, unfair competition and anti-counterfeiting claims. The firm also has practices dedicated to advising start-ups and clients in the e-commerce space on IP matters. The ‘committedKarina Calderón heads the practice, ably supported by associate Óscar Herrera.

Practice head(s):

Karina Calderón


Legalsa’s intellectual property team, led by Karina Calderón, has proven to be efficient, standing out for its mastery and knowledge of the field, information management, response times, and ability to provide solutions to conflicts arising from the registration processes for intellectual property rights. The quality of work and competitive prices differentiate Legalsa from other law firms in the market.

Karina Calderón is a committed professional focused on providing a personalised service adapted to the needs of the client. She is always willing to provide efficient solutions for different scenarios in intellectual property matters.

I consider it a very efficient practice. They support us through the legal processes, clarifying the terms and technical language. In trademark registration processes, they are very proactive and always suggest previous searches to avoid future costs, which is appreciated.

They are very kind in their treatment of clients and are very patient when it comes to guiding us through the processes and legal terms. They are organised and do not require follow-up since they report back to us themselves  on the stages of the process.

They are always clear in terms of the strategies to be adopted in the legal procedure, and always provide a personal and high-quality service to their clients. Compared to other firms in Guatemala, Legalsa gives importance to all of the client’s issues, no matter how small, making them feel that they are a priority and that they are always well attended.

They are great experts in the field. They have a broad command of their subject and mastery of the legal procedures and this gives confidence to their clients.

The service we have received has been totally satisfactory.

We have received excellent service from Óscar Herrera and from the staff in charge of billing and collection. Their treatment of us is always punctual and friendly.

Key clients

Climate Partner

Grupo Castelli

Misión Taiwan en Guatemala



Hennés & Mauritz (H&M)

Puma Energy International




Tommy Hilfiger

Milagro de Amor

Fosforera Centroamericana

Complejo Industrial Xnaj

Avianca Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Climate Partner on strategies for protecting its trademarks and on the certification rules in Guatemala, including the registration of trademarks in over 25 classes.
  • Successfully defended CBC against challenges to its “Aqua Eco” trademark.
  • Advised Misión Taiwan en Guatemala on the development and protection of communal trademarks and trade dresses for small agricultural producers of coffee and honey.

Guatemala > Real estate Tier 2

Legalsa‘s ‘team of effective professionals‘ brings together expertise in both transactional and contentious matters to handle a wide range of real estate mandates, with particular strength in assisting major local developers with the construction of luxury residential and office buildings. The team stands out for its track record in property-related disputes (supported by the firm’s top-flight litigation department), but is also adept at advising on project finance, construction agreements, the acquisition and sale of properties, and the negotiation of lease agreements (with an emphasis on the retail sector). Jointly leading the practice are founding partner David Font, who has notable experience in project finance, the ‘efficient, knowledgeable and approachableJohann Hartleben and senior associate Mónica Linares, who is an expert in horizontal property regimes and construction permits.

Practice head(s):

David Font; Johann Hartleben; Mónica Linares


‘Legalsa stands out for being a team of effective professionals, who can deal with any problem or request quickly and attentively. The knowledge they have on real estate issues is very useful, which makes our company feel supported at all times.’

‘What makes me come back to this practice is their effectiveness. They get the work done. The cost ends up being high but it’s worth it because you know that the work is done with excellent diligence and ethics. I feel I am in good hands. I feel they give 100 percent and that makes me feel supported.’

‘Johann Hartleben is a very professional, efficient, knowledgeable and approachable lawyer. I am confident at all times that things will be done in a timely matter and with the best possible approach. He raises the standards. And because the people under him are equally reliable, that makes him a great leader.’

‘Johann Hartleben is a professional who is always willing to go one step further to attend to any problem our company has. The speed with which he responds to any query and, most importantly, the actions he takes have helped us to do better business. We are very satisfied with the service he provides.’

Key clients

Premiere Properties




Grupo Inmobiliario Obelix




Utopía Vacation Rentals

Desarrollo Los Manglares/Oceana Resort

Work highlights

  • Advised Grupo Premiere on its $47m development of three luxury high-rise apartment buildings – Torre Premiere Club, Sekkei and Novus – in Guatemala City.
  • Advised Inverscope on its $20m development of a medical office building, Edificio Medika 10, in Guatemala City’s exclusive “Hospital Row”.
  • Advising Teodolito on the development of Edificio Paradis, an apartment in the fast-growing zone 16 of Guatemala City.

Legalsa, has grown into one of the leading law firms in Guatemala, providing services as a one-stop firm and becoming business advisors for both big companies and new entrepreneurs. The firm has been successful in dispute resolution, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, banking, intellectual property and administrative law relating to bids and concessions. Recently, the firm has grown its portfolio in real estate and has also led the legal advice for startups and entrepreneurs wanting to operate within Guatemala.

Main areas of practice
Aviation: In recent years, the firm has been recognised by the market as a firm with special expertise in the sale and acquisition of aircrafts in Guatemala. Since 2017 the firm has formalised aircraft sales transactions, both locally and internationally.

Banking law: The firm provides a full range of legal services for international and national banks and financial institutions including syndicated loans and leasing contracts.

Corporate and M&A: The firm acts as a regular outside counsel for new and established corporations in several business sectors which include: banks, food and beverage, manufacturing, call centres, shipping, power generation, shopping malls, agricultural industries and a real estate development, among others. The firm has advised and represented national and foreign investors in cross-border transactions, including M&A and joint ventures, and has provided comprehensive legal advice and assistance to direct foreign investors for organisation, set up, start-up and ongoing operation of new business ventures in Guatemala.

Dispute resolution: The firm provides specialised dispute resolution services which include civil and administrative litigation, arbitration, credit recovery, intellectual property litigation, constitutional law actions and criminal law proceedings. The firm is best known in Guatemala for its capabilities in: highly complex, ‘bet the company’ litigation; shareholder dispute resolution and prevention; Dispute resolution involving government procurement, concessions and public tenders; and white-collar and business crimes.

Intellectual property: The firm has extensive experience in implementing intellectual property strategies for companies in the IT and financial services sector. This includes strategies for the protection and defense of intellectual property rights, agreements such as license, franchising, confidentiality (NDA), non-compete, technology transfer, distribution, and others. The firm provides advisory services to artists on copyright protection for works of art, auction management, and works of art resale rights.

Immigration: The firm handles different clients with their matters in the immigration field, both national and internationally.

Real estate: The firm is best known for having upscale developers as clients that require special neighbour regulations to determine the correct use of the different amenities on their buildings. Structuring Horizontal Property regimes and the related contracts and documents to ensure the projects success. Estate planning for family estates that have a large number or complex assets. Enforceability and execution of lease contracts in shopping centres and office complexes.

Startups Legalsa: In 2017 the firm officially launched the project ‘Startups Legalsa’, which aims to serve as legal advisors for entrepreneurs and startups. The entrepreneurship ecosystem in Guatemala has been growing in recent years, and through this project, the firm has been known as the pioneer and leading firm by sharing knowledge and participating as legal mentors with different private entities as incubators and accelerators, as well as public sector entities like the Ministry of Economy.

Tax: Comte & Font – Legalsa advises clients in the design and execution of tax planning for corporate businesses and transactions as well as tax litigation.

Languages: Spanish, English, German, French.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior contacts Henry Comte
Senior contacts David Font
Administrative Law David Font
Corporate/M&A Johann Hartleben
Dispute Resolution Alejandro Penados
Dispute Resolution Marisol Fión
Dispute Resolution Julia González
Dispute Resolution Juan Carlos Alvizurez
Banking and finance David Font
Intellectual property Karina Calderón
Direct foreign investment Johann Hartleben
Real Estate Mónica Linares
Tax/estate planning David Font
Constiutional Law Javier Comparini
Startups Jose Bassila
Other fee-earners : 9
Total staff : 45
Partners : 6