Firm Profile > EY Law Central America > San Jose, Costa Rica

EY Law Central America
Costa Rica

Dispute resolution Tier 1

The 'very proactive' litigation team at EY Law Central America handles litigation due diligence, disputes and the evaluation of possible contingencies. The team has a particular focus on distribution matters, representing foreign suppliers and local distributors in cases of modification, restructuring and termination. María del Mar Herrera and Allan Hernández co-chair the department, with the former well equipped to handle consumer protection and e-commerce disputes and the latter covering various areas, including the identification of contingencies in contracts, and acting in arbitrations. Daniela Rivas joined the group in August 2019 from the General Superintendence of Financial Entities, bringing expertise in administrative and financial disputes.


‘They were very proactive and took on my case immediately, scheduling an appointment within a day. Their work was excellent.’

‘María del Mar Herrera is a highly respected professional in her field. She has an in-depth knowledge of her areas of expertise and thanks to this she can resolve matters quickly and effectively. She stands out from the competition for the speed and professionalism with which she handles cases, and, most importantly, for her passion for her work. She dealt with me in the same way as she would a big corporation, which made me feel valued and appreciated.’

‘Marí­a del Mar Herrera has many years’ experience and her talent is recognised both locally and throughout Central America.’

Key clients

Kaeser Compresores de Guatemala

Corporación Lady Lee (Dica Desarrollos Inmobiliarios Centroamericanos)

Tricon Energy

Banco de Desarrollo Rural

Kimberly Clark Costa Rica

Knorr Bremse Sistemas Para Veiculos Comerciais Brasil

KTM Sportmotorcycle

The Raymond Corporation


Environment Tier 1

The environmental law group at EY Law Central America is well positioned to handle matters relating to waste management, chemical and hazardous material management, water and waste water systems. Counting fruit plantations, industrial plants and developers among its clients, the department led by Roberto Cordero assists with a wide variety of environmental matters, including contentious issues. Cordero specialises in environmental audits and compliance reviews, and has an additional strong suit in environmental due diligence processes. Associates Marco Quesada and Jéssica Castro provide key support and both are knowledgeable in areas such as neutral carbon verification.

Practice head(s):


‘The team’s strengths are the skills and experience they have with audits.’

‘The EY environmental team led by Roberto Cordero is the most credible team of environmental lawyers in the country with in-depth knowledge of productive activities.’

‘Great knowledge and a vocation to explain things well, deep knowledge of precedents.’

Key clients

Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (Recope)

Abbott Medical Costa Rica

Cámara Nacional de Productores y Exportadores de Piña (Canapep)

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)

Baxter Productos Médicos

Flex (previously AGM Automotive Costa Rica)

Florida Ice and Farm

Boston Scientific

Proquinal de Costa Rica

Consultora y Constructora de Proyectos y Diseños de Costa Rica (Coprode)

Real estate Tier 1

Focused on the design, implementation and development of long-term mixed-use projects, EY Law Central America frequently acts for real estate and hospitality developers. Additionally, the firm is experienced in handling real estate transactions, particularly in the hotel and leisure industry. Alejandro Antillón, Arturo Apéstegui and Abraham Stern jointly lead the group. Antillón focuses on real estate portfolios and hospitality chains, while Apéstegui assists franchisees, licensees and distributors, as well as advising on family properties, and Stern is knowledgeable about condominium structuring. 'Very capable' associate Álvaro Leiva often advises on hospitality matters in relation to tourism incentives and concessions. Also experienced in this area of law, Andrea Sandoval has particular expertise in hotel management agreements and franchise agreements with international hospitality chains.


‘EY has a highly capable and experienced real estate team. They always provide accurate advice with a multi-disciplinary component. It is undoubtedly the best real estate practice in the country.’

‘What stands out most about EY’s real estate team is that they have senior lawyers to handle clients’ problems.’

‘Alejandro Antillón is very involved in the sector and has very broad knowledge.’

‘Álvaro Leiva is a very experienced and capable senior associate.’

‘The practice at EY Law is excellent. They have experts in many areas and in the occasional case where they lack knowledge in a particular subject, they do not just come up with something but always seek to provide advice so that the client can reach the best solution available. They compare favourably with the best firms in the country that we have had the opportunity of working with.’

‘In our experience working with EY Law was like working with our own in-house lawyers. In short, we did not feel like we were contracting out a service to a third party, but like we were working with colleagues, taking projects forward and looking for the best possible solutions to problems. Having a relationship like this with a law firm is extremely valuable.’

Key clients


Enjoy Hotels & Resorts

RC Inmobiliaria

Dica Desarrollos Inmobiliarios de Centroamérica

First Rock Capital

Area D Inmobiliaria

Civitar Desarrolladores

Rosario Desarrolladores

Desarrollos HBQ

Centro de Convenciones Costa Rica  –  Grupo Heroica

Lacayo Desarrollos

Reserva Conchal

Manzanillo Resort Hotels

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

The pillar of EY Law Central America's corporate practice is transactional work, including joint ventures and post-closing matters. Furthermore, the team, which has 'the ability to find an appropriate and timely solution', advises on free trade zone regime operations, corporate restructuring and compliance. Led by Hernán Pacheco O and Fernando Vargas, the department is instructed by local and international clients from a diverse range of industry sectors such as healthcare, consumer products and hospitality. In addition to his transactional expertise, Pacheco has extensive knowledge of distribution, agency and franchise agreements. Vargas focuses on international investment, project financing and infrastructure development.


‘The thing that makes the practice at EY stand out from other firms is its ability to accommodate the needs, time frames and size of the client or the transaction without this having any effect on the quality of the work. They have the humility to recognise what they don’t know and what they don’t know they work out quickly in order to find an appropriate and timely solution.’

‘The team are extremely professional and have the necessary knowledge to provide support on any legal issue facing our company.’

‘The standout feature is their knowledge of the market and their ability to quickly get to grips with the case in order to achieve our objectives.’

‘Hernán Pacheco is very responsive and dependable.’

Key clients

Liberty Latin America


Dole Food Company

Grupo Comeca



Florida Ice and Farm

VLM Foods

Grupo Sur

Cable Tica

Tax Tier 2

As the legal arm of a Big Four firm, EY Law Central America is ideally positioned to offer legal tax services. Rafael Sayagués spearheads the team, which consists of several subgroups: Juan Carlos Chavarría heads the international tax services practice; Antonio Ruiz Rojas handles transactional tax matters on the buy and sell side, as well as restructurings; Randall Oquendo represents clients in contentious matters; Luis Ocando handles tax policy issues; Lisa Gattulli assists companies with global reporting and compliance; and Carolina Palma provides support with global trade and customs issues. Industries covered include consumer products, telecoms, technology, real estate and hospitality.

Practice head(s):

Key clients


Banking and finance Tier 3

Structuring of transactions, syndicated loans, trusts and leveraged buyouts are the specialities of EY Law Central America's banking and finance practice. Group leader Arturo Apéstegui, a credit structuring and retail banking expert, and his team are also no strangers to complex financing transactions, where they mostly act on the borrower side. Associate Carlos Ayón plays an important role in this field and brings additional financial regulation know-how to the team.

Practice head(s):


‘Excellent background knowledge and service quality.’

‘Great availability and committed to reaching the goal.’

Key clients

FMM Trust

Liberty Global



Intellectual property Tier 3

Trade mark portfolio management, sanitary registrations and advising new entrants to the Costa Rican market on intellectual property strategies are the pillars of EY Law Central America's intellectual property department. Hernán Pacheco O and Roxana Cordero Pereira act as joint department heads and have recently expanded the service offering to cater to innovators and start-up entrepreneurs. Cordero also handles regulatory issues and related matters such as competition law and market practices.

Key clients

Grupo Bimbo

Avon Products


4 Dementes Lab

Jorge Castro Ruiz

Sperantum CR

Alimentos Bermudez

Labour and employment Tier 4

EY Law Central America offers its corporate clients additional labour and employment law support, including business restructuring advice and alternative dispute resolution. The team under the joint leadership of Fernando Vargas Winiker and Laura Navarrete, who has 'excellent knowledge of the subject', also makes use of tech tools to help clients identify possible compliance issues. Both are regularly involved in the labour aspects of corporate transactions and day-to-day advice.


‘They provide immediate and confident responses.’

‘Laura Navarrete has excellent English language skills and knowledge of the subject and our operations.’

‘Specialized advice, excellent support with specific proposals on how to proceed.’

‘Laura Navarrete is a very solid lawyer with excellent proposals to manage internal cases.’

Key clients


Liberty Latin America


Kimberly Clark

Microsoft Regional Operations


EY Law is an international law firm, part of EY global firm, with over 4,000 lawyers in 87 countries throughout the world. In Central America the firm has more than 100 lawyers with offices in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. EY Law offers a different approach by delivering legal services that help minimise the gap between business advisors and legal counsel. Its lawyers work integrated with professionals from other service lines of EY, including local and international tax, strategic and financial advisory and investment banking, in order to provide to its clients integral value-added professional services.

The Costa Rican team is regarded among the best in the country, with a high-profile clientele comprised of multinational, regional and local clients doing business in Central America and abroad. The firm has recently reinforced its team and expanded its service offering, with strategic recruitments in different ranks and sectors, to cope with new demands and needs of its clients. Such is the case with data protection and data privacy, controversy, infrastructure and financial services. The firm has also built a strong digital platform of Legal Managed Services, as a tool to provide value to its clients including GCs and in-house counsel, bringing high-end technology to the offering of legal services.

Through its global reach, EY Law’s multidisciplinary teams provide effective cross-border legal counsel to its clients, procuring effective solutions to multi-jurisdictional challenges by rendering a uniform and consolidated approach.

EY Law represents important multinational and regional clients — including numerous Fortune 500 companies in diverse industries: automotive and transportation, banking, capital markets and insurance, consumer products and retail, government and public sector, health and life sciences, oil and gas, power and utilities, private equity, real estate and hospitality, technology, media and entertainment and telecom.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking &Finance Arturo Apéstegui + 506 2208 9800
Competiton & consumer Protection Alexander Salazar + 506 2208 9800
Commercial Alejandro Antillón + 506 2208 9800
Corporate/M&A Hernán Pacheco + 506 2208 9800
Digital Fernando Vargas + 506 2208 9800
Energy,TMT & Project Finance Fernando Vargas + 506 2208 9800
Environment Law Roberto Cordero + 506 2208 9800
Government Procurement Ruby Asturias +502 2386-2400
Intellectual Property Hernán Pacheco + 506 2208 9800
International Trade & Customs Carolina Palma + 506 2208 9800
Labour & Employment Fernando Vargas + 506 2208 9800
Litigation & Abritration Hernán Pacheco + 506 2208 9800
Real Estate and Hospitality Alejandro Antillón + 506 2208 9800
Tax Rafael Sayagués + 506 2208 9800
Photo Name Position Profile
 Alejandro Antillon photo Alejandro Antillon Partner
Mr Arturo Apestegui B.  photo Mr Arturo Apestegui B. Associate Partner
 Roberto  Cordero  photo Roberto  Cordero Partner
 Hernán Pacheco  photo Hernán Pacheco Managing Partner, Latam North (LAN),Central America, Panama & Dominican Republic
 Rafael  Sayagués  photo Rafael  Sayagués Managing Partner – Tax & Law- Latin American North (LAN)
 Fernando Vargas Winiker  photo Fernando Vargas Winiker Partner
IBA (International Bar Association)
ABA (American Bar Association)
International Tax Planning Association (ITPA)
INTA - International Trademark Association
New York State Bar Association

EY Law advised Paladin Realty on important Real Estate development project in Costa Rica

November,2020. EY Law advised Paladin Realty, through its local operating subsidiaries, in the drafting, negotiation, and closing of a pre-sale and sale of a real estate development project in Costa Rica, including advise with respect to the ancillary financing and guarantee documents related to the project. The value of the transaction is confidential.

EY advised AR Retail, S.A. in a successful acquisition of fashion chain FOREVER 21

October 2020. Through its Tax & Law business line, EY advised the Central American company, AR RETAIL, S.A., a company operating fashion stores and franchises, in the successful acquisition of the fast-fashion chain FOREVER 21 in nine countries, including Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

EY advised AR Retail, S.A. in a successful acquisition of fashion chain FOREVER 21

October 2020. Through its Tax & Law business line, EY advised the Central American company, AR RETAIL, S.A., a company operating fashion stores and franchises, in the successful acquisition of the fast-fashion chain FOREVER 21 in nine countries, including Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

EY Law advised BBVA USA and Metlife Private Equity Holdings, LLC in Costa Rica

August, 2020. EY Law advised BBVA USA and Metlife Private Equity Holdings, LLC in the structuring, drafting and registration of the Costa Rican security package of a credit granted to 3P PARENT INC., 3PILLAR GLOBAL, INC., and 3PILLAR HOLDINGS, LLC, INC, for a transaction in Costa Rica.

Hernán Pacheco, new leader of EY Law Latam North (LAN)

We are pleased to announce that as of July 7, 2020, Hernán Pacheco is the new leader of the legal practice, EY Law for the Latam North (LAN) region that includes the five Central American Countries, Panama and The Dominican Republic, as well as   Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.