Central America 2018 – GC Powerlist
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Central America 2018

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Adviel Centeno Mayta

General counsel and secretary | The AES Corporation

Energy and utilities

Adviel Centeno Mayta has been general counsel and secretary at The AES Corporation since 2010 having previously served in executive in-house legal positions and private practice at Bufete MF&Co, SAB...

Alejandra Bogantes

Legal country manager | Walmart (Corporación de Supermercados Unidos)

Consumer products

Alejandra Bogantes joined the Costa Rican arm of American multinational retail corporation Walmart in September 2009, as a regional lawyer of agro-industrial development, and assumed her current position as legal...

Alejandra Castro

Head of legal, patents and compliance | Bayer


Alejandra Castro is the head of legal, patents and compliance at Bayer Central America and the Caribbean. During her time at Bayer she has encouraged a business partner model for...

Alejandra Escobar Aguilar

Head of legal unit | Multi Inversiones Mi Banco


Multi Inversiones Mi Banco was founded in April 1992 as an entity that is a part of the financial system of El Salvador, consisting of 129 members and 2,347 shares....

Alejandro Royo

Senior legal counsel | Tetra Pak

Materials and mining

Alejandro Royo is a strategic legal counsel with more than 15 years of experience working in global and multinational companies across different industries, with broad knowledge and expertise in handling...

Alfonso Videche

Regional legal director Central America | Colgate-Palmolive

Consumer products

Alfonso Videche joined Colgate-Palmolive in 2008 as their regional legal director for Central America and the Dominican Republic. During his ten year post he has been a specialist of the...

Alfredo Apestegui

Chief legal officer | Mesoamerica


Alfredo Apestegui is a lawyer with over 14 years of professional experience in legal and tax matters in the US and in Latin America. He joined the leading Central America...

Ana Carol de Benedetti

General counsel | LifeMiles


Ana Carol de Benedetti has had an extensive career in the airline industry, having overseen legal entities and operations in Central America, South America and the US, having started working...

Ana Carolina Alcalá Wilson

Legal and corporate affairs manager, North Latin American operations, Panama and Caribbean cluster | Kimberly-Clark Central American Holdings

Consumer products

With more than twenty years of experience as a lawyer, Ana Carolina Alcalá Wilson has gained a steady reputation in several jurisdictions in Latin America for her legal talent. During...

Ana Carolina García

Legal affairs director | L’Oréal Central America

Consumer products

Ana Carolina García joined L’Oréal Venezuela in 2010 as legal manager, where she claims she immediately fell in love with the cosmetics company: ‘I could mix the legal knowledge, commercial...

Andrés Morales

Legal Counsel Latin America | National Instruments

Information technology

Andrés Morales is a tenacious leader and trusted advisor, with a track record of obtaining corporate goals and developing and managing legal teams in multinational companies and top law firms....

Annelise Valdes

Regional legal and regulatory director | Digicel

Telecommunication services

Mobile phone network provider, Digicel, operates in 31 markets across the Caribbean, Central America and Oceania regions and serves 14 million customers. Leading the Panamanian legal and regulatory team since...

Augusta Fernández Siu

Legal manager of Nicaragua and Honduras | Walmart México y Centroamérica

Consumer products

Augusta Fernández Siu is a Nicaraguan lawyer and public notary with 16 years of experience, including almost eight years in the retail market. Fernández joined Walmart in 2009, responsible for...

Belisario Castillo Sáenz

Vice president of legal | Banco Panameño de la Vivienda


Esteemed in-house counsel Belisario Castillo Sáenz has gained much attention for the changes he has implemented at Banco Panameño de la Vivienda (Banvivienda), a well-established Panamanian bank offering personal, private,...

Carlos M. Cartín Feoli

Country legal manager | Grupo Roble

Industrials and real estate

Carlos M. Cartín Feoli is a Costa Rican lawyer and notary public, currently acting as the country legal manager for the regional real estate developer Grupo Roble. In this role,...

Carlos Villalobos Soto

Legal director | Real Hotels & Resorts

Industrials and real estate

Carlos Villalobos Soto started his career in private practice as an associate for Pacheco Coto, then in June 2014 made the move in-house when he was appointed as legal manager...

Clarissa Surgeon

Corporate legal manager | Grupo Motta Servicios

Consumer products

Clarissa Surgeon’s legal career has spanned close to 20 years, with positions in law firms and corporations in Panama City, New York and Brussels, working across various legal fields, primarily...

Claudia Gonzalez Montt

General counsel | Walmart Central America

Consumer products

As the general counsel of Walmart Central America, Claudia Gonzalez Montt joined the retail giant’s legal team as general counsel in August 2016 and currently leads a legal team of...

Claudia Tomasino de Crespo

Chief legal counsel | DELSUR

Energy and utilities

Since 2010, Claudia Tomasino de Crespo has worked for DELSUR, a private electricity provider that has contributed to the economic and social development of El Salvador by serving around 390,000...

Cristina Alfaro

General counsel and country compliance head | Citibank Costa Rica


A longstanding and respected in-house lawyer, Cristina Alfaro has served as the general counsel and country compliance head for Citibank in Costa Rica for the last seventeen years. She provides...

Daniel Pérez-Umaña

Chief legal officer, general counsel, corporate secretary | BAC Credomatic


Daniel Pérez-Umaña is the chief legal officer of BAC Credomatic (BAC), a financial group operating in 11 jurisdictions throughout Central America, Mexico, the US, the Caribbean and is currently Central...

David Barajas H.

Vice president legal and regulatory Mexico and Central America | Mastercard


With over 15 years in the technology industry, David Barajas is considered as a specialist lawyer in the sector, serving first as legal manager at Oracle and then at Mastercard...

Dionisio Ismael Machuca Massis

Vice president legal and secretary | Banco Agrícola – Grupo Bancolombia


Dionisio Ismael Machuca Massis has served as the vice president legal and secretary for Banco Agrícola for four years where he has worked with multi-disciplinary teams to achieve a better...

Edgar Del Valle

Legal affairs manager | Claro

Telecommunication services

Edgar Del Valle is the legal manager of Claro’s operations in Costa Rica, having first joined the company in 2012 after a career in private practice, in-house in the financial...

Elizabeth Mena Fernández

Vice-president | Corporación Minera Dominicana

Materials and mining

Elizabeth Mena Fernández has over 20 years of experience advising multinationals in both greenfield and brownfield projects in highly regulated sectors. Mena joined Corporación Minera Dominicana (Cormidom) in 2013, to...

Ernesto Alfonso Carrasco Castro

Vice president for legal affairs | Grupo Financiero Ficohsa


Ernesto Alfonso Carrasco Castro started his career at Honduran financial group, Grupo Financiero Ficohsa in 2000, beginning as an officer in the insurance company and since then climbing up the...

Ernesto Grijalva

Senior vice president legal affairs – Latin America and Caribbean | PriceSmart

Consumer products

In his role as senior vice president legal affairs – Latin America and Caribbean, Ernesto Grijalva brings over 25 years’ experience in international business law to his responsibilities of overseeing...

Fernando López

Regional legal manager for Central America and the Caribbean | PAE Centroamérica

Commercial and professional services

Fernando López is a business-focused legal counsel with more than ten years of experience working in multinational companies across different industries, with a broad knowledge and expertise in handling local...

Gabriel Tapia Calvino

Legal manager of the legal, ethics and business integrity department for PAC MCO (cluster) – Latin American region | Sanofi


Gabriel Tapia Calvino has extensive experience of managing corporate compliance in a number of different businesses. In 2014 he joined multinational pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, initially as the Latin America regional...

Gabriela Bogantes

Legal director | Pfizer Central America and Caribbean


Gabriela Bogantes joined Pfizer as legal counsel to support Pfizer Diversified Businesses of animal health, consumer and nutritional businesses, as well as the enabling functions of the company across all...

Gloriana Picado

Senior legal counsel | The Kraft Heinz Company

Food, beverages and tobacco

Gloriana Picado started working at The Kraft Heinz Company in February 2016, when there were no employees physically located in Central America. It was Picado’s job to get to know...

Héctor Álvarez

Legal director | Sansoucí

Industrials and real estate

In 2013, after a career in private practice, Héctor Álvarez was presented with a new professional opportunity to serve as legal director of the Sansoucí Group, an entity that within...

Ingrid Valdes Vasquez

Senior legal manager | Fresenius Medical Care Panama


In her current position as senior legal manager, Ingrid Valdes Vasquez is in charge of all legal operations of Central America, Panama and the Caribbean for Fresenius Medical Care, a...

Ivette Lorena Franco Koroneos

Senior director of legal advice and general counsel | Copa Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

Ivette Lorena Franco Koroneos has served as a senior director of legal and general counsel at Copa Airlines since 1999, and is one of the most influential people in Central...

Jacobo Alter

Legal manager CARICAM | GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)


Jacobo Alter joined British pharmaceutical and science-led global healthcare company GSK in November 2014, overseeing the Caribbean and Central America regions. Over the last few years GSK has driven its...

Jacqueline Marshalleck

Chief legal officer | Belize Bank


Jacqueline Marshalleck serves as the chief legal officer for Belize Bank, the oldest and largest bank in Belize, with a network of 13 branches that covers the entire country. Marshalleck...

Javier Pacheco Mauro

Regional legal manager | Laureate International Universities

Administrative bodies

Javier Pacheco Mauro started his career back in 1998, working at well-known local law firms that helped him develop as a commercial lawyer and notary public. During this period he...

Jenniffer Salazar Ramírez

Legal assistant manager | Claro CR Telecomunicaciones

Telecommunication services

In 2013 Jenniffer Salazar Ramírez joined Claro as a lawyer when she was 24 years old, and in January 2016 she was promoted to assistant manager – the lawyer in...

Jorge Mario Colindres Sandoval

Legal manager | Energuate

Energy and utilities

In 2004 Jorge Mario Colindres Sandoval started working at Energuate, Guatemala’s largest power distribution company, serving over 1.6 million regulated consumers, initially as the internal legal advisor. From 2004-2008, his...

Jorge Romo

Legal head of Central America and Caribbean | Novartis


Jorge Romo has served as legal head of Novartis since 2013, after an in-house career that has seen him at the top of the pharmaceutical industry at both Fedefarma and...

Jose Antonio Polanco

Head of legal and compliance (Latin America) | Empresas Adoc

Consumer products

Jose Antonio Polanco is a highly experienced head of legal and compliance with a strong demonstrated history of working in the retail industry. He has significantly assisted the expansion of...

José Barría

Legal manager | Suez Central America, Caribbean, Colombia and Ecuador (CACCE)

Energy and utilities

José Barría is a Panamanian lawyer in charge of the legal department of the business unit of the French group, Suez, overseeing the jurisdictions of Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia...

Jose David Zuniga

General counsel | Cuestamoras Salud


Jose David Zuniga joined Cuestamoras Salud, a leading provider in comprehensive solutions for personal care, in November 2015. Zuniga started his career as a paralegal in a small boutique firm...

Jose María Etchegaray

Director of legal affairs Latin America | SBA Communications Corporation

Telecommunication services

Jose María Etchegaray has been at SBA Communications Corporation (SBA) since 2010 and its director of legal affairs in Latin America since 2016. Etchegaray manages all operations and regulatory legal...

Juan Carlos Rodríguez-Cordero

Legal and regulatory counsel | TIGO Costa Rica

Telecommunication services

Juan Carlos Rodríguez-Cordero has served as the legal and regulatory counsel for international telecommunications and media company, Millicom International Cellular (Tigo) for the last seven years, where he has most...

Juan Carlos Rojas

Legal and external affairs director and general counsel | Dole

Food, beverages and tobacco

Juan Carlos Rojas has been with Dole since 1994 as legal and external affairs director and general counsel of its subsidiary Standard Fruit Co. He is a vastly experienced corporate...

Juan Francisco Alfaro Del Cid

Legal head | Uno Guatemala

Energy and utilities

For the past seven years Juan Francisco Alfaro Del Cid has served as the legal head for leading fuel distributor in Central America, Uno Guatemala, a Royal Dutch Shell licensee...

Juan Pablo Restrepo

Chief counsel Andean, Pacific and Central American countries | Mondelēz International

Food, beverages and tobacco

Juan Pablo Restrepo currently serves as the chief counsel for multinational confectionery, food and beverage company, Mondelēz International, covering legal and compliance, and security responsibilities for Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Peru,...

Juan Sebastian Crespo

Senior legal counsel and group manager – global antitrust and trade relations | Procter & Gamble

Consumer products

Juan Sebastian Crespo started working for Procter & Gamble in 2009 in Bogota, Colombia, first as a scholar and then as legal supervisor. In 2012 he was transferred to Panama...

Julio C. Reyes S.

Legal manager | Banco de la Producción (BANPRO)


In 2000 Julio Reyes began his in-house career when he worked at PRIBANCO (Primer Banco Inmobiliario) as a loans officer for a few months. That year he was hired by...

Karin Herman Zachrisson

Director and general counsel | Citi Guatemala


Karin Herman Zachrisson joined Citi in 1997 as legal counsel for Guatemala and since then she has held various senior positions in Guatemala and in the regional office for Citi...

Karla Gross Veras

Regional legal director Greater Caribbean region | Colgate-Palmolive (Dominican Republic)

Consumer products

Karla Gross Veras is an experienced in-house counsel and compliance officer within multinational corporations at a local and regional level. As the regional legal director for Colgate-Palmolive Dominican Republic, she...

Lucila María Argueta de Contreras

Legal director | Grupo Roble

Industrials and real estate

Lucila María Argueta de Contreras joined Grupo Roble in 1996, where she was initially in charge of judicial matters and in 1997 gained additional responsibility, taking charge of the notarial...

Luis Enrique Gómez-Portuguez

Regional director Legal services and corporate secretary | Scotiabank


In December 2017, Luis Enrique Gómez-Portuguez left Del Monte after almost ten years as their legal director and corporate relations for the CECAB region. He went on to assume the...

Luis Manuel Gutierrez

Vice president of legal | Establishment Labs


Establishment Labs is a global, privately held, high-tech medical device and aesthetics company that designs, manufactures and markets a product portfolio consisting of advanced silicone-filled breast and body shaping implants....

Manfred Antonio Sáenz Montero

Costa Rican legal services office director | Scotiabank de costa rica


Manfred Antonio Sáenz Montero has worked within the Costa Rican financial system for the last twenty years, either as in-house counsel and director, or being responsible for legal services units....

Manuel Roberto Sisniega

General counsel | Tigo

Telecommunication services

Tigo is the primary brand name of Millicom, offering a range of digital services to over 60 million people in 14 markets. Manuel Roberto Sisniega has been an integral asset...

Marcela Bernal de Fontanals

General counsel and senior vice-president | Citibank


Marcela Bernal de Fontanals joined Citi El Salvador in 2000 as a legal assistant for the corporate bank, when Citi’s presence was limited to a single branch office and two...

Maria Beatriz Beltranena Wer

General counsel | Amzak Capital Management


Maria Beatriz Beltranena Wer has served as general counsel for Amzak Capital Management for 12 years, where she manages the legal departments, transactions and legal affairs of Amzak’s active projects...

Maria Charris

Legal manager | Grupo Rey

Consumer products

Maria Charris is a lawyer with over 15 years of professional experience who has served as the legal manager for Grupo Rey, one of the main Panamanian groups in the...

María Cristina Vilá de Van Hoorde

Vice president legal department and general secretary | Banistmo


Highly experienced financial in-house lawyer María Cristina Vilá de Van Hoorde has earned her title through working for multinational banks for the majority of her career, successfully supporting the franchises...

Maria Gabriela Saadi

Head of legal and compliance Latin America | Hilti Latin America

Industrials and real estate

Hilti Latin America provides leading technology to the global construction, energy and industry sectors. Globally, the company employs around 28,000 people in more than 120 countries with aims to reinforce...

Maricel Alvarez

General counsel and corporate affairs | Coca-Cola FEMSA

Food, beverages and tobacco

With more than 10 years of experience in corporate law, eight of which in regional roles, Maricel Alvarez is the general counsel at Coca-Cola FEMSA. She joined the company in...

Marie Claire Palacios de Bauer

Compliance officer and legal counsel | Centro Distribuidor

Sports and media

Marie Claire Palacios de Bauer started working in the legal industry early, commencing her first legal position during her first year of law school. Her first position was legal assistant...

Mariel Picado Quevedo

General counsel | Florida Ice & Farm Company (FIFCO)

Food, beverages and tobacco

Mariel Picado Quevedo is the general counsel at Florida Ice and Farm Company (FIFCO), a publicly traded Costa Rican entity created in 1908. It serves as a holding company for...

Mario Ayala Claros

Manager of legal affairs | Energía del Pacífico

Energy and utilities

Since 2014 Mario Ayala Claros has served as manager of legal affairs at Energía del Pacífico, a company in charge of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a power...

Marysabel Maldonado de Coindet

Corporate regional legal manager Central America | Terra Petroleos (Grupo Terra)

Industrials and real estate

At the beginning of 2009, Marysabel Maldonado de Coindet was selected as the only lawyer, alongside two engineers and two financial managers, to assist with due diligence for a divestment...

Melania Campos Lara

Legal director | Grupo Garnier

Sports and media

Founded in 1921 in Costa Rica, Grupo Garnier was the first advertising agency in Latin America and first customer relations management company in Central America. It has grown into a...

Michael Bruce

Legal counsel | Procter & Gamble

Consumer products

Michael Bruce currently serves as the legal manager for American multi-national consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble in Costa Rica. Prior to joining in 2013, he was a partner at...

Michelle Alexandra Canelo Juarez

Legal director for Central America and Colombia | Cargill

Industrials and real estate

Longstanding and distinguished in-house lawyer Michelle Alexandra Canelo Juarez, has worked at Cargill since starting her career in 1998, assuming different roles and responsibilities along the way. She has been...

Mónica Estela Alvarez Viguri

Legal counsel | Premium Restaurants of America

Food, beverages and tobacco

With more than 15 years of experience in the legal team, Mónica Estela Alvarez Viguri is a Mexican lawyer with extensive experience in corporate law. She possesses broad knowledge of...

Monica Leal

Legal manager | Corporación Multi Inversiones

Industrials and real estate

Since 2009 Monica Leal has served as legal manager of Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI) after nearly eight years in private practice at Consortium Legal in commercial and administrative civil litigation....

Mónica Muñoz Herrera

Legal manager DHL Express-Central America and Dominican Republic | Deutsche Post DHL – Global Business Services

Transport and infrastructure

Based in Costa Rica, Mónica Muñoz Herrera has been legal manager for Central America and the Dominican Republic at DHL Express Global Business Services since 2015. She has over 10...

Natalia Gaspar

Senior counsel Central America | Philip Morris International

Food, beverages and tobacco

As the senior counsel for Philip Morris International in Central America, Natalia Gaspar manages all legal aspects of the international business, to implement departmental practices and objectives across Central America....

Olger Méndez Rojas

Legal counsel | Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE)

Energy and utilities

Olger Méndez Rojas is the longstanding lawyer at RECOPE, one of Central America’s biggest companies in terms of annual sales revenues. To match its reputation as a leading company in...

Orlando Zuniga

Legal head | Banco Industrial El Salvador


With vast experience in leading banks in the country and the region, Orlando Zuniga started his work as a legal professional in the area of recruitment and registration, to later...

Petra Froxina Batista Soto

Senior Legal Manager Corporate and Commercial Banking | Scotiabank


Petra Froxina Batista Soto can point to fourteen years of experience practicing law, focusing her practice on providing advice in the areas of real estate, contracts, corporate and commercial law,...

Ramon Franco

General counsel | Cervecería Nacional Dominicana

Food, beverages and tobacco

Cervecería Nacional Dominicana (CND) is the Dominican Republic’s primary brewing company which has been operating since 1929 and is currently owned by AmBev and Grupo León Jimenes. The company has...

Ricardo A. Estrada

Legal counsel (Latin America) | Smith & Nephew


Ricardo A. Estrada has had a lengthy career in the pharmaceutical sector, starting in-house at Swiss pharmaceuticals giant, Roche, in the capacity of legal affairs manager and compliance officer for...

Rodrigo Cárdenas

Regional legal director, regional compliance officer, data protection officer | Laureate International Universities

Administrative bodies

Formerly with KPMG as an international legal manager for the Latin American region, legal manager at Grupo Rouble and regional legal manager for the agribusiness division of Walmart in the...

Rodrigo Cavinato Herrera

Legal and compliance manager for Central America and Caribbean | Kuehne + Nagel

Industrials and real estate

Rodrigo Cavinato Herrera manages the legal department of Swiss-German world leader in the provision of logistics services, Kuehne + Nagel, overseeing the legal and compliance operations for Central America and...

Ronald Ramirez Acuña

Regional counsel for Central America, Caribbean and Venezuela | Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)

Information technology

Ronald Ramirez Acuña first joined HPE in 2008 as country counsel for Costa Rica, working his way up to become regional counsel in 2013. Ramirez has changed the perception of...

Sebastian Wong

General counsel Central America and Caribbean and Global Service Center Costa Rica | 3M

Industrials and real estate

Sebastian Wong joined American multinational conglomerate corporation 3M, in February 2011 as general counsel for Central America and the Caribbean, and over the years has assumed additional roles within the...

Silvia Amador

Director legal | Dos Pinos

Food, beverages and tobacco

Silvia Amador joined Dos Pinos, a large Costa Rican dairy farming group, in 2014 after a 10 year career as an in-house lawyer with KPMG and GBM – an IBM...

Silvia Arce López

Legal manager, Central America and Caribbean | Siemens

Industrials and real estate

Silvia Arce López is an innovative and business-oriented corporate legal counsel with more than 11 years of experience providing high quality services across a broad range of corporate functions. She...

Stephanie Montoya

Legal manager for Central America | Unilever

Consumer products

Stephanie Montoya serves as the legal manager for Central America on behalf of British-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever. She is responsible for the six countries of Central America, including Guatemala,...

Stephanie Salas Simons

Head of PAC (Pacific and Caribbean) | Sanofi


Stephanie Salas Simons started her legal career as a litigator, after finishing her Master’s degree in corporate law at the University of Texas. She states that right from the beginning,...

Susana Vásquez

Corporate and legal affairs director | Stein Corp


Susana Vásquez has 15 years of experience in international trade negotiations, inter-institutional coordination for the development and enforcement of public policies, and legislation related to international trade and the pharmaceutical...

Tannia Corriols

Legal senior director Latin America, DHL global forwarding | DHL

Transport and infrastructure

Tannia Corriols has worked at German logistics company DHL for the last 14 years, joining the Costa Rican branch in January 2004 as legal manager for Central America, and in...

Tatiana Zeledón Castro

Legal manager CAM and Dominican Republic | Herbalife

Food, beverages and tobacco

In 2014 Tatiana Zeledón Castro joined Herbalife, after receiving what she describes as the ‘best offer of my life’, giving her the possibility to work as legal counsel for a...

Tony Roldan

Executive director, legal Latin America | Dell

Information technology

A legal executive with more than 20 years of experience overseeing legal processes and functions in diverse and multicultural environments, Tony Roldan has established himself as one of the most...

Valentina Moreno Aristeguieta

Legal director Central America and Panama | Uber

Information technology

Valentina Moreno Aristeguieta joined Uber as the legal director for Central America and Panama when the role was first created in the region. ‘It implied a big change for the...

Vanessa Vargas Credidío

Senior counsel – Latin America developing markets | Procter & Gamble

Consumer products

Vanessa Vargas Credidío’s in-house career started early, working for Chanel as legal counsel for Latin America in 2003, where she had worked as an intern from 2000 to 2002. In...

Victor Murillo

Regional corporate legal counsel for Central America | Walmart Central America

Consumer products

Victor Murillo is a high performing lawyer with more than 15 years of academic formation and professional experience in law, international relations and business, making a strong combination to work...

Virginia Servent Palmieri

Antipiracy director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean | Fox Networks Group Latin America

Sports and media

Virginia Servent Palmieri started her career as a litigating lawyer, and in 2001 she started an IP department at a full practice law firm named Asensio, Andrade & Asociados. She...

Vivianne Vera

Legal counsel and compliance officer | Samsung

Information technology

Vivianne Vera joined Samsung in September 2016 after serving as a senior in-house lawyer in other consumer products companies such as Asedif, the Edificadora Centroamericana Rapiparedes construction company, and as...

Walter Contreras

Legal director | Globalvia Ruta 27

Industrials and real estate

Walter Contreras, legal director for Globalvia´s Costa Rican Infrastructure project, Ruta 27, has had a focus on advising multinational companies throughout his career, with expertise in tax matters, implementation of...

William Villalobos Herrera

Regulatory and competition law legal advisor | Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia (ESPH)

Energy and utilities

In June 2014, William Villalobos Herrera assumed his current position at public company ESPH, operating in highly sensitive sectors, each with very different regulations in the sectors of energy, drinking...

Yadira Isabel Moreno Cedeño

Legal counsel Central America | JCDecaux

Sports and media

Yadira Isabel Moreno Cedeño is a senior corporate lawyer with extensive management experience in multinational companies within in-house legal departments as well as in private practice. Based in Panama, Moreno...

Zamira Zapata Valdés

Vice president and general counsel Central America and Caribbean, FTZ-Border and Zacapa | Diageo

Food, beverages and tobacco

Zamira Zapata Valdés joined the world’s leading premium drinks company, Diageo, in November 2011 as legal counsel and through her ambitious nature and willingness to self-improve was promoted to vice...

The Central American countries have continued their economic evolution in the last few years, becoming more stable and open, with better integrated markets and improved conditions for business, investment and trade. Vigorous growth in the US, the region’s largest trading partner, continues to support economic development in the area and although regional inflation has been increasing due to higher international oil prices, many of the countries in Central America have enjoyed a fast-paced growth and the social and economic benefits it brings.

The legal landscape has also seen major improvements, with many in-house lawyers becoming more sophisticated and specialised in the way they practice the law. As the scope of corporate counsel duties has also developed beyond legal matters, in-house lawyers have been required to increasingly factor in the assessment of business risk and governmental relations which requires a deeper understanding of and further integration in their respective organisations.

In this year’s GC Powerlist: Central America we are pleased to highlight some of the country’s leading in-house lawyers. To compile this list, we canvassed opinions from both law firm partners and in-house counsel in the country. We identified the most impressive counsel who have utilised their legal knowledge strategically alongside business insight to make a positive impact towards their organisation’s success.


Arias logo

Celebrate! We want to take this opportunity to congratulate you and your teams – the most influential in-house lawyers in business. We celebrate your outstanding work and fierce commitment to advancing the legal profession and we also want to honour your achievements. It is a pleasure for Arias to be able to sponsor this initiative that recognizes an outstanding group of people.

Greater good. We want to recognize you and your teams because with your hard work you create welfare for your stakeholders, contribute to achieving better countries and support the development of the region. We know that this is not an easy task and that the growth we all seek will only be achieved with innovation, experience, passion and cooperation. The people on this list reflect the greatness that comes from people working together for a greater good, we admire you all and hope we can continue working with you for years to come.

The GC Powerlist and Arias, Across Borders. Arias and The Legal 500 GC Powerlist members have had a long relationship. As the first Central American law firm with presence in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, Arias has been adding value to clients with a regional operation since 1998. Arias has grown and excelled just like your companies in the region, our success goes hand in hand; we thank you for your trust.

We are your strategic partners. We relate and feel close to the vision and aspirations of your companies and your teams. We also relate with your teams because we know how hard you work every day, as we are usually your companions in the journey, for seeking better and more efficient and innovative solutions for your legal matters, but also giving you advice every step of the road.

Congratulations! We have said this many times but cannot miss this opportunity to convey it again: we feel privileged to work with you, and we hope that you continue to exceed in your work and life, and that we continue this path of growth as partners.

Aguilar Castillo Love

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Pellerano & Herrera

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Mayora & Mayora

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M&A Legal Forum Italy 2024

On Thursday, May 16th, 2024, The Legal 500 travelled to Milan to inaugurate the first-ever M&A Legal Forum Italy 2024, in collaboration with Pavia e Ansaldo.

Distinguished by its informal tone and a highly interactive audience, the event encouraged participants to contribute their thoughts, opinions, and questions to the panel discussions, enhancing the overall experience.

The agenda featured two key sessions addressing the primary challenges faced by Italy-based in-house counsel in the areas of M&A and compliance.
Sara Maggi, The Legal 500’s editorial lead for the Forum, kicked off the event with a welcoming address that set the tone for the day.

The first session, focused on maximising synergies between in-house and external counsel in M&A, was moderated by Stefano Bianchi, managing partner, and Paola Carlotti, partner at Pavia e Ansaldo. They were joined by Silvia Signoretti, group corporate law counsel and secretary of the board at Recordati, and Raffaella Colda, general counsel at Haier Europe, who shared strategies for enhancing collaboration between in-house and external legal teams in M&A transactions.

The second session, centred on compliance challenges, was moderated again by Stefano Bianchi, this time joined by Mario Di Giulio, partner at Pavia e Ansaldo. The discussion featured insights from Jessica Meloni, head of legal Italy and head of legal Europe Ocean at CEVA Logistics, and Ciro Spinelli, head of legal department at DHL Global Forwarding Italy. Together, they addressed compliance issues with practical insights from their extensive experience in the field.

After a series of brilliant and insightful sessions, attendees moved to a reception featuring drinks and canapés. The Legal 500 was delighted to collaborate with Pavia e Ansaldo to bring this successful event to life and looks forward to returning to Italy soon.