Central America 2023 – GC Powerlist

Central America 2023

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Abdiel Blanco

Vicepresidente de asuntos legales y director de gobierno corporativo | UNIBANK

Financials

Adrián Cortés Castro

Legal counsel, governmental relations and compliance officer | Samsung Electronics

Information technology

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Adriana E. Berroa Solis

Head of legal, compliance and SHE | Roche

Healthcare

Adviel Centeno Mayta

General counsel and senior legal director | Cable and Wireless Panama

Telecommunications services

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Alba Maza

Legal and government affairs manager for Central America and Dominican Republic | Avon

Consumer products

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Alberto Navarro

Latin America legal vice president | JANSSEN DE MEXICO

Healthcare

Alejandra Bogantes

Legal manager, Costa Rica and El Salvador | Walmart

Consumer products

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Alejandro Royo

Senior legal counsel- Americas | Tetra Pak

Food, beverages and tobacco

Alfonso Videche

Regional legal director, Central America | Colgate-Palmolive

Industrials and real estate

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Ana Carol de Benedetti

General counsel | MRO Holdings

Transport and infrastructure

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Ana Carolina Alcalá Wilson

Legal and corporate affairs Central America and Caribbean | Kimberly-Clark

Industrials and real estate

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Ana Elena Castillo Chaves

General counsel, Central America, Panama and Dominican Republic | EY

Commercial and Professsional Services

Ana Gabriela Espinoza Aguilar

Legal manager | Financiera FDL

Financials

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Ana Maria Bonilla

Head of legal department | Banco General

Financials

Andres Pokus

Senior legal manager | C&W Networks

Telecommunications services

Angela Mendieta

Directora Legal | INCAE

Education

Angela is the current legal director of INCAE business school, a position she has held since 2019. Prior to that, from 2013 up until 2019 she was the regional director...

Angelica Bertoli Lawson

General counsel | AES Panama

Energy and Utilties

Angelica has been leading the corporate governance and legal strategy of AES PANAMA and its regional headquarter into the energy transition for 4 years now. She is also de Secretary...

Annete Ward Ramos

Legal director Caribbean and Central America | Diageo

Food, beverages and tobacco

Arturo Gomez Blanco

Director regional de asuntos legales | Torrecom

Telecommunications services

Barbara Alexandra Martinez Ferro

Senior legal counsel LADMAR - Panama | Procter & Gamble

Consumer products

Carlos Alberto Monge

Senior legal counsel | DHL Global Forwarding

Transport and infrastructure

Carlos Andrés Jiménez Rojas

Legal counsel | Liberty Latin America

Telecommunications services

Carmen Estrada

Legal counsel | Grupo Pelon

Food, beverages and tobacco

Carmen Madriz Vargas

Regional general counsel | Elementia

Materials and mining

Chanthel Mendizabal

Head of legal | Mcdonalds Mesoamerica

Food, beverages and tobacco

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Claudia Lopez

General counsel | Grupo Coen

Commercial and Professsional Services

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Claudia Prado Suárez

Legal manager | Mercon Coffee Group

Food, beverages and tobacco

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Claudia Tomasino de Crespo

Legal manager | Distribuidora de Electricidad del Sur (DELSUR)

Energy and Utilties

Cristian Navarro

Counsel, senior manager, Caribbean and Central America | Visa

Financials

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Cristina Alfaro

General counsel | Citi

Financials

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Daniel Muñoz Jiménez

Regional general counsel Mexico and Central America | Enel Green Power

Energy and utilities

Daniel Pérez-Umaña

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

Financials

Daniel is a dynamic legal professional with over 20 years of experience in corporate and financial law, specializing in Central American, Caribbean, and Latin American jurisdictions. As the Chief Legal Officer...

Daniela Guzmán

Legal manager | LifeMiles

Commercial and Professsional Services

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Diana Marín Fernández

Gerente legal | Tigo

Telecommunications services

Dianer Eliud Escobar Perez

Gerente legal corporativo | Condor Gold

Materials and mining

Edgar Fajardo

General counsel Central America | Nestlé

Food, beverages and tobacco

Edgar Solís

General counsel | Grupo Roble

Industrials and real estate

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Eduardo Sousa-Lennox Rivera

Managing counsel, head of legal operations and projects | Panama Canal Authority

Public sector

Eduardo has dedicated a large part of his professional career to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), entering as a contracts attorney for the Panama Canal Expansion Program in 2009 –...

Elizabeth Prada Mancilla

Legal and compliance vice-president | Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala a Company of Grupo Bancolombia

Financials

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Emmanuel Barrantes González

Gerente legal | Corporación Multi Inversiones

Industrials and real estate

Ernesto Alfonso Carrasco Castro

Vicepresidente juridico | Grupo Financiero Ficohsa

Financials

Fernanda Lacayo Genie

Head of compliance | BAC Credomatic

Financials

Gabriel Da Mota Al-Cici

Senior legal manager - Central America and The Caribbean (VeneCenCa) | Janssen-Cilag Farmacêutica

Healthcare

Gabriel Tapia Calviño

Regional strategic business partner for general medicines business unit COPAC and territorial legal head for Central America and The Caribbean | Sanofi Aventis de Panamá

Healthcare

Gabriela Bergantino

Legal director - LATAM | MPC Capital

Financials

Gabriela Bergantino is the legal director, Latam at MPC Capital, manager and co-investor for real asset investments focusing on real estate, renewable energy, and shipping. Gabriela manages the renewable energy segment of the business. With...

Gabriela Escriu Font

General legal | Coca-Cola Los Volcanes

Food, beverages and tobacco

Gina Dunsmuir

Vice president, associate General Counsel | Ortho Clinical Diagnostics

Healthcare

Giovanni Muñoz Jiménez

Chief legal officer | Aeris Holding Costa Rica

Transport and infrastructure

Giuliana Alvarado Chacón

Legal regional manger tax controversy | Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica

Consumer products

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Herbert Escoto

Senior - International Tax and Transaction Services | EY

Commercial and Professsional Services

Ilse Moreno

Legal director Central America, Carribbean, Argentina and Uruguay | JCDecaux

Sports and media

Ingrid Valdés Vásquez

Head of legal commercial operations Latin America for care enablement | Fresenius Medical Care Panamá

Healthcare

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Itzel Solís Medina

Legal director | Banco Crèdit Andorrà (Panamá)

Financials

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Ivannia Montero Diaz

Head of legal affairs CAMCAR | AstraZeneca

Healthcare

Ivette Lorena Franco Koroneos

Directora senior de asesoria legal | Copa Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

Javier Madrigal

Legal business partner PACA (Central America, Caribbean and Andean region) | Bayer

Healthcare

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Jennifer Denisse Croston Gardellini

Senior corporate counsel and deputy manager of commercial and legal department of China Harbour Engineering Company Americas Division, Assistant general counsel of China Harbour Engineering Head Office in Beijing & commercial and legal Department director for the Fourth Bridge Over the Panama Canal Project in Panama. | China Harbour Engineering Company

Industrials and real estate

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Jenniffer Salazar Ramírez

Chief legal officer | Claro CR Telecomunicaciones

Telecommunications services

Jenniffer Salazar Ramírez is the director of the legal department at Claro in Costa Rica. She has over ten years of experience as an in-house lawyer, and three years in...

Jesse Ann Duarte

General counsel | Enel Green Power

Energy and Utilties

Jorge Alberto Romo Rodríguez

Legal head, Central America, The Caribbean, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraguay | Novartis

Healthcare

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Jorge Eduardo Moreno Pena

Senior counsel Middle Americas Zone and Chile | Elanco Animal Health

Healthcare

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Jorge Luis Real

Executive vice president - chief legal officer and corporate secretary  | BLADEX (Banco Latinoamericano De Comercio Exterior)

Financials

Jorge Luis Real serves as executive vice president – chief legal officer and corporate secretary. He joined Bladex as vice president, head of legal risk in 2014, was appointed secretary of the...

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Jose Antonio Polanco

Ethics and compliance director | PAE Global

Commercial and Professsional Services

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Jose Bernard Pallais

Legal counsel | FICOHSA

Financials

José Carlos Barría Vallarino

General counsel, Central America and Caribbean | Suez

Energy and utilities

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Jose Carlos Quesada Gonzalez

LATAM regional legal affairs manager | Sitel Group

Commercial and Professsional Services

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José DavidZúñiga Vega

Director de centro de servicios compartidos | Grupo Dökka

Healthcare

Jose O. Cesar

Tax and legal director | Grant Thornton

Commercial and Professsional Services

José Ricardo Sánchez Escobar

Director legal y gobierno corporativo, representante legal laboral y administrativo | Banco Davivienda Salvadoreño

Financials

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Juan Araúz

Legal manager | Banco Azteca

Financials

Leading a team of four, Juan Arauz, legal manager at Banco Azteca Panama is responsible for representing the entity before authorities in legal proceedings, staying up to date with regulatory...

Juan Carlos Rojas

Legal and external affairs director and general counsel | Dole Tropical Products Latin America, Standard Fruit Company and Dole Shared Services

Food, beverages and tobacco

Juan Fernando Archila Mendizábal

Manager of the legal business unit | Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala (Bam)

Financials

Juan Ignacio Zamora Montes de Oca

Legal and compliance head | Roche Pharma

Healthcare

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Juan Sebastian Crespo

Director health care and global antitrust | Procter & Gamble

Consumer products

Julia Núñez de González

Gerente legal | Empresas ADOC

Consumer products

Julieta Rodriguez Molina

Senior associate counsel Caribbean and Central America | Visa

Financials

Julieta graduated from the Universidad Católica Santa María la Antigua in 2004 with a degree in Law and Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, and with an LLM, with emphasis in...

Julio Arjona

Senior vice president and general counsel | Citigroup

Financials

Julio Arjona is general counsel for Citibank, Panama Branch. He has worked with the bank for 20 years; starting out as legal counsel in the legal department. During his tenure,...

Julio Cesar Reyes Sanchez

Regional legal liaison | Grupo Promerica

Financials

Kadine Hurtado

Vicepresident legal LAM | Adidas

Consumer products

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Karen Torres

Regional counsel Central America | PriceSmart

Hotel

Karin Herman Zachrisson

Director and general counsel | Citi Guatemala

Financials

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Katherine Romero Carpio

Regional legal counsel for Central America and Caribbean | HP

Information technology

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Ligia M. González Quintanilla

Senior attorney | Cargill

Food, beverages and tobacco

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Lizzeth Villatoro

Gerente general | Banco Lafise Honduras

Financials

Lucila María Argueta Alfaro

Legal director In Central America, South and the Carribbean | Grupo Roble

Industrials and real estate

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Luis Enrique Gómez-Portuguez

Legal regional director, corporate secretary and deputy CEO Costa Rica | Scotiabank de Costa Rica

Financials

Maira Serrano Prados

Senior legal counsel | 3M

Materials and mining

Marcela Bernal de Fontanals

General counsel, senior vice president | Citibank

Financials

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Marcela Mendez Castro

Counsel LATAM | The Coca Cola Company

Food, beverages and tobacco

María Cristina Vilá de Van Hoorde

Legal vice-president and corporate secretary | Banistmo

Financials

Maria Fernanda Jarquín Castellon

Asesor legal | E. Chamorro Industrial

Industrials and real estate

María Fernanda Esquivel Rodríguez

Business partner legal | Corporación Multi Inversiones

Industrials and real estate

Maria José Reguero Porta

General counsel | Vitali Alimentos

Food, beverages and tobacco

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Maricel Alvarez Chavarría

Legal and corporate affairs manager | Coca-Cola FEMSA

Food, beverages and tobacco

Marie Claire  Palacios de Bauer

Compliance officer and legal counsel | Centro Distribuidor (CENDIS)

Healthcare

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Mariel Picado Quevedo

General counsel | Florida Ice & Farm Company (FIFCO)

Food, beverages and tobacco

Marietta Herrera Cantillo

Directora jurídica | Banco Nacional de Costa Rica

Financials

Marissa Herrera

Senior corporate counsel | SBA Communications

Telecommunications services

Maureen Rey

Director of legal deparment | Dollarcity

Consumer products

Melania Campos

Legal director | Grupo Garnier

Commercial and professional services

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Michael Bruce

Legal director | Procter & Gamble

Consumer products

Michelle Alexandra Canelo

Managing assistant general counsel Latin America | Cargill

Food, beverages and tobacco

Michelle is a lawyer with more than 25 years of experience with a master’s degree in business administration from the University of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  She joined Cargill’s law...

Monica Jose Polanco Aguilar

Head of the Nearshore legal team, associate director | Cognizant

Information technology

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Montserrat Bonilla

Head legal and corporate security, and interim chief ethics and compliance officer | Walmart

Consumer products

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Natalia Gaspar

Senior legal counsel Latam | Establishment Labs

Consumer products

Nathan Mitchler

General counsel and chief financial officer | Kaltech Latam

Materials and mining

Orlando Zuniga

Legal head manager | Banco Industrial El Salvador, Sociedad Anónima

Financials

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Oscar A. Montes Mayorga

Executive vice president legal, chief legal officer and chief compliance officer | Integra Capital Group

Commercial and Professsional Services

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Pilar Meneses-Claramunt

Legal and compliance manager | Aeris Holding Costa Rica

Transport and infrastructure

Ricardo Estrada

Latin America export markets/countries and Americas business service center, legal head | Haleon

Healthcare

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Ricardo Hernández López

Director of legal services | Bolsa Nacional de Valores de Costa Rica

Financials

Ricardo oversees the legal department of the National Stock Exchange of Costa Rica. He has also made a valuable contribution to the modernisation and efficiency improvements of financial markets in the country, improving transparency...

Rita García

Gerente legal regional y de asuntos corporativos | GASPRO

Commercial and Professsional Services

Robert Lang

Asesor legal area Centroamérica | Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días

Non-profit / public sector

Roberto Ramos Chacon

Latin America legal counsel | Smith & Nephew

Healthcare

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Rodrigo Cano Morales

Legal manager Central America | Transunion

Information technology

Focus on: My company  TransUnion is a global information and insights company that makes trust possible between businesses and consumers, by ensuring that each consumer is reliably represented in the...

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Rodrigo Herrera

Legal and compliance manager for Central American and the Carribean | Kuehne + Nagel

Transport and infrastructure

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Ronald Ramírez

Legal lead for North Latina America (Central America, Mexico, Caribbean and Venezuela) | Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Information technology

Roxana Sanchez

Corporate affairs and legal director | Tigo

Telecommunications services

Sandra Trejo

Senior legal manager México y Centroamérica | Johnson & Johnson

Healthcare

Sebastian Wong

LatAm area business general counsel - healthcare business group | 3M

Industrials and real estate

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Silvia Amador

Directora legal | Cooperativa de Productores de Leche Dos Pinos

Food, beverages and tobacco

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Silvia Arce López

Legal and compliance director CLAT | Novo Nordisk

Healthcare

Silvia joined Novo Nordisk in September 2021 as legal and compliance director for Central America, Caribbean and South America, member of NovoNordisk´s board of directors and part of the management...

Stephanie Montoya

Global legal counsel north america and Latam Unilever International | Unilever Central America

Materials and mining

Tamara Vélez

Asesor legal | Unity Willis Towers Watson

Commercial and Professsional Services

Tamara currently works as legal leader for Central America for WTW, one of the largest insurance brokers at the regional level, a leading global consulting and solutions company, with a...

Tamying Young

Senior legal counsel Central America, Caribbean and Andean Region | Uber

Information technology

Tamying is a business-focused corporate lawyer with outstanding experience working in large multinational companies with impact across the LATAM region. He has extensive experience as an in-house counsel of several...

Tannia Corriols

Vice president, head of compliance and Data Protection, AMERICAS | DHL Global Forwarding

Transport and infrastructure

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Tony Roldan

President and executive director | CASEM

Administrative Body

Valentina Moreno Aristeguieta

Legal director Central America, Panama and The Caribbean and Andean Region (ACAC) | Uber

Information technology

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Waldemir García

General counsel | Grupo HOPSA

Materials and mining

Walther Guillermo Sandino Rocha

Legal counsel and corporate affairs | Exportadora Atlantic

Transport and infrastructure

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Yeira Sandoval S.

Legal counsel Guatemala, Central America | CEMEX

Materials and mining

It was an honour to research The Legal 500 Central America 2023, which much like all other editions features the most impressive in-house counsel all over Central America. Our research covered a wide breadth of countries including Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Interviewed general counsel spoke to us about challenges for modern in-house counsel, business against the arduous economic context and the task of leading growing legal departments which are spearheading change to the legal industry.

The demands of companies and business transformations require you, as a lawyer, to have disruptive thinking and challenge the status quo’ says Ingrid Valdes Vazquez, head of legal commercial operations in Latin America, at Fresenius Medical Care. She adds that, ‘For a long time, the legal area was treated as mere advisors, totally removed from the reality of the company, where the decision is taken only by the business. The only way for the legal area to become closer to the business is for them to be heard and the identification and assessment of legal risks to be considered.’

With regards to equipping legal teams with resources to transform archaic perceptions of their department, Javier Madrigal, legal business partner at Bayer says, ‘resource optimisation given the current economic environment is impacting every industry around the world.’ Many counsel agreed with him about what a challenge it has been to meet the frequency of demands for high-level legal support satisfactorily.

Additionally, many general counsel are also seeing their roles move away from the specificity of legal confines to broader responsibilities. ‘I have to use not only legal technical skills but also other kind of competencies as managing different projects, coordination with other departments, set up a clear way to communicate risk and achievements during the process, all of that while maintaining the day-to-day duties attended’, comments Jorge Eduardo Moreno Pena, senior legal counsel at Elanco Animal Health.

The consensus across Central America was that most general counsel’s responsibilities span across different countries in Latin America. This has posed a tricky ordeal when managing several jurisdictional operational requirements. ‘Geographically understanding the needs and particularities of each area is a continuous task and can only be achieved by truly approaching each of the people who are part of your business from a human and personal perspective.’ Much like everywhere else, general counsel report an increase in the adoption of technology as well. Monica Jose Polanco Aguilar, head of the nearshore legal team muses, ‘Certainly, the post-pandemic work environment and the new era of digitalisation, remote culture and demanding deadlines can bring interesting challenges for legal leaders.’

As much change is on the horizon for countries all across Central America, general counsel are more than ever prioritising being read into major decisions in the business. For some, taking steps to be closer to their business colleagues is the order of the day, while others move up the ranks and partner with decision makers at a seat at the table.

I would like to thank and congratulate all lawyers who engaged with us for this edition of The Legal 500 Central America 2023. You join an esteemed group of counsel around the globe in holding this recognition.

 

Melissa Yebisi| Lead researcher: GC Powerlist Central America 2023 

Arias

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GC Powerlist: Central America 2023

The inaugural issue of the GC Powerlist: Central America 2023 was launched at the breathtaking grounds of Club Union, Panama on the 25th of April. In attendance were the most illustrious general counsel who flew in from all over Central America to celebrate their achievement, enjoy live music and network with peers. The event was opened by Global Business Development Manager, David Freeman, who congratulated all successful general counsel on behalf of The Legal 500. Attendees also heard a few words from publication sponsor, Arias, represented by Siaska SSS Lorenzo, managing partner of Arias Panama. Attendees were then called upon by research editor at The Legal 500, Melissa Yebisi, to receive certificates and have official photos taken.  A huge thank you to Arias, for their long-term sponsorship of the GC Powerlist Central America publication.