Solicitors governing body: Dominican Bar
Competition authority: Procompetencia
Financial regulator: Superintendencia de Bancos
IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction:
The Dominican Republic is a civil law system.
Non-Dominican lawyers who wish to work in the Dominican Republic have the option of either becoming foreign lawyers or providing foreign legal consulting. Foreign lawyers can provide any legal services other than appearing in court (which only Dominican nationals can do), but they must be members of the Dominican Bar.
To become members, foreign lawyers must either complete a Dominican Law Degree, revalidate their degree, or be licensed to practice in a jurisdiction which has an agreement with the Dominican Republic where lawyers from each jurisdiction can be licensed to practice in the other. Those who don’t want to join a Bar can be foreign legal consultants, meaning they can only advise on international law.
The market is dominated by local firms, though global firm Squire Patton Boggs is an active player. Regional firm Central Law is also active in the market.
Cáceres Torres is a strong corporate and financial firm.
The firm advised ferronickel mining operation Falconbridge Dominicana on corporate and regulatory matters.
Significant clients include Hylcon, Storck Dominicana, Molinos del Ozama and Universal Music Colombia.
“Strengths: Attention to details, open minded, searching for the best possible solution under the circumstance. Good timing on delivery. Weaknesses: Sometimes needs orientation on the technicalities of banking.” – Finance
“We are very pleased with the law firm; it practically solved all of our needs in the Dominican Republic; experts in their field and they work on time.” - Banking
“High expertise and strategic relationship network.” - Banking
Castillo & Castillo is particularly active on financings within the real estate sector. In one transaction, the firm advised Banco Popular Dominicano with an issue of subordinated bonds.
Banco Popular Dominicano is a frequent client of the firm. The firm has also advised Altice and AFD (French Development Agency).
DMK Lawyers works on financings, acquisitions and development deals in a range of sectors, but is particularly known for its work in the tourism sector.
The team assisted Senator Hotels, Costa Esmeralda, North Shore Land Holdings and others on the construction of hotels in Dominican Republic.
Additionally, the firm worked on the acquisition of RIU Hotels Puerto Plata by Senator Hotels.
Key clients include Diamonds International, Stendhal and ABANCA.
DVMS - Dejarden Valenzuela Molina & Salcedo | Expertis breaks into the rankings this year due to its transactional record which involves M&A, banking and capital markets work.
One recent deal saw the firm advising Kohlberg Kravis Roberts on the Dominican aspects of its acquisition of Flora Food Group.
Clients include Texas Rangers, Google and Milwaukee Brewers.
"The firm consistently provides creative, quality driven services while managing risk effectively. Sometimes its slippery timelines and risk-aversion tends to devolve into scope creep." - Recapitalisation
"Gives answers in total detail and with great precision Fast and effective international coverage, helping us in several. Excellent availability. Very practical advice with focus on the value of the money.” - Banking, project development
Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernández is particularly active in the aviation and tourism sectors but works in a range of industries.
The firm advised Aerodom on a refinancing. On the projects side, the firm provided advice to the banks in the financing of Montecristi Solar. In M&A, the firm advised, Third Point and Discovery Land in their acquisition of the Playa Grande Golf & Resort project.
Active clients include Blackstone Group, MicroPort Scientific Corporation and FMO.
"Great team, great service." - Banking
"My primary contact is Mary Fernandez - I work with her and her team. The firm is excellent with regard to communications. I can always be assured that I will get a response within 24 hours (at most), but usually within a couple of hours. The level of advice I receive is professional, reliable and dependable. The level of English is native (both written and spoken), which is not common and fees have always been reasonable." - M&A
“Extremely prompt communication; level knowledge is supreme. Where she is not knowledgeable in a particular subject, she is able to find someone who is. Her English (written and spoken) is at a native level and generally, she is a wonderful person to interact with."
Jiménez Cruz Peña is active in both financial and corporate and project development matters. They work in a range of sectors, but hotels and renewable energy have been particularly active.
The firm advised General Energy Solution with the second phase of the Monte Plata solar plant.
Clients include International Finance Corporation, Citibank and Interra Live Towers.
"It has been a very good business relationship. We work directly with senior partner José Cruz, and so far he has provided accurate and prompt responses, and high quality legal opinions." Banking
"The firm is very knowledgeable of Dominican laws. It's very supportive in corporate matters, organisation matters and recommendations. It has strong negotiation capabilities and a strong team." - Corporate restructuring
“Excellent communication skills, high technical knowledge of the sector we are involved in.”
Luis J. Jiménez“Luis is very sharp, always available, and very committed to his responsibilities and work. Is a very good negotiator, with good financial skills and deep understanding of the market dynamics.”
JJ Roca & Asociados is active in corporate law.
In one deal, the firm represented Luxury Eyewear Group on the negotiation of an eyewear distribution agreement with Marcolin USA Eyewear.
Other clients were confidential.
OMG has a strong financial and corporate practice. The firm reaches foreign clients with a desk in Florida and an office in Panamá City.
The firm often works with investment funds and helped CIFI with the structuring of a publicly traded infrastructure investment fund. On the M&A side, the firm worked on the merger of Altce Caribbean and Tricom.
Putney Capital Management is a particularly active client of the firm. The firm also advises JP Morgan, IFC and Total.
"It has a great team of qualified lawyers."
"Overall I'm very pleased with the professionality of the professionals working with OMG." - Banking
"It's always available, responsive and ready to understand the need to propose a solution." - M&A
"It's a very organised and prepared firm, with all the new information happening on hand. It's an excellent group of people with good skills and a willingness to give service." - Project development
"It's the best law firm in the Dominican Republic. It has a multi-sector, multi-industry cross-section of experts and consultants that make the company more than a law firm. It has highly qualified young professionals as well as very experienced top level management with local and international training and expertise. A local law firm that works with best practices and continuously supports structural reform in the public and private sectors of the Dominican Republic. It's the only large law firm in the country that strives to be better than the international standard." - Financial and corporate, projects
Laura Piantini Fuentes
“Fully aware of the need to be available. “
“Insightful regarding real estate transactions. Hard working and timeline effective.”
“Very detail oriented, highly professional.”
“Natachu has the best knowledge of personal lawsuit practices.”
Pellerano & Herrera has a leading financial and corporate practice. The firm works across a range of sectors but telecommunications and real estate have been particularly active.
Many of the firm’s key financing transactions remain confidential, but it advised the underwriters on the Dominican Republic’s 6.875% sovereign bond offer and regularly advises on the country’s sovereign issues.
On the M&A side the firm advised Agnico with the acquisition of 10% shares in Goldquest Mining Corp.
The firm also showed off its projects expertise with advice to FMO on the financing for the development of Monte Plata Solar.
Key clients include Citigroup Global Markets, Uber and Planet Fitness
“She has good response times and broad areas of expertise.”
Squire Patton Boggs Peña Prieto Gamundi, the Dominican leg of global firm Squire Patton Boggs, remains a leading player in the country.
Notable transactions have taken place in the aviation, real estate and energy sectors. Although most transactions were confidential the firm advised Aerodom on a refinancing and advised E. León Jimenes with the sale of a 30% stake of Tenedora to Ambev.
The firm rises to tier one this year in the project development rankings.
"Excellent lawyers, we have worked directly with Mr. Alejandro Peña Prieto, who has represented us in the best possible way, understands our interests and watches over them." - Joint venture