Guatemala

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Colegio de Abogados y Notarios(CANG)

Financial regulator: Superintendencia de Bancos

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction: 

Financial and corporate, Project development

Jurisdiction overview

Guatemala has a civil law legal system backed by the constitution which was originally issued in 1985.

According to Guatemala’s constitution, The University of San Carlos de Guatemala is the only entity allowed to revalidate professional degrees issued by foreign universities. All lawyers, to act in court, must be a part of CANG or Guatemala’s bar association. They must also have a degree from a recognised university and register with Courts Registry of Attorneys and Notaries. Foreign lawyers can work in Guatemala if licensed by CANG.

A mixture of regional and local firms dominate the market, and there have been notable mergers throughout the nation. In September 2015, local firm Asencio Barrios Andrade & Flores merged with regional firm Garcia & Bodan, which strengthened Garcia’s Guatemalan practice. In January 2015, QIL Abogados merged with 4 Abogados to create QIL+ 4 Abogados. Alongside this trend, in 2014 Guatemalan firm Arenales & Skinner-Klée formed LatamLex.

Most major players in the legal market are based in Guatemala’s capital Guatemala City.

Financial and corporate
Arias

Arias has been involved in some of the most important M&A deals in the market (with roles advising sellers and buyers) and is a strong firm for financing, often advising lenders. The firm counts many notable banks (both international and regional) and multilaterals among its clients for financing transactions. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

 

•                      América Móvil $648 million acquisition of Telefónica Guatemala and Telefónica El Salvador 

•                      Owens-Illinois $119 million acquisition of 49.7% in Comegua

•                      Premium Restaurant Brands debt restructuring

 

Client feedback

 

“Very responsive, good quality work.” - Banking

 

“They provide excellent support to solve problems and show new ways to proceed and in a very trustworthy way.” – Banking

 

“Excellent, very responsive and knowledgeable.” – M&A

 

Vivian Morales

 

“Very competent person.Helps us solve problems.

 

Luis Pedro Del Valle

 

“Excellent, very responsive, experienced and knowledgeable.”

 

Ligia Salazar

 

“Very good, pro-active.”

 

 

BLP

BLP has been active in banking and M&A during the research period.

In the banking area the firm has mostly been advising on lending work, and its clients were typically banks with Promerica one particularly active client. On some deals the firm’s bank clients were acting as lenders but on others they were the borrowers.

The M&A team worked on private deals – including work for private equity clients – and had a mix of buy and sell side roles.

 Recent Deal Data highlights                                     

•                      Cinven acquisition of Ufinet Group

•                      Promerica $122.5 million financing

•                      Unilever acquisition of Quala's cosmetics and personal care brands

Client feedback

“In general, the firm has shown us an excellent performance.” – Banking

“Extremely knowledgeable about local collateral structures and enforcement considerations. Diligent and detail oriented, with a very fast turnaround on inquiries and documentation. Also the partners are well connected, and are an important source to obtain market intelligence.” – Banking

“The advisory was very useful and complete. It was very important for the bank and the development of a new project.” – Banking

“BLP has much contributed to the success of the case, with straightforward, business-oriented recommendation, timely replies and expert advice when reviewing the contractual matters involved in the franchise structure.” – Corporate  

Central Law Guatemala

Central Law Guatemala worked on buy side M&A work over the research period. Other work involved helping clients with general corporate work such as registering their businesses in Guatemala 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      CI Dulces La Americana acquisition of  La Tropical

•                      Kerry acquisition of Aromateca

Client feedback

“Very good attention of the staff. Easy to communicate with attorney. Good response on tasks and requirements.”  - M&A

“Very well organised and has informed, solid business knowledge.” – M&A

Consortium Legal

Consortium Legal is a leading firm for finance and M&A. The firm has a large stall of bank clients and advises lenders on financings and debt issues. In M&A the firm often advises on significant regional acquisitions.

Over the research period the firm has worked on deals in sectors including mining, telecommunications and media.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      América Móvil $648 million acquisition of Telefónica Guatemala and Telefónica El Salvador

•                      Pan American Silver $1.07 billion acquisition of Tahoe Resources

•                      Republic of Guatemala $500 million 4.9% and $700 million 6.125% sovereign bond issue

Client feedback

“Ample knowledge, extremely dynamic partners and associates who provide support and advice in all kinds of transactions.” – Banking

“The firm has a team composed of specialists in different areas of law, which allows them to provide complete services. They give confidence to the client due to their ability and their handling of confidential information. They offer practical and conciliatory solutions.”  - Corporate restructuring

“Excellent work. Experienced and involved partners and qualified and reliable associates.”  - M&A

“The firm was good to work with, very knowledgeable about the local laws and economical.”  - M&A  

Lexincorp

Lexincorp is an active transactional firm across a range of practice areas. Much of the firm’s recent work involved providing advice to private factoring and loan companies, including drafting loan agreements.

The firm is also active in the M&A space, and its recent work saw it secure more buy side roles on acquisitions.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                       Matish Partners acquisition of 40% of Campo Sol Corporation and Franquicia

•                      Pilot Estates acquisition of Plenum Logistics in Guatemala and Panama

•                      Puerto Quetzal Port expansion

Client feedback

“The firm is a structured law firm. They offer you all type of services and adjust the payment to our needs.” – Banking

“Real professional staff who guided my team’s work to acquire a business.” – M&A

Mayora & Mayora

Mayora & Mayora is a leading firm for M&A and finance in Guatemala.

Much of the firm’s recent financing work focussed on the issue of bonds, advising issuers, and the firm also advised an acquirer on a major acquisition.

Over the research period the firm has been active advising companies on developing employee stock purchase plans.

Recent Deal Data highlights

Pan American Silver $1.07 billion acquisition of Tahoe Resources

Client feedback

“The firm stands out for its high quality and qualified advice, and speed of response.”  - Private equity

Suzel Obios

“Good performance, readiness, quality.”

QIL+4 Abogados

QIL+4 Abogados is a leading finance and M&A firm. In general the firm’s finance practice does a lot of bank side work.

The firm has seen particularly notable work on project finance matters (advising borrowers) and notes issues (advising issuers) over the research period.

The firm’s M&A team has advised merger parties, sellers and buyers on spinoffs, joint ventures and acquisitions in a range of industries including real estate, agribusiness and pharmaceuticals recently.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Republic of Guatemala $500 million 4.9% and $700 million 6.125% sovereign bond issue

Client feedback

“Overall, the firm's expertise, knowledge and service are first hand, personalised and highly qualified. Their regional presence is very valuable as well.” – M&A

Marcos Ibarguen

“Very high knowledge of the industry we are in. Very high knowledge of our company and our needs. Always available. Makes it effortless to work with him, a real delight.”

“Overall excellent service, knowledge and follow-up of the work provided.”

Sfera

Asensio Andrade Flores Abogados is active in finance and M&A.

The firm’s banking team has advised both borrowers and lenders on recently. Banco G&T Continental was a key client of the firm.

Recent M&A deals for the firm included both buy and sell work.

The firm formed a strategic alliance with Costa Rica-based Sfera Legal over the research period.   

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Banco G&T Continental $75 million financing