Panama

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Competition authority: Authority for Consumer Protection and Competition Defense  

Financial regulator: Superintendency of Banks of the Republic of Panama               

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction: 

Financial and corporate, Project development

Jurisdiction overview

Panama’s legal system derives from civil law, retaining some influences from Spanish law. 

Only Panamanian citizens can practice Panamanian law. Those practicing litigation are required to be a member of the Bar, but other lawyers are not. Domestic lawyers cannot be employed by foreign lawyers or firms, nor can they partner with a foreign lawyer. Foreign lawyers, therefore, can only advise on international law. 

Many lawyers in Panama have degrees from the US or are admitted to practice in both the US and Panama. Most firms in Panama are local firms, though some have a regional presence.

Financial and corporate
Alemán Cordero Galindo & Lee

Alemán Cordero Galindo & Lee is a leading transactional and project development firm.

The banking team primarily advised lenders over the research period and saw work in the healthcare, banking and real estate sectors.

In capital markets the firm primarily works on debt capital markets deals where it advises a mix of issuers and underwriters. Over the research period the firm saw work in the energy, aviation and banking sectors. 

The firm’s M&A practice advised a mix of sellers and buyers over the research period on deals in a range of sectors including banking, energy and automotive.

The project development team has advised developers on energy and roads projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      CrediQ $11.8 million financing

•                      Crédito Real $400 million 9.5% bond issue

•                      Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica $500 million 5.125% bond issue

•                      Marina Village $27 million financing

•                     Sociedad Urbanizadora del Caribe $22.5 million financing

Client feedback

“Excellent law firm. Professionals of the highest standards, In-depth knowledge and depth of coverage are strengths.” – Financial services regulatory

Alfaro Ferrer & Ramírez

Alfaro Ferrer & Ramírez is a strong transactional firm. The research period saw the firm advise the buyer on an M&A deals in the banking sector, a bank on obtaining financing, and a seller on a sale in the education sector.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Global Bank $60 million financing

•                      Global Bank $245 million acquisition of Banco Panameño de la Vivienda

•                      Universal Knowledge Systems and Global Education Services $86.75 million acquisition of Laureate's Universidad Interamericana de Panamá

Arias

Arias is an active banking and finance firm in Panama. The firm is a regional Central American firm so the Panamanian office often works alongside its offices in other countries.  

The team advised borrowers and lenders over the research period and saw work in the banking and food and beverage sectors.   

Client feedback 

“Strong knowledge.” – Financial services regulatory 

“The quality and the exceptional know-how of the law firm allow them to deliver a really efficient assessment.” – Banking  

“The level of service is excellent. In addition, the response times are satisfactory, they offer alternative solutions, are accurate in the consultations and have adequate experience to achieve the objectives that are raised.” - Banking 

“They are very available and committed to the deadlines.” – Banking  

Arias Fábrega & Fábrega

Arias Fábrega & Fábrega is a leading firm for banking, M&A and capital markets.

The project finance space was an active area for the firm’s banking team recently as it advised borrowers and lenders on deals in the transport space. The banking team also recently advised a lender on a finance deal in the aviation space.  

In the capital markets area over the research period the firm advised a mix of underwriters and issuers on bond issues in the banking and aviation sectors.

In M&A the firm primarily advised sellers this research period and saw work in consumer goods and services, insurance and telecommunications.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Corporación Favorita acquisition of 73% of Rey Holdings

•                      Consorcio FCC – Corredor de las Playas road expansion

•                      Inchape $284 million acquisition of Grupo Rudelman

•                      Millicom $1.46 billion acquisition of 80% of Cable Onda

•                      Republic of Panama $1.25 billion 3.16% and $750 million 3.87% sovereign bond issue

Client feedback

“ARIFA is an extremely strong law firm in most aspects of M&A as well as capital markets structuring. Led by Ricardo Arango, they are a pleasure to work with and they are experienced in structuring and negotiating M&A. They are flexible and innovative in their thinking and have real expertise in fiscal structures and contract structuring.” – M&A, Capital markets

Ricardo Arango

“Best in country and probably up to par with the very best partners in top level international firms.”

Morgan & Morgan

Morgan & Morgan has strong capital markets, banking and M&A practices.

The research period saw the banking team primarily advise lenders on financings in the banking and energy sectors.

The capital markets team tends to work on the issue of bonds and establishment of corporate bond programmes and advises a mix of underwriters and issuers. The team saw recent work for clients in banking, gaming and mining.

The M&A team primarily advised on sell-side deals in the energy and fishing sectors over the research period.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      CIFI $100 million bond programme

•                      Cirsa €663 million 6.25%, €425 million floating rate and $550 million 7.875% bond issue

•                      First Quantum Minerals $850 million 6.5% and $1 billion 6.875% bond issue

•                      Global Bank $60 million financing

•                      Latin Renewables Infrastructure Funds acquisition of PanamaSolar2

Arosemena Noriega & Contreras

Arosemena Noriega & Contreras is an active transactional firm. Recent deals include advice to a bank on issuing bonds, a lender on a trade credit facility with an energy borrower and a seller on a sale in the banking sector. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Corporación Andina de Fomento $750 million 3.75% notes issue 

•Pacific Blue Ocean Holding $18.5 million acquisition of Panama Banco del Pacifico 

Client feedback 

“Very helpful, excellent work.” – Banking  

Dentons Muñoz

Dentons Muñoz is part of the Central American division of global firm Dentons. In Panama, the firm is active on banking deals. Recent deals include advice to lenders and borrowers in the energy and banking sectors.  

Client feedback

 “Excellent service. Deep knowledge of Panamanian law.” - Banking

Galindo Arias & López

Galindo Arias & López is a leading firm in the M&A space and strong in banking and finance.

In banking the firm is known for its aviation finance practice where it advises airlines on the lease and finance of its aircrafts. This research period the banking team advised borrowers and lenders in the banking and energy sectors.

In M&A the firm advises sellers, buyers and joint venture parties. Over the research period the firm has worked in the telecommunications, energy and aviation sectors.

The research period saw the project development team advise a bidder in a bid process for the expansion of a transport project and a wind farm operator on regulatory issues related to its wind project.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Glenfarne Group acquisition of Hidrotenencias

•                      Millicom $1.46 billion acquisition of 80% of Cable Onda

Infante & Perez Almillano

Infante & Perez Almillano is an active M&A firm. The research period saw the firm work on seller-side deals in telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.

Lovill

Lovill is the Panamanian office of Central American firm LatamLex. The firm is active in banking. Recent deals included borrower and lender side financing in investment management and consumer goods and services.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•CrediQ $154.4 million financing  

•Empresas Adoc $6 million financing  

Pardini & Asociados

Pardini & Asociados is an active transactional firm. 

The banking team advises borrowers and lenders and often advise families or family owned offices as clients. 

The firm also advises clients on corporate restructurings.  

Client feedback 

“Thorough. Responsive. Thoughtful analysis.” – Financial services regulatory