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:
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.
Alemán Cordero Galindo & Lee continues to be a leader on credit facilities, capital markets issues, M&A and projects. The firm is particularly active within the energy sector.
Most of the firm’s banking transactions involve providing advice to the banks or the lenders, but the firm has also advised borrowers.
The firm’s capital markets team leans towards advising on debt issues but it has also worked on share issues.
One key M&A deal saw the firm advise Banca de Inversión Bancolombia (BIB) in the sale of the Soho Project.
One project development deal saw the firm advise Gas Natural Atlantico and Costa Norte LNG Terminal on the development of an LNG power block and LNG terminal.
Key clients include Credit Suisse, Banco General, Alternegy, and Grande Investment Corp.
"A good law firm." - Banking
“Very strong local corporate finance practice. We work with the best law firms in Panama and Alemán Cordero Galindo & Lee is one of the top.” - Banking
Anzola Robles & Asociados is an active project development firm.
Most of its deals are confidential but many involve advice related to renewable energy matters.
The firm breaks into the financial and corporate rankings for its advice on important transactions like the acquisition of assets of the Soho City Centre project and CIFI’s bond issue.
Hidroelectrica San Lorenzo is a key client of the firm.
Arias Panama takes advantage of its regional Central American presence to work on key regional deals, particularly bond issues, credit facilities and acquisitions. One such deal was Grupo Unicomer’s 144A notes issue. The firm advises the likes of IFC, Grupo Rudelman and San Miguel.
“The level of service is excellent, since they have highly qualified professionals to provide the required advice and accompaniment. In addition, the response times are satisfactory, they offer alternative scenarios for a solution, are correct in the consultations and have adequate experience to achieve the objectives that arise. This office is a guarantee of seriousness, not only for having highly qualified professionals but for the very good service they provide.” - Banking
“Good advice and good quality in terms of content and wording of the legal opinion.” - Investment funds
Siaska Lorenzo and Maria Cristina Fábrega de Duque
“They are diligent and competent lawyers who attend the consultations and offer the professional advice requested. They are concerned with following up on the activities, in order to achieve the objectives efficiently.”
Maria Cristina Fábrega de Duque
“Good advice and valuable legal opinion.”
Arias Fábrega & Fábrega, a leading financial and corporate firm, has a track record of working on some of the most impressive financings, capital markets deals and acquisitions in the market.
The firm frequently works on the financing of projects and has provided advice to Acciona Construcción on financing the Pan-American Highway expansion.
One key M&A deal saw the firm advise E León Jimenes on the sale of a 30% stake in Tenedora CND to Ambev.
Key clients include Tocumen International Airport, Banco Nacional de Panamá, and Assicurazioni Generali.
“The firm provides services to the banks that provide us with financial products. They are very well prepared and have knowledge. Need to have a bigger team.” - Banking
“Constantly provided high level advice throughout the project, also maintaining the quality when involving the other departments at the firm. Competent, swift and business savvy professionals that allow big deals to be managed directly through them in Panama.” - Capital markets
“Always available and with great technical skills allowing for major problem solving ability.”
“Very well connected. Sharp and logical advice.”
“Good experience. Good Knowledge.”
Arosemena Noriega & Contreras has advised on syndicated loans, lines of credit, notes issues and sales over the research period.
Dentons Muñoz is active in banking and M&A.
In one highlight banking deal, the firm advised AGP America on a credit agreement.
The M&A team advised local and foreign clients on mergers and leveraged buyouts, but all the transactional details are confidential.
Key clients include Prival Bank and Banco Ficohsa.
Galindo Arias & López is known for its top tier financing and M&A work, especially within the energy and aviation sectors.
The firm’s financing practice has been particularly active on project finance and aircraft finance matters.
One M&A deal saw the firm advise Corporación BCT in the acquisition of Balboa Bank and Trust.
The firm is also a leader in project development, and renewable energy and social infrastructure have been busy sectors. The firm advised Clínica Hospital San Fernando on its construction project.
The firm advises the likes of Copa Airlines, Ocean Reef Islands, and Petroleos Delta.
Ivette Martinez is active in M&A and project development work, but the transaction details are confidential.
Founding partner Ivette Martinez S. previously worked at Patton Moreno & Asvat before forming the firm in 2017
LOVILL LatamLex is active in banking, M&A and project development.
In banking, the firm represented Scotiabank El Salvador on credit facilities granted to Hospiteum and Princess Hotels and Resorts
The M&A team advised a client on the sale of Panama Blue, a rainforest spring water product, to Allied Food Group, a distributor of luxury brands of spirits.
In project development, the team advised Edward McGrath & Associates on a public bid for the construction of social houses.
The firm lost real estate partner Patricia Villanueva over the research period
Key clients include BAC San Jose, Transporte Internacionales Tical, Ecogreen, Dragados Sucursal Panamá and Neptune Lines.
“The firm is knowledgeable about corporate and finance.” – Financial and corporate
Pardini & Asociados is strong in banking and corporate and M&A.
In banking, the firm acted for Barclays Bank and for a Middle East family office on financing 28 companies.
In one highlight corporate deal, the firm advised Air China on setting up its company in Panama.
Key clients include National Bank of Kuwait, Miniso, IATA and Messila House.
Quijano & Associates is active in corporate and M&A and it advised companies in a range of sectors. The transactional details are confidential.
Sucre Briceño & Co is active in capital markets, M&A and banking.
On the capital markets side, the firm advised Hipotecaria Metrocredit on a mortgage bond issue.
Key clients include Canal Bank and FCC Construccion.