BLP has completed its regional expansion with the launch of a new office in Guatemala.
The move includes the lateral hire of three partners, Luis Ruiz, Rodolfo Salazar and María Inés Arenales, from Arenales & Skinner-Klée – LatamLex. The new office will contain 13 lawyers in total.
Luis Ruiz focuses his practice on M&A, corporate and intellectual property. Rodolfo Salazar specialises in public law, energy and arbitration while María Inés Arenales specialises in banking and finance, project finance and corporate law.
The San José-based firm initially stepped out of Costa Rica in February 2014 when it opened an office in Nicaragua. About a month later BLP announced a new office in El Salvador. The firm then waited a year before moving into Honduras in June 2015. With its new office in Guatemala, the firm’s expansion is complete.
“Our first attempt to be regional started in Guatemala,” partner Ronald Lachner, who oversaw the regionalization process says. “But Guatemala is a very difficult market. There are very important and longstanding law firms there. The market and the economy are very large compared to the rest of Central America and we didn’t want to rush things. We just wanted to be with the right partners not just have a flag, so to speak, but have the right kind of people. We wanted people to have the same type of culture we have here so we could provide the same type of services across the region.”
Now that the firm has reached its regionalisation goal, it has no plans for the time being to open offices in other jurisdictions. “For now we’re going to pause and we’re going to consolidate our regional presence and grow our regional offices. We’re not planning on any other market. We have a lot to do but for now we’re celebrating and looking forward to our future plans in the region," Lachner says.