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
Aguilar Castillo Love

Aguilar Castillo Love has provided corporate advice related to consolidations, restructurings and a global corporate splits. Technology, energy, food and beverage and financial services are active sectors.

Hewlett-Packard Company, Tyco International and The Nature Conservancy are key clients for the firm.

Client feedback

“Aguilar Castillo Love provides excellent service to its clients, and has extraordinary knowledge of complex regulation (derivatives, energy). The senior partner is always involved and available and provides continuous support to clients.”  - Asset finance

Juan Carlos Castillo

“Extremely knowledgeable, always a pleasure to work with him, very responsive.”

Arias

Arias is well respected for its M&A work though is considered increasingly active in banking as well. 

Throughout the research period the firm has worked on syndicated financings, restructurings, acquisitions of shares and land acquisitions.

The firm advises the likes of Bladex and Fyffes.

Jorge Luis Arenales

“Solid, talented lawyer.”

BLP

BLP has been active on finance (including acquisition finance), M&A and projects matters over the research period.

The regional firm entered the country with a splash this research period when it hired partners Luis Ruiz, María Inés Arenales, Rodolfo Salazar from the firm formerly known as Arenales & Skinner-Klée. The firm also hired Alejandro Arenales as of counsel.  This move allowed the firm to have an office in the five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and now Guatemala), where regional firms are active.

The firm advises the likes of Samsung Electronics Latin America, SGS and Hidroeléctrica Río Hondo. 

Carrillo & Asociados

Carrillo & Asociados has advised on acquisitions and restructurings over the research period. Financial services and food and beverage have been active sectors for the firm. 

I Squared Capital is a key client for the firm, though most client information is confidential. 

Central Law Guatemala

Central Law Guatemala has worked on acquisitions, credit agreements and helped companies expand their commercial activities in the country. Energy and finance are important sectors for the firm.

The firm advises the likes of Baxter de Guatemala, Choice Logistics and Simpson Environmental Corporation.

Client feedback

“The work has been excellent.” – Banking and finance

Verónica González

“Excellent.” 

Consortium Legal

Consortium Legal has a leading finance and M&A practice. Over the research period, the firm’s finance team has primarily advised lenders and underwriters on loans and bond issues including the bond issues including Guatemala’s sovereign bond issue.

The firm advises the likes of Citibank, Wells Fargo Securities and Bank of America. 

Consortium Legal

Consortium Legal has a leading finance and M&A practice. Over the research period, the firm’s finance team has primarily advised lenders and underwriters on loans and bond issues including the bond issues including Guatemala’s sovereign bond issue.

The firm advises the likes of Citibank, Wells Fargo Securities and Bank of America. 

Latin Alliance

Latin Alliance-Guatemala is active across financial and corporate advising the likes of Alcances Médicos, Yobel SC Logistics and Aukarre Guatemala

The firm added a junior lawyer to its corporate law team during the research period.

Lexincorp

Lexincorp is active on energy and project development matters. The firm has also been active on financing matters.

Key clients include Xolhuitz, Grupo Apollo and Prointel Corredores de Seguros. 

Mayora & Mayora

Mayora & Mayora is a leading banking and M&A firm. The firm has advised on loans, mergers, and bond issues over the research period.

Although the firm’s headquarters remain in Guatemala, the regional firm expanded into El Salvador through the incorporation of Telles & Asociados. The firm also hired banking and finance associate Ashley Sosa in Guatemala.

Walmart, Banco Industrial, and the government of Guatemala are key clients of the firm.

Client feedback

“I continue working with this law firm, as they have always proved very efficient, highly competent, clear and possessing great practical sense. They communicate very clearly with us as well as with the local correspondent we request them to contact. Our local correspondent is also always happy working with them.” – Banking and finance

Claudia Pereira

“Strong legal skills and practice, efficiency and communication.” 

Palomo & Porras

Palomo & Porras has worked on corporate restructurings and helped companies register as foreign reinsurance brokers. Insurance and maritime have been active sectors for the firm.

Integro Insurance Brokers and Grupo Aserta are examples of the firm’s clients.

QIL+4 Abogados

QIL+4 Abogados is a respected project finance player which has also worked on syndicated loans, refinancing and acquisitions over the research period. Energy and telecommunications have been active sectors for the firm.

Key clients include Banco General, Baxter and Southern Cross Group.