THE FIRM Aguilar Castillo Love regularly features on some of the region's most notable transactions and the firm's Honduran office handles a heavy corporate workload. The 13-strong team advises prestigious names such as Nokia Siemens, Hewlett-Packard and GE Healthcare. Recently the team has advised on several high-profile transactions, including several real estate and commercial investments, financing for a hydroelectric project and financing for the construction of a flour mill.
Sources say: "This firm is almost unmatched in terms of legal knowledge and responsiveness. There is no 'honeymoon period' with Aguilar Castillo Love – the quality of the firm's work is always paramount. It offers excellent solutions for foreign clients conducting business in Honduras."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head and senior partner Enrique Rodríguez Burchard is "a widely recognised figure in the market with a top-flight trajectory that can rely on strong working relationships throughout the region," enthuse clients. Juan José Alcerro Milla is characterised by his "receptive, polished and ethical service to the client," according to sources.
THE FIRM This regional powerhouse has had another industrious year in corporate matters and typically handles highly complex multimillion-dollar mandates. The team also shows particular strength in banking matters. It recently assisted Grupo Aval of Colombia with several cross-border M&A matters, and advised on the incorporation of a large international company in Honduras. Dennis Matamoros Batson left the firm in early 2011; the market is waiting to assess the effect of his departure on the firm.
Sources say: "Arias & Muñoz is the unsurpassed leader and first in the market for high standards of service and professionalism."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Evangelina Lardizabal played a key role in the two matters mentioned above and is also increasingly recognised for her work in telecoms transactions. She has over 20 years of experience in the field and sources highlight her efficiency and strong knowledge of corporate issues.
THE FIRM This firm has consolidated its position in the Honduran market through its three offices in Tegucigalpa, business hub San Pedro Sula and real estate epicentre Roatán. Representative highlights include advising Banco Citibank de Honduras on a corporate bonds issuance. The team also provides ongoing advice to Warner Bros. Distribution in connection with several issues related to DR-CAFTA. In the energy field, it is advising a subsidiary of Mesoamerica Energy on the financing of what is set to be one of the region's largest wind power plant facilities.
Sources say: "Consortium has a wealth of distinguished lawyers who are highly proficient and attentive – it is among the very best law firms in the country.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Much of this team's success can be attributed to senior partner José Ramón Paz, who is a recognised and highly respected figure in the corporate and banking sectors. José Rafael Rivera Ferrari is highlighted by sources as "very adept and accomplished, and a lawyer who has already made impressive progress in the market." Italo Giovanni Tugliani Schweinfurth stands out for his increasingly heavy workload in the real estate sector.
THE FIRM This firm provides advice across the whole spectrum of corporate matters and is also highlighted for its strengths in banking matters. The team regularly advises prominent clients such as Deutsche Bank, AIG, Microsoft and Citibank. It acted as local counsel to the US Ex-Im Bank and the Central American Bank of Economic Integration in connection with one of the region's largest project finance deals to construct a wind energy power plant. The team also advised a local Chevrolet and Mazda distributor regarding negotiations and the transfer of franchises and equipment to Grupo Q.
KEY INDIVIDUALS René López Rodezno leads the corporate and M&A department, and commands much respect in this field. He led the aforementioned cases and has also been active on several real estate deals over the past year. Fernando Fiallos Gutiérrez joined the firm in late 2010 and co-heads its commercial law department.
THE FIRM This compact firm has 35 years of experience in the market and regularly represents large foreign clients such as AIG Honduras, Microsoft and Carnival Cruise Lines. The six-strong team handles an array of corporate, commercial and banking matters. Sources highlight the firm's ability to handle a heavy workload and maintain high standards of work.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources hold founding partner Mauricio Villeda Bermúdez in high esteem and praise his impressive experience in the Honduran corporate landscape.
THE FIRM This compact group has impressed sources with its handling of a raft of corporate matters over the past year. In headline matters, the group is acting as counsel for Petroholdings in the merger of Inversiones Petroleras (formerly Shell Honduras) and Petroleos de Honduras, for an estimated USD50 million. In other highlights, it is handling a capitalisation process totalling USD80 million on behalf of Millicom Cable.
Sources say: "The firm's fantastic response rate and positive attitude permit solutions that exceed clients' expectations. It is always intent on maintaining strong relationships and keen to learn more about each client's specific business needs to provide better and more personalised support."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner Oscar Armando Melara Facussé "is a great adviser, not only due to his knowledge of the law in general, but also due to his profound understanding of several different industries and willingness to go the extra mile for the client," enthuse sources. Melara Facussé has been central to much of the firm's caseload of late and is capably supported by Michael Rascoff, who has an impressive focus on real estate matters. Clients say: "Rascoff has a hands-on approach, not just limiting himself to advising on one point but preferring to understand all of the complexities of a transaction – this makes his advice very effective."
THE FIRM This young 20-strong team works out of the firm's offices in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. It has enjoyed a milestone year and has acted for high-profile clients such as HSBC, PepsiCo and AIG. Notable work includes advising HSBC on the recovery of restructured debt from a real estate development company and on acquiring a Honduran banking group and insurance company and their subsidiaries. The team has also latterly been handling several IP disputes on behalf of sister firm Bufete Casco.
Sources say: "This firm provides a cost-effective, knowledgeable and prompt service. The team has a true understanding of what the client needs and delivers excellent results."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Vanessa Velasquez draws comprehensive praise for her corporate expertise. "Her work is excellent; she is responsive, prompt, thorough and a great talent," enthuse sources.
THE FIRM The Honduran office of Central Law handles a wide range of corporate and arbitration matters. Representative highlights include bringing proceedings against the local subsidiary of a global food company for a breach of contract, and handling an antitrust case related to the concrete industry. Sources highlight the firm's ability to understand clients' demands and offer a range of legal solutions.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jesús Humberto Medina Alva is based in the firm's San Pedro Sula office and has a strong focus on complex corporate and financial transactions. He leads the department and is the chairman of Central Law.
THE FIRM The Honduran office of this respected regional player handles a heavy caseload of corporate transactions. In one of the year's most high-profile mandates, the team advised GE Capital on the USD1.92 billion sale of a 100% stake in the Bank of Central America to Colombian banking group Grupo Aval. It also acted as local counsel to BNP Paribas in connection with granting a syndicated loan with an estimated value of USD200 million.
Sources say: "This firm has excellent lawyers who have strong communication skills and a rapid work rate."
KEY INDIVIDUALS J Vanessa Oquelí de Rierais in charge of corporate matters at the firm and has extensive experience of handling company incorporations, commercial and M&A transactions, and related tax and financial issues. She is praised for her responsive and communicative approach.
THE FIRM This regional firm handles an impressive range of corporate work and has a growing client portfolio. It acts for well-known clients, including advising logistics group DHL on all of its corporate operations. It also acts for a number of banks and is advising Banco General de Panamá on several matters, including devising legal strategies to guarantee credits. It acts as ongoing counsel to Banco de Occidente, one of the country's largest banks.
Sources say: "This firm offers high levels of service, advice and professionalism across an array of legal fields."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Omar Claros Carías is a key player in the firm's corporate and real estate practices. He handles much of the firm's work with DHL and is advising Continental Towers Honduras on the acquisition of more than 160 properties in the country. Partner Omar Alexis Claro represented Desarrollos Terrestres de Honduras in one of the country's largest arbitration proceedings. Clients hail him as "an invaluable adviser."
Since publication, Omar Alexis Claros has left this practice.
Since publication, Omar Claros Carías has joined Claros & Claros
Since publication, Omar Claros Carías has joined Claros & Claros
Dennis Matamoros Batson
left Arias & Muñoz in 2011 to return to his former firm, Matamoros Batson & Asociados, which he founded in 1991. He is particularly well regarded for his finance expertise and is expected to focus on corporate, banking and insurance matters.
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23 May 2013: Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2013, New York
24 May 2013: Launch of Chambers USA 2013, New York and online
29th May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Going Mobile: IP and Privacy Considerations
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9 September 2013: Chambers Latin America Awards 2013, Miami
10 September 2013: Launch of Chambers Latin America 2014, online
3rd October 2013: Chambers Bar Awards 2013, London
10 May 2012: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, Amsterdam