- Star IndividualsRicardo M Arango (Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega)
- Band 1Jaime Alemán (Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee)Ramón Ricardo Arias Porras (Galindo, Arias & López)Arturo Gerbaud de la Guardia (Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee)Diego Herrera Dutari (Galindo, Arias & López)
- Band 2Roberto R Alemán H (Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán)Eloy Alfaro de Alba (Tapia, Linares y Alfaro)Estif Aparicio (Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega)Jaime Alberto Arias Calderón (Galindo, Arias & López)Francisco Arias (Morgan & Morgan)Carlos Cordero (Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee)Eduardo de Alba (Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega)Anibal Galindo (Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee)Inocencio Galindo (Morgan & Morgan)Alfredo Ramírez Jr (Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez )
- Band 3Juan Pablo Fabrega (Fabrega, Molino & Mulino)Gabriel González-Ruiz (Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán)Ivette E Martínez S (Patton Moreno & Asvat)Juan David Morgan G. (Morgan & Morgan)
- Band 4Ernesto Arias (Sucre Arias & Reyes)Alida Benedetti (Benedetti & Benedetti)David M Mizrachi Fidanque (Mizrachi, Davarro & Urriola)
- Up and ComingAnnette Bárcenas (Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez )Patricia Villanueva Martinelli (López, Villanueva & Heurtematte)
- Associates to watchAlejandro Alemán F (Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez )
THE FIRM This leading firm has offices in Panama, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Luxembourg, and is well placed to handle cross-border transactions. The lawyers cover a wide range of matters, including assisting international clients with the acquisition of privatised state companies and advising Panamanian companies on establishing operations abroad. Prominent mandates of late include acting for Shell on the sale of its Panamanian distribution business to Petróleos Delta, and assisting Ashmore Energy International with the sale of its stakes in ENSA.
Sources say: "The lawyers are extremely responsible, professional and efficient, and their expertise is outstanding. They are responsive and immediately understand your needs."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jaime Alemán recently returned to the team following his appointment as Panamanian ambassador to the USA, and is well respected for his work in this area. Sources offer effusive praise for Arturo Gerbaud de la Guardia, who they describe as "an extraordinary lawyer who has vast experience and is open-minded, responsive and service-oriented." M&A specialist Carlos Cordero is widely regarded for his work in this area. Clients say: "He has an incredible amount of experience and translates this into excellent advice." Anibal Galindo handles the full range of corporate transactions and his expertise extends to tax, real estate and securities law.
THE FIRM This prestigious firm houses some of the best-known names in the market. Over the past year, the group has assisted local and international clients with acquisitions, divestments and company reorganisations. Recent highlights include advising BNP Paribas Wealth Management on the sale of its private banking operations to Scotiabank. The firm also acted on behalf of LAN Airlines in its acquisition of 98.9% of shares in AIRES.
Sources say: "This is one of the best firms in Panama and I have the utmost confidence in the lawyers' judgement and capabilities. I would also highlight the service and the quality of the team at all levels."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ricardo Arango is highly respected in the market and is "intelligent, methodical and extremely dedicated to clients," according to sources. He recently represented the shareholders of SAPRISA in the sale of 100% of their stock to Colombia-based Grupo Casa Luker. Estif Aparicio was recently promoted to partner and sources say he is "a thorough, detail-oriented lawyer and an excellent drafter – his drafts are always as practical from a business perspective as possible." Eduardo de Alba is another key member of the team and focuses his practice on M&A and projects. He is a former chief trade negotiator for the Panamanian government. Clients highlight his "strategic approach and excellent understanding of the Panamanian market."
THE FIRM This established player offers local and international clients advice on the full spectrum of corporate matters, including shareholder agreements, financings, restructurings and M&A. The team has recently assisted Empresas Públicas de Medellín with the acquisition of ENSA, and advised Petróleos Delta on the acquisition of Shell's Panamanian retail operations.
Sources say: "There wasn't a time when the lawyers weren't available. Their involvement and dedication made the transaction happen."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Diego Herrera Dutari is considered one of Panama’s foremost transactional lawyers, while clients highlight Ramón Ricardo Arias Porras's "vast experience and legal acumen, as well as his commercial advice." He has a broad practice which covers public, tax and corporate and commercial matters. Founding partner Jaime Alberto Arias Calderón is highly sought after for his expertise in tax and commercial law.
THE FIRM This well-established full-service firm has a multidisciplinary team of specialists on hand to handle all corporate and related contentious matters. The team assisted the Panamanian government with the share acquisition process of the companies holding concessions of the Corredor Norte and Corredor Sur highways.
Sources say: "This firm truly focuses on the client: the lawyers look after us and it's a pleasure to work with them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Roberto Alemán is sought after for his expertise in M&A and project finance. Gabriel González-Ruiz is another well-respected name in the department. He acts for an impressive list of clients, including the Ministry of Economics.
THE FIRM This heavyweight Panamanian firm has a broad international network and stands out particularly for its handling of cross-border transactions. The lawyers provide advice on all M&A issues, including related tax issues, due diligence processes, contract drafting and negotiations. Recent successes include assisting Jazz Air with the acquisition of a USD15 million stake in Pluna Airlines.
Sources say: "This firm is excellent – from the outset I knew we had the right people for the job."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Francisco Arias is highly regarded for his corporate finance and capital markets expertise. Finance expert Inocencio Galindo is another key member of the team, whose impressive client roster includes HSBC and Caterpillar Leasing Chile. Juan David Morgan is well respected in the market and a key member of the corporate team.
THE FIRM Corporate and finance law are cornerstones of this well-established firm. The team acts as counsel to noteworthy local and international clients, including adidas, Microsoft, IBM and Toyota.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alfredo Ramírez Jr is a corporate all-rounder and handles a large volume of M&A transactions, international financings and competition issues. Annette Bárcenas is recognised for her prowess in corporate, energy and telecoms issues. Young associate Alejandro Alemán is singled out as a rising star in the market.
THE FIRM This esteemed firm offers a broad range of expertise to local and international clients. Over the past year, the lawyers have been particularly active in handling cross-border mergers in the banking sector. It also regularly assists foreign corporations with the establishment of operations in Panama.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Juan Pablo Fabrega has a strong profile in the market and is "an excellent lawyer who inspires complete confidence in his clients," according to sources.
THE FIRM This compact but dedicated team of corporate specialists is well regarded in the market. It covers the full spectrum of corporate matters, including company formation, shareholder agreements, M&A and restructurings. Its large client base includes key names in the telecoms, insurance and construction sectors.
Sources say: "This is a quality firm which we would not hesitate to recommend."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eloy Alfaro de Alba handles M&A as part of a mixed practice that also includes arbitration, banking and offshore matters. He attracts considerable praise from interviewees, who enthuse that "he is a first-class lawyer who is practical, extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with."
THE FIRM This firm has a long-standing presence in the market. The corporate department handles a wide variety of issues, including company organisation, modification and dissolution, as well as M&A.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Julio César Contreras is the firm’s leading name for corporate work.
THE FIRM This well-respected firm handles a wide range of local and international transactions. The group is particularly well regarded for its insurance know-how, and regularly assists major insurers with acquisitions, joint ventures and insurance-related matters. It advises high-profile clients such as BBVA Panama, MAPFRE, ACE Seguros and HSBC Seguros Panama.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ernesto Arias is particularly sought after for his expertise in insurance. Clients enjoy working with him and highlight "his capacity to listen and his open-minded approach."
of Patton Moreno & Asvat has a wealth of experience in commercial and administrative law, M&A and government contracts. Alida Benedetti
of Benedetti & Benedetti is a well-respected lawyer whose expertise extends to corporate and commercial law, M&A, banking and finance and shipping. David Mizrachi Fidanque
of Mizrachi, Davarro & Urriola is a standout corporate and commercial lawyer. Young partner Patricia Villanueva Martinelli
co-founded López & Villanueva in 2009 and enjoys a growing profile in the market. Clients say: "She is very hands-on and knowledgeable. She understands international companies and 'Panamises' what they wish to do without affecting the way they operate overall."
16th May 2013: GC Seminar, London Sponsor-backed IPOs: IPO Exits of Portfolio Companies
21st May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Hackers Are After Your Data!: Practical Ways To Reduce Data Security Breach Exposure
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
4th June 2013: GC Seminar, Houston Challenges in Creating An Effective and Coordinated Global Compliance Program
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