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Latin Lawyer 250 2017

Consortium Legal (Costa Rica)

Costa Rica

Full-service banking powerhouse

  • Established: 1968
  • Partners: 23
  • Total lawyers: 95

Consortium is a leading name for banking and finance in Costa Rica, a position reaffirmed in 2016 when it helped Scotiabank obtain a large syndicated loan in one of the year's biggest corporate financings. Consortium's market-leading reputation does not end there. Its corporate and M&A team is well-regarded and has regional heft, while its litigation division brings serious firepower to the negotiating table. The firm recently boosted its full-service credentials by opening a compliance practice with a lateral hire. The recruit, who was the former second-in-command at Costa Rica's insurance regulator, will initially focus on the financial sector, but plans to broaden the firm's compliance offering are in the works.

Consortium, one of the earliest movers in the regional game, has integrated offices across Central America, which has created many cross-selling opportunities and helps explain its prominence in cross-border work. Nonetheless, the firm does report growing competition, with many of its rivals driving down client fees. Consortium's response is to encourage practice area specialisation and the development of new legal departments. These efforts are complemented by regularly seeking client feedback and sending its lawyers to work in-house. Associates' further education is prioritised along with a business-orientated approach to customers' problems.

Offices

Consortium is a regional firm that has ten offices spread across Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In Costa Rica, the firm is run from the capital.

Alliances & networks

The firm is a member of global law network World Services Group.

Clients

Credit Suisse and Scotiabank are big name clients in the banking and finance sector. Nestlé and the Coca-Cola Company also feature.

Practice Areas

Banking & finance

Key partners: David Arturo Campos, who is recognised in LACCA Approved, in-house counsel research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s sister publication, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association. Mario Quesada Bianchini and Randall Barquero are also prominent. Silvia Canales, a new hire and the former second-in-command at Costa Rica’s insurance regulator, brings insurance law know-how and compliance-orientated counsel.

Analysis: Consortium’s banking and finance practice is one of the best in Costa Rica, providing a very comprehensive offering. The team is often involved in the biggest deals in the financial sector, including Citibank’s recent exit from the country. Project finance has been another source of work in the past. Consortium’s long-standing presence in multiple Central American countries helps it score a role in cross-border deals. A stellar team of practitioners and an impressive client base in the financial sectors helps too.

Top deals

Most recent deals

Capital markets

Key partners: Mario Quesada Bianchini and Randall Barquero.

Analysis: Central America’s capital markets are not as busy as some of the larger Latin American jurisdictions, but Consortium is one of a small group of firms that wins what work there is available. Its lawyers have experience steering massive offerings, including a US$1 billion international issuance by Costa Rica’s National Bank back in 2013.

Most recent deals

Corporate and M&A

Key partners: Rolando Laclé Zuñiga and Mario Quesada Bianchini, both of whom are recognised in LACCA Approved, and Randall Barquero.

Analysis: Consortium’s lawyers are an astute choice for all manner of corporate and M&A work, which makes up a big chunk of the firm’s earnings. Customers note the San José team’s breadth of knowledge and quality of service, rating this practice highly. Recent clients have come from the agricultural and financial sectors. The team’s knowledge and response time are praised by a customer in the pharmaceuticals sector.

Most recent deals

Litigation

Key partners: Rolando Laclé Zuñiga, who is recognised in LACCA Approved and has held various high-level government positions.

Analysis: The firm has a very robust litigation team. Its lawyers have a good track record, including notable victories in IP trademark disputes.

Pro bono

Analysis : The firm is listed by Latin Lawyer as a Leading Light for pro bono work at a regional level. Past clients include Educational NGO Quirós Tanzi and Asociación Hogar Blanca Flor, a private non-profit association that provides homes and resources for the education of abandoned children.


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