The Honduran legal market is dominated by regional firms, largely because big-ticket transactional work is mostly regional by default in this country, which is why belonging to a Central America-wide outfit has its advantages.
Corporate law and banking and finance form the core of many firms’ offerings as the country’s comparatively small economy affords little opportunity for specialisation. However, some of the larger firms can provide tailormade competition, energy and tax advice. They also cater to the tourism industry. Demand for white-collar crime and compliance is rising amid recent political unrest and wider global trends.
However, recent corruption scandals have brought a certain amount of market instability, and project developments have slowed down substantially. In 2019, a former congressman and brother of current President Juan Orlando Hernández was found guilty of drug smuggling in the US after having been arrested the year before in Miami.
Firms remain small in Honduras. Consortium and BLP are the only firms with over 20 lawyers. Despite their size advantage, they face stiff competition from the likes of Aguilar Castillo Love, Arias and García & Bodán. All three have good service offerings and experienced partnerships.
While the Honduran market is thoroughly regionalised, two local firms buck the trend and are performing well. Bufete Mejía & Asociados has one of the strongest IP practices in Central America, while local outfit Melara & Asociados scores cross-border transactional work in spite of its small size.
Most of the firms listed are located in the capital, Tegucigalpa. However, the commercial centre of San Pedro Sula is another popular base of operations, while the tourist destination and Caribbean island of Roatán is another place firms are increasingly considering.