The legal market in Nicaragua stands out for being one of Central America’s most regionalised. Of the firms listed in this chapter, only one – Alvarado y Asociados– remains resolutely local, opting to make use of global legal networks instead of expanding. This firm is in a class of its own, an outlier in a market where family firms are no longer prominent.
García & Bodán – one of the few firms to expand throughout Central America from a Nicaraguan base – is deeply entrenched. Regional heavyweight Consortium Legal is also highly active in this market, basing some of its administrative management in Managua. Both firms are the largest in this market and provide a full-service offering.
Another regional force, Arias, has a smaller Nicaraguan office, but the firm’s stellar partnership and cross-border clout surpass what it may lack in size. BLP is another good example of this.
Across the board, transactional mandates form the backbone of nearly all the firms listed. While real estate law features prominently, the political and economic crisis has substantially reduced investments in that sector.
For a long while, Nicaragua was the most stable and successful economy in Central America. However, widespread protests against Daniel Ortega’s government in 2018 – sparked by proposed pension and tax reforms – left hundreds of people dead in clashes with the police. What followed has been described as undermining the country’s democracy and concentration of power in the hands of the current president and vice president. The economic downturn that started in 2018 was only compounded by the global health emergency caused by the pandemic and two major hurricanes in 2020. However, the country has seen growth in 2022, and law firms in this chapter are not deterred and continue to demonstrate their resilience. Disputes, labour and tax work all continue to be of particular importance for firms here, while there has been a growing demand for competition and antitrust work, as well as compliance matters increasing in importance.