Aguilar Castillo Love’s office in Guatemala may be small, but it punches way above its weight in the local market and is one of the most successful branches of the regional player. Skilful banking and finance lawyers with capital markets experience, and an outstanding M&A division, which is often visible on cross-border transactions, are the office’s trump cards. Arbitration and litigation are two other top-performing practices, for which it is acknowledged by its market peers. The firm has been strengthening the disputes division further over the last few years, including a new disputes partner and a regional criminal litigator.
Regionally, Aguilar Castillo Love is one of Central America’s most capable firms, which is why it is a 2021 Latin Lawyer Elite Firm. It deliberately stays small in size, including a low associate-to-partner ratio, something it attributes its success to. The leadership argues that small legal teams improve responsiveness and allow for flexibility. Achieving these attributes is especially important in Guatemala, where antitrust laws and rampant corruption have created big transactional roadblocks. The firm is intentionally staying away from advising on government procurements and public contracts. Obtaining an unrivalled reputation for made-to-measure service is the firm’s overarching objective. An important number of the firm’s lawyers across Central America have international experience, having worked and studied overseas.
As a sign of this firm’s boldness and strive to innovate, Aguilar Castillo Love expanded its Latin American presence further in 2020: the firm entered Paraguay, hiring an experienced energy lawyer as its local head partner. It already has an office in Ecuador via a joint-venture with a local player, this team was further boosted in the last year.
Aguilar Castillo Love supports a group of senior Central American in-house counsel who launched a Central American association for in-house lawyers called Asociación de Abogados de Empresas para Centroamérica in 2018.
Juan Carlos Castillo in Guatemala City and John Aguilar Quesada in San José serve as the firm’s regional co-managing partners. Castillo also leads the Guatemala office.
Aguilar Castillo Love has offices in the capital cities of all five Central American countries, as well as an outpost in Panama. The firm also has a presence in Quito through its joint venture with Ecuadorian firm Pólit & Pólit. Most recently, the firm added an office in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción.