Across the region, Aguilar Castillo Love retains its position as one of Central America’s most capable firms, which has been chosen as a 2023 Latin Lawyer Elite Firm. Although it may be smaller in size than some of its competitors, Aguilar Castillo Love’s office in Guatemala punches way above its weight in the local market. It has remained compact by design, emphasising a low associate-to-partner ratio and prioritising high levels of partner involvement. The firm’s leadership believes in the ability of small legal teams to improve responsiveness and allow for greater flexibility.
The Guatemala office is one of the most successful branches of the regional player. It counts on a highly regarded banking and finance department, as well as a distinguished M&A team that is frequently active in cross-border transactions. The firm’s dispute resolution practice is a force to be reckoned with, having been consistently strengthened in recent years. Aguilar Castillo Love has seen an increase in anti-corruption and regulatory work in 2022 thanks to the firm’s regional prowess in advising clients on multi-jurisdictional matters.
Aguilar Castillo Love’s overarching objective is establishing an unrivalled reputation for made-to-measure service, with integrity and substance sitting at the heart of the firm’s philosophy. A significant number of the firm’s lawyers across Central America have international experience, having worked and studied overseas.
As a sign of its innovative outlook, Aguilar Castillo Love has expanded its presence in South America in recent years. The firm entered Paraguay by hiring an experienced energy lawyer as its local head partner in 2020, and opened an office in Bolivia in 2022. It already has an outpost in Ecuador via a joint venture with a local player. Although consolidation of the current platform remains at the forefront of the firm’s plans, further expansion may not be too far on the horizon.
Aguilar Castillo Love supports a group of senior Central American counsel who in 2018 launched an association for in-house lawyers called Asociación de Abogados de Empresa para Centroamérica.
Juan Carlos Castillo in Guatemala City and John Aguilar Quesada in San José serve as the firm’s regional co-managing partners. Castillo leads the Guatemala office.
Aguilar Castillo Love has offices in the capital cities of five Central American countries, as well as outposts in Panama and Paraguay. The firm also has a presence in Quito through its joint venture with Ecuadorian firm Pólit & Pólit. Most recently, the firm acquired an office in Bolivia’s oil and gas hub, Santa Cruz.