Alta QIL+4 Abogados is one of Guatemala’s largest law firms and boasts not only a wide service offering but also a highly respected partnership and stellar reputation among clients. It is best known for its transactional practices, which are the original core of the firm; however, the firm’s added strengths in labour and litigation likewise help distinguish it from many of its competitors. The firm’s relatively young environmental practice is growing in demand, alongside its real estate and compliance services.
After years of giving great consideration to regionalising, QIL+4 Abogados joined forces with Batalla in Costa Rica, Valdes Suarez & Velasco in El Salvador and Melara & Asociados in Honduras to launch Alta Legal, a Central American law firm, in 2021. As a result, the firm now operates as Alta QIL+4 Abogados. Guatemalan partner Andrés Lowenthal sits on the new firm’s regional executive committee and there are plans to add a Nicaraguan outpost in the future.
Following the enhanced regional presence, Alta QIL+4 Abogados has been able to expand its cross-border capacity, reporting many impressive M&A and financing transactions. The firm had a role in Avianca’s Chapter 11 process which won the Latin Lawyer Deal of the Year Award in 2021 in the restructuring category. Debt administration services provider Glas Americas acted as collateral trustee for the exit financing transaction and enlisted Alta QIL+4 Abogados as the Guatemala counsel.
Not only are the firm’s transactional abilities substantial, but its labour and litigation teams have been quite active as well. At the same time, Alta QIL+4 Abogados is working hard on identifying new areas of improvement. Newly found income sources in criminal and compliance law continue to grow. Local fintech and start-up companies are also carving out space for themselves while seeking financing and legal counsel, all of which present opportunities for Alta QIL+4 Abogados. The firm has also seen recent activity across public and environmental law, as well as tax mandates.
The firm’s commitment to strengthening its position at home by investing in technology and retaining young talent is high among its priorities. A five-year plan, with a particular focus on technology investment, is in place and it includes a review of the firm’s corporate governance structure and fostering industry sector expertise across all Alta offices.
A career plan has also been established in recent years, providing ambitious young lawyers with clear guidelines on how to reach the partnership. With a young atmosphere – the oldest partner is under 55 – Alta QIL+4 Abogados emphasises organic growth and provides the best possible support to its talents. That goes for all staff, including the administrative personnel for whom a professional advancement strategy has been enforced for the past few years. The firm has been conducting externally organised surveys among all employees, which allows it to identify what it can do to improve the workplace environment. Better work-life balance, monthly partner-associate catchups, inspirational talks and nutrition and fitness sessions are some examples of the feel-good initiatives that have come out of such surveys. Maintaining a flat structure is also core to the firm’s philosophy. To that end, the firm’s managing partner is appointed through a regular rotation system.
Alliances & networks
Alta QIL+4 Abogados is a member of the TAGLaw network and World Services Group.
The Guatemalan team is now part of Alta Legal, with additional offices in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras.