Arias was established in 1942 by Francisco Armando Arias (1915–2013), and today it continues to be the most recommended firm in Central America, with over 80 years of experience in providing accurate and timely solutions based on our clients’ goals and backed by a great team of professionals, highly focused on client service.
Our heritage, passion for law and commitment to quality, allow us to grow along with the region and overcome new challenges in each country in which we operate: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
We offer our clients the best legal talent in the region. The Arias team comprises 43 partners and over 130 specialist attorneys in more than 35 practice areas. Clients highly value our team’s ability to handle local and cross-border transactions and our unparalleled experience, having participated in many of the region's most important deals and advising the world’s leading companies.
Main practice areas
Arbitration and litigation: We advise companies facing litigation of various types before administrative or judicial forums. This includes out-of-court settlements, alternative mechanisms for dispute resolutions and skilful litigation. Our team also has vast experience in international and local arbitration.
Antitrust: Advice in concentrations, competition-related litigation, clearance, cartel investigation and litigation, compliance, counselling and training programmes, antitrust disputes, commercial disputes and judicial reviews, among others.
Banking and finance: Structuring finance projects with development and international commercial banks and counselling financial institutions and multinational companies in corporate and financial transactions.
Corporate and commercial: Our corporate practice serves national and multinational corporations in different industries including aviation, hospitality, energy, banking, pharmaceutical and technology. We provide advice on corporate governance, start-up projects, due diligence, contracts, corporate law, commercial law, immigration and day-to-day legal needs.
Energy: We provide advice on the successful development of energy generation projects, from the initial investment phase to the beginning of operations, as well as in the distribution sector and electricity market. We have vast experience in public tenders, regulatory compliance issues before different public entities, power purchase agreements, supply and other agreements necessary to enable participation in the energy market.
ESG: When global and domestic companies doing business in Central America need guidance on environmental legislation of specific projects and activities, they regularly turn to Arias for counsel. Our scope includes:
- Environmental due diligence
- Filing for licences and permits
- Supervision and review of environmental impact studies
- Forest laws
- Zoning and development restrictions
- Water law
- Land and maritime zone regulations
Our firm provides comprehensive sustainability services:
- Identification of legal requirements and elaboration of the compliance matrix
- Environmental, occupational health, quality and safety compliance assessments
- Environmental litigation (judicial and administrative area)
- Environmental viability
- Environmental performance, health and safety audits (performance excellence)
- due diligence, environmental and social for acquisitions and/or mergers
- Environmental crisis management
- Training and advice on legal and voluntary sustainability issues
- Analysis of implications of draft laws on the environment, health and safety
- Environmental management systems and circular economy
- Carbon footprint and carbon neutrality
- Sustainability strategies in the value chain (suppliers, customers, consumer)
- Comprehensive waste management plan and advice on zero waste certifications
- Water footprint and energy efficency
Intellectual property: Our intellectual property department is well known and respected among the leading IP specialist firms and companies in Latin America, the US and Europe. They turn to Arias for representation and work in the region, especially in matters related to managing their trademark and patent portfolio, as providing assessment in matters related to copyrights, technology, data protection, life sciences, health regulatory matters, within other related issues.
Labour law: Drafting and execution of labour contracts, internal labour regulations, registrations with employment authorities, changes in employment terms and conditions, terminations, labour controversies and negotiations of out-of-court settlements, labour dispute mediation, litigation of employment-related matters and corporate immigration.
Mergers and acquisitions: Negotiations and closings in selling and acquiring companies, acquisition of minority and controlling interest, business due diligence process and identifying legal contingencies.
Regulatory: Through our extensive knowledge of local regulations, we provide regulatory advice in consumer protection, data protection and privacy, energy, environment, finance matters, telecommunications, media and technology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, among others.
Tax planning and litigation: Tax structuring, tax planning, tax litigation, transfer pricing, free trade zones and fiscal grounds, municipal taxes, customs, among others.
Other practice areas: Administrative law, aviation, compliance, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption, franchising, government procurement, international trade, foreign investments, insurance and reinsurance, oil and gas, project and infrastructure finance, public-private partnerships and real estate, among others.
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