More than a century in the marketplace has not blunted Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega’s ambition; it remains one of Panama’s finest firms. ARIFA – as the firm is known – is a pacesetter in banking and finance, with solid visibility on the country’s key capital markets deals.
In the past couple of years, the firm has been less busy working on M&A transactions, given the sharp economic downturn Panama experienced as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. However, it recently advised Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco on its acquisition of minority stakes in two Uruguayan fintech companies, demonstrating ARIFA’s ability to work on multi-jurisdictional deals even during tough economic conditions. Its transactional excellence is supported by thriving disputes, real estate and IP practices, allowing for a multifaceted service offering.
ARIFA’s renowned strength in transactional matters means that it represents some big-name companies in the region, including Mexican beverage group FEMSA and cement company CEMEX.
The firm’s senior members have regulatory experience few in this section can rival; the younger generation take advantage of this and can speak directly to the authors of key Panamanian legislation. Strong international experience is reflected in the high number of lawyers at all levels within the firm who have studied at leading US universities. Education overseas is an integral part of the firm’s strategy to ensure that a high-quality service offer will be preserved for generations to come.
The firm’s leaders are mindful of the need to invest in state-of-the-art software and there is a team of non-legal professionals who help ensure the smooth running of this top-tier outfit. This team includes a CEO, a firm manager and the heads of HR, marketing and accounting. These employees work alongside an executive committee that steers strategy and policy. The resulting highly advanced business management platform provides a solid foundation that allows ARIFA’s lawyers to focus on what they do best: providing quality legal advice.
The firm’s leadership is shared among partners Ricardo Arango, Fernando A Arias and Rodrigo Cardoze. They form part of an executive committee which includes partners María del Carmen Zúñiga, María Carolina Arroyo, Estif Aparicio and Federico Alfaro.
In addition to its headquarters in Panama, the firm has offices in London, Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, Belize and Uruguay.
Alliances & networks
ARIFA is a member of international law networks Lex Mundi, Interlaw and the Pacific Rim Advisory Council.