Thanks to a combination of top-notch legal expertise and extensive industry knowledge, Arias (Guatemala) has earned a coveted position as one of the leading firms in the local market. This office is regularly involved in large cross-border M&A transactions, having consistently demonstrated its capabilities in this area. A core component of the firm’s transactional prowess lies in its well-integrated regional network of offices, allowing it to take on a host of multi-jurisdictional work.
On a near equal footing is the firm’s banking and finance team, which advises an impressive roster of multinationals and regional companies on loan deals. Arias’ excellent Guatemalan offering goes beyond transactional work. Labour and litigation remain the non-transactional flagship practices, while the tax department is in high demand too. The firm also reports seeing a heightened demand for regulatory and compliance advice linked to fintech and data protection matters, fuelled by a growing tech sector. Environmental mandates continue to feature prominently in the firm’s workload, particularly with advice on environmental, social and governance-related issues.
Arias puts great emphasis on internal training and prefers organic growth over lateral hires. To that end, and to solidify a united approach across the region, Arias has fully implemented a firm-wide career track in recent years, providing younger talent with clear guidelines on how to grow within the organisation.
Meanwhile, Arias is constantly striving to develop its diversity strategies. Training sessions on diversity and inclusion have been put in place for the firm’s regional managing committee, while gender equality-themed webinars and seminars are regularly organised for employees. This year, a key focus for the firm is on how to use innovation and technology to improve gender equality.
Besides investing in its talent, Arias also allocates important resources to technological improvements at the firm. In recent years, it has been developing internal software to monitor time management, as well as a platform that permits clients to keep track of ongoing IP cases. The firm intends to expand the platform to include pro bono matters as well. This move is indicative of the outfit’s innovative and client-centric approach, which has not gone unnoticed; clients continue to lavish the firm with praise for its high-quality service.
In the sustainability space, Arias has committed to becoming a net-zero company across the region. It is already hard at work to achieve this, having established a carbon footprint inventory, for example. In addition, the firm has hired an environmental engineer in recent years to train its teams across the region on matters of biodiversity, energy efficiency and carbon intensity – a move that is set to enhance its green credentials.
Pro bono also remains a priority, with the firm rolling out a centralised approach across Central America to handle this type of work. Pro bono work is now divided into three core pillars: end of poverty; diversity and inclusion; and environmental concerns.
In the light of such investments and positive client reception, it is no big surprise that the firm is among the most sought-after legal providers in Central America. According to in-house counsel research conducted by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA), which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Arias represents 13 of the 100 biggest companies in Latin America, positioning it among the three most popular Central American firms among these businesses.
As of 2023, the firm is managed at a regional level by Vicente Lines, alongside an elected management council composed of three partners: Carolina Flores, Liz Gordillo and Roberta Gallardo. There is also a regional management committee which consists of the local managing and co-managing partners from each of the six offices: Flores in Costa Rica, Gallardo and Lilian Arias in El Salvador, Gordillo in Guatemala, Evangelina Lardizábal in Honduras, Ana Teresa Rizo in Nicaragua and Siaska Lorenzo in Panama. Former managing partner Armando Arias is now the firm's chairman.
Arias has offices in the capital cities of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, and an additional office in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Alliances & networks
The firm is a member of the Pacific Rim Advisory Council and the World Law Group.