Firm Profile

Consortium Legal (Guatemala)

Guatemala

Regional heavyweight with leading banking practice

LL 250 Elite

Established: 1990

Partners: 11

Lawyers: 33


Female partners: 23%

Partner to associate ratio: 2.7

Work areas
8

This firm is elite for services in the following work areas.

GxR Data Vis
Rankings
Listed work areas
LACCA Approved rankings
Large company clients
Strategy and management
Gender balance
P:A ratio
Partner promotions
International training
Pro bono
Track Record
M&A deals
Capital market deals

2021 Latin Lawyer Elite Firm

Consortium Legal has a broad service offering of high calibre in Guatemala. Within that, some of those practices stand out particularly. Few law firms have mastered banking and finance law in Central America like Consortium Legal, and its Guatemala branch is no exception. With an impressive list of the world’s biggest banks among its clients, it demonstrates its excellence year after year by landing a place on the country’s main financing deals. The practice area is complemented by a top-notch capital markets team, which in 2020 handled the first sovereign social bond issuance in Central America, made by the Guatemalan government. The corporate and M&A division, which saw a partner promotion in the last year, is solid too. All three practices are strengthened by the firm’s regional clout, which is well established following more than a decade of cross-border integration.

Clients in need of disputes advice will not be disappointed either: arbitration is a stronghold not only in Guatemala but across Central America. One international in-house counsel calls Consortium Legal the number one arbitration firm in Guatemala. Excellent advice is found in the tax and IP departments too, which provide close services to start-ups through a recently created spin-off. It is no surprise that Consortium is often held up by its Guatemalan peers as the main competition in an impressive range of practice areas. As for clients, reviews are invariably solid. One says: “Consortium has knowledgeable and experienced lawyers in every field,” while others praise lawyers for their quick responses, business mind, innovation and excellent client services.

Latin America’s largest corporations frequently seek advice from the firm. According to in-house counsel research conducted by Latin Lawyer’s affiliate, the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, Consortium Legal – across Central America – represents 12 of the 100 biggest companies in Latin America. This makes it one of the most popular firms among these clients in Central America.

Consortium Legal, one of the original, leading Central American firms, saw some changes to the management in 2020. Long-term president José Evenor Taboada stepped down and was replaced by Guatemalan partner Álvaro Castellanos. This is a sign of transition from one generation to the other, and the idea is to have a more frequent rotation of the presidency going forward.   

Despite the change of president, further integration between Consortium’s offices and strengthening of the firm through regional practices areas remain high on the agenda. A regional managing director constantly works hard to improve corporate governance and coordination of deals, and to strengthen the commercial and cultural links between the various offices. More broadly, a firm-wide career plan was fully implemented in 2020. Consortium Legal encourages its talent by supporting associates’ further education and promoting in-house secondments at clients.

A regional compliance practice is planned to be launched in 2021, led from Guatemala by partner Lionel Aguilar and a senior associate. Similar projects for data protection and antitrust and competition are also in the pipeline. Business and human rights is another practice taking root, through which the firm advises mainly financial institutions so far on how their businesses can make a good social impact.

The management also understands the importance of technology and is fully aware that new technology is key to make processes more effective and cost-efficient. As part of its work towards this goal, it has a pilot project in place, where it works with an international entity to automatise processes. The firm’s well-balanced regional footprint and commitment to improving its management, along with its practice area coverage and lawyers highly recognised for their skills, are also why it is a 2021 Latin Lawyer Elite firm in Central America.

Management

Regional managing director Valeria Di Palma coordinates the offices and works on office integration between the five jurisdictions. She reports to the board and the executive committee, which is represented by several partners from each country. In Guatemala, Alfredo Rodríguez, Lionel Aguilar, Álvaro Castellanos, Rafael Alvarado, Olga María Meléndez and Ninoshka Urrutia share the local management. Álvaro Castellanos is also the regional president of Consortium Legal since 2020.

Offices

Consortium Legal is a regional firm that has several offices spread across Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Guatemalan office is in the country’s capital. In Nicaragua, it has refocused its attention on its Managua quarters after closing its León office and withdrawing from its joint venture in San Juan del Sur.

Alliances & networks

The firm is a member of the World Services Group, the State Capital Global Law Firm Group, the International Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

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