With the combined bench strength of ten offices in nine countries throughout Latin America, the powerhouse banking and finance group at Aguilar Castillo Love remains a market leader, assisting major regional and global financial institutions, private equity firms and corporates on high-value, multi-jurisdictional transactions. The group’s active client base includes such household names as JP Morgan, American Express, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Goldman Sachs, and spans the medical devices, automotive, telecoms, financial services, and retail sectors. The team’s comprehensive service covers syndicated loan facilities, asset-backed financing structures, default swaps, project finance, credit facility agreements, regulatory matters, due diligence and debt structuring. Finance expert Marco Solano Gómez leads the team, bringing over 25 years of experience advising underwriters, issuers and trustees on debt instruments, including the private and public offering of bonds. The team is supported by senior associate Stephanie Howard Peña, who provides expertise in finance law and securities, and associate Karlo Suñol, whose utilises a background acting for multinationals in complex proceedings before Costa Rica’s financial regulators.
Banking and finance in Costa Rica
Aguilar Castillo Love
Responsables de la pratique:
Marco Solano Gómez
CVC Capital Partners
Bank of America
Banco Ficohsa (Panamá)
Credit Suisse Group
American Express Company
- Advised debt administration services provider Glas Americas, which acted as collateral trustee, on the exit financing transaction (valued at over $1bn) in the Avianca bankruptcy process.
- Advised Ares Capital Corporation on a credit facility to finance the acquisition of Precision Concepts Costa Rica, a vertically integrated moulder and assembler of medical devices, by Intrapac International.
- Advising fintech client WorldRemit/Sendwave, an online money transfer business that provides international money transfer services in more than 50 countries, on its regulatory compliance in order to offer its services in Costa Rica.
Employing the full bench strength of offices in San José, Puntarenas and Guanacaste, in addition to branches across Latin America and Europe, BLP remains a market leader, advising multinational and national commercial banks, investment banks, private equity sponsors and international funding organisations involved in high-value, multi-jurisdictional transactions. The firm’s full service extends to the securing and servicing of loans, credit restructuring, bankruptcy, regulatory compliance and complex litigation. The team is led by Vivian Liberman, an expert in capital markets, and Andrés López, who specialises in fintech and blockchain. Other key figures include Julio Castellanos, who advised on a recent social bond issuance of Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest) for a total of up to $75m, along with Pablo Umaña, who manages financing for major infrastructure projects in the energy, hospitality, transportation, agribusiness and manufacturing sectors. Luis Hernández brings expertise to advising on finance for real estate developments. The team was bolstered with the hire of Rodrigo Cubero as senior counsel in July 2022; he served as president of Costa Rica’s Central Bank between 2018 and 2022, and his previous experience includes over a decade spent in senior positions at the IMF.
‘Experience and knowledge.’
‘Pablo Umaña is an outstanding lawyer. He understand the client’s needs but also balances the negotiation with commercial considerations.’
‘Vivian Liberman is an outstanding professional who understands the business, cares about the client and is concerned with obtaining efficient solutions. She is very accessible.‘
Crestline Direct Finance
Oaktree Capital Management
Marina Flamingo Development Group
Fondo Latinoamericano de Reservas (FLAR)
- Advised Fondo Latinoamericano de Reservas (FLAR) on the approval of a loan of $1.1bn to the Central Bank of Costa Rica to support the country’s macroeconomic and financial stability.
- Advised Banco BCT and Marina Flamingo Development Group on the granting of a syndicated loan for the construction of Marina Flamingo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
- Advised Oaktree Capital Management, a global investment manager specialising in alternative investments, on the granting of a $225m financing facility to Establishment Labs Holdings.
The banking, finance and fintech team at Consortium Legal remains a leader in the marketplace, marshalling the deep bench strength of offices in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua to advise major international banks, financial institutions, and international funding organisations such as Scotiabank, Citibank and the Inter-American Development Bank, on day-to-day matters and high-value, multi-jurisdictional matters. The practice’s full range of services extends to assistance with financial industry M&A, regulatory compliance, retail, commercial and corporate lending, fintech and estate planning through diverse trust operations. The team is led by Mario Quesada Bianchini, an expert in banking M&A; David Arturo Campos, a specialist in finance regulatory matters; Randall Barquero, who brings expertise to advising local and international banks on contracts, credit structuring and project finance; Oscar Sandoval, who was promoted to partner in April 2022 and who advises clients on complex operations involving credit facilities; and Andrés Chamberlain, who heads the retail banking division. Key support is provided by senior associate Susana Raventós, who assists with complex, cross-border transactions.
Responsables de la pratique:
Mario Quesada Bianchini; David Arturo Campos; Randall Barquero; Oscar Sandoval; Andrés Chamberlain
‘Their expertise, commitment and specialists in different areas make the difference. Consortium Legal provides an exceptional comprehensive service.‘
‘Great expertise and comprehensive advice. David Arturo Campos, Mario Quesada Bianchini, Randall Barquero and Andrés Chamberlain stand out. Exceptional professionals.‘
Scotiabank de Costa Rica
Banco BAC San José
Mutual Cartago de Ahorro y Préstamos (MUCAP)
Inter-American Development Bank
First Citizens Bank
- Executed more than 3,493 retail loan transactions for Scotiabank de Costa Rica, for an amount of more than $ 805m, which have been secured by movable guarantees, guaranty trust agreements, mortgages, and pledges.
- Assisted the Central America Bank for Economic Integration with the analysis of local law and the possible impacts regarding the change of the Libor interest rate to the SOFR interest rate in the credit agreements and promissory notes signed by the public and private sectors.
- Advised on two parallel financings related to Liberty Servicios Fijos LY: advising Scotiabank as administrative agent (with Scotiabank de Costa Rica, Citibank and Bank of America as lenders) in the refinancing of its working capital revolving credit facility for the aggregate amount of $60m and on a financing package granted by IDB Invest of an aggregate amount of $450m.
The banking and finance practice at regional firm Arias brings strength to advising multinational law firms and local and global banks and financial institutions (including HSBC, JP Morgan, Citibank and BNP Paribas) on day-to-day matters and high-value, multi-jurisdictional transactions. The group’s comprehensive services range from debt restructuring, the structuring of local security documents, debt financing and loan security packages to equity investments, insolvency and bankruptcy law, the issuance of negotiable instruments, regulatory compliance and asset securitisation. The team is led by Diego Gallegos, an expert in asset and project finance, and Vicente Lines, who brings decades of experience in adversarial negotiations, acquisitions and financing matters in regulated industries. Senior counsel Mariella Quirós joined in January 2023.
Responsables de la pratique:
Diego Gallegos; Vicente Lines
‘We work closely with Diego Gallegos, who is the partner in charge for financial institutions transactions in Costa Rica. In the past he was dealing directly with all matters related to our business, he is now delegating more tasks to his associates while remaining very involved in the transaction. We see this as a positive development, as it helps with knowledge distribution within the firm.‘
‘Diego Gallegos is very knowledgeable in the scope of work we require, and he is familiarised with our way of working. He is proactive in finding solutions that fit our needs.‘
US International Development Finance Corporation
Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group
Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund
Norton Rose Fulbright
- Advising the lenders and the agent (Bladex) in El Salvador and Costa Rica on a syndicated loan to CrediQ with a value of over $100m.
EY Law Central America
The team at EY Law Central America leverages the bench strength of eight offices in seven countries (including the March 2022 opening of a Pacific Coast office in the Guanacaste province) and the experience of its team to provide local and international banks, financial institutions and major multinational corporates with advice on day-to-day matters and cross-border transactions. With a range of banking and finance services covering such matters as mortgage banking, leverage buyouts and syndicated loans, the firm’s key figures include Arturo Apéstegui (who brings 25 years of experience in retail banking, credit and security structures and regulatory compliance) and senior manager Carlos Ayón, who advises on multi-jurisdictional litigation and project financing operations.
Latamlex / Gómez y Galindo Abogados, S.A
The banking and finance team at regional firm Latamlex / Gómez y Galindo Abogados, S.A assists domestic and international financial institutions with day-to-day operations and provides representation before regulatory bodies. The team’s full service covers special bank contracting, derivatives, syndicated loans, the structuring of guarantees, and insolvency and bankruptcy matters. Managing partners Adriana Ramos and José Antonio Hidalgo and partner Daniel Guillén are the key contacts.
Tactic Estudio Legal
Tactic Estudio Legal, formed by former COLBS Estudio Legal partner Javier Escalante after he and Sebastián Jiménez split their practices in September 2021, advises local and international financial institutions and corporates across such sectors as real estate, transportation, food and retail on a diverse selection of banking and finance matters. The practice provides assistance with collection services, mortgage loans, factoring agreements, the management and structuring of credit portfolios, and the structuring of guarantees for complex corporate transactions. The practice is led by Escalante, a seasoned trade negotiator who has served as both Consul General of Costa Rica in Singapore and Ambassador of Costa Rica in Qatar. The team is supported at the associate level by experienced litigator Daniela Alvarado, who advises on the formalisation of bank loans, mortgage constitutions and trusts, and Andrés Herrera, a specialist in real estate transactions.
Responsables de la pratique:
Juan Bansbach Instrumentos Musicales
- Advised Financiera Brunca on a collection case.
- Advised Juan Bansbach Instrumentos Musicales on the management and structuring of its commercial credit portfolio
- Advised Grupo Euromobilia on its credit portfolio, helping to improve and develop its collection and follow up strategy.
Zürcher, Odio & Raven
The team at Zürcher, Odio & Raven assists local and multinational financial institutions, multilateral organisations and risk funds on a diverse range of matters, including the regulatory aspects of operations and the design and structuring of commodities and financial derivatives. Experienced lead partner Douglas Soto is a key contact.