The powerhouse environment law team at BLP remains a market leader, utilising a multidisciplinary approach to advise household-name multinationals, such as Kraft Heinz, Uber, WeWork and PepsiCo, across a diverse range of sectors. The practice’s comprehensive service covers compliance auditing and consulting, environmental dispute resolution, the proposing and drafting of new regulations, environmental planning related to tourist developments, laws and initiatives on conservation and green finance. In addition, the group acts for both public and private sector plaintiffs and defendants in environmental cases before the civil, criminal and administrative courts. The practice is headed by Mauricio Salas, who brings 25 years of experience to the team and who, in additional to environmental law, specialises in dispute resolution, and Andrea González. Key support is provided by associate Luis Palacios, who assists clients with litigation and with obtaining permits related to mining extraction and water concessions.
Environment in Costa Rica
‘I think their multidisciplinary approach is great.‘
‘Mauricio Salas is a solid all-around lawyer, with environmental training and solid litigation skills. There is no equivalent in the market.’
‘This group knows the subject, knows how to listen and work as a team, and their deliverables were always on time and in the right order.‘
- Provided legal advice to BASF, a chemical producer, to obtain the necessary permits and concessions for the establishment of its own plantations dedicated to develop new products to help farmers improve crop yields and protect their crops from pests, diseases, and other challenges.
- Advised FUNDECOR, an NGO, on the creation of contracts for generating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through smart contracts for the sale of ecosystem services.
- Advising Gencom on the environmental considerations relating to the development of the Golfo de Papagayo touristic project.
Tactic Estudio Legal
Formed by former COLBS Estudio Legal partner Javier Escalante after he and Sebastián Jiménez split their practices in September 2021, the team at Tactic Estudio Legal continues to grow, bringing strength to advising real estate developers, corporations across the manufacturing, building materials and agricultural sectors, government agencies, including the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica (MINAE), as part of a United Nations initiative, and NGOs on a wide range of environmental matters. These range from regulations and permits required for water usage and management, tourism and development projects, and waste management and recycling to environmental conservation and regulatory compliance. The team is led by associate Fernanda Jiménez, a practice area expert, who works regularly with such environmental authorities as the MINAE water department. Javier Escalante utilises his background as a former trade negotiator and chief of staff in the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade, to, along with Jiménez, advise on environmental regulations and restrictions applicable to large-scale development projects. Álvaro Cedeño, who joined from private practice in July 2022, brings over 25 years of experience in international negotiations, and previously served as Costa Rica’s ambassador to Japan.
Responsables de la pratique:
Work With Nature Foundation
National System of Protected Areas (SINAC)
Hermosa Oceanfront Development
Finca Río Itiquís
Selva Negra Foundation
Asociación de Vecinos de Playa Hermosa
- Advised LafargeHolcim on mining rights and environmental standards.
- Providing advice to the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) on the department of tourism infrastructure.
- Advised the Work With Nature Foundation on a process to enhance its corporate governance structure.
A growing force since the firm’s 2021 merger with firms in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Alta Batalla employs a multidisciplinary approach, integrating its environmental law practice with its infrastructure and projects, sustainability and natural resources practices, and coordinating with its trade and customs, public law and dispute resolution teams to advise household-name multinational corporates including Panasonic, Bayer and Cemex. With an active client base spanning sectors ranging from food, real estate, agribusiness and chemicals to energy, mining, construction, pharmaceuticals and electronics, the team’s comprehensive service covers permits, environmental legal compliance assessments, administrative procedures, complex litigation, risk analysis and advice on industrial operations such as waste management, soils protection, sewage, energy consumption and emission control. Environmental law and natural sciences expert Raúl Guevara leads the practice, which is supported by associates Adrián Vega, who brings expertise to environmental certifications and due diligence for the acquisition of real estate, and Luis Miguel Cedeño, a specialist in auditor evaluation performance and environmental due diligence in procurement processes.
Responsables de la pratique:
‘The added value is the punctuality in the delivery of reports and billing.’
‘Adrián Vega is an excellent adviser who responds quickly to questions related to his work.‘
‘The firm stands out for its teamwork. They have extensive business knowledge so they can offer solutions based on the company’s real situation. It is an honest group in which we can fully trust.‘
Intrinsic Exchange Group
Centro Internacional de Inversiones (CIISA)
Cemex – Cementos Progreso
Enel Green Energy
Beveridge & Diamond
- Advised Centro Internacional de Inversiones (CIISA) – El Arreo on environmental compliance, permits and administrative procedures before public entities.
- Advised Intrinsic Exchange Group on the implementation of a natural assets company, the assets of which would be national parks, listed on the New York Stock Exchange for an IPO.
- Advised Grupo Roble on water resource management for two shopping malls and a corporate centre, as well as litigation in environmental matters.
The environmental group at Arias employs regional strength to advise national and international corporates and developers on a wide spectrum of matters across the practice area. With a client base spanning such sectors as pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, agriculture, energy and chemicals, the team’s comprehensive service covers environmental litigation and alternative dispute resolution, legal permits and licences, ESG services, expansion planning, regulatory compliance, renewable projects and environmental due diligence. The team is led by seasoned environmental litigator Roberto Cordero, who brings over 20 years of experience and who assists clients with environmental health and safety, sustainability, and crisis management, and Carlos Ubico, who utilises a background in project finance, public law, administrative litigation, and constitutional claims before the Costa Rican Constitutional Court. Other key figures include senior counsel Luis Diego Obando, who has litigated internationally before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and associate Mónica Espinoza, who handles the environmental aspects of major transactions for clients across the fishing, automotive and hospitality industries.
Responsables de la pratique:
Roberto Cordero; Carlos Ubico
‘The team stands out for its extensive knowledge and expertise, and its client service.‘
IMCD Holdings US
- Advising Laboratorios Zepol on environmental, health and safety and quality compliance assessments and regulatory monitoring.
EY Law Central America
The environmental practice at EY Law Central America leverages the bench strength of its regional offices and the expertise of its team (all certified environmental auditors) to assist with construction and land planning developments, industrial plants and fruit plantations, and complex environmental litigation and procedural matters. With an active client base which includes such key market players as Unilever and Abbott Medical and spans the transportation, manufacturing, food, electronics and construction sectors, the group’s comprehensive service extends to risk assessment strategies and support with the environmental health and safety aspects of M&A transactions. The team is headed by manager Marco Quesada, who brings experience representing clients in the Courts of Justice and the Administrative Environmental Court. Key support is provided by senior associate Jéssica Castro, who advises clients on environmental compliance administrative procedures before state authorities.
Responsables de la pratique:
‘A consistent team with good judgment in customer relations and business relationships.‘
‘Availability, assertive and direct responses to our immediate requirements, good treatment of clients and takes time to answer questions and obtain recommendations.‘
‘Marco Quesada is always available to answer questions and provide support. He has extensive knowledge of our company’s processes.‘
Baxter Productos Médicos
Florida Ice and Farm
Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo
Abbott Medical Costa Rica
Unilever Costa Rica
Flex Costa Rica
- Assisted Distribuidora Cummins with environmental health and safety audits for its operations in Costa Rica and Panama in order to review compliance with local laws.
- Advised Industrias Martec on its compliance with environmental health and safety regulations.
- Provided Baxter Productos Médicos with an updated and accurate environmental online matrix, containing all the legal and regulatory requirements applicable to its industry.