The powerhouse team at BLP remains a market leader, leveraging the bench strength of offices in San José, Puntarenas and Guanacaste (with a new fourth location in Marina Flamingo which opened in January 2023), in addition to branches across Latin America and Europe, to advise banks, sponsors, non-bank lenders, contractors and operators involved involved in major energy and transportation projects, including hydro, wind and solar plants and toll road, airport and port concessions. The practice’s comprehensive service extends to project finance and development, as well as public-private partnerships (PPPs), public procurement, public debt and governmental budget issues. The team is led by Luis M Castro, who specialises in energy contracts and dealing with governmental entities; David Gutiérrez, who handles cross-border purchases and operations; and Luis Ortiz, who brings over 20 years of experience to public procurement processes. Other key figures include Julio Castellanos, who advises national and international and multilateral financial entities on multi-jurisdictional credit operations, and Pablo Umaña, whose practice focuses on corporate, infrastructure, energy and multilateral-related financing in emerging markets.
Projects and infrastructure in Costa Rica
‘A highly trained team and an organisation that cares about its clients’ businesses. They stay constantly up to date and take services to a higher level for the full satisfaction of their clients.‘
‘The firm stands out for its experience, prestige and training.‘
Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica
Liberty Latin America
Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI)
Citigroup Global Markets
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica (BICSA)
- Advised Citigroup Global Markets and J.P. Morgan Securities on the issuance of $700m in secured notes with a fixed rate of 6.250% by Investment Energy Resources in Costa Rica.
- Advised Celsia, part of Grupo Argos, on the placement of corporate bonds issued through its Panamanian subsidiary Alterenergy, which was the second part of a deal finalised in 2014 when Celsia acquired GDF Suez’s assets in Panama.
- Advising a group of creditors who funded the Pacífico 3 and Altos del Río Magdalena 2 Colombian 4G highway concessions during disbursement.
The team at Arias utilises its regional presence to advise investors, government agencies, NGOs and multinationals including Telefónica and McKinsey & Company on a diverse spectrum of matters, ranging from administrative procedures, lawsuits against the government and government procurement proceedings to public works, infrastructure concessions, public project financing, and claims before the Costa Rican Constitutional Court. The firm’s active client base spans such sectors as telecoms, construction, pharmaceuticals, tech, energy, and hospitality. The team is led by Carlos Ubico, who brings experience in administrative procedures, work concessions and project finance, along with Vicente Lines (an expert in energy and infrastructure), Carlos Camacho, Andrey Dorado and Diego Gallegos (who brings expertise to asset finance transactions). Other key figures include senior counsel Luis Diego Obando and associate Mónica Espinoza, both seasoned international litigators.
Responsables de la pratique:
Carlos Ubico; Vicente Lines; Carlos Camacho; Andrey Dorado; Diego Gallegos
‘Carlos Ubico stands out for his support, guidance and good knowledge of the matter in which he is advising.’
‘Arias has a very innovative and young team. They are more proactive than reactive and that is what companies look for – they follow up and manage up-to-date information to provide the best recommendations and solutions.‘
‘Carlos Ubico has extensive knowledge of legislation and jurisprudence; he is a lawyer who does not doubt his position in situations and specifically offers you solutions and options, which in decision-making and strategic planning is vital for the success of foreign investment.’
McKinsey & Company
Sardinal Water Trust
- Provided legal advice to Judesur on the public bidding process for the design and construction of warehouses in Golfito.
- Provided support to Rythmia in establishing the legal grounds to defend the legality of the ayahuasca plant in Costa Rica.
- Provided legal support in a public procurement procedure for Datasoft, by submitting appeals before the General Comptroller’s Office, and achieving the reversal of other bidder’s award.
Aguilar Castillo Love
The team at Aguilar Castillo Love employs the full bench strength of nine offices throughout the region to bring expertise to advising major national and international energy generators and distributors throughout the entire lifecycle of renewable and infrastructure projects. The firm’s full service covers matters ranging from energy and transport concessions to public procurement processes and operation and maintenance agreements, in addition to providing assistance to operators and users of ports with the analysis and negotiation of tariffs. The team is led by Rubén Zamora Castro, who brings experience to high-value sales and purchases, permits, energy supply agreements, regulatory issues and the leasing of wind, solar and hydroelectric plants. The team is supported by associate María Cristina Corrales, a specialist in project environmental impact issues.
Responsables de la pratique:
Rubén Zamora Castro
Empresa Eléctrica Matamoros
Compañía Hidroeléctrica Doña Julia
Hidroenergía El General
Sociedad Portuaria de Caldera
Hidroeléctrica Río Lajas
- Advised on the development of a joint solar project between Coopealfaro and Conelectricas, with work including the setting up of project company Conezar, as well as the obtainment and management of all the permits for the development of the project.
- Advising Empresa Eléctrica Matamoros, a company that builds, operates, and maintains hydroelectric plants, on rate adjustments and public hearings.
- Advised Sociedad Portuaria de Caldera SPC, which is in charge of the concession of a port on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, on its tariffs from an annual indexation of the rates of the bulk cargo.
The experienced team at Consortium Legal utilises the deep bench strength of offices in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua to advise corporations in the energy, health, construction and real estate sectors on matters ranging from litigation before the administrative and constitutional authorities and the granting of permits to analysis of regulations and public bidding and procurement processes for major infrastructure projects. The team is led by Rolando Laclé Zúñiga, an expert in multi-jurisdictional transactions who has over 30 years of experience in the practice area, and senior associate Roy Ramos Morales, who specialises in public law and administrative contracts.
Responsables de la pratique:
Rolando Laclé Zúñiga; Roy Ramos Morales
‘Great technical knowledge.’
‘Excellent personalised support and responses to clients. Extensive up-to-date knowledge of regulations, jurisprudence and the environment.‘
‘The team stands out for the personal quality in the provision of its services.‘
Enel Green Power
Zona Franca Coyol
Constructora Navarro y Aviles
Hidro Eléctrica Caño Grande
- Represented CMI in a contentious-administrative process against Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (the entity in charge of energy management in Costa Rica) over the improper application of a fine.
- Assisting health services company Coopesalud with acquiring an annulment of measures the Costa Rican Social Security Fund took against the company.
- Acting in a lawsuit filed by Zona Franca Coyol related to the non-application of an insurance policy contracted by the company to the National Insurance Institute (INS) for the coverage of any risk associated with the construction of one of the buildings that are part of the free trade zone.
The public law and environmental law department at Dentons advises clients across the construction, energy and civil engineering sectors involved in high-value, cross-border infrastructure projects, assisting with matters ranging from regulatory compliance and procurement processes to structuring PPPs, project finance and litigation. Managing partner Eduardo Zúñiga is a key contact.
The public law and projects group at Oller Abogados advises national and multinational corporates such as Copa Airlines on a diverse range of matters related to major infrastructure projects, including regulatory compliance, bidding processes, public contracts, and contentious and non-contentious administrative proceedings with government institutions. The firm’s active client base spans sectors ranging from tech, aviation and energy to healthcare, construction and motor vehicles. The practice is headed by veteran litigator and arbitrator Roberto Esquivel, who brings over 25 years of experience in administrative and procurement matters. Support is proved at the associate level by public law specialist Andrés Mercado and Jose Prado.
Responsables de la pratique:
Promoción Médica (PROMED)
Compañía Panameña de Aviación (Copa Airlines)
Feilo Sylvania Costa Rica
- Advised on the partnership between PROMED and a construction company in a public tender for the design, construction, equipment and maintenance of a new radiotherapy centre in a metropolitan hospital for approximately $17m.
- Advising Copa Airlines on all regulatory matters related to its operations in Costa Rica.
- Advised Felio Sylvania on an international public procurement process promoted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).