Firms To Watch: Real estate

With offices in San José and the popular tourist area of Guanacaste, the real estate group at Quatro Legal specialises in conducting complex due diligence processes on behalf of developers and individuals investing in the Costa Rican market.

Real estate in Costa Rica


The powerhouse real estate and hospitality group at BLP remains a market leader, employing regional bench strength and a multi-disciplinary approach to advise national and multinational developers, including construction companies, lenders, private and institutional investors, landlords, tenants, and other major corporates involved large-scale projects and high-value transactions. Headed by founding partner Luis M Castro, the group’s comprehensive service includes assistance with the acquisition, development, financing, sale and leasing of properties, contract negotiations and structuring, day-to-day operations, tax planning, free trade zone matters and due diligence. Eduardo Calderón, the former president of the Bar Association of Costa Rica, brings over 20 years of experience to projects in the country’s coastal and urban areas, providing key support along with Anneth Jiménez, an expert in construction and operation contracts; Andrea González, who handles free trade zone matters; hospitality sector and regulatory compliance adviser Juan Carlos Tristán; director and development strategist Catalina Soto; and senior associate and complex transaction specialist Karla González. Newly appointed special counsel José María Pacheco, who has experience managing large-scale real estate and hotel developments, joined the team from Sfera Legal in August 2022. Since publication the firm has opened a fourth office in Costa Rica, located in Marina Flamingo on the country's northwestern coast - effective as of January 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Luis M Castro

Les références

‘BLP has a multidisciplinary team, which is very focused on diversity and inclusion. They have extensive experience, they know the sector, they have experts in different areas within real estate and they really pay attention to detail.’

‘Andrea Gonzalez, Luis M Castro, Eduardo Calderon and Karla Gonzalez are all outstanding lawyers. The attention to detail, knowledge of the market and our needs, understanding of our way of doing business and strategic solutions that the team offers us are its differentiators.’

Principaux clients

Gencom Group

Grupo Agrisal

Higuchi Group

Las Palmitas

Las Catalinas

Desarrolladores 506

Urban Developers and Investors (UDI Group)

Enjoy Group

Garnier & Garnier

Hacienda Manzanillo

Principaux dossiers

  • Advising on Las Catalinas beachfront development in Danta Beach, Guanacaste, including the design and structuring of the project.
  • Advising on the development of Los Sueños Resort, an 1100-acre resort project with a Marriott Hotel, golf course and marina.
  • Advised Gencom Group on the restructuring of a multi-jurisdictional loan from Scotiabank for approximately $30m to develop land and lots of the Papagayo Peninsula to be sold as luxury residences.

EY Law Central America

In addition to advising multinational corporates, asset managers and hospitality chains on the implementation of long-term projects and large-scale developments, the market-leading team at EY Law Central America integrates multiple lines of service to assist with tax planning, investment banking, due diligence and exit strategies. The March 2022 opening of a Pacific Coast office in the Guanacaste province has also expanded the firm’s reach in the ever-growing tourist market. The team is led by real estate and hospitality practice head Alejandro Antillón, who guides clients through the entire project life cycle (from planning to regulatory compliance and operation matters), along with Arturo Apéstegui, who brings extensive experience in development finance and cross-border M&A. The team is supported by senior manager Álvaro Leiva, an expert in tourist real estate law, and senior associate Monserrat Alvarado, who specialises in condominium regulations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Alejandro Antillón; Arturo Apestegui

Les références

‘Extensive knowledge of the sector and its environment. Ability to give differentiated responses and solutions to complex problems. Good team with experience.’

‘Alejandro Antillon has proven experience in the industry and the ability to relate and search for tailored solutions.’

‘The team stands out for its general knowledge of the real estate industry and specific processes such as instalment sales, condominiums and registration.’

Principaux clients


Enjoy Hotels and Resorts


Agroindustrial Piñas del Bosque

Desarrollados HBQ

RC Inmobiliaria

First Rock Group

Propco Panorama

Faro Escondido Cinco


Principaux dossiers

  • Advising Sunvesta on the development and construction of an ultra-luxury resort in Peninsula Papagayo under the brand name One & Only.
  • Advised Enjoy Hotels and Resorts on structuring and developing a branded residential product for the Autograph Collection Maangrove Hotel in Papagayo, Guanacaste.
  • Advised Agroindustrial Piñas del Bosque on the purchase of the shares of Inmobiliaria Nueva Veragua, which is the owner of land that is used for the production of pineapple.

Sfera Legal

With five offices across Costa Rica, as well as branches in New York and throughout Central America, the real estate team at Sfera Legal remains a force in the market, leveraging deep bench strength and the experience of its multidisciplinary team to advise individual investors and local and multinational corporates involved in high-value, cross-border transactions and developments. Providing a comprehensive service, the group assists with private finance, international tax structures and representation in court and arbitration proceedings. The team is headed by founding partners Rafael E. Cañas, who has 25 years of experience in the practice area, and Robert van der Putten, a seasoned negotiator of shareholder and development agreements, along with Jose Pablo Arce, an expert in shoreline concession zones. Backed by experienced arbitration specialist Fabiola Soler, foreign investment specialists Roberto Castillo and Ismene Arroyo, and associate and firm pro bono leader Alejandra Salazar , the team’s clients include tourism, real estate, tech and medical device companies.

Les références

‘The Sfera Legal team has very good relationships with the different players that are needed for the success of real estate businesses, such as banks, fiduciary companies and brokers. Compared to other law firms, Sfera is better prepared as a firm to face the situations that arise in these businesses and help its clients.’

‘Robert Van der Putten stands out for thinking outside the box, for his excellent human and professional relationships, and for the confidence he demonstrates, and that is why he generates trust.’

‘Committed, accessible and always willing to look after the interests of the client and the project, in an ethical manner and with a good disposition. A warm, human and attentive service. A friendly team that provides support and technical knowledge.’

Principaux clients

Princess Hotels

Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort

Hotel Club del Mar

Surf Simply

Xandari Resort and Spa

Altos de Eros Hotel & Spa

Gilded Iguana Hotel

Florblanca Resorts

Sirenis Hotel & Resorts


LatAm Logistic Properties

The Nosara Real Estate Agency

PDC Capital

Coldwell Banker – Surfing Nosara Real Estate

Grupo Luko

Grupo Zen

Icúbica- Desarrolladores

CR Realty


OG Holdings

Onda CR

Labora Group

Naama Lubelski

Outpost Nosara

Bambu Development

Principaux dossiers

  • Assisted Antara with the acquisition of a condominium project in Santa Ana, which involved negotiations for the refinancing and restructuring of a complex trust guaranty agreement.
  • Assisted Princess Hotels with the acquisition of concession rights in Papagayo and the development phase of an all-inclusive 456-room hotel.
  • Advised Bambu Development on the negotiation of shareholder and development agreements with its key partner to develop a commercial project.
  • Assisted Antara in the acquisition of a condominium project, which involved complex negotiations to refinance and restructure of a complex trust guaranty agreement.

Consortium Legal

The real estate team at regional firm Consortium Legal delivers a comprehensive service to national and international developers, private investment vehicles, individuals and household-name corporates, including Walmart, Maersk and Cemex, involved in complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions. Rolando Laclé Zúñiga, who has over 30 years of foreign investment experience, heads the team, along with Juan Manuel Cordero, who assists clients with land acquisitions and the obtainment of concessions, and David Reuben, who lends expertise to project structuring and partnership agreements. Key support is provided by senior associates Marcela Alfaro, who specialises in energy sector matters, and Daniel Rojas , who was promoted in June 2021. The firm expanded its Costa Rican presence in January 2022 with the addition of a second office in the province of Guanacaste, on the country’s northwestern Pacific coast.

Les références

‘Consortium Legal is a highly specialised firm in real estate law, with highly qualified personnel and impeccable customer service.’

‘Specialised knowledge. Attention to detail and monitoring of clients’ requirements.’

Principaux clients

Walmart de México & Centroamérica


APM Terminals




Grupo Barceló


Core Development Group

Four Seasons Hotel

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Walmart on its real estate needs in Costa Rica, including the due diligence, preparation, and draft of initial contracts (option to purchase) and with closing.
  • Advised an Israel-based real estate developer with developments in Israel and Spain on the structuring and development of a residential real estate project in the Santa Teresa beach area of Costa Rica.
  • Advised a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company on negotiations relating to its new main offices in Costa Rica.

Dentons Muñoz

The experienced team at Dentons Muñoz utilises the bench strength of its regional network of seven offices in six countries and its bespoke Dentons Direct cloud system (which streamlines case tracking) to advise developers, private equity firms, real estate funds and major multinational corporates, including LL Bean and Western Union, involved in the sale and purchase of real estate and the financing and development of real estate projects. In addition, the practice’s full service extends to regulatory compliance, construction matters, and related tax issues and litigation, and provides sector-specific services targeted to the agribusiness and hospitality sectors. Managing partner and team leader Eduardo Zúñiga has experience in the negotiation of hotel management agreements and assists clients with urban developments, gated communities and beachfront resorts. The practice is supported by senior associate Andrea Castro , who conducts extensive project due diligence, and associate Pamela Contreras, who specialises in the negotiation and structuring of real estate contracts. Founding partner Pedro Muñoz has re-joined the firm after finishing his term as Congressman of the Costa Rican National Congress in May 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Eduardo Zúñiga

Les références

‘Deep knowledge of the real estate business and our business specifically allows it to generate added value for us.’

‘Eduardo Zúñiga’s experience and knowledge combined with Pamela Contreras’s attention to detail and follow-up generates very good results.’

Principaux clients


Western Union

LL Bean

The Rohatyn Group

ASADA Malinches de Pinilla

Rancho Rio Montaña

Latam Logistics Properties

Hacienda Pinilla

The Jack Parker Corporation – Pacifico


Principaux dossiers

  • Advised DSM on the negotiation of a long-term lease facility and a built-to-suit contract with Grupo Activa to consolidate DSM’s operations in Costa Rica in one single facility.
  • Assisted Western Union with part of its global restructuring, including the revision of its facilities’ local lease agreements and the negotiation of a sublease agreement for the spin-off company.
  • Advised LL Bean on the renegotiation of existing lease facilities with current landlord Grupo Roble in order to reduce lease space, terminate part of the existing lease early and lease new floors due to changes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.


With three offices across Costa Rica, located in Flamingo and Guanacaste, and branches in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia, the real estate group at ECIJA channels its global strength to assist national and multinational developers, investors and corporates with the financing and construction of projects including luxury resorts and hotels, residential communities and hydroelectric plants. The practice is headed by Guillermo Zúñiga, a specialist in advising government agencies and private organisations on major renewable energy projects. Corporate affairs specialist Ana Cristina Mora provides key support at the associate level.

Responsables de la pratique:

Guillermo Zúniga

Les références

‘A team of lawyers that is highly committed to the interests of the client.’

Principaux clients

Riviera del Mar Azul YZY

Recap Investments

Botanika Osa Peninsula, Curio Collection by Hilton

Amor del Mar Development

End Poverty Now Foundation


Arenas del Mar Hotel

Coldwell Banker

RCI Painting


Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Riviera del Mar Azul YZY on the subdivision of Mar Vista Development, a large property of over 300 hectares of land, into parcels, lots and condominium of lots.
  • Assisted Recap Investments, a Canadian developer with operations in Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama, with Playa Lagarto Eco-Development, a 1,000-acre eco-development located on the north Pacific coastline of Guanacaste.
  • Advised Botanika Osa Peninsula, Curio Collection by Hilton on the planning and execution of a high-end resort in Osa Peninsula, on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, under the brand name of Curio Collection, Hilton Hotels.


The multidisciplinary real estate practice at regional firm Arias coordinates with its tax and free trade zone teams to advise developers and national and multinational corporates on high-value transactions involving the expansion of their facilities in Costa Rica and individual investors seeking access to the second-home market. In addition, the practice’s comprehensive service covers the negotiation and drafting of share purchase, lease and services agreements, construction contracts, concession rights, mortgages, and due diligence and title verification. The group is headed by former consul for the Costa Rican Consulate General in New York Carlos Camacho, who has expertise in developments and acquisition projects, along with experienced regulatory adviser Vicente Lines and tech sector specialist Luis Diego Castro. Supported by senior counsel Vivian Gazel, real estate consultant Edmond Macluf and associate Fredrick Schiebel , the group’s client base spans such sectors as tech, agriculture, retail and consumer goods.

Responsables de la pratique:

Carlos Camacho; Vicente Lines; Luis Diego Castro

Les références

‘Arias is good in any country. In other words, the good quality of the service crosses borders and that is the strength of this office.’

‘Vivian Gazel is an exceptional attorney, who is very well prepared and collaborative.’

‘What impressed me with Arias is that Carlos Camacho and his staff worked as a team. They were all knowledgeable of the status of the situation at any given moment. They were super quick to respond to any questions we had and always worked quickly to help us get things done or get us the needed information.’

Principaux clients


Justin Palmer


Micro Stamping Corporation

L3 Harris

Centro Educacional Escuela Católica Activa (St Jude)

Inversiones Rocaer

Principaux dossiers

  • Provided legal advice to 3M on several matters, including the updating of measurements and public information relating to one of its manufacturing sites in Costa Rica.
  • Assisting Viant with its expansion plan in the country, including advising on the negotiation and inclusion of new terms and conditions for its lease agreements.
  • Continuing to assist Inversiones Rocaer as a key partner in its expansion strategy in Playa Grande.

Facio & Cañas

Collaborating with its environmental department and a network of engineers, topographers and consultants, the team at Facio & Cañas provides a one-stop shop for realtors, developers, construction companies and multinational corporates involved in major real estate projects and transactions. The practice is headed by Sergio Solera, who is experienced in advising individual buyers entering the second-home market and companies acquiring hotels and ongoing concerns, and Francisco Rucavado, who conducts extensive due diligence and advises on project development and day-to-day matters. Other services include transaction structuring and negotiation and consultations on free trade zone regimes. Added value arrived with two new senior associates in June and December of 2021 – Mariela Solano (from Vector Legal) and Marco Castegnaro  (from Invicta).

Responsables de la pratique:

Sergio Solera; Francisco Rucavado

Les références

‘Francisco Rucavado is always attentive and available to help us. Very accessible.’

Principaux clients

Coldwell Banker

Bioasis Dominical

Principaux dossiers

  • Assisting Coldwell Banker with all real estate-related matters for the franchise in Costa Rica.
  • Advised Bioasis Dominical on the acquisition of Hotel Villa Altura and its rebranding, including assisting the client with the preparation of the ownership structure and entity formation, due diligence, and the acquisition of the business and real estate.

Tactic Estudio Legal

Formed by former COLBS Estudio Legal partner Javier Escalante after he and Sebastián Jiménez split their practices in September 2021, Tactic Estudio Legal has extensive experience in the planning, development and execution of large and small-scale real estate projects in the coastal and urban areas of Costa Rica. Escalante leads the team, which assists holding companies, overseas investors and major multinationals such as LafargeHolcim with environmental issues, sale and purchase agreements, and the processing of concession permits in the Maritime Terrestrial Zone. Key support is provided by a team of associates who followed Escalante to the firm, including Andrés Herrera, real estate regulatory adviser Margarita Sandí and Karla Villalobos, a specialist in commercial, service and lease agreements.

Responsables de la pratique:

Javier Escalante

Les références

‘Javier Escalante’s greatest skills are in-depth legal knowledge and an understanding of the Costa Rican real estate market. Javier expertly handles complex contract negotiations and transactions.’

Principaux clients

Hermosa Oceanfront Development

Condominio Agapanthus

Lafarge Holcim

Altea Design

Alchemical Courtyard – Los Pericos de Malpaís and Goldcoast Luxury Living


Turquesa Dorada

Wolff Pfiffer

Inversiones Keluarla

Principaux dossiers

  • Managing the real estate assets and investments of LafargeHolcim, the Swiss-French multinational cement company.
  • Advised Altea Design, a high-end designer furniture store, on the sale of one of its commercial retail buildings in San José, a transaction with a value of $6.3m.
  • Providing real estate company Stewer with a comprehensive advisory service to manage its asset portfolio.

Aguilar Castillo Love

Advising multinational corporates involved in high-value, cross-border transactions, the experienced real estate team at regional law firm Aguilar Castillo Love provides support on due diligence processes and the investment, financing and disposal of real estate assets. The practice’s client base spans the hospitality, manufacturing and retail industries. Founding partner John Aguilar Osborne and Alvaro Aguilar are the key contacts.

COLBS Estudio Legal

The real estate practice at COLBS Estudio Legal, led by founding partner and transactional strategist Sebastián Jiménez, has experience of advising developers, realtors and multinational corporates on project acquisition, leasing, construction and finance.

Lang & Asociados

Lang & Asociados draws on the combined strength of its real estate and corporate practices to assist major multinationals (such as Smart Fit and Microsoft) seeking to implement their operations in the Costa Rican market. Headed by Henry Lang, the practice’s comprehensive service includes advice on finance, permits, regulatory compliance, the negotiation and drafting of lease agreements, construction contracts, free trade zone projects, and land and municipal taxes. Supported at the associate level by free trade zone regime specialists Milena Jaikel and Juan Carlos Cersosimo, the team’s client roster spans the software, food, medical, fitness and digital services sectors.

Responsables de la pratique:

Henry Lang

Les références

‘The whole team at Lang and Associates are excellent communicators. In addition, they provide diversity of services and all are highly qualified and trained in their areas of expertise.’

‘Henry Lang is the best communicator and replies in a very prompt manner. Also, he is very detailed-oriented and knowledgable and has been my attorney for over 20 years.’

Principaux clients

Bill Gosling Outsourcing

Microsoft Corporation

Nitinol Devices & Components/Confluent Medical Technologies

Indian Industries

United Collection Bureau

Widener University

Smart Fit


Newfire Global Partners


Eagan Immigration

Alegria Partners

Soly Import

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Smart Fit, a major player in the gym industry in Latin America, on the continuation of the implementation of a plan to enter the Costa Rican market.
  • Provided continuous assistance to Microsoft Corporation with the expansion, consolidation, day-to-day issues and operation of its centre for services, back office support and technical support in Costa Rica.
  • Acted as legal counsel to Nitinol Devices & Components (NDC)/Confluent on the expansion of its operations in Costa Rica, including advising on a high-value investment in its Costa Rican facilities.

Zürcher, Odio & Raven

Zürcher, Odio & Raven advises local and international developers and corporates on such matters as urban planning, permits, projects in the life sciences sector, real estate-related tax matters, acquisitions, condominiums, and the structuring and implementation of real estate transactions. Alberto Raven Odio is the key contact.