Hall Of Fame

Rising Stars

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

BLP

The powerhouse real estate and hospitality group at BLP remains a market leader, employing the deep 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 national and multinational developers, construction companies, lenders, private and institutional investors, landlords, tenants, and other major corporates involved in large-scale projects and high-value, cross-border transactions. The firm’s comprehensive services range from assistance with acquisitions, development, financing, sales, leasing, contract negotiations and structuring to day-to-day operations, tax planning, free trade zone matters and due diligence. The team is led by Luis M Castro, a practice area authority. Other key figures include Eduardo Calderón, the former president of the Bar Association of Costa Rica, who brings over 20 years of experience to projects in the country’s coastal and urban areas; Anneth Jiménez, an expert in construction and operation contracts; Andrea González, who specialises in free trade zone matters; Juan Carlos Tristán, who assists with regulatory compliance and hospitality sector matters; director and development strategist Catalina Soto; and senior associate and complex transaction advisor 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.

Responsables de la pratique:

Luis M. Castro


Les références

The knowledge of the team and their willingness to attend to any matter is excellent. They are always my first choice for matters in their jurisdictions. Their efficiency when dealing with clients is a very important point. We collaborate very well together to serve international clients.

The team’s experience in international affairs and knowledge of the market in the Central American region is exceptional. Most have studied abroad and work experience in the United States.

Knowledge of the subject. The service is very good.

Principaux clients

Gencom Group


Apple Leisure Group


Mullen Real Estate Capital


Guanacaste Development Corporation


Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo


Nayara Resorts


Discovery Land Company


Enjoy Group


Nekajui (a Ritz-Carlton Reserve)


Waldorf Astoria


Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection


Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas


Nihi Hotels


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Gencom Group on financing Costa Rica’s first Ritz-Carlton Reserve, a mixed-use hotel and branded residential development in Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica.
  • Advised Gencom on a $191m financing package funded by Blackstone for two luxury resorts in Costa Rica – The Four Seasons and the Andaz Resorts.
  • Advising Desarrolladores 506, a local eco developer, on the structuring of a gated beach community concept in Central Pacific Hermosa Beach called MISTICO, covering over 110 hectares of beachfront property.

EY Law Central America

The market-leading team at regional firm 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) to advise multinational corporates, asset managers and hospitality chains on the implementation of long-term projects and large-scale developments, integrating multiple lines of service to assist clients with related tax planning, due diligence and exit strategies. The team is jointly led by Alejandro Antillón, an authority in transactional, financing, regulatory and operational matters, and Arturo Apéstegui. The team is supported by senior associate Ana Sáenz and associate Monserrat Alvarado, a specialist in condominium regulations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Alejandro Antillón; Arturo Apestegui


Principaux clients

Sunvesta


Jacobson Family Investment


Victor Lee – Princeton


Desarrollos Ecológicos El Canal


Fideicomiso Inmobiliario Green City


RC Inmobiliaria


Reserva Conchal


Enjoy Hotels and Resort


Karam-Arab Family Trust


Fat Cat


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising Sunvesta on the development and construction of a luxury resort in Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica, under the brand One & Only for upwards of $350m.
  • Advised Jacobson Family Investment on the legal and environmental due diligence and purchase of land on the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
  • Advising Victor Lee – Princeton on the construction and development process of a hotel in Santa Teresa with a residential real estate component.

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 leader 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. The group’s comprehensive service covers private finance, international tax structures and representation in court and arbitration proceedings. Rafael Cañas, Robert van der Putten, José Pablo Arce and Roberto Castillo are the key contacts.

Consortium Legal

Leveraging the deep bench strength of offices in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, the team at Consortium Legal advises private investors, international developers and multinational corporates in the retail, construction and shipping sectors, including Maersk and Walmart, involved in high-value, multi-jurisdictional real estate transactions. The firm’s comprehensive service covers matters ranging from due diligence and regulatory compliance to sales and purchases, M&A, asset purchases, bulk sales and free trade zone issues. The team is led by Rolando Laclé Zúñiga, who has over 30 years of foreign investment experience; Juan Manuel Cordero, who specialises in the constitution and modification of condominium regimes, the sale and purchase of hotels, and related antitrust filings; and David Reuben, who handles such matters as real estate acquisitions and concessions, and the negotiation of commercial leases. Other key figures include senior associates Marcela Alfaro, who brings expertise to energy sector matters, and Daniel Rojas, who advises on private contracting and corporate restructurings.

Responsables de la pratique:

Rolando Laclé Zúñiga; Juan Manuel Cordero; David Reuben


Les références

A practice with a high degree of specialisation, consolidated at the national level and with great professionals.

We are grateful for the services provided to our company by the firm and especially its corporate-real estate area, co-led by Juan Manuel Cordero.

It is an interdisciplinary team that provides comprehensive support.

Principaux clients

Walmart de México & Centroamérica


Cuestamoras


APM Terminals


Cementos Progreso


Everty


Maersk


Grupo Barceló


Stein


Corporación Multi inversiones (CMI)


Solaris Conchal


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising 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 Goldcoast Investors on the planning and subdivision of a real estate project valued upwards of $5m in Santa Teresa, including the creation of several easements, the draft of closing documents for potential buyers and construction contracts with the developer and construction company.
  • Advising a private investor in the negotiation, acquisition, and due diligence of a property for development in Nosara, Guanacaste for $3.5m.

Dentons Muñoz

Dentons Muñoz utilises the bench strength of its regional network of seven offices in six countries to advise developers, private equity firms, real estate funds, and multinational corporates across such sectors as tech, logistics, energy, tech and banking on the sale and purchase of real estate and the financing and development of real estate projects. The practice’s comprehensive service extends to construction matters, regulatory compliance, and related tax issues and litigation. Managing partner Eduardo Zúñiga leads the team, bringing experience in project legal structures, environmental issues and the negotiation of hotel management agreements, and assists clients with urban developments, gated communities and beachfront resorts. Other key figures include senior associate Natiuska Traña, who advises private individuals on acquiring luxury homes, and associate Natiuska Traña, who brings expertise to handling lease contracts, and property development and administration agreements.

Responsables de la pratique:

Eduardo Zúñiga


Principaux clients

Panduit


Western Union


LATAM Farmanova


Hacienda Pinilla


Latam Logistics Properties


Punta Vista Park


MSC


Principaux dossiers


  • Advising Panduit, a company in the network infrastructure and electrical wiring business, on the sale of a property.
  • Advised Western Union on real estate issues relating to its global restructuring and the creation of a spinoff of certain services, including assisting with the revision of local lease agreements.
  • Represented logistics company Grupo Farmanova in the negotiation of the lease of a warehouse for the centralisation of its distribution centre in one location.

ECIJA

The real estate team at ECIJA utilises the bench strength of offices in 17 countries spanning Central America, Europe and Asia, and working relationships with Magic Circle firms such as Clifford Chance LLP, to advise national and multinational developers, investors and corporates, across such sectors as energy and hospitality, on the financing and construction of projects including resorts and residential communities. The firm’s full service extends to matters ranging from acquisitions of assets, construction agreements, concession processes and environmental matters to the obtaining of financing facilities, and setting up property in a condominium regime. Guillermo Zúniga leads the team, bringing decades of experience to assisting with complex real estate projects and transactions involving concessions in the Maritime Zone, the forestry industry, protected areas, condominiums and luxury hotels. Other key figures include Mercedes Sancho, who utilises a background as a real estate, tourism and luxury development in-house counsel, and associate Ana Cristina Mora, who assists with due diligence research procedures on properties, procedures to obtain transaction permits and the creation of investment vehicles.

Responsables de la pratique:

Guillermo Zúñiga


Les références

Quick and appropriate responses. Knowledge of the regulatory and business environment. Ability to offer solutions to the needs raised by transactions.

Guillermo Zúñiga is highly qualified and has a strong background in transactions and industry knowledge.

I have worked with many lawyers in Costa Rica, and the team at ECIJA is the best of all of them. They are fully prepared to handle a wide variety of issues, diligent in their work, and responsive to questions. I recommend them anytime another person asks for a recommendation.

Principaux clients

Argo Estrategia


Grupo G-24


Playa Lagarto


Arenal Maleku


CRGAR/Costa Rica Global Association of Real Estate


Blue Water Properties


Mango Walk Development


Principaux dossiers


  • Assisted Argo Estrategia in the construction process of two mixed-use (residential and commercial) buildings in San José.
  • Advised Group G24 in the restructuring of the ownership of real estate assets for a refinancing project to convert short-term debt into long-term debt.
  • Assisted Playa Lagarto Eco-Development and Recap Investments by designing a closing package for such lots, aligning with the firm’s tech partner, Legito, in order to deliver the title of the lots and parcels to foreign individuals located in any part of the world.

Arias

The real estate practice at regional firm Arias employs a multidisciplinary approach, coordinating with its tax and free trade zone teams to advise private investors, developers, and national and multinational corporates across the tech, government, retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, hospitality and pharmaceuticals sectors on high-value transactions involving the expansion of their facilities in Costa Rica. The practice’s comprehensive service extends to the negotiation and drafting of share purchases, construction contracts, lease and services agreements, concession rights, mortgages, and due diligence and title verification. The team is led by former consul for the Costa Rican Consulate General in New York Carlos Camacho, who brings expertise to developments and acquisition projects, along with experienced regulatory adviser Vicente Lines and Luis Diego Castro. The group is supported by senior counsel Vicente Lines.

Responsables de la pratique:

Carlos Camacho; Vicente Lines; Luis Diego Castro


Les références

Arias has provided outstanding comprehensive real estate business services well beyond those that are typical, including the full range of representation for government affairs and tax matters.

They are very proactive and responsive. They anticipate needs well. Highly recommended.

They are very clear lawyers. They fully understand what is needed and the steps to carry it out. Real estate audit reports are easy to read and understand. They have very good sensitivity to determine issues that may cause a problem.

Principaux clients

3M


Justin Palmer


Reginald Webb


Viant


Micro Stamping Corporation


Principaux dossiers


  • Assisted Regenerative Medicine Institute (RMI) with the negotiations of the lease agreement for both an office and medical centre and new lab facilities for over $1m.
  • Assisted medical technology company Viant with advice on the negotiation of its new free trade zone satellite facilities.
  • Assisted 3M with the $4.3m sale and leaseback agreement of its current facilities.

Facio & Cañas

Bolstered by the March 2023 opening of two new offices in Puntarenas and Guanacaste and coordinating with its environmental department and network of engineers, topographers and consultants, the real estate practice at Facio & Cañas provides a one-stop shop for realtors, developers, construction companies and multinational corporates (across such sectors as hospitality and pharmaceuticals) involved in major real estate projects and transactions. The practice’s comprehensive service extends to due diligence, transaction structuring, and negotiation and consultations on free trade zone regimes. The team is led by Sergio Solera, who brings expertise in advising companies in major acquisitions, and Federico Rucavado, who advises on project development, risk management and day-to-day matters. Senior associate Marco Castegnaro assists individual clients with the purchase of properties in Costa Rica.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sergio Solera; Francisco Rucavado


Les références

The firm has a comprehensive set of services with depth in each area. This is really effective and efficient to provide a one-stop solution for legal needs.

Sergio Solera and Marco Castegnaro have excellent customer service, and are very responsible and attentive.

It is a team with very fast response times, as well as being very well informed and having the support of professionals from various areas, and a network of contacts that help the client in the development of their properties.

Principaux clients

Coldwell Banker


RP Uvita


Vandará


Libelula Hotel


Terumo Cardiovascular


Coldwell Banker – Sunset Reef (Santa Teresa)


Principaux dossiers


  • Representing the Coldwell Banker master franchise for Costa Rica.
  • Assisted Terumo Cardiovascular with the purchase of property and the development and construction of a medical devices manufacturing plant in the free trade zone.
  • Assisted with the purchase of the Libélula Hotel and adjoining real estate in Potrero, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

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, brings strength to advising holding companies, overseas investors, major multinationals and real estate companies on the planning, development and execution of large and small-scale real estate projects in the coastal and urban areas of Costa Rica. With an active client base that also spans the construction, food and beverages, and agricultural sectors, the practice’s comprehensive service covers such matters as the sale and purchase of properties, the structuring of complex infrastructure projects, and the analysis and execution of complex registration and cadastral strategies. Escalante, an experienced trade negotiator who has served as both Consul General of Costa Rica in Singapore and Ambassador of Costa Rica in Qatar, heads the team, bringing skill to advising on complex, cross-border operations. Other key figures include associates Andrés Herrera, who assists with clients’ day-to-day operations, Margarita Sandí, who focuses on the structuring and financing of real estate deals, and Karla Villalobos, a specialist in commercial, service and lease agreements. The team was bolstered in 2022 by the additions of associate Jean Carlo Díaz from in-house in June and Álvaro Cedeño from independent practice in July.

Responsables de la pratique:

Javier Escalante


Les références

The Tactic team is very experienced and concerned with details to find the best solution for everyone. They thoroughly review the documents to avoid any future problems.

Javier Escalante and the Tactic staff are always available to help and to resolve issues. It is very helpful to work with them and be guided by them through the different processes.

Principaux clients

Condominio Agapanthus


Grupo Euromobilia


The Pit and the Pendulum


Industrias Panorama


Principaux dossiers


  • Advised Condominio Agapanthus on the development of a project and constitution of its condominium regime.
  • Advised on and processed the sale of two important commercial properties of Grupo Euromobilia.
  • Advised The Pit and the Pendulum on the sale of a property in Guanacaste.

COLBS Estudio Legal

The team at COLBS Estudio Legal employs the experience of its team to advise developers, architecture studios, engineering companies, realtors and trustees on the acquisition, lease, construction, design, financing, and operation of real estate projects. The multi-disciplinary group’s comprehensive service extends to matters involving trust funds and escrow agreements, and environmental and tax law. The team is led by Sebastián Jiménez, who brings extensive experience in the practice area, from assisting with complex lease negotiations and protocols for multiple transfers of real estate to compliance advisory work for architecture and engineering firms. Other key figures include Edwin Rojas, who assists private financial companies with structuring loans to finance new business ventures, and associate Francisco Villaseñor, who joined the firm from Sfera Legal in October 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sebastián Jiménez


Les références

Sebastián Jiménez was easy to contact and understood the issues well. His team was efficient in working through the issues.

Principaux clients

Keller Williams Realty (KW Realty)


Exotic Caye International (ECI Developments)


Integra Desarrolladores


Hotel y Club Punta Leona


Eco Plaza Villa Real


Costa Dorada


Grupo América


Real de Punta Leona


Contract Workplaces Costa Rica


Ingenya Consultores


Principaux dossiers


  • Drafted a creative shared office space scheme designed to implement an all-inclusive shared office space business model for Contract Workplaces, a South American architecture conglomerate with operations in Costa Rica.
  • Dealt with rare archaeological finds which have been discovered within Costa Dorada’s real estate development project and completed the protection of these finds, including a request for a petition to reduce the retreat area around the archeological sites and dealings with the National Museum.
  • Structured and handled for Integra Desarrolladores all legal matters related to the 45-unit development Hom Living in an exclusive residential area in Santa Ana.

Lang & Asociados

Drawing on the combined strength of its real estate and corporate practices, Lang & Asociados provides a comprehensive service to major multinationals (such as Smart Fit and Microsoft) seeking to establish operations in the Costa Rican market, including advising on permitting and the implementation of free trade zone projects. Headed by foreign investment expert Henry Lang, the team also provide advice on finance, permits, regulatory compliance, the negotiation and drafting of lease agreements, construction contracts, and land and municipal taxes. The firm’s active client base spans the fitness, manufacturing, software, education, medical devices and real estate sectors. The team is supported by associates Milena Jaikel and Juan Carlos Cersosimo, who specialise in advising on free zone matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Henry Lang


Les références

The very best communicators and super knowledgeable about all forms of real estate transactions.

Henry Lang is trustworthy, knowledgable, fair and brilliant.

Juan Carlos Cersosimo is compassionate, easy to work with, and very smart.

Principaux clients

Bill Gosling Outsourcing


Microsoft Corporation


Eurofins Scientific


Orcas de Osa


Nitinol Devices & Components/Confluent Medical Technologies


Indian Industries


United Collection Bureau


Millenium Machinery


Widener University


SecureLink


Builder Homesite


Sensient Technologies Corporation


Smart Fit


Skim Analytical


Newfire Global Partners


Beyondsoft


Eagan Immigration


Alegria Partners


Serverless Solutions


Bluewave Data Solutions


Critical River


Riverpoint Medical


Principaux dossiers


  • Assisting Florida-based real estate developer Alegria Partners with the implementation of an eco-friendly development community.
  • Assisting Riverpoint Medical, a US-based device manufacturing company, on the complete set up, implementation and design of its manufacturing operations in Costa Rica.
  • Advising Microsoft on the transfer of its local operations to a new permanent site.