Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Real estate

The February 2024 incorporation of Mauricio Bustamante Holguín, formerly the senior partner at specialist boutique Bustamante Holguín Abogados, puts Flor Bustamante Pizarro Hurtado Abogados firmly on the map for real estate matters; a longstanding counsel to RainForest Concern in Ecuador, Bustamante has over 20 years experience in real estate matters and arrives at the firm with senior associate Esteban Morán Gortaire.

Real estate in Ecuador

Bustamante Fabara

Bustamante Fabara continues to leverage its growth to attract new clients in the construction, hospitality and industrial sectors, particularly those seeking advice on the sale, purchase and lease of properties. Main areas of focus for the group include advising developers and investors on urban and rural developments, as well as commercial and residential projects, where the team benefits from its strong ties with entities in the tourism, telecoms, energy and infrastructure industries. Juan Felipe Bustamante and José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa steer these efforts, with considerable knowledge of regulatory and project structuring matters, respectively. They act alongside José Rafael Bustamante Crespo and María Rosa Fabara, key names to note for issues of a transactional nature. The team was further strengthened at partner level with the hire of Ernesto Weisson to the Guayquil office (from Deloitte) in May 2023. At the senior associate level, Kirina González and Andrés Becdach are standout names; both are focused on the transfer of real estate assets.

Responsables de la pratique:

Juan Felipe Bustamante; José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa

Les références

‘They stand out for their efficiency and kindness, they make the client feel totally safe and confident. Their work is extraordinary.’

‘The technical knowledge and efficiency is perfectly complemented by their kindness and disposition for the client.’

‘The strengths of the teams are the completeness of the disciplines and the concrete answers for the next steps in the process.’

Principaux clients


Guerrero y Asociados Br Impacto Inmobiliaria

Inmobiliaria Mercantil BYC

Aig-Metropolitana Cia. de Seguros y Reaseguros

Fideicomisos Piedras Blancas


Accor Hotels

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Siemens on the sale of its facilities in Quito to a company dedicated to the design, production and marketing of electro-mechanical equipment and systems.
  • Advising Inmobiliaria Mercantil on the potential sale of nine floors of a building in Quito.
  • Advising Palugosa on the development of a real estate project in Pifo, Ecuador, which includes a country club, luxury housing as well as a horse-riding complex.

Lexvalor Abogados

Lexvalor Abogados‘ versatile real estate offering covers construction and infrastructure projects, housing and mall developments, condominium structures and real estate trusts, with further expertise in arbitration proceedings for tenancy and expropriation issues. The leadership team features Karla Villacís, renowned for her advice to major construction companies and mall developers; trust fund and fiduciary structures specialist Daniela Irigoyen; and Juan Francisco Almeida, active across a wide spectrum of infrastructure project development matters and urban and electrical power project financing. The group’s familiarity with the real estate funds space and ongoing relationship with Uribe & Schwarzkopf is illustrated by its recent advice on the establishment of the Shyris 18 Trust, owner of the IQON project, with Marcelo Morabowen, a noteworthy figure from the senior associate ranks active on the matter. Associate Santiago Aguirre and senior associate Adriana Paredes are further key contacts, particularly for permits and authorisation matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Karla Villacís Echeverría; Daniela Irigoyen; Juan Francisco Almeida

Les références

‘I work with various firms and the main skill of the Lexvalor firm team is the speed with which all processes progress internally. They clearly have a capable team and very well-structured internal processes.’

‘Vast experience in trusts and the stock market. Continuous monitoring, regular updates on regulations and issues that affect the business.’

‘Experience at national level – good knowledge of the domestic regulations. Innovative ideas for solving problems or conflicts – knowledge of our business.’

Principaux clients

Uribe y Schwarzkopf Ingenieros y Arquitectos

Grupo Nobis

Romero y Pazmiño

Corporación Favorita

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised on the establishment of the Lomas de San Pedro Trust, with a property being contributed to the trust where 30 land lots will be built with a total area of 5,960.20 square metres.
  • Represented Romero & Pazmiño in the establishment of a real estate trust called Administración Sevilla, which is the owner of a project called Alcázar de Almería.

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce offers a full-service approach to clients seeking advice on large-scale regional and international projects, benefiting from a deep bench with considerable knowledge of infrastructure, leases, energy-related projects, concessions and public permit matters. Within these fields of expertise, the group handles matters pertaining to land and plot acquisitions as well as connected planning and tax issues. Sandra Reed, who has a 20-year track record in navigating project finance and public-private partnerships mandates, leads the team alongside Diego Pérez Ordoñez and Juan Manuel Marchán, names to note for the implementation of lease and concession agreements and the management of PPPs, respectively. The team, which also features director of the Guayaquil office Nicolás Maldonado, offers continuous support to Corporación Quiport, acting as a trusted advisor in all matters related to the construction and operation of the new Quito International Airport.

Responsables de la pratique:

Sandra Reed; Diego Pérez Ordóñez; Juan Manuel Marchán

Les références

‘The PBP team is a top-level multidisciplinary team.’

‘They have extensive knowledge of the client’s business and the regulations that affect our operations. We love that it is a diverse and highly specialised team. There are expert lawyers in each practice area advising you and I believe that this is the main added value. You do not have the same partner advising you in all areas, but a true specialty and a lot of sophistication.’

‘The firm has high-quality lawyers and a lot of sophistication. Juan Manuel Marchán is undoubtedly a local benchmark for complex transactional issues and real estate. He is a lawyer with a great understanding of the market and has been an invaluable support for the operation. Nicolás Maldonado has accompanied us in a super efficient way in the day-to-day operations of the company.’

Principaux clients




Corporación Quiport

Philip Morris


Principaux dossiers

  • Advising VGMobility Services on its potential participation in the public tender process launched by Guayaquil’s Municipal Transit Agency for the selection of an operator for Troncal 3 of the Metrovía.
  • Advised Sika Ecuatoriana on a plan to start a project for a new processing plant in Ecuador.
  • Advising Synlab on the acquisition of laboratories throughout Ecuador, including drafting purchase agreements, lease agreements and other similar agreements.

Heka Law Firm

The real estate department at Heka Law Firm is a popular choice among developers, shopping centres, restaurant chains and universities as well as leading financial institutions granting mortgages for the purpose of acquisitions. Key areas of focus for the team include local zoning, urban and environment regulations, permits and challenges to administrative actions. Practice head Santiago Alban showcases significant experience in the management of large infrastructure and tourism projects; he is supported by project finance specialist Mauricio Subía and Cuenca-based partner Juan Andrés Gortaire, an expert in municipal regulations.

Responsables de la pratique:

Santiago Alban

Les références

‘HEKA has a team which is well trained and willing to have meetings in the event of any doubt. They use digital tools that help us to better understand legal dynamics.’

‘Santiago Alban always shows willingness to clear up doubts and proposes more than one solution to any doubt. Indira Mendia is very proactive in monitoring paperwork and ongoing processes.’

Principaux clients


Quicentro Shopping

Alvarez Bravo

Universidad San Francisco de Quito



Mutualista Pichincha

Banco General Rumiñahui

Hospital de los Valles

Banco Pichincha

Principaux dossiers

  • Retained by Arcgold to perform a comprehensive due diligence of their flagship real estate properties in Guayaquil and Quito.
  • Represented Urbanizadora Naciones Unidas before the city of Quito’s municipal authorities in the lot consolidation process of several parcels of land adjacent to those on which the Quicentro shopping mall and several subsequent developments were built on.
  • Advising Universidad San Francisco on several real estate matters regarding their Galapagos Island campus and research center.


With a strong position in the Ecuadorian and Latin American real estate markets, Robalino exhibits strength in a variety of matters, including project investment structuring and construction-related litigation. Arbitration proceedings are also regularly handled by the group. Led by Martín Pallares and Daniel Robalino, who are well versed in corporate issues relating to the acquisition of land and premises, the team is particularly active in the agriculture industry. Key developments in the practice include the departure of former practice co-head Ernesto Weisson in October 2022.

Responsables de la pratique:

Martin Pallares; Daniel Robalino

Les références

‘Multidisciplinary team’

‘Personalised client service.’

‘Robalino’s team is capable of understanding the business need from the client’s point of view, managing to reach favourable negotiations.’

Principaux clients

Alkavat Holdings

Inmobiliaria Rijona

Colour Republic

Sunshine Bouquet




La Fabril


Principaux dossiers

  • Advised H&M on the negotiation and execution of lease agreements with three shopping centres in Ecuador.
  • Advised Sunshine Bouquet on various acquisitions of land and flower assets.
  • Advising Semaica on the potential sale of a 975-hectare plot named La Estancia La Luz, located in the outskirts of Guayaquil, for approximately $4m.

Dentons Paz Horowitz

Dentons Paz Horowitz combines project finance expertise with relevant knowledge of tax to advise on leasing agreements, permits and registrations, horizontal property declarations, title searches, and sale and purchase agreements. Verónica Mieles heads these efforts, having been promoted to the partnership in August 2022 from her previous role as director. She is well versed in all stages of construction projects, covering the commercial, residential and public law aspects. M&A transfers are a further key area of strength for the firm.

Responsables de la pratique:

Verónica Mieles

Les références

‘Excellent leadership from Veronica Mieles and her team.’

‘Veronica Mieles stood out for her knowledge and handling of problems.’

‘Excellent team with experts in their areas.’

Principaux clients

Amereller Consultancy


Native Blooms


Promotora Industrial y Comercial Procomfi

Innova Schools



Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Inmomistral during the final closure of the company and the transfer of its assets to shareholders.
  • Advised Torrecom in relation to the leasing contracts of several sites for telecomunications towers.
  • Advising Native Blooms on the purchase of land for Roses Plantation for $578k.

Pino Elizalde Abogados

The real estate group at Guayaquil-based Pino Elizalde Abogados is active throughout the multiple stages of a project’s lifecycle, from structuring matters to developments arising out of municipal regulatory issues and contractual, financial and tax matters. The team is co-headed by Daniel Pino, a name to note for oil, natural resources and pharmaceutical companies for corporate and commercial mandates, and associate practice director Jorge Cedeño, a strategic cross-border expert. Additional key figures at associate level include senior Montserrat Sanchez, who commonly handles the tax aspects of real estate projects; and intermediate María Ritha Guillén, who is noted for her regulatory knowledge. In an important development, since publication the firm has opened a Quito office - effective as of February 2024.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jorge Cedeño; Daniel Pino

Principaux clients

Inmobiliaria Open House





Americas Development

Principaux dossiers

  • Representing a group of shareholders overseeing the development of a project, involving a series of trust funds and contracts to be created for the acquisition of land.
  • Assisted Biosuper in its acquisition of new land aimed to be converted into shrimp ponds, valued at approximately $18m.
  • Advising Minutocorp in public bidding proceedings including the bid preparation, review of the bidding documents and requirements necessary for the submission.

Apolo Abogados

The real estate team at Apolo Abogados is highly specialised in the aquaculture and agriculture industries. The group is regularly sought for advice on purchases of land and properties; assistance in this field ranges from issues arising out of the legal sponsorship of commercial premises to the obtainment of operating, construction and demolition permits. José Gabriel Apolo, Rafael Balda Santistevan and Javier Cardoso lead the practice, combining knowledge of exporting groups in the country, public affairs and maritime law. Associate María José Arias is noted for corporate matters. Andrés Suárez joined the Ministry of Agriculture.

Responsables de la pratique:

Jose Gabriel Apolo; Rafael Balda Santistevan; Javier Cardoso

Les références

‘There is continuous monitoring of the process. Apolo Abogados has a select group of lawyers who are very good at proposals, resolutions and have good knowledge of the law. They are very collaborative in all areas. The administrative part of the law firm is organised. Regarding real estate law, José Gabriel Apolo has great knowledge and speed that is worth applauding and recognising.’ 

‘‘They have a deep management of the law in all its aspects. They are very close to the client in general and always try to favour them throughout the negotiation.’

‘The partners I usually deal with are Jose Gabriel Apolo and Rafael Balda. They do an extraordinary job. I would say that their best quality is their efficiency and speed when solving problems.’

Principaux clients



Junta de Beneficiencia de Guayaquil

Camarones Rolesa



Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila

Metrica del Pacifico

Camaronera San Jose

Proexpo, Procesadora y Exportadora de Mariscos

Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Guayaquil’s Welfare Board (JBG) with regard to its intention to purchase an area formed by the retreating of the water and converting the entire property’s land use to commercial.
  • Advised Metrica on its plan to develop a real estate project in a 10-hectare plot of land facing the sea in Santa Elena, arguing successfully on the amendment of municipal regulations.
  • Advised Proexpo on the acquisition of two plots of land, one of 200 hectares and the other of 10 hectares, located in El Triunfo, Guayas, from Agricola Cañera Robles Agricarob.


Deloitte's October 2022 hire of Ernesto Weisson and his team from Robalino served to consolidate the firm’s real estate offering, which focuses on the agribusiness, hospitality and urban development fields, advising a range of companies on due diligence, negotiations, acquisitions and construction projects. Manager Andrea Dávila also plays a significant role at the firm, active on transactions with a link to the pharmaceutical industry; senior associate Daniel Reinoso is an additional key contact. Since the conclusion of research, Weisson has left the firm - effective as of May 2023.

Responsables de la pratique:

Ernesto Weisson; Ricardo Menéndez Ycaza; Daniel Peré Viteri; Andrea Dávila; Ricardo Palacios Valverde; Sofia Illingworth Carvajal; Emilia Rivadeneira

Les références

‘Very professional and trained. Very meticulous lawyers.’

‘Personalised attention.’

Principaux clients





Cargill Ecuador

Wurtsa Technology of Ecuador


Principaux dossiers

  • Advised Inmoderna on the acquisition of land with the purpose of developing a luxury urbanisation for the sale of houses.
  • Advised Wurtsa on the purchase of land located in the area of Sucre, province of Manabí, for a value of $724m.
  • Advised Aquacargill del Ecuador on a purchase of fixed assets and Empagran’s plant.

Romero Arteta Ponce

The real estate practice at Romero Arteta Ponce stands out for its ‘reliability, teamwork and availability’ and acts for a range of well-known companies, which turn to the team for comprehensive advice on construction projects, portfolio management and the transfer of assets. Gustavo Romero heads the team, bringing over 30 years of experience in transactional matters, a focus shared by Diego Romero, another key contact in the department.

Responsables de la pratique:

Gustavo Romero

Les références

‘Reliability, teamwork and availability.’

‘Diego Romero is an experienced mediator and arbitrator, and this is a unique skill also for real estate transactions. I value his honesty and transparency.’

‘The agility, accuracy and intelligence to develop what is due at the right time makes RA&P, in my opinion and experience, the ideal legal firm to optimally advise as a client on any real estate issue.’

Principaux clients

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Siemens Mobility Germany

Embajada Suiza


Inmobiliaria BMV

Sempértegui Abogados

The real estate practice at Sempértegui Abogados primarily advises both developers and municipalities on a range of structuring and dispute work. Marcelo Dávila leads the practice and has over 10 years' experience advising clients on municipal law and investment structures. Other notable team members include Gabriela Salazar, a key contact for energy sector-related issues, and Santiago Salazar, who focuses on procedural matters.

Responsables de la pratique:

Marcelo Davila