Senior Partner: Eduardo de Alba, María del Carmen Zúñiga, Fernando A. Arias
Number of partners: 17
Number of other lawyers: 49
Business & Corporate Law: Roy C Durling
Capital Markets & Banking: Ricardo M Arango
Commercial & Real Estate: María C Arroyo
Corporate Services: Fernando A Arias
Estates & Private Clients: Gian Castillero
Government Contracts & Permits: Rosa Restrepo
Intellectual Property: Carol Durling
Labour & Immigration: María del Carmen Zúñiga
Litigation & Arbitration: Fernando A Arias
M&A & Corporations: Ricardo M Arango
Regulatory Work: Sofía J Cohen
Shipping & Transportation: Jorge Loaiza
Taxation: Estif Aparicio
ARIFA has been leading Panama’s legal profession since 1914. The firm advises international financial institutions, multinationals and some of the largest domestic companies. Its practice spans 30 areas of law in 14 practice groups. ARIFA, long recognised for structuring complex and innovative M&A, capital market and financial transactions, also has a strong offshore practice. The firm’s success lies in the quality of its lawyers, many educated in top law schools in the US and Europe or trained in law firms in New York. This background allows the firm’s lawyers to bridge legal and business nuances to find the best solutions.
Main Areas of Practice:
Capital Markets & Banking:
ARIFA has the pre-eminent capital markets and banking practices in Panama. It is the market leader for innovative financial structures, particularly in cross-border transactions, and has unmatched expertise in securitisations and in domestic IPOs.
Advising initial purchasers in connection with US$500 million Banistmo’s debut international bond offering; BLADEX in a US$120 million syndicated multijurisdictional loan to Grupo Monge, one of the largest retailers in Central America, and a US$100 million term loan facility to Dos Pinos, the largest dairy company in Central America and the Caribbean; and Marine Harvest, one of the largest seafood companies in the world, in a €1.2 million facility agreement.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
ARIFA is one of Panama’s M&A leaders in terms of volume and number of deals. Clients trust the firm to solve complex and difficult cross-border acquisitions.
Advising E. León Jimenes in the acquisition by Ambev of a 30 percent interest in Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, the leading beer company in the Caribbean; Assicurazioni Generali in the US$172 million asset sale agreement with respect to its Panamanian operations to ASSA; INCHCAPE in the US$284 million acquisition of Grupo Rudelman, the Suzuki-led distribution business in Costa Rica and Panama; CPG Real Estate in the US$110 million sale of The Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas; Empresa Panameña de Alimentos in the sale of dairy company Bonlac to Castillo Hermanos; advising client in a first-of-its kind antitrust approval in commercial alliance agreement between leading international airlines in Panama; and McDermott International in its US$6 billion merger with Chicago Bridge & Iron Company.
Projects & Government Concessions:
The firm has been involved in all major private and public infrastructure projects as well as in every major power generation and transmission project in Panama.
The first and second line of the City Metro; the construction of the south terminal of Tocumen International Airport; and the Panama Bay coastal highway; the US$291.5 million financing of Costa Norte LNG, the single largest natural gas powered generation facility complex to be built in Panama; the phases I and II of the largest active wind generation project in Panama and Central America sponsored by Goldwind and UEP; and the country’s third transmission line.
ARIFA has a strong corporate services practice, with more than 50 years of experience and with an important and selective number of legal structures under its administration. ARIFA’s network of affiliated and fully integrated offices in Panama, London, Luxembourg, Uruguay, Geneva, Hong Kong, BVI and Belize render service around the world with corporate services solutions based on a business model of enhanced due diligence and platform of services designed to add value to the firm’s clients.
ARIFA’s real estate team covers the spectrum of real estate activities. Its lawyers are experts in drafting joint venture, land purchase, construction and lease agreements. Their knowledge of complex hotel, casino, zoning, environmental, construction and property law regulations offers clients the confidence to proceed with their respective projects.
ARIFA facilitates vessel registration and financing for clients around the world through a proprietary network of affiliated offices in London, Hong Kong and Panama. The firm, regarded as a premier firm for ship financing in Panama, is the leader in Panama for platform financing, particularly in the offshore sector. ARIFA also has a growing interdisciplinary maritime litigation practice to handle its clients’ shipping-related disputes.
ARIFA offers its clients a full range of IP legal services. The firm also uses a well-established network of IP corresponding firms to coordinate trademark and other intellectual property rights registrations around the world, particularly in Latin America.
The firm also has liaison offices in Belize, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Uruguay and the British Virgin Islands.