Firm / Organisation

Comte & Font - Legalsa

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Partners: Henry Comte, David Font, Marisol Fion, Karina Calderón, Alejandro Penados, Ronny Aguilar
Number of partners: 6
Number of lawyers: 17

THE FIRM: Comte & Font – Legalsa provides comprehensive legal services for all types of businesses with interests in Guatemala. The firm has been particularly successful in dispute resolution (including complex litigation and arbitration), banking law, intellectual property (including IP litigation), administrative law related to government bids and concessions and estate planning.

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE:
Administrative Law/Public Procurement: The firm advises, represents and assists contractors throughout government procurement processes, including preparation of bids, technical proposals and review and negotiation of contract terms; it also assists clients with related litigation, investigations, civil and/or criminal prosecution. Recently, the firm advised the company which won the bid for issuing national identity cards, the largest Guatemalan government concession in decades and successfully defended the client against more than 25 legal actions by competing vendors.

Banking Law: Comte & Font – Legalsa provides a full range of legal services for local and international banks and financial institutions: representing lenders and borrowers in all types of credit facilities, including syndicated loans, leasing contracts, secured and unsecured lending; advice and assistance in dealing with regulatory agencies, collection of delinquent credits, drafting and registration of loan contracts and on general corporate and tax matters. The firm has managed credit collections for some of the most important banks in Guatemala, outsourced management of banks’ inhouse counsel needs and provided comprehensive services related to the merger of two local banks.

Corporate Law: The firm acts as regular outside counsel for new and established, Guatemalan and international corporations in several business sectors, including banks, food and beverage manufacturing, call centres, shipping, power generation, agricultural industries and real estate development. Clients retain the firm for advice and assistance on a wide range of corporate, governance, contract, tax and regulatory matters, as well as litigation and arbitration.

Dispute Resolution: Comte & Font – Legalsa provides specialised dispute resolution services, including civil and administrative litigation, arbitration, credit recovery, constitutional law actions (amparos) and criminal law proceedings. The firm has developed specialised practices in shareholder disputes, IP litigation, unfair competition claims and white-collar crime and has strong experience in managing complex, high-profile litigation. Recent experience includes the successful defence of clients’ interests in shareholder disputes at two of the largest Guatemalan corporate groups, which together involved over 300 separate legal actions; and the successful defence of a client against more than 25 legal challenges to its adjudication of the largest Guatemalan government concession in decades.

Intellectual Property: The firm manages all aspects of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters, including: registration and protection of trademarks, copyright and patents; strategies for protection of intellectual property rights; sale, licensing or franchising of intellectual property rights; IP litigation, including actions to protect non-registered intellectual property; and enforcement of IP rights against infringement, including piracy and counterfeiting.

Mergers & Acquisitions: Clients retain the firm for assistance with negotiations, due diligence, documentation, regulatory approvals and corporate and tax advice related to mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and other significant transactions in all types of business sectors. Recent experience includes the acquisition of Banco de la República by Bantrab. Real Estate: The firm advises and assists property owners and tenants, promoters and developers of commercial and residential projects with all legal services for the purchase, sale, use and development of real estate, including negotiation, due diligence, documentation, registration and tax planning.

Tax/Estate Planning: Comte & Font – Legalsa advises clients in the design and execution of tax planning for corporate businesses and transactions. The firm has developed a specialised practice of estate planning, which assists clients with the planning, design and execution of efficient tax structures for transmission of family wealth.

LANGUAGES: English, Spanish, French.

Clients
International clients that have been serviced by the firm include Avianca, Citibank, Cotopaxi, Del Monte, Enel, Fiat, Freemantlemedia, Garrigues, Heineken Spain, Libbey, Nestlé Purina, Pacific Rubiales Energy, Riviana Foods, Sagem Securité, Scotia Leasing, Sears Brands, Sensient Technologies and Truworths.