01 Sep 2020

ECIJA bolsters Central America team with hires in El Salvador and Costa Rica

Hires follow Spanish independent's Brazil and Ecuador launches; Ontier and DAC Beachcroft also make regional hires

View of San Salvador

San Salvador: El Salvador and Costa Rica hires follow on from expansion into Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico this year Cyan Studio; Shutterstock

Spanish independent ECIJA has made two hires in Central America, following on from its expansion into Brazil and Ecuador in June.

IP disputes specialist Karla Alas de Duarte has joined the firm from Romero Pineda & Associates in El Salvador while special counsel Arturo Guerrero has moved from Saenz & Associates in Costa Rica. 

In June, the Madrid-based firm, which specialises in IP, IT and digital economy centred clients, integrated into the ECIJA brand ten-partner Brazil practice CTA and 15-partner Ecuadorian firm González Peñaherrera & Asociados Abogados.

De Duarte has spent nearly a quarter of a century as a civil and commercial litigator – as well as handling IP disputes – and is also an experienced mediator. She has also specialised in data protection law as part of her academic duties at a leading local university and is active in the local legal technology scene.  

Alfredo Navas Duarte, managing partner of ECIJA’s office in El Salvador, said the move was timely given the heightened focus on technology due to the global pandemic. Highlighting the firm’s increased focus on IT law, he added:  “Time proved us right and digital media are here to stay.”

Also joining the firm – in Costa Rica – is litigator Arturo Guerrero, who becomes a special counsel. 

Guerrero said his move reflected his desire to work with an international firm with a focus on technology in multiple locations in Latin America. 

ECIJA’s investment in Central and South America follows its acquisition of Mexican firm Chacón & Rodríguez in January.

It merged with nine firms during 2019, as well as announcing a joint venture with China’s fifth-largest firm, Grandall.

Elsewhere in Latin America, tax lawyer Eduardo Arturo Rojas has joined international firm Ontier’s Lima office as a partner from CMS, where he was a senior associate having served nearly 10 years at the global giant.

In Mexico City, Miguel Angel de la Fuente has switched from leading Spanish firm Garrigues to DAC Beachcroft, joining as a partner. His hire follows on from that of insurance partner Ana Catalina Restrepo, who joined the UK firm’s Bogota office earlier this year.

DAC Beachcroft  has also expanded its Spanish offering this year with the hire of dispute resolution expert Mercedes Romero in Madrid in July and the acquisition of three-partner Spanish boutique Asjusa in January.