Since its foundation in 1942, Arias has grown with seven offices across Central America. Based in San José in Costa Rica, the firm has gained a reputation for its strong tax department led by Carolina Flores. One of its biggest strength is to assist foreign clients in tax structures and multinational clients headquartered in Costa Rica. The tax department is also known for advising clients during the application process of special tax regimes and in administrative and judicial tax cases against the tax authorities.
During the research period, the tax team worked on different remarkable transactions. In one case, it advised Cardinal Health in the purchase of the local entities of Medtronic Group. The transactions included more than 20 jurisdictions. Another interesting mandate was to advise Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group on different tax matters in the negotiations with Panacafe de Costa Rica. Other key clients included Nokia, Establishment Labs and Philips.
In June 2019, the firm made the addition of senior consultant Ulises Arias.
Founded in Costa Rica in 2003, BLP has grown to establish offices throughout Central America, along with a representation office in Madrid. The tax team in Costa Rica is comprised of one partner, two directors, two senior associates and one special counsel. The department is led by Luis Chacón, who has given the firm a strong reputation in litigation with his successful cases. The group is also very active in tax consultancy and tax planning across a variety of sectors, including real estate, pharmaceuticals, hospitality and financial services.
The team advises both domestic and international clients. All the cases and deals remain confidential.
The tax group welcomed director Manrique Blen, who spent more than 8 years at Deloitte.
A standout performer in Central America, Consortium Legal is a full-service firm with one of the largest tax practices in the region. With 95 lawyers overall, it is located in Escazú and San José and its large tax group is comprised of five partners, twelve associates and three other professionals. The tax team has a broad range of experience and offers services in the areas of tax planning, M&A, tax advisory and tax litigation. The tax group has an emphasis on advising international companies investing in Costa Rica.
During the research period, the tax team represented the retail company Walmart on several tax matters and it has appointed Uber’s regional tax counsel in Central America. In addition, the team was active in three large infrastructure projects, including the representation of the Spanish multinational company Globalvía on its tax matters and litigation processes in Costa Rica.
In terms of lateral moves, the tax team made the addition of associate Mónica Corrales who left Grant Thornton.
Deloitte in Costa Rica has established itself as an important player in international tax and tax planning. Alan Saborio, as country manager partner, Carla Coghi and Francisco Villalobos, as tax and legal partners, lead the team. The group has an emphasis on advising international clients.
Over the research period, the team worked on a number of cases throughout Central America.
In terms of people moves, the team expanded with the addition of Herrero Adriana and senior manager Priscilla Zamora. The new hires had worked respectively at the immigration firm Fragomen and at the Ministry of Finance in Costa Rica.
In 2017 global firm Dentons expanded its presence in Central America acquiring the Costa Rica-based Muñoz Global. Since its inception, the law firm Dentons Muñoz has gained a reputation for its large base of international clients and its strong activity on all tax aspects of M&A. In addition, the firm is also strong in tax litigation. A key member of the firm’s tax team is partner Daniel Araya.
Over the research period, the tax group advised pharmaceutical company Bayer on its tax strategy in Central America and the Carribean. Other clients included Latam Logistics and Dacondor.
The firm made the addition of the tax director Vladimir Blanco, who left Grupo Camacho Internacional.
“They know what they are doing, they are always up to date and they provide fast responses.”
A leading firm in Costa Rica, EY Law’s biggest strengths are all aspects of M&A and cross-border tax issues, tax structuring and indirect tax. The firm is also very active in audits, tax diligence and litigation. Based in San José, the tax team comprises eight partners and 42 associates and professionals. The group advises inbound and outbound investments and it offers customs advisory services as well as global trade consulting for both export and import businesses.
Over the research period, the tax team assisted on the due diligence process and tax structuring of different acquisitions that remained confidential. In the indirect tax space, the team advised a fruit company in a complex transaction that involved customs planning and export compliance revision and it represented a company in the retail business on all trade, logistic, indirect tax and customs matters in Central America, including Costa Rica.
Grant Thornton is among the top players in Costa Rica in all areas of tax law. The firm boasts a tax department with six partners and more than 70 professionals in tax, legal and transfer pricing areas. The team has a special focus on tax reform and supports clients in both customs and tax controversy. It has expanded into Costa Rica with the addition of another office on the Pacific Coast.
Over the research period, the firm worked on impressive cases in particular focused on corporate tax, indirect tax and tax controversy. All the cases and transactions remain confidential.