Samuel Lewis Ave. and 54th Street, Panama
AFRA Building, Republic of Panama 0816-06904 Zona 5
Contact: Marissa Lasso de la Vega F.
THE FIRM: Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez (AFRA) was established in 1961, and since then has grown into one of Panama’s leading full service law firm. The firm is recognized by its solid integrity, ability to successfully address legal issues in sophisticated deals, and the reliability and trust offered to its clients by its lawyers and professional staff. Most of the lawyers at AFRA have obtained masters education at top academic institutions in the United States, South America and Europe, which makes it easy for them to adjust to virtually any cultural approach required by its international clients. The firm is sensitive about the clients’ needs to obtain straightforward and practical solutions to their legal concerns, and is focused in delivering a high quality, on time service. AFRA has a strong local practice, and is focused primarily on international companies coming to Panama to carry out business operations. In addition to that, it has a representative group of local companies engaged in important sectors of the economy. The firm’s offshore practice is complemented by the services offered through its BVI office.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE: The firm participates in international arbitration and judicial procedures regarding international disputes in which Panamanian law is of relevance. The firm’s attorneys have experience as arbitrators and expert witnesses, in addition to acting as counsel to plaintiff and defendants.
INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS: AFRA has had a long tradition of dealing with international clients, and is proud of the experience it offers on this area. It has become a leading firm in advising and handling complex privatization procedures involving international companies, public procurement acts for high profile infrastructure contracts sought by international engineering firms, and internationally known companies establishing their regional offices in Panama. AFRA’s international clients include a South American engineering company that built a trans-isthmus highway and is currently reconverting the sewage system in Panama City, amongst many other ambitious projects; an European telecommunications company; major European and US manufacturers, pharmaceutical, service, high tech, and software companies setting up their distribution and regional centers in Panama and operating from the Colon Free Trade Zone; and international finance institutions seeking to carry out finance operations in Panama.
MAIN INTERNATIONAL AREAS OF PRACTICE:
Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions: The firm handles a wide variety of general commercial matters, and is constantly exposed to highly complex and sophisticated mergers and acquisitions deals. The firm’s services include carrying out thorough due diligence procedures, careful negotiations of the merger or acquisition agreement, and a highly responsive support throughout the deal and post-closing process.
Intellectual Property: AFRA’s Intellectual Property Department is perhaps one of the strongest and prominent in the country. AFRA’s experienced Intelectual Property lawyers and staffs provide services in registration and protection of trademarks, patents, trade names, copyrights, trade secrets, franchises, industrial designs, domain names and commercial names in general. In the same Department our services include the supervision of advertising materials and campaigns, advice on sweepstakes and promotions in the field of consumer protection, marketing and advertising law. This is supported by a strong and diverse network of correspondents throughout all of North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.
Banking & Finance: The firm serves as external counsel for local banks and private international finance institutions and multilateral agencies operating in Panama, and its services range from addressing every day regulatory questions, to structuring complex finance and securitization deals. Some of the firm’s partners act as counsel to various boards of directors in banks, which evidence their commitment to this area of practice.
Public Contracting & Infrastructure: Over the last 20 years Panama has witnessed an outstanding increase on infrastructure projects. The firm has attained experience acting as legal counsel to many international engineering and telecommunication firms that have been awarded contracts for the construction of highways, roads, hydroelectric facilities, energy transmission systems, ports and other public utilities infrastructures. The firm provides its clients with the expertise and knowledge required to address matters rising throughout the public bidding procedure, the negotiation of the contract with the government, the structuring and implementation of the collaterals for the project, and the construction.
Labor & Immigration: The firm provides extensive experience to international clients carrying out business activities in Panama in connection with labor disputes and litigation as well as with regulating the presence of expatriates officials sent to Panama by their multinational companies.
Taxation: The firm offers practical tax advice to international clients and guides them in attaining tax efficiency in their local operations.
CLIENTS: Banesco, Banco Aliado, Credicorp Bank, Safra National Bank of New York, Banco Occidental de Descuento (BOD), Inter-American Development Bank, Inter-American Investment Corporation, Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), Corporación Adina de Fomento, Taca Airlines, American Life Insurance Company (ALICO), Riu Hotels, Genzyme Corporation, BP Products North America, The Western Union Company, Kenwood Electronics Latin America, adidas/adidas Latin America, Red Bull GbmH/Red Bull de Panamá, Microsoft Corporation/Microsoft de Panamá, Sanofi – Aventis, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Banco Santander, Productos Familia, Organización Terpel.
LANGUAGES: Spanish and English