Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega
Professional Notice

ARIFA has been leading Panama’s legal profession since 1914. Its practice spans 30 areas of law in 12 practice groups. ARIFA, long recognised for structuring complex and innovative M&A, capital market and financial transactions, also has a strong offshore practice for which it has developed its own network of affiliated offices in London, Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, Uruguay, and Belize. Click here to view locations.

The firm advises international financial institutions, multinationals, and some of the largest domestic companies. It’s well known for creating innovative and creative legal: First securitization in Panama (including the first securitization of credit card receivables, trade receivables, SWIFTs, residential mortgages, and toll-road receivables); created the structure used by Panamanian issuers to simultaneously place bonds in the local and international markets; first IPO of a Panamanian company in the Panama Stock Exchange, and first perpetual bond in Panama; first bond issued by state-owned SPV and largest bond offer ever in the Panamanian market; first public exchange offer carried out in Panama. When Citibank decided in 2011 to act as local custodian to open the Panamanian market to international investors, it turned to ARIFA for advice to create the structure and draft the required agreements and rules of operation. ARIFA lawyers frequently participate in government and industry committees set up to draft or revise banking and capital markets’ laws and regulations or attend to issues pertaining to the industry. In that capacity, the firm contributed to the drafting of the current Securities Act; drafted the current tender offer rules; drafted the rules of operation of Panama's clearing and settlement agency, LatinClear.

The firm also stands out as the local M&A leader in terms of dollar value of domestic and cross-border deals, complexity, and frequency of transactions. The firm has successfully obtained antitrust regulatory approval for several of the largest and more difficult acquisitions in Panama.

Its team has participated in milestone infrastructure and energy project transactions such as the financing of Panama's first City Metro (Lines 1, 2 and 3); the beach roadway project “Corredor de las Playas”; the "Cinta Costera" project (phases I, II and III); the new south terminal of Tocumen International Airport; the LNG Costa Norte project, the single largest natural gas powered generation facility complex ever built in Panama; phase I and II of the largest active wind generation project in Panama and Central America sponsored by Goldwind and UEP; as well as all major hydroelectric projects in Panama, including Fortuna, AES, Bahia Las Minas, Elektra, and Edemet-Edechi.

The firm’s success lies in the quality of its lawyers, many educated at top law schools in the US and Europe or trained at law firms in New York. This background allows the firm’s lawyers to bridge legal and business nuances to find the best solutions.