The country’s real estate and tourism sectors are also creating opportunities for lawyers, though there could be an economic slowdown ahead of the 2018 presidential elections
Costa Rica is proving highly attractive to international investors due to its social and economic stability, and its high number of ongoing infrastructure projects, according to Mariano Batalla, partner at Batalla.
Batalla adds that there is a pressing need for infrastructure investment in Costa Rica, and consequently opportunities abound in the sector. He adds: “There are significant transactions in infrastructure, as well as real estate and tourism.” However, Batalla also sounds a note of caution ahead of the country’s presidential elections in 2018: “In an electoral year, a slowdown in economic activity is normally expected, this year the uncertainty is compounded because of the potential adverse effects of the ‘Trump effect’.”
While Costa Rica has escaped largely unscathed from the rhetoric which permeated the election campaign of the US president Donald Trump, in addition to his first six months in office, “we are all keeping a concerned eye on everything coming from the White House,” Batalla says.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica´s legal market remains highly competitive, according to Batalla, who adds that law firms need to adapt in order to deal with a number of challenges. He notes that lateral hires are becoming more common and leading law firms are exploring a number of options, including further integration with neighbouring jurisdictions. However, Batalla believes there is “no threat to solid independent law firms and specialised boutiques”.
He continues: “The arrival of Dentons meant that what market observers had expected for a while actually materialised, that is, international law firms landing in the region. However, the overall consensus is that no other global law firms are expected in Central America in the near future. ”
Batalla adds that his firm is looking to grow in several practice areas such as corporate law, tax and real estate in order to meet the demands of international clients.