Dentons announced its Central American operation with Muñoz Global, a newly formed law firm comprised of former members of Arias & Muñoz in Costa Rica.
Dentons in its current incarnation is a Swiss verein which was set up in 2013 by the merger of law firms SNR Denton, Fraser Milner Casgrain and Salans. It subsequently merged with the Chinese law firm Dacheng in 2015 becoming the world’s largest by headcount. Dentons has more than 136 offices across 57 countries. The firm arrived in Latin America in 2016, formalising combinations with Colombia’s Cardenas & Cardenas, and Mexico’s López Velarde.
With the latest merger, which is still subject to partner approval, Dentons will be the first global law firm with operations in Central America.
Muñoz Global founders José Antonio Muñoz and Pedro Muñoz also founded Muñoz & Muñoz, which combined with El Salvador’s FA Arias in 1998 to form Arias & Muñoz, the first Central American law firm. José Antonio Muñoz, Pedro Muñoz and Armando Arias, founder of FA Arias, today announced the Muñoz brothers’ separation from the Arias firm on amicable terms.
Arias announced a new corporate branding as the firm celebrates its 75 anniversary this year. Arias has seven offices in six countries. The Costa Rica office has five partners and five associates. In Panama, the firm is home to three partners and five associates.
At Muñoz Global, partner José Antonio Muñoz will lead the Costa Rica office while in Panama, the office will be managed by Gisela Alvarez de Porras. This marks a return to private practice for Alvarez de Porras, having left legacy Arias & Muñoz earlier in 2016 to join a government-backed panel set to recommend improvements to the country’s legal and financial system in the wake of the Panama Papers. The leadership of the Nicaragua office is yet to be announced.