Dentons to be first global law firm with offices in Central America

Proposed combination with Muñoz Global would unite world’s largest law firm and regional leader with offices in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua

Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, today announced it would become the first global law firm with offices in Central America if a proposed combination with Costa Rica-based Muñoz Global is approved by partners of both firms later this year.

Muñoz Global is a newly established law firm, comprised of the former Costa Rican offices of the Arias & Muñoz law firm and new offices in Panama and Nicaragua. 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 Pan-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. The Panama and Nicaragua offices will be headed by Gisela Porras and Bernard Pallais, respectively. 

The proposed combination follows the launch of Dentons López Velarde in Mexico and Dentons Cárdenas & Cárdenas in Colombia earlier this year. It marks the next step in Dentons’ strategy to grow its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“As the first global law firm with offices in Central America, we will be uniquely positioned to serve our clients who have growing needs in this region,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman of Dentons. “Our goal is to connect those clients to top-tier talent by combining with firms whose lawyers are highly regarded and deeply rooted in the local economy and legal culture. The lawyers of Muñoz Global offer all that and more.”

“Since our launch in Mexico and Colombia earlier this year, cross-border work into and out of the region has grown rapidly, demonstrating that clients see a great advantage to being served by a global firm that can offer the best locally informed legal counsel and business advice anywhere they operate,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global Chief Executive Officer of Dentons. “Given the interconnectedness of the economies of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, we see real opportunities to serve clients further through more intra-region work as well.”

“For more than 21 years our lawyers have focused on international standard legal and business solutions for the Central America market. With the announced intent to combine with Dentons, we will now help our clients around the world while continuing to provide our services and counsel in Central America and Panama,” said José Antonio Muñoz, Founding Partner of Muñoz Global.

“In 1995, Pedro Muñoz and I began our long-term project to make legal services in our region international when we started operations in Nicaragua,” said José Antonio Muñoz. “After an incredible 18-year run in Central America we now go global with help and great support from Dentons.”

The combination of Dentons and Muñoz Global would allow both firms to enhance their capabilities in key business sectors and practices including:

  • Banking  and finance: Muñoz Global and Dentons have significant banking and finance practices, with both firms jointly serving some of the world’s largest banks. In addition, each firm serves leading local and regional financial institutions in their respective regions.
  • Corporate: Reflecting the strong ties to local economic drivers in the communities they serve, both firms have built substantial corporate practices, providing counsel on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity and foreign direct investment. Muñoz Global boasts one of Central America’s elite transactional practices, ranked Band 1 by the legal guide Chambers in Corporate/M&Aand focused on banking and finance, real estate, life sciences and manufacturing. 
  • Dispute resolution: The proposed combination would, for the first time, unite a global firm with a significant presence in the world’s leading arbitration centers, such as London and Singapore, with the Central American leader in dispute resolution. Chambers recently awarded Muñoz Global’s Dispute Resolution practice a Band 1 ranking. 
  • Life sciences: Dentons and Muñoz Global share numerous clients in the pharmaceutical, medical equipment and health services sectors. The combination would bring the advantages of one-firm service to these clients across all the locations served by the new firm.
  • Real estate: Clients of both firms will benefit from the synergies of combining one of Central America’s most widely recognized real estate practices and recipient of a Band 1 ranking from Chambers, with the experience and skill of the largest real estate practice group in the world at Dentons.
  • Tourism and hospitality: If approved, the combination will bring together Dentons’ world-class Hotels and Leisure practice with one of Central America’s leading tourism and hospitality groups to serve one of the region’s most important business sectors.
  • Transportation and logistics: Both firms offer public and private sector clients deep experience in all aspects of transportation, transportation finance and logistics. Muñoz Global’s longtime involvement in government-sponsored transportation and infrastructure projects will bring an added dimension to the work that Dentons performs on behalf of leading engineering, logistics and transportation clients around the world. Muñoz Global’s Projects practice is ranked Band 1 by Chambers


Both firms will seek approval for the proposed combination from their partners before the end of 2016.

For more information and details regarding the combination, visit




About Dentons

Dentons is the world's largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognized by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Dentons' polycentric approach and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work.


AboutMuñoz Global

With offices in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, Muñoz Global offers an outstanding multi-national legal team with global resources to ensure that our clients receive unmatched attention and expertise. Our 75+ person team is comprised of the brightest and best talent in the region, making Muñoz Global an undisputed leader in corporate legal services across multiple industries. We are uniquely 

positioned to leverage our global platform and deliver sophisticated and innovative legal services for the success of our clients. We proudly offer talented and skilled legal professionals from diverse backgrounds and cultures in Central America and the Caribbean, as well as through the Dentons presence in more than 50 countries around the world.

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