BLP, or Business Law Partners, was founded in Costa Rica 20 years ago this year. With 34 partners and 180 attorneys, the law firm now operates in five countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – and has an advisory office in Spain.
When it comes to infrastructure financings, the firm – which wins the award for Infrastructure Law Firm of the Year – Central America – prides itself on being at the forefront of the region’s deal-making activity. “If there is a ground-breaking project in the region, if it is a first-ever project, we are there,” says Monica Malcotti, an attorney at BLP’s and the firm’s business development director.
Among some of the “firsts” in the region, BLP advised on Costa Rica’s 305MW Reventazón hydroelectric plant, the largest in the region, El Salvador’s first green bond, and Platanares, the first geothermal plant in Honduras. Most recently, was counsel on Liberty Costa Rica’s $450-million sustainability-linked bond to increase digital access in Costa Rica.
Malcotti says this last deal showcased what BLP is about, demonstrating “our deep knowledge of the sector and capacity to close transactions.”
Looking ahead, she says that BLP sees promise in the region’s real estate sector and also expects a boom in work around free-trade zones. The latter are poised to proliferate across the region as nearshoring becomes a reality and companies explore new opportunities under the free-trade agreement between Central America and the United States that will hit the 20-year mark next year.
Meanwhile the real estate sector, particularly hospitality (tourism), has seen growth rebound sharply since the end of the pandemic.
In the past year, BLP has worked on financings for different resorts in Costa Rica, including the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Waldorf Astoria Guanacaste, which will be opening in 2023. The firm also worked on the newest incarnation of the Marina Flamingo, the country’s newest port of call of the yachting class.
Malcotti says the key the firm's successes over the past 20 years – and to its future – is in its name: it's more than about just Instead of an acronym based on the last name of founding partners, she says the three words in the name say it all – a firm keen on doing business, laser-focused on the law and a partner to its clients.
“Our name and our philosophy help us attract the best talent in the region,” she says.