Spain’s ECIJA Integrates Another Law Firm in Ecuador


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Spain’s ECIJA has integrated another law firm in Ecuador, adding four partners and a fourth city to its coverage of the South American country.

Estudio Central partners Juan Valdivieso González, Sebastián López Hidalgo, Xavier Molina López and Santiago Vega Malo bring expertise in constitutional, tax and intellectual property law in Cuenca, a picturesque colonial city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador.

“With Estudio Central integrated into ECIJA GPA, we look with optimism to the Ecuador of today and we bet on a bigger country with equality, free trade and growth across industries,” Gonzalo González, managing partner of ECIJA GPA in Ecuador, said in a statement.

González noted that a single business group in the Cuenca region accounts for 4% of Ecuador’s gross domestic product. ECIJA is the only international law firm in the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cuenca is a hub for industry, mining, real estate and tourism.

The partners at Estudio Central said in a statement: “The role and presence of an international firm in the city of Cuenca will consolidate a new vision of the legal practice, incorporating practices with the highest international standards, providing our clients with specialized advice in new areas of law with the added value of having a global reach.”

The Estudio Central team has ample experience in corporate dispute resolution matters, as well as in advising Ecuadorean and international companies and institutions.

ECIJA entered Ecuador in mid-2020 via the integration of González Peñaherrera & Asociados Abogados, which had offices in the capital Quito as well as in the port city Guayaquil.

In 2022, the firm opened a third office in Ecuador, in the coastal city of Manta, the heart of the country’s substantial fishing industry. Ecuador is the world’s second-largest producer of tuna.

ECIJA has offices in 13 Latin American countries, as well as an outpost in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Around the world, the firm employs more than 900 legal professionals.

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