Associate

María Laura Pérez Guardia

Contact

Tel: +507 2153215

Email: marialaura.perez@lovill.com

Industries

  • Technology.
  • Media.
  • Telecommunication.
  • Commercial & Professional Services.
  • Banks.
  • Consumer Goods.
  • Financial Services.
  • Retail.
  • Logistics and Distribution.
  • Tourism.

Practice Areas

  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT).
  • Corporate Law.
  • Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

Education

  • Universidad Católica Santa María la Antigua (Panama), LL.B., 2013.
  • Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), Masters of Laws (LL.M) in International Business and Economic Law, 2015.
  • Singapore Judicial College, (Singapore) Certificate in International Trade Law, 2019.

Languages

  • English.
  • Spanish.

Bar Admissions

Admitted to practice law in the Republic of Panama.

María Laura has a Master of Laws (LL.M) in International Business and Economic Law from Georgetown University Law Center (2015) with a concentration on trade, technology and telecommunications and a Certificate from the Singapore Judicial College in International Trade Law.

Her academic studies also include a Degree in Law and Political Science from the Universidad Católica de Santa Maria la Antigua (2013).

She acted as Chief of Staff for the Panamanian delegation to the Panama-China Free Trade Agreement. During the negotiations, she negotiated directly on behalf of Panama at the Investment, Legal Affairs, and Dispute Resolution working groups, among others. She was also an advisor to the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade.

Additionally, María Laura worked in the United States Mission to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where she gained experience in the Dispute Settlement Body and in the Appellate Body of the WTO. Before joining the firm, María Laura worked in a multinational company as an International Legal Advisor supervising contracts for the entire Latin American region.

She is part of the Trade and Investment Steering Committee of American Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Panama (PanAmCham) and the Legal Team of the Panamanian Chamber of Information Technologies, Innovation and Telecommunications (CAPATEC).

María Laura founded and is the Vice president of Axxion, a network of professional women in which she also leads the Lawyers Committee. She also participated in the International Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C. in 2013 and coached the Panama team for the International Rounds between 2017 and 2018.

María Laura is licensed to practice law in Panama since 2013.

Experience in technology media and telecommunications

We advise a major Latin American retail brand in transitioning to electronic commerce business, including the strategic legal aspects regarding consumer protection, antitrust, advertising, data privacy, banking agreements, logistics and cybersecurity. The client obtains from Lovill constant legal feedback regarding its systems and processes, so that the legal integrity of the online business is never compromised and is continually up to date according to the legal needs of their expanding operations.

We advise a major media outlet regarding the launch of its mobile applications in Latin American in all aspects regarding data privacy, consumer protection and antitrust. Lovill’s advise is provided to reflect the fast-changing needs of mobile commerce, taking into account regional consumer behavior and international trends and standards of other media outlets in mobile applications.

We advise a Telecom network infrastructure company regarding regulatory issues in relation to hundreds of satellite equipment sites based in Panama. We structured our advice in order to provide strategic guidance in regards to third-party operations affected by Covid-19, taking into account all provisional regulation enacted by the government to prevent the virus’ spread and possible affectations to telecommunication services.

Relevant cases in dispute resolution and arbitration

Advised a foreign State in a case related to a systematic and fraudulent scheme to a state-owned company. Lovill designed a top-to-bottom strategy of the case, which involved criminal and civil actions aiming to prevent further fraudulent actions and recover the embezzled amounts.

Advised a foreign state in connection to a dispute of more than six hundred million (600) dollars, concerning the enforcement of a foreign judgment in favor of a state-owned entity. We structured our legal advice by creating a multi-jurisdiction approach in order to recover the assets obtained in the judgment.

Representation of a foreign state entity in a civil dispute for one hundred thirty (130) million dollars related to the diversion of public funds, fraud and seizure of private assets as a consequence of a bank fraud committed during a financial crisis in the represented state.

Representation of a state-owned oil entity in a complex dispute for twelve thousand nine hundred (12.900) billion dollars that arose from a contractual claim presented by a group of Ecuadorian foundations, as a result of alleged environmental damages.

Relevant cases in corporate law

Advised an international investment and insurance fund established in Asia in the acquisition of a major South African insurance company with presence in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. The transaction involved the sale of a pension fund, a trust and a life insurance company. Lovill gave the client multi-tier advice regarding all tax, regulatory, competition and corporate aspects of sale.

Lovill advised a major customs company in the purchase of a logistics holding group. The sale involved the negotiation of several bonds to guarantee the obligations of the seller, in the event of non-compliance of its obligations, and a trust to secure payment for the shares. The client obtained full-fledged advice involving every step of the transaction, from the negotiation of the agreement to the payment of the corporate taxes to finalize the transaction.

Articles and publications

“M-Commerce, Applications and the regulatory framework”, Panamanian Chamber of Information Technologies, Innovation and Telecommunications (CAPATEC), November, 2020.

“Panama: Law and Practice”, Enforcement of Judgements Guide, Chambers & Partners, August 2020.

“Panama: Trends and Development”, Enforcement of Judgements Guide, Chambers & Partners, August 2020.

“On contractual obligations in times of COVID-19”, web article, May 2020.

“Exhaustion of local remedies under International Litigation” investigative article at Georgetown University Law Center, 2015.

“Panama, leader in counterfeiting and piracy”, Marcasur International Magazine, September 2013.

“Panama adopts Budapest Cybercrime Convention”, Marcasur International Magazine November 2013.

“Use of electronic means”, Marcasur International Magazine, November 2012.

Articles and publications

“M-Commerce, Applications and the regulatory framework”, Panamanian Chamber of Information Technologies, Innovation and Telecommunications (CAPATEC), November, 2020.

“Panama: Law and Practice”, Enforcement of Judgements Guide, Chambers & Partners, August 2020.

“Panama: Trends and Development”, Enforcement of Judgements Guide, Chambers & Partners, August 2020.

“On contractual obligations in times of COVID-19”, web article, May 2020.

“Exhaustion of local remedies under International Litigation” investigative article at Georgetown University Law Center, 2015.

“Panama, leader in counterfeiting and piracy”, Marcasur International Magazine, September 2013.

“Panama adopts Budapest Cybercrime Convention”, Marcasur International Magazine November 2013.

“Use of electronic means”, Marcasur International Magazine, November 2012.

Awards and mentions

Shortlisted for the award “Diversity & Inclusion Future Leader (Central America)” for the Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: Latin America 2020 (Pending December 2020).

Mentioned in Legal 500 “Dispute Resolution” Panama Ranking 2021 Guide.

Scholarship for the “International Trade Certificate” awarded by the Singapore Judicial College.

Valuable Contribution to University Life Award, Universidad Católica Santa María la Antigua, 2013-2014.

Memberships

Founder and Vice President of Axxion, network of professional women in Panama.

Chair of the Lawyers Committee of Axxion, network of professional women in Panama.

Steering Committee of the Trade and Investment Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce with Panama (AMCHAM).

Legal Team of the Panamanian Chamber of Information Technologies, Innovation and Telecommunications (CAPATEC).

Speaking engagements

Speaker, Five legal aspects to know regarding your Mobile App, Webinar for City of Knowledge, Panama, November 2020.

Speaker, Practical Legal Guide for E-commerce in Panama, LOVILL Webinar, Panama, September 2020.

Moderator “Key aspects of Cybersecurity for the business”, American Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Panama (AmCham), Panama, September, 2020

Moderator, Aspects to consider about the Taxation of Electronic Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Panama (AmCham), Panama, August 2020.

Moderator, Reorganization as a Legal Mechanism for Companies before the Crisis and Bankruptcy Proceedings in Panama, LOVILL Webinar Cycle, Panama, August 2020.