Villagran Lara, Attorneys

Maritime, Business and Trademark Law Firm in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Villagran Lara, Attorneys

Calle 3a No. 604-A y Las Monjas
Guayaquil EC090112

Phone+593 (4) 288-8252

Contact Villagran Lara, Attorneys  Contact the Law Firm

Other Offices: Quito  

Law Firm Overview

Villagran Lara, Attorneys, is a law firm with offices in Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador. Services include business law; complex litigation in various areas of civil, commercial, and criminal law; mediation and commercial arbitration; banking and finance; P&I and insurance; joint ventures; agencies; personal injury accidents; export; immigration; due diligence; tax matters; employment issues and labor relations; distribution and franchising agreements; maritime law; real estate; and intellectual property including trademarks.

The firm was established in Ecuador in 1960 by Dr. Hector Villagran Lara, a prominent law professor and lawyer in civil law and litigation. The lawyers are educated and experienced in each of their practice areas and provide legal solutions designed to meet clients’ needs.

The Villagran Lara law firm offers personalized service to clients in the public and private sectors, with knowledgeable and skilled advice and representation.

Year this Office was Established: 1960

Languages: Spanish, English

Areas of Law

Additional Areas of Law: P&I Assistance; Maritime Litigation; Corporate Divisions; Conflict Prevention And Resolution; Arrest And Release Of Ships; Pollution Complaints; Liability Of Port And Terminal Operators; Crisis Management; Litigation On Chartres And Knowledge Of Shipping; Arrest And Release Of Ships; Claims About Pollution; Claims Management On Accident; Investigations (Theft, Fraud, Etc.). Handling of Claims; Handling of Litigation in the Captaincy of the Port And In Civil Courts.

Areas of Law Description

We provide legal assistance on the following areas of practice:

- Conflict Resolution

We are experts in solving and preventing conflicts. We have successfully handled dialogue process in crisis situations to prevent conflicts and to resolve lawsuits. We have represented individuals, national and international companies, including insurance companies, in conflict management by third party claims.

- International Claims

Under continuing professional collaboration with law firms in the United States and Panama, we offer the service of judicial and extrajudicial defense in cases that resemble the following:

• Damage to persons or entities arising from international companies, either by accident aviation, marine, industrial or other damages.
• Situations that have generated negligence damages to companies, organizations or corporations
• Claims are developed with international insurers, reinsurers or North American or Panamanian Courts

- Maritime

We offer a variety of services in the Area of Maritime Law.

Services available include in particular:

• Litigation on charters and bills of lading
• Arrest and Release of Ships
• Pollution Complaints
• Liability of Port and Terminal Operators
• Accident Claims Management
• Research (theft, fraud, etc). Claims handling.
• Litigation Management Captain of the Port and Civil Courts

We assess the process of acquisition of ships and legal structuring. For technical purposes we work with our strategic allies Maritime Power C. Ltd.

- Trademarks and Franchising

We advise and support in the Trademark Registration in Ecuador (including any Intellectual Property and Licensing regarding the use of trademarks in Ecuador. We support your development project franchise system. Advise on the legal steps to acquire a national or international franchise. We are specialized in this topic.

The formation of a franchise and the acquisition of an already formed is not a process that should be left to chance. There are several key factors that the parties should consider, for purposes of being able to replicate the success in a business format.
Our support may be limited to the integrity of the legal process of developing a franchise system, which includes consideration of commercial issues, corporate, labor, etc. We can also support on specific issues such as the preparation of the Franchise Agreement to fit their reality, and for the registration of trademarks and other intellectual property.

- Criminal Defense

Firm Studies, advises and sponsors issues where criminal, whether in matters arising from business or personal issues. In this respect, our scope is linked to the premises of the Prosecutor and the respective Courts the Country.

- Corporate

Within an appropriate legal planning, we offer a range of corporate alternatives for their business.

We support them in legal solutions, since the constitution of a company or the capital increase, to more complex corporate actions such as holding facilities, branches of foreign companies, transformation, merger or division.

We also take care of keeping the corporate books of the Companies, as well as compliance with corporate bonds, and if necessary, to represent the members in General Meetings and / or manage all the documentation of the Boards.

- Labor Issues

Strategic planning legal. Verification and risk prevention. Formulation and processing of internal regulations. Advice and participation in labor disputes, whether individual or collective. Sponsorship judicial authorities to Labor or to the courts or tribunals of the country.

- Personal Injury

In relation to personal injury, including damage to property, relating to aviation accidents, maritime, among others, our firm support to victims and their families to properly route these claims.


Hector Villagran-Lara Dr. Hector Villagran-Lara
Civil Rights, General Practice, International Law, Litigation


Jessica Cisneros Mrs. Jessica Cisneros
Co Managing Partner/Lawyer
Admiralty and Maritime, Aviation Accidents, Civil Litigation, Commercial Law, Commercial Litigation

Leonidas Villagran Dr. Leonidas Villagran
Administrative Law, Admiralty and Maritime, Agency and Distributorship, Business and Industry, Franchising

Hector Villagran Mr. Hector Villagran
Antitrust and Trade Regulation, Business and Industry, Communication, Government, Intellectual Property

Jose Villagran-Lara Mr. Jose Villagran-Lara
Criminal Law, Debtor and Creditor, Litigation


Hugo Cisneros Mr. Hugo Cisneros
Admiralty and Maritime, Criminal Law, Litigation, Conflict Prevention, Conflict Resolution



  • Pichincha Bar Association
  • Guayaquil Bar Association
  • Ecuador Franchise Association
  • The Franchise Center (Network of Franchise Specialists)

More Information on Villagran Lara, Attorneys

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Villagran Lara, Attorneys News and Publications

Articles Published by Villagran Lara, Attorneys

 Extinctive Prescription, characteristics

Prescription is a roman law legacy. Comes from the Latin praescriptio, composed word of the terms prae and scribere which means prior to be written (Opala 1971). Charles P. Sherman mentions that under Roman law prescription consisted in a preliminary allegation before addressing the main issue in a trial.

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 Maritime Law: Collision Law and Its Development in Latin America

In Ecuador, marine collision law is part of the Code of Commerce, which is directly related to the first french Code of Commerce enacted by Napoleon. However, to understand collision law its origins are deeper.

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 The Constitution of Ecuador, 2008

The current constitutional system in Ecuador is a constitutional state of rights and justice. As a result, there is a special focus in two characteristics: first, the direct application of the fundamental rights and, second, the source of constitutional law beyond the formal text of the constitution which entitles constitutional judges to observe also foreign judgments and foreign constitutions as source or reference for their decisions.

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 Prescription in Marine Collision Law in Ecquador

In August 2017 during a hearing in a Harbor Master investigation case regarding a collision incident, a very well-known Ecuadorian maritime attorney and former master mariner recalled that collisions happen due to diverse causes.

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 Maritime Law in Ecuador

Ecuador is a civil law country traditionally based on statute. The new Constitution 2008 brought a fundamental exception to this rule. Art. 435 paragraphs 1, 6 and 10 allowed the Constitutional Court of Ecuador to issue jurisprudence to be binding generally. There is also a provision in Art. 185 of the Constitution that entitles the National Court to adopt a binding rule of jurisprudence in case of repeated similar opinions in determined matters (Constitución del Ecuador 2008).

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 Marine Collision Law in Ecuador

Ecuador is not a party of the Brussels Collision Convention. Ecuador is party from 2012 to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This convention includes provisions in regard to collisions on the high seas, determining that in regard to penal or disciplinary matters jurisdiction is subject to the flag State, or the State in which the individual to be investigated is a national.

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 Liabilities in Maritime Law: A case and comparative approach with Ecuador

A comparative analysis which provides the idea on the impact of international conventions and the implementation of different kind of liabilities.

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 Liability Cover in Marine Insurance in England: P&I Perspective

Protection and Indemnity Associations also known as P&I Clubs are the result of long time development from Mutual Hull insurers in England. One of the principles of these Clubs is to insure liabilities not covered by the Hull & Machinery policy.

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 London and Nordic Marine Insurance Markets

A Comparative Analysis in Relation to Marine Insurance Cover.

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 The UK Insurance Act 2015: The Shift in Marine Insurance Warranties Regime

English law switches from automatic discharge of liability to suspension of liability in case of a breach of a warranty as long the breach is material to the loss

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 Documentary Credit in International Trade

Documentary credits law depends on the principle of autonomy or independence of the credit and the doctrine of strict compliance. The principle of autonomy protects the beneficiary (exporter) while the doctrine of strict compliance protects the issuing bank and the applicant (importer).

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 Commercial Dispute Resolution: The International Approach

Considering some facts regarding disputes in the International Trade arena. Most of the time parties in international trade develop all kind of businesses without primary concern of a potential conflict between them.

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 Freedom of Contract in International Carriage Contracts. What about Ecuador ?

The Doctrine of Freedom of Contract also known as “Laissez Faire” is the basis for international carriage contracts, according to Common Law. In Ecuador there are some considerations according to The Consumers Act

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 Goods on Deck - Ecuador

An article related to the Hague Visby Rules and goods on deck.

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 Causation in Maritime Insurance: The Cendor MOPU

The Cendor MOPU case law brings a new scenario to insurance law.

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 International Sales: Standard Forms and Incoterms

The author explains about the advantages of contracting on standard form contracts and using shipping terms, including Incoterms.

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 Civil Law and Common Law

The author writes about the differences between English Law and the Civil Law. Ecuador is under the Civil Law System.

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 Resident Visas - Ecuador

General information regarding requirements in order to obtain a resident visa in Ecuador.

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