As one of the firms founding partners, Mr. Muñoz has overseen the growth of Arias & Muñoz from its formation to its current position as the largest and only fully integrated central American law firm, with eight offices in six countries throughout the region. One of the driving factoros behind the firm's rapid growth has been Mr. Muñoz continuous dedication to innovation in the legal market. For example, he spearheaded the creation of the Global Legal Skills program, a unique education program that provides a full curriculum of courses, in English, on common law legal reasoning and writing and international legal skills. These courses are provided to Arias & Muñoz, and recently became available to paying outside legal professionals. This ensures efficient communication and understanding between Arias & Muñoz attorneys and clients, regardless of whether they are domestic or international.
In addition to leading the firm's expansion through his innovation, Mr. Muñoz legal career has been extremely diverse, as indicated by the relevant experience listed below. In the public sector, he has held a number of public positions, both in Costa Rica and abroad. In the private sector, he has established himself as one of the top corporate lawyers in Central America, specializing in transactional work and international investment. His multi-faceted career and diverse experience allows him to provide a unique perspective that is invaluable to clients.
Relevant Experience in the Public Sector
· Minister Consul General and Deputy Chief of the Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, D.C. (1992-1994).
· Charge d' Affaires, Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington D.C. (1994).
· Senior Advisor in International Trade and Relations with International Agencies for the Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica (1990-1992).
· Member of the Board of Directors of PROCOMER, the Agency for the Promotion of International Trade of the Costa Rican Government (1998-2002).
· Advisor on International Law to the Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs (1998-2002).
· Founding Member and Senior Counsel to the Foundation for the Defense of External trade (1986-1990).
· Member of the Private Sector Delegation to the Official Committee for Costa Rica's Accession to GATT (1988).
· Member of the Advisory Council to the Private Sector of the Minister of International Trade (1988-1992).
· Legal Department, Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE) (1978-1981).
· Partner, Facio & Cañas (San José) 1986-1998.
· Serves as legal and strategic advisor to a number of national and international banking institutions and industrial companies operating in Costa Rica and Central America.
· Acted as counsel for multinational institutions including the Inter-American Investment Corporation, and the International Finance Corporation.
· Counseled International banks and corporations on the tax and government procurement issues related to infrastructure projects.
· Serves as outside counsel for several major U.S. companies investing in Costa Rica.
· Lobbies extensively to increase cooperation between the public and private sector in Central America. Specifically, Mr. Muñoz has lobbied for legislation promoting the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and other public-private entities in public works projects, and for legislation improving the cost recovery formulae used in public-private projects.
· Mr. Muñoz has counseled international banks and corporations on the tax government procurement issues related to infrastructure projects.
International Trade Law
· Particioated in Costa Rica's accession to the GATT.
· Participated in the Caribbean Basin Initiative II negotiations in Washington, D.C.
· Represented Costa Rica in their General System of Preferences petitions before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington, D.C.
· Acted as legal counsel to the Costa Rican Exporters of Fresh Cut Flowers to the U.S. in a dumping and countervailing duties case.
· Frequently liaisons and advises private and public entities on trade matters regarding exports both within and outside of Central America.
Abogado Distinguido 2011, del Colegio de Abogados de Costa Rica.
Central American Law Firm Leader of the Year 2010, Latin Lawyer.
Interlawyer of the 2002, Interlaw.
Leading Specialist in Corporate Governance in Central America 2007, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers.
Described as a "deal doer" with the "capacity to look at the grater picture" by Chambers and Partners.
ABA, Law Practice management Core Group (2003—).
Member, American Bar Association and ABA International Law section (2004), where he has co-hosted an ILEX trip to Central America, and has been a speaker in the Section's Pathways to International Law Careers and Law Practice Management Programs.
Founder, Member of the Board of Directors, Fulbright Foundation Costa Rica (1998—).
Member, Interlaw, (Interlawyer of the Year, 2002).
President, Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce.
Member, Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA).
Publications and News
Latin Lawyer Law Firm Leader of the Year 2010, April 2011.
"Arias & Muñoz steers IT group to Silicon Valley buy," Latin Lawyer Daily News, May 2010.
"Chinchilla's election is a mandate for the market, say lawyers," Latin Lawyer Online, February 2010.
Arias & Muñoz asesora al Banco de China y Sinosure en la primera transacción financiera Sino Centroamericana," Latin Counsel, April 2010.
Atracción de inversión extranjera," March 2011.