Dr. José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa

José Rafael Bustamante Espinosa is our exclusively recommended Corporate Law expert in Ecuador on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact José Rafael directly using the contact details above.

José Rafael is the Managing and Senior Partner in Bustamante & Bustamante, and co-heads the Corporate Department. He holds important market recognition due to his long-standing reputation in the corporate and commercial sphere. José Rafael offers remarkable expertise in advising foreign clients doing business in Ecuador, as he has been a key figure in the legal arena for over 35 years. His experience in the commercial area is highly recognised by his clients and peers.

José Rafael is Member of the International Trademark Association – INTA, American Society of International Law, International Bar Association, International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property – AIPPI, Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property – ASIPI, and Multilaw where he held the position of Chairman from 1996 to 1999.

Firm Overview:

Bustamante & Bustamante has been a leader in serving international corporate clients. By Andean Community standards, the firm is large and includes 50 lawyers and over 70 supporting staff members, all largely bilingual. The firm is comprised of a team of professionals specialised in each area of legal practice, with vast experience and committed to offering practical solutions and building long-term business relationships.

Bruce Horowitz

– Founding Partner, Paz Horowitz. Director, Anti-corruption and Compliance. Director of the Intellectual Property Section 1991 – present. Managing Partner (1991 – 2013).
– Manager of the IP Department, and Foreign Legal Counsel. Bustamante & Crespo, Quito (1989 – 1991).
– Director of Social Sciences, and Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Economics. Colegio Americano de Quito (1985 – 1989).
– Ohio State Legal Services Association, Executive Director direct local legal services for Southeast Ohio counties; Ohio Statewide Legal Services Training; and Multi-State Computer-Assisted Legal Research services. 1983– 1985.
– Program Evaluator for the Legal Services Corporation (1984 – 1985).
– Alaska Legal Services Corporation. (In chronological order: Law Clerk, Staff Attorney and Community Training Coordinator (Anchorage), Managing Attorney (Juneau), Supervising Attorney for Southeast Alaska, Statewide Impact Litigation Attorney, Statewide Legal Trainer, and Statewide Staff Mentoring and Evaluation (1974 – 1983).
– Volunteer, Peace Corps. Ecuadorian Amazon Basin. Land Surveyor for the Shuar Indigenous Federation (1970 – 1973).

Awards & Honors:

– LACCA Approved Attorney (2014)
– World Trademark Review (2014).
– Legal 500 (2012, 2013, 2014).
– Latin Lawyer (2012, 2013, 2014).
– IFLR 1000 (2012, 2013, 2014).
– Chambers Latin America (2012, 2013, 2014).
– Who’s Who of Trademark Lawyers (2014).
– American Bar Association International: Best Community Outreach Program (2012).
– Acquisitions International: Anti-corruption Law Firm of the Year (2011).
– Award of Appreciation from Ohio State Legal Services Client Council (1985).
– Honorary Member of the Shuar Federation, Morona-Santiago, Ecuador (1973).

Professional Associations:

– Arbitrator, Quito Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Center (since 2013)
– Founder, Quito Common Law Bar Association (1996)
– American Bar Association, International Section
– International Trademark Association (INTA)
– State Capital Law Group
– International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM)
– Alaska Bar Association
– Juneau, Alaska Human Rights Commission


– U.S. Court of International Trade (1992).
– U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (1992).
– Alaska, admitted 1976, (retired 1991).
– Ohio (1985).
– U.S. Federal 9th Circuit (1982).
– U.S. Federal District Court Alaska (1977).

Pro Bono:

– Founder, and participant along with many other volunteer attorneys, in award-winning ABA International U.S. Lawyers Abroad Community Outreach Program (2010 – present), that so far has involved ABA member attorneys in (1) meetings with groups of immigrant students, (2) serving in a soup kitchen, and (3) blood drive.
– Pro bono trainings of law students, accounting and auditing graduate students, student teachers, and business graduate students in anti-corruption and anti-extortion methods (2006 – present)
– Advice, negotiations and drafting for government/private educational institution agreement on rights, use, and profits from Ecuadorian biodiversity
– Legal support for the creation of the first ecotourism joint venture between Ecuadorian and foreign environmental protection NGO’s
– Work with local legal services NGO and environmental NGO to create the first Ecological Easement in Ecuador
– Co-founder and first President of an NGO that protected Quito’s largest forested park from dismemberment by powerful private interests
– Partial, and then full pro bono project to successfully register and legally protect Ecuador’s first Denomination of Origin, MONTECRISTI, to protect the hat weavers of the world’s finest straw hats and other workers of the Montecristi region of Ecuador.
– Successful IP protection of the name and image of Mohandas K. Gandhi from being used and registered by a rice merchant in Ecuador.
– Ongoing successful protection against the use and registration as a trademark of PANAMA HAT, based on PAMANA HAT being recognized as an Ecuadorian geographical indication. (1997 – present). Partial financial support by an anonymous donor.

Firm Overview:

Paz Horowitz Abogados is widely regarded as one of Ecuador’s leading law firms.

Our recognition obeys to our professionals commitment to excellence, ethical and cost-effective legal service provided to our national and international clients.

Whether for a multinational company, an international NGO or a family business, the Law Firm provides legal advice and knowledge needed to fulfill clients’ goals.

In 1991, the Law Firm was founded by Jorge Paz Durini and Bruce Horowitz Rossen.

Currently new partners and associates are part of the Law Firm. Our efficient professional team, is always innovating in our services, facilities and technology required for a better and accurate service for our clients.

Maria Laura Loireiro

Maria Laura Loireiro is our exclusively recommended Immigration Law expert in Ecuador on the Advisory Excellence website. If you need assistance in this area, please contact Maria directly using the contact details above.

Loureiro, L. (2014). Jurisprudential commentary. The extraterritorial recognition of surrogate motherhood in France in search of an answer? Ibero-American Journal of International Law and Integration.

Maria Laura Loireiro is fluent in French, England and Italian.

Work experience:

  • Vivanco & Vivanco ARGENTINA. Lawyer Immigration Department.
  • Internship Ministry of Defense of the Nation (Secretariat of Strategy and Military Affairs Area).
  • Internship in Alianza Francesa de Buenos Aires, Mediateca Manager.

Rodrigo Bermeo Rosales

With over 30 years of experience in IP, Rodrigo Bermeo Rosales is the head of our firm. His main practice is focused in all matters related to Intellectual Property and Corporate Practice. Rodrigo has represented many of the Global 500 companies in the prosecution of their patents and trademarks, as well as in the exploitation of their IP rights through franchising, licensing, distribution agreements, or by incorporating local branches or acquiring companies.

Rodrigo handles complex IP litigation, and is often dealing with high profile cases. In Ecuador’s largest IP case he was counsel for British American Tobacco against Philip Morris in the dispute for trademark Belmont. This case not only involved trademark issues such as the local ownership of the mark but also addressed issues such as free trade in the Andean Community, and required lobbying, legal reforms, and media.


– Doctor in Law, 1983, Catholic University of Quito
– American and International Law, 1986, Southwestern Legal Foundation, UT Dallas
– Transfer of Technology, 1988, International Law Institute, Rome


– Ecuador, 1983
– Ecuadorian Supreme Court
– Andean Court of Justice
– Intellectual Property Office
– All Courts in Ecuador

Firm Overview:

In 1948, Dr. Vicente Bermeo Lañas founded “Law Offices of Dr. Vicente Bermeo” in Quito, Ecuador. The sole proprietorship consisted of two attorneys which established what would become one of the most important Intellectual Property practices in Ecuador. The firm was chosen by many international companies and law firms throughout the years. Nowadays, we are proud to represent a large number of them. Two years later, we formed a strategic alliance with “International Patents & Trademarks,” since its foundation, Mr. Manuel García Enriquez selected our Firm’s team as of counsels to assist him with the most complex cases.

In 1978, when Dr. Vicente was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court, Dr. Rodrigo Bermeo Rosales joined the practice. Six years later, upon his graduation as a Doctor in Law, the firm adopted the name “Bermeo & Bermeo.” The new partners were confident that this name would last through the upcoming generations. Rodrigo Bermeo R. brought a new approach to the firm, focusing on strengthening client relationships and building a new client base. The firm quickly became well known internationally and developed to be one of the leading IP practices in Latin America.

The 90’s and 2000’s were years of expansion. Bermeo & Bermeo took control over Ecuador’s oldest Intellectual Property portfolio when the firm acquired “Sucesores de Aurelio Vallejo” which was established in 1900. Later on, the firm absorbed “International Patents & Trademarks.” Bermeo & Bermeo now manages a high percentage of Intellectual Property rights in Ecuador and is in charge of the regional filings of several national and international companies.

With Rodrigo V. Bermeo-Andrade, and Pablo Bermeo-Andrade, the third generation has joined the firm. Together, they contribute with strong education and valuable experience acquired while working abroad in top tier law firms of the United States and Argentina. Both are admitted attorneys in the State of New York.

Today, Bermeo & Bermeo is the most efficient law firm in the country. With the help of the latest technology we are able to manage a very large client base with a small team of high qualified people. We are proud to have been able to maintain our high standards from the inception of the firm and that our clients believe in our value propositions. The firm is stronger than ever, and rest assured our quality services will continue towards the future.