Legal services in Panama


Legal services can be a headache when you don't have the relevant and necessary information, especially upon moving to a new country. Please share some tips regarding legal services in Panama.

What types of legal services might an expat need in Panama?

Are legal services easily accessible?

What are the best ways to go about finding a professional for your legal needs in Panama? (e.g. online, yellow pages, word of mouth)?

What are the most affordable options for legal services (private, public, etc.)? Is there a range regarding fees?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


There are lots of attorneys in Panama, unfortunately not a lot of good ones. The best way to find a good attorney is a referral from a trusted source like a friend or real estate agent. Each attorney charges a little differently. And they each usually have an expertise. The services you may need would include  immigration for your visa, closings for real estate, or research, or forming a corporation for your business.
We try to keep a list of attorneys we feel good about recommending.

i have recently found one i trust so far ,, the one i have used for years has screwed over me so many times but i have his name on sop much and my wife gave him 1600 up front ot settle her father estates was 4 years ago

Legal services in Panama -- AAUUURRRGGHHHHH.  ***, said she would handle the sale of my apartment for $1,000, then raised that to $1,700 because it was in a "corporation" -- something everyone would save me on taxes but IT DID NOT.  She did lousy investigation and charged me for work she never did.  A tiny little woman with a huge ego and terrible temper,  think of that little cartoon character, Yosemite Sam.   She stopped doing any work for me long before the deal was concluded, and the other attorney, the buyer and myself had to finish everything she was supposed to do.   I wish I had Googled her beforehand to learn that her close relative spent time in jail for stealing money from the budget set aside for poor children in Panama.  People like these have the gall to consider themselves the upper crust of Panamanian society, the "good" old Spanish families.   She is one of many horrendous attorneys there.  The ***are closing soon in Coronado.  They had a great opportunity with all the Gringos there but *** ripped off too many gringos, he is a huge thief, he inserted himself into elderly people's corporations as a 2% owner, so that if they passed away he, and not the rightful heirs, their children would get the money.   He overcharged for everything, BEWARE*** still has an office in Panama City, stay away.   I also used an attorney named***(I don't remember if that is her full name or not).   She was supposed to review a contract for purchase of real estate.  I asked her a few very specific questions as I can read Spanish contracts fairly well.    She claimed there was no such clause in the contract even when I told her to look at page 4.   She NEVER read the contract.   I never paid her.  The lawyers cost MORE in Panama than in the U,S.   They seldom if ever communicate with you.  NEVER pay the whole price upfront or you will never hear from them again.   The lawyers I had who were not thieves were almost completely incompetent, but most of them were both:  thieving and incompetent.  *** took over 6 months to complete a simple real estate transaction and I had to call them every 2nd or 3rd day.    A distant relative of a very close friend has a family member who used to serve on the Supreme Court of Panama, he was almost stabbed to death by a client.   There have been 7 murders of lawyers in the past two years.  As the joke goes, a good beginning.  I trust most drug dealers more than the attorneys in Panama.

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