Mario Ayala



Mario Ayala

Born 1965

Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA), Law Degree 1989.
Authorized Supreme Court of Justice, Notary Public in 1990. Universidad de Salamanca, España, Commercial Law 1997. Universidad de Georgetown-INCAE, Legal Advice in International Business 2000. Seminars and Courses: International Contract Law, Fusades; International Commerce Law, Fusades; Central American Securities Seminar, Panamá and Dominican Republic; Modern Financial Operations, Asociación Salvadoreña de Derecho Bancario; International Financial Credit Seminar, Tayasal. Business administration specialization for lawyers, Incae business school, 2019.

Founder Member of Commercial Law Association; Founder Member of  Financial Law Association of El Salvador; Legal Committee of the Salvadorian Banking Association Ex-President. 

Managing Partner at Sfera Legal El Salvador, (2018-present), Founder Partner at Ayala & Betancourt (2012-2018). Partner at Romero Pineda & Asociados Law Firm (2006-2012). Sub Legal Manager at Banco Salvadoreño and Legal Manager of “Banco Desarrollo” (1990-2006). Experience and career in Judicial Authorities: from Legal Collaborator to Judge of San Salvador. (1984-1990). Member of the Board of Directors of Aseguradora Mundial S.A. (2010-2012). Member of the Board of Directors of Aseguradora StateTrust El Salvador, and Aseguradora StateTrust Life El Salvador (2015-2019). Managing Lawyer for the process of constitution and starting operations of: Banco Industrial El Salvador (capital Guatemala), Banco Azteca (capital Mexico), Aseguradora StateTrust Daños y Aseguradora StateTrust Vida (capital USA).

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Regulatory Compliance

Specialized counseling in compliance and corporate governance: compliance verification, due diligence processes, anticorruption evaluation, corporate compliance planning and supervision, corporate risk prevention. We have vast experience in risk management and provide a specialized advisory focused on legal and regulatory compliance for regulated sectors, according to each applicable legislation.
Ethical investigations and installation of a proper system for Claim’s Management.
Counseling on the application and interpretation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Law.
Audits in compliance of administrative policies and Human Resources.
Preparation of ethical codes periodical revisions and support in the correct application by employees.
International norm counseling related to the FCPA Law and money laundering: constant updates and proper application.

• Registry of natural persons and/or corporations in compliance with Law 8204 and its bylaws.
• Elaboration of guidelines for legal compliance and manuals on compliance procedures for anti-money laundering.
• Due diligence preparation and elaboration of reports in order to comply with the resolution regarding the Registry of Transparency and Final Beneficiaries, to be made before the Central Bank.
• Corporate amendments to comply with the Corporate Governance Voluntary Code and other mandatory corporate governance guidelines; according to each specific entity and its business activity.
• Drafting of corporate governance codes.
• Elaboration of family protocols and all related matters to Family Planning and Family Offices.


Processing and renewal of temporary residences in all categories, including family reunification.
Processing and renewal of permanent residences.
Processing of citizenship application.
Processing and renewal of work permits in all categories.
Updating of immigration status.

• Company registrations before the Immigration Department.
• Processing of immigration status certifications.
• Cancellation of immigration status.
• General consulting in immigration and relocation matters.

Project finance

Shareholder/sponsor agreements.
Engineering, procurement and construction contracts.
Operation and maintenance contracts.
Take-off, long-term sales, supply, hedging and throughput agreements.
Non-recourse and limited recourse guarantee structures.

• Inter-creditor agreements and syndicated loan structures.
• Project asset and cashflow based loan and investment vehicles.
• Securitization, options, derivatives and insurance structures for risk mitigation.

Intellectual Property

• Counseling.
• Prosecution of new trademarks or renewal of existing trademarks.
• Licensing.
• Opposition actions.
• Searches and investigations.
• Cancellation and nullification actions.
• Prosecution.
• PCT filings.
• Technology transfer agreements and licenses.
• Opposition and cancellation actions.
• Counseling.

• Licensing.
• Copyright Office proceedings.
• Civil and criminal actions.
• Anti‐ counterfeit actions.
• Customs measures and proceedings.
• Anti‐trust and Competition Board proceedings.
• Consumer board proceedings.
• Health registrations (pharmaceuticals, food products, medical equipment, cosmetics,
• Agrochemical and additives.
• Food for animals.