Estefanía Alemán

Estefanía Alemán

Estefanía Alemán is the General Manager of Icaza Trust Corporation and holds a position in its Board of Directors. She was also appointed partner of Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán in 2023.

She is a founding member and President of the “Asociación de Empresas Fiduciarias de Panamá”, an organization constituted by Panamanian trust companies which end is to work together to promote Panama as an international financial center and to strengthen the Panamanian jurisdiction’s anti-money laundering and corporate governance processes to create a transparent and robust environment to host financial transactions.

As General Manager and Director of Icaza Trust Corporation, Estefanía leads a team of over fifteen staff members and supervises the administration of more than one hundred and fifty trusts. She heads the constitution, implementation, and administration of estate planning and commercial trusts, including administration, payment source, credit, and public trusts. In addition, Estefanía directs and leads processes such as preparing legal documentation of the trusts, developing their process manuals, and their daily operation.

Her wide range of expertise also includes developing administrative and operational controls of fiduciary procedures and the supervision and control of risk mitigation and anti-money laundering processes related to the provision of services by the trust company.

Academic Instruction

  • Bachelor´s Degree in Law and Political Science, Universidad de Panamá, (2016).
  • Juris Doctor, American Washington College of Law, USA, (2013).
  • Bachelor of Arts and Science with a major in History and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, USA, (2010).
  • License Certificate: 2016.


    • Partner since 2023.
    • Associate since 2014.
    • General Manager since 2015.
  • Deloitte Panamá
    • Tax Intern, (2012).
  • The Nature Conservancy
    • Legal Intern, (2012).
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama
    • Law Clerk, (2011).


  • Panama Bar Association.
  • American Chamber of Commerce of Panama (AMCHAM).
  • STEP (The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners).


In her spare time, Estefanía enjoys traveling, practicing yoga and healthy cooking.

Luis Chalhoub

Luis A. Chalhoub M.

Luis Chalhoub has been a partner at Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán since 2013. With over thirty years of experience, he specializes in Administrative Law, Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, Consumer Protection & Competition, Mergers & Acquisitions, Insurance, and Re-Insurance, and Trust Services.

He is a consultant on Commercial Law in general, Banking Law, Capital Markets, International Trade, Economic Integration, Competition Law, Consumer Protection, and Free Zones. Due to his expertise, Luis is regularly involved in high-profile banking and capital market transactions.

He is also a professor at Universidad Santa María La Antigua, Graduate School of Law, Commercial Law, and Banking Law. In addition, he has been a Professor in the International Trust Training Diploma of the Latin American Federation of Banks.

Luis has been recognized as a leader in Banking and Finance in Panama in publications such as IFLR 1000 and Who’s Who Legal.

In 2021, he was elected President of the Board of Directors of the Superintendency of the Securities Market of Panama, and he is an active member of STEP’s Panama branch.

Academic Instruction

  • Southern Methodist University, USA: Research Assistant in the Chair of Private International Law, 1986.
  • Santa María La Antigua University, Panama: Professor of Commercial Law, Introduction to Law and Fiscal Law at the Law School.
  • Inter-American University of Panama: Professor of Principles of International Commercial Contracts, Banking Contracts and New Commercial Contracts, Law School (Post-Graduate).
  • University of Panama: Professor of Principles of International Commercial Contracts, Faculty of Law (Post-Degree).
  • License Certificate: 1985


  • ICAZA, GONZÁLEZ-RUIZ & ALEMÁN, Partner since 2013 – Associate (2000 – 2012).
  • Commission of Free Trade and Consumers Affaires (CLICAC), Legal Executive Director (1997 – 1999)
  • Colon Free Zone, Legal Counsel (1991 – 1997).
  • Sistemas Jurídicos, S.A., Director of Legislation (1989 – 1990)
  • Arellano, Chalhoub & Asociados, Partner


  • Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Responsible of the Academic Commission, President of the Panama Chapter (2012-2014).
  • International Law Society.
  • Panama Bar Association, Panamanian Association of Executives (APEDE), of which he has been the Chairman of the Juridical Commission of APEDE (2002 – 2003 and 2003 – 2004) Director and Secretary to National Matters (2003-  2004 and 2004 – 2005), Chairman of the CADE Commission (2009), Assistant General Secretary (2011 – 2012).


  • Panama contributor of the publication “Doing Business” of the World Bank, (2006 2015)
  • “Mergers & Acquisitions” 2013 – 2015 – Panama Chapter, Getting the Deal Through, Law Business Research, London.
  • Co-author of the “Conferences about Panama Trusts, Panama Private Interest Foundations and its main uses in Panama, 2005.
  • Casuistry of the Trust subject to the Analysis of the Panamanian Courts.
  • Co-author of the Panamanian Chapter on the International Commercial Fraud, published by Sweet & Maxwell (2002).
  • Author of Legislation Index (Indice de Legislación), Sistemas Jurídicos (1990).
  • Co-author of the West’s Spanish-English / English-Spanish Law Dictionary (1986).


Yexadira N. García G.

Yexadira García is an Associate with twenty years of experience in Corporate Law, Regulations, and Trusts. She joined Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán in 2012 and is currently Icaza (BVI) Trust Limited’s Managing Director. She is also the Director of the corporate department at Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán, where she oversees the operation of the Belize, the Bahamas offices.

Yexadira specializes in Regulatory and Corporate governance matters, Succession Planning, and the Economic Substance legislation implementation.

She is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the BVI Registered Agents Association and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.

Academic Instruction

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Political Sciences, Universidad de Panama, (1999). Thesis “The Directorate of Patrimonial Responsibility and Court of Accounts”.
  • Master of Laws, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Fullbright Scholar and Ford McArthur-Hewlett Foundation Scholar, 2001.
  • Diploma in International Trust Management, STEP, (2006).
  • Specialist in Anti-Money Laundering, ACAMS (2009).
  • International Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance (ICA, 2017).
  • License Certificate: 1999


    • Associate since 2012 – Managing Director of the Corporate Department.
  • Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán (BVI)
    • Managing Director (2002-2012).


  • Panama Bar Association
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • BVI Registered Agents Association
  • Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists


Mariano J. Oteiza Icaza

Mariano Oteiza Icaza became a partner at Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán in 1996. With over 35 years of experience in the profession, he specializes in Banking Law, Corporate Law, and Real Estate and Tourism.

Over the course of his carreer, he has served as Director of several Banking entities, which grants him extensive experience in this area.

He actively participates as a member in associations such as the Panama Bar Association, the International Law Association, and the International Lawyer Association of Panama.

Academic Instruction

  • Bachelor’s Degree of Law, Cum Laude, Santa Maria La Antigua University, Panama, (1985). Thesis “Study on Mortgage Bonds and Recommendations for Adequate Laws in Panama”.  
  • LL.M., Comparative and International Law, Southern Methodist University Law School, Dallas, Texas, USA (1986).
  • License Certificate: 1985


  • ICAZA, GONZÁLEZ-RUIZ & ALEMÁN, Partner since 1996
  • Legal Assistant, CAMERON, HORNBOSTELL, ADELLMAN & BUTTERMAN, New York, USA, 1984.
  • Director of Primer Banco de Ahorros (PRIBANCO), (1999 – 2000).
  • Director of Compañía Nacional de Seguros S.A. (CONASE), (1994 – 2001).
  • Alternate Director of Banco Internacional de Panamá (BIPAN),(1999 – 2002)
  • Alternate Representative to the Second Vice-Presidence of the Executive Council of Conciliation and Arbitration Center of Panamá (1995 – 1997)
  • Alternate Director of Banco Provincial de Ahorro (PROBANCO) – (1992 – 1995)
  • Director of Grupo Financiero Continental (2002 – 2007).


  • Panama Bar Association, President of the Civil Rights Commission and Professional Ethics Commission (1995 – 1997).
  • International Law Association.
  • International Lawyer Association of Panama (Director).

Luis Martinez

Luis Arturo Martínez

With over ten years of experience in providing trust services, Luis Martínez is the Deputy Manager of Icaza Trust Corporation. His practice involves Trust, Estate Planning and Administration for high net worth individuals, mostly with families in Latin America, with a particular emphasis on tax compliant structures.

He advises high net worth individuals on a range of private wealth matters, including Estate Planning/Trust & Estate Administration, Business Succession Planning, International Estate Planning, Corporate Law and Securities.

Luis is an expert on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) matters and related regulations such as CRS and FATCA. He participated in the first round of the FATF revision to Panama’s Standards in 2015.

He is an active member of the Panama Bar Association and the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE, for its acronym in Spanish). He also participates as a member and legal adviser ad honorem of the Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos (National Cattlemen’s Association) and the Lion’s Club.

Academic Instruction

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Political Sciences, Universidad Santa María La Antigua, (2005).
  • Master in Corporate Law, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain, (2006).
  • Postgraduate Degree in Fiduciary Training, Instituto Bancario Internacional, (2015).
  • Certificate in Anti-Money Laundering (Panama) issued by CLT International Ltd, Londres and The University of Manchester, (2018).
  • License Certificate: 2005


    • Lawyer since 2015.
  • Overseas Management Company, Inc.
    • Director Service Manager (2011 – 2015)
  • Blue Diamond Realty Inc.
    • Legal Manager of the Legal Department (2008 – 2011)
  • Ballard & Ballard
    • Legal Assistant (2001 – 2004)
  • He participated in the review of the Financial Action Group (GAFI) in Panama (2016).


  • Panama Bar Association
  • Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE, for its acronym in Spanish)
  • Member and legal adviser ad honorem of Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos
  • Member and legal adviser ad honorem of Club de Leones del Istmo


In his spare time, Luis enjoys horse riding, cattle rising and hiking.

Michelle de de la Guardia

Michelle O. de de la Guardia

Michelle O. de de la Guardia is a partner specialized in Administrative Law, Banking Law, Capital Markets, Insurance and Re-Insurance, Mergers & Acquisitions and Trust Services. Since 1991, she has provided legal advice to multiple companies in the structuring and issuance of public offering of securities. She became a partner of Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán in 1993.

Michelle has been recognized for her expertise in Banking & Finance in publications such as Who’s Who Legal.

She is a founding member of the Panamanian Chapter of the Women Corporate Directors foundation and she is an active member of the Panama Bar Association.

Academic Instruction

  • Bachelor of Law and Political Science, University Santa Maria La Antigua, Panama (Cum Laude, 1983). Thesis:  “The Nationality of Corporations under Panamanian Law and in Comparative Law” (publication recommended by the grading jury).
  • License Certificate:  1983


  • ICAZA, GONZALEZ-RUIZ & ALEMAN, since 1983, partner of the firm since 1993.
  • Since 1991 has been legal counsel to multiple companies in the structuring and issuance of public offering of securities.


  • Panama Bar Association
  • Trustee of a Foundation for the promotion of Women. Women Corporate Directors, founding member of the Panamanian Chapter.

Awards and Recognition

  • Who´s Who Legal (Banking – Panama Chapter).

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