Coto & Associates is currently composed of six attorneys, specifically two partners, two associates and two special counsels, with two paralegals and a staff of approximately 10 persons. The firm was originally formed in January 1999, when Ramon Coto-Ojeda separated from the local corporate firm of McConnell Valdés, Puerto Rico´s largest law firm, after over fifteen years in that practice. In 2013, Angel E. Rotger-Sabat joined the firm as a partner bringing with him depth and experience derived from his then 20 years of experience in both the public and the private sector. As can be discerned from our individual and firm profiles, and from our representative client list, Coto & Associates practice is a multi-disciplined corporate full legal services firm.
We grant our clients a streamlined staffing of cases and matters, directly through one of the experienced partners, rather than through tiers of associates or junior partners. In addition, all the attorneys strive on accessibility and agility in responding to clients’ requests in a results oriented fashion. We seek to address issues rapidly yet maintaining control of legal expenses for our clients. We attempt to make our client’s issues and concerns our own.
Coto & Associates is engaged in the following practice areas: general civil, commercial, securities, tax and environmental litigation, petroleum marketing practices, liquid petroleum gas industry, warranty and products liability, food claims, bids and government procurement, corporate, real estate, commercial banking, telecommunications, trusts and estates, bankruptcy and workouts, collections and foreclosures, antitrust and trade regulation, alternative dispute resolution, trademarks and copyrights, distribution and franchising, labor and employment law, and Cuba matters.
All the partners have substantial experience in the petroleum industry having represented Shell, Esso, and Gulf; overall the partners have a combined 58 years of experience in all facets of the industry. We currently represent Tropigas de Puerto Rico, Inc. in the liquid petroleum gas industry.
We have and currently handle warranty and product liability cases and matters for several clients in the food processing industry and appear regularly before the Department of Consumer Affairs (“DACO”, for its Spanish acronym) on these and other enforcement proceedings related to the petroleum and automotive industries. We also handle our corporate clients’ consumer affairs issues, claims and regulatory affairs involving such varied areas as labeling, deceptive advertisements, unfair trade practices, advertisements, contests, and promotions all of which fall under the DACO umbrella.
Another one of our strongest practice areas is distribution and franchise law and, in particular, Act 75 and Act 21 consultations, contract preparation and relationship documentation, mediation (both as advocates for clients and as mediators), arbitration (both as advocates and as party appointed arbitrators or selected by peers as the third arbitrator or the sole arbitrator), and litigation. Our firm has been named to the Puerto Rico Best Lawyers© listing for four straight years in the practice areas of Franchise Law (that encompasses distribution law) and Intellectual Property Law. We have handled diverse matters of distribution and sales representation relationships involving hundreds of goods and services in numerous industries including food, confections, and food services, distilled spirits (including beer and wine), medical devices, pharmaceuticals, automotive, tobacco, advertising sales, telecommunications, and bicycles, among others.
In labor and employment matters, we are regularly involved in counseling, assessment and legal defense for claims for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, reprisals, and wages, as well as provide counseling in revision and scope of employees’ manuals and handbooks.
The firm also has handled securities industry customer claims against the firm’s securities clients, including arbitrations and mediations, over allegations of churning, lack of supervision, compliance, unauthorized trading, and selling away cases, before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms.
We have worked with several corporate clients´ Caribbean, Central and South America (the “Region”) initiatives in developing and overseeing specific projects.
We are also involved in real estate work, including negotiations of shopping center leases and other projects, for several clients in the retail, telecommunications, construction, and petroleum industries. We have worked in the past with several title insurance companies and successfully litigated or resolved numerous claims arising under title insurance policies.
We believe that the partners’ vast alternative dispute resolution experience-both as mediators and arbitrators- is key to any process of ascertaining early on the least cost vs. best case outcomes of claims and disputes.