The firm originated in 1893, when Dr. Julio J. Fábrega started his practice of law in Panama City. The firm today known as ARIAS, FABREGA & FABREGA was formed in 1914 when Dr. Julio J. Fábrega and Dr. Harmodio Arias M. first became associated in a partnership called Fábrega & Arias. That partnership continued until 1932 when Dr. Harmodio Arias M. became President of Panama and withdrew from the firm. At the same time Dr. Octavio Fábrega became a partner and the firm was then called Fábrega & Fábrega.
In 1936 Dr. Harmodio Arias M. finished his term as President and returned to the firm. The senior partner at the time, Dr. Julio J. Fábrega, insisted that for reasons of protocol the name be changed to ARIAS, FABREGA & FABREGA. The firm has remained with the same name ever since.
Dr. Julio J. Fábrega studied law in the Republic of Colombia at the end of the Nineteenth Century. Dr. Harmodio Arias M. was a graduate of the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics. Dr. Octavio Fábrega graduated from Harvard Law School (L.L.B.) and Georgetown Law School (S.J.D.).
The three founders of the firm held numerous posts as public servants. In addition to Dr. Harmodio Arias M. having served as President of Panama on two occasions, the founding partners held, at different times, Cabinet posts as Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Education and were also elected a number of times to the Legislature where they were instrumental in drafting the Mining Code, Civil Code, Administrative Code, Labor Code, Commercial Code as well as Panama's shipping, corporation and income tax legislation.
Besides serving in public positions all three founders at one time or another taught law at the first law school in Panama, which they helped to organize. Dr. Harmodio Arias M. was the founder of the University of Panama in the year 1935.
This rich heritage has been preserved and continued by subsequent partners of the firm. Gilberto Arias held the office of Minister of Finance and Treasury on two administrations. Fernando Cardoze served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as member of the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Commission and the Panama Canal Authority.
Almost 100 years after its foundation, ARIAS, FABREGA & FABREGA continues the tradition established by its founders.
ARIFA is dedicated to serving the interests of our clients with a commitment to deliver practical, cost-effective solutions that add value and stress what works for our clients based on the highest professional standards.