María Elena Barrientos

Senior Associate, Guatemala


  • María Elena is a Senior Associate, and has been part of ARIAS since 2015, highlighting her experience in labor matters, trade unions and matters related to occupational health and safety in the workplace.
  • Her practice focuses on representation and management in all aspects of labor, and employee benefits legislation, as well as the implementation of health and safety and risk prevention plans in the workplace. She has developed a special sensitivity in labor matters due to her specialization in HR. She has been able to handle important and sensitive investigations very thoroughly and with excellent and detailed results for Arias' clients.
  • María Elena is appreciated by her clients for her ability to deliver, being a practitioner committed to her work, her clients, and her best effort. She is widely recognized by her clients for her ability and efectiveness un safeguarding the obligations of labor laws, compliance of benefit plans and the negotiation of labor agreements on competitive levels according to her clients' objectives.
  • She focuses on labor disputes giving priority to preventive, practical and creative approaches for the improvement of labor relations and the implementation of the Internal Regulations of the Workplace.
  • Her experience enables her to provide clients with cost-effective methods of resolving claims, labor disputes, layoffs, counseling, and collective bargaining, communicating with management, union representatives and related employees in a way that not only benefits the client, but also for the benefit of the employees.
  • She is part of the firms' transactional team and is constantly involved in due diligence processes, providing high-level employment advice on risk assessment and compliance.


  • Law Degree Universidad Rafael Landivar (2007).
  • LLM in Business Law Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (2011).
  • Post grade of Business and Human Resources ESI School of Management accredited by International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, IACBE (2016).
  • Certified Auditor ISO 45001: 2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. (2020)

  • Listed as Recommended layer by The Legal 500.
  • For her Intellectual Property practice, she has been ranked in the Associates to Watch category by the prestigious guide Chambers and Partners Latin America.


  • International Bar Association (IBA)
  • Guatemalan Bar Association


  • Guide for companies in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

Client's feedback

  • "Maria Elena Barrientos is very customer-oriented, diligent, and possesses a strong labour law knowledge." - Chambers and Partners Latin America 2023.
  • "Maria Elena Barrientos is a very competent lawyer, with a very strong level of sophistication." - Chambers and Partners Latin America 2023.

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