Abogados Arbitrajes Internacionales

Jose Rafael Fernandez

Founding Partner

José Rafael Fernández

Our education comprehends many years of study at the most prestigious mercantile arbitration institutions of the world, such as the International Chamber of Commerce, whose Costa Rican Chapter was presided by our founding partner Lic. José Rafael Fernández.


  • Post-graduate degree in International Mercantile Law. University of Costa Rica, 1987.
  • Licentiate degree in Law and Public Notary. Universidad Autónoma de Centro América, 1985.
  • Arbitrator training in courses at the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Spanish Arbitration Club, in Costa Rica, Paris, Miami, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Cartagena, Panama and Guatemala.
  • Accreditation as Conciliator by the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica.

Professional Experience

  • Thirty-three years of professional practice, some of those years with some of the most prestigious law firms of the country.
  • National and international arbitrator, accredited with the main arbitral centers of Costa Rica and El Salvador, with vast experience as arbitrator, and litigator in national and international arbitrations and as an expert in international arbitrations.
  • Former Chair of the Costa Rican Chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce.
  • Dean of the School of Law of the Catholic University of Costa Rica.


  • José Rafael attended La Salle elementary and high-school, in San José. He was educated with the values of a Catholic education and for many years was a member of the Scout movement led by the La Salle Brothers.
  • He studied law at the Academic College of the Universidad Autónoma de Centroamérica and later graduated from the Post-Graduate Studies System of the University of Costa Rica, in the International Law program taught in association with the University of Rome.
  • He has been teaching since his graduation.
  • From the beginnings of arbitration in Costa Rica, José Rafael has been actively engaged in arbitration, mainly through the International Chamber of Commerce, promoting the country as a seat for international arbitration and practicing very actively as an arbitrator and as litigator in arbitral proceedings.
  • José Rafael has been married for 30 years.
  • He is an avid reader, who simultaneously reads several books -on different subjects- in Spanish, English, and Italian.

Mr. Fernández has exercised a prominent leadership in the development and implementation of professional arbitration in Costa Rica, contributing to its diffusion, and from his position as Chair of the Costa Rican Chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce, his leadership placed Costa Rica in the international scene of arbitration.