Foto Franciso Santillán

Francisco Santillán

Founding Partner SANTILLÁN ABOGADOS 1988

Francisco Santillán, with his extensive experience, founded the firm 34 years ago, and today provides his services to national and foreign clients. He has numerous fields of expertise, including matters related to the incorporation of companies, evaluating businesses to best optimize their investments, designing the ideal corporate setups to reduce the inevitable risk that all company face, and structuring of safe and effective trust businesses.  

He advises major family businesses, providing support to define most appropriate action plans for their business and family sustainability, contributing to the process of identifying the necessary elements for continuity through the professionalization of the business’s members and the proper management of conflicts that arise among them. He is a qualified consultant and recognized for his initiatives in the generation of Family Protocols with up-to-date, assertive content and oriented towards the results that families need and seek out.

Work experience

Francisco has acted as general counsel and legal representative of major foreign companies, representing them government procurement processes in numerous industries, such as telecommunications, international public telephony, infrastructure construction (roads, hospitals, public services, etc.), authorization of the rail transport system, modernization and provision of identification and identification software, provision of sensitive goods and instruments in strategic and defense areas, provision of consumables for printing driver's licenses. His expertise has served him in his teaching career, as well, serving as a professor of government procurement at the San Francisco de Quito University.

He has advised and intervened in the structuring of complex fiduciary solutions, especially for the generation of projects in the public and private sectors, in its different applications such as guarantees, administration, development of real estate projects, and concession of public services (delegation contracts). 

He has been an arbitrator of the Arbitration Courts of the Arbitration and Mediation Centers of the Chamber of Commerce of Quito, of the Chamber of the Construction Industry and of the International Center for Arbitration and Mediation - CIAM - of the British Ecuadorian Chamber for more than 23 years.


  • He obtained his doctorate in Jurisprudence and his Lawyer's degree from the Courts of the Republic from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. 1988
  • He is a Certified Consultant, and has the quality of Specialized Director in Family Businesses from the Rey Juan Carlos I University of Madrid, 2015, and has complemented his training in this matter with specialized courses taught by INCAE, Panama, 2014, the Munich Business School, 2015, and by INCAE, Medellín 2016.
  • He has obtained the Diploma of the International Program in Business Administration for Lawyers from INCAE Business School, Managua and San José, 2011.
  • He obtained his Master's Degree in International Law, Foreign Trade and International Relations from the Higher Institute of Law and Economy, ISDE, Madrid, 2009
  • He has a Higher Diploma in Management and Marketing from the San Francisco de Quito University, 2004.
  • He took part in the Study Program on the Theory and Tools of the Negotiation Project at Harvard University in Cambridge, 1997.
  • He has the title of Specialist in Tax Law from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, 1996.
  • He completed the Senior Management Program at the INCAE Business School, Managua, 1994, and with the Virtual Accelerator for Companies course dictated by INCAE and MasterCard, 2021.

Special Participations

He acts as legal representative of major foreign companies and represents them in government procurement processes that include rehabilitation of the Ecuadorian Railway in the Riobamba Ambato section with the COMSA Group, the modernization process of the General Directorate of the Civil Registry, and the maintenance of the physical and technological structure of the identification process at the national level with the company ON TRACK INNOVATION OTI, provision of consumables for printing driver's licenses with the National Transit Agency of Ecuador with the company GET SECURE ID CORP, international telephone service in southern Ecuador, with the KDDI. He has also acted as a consultant in the preparation of internal regulations for the contracting of studies to build hydroelectric plants in the Lower Basin of the Guayllabamba River by Hidroequinoccio EP, and as a leading national consultant for PETROECUADOR, in the preparation and structuring of their trust for the Optimization of the Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline System, SOTE, in collaboration with the foreign firm Cleary Gottlieb.  

He is a member of the Ibero-American Federation of Law and Information Technology Associations (FIADI), the Pichincha Bar Association (CAP) and a member of the Ecuadorian-Canadian, American and Spanish Chambers of Commerce. He was a Postgraduate Professor of the MBA and the Business School of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and has been an Undergraduate Professor at the Law School of the Universidad de las Américas, UDLA and the SEK International University.

Areas of experience

  • Family Businesses
  • Government Procurement
  • Strategic Business Planning
  • Negotiation
  • Arbitration and Mediation.


  • Native Spanish.
  • English.