Francisco Estupiñán Barrantes


Francisco Estupiñán Barrantes



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He holds a Law Degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, a Specialization in Conduction and Management of Public Institutions from the Universidad Nacional del Litoral of Argentina, and a Diploma in International Relations from FLACSO. He received a scholarship from the European Community for the Course for Senior Officials of the Administration of Justice in Belgium and graduated from the Special Course on Federal Investigations in Georgia, U.S.A. He is a candidate for a Master´s degree in Financial Criminal Law at the University of Granada, Spain. Advanced Certificate in the Special Financial Investigations and Money Laundering Course of the U.S. Government – FINCEN (U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network). He also studied and got certified from the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) academy in Quantico, Virgina, USA, on complex investigations against organized crime; IPR CENTER (National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center) in Washington DC, USA, on fraud, trademark protection and smuggling investigations; and NCMEC (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children) in Washington DC, USA, on web-based investigations and cybercrimes.

He worked in the Attorney General’s Office in these units: 1. Financial investigations 2. Anti-corruption 3. International affairs , he was also a permanent delegate of the Attorney General’s Office of Ecuador for two years in the United Nations’ department on Anti-Drugs and Crime; International Criminal Assistance Commission of the Organization for the U.S; Criminal Assistance Committee of the Andean Community and Ibero-American Association of Public Ministries; he was also the Legal Advisor to the Presidency of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador for two years; and, subsequently he was the Legal Advisor to the Department of Homeland Security of the United States working with the FBI, DEA and the U.S Department of Justice for ten years in the American Embassy in Quito.

He has been a guest professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Universidad San Francisco de Quito and Universidad de las Américas, in several subjects regarding criminal law. He has made several scholar publications for the best and most prestigious legal journals in Ecuador. He is currently a member of the International Legal Committee of the World Compliance Association in the Chamber of Commerce, he is in the Legal Committee of the Ecuadorian American commerce and in the International Exchange Program of the U.S. Department of State. He participates permanently as a guest of the National Assembly of Ecuador to issue legal criteria of a criminal nature for legal reforms.

He is currently the Managing Partner of FEXLAW Law Firm in Ecuador and Colombia, and has won an award for four consecutive years by the world’s most important ranking agency -located in Paris, France, known as Leaders League-, as the best lawyer in the number 1 band (leader) in: 1. Criminal Law and 2. Compliance, He has also been recognized as a recommended lawyer in the areas of Anti-Smuggling and Anti-Counterfeiting.

Francisco has completed 5 Ironmans and more than 80 Ultra endurance races locally and internationally. He currently manages an international staff of more than 60 people.


Employee of the year

Selected as “Employee of the Year” by the Regional Attaché of the US Department of Homeland Security (2010)

Meritorious Special Recognition

Received “Special Recognition” from the Director General of the FBI for combating the financing of international terrorism (2011)

Best Local Employee

Selected as the “Best Local Employee” by the U.S. Embassy in Quito (2011)

Best Criminal Investigation of the Year

Received the U.S. Homeland Security award for best criminal investigation of the year (2011)

Distinguished Service

Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Assistant Attorney General (2011)

Meritorious Service

Received from the U.S. District Attorney of Columbia, U.S.A. “Meritorious Service” recognition (2012)

Meritorious Recognition

Received “Meritorious Recognition” from the U.S. Ambassador for the most complex money laundering case between Ecuador and the U.S. with the DEA and HSI (2015)

Honor Award

U.S. Embassy, ​​Ecuador – June 2012
Timothy Zúñiga-Brown
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires a.i.

Quarter Year Employee

Selected as “Employee of the Quarter of the Year” by U.S. Ambassador Todd C. Chapman (2018)

Leaders League Recognition

He has been selected by Leaders League (2021, 2022 and 2023) as a top recommended lawyer in Business Criminal Litigation, Compliance and Fraud

  • Spanish
  • English

Enthusiastic reader and triathlete. He has participated in 5 Ironmans in different parts of the world. In addition, he has participated in more than 80 athletic competitions nationwide that include athletics, swimming, and cycling. He has climbed several mountains and volcanos including Cotopaxi. Founder of the Triathlon Team at the Fexlaw Law Firm.

Favorite quote: “Everything is possible”.

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