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Colombia > Competition and antitrust

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Competition and antitrust
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Collaborating closely with the firm’s M&A group, Baker McKenzie S.A.S.’ competition team is noted for its ‘excellent work’ and covers the whole gamut of competition and antitrust areas. Under the leadership of the ‘impressive and deeply knowledgeableCarolina Pardo, the group benefits from the firm’s international standing as well as offering an ‘outstanding’ level of local expertise. Recent mandates include acting for a major global corporation in relation to the pre-merger aspects of its proposed acquisition of a power and grid business from an energy multinational, with a global transaction value of $13.5bn. The team also represented a well-known international corporation on unannounced antitrust investigations initiated by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC); and has been instructed by Advent International to provide an opinion in connection with its proposed acquisition of a 30% stake in Avianca loyalty programme Lifemiles, in Colombia and Latin America, which included analysis of potential antitrust implications in several jurisdictions as part of a $343.7m global transaction. The ‘reputed’ Juan Pablo Concha is also a key member of the nine-strong team. Other clients include BASF, Altra Investments and Total.

Led by the ‘proactive’ Alejandro García and the ‘expert’ Sergio Michelsen, Brigard & Urrutia’s practice is well regarded for its ‘business knowledge’, ‘top-quality advice’ and especially its ‘client-oriented’ approach to instructions. The group continues to assist clients in preventative matters, investigations initiated by the SIC, merger control proceedings, antitrust cases and leniency applications, and its list of clients now includes corporations such as ARRIS, AB Electrolux and Dell. It advised Repsol on merger control filings before the SIC relating to its $8.3bn acquisition of Talisman Energy; and it is also assisting high-profile client Uber International on its operational strategy in the country, including acting in proceedings. Associate Carolina López is also noted.

An important presence in the sector’, Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos’ competition and antitrust team is led by Alfonso Miranda, who is considered ‘a pioneer in the area’ and is a founding member of the Centre for Studies on Competition Law (CEDEC). The team is highly regarded for its contentious work, in relation to anti-competitive practices, unfair competition and consumer protection, with Andrés Jaramillo also well respected for his expertise in the area. Clients have included Grupo Santo Domingo and Unilever.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría combines ‘local knowledge with cross-border experience’, and gives ‘up-to-date’ advice. It acts for local and international clients across the spectrum of antitrust matters, covering litigation, regulatory proceedings initiated by the authorities, cartel investigations, pre-merger clearances and audits. Highlights included acting for Cementos Argos (and a number of its executives) in a widely publicised antitrust investigation carried out by the SIC. It has also been instructed by Pfizer in merger proceedings in Colombia connected to its global acquisition of Allergan; and by Siemens in relation to several merger control proceedings in Colombia. The ‘excellent and experiencedMartín Carrizosa leads the team, which includes ‘active and knowledgeable’ senior associate Diego Cardona. Its roster of clients includes Visa and Ecolab.

Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta’s seven-strong group advises on merger filings, antitrust investigations, unfair competition and restrictive trade practices. The ‘highly experienced’ Mauricio Jaramillo leads the practice, which has been involved in some of the market’s most notable antitrust investigations and complex leniency applications. The group works closely with the firm’s litigation and IP departments, and is notable for its expertise in cross-border matters. It recently advised the Ministry of Finance on the sale of its participation in energy company Isagen, and is also mandated by General Motors in an unfair competition claim initiated by its former distributor Los Coches. Other clients include Avianca, Yanbal, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. William Araque and associate Natalia Franco are also noted.

Ibarra Abogados is a boutique with a well-deserved reputation for its antitrust and unfair competition practice, and is also active in merger filings and related matters. It attracts praise for its ‘personal approach and responsiveness to clients’ needs’. Recent highlights include acting for Hyundai Colombia Automotriz in an unfair competition claim against Korean corporation Hyundai Motor Company, which is closely related to an $180m dispute (against the same defendant) over losses caused by the unilateral termination of an agency agreement. The team also acted for Cementos Argos in an investigation initiated by the SIC into alleged anti-competitive activities. The group is led by ‘outstanding practitioner’ Gabriel Ibarra, who is considered a ‘leading figure in the sector’.

Posse Herrera Ruiz has a proven track record acting in relation to M&A clearances, restrictive business practices, unfair competition, consumer protection and compliance programmes. The highly specialist six-lawyer team is vastly knowledgeable about regulated markets including tobacco, liquor and pharmaceuticals, and its expertise encompasses the structuring of antitrust compliance programmes, advertising and data protection law, cartel investigations and leniency applications. The team advised FEMSA on all competition matters relating to its acquisition of the Farmasánitas retail drugstore chain, including the filing of the necessary notifications with the SIC. Other clients include Diageo Colombia, LG, Banco Davivienda and Cencosud. Jaime Herrera and Daniel Posse head the practice.

Archila Abogados has made its mark as a specialist boutique in the competition and antitrust arena. Led by ‘renowned expert’ Emilio Archila (a former member of the SIC), the practice counts Banco Colpatria, Gases del Caribe and Bodytech among its clients. Archila was a member of the committee that drafted the country’s competition law framework in 1992.

Boutique firm Jaeckel/Montoya Abogados enjoys a strong reputation in the market. Practice head Jorge Jaeckel, a former head of the SIC, is a major asset noted for his vast experience and his expertise in dealing with sensitive matters; fellow name partner Claudia Montoya is also recommended. The team has particular expertise in areas such as e-commerce and entertainment, has strong administrative litigation capability, and is very active advising clients on preventative and corrective measures, as well as representing them before the authorities. Past clients include Ecopetrol and Colgate-Palmolive.

Lloreda Camacho & Co. is ‘a very reliable firm which provides valuable expertise in matters with local and international elements’. ‘Competent and skilful expert’ Enrique Álvarez heads the practice, which is noted for its work across antitrust and unfair competition matters and merger filings. The team advised America Móvil on clearance proceedings relating to its acquisition of software developer Imusica; and is also advising a Colombian multinational in relation to a dawn raid by the SIC connected to potential anti-competitive practices, where the ceiling of fines can reach up to $25m. Associate Dario Cadena is also recommended.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas’ team, led by Alberto Zuleta and Ximena Zuleta, acts for major international corporations in relation to investigation proceedings, and has experience in litigation involving sectors such as cement, sugar, credit cards and retail. Headline work included advising Concesión Aeropuerto de San Andrés y Providencia (CASYP) in relation to alleged price-fixing and unfair pricing practices in a precedent-setting and very complex case before the SIC. Other clients include WSP Global, Standard & Poor’s, and Microsoft.

Garrigues has strengthened its market presence with the merger into its Bogotá office of DLP/De La Calle Londoño López & Posada. Under the leadership of José Miguel de la Calle, the team combines vast expertise in contentious matters with strong transactional experience, and attracts complex instructions from local and international corporations. Among its recent highlights, it advised APM Terminals on merger control proceedings arising from its $200m joint venture with COMPAS; and has been acting for a high-profile Colombian individual in landmark cartel investigations initiated by the SIC. Associate Angela María Noguera is also recommended.

A new entry to the ranking, Godoy & Hoyos Abogados’ competition practice is led by Jaime Moya and provides clients with general advice on restrictive competitive practices and unfair competition, as well as representing them before the competition authorities and the judiciary. It acted for Brookfield Asset Management on pre-merger matters before the SIC. Morelco is also a client.

Holland & Knight’s practice has developed on the back of the firm’s IP expertise, and covers restrictive commercial practices, unfair competition, merger control and consumer protection. The team was boosted by the arrival of Danilo Romero, former head of defunct boutique Romero Raad Abogados, and Julián Santos, previously in-house counsel at ExxonMobil. Clients include Molytec, ANNCO and Grupo SaludCoop.

MBC/Márquez Barrera Castañeda’s ten-strong group covers cartel investigations, leniency programmes, vertical agreements, unfair competition and M&A-related matters. Pablo Márquez (a former chairman of the Committee for Communication Regulations), Julio César Castañeda and Natalia Barrera are the key contacts in the team, which acts for clients such a AB Inbev, Aciet and Mazda. Since the close of research the firm has appointed Carlos Hugo Ramírez as partner, rebranding the firm MBCR/Márquez Barrera Castañeda Ramírez.

OlarteMoure’s competition practice continues to develop in close connection with the firm’s IP practice. Under the leadership of Juan Guillermo Moure and Carlos Olarte, it advises clients such as Terpel, Microsoft and Grupo Nutresa. The firm is acting for the Colombian Society of Authors and Composers (SAYCO) in investigations into alleged anti-competitive practices.

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