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Colombia > Competition and antitrust > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Competition and antitrust
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Led by the ‘knowledgeable and well-reputed’ Carolina Pardo, Baker McKenzie S.A.S.’ competition group acts for local and international clients across the spectrum of competition and antitrust matters, with its local expertise enhanced by the firm’s global standing. The practice was instructed by International Paper/Weyerhaeuser Company to advise on the antitrust aspects of its acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s fluff pulp business in the country, and it is representing both corporations before the Colombian Competition Authority (SIC) in relation to merger control procedures. Working closely with the firm’s London office, the team also assisted Unilever in relation to pre-merger procedures in Colombia and negotiations for the $575m sale of the AdeS soy-based beverage business to Coca-Cola. Associates Rodrigo Millan and AngĂ©lica Navarro are also recommended.

Brigard & Urrutia has a proven record assisting clients in merger control proceedings before the SIC, with an impressive success rate. It is also very active in leniency applications and has participated in some of the market’s most complex, high-profile instructions. The firm collaborates with international firms such as Slaughter and May, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Linklaters LLP, Baker Botts (UK) LLP and Allen & Overy LLP. Practice head Alejandro García advised Dell and EMC Corporation on clearance proceedings before the SIC in connection with their global merger, valued at approximately $67bn; the work required a carefully tailored approach due to the parties’ extensive horizontal and vertical overlaps in Colombia. The practice also acted as co-counsel to Kimberly-Clark in relation to a leniency application before the Colombian authorities related to cartel investigations. Associate Nicolás Cardona is also recommended.

Esguerra Asesores JurĂ­dicos’ competition and antitrust team is ‘very professional, with exceptional capabilities’. Led by Alfonso Miranda (‘a pioneer in the area’) and AndrĂ©s Jaramillo, the practice handles complex matters in sectors such as natural resources, cement, steel, oil and gas, paper, food retail, transportation, banking, insurance and healthcare. It successfully represented Kimberly-Clark before the SIC in leniency applications related to three separate cartel investigations; and defended Chevron in an unfair competition claim initiated by three airlines regarding increased fees for the use of the access ramp to San Andres Airport. Associate Daniel BeltrĂĄn attracts recognition for his work.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría serves local and international clients across competition litigation, regulatory proceedings, cartel investigations, pre-merger clearances and audits. Among its recent work highlights, it acted for CMPC/Drypers Andina in two cartel investigations initiated by the SIC concerning the baby diaper and soft tissue markets, including assisting with the successful leniency applications made by the client; and advised Pfizer on merger control proceedings in Colombia regarding its acquisition of parts of AstraZeneca’s antibiotics business. Other clients include RCN Radio, Stanley Black & Decker, Cementos Argos and Konecranes. The practice is led by Martín Carrizosa and Diego Cardona.

‘A visible player in the competition arena’, Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) is active in relation to antitrust investigations, leniency applications, unfair competition matters and restrictive trade practices, and is regularly involved in complex merger filings. It is advising the Colombian state on antitrust matters related to the sale of its participation in energy corporation ISAGEN and clearance proceedings for its ultimate sale to private investors; and is also representing Soluciones en Telecomunicaciones e Informática in unfair competition proceedings against the client, relating to its outsourcing of services to Claro in the country. Other significant clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Valorem, Avianca and Yanbal. The ‘experienced’ Mauricio Jaramillo heads the practice.

‘Outstanding lawyer’ Gabriel Ibarra leads the practice at Ibarra Abogados, which covers antitrust and unfair competition matters. The firm is representing Ingenio Risaralda and Central Tumaco before the administrative authorities in a legal challenge to penalties imposed by the SIC on grounds of alleged anti-competitive activities in the sugar industry; after a substantial reduction of the initial penalties imposed, the claim has been admitted for trial by the court. The team is also acting for Mercadería in unfair competition proceedings against Koba Colombia regarding alleged threats and retaliation made against the client’s providers and employees, with the damages claimed amounting to $600,000.

Jaeckel/Montoya Abogados has cemented a very strong reputation in the market for its work in complex competition and antitrust matters, attracting praise from clients and peers alike. It is particularly strong in the areas of e-commerce and entertainment, administrative litigation, and preventative and corrective matters. Jorge Jaeckel, a former head of the SIC, leads the team and is noted for his experience in dealing with sensitive instructions, and Claudia Montoya is also a key member of the practice. Clients have included Ecopetrol and Colgate-Palmolive.

Posse Herrera Ruiz fields a specialised, six-strong team with a proven track record in areas such as merger control, antitrust investigations/litigation, consumer protection, regulatory compliance and data protection. ‘Excellent lawyer’ Jaime Herrera and the ‘experienced’ Daniel Posse lead the team. Posse, with the support of associates Juan Pablo Bonilla and Hernán Panesso, is representing Scribe in relation to price-fixing investigations by the SIC; after an initial fine amounting to $4m, the client received total immunity due to its collaboration with the authorities in dismantling the cartel. A team led by Herrera advised Coca-Cola FEMSA on merger control clearance for its acquisition of the AdeS soy-beverage business from Unilever. Other clients include Diageo Colombia, Cencosud and Automotores Toyota Colombia.

Specialist boutique Archila Abogados is a significant name in the competition and antitrust field, with a roster of outstanding clients. Former member of the SIC Emilio Archila heads the practice, which acts for Banco Colpatria, Gases del Caribe and Bodytech, among others.

Recent work for Garrigues includes advising on the Colombian aspects of AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner, including filing for clearance before the SIC. It is also acting for GRAVICON and its general manager in investigations initiated by the SIC against several corporations into an alleged price-fixing cartel, involving potential fines of up to $23m if charges are proven. JosĂ© Miguel de la Calle leads the team, and associates Angela MarĂ­a Noguera and Alejandro Acevedo are also recommended.

Holland & Knight has strengthened its standing in the market with the hire of Alberto Zuleta, former head of the competition practice at Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas. A team led by Danilo Romero represented Simplexity, a software developer active in areas such as toll road projects, in an unfair competition claim against a former employee alleged to have set up a company offering similar services and used the client’s list of customers; the work included obtaining preliminary injunctions against the defendant. The team also assisted Ole Communications in pre-merger proceedings before the SIC.

Lloreda Camacho & Co. is noted for its capabilities in merger control, anti-competitive practices and unfair competition proceedings, and has particular expertise in the pharmaceutical sector. Practice head Enrique Álvarez has ‘vast knowledge of the pharmaceutical area and great interpersonal skills’. He recently led advice to dairy corporation Alqueria in relation to clearance proceedings concerning its purchase of yoghurt producer DASA, which was successfully approved by the SIC; and, with the support of associate Daniel Cardona, acted for Shire Pharmaceutical in relation to the investigation into the alleged breach of pricing regulations in the pharmaceutical industry: the client was cleared of all charges.

Competition litigation is a core area for Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas, which represents local and international clients in administrative and judicial proceedings, including leniency applications, and has experience in markets such as cement, credit cards, sugar, diapers, and retail camping equipment. Practice head Ximena Zuleta acted for a well-known Colombian company in investigations connected to alleged price fixing, including a leniency application. The team also represented Biomax in clearance proceedings in connection with its intended purchase of significant assets from a competitor, with the SIC reversing its initial opposition to the transaction; and is instructed by CASYP in relation to a judicial challenge of penalties imposed by the SIC for alleged unfair pricing in an airport concession agreement.

Godoy & Hoyos Abogados SAS’ small but effective competition group is led by Jaime Moya. It acted for Brookfield in clearance proceedings to acquire a 57.6% stake in ISAGEN. Other clients include Familia, Morelco, and Cenit Transporte y Logistica de Hidrocarburos.

MBCR/Mårquez Barrera Castañeda Ramírez acted for AB InBev in clearance proceedings before the Colombian authorities relating to its global merger with SABMiller. Pablo Mårquez, Julio César Castañeda and Natalia Barrera are the key contacts.

OlarteMoure is rapidly gaining visibility in the competition arena, particularly on the contentious side. It acts for significant clients such as Nutresa Group, Grupo Familia, FederaciĂłn de Cafeteros de Colombia, and Terpel. Juan Guillermo Moure and Carlos Olarte are the key names.

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