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Who Represents Who

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A reference in the market, María Carolina Pardo leads Baker McKenzie S.A.S.’s regional competition and antitrust area practice. Recent matters saw the team represent Unilever in the filing-approval procedures before several national antitrust agencies, regarding its acquisition of Quala’s personal and home care business lines in Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador and other Latin American jurisdictions. Other highlights include advising Abbott Laboratories on the acquisition and implications of sole control of Alere Colombia. Angélica Navarro is also a key member of the local eight-strong team, which was boosted with the arrival of Miguel de Quinto, a former adviser to Superintendence of Industry and Commerce.

Brigard & Urrutia acted as local counsel to Dow Chemical in the merger control procedure before national competition authority the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) triggered by Dow’s $130bn merger with DuPont, successfully obtaining unconditional clearance. The team, led by Alejandro García, is also acting as counsel to Bayer in the merger control procedure concerning its acquisition of Monsanto. Other clients include heavyweights Maersk Line, LATAM Airlines, Kimberly Clark, IAG Group, CEMEX Latam Holdings and American Airlines.

Highly recommended, Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos is a ‘top practice’ for competition and antitrust matters. Alfonso Miranda leads the team with Andrés Jaramillo a key member, both ‘are excellent attorneys and always available’. The seven-strong team acted as legal advisors of DuPont in the merger transaction between DuPont and Dow’s global businesses, which had effects in Colombia, obtaining full regulatory approval. The firm is also counselling Equión, Cerrejon and Deloitte in an investigation launched by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) regarding alleged competition violations as a result of restricting or obstructing the free circulation of invoices issued by its suppliers. Other clients include Chevron, Colombiana Kimberly Colpapel, Samsung, Grupo Aval and Quala.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) handles complex instances of antitrust investigations, cases of leniency, unfair competition claims, merger control filings and cross-border competition matters, among other issues. Mauricio Jaramillo leads a 10-strong practice group boosted in 2017 with the arrival of Victor Ayalde Lemos who was formerly at Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos. The practice acted as counsel to ExxonMobil on the competition aspects of the sale of its Colombian subsidiary to Terpel, a subsidiary of Chilean group COPEC. Other highlights include giving antitrust counsel to Quala regarding Unilever’s acquisition of its personal and home care business lines. Head of litigation William Araque and associate Biviana Helo are also noted. Avianca, BASF, GlaxoSmithKline, Time Warner and Kimberly Clark are also on the client roster.

Office founding partner Martín Carrizosa and Diego Cardona cohead Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría’s Bogota practice group, which works across competition litigation, regulatory proceedings, cartel investigations, pre-merger clearances and audits. The team advised Stanley Black & Decker on the merger control procedure in Colombia concerning its global acquisition of the tools business of Newell Brands. Other highlights include acting as co-counsel to Cementos Argos and some of its directors on the antitrust investigation for alleged price fixing agreements in the cement industry in Colombia. Indra Sistemas, Visa, Mercuria Energy Trading and Fras-le and Federal-Mogul Corporation are among the list of clients.

Providing an ‘excellent and precise’ service, boutique Ibarra Abogados acts in antitrust proceedings and unfair competition litigation and also assists in relation to merger filings and related matters. The firm is representing Cementos Argos in the investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour ("conscious parallelism") conducted by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce – a landmark case in terms of the possible implications to the industry and the wider construction sector. Gabriel Ibarra heads the five-strong practice group with associate Daniel Rangel, also noted. Other cases include representing Mercadería in an unfair competition case against Koba Colombia. Other clients include Colombia Móvil, SPCI de Azúcares y Mieles, Ingenio Risaralda, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones and Unilever Andina.

Boutique firm Jaeckel/Montoya Abogados is led by Jorge Jaeckel, a former head of the SIC, with the strong participation of fellow name partner Claudia Montoya. Highlights for 2017 included successfully representing Cementos Tequendama in the industry-wide investigation initiated by the SIC against several cement companies. The firm also represented Avantel, as plaintiff, in a denial of market access unfair competition case, obtaining a favourable judgment in the second instance before the Superior Court of Bogotá. The firm’s client list includes Coca Cola Femsa, Alpina, Empresas Públicas de Medellín, Ecopetrol and Phillip Morris Coltabaco.

Co-led by senior partners Jaime Herrera and Daniel Posse – corporate and litigation specialists, respectively, both have considerable competition expertise – Posse Herrera Ruiz’s practice has extensive experience advising clients in all sectors of the economy, in competition law, antitrust regulation, M&A-filings and associated contentious matters. The 4-lawyer team also includes associates Juan Pablo Bonilla and Hernán Panesso and recently advised Jerónimo Martins in antitrust matters related to its establishment of a Colombian operation, including the expansion of its retail outlet business – a mandate involving 10 merger clearances over the past year. Other work saw the team assist Tronox obtain antitrust clearance for its acquisition of Cristal’s titanium dioxide business. Other clients include Seguros Bolívar, Diageo, Saint-Gobain and Automotores Toyota de Colombia.

Boutique specialist Archila Abogados has ‘recognition as one of the best referenced firms in the country in the field of competition law, with advisors with the best preparation’. Former member of the SIC Emilio Archila, ‘a national authority with wide experience in litigation’ heads the 10-strong practice group, which also features a very strong

second line of experienced senior associates, namely Marcella Saetta, Ruben Silva Gómez and Dionisio Manuel De la Cruz. Highlights include representing Daimler Colombia before the Consumer Protection Authority and representing Telmex Colombia in an unfair competition process against Caracol Televisión and RCN Televisión concerning the "must carry" obligation of the public HD TV signal.

Garrigues offers an ‘outstanding’ and ‘excellent’ service, participating both in high-profile cartel cases and merger control filings. Former head of the SIC José Miguel De La Calle, whose background ‘makes him a key player for the execution of the work’ heads the practice. The six-lawyer team advised AT&T on the merger control procedure in Colombia regarding its acquisition of Time Warner; and also represented Gravicon in an administrative investigation initiated by the SIC against several companies concerning an alleged price-fixing cartel in the supply market for stone and sand in the construction of infrastructure for Ecopetrol, the government entity for fuel and petrol exploitation.

Also noted is senior associate Angela María Noguera; the team was further strengthened with the arrival of Julieth Sanclemente who arrived from Holland & Knight. Other clients include Ingredion, British American Tobacco, Figurazione, Emgesa, Biomax Biocombustibles, Samsung Electronics and Opticalia.

Holland & Knight’s practice is led by Danilo Romero, a lawyer with ‘wide knowledge on the subject’ and ‘excellent availability and response times’. The practice can also count on head of dispute resolution – and former head of the competition area at Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas – Alberto Zuleta, who handles antitrust investigations and litigation proceedings before the SIC, matters regarding unfair trade practices and premerger reviews. Recent work saw the team successfully represent Merqueo in a trade mark infringement case related to unfair competition practices before the SIC brought by KOBA Colombia. Other clients include Davita, Clariant & Huntsman, Pegatex Artecola, Bridgewood Capital, John Wood Group and Amec Foster Wheeler.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.’s competition and antitrust practice is particularly active in merger control, anticompetitive practices and unfair competition proceedings. The team, which is especially noted for its expertise in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors, is led by Enrique Álvarez with strong support from noted senior associates Darío Cadena and Maria Alejandra De Los Rios. Recent mandates saw it successfully represent Eli Lilly before the antitrust authority (acting on the Ministry of Health's instructions) regarding an alleged breach of price control regulations with a potential liability of $4.5m. Other matters include successfully representing Greif in an unfair competition claim brought by Colvinsa.

Boutique firm MBCR/Márquez Barrera Castañeda Ramírez is ‘a top tier firm in antitrust and merger control matters’ and provides ‘great overall response’, note clients. Leading the eight-lawyer team, the highly recommended Pablo Márquez is a former competition authority antitrust superintendent, which ‘gives him the view from the bench’. The firm acted on the Colombian aspects of Essilor and Luxottica’s global merger, successfully advising the parties on filings before the authority. Other highlights include advising on Terpel’s acquisition of the operations of ExxonMobil in Colombia, Perú and Ecuador on the condition of selling the fuels operation to a third party, where the team handled all antitrust matters, including proceedings before the authority.

DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán’s multidisciplinary team, which includes economists and lawyers with prior experience in the competition authorities, is led by María Claudia Martínez Beltrán; office manging partner Camilo Martínez is also a key member. The practice has experience in the agroindustry, TMT, automotive, oil and gas, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors, among others, and notable recent mandates include advising Postobon on an investigation into alleged antitrust practices related to factoring. Other clients include Magnofarma, EPK Smart Kids, Electricas de Medellin Ingenieria y Servicios.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas’ practice covers all aspects of competition and antitrust law, including merger clearance, cartels and other investigations, as well as contentious matters and leniency applications, and with a multijurisdictional outreach thanks to Dentons’ international network which has expanded notably in the region over the last three years. Ximena Zuleta leads a team strengthened with the hiring of experienced associate Ana María Ortegón, who previously worked at Colombia’s antitrust authority. Recent matters include notification filings, obtaining clearances, acting as counsel in judicial actions seeking the annulment of the sanctions, legal opinions and matters related to price fixing.

Godoy & Hoyos Abogados SAS advises on matters related to restrictive competitive and unfair competition practices, including the representation of clients in judicial and administrative courts. Practice head Jaime Moya acted successfully on behalf of Empresa de Energía de Boyacá (EEB) on seeking the annulment of a $1.54m fine imposed by the SIC. The team also prepared and filed a lawsuit on behalf of Auteco contesting a $120,000 SIC penalty.

Boutique OlarteMoure has been growing its competition practice, particularly on the litigation side by working on unfair competition cases involving large claims. The firm is representing Terpel against a $10m claim in damages brought by Lucol, which alleges Terpel engaged in unfair competition to purposefully exclude it from the market. Other highlights include representing PC Smart against Hewlett-Packard. In terms of merger control, the team has been advising several companies pertaining to Grupo Nutresa. Founding partners Juan Guillermo Moure and Carlos Olarte are the key names of the practice, which counts Grupo Familia, Microsoft and Aspen among its other clients.

Palacios Lleras advises local and international clients on both proceedings before the competition authorities and competition claims. Practice head Andrés Palacios brings ‘his expertise in competition matters to deliver, as a team, really good advice’, while Carolina Deik, who made partner in mid-2017, is ‘exceptional handling litigation related issues’. Highlights include advising a foreign company in an unfair competition lawsuit brought by several regional entities of Colombia.

A former chief advisor at SIC, Felipe Serrano heads the competition practice at SERRANOMARTINEZ S.A.S., a boutique which opened its doors in 2017. Clients note that the ‘appropriateness of their advice and their connections to the relevant authorities result in great representation’. The firm advised airline Avianca on its acquisition of a majority holding in Servicios Aeroportuarios Integrados (the largest ground handling company at Bogota’s El Dorado airport) in a transaction that constituted a horizontal and vertical merger. The practice also advised Unilever Andina with its pre-merger review procedure before the competition authority for the acquisition of Quala’s personal care brands in Colombia.

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