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Editorial

Litigation

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: litigation
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Litigation clients in Colombia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Baker McKenzie S.A.S.’ 14-strong litigation team, led by Claudia Benavides, is regularly involved in high-profile transnational litigation and multi-jurisdictional claims, acting for an outstanding client list. Among its work highlights, it is assisting Ferring International in a commercial dispute initiated by Biotefar relating to a commercial severance payment and equitable indemnity for the sum of $50m; and Benavides, with the support of senior associate Cristina Mejía, is acting for broadcasting corporation Caracol in a defamation case filed by Madis de Colombia. Senior associate Juan Guillermo Otero is also noted.

Brigard & Urrutia is ‘a leading name in the litigation arena’. Co-head of the practice Alfredo Barragán is leading advice to Compañía Agrícola Colombia and others (as the defendants) in a class action initiated by a cotton producer association seeking $2m compensation for alleged damages caused by the use of transgenic seeds. The practice is also representing Buenavista Home Entertainment (Disney) in a $1.6m dispute with Magnum Video, which claims the existence of an agency agreement between the parties, a severance payment, and compensation for alleged wrongful termination of the contract. Fellow practice head Irma Rivera is noted for her knowledge and expertise, and associates Natalia Angel, Carolina López, Susana Hidvegi and Felipe Mutis are very active members of the team.

Posse Herrera Ruiz’s litigation team ‘has the confidence of clients thanks to its capacity to resolve disputes and also its great success ratio’. It acts for local and international clients across the litigation spectrum, covering corporate disputes, construction arbitration, class actions, and administrative litigation. The practice is representing Bancolombia in more than 250 collection proceedings, with an aggregate value over $10m; and Carolina Posada is representing Sociedad Portuaria Rio Cordoba in two administrative disputes with the Colombian General Comptroller regarding contractual compensation to be paid under a port concession contract. Name partner Daniel Posse is highly recommended for his expertise, with the newly promoted María Lucía Posada and Pablo Enrique Sierra also noted.

DLA Piper Martinez Beltran’s litigation team represents local and international clients in complex proceedings, in areas such as business law, tax, insurance, tort, antitrust and administrative law. The practice is led by Camilo Martínez, with support from senior associates Julián Solorza and Juliana Nandar. Martínez recently acted for Mercadeo y Moda in court proceedings against Punto Fa, seeking the declaration of the existence of a commercial agency agreement between the parties and an award of £20m damages. Other clients include Tribeca Asset Management, Banco Popular, Incolbest and Avinsas.

Now under the direction of ‘renowned practitioner’ William Araque, following Eduardo Zuleta’s departure, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta has been involved in some of the country’s most notable litigation cases. Among its work highlights, the team acted for SERVIENTREGA and its major shareholder Luz Mary Guerrero in a dispute initiated by two plaintiffs claiming ownership of a 10% interest in the corporation and in all the companies belonging to the conglomerate since 1980. The firm is also representing Chevron in a $20m dispute before the Administrative Court of La Guajira relating to tariff components which gas producers can transfer to purchasers. Senior associate Daniel Araque is also a key member of the practice, but fellow senior Paula Vejarano joined Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas .

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría’s lawyers are ‘very well acquainted with international and domestic disputes’. The group is currently acting for two major corporations in over 100 claims for land restitution connected to mining concessions in several regions of the country; and co-head of the team Héctor Hernández is representing a gas and energy corporation in a judicial dispute with the Colombian Gas & Energy Agency in relation to an executive order modifying fees in the energy market. Fellow practice head Julio González is also recommended. Sacyr and Caterpillar are among the team’s other clients.

Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados’ lawyers show ‘great skill in devising solid legal arguments before the courts’, ‘they are not just experts in their respective areas but also gifted negotiators’. The firm is currently defending CI PRODECO in proceedings initiated by governmental body INGEOMINAS seeking the annulment of a contract amendment and damages of approximately $99m. Bernardo Salazar, Luis Felipe Botero and Andrés Tobón lead the practice.

Now part of a worldwide network, full-service firm CMS Rodríguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados is well-versed in corporate, financial and telecoms-related disputes. It is acting for a group of Interbolsa Financial Group’s investors (in possession of Repo investments valued at around $20m) in bankruptcy proceedings before the Colombian judiciary; and also assisted over 150 investors in claims totalling $2.5m relating to the collapse of Premium Capital Appreciation Fund. Sergio Rodríguez Azuero and Clara María Uribe are the key figures.

A firm that offers personalised services’, Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos is also commended for its ‘appropriate, timely responses’. It is acting for mobile services corporation Colombia Telecomunicaciones in the negotiation of terms for the termination of concession agreements entered into with the Colombian state in 1994, including advising in relation to potential litigation; and is also representing Coca-Cola Company in a dispute with the EAAB (Aqueducts and Sewers Corporation of Bogotá). Juan Carlos Esguerra, Alfonso Miranda, Felipe Piquero and Andrés Jaramillo are the key names.

Garrigues’ litigation group is praised for ‘its deep knowledge of the sector and rapid responses to clients’ queries’. The practice is co-led by José Miguel de la Calle and Alberto Acevedo, and covers traditional litigation, bankruptcy, and unlawful competition. A highlight saw the team acting for Punto FA (Mango) in a high-profile dispute initiated by Mercado & Moda (M&M) on grounds of alleged unlawful competition related to the termination of a franchise agreement. The firm also acted for Pacific Exploration and Production (formerly Pacific Rubiales) and its Colombian subsidiaries in bankruptcy proceedings with a total value approaching $5.2bn. Other clients include Alianza Fiduciaria, Prosegur, Multibank and Credivalores.

Renowned’ lawyer Alberto Zuleta has joined Holland & Knight as head of its litigation department, having previously worked at Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas. The practice is experienced in representing international corporations in civil, commercial and administrative litigation, as well as in arbitration, and recently acted for an energy corporation in claims against the Colombian Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA) concerning the applicability of environmental obligations. Energy expert José Vicente Zapata and Enrique Gómez-Pinzón are also active members of the team.

Vélez Gutiérrez Abogados is a boutique known for its expertise in litigation and arbitration, with a particular focus on the insurance sector. The ‘knowledgeable’ Ricardo Vélez heads the practice, and is highly regarded for his expertise in insurance and reinsurance. The firm counts BBVA Seguros, ExxonMobile and Microsoft among its clients.

DAC Beachroft Colombia has vast expertise in insurance litigation and arbitration, with the ‘agile and knowledgeable’ group led by Camila de la Torre and Gabriela Monroy. The practice works closely with the firm’s other offices in Latin America.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas’ experience includes administrative litigation, and distribution, construction and engineering disputes, with previous clients including Oleoducto del Caribe, Ford Motor-Colombia, Comcel and Pacific Stratus Energy. Following the departure of Alberto Zuleta to Holland & Knight and Andrés Fernández de Soto to establish his own practice, the team is led by Ximena Zuleta and recently recruited senior associate Paula Vejarano who arrived from Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta.

A longstanding presence in Colombia’s litigation market, Gamboa & Acevedo’s practice is led by Ernesto Gamboa and Fernando Acevedo. Gamboa has represented the Colombian Football Federation in litigation against Claro over the alleged unauthorised use of the Colombian football team’s image during the 2014 World Cup in advertising campaigns. Other clients include Compas, North Allied, Inversiones Mecatel, and Noarco.

Pinilla, González & Prieto Abogadoshas expertise in real estate, pharmaceutical and construction disputes. It successfully acted for well-known entrepreneur Carlos Solarte in several disputes (including individual liability actions) initiated against him by shareholders of CSS Constructores, with an aggregate value of COP26m. Prodesa, Akila, Corporación Monteverde and Universidad de la Sabana are among its other clients. Founding partner Felipe Pinilla and Camilo Baracaldo are key members of the practice.

Parra Rodríguez Abogados acts for local and international clients in complex judicial claims, with particular expertise in the areas of construction, energy, oil and gas, finance, contractual liability and consumer protection. Bernardo Rodríguez and Álvaro Parra are the key names.

Sanclemente Fernández Abogados S.A. is a popular choice for energy-related disputes, and is noted for its personalised service. José Gabriel Fernández and Diana Sanclemente are the key contact names.

The ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Javier Tamayo Jaramillo leads the litigation group at Tamayo Jaramillo & Asociados, assisted by senior associate Laura Restrepo. The practice covers product liability, medical malpractice, environmental contamination, accidents, and construction litigation.

Tobar & Romero Abogados acts in proceedings before ordinary, administrative and constitutional courts. Jaime Humberto Tobar is the main contact.


Arbitration

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Arbitration clients in Colombia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Suescún Abogados is ‘a recognisable name in the arbitration field’ and is very active representing local and international clients in complex, high-end instructions. The team is led by the ‘respected’ Jorge Suescún, who is ‘an authority in arbitration matters’, and also includes Felipe Suescún. The firm is acting for Carbones del Cerrejón in a $200m international arbitration dispute against Ferrovial in connection with the construction of marine works and structures; and is also representing two Goldman Sachs subsidiaries in a multi-party international arbitration before the ICC relating to the transportation of coal via a Colombian railway network. Other significant clients include Colombian Natural Resources and China United Engineering Corporation.

Now 16-strong, new firm Zuleta Abogados Asociados S.A.S is the result of the collaboration of four highly reputed founding partners: the ‘illustrious’ Eduardo Zuleta, a leading name in international arbitration; oil and gas expert Gustavo Suárez; arbitration expert Rafael Bernal; and international law specialist Antonio Aljure. It is currently acting as co-counsel to US corporations Drummond Ltd and Drummond Coal Mining in a complex, $1bn-plus multi-party arbitration governed by the ICC rules, relating to rights to access and transport coal using the Colombian railway transport system. In another impressive instruction, the firm is representing Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia (OBC) in a dispute with Canadian company Canacol over the provisions of offtake agreements entered into by OBC and its shareholders. The firm has positioned itself very strongly in relation to disputes in the projects and infrastructure sector, especially those with an international aspect. In a sign of on-going growth, the firm recently hired Daniela Páez from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. Other clients include Ferrovial Agromán, Superior Energy Services and Advanced Capital International.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S. is very active in international arbitration. It is currently acting for a high-profile corporation in complex proceedings against a Colombian company, with a claim value approaching $250m; and is also advising a major utility corporation on the preliminary steps and viability of a potential claim before the ICC against an international consortium. Claudia Benavides leads the practice.

Brigard & Urrutia’s arbitration team is one of the largest in the country, and is well regarded for its expertise in local and international claims. It is acting for Colombia Móvil in proceedings against the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (MinTic) relating to the application of agreed formulas to calculate payments for the extension of three concession contracts with a total value of $200m.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría represents foreign and domestic clients in complex disputes before local and international arbitral courts, and covers all stages of arbitration proceedings and other ADR mechanisms. It is currently acting for an international consortium and two Colombian corporations in an international arbitration claim concerning alleged breach of a complex EPC contract relating to a $100m infrastructure project. Julio César González and Héctor Hernández are the key names.

At Posse Herrera Ruiz, founding partner Daniel Posse acted for Refinería de Cartagena (Reficar) in an international arbitration claim under ICC rules against Chicago Bridge & Iron Company: the case related to alleged breach of an EPC contract for the construction of a refinery, with the claim valued at several billion pounds. Carolina Posada is also a key member of the practice.

Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados continued to represent Glencore Xstrata’s Colombian subsidiaries in a $168m international arbitration case before the ICC against railway concessionaire FENOCO; and is also acting for Equión Energía in proceedings initiated by Ocensa over a $33m contractual dispute. Bernardo Salazar is the main contact.

Castro Leiva Rendón Criales Abogados SAS is very active in arbitration proceedings and class actions, especially in the infrastructure sector. Its list of clients includes AJ Colombia, Empresas Municipales dse Cali (EMCALI), and Poyry Infra. José Ignacio Leiva leads the practice.

Work highlights for Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta included acting for Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos (ANH) in an arbitration claim against Petrominerales-Colombia (owned by Pacific Exploration and Production) relating to the terms of E&P contracts, with an aggregate value of more than $200m. The practice is also acting for IGT Games in $16m arbitration proceedings against public body COLJUEGOS (which has the country’s gambling monopoly) over alleged breach of concession contract terms. William Araque leads the practice following Eduardo Zuleta’s departure to start his own practice.

Palacios Lleras’ 15-strong disputes practice covers complex local and international arbitration. It successfully represented Consorcio Castell Pórticos in proceedings against Bogotá’s Health Department for breach of contractual terms and outstanding payments; and is also acting for Drummond (and its subsidiary Drummond Coal Mining) in a multi-party international arbitration under ICC rules against the concessionaire of the railway on the north coast of the country. Hugo Palacios Mejía and Oscar Gutiérrez Herrán lead the practice.


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