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Colombia > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Claudia Benavides leads the 14-lawyer group at Baker McKenzie S.A.S., which is praised for its ‘solid knowledge of the litigation field’; ‘its strong specialisation matches the appropriate advice it provides, and it has a place among the best in the market’. It successfully represented a major international state-owned corporation in a complex $45m arbitration; and is acting for Embraer as the defendant in a claim for alleged breach of an agency agreement valued at around $10.5m. Other clients include Groupe SEB and Caracol.

A real powerhouse in the dispute resolution arena’, Brigard & Urrutia provides ‘impeccable legal support, defending clients’ best interests and minimising risks’. The 20-strong team provides ‘a robust service’, covering litigation and local and international arbitration. Joint practice head Luis Alfredo Barragán is leading advice to certain high-net-worth individuals in a highly publicised $2.4m dispute concerning one of the most successful Colombian corporations; and the team is also acting for a well-known oil and gas corporation in a $40m arbitration dispute over breach of contractual terms. ‘Fantastic’ co-director of the practice Irma Rivera Ramírez, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the area, is praised for her knowledge and expertise, and associates Susana Hidvegi and Natalia Ángel are also noted. Clients include Ocensa, OHL, Banco Procredit and Uber Colombia.

A significant name in the dispute resolution market’, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta has a significant caseload in traditional litigation and also has an outstanding arbitration practice, covering national and international commercial arbitration and investment disputes. Work highlights included acting as lead counsel to Ecopetrol subsidiary Hocol in arbitration proceedings before the ICC in London, in one of the few arbitration cases involving one of Colombia’s public bodies to be decided outside the country. The firm is also representing a high-profile mining corporation in a complex multi-party international arbitration, with a potential aggregate claim of $1bn. The team is led by Eduardo Zuleta, who is ‘a very smart practitioner and a leading figure in international arbitration’, and William Araque, who is ‘expert in litigation matters’. Other clients include Isagen, Falabella, Bayer and General Motors. Since publication, Zuleta has announced his departure from the firm as of the end of January 2017.

A leading firm in the dispute resolution field’, Posse Herrera Ruiz’s disputes group assists local and international clients in relation to civil, commercial and administrative claims, including constitutional defence for the protection of collective rights before the domestic courts, and also handles national and international arbitration. The 18-strong team is well versed in complex disputes, and has sector strengths across oil and gas, mining, power and energy, construction and infrastructure. Daniel Posse and Carolina Posada lead the team, which successfully acted for Diageo in negotiations with the government which resulted in a bill having to be presented to Parliament in compliance with obligations subscribed under WTO and Free Trade Agreements with the US and Canada. Cerro Matoso, AngloGold Ashanti, Bancolombia and SD Myers are other clients of the practice.

DLA Piper Martinez Neira’s litigation practice is led by Néstor Humberto Martٕínez, who has returned after a spell as a member of the government’s cabinet. The team has a strong track record handling complex disputes for some of the country’s largest economic concerns. It is currently defending a corporation against a class action seeking compensation in relation to damage allegedly caused by chemicals used by the client in its production process. Since the conclusion of research, Néstor Humberto Martínez has been named Attorney General.

The ‘active and experienced’ disputes team at Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas covers areas such as administrative litigation, distribution, construction and engineering disputes, and local arbitration. Andrés Fernández de Soto has more than 30 years’ experience in the area, and is considered ‘a leading litigator and arbitrator’. Alberto Zuleta and Ximena Zuleta are also important members of the practice. The firm is acting for Oleoducto del Caribe in a complex $30m dispute initiated against it in relation to the construction of an oil pipeline; and is also acting for Transgas de Occidente in a $20m arbitration over a BOMT agreement relating to a pipeline in the western region of Colombia. The firm has recently announced its merger with international player Dentons.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría is acknowledged for ‘its expertise in litigation and deep knowledge of business matters’. Led by ‘expert and pragmatic practitionerHéctor Hernández and the ‘outstandingJulio González, the team acts for clients such as Husqvarna Colombia, Constructora Rumie and Inverteco. It recently acted as counsel to a major mining company in a $75m class action; and also acted for Constructora Rumie in conciliation proceedings regarding the construction of a Pricesmart store in Medellín.

A very important name in the arbitration sphere’, Suescún Abogados has a very active practice in local and multi-jurisdictional arbitration, and has been involved in some of the country’s most complex disputes. Highlights included successfully representing Odebrecht, Alstom and Kvaerner (acting as Consorcio Miel) in a $70m international arbitration against Isagen, relating to the construction of a hydroelectric plant in the city of Caldas. The ‘authoritative’ Jorge Suescún is ‘respected for his vast knowledge in arbitration matters’.

Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados remains active in litigation and arbitration, and has added a number of significant new clients to its roster. It is acting for Glencore Xstrata’s several Colombian subsidiaries in a multi-party international arbitration before the ICC initiated by FENOCO (a railway concessionaire), valued at $163m. Other clients include Terranum, Trafigura and Johnson & Johnson. Bernardo Salazar and Luis Felipe Botero are the key names.

Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos has a well-regarded practice acting for domestic and foreign clients across administrative, civil, commercial, labour, and anti-trust litigation, and also arbitration. ‘A visible figure in the sector’, Juan Carlos Esguerra is recommended.

Garrigues’ disputes practice was strengthened by the arrival of José Miguel de la Calle and his team, previously at DLP/De la Calle Londoño López & Posada. The firm is representing a major international corporation in a class action instigated by a Colombian company seeking to stop the client’s operations in the country on grounds of alleged unfair competition; and is also representing a US corporation in conciliation proceedings and potential litigation, valued at $150m. Other clients include Aena Internacional, Tradeco and Bancolombia. The team is jointly led by de la Calle and Alberto Acevedo.

With offices in Bogotá and Medellín and a network of correspondents elsewhere in the country, Rodriguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados covers arbitration and litigation, including corporate, financial and telecoms-related disputes. It is acting for over 150 investors in cases connected to the collapse of the Premium Capital Appreciation Fund, with an aggregate value around $2.5m. Other clients include Source and Market, Intertug and Almagrario. Sergio Rodríguez and Clara María Uribe are the key names.

Boutique firm Vélez Gutiérrez Abogados has expertise in litigation and arbitration, and a particular focus on insurance disputes. The group is led by Ricardo Vélez, who is ‘a knowledgeable specialist’ in insurance and reinsurance litigation. Clients have included BBVA Seguros, ExxonMobil and Microsoft.

Gamboa & Acevedo draws on its 30 years of experience to deliver ‘a high-quality service’ to clients. The nine-strong practice acts for local and international clients in commercial, civil and administrative litigation, as well as in complex local and international arbitration disputes. Ernesto Gamboa and Juan Fernando Acevedo lead the team, which counts Compas, North Allied, Noarco and Dow Chemical among its clients.

Holland & Knight’s ten-strong team acts for international corporations in civil, commercial and administrative proceedings as well as in arbitration disputes. Co-head of the practice José Vicente Zapata is acting for a construction company in a class action alleging damage to the environment and human health, in which the plaintiff is seeking to close the client’s manufacturing plants in Colombia. The very ‘experienced’ Enrique Gómez-Pinzón co-heads the practice, and Vicente Umaña is also a key team member. The group was boosted by the arrival of Danilo Romero Raad, previously of now defunct firm Romero Raad Abogados.

Boutique firm Palacios Lleras is known for its experience in complex litigation and administrative disputes. ‘Respected litigator’ Hugo Palacios Mejía leads the team, which includes Oscar Gutiérrez Herrán and Pedro Pacheco Jiménez. Clients have included Drummond and Seguros Generales Suramericana.

DAC Beachroft Colombia has extensive experience in insurance litigation and arbitration, and under the leadership of Camila de la Torre and Gabriela Monroy, acts for local and international clients. The practice benefits from the wider firm’s unrivalled network in the Latin American insurance and reinsurance market.

Pinilla, González & Prieto is a particularly strong choice for disputes in the real estate, construction and pharmaceutical sectors. The group has acted for well-known businessman Carlos Alberto Solarte in several judicial and arbitration claims which have permitted the client to continue to hold a majority stake in CSS Constructores. Other clients include Amarilo, Pedro Gómez y Cía, and Constructora Bolívar. Carlos Felipe Pinilla and Camilo Andrés Baracaldo are the names to note.

Sanclemente Fernández Abogados S.A.’ litigation practice prides itself on its personalised service and its long-term client relationships, and has particular strength in the energy sector. José Gabriel Fernández and Diana Sanclemente are the contacts.

Tamayo Jaramillo & Asociados is very active in litigation, particularly in areas such as accidents, environmental contamination, product liability, medical malpractice and construction liability. Javier Tamayo Jaramillo is the name to note.

Tobar & Romero Abogados has extensive experience in proceedings before ordinary, administrative and constitutional courts. Jaime Humberto Tobar is the key contact.

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