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Who Represents Who

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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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