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Colombia > International trade and customs > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. International trade and customs
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Ramiro Araujo - Ramiro Araujo Segovia-Sole Practitioner
    • Andrés Forero - Forero Medina & Abogados Asociados
    • Gabriel Ibarra - Ibarra Abogados
    • Martín Gustavo Ibarra - Araujo Ibarra & Asociados S.A
    • Juan Guillermo Ruiz - Posse Herrera Ruiz
    • Marcel Tangarife - Tangarife Torres & Asociados

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Leading specialist Martín Gustavo Ibarra is the ‘key figure’ at Araujo Ibarra & Asociados S.A. The specialist boutique firm advises local and international clients, as well as government entities, on trade agreements, free zones, economic analysis, regulatory issues, and business incorporations. Clients have included Ecopetrol, Zona Franca de Colombia, Shell and Ocensa.

Ibarra Abogadosstands out for its deep knowledge’ of and familiarity with ‘the way the Colombian authorities work’. The practice, led by recommended managing partner Gabriel Ibarra represented Alumina Group in the sunset review of the antidumping duties imposed against Chinese and Venezuelan exports of extruded aluminium profiles. The firm is also acting for Pfizer in five lawsuits against the Colombian Customs Authority with regards to the validity of the certificates-of-origin submitted by the pharmaceutical company during the importation process of Chapstick shipments in order to access the preferential treatment accruing from the US-Colombian FTA. Associate Daniel Rangel is also noted.

Brigard & Urrutia provides ‘excellent’ legal advice to multinational and domestic companies on matters concerned with customs law, special importation schemes, application of trade and investment treaties (BITs), customs valuation, rules of origin and tariff classification. The whole team, co-led by José Franciso Mafla, is praised as being ‘always available, for offering comprehensive solutions. They are comprehensive, astute and responsible, and the legal quality is impressive’. The team counselled Goldman Sachs on the acquisition of Argos’ shares in Compañía Puertos Asociados; the advice included a review on the entire operation of the target company, with the aim of identifying and assessing possible risks and areas for improvement. José Andrés Romero, Catalina Jaramillo, Johann Schomberger and Christian Díaz Ordóñez are also highlighted. Additional clients include H&M, Dufry America, Panel Rey, Equinix and Deutsche Post DHL.

The practice at boutique firm Forero Medina & Abogados Asociados is directed by leading specialist Andrés Forero. With a wide regional reach, the practice covers international trade and taxation, administrative litigation, foreign exchange, leasing and free trade zones, among other areas of IT&C practice.

Posse Herrera Ruiz offers ‘first class service’. The practice, led by ‘expert’ Juan David Barbosa, ‘is very efficient and effective when answering queries’; it is ‘a team of experts who give a very good service and they are also proactive when issues arise’. The practice is advising Adidas in several customs valuation disputes against the Colombian Customs Authority (with an aggregate value of $32m), and also advised Petrobras in the establishment of an offshore free trade zone for its oil and gas operations in Colombia. Other clients include Diageo, Unilever, Decathlon, Repsol and Amazon.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)’s practice group ‘stands out especially for its closeness to the company and for providing personalized attention, with a professional, timely and comprehensive approach’. The team specialises in issues related to international trade and in particular, assisting clients (and projects) with the obtaining of Free Trade Zone declarations. ‘Reliable, respectable, of great knowledge in the area and ideal for the development of projects’, senior associate Nicolás Potdevin Stein heads the practice group. Its current mandates include giving permanent advice to Cementos Argos on foreign trade operations, free trade zone compliance, filings and proceedings before Colombian authorities and the handling of information requirements, among other matters. Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Maaji, Sodimac and Grupo Orbis are all on the client roster.

Osman & Rodriguez Abogados attracts praise for ‘its in-depth and up-to-date knowledge, and the personal attention received from the partners’. A new entry to the ranking, this boutique specialises in international trade, customs and tax. The team is led by Carlos Andrés Rodríguez, who has ‘valuable expertise and experience in currency control regulations, and customs regulations’, and Pedro Pablo Osman. The practice acted for a pharmaceutical company in a customs litigation against the National Tax and Customs Office related to the tariff of import duties and import VAT imposed on the company. The team also intervened in an arbitration regarding a time-chartered freight contract.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría's international trade area is led by Martin Acero and Carolina Rozo, who ‘not only has a great knowledge of the industry but also manages to understand and measure all the needs of her clients to provide absolutely top service’ .The four-strong team gave legal and regulatory advice to a consortium formed for the importation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by Chilco Distribuidora de Gas y Energía, Inversiones GLP, Montagas, Compañía de Almacenamiento de Gas and Grupo INSA; the advice included drafting contracts, the structuring of customs alternatives and negotiations to import the LPG. Other clients include Abbott Laboratories, Productora de Confección, Zona Franca Las Americas and Vitol.

Garrigues’ practice specialises in customs controversies and free trade zone qualifications as well as providing support on customs and international trade contingencies during due diligences for high-profile transactions. César Cermeño leads the team, which has been strengthened with the arrival of associates Monica Sarmiento from the Venezuelan Customs Authority, and María Paz Arroyave. Recent mandates include the constitution of two Free Trade Zones and the relocation of one of them. The team also assisted Altra Investments and Mercantil Colpatria on the customs issues related to an investment made in Panama-based Reve Group to inject capital into the group’s subsidiaries Mercadería and Bakery Business International.

Godoy & Hoyos Abogados SAS advises on customs and foreign trade planning, foreign exchange compliance and foreign investment, and has specialist knowledge on the customs and foreign exchange regime applicable to the oil and gas industry. Practice head Juan Pablo Godoy led advice to Superior Energy Services analysing the content of and modifications to a customs mandate required to regulate the operations to be handled by the client’s customs brokerage. The team also provides legal services to the Contract Workplaces Colombia on its day to day businesses, particularly in relation to the compliance with the legal foreign exchange obligations before the Colombian Central Bank and DIAN. Other clients include Envases Puros International Paper, Huber and Belia Trading Colombia.

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