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Colombia > Labour and employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Labour and employment
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Baker McKenzie S.A.S. is ‘a leading firm in the labour arena’ and provides ‘excellent general advice’ and ‘has a good understanding of clients’ needs paired with pragmatic solutions’. It fields one of the largest teams in the market, led by the ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Tatiana Garces Carvajal and including the ‘highly professional’ Evelyn Romero. The group is acting for a multinational corporation in investigations initiated by the newly created and very active Special Payroll Contributions and Pension Special Unit, seeking to challenge rigorous penalties imposed on the client. It also successfully represented a well-known international corporation in complex proceedings initiated by a pregnant employee claiming to have been discriminated against.

A first-class boutique and one of the most important names among dedicated firms in the sector’, Godoy Córdoba Abogados has recently further enhanced its standing in the market through its absorbtion of Buriticá & Buriticá Abogados. The firm, which has an association with Littler Mendelson, P.C., covers the full range of labour law matters including litigation, audits and due diligence, collective negotiations, M&A deals, and immigration. Ana Cristina Medina advised Petroamerica on all labour-related aspects of its acquisition of Suroco and Petronova, covering the harmonisation of labour conditions, compensation regimes and benefits, and the transfer of personnel. Santiago Martínez is advising Baker Hughes, Alkhorayef and four other co-respondents in an administrative claim against Ecopetrol initiated by the largest Colombian union on grounds of alleged labour intermediation. The team also assisted Hewlett-Packard in relation to the implementation of its global business split-off in Colombia, while other clients include BBVA, Petrobras, LG, and Mapfre. Carlos Hernán Godoy leads the labour and employment law advice department; Luis Alejandro Córdoba is in charge of the collective bargaining department; and Francisco Buriticá is also noted for his expertise. Former Supreme Court judge Gustavo José Gnecco has joined the team.

Alvarez Lievano & Laserna S.A.S is a spin-off of highly respected boutique AESCA, which is now defunct. Founding partners Carlos Álvarez Pereira, Claudia Liévano and María Lucía Laserna are experienced practitioners, with Alvarez considered ‘one of the most influential names in the history of Colombian labour law’; he is a former judge of the Supreme Court’s labour cassation chamber and is ‘widely regarded for his collective bargaining skills’. The wide-ranging practice covers areas including collective negotiations, labour consultancy, restructuring procedures and related litigation. Clients have included BBVA, Codensa, Ecopetrol, and Pacific Rubiales.

Brigard & Urrutia’s labour team is praised for ‘its great professionalism and rapid responses’ and ‘the high level of knowledge of its lawyers’. It is the Colombian member of the Ius Laboris international alliance, and assists a variety of corporations and individuals in relation to individual and collective matters, labour audits, voluntary termination plans, litigation, and due diligence, with particular strength in the pharmaceutical and advertising industries and a notable practice advising foreign embassies and recruitment consultancy businesses. In a recent work highlight, it acted for a technology corporation in the negotiation and implementation of a voluntary retirement programme affecting a high number of employees, which required the agreement of all employees involved to be successful. It also successfully acted for a well-known international corporation in relation to complex cross-border claims initiated by an employee who claimed wrongful dismissal. Clients include 3M Colombia, Fox Colombia, BNP and Philips. The team is led by Álvaro Cala and Catalina Santos, who is praised for her ‘knowledge, competence and pragmatic approach’.

Lopez & Asociados Abogados is recommended for its labour and social security practice. The ‘highly qualified and responsive team is valued for its ‘knowledge and up-to-date advice’, and is led by ‘outstanding expert’ Juan Pablo López, who ‘has all the required resources to provide external, coherent and reliable legal advice on labour instructions’. Its track record includes advising Colombia’s Central Bank in relation to a compensation package for all its employees; acting for Nutresa on collective negotiation issues; and assisting Aon with a review of all of the labour contracts of its senior managers, covering benefits clauses, confidentiality, indemnity agreements, salaries and bonuses. Angélica María Carrión and Alejandro Castellanos are both recommended.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría has a small team but a well-established practice, led by ‘prestigious litigatorHéctor Hernández. It advised CPC in connection with its acquisition by Vale’s local holdings; and also advised a leading Colombian multinational chain in relation to its positive discrimination recruitment policy. Clients have included Computec-Experian and Abbott Laboratories.

The ‘well-balanced’ labour team at Posse Herrera Ruiz works closely with the firm’s other departments, advising local and international clients across the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including social security, immigration and restructurings. The 12-strong group is directed by Carolina Camacho, who is a ‘leading lawyer in the area’. Recent work includes acting for an international mining corporation in a $1m action relating to a fatal accident suffered by an employee; and advising a metal-producing company on the negotiation of contract terminations with its employees following the closure of one of its branches. Clients include Cencosud, PepsiCo, Cerromatoso and Anadarko. Associate Camilo Bernal is also noted.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas has a small but ‘very capable’ four-strong group led by Lorena Arámbula. It acts for local and international clients across the full array of labour and employment law matters, and has been busy assisting various investment corporations with M&A-related due diligence. Microsoft, Accenture and Atlas Copco are among its clients.

Under the leadership of the ‘experienced and recognised’ Patricia Vergara, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta’s four-lawyer team works closely with the firm’s corporate department. It is also well versed in both individual and collective labour law instructions, immigration, restructurings, social security and administrative claims, and has been busy acting in claims against state pensions body, the UGPP. Vergara successfully represented Axioma Comunicaciones in court proceedings in which the plaintiff claimed the existence of an employment relationship while providing services via an agency; and the team also advised Mercantil Colpatria and other investors on the labour law implications of their acquisition of a majority stake in Termocandelaria Power Limited from Tribeca Asset Management.

The team at Lloreda Camacho & Co. assists the firm’s corporate clients on day-to-day operational matters, collective instructions and immigration matters. It recently advised an international research corporation on due diligence matters which potentially have implications on investigations initiated by state pensions entity UGPP. Enrique Álvarez leads the team, which also counts Eli Lilly Interamerica and Emigra among its clients.

VS+M Abogados. offers comprehensive advice on individual and collective labour law, social security, corporate matters and immigration, and has acted for clients such as Vertical de Aviación, Schréder Colombia and Calzado Palermo. Diego Felipe Valdivieso leads the team.

Cavelier Abogados’ seven-lawyer team is led by Martha Bonett and assists local and international clients – among them Manohay Colombia, Productos Ramo and Giz – on the whole spectrum of the labour law matters.

A significant presence on the northern coast of Colombia, Chapman & Asociados is well known for its collective labour law and social security practice. The group is led by Charles Chapman and Mirna Wilches. Clients include Hoteles Decamerón, Litoplas and Ferrasa.

Escandón Abogados is a spin-off of the now defunct AESCA firm, and focuses on labour law and social security matters. Founding partner Alberto Escandón is the key contact.

Holland & Knight’s team, under the direction of Vicente Umaña, is notable for its work advising corporate clients in the oil and energy sectors. It has experience in collective negotiations, labour litigation, compensation matters, and employee benefits.

Isabella Gandini leads the five-lawyer group at Norton Rose Fulbright, which advises clients in industries such as oil and gas, mining, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and technology.

Specialist firm Baquero & Asociados S.A acts for local and international clients, covering the whole range of labour law matters. Guillermo Baquero is the key name.

Cardozo Ordóñez Ltda covers individual and collective labour law and immigration matters, and is particularly recommended for its audit-related work. Hernando Cardozo is the main contact.

Cortés, Romero & Asociados prides itself on its personalised service and direct access to partners. José Luis Cortés and Catalina Romero are the key names.

G & G Asesores Laborales S.A.S has a broad practice led by Juan Manuel Guerrero.

The ‘very experienced’ Juanita Galvis leads a ‘small but efficient’ practice at labour-focused boutique JG Asesores Laborales, which covers individual and collective matters, audits and litigation. Before founding the firm, Galvis worked as an associate at the former AESCA for 13 years.

Pilonieta Alvarez Abogados Laboralistas is a recognised regional powerhouse in the labour arena, providing its services from Bucaramanga. Eduardo Pilonieta and Patricia Alvarez lead the team.

Customer-focused’ boutique Tannus & Asociados is led by ‘respected specialist’ Rodrigo Tannus, and is increasingly gaining attention in the labour and employment market.

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