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Colombia > Projects > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Brigard & Urrutia is ‘a pioneer and an undisputed leader in the sector’, and ‘continues a long tradition of innovative work and precedent-setting expertise’. The large team, which includes four partners, has been involved in some of the market’s most ambitious and complex projects, principally in the areas of highway concessions and public transport. Carlos Umaña led advice to Bogotá Elektrika on a PPP transportation project for the conversion of the Transmilenio BRT fleet (the main transport system in Bogotá) into electric and hybrid transport units; and Umaña and Carlos Fradique-Méndez are acting for a well-known corporation in relation to the legal and regulatory aspects of an energy project to potentially provide energy services to several real estate projects to be executed by the client. The group is also acting for Ocensa on a project to expand pipeline infrastructure valued at several hundred million dollars. Other clients include Shikun & Bibui, Salini Impregilo and Refinería de Cartagena. Key partner Manuel Quinche and associate Claudia Navarro are highly recommended.

Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados has ‘a superb reputation’; it is valued for its ‘great advice and in-depth knowledge’, and is considered ‘a reference point on project matters’. The practice acts for local and foreign companies on development mandates. and is also ‘highly recognised’ for its advice to public bodies. It is part of a group of experts assisting the DNP (National Planning Department) in connection with the negotiation and structuring of a PPP project to build the water supply and sewerage system for the city of Santa Marta; and is advising Valrex on the drafting and negotiation of a BOMT contract for the construction of a £10m wastewater treatment plant inside the facilities of steelmaker Acerías Paz del Río. It is also assisting the Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME) with devising a public policy to be applied to the coal mining industry in the Bocayá, Santander and Cundinamarca regions, seeking to reduce the impact of commodity price fluctuations. Gustavo Osorio leads the team, and works alongside managing partner Álvaro Durán, senior partner Gabriel Taboada and Carlos Andrés Sánchez.

Fielding one of the largest projects teams in the country and noted for its ‘quality and professionalism’, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta has a high profile in the market, especially on the finance side; oil and gas and refinancing matters are key strengths of the practice. It has been busy acting for clients in most of the tendering processes for 4G projects, and is currently involved in four related financing projects. It is advising OHL Concesiones in relation to several proposed PPPs, with an aggregate value of $20m, and also on three public bid applications connected to 4G projects. In another 4G concession project, it acted for Grupo Aeropuertuario del Caribe on a PPP for the concession of the Barranquilla and other local airports, with a total value of over $470m. Other clients include Ecopetrol, TC Buen, Valorcon and Recaudo Bogotá. Recommended individuals include Ricardo Fandiño, who has vast expertise in banking and finance; Jaime Robledo, who heads the project finance practice; head of oil and gas Germán Villamil; Patricia Arrázola, who heads the mining and energy department; and head of M&A Andrés Hoyos.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría has a proven track record advising on port, airport, road, railway and PPP projects, from the initiation of development and structuring of finance to operability and handover. The practice is jointly led by Jorge Di Terlizzi, who is ‘expert in corporate, and financing matters’, and Juan Fernando Gaviria, who is ‘a recognised figure in the banking, finance and capital markets field’. Carolina Duque is also recommended. The group successfully advised Cintra Infraestructura and Concesia on its bid before the ANI (National Agency of Infrastructure), and its subsequent $1.1bn PPP contract, for the construction of the Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó highway (a 4G road project). It also advised Sociedad Portuaria de la Costa (SACSA) on a $350m PPP project for the expansion of Cartagena airport; and advised Goldman Sachs as the global lead arranger for the $750m financing of the Pacífico 3 Toll Road project, a major 4G concession. Other clients include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, Concesionaria Alernativas Viales and Corporación Financiera de Colombia. Since research concluded, the team has been further strengthened with the hire of Carlos Eduardo Pasdilla, formerly of Castro Leiva Rendón Criales Abogados SAS, as practice area coordinator.

A real leader in the market and one of the most respected practices in the country’, Posse Herrera Ruiz stands out for ‘its expertise in PPP, bidding procedures, and financing/contractual issues’. It has been active assisting clients in relation to bids for major 4G concession projects and related financings, and is currently advising CODAD on negotiations with the ANI seeking approval to expand the scope of its current concession contract regarding Bogotá’s El Dorado airport to include the construction of additional exit-ways and parallel runways, in a matter worth $70m. It also acted as counsel to Vinci/Conconcreto in the pre-qualifying stages of a bidding process for the Mar-1 Project, worth around $700m; and advised Concesionaria Alternativas Viales in relation to the PPP contract for the construction of the $650m Cambao-Manizales and Ibagué-Mariquita-Honda highway. Alessia Abello, José Alejandro Torres, Jaime Herrera, Alvaro José Rodríguez and Mariana Posse are all key members of the team.

With ‘an outstanding reputation and outstanding knowledge of the sector’, boutique firm Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados has expertise in PPPs in the transport, real estate and infrastructure sectors, as well as in the financing of private sector projects and the evaluation and implementation of public bids, concessions and project contracts. Its track record includes assisting Odebrecht in bidding for six road concession projects; and advising Sociedad Portuaria de Cartagena on the structuring of a $80m project for the operation and maintenance of the Bocachica Channel in Cartagena. Other clients have included Ecopetrol, Drummond and COVIANDES. Name partners Álvaro Mantilla, Carlos Gustavo Arrieta and Adriana Espinoza are all recommended.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S. has an integrated team working from Peru and Colombia and benefiting the firm’s broader international network. The eight-strong team is well regarded for its work in the oil-and-gas sector, with a focus on upstream and midstream infrastructure and pipeline projects. It recently advised a Colombia-based corporation on a $200m joint venture to manage and operate a port terminal in Cartagena city. Other clients include Graña y Montero, Enbridge and Queiroz Galvao Construction. Alejandro Mesa leads the team.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas has a longstanding presence in the market, acting for local and international clients in rail, construction and engineering, telecoms, airport, and oil-and-gas projects; it covers bidding processes, public contracts, financing and regulatory matters as well as handling related litigation and arbitration instructions. ‘Respected practitionerBernardo Cárdenas led advice to Chile’s Colbún on its $2bn bid for state energy company Isagen, covering pre-qualifying assistance, due diligence and the design of an investment structure for the project. It also provided advice to an international media corporation on investigations initiated by the Ministry of Technology and Communications (MinTic) in connection with various major telecoms projects; and acted for a major Latin American construction company on the pre-qualifying stages of its bid for a $140m PPP project launched by a Colombian state body. Andrés Fernández de Soto leads the practice, with Ximena Zuleta also a key figure and senior associate Inés Elvira Vesga recommended. Since publication, Andrés Fernández de Soto has left to establish his own firm, Fernández de Soto & Asociados

Castro Leiva Rendón Criales Abogados SAS consistently attracts praise for its work in the projects arena. Praised for its ‘innovative approach, creative solutions and high standard of client service’, it acts for a variety of local and international clients on the structuring and financing of projects, including PPPs, and is well versed in sectors such as infrastructure, transportation, telecoms, hydrocarbons, energy and utilities. Juan Mario Rendón, José Ignacio Leiva and Marcela Castro are the contact names. However, since the conclusion of research, Carlos Eduardo Padilla has moved to Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría.

Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados’ projects practice is led by Diego Muñoz Tamayo, whose expertise includes privatisation matters. The firm has vast expertise in private and public projects, on the financing and structuring sides, and has advised local and international clients in relation to hydroelectric/thermoelectric plants, and telecoms and gas transportation projects. The firm acted for Andean Tower Partners (part of Digital Bridge Holdings) on the acquisition of several companies and assets for a project involving telecoms towers; and also advised an international investment group in relation to the $1.7bn privatisation of a high-profile state entity.

Norton Rose Fulbright has been active in 4G concessions and in major transportation projects, and acts for a host of major corporations, particularly in the energy sector. Practice head Luis Carlos Neira is ‘an expert’, and works alongside mining and projects specialist Jorge Neher and Leopoldo Olavarría. The firm advised Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Antioquia on the structuring of its bid to construct a $400m multi-purpose port under an EPC scheme; and is assisting a global gas corporation in relation to a complex project for the construction of an industrial facility in a free zone trade in the country. Other clients include CODAD, Pacific Rubiales, Puma Energy and SGS.

Chalela | Abogados advises on road, port, airport, railway, oil and gas, pipeline and energy projects, with expertise in requisitions for proposals (RFPs), bidding processes, PPPs and port concession agreements, and in public and environmental law matters. Federico Chalela - is the key contact.

Gamboa & Acevedo has been instructed in relation to some of country’s most notable port infrastructure projects, and is well placed to deal with complex instructions requiring multi-disciplinary legal expertise. It assisted Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura in negotiations with the authorities for permission to deepen the access channel to the Buenaventura port, a project valued at $150m; and also advised Boscoal Operadores Portuarios on the contracts relating to its participation in the construction of a $100m bulk terminal at the industrial port of Aguadulce. Ernesto Gamboa and Juan Fernando Acevedo are the key names.

Garrigues has been busy acting for major sponsor clients on some of the largest financings for 4G concessions and other infrastructure and transport projects. It advised energy corporation Termochero on a project to build and operate a $60m power generation plant in the country, including assisting with the negotiation of natural gas supply arrangements with Ecopetrol and an EPC and O&M contract with Wartsila. It is also acting for Metrovías Panamericanas in the structuring of a proposed $500m PPP for the Av 68 Metro System Project in Bogotá, currently under evaluation by Bogotá’s transport authority (Transmilenio). The practice was strengthened by the hire of José Miguel de la Calle, formerly head of DLP/De la Calle Londoñ & Posada; he and Felipe Quintero now lead the team.

Godoy & Hoyos Abogados’ small but resourceful projects team is led by Jaime Moya and advises on public and private infrastructure projects, covering areas such as oil, mining, airports, ports, roads and rail. It assisted Sacyr in all legal aspects of its successful bid for the concession of the COP1.25bn Puerta de Hierro-Cruz del Viso highway.

Lloreda Camacho & Co. has a well-established projects practice, drawing on extensive regulatory expertise to advise clients in the infrastructure, telecoms, and oil and gas sectors. Andrés Hidalgo heads the team.

Rodriguez Azuero Contexto Legal Abogados is regularly engaged by financial institutions to advise on complex, cutting-edge infrastructure projects. The five-strong team advises on credit agreements, guarantees and payment structures, corporate and project finance transactions, and tax matters, and also has expertise in infrastructure-related litigation and arbitration. It is assisting the Inter-American Development Bank on the structuring of an SPV to incorporate an energy-efficient fund to finance clean-energy infrastructure, with an initial value of $35m. Other clients include Avianca, BBVA Colombia and Canadian Imperial Bank. Daniel Rodríguez heads the team.

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