Banking and finance
With a ‘large and experienced’ banking team, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta attracts many high-end instructions, including big-ticket project-financings connected to the 4G concessions. The 25-strong team has outstanding expertise in derivatives, private equity and capital markets, and an unparalleled practice in IPOs. Ricardo Fandiño and José Luis Suárez led advice to Credit Suisse and HSBC as the underwriters of Ecopetrol’s $1.5bn notes issuance. Fandiño is also leading the advice to a syndicate of lenders (led by Corpbanca) in relation to the COP450bn Project César Guajira toll road concession, covering regulatory, environmental, construction and financing matters. In another highlight, Suárez advised consumer finance corporation Credivalores on a syndicated credit line worth $100m, to bolster the client’s interest-free loans to employees and pensioners in the public and private sectors. Other notable team members include Daniel Londoño, Germán Villamil, Jaime Robledo and Andrés Hoyos.
José Luis Suárez - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
Ricardo Fandiño - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
Competition and antitrust
Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta’s seven-strong group advises on merger filings, antitrust investigations, unfair competition and restrictive trade practices. The ‘highly experienced’ Mauricio Jaramillo leads the practice, which has been involved in some of the market’s most notable antitrust investigations and complex leniency applications. The group works closely with the firm’s litigation and IP departments, and is notable for its expertise in cross-border matters. It recently advised the Ministry of Finance on the sale of its participation in energy company Isagen, and is also mandated by General Motors in an unfair competition claim initiated by its former distributor Los Coches. Other clients include Avianca, Yanbal, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. William Araque and associate Natalia Franco are also noted.
Mauricio Jaramillo - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
Corporate and M&A
A leading firm in the corporate arena, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta is very active in Colombia’s transactional market. In headline work, ‘experienced, capable, judicious and creative’, the sizeable group acted as counsel to Almacénes Éxito (a subsidiary of the Casino Group) on its $1.8bn acquisition of its parent company’s participation in Argentine supermarket chain Libertad and Brazil’s Pão de Açucar. ‘Experienced lawyers’ Jaime Robledo and Andrés Hoyos led the advice. The team also advised three corporate groups in the flower industry on the integration and restructuring of their shareholdings in several jurisdictions. Other recommended individuals include Daniel Londoño, for his expertise in M&A and cross-border transactions; Lina Uribe, who is a specialist in corporate and energy matters; and recently promoted partner Pablo Rabelly.
Andrés Hoyos - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
Patricia Arrázola - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
’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.
Eduardo Zuleta - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
William Araque - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
Energy and natural resources
Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta fields a ‘multi-disciplinary team with great expertise in the hydrocarbons area’, and attracts substantial instructions in the energy and natural resources arena, with notable experience in oil-and-gas financings, tax and corporate matters. It also has a strong mining practice, and acts for an impressive list of companies in the sector. The ‘understanding and reliable’ Patricia Arrázola heads the mining practice, while Germán Villamil leads on the natural resources side and Lina Uribe heads the environment practice. The firm advised Canacol Energy on a credit line for $200m to be used to repay existing obligations with Credit Suisse and also for oil-and-gas exploration activities in Colombia, Panama and Ecuador; and is acting for an international energy corporation on its acquisition of a major company in the downstream sector which owns more than 100 gas stations across the country.
Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta has ‘one of the most comprehensive IP departments in the country’, with the 16-strong practice receiving praise for its ‘appropriate advice and excellent level of service, which is also good value for money’. The firm acted for multinational coffee chain Juan Valdez in the negotiation of franchises in several countries; and also acts for Inovia in relation to the filing of patent applications in the country and elsewhere in Latin America. Grupo Argos, Experian, Bancolombia and ThyssenKrupp also feature among its clients. With more than 20 years of experience, Mauricio Jaramillo has ‘deep knowledge of the sector’; and senior associate Juanita Pérez is also very experienced in implementing IP protection strategies.
Mauricio Jaramillo - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
International trade and customs
With a ‘solid reputation’ for its work on planning, free trade zone, customs and foreign exchange matters, and related litigation, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta’s international trade group is led by senior associate Nicolás Potdevin, who is noted for his ‘expertise in customs and foreign exchange’. The four-strong team continued to advise TCBUEN on free trade zone and customs matters connected to the extension of its warehouse and qualifications as a port operator; and also acted for an oil-and-gas corporation in a dispute with the customs authorities. Procter & Gamble, Yanbal de Colombia and Sodimac are well-established clients.
Labour and employment
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.
Patricia Vergara - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
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.
Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta is well established in the real estate arena, with particular expertise in urban developments. It handles matters from the acquisition and sale of properties and the structuring of projects to financing and litigation. The six-strong team is led by Paula Samper, who is ‘expert in all real estate matters’. The firm advised Abacus Real Estate on the acquisition of property across the country, the sale of certain assets, and the proposed expansion of its real estate investment fund (currently valued at around $40m); and is advising Nexus Capital on its acquisition of a participation in Titán Plaza and on other similar acquisitions. Other clients include Kiruna Capital, Hoteles RIU, Mall Plaza and Honeywell. Associates Camilo Cantor and Patricia Acosta are highly recommended.
Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta has a solid reputation for its expertise in data protection and information privacy, and advises a number of major corporations on regulatory issues and general compliance. It is currently advising Google on several matters connected to its operations in Colombia, including regulatory, habeas data and privacy protection matters; and also advised the Colombian Direct Selling Association (Acodevi) on the structuring of a proposed tender and the negotiation of agreements relating to software and the administration of databases. Clients include Yanbal de Colombia, Gtech, Coca-Cola and Bank of America. Mauricio Jaramillo leads the team, and July Galindo makes an ‘outstanding contribution’ to the practice.
A member of the global tax network TAXAND, Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta attracts praise for its ‘fantastic assistance across the tax field’, covering transactions, tax planning and contentious matters. The ‘efficient, knowledgeable and hardworking’ five-lawyer team is led by Mauricio Piñeros, who has more than 25 years of experience and is well versed in investment matters and estate planning. He is assisted by tax litigation specialist and transfer pricing expert Álvaro Andrés Díaz, and senior associates Ignacio Vélez and Carolina Bobillier. The team acted for the shareholders of Malco Cargo and Agencia de Aduana María Londoño on tax structuring matters connected to the companies’ $9.3m sale to TCC Inversiones and others. It also advised Almacenes Éxito on the tax aspects of its indirect acquisition of supermarket chain Libertad in Argentina and a 50% stake in Brazilian Pão de Açucar from Casino Group, including designing the new tax structure applicable to the investment in Libertad; the aggregate value of the transaction was $1.6bn. Other clients include Bavaria, Avianca, LAN and Colpatria.
Mauricio Piñeros - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta
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