According to satisfied clients, Brigard Urrutia ‘focuses on providing a quality service‘. A longstanding heavyweight in the banking and finance arena, the firm houses one of the most comprehensive practices in the market and routinely advises on the full spread of related issues, from syndicated loans and project financings, through to fintech and regulatory-related matters. Among the names to note, infrastructure specialist César Felipe Rodríguez is commended for his ‘exceptional knowledge in project financing‘. Rodríguez also shines in acquisition finance; he notably acted as Colombian deal counsel to AT&T Services, Open Plaza Corp and the guarantor subsidiaries on a $506.1m financing from AT&T to Open Plaza, as part of the LBO of AT&T-owned Vrio Corp. High-profile name Carlos Fradique-Méndez handles a mix of transactional and regulatory matters, with strong skill sets in banking, finance, capital markets and private equity. Felipe Alarcón, a former Deputy Director at the Financial Superintendence, is particularly sought after for his expertise in financial regulation. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) María Fernanda Diago is well versed in advising both borrowers and lenders on cross-border transactions — as is senior partner Carlos Urrutia, who enjoys a strong international profile both due to his premier banking experience and his background as a former Ambassador of Colombia to the US. At the associate level, María Fernanda Sánchez and Juan Eduardo Gómez are recommended.
Banking and finance in Colombia
Carlos Fradique-Méndez; César Felipe Rodríguez; Felipe Alarcón; María Fernanda Diago; Carlos Urrutia
‘The team at Brigard Urrutia focuses on providing a quality service. Lawyers display great legal knowledge in project financing, as well as excellent negotiating skills.’
‘The team’s response times are focused around the client’s needs and are matched by personal service.’
‘César Felipe Rodríguez is a partner committed to providing a quality service. He demonstrates excellent negotiation skills and exceptional knowledge in project financing. Also, he is an excellent human being.’
International Finance Corporation
Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)
Financiera Desarrollo Nacional
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
JP Morgan Chase Bank
China Development Bank
Banco de Bogotá
Ashmore Management Company Colombia
Gramercy Funds Management
LATAM Airlines Group
- Acted as local counsel to Electribus Bogotá Usme I and Electribus Bogotá Fontibón II on a financing from Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional and Groupe Agence française de développement to finance the acquisition of electric public-transport buses from BYD.
- Advised Caribbean Financial Group on the local aspects of its acquisition of the portfolio of book-borrowing operations of Alpha Capital and Vive Créditos Kusida, through an insolvency proceeding filed in the US.
- Acted as Colombian counsel to Termonorte, as co-obligor, on the structuring of a senior secured credit agreement governed by the state of New York between Fideicomiso PA FAFPG Termonorte, represented by Fiduciaria Bancolombia as borrower, and MUFG Bank as coordinating lead arranger and administrative agent.
‘Always available and attentive‘, Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas‘ banking group strikes the right note with its ability to work ‘very collaboratively to achieve the client’s goals‘. Equally adept at advising lenders and borrowers, the Bogotá platform of the global firm is particularly well versed in transactions involving the energy, infrastructure, transport and financial services industries. In a recent highlight example of its transport prowess, Catalina Pinilla — who specialises in banking, finance and insolvency matters — represented multinational airline Avianca Holding on local matters related to its $1.6bn exit financing as part of its corporate reorganisation. Bogotá office managing partner Bernardo Cárdenas is a high-profile name for banking and finance deals, especially with regard to the natural resources sector, where he brings to bear strong experience in representing multinational lenders and borrowers in major financings. Corporate head Eduardo Cárdenas also has a significant banking and finance dimension to his practice; he recently advised Bancolombia (as lender) in two project financing agreements granted to infrastructure concessionaires Devimed and Devisab, worth a combined COP$971bn. Pablo Jaramillo, who is widely hailed for his projects expertise, is another senior member of the team. The group also includes talented senior associate Felipe Molano, who handles a mix of banking and M&A work. Associate Ángela Botía departed the firm to join Rio Money Transfer in October 2021, while associate Daniela Mejía left two months later.
‘The team works very collaboratively to achieve the client’s goals.’
‘Lawyers are always available and attentive to everything that happens in the transaction. Proximity to the client is key to resolving all critical situations that arise in the framework of negotiations.’
United States International Development Finance Corporation
Deva Capital Investment Company
PNC Bank, National Association
Puerto Bahía Colombia de Urabá
Puerto Antioquia Holding
International Finance Corporation
- Acted as local counsel to Avianca Holdings and its subsidiaries in an element of its $1.6bn exit financing, as part of its reorganisation plan confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York.
- Acted as local counsel to PNC Bank, National Association, as administrative agent, in a senior secured credit facility totalling $350m.
- Advised Puertos Inversiones y Obras, Puerto Bahía Colombia de Urabá and Puerto Antioquia Holding on the local aspects of the regulatory framework for port concessions and several contractual matters related to the Puerto Antioquia port project, including financing issues.
The top-flight banking and finance practice at Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) is widely revered for the breadth and depth of its offering, with clients commending its ‘deep knowledge‘ as well as its ‘excellent service‘. A preferred choice to advise local and international lenders on Colombian finance issues, the team also leverages its premier corporate relationships to shine in borrower-side mandates. Practice head Ricardo Fandiño is a go-to specialist in banking and finance and routinely assists major international banks, and other lenders and borrowers, on financings, capital markets and derivatives matters — both transactional and regulatory. Among his high-profile mandates, Fandiño led the firm’s representation of Avianca MidCo 2 (a subsidiary of Avianca Group International) on the local aspects of a $1.6bn exit financing, as part of Avianca Holdings’ reorganisation plan. José Luis Suárez is also sought after for his senior experience and recently acted as local counsel to Banco Santander and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in a secured financing to Proyectos y Desarrollos Viales del Pacífico, as majority shareholder of Concesionaria Vial del Pacífico, to support the construction, operation and development of the 4G Conexión Pacífico 1 toll road project. Other key names at top level include Daniel Londoño, who specialises in advising local borrowers and domestic and multinational lenders on financings and securities matters, and Adriana Moreno, who is highlighted as ‘spectacular‘ by sources and is noted for her experience in banking, securities and funds. The department also fields an enviably deep bench of up-and-coming associates including Jimena González, who is developing a strong reputation for project finance work; Catalina Prieto, who maintains a broad corporate finance practice; the prolific Tonia Orozco; and Daniel Flórez.
‘The firm possesses deep knowledge and provides excellent service.‘
‘Adriana Moreno is spectacular.‘
JP Morgan Chase Bank
The Bank of Nova Scotia
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group
Itaú Corpbanca Colombia
Concesionaria Vial del Pacífico
Fondo de Capital Privado Inmobiliario Salud Compartimento 1
Deetken Asset Management
- Acted as Colombian counsel to Avianca MidCo 2 (a subsidiary of Avianca Group International) on obtaining $1.6bn worth of financing, as part of Avianca Holdings’ plan to exit its Chapter 11 reorganisation.
- Advised JGDB Holdings, part of Grupo Gilinski, on the financing granted by First Abu Dhabi Bank for the acquisition of shares of Grupo Sura via an unsolicited tender offer.
- Advised NUGIL on a financing granted by First Abu Dhabi Bank for the acquisition of shares of Nutresa through an unsolicited tender offer.
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría impresses with its strong lender-side relationships, which include major regional and multinational banks, multilateral finance organisations and alternative lenders, such as private equity funds. The team is also consistently active on the borrower front. Among its industry sweet spots, the firm’s formidable projects practice ensures that infrastructure-related financings remain a core source of mandates. In a recent example, it advised a group of structuring banks, including international and local lenders and hedge providers, on a COP$2.76bn financing granted to Autopista Río Magdalena — Juan Fernando Gaviria co-led the deal alongside the infrastructure and projects department. Gaviria also spearheaded the team’s representation of Societé de Promotion et de Participation Pour la Coopération Economique (Proparco) and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, as senior lenders, in a financing to Electribus Bogotá Fontibón II and Electribus Bogotá Usme I for the purchase of a fleet of 259 electric buses. Hernando Padilla, who recently advised Deutsche Bank on a $100m loan to Distrito Especial y Portuario de Barranquilla to finance infrastructure projects, and corporate and finance specialist Claudia Barrero co-head the team together with Gaviria. Senior associate Paula Buriticá provides capable support on banking and finance and capital markets matters. Additionally, the group was boosted at junior level by the arrivals of rising star Daniela Mejia, who joined from Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas in 2021, and associate Camilo Ballesteros, who joined in April 2021 and was formerly an in-house lawyer with merchant bank, Corficolombiana.
Juan Fernando Gaviria; Claudia Barrero; Hernando Padilla
‘The team is very good and knows the industry. The way lawyers approach issues gives customers peace of mind due to their experience.’
‘We highlight the experience of the partners and lawyers who serve us.’
Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank
Sociéte de Promotion Et de Participation Pour la Coopération Economique
Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional
GIC Private Ltd / Softbank
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Instituto de Crédito Oficial
Banco de Crédito del Perú
Siemens Financial Services
Fondo de Deuda Senior para Infraestructura en Colombia CAF-AM
Banco de Bogota
- Advised a group of structuring banks, including international and local lenders and hedge providers, on a COP$2.76bn financing — comprised of bonds issued in the international capital markets, USD loans and COP loans — granted to Autopista Río Magdalena.
- Counsel to Societé de Promotion et de Participation Pour la Coopération Economique and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, as senior lenders, in a financing to Electribus Bogotá Fontibón II and Electribus Bogotá Usme I for the purchase of a fleet of 259 electric buses.
- Acted for BTG Pactual and Banco Santander, as bookrunners, on the offering of COP$760bn of Rule 144A/Reg.S social bonds, issued by Patrimonio Autónomo Montes de María.
Baker McKenzie S.A.S.
‘Exceptionally gifted and versatile‘, Baker McKenzie SAS‘ banking and finance practice earns praise for its combination of ‘deep legal knowledge, analysis and insights‘. The firm’s enviable global network is also a recurring theme among sources who say, ‘working with offices in different locations is a seamless process for clients‘. Ricardo Trejos Robledo is a ‘good negotiator‘ with a strong background in structured finance and acquisition finance; he recently led the firm’s representation of Ecopetrol on a $3.7bn financing for the acquisition of a 51.4% interest in Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA). Carolina Duque ‘helps find solutions‘ and is particularly highlighted for her project finance prowess; she advised concessionaire Autopista Río Magdalena in a $746m financing for the construction of a new 4G highway. Trejos and Duque jointly lead the department together with seasoned finance specialist Jaime Trujillo. The group also includes senior associate Sebastián Boada, whose profile continues to climb on the back of his involvement in major deals such as the Ecopetrol transaction. In April 2021, senior associate Daniel Botero left the practice for CAF’s Treasury and Liabilities Legal Unit, while senior associate Mónica Cubillos Iregui joined in June 2021 from Itaú Corpbanca Colombia.
Ricardo Trejos Robledo; Carolina Duque; Jaime Trujillo
‘It has a star in project financing in Carolina Duque. She has a willingness to negotiate and helps find solutions. Maria Camila Vargas is very good too. If Carolina manages to consolidate a team, she can become the best PF firm in Colombia.’
‘The team is trying to position itself as a market leader; lawyers do the best work possible, they are always available and Carolina is involved in all the issues. It is not like other firms that put out inexperienced juniors to deal with the issues.’
‘BM’s banking and finance practice, both in Colombia and the London and New York offices, is exceptionally gifted and versatile. It combines deep legal knowledge, analysis and insights with a keen interest in being practical and commercially reasonable.’
‘The firm fields highly qualified and experienced attorneys in virtually all areas of the law and in most relevant jurisdictions. Working with offices in different locations is a seamless process for clients.’
‘The quality and clarity of its deliverables (reports, opinions, etc.) is a differentiating factor vis-à-vis other firms of the same level. Its culture of friendship and candour is not a simple motto set for publicity purposes but really permeates its relationships with clients.’
‘In BM’s banking and finance Colombia practice, Ricardo Trejos Robledo and Sebastián Boada must be highlighted for their deep-thinking and practical problem-solving attitude. Unusually in comparison to other firms of the same level, both partner and senior associate are thoroughly involved and present throughout the legal process.’
‘The B&F team has a fresh approach to problems, and truly “gets under the skin” of their clients (to either help them navigate complex legal issues, assess risks or avoid future issues). This group integrates in a seamlessly simple way the expertise of other relevant areas when the need calls.’
‘Ricardo Trejos Robledo – has a high knowledge of the practice, is conciliatory, a good negotiator and recursive. Mónica Cubillos Iregui has a high knowledge of the practice, is committed and very willing to resolve any situation that arises in the transaction.’
Sura Investment Management
Autopista Río Magdalena and Aleatica
The Bank of Nova Scotia
Brookfield Asset Management
- Advised Ecopetrol on a $3.7bn financing for the acquisition of a 51.4% interest in Electric Interconnection (ISA).
- Advised concessionaire Autopista Río Magdalena — together with its sponsor Aleatica SAU and shareholders Aleatica SAS and Aleatica SA — in a $746m financing for the construction of the 4G highway Autopista Río Magdalena 2.
- Advised the lenders (Scotiabank Colpatria, Bancolombia, BBVA and The Bank of Nova Scotia) on a $221m multi-tranche and multi-currency facility agreement.
Cuatrecasas‘ stock continues to rise in the Colombian market and its combination of international experience, together with strengthening regional expertise, finds favour with clients. The banking team’s emphasis on infrastructure, particularly transport-related, financings ensures it is a solid choice to advise lenders and borrowers on road, rail, energy and social infrastructure projects. It also has a robust record in fintech matters. The group remains in growth mode following the firm’s Bogotá launch in 2021. Most recently, Ana María Sánchez joined from Peru-based Rebaza, Alcázar & De Las Casas in February 2022 and is noted for her focus on structured and project finance. With the April-2022 promotion of up-and-coming specialist Juan Carlos Puentes to the partnership, the department now fields three partners dedicated to banking and finance work. Practice head Manuel Quinche covers the waterfront on finance matters but is arguably best known for his project finance prowess, such as his recent advice to the lenders (Bancolombia and Fondo de Deuda Senior para Infraestructura en Colombia CAF-AM Ashmore I) on a $120m fourth-generation toll road concession. The group also draws on the experience of impressive senior associate Natalia Arango, who specialises in structured finance and project finance.
Adelante Soluciones Financieras (ADDI)
Fondo de Deuda Senior para Infraestructura en Colombia CAF-AM Ashmore
Itaú Corpbanca Colombia
Concesionaria Férrea de Occidente
Vía 40 Express, VINCI Highways & Constructora Conconcreto
Concesionaria Doble Calzada Oriente
Inter-American Investment Corporation, Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, and Banco de Comercio Exterior de Colombia
Metro Línea 1
Unión para la Infraestructura
Banco de Bogotá
Banco de Occidente
- Advised the lenders (Bancolombia and Fondo de Deuda Senior para Infraestructura en Colombia CAF-AM Ashmore I) on a $120m financing for a 4G toll road concession.
- Acted for Bancolombia and Itaú Corpbanca Colombia on a financing to Promotora Hospital de Bosa for the development of the Hospital de Bosa project in Bogotá.
- Acted as special Colombian counsel to Concesionaria Férrea de Occidente (wholly owned by China’s CCECC) on the $250m financing of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of Bogotá’s Regiotram de Occidente project.
‘Committed, accurate and rigorous‘, DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán‘s group is a strong all-rounder in banking and finance matters, demonstrating depth in lending transactions, acquisition finance, debt capital markets and regulatory matters. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) corporate finance specialist Camilo Martínez co-heads the group and handles a mix of transactional and regulatory matters — he recently advised Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (New York Branch) on a $60m financing to Sunlight, an affiliate of Alpina Productos Alimenticios. Department co-head Sebastián Lora is recognised for his background in project finance and advised Itaú Corpbanca Colombia on a financing granted to develop a telecoms project. Other senior names include Juan Manuel de la Rosa, who combines expertise in corporate and finance matters, and Felipe Quintero, who is particularly active in private equity-related finance transactions. The team also scores points for being great quality ‘from associate through to partner level‘, with talented up-and-coming names including associate director Juan Camilo Varón, who is well versed in advising lenders and borrowers; and senior associate Carlos Guzmán, who is an ‘excellent lawyer‘. Felipe Aristizabal, whose broad practice encompasses corporate, finance, competition and litigation; and banking litigator María José Assis, are also noted.
Camilo Martinez; Sebastián Lora
‘DLA is characterised by its close relationships with its clients.’
‘The firm’s focus is on providing a successful closing to the transaction. Its dedication to the interests of its clients is unmatched.‘
‘Camilo Martínez is an expert in financial matters. His associates provide strong support.’
‘I highlight Sebastian Lora and senior associate Carlos Guzmán. They are excellent lawyers. They know the business, they know how to negotiate and they are efficient with their time resources.’
‘DLA Piper is a firm with enormous comparative advantages over other firms in the financial and commercial spheres given its extensive experience in these areas. The team is technically well-trained and flexible to meet the needs of clients.‘
‘The whole DLA Piper team, from associate through to partner level, is of great quality. Partners are always involved in deals and support the client in all processes.‘
‘Lawyers are very committed, accurate and rigorous. They give us great confidence!‘
Lenus Capital Partners
Itau Corpbanca Colombia
Bancolombia, Banco de Bogotá, Banco General, Banco Davivienda and BBVA
Haina Investment Corporation
Itau Corpbanca Colombia
Bank of Bogota
Grupo Aval Stocks and Securities
DLA Piper US – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), New York Branch
BTG Pactual Solutions and Services, Banco de Bogotá, Banco de Occidente and Banco Santander de Negocios Colombia
- Advised the United States Development Finance Corporation, as lenders, on a $200m financing granted to Bayport in Colombia and Mexico, to finance the granting of payroll loans in Colombia and Mexico.
- Acted for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, New York Branch on a $60m financing to Sunlight, an affiliate of Alpina Productos Alimenticios.
- Advised Mineros on a concurrent public offering on the Bolsa de Valores de Colombia and the Toronto Stock Exchange, worth a combined $34.3m.
A ‘top-notch firm in Colombia', Garrigues is held in high esteem by sources due to its deep regulatory knowledge, which has ‘disrupted the traditional order of advisors in this field'. The firm also packs a punch in sophisticated lending and fintech matters, ensuring that it has risen to become a ‘top-of-mind candidate for complex transactions'. Roberto Borrás is widely regarded as a go-to name for regulatory work, particularly in relation to bank incorporations, securities issues and fintech matters; he recently advised Fondo Nacional de Garantías (FNG) on implementing key financial products for the Colombian market. Newly promoted partner Francisco Noguera co-heads the department alongside Borrás and specialises in project finance transactions, such as his recent advice to Concesionaria Vial del Pacífico (as concessionaire), Prodepacífico (as borrower), and Corficolombiana (as sponsor) in a $150m toll road financing. Senior associate Paula Ospina Correa is recommended for her broad regulatory experience, while fellow senior Nicolás Angulo continues to raise his profile in the securities, banking and project finance spheres. Counsel Camilo Gantiva left the firm in February 2022. Additionally, senior associate Alejandro García Botero became a senior manager at EY Law in January 2022, while senior associate Eduardo Sanmiguel joined fintech RappiPay in March 2022.
Roberto Borrás; Francisco Noguera
‘Garrigues has established itself as a top-notch firm in Colombia. The availability and quick response times of the team, plus the deep knowledge of individuals like Francisco Noguera and Nicolás Angulo, have made the firm a top-of-mind candidate for complex transactions.’
‘Garrigues’ lawyers are true experts in the field and their connections within the regulatory environment in Colombia are extremely valuable. I have carried out similar processes with other firms and Garrigues has been truly excellent in everything!‘
‘Its main skill is the successful management of procedures carried out by the Financial Superintendence. Not only has the firm successfully represented several clients under surveillance in recent years, but it has also disrupted the traditional order of advisors in this field, based on its knowledge of the sector and its successful regulatory relationships.’
‘Francisco Noguera manages project finance transactions perfectly and his awareness and commercial approach leads to successful financings and swift closings.’
‘We value the level of expertise, the frankness and clarity of the advice, the level of rigor in the analysis, as well as the partner-led service.’
‘The team is available at all times and provides reliable support and suggestions, with Nicolás Angulo and Francisco Noguera stand-out lawyers.’
‘Roberto Borrás is highly competent and his judgment is always framed within a solid ethical framework, with extensive knowledge of the regulatory regime and the activity of the supervisor. Paula Ospina Correa is very competent and clear.’
‘An integrated and complementary team, which provides advice that offers security.‘
Global Infrastructure Partners
BlackRock Colombia Infraestructura
Bold Compañía de Financiamiento
Concesionaria Alternativas Viales
Crédito Fácil Codensa, Compañía de Financiamiento
- Advised CCLA Colombia on a joint venture agreement, trust agreements and a development and operating agreement with Bancolombia to develop and operate multi-family residential buildings with 5,000 units over the next five years.
- Advised Concesionaria Vial del Pacífico, as concessionaire, Prodepacífico, as borrower, and Corficolombiana, as sponsor, on a $150m mezzanine term loan granted by Santander and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation 1.
- Acted for Scania, Scania Finance and Scania Colombia, in the structuring and negotiation of several loan agreements that will allow the concessionaires of Bogota’s mass transportation system (Transmilenio) to acquire a new fleet of buses from Scania.
Despite being more compact than many of its competitors, Mendoza Abogados is highlighted for its ‘great scope of practice‘. A boutique firm with a focus on finance, infrastructure and energy, it stands out for its increasingly impressive track record in cross-border deals, particularly those governed by New York law, as well as its ability to represent both borrowers and lenders. Name partner and prolific finance specialist Mateo Mendoza is held up by sources for his ‘unparalleled experience‘. Mendoza led on several cutting-edge deals over the past year, including advising Bodytech on a debt refinancing involving six Colombian banks worth up to $80m — notably, this represented the first time that a mini-perm structure was used in a purely corporate structure in Colombia. Senior associate Clara Robledo-Sánchez heads the project finance and infrastructure practice and recently acted for the lenders (Bancolombia, Banco de Occidente, Banco de Bogotá and Banco Santander de Negocios Colombia) on an amended and restated syndicated loan agreement to originate and acquire receivables derived from consumer loans. The group also includes capable mid-level associates Christina Burn (corporate finance, project finance and regulation) and Paula Knudson (finance and capital markets). Associates María Esther Eljach and Luis Tolosa are also singled out by clients.
Mateo Mendoza; Clara Robledo-Sanchez
‘Mendoza Abogados is a small firm, with a great scope of practice. The attention provided to the client is close and personalised.‘
‘Mateo Mendoza has unparalleled experience, which ensures that transactions are efficient.’
‘An excellent interdisciplinary team; everyone brings their own experience to the task in hand and is always available to us.’
‘A very capable team, with great knowledge of regulations and always able to provide the most appropriate suggestions when we need them. I would recommend them over any other big firm.’
‘In one project we worked with Christina Burn and Luis Tolosa and in another project with Clara Robledo-Sanchez and María Esther Eljach. Both teams were led by Mateo Mendoza, who was always very committed and involved in all operations. He is an excellent leader and example to his teams.’
Inversiones en Recreacion Deporte y Salud – Bodytech
Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)
Distrito Especial, Industrial y Portuario de Barranquilla
Banco de Occidente
Banco de Bogota
Banca De Inversion Bancolombia
- Advised Bodytech on the refinancing of its debt with six Colombian banks, worth up to $80m — the security package included collateral in Colombia, Spain, Chile, and Peru.
- Advised the City of Barranquilla on the negotiation of a $100m bridge loan — structured as a crédito transitorio externo pursuant to Colombian public-credit regulation — to support investment in infrastructure projects.
- Acted for the lenders (Bancolombia, Banco de Occidente, Banco de Bogotá and Banco Santander de Negocios Colombia) on an amended and restated syndicated loan agreement to originate and acquire receivables derived from consumer loans granted by Credivalores to its clients.
Over the past year, Posse Herrera Ruiz acted on a slew of finance transactions for both lenders and borrowers, with a marked emphasis on the infrastructure and energy sectors. The group is also well versed in regulatory and fintech-related matters. Finance and capital markets head Mariana Posse is widely revered for her deep experience in both transactional and regulatory issues and recently reviewed Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation’s $501.7m credit agreement with the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros. Following the departure of director Lina Lineros towards the end of 2021, Natalia Escobar joined the group as partner in early 2022. Escobar is particularly recommended for her track record in banking regulation, gained from previous stints at both the Bank for International Settlements as well as the Financial Superintendence. At director level, the increasingly prominent Jesús Albarrán is noted for his activity in finance and capital markets work; he recently supported Posse in the firm’s representation of Canada, as lender, on a sovereign loan to Colombia. The two-partner team also includes finance-focused associates Alejandro González and Mauricio Nieto.
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
JP Morgan Chase Bank
China Development Bank
Bank of America National Association
Itaú Corpbanca Chile
Banco de Crédito e Inversiones
BCI Asset Management Administradora General de Fondos
- Advised Puerto Antioquia on a cross-border project financing divided into two facilities, worth up to $393.7m, and also on a cross-border amended and restated financing agreement, worth up to $130m.
- Conducted a review and analysis of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation’s $501.7m credit agreement with the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros.
- Advised Concesión La Pintada, and its sponsors Odinsa and West Valley JL Holdco, on the $278m refinancing of the Pacífico 2 Toll Road project.
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero's banking clients highlight the team’s ‘impeccable professionalism and specialisation in financial matters'. Active across a wide spectrum of banking and finance law, the group is particularly recognised for its strength in regulation, including new products and fintech structures. Firm founder Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero has an illustrious record in the regulatory field and advised the potential shareholders of Colombian fintech Bold Compañía de Financiamiento on its ongoing establishment. Daniel Rodríguez, who co-heads the group alongside Rodríguez Azuero, provides ‘extraordinary client service'. Senior associate María Lucía Amador is also noted for her ‘efficient responses'.
Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero; Daniel Rodríguez
‘The CMS Rodríguez-Azuero team is one of the few offices in which I can be 100% confident in the advice provided. The team demonstrates impeccable professionalism and specialisation in financial matters, executes advice in the best way and brings to bear a unique business vision.‘
‘From the beginning of this deal to the closing, the team was available to us at all times, handling all the issues, contacting our client to make sure the closing would happen without delay. I was impressed with its commitment to helping us with our operations in Colombia.‘
‘Lawyers have excellent market knowledge, which is an absolute plus. They also have a great pedagogical approach and have always been ready to conduct meetings to our operational teams to present complex legal subjects. They really are dedicated to their clients.‘
‘We value the diversity of the teams we work with. Having young female associates in the CMS team was important to us when we selected the firm for this transaction. And more than that, Daniel Rodríguez highlights his associates by putting them first, while always being present and involved.‘
‘Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero and his team have an admirable level of professionalism. Lawyers transmit their knowledge in an environment of trust and transparency.‘
‘We especially value that partner Daniel Rodríguez is always directly involved in our project; we highly appreciate his transactional knowledge of him.’
‘Daniel Rodríguez provides extraordinary client service and is very technical when it comes to the particularities of each case. Senior associate María Lucía Amador is very supportive and provides efficient responses.‘
Agence Francaise de Developpment (AFD)
Bogotá, Distrito Capital
- Represented the potential shareholders of new Colombian fintech Bold Compañía de Financiamiento on the incorporation of the company, including dealings with the Financial Superintendence.
- Acted as local counsel to Agence Francaise de Developpment on a €200m loan to the Republic of Colombia for the financing of a sustainable government initiative; and also on a €120m loan granted to the District of Barranquilla for the financing of its 2020-2023 Development Plan.
- Acted as local counsel to the District of Bogotá in a New York law-governed credit facility agreement consisting of a loan granted by BBVA Spain.
Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados's firm-wide focus on projects and public law ensures that it demonstrates ‘extensive experience in banking and finance law pertaining to public entities'. Sources attest to its specialisation in the financing of transport infrastructure projects, recently evidenced by its involvement in a raft of road and rail projects. Department co-head Álvaro Gasca, noted for his ‘strong leadership skills', advised Empresa Férrea Regional on a securitisation programme to finance the construction of the $420m Regiotram de Occidente railway project. Senior group co-head Gabriel Taboada and talented senior associate Sebastián Duque are also recommended.
Álvaro Gasca; Gabriel Taboada
‘The firm has extensive experience in banking and finance law pertaining to public entities. Lawyers always look for a solution and alternatives to situations that arise, providing security for decision-making.’
‘The team is specialised in structuring financing operations for transport infrastructure projects financed with public resources. This experience allows them to facilitate good communication between different stakeholders (public and private) within the financing process.’
‘Lawyers have the ability to plan alternative solutions for each part of the process so that the client can choose the best option for the project. Additionally, they are respectful, stay close to the client and respond calmly to situations of pressure and tension.‘
‘The main difference between Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados and other firms is the team’s extensive knowledge, which combines technical know-how and practical experience; this allows it to handle highly complex situations with a high degree of precision.’
‘The group’s extensive interdisciplinary experience allows it to design strategies and provide solutions based on the different strengths of the team. Therefore, it can cover a large number of problems, including highly complex situations, with sufficiency and speed.‘
‘Álvaro Gasca and senior associate Sebastián Duque are always willing to collaborate and respond to the requirements of the project in development; they also have extensive knowledge and experience in banking and finance matters.’
‘Álvaro Gasca has strong leadership skills that enhance his performance when managing issues with stakeholders.‘
Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional
Empresa Férrea Regional
Empresa de Transporte Masivo del Valle de Aburrá – Metro de Medellín
Instituto de Infraestructura y Concesiones de Cundinamarca
International Finance Corporation
Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito Público
- Advised Empresa de Transporte Masivo del Valle de Aburrá – Metro de Medellín and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional on a $550m syndicated loan agreement between Metro de Medellín (as borrower) and Banco Davivienda, Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional and Bancolombia (as lenders).
- Advised Empresa Férrea Regional on the securitisation of the resources committed by Colombia’s National Government and the Department of Cundinamarca to finance the construction of the $420m Regiotram de Occidente railway project.
- Acted for Instituto de Infraestructura y Concesiones de Cundinamarca on matters relating to the funding of the Plan 500 project for the construction, renewal, and improvement of 500 km of highways and roadways within the Department of Cundinamarca.
Banking and finance is a sweet spot at Mosquera Abogados, S.A.S. and the firm handles a comprehensive scope of related matters, from regulatory and compliance issues, through to project finance and syndicated loans. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) department head, Juan Pablo Mosquera, advises on a range of banking, corporate finance and foreign investment matters — for both borrowers and lenders. The group also leans on the senior expertise of seasoned corporate specialist Cristian Mosquera, who brings to bear broad regulatory experience honed during stints at the Financial Superintendence and the Ministry of Finance. Former senior associate Nathalie Medina moved to Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas in January 2022.
Juan Pablo Mosquera
Ustáriz & Lawyers Law Firm‘s signature financial-regulation practice handles a significant volume of compliance, banking responsibility and electronic fraud-related matters. Notably, the group handled a string of consumer protection mandates over the past year, with partners frequently appointed to act as a Financial Consumer Ombudsman to support conciliation processes between financial institutions and consumers. Luis Humberto Ustáriz and Jose Federico Ustáriz co-head the department and are highlighted together as ‘true experts in banking, financial litigation and financial regulation‘. Experienced counsel Pablo Valencia is noted for corporate finance, while senior associate Andrés Pineda — who joined the firm in November 2021 from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit — specialises in financial compliance and capital markets. Senior associate Adriana Rivera left in October 2021 for an in-house position at Trii.
Luis Humberto Ustáriz; José Federico Ustáriz
‘It is a very competent and committed firm, which is distinguished by the constant support it provides.’
‘The team’s up-to-date market knowledge, together with the holistic way it approaches the issues, makes it a very reliable choice.’
‘The firm is always available to address client concerns and propose creative and disruptive solutions. It stands out from other firms due to the high quality and knowledge of its team members.‘
‘Luis Humberto Ustáriz, founding partner, is available 24/7 to assist us. His deep knowledge makes him one of the best lawyers in financial and stock market matters.‘
‘It is a young and dynamic team, which allows for better interaction and communication between parties. Compared to other offices, it is a team that generates trust and easy access to lawyers.’
‘Beyond their professional skills, which are very high, lawyers are also friendly, accessible and always willing to help and provide support. José Federico Ustáriz stands out for his availability.’
‘The firm is specialised in financial litigation in Colombia, especially in matters of consumer protection before the Financial Superintendence. It is also one of the few teams with expertise in transactional fraud and new technologies.’
‘Luis Humberto Ustáriz and José Federico Ustáriz are true experts in banking, financial litigation and financial regulation. The firm is a true boutique and is very specialised in the area.‘
Banco Agrario de Colombia
Itaú Corpbanca Colombia
Banco GNB Sudameris
Caja de Auxilios y de Prestaciones de la Asociación Colombiana de Aviadores Civiles
Banco Mundo Mujer
- Advised Banco Agrario de Colombia on several International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) master agreements.
- Jose Federico Ustáriz was appointed as the Financial Consumer Ombudsman to support Itaú Corpbanca Colombia’s conciliation process with consumers.
- Represented Caja de Auxilios y de Prestaciones de la Asociación Colombiana de Aviadores Civiles in the negotiation of an ISDA master agreement with Goldman Sachs International.
The Bogotá outpost of US-headquartered Holland & Knight ‘strives to build long-term relationships‘, according to clients. A solid performer in cross-border transactions, where it draws on its extensive global network, the team also secures a steady stream of domestic financings. In a significant coup, the firm hired former Garrigues‘ counsel, Camilo Gantiva, as partner and head of the office’s financial-services regulation and capital markets’ practices. The team also includes Bogotá executive partner Enrique Gómez Pinzón, who splits his time between Colombia and Washington DC, as well as international transactions specialist Lucas Saffon-López and recently promoted (August 2021) partner Juliana Saa. Alberto Vergara is an active associate.
Enrique Gómez-Pinzón; Lucas Saffon-López
‘It is an excellent team. Although compact, the practice serves the client in a timely manner and in the best way.’
‘We value lawyers’ total availability to solve the requirements of their clients, particularly Juliana Saa and Lucas Saffon-López.’
‘Holland & Knight is an extraordinary firm. Its billing and collaboration make it superior to others. Likewise, it understands its clients’ business and strives to build long-term relationships, which translates into positive efficiencies for its clients’ transactions.’
‘Juliana Saa is very proactive and considerate of the interests of her clients and the transaction.‘
Itaú Corpbanca Colombia
- Represented GeoPark on the Colombian law aspects of its $150m notes offering, issued under Rule 144A/Reg.S.
- Advised Bancolombia on the refinancing of the debt of five small hydroelectric plants operated by the LAREIF Group, totalling COP$350bn.
- Advised Banco Santander, Banco Davivienda and Itaú Corpbanca Colombia on a dual currency project finance transaction for the financing of a 23 km transmission line in the Atlántico Department.
Lloreda Camacho & Co.'s banking practice has a significant regulatory bent and is routinely engaged to advise on financial product development and the incorporation of new financial entities. Santiago Gutiérrez, who combines diverse skill sets in the finance, corporate and capital markets spheres, handles a balance of transactional and regulatory finance matters. Department co-head Carlos Carvajal was elevated to the partnership in December 2021 and is noted for his emphasis on public and commercial law.
Santiago Gutiérrez; Carlos Carvajal
EFG Capital International
Bulltick Capital Markets
Editora el Comercio
City National Bank
Palisades Acquisition XIX Colombia
- Advised Multidimensionales on a cross-border financing with a group of banks led by Bancolombia, and on the termination of several security contracts.
- Acted for Deerpath Capital on a cross-border financing deal in which Decowraps Colombia is one of the guarantors.
- Advised Speedcast International on the termination of several security contracts connected to an international credit operation.
Financial services boutique Muñoz Aya Legal is highlighted for its ‘great knowledge of regulation‘. Under the leadership of ‘outstanding attorney‘ and managing partner Edgar Muñoz, the practice is additionally focused on advising a strong stable of financial institutions, funds and infrastructure clients on a mix of investment and corporate finance matters. The two-partner group includes new arrival Lina Lineros, who joined in January 2022 from Posse Herrera Ruiz and provides ‘effective advice‘. Associates Alejandra Restrepo (‘always committed to the client‘) and Gabriela Villamizar are also noted.
Edgar Muñoz; Lina Lineros
‘The firm demonstrates very good knowledge of the regulations applicable to different financial entities, as well as good knowledge of transactional issues. Additionally, the firm always responds within the expected timeframes and its communication regarding client’s expectations is good.’
‘We value the team’s personalised attention and great knowledge of regulation.’
‘Edgar Muñoz has very good knowledge of the industry and a great willingness to give support no matter the size of the problem.’
‘It is a top firm, I could say that in the category of boutique firms in financial law and capital markets it is one of the best in the country. They have a highly competitive team with Edgar Muñoz at the helm.‘
‘Edgar Muñoz is an outstanding attorney and an easily accessible partner. He is always knowledgeable about our issues and requirements.‘
‘Lina Lineros, Muñoz Aya’s new partner, is a brilliant attorney who has significant experience gained during her years at Pose Herrera Ruiz. She is always ready to give close and effective advice.’
‘Edgar, in addition to being an outstanding lawyer with a lot of experience, is a person who is always aware of the issues and is always available to provide a truly personalised service.’
‘Alejandra Restrepo is always committed to the client.‘
Colfondos AFP Pensiones y Cesantías
BNP Paribas Colombia Corporación Financiera
Corredores Davivienda Sociedad Comisionista de Bolsa
Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Bonds
Credivalores – Crediservicios
CrediCorp Capital Colombia
AdCap Colombia Comisionista de Bolsa
BTG Pactual Comisionista de Bolsa
Itaú Corpbanca Colombia
Itaú Comisionista de Bolsa Colombia
Itaú Corredor de Seguros Colombia
Itau Asset Management Colombia
- Advised Banco Credifinanciera on a $26m bond offering in the Colombian market.
- Advised Credivalores on the structuring of a loan with UBS O’Connor and Gramercy Funds Management under New York law, with a guarantee structured under Colombian law.
- Acted for Credicorp Capital on all legal matters related to the structuring of the ISDA Master Agreements, annexes and other documents connected to the transaction between it and Citibank and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
A ‘go-to firm in Colombia' for aviation finance, Parra Rodríguez Abogados specialises in advising aircraft companies, lessors and lenders on leasing, lending and debt capital markets transactions. Banking and finance head Bernardo Rodríguez Ossa has established an impressive reputation for his expertise in cross-border matters and has recently undertaken work for US-based Aircastle, Kuwait-headquartered ALAFCO and Ireland-headquartered Nordic Aviation Capital. The group also benefits from the experience of Augusto Figueroa Sierra, who covers a range of energy, investment and infrastructure-related matters, and senior associate César Barajas Ruiz, who ‘can anticipate cross-border issues'.
Bernardo Rodríguez Ossa; Cesar Barajas Ruiz
‘The team is very experienced and prepared. It provides on-time solutions to complex legal problems. Contact is much easier than with other firms. It has a very efficient and modern structure. Highly recommended.’
‘César Barajas Ruiz is an excellent lawyer. He can answer all questions immediately, which is a great support to our transactions in Colombia. He has international knowledge and can anticipate cross-border issues. He one of the best outside lawyers I work with.’
‘Parra Rodríguez Abogados has several legal experts in aircraft leasing and finance and they are our go-to firm in Colombia. They cover contract, tax and regulatory matters in a very efficient way.’
‘Bernardo Rodríguez Ossa is the senior partner and César Barajas Ruiz is another very experienced lawyer in the team. They are immersed in the aviation finance community.’
Fuyo General Lease Co
Nordic Aviation Capital
- Advised Aircastle on the local aspects of the leasing of two aircraft with Avianca in the context of Avianca’s bankruptcy reorganisation agreement.
- Advised the lenders (Barclays, BNP Paribas, Daiwa Capital Markets and JP Morgan) on CAF’s $1bn notes issuance to finance the development of projects in Latin America.
- Acted as local counsel to ALAFCO on the international aircraft financial leasing of three aircraft with Ultra Air, following the latter’s entry into Colombia.
From its offices in Bogotá and Cali, Advocat advises on a broad scope of banking and finance matters, with a focus on advising private lenders, fintechs and mid-size lenders. Founding partner Nicolás Fernández De Soto has particular experience in advising private lenders on financial regulation — he also advises traditional lenders and corporate borrowers on regulatory and transactional matters. The team includes junior associate Mariana Salvatierra, who supports the financial services and corporate departments.
Suramerica Comercial (Dollarcity)
Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional
Andino Capital Partners
Tu Respaldo Seguro
Originadora de Seguros
- Assisted Inverlink Inversiones Alternativas with the structuring, negotiation and execution of certain contracts for the acquisition of non-performing loans through a trust vehicle.
- Acted for Finesa on the conversion of its consumer loan business into electronic credit, including advising on the review and amendment of credit documents, internal policies and procedures, data protection and privacy matters, and financial consumer protection matters.
- Advised Bavaria & Cia on the structuring of a supplier lending platform, whereby wholesale buyers of Bavaria products sign into an application to place purchase orders and checkout without payment, through requiring Bavaria to finance the purchase price and entering into certain loan documents.
Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos houses a compact banking and finance department, which has remained busy recently advising on a mix of debt restructurings, fund-related matters and regulatory issues. Department head Juan Pablo González brings to bear significant industry experience earned during his time as a vice president of the Bogotá Stock Exchange. Recently promoted partner Verónica Arango Lux is recommended for her activity in financial services transactions.
Juan Pablo González; Verónica Arango Lux
‘The firm takes time to understand the business aspects of a situation before considering the legal implications, which ensures holistic advice.’
‘Lawyers’ roles are clear. Everyone brings opinions and respects the opinions of their colleagues even if it is not the final decision; they know how to listen to each other and listen to the client.’
Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura
- Advised Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura on the negotiation of a debt restructuring agreement worth COP$654bn, with four financial institutions (Bancolombia, Banco de Bogotá, Davivienda and BBVA Colombia).
- Acted as local counsel to Espelia on a feasibility study of a guarantee programme that supports non-sovereign financing to local governments in Latin America by the Agence Française de Développement.
Floréz & Asociados
Financial services law is a key pillar of Floréz & Asociados‘ firm-wide offering and the micro-boutique frequently advises on finance, securities and fintech matters. Name partner Andrés Flórez has a strong regulatory background due to previous roles at the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and the Superintendence Office of Securities, among other industry posts. Marieann Fraser G is an experienced associate.
Highlighted by sources as a ‘strategic ally', Goh‘s integrated service offering ensures that clients receive comprehensive advice on all supplementary aspects of banking and finance issues, including tax and foreign-exchange control matters. The boutique’s broad financial-services practice scope encompasses corporate finance, project finance, investment and regulatory matters, with strong recent activity in infrastructure-related financings. Practice head Jaime Moya and capable senior associate Steffany Serebrenik are highlighted together as ‘always ready to provide support'.
‘The firm’s 2020 rebranding is a sign of its modernity and dynamism. That said, the truth is that from the point of view of service, they have always been very good.’
‘We value its focus on managing the issues, the dedication of the team, lawyers’ constant communication with the client and their permanent accessibility.’
‘The lawyers who advise us, Steffany Serebrenik and Jaime Moya, are people who are always ready to provide support. They do it with total transparency and clarity. The firm’s helpful and friendly treatment means that it always presents as a strategic ally.’
Fondo de Capital Privado Armilla Capital
Concesionaria Desarrollo Vial al Mar (Devimar)
Credicorp Capital Colombia
OHLA Progress Enablers (formerly: OHL)
Tower One Wireless Colombia
- Advised OHLA Progress Enablers on the refinancing of bond issues, the refinancing of its bank debt and the capital increase of its parent company, totalling approximately €1bn.
- Advised Tower One Wireless Colombia on the project financing of its construction of 220 telecommunication towers, among other matters.
- Advised Fondo de Capital Privado Armilla Capital on day-to-day matters, including regulatory issues.
Over the past year, mid-size firm Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados handled a range of regulatory matters for a mix of e-payment companies, corporate borrowers and private equity funds. Firm founder Diego Muñoz Tamayo and senior corporate and finance partner Felipe Trías jointly lead a practice that demonstrates ‘very good collaboration'. Associates Amparo Montes and Alonso de Reyes provide capable support.
Fernando Trias; Diego Muñoz Tamayo
‘We appreciate the team’s very good collaboration and its fast processing of work.‘
SK Engineering & Projects
Alpha 4 Ventures 1 Fund
Fullerton Fund Management Company
- Advised Kushki Colombia on the legal framework for cryptocurrencies in Colombia, in order to implement an electronic payment processing platform that accepts cryptocurrencies.
- Advised SK Engineering & Projects on the legal framework for PPP projects and wastewater treatment plants in Colombia, including financial aspects.
- Assisted Codere with the company’s participation in a revolving credit facility, including recently advising on the accession of several of Codere’s Colombian subsidiaries to the revolving credit facility.