Banking and finance in Colombia

Brigard Urrutia

Full-service powerhouse Brigard Urrutia handles an array of lending, corporate and project finance and regulatory matters, for an impressive roster of local and multinational financial institutions, acting as well for major corporate borrowers and infrastructure sponsors. The 11-strong practice is led by four partners; covering the transactional side, Carlos Fradique-Méndez is experienced in structured and corporate finance transactions, local and international capital markets deals and instruments and derivatives. Leading the firm's highlight project-finance mandates, Manuel Fernando Quinche recently advised on the fourth generation (4G) Autopistas Urabá highway project -whose main shareholder is China Harbour Engineering Company. Senior partner Carlos Urrutia also co-heads the firm's Energy and Natural Resources department, while César Rodríguez is particularly active advising on loan agreements and infrastructure contracts. Senior associate María Fernanda Sánchez and associate Juan Carlos Puentes are also active in the sector. Since publication, Manuel Quinche has announced his departure from the firm with effect from mid-November 2020.

Testimonials

The senior team has a very high level of understanding of their clients’ problems, which guarantees that the answers and conceptual developments are in line with them. The disposition of the team in general is quite good, which allows a rapid evolution of the advice and guarantees the quality in the delivery of the work. In short, the work differs in terms of speed of care, as well as in the quality of the same‘.

The firm’s lawyers are open to permanently discuss the different topics in order to seek objective and viable solutions. The foregoing makes the discussions more productive, since other firms do not have a similar policy‘.

Carlos Fradique: knowledge and agility; the fact that the partner is always available and has knowledge about the specific needs of the client‘.

Brigard Urrutia is a firm that knows how to identify its client’s needs. The  teams assigned to the different projects are those required‘.

Key clients

Adelante Soluciones Financieras

Credit Agricole / CACEIS

Transinnova Usme

BlackRock Infrastructure Management I

Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)

Financiera Desarrollo Nacional

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

KfW IPEX-Bank

International Finance Corporation

Elecnorte  ESP

Autopistas Urabá  Mar 2

Citibank Colombia

JP Morgan Chase Bank

AFP Habitat

Opain

Bancolombia

Work highlights

  • Acted as legal counsel to Autopistas Urabá on the development of the 4G ‘Autopistas al Mar 2 Cañasgordas- Uramita-Dabeiba-Mutatá- el Tigre- Necoclí  PPP road concession project.
  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, the International Development Bank, and other national and international financial entities  on financing  the construction, operation and maintenance of the MAR 1 toll road project, to be developed by SPV Devimar.
  • Advised Elecnorte on the $750m financing from the International Finance Corporation for the development, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Riohacha-Maicao and Riohacha-Cuestecitas transmission lines in the department of La Guajira.
  • Acted as local legal counsel to Adelante Soluciones Financieras on obtaining a pedo-denominated revolving loan; approx value, $50m.
  • Acted as local legal counsel to AFP Habitat on all the financial regulatory matters before the Colombian Financial Superintendent’s office.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)

Affinitas’ Colombian member-firm, Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)'s 19-strong banking and finance practice fields six recommended partners. Practice head Ricardo Fandiño has a recognised trajectory in the field that includes advising on Grupo Energía Bogotá privatisation process and Avianca's IPO’s on the NYSE. The full-service firm is also highly active in project finance for energy, mining, transportation, port and road infrastructure. José Luis Suárez advises on structured financing and investment schemes, among other matters, for a wide array of industries. Daniel Londoño focuses on corporate loans, project financing and acquisition finance, while Adriana Moreno leads the firm's operation in Medellín. Associates Jimena González and Catalina Prieto are also noted. However, former senior associates Cristian Cruz and Diana Bogotá both moved in house, joining Credicorp (in November 2019) and IDB Invest (in July 2020), respectively.

Testimonials

We highlight the ability that the firm has with respect to the solid teamwork they develop when analysing our legal requirements‘.

Ricardo Fandiño and Germán Villamil are two of the partners who constantly collaborate in our legal matters. The team stands out for being quite multidisciplinary, proactive and willing to resolve all of our queries when required. Both Ricardo and Germán are distinguished for directly responding to our legal inquiries in an agile and meticulous way‘.

Jose Luís Suárez has great regulatory and transactional knowledge, his experience makes him a great support for clients‘.

Key clients

JP Morgan

Bank of America

Goldman Sachs

Morgan Stanley

Credit Suisse

Sura Asset Management

Avianca

Bancolombia

Deutsche Bank

Barclays

Banco Davivienda

Wilmington Trust

Citigroup

International Finance Corporation

Almacenes Éxito

Banco Colpatria

BTG Pactual

The Rohatyn Group

ISAGEN

Caisse de Depôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ)

Work highlights

  • Advised Banco Davivienda on the restructuring of the existing debt of Masivo Capital, a public transportation company currently subject to an insolvency proceedings, in order to allow the company to secure the resources needed to acquire new buses and comply with its obligations under the concession agreements with Transmilenio.
  • Acted as special local counsel to Bayport Colombia  in connection with a syndicated and secured  loan agreement for up to $100m, granted by Promontoria Holding 301, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and JP Morgan Chase Bank.
  • Acted as local counsel to Isagen, as borrower, on a $75n financing granted by Export Development Canada through a synthetic loan disbursed in US dollars and fixed in Colombian pesos.
  • Advised Contrato Marco on the legal structure required to adjust a platform so that it can be used as a block-chain system to transfer the ownership of guarantees in derivatives’ operations.
  • Acted as local counsel to Prime Colombia Barranquilla and Prime Energía Colombia on a $290m financing for the acquisition of Zona Franca Celsia.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría acts for a broad base of banks, multilateral finance organisations, private equity funds, sponsors and corporate borrowers, excelling across the full gamut of finance matters and demonstrating deep expertise in syndicated loans and debt capital markets, as well as strength in structured and project finance. In one headline mandate, the group advised BlackRock on the financing of Autopista al Mar 1 toll road, the largest of the 4G highway projects. Department head Juan Fernando Gaviria, who clients regard as ‘an authority on structured finance in Colombia', leads the 16 strong practice group, which also includes pivotal practitioners Claudia Barrero and head of the firm's private equity group Hernando Padilla, both of whom are highly regarded. Key support comes from Paula Buriticá, who was appointed principal associate in November 2019; associate Clara Robledo-Sánchez ('a tireless worker with an enviable technical background'), is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Juan Fernando Gaviria

Testimonials

We really enjoyed working with Juan Fernando Gaviria. He is a person who excels in his field, who knows and is respected in his area of practice. In addition, he is an excellent person with great human qualities, which makes it much easier to work with him‘.

Juan Fernando Gaviria, is a lawyer who knows the regulation in detail and to perfection. For this reason, his advice is accurate and correct, either on transactional issues and financing, or on regulatory issues in the banking and financing area. Juan Fernando’s advice is always timely and identifies the important points in each case or situation that arises. Contrary to many of his competitors, Juan Fernando attends and does personal follow-up of the customer service and is always available. The firm’s team is exceptional, good communicating with each other and knowledgeable of the different topics‘.

Juan Fernando Gaviria: he is an authority on structured finance in Colombia. Working with him is a pleasure and a privilege. His contributions are timely and accurate‘.

Clara Robledo: in addition to being a tireless worker with an enviable technical background, she is a very nice and empathetic person with whom it is very easy to work. She is always available and very responsive. I see her as a future partner, without a doubt‘.

Key clients

BlackRock

Credit Suisse

Banco Santander

JP Morgan

Termoyopal Generación 2  / Central Termoeléctrica El Morro

Nomura Corporate Funding Americas

BTG Pactual

Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura

Termovalle

Deutsche Bank

Intesa Sanpaolo

Bancolombia

Itaú

HSBC

United Airlines

Inter-American Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to BlackRock on the $760m multi-currency financing for the Autopista al Mar 1 toll road project, the largest of the 4G projects.
  • Advises Credit Suisse, as administrative agent, on a $100m financing extended to American Glass Products to refinance existing debt and finance the construction of a project.
  • Advised Intesa Sanpaolo, Société Générale, Bancolombia and Banco Itaú on the $100m acquisition financing (with project financing features), extended to  Glenfarne Group for the acquisition of a power plant in Colombia.
  • Acted as counsel to United Airlines in connection with a $250m convertible loan agreement to  by United Airlines and Kingsland to Avianca Holdings, and guaranteed by third parties.
  • AdvisedTermovalle on the negotiation of a credit agreement for $110m for the refinancing of current debt and other corporate purposes.

Posse Herrera Ruiz

Posse Herrera Ruiz's finance and capital markets department impresses sources for its agility, knowledge and negotiation skills among other factors. The practice group, which acts for both lenders and corporate borrowers, has experience across the broad range of banking issues, including public and private financings, debt capital markets and regulatory matters. Department head Mariana Posse is 'always available' and leads an 11-strong group, which, among other highlights, advised Banco Santander on a $165 million syndicated loan to port operator Compañía de Puertos Asociados. Among up-and-coming names, 'impeccable' senior associate Lina Lineros and 'outstanding' associate Jesús Albarrán are both well regarded; however, former senior associate Sebastián Lora moved to DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán as a partner in October 2019.

Practice head(s):

Mariana Posse

Testimonials

The attention and understanding of customer needs are excellent. Additionally, the team always have a proactive attitude towards the challenges that arise and the difficulties that due to the situation of each company and project must be overcome and solved. Mariana Posse is always accessible and is available in all the processes that are carried out

The team is always in the same harmony and is aligned with the client in the negotiations, aware of all the issues that should be considered before taking a position. In the first place, Mariana Posse is highlighted, and Jesus Albarrán is undoubtedly an outstanding lawyer in his work, added to the experience, knowledge and emotional intelligence with which he conducts the negotiations’.

Lina Lineros is an excellent lawyer with high standards of knowledge in banking and stock market issues. Her consultancies are impeccable, building customer confidence‘.

Posse Herrera Ruiz is one of the most recognised firms nationwide. There are great professional in each of its areas. Jesús Albarrán, excellent work and handling of large-scale transactions. He is a technical and trustworthy person with great negotiating skills‘.

Main partner Mariana Posse undoubtedly adds a lot of value to any negotiation. Associate Jesús Albarrán assumes the transactions with judgment and responsibility. They are very dedicated‘.

Lina Lineros is very structured, her negotiation capacity stands out for her arguments based on the high knowledge and experience she has after working in the financial sector‘.

Key clients

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Wilmington Trust

Export Development Canada

The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Banco Santander

IDEA, Bancolombia and Ashmore CAF

Bancolombia / Banco de Occidente

Phoenix Tower International Colombia

Avenger Flight Group

Itau Corpbanca Chile

Work highlights

  • Acted as legal advisors to the International Finance Corporation regarding a credit facility extended to Reforestadora del Sinu.
  • Advised Banco Santander, on the structuring, negotiation and execution of a $165m syndicated loan to Compañía de Puertos Asociados (COMPAS) to refinance its debt and for day-to-day operational expenses.
  • Advised financial institutions Bancolombia and IDEA, and infrastructure fund Ashmore CAF, on the long-term financing of 4G toll road Vias del Nus.
  • Advised Bancolombia and Banco de Occidente on an acquisition and project financing extended to Macquarie for the development of the Briceño-Tunja-Sogamoso toll road concession.
  • Advised Phoenix Tower International regarding a $31m loan to finance its acquisitions and operations in Colombia.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S.

While already housing prominent expertise in acquisition finance, Baker McKenzie S.A.S.'s banking and finance practice significantly bolstered its project finance and regulatory capabilities with the August-2019 hire of transactional specialist Carolina Duque (from her own firm); and the promotion to partnership of Ricardo Trejos, director of the firm's banking and finance practice since 2015. Duque and Trejos now co-head the practice in conjunction with highly-regarded chair of the Latin America region Jaime Trujillo. The seven-strong group, which leverages its formidable global network to shine in advising on the Colombian aspects of major cross-border transactions, has also grown strength in fin-tech matters. Senior associates Daniel Botero (who advises on financial regulation and securities), and Sebastián Boada (who acts for both lenders and borrowers in local and international finance deals), are also key members of the team.

Testimonials

One of the aspects that we highlight the most is the solid teamwork in which they constantly work. We believe that this is a key aspect that makes the banking & finance practice different from others in Colombia. Additionally, we have a direct contact and access with the partners of such practice, who are always willing to help us in the legal matters that we require‘.

As a partner of the banking &finance practice, Ricardo Trejos stands out for being an expert in this specific matter. He is very-well regarded in our in-house legal department, given his capacity of availability in regards to our different legal concerns. Moreover, Ricardo can be considered as a true leader of its team, who is always pursuing to achieve a high-quality legal service for us. The team’s senior associate, Sebastian Boada, is also a key member of the banking & finance practice. He is very diligent and meticulous in his legal advice. Furthermore, Sebastian is always ready to help us in the legal matters that we require from the firm‘.

The incorporation of Carolina Duque as a partner and the appointment of Ricardo Trejos as a partner were very sound moves. Moreover, since it brings relevance to the firm’s star lawyers, something this practice was missing. It is a dynamic, young, commercial team with a business vision, with significant experience in infrastructure and corporate financing‘.

Carolina Duque is an excellent lawyer, from a technical point of view. However, her greatest asset is in her devotion to the client and her ability to handle difficult situations -complex negotiations and closings with high levels of stress. She is very responsive. She is an empathetic person who is easy to trust and is very proactive and dedicated. Without a doubt, one of the stars on the market‘.

Ricardo Trejos is a lawyer with an impressive track record within the same firm. He has knowledge in various areas of law, which makes his advice comprehensive and accurate. He bring new elements of analysis to the table. He is calm and reliable‘.

Key clients

JP Morgan

Brookfield Infrastructure Group

Public Sector Pension Investment

Scotiabank Colpatria

Banco Davivienda

Finaktiva

Gas Natural

Bonus Banca de Inversión

Grupo Ethuss

Bancapital

Work highlights

  • Assisted Finaktiva with obtaining its first international credit of $1.5m with a Netherlands-based foundation, with the aim to continue to grow in Colombia.
  • Advised Petroelectrica de los Llanos on the refinancing valued at $35m of an energy transmission line of 260 Km and 230 KV with Banco Davivienda as local lender and Banco Santander as a foreign lender.
  • Advised Scotiabank Colpatria and Scotiabank Peru on an acquisition finance for an amusement parks business Coney Park from Peruvian editorial group El Comercio, in a deal valued at $33m.
  • Advised, in conjunction with the firm’s New York office, Jerónimo Martins’ subsidiary in Colombia on a $93m New York-law governed loan-agreement with the International Finance Corporation.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas strikes the right note with its ‘access to senior partners with excellent experience', which provides 'great comfort when completing international financial transactions'. The eight strong group acts across a broad spread of lending, project finance, capital markets and structured finance, showing strong activity participating in energy, mining, transportation-system projects, and developing expertise in the emergent cannabis industry. Particular praise is reserved for high-profile group co-head and managing partner Bernardo Cárdenas, and Catalina Pinilla, whose practice centres on financings and capital markets' matters. Corporate leader and fellow co-head Eduardo Cárdenas has particular experience in debt restructuring. Project finance-focused Pablo Jaramillo was promoted to partnership in April 2020. Key support comes from impressive senior associate Daniela Mejía.

Testimonials

The firm is responsive and knowledgeable in the field. The access to senior partners with excellent experience provides great comfort when completing international financial transactions‘.

Speed, expertise and quality of work are highlighted‘.

Responsive and customer oriented culture. I feel confident knowing any matter is being handled by Dentons Cárdenas & Cárdenas’.

Catalina Pinilla is very knowledgeable and provides actionable advice to complicated questions, especially when maneuvering in unchartered territory. She and her team, associate Christina Burn particularly,  are always eager to help.

Dentons Cárdenas & Cárdenas is one of the most internationally recognised firms, as it has been ratified in the market as one of the best law firms providing services and advice in various law areas‘.

Daniela Mejía since is a very good lawyer with whom I have had the pleasure of working on some projects. Excellent work and handling of large-scale transactions. She is a technical and trustworthy person with great negotiating skills‘.

Key clients

Banco Santander

Scotiabank Colpatria

Ithaca Capital Holdings 4

Sabcapital

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Societé de Promotion et de Participation pour La Cooperation Economique

Coöperative Rabobank

Interamerican Develpment Bank

International Finance Corporation

Red Kite Mine Finance Bermuda

Banco Davivienda

Banco de Bogotá

Banco de Occidente

Bancolombia

Volvo Trade Finance

Miami International Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel to Banco Santander, as facility agent and initial lender, on a four-tranche $65m term facility agreement  granted to Transinnova Usme to finance the acquisition of new bus-fleets as required under the concession agreement between the borrower and Transmilenio.
  • Advised Ithaca Capital Holdings 4 on the negotiation of a $22m facility agreement with Scotiabank Colpatria to finance the acquisition of the W Hotel in Bogotá and pre-pay an existing credit agreement with Bancolombia.
  • Acted for Red Kite Finance Bermuda on the design and implementation of a new Colombian security package (including a collateral agency structure); deal value, $100m.
  • Acted as legal counsel to French investment promotion agency, Proparco, on a $67m structured finance transaction on behalf of Sotramac, one of the operating concessionaires of the mass public transport system of Cartagena.

DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán

Providing a comprehensive service across the finance spectrum, DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán impresses sources with a 'sound and sensible' interdisciplinary team led by four partners. The 12-strong practice is especially active in acquisition and project finance, particularly for road and thermo-generated power projects. Felipe Quintero is an experienced contracts and structured finance expert; and November-2019 hire, Sebastián Lora, strengthens the practice on the project finance side. Formerly a senior associate at Posse Herrera Ruiz, Lora has handled diverse financing operations, including syndicated and corporate financings. Additional key figures include managing partner Camilo Martínez, whose recent highlights include advising Coviandina on a bridge-loan agreement for its Chirajará-Fundadores project; and Juan Manuel de la Rosa, whose practice centres on advising private equity funds and strategic blue-chip investors. Senior associate Sebastian Celis is also noted.

Testimonials

What makes this practice unique is its solid professional career in each of its areas, always providing comprehensive advice. DLA Piper Martínez Beltrán is an interdisciplinary firm that seeks to offer the client the best advice, always seeking to be the leading firm in Colombia and to be recognised internationally‘.

Felipe Quintero stands out for his professionalism, dedication and support in each of the transactions made‘.

It is a sound and sensible team, attentive to our permanent requirements‘.

It seems to us that Sebastián Celis, despite his youth, is a great professional‘.

Key clients

Grupo Exito

Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores

Banco de Bogotá

Corporación Financiera de Colombia – Corficolombiana

Banco de Occidente

Banco Popular

Concesionaria Nueva Vía al Mar – Covimar

Concesionaria Vial Andina – Coviandina

Banco Colpatria

Banco BBVA

BTG Pactual Soluciones & Servicios

China Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Termomorichal on its $50m refinancing by Banco Santander and Sabadell, involving security packages in both Colombia and the US.
  • Advised Compañía de Puertos Asociados (COMPAS) on a syndicated loan made up of four credit facilities in which Banco Santander is acting as mandated lead arranger.
  • Advised TermoemCali, as borrower, on a loan facility for refinancing and expansion purposes granted by Bancolombia.
  • Acted as legal counsel of Concesionaria Vial Andina – Corficolombiana on a bridge-loan agreement for its Chirajará-Fundadores private initiative PPP road project.

Garrigues

Evidencing a good balance between transactional and regulatory matters, Garrigues has broad expertise in the banking and finance sector. Strongly recommended practitioner Roberto Borrás -a former chief financial superintendent, among other senior roles- renders financial regulatory consultancy on an array of subjects, including fin-tech matters for the likes of World Bank and the Colombian Financial Regulation Authority, as well as for financial institutions and insurance companies regarding approval processes. Handling corporate and acquisition financing, counsel Camilo Gantiva recently led advice to Scania regarding four loan agreements facilitating the acquisition of a new fleet of buses by Transmilenio's concessionaire. The practice group’s third co-head, Francisco Noguera undertakes project finance across a broad array of industry sectors, and also includes private equity. Senior associate Eduardo Sanmiguel is also noted.

Testimonials

A first class lawyer-group, with deep and practical knowledge of banking and financial matters. They provide timely and successful support and accompaniment’.

Roberto Borrás and Eduardo Sanmiguel are advisers who get involved with the bank in such a way that they become part of the team. They build trust, credibility, and support. They are absolutely professional but at the same time warm and willing when we need them the most’.

Key clients

BNP Paribas

Zurich Insurance Company

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Asociación de Supervisores Bancarios de América

Pepper Money

SMBC Nikko Securities

Korean Re

HSBC Securities

Bancolombia

Compass Group

World Bank

Banco Falabella

Fasecolda

Banco Davivienda

Banco Serfinanza

Work highlights

  • Advised the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas (ASBA) with a project to simultaneously regulate and promote fin-tech products in the Americas; the advisory included developing a technical assistance programme supported by the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Advised Enel Codensa on a joint venture agreement with Scotiabank Colpatria to promote a retail product with a million client and credits, valued at $620m.
  • Assisted Bancolombia, as lender, with a $91m  project financing granted to toll-road concessionaire Accesos Norte de Bogota.
  • Advised Scania on the structuring and negotiation of four loan agreements that will allow the concessionaires of Bogota’s Transmilenio mass transportation system to acquire a new fleet of buses from the company.

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero demonstrates weight across financing operations and project finance, but it is best known for its firepower in regulatory issues. Renowned founding partner Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero focuses on regulation in relation to securities and capital markets, insurance, and fiduciary law and trusts products, as well as being a reputed litigator. Fellow co-head Daniel Rodríguez leads the structured, project and corporate finance areas and co-leads the restructuring and insolvency practice. Rodríguez also heads the risk management and anti-money laundering practice in the firm's compliance and criminal corporate law practices. Senior associate María Lucía Amador brings relevant support to the six-strong practice.

Testimonials

Their knowledge of the market and its participants makes transactions smoother, and, to a certain extent, less contentious‘.

Daniel Rodríguez has a profound technical knowledge and is client and business driven, which always helps when negotiating complex deals‘.

I’d highlight the experience that the firm has when dealing with the financial regulator, which greatly helps day-to-day solutions. They are serious and accurate. They have specialists by subject matter which allows us to delve into different fronts‘.

Key clients

Banco Santander

Citibank Colombia

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Interamerican Investment Corporation (as IDB’s agent)

Centro de Gerenciamiento de Residuos Doña Juana

Bold

Banco de Chile

Axa Colpatria Capitalizadora

Work highlights

  • Acted as Colombian counsel to Banco Santander in connection with an operation regarding the structuring, negotiation and drafting of a $544m per year finance facility granted to Emgesa.
  • Provided Axa Colpatria with legal advice regarding the dismantling of its activities.
  • Advised Inter-American Development Bank on the structuring of the financing and security scheme in concerning an A-B loan to be granted to Finanzauto.

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight's multidisciplinary team is particularly valued for its origination of ‘creative and practical solutions when establishing financing structures for complex or unusual projects'.  The eight-strong practice group, which fields three expert partners, covers the gamut of finance matters. Managing partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón, whose well-established trajectory combines handling cross-border investment and project finance, with international arbitration, heads the team. Lucas Saffon-López, promoted to the partnership in January 2020, advises on structured finance, among other matters; while José Vicente Zapata primarily advises energy clients such as his recent advisory on GeoPark issuance of senior notes under Rule 144A/Reg S. The firm's international network also provides solid backing, with Miami-based Norberto Quintana, in particular, a frequent participant in matters related to Colombia. Relevant support comes from senior counsels Carolina Arciniegas and Juliana Saa.

Practice head(s):

Enrique Gómez Pinzón

Testimonials

Holland & Knight’s team has been working with FDN for several years in defining legal aspects of the products and projects in which we were involved. We always receive an excellent legal service tailored to the needs of the bank‘.

Norberto Quintana is our main reference partner. Norberto and his team were always very attentive to our demands. Senior associate Juliana Saa was also at the forefront of complex operations. The service of the H&K lawyers always seemed very personalized and participative in all the needs of the bank‘.

Juliana Saa and Norberto Quintana are two people of exceptional personal and professional qualities. Their positive and solution-focused attitude is very positive for the development of transactions‘.

High level of commitment, specialised knowledge and focus on excellence‘.

A highly capacitated team with invaluable experience and a very high willingness and work capacity‘.

It is a team that looks for creative and practical solutions when establishing financing structures for complex or unusual projects‘.

Key clients

GeoPark Limited

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)

Work highlights

  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and China Development Bank, as lead arrangers, in the $650m two-tranche financing of the 4G Mar 2 project.
  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, as credit enhancement provider, in connection with the 4G Ruta del Cacao $547m project financing.
  • Acted as Colombian counsel to GeoPark on a Rule 144A/Reg S. issuance of $350m senior notes due 2027; Citigroup Global Markets and Itau BBA USA Securities acted as initial purchasers.

Mendoza Abogados

Mendoza Abogados continues to gain traction in the finance arena, with a specialised, tailored offering that includes local and cross-border syndicated credit facilities and complex financial transactions involving restructurings of notes under Rule 144A/Reg S, project finance and cross-border derivatives. Established in 2018 by Mateo Mendoza -previously a senior associate at both (the former) Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta and Posse Herrera Ruiz- the growing boutique currently numbers eight lawyers, including July 2020-hire María Beatriz Segura who arrives as a senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Mateo Mendoza

Testimonials

Mateo Mendoza is personally involved in all matters. They are always ready to attend to the client’s needs and are very agile in response times. When I have a transaction, an acquisition, or a financing process I do not hesitate to contact Mateo Mendoza because being Colombian he interprets the needs of the client, understands the financing texts and supports us a lot in the negotiation of complex texts under NY law. I trust his legal criteria and he avoids risks that are important to our business. Mateo is creative and builds with the client. His input is very valuable’.

Mateo keeps up to date with financial regulations and knows how to handle them. Additionally, he is always very attentive to various queries and is available for any questions‘.

Mateo Mendoza is a lawyer with good legal criteria, reliable, close and able to adjust to the needs of the client; the way the practice is approached is a differential element in the market, which has given his firm have constant growth‘.

Key clients

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Findeter

Banco Davivienda

BTG Pactual

Alsacia & Express (Chile)

Celsia

Bancolombia

Larrain Vial

Sacyr

Copasa

Recaudo Bogotá

Bodytech

Avianca

SoEnergy International Colombia

John Laing

Sika

Talisis Project

Work highlights

  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) on the structuring, development and negotiatiation of a new product consisting on a contingent revolving credit facility to enhance the securitization process “T+1” to cover liquidity shortfalls in the securitization, in which FDN and Bonus Banca de Inversion participated as joint lead arrangers.
  • Advised Avianca on the negotiation of ISDA master agreements and credit support annexes with 10 international swap dealers, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Cargill, Scotiabank, among others.
  • Advised BTG Pactual Legal structure cross-border OTC derivatives-transactions to be entered into by BTG Cayman and Colombian companies.

Mosquera Abogados, S.A.S.

Business orientated and with a proactive approach, boutique firm Mosquera Abogados, S.A.S. is particularly sought after for transactions involving state-owned entities requiring deep regulatory knowledge. Providing advice covering the entire spectrum of structuring and negotiating domestic and international financings, the five-strong practice is led by Juan Pablo Mosquera, and also handles international bond offerings, syndicated financing, multilateral financing, and Export-Credit Agency (ECA) financing and factoring, among other matters. Fellow co-head Cristian Mosquera, a former banking superintendent and director of public credit at the Ministry of Finance, has deep regulatory expertise and is experience in cross-border transactions.

Key clients

MUFJ Bank

Redeban

Empresas Públicas de Medellín – EPM

Grupo PDC Capital

Global Bank

Agence Francais de Developpement (AFD)

Advance Growth Capital (AGC)

Grupo Energía de Bogotá (GEB)

Banco Davivienda

Tigo Une

UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones

Electrificadora de Santander (ESSA)

Proparco

Work highlights

  • Advised Empresas Publicas de Medellin on its international, $1.4bn Rule 144A/Reg S. bond offering.
  • Represented Tigo in the negotiation of all its $1bn-worth of banking guarantees for purposes of securing the award of the 5G spectrum in Colombia.
  • Represented energy and gas conglomerate GEB, as guarantor, in the negotiation of a $350m financing for its Peruvian subsidiary, Contugas.

Ustáriz & Abogados Estudio Jurídico

Ustáriz & Abogados Estudio Jurídico is increasingly sought after, with its good balance between transactional work and specialised regulatory matters. Acting in particular for fiduciary trusts, sources note the boutique's strength in the negotiation of derivative and structured products, including the negotiation of ISDA and CSA contracts. The group also stands out for its knowledge of blockchain and fin-tech matters. A former legal vice-president of Central de Seguros (now QBE Seguros), practice head Luís Humberto Ustáriz co-leads the eight-strong practice with Jose Federico Ustáriz, who has also held roles in the private sector, including as legal controller. The firm also handles litigious disputes related to credit issues, consumer protection actions and defending retail clients before the financial regulator.

Testimonials

They stand out due to their projection, knowledge, accessibility and scope; it is superior to other firms‘.

The firm has competent and trained professionals with extensive experience in the matters under their charge, acquired from professional practice and teaching. The functional organisation and efficient administrative work that facilitates dealing with its clients stands out‘.

They are highly specialised lawyers in close contact with the sector. In addition, they are permanently trained and are at the forefront of the issues. We like their permanent disposition to attend to our needs and the possibility of acting in litigation before the authorities of the sector. It is important to highlight that in the areas of banking and finance and capital markets the firm is one of the best in the country‘.

Partners personally attend to topics, calls and meetings. They know first hand what we need and help us with solutions and new projects. It is a multidisciplinary team with a lot of experience and with technological tools that help to constantly provide the best service to its clients‘.

Luís Humberto Ustáriz is a skillful and effective lawyer, with extensive knowledge of capital markets. His ability to solve complex problems with ease and efficiency stands out. José Federico Ustáriz is a lawyer who, apart from mastering the subjects associated with financial and stock market law, communicates permanently with his clients in order to solve first hand the problems that may arise in the development of the business‘.

Key clients

Fiduciaria de Occidente

Banco Agrario de Colombia

Banco Davivienda

Juriscoop

Fondo Nacional de Garantías

Novafin Capital

Bancoomeva

Fiducoomeva

Work highlights

  • Advised Fiduciaria de Occidente on the negotiation of a $100m ISDA Master Agreement (under New York-law) with Consumitomo as counterpart.
  • Advised Banco Agrario de Colombia on the negotiation of a $50m ISDA Master Agreement (under New York-law) with Goldman Sachs as a counterpart.
  • Provided a legal opinion to Banco Davivienda regarding the financial guarantee related to a specific energy-supply contract from the Colombian Government.

Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados

Infrastructure specialist firm Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados is sought after for its deep understanding of public entities and enviable track record in participating in the country's major infrastructure projects. The 13-strong practice is led by Jorge Gabriel Taboada, who has extensive past experience in senior public roles such as the head of the banks and financial institutions unit at the financial regulator. Fellow co-head Álvaro Gasca handles project finance, and both participated in the lending for Bogotás first Metro line.  Relevant support comes from senior associate Carlos Andrés Sarasti and associate Sebastián Duque.

Key clients

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Gecelca

Work highlights

  • Advised Gecelca during the refinancing of the debt it acquired with Bancolombia Panama, as a result of the international leasing contract signed between Gecelca and Bancolombia.
  • Advised the Empresa Ferréa Regional on a syndicated loan agreement with Itaú Corpbanca, Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional and Bancolombia.

Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados

Full-service Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados has experience across a broad range of banking issues, including public and private financings, debt capital markets and regulatory matters. The eight strong group is headed by two senior partners; Felipe Trías, whose long trajectory includes executive roles in major Colombian private financial institutions, and founding partner Diego Muñoz Tamayo. The group, which is valued for its dispute resolution skills, has particular expertise in the structuring and restructuring of debt across multiple jurisdictions, and, on the consultancy side, shows strong activity advising start-ups working in fintech or other sectors. Associates Amparo Montes and Alonso de Reyes are also key members of the team.

Testimonials

They have the skills and experience to resolve disputes with clients in the financial and banking sector. Compared to other firms, their experience and knowledge in this sector stand out‘.

Felipe Trias Visbal stands out for his experience and knowledge of financial business. Diego Muñoz Tamayo stands out for his experience as a referee of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce‘.

Key clients

Kushki

Codere

Scotiabank Colpatria

Alpha 4 Ventures Fund 1

Seaya Ventures Fund (through Squire Patton Boggs)

Talanx

Ocrolus

Grupo Financiero Banvivienda

Scotiabank Colpatria

Work highlights

  • Worked with Kushki to revise and draw up foreign debt agreements and service contracts for their Colombian clients. Also, advised on matters related to low-value payment platforms, which includes compensation and the liquidation of funds generated by the use of debit and credit cards and electronic transfers.
  • Appointed by Codere, trading on the Madrid Stock Exchange, to handle the accession of several of its Colombian subsidiaries to a revolving credit facility.

Muñoz Aya Legal

'Providing a friendly service in accordance with what a financial law boutique firm would carry out' Muñoz Aya Legal enters the tables on the back of excellent client feedback and high-level specialisation. The firm advises key domestic and foreign players in the financial industry, including infrastructure providers, on an array of transactions, as well as regulation and due diligence. Experienced finance practitioner and managing partner Edgar Muñoz, leads the seven-strong area, which has enjoyed a growing caseload, recently, particularly regarding private equity funds due diligence, as well as advising various players in the fin-tech segment. Senior associate Carolina Uribe is also a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Edgar Muñoz; Carolina Uribe

Testimonials

Muñoz Aya Legal are unique in their level of attention to clients. They are always available and no task is too small. They are highly knowledgeable and practical‘.

Edgar Muñoz is a great lawyer, he always has the best attitude and knows how to get things done‘.

Muñoz Aya Legal is a high quality professional law firm, with an excellent relationship with the client, understanding their needs and offering tailored solutions. Their legal practice is characterised by a deep knowledge of the financial and stock market, as well as great experience in the day-to-day affairs of the entities that operate in those markets. They are a trusted ally‘.

It’s a law firm with a strong and consolidated team. We highlight the fact that the queries are directly liaised by its partner, who is quite agile in meeting all of our legal requirements‘.

Edgar Muñoz is the founding partner of the firm, who is distinguished by being always available and attentive to resolve our queries regarding legal matters. His team is quite proactive in developing due diligence processes, performing a detailed analysis of each transaction. Additionally, Edgar stands out for providing a friendly service in accordance with what a financial law boutique firm would carry out‘.

Key clients

Citibank Colombia

Cititrust Colombia

Citivalores Colombia

Colfondos

Banco Davivienda

BNP Paribas Securities Services Colombia

Symbiotics UK

Alianza Fiduciaria

Corredores Davivienda Sociedad Comisionista de Bolsa

Compañía de Seguros Bolívar

Seguros Comerciales Bolívar

Banco Procredit

Banco Credifinanciera

Credivalores

Finnova Fintech

AdCap Sociedad Comisionista de Bolsa

Work highlights

  • Advised Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Bonds, as lender, on the structuring and negotiation of a loan agreement of $5m.
  • Advised Credivalores as issuer in an international issuance and its reopening under New York law.

Parra Rodríguez Abogados

Profusely recommended, Parra Rodríguez Abogados handles an array of complex lending, corporate finance and regulatory matters, for an impressive roster of clients that include international investment banks and global corporations, as well as local major companies. The group distinguishes itself for its expertise in the aviation industry, particularly that of high-profile practice head Bernardo Rodríguez. Senior associate Cesar Barajas Ruiz is similarly lauded and advises on structured finance, asset-based financing and cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Rodríguez

Testimonials

They are very responsive and knowledgable. During the Covid crisis they have gone to great lengths to keep us up to date on headline events in Colombia‘.

Bernardo Rodríguez and César Barajas are very responsive and professional; we have never given them very long to turn things around (for one reason or another) but they have always delivered on time, facilitating speedy execution and reducing stress levels‘.

First and foremost, the Parra Rodríguez Abogados team is unparalleled in its experience and knowledge of the aircraft finance and leasing industry in Colombia.  This alone is sufficient justification for us to use this firm. That said, their professionalism and responsiveness along with their regular updates of the legal landscape make them one of the best outside counsels we use‘.

Bernardo Rodríguez and senior associate César Barajas truly stand out‘.

Berndardo Rodríguez is without peer for aviation finance advice in Colombia.  His client roster is as impressive as his legal acumen.  He is supported by the next generation of the aviation finance bar in Colombia, César Barajas.

Bernardo Rodriguez Ossa and Cesar Andres Barajas Ruiz – highly recommended.

Contexto Legal S.A.

Long-established as the first full-service firm in Medellín, Contexto Legal S.A. enjoys a strong profile locally due to its roots in the Colombian market, while acting for international clients, particularly those interested in intering into the country. Practice head Carlos Andrés González leads the five-strong team,  which advises on deal structuring, capital markets securities placements and the creation or modification of securities funds; it also handles financial due diligence and debt matters.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Andrés González

Key clients

Factor Dinero

Libera Suply Chain Finance

BTG Pactual Comisionista de Bolsa

Compañía de Créditos Rápidos

Compañía Colombiana de Cacao

Aquila Global Group

Work highlights

  • Advised BTG Pactual in the design and legal structuring of a $70m collective investment fund for the acquisition of money order.
  • Advised Aquila Global Group in the design and legal structuring of the entry of a foreign investor into the company, including the transfer of financial and technological resources.

Goh

Best known for their strength in tax law, Goh -formerly known as Godoy & Hoyos Abogados- makes a new entry in the rankings on the back of participating in the high-profile financing of the 4G Autopista al Mar 1 project, among other matters. Led by recommended figure Jaime Moya (who also leads the corporate and infrastructure group), the six-strong practice handles an array of regulatory, capital markets and project finance mandates. Clients, which include sponsors, international investment banks and insurance companies, also receive comprehensive advice regarding tax and foreign exchange matters. Relevant support comes from associate Steffany Serebrenik.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Moya

Key clients

Concesionaria Desarrollo Vial al Mar (Devimar)

Credicorp Capital

Fondo de Capital Privado Armilla Capital

Work highlights

  • Provided legal advice to Devimar and its sponsors on the structuring, negotiating and closing of the $1.7bn financing of the Autopista al Mar 1 project, of which Devimar is a concessionaire.
  • Ongoing general advice on consultations carried out by Credicorp Capital Colombia regarding the scope and application of the legal framework established for the financial system in Colombia.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.

Lloreda Camacho & Co. practice focuses on the development of new products for the financial sector and the incorporation of financial entities before the authorities. Santiago Gutiérrez, whose extensive trajectory includes senior in-house positions in financial institutions, heads the six strong practice. The firm's list of clients includes the Colombian Fintech Association, crowdfunding company Mesfix and crypto-asset-platform Xapo, as well as more traditional finance clients. Associate Juan David Marín is also noted; however, senior associate Juan Sebastián Peredo moved in house as the GC of a digital bank in July 2019.

Practice head(s):

Santiago Gutiérrez

Key clients

AVLA Insurance Group

American Express

BTG Pactual

Cannvest Technologies

Mesfix

Xapo Holdings

Carvajal

Deerpath Capital

Palisades Acquisition

EFG Bank

Work highlights

  • Permanent legal counsel to Cannvest Technologies on the development of its business model in Colombia, which includes the establishment of a legal structure to finance agricultural projects and the incorporation of a crowdfunding entity.
  • Advised Avla Insurance Group on the development of a product to finance small and medium size companies with each funding mplying credit for an amount of $700,000; total estimated value of operation estimated at over $7m.

Palacios Lleras

Palacios Lleras advises banks, insurers and other financial institutions on a range of finance matters, particularly transactional work and regulatory issues. The firm’s dispute resolution practice also has a good standing in the finance sector, representing its players in arbitral, administrative and judicial proceedings. Hugo Palacios Mejía and Óscar Gutiérrez co-lead the team.