Banking and finance in Colombia

Brigard Urrutia

Brigard Urrutia's finance practice endured the departure of leading project finance figure, Manuel Quinche, along with senior associates Juan Carlos Puentes and Natalia Arango-Botero to Cuatrecasas in December 2020, but the firm has responded quickly. Senior associate Juan Eduardo Gómez had already re-joined (following his LLM), in October 2020, but the 'national champion' firm demonstrated its resilience, moving rapidly to hire partners María Fernando Diago (from Baker McKenzie LLP, New York) and Felipe Alarcón (from the Superintendence of Finance), in January 2021. Indeed, now 17-strong, the team continues to grow, it's partner-level bench including senior partner Carlos Urrutia, and co-practice heads Carlos Fradique-Méndez (banking, finance, capital markets, securities and PE); César Felipe Rodríguez (who has particular project finance expertise in the infrastructure and energy sectors); and the above mentioned Alarcón (who returns to the firm after six years, much of it spent as deputy director for regulation at the country's Financial Superintendence), and Diago, who focuses on domestic and cross-border finance, banking and capital markets. The practice handles the gamut of transactional finance matters (including syndicated loans, structured and asset-backed financing, project finance, the implementation of collateral models and aircraft financing etc.); advises banking institutions, fintech companies and other organisations and commercial entities on the full range of regulatory matters, and undertakes representation in administrative instances as required. Recent matters include financings related to major bankruptcy proceedings (such as those of LatAm Airlines or Recaudo Bogotá); energy sector loans, financings and re-financings; and PFI operations, among other matters. Key support comes from senior associates María Fernanda Sánchez (whose advisory practice takes in transactional, regulatory and contentious administrative matters), while the aforementioned Gómez' background includes M&A, private equity and capital markets matters.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Urrutia; Carlos Fradique-Méndez; César Felipe Rodríguez; Felipe Alarcón; María Fernanda Diago

Testimonials

Brigard Urrutia is a truly full-service law firm that is used to handling complex matters. The banking and finance team is our main point of contact and they act as account managers, really understanding our business and how it relates to the other areas of practice. The team has a deep technical and market understanding and has been creative to support us in Colombia.’

Carlos Fradique is a strong partner and a reference for the industry in Colombia. He understands the regulation and the businesses and gives sound advice for complicated challenges.’

Nicolás Alonso has shown a deep knowledge of the regulation and has been our main point of contact. He understands our business and is creative in looking for solutions to the problems presented.’

We work with Cesar Felipe Rodríguez, and his willingness to work, his delivery to the project, and giving the company all the time required is essential in customer satisfaction.

The direct partner-client relationship, knowing that the work team is always in contact with the partner and it is this partner who advises the company with a support team.’

Key clients

Nu Colombia (local affiliate of Brazil’s Nubank)

AES Chivor

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

LATAM Airlines Group

Citibank Colombia

JP Morgan Chase Bank

AFP Habitat

Odinsa

Bancolombia

BBVA Colombia

Interamerican Development Bank

Banco Davivienda

Electribus

Work highlights

  • Advised Latam Airlines Group (LAG), as borrower, and Aerovías de Integración Regional and Línea Aérea Carguera de Colombia, as guarantors, in a $2.45bn multi-tranche debtor-in-possession facility under the voluntary petition for relief of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, filed by LAG and the guarantors in the US bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York, thereby allowing the continuity of the operations of the group’s airlines during the bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Advised Scotiabank Colpatria, The Bank of Nova Scotia and Export Development Canada in a $340m structured financing granted to Celsia for the development of an energy transmission platform in the Departemnt of Tolima Department, along with the construction of a new 220Kw substation and the installation of 160km of transmission lines.
  • Advised the Ex-Im Bank of Korea, the IFC and HSBC Bank USA in the negotiation, drafting and preparation of Recaudo Bogotá’s COP370bn reorganisation agreement (in the context of the bankruptcy proceedings), thereby permitting the company (responsible for the collection of fares on Bogotá’s public mass transportation system) to continue its operations.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas

A key office in the regional footprint of this global firm, Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas' fields a compact -but consolidated- finance practice. 'Responsive and knowledgeable about banking, finance and other matters', it demonstrated resilience and strength-in-depth during the pandemic, with clients citing its 'business vision', 'most up-to-the-minute standards' and 'responsiveness'. The ten strong group is co-led by a trio of partners. Thirty-year veteran Bernardo Cárdenas has a standout track record and is particularly known for his finance practice in relation to the natural resources sector.  Lauded by clients for her negotiating skills and strategic vision, Catalina Pinilla's practice centres on financings and capital markets matters; while corporate practice head Eduardo Cárdenas has particular expertise in debt restructuring. On the projects side -and for structured finance in general- the team can call on Pablo Jaramillo, who was promoted to partnership in April 2020. In addition to its participation as local counsel to Avianca Holdings in the latter's headline $1.4bn debtor-in-possession financing, the team has been active on an array of fronts: Bernardo Cárdenas led advice to BBVA USA regarding its $300m loan to Tecnoglass; Pinilla advised the IFC on multiple deals -including loan agreements, share sales, working-capital facilities and restated credit facility agreements- with an aggregate value of over $165m; Eduardo Cárdenas advised Accial Capital Management on a $10 financing to fintech microlending company Aflore; while Jaramillo is leading ongoing advice to Puertos y Inversiones regarding the $220m financing of a multipurpose port terminal in Tubo, Urabá. Providing key support, a strong second line is composed of three associates who each have over a decade's experience: Daniela Mejia Mariño is a finance all-rounder with a particular niche in corporate credits for infrastructure; Felipe Molano is a derivatives specialist and Ángela Botía has particular expertise in fintech, open banking and financial regulatory matters in general.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Cárdenas; Eduardo Cárdenas; Catalina Pinilla

Testimonials

The Dentons team has helped me on different matters across Latin America. One of their greatest advantages is their presence in various countries in the region, which is very efficient when you need a review that involves different LatAm countries. The team is very responsive and knowledgeable about banking, finance and other matters. Bernardo Cardenas and Daniela Mejia have been exteremely helpful in my deals. Their coordination efforts with different offices and different lawyers within Dentons has been really helpful. Their responsiveness to really challenging timetables has also been key. Finally, their work product has been clear, objective and helpful.

Eduardo Cardenas’ availability and attention to detail is outstanding.

Dentons Colombia is the standard to which all law firms should aspire. Their advice is legal but also practical. They have a business vision rarely seen in external attorneys.’

Catalina Pinilla has extensive legal knowledge, but the value she brings to the table that no one else can match is her ability to provide practical advice aligned with business needs. She does not just repeat the law blindly, but provides useful information and strategies for strategic decision making.

They have a lot of experience participating in negotiations, allowing them to fully understand the terms and conditions of frequent use and the most up-to-the-minute standards, aswell as having very good interaction with the teams of the counterparts.

Catalina Pinilla, excellent knowledge in credit negotiation with banks and practical skills for the efficient handling of issues in discussion with the counterparties and their legal teams.

Key clients

BBVA USA

Caldas Gold Corporation

International Finance Corporation.

Avianca Holdings

Accial Capital Management

Moss Tree Capital

Azteca Comunicaciones Colombia

Puertos Inversiones y Obras

Work highlights

  • Local counsel to BBVA USA as administrative agent, swing line lender, L/C issuer, joint lead arranger and sole book-runner of (i) a delayed-draw term-loan facility of $250mn and (ii) a revolving credit facility of $50mn granted to Tecnoglass et al; the team led the drafting, negotiation, and structuring of the security package, the drafting of the loan agreement in its Colombian law aspects and as arranger of the security package in Peru.
  • Advisor to Puertos Inversiones y Obras, the developer of of a multipurpose 65,000 TEU port terminial in Turbo, Uraba region, on the terms of its $220m financing and negotiation with other equity investors in the project, along with associated regulatory and contractual matters.
  • Local counsel to Avianca Holdings and its subsidiaries as borrower and guarantors of a super-priority, $1.4bn debtor-in-possession term loan agreement, granted by the DIP lenders and with JP Morgan Chase Bank acting as both administrative and collateral agent.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)

Very much one of the firm's marquee offerings, Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) 'full-spectrum' banking practice fields a powerful 19-strong team with a core of four partners who each have over 20 years' experience. Practice head -and sector heavyweight- Ricardo Fandiño's recent mandates include leading on Avianca Holdings' $2bn debtor-in-possession financing, and advising the lenders on the COP860.5bn financing to Gamper Acquireco II; while managing partner (and structured-finance specialist) José Luis Suárez led advice to Enfragen on its $1.76bn debt refinancing, and has also been counselling JP Morgan on its conversion into a fully licensed bank in Colombia. Daniel Londoño's practice covers both local and international financings and capital markets issuances; his recent mandates include advising the IFC on a $100m loan to support women-owned enterprises, social housing and sustainable projects in Colombia; and the Inter-American Investment Corporation (and Canadian Climate Fund) on a $120m subordinated loan granted to Banco Davivienda. Adriana Moreno spent more than 15 years in house at a range of financial institutions -including Corfinsura, Bancolombia, Serfin and BTG Pactual- before joining the firm; now partner-in-charge of the Medellín office, her practice centres on the financial, capital markets and investment banking sectors, where she advises on both regulatory and transactional matters. Her recent mandates include advising Almecenes Éxito on its successful negotiation of a COP1,390bn credit agreement with a number of banks, principally, Banco Davivienda and Banco de Bogotá.  The department also boasts a similarly strong second line of senior associates, including Jimena González (particularly structured finance and project finance); Catalina Prieto (corporate finance, project finance and international bond issuances); Daniel Flórez (credit agreements, capital markets, private equity); and Tonia Orozco (credit agreements, infrastructure financing, private equity). As a client noted, they're 'incredibly responsive, respect deadlines and provide practical and solution-oriented advice.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Fandiño De la Calle

Testimonials

Great knowledge of financial law and strength of the team. Their excellent customer service and quick response to issues, which are always handled with adequate seniority depending on the issue.

Partner Adriana Moreno is a great connoisseur of the financial sector. Customer service, diversity and technology. She has great standards.

We found in Gómez Pinzón a highly trained team of advisers, very friendly people, knowledgeable about the issues in their practice area and very committed

In-house lawyers need to know about the knowledge, experience and trajectory of the Gómez Pinzón team in the banking and finance practice. We are convinced that the Gómez Pinzón team is one of the best in Colombia in the banking and financial sector; that is why we chose them.

They are highly trained people, with studies in Colombia and abroad. They are fluent in English, which is necessary for transactions with English-speaking parties. Always committed, ready for any questions, suggestions. Its availability is almost permanent.’

With Gómez Pinzón we feel good. We know that Gómez Pinzón is always at the forefront of changes in both the law and the market. They recently launched or updated their mobile app, very well structured in our view.

The team is key, as much the disposition as the knowledge and the accompaniment.’

I believe that the relationship of trust is what differentiates them, as well as the resolution of conflicts. Make a legal consultation an easy solution and not a bigger problem.

Key clients

Avianca Holdings

Enfragen

Macquarie Capital

JP Morgan

Itaú Corpbanca Colombia

Guggenheim Credit Services

CI Uniban

Bancolombia

Itaú Corpbanca Colombia

Almacenes Éxito

Constructora Conconcreto

Inter-American Investment Corporation

Carlyle International Energy Partners II

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Banco Santander

Agrícola Santamaria

Banco de Bogota

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Avianca Holdings during the process of obtaining $2bn ‘debtor-in-possession’ financing (as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the Southern District of New York), and involving a master credit agreement and securities purchase agreement to facilitate the issuance of senior secured notes.
  • Counsel to Enfragen (and the Colombian guarantors) on the power producer’s refinancing of its regional debt portfolio (including Colombia), involving a five-year $1.08bn loan from a syndicate of eight banks, and a $710m Rule 144A/Reg S bond offering.
  • Counsel to lenders Bancolombia, Itaú Corpbanca Colombia and Scotiabank Colpatria on a financing of up to up to COP$860.5bn granted to Gamper Acquireco II, for the refinancing of an existing loan granted by the lenders, Export Development Canada (EDC) and Banco Davivienda.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

Regional firm Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría advises a broad base of banks, multilateral finance organisations, private equity funds, sponsors and corporate borrowers, and excels across the gamut of finance matters. Demonstrating particular expertise in syndicated loans and debt capital markets, as well as strength in structured and project finance, the 13-strong team is led by Claudia Barrero, Juan Fernando Gaviria and Hernando Padilla. 'Deeply experienced' senior partner Barrero handles the full range of corporate, M&A, capital markets and banking and finance matters. Primarily engaged in transactional matters during 2020, she has also been advising a number of financial institutions on strategic issues and associated regulatory matters. Fellow senior partner Gaviria's combination of banking, finance and capital markets expertise combined with considerable infrastructure and projects experience has seen him enormously active on a range of matters including acting as counsel to: the lenders and initial purchasers on EnfraGen's $1.76bn bank/bond refinancing; the lenders on the $497m (aggregate total) refinancing granted to Concesión Alto Magdalena; and the banks, noteholders and Cititrust, regarding ISA Inversiones' COP$2bn acquisition of the Concesión Costera Cartagena Barranquilla. Padilla's corporate finance practice has a strong private equity component (he heads the firm's regional PE group), but also extends into project finance matters. Increasingly prominent in the market, his recent mandates include advising Alpha Capital and its subsidiaries -as borrower and guarantors, respectively- on an MXN$500m bridge loan granted by Morgan Stanley, and on a COP$136.4bn loan agreement with the Inter American Investment Corporation; he also advised the lenders on the $1.49bn debtor-in-possession financing made to Avianca Holdings. Key support is provided by principal associate Paula Buriticá who returned to the firm in November 2019 having gained a year's international experience at Skadden in New York; however, former fellow principal Clara Robledo-Sánchez left to join Mendoza Abogados in December 2020. Additionally, the practice has been further boosted by the June-2020 hire of counsel Rebeca Herrera, who, while primarily insurance focused, will also further develop the groups regulatory offering.

Practice head(s):

Juan Fernando Gaviria; Claudia Barrero; Hernando Padilla

Testimonials

Excellent team, both technically and humanly.

PPU is undoubtedly one of the differential firms in this practice in Colombia Juan Fernando Gaviria (partner), Carlos Padilla (partner), Ana Maria Ramirez (associate).

It is a very good team. They have committed members who are responsive and knowledgeable. Juan Gaviria has always been the one the stars and probably the best project finance lawyer in Colombia. He is very experienced and knows how to deal with complex matters very well. Daniela Hernandez is an amazing lawyer and stands out because even though she is very young, she behaves like an intermediate lawyer. Ana Ramirez is very committed, calm and responsive.’

Key clients

BID Invest

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

CAF – AM Ashmore

JP Morgan Chase Bank

Goldman Sachs

Banco Santander

Deutsche Bank

Proparco

Corporación Andina de Fomento

MUFG

Alpha Capital / Alpha Credit

PG Impact Investments 1

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders and the initial purchasers on the $1.76bn bank/bond refinancing granted to EnfraGen Spain, Prime Energía and EnfraGen Energía Sur, as borrowers, the proceeds of which are to be used to refinance the group’s existing debt regionally, and to invest in new projects in the short term.
  • Advised the lenders on the COP1.198bn and $164.5m refinancing granted to Concesión Alto Magdalena, as borrower, for the Honda-Puerto Salgar-Girardot project, the first 4G concession to achive the O&M stage.
  • Advised JP Morgan Chase Bank and Deutsche Bank acting as joint lead arrangers of a syndicate of 10 financial institutions in connection with the structuring and execution of  loan agreements (under New York law) for $450m and COP245bn, along with a security package of collateral agreements under Colombian Law.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S. undertook something of a generational handover in late 2019, with the hire of Carolina Duque and promotion of Ricardo Trejos Robledo (practice director since 2015) to the partnership, the pair taking on co-leadership of the practice with highly-regarded regional chair and veteran practitioner Jaime Trujillo. The practice -warmly endorsed by clients- already had a notable acquisition-finance profile, has benefitted from transactional specialist Duque's project finance experience, enjoying an uptick of mandates in that segment. Recent matters include Trejos' advisory to Brookfield subsidiary Gamper Acquireco II on the reprofiling of its acquisition finance to facilitate the purchase of Vanti (involving a $250m financing from Itaú Corpbanca, Bancolombia and Scotiabank Colpatria), and counsel to Jerónimo Martins Colombia on a $95m credit facility from the International Finance Corporation; while Duque led the negotiation and closing of an $80m bridge loan -structured as a project finance but with a corporate guarantee- on behalf of Autopista Rio Magdalena, and assisted Eléctrica Sochagota with a $28.3m short-term loan from Banco Davivienda, among other matters including refinancings, insolvency and capital markets work. On the regulatory side, the practice is advising clients including Lulobank and Banco Agrario; while on the fintech front it can draw on the firm's global expertise. Key support comes from senior associate Sebastián Boada, whose former experience includes time at both CorpBanca and the SIC. However, former senior Daniel Botero left the firm in May 2021 to become principal counsel in the CAF's Treasury and Liabilities Legal Unit.

Testimonials

Partner Ricardo Trejos is fully involved in transactions. He is a person with extensive knowledge of transactions and the critical issues of negotiation. He has a great ability to convey the important points of his clients and is very skilled at finding ways to mitigate the risks he identifies.

Senior associate Sebastián Boada stands out for his good handling of issues, his closeness to clients, and his willingness to answer concerns that simultaneously arise throughout the transaction. Thanks to him and his team, he gets timely answers to doubts that go beyond the areas of knowledge of the financial team.

Information with the regulator and procedures / comprehensive service between all entities involved / accessibility.

This is a very well established practice, with individuals of high quality and experience in the sector. This firm compares very favourably with other firms with which we have worked on banking and financial law matters. Baker Mckenzie is very diligent in the matters we entrust to them, conducting legal research that supports their prior experience.

I believe that Baker Mckenzie is migrating to participate more in the digital financial market, which puts them in a favourable situation for clients like us, who combine the financial regulatory needs of our condition as a bank, with the digital regulatory needs derived from being the first digital bank in the country.

The lawyers of this firm stand out for their experience and thoroughness when analysing each matter. The people who have participated in the consultations they have given us are experts in the matters and with significant previous experience, which generates very good quality deliverables. In particular, we work with Ricardo Trejos, Sebastián Boada and Daniel Botero on banking and exchange matters. I highlight the involvement of each of them and I consider that the work they do has been outstanding.

It is a fairly important firm not only in Colombia but also in the world, which is why it is well known within the sector and, on several occasions, it is used by us to work on international issues that involve an analysis of the situation from different jurisdictions.

Baker McKenzie has always stood out for always providing its services directly for its partner, which generates a lot of trust and credibility when carrying out the work entrusted to the firm.’

They were complex and highly dedicated jobs as they required an alignment of the proposals and legal indications indicated by the firm along with the particularities that the commercial team required for each of the tasks entrusted. For this reason, Baker McKenzie had to develop its advice based on the satisfaction of these two criteria that would allow an optimal performance of the requested work. In this order of ideas, we highlight the important work carried out by Ricardo Trejos, who leads his entire team in an efficient and organised manner. Ricardo stands out for always being available to solve our doubts and also for having a wide knowledge of the different requests that he attends. We also highlight the work of Sebastián Boada in the team, as he acts as a true leader in the area, and stands out especially for his important knowledge of financial derivatives.

Key clients

JP Morgan

Brookfield Infrastructure Group

Public Sector Pension Investment

Scotiabank Colpatria

Banco Davivienda

Sura Investment Management

Ingeurbe

Bonus Banca de Inversión

Grupo Ethuss

Compañía Eléctrica Sochagota

Work highlights

  • Advised Credicorp Capital and Bonus Banca de Inversión -as issuer and structuring agents- in the non-recourse securitisation ($40m) of a 25-year real estate lease (between Colombia Telecomunicaciones as lessee, and lessor Ingeurbe), the first such transaction in the local market in eight years.
  • Counsel to TMF Colombia as onshore collateral agent for the security package (in Colombia – comprised of shares and engine leases) related to LatAm Airlines $2.4bn debtor-in-possession financing.
  • Advised asset manager Sura Investment Management on its first loan to Marketing Personal; while small -$3m- it reflects the movement of debt funds beyond the projects segment towards a wider investment horizon.

Cuatrecasas

The full launch of Cuatrecasas‘ Bogotá office in January 2021 brings a significant new player to the market as regards the banking and finance sector -particularly the infrastructure and project finance segment- where the firm has assembled a powerful team. Comprising a core trio of practice head (and office managing partner) Manuel Quinche and senior associates Juan Carlos Puentes and Natalia Arango, all from Brigard Urrutia, and former Posse Herrera Ruiz projects’ lead Alessia Abella (most recently in-house at National Development Finance Institution, the FDN), the practice is already gaining prestige mandates -such as advising Bancolombia and Itaú Corpbanca on the $845m financing of Promotora Hospital de Bosa- and market share. Head of banking and finance at his former firm, Quinche is a stand-out figure for structured and project finance, infrastructure PPPs, and mergers and acquisitions; while Abella is a specialist in structuring public-private partnerships and infrastructure projects (particularly road infrastructure), and project finance transactions (including real estate projects) with experience advising sponsors, lenders, funds, borrowers and state entities. Puentes and Arango specialise in advising a full range of finance entities on local and international corporate and project finance transactions, again, primarily in relation to infrastructure. Other matters include advising a group of lenders led by BTG Pactual US Capital on a $100m credit facility to trust vehicle of Alpha Capital; and -in the fintech segment- Adelante Soluciones Financieras (ADDI) on a secured credit facility from Architect Capital Asset and employing electronic receivables as collateral. Since publication, Puentes has been raised to the partnership – effective as of April 2022.

Key clients

Bancolombia

Inter-American Investment Corporation

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

BTG Pactual US Capital

Nomura Corporate Funding Americas

Fondo de Deuda Senior para Infraestructura en Colombia CAF-AM Ashmore I

Banco Davivienda

Itaú Corpbanca Colombia

Vinci Construction

Conconcreto

Work highlights

  • Currently advising lender Inter-American Investment Corporation, FDN, Banco Davivienda and Banco de Comercio Exterior on an initial $150 financing for the development of the Puerto Antioquia project.
  • Currently acting as special Colombian counsel to Concesionaria Férrea de Occidente -a subsidiary of China’s CCECC- on the $250m financing of Bogtá’s Regiotram de Occidente project.
  • Currently advising Bancolombia, Nomura Corporate Funding Americas and Fondo de Deuda Senior para Infraestructura en Colombia CAF-AM Ashmore I, as lenders on the $142m financing for the redevelopment of 4G toll road concession Ibagué-Armero-Mariquita–Honda and the existing corridor between Cambao-Armero-Líbano-Murillo and La Esperanza.

DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán

The November-2019 hire of Sebastián Lora has allowed DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán to restructure its banking and finance department as it develops a more specialist practice. While Felipe Quintero and Juan Manuel de la Rosa remain on hand (particularly in relation to structured finance and private equity, respectively), the practice is now co-led by managing partner Camilo Martínez (corporate finance, capital markets, regulatory matters) and Lora, who has brought additional banking and project finance experience to the group. Focused on bank and acquisition financings, project financings, capital markets, structured finance and securitisation, and debt restructuring, along with banking regulatory matters, the relatively young practice punches above its weight. Recent headline mandates on the borrower-side include advising Hoteles Decameron on its $189m financing from Itaú Corpbanca Colombia and Cordiant Health on its COP$478bn loan; while on the lender side, highlights include advising Banco de Bogotá and Banco Occidente on the COP$595bn credit agreement for the development of the Vias del Nus toll road, and Bancolombia, Banco Davivienda and Banco de Bogotá on a COP$325bn financing to Agropecuaria Aliar. The practice is also part of the regional DLA team representing Oaktree Capital Management (as a tranche A lender) in LatAm Airlines super-priority debtor-in-possession term loan agreement.  At the associate level, specialist senior Sebastian Celis is currently undertaking his LLM, but fellow seniors -corporate practice director Felipe Aristizabal and contracts specialist Juan Carlos Gambín– both lean into the practice on certain financing and securities matters; furthermore, there are signs that the practice is beginning to develop younger talent with both Carlos Guzmán and María José Assis noted.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Lora; Camilo Martínez

Testimonials

They have trained and experienced people. Contact is easy, they know the business, they are experts.

Relevant technical capacity; notable specialisation in the banking and financial sector; solid legal knowledge; negotiation skills and leadership in negotiation; Excellent personal relationships; added value in advice; global vision of the banking and financial business.

Firm knowledge of the regulation of the banking and financial sector; ability to structure corporate business; compromise to adapt to change; sympathy and communication skills. Sebastián Lora; Carlos Guzmán are the key names.

They have a level of commitment to projects and involvement that allows them to really know the client’s needs and act on them, addressing sensitive issues in a responsible and consistent manner. They have an admirable interdisciplinary team that is a pleasure to work with.

Their pragmatic approach to difficulties and absolute willingness to achieve the objectives of the transaction without sacrificing quality.

They know very well the sectors in which they carry out transactions, they are very close and practical; Sebastian Lora.

They have total disposition for the clients.

The DLA team seems to me superior to the teams of other firms. They are very responsible with their work, very attentive to the client and very knowledgeable about issues in the financial field. They are always available and respond immediately. I have developed a good personal relationship with all of them. For me the most outstanding are Sebastian Lora and Carlos Guzman.

It is an efficient team. Unlike other law firms, they focus on the critical points of the transaction without losing sight of the overall quality of their work.

Sebastián Lora is an exceptional lawyer, who knows the business and is fully involved in the transaction. As qualities I would highlight his commercial proximity, critical vision and availability.

María José Assis is an excellent associate. She constantly follows up on her clients’ concerns and she is an excellent leader. Without a doubt, an associate to watch.

The collaboration is permanent. They are always available to address concerns and unlike other firms, they are willing to review their approach if their client makes comments.

Key clients

Decameron Group Hotels

Banco de Bogotá

Banco de Occidente

Steward Health Care

Bancolombia

APR Energy

Caribesol de la Costa

Bancolombia

Banco Davivienda

Axesat

Advent International

BTG Pactual Soluciones & Servicios

Zinobe

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Hoteles Decameron Colombia, Organización Decameron  and Hoteles Decameron (as borrowers), and other companies of the group (as guarantors in a $189m financing from a banking syndicate led by Itaú Corpbanca Colombia.
  • Advised Banco de Bogotá  and Banco de Occidente, as lenders, on the negotiation, execution and closing of a COP$595bn credit agreement under Colombian law to finance the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the “Vías del Nus” 4G toll road project.
  • DLA Piper Martínez Beltrán represented Cordiant Health Care Services Colombia and Cordiant Health Services Colombia, as borrowers on a COP$478bn financing from Medical Properties Trust.

Garrigues

The local office of Spanish-giant Garrigues offers all the advantages of an international firm in terms of product quality, service and technology, as well as -in the finance sector- an increasingly consolidated team. The 11-strong group regularly advises government financial agencies (such as the FDN and FNG), demonstrates ample project finance experience (recent mandates include advising BlackRock on its $464m refinancing of the Alto Magdalena 2 4G road project); and a leading role with regard to financial authority approvals and regulatory matters, particularly in relation to digital banking, fintech, e-commerce and payment systems (such as its local incorporation of MercadoPago as a finance company). Head of department Roberto Borrás (banking, finance, capital markets), has more than 25 years’ experience in the finance industry and his unique track record in the public sector (including as director of regulation at the Superintendencia Bancaria, director general of regulation at the Colombian treasury’s Unidad de Regulación Financiera, national Financial Superintendent, and president of the AMV – the regulatory body of the Colombian stock exchange), is at the core of the practice’s regulatory capabilities. Borras is flanked by counsels Camilo Gantiva (financings, capital markets, funds, fintech; he also acts as practice director) and Francisco Noguera (structured finance, project finance) each have some 15 years’ experience – including relevant in-house roles at the AMV and Bancolombia/Fiducuiaria Bancolombia, respectively.  Key support comes from senior associates Eduardo Sanmiguel and Paula Ospina Correa, whose practices’ centre on banking regulation, capital markets and fintech; and Alejandro García Botero, who focuses on acquisition and corporate financings and project finance. Nicolás Angulo, raised to senior associate in January 2021, is also noted. Since publication, Noguera has been raised to the partnership (January 2022) and Gantiva has left for Holland & Knight, effective February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Camilo Gantiva

Testimonials

Their international scope gives them a comparative advantage with other firms, as they have a great knowledge of the local market annd can easily rely on offices in other countries for any query. The experience and participation of the partners in the transaction gives them much strength. I would like to highlight Roberto Borrás (partner), Francisco Noguera (counsel), Camilo Gantiva (counsel) and Nicolas Angulo (associate).

I believe that the support of the team was very important in terms of knowledge in the banking and financial sector, as well as their way of understanding the transaction to be carried out in order to provide adequate support at each moment of the transaction.’

I would highlight their relationship skills, analytical skills to find alternatives and solutions to each challenge, and their relationships with the Colombian financial sector. Communication skills are also a factor that stands out. Ignacio Londoño, Camilo Ganitva and Roberto Borrás.

Garrigues has a very strong practice in the banking area, combining technical knowledge, influence, openness and flexibility to support new players. Their fees are very reasonable and they engage with clients’ projects as if they were their own. It is definitely a law firm that we consider for the long term.

Roberto Borrás’ experience in the Financial Superintendence office, combined with his openness about new businesses, is really unique. He has a deep technical knowledge of financial regulation, but he can also see where its areas of improvement are and how new players can foster competition and innovation.

Eduardo Sanmiguel quickly understood the challenges we are facing and adjusted to our ways of working and tools quickly, becoming a very collaborative member of our extended team.

Flexible arrangements as to billing, allowing us to plan our expenses, while charging reasonable additional amounts, for times of higher demand.’

They also adjusted to our agile routines and were open to participate in our procedures and test our tools (such as Slack).’

It is a very complete team, they can contribute to solutions of all kinds and by having all areas of legal practice they have been able to help us by solving all types of problems.’

They are always available to meet requirements and they do so with agility and speed, taking care of the quality of the work.

The Garrigues financial law team combines former regulators / supervisors with attorneys who have built their careers from inception in private practice. The combination of those two perspectives makes this team truly outstanding in the environment.’

Roberto Borrás has a unique understanding of the way the regulator and the supervisor think. This knowledge allows to anticipate the reaction that the authorities will have in the face of situations that arise in the authorisation procedures of financial entities. Additionally, his career gives him unparalleled access to officials of the Superintendency.’

They are a team that works in a cohesive way. What makes them unique is their broad expertise in different matters, their full involvement with the client and the disposition, compliance and excellence of their deliverables. Both at the level of evaluation and execution. I evaluate them favourably.

The quality of its lawyers, where in general they have not only worked in law firms but also in government or other public entities, as well as private companies, makes them comprehensive and complete in their service. I am referring, for example, to Roberto Borrás, former superintendent or his entire team (Eduardo Sanmiguel, Paula Ospina). Incredible deliverables, dedication and time invested.’

All the support mechanisms are invisible and transparent, meaning that they have not presented a problem in the almost 2 years that we have been working. Its tools are of excellence and have everything necessary to operate (Data room, electronic billing, administration department, secure Wi-Fi networks, other additional supports that do the details).’

Key clients

Fondo Nacional de Garantías (FNG)

Promotora Hospital de Bosa

Global Infrastructure Partners

MercadoPago

BlackRock Colombia Infraestructura

World Bank

Nubank

Concesionaria Alternativas Viales

Rappi

Scania

Codensa

Inversora Codensa

Enel X Colombia

Bancolombia

Global 66

Aflore

PPRO

Sabadell Bank

Grupo Coomeva

Work highlights

  • Advised Fondo Nacional de Garantías (FNG) on implementing key financial products for the Colombian market, notably, the Large Enterprise Guarantee (designed to guarantee loans granted to large enterprises), and new guaranteed bonds for securing bond offerings.
  • Advising Promotora Hospital de Bosa (and Grupo Ortiz and Incot, as sponsors), on a $76m loan granted by Bancolombia and Itau; Hospital de Bosa is the first health infrastructure project to be developed in Colombia under a PPP scheme.
  • Advised Global Infrastructure Partners as initial lender in a $110m mezzanine loan granted to the main shareholder of the concessionaire of Puerto Antioquia for  development of what will be the first multipurpose port in the Urabá region.

Mendoza Abogados

Sharply focused on sophisticated finance deals with complex underlying collateral structures, Mendoza Abogados has proved highly capable in corporate and project finance mandates -frequently involving syndicated credit facilities- for a range of blue-chip clients, both lenders and borrowers.  A 'magnificent lawyer', founding partner Mateo Mendoza (corporate and project finance, derivatives, capital markets) has sought to consolidate the young boutique's market arrival with an impressive series of hires during the course of 2020. This saw the arrival of associates Mariana Gutíerrez Ruiz (cross border financings, project finance), and Cristina Burns (project finance, regulatory matters, fintech), from Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas in May and August, respectively; and that of senior associates María Beatriz Segura (cross-border financings and capital markets) from Sidley Austin LLP in July and finally Clara Robledo-Sánchez (acquisition, corporate and project finance, capital markets) from Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría in January 2021. Clients laud the 'dedication, knowledge and capacity, and flexibility' of the now 10-strong team and, moreover, talk of an 'office that represents an alternative for clients', with 'a modern and out-of-the-box approach to new challenges in the Colombian market' and which stands 'at the forefront of technological advances and the way to apply them to the banking and financial sector'. Recent matters include acting as counsel to Bodytech on a COP$280bn working capital loan (partially secured by the Fondo Nacional de Garantias), from Bancolombia, Banco Davivienda and Itaú Corpbanca Colombia; advising Recaudo Bogotá on a $100m loan from the IFC and other creditors for the purpose of refinancing its debt; and assisting five creditor banks, with the structuring and financing of a COP$31bn syndicated credit for Fiduciaria Bancolombia.

Practice head(s):

Mateo Mendoza

Testimonials

Mendoza advised the FDN as a subordinate lender under the liquidity line. They played a key role of accompaniment, providing advice that went far beyond what is traditionally expected. The dedication, knowledge and capacity, and flexibility of the team to understand the different positions of the other parties was decisive throughout the transaction.

The attitude of the people at Mendoza Abogados is extraordinary. The dedication and enthusiasm -at all times- of Mateo Mendoza, Clara Robledo, Mariana Gutierrez, Luis Tolosa and Maria Eljach makes working with them extremely pleasant, regardless of the complexity of a transaction.

The attitude of the people at Mendoza Abogados is very collaborative. They go the extra mile at all times.

It is a new law office that represents an alternative for clients. It is focused on financial issues.

Mateo Mendoza and Clara Robledo are very good lawyers with a lot of experience in financial matters. In turn, it has a group of associates who are also closely focused on financial issues.’

A modern and out-of-the-box approach to new challenges in the Colombian market. Mateo Mendoza is a magnificent lawyer, able to think ahead of potential issues and think out of the box on an array of solutions.

The principal team members had comprehensive knowledge of all legal matters affecting the transaction, requiring less reliance on specialised departments.

Mendoza is a firm that has become very competitive in the area of ​​banking & finance. Our experience with Mendoza has been good, we recognise the talent of its associates, but especially its leader Mateo Mendoza.’

In our company we always had contact with Mateo Mendoza, the leader of the firm, and also with associates Daniel Taboada and Maria Elach, all of them very helpful and committed. I only have the best comments about them, their work was always impeccable.

Mendoza is a firm that is at the forefront of technological advances and the way to apply them to the banking and financial sector.

Mateo Mendoza and his team are an extraordinary firm. Their arrival on the market is relatively new, but they have great experience and expertise, which distinguishes them, makes them stand out, and above all, gives total peace of mind and comfort to their customers.’

They are very practical, proactive, efficient and close.

When engaging with a boutique firm like Mendoza, you are more likely to deal directly with the person or team leading your deal. In Mendoza you are guaranteed to receive senior attention. By contrast, when engaging with a large domestic firm, you may only engage with a partner occasionally.’

Mateo Mendoza is very knowledgeable, professional and show deep understanding of the 4G space and its issues, both from a commercial and legal standpoint.’

The ability to provide the highest-quality experience on an individual basis.

Clara Robledo is excellent. In addition to being technically very good and capable of handling complex transactions quite easily, she has a very commercial approach.’

It is a very young and dynamic law firm, that is very proactive and creative in its approach.’

Mateo has a commercial approach and is very pro-deal.’

Clara is a priceless asset.

María Beatriz is committed, responsible and responsive.’

People are very kind, young, calm and knowledgeable. Billing is very innovative, billing for hours is not the default billing rule.’

Key clients

Celsia

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Inversiones en Recreación Deporte y Salud (Bodytech)

Fiduciaria Bancolombia

Banco Davivienda

Cubico Sustainable Investments

Findeter

Caoba Inversiones

Recaudo Bogotá

Work highlights

  • Advised Celsia, Cubico Sustainable Investments and Caoba on a $340m multi-tranche. multi-currency syndicated credit facility with Scotiabank and Export Canada Development.
  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, as liquidity lender, in one of the first refinancings of a 4G toll road project in Colombia, a $510m transaction involving international lenders and the negotiation of all intercreditor issues governed by New York law.
  • Advised Chilean company Inversiones Alsacia and its subsidiaries on a $110m transaction that allowed Alsacia to cancel severance payments and commitments from suppliers and creditors, including bondholders from New York.

Posse, Herrera & Ruiz

Smaller than that of its counterparts, Posse Herrera Ruiz‘s eight-strong banking and finance team is nevertheless ‘tight-knit, diverse and well-integrated’, advises on the full range of finance matters (including asset management, commercial loans, restructuring and compliance), and receives plaudits for its service, knowledge and delivery. ‘Efficient practice head Mariana Posse covers the full spectrum of finance matters (including capital markets and regulatory matters), her experience ensuring she can ‘unlock any negotiation within the framework of a financing or operation of any kind’. Recent headline mandates for the practice include advising Qatar Airways (as lender) on a $2.4bn DIP loan to LatAm Airlines and advising Northland Power on the $364.4m refinancing of its EBSa power plant, the latter led by energy practice head Alvaro José Rodríguez, who brings additional partner-level involvement in the energy segment. Key support comes from practice director Lina Lineros; an emergent figure, very highly regarded by clients, she recently led advice to Phoenix Tower International on the amendment of a $60m credit contract with the Bank of Nova Scotia, and acted as co-counsel to Codere on its partial debt refinancing via a €250m notes issue. Further, experienced support comes from associates Jesús Albarrán (who is Mexico qualified), Alejandro González (a November 2019 hire formerly in-house at Banco de Occidente), and Mauricio Nieto (who returned to the firm in mid-2020 after a year at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton‘s New York office). Since publication, the team has been strengthened with the hire of Natalia Escobar -as a partner- with effect from January 2022; she returns to the firm after a decade in the finance and insurance sectors, most notably some five years at the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia; however, Lineros has since left the firm -in late January- to become a partner at Muñoz Aya Legal.

Practice head(s):

Mariana Posse

Testimonials

The experience of the partners and the commitment of the team.

Its customer service and attention to detail make it unique. One of the strengths is your willingness to help us, even beyond what has been requested.

The best qualities are their values, they are professionals and integral people who generate trust in their clients, focused on giving the best to the client. Your experience, knowledge and credentials are taken for granted.

The most innovative thing about the team is that any lawyer can receive the consultation, work on it and resolve it.

The team our company interacts with is interdisciplinary and complementary. Which makes the practice efficient and effective. This way of interacting allows us to identify the skills of the team. In our case, working with Lina Lineros, associate, has been a plus, she interacts with the client directly, presents solutions to problems, has the best disposition for holding meetings and support the client before the supervisory bodies. The same situation is observed with Jaime Herrera, partner of the firm.

The use of technology is one of the firm’s strengths, it allows you to compare the documents and see the different versions, with the comments made. This, together with the collaboration of the team of lawyers who interact, from the partner to the junior lawyer, complement each other.

It is a team that for me is the best on the market. They are thorough and judicious in their analysis.

Lina Lineros undoubtedly stands out not only among her team but also among the lawyers in the sector of other firms for her great knowledge.

Knowledge, experience, willingness to meet customer requirements and professionalism characterize the PHR team, a highly-qualified, high performance team.

One of the strongest points of the PHR banking team is its extensive knowledge and punctuality in the delivery of the proposed documents. So yes, they do compare favourably with teams from other firms.

Mariana Posse is a very efficient leader, with extensive knowledge of her practice area and with ease in unlocking any negotiation within the framework of a financing or operation of any kind.

Alejandro González is a very efficient associate, very attentive to detail, with extensive financial knowledge and a willingness to attend to the requests of his clients. He is a lawyer with a very promising future in financial law.

One of the most important novelties consists of the technological tools used in its physical facilities, which greatly facilitate the work.

In addition, the PHR team is made up of associates and partners who make up a tight-knit, diverse and well-integrated team.

Key clients

QA Investments (Qatar Airways)

SGS Colombia Holdings

Pacu

Northland Power Colombia Distribution

Codere

Autovias

Bancolombia

Wheaton Precious Metals

Phoenix Tower International

Grupo Carlyle

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Oriflame

Matrix Grupo Empresarial

Credicorp Limited

Sura Asset Management

Aon

Willis North America

Yara

Triple Flag Mining Finance Bermuda

Export Development Canada

Work highlights

  • Counsel to QA Investments (Qatar Airways) as lenders in the super-priority debtor-in-possession loan to Latam Airlines, as part of its recovery program under the Chapter 11 case filed before the courts of New York.
  • Counsel to SGS Colombia Holding on its $850m refinancing of Sutherland Global Services.
  • Counsel to Unión Vial Río Pamplonita and its sponsors Sacyr Concesiones Colombia and Sacyr Concesiones Participadas I, on the execution and first disbursement of two loans from Chinese, French, German, Spanish, UAE, US and Colombian lenders, for the financing of the Pamplona-Cúcuta road project.

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero

The Bogotá outpost of the global firm, CMS Rodríguez-Azuero has long maintained a certain prominence in the banking and finance sector due to senior partner Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero‘s sector expertise -particularly in regulatory matters- in a practice that covers bank contracts, securities and capital markets (and associated contentious matters), insurance, and fiduciary law and trusts products. Practice co-head Daniel Rodríguez focuses on banking, finance, insolvency, restructuring/liquidation, compliance and corporate criminal law, as well as leading the office’s public procurement area; he has considerable experience advising all parties -borrowers, lenders and intermediaries- on infrastructure transactions and project finance matters. Recent work for the 10-strong practice includes advising Banco de Chile on a short-term loan; French multilateral Agence Francaise de Development on various matters including a €120m budgetary loan to the Special, Industrial and Harbour District of Barraanquilla; and ongoing assistance to independent commodities trading house, Gunvor Group regarding a €210m advance payment agreement. Senior associate María Lucía Amador handles banking and finance, public contracting, infrastructure and compliance matters in a broad practice with a strong element of project and structured finance, as well as cross-border lending, security-package design and debt restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero; Daniel Rodríguez

Testimonials

CMS Rodriguez-Azuero, has extensive experience in this practice and has managed to stand out. This is noticeable when they are asked to undertake mandates in the sector, as they manage to find the perfect balance between legal issues and the way to apply them in certain circumstances.

Their availability and ability to receive feedback on the work and incorporate what is necessary after several interactions, without this representing additional costs, is impressive.

I really liked that for the particular matters that we reviewed there was a fixed rate in place; this facilitated planning issues for the legal departments of the companies.

Key clients

Banco Santander

Departamento Administrativo Defensoría del Espacio Público del Distrito de Bogotá (DADEP)

Agence Francaise de Development

Gunvor Group

Banchile Administradora General de Fondos

Banco de Chile

Work highlights

  • Advised Agence Francaise de Development on the budgetary loan granted to the Republic of Colombia for the financing of the 2018-2022 National Development Plan, for a maximum aggregate amount of €210m.
  • Advised Banchile, as a creditor, on the financing of the land acquisition for the construction of a real estate project in Medellín.
  • Advised the DADEP on the interpretation of the debt capacity requirement of a public tender, the purpose of which was to grant the concession for the design, fabrication, allotment, installation, upgrade, maintenance and operation of Bogotá’s urban furniture.

Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados

Market leading infrastructure and projects firm Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados is a constant presence in the project-finance segment of the banking and finance sector, where it acts for a range of state entities, private consortia and local and international banks and finance entities. Co-founder and firm managing partner Gabriel Taboada can draw on significant public sector experience in banking and finance matters, having previously served as director general of the Securities Superintendency, of the Ministry of Finance's economic regulation unit, and of the Banking Superintendency. In addition, senior partner, Gustavo Osorio, also a former counsel at the economic regulation unit of the finance ministry, has 30 years' practice and considerable experience in the structuring of PPPs. It is, however, the pairing of younger partner Álvaro Gasca and senior associate Sebastián Duque that has been most active in the finance segment of late. 'Up-to-date, expert and agile', their recent work includes advising Empresa Ferréa Regional on both a $180m syndicated loan from Itaú Corpbanca, FDN and Bancolombia (for the development of the Transmilenio Soacha project), and on the structuring of a $475m securities program to finance the construction of the Regiotram de Occidente project; as well as acting as counsel to the FDN on the structuring of $428m financing of the 550Km, 5G La Dorada-Chiriguaná railway project.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Taboada; Álvaro Gasca; Gustavo Osorio

Testimonials

The team is very committed to the transaction – they make it their own and that is positive.

Álvaro Gasca and Sebastián Duque were always at our disposal and ready to look for alternatives; our former firm did not do it badly, but I felt much more commitment from Durán & Osorio; integrating with the client is something fundamental and positive for them.

Up-to-date, expert and agile: Alvaro Gasca and Sebastian Duque.

Agility and simplicity in dealing with the client.

They are a unique team of lawyers. They are very comprehensive in all aspects of their advice to us. Compared with other legal advisors, they provide excellent service, where the client is always well cared for and satisfied with the tasks entrusted to and undertaken by the D&O firm.

‘Highlighted: the human quality of its staff; the integral nature of the consultancy (they have great knowledge on all the aspects of projects); the speed of attention and response; and personal attention from a partner of the firm and his team.’

‘The humane treatment, personal contact and quick assistance in all matters of legal advice. Collaboration on the client’s own tasks. Understanding the public function and its dynamics. Highly specialised in infrastructure projects.’

They are, without a doubt, the best project law firm in the country and that, in turn, has given them access to the most challenging financings in Colombia. They are creative, resourceful, and the partners are very attentive to always being available to their clients.

Álvaro Gasca: I no longer know if he is a “rising star” but, fundamentally, he is one of the best lawyers in this sector in the country. All the qualities enumerated above are fully applicable to him. His team, made up of Sebastián Duque and Daniela Mejía, make them a “dream team” with few parallels in the sector. His way of communicating through social networks is a novelty to highlight.

Key clients

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Empresa Férrea Regional

Empresa Metro de Bogotá

Instituto de Infraestructura y Concesiones de Cundinamarca

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional and Empresa Metro de Bogotá on the structuring of the issuance of $725m in electronic promissory notes for the financing of Bogotá’s First Metro Line; as well as the follow up legal advisory on the credit agreements between Empresa Metro de Bogotá and the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, for a total amount of $1.68bn destined to the same project.
  • Advising Empresa Férrea Regional on the structuring and performance of a $420m securities program issuance for the financing of Regiotram de Occidente project.
  • Advising the Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional ion the structuring of the $475m financing operation for the La Dorada–Chiriguana Railway project.

Mosquera Abogados, S.A.S.

Banking and finance is the core practice at the 11-strong Mosquera Abogados, S.A.S., which, celebrating its 70th anniversary, has built a reputation for technical solvency, practical knowledge, strategic vision and client service. Practice head Juan Pablo Mosquera (banking, finance and capital markets) handles both private and public sector clients on matters including international bond offerings, syndicated financing, multilateral financing, Export-Credit Agency financing, factoring and structured finance transactions and their authorisation. A senior industry figure, Cristian Mosquera is a former Superintendente Financiero and head of public credit at the national Treasury with particular strength in regulatory matters as well as transactional banking and finance in general. A capable second line at the firm comprises Guillermo Andrés Gómez (appointed junior partner in 2019), whose practice includes finance, litigation and transactional matters (he also has niche expertise in e-commerce and payment systems); and senior associate Nathalie Medina (corporate tax / financings). Headline mandates include representing telecoms provider Tigo Une in the negotiation of $1bn's-worth of banking guarantees for the purposes of securing its 5G spectrum award, as well as acting as local counsel on the group's renegotiation of its existing $350m syndicated financing. Other matters include debt refinancings, capital markets matters and multilateral loans.

Practice head(s):

Juan Pablo Mosquera

Key clients

MUFJ Bank (formerly: Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi)

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

  • Represented telecoms provider Tigo in the negotiation of $1bn’s-worth of banking guarantees -with the likes of BTG Pactual, SegurExpo, Bank of Nova Scotia, Scotia Bank and BBVA- for the purposes of secruing its 5G spectrum award.
  • Advised MUFG bank on a $125m bilateral commercial loan to Bancolombia; and also on a loan to Japanese-multinational Komatsu for its Colombian operations.

Ustáriz & Abogados Estudio Jurídico

Lauded for its knowledge of the sector, its participants, products and services, Ustáriz & Abogados Estudio Jurídico is an established boutique with a close -although not exclusive- focus on banking, finance and insurance-related matters. Acting primarily for a range of banks, finance and credit agencies, insurance companies and state entities, it stands out for its regulatory know-how and extensive experience of banking responsibility and fraud, as well as its knowledge of blockchain and fintech matters. Clients also highlight both its use of technology and reputation for training on banking and finance issues. Recent matters include counselling a financial institution on data and electronic fraud in relation to financial operations; acting as special legal counsel in various multi-hundred-million-dollar finance agreements, legal opinions on structuring matters and capital markets work (particularly in relation to ISDA Master Agreements). Partners Luis Humberto Ustáriz ('conceptual clarity and the ability to structure novel solutions to problems') and Jose Federico Ustáriz ('permanent availability' and 'high quality deliverables') co-lead an eight strong team boosted by the September 2020 hire of Adriana Rivera, who, with a decade's relevant experience both in house (Credicorp Capital, Banco Mundo Mujer Alianza Fiduciaria) and in the public sector (Superintendencia Financiera), arrives in private practice as head of the firm's capital markets practice. Effectively a senior counsel at the firm, Pablo Valencia can draw on over 30 years' experience (he too has been in house at various financial institutions including Banco de Colombia -now Bancolombia-, Fiduciaria Alianza and the Superintendencia Financiera). Completing the senior team Manuel Antonio García Cuello is an industrial engineer specialised in financial institutions, risk analysis and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Luis Humberto Ustáriz; José Federico Ustáriz

Testimonials

Attention to detail, focus on delivering customer service of the highest standards, and conceptual clarity. It is undoubtedly at the level of, and is comparable with, the main law firms in the country.

Luis Humberto Ustáriz: conceptual clarity and the ability to structure novel solutions to problems.’

Jose Federico Ustáriz: his permanent availability to meet the client’s needs and the high quality of the deliverables.’

The firm is always seeking to innovate, especially in the implementation of technologies for the provision of legal services through tools that simplify client processes.’

There is no firm in Colombia that uses artificial intelligence for the benefit of the client as Ustáriz Ábogados does.’

A boutique practice highly specialised in banking and international structures / trade issues. It has nothing to envy the largest firms in the region. Luis Humberto Ustáriz’s legal services are of exceptional quality and provided with a high degree of professionalism. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is committed to meeting the deadlines to which it has agreed.

They have a great academic preparation and know the rules that regulate the Colombian financial sector very well. Attention to the matters placed under their consideration are dealt with opportunely and with quality. There is always permanent collaboration from the firm.

Key clients

Fondo Nacional de Garantías

Holland & Knight

The local office of Holland & Knight fields an eight-strong, multidisciplinary team with experience across the banking and brokerage arena. Executive partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón needs little introduction: a 30-year veteran of corporate transactional work, financings and project finance (and more recently, arbitration), among other areas of expertise, he co-leads the team with fellow corporate partner Lucas Saffon-López; the pair combined recently to lead advice to the FDN and Banco Davivienda on their $10.9m financing to the Bosques de los Llanos 1 solar power project. Promoted to partner in August 2021, key practitioner Juliana Saa focuses on financial law, capital markets, bank investment, and corporate and commercial law, and is a constant presence in the firm’s financing teams. However, former fellow senior counsel Carolina Arciniegas left the firm in June 2020 to establish her own, eponymous boutique. Nevertheless, the firm can also call on its network – particularly the Miami office – with financial-services specialist Norberto Quintana frequently involved in mandates with a Colombian aspect. Since publication, the practice has been further strengthened with the February 2022 hire of former Garrigues‘ counsel, Camilo Gantiva, as a partner and head of the office’s financial-services regulation and capital markets’ practices.

Practice head(s):

Enrique Gómez Pinzon; Lucas Saffon-López

Key clients

MUFG Bank

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Banco Davivienda

Work highlights

  • Advisor under Colombian law to MUFG Bank, as as coordinating lead arranger, administrative agent, offshore collateral agent and hedge provider, on its $163.5m financing for the La Virginia-Nueva Esperanza transmission line project, the first project financing of a transmission line in Colombia involving foreign banks.
  • Advisor to Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional and Banco Davivienda as co-lenders in a COP$44.7bn financing for the 19.9MW  Bosques de los Llanos 1 solar project, the first non-conventional renewable energy project implemented with a project finance structure in Colombia .
  • Advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), as lender in the approval process for the acquisition of Concesion Costera Cartagena-Barranquilla, the entity that oversees the toll road project connecting Cartagena and Barranquilla in the northern Caribbean coastal region of Colombia, by ISA Inversiones Costera Chile.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.

While it remains small, the finance practice at Lloreda Camacho & Co. has established a reputation not just for traditional finance transactions, but also for the incorporation of new entities before the Superintendence of Finance and, particularly, the development of new products within the financial sector. Moreover, the team has notable experience in fintech matters, advising various crowd factoring, crowdfunding and remittance platforms, and was the first Colombian firm to produce a fintech regulatory guide. Multifaceted veteran Santiago Gutiérrez, whose extensive trajectory includes senior in-house positions in financial institutions, currently heads the finance team (along with the firm's corporate and M&A practice), which recently advised private banking group EFG Capital International in relation to the impact of its corporate restructure on its regulatory standing in Colombia; and City National Bank on a $24m cross-border financing deal with CSP de Colombia in a deal made more complex by the entry of one of the guarantors into a reorganisation process. Following the departure of specialist senior associate Juan David Marin for the Secretariat of Economic Development in March 2020, key support comes from senior Carlos Carvajal (who directs the Government contracting, infrastructure and real estate practices) and finance associate Stefania Assmus Arango.

Practice head(s):

Santiago Gutiérrez; Carlos Carvajal

Testimonials

Great financial services firm that provides practical advice.

Fixed fees in various cases so we can better anticipate costs.

Key clients

American Express

EFG Capital International

Bulltick Capital Markets

Editora El Comercio

City National Bank

Goodyear

Mesfix

Speedcast International

Refinitive

Palisades Acquisition XIX Colombia

Work highlights

  • Advised multinational communications satellite technology company Speedcast International on a complex cross-border financing deal with a bankign syndicate led by Credit Suisse; specifically undertaking the structuring (in Colombia) of the senior debtor-in-possession term loan credit agreement, given that one of the parent companies entered into Chapter 11 , including the legal structure of the Colombian package of security documents.
  • Advised Editora El Comercio, the owner of online payment platform Pago Efectivo that allows online shoppers to pay through online banking or in cash at over 40,000 payment centers in Peru, on the possibiliites of launching the service in Colombia, including advice on applicable regulations to gateway payments as well as potential alternatives for undertaking such business in Colombia.
  • Advised private debt manager Deerpath Capital on a cross-border financing deal in which Decowraps Colombia is one of the guarantors; specifically the drafteing and negotiation of the applicable Colombian security documents executed by the Colombian guarantors.

Muñoz Aya Legal

With a decade in the market developing an impressive client roster, six-strong finance boutique Muñoz Aya Legal has been well-placed to service clients in a Colombian finance market that has become increasingly willing to use smaller specialist firms in recent years. Nevertheless, its capabilities have come to the attention of competitors as well as clients, leading to significant personnel changes in 2020, with the loss of lawyers to Brigard Urrutia, CMS Rodríguez-Azuero  and Itaú CorpBanca, but also the arrival of Gabriela Villamizar and Alejandra Restrepo (from Kennedys, and Herrera Abogados, respectively) in September, and capital markets-specialised senior associate Laura Villarreal, from Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA), in November; clients are already highlighting the latter pair for their ‘understanding of the client and dedication to service’. Having spent time in both public sector (Ministerio de Hacienda y Credito) and in-house roles (Banco Davivienda, Citibank), as well as private practice over the course of two decades, founding partner Edgar Muñoz‘s ‘years of experience provide great added-value to his advisory services‘. ‘Always good natured and quick to respond‘, his practice ranges across financial regulation, local and international credit agreements, corporate law, collective investment vehicles and private equity funds, local and international issuances, and treasury operations, among other matters. Recent mandates include advising Banco Credifinanciera in negotiations to acquire a portfolio of payroll loans from fintech loans company, Alpha Capital. Since publication, the team has been further strengthened with the notable hire of Lina Lineros -formerly practice director at Posse Herrera Ruiz- as a partner, effective as of late January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Edgar Muñoz

Testimonials

Muñoz Aya Legal is a legal services office characterised by its close and individual relationship with its clients. Their extensive knowledge of the industry and their successful approach to their problems, through clear, agile responses and direct creation from their partners, makes them a constant choice for our company.

The firm’s attorneys are competent and experienced in financial services, capital markets, and corporate law. Edgar Muñoz’s years of experience provide great added value to his advisory services. Its well-trained, young and diverse team provides a differential way of providing its services by privileging creative and customer-oriented solutions.

Laura Villareal and Alejandra Restrepo stand out for their understanding of the client and dedication to service.

His team adapted very well to the challenges introduced by the pandemic, establishing close contact with his clients through digital tools that allowed not only to maintain but also to increase the presence and quality of his services. The billing rightly took into consideration the ease of generating work team meetings, reducing any cost associated with travel and other accessories. The reduction in costs benefited our commercial relationship. The law firm responds well to the challenges and digitization of services, even better than its comparable competition.

Working with the Muñoz Aya team is like working with internal lawyers, they are always available, they have taken the time to study us and know our company and sector very well, for which we have a very coordinated work with them.

They have extensive knowledge of finance and banking and their concepts and support always generate confidence and peace of mind.

The team has pro-business lawyers and their concepts are very clear and practical.

The lawyers have extensive knowledge of our issues, they are specialists in the financial and banking area and they manage to transmit this knowledge in a practical and simple way for the client. They have a capacity for synthesis without neglecting the most relevant aspects of their analysis.

The best thing about this team is the proximity to the client, which makes the response times very adequate for our needs. As I mentioned before, the best thing about working with Muñoz Aya is the closeness and availability that they have with the client, that is a great difference with other firms. A very personalised and specialised attention.

Edgar Muñoz is a very good lawyer, with solid knowledge and experience in financial and banking matters. He is always good-natured and responds quickly.

Key clients

Citibank Colombia

Cititrust Colombia

Citivalores Colombia

Colfondo – AFP Pensiones y Cesantías

Banco Davivienda

Banco Credifinanciera

BNP Paribas Colombia

Symbiotics UK

Corredores Davivienda

Seguros Bolívar

Avista Colombia

Credivalores – Crediservicios

CrediCorp Capital Colombia

AdCap Colombia

BTG Pactual

Itaú CorpBanca Colombia

Itaú Comisionista de Bolsa Colombia

Itaú Corredor de Seguros

Itaú Asset Management Colombia

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Banco Davivienda, as lender, on the restructuring of two syndicated loan agreements entered into with Gmovil and Este Es Mi Bus, operators of  Bogotá’s public transportation system, Transmilenio; involving preparation of the required documentation, review of agreements and strategical legal advisory regarding the negotiation of the conditions of the contracts.
  • Advised Lat Am-focused Luxembour fund Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Bonds, as lender; on a $15.5m loan to Finsocial; including the review and negotiation of other relevant documents such as the trust agreement to secure the loan.
  • We advised BNP Paribas in financial derivatives (ISDA and local Master Agreement) including the interpretation and application of the Credit Support Annex.

Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados

With over 25 years in the market, the mid-sized Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados has experience across a broad range of banking issues, including public and private financings, debt capital markets and regulatory matters, along with a growing engagement in fintech-related matters, from regulation to cryptocurrency to digital platforms. The eight strong group is led by two senior partners; Felipe Trías, whose over 30-year track record includes senior in-house roles in major Colombian private financial institutions; and firm founding partner Diego Muñoz Tamayo, whose broad practice -encompassing banking and finance- has allowed the firm to develop advisory relations with its clients that extend beyond finance transactions. The team, 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 and related sectors, with clients including finance software and tech-service developers. It is also noted for its dispute resolution capabilities and ongoing matters include both partners' counsel to Scotiabank Colpatria (as a creditor of EPM), regarding the troubled Hidroituango project. Key support comes from experienced associates Amparo Montes and Alonso de Reyes; however, former senior associate Fernando Bermudez moved in-house at fintech Kushki.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Trias; Diego Muñoz Tamayo

Key clients

Citadel Equity Ireland (through Dechert)

Cuatrecasas

Scotiabank

Kushki

Codere

Work highlights

  • Advised Latin American digital payment platform Kushki in relation to foreign debt agreements, tax issues and transactional risk analysis, as well as assisting Kushki Colombia on the legal framework for cryptocurrencies.
  • Advised Scotiabank Colpatria on analysis of the effects that the presentation of an extrajudicial conciliation request by the General Manager of EPM (with the support of the Mayor of Medellín) against the constructors, designers and auditors of the Hidroituango Proyect, may have for EPM.
  • Counsel to gaming company Codere (since 2016), particularly in relation to the issue of secured notes and the company’s participation in a super-senior revolving credit facility, which was guaranteed by the parent company and some of its other operating subsidiaries and secured by pledges on certain subsidiary shares.

Parra Rodríguez Abogados

Celebrating 30 years in the market, Parra Rodríguez Abogados is a mid-sized firm with a broad service offering. In the finance sector it handles local and international credit transactions; secured finance, capital markets, project structuring with local and international financing; credit, leasing, insurance and mortgage agreements and guarantees; and restructuring and debt renegotiation. It also handles fintech matters, including peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, but is undoubtedly best known, however, for its market-leading aircraft finance practice. The practice is led by co-founding partner Bernardo Rodríguez Ossa (particularly structured finance, asset-backed financing and aviation finance) with key support coming from experienced senior associate and practice director Cesar Barajas Ruiz, who has also had involvement in multilateral asset-based financing and cross-border transactions across a range of sectors. Additionally, the seven-strong team has been boosted by the hire of senior market figure Augusto Figueroa Sierra, whose 35-year career includes major operations such as acting as Colombian co-counsel on the initial $655m Medellín metro financing; he arrives from his own firm; (Rodrigo Galarza is also a significant external counsel of the practice). Recent mandates include advice to Citibank, as lender, on a $105m revolving credit facility to Avianca; on the capital markets front, counsel to the underwriters on bond issues of $750m and $800m by Corporación Andina de Fomento; and assistance to Nordica Aviation Capital and Elix Aviation Capital, as lessors and creditors, in Easyfly's bankruptcy proceedings under Colombian law.

Practice head(s):

Bernardo Rodríguez

Key clients

Avolon

China Development Bank

Citibank

Elix Aviation Capital

Nitro Group Corporation

Citigroup Global Markets

Barclays Bank

HSBC Securities

JP Morgan Securities

Daiwa Capital markets America

Goldman Sachs Intenational

Nomura International

KGAL

Nordic Aviation Capital

Merx Aviation

Jackson Square Aviation

Goshawk

United Airlines

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Citibank, as lender, on a $105m revolving credit facility to Avianca involving numerous lenders and moveable assets located in differnt jurisdictions.
  • Local counsel to Avolon Aerospace Leasing in the negotiation and release of certan debt agreements under a $50m Export Credit Agency structured financing
  • Adviser to the underwriters -Citigroup Global Markets, Daiwa Capital Markets America, Goldman Sachs International and Nomura International- on a $750m bond issuance by Corporación Andina de Fomento.

Advocat

Founded in 2015, Advocat is a young firm with a broad service offering and comprised of young partners with experience at many of the market's major firms. The small but growing finance practice is led by Nicolás Fernández de Soto and has considerable experience in domestic and cross-border lending -be it as deal, lender or borrower counsel- as well as particular niche expertise in fintech matters, payment-service providers and advising non-licensed lenders on commercial and consumer loans and their compliance with financial regulations. Fernández de Soto -whose practice also takes in capital markets, infrastructure and project PPPs and investment- can draw on experience as both regional legal counsel for Incofin Investment Management, and as legal counsel to a downstream energy operator Vatia. Recent matters include acting as deal and borrower counsel in two non-disclosed cross-border lending facilities involving multiple currencies and jurisdictions (aggregate value $225m), as well as advising majority-state-owned Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) on regulatory matters. However, while she has already been replaced, the firm lost talented junior Nathalia Cardoso to Baker McKenzie S.A.S. in February 2021.

Testimonials

Advocat brings together all the legal advice that a company may need in one place, not only on Colombian regulatory issues but also its analytic ability, which crosses borders. We have used its services in the structuring of large international financial operations where, due to Advocat, we have been able to relate perfectly with our international counterparts. The firm has a unique style, uncomplicated, easy to access and above all very reliable. They always go one step beyond the requested one and their understanding of financial regulatory matters in Colombia is very deep. First of all it is a young and very dynamic group. Studious and always ready to go the extra mile. It has very competitive prices with the same or better quality than other well-known kaw firms in Colombia.

Advocat has a broad service offering and specialised lawyers in each area that requires legal advice and support. They’re efficient people who are at the forefront of legal aspects in the sector, who generate ideas, are proactive and review possible scenarios where future contingencies may exist.

Experienced, they’re always a step ahead in terms of processes, legislation, technology and brand management, etc. Some of the lawyers even have international experience and when the case requires it, alliances are made with other firms of equal prestige.

I highlight Andres Gullien and his associates.

Key clients

Finesa

Financiación Amiga

Suramerica Comercial (Dollarcity)

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

PPro Colombia

Paygo

Inverlink

Andino Capital Partners

Colfinanzas

Apalanca

Julia-RD

Vatia

Forsa

Genera Sueños

Insights Investments

Labor Financiera

Tu Respaldo Seguro

Originadora de Seguros

Finesa Seguros

Magna Kapital

MortgageHippo

Movile

Muncher

RMI International

Telcolombia

Work highlights

  • Advised Inverlink Inversiones Alternativas on an asset backed facility to Fideicomiso Portafolios ABF for the acquisitoin of non-performing loans, involving structuring of the transaction, funding of the lender, and the collateral and payment source mecahanism.
  • Acted as Colombian counsel to Financiación Amiga (UNI2 Microcredito) in the negotiation of credit facilities with impact-finance investment funds from the USA, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
  • Assisted Finesa with the drafting and structuring of certain consumer loan origination documents, including terms and conditions of loans, promissory notes, collateral documents and debtor’s economic rights assignments as repayment source.

Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos

A mid-sized firm with a broad service-offering, Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos probably remains best known for its leading competition practice. Nevertheless, the firm houses a small but capable banking and finance practice led by Juan Pablo González, a former vice-president of the Bogotá stock exchange with approaching 30 years’ experience in the sector. Its portfolio of services includes the incorporation of financial entities, representation before relevant financial regulators, public offerings, structured credit agreements, and project finance, among other matters. The recent caseload, however, has been dominated by advisory on the renegotiation and/or amendment of financing and debt restructuring agreements impacted by the pandemic, along with advising creditors in bankruptcy and reorganisation processes. Key support comes from associate practice director Verónica Arango Lux and fellow associate Nicolás Arocha Roldán. However, Laura Salazar Alvarez left for Cuatrecasas in June 2021. Since publication, Arango has been raised to the partnership - effective January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Juan Pablo González

Warmly endorsed by clients, micro-boutique Floréz & Asociados is characterised as providing 'personalised advice', 'technical excellence' and as having 'a broad vision of the business that allows reaching optimal solutions'. Advising primarily state, financial, and multinational entities, the firm offers specialised services in financial, securities and insurance law, as well as regarding fintech, mobile banking, e-commerce and infrastructure. A finance partner at Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos  until 2015, founding partner Andrés Floréz' public-sector trajectory to some degree accounts for his strength in private practice and includes positions such as legal head and markets managing director of the Bogotá stock exchange; superintendent delegate for issuers at the Securities Superintendency; director general of financial regulation at the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and director/CEO of Colombia's FDIC-equivalent, the Fondo de Garantías de Instituciones Financieras. The firm's workload is correspondingly diverse, ranging from the design of new financial products or creation of investment funds, to financial and regulatory advice in general, M&A, financings, infrastructure project restructuring and financial dispute resolution. Recent matters include legal advice to Multibank (currently known as Latam Credit Colombia) in the process of authorisation of the assignment of assets, liabilities and contracts to Coltefinanciera before the Superintendencia Financiera. Demonstrating 'professionalism and warmth', key support comes from associate Marieann Fraser G who joined the firm shortly after its founding in 2017 and can also draw on in-house experience at Fiduciara Bogotá.

Practice head(s):

Andrés Floréz

Testimonials

Andrés Flórez and his team I consider to be the greatest experts in banking and finance law in Colombia. The knowledge and experience of Andrés Flórez guarantees that the work is of the highest quality.

The direct relationship and collaboration with the client of a boutique firm ensures that the works are impeccable.’

The Flórez & Asociados firm is characterized by personalised advice of its partner Andrés Flórez, who, in addition to technical excellence, has a broad vision of the business that allows reaching optimal solutions.

Partner Andrés Flórez is an expert and a reference in the banking and stock market from whatever perspective. His experience leads him to analyse the different situations or businesses put to his consideration in detail, carrying out an analysis of the different risks and the options to manage them.

The experience, high quality and permanent availability of the team members generate confidence and tranquility when making decisions at the managerial level.

Andrés Flórez is an excellent advisor, his ability to provide answers as soon as possible and propose solutions to the risks that each decision entails, makes him remarkable at a competitive level.

The timely attention to each one of the matters that were entrusted to them. They know perfectly the complexities of our business and they are able to propose and guide decisions focused on our strategy.

They are a group of professionals with high professionalism and a lot of warmth, especially Andrés Flórez and Marieann Fraser G.

They are a dynamic group; It is innovative, not only because of the technological tools they use to keep active now in a virtual environment, but also because of those necessary to control documents, information, and decisions.

The personal provision of the service and the integrity of each of the members of the firm. Likewise, the extensive knowledge they have in their area of ​​expertise makes their work extremely flawless.

The knowledge and commitment that they put into each contracted activity. The partner who in my opinion is very outstanding is Dr Andrés Flórez Villegas.

They have always been at the forefront on technological aspects.

Dr Flórez focuses on understanding the background behind a problem, seeking to understand the business perspective and not just the legal issues. In this way, the legal solutions proposed are always framed in terms of the resolution of the underlying problem. This sets it apart from any other legal practice, especially compared to large firms.

Two things stand out from the practice of Flórez y Asociados. The first is that lawyers are able to cover a diverse range of topics even if they are not specialists, and do so with a lot of legal depth. And secondly, thats Andrés Flórez can be accessed, giving his concept on the subject under analysis.

Andrés Flórez is an excellent professional, interested in deeply understanding the situation that is presented to him, he is always creative in his solutions and thinks outside the box to meet the needs of his client. It is always a pleasure to find solutions with him.

It is a very personalised and timely service that focuses on finding opportunities The service is highly specialised.

Key clients

Asobancaria (Colombian Banks Association)

Global Securities, Comisionista de Bolsa

New Reinsurance Company

Banco Multibank (currently known in Colombia as Latam Credit Colombia)

Bolsa Mercantil de Colombia

Coomeva Medicina Prepagada

Aeropuerto Internacional Matecaña

SBS Seguros Colombia

Compañía de Seguros Bolívar

Consorcio Ejecutor Hatovial and Consorcio Cocan (Infrastructure consortiums)

Forest First Colombia

Work highlights

  • Advised Forest First on the negotiation of a $50m investment agreement with Shell, including the sale of carbon neutral rights to Shell.
  • Successfully represented Seguros Bolivar in a $50m arbitration initiated by Finagro (one of the investors of a private equity fund of which Seguros Bolívar is the main investor) related to the mechanism to return the resources to investors.
  • Advisory to Bolsa Mercantil including the structuring of a financial product and the drafting of two decrees for the consderation of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit that would modify certain articles of 2010’s Decree 2555.

Goh

The Medellín-based Goh (formerly Godoy Hoyos) maintains a small banking and finance practice primarily focused on regulatory, capital markets and project finance matters. The team continues to advise Devimar in the wake of the high-profile financing of the 4G Autopista al Mar 1 project, with clients describing its lawyers as 'very judicious and dedicated to the revision they undertake of the subjects entrusted to them'. Bogotá-based Jaime Moya (who led on the foregoing matter), has experience in the structuring and financing of oil, energy and transport infrastructure projects, investment and disinvestment processes, and capital markets matters. He and increasingly experienced senior associate Steffany Serebrenik are 'highly available to address concerns' and 'always provide very personalised attention to their clients'. Further support comes from fellow senior Natalia Suárez Sánchez; however, José Andrés Rojas left to found ARP Legal and Finance in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Moya

Testimonials

It is a team with professional and expert knowledge in the subjects they work on. They are very judicious and dedicated to the revision they undertake of the subjects entrusted to them and therefore the concepts that they emit are of great utility and support.

They have good response times and the result is always of excellent quality. They are at the level of any top law firm in the world.

The personalised attention of the lawyers is one of the aspects that I highlight the most at this firm. It is, perhaps, one of the things that most differentiates them from other firms. Their concepts are clear and concise, very aimed at seeing the business as a whole and not just the legal part. They are concepts that can be shared with other areas of the company and are easy to understand.

We work mainly with Jaime Moya and Steffany Serebrenik. My comments primarily refer to these two: they always provide a very personalised attention to their clients, there is a very close relationship with both the partner and their team, which allows us to work with them in a very coordinated way. They are highly available to address concerns or accompany us in internal processes that are occasionally required.

It is a young team that has enough experience and knowledge to provide advice on the needs of our company.

They are lawyers who listen to the needs we have and are constantly analysing the issues we raise to propose solutions.

Key clients

Fondo de Capital Privado Armilla Capital

Concesionaria Desarrollo Vial al Mar (Devimar)

Credicorp Capital Colombia

Work highlights

  • Advice to closed, long-term, leveraged fund Armilla Capital on day-to-day operational matters related to its investments in strategic real estate assets, and on regulatory issues (given that PE funds are regulated entities.
  • Advised Devimar on the shareholders agreement, the finance and guarantee agreements with the lenders, and agents and EPC agreement, as well as providing support on the disbursements and general compliance of the financing documents related to the development of the Vial al Mar highway project.
  • Advice to Credicorp Capital’s local finacial entities (a stock-broker and a trust company), regarding compliance and regulatory matters.