Cali in Colombia

Colombia’s third-largest city by population (approximately 2.4m in 2018), Cali is the capital of the Valle del Cauca province and is distinguished from other key business markets by its significant geographical advantages. Namely, it is the country’s only major city with access to the Pacific Coast, which positions it as a key hub for foreign trade. In particular, Valle del Cauca is home to the Buenaventura Port, which accounts for the movement of around 42.4% of Colombia’s non-mining foreign trade; it also houses seven Free Trade Zones. As a result, international trade is a key practice area for many local law firms.

Cali’s legal market has historically been more atomised than that of Medellín. However, the increasing influx of major national players, coupled with a growing prevalence for Cali-headquartered firms to launch Bogotá platforms, has seen Cali become increasingly linked to the wider Colombian legal landscape. That being said, Cali still supports several one-site offices including tax boutiques Franco Murgueitio & Asociados and Santiago Meza Abogados & Asesores; privacy and data protection specialist Seguridad Legal; insurance and dispute resolution focused Hurtado & Gandini; as well as multi-practice players such as Kärner, Botero, Segura & Valdivieso Abogados and Mora Abogados S.A.S.

Former one-site Cali practices that are now split between Cali and Bogotá include Advocat, which has made great strides in the fintech area of late; Ayerbe Abogados; and international trade and transport stalwart Espíndola International Consultants.

National heavyweights with sizeable operations in the city include Brigard Urrutia and OlarteMoure, while Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) maintains a Cali desk in its Bogotá office.


Formerly based solely in Cali, Advocat remains committed to its historical home market, while its move to a Bogotá headquarters some years ago ensures that it continues to expand its national presence. Among its signature practice areas, the group houses a solid banking and finance offering, where Nicolás Fernández De Soto attracts praise for his balance between regulatory and transactional expertise; he recently acted as Colombian counsel to Financiación Amiga (UNI2 Microcredito) on the negotiation and execution of a subordinated credit facility. On the corporate side, María Isabel RodríguezMaría Claudia Armenta and Francisco Cabal jointly oversee a department that is increasingly focused on the retail, e-commerce and web platform spheres; notably, Cali — alongside Bogotá and Medellín — has positioned itself as a national tech hub. Alongside its transactional activity, the firm has made great strides on the regulatory side of late, as evidenced by its continued inclusion as a firm to watch in the TMT table. Regulatory specialist Victor Ayalde who heads the TMT and competition practices, is a name to note in this sphere. Other key practices include labour and employment, where Camilo Bernal is a key contact; and tax, which is led by Juan Guillermo Becerra.


Composed of partners with an excellent professional and personal profile. Very well prepared in the specialty that each one handles. They manage the issues with high commitment and opportunity because they are interested in the results of the client.

It is a highly specialised practice in financial and credit law. It is amazing at vehicle credit, which is not easy to find. They are quick to respond and get to the point to help you find solutions in an appropriate and cost-efficient manner. I love that they don’t talk nonsense but get to the point.

The team is very diligent and responds to the defined commitments on time. In addition, the team is always willing to have extra meetings with the counterparts in order to more easily advance any discussion.

Ayerbe Abogados

Ayerbe Abogados has been a fixture in the Cali market since its establishment in 1941. The firm may have evolved from its original single-site business model — it launched a Bogotá office in 1997 — but its Cali platform remains a core service centre for its broad base of local, national, and multinational clients. Handling the full range of transactional work, the Cali stalwart fields well-staffed teams in corporate and M&A, capital markets, and energy-related work — it also houses significant complementary expertise in tax. Its regulatory and contentious offerings are equally robust, and it possesses extensive experience in administrative law, competition, IP, and dispute resolution. Rodrigo Ayerbe Muñoz and Felipe Ayerbe Muñoz head the firm’s Cali and Bogotá offices respectively; both are noted for corporate transactions and strategic litigation. On the labour and employment side, Andrés Rodrigo Flórez and Rodrigo Ayerbe Arango are recommended. Other key contacts are Claudia Romero Estrada and Valentina Naranjo Tobar, who are also seasoned practitioners.

Brigard Urrutia

Highlighted by satisfied clients as ‘an excellent firm, the best in Colombia’, corporate powerhouse Brigard Urrutia maintains a sizable on-the-ground presence in Cali. Most notably, competition and antitrust head Alejandro Garcia de Brigard is the partner in charge of the Cali practice, which ensures that a significant volume of the firm’s competition and antitrust work is resourced from the office. Aside from its premier competition offering, Cali houses a growing number of other service lines from across the full-service firm, including the most recent addition of corporate and M&A following the arrival of senior associate Jimena Rincon, who joined in April 2022 from Fanalca. Customs and international trade is another pillar of the Cali practice, with of counsel Maria Eugenia Lloreda a key contact for that work. The team is further equipped to provide labour and employment advice, with eight-year associate Rafael Reyes noted in that sphere. The Cali office’s ability to team up with specialists in Barranquilla, Bogotá, and Medellín should also be mentioned; few peers can rival the firm’s national coverage.


We appreciate the team for its ability to provide comprehensive business advice to our company.

Lawyers have extensive knowledge in terms of business law, including experience with the best companies in the country. Alejandro Garcia de Brigard is a trusted partner in the development of our company.

An excellent firm, the best in Colombia. Lawyers are consummate professionals and demonstrate absolute commitment to the client.

We value lawyers for their ability to work on several significant projects simultaneously.

The team is well prepared and knows how the SIC works. They also seem to have a quite stable team, which, for clients that wish to work with them for several years is a plus, as the same team can be involved in the different cases over the years.

Alejandro Garcia de Brigard leads the practice in a very competent way. He is practical and can make himself available on a short notice when needed.

Key clients

Productos Roche

Berry Global Group


Centro Logístico Industrial del Pacífico Clip

Constructora Bolívar Cali


Productos Roche

Suzuki Motor de Colombia

Christus Rendimiento

Sinergia Global en Salud

C I de Azucares y Mieles

Seguridad Atlas

Baño Móvil de Colombia


Ingenio Providencia


Riopaila Castilla

Hacienda San José

Ingeniería Maquinaria y Equipos de Colombia (IMECOL)

Corporación R&T

China Automotriz

Ingredion Colombia

Fashion Factory

Santa Anita Nápoles

Cargill Trading Colombia

Laboratorios Laverlam

Siderurgica del Occidente

Sociedad Puerto Industrial Aguadulce

Laboratorios Baxter




Cámara de Comercio de Cali

Goodyear de Colombia

Industria Colombiana De Dotaciones Metalicas



Mindray Medical Colombia

Furukawa Colombia


Cartón de Colombia


Sociedad Puerto Industrial AguaDulce

Furukawa Colombia

Industrias Nortecaucanas



Colegio Bolívar

Dimel Ingeniería

CI Upfield Colombia

Trichem de Colombia

Gases de Occidente

PGI Colombia

Specialized Colombia

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to Suzuki Motor de Colombia in the antitrust investigation launched by the National Competition Authority into alleged anticompetitive conduct in the public procurement of motorcycles.
  • Advised Sociedad Puerto Industrial Aguadulce on all its day-to-day labour relations issues, including collective bargaining.

Espíndola International Consultants

Since its establishment in 1979, Espíndola International Consultants has demonstrated a keen focus on international trade, including supplementary expertise in administrative law, transport, foreign investment and dispute resolution. Spread between the firm’s Cali headquarters and its Bogotá office, the practice also benefits from alliances with dispute resolution stalwart Arrubla Devis Asociados (Bogota and Medellín) and administrative boutique Maria Claudia Rojas & Asociados (Cali), which further augments its specialist service offering. Enjoying strong relationships with both Colombian and multinational clients, the group is arguably best known for its representation of companies in the agroindustry, transport and life sciences spheres, as well as importers and exporters across all sectors. Name partner Carlos Espindola-Scarpetta is a former legal director of Grupo Seguros Fenix, and has also enjoyed in-house stints at Bank of America, and Celanese Colombiana; he brings his significant in-house experience to bear on his work in the international trade, customs, exchange law, and insurance fields. Other key contacts include Claudia Bernate (dispute resolution and commercial law); Federico Velez-Pachón (M&A and financial law); Mónica Valencia (M&A and financial law); and Miguel Mina and Oscar Moreno (tax).

Franco Murgueitio & Asociados

A Cali institution since 1990, Franco Murgueitio & Asociados is one of a shrinking band of local firms that is yet to make the move outside of its home territory. That being said, the practice maintains good referral links with foreign firms throughout the region, and also in Asia, Europe, and the USA. The team is primarily noted for its activity in tax law, where founding partner and qualified public accountant Luis Hernando Franco Murgueitio is widely recognised for his expertise in estate planning and corporate tax issues. The tax department is additionally supported by director of legal affairs, Juan David Seba Gironza, and a sizeable team of accounting professionals. Among its other areas of work, the firm advises on exchange regime and international investment law, international trade and customs issues, and labour and social security matters.

Hurtado & Gandini

Always looking for the best solutions for clients’, Hurtado & Gandini is noted for its focus on contentious work. Insurance is a particular focus and —despite being a single-site, Cali-based firm— it was recently appointed by Allianz to advise its policyholders in regions outside of Cali, in addition to its home city. The group also advises on criminal law, transport, and labour and employment matters, among others. Managing partner and ‘great communicatorFrancisco José Hurtado spearheads the litigation practice and is noted for his experience in civil, commercial, administrative, criminal, and insolvency cases. Fernando Gandini is ‘always looking for alternative mechanisms to resolve situations’ and heads the corporate and commercial offering. Other senior names include labour and social security head Julián Dávalos; real estate and estate planning specialist Ana María Olave; and Gloria Inés Hurtado, who is focused on maritime and port law. The firm also houses a sizeable pool of associates including senior Christián Camilo Vallecilla and intermediate Orlando Arango — both handle litigation, insurance and civil liability.

Practice head(s):




The team is diverse, highly prepared and always looking for the best solutions for clients.

Francisco José Hurtado has great knowledge and is a great communicator with clients. Fernando Gandini is a gentleman, who is always looking for alternative mechanisms to resolve situations.

It combines a young team with different training in the legal field and an interdisciplinary vision, together with a mature team with experience in the legal field.

Key clients

Pollos El Bucanero

Cargill de Colombia


Riopaila Castilla



Gases de Occidente

Allianz Seguros

Banco Popular

Cementos San Marcos

SBS Seguros

Blanco y negro masivo

Siderúrgica del Occidente (SIDOC)

Aquila Pacifico

Colegio Bennett

Travelers & Immigrants Aid’s Heartland Alliance For Human Needs & Human Rights (Heartland Alliance)

Urbanizadora Y Constructora Andes (Construandes)


Carvajal Pulpa y Papel




Escobar Lopez & Cia Familia

Inversiones Verde Horizonte

Work highlights

  • Advised Quinta Sur on bringing a claim against Fiduciaria Bancolombia arising from a real estate project.
  • Advised Cementos San Marcos on the $70m expansion of a cement production factory.
  • Successfully represented Fortox in employment litigation.

Kärner, Botero, Segura & Valdivieso Abogados

Cali-based boutique Kärner, Botero, Segura & Valdivieso Abogados stands out for its focus on the Colombian Pacific region, with an emphasis on supporting and developing Cali-based clients, as well domestic and multinational companies operating in the vicinity. The multi-practice boutique houses a broad mix of specialisms, with the ability to resource transactional, compliance and contentious matters. Among the names to note, managing partner Eduardo José Botero is noted for his focus on corporate and M&A, he also brings to bear significant experience in labour and employment matters. Pedro Jose Valdivieso specialises in commercial law, and labour and employment work. Rounding out the founding partners is Felipe Valencia Serrano, whose broad practice takes in consumer law, real estate issues, and urban law.

Mora Abogados S.A.S.

Mora Abogados S.A.S. is distinguished by its ability to offer ‘creative and effective solutions to legal problems’. From its Cali base, the boutique firm routinely advises across all key pillars of business law, with significant offerings in commercial, corporate, contractual and civil matters — particularly in the agroindustry, construction, financial services, and hotels and tourism industries. Founding partner Luis Alfonso Mora Tejada is a seasoned specialist with a strong profile in the local market. Prior to establishing the firm in 1999, Mora served as Executive Vice President of Corporación Financiera del Valle and is noted for his record in pioneering corporate finance transactions. Managing partner Luis Alfonso Mora Sarria (the son of Luis Alfonso Mora Tejada) also has a focus on transactional matters, including M&A and restructuring processes. Other key figures include senior associate Nur Alejandra Bultaif Ghattas, who joined in November 2022 from Ventura Group Colombia and has a focus on litigation and corporate law; and associate Eveling Valeria Bolaños Meneses, who handles dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):




The firm has global knowledge. Although lawyers have specialties, they can understand the implications in other areas and recommend follow-ups. When compared to other teams they have a high level of responsibility.

We particularly value the human quality of the staff who work in the office. For them, it is important that the client is satisfied and that the problem is solved at the root.

They are lawyers who are very knowledgeable about the regulations and commercial practices in the country, which is a convenience for us as clients; They are also very studious.

Key clients

Organización Carvajal

Belleza Express

Giros y finanzas

Constructora Meléndez

Zona Franca Permanente Palmaseca / Usuario Operador de Zona Franca

Proterra Foods

Proterra Colombia

Frutera de Santa Marta

Semillas Valle

Agropecuaria Pichucho

Impact Finance Fund

Julia Elvira de Ulloa y Cía

Royal Rental Colombia

Ladrillera Meléndez

Suministros Químicos

Industrias Nortecaucanas (INORCA)

Promotora Colombiana de Recreación


Fundación Delirio (ESAL)

Ingeniería Maquinaría y Equipos de Colombia (IMECOL)



Sero Colombia

Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral del Pacífico (ProPacífico ESAL) – Compromiso Valle

Fundación Dar Amor (FUNDAMOR)

Work highlights

  • Advised Semillas Valle on negotiating an addendum to a guarantee trust agreement extending the term of its restructuring agreement.
  • Advised Proterra Colombia on the equity-shareholding restructuring of five companies.
  • Advised Industrias Nortecaucanas on the negotiation and signing of a manufacturing contract with a USA-based company.


IP powerhouse OlarteMoure utilises its Cali office — one of the firm’s five national platforms — to service Colombia’s wider Western Region, as well as certain clients within the innovation ecosystem who have no connection to the city. Cali-based clients commend the firm’s commitment to maintaining a local presence in the vicinity, attesting that ‘we can count on it quickly if we need a face-to-face meeting’. Legal manager Isabella Herrera has led the office since its establishment in 2019 and has ten years of experience in advising on unfair competition, antitrust, trade marks and consumer protection matters. Notably, Herrera was recently part of the team that represented Ocensa on obtaining ISO 37001 certification. The local group also draws on several younger lawyers, including associate Daniella Chahin, who is focused on corporate law; and associate Nathalia Nieto, who handles litigation and alternative dispute resolution.


We started working with OlarteMoure last year; it supported us in industrial property and patent matters. It is a firm with its main office in the city of Bogotá but with the advantage of having an office in Cali, so we can count on it quickly if we need a face-to-face meeting.

Every time lawyers from Bogotá come to give a talk about new legislation or something new, they always invite me, or talks are also scheduled for our research and development teams on patent matters or industrial property matters.

Our direct contact is Isabella Herrera, who is the Head of OlarteMoure’s office in Cali. She is always in contact with us to ask if we need any support. The relationship is going very well, the team is always willing to meet our requests.

Key clients

Comestibles Aldor


Plasticel (Plásticos Especiales)

Alimentos Enriko

Asocaña (Asociación de Cultivadores de Caña)

Fundación Delirio


Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Zonamerica Usuario Operador de Zona Franca

Sociedad Portuaria de Buenaventura

BIA Energy


Fondo Latinoamericano para el Arroz de Riego (FLAR)


Harinera del Valle

Work highlights

  • Advised Colombian oil-and-gas company, Ocensa, on obtaining ISO 37001 certification.
  • Created a tailor-made anticorruption compliance programme for Zonamerica Usuario Operador de Zona Franca.
  • Advised Comestibles Aldor on general day-to-day matters, including corporate, IP, and competition law.

Santiago Meza Abogados & Asesores

Legal, tax, accounting and audit-focused boutique Santiago Meza Abogados & Asesores has gone from strength-to-strength since its establishment in December 2021, following the team’s spin-off from Franco Murgueitio & Asociados. The firm’s dedicated focus on tax work pays dividends and sources highlight its lawyers as ‘prepared and trusted professional partners’; it notably acts for an strong mix of domestic and multinational clients, including Pernod Ricard Colombia, Comfandi, and Aldor Groceries. Well versed across the full spread of tax matters, from compliance and advisory services, through to administrative and judicial defence, the team stands out for its 90% success rate in contentious processes. Founding partner Santiago Meza Mafla fronts the tax and corporate teams, where he advises on a varied mix of tax and transactional matters. Director David Ernesto Martinez manages both the litigation area and the general legal department; he is noted for contentious work. Other key contacts include legal co-ordinator Oscar Martinez Marin, whose practice spans corporate, and labour and employment; and Pablo Andrés Meza Plata, who was promoted to legal co-ordinator in February 2023. In January 2023, Juan Pablo Mosquera Mosquera Idarraga moved in house at Coomeva.


‘The firm is our legal, tax and exchange advisory partner. It stands out for providing a very professional service, in a responsible manner and with high prestige.

We value the firm for its human quality, as well as its timely and effective service in the situations that arise. It is a team in which we trust and recommend.

The team is very up-to-date with the latest regulations. Lawyers fight so that not only the tax matter is fulfilled but also in the judicial in case if the tax is not enough.

Key clients

Centro Comercial Único

Almacenes Si


Pernod Ricard Colombia


Comestibles Aldor

Eka Corporación

Club Campestre Farallones

Refinadora Nacional de Aceites y Grasas

Metalicas e Ingenieria

Rexico, (Franquicia Frisby)


Kos Colombia

Fundación WWB

MM Packaging

Grupo Acrilan

Adiela de Lombana

Calles de Oro


Agencia de Aduanas Agecoldex


Nutrición de Plantas

Colegio Bolivar


Mayaguez Corte

Curaduría Urbana 3

Work highlights

  • Representing Fundación WWB in administrative proceedings concerning the determination of income tax.
  • Representing Pernod Ricard Colombia in the first instance in a judicial process against the Department of Valle del Cauca in relation to the tax on foreign liquors.
  • Advising Comercializar in a tax dispute, from the administrative stage to the judicial stage.

Seguridad Legal

Distinguished by its ‘super-specialised knowledge’, Cali-based boutique Seguridad Legal focuses exclusively on privacy, data protection, cyber risk, and digital business-related matters. The firm’s privacy and data protection offerings continue to gain traction in the market and the group is an increasingly popular choice to represent —primarily domestic— companies on regulatory IT issues, including its recent work for Gases de Occidente, Dollarcity and the University of Rosario. Noted as an ‘excellent professional’, director of the firm Andrés Felipe Ángel sits as the CEO of the Colombian Association of Data and Privacy (ADAPRI); he is well versed across the full range of IT law, privacy, data protection, and information security matters. The four-lawyer team also includes senior associate Manuel Jiménez, who provides dedicated support on data protection, privacy and IT law-related issues. Consultant Lina Fernanda Ángel - Bogotá  left the firm in December 2022.


The firm stands out for its super-specialised knowledge and its lawyers’ permanent availability. The team knows and shares our organisation’s culture, which is focused on permanent innovation.

We particularly highlight the integrity and expertise of the team; in addition to its personal quality.

Andrés Felipe Ángel has outstanding knowledge of the business and outstanding experience in the topics.

Key clients

Programa de servicios de tránsito de Cali

Linea directa

Gases de occidente


Cristar tabletop

Dollarcity Colombia

Corredor empresarial



Cámara de comercio de Medellín

Universidad del Rosario

Cámara de comercio de Cali



Grupo Riopaila Castilla

Grupo Coomeva

Work highlights

  • Advising the University of Rosario on data protection and information security matters.
  • Advising the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín on data protection and cybersecurity issues.
  • Advising Corredor Empresarial on a privacy programme audit, among other issues.