Firms To Watch: Competition and antitrust

Tobar & Romero Abogados’ increasing involvement in cases of note marks it as an up-and-coming team in the competition arena; litigator Jaime Humberto Tobar heads the department.

Competition and antitrust in Colombia

Baker McKenzie S.A.S.

Widely lauded as ‘one of the best competition practices in Colombia’, Baker McKenzie S.A.S. secures a sizeable share of the market’s most high-profile mandates, spanning both merger reviews and behavioural competition work. With the ability to draw on the wider firm’s comprehensive global platform, the team is a popular choice to advise on the local aspects of major, multi-jurisdictional cases, where it often works hand-in-hand with international offices. In a recent example, highly regarded group head María Carolina Pardo teamed up with lawyers in Germany and Belgium to advise Sika Colombia on the acquisition of LSF11 Skyscraper HoldCo (MBCC Group); the transaction was moved to Phase II for an in-depth review and cleared without remedies in Colombia. Among the practice group's up-and-coming figures: Angélica Navarro, who supported on the Silka matter, was elevated to partner in July 2023; and associates Carlos Arboleda and Luís Alberto Castell are also key contacts. The practice additionally welcomed several new associates over the past year, including Santiago Blanco, who joined in May 2022 from the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC).

Practice head(s):

Maria Carolina Pardo


Testimonials

The projects that we have carried out with the competition team have been successful. We maintain an excellent relationship with the group precisely because of the confidence it generates through its advice and its clear knowledge of the regulation.’

Its lawyers differ from  those of its competitors through their extensive knowledge of the subject, particularly María Carolina Pardo, Angélica Navarro, Luís Alberto Castell.’

The practice has extensive experience, extensive knowledge, is a trend setter in competition issues and is always up-to-date with the latest regulations. Lawyers are very diligent in their advice and seek to make changes that mitigate risks from the root.’

Key clients

Sika Colombia


Schlumberger


Specialized Colombia


Platinum Equity Group


STEAG, STEAG 1, Peter Weiß and Stephan Riezler


Public Sector Pension Investment Board


Snowflake Inc


Transportadora de Gas Internacional – TGI


Sura Asset Management


Clarios Andina


Work highlights


  • Advised Sika Colombia on the acquisition of the shares of LSF11 Skyscraper HoldCo (MBCC Group).
  • Advised Schlumberger on a second instance proceeding related to an administrative investigation into alleged infringement of antitrust laws.
  • Advised Public Sector Pension Investment Board on the sale of its stake in a real estate investment fund to Bancolombia and Sura.

Brigard Urrutia

In a figure that demonstrates its formidable strength in merger filings, Brigard Urrutia handled over 35 merger control procedures during 2022. Alongside its dominant merger practice, which is driven by the firm’s top-tier corporate offering, the group also frequently advises on antitrust investigations, leniency agreements and unfair competition disputes, among other matters. Department head Alejandro Garcia de Brigard, who is dual-qualified in Colombia and New York, is particularly sought after for his expertise in complex transactional cases; he is representing Avianca before the Colombian Civil Aviation Authority (Aerocivil) in a merger-review procedure triggered by its acquisition of Viva Colombia. Among its behavioural highlights, Garcia de Brigard represented Bavaria in an antitrust investigation into alleged abuse of dominant position in the beer market; the case was terminated by the SIC without the imposition of any fine as a result of the offering of commitments. The team also includes practice co-ordinator Nicolás Cardona, who was recently promoted from senior associate to director and provides capable support. In December 2022, intermediate associate Natalia Amado Pérez joined from Baker McKenzie S.A.S..

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Garcia de Brigard


Testimonials

The team is well prepared and knows how the SIC works. It also seems to maintain a quite stable team, which, for clients that wish to work together 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 at short notice when needed.

Key clients

Avianca


Suzuki Motor de Colombia


Bavaria


Global Layer Distribution


Colombia Móvil


Sociedad Puerto Industrial Aguadulce


Droguerías y Farmacias Cruz Verde


UPS


ABB


Work highlights


  • Advised Avianca on the merger-control procedure before the Colombian Civil Aviation Authority (Aerocivil) triggered by the acquisition of Viva Colombia, and also advised Avianca on the antitrust investigation, launched by the SIC, for alleged gun jumping with Viva Colombia.
  • Represented Bavaria in the antitrust investigation launched by the SIC into alleged abuse of dominant position in the beer market, derived from Bavaria’s exclusivity contracts.
  • Acted for Suzuki Motor de Colombia in the antitrust investigation launched by the SIC concerning alleged anticompetitive conduct in the public procurement of motorcycles.

Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos

Widely recognised as a go-to firm for complex investigations and competition litigation, Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos’ full-service competition and antitrust practice also routinely handles merger reviews and consumer protection-related matters. Considered by many as a reference in the market, Alfonso Miranda is an all-round competition specialist; he is currently representing Avianca in an administrative investigation conducted by the SIC concerning alleged non-compliance with the remedies imposed on a merger to jointly manage the Avianca Tours brand. The group also benefits from the senior expertise of Andrés Jaramillo Hoyos, who has a focus on competition litigation; he is representing Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura in an investigation into potentially anti-competitive behaviour concerning the provision of port operation services in the Port of Buenaventura. Rounding out the team at partner-level is Daniel Beltrán, who is currently advising the companies of Grupo Sura on compliance issues. The group additionally draws on a capable band of associates, including David Cotrina, who advises on competition, consumer protection and IP, and Jasibi Ali Cabrales, who joined in June 2022 from Bermúdez & Esguerra Abogados. Former associate Jorge Lamo Blanco left to join Posse Herrera Ruiz in July 2022. Since publication, the firm has merged with tax specialist firm Jiménez, Higuita, Rodríguez & Asociados (Tax & customs) to become Esguerra JHR - effective as of February 2024.

Practice head(s):

Alfonso Miranda; Andrés Jaramillo Hoyos; Daniel Beltrán


Testimonials

I value that several professionals are also academics/university professors in the subject in which they practice. They carry out studies on the practice, they create forums, they cause discussions and that gives them a broad vision that facilitates an effective practice.

In competition Alfonso Miranda is recognised as a guru of competition law. I have known the team for three decades; its meticulousness, care, work ethic and efficiency — for example as contractual negotiators and facilitators — never ceases to amaze me.

Lawyers are clearly experts in the field and are concerned with solving the legal problem raised; they not only focus on issuing advice but are also committed to decision making. They have exceptional response times and competitive prices.

What makes the competition practice of Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos unique is its track record. For more than 30 years Alfonso Miranda has led (academically and professionally) in competition law. He has handled, together with Andrés Jaramillo and more recently Daniel Beltrán, the most important cases in the country and in several international ones.

Many of competition issues in Colombia have been addressed for the first time by Esguerra’s team, which combines its great track record with a strong team, who truly know the authority and has experience in the economic analysis of law and in procedural issues.

Esguerra Asesores is a medium-sized firm, but the competition team is more robust than those of the large firms and could be the strongest of all. The cases are approached in an interdisciplinary way with a strong component of economic analysis.

Daniel Beltrán was recently named partner and is the one who co-ordinates the team. He is a lawyer with great experience and knowledge and has participated in very important cases alongside Alfonso Miranda, with an emphasis on business integrations, restrictive practices and denunciation.

David Cotrina is a great expert in procedural law and has been involved in unfair competition cases and practice cases in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and telecoms.

Key clients

Avianca


Bancolombia


Corficolombiana


Drummond


Chevron Petroleum Company


Bavaria & Cía (Ab InBev)


Kimberly Clark


Comcel


Promigas


Laboratorios Baxter


Sanimax


Manuelita


Equion Energia


Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura


Oleoducto Central (OCENSA)


Ecopetrol


Koba Colombia D1


Citibank


Quala


Mexichem (Orbia)


División Mayor del Fútbol Colombiano (DIMAYOR)


Work highlights


  • Represented Avianca in an administrative investigation conducted by the SIC concerning alleged non-compliance with the remedies imposed on a merger to jointly manage the Avianca Tours brand.
  • Represented Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura in an investigation by the SIC to determine whether it engaged in anti-competitive behaviour concerning the provision of port operation services in the Port of Buenaventura.
  • Advised Bancolombia—Grupo Sura on merger-control matters connected to the creation of a new digital solution (ARATI) for senior citizens between Grupo Sura, Bancolombia, Protección, Sura AM and Seguros Suramericana.

Garrigues

According to sources, lawyers at Garriguesknow the needs of clients and their business’. With strength in all key pillars of competition and antitrust law, the group represents clients in investigations and administrative procedures initiated by the SIC, as well as in judicial unfair competition law proceedings. On the transactional side, the team is well versed in merger control cases spanning all key industries, with a recent strong showing in the transport segment. José Miguel De La Calle spearheads the department and is currently representing Viva Air on the antitrust investigation against Viva and Avianca for alleged gun jumping. Following the departure of principal associate Alejandro Acevedo in March 2023, senior associate Anamaría Rico – who has some 10 years’ experience in antitrust and unfair competition matters – leads the second line. Fellow senior Adolfo Enrique Gómez is currently on study leave. The team also replaced associate Natalia Amado Pérez, who left the firm in April 2022, with the hire of Daniel Fajardo Mendoza (technology/competition and personal data) from Baker McKenzie S.A.S. the same month.

 

Practice head(s):

José Miguel De la Calle


Testimonials

The team’s way of dealing with the hours, issues and values is clear in relation to billing. The team combines its advice well with other practice areas in matters that require this interdisciplinary input. Lawyers know the needs of clients and their business.

We recommend José Miguel De La Calle for his knowledge in the sector, prestige, and understanding of business and client needs.

The team demonstrates comprehensive knowledge in the structuring of transactions that involve business integrations in Colombia.

We highlight lawyers for their effectiveness in solving the concerns that arise during the planning of a transaction.

Key clients

Solenis


Fast Colombia


Irelandia Aviation


Rappi Colombia


British American Tobacco


Samsung


FCC Aqualia


Andean Tower Partners


Sociedad Puerto Bahía


Nubank


Credicorp Ltda


PayU


China Gezhouba Group Company


Colsubsidio


Dicorp


Quirónsalud


Falabella de Colombia


Solovive – Kredicity


Pfizer


Work highlights


  • Advised Fast Colombia (Viva) on the antitrust investigation into alleged gun jumping in the merger transaction with Avianca.
  • Advised Sociedad Puerto Bahía and Gasco on merger-control proceedings.
  • Advised Irelandia Aviation, as a shareholder in Viva Latinamerica and Viva Air Procurement, on the sale of Viva Latinamerica and Viva Air Procurement to the shareholders of Avianca.

Ibarra Abogados Rimon Law

A key benchmark for competition law in the country’, Ibarra Abogados Rimon Law attracts strong praise from clients for its ability to create a ‘collaborative space between the lawyers and the client’. Arguably best known for its reputation in the behavioural field, including for major investigations and complex competition disputes, the team is also equipped to handle merger fillings, consumer protection-related matters and compliance issues. High-profile expert Gabriel Ibarra is highlighted for his ‘extensive track record in competition matters’ and is currently representing Ingenio Risaralda in litigation seeking to overturn sanctions issued by the SIC in 2010 in relation to an alleged agreement to fix the purchase price of sugar cane to produce fuel alcohol. Next-generation partner Ana Lucía Parra also has a strong contentious dimension to her practice and handles a mix of antitrust, unfair competition, consumer protection, and administrative law cases. Alejandro Ibarra, who has experience across the full range of competition law matters, and Carlos Bermúdes Pulido, who was promoted to senior associate in December 2022, are both additional contacts of note. Senior associate Felipe Martínez Sánchez left in December 2022 to join the World Intellectual Property Organization, as part of the Young Experts programme.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Ibarra; Ana Lucía Parra; Alejandro Ibarra


Testimonials

Unlike other firms, attention and importance are given to the client’s comments, giving space to be proactive and discuss ideas, creating a collaborative space between the lawyers and the client. This allows us to delve into the relevant issues and evaluate them with the necessary detail and rigor.

The attention of this firm is personalised: it assigns a work team according to the specific topic for which the service was required.’

This firm is a key benchmark for competition law in the country. In particular, Gabriel Ibarra has an extensive track record in competition matters. He has successfully handled important cases that, for example, resulted in the imposition of the first antidumping duties in the history of Colombia.

Another outstanding lawyer who advised on our case was the associate Dylan Arias, who instructed us at each stage of the process and shared with us, along with Gabriel, the strategy to follow.’

‘We value the team for its far-seeing and accurate legal perspectives on legal disputes. Lawyers have good relationships with the authorities.

Key clients

Yara Colombia


Ingenio Risaralda


Ingenio del Cauca


CI de Azúcares y Mieles (CIAMSA)


Desarrollos Industriales y Comerciales (DICSA) – in liquidation


Central Tumaco – liquidated


Messer Colombia


Brinsa


Work highlights


  • Representing Ingenio Risaralda in a lawsuit against sanctions issued by the SIC in 2010 in relation to an alleged agreement to fix the purchase price of sugar cane to produce fuel alcohol.
  • Representing Messer (formerly Linde Colombia) in a lawsuit against the sanctioning acts imposed by the SIC in relation to an alleged agreement with other producers of medical gases to prevent third parties from accessing the market.
  • Providing ongoing competition law advice to Yara Colombia, including monitoring regulatory developments and strengthening its internal compliance policies.

ECIJA Colombia

The competition and antitrust practice at ECIJA Colombia is ‘characterised by the technical knowledge of its partners and associates’, according to satisfied clients. A particularly strong performer in the behavioural space, the team has recently advised on administrative investigations on behalf of Bavaria and DIMAYOR (the major division of Colombian football). It also has strong experience in contentious matters and, less frequently, handles merger-review cases. Competition expert Pablo Márquez stands out for his ‘extensive academic and professional career’ and co-heads the group together with Julio Castañeda, who is a force in both the antitrust and telecoms spheres. The team additionally draws on increasingly prominent counsel Pablo Onofre, who co-ordinates the competition and merger control unit, and associate Jorge Mario González.

Practice head(s):

Pablo Márquez; Julio Castañeda


Testimonials

The team is exceptional! Its impeccable technical knowledge, added to its understanding of the participants and context in which the authorities make their decisions, allows the ECIJA team to provide the best advice in the market.

The team’s comprehensive vision of the challenges and opportunities of its clients allows it to add value to its work in competition and antitrust. The decisions of the authorities are made to some extent considering the national and international context. ECIJA understands this dynamic like nobody else.

ECIJA’s competition and antitrust law practice is characterised by the technical knowledge of its partners and associates, derived from its extensive experience in the public sector and competition authority of the country.

We recommend the team for its networking abilities and the personalised attention from the partner in charge.

Pablo Márquez stands out from other lawyers in competition matters due to his extensive academic and professional career. He is an absolutely respected person in both the public and private sectors.

ECIJA’s practice is phenomenal, inclusive and innovative. Its work team is young and has the support of senior partners for guidance, presentation of cases, strategy analysis and work tables since they carry out their internships, they always seek to stay motivated and updated.

The trajectory of the partners is faultless: pioneers in the work of the SIC, in academia and in private litigation. Notably, Julio Castañeda and Pablo Márquez have been visionaries in the practice area from their participation in public office, through their extensive career in academia and private professional practice.

Julio Castañeda has a supernatural level of commitment to his clients and to his juniors and paralegals (both personally and professionally), which distinguishes him and makes him stand out from other professionals. Pablo Márquez has no comparison in his managerial skills.

Key clients

Bavaria (AB InBev)


División Mayor del Fútbol Colombiano (DIMAYOR)


Organizacion Terpel


Cementos Argos


Westlake Chemical


Talma


Calidra/Calco


OPP Graneles


Dipresco/ UT Antioquia


Work highlights


  • Advised Bavaria on the merger between SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev, as well as on the investigation by the SIC into Bavaria for potentially restricting the access of competitors to the beer market.
  • Represented the División Mayor del Fútbol Colombiano (DIMAYOR) in an administrative investigation opened by the SIC for alleged anti-competitive practices in the players’ transfer rights market.
  • Advised Talma in the filing of the pre-evaluation application for the business integration between acquirer LASA, a subsidiary of Talma, and Servicios Aéreos Integrados (SAI), a subsidiary of the Avianca Group.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) scores highly with sources for its ability to provide ‘a unique solution to each case’. The competition and antitrust group covers a wide remit with solid skill sets in merger control filings —in line with the wider firm’s top-tier corporate offering— as well as administrative investigations, unfair competition litigation, and consumer protection-related issues. Mauricio Jaramillo oversees the department and brings to bear a broad all-round regulatory practice, which spans IP, competition, technology and dispute resolution. Senior associate Biviana Helo leads the competition team and handles a mix of IP and competition law work. Other key contacts include senior associate Valentina Manrique Gómez, who focuses on IP and competition litigation, and associate Paula de la Calle.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio Jaramillo


Testimonials

This team has all the necessary technical knowledge, a unique understanding of our business and the difficulties surrounding our cases but, above all, it has a unique human quality that allows it to understand and provide a unique solution to each case and makes it stand out.

The business understanding is unique. The following lawyers stand out: partner Mauricio Jaramillo and associate Valentina Manrique Gómez.

Whenever we work with the GPA competition team, we appreciate and emphasise that, without losing their technicality and legal depth, it understands the needs of the business and seeks appropriate and practical legal solutions to safeguard our interests.

A fundamental characteristic of this team is that it is not afraid to give direct suggestions, without disclaimers, which is essential to make decisions as an in-house lawyer. The team stands as a great ally.

Mauricio Jaramillo is an integral adviser and ally. Even in those projects in which we do not work with him, he does not hesitate to send us an article, or an interview, or something that in his opinion helps or harms us; he always takes care of our interests.

Biviana Helo is an exceptional senior associate. She is always available when needed and her knowledge of competition law is amazing and helpful.

Key clients

Nexans


Grupo Gilinski – JGDB Holding and Nugil


JetBlue Airways Corporation


Avianca Group International


EnfraGen


Bayport Colombia


Clorox De Colombia


DiDi Mobility


HP


GlaxoSmithKline


WOM


Merqueo


Mapei Colombia


Colombiana de Comercio (Alkosto)


Sandoz


Solventa Colombia


Emergía Customer Care Colombia


Primax Colombia


Grupo Birota


Work highlights


  • Advised Nexans on merger-control procedures regarding the acquisition of five companies in the cable industry.
  • Advised Bayport Colombia on litigation in relation to unfair competition acts allegedly committed by a new competitor.
  • Advised Clorox De Colombia on an investigation into allegedly misleading advertisements affecting consumers and competitors.

Jaeckel/Montoya Abogados

Antitrust law is a mainstay at Jaeckel/Montoya Abogados and the specialist boutique is equipped to advise on a wide range of behavioural and merger review matters. Founding partner Jorge Jaeckel is a former Deputy Superintendent of the SIC and is noted for his record in representing domestic and foreign companies in both regulatory and contentious issues. The team also includes managing partner Claudia Montoya, who previously served as advisor to the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce. Jaeckel and Montoya are presently advising Glencore International on remedies imposed by the SIC connected to the company’s acquisition of Anglo American’s and BHP’s respective 33.33% stakes in the Cerrejón coal mine. Senior associate Jefferson Gonzales provides broad regulatory support.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Jaeckel


Key clients

Glencore International


Avianca


Bizarro


Caracol Television


Norgas


Energía Integral Andina


Ernst and Young


Laboratorio Sanfer México


Laboratorio  Santé Colombia


ETB Colombia Móvil


DHL Express/Global Business Services


Energía Confiable


Whirlpool Corporation


Frigocentro de Manizales


TV Azteca / México


El País de España /Grupo Prisa


Factorial


Cementos Alion


Biomereaux


Carvajal


Colgate Palmolive


Organización Corona


Phillip Morris


Reckitt Benckiser


DirecTV


Nutresa


Alpina productos alimenticios


Acerías de Colombia (ACESCO)


Asociación Nacional de Medios de Comunicación (ASOMEDIOS)


Banco Caja Social


Sodimac


Falabella


Ecopetrol


Hocol


Grupo Vanti


International Planned Parenthood Federation


Papeles Nacionales (PANASA)


Win Sports


Tecnoquímicas


Bancolombia


Ediciones El Pais España


Work highlights


  • Acted for Glencore International on the merger review connected to its acquisition of Anglo American’s and BHP’s respective 33.33% stakes in the Cerrejón coal mine, and also on the negotiation and fulfilment of the subsequent remedies.
  • Advised Avianca (as co-counsel alongside Brigard Urrutia), on its defence before the SIC following the alleged violation of competition regulations connected to its acquisition of Viva Colombia and Viva Perú.
  • Represented Alpina Productos Alimenticios in litigation against the competition authority concerning the latter’s sanctions against Alpina for allegedly reducing competition by commercialising a dairy-based drink.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

Highlighted as being ‘very attuned to the needs of multinationals’, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría’s recent competition roster includes work for leading global corporations such as Visa, Aramco and Mediterranean Shipping Company. The group also stands out for its ability to team up with the wider firm’s top-tier litigation practice to handle contentious competition matters. Among its highlight mandates in this sphere, department head Diego Cardona represented Canacol Energy in an unfair competition case brought by one of its main competitors in the natural gas production market. The team also has strong experience in merger control filings and administrative investigations. Junior associate Natalia Castilla provides support.

Practice head(s):

Diego Cardona


Testimonials

Competition law has taken on a special significance in business practices, so we must be permanently well advised on these issues. For several years now, the PPU team has always been immediately available for our inquiries and requirements, and we are highly satisfied with their advice.’

Diego Cardona provides personalised and diligent attention. The firm is composed of partners with extensive knowledge and excellent human qualities, which greatly facilitates interaction with our organisation.’

We value the team for its kindness and closeness. Lawyers are empathetic with the client, they understand the problem and they study the case in detail.

We value Diego Cardona for the quality of his work.

The team is very attuned to the needs of multinationals.’

Diego Cardona is very practical and gives clear legal advice. Unlike many lawyers, he is comfortable advising clients in uncertain and changing environments.’

Key clients

Visa International Service Association


Yumbo Limpio


RCN Televisión


Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena


Canacol Energy


Aramco (Saudi Aramco)


LSF11 Skyscraper HoldCo (MBCC Group)


Grupo Energía Bogotá


Sociedad Aeroportuaria de la Costa


Mediterranean Shipping Company


Work highlights


  • Advised Visa on the SIC’s preliminary injunction order against the company, following its antitrust investigation into alleged restrictive practices in the market for cross-border transactions.
  • Represented Yumbo Limpio in the SIC’s investigation into alleged restrictive practices concerning the awarding of the waste management contract in the municipality of Yumbo.
  • Successfully represented RCN Television in a preliminary investigation by the SIC into the alleged abuse of market power in relation to advertisement time on television.

Posse Herrera Ruiz

According to sources, Posse Herrera Ruiz’s competition group is ‘composed of lawyers who care about understanding the business of their clients’. The practice secured a strong run of merger reviews during 2022/23, which included advising German transport company Hapag-Lloyd on the Colombian merger-review aspects of its acquisition of two lines of businesses of Chile-based SM SAAM, namely SAAM Ports and SAAM Logistics. Alongside its strength in merger proceedings, the team handles a significant volume of behavioural competition matters. Competition specialist Jorge De Los Ríos steers the department and led on the Hapag-Lloyd work, with support from senior associate Jorge Lamo Blanco, who joined in July 2022 from Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos. Associates Laura Torrado and Adriana Otero are also noted for competition, data protection and consumer protection matters.

Practice head(s):

Jorge De los Ríos


Testimonials

Posse Herrera Ruiz’s competition practice is a multidisciplinary team with experience in the real estate and consumer sector.’

The team is composed of lawyers who care about understanding the business of their clients, which strengthens its support and advice.

Key clients

Puerto Bahía Colombia de Urabá (Puerto Antioquia)


Aqualia Latinoamérica


Cencosud


UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones


Phoenix Tower International Colombia


Laboratorio Franco Colombiano Lafrancol


Saint-Gobain Weber Colombia


Jerónimo Martins Colombia


Hapag-Lloyd


Odinsa


TCS Solution Sucursal Colombia


Torneos y Competencias


American Airlines


Grupo Bolivar


Adidas


Colombian Government, National Planning Department


Latam Airlines


Elis Colombia


Halliburton


Reckitt Benckizer


Work highlights


  • Advised Hapag-Lloyd on a merger-control procedure related to its acquisition of two of SM SAAM’s four lines of business.
  • Advised American Airlines on merger-control proceedings before Aerocivil related to its acquisition of a minority, non-controlling share interest in JetSmart Airlines.
  • Advised Aqualia Latinoamérica on a merger-control procedure related to its acquisition of Aguas de La Sabana.

Serrano Martínez CMA

The result of the October 2023 merger of Medellín-based Correa Merino Agudelo Abogados and the corporate-and-competition focused Serrano Martínez in Bogota; Serrano Martínez CMA boasts an office in the country's two leading markets, a strengthened corporate practice and a newly broadened service offering. In the competition sector, the practice strikes the right note with sources due to its ‘great practical knowledge and approach to regulators’. The thriving boutique added a string of major multinational clients to its roster over the past year, including Kelloggs de Colombia and Bloomberg, while its growing prominence in merger review cases saw it rank among the top three merger filers in the country during 2022. Felipe Serrano fronts the group and is considered by many as ‘an expert in his subject’. Serrano provides ongoing competition advice to Amazon, including recently advising the technology giant on the merger-control process regarding its acquisition of iRobot Corporation. Associate director Andrés Jaramillo Sanz, who has a focus on litigation and procedural law, is also recommended. In May 2022, the group welcomed new senior associate Juan Diego Mojica, who joined from the Constitutional Court of Colombia.

Practice head(s):

Felipe Serrano; Andrés Jaramillo Sanz; Juan Diego Martinez


Testimonials

Serrano Martínez has a great practical knowledge and approach to regulators. Good risk calibration based not only on law and regulation, but also on practice and experience.

We value the team for its quick knowledge of the client and knowledge of the authorities, particularly Felipe Serrano and Andrés Jaramillo Sanz.

They have a work team with very good experience in the practice area. Excellent relationships with the regulatory authority.

Felipe Serrano is an expert in his subject, proposes solutions and knows the industry market he advises very well.

Andrés Jaramillo Sanz is quick in his responses and provides viable solutions for businesses.

Key clients

Uber Technologies Inc, Uber BV and Lieber Colombia (Uber Colombia)


Amazon


DLocal


Bloomberg


Allianz


Primax Colombia


Super de Alimentos


Chevron Petroelum Company


Kellogg de Colombia


LG Electronic Colombia


Work highlights


  • Advising Amazon on the merger-control process regarding its acquisition of iRobot Corporation.
  • Representing dLocal in the competition proceeding against Visa and Mastercard concerning alleged antitrust practices.
  • Representing Uber Technologies in an unfair competition lawsuit brought by taxi company, Cotech.

Bermúdez & Esguerra Abogados

In a significant development, Bermúdez & Esguerra Abogados was formed in January 2023 through the merger of competition and regulatory stalwart Avante Abogados and data protection boutique Bermúdez Durana Abogados. Highlighted as a ‘young team committed to client success’, the competition practice acts for an increasingly prominent mix of domestic and multinational names including Aerocivil, AB InBev and Alpina Productos Alimenticios. Next-generation partner Carlos Esguerra jointly heads the department alongside José Alejandro Bermúdez, who specialises in data protection, competition and consumer protection law. Associates Andrés Felipe Aguas and Manuela Téllez provide support.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Esguerra; José Alejandro Bermúdez


Testimonials

We recommend the team for its knowledge in its field of expertise.

We highlight Carlos Esguerra’s knowledge, experience and practical perspective.

It is a young team committed to client success.

Key clients

Civil Aeronautics Authority of Colombia – Aerocivil


Alpina Productos Alimenticios


AB InBev


Mexichem


Bavaria


Philip Morris Colombia


Abbott Laboratories US and Abbott Laboratories Colombian Subsidiaries


Wiggin LLP


Grupo Novus (GoPass)


Producciones Químicas


Work highlights


  • Advised Aerocivil in a high-profile regulatory procedure in the tourism service agencies and digital platforms sector.
  • Appointed by Aerocivil to analyse and draft the decision of the Avianca-Viva deal merger-review.
  • Advised Anheuser-Busch InBev on all its antitrust-related matters in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, and Barbados.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas

Distinguished by its formidable global platform, Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas maintains a strong pipeline of merger review work, where it frequently advises on the Colombian competition aspects of cross-border M&A. The group also provides ongoing advice to several multinational corporations on day-to-day compliance and training matters, including Autodesk and BASF Química Colombiana. Key contact Ximena Zuleta is a litigator who steers both the public law and competition departments. Senior associate María Paula Macías splits her time between the corporate and M&A, and the competition and antitrust practices.

Practice head(s):

Ximena Zuleta


Testimonials

As a strong point, the team is clear on the issues. Ximena Zuleta in particular has extensive knowledge on the subject. She is always very willing to address our concerns.

Key clients

Kraft Heinz


Aris Gold Corporation


Applus Servicios Tecnológicos


WSP Global Inc


ABAI Colombia


Perenco Colombia


Kantar Ibope Digital Media


Autodesk


BASF Química Colombiana


Work highlights


  • Advised Caldas Gold Marmato, a Colombian subsidiary of Canadian mining company Aris Gold, on the merger-control procedure connected to its acquisition by Canadian mining company, GCM.
  • Advised Spain-based Applus in the merger-control procedure concerning its acquisition of K2 Ingeniería, and consequently of AITE Solutions.
  • Advised Kraft Heinz on the potential execution of an exclusivity arrangement concerning sauces with e-commerce platform, BEES.

DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán

An innovative firm that is constantly looking for ways to do things better’,  DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán houses an interdisciplinary competition and consumer protection department. The team’s broad regulatory offering marks it as a solid choice to advise on contentious matters, including investigations and competition litigation, with particular experience in matters combining antitrust and consumer law issues. Group head María Claudia Martínez covers a mix of corporate, competition, consumer law, and data protection-related work. Other key contacts include litigator Julian Solorza, who sits in the dispute resolution, regulatory, and financial services practices, and senior associate Natalia Fernández.

Practice head(s):

María Claudia Martínez


Testimonials

This is a firm that stands out in every way. It has highly trained and very attentive professionals, who provide very high-level services. We always find the answer to what the company requires.

It is an innovative firm that is constantly looking for ways to do things better and get closer to its clients. We can find specialists from many areas, which allows the firm to have a comprehensive vision of the business.

Lawyers are outstanding professionals in the areas under their control which, as a client, gives us peace of mind to trust their criteria. They are professionals to whom we can turn and they always have a solution with the best attitude and the greatest promptness.

I must highlight María Claudia Martínez to whom we trust many of our company’s affairs.

Key clients

Asocaña


Ingenio Pichichi


Patria Investments


Waterlogic


Transportes Calderón


Carvajal


Argos


Grupo Éxito


Sika Corporation


Liftit


Ventura Group


Macquarie Group


Diana Corporation


Casacol


Decameron Hotels


Liberty Seguros


Comestibles Rico


Leschaco Group


Habi


Massy Energy


Work highlights


  • Representing Transportes Calderón, and three individuals related to the company, in a bid-rigging agreement investigation before the SIC.
  • Representing four sugar-cane mills in challenging the decision of the SIC, and seeking the annulment of sanctions imposed, concerning their alleged involvement in a cartel.
  • Advising Macquarie Infrastructure on the merger-review aspects of its transaction with Odinsa concerning the creation of an investment platform in Colombia.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.

With the ability to leverage its top-tier life sciences offering, Lloreda Camacho & Co. packs a punch in acting for pharmaceutical clients on regulatory matters, including competition and antitrust law, as well as related consumer protection work. The firm’s leading IP practice also ensures that the team is well versed in competition issues relating to the e-commerce, TMT and new technologies' spheres, among others. Life sciences specialist Enrique Álvarez co-heads the department together with Darío Cadena. Associate Diego Matiz, who joined in March 2022 from the SIC, provides support.

Practice head(s):

Enrique Álvarez; Darío Cadena


Key clients

Merck Sharp & Dohme


Merck Sharp & Dohme Animal Health


Interpublic Group of Companies Colombia


Seguros Bolívar


Janssen


Productos Roche


Novo Nordisk


Anglo American


Drypers Andina


Biomax


Work highlights


  • Acted as local antitrust counsel to Anglo American regarding the sale of its share in the Cerrejón coal mine to Glencore.
  • Successfully advised Comcel on securing clearance for its acquisition of Codisert.
  • Advised Drypers Andina on the acquisition by its parent, CMPC, of Ontex.

OlarteMoure

OlarteMoure’s competition practice has a strong IP dimension, in line with the firm's signature strength. Predominantly recognised for its activity in competition and consumer law-related disputes, the team also has experience in compliance matters and merger reviews. Seasoned competition and IP expert Juan Guillermo Moure possesses significant regulatory expertise gained during his former role as deputy head of the Office for the Promotion of Competition at the SIC. The team also includes life sciences and telecoms specialist Carlos Olarte and dispute resolution director Juan Felipe Acosta, as well as regulatory associates Santiago Lombana and Camilo Andrade.

Practice head(s):

Juan Guillermo Moure; Carlos Olarte; Juan Felipe Acosta; Santiago Lombana; Camilo Andrade


Testimonials

The OM Team has outstanding professionals in each of the practice areas and it provides efficient alternatives and solutions for each required case.

We highlight the good attitude of each of its professionals, who are always ready to meet our requirements, as well as their expertise and specific knowledge.

The practice is very comprehensive because it is composed of lawyers with expertise in different fields of intellectual property. The ease of making decisions with this team makes us very loyal and reluctant to change lawyers.

Lawyers are very expeditious and propose alternatives to the client very clearly, it is easy to decide which way to go in short meetings. Both Carlos Olarte and Juan Guillermo Moure are very efficient in reviewing cases.

Key clients

Telefonaktiebolaget Ericsson


Auteco and related companies


Qianjiang Motor (HK)


Partners Telecom Colombia and WOM


Johnson & Johnson


FMC Colombia


Comestibles Aldor


Azul & Blanco Millonarios FC


DIMAYOR


Rocsa


Work highlights


  • Advised Ericsson on antitrust law matters.
  • Advised several global pharmaceutical companies on how to avoid anti-competitive practices when enforcing their patents, including Actelion.
  • Advised WOM on bringing an antitrust and unfair competition lawsuit against Millicom, owner of the trade mark Tigo in Colombia.

Valbuena Abogados

Longstanding boutique Valbuena Abogados maintains its focus on economic and regulatory work. On the competition front, the group is mainly recognised for its advice to private and public sector clients on administrative investigations and contentious matters. Less frequently, the team handles merger review-related issues. A former Superintendent of Industry and Commerce, managing partner Gustavo Valbuena spearheads a team that also includes associates Diego Solano, who was formerly a lawyer at the SIC, and Carol Sanchez Zambrano.

Practice head(s):

Gustavo Valbuena; Diego Solano


Testimonials

Valbuena Abogados is an external firm that helps us with many things, it is a solid support for us. Their knowledge and expertise in issues of aviation law, consumer protection, and mergers among others.

Key clients

Comunicación celular Comcel


Aceco Ti


Caja de Compensación Familiar Comfenalco Antioquia


Constructora Conconcreto


Juan Luis Aristizabal Vélez


Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura


Efectivo


Uniphos Colombia Plant


Frontera Energy Colombia Corp


Maria Del Pilar Correa Lenis


Aseos Colombia Aseocolba


Ministerio De Industria Y Comercio


Colombia Productiva


Departamento Administrativo Nacional De Estadística (DANE)


Industrial Nacional De Gaseosas


Aeronáutica Civil


Finsocial


Decameron


KMPG


Tecnoquimicas


Price Res


Aviatek


UPL Colombia


Work highlights


  • Advised the compensation fund, Comfenalco Antioquia, and the family welfare fund, Comfamiliar Camacol, before the SIC in their merger proceeding.
  • Advised Taxi Imperial on an administrative investigation into its alleged participation in anti-competitive practices, including abuse of dominant position and obstruction of third-party access to the market.
  • Represented Ibeaser in an investigation conducted by the SIC into alleged collusions in a bidding process within the Plan Alimentario Escolar de Bogotá (Food Programme for Public Schools in Bogotá).

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero is distinguished by its ability to link up with its extensive global network to advise on the local aspects of multi-jurisdictional merger reviews. It is also well versed in advising on matters at the intersection of antitrust and ICT regulation. Department head Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquilla is noted for his combination of TMT, competition, and dispute resolution experience. Senior associate María Camila Piedrahita provides support to the TMT and competition teams.

Practice head(s):

Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquilla


Goh

Goh’s recent experience spans merger reviews, administrative investigations and judicial proceedings. The projects and infrastructure sectors provide the bulk of mandates and the team is particularly active on behalf of clients in the energy, technology, and oil-and-gas industries. Juan Pablo Godoy now spearheads the department following the departure of Jaime Moya, who left in February 2023. Senior associate Natalia Suárez Sánchez provides dedicated practice support.

Practice head(s):

Juan Pablo Godoy


Key clients

Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos


Oleoducto De Colombia


Ocensa


Work highlights


  • Advised Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos on competition law matters, including business integrations, restrictive competition practices and unfair competition, among other issues.