Competition and antitrust in Colombia

Baker McKenzie S.A.S.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S. handles a comprehensive mix of competition and antitrust issues, advising on all aspects of the sector, from anti-trust investigations and compliance through to merger reviews and clearance. Highlighted as 'one of the best', local practice head María Carolina Pardo has strong experience in cross-border matters and is also head of the firm’s regional competition and antitrust practice. An impressive second line is comprised of senior associates: Angélica Navarro, a former SIC anti-trust investigations and merger-control analysis specialist; Luís Alberto Castell, also a former SIC advisor, who focuses on competition and corporate compliance; and non-lawyer Miguel de Quinto, an economist specialised in the technical assessment of competition cases. Recent matters include advising Daimler Colombia on the sale of its Mercedes-Benz retail business (in Colombia) to automotive retailer Praco Didacol, a complicated matter requiring the team to prove that neither party exceeded the 20% market threshold, and also the ensuring of compliance with antitrust regulations, particularly those concerning the transfer of information between the parties. Other significant matters included advising EMP on obtaining SIC clearance to participate in the auction to acquire the distribution and commercialisation rights over electricity produced by Electricaribe. Additional support comes from mid-level associate Mariana Camacho, who focuses on administrative law and litigation in the sector.

Practice head(s):

María Carolina Pardo

Key clients

Accenture

Varian Medical Systems

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company

Daimler Colombia

Sumitomo Corporation

Frontera Energy

SC Johnson

Empresas Públicas de Medellín

Unilever

Work highlights

  • Represented Accenture in the obtaining of regulatory approval for the acquisitions of Myrtle Consulting Group and Wolox – both competitors in the corporate digital consultancy market segment in Colombia.
  • Represented Varian Medical Systems in obtaining prior regulatory approval for the acquisition of its local distributor in Colombia, J Restrepo Equiphos, which produced some vertical effects in the country in the market for medical devices for treatment and monitoring of cancer.
  • Advised ADM on the obtaining of regulatory approvals for its acquisition of Austrian animal feed-additives manufacturer, ANCO; and the obtaining of joint control (with Marfrig Global Foods) over a newly-created joint venture for the development, production and commercialization of vegetable protein-based consumer food products in north and south American jurisdictions, including Colombia.

Brigard Urrutia

As could be expected from such a transactional powerhouse, Brigard Urrutia fields a very capable, six-strong competition team under the leadership of Cali-based Alejandro Garcia de Brigard who -for one client at least- is 'the best competition attorney in Colombia'. The six-strong practice handles the full range of antitrust and merger-control matters (successfully handling over two dozen clearances during the course of 2020), and also offers specialist advisory in terms of compliance with competition regulation to clients such as Astellas Pharma, Bavaria, Clariant and Isagen. Practice head García is warmly spoken of by clients who highlight his serenity in the face of challenges, solution seeking and practicality. Significant recent merger-control mandates include handling the Colombian aspects of Aon's $30bn merger with Willis Tower Watson (obtaining unconditional clearance); and advising Bayer on the $7.6bn sale of its animal health business unit to Elanco Animal Health. Key support comes from senior associate and practice director Nicolás Cardona; increasingly recognised as a competition specialist in his own right, his former experience includes time at the SIC.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro García de Brigard

Testimonials

Very technical and updated advice. Availability.

Very good availability and experience; they quickly adapted to virtual service without losing quality.’

Alejandro Garcia, leader of the practice, has excellent experience and a magnificent level of availability for us. He is a practical lawyer, who seeks solutions and is a serene person in the face of challenges.’

Great experience in preliminary investigations and constant support with great contributions and specific knowledge. Knowledgeable on market research, market visits and dawn raid readiness. Trust and seriousness.’

Alejandro Garcia de Brigard is the best competition attorney in Colombia.

Key clients

Suzuki Motor de Colombia

Aon

International Flavors and Fragrances

Bayer

Mitsubishi Corporation

Schneider Electric

Inchcape

Allianz Strategic Investments

SAAM

Assurant

Work highlights

  • Advised Suzuki Motor de Colombia regarding an SIC antitrust investigation opened in 2019 for alleged anticompetitive conduct in public procurement porcesses with its distributors, providing a strategic and comprehensive defence that included the offering of commitments and representation during the stage of discovery.
  • Advised International Flavors and Fragrances (in Colombia), regarding clearance for its merger with Nutrition & Biosciences for the creation of a new company, successfully obtaining all antitrust approvals before the SIC.
  • Acted as local counsel to SAAM in an SIC merger control procedure before related to the markets of port operation services, port towage services and container liner shipping, successfully gaining approval for its acquisition of approximately 70% of the sahres of Intertug.

Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos

Long a leading firm for competition and antitrust matters -particularly on the contentious side- Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos handles a steady stream of SIC investigation-related matters, unfair competition litigation, merger review filings and consumer protection work, including associated class action litigation. It has also developed a specialised antitrust compliance programme. The specialised, 10-strong practice displays considerable bench depth, with clients highlighting ‘the combination of disciplines [used] to address the issues‘ and noting that the lawyers ‘clarity, transparency, friendliness and efficiency make them a highly desirable team‘. It is led by senior partner Alfonso Miranda –’a Latin American benchmark in competition law‘– and Andrés Jaramillo Hoyos, who –complementing his competition practice– also advises on corporate, commercial and transactional matters, along with public law and infrastructure. Recent mandates include representing Bavaria, Coca Cola and FEMSA’s local subsidiaries in merger control proceedings regarding a proposed strategic distribution alliance; La Campiña, Aerodelicias, Servicial (and certain associated natural persons) in the “PREB cartel” bid-rigging case related to the Bogotá Secretary of Education’s school meals programme; and representing Sociedad Portuaria regional de Buenaventura (SPRB) in an unfair competition case (alleged abuse of dominant position) brought by Datacontrol in relation to service provision at the port. Experienced associate practice director, Daniel Beltrán, is at the forefront of a strong associate bench that also includes Andrés Felipe Yáñez (competition and telecoms regulatory), and David Cotrina  (formerly at Jaeckel/Montoya Abogados), among others. Since publication, Beltrán has been raised to the partnership - effective January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Alfonso Miranda; Andrés Jaramillo

Testimonials

Their experience in strategic competition litigation and the availability of partners and the experience of partners.

Their knowledge of competition law throughout Lat Am and, in comparison with, for example, that of the USA; Their knowledge of administrative or public law, commercial law and their strong deep knowledge in technology management: they understand the Internet of Things (IoT) like few firms.

They are friendly and efficient at the same time. Effective negotiators, conciliators but firm in representing their clients.

Alfonso Miranda Londoño. He is a Latin American benchmark in competition law. Academic, professor of the area, founder of the research centre on the subject, litigator and negotiator in this broad field. The best I have ever met in the sector.

The approach to the client is one to one, with “tailor made actions”. They follow up on the cases, suggest procedural alternatives and seek that the deals are given.

Their billing is fair, clear and precise, we have never had any doubts about their bills, in close to 30 years working with them.

The combination of disciplines to address the issues is novel. Commercial law from the competition perspective, and technology in its interaction with public and private law.

The clarity, transparency, friendliness and efficiency make them a highly desirable team for corporations wanting a one stop legal shop, so to speak.

Key clients

Bavaria

DiDi

Ingenio Manuelita

Baxter

Avianca

Grupo Aval

Corficolombiana

Koba Colombia

Ecopetrol

Gases del Caribe

Kimberly Clark

Equion Energía

Citibank

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena

Drummond

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura

Oleoducto Central (OCENSA)

Invercolsa

Quala

Coca Cola Company

Norgas

Grupo Aval

Work highlights

  • Representing Bavaria, Coca-Cola and FEMSA’s local companies (Indega, Embosa, Transbeb and Atencom) before the SIC in order to obtain clearance in a merger control proceeding so as to proceed with a strategic distribution alliance so as to increase their footprint in underserved regions of Colombia.
  • Representing Corficolombiana and Episol in an investigation initiated by the Colombian competition authority for allegedly incurring in different anti-competitive practices during the structuring and adjudication of the Ruta del sol – Sector II Project.
  • Representsing Ab Inbev subsidiary, Bavaria & Cía, in an unfair competition action filed by Central Cervecera de Colombia for alleged subscription to exclusive agreements with retailers.

Garrigues

The Garrigues team is exceptional, according to clients who highlight the ‘brilliance' of its lawyers, the quality of their work and the readiness and ‘best disposition to take on the challenges they face'. The seven-strong team is active in merger control; demonstrates strength in the anticompetitive behaviour segment, investigations and administrative procedures; has expertise in unfair competition litigation; and provides strategic competition advisory, especially as regards the regulated sectors. Moreover, it’s already impressive client roster was boosted over the course of 2020 with significant additions including Iberia, Frontera and Falabella. This powerful offering is led by former Competition Authority head, José Miguel De La Calle, a 20-year veteran whose practice extends into public and administrative law and dispute resolution; in a notable appointment, he and banking head Roberto Borrás are co-advising the World Bank on the extent to which competition law should impact on Colombia’s forthcoming regulation of open banking. More typical mandates include advising Frontera Energy regarding SIC clearance for its acquisition of port operator Sociedad Puerto Bahía; and the ongoing representation of Bolsa Mercantil (BMC) in two high-profile bid-rigging investigations concerning a BMC-run commodity exchange for government / private sector procurement.  Principal associate Alejandro Acevedo‘s practice covers commercial law, procedural law and IP, with a particular focus on civil and administrative litigation (and arbitration) in relation to consumer protection, restrictive commercial practices, trade marks and unfair competition; clients speak of ‘a very correct advisor‘, who ‘handles his argumentation very well’ with ‘concepts that are very well founded‘ and who as a result ‘generates confidence‘. 2019-hire Anamaría Rico spent over three years at the SIC as advisor to the Deputy Superintendent for the Protection of Competition; recently promoted to senior associate, she focuses on advisory and dispute resolution in relation to anti-competitive practices, unfair competition and consumer protection. Other matters include advisory on anti-competitive behaviour, antitrust reviews of cooperation between competitors, and representation regarding unlawful competition claims. Associate Adolfo Enrique Gómez is also noted.

Practice head(s):

José Miguel De La Calle

Testimonials

The Garrigues team is exceptional. Their work is very good, the lawyers are brilliant and they have the best disposition to take on all the challenges they face. From partners to junior attorneys they are always available when you need them.

The team has been totally pertinent, orderly and very attentive. Theirs is a very professional and corporate manner, but at the same time very personal and close;  it’s a great balance. Alejandro [Acevedo] is one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with. The technical knowledge of the team, especially that of Alejandro, generated a lot of value. A transversal knowledge on the technical side of the intellectual property of plant varieties is a strength that I have not seen at another firm.

Knowledge of the law and the markets, in addition to providing timely and complete support. This makes the Garrigues team very reliable with positive achievements.’

Their knowledge of the law and how to apply it in the markets makes them very reliable and their compliance on all matters is excellent. The experience of Dr José Miguel de la Calle and Dr Alejandro Acevedo, their commitment and dedication make them a team that ensures very positive results.’

When support is needed from other areas, Garrigues professionals are also very reliable. Compliance with all commitments is exceptional.

The opportunity in the attention, the deep knowledge in the subjects that they tackle. Excellent teamwork.

The assertiveness and well supported of their appreciations and concepts. The knowledge and experience they have is transmitted in their positions and concepts very clearly and easily to their clients.’

The ease they have shown in working with other disciplines and other law firms that are their competitors, to provide an excellent service.

They seem to me to be of an exceptional level. Excellent knowledge, method and compliance; very organised and disciplined, they supported us a lot.’

‘Alejandro Acevedo is a very correct advisor, he handles his argumentation very well and his concepts are very well founded, so it generates confidence to have him as a project partner.

Key clients

Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España

Frontera Energy Colombia

Winner Group

Industria Nacional de Gaseosas (Indega-Coca Cola)

China Gezhouba Group Company

The World Bank

Prosegur Cash

Amazon US

Falabella de Colombia

Bolsa Mercantil de Colombia

Samsung Electronics Colombia

Work highlights

  • Advising Iberia in the merger control procedure before the Colombian aeronautical authority Aerocivil concerning its €1bn acquisition of Air Europa’s business division of air transport of passengers and cargo.
  • Advised Indega on an antitrust review of a strategic alliance between Bavaria, the largest brewing company in Colombia (with almost 90% market share), and Indega–Coca Cola, for the joint distribution and sale of their products.
  • Represented China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) in an administrative proceeding initiated by the SIC for alleged anticompetitive practices in the tender process for the Bogotá-Girardot highway PPP construction contract; following a 3-year investigation, the SIC dismissed the case in September 2020.

Ibarra Abogados Rimon Law

A stand-out boutique firm, tightly-focused on competition, antitrust, and international trade and commerce, the former Ibarra Abogados is now known as Ibarra Abogados Rimon Law following its October 2021 merger with the newly established Bogotá office of international firm Rimon PC. A pioneer in the competition sector who can draw on over 30 years’ experience, Gabriel Ibarra Pardo co-leads the small but partner-heavy team in conjunction with Ana Lucía Parra and Alejandro Ibarra. Both partners since 2018, Parra coordinates the representation of local clients in legal proceedings related to antitrust, unfair competition, consumer protection and administrative law; while Ibarra handles unfair competition, merger control, anticompetitive practices, and punitive administrative law matters – and has also developed niche expertise in energy and gas issues, following time spent at the Superintendence of Public Services. Recent matters include advising CCU subsidiary, Artesanos de Cerveza, on filing its opposition to the proposed strategic merger of The Coca Cola Company and Bavaria; advising chemical products group Brinsa on its successful application to the leniency programme in relation to the SIC investigation into anticompetitive behaviour in the national chlorine and caustic soda markets; and ongoing advice to the likes of Yara Colombia and retailer Mercadería on both consumer and competition matters, especially in relation to decisions taken by relevant administrative authorities. Key support comes from semi-senior Felipe Martínez Sánchez, who approaches the sector from the intellectual property side and handles primarily unfair competition, restrictive practices of competition and protection of consumer rights.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Ibarra; Ana Lucía Parra; Alejandro Ibarra

Testimonials

In-depth knowledge of competition; and the ability to find solutions and arguments in the different cases assigned to them.

Excellent service attitude, they are ready at all times to resolve and attend to concerns and requests.’

Permanent availability.

Opportunity and quality in the attention to requests.

Profound knowledge of the subject and interest in knowing the relevant aspects of the processes of the companies related to the matters under their charge.

They have a comprehensive team and any of them can easily attend to any of the issues delivered to the firm even if they are not directly in charge.

Personalised attention and taking into account the particularities of the sector and the company.’

Lawyers with experience and a lot of knowledge in legal matters, but who also understand the needs of companies.

A team highly prepared and knowledgeable about competition issues, with a high sense of responsibility, accompanying its clients and building excellent relationships.

Ana Lucía Parra and Alejandro Ibarra: excellent professionals, attentive to and always supporting their clients from the highest professional standards and  with a close relationship.

Gabriel Ibarra is an excellent lawyer with great knowledge of the functioning of the market and solid legal knowledge on the subject of free competition. He is one of the best lawyers in this practice. He is also a knowledgeable litigator with extensive experience.

Added value of the firm is availability, responsibility and close relationship.’

Key clients

Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores

Vinci Concessions Colombia

Vía 40 Express

Cartamundi Group

Ingenio Risaralda

Colombia Móvil

Yara Colombia

Brinsa

Artesanos de Cerveza (a subsidiary of CCU)

Mercadería Justo y Bueno

Work highlights

  • Represented Grupo Aval (and its CEO Luis Carlos Sarmiento) in the investigation concerning the alleged commission of anticompetitive practices in relation to the Odebrecht bribery scandal; the SIC case was closed in December 2020 having found no evidence of wrongdoing by the defendants.
  • Represented Vinci Concessions Colombia (its CEO Bernardo Serafim), and Vía 40 Express in an antitrust investigation into the award of the project; the case was subsequently closed in June 202 with the competition authority declaring that the defendants were not responsible for the charges brought against them.
  • Represented Cartamundi Group on the local Colombian merger clearance process regarding its global $220m merger with The United States Playing Card Company.

ECIJA Colombia

The former MBCR - Márquez Barrera Castañeda & Ramírez became ECIJA Colombia in April 2021, and continues to consolidate its impressive capabilities in the sector - albeit now with the regional -and indeed global- backing facilitated by the firm's international network. The eight-strong practice is co-led by former SIC antitrust superintendent Pablo Márquez (who has also held the role of chief executive director of Colombia's Communications Regulation Commission); and Julio Castañeda, whose various positions at the SIC include as head of department for the protection of competition, the promotion of competition, merger control, and jurisdictional unfair competition, as well as deputy superintendent for competition and  deputy director of surveillance and control at the National Spectrum Agency. As this would suggest the pair not only have a detailed and strategic grasp of competition and antitrust matters, but also particular expertise on these issues as related to the highly-regulated telecommunications sector and the digital sphere in general. Recent matters include advising American Towers Corporation in an unfair competition case brought by Comcel concerning access to telecom passive infrastructure; representing SoftManagement in an antitrust case related to the vehicle control and surveillance market segment; and acting as local counsel in the merger control procedure for the Colombian aspects of Veolia's €14bn takeover of Suez. Key support comes from Pablo Onofre, who was recently promoted to of counsel - his practice ranges across merger control, antitrust, information and communication technologies and privacy & data protection; and senior associate Diana Lucía Castiblanco, a lawyer and economist who specializes in economic analysis, antitrust, regulatory and government affairs, and public policy. Associate Jorge Mario González, who undertakes litigation and arbitration in relation to competition law, unfair competition and sector-based regulation, is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Pablo Márquez

Key clients

Terpel

Airbnb

Celsia

Telefónica

Argos

MercadoLibre

Bancolombia

Chilco

SoftManagement

Davivienda

Talma

Inmadica

Essilor

American Towers

ACN Inc / Flash Mobile

Veolia

Work highlights

  • Adivsed Veolia on the merger-control procedure before Colombia’s Superintendence of Industry and Commerce regaridng its (initially hostile) takeover of Suez in the water and sewerage utility services market; this is the second hostile takeover merger advised on by the team and the second hostile takeover merger control analysed by the SIC.
  • Advisors to (and representatives of) Inmadica in an exploitative price procedure initiated against the company -a mask distributor in Colombia- broiugh by the SIC on grounds of excessive pricing.
  • Represented Flash Mobile in an unfair competition case brought by Claro (which sought some $40m in damages); the case was won in March 2021 and the team is now representing the company in a damages claim for frivolous litigation.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)

The competition practice at Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) is a powerhouse in the merger approval segment, where it regularly participates in sizeable and complex clearance cases such as the recent $30bn Aon – Willis Towers Watson merger, as well as that of Partners Telecom Colombia and Avantel. Nevertheless the ‘efficient and professional‘ nine-strong team’s capabilities also include antitrust investigations, unfair competition claims and the design and implementation of antitrust compliance programmes. Overseeing a group that includes economists as well as lawyers, ‘stand out‘ figure Mauricio Jaramillo is a genuine veteran of the sector, with approaching 30 years’ experience; he is currently leading advice on a bid-rigging case in the commodities market. Key support comes from recent returnee, associate Biviana Helo, who handles both the advisory and litigious aspects of antitrust and competition work. Other recent mandates include acting as external counsel for antitrust issues, and the implementation of antitrust compliance and training programmes. Furthermore, after a number of departures during 2019, the team was further strengthened with the December-2020 hire of Valentina Manrique Gómez upon completion of her competition, innovation and information law LLM in New York. Young associate Paula de la Calle is also noted. Since publication, Helo has been raised to the partnership - effective as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Mauricio Jaramillo

Testimonials

A very efficient team which obtains results expected by clients. The stand outs were Mauricio Jaramillo and Paula de la Calle, rendering a very good service in which I can acknowledge the following key strengths:(i) Rapid response to client needs(ii) Obtaining the desired result by the client(iii) Knowledge of the market.’

It is a professional team that provides comprehensive support. In other words, they approach the problem from all its edges. Not only the subject of competition but in an integral way.

The lawyers, in addition to being capable professionals, understand the client’s needs and use their human side to understand the client’s problems.

They use all the technological aids for remote connection.

Key clients

Tetra Pak

Kirkland & Ellis

Clifford Chance

Skadden, Arps Slate, Meagher & Flom

Novator / Partners

Glencore

Syngenta Crop Protection

Klinge Pharma

Globant

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier

Work highlights

  • Local counsel to Willis Towers Watson on the local aspects of its global $30bn merger with Aon.
  • Local counsel to Fitesa on its successful merger control application concerning the companies merger with Tredegar Corporation.
  • Counsel to International Tug on the merger filing concerning the sale of 70% of its shareas to Chilean company SAAM.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

The small local competition team at Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría's Bogotá office primarily handles merger-control procedures such as the local Colombian aspects of the clearance of Traton's $3.7bn acquisition of Navistar International. With that said, the practice also handles antitrust and unfair competition matters, with recent mandates including acting as counsel to Nuvasive regarding unfair competition claims; advising a client on a preliminary antitrust investigation (involving a competition probe on alleged price gouging); and day-to-day competition advisory, particularly in relation to distribution matters. While only three strong, the group has the notable advantage of being able to call on practitioners from the firm's Lima and Santiago offices as necessary. Despite his relative youth, practice head Diego Cardona nevertheless has 'great experience' (he spent various years at leading boutique Ibarra Abogados ) and clients highlight his 'personal, timely and efficient manner'. Key support comes from associate Federica del Llano  who provides 'excellent and efficient service'; however fellow associate Andrés Meza moved to Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) in December 2020.

Practice head(s):

Diego Cardona

Testimonials

The main partner who has assisted us has been Mr Diego Cardona, a person with great experience, who worked in official entities of the sector and in academia. Mr Cardona has always attended us in a personal, timely and efficient manner. The main characteristic of the PPU firm is that of direct customer service from the firm’s partners, which gives greater credibility and trust.

The lawyer Federica del Llano is part of Mr. Diego Cardona’s group of lawyers and she has also provided us with excellent and efficient service.

The PPU firm is characterised by its constant evolution and updating in all branches of law and offers a comprehensive service on various issues. Its lawyers are outstanding professionals from the differing areas of law and in many of our consultations, the interdisciplinary service of the firm is necessary. Its relationship with clients is unbeatable and its rates are adapted to the market.

Key clients

Traton SE

Elanco Animal Health

Whirlpool

Visa

SAP

Clariant International

S4 Capital

Caterpillar

Adama

Nuvasive

Work highlights

  • Advised Traton SE in the merger control procedure in Colombia regarding its proposed global acquisition of Navistar International.
  • Advised Visa on the merger control procedure in Colombia regarding its acquisition of YellowPepper, a fintech offering disruptive technologies in the digital payment and tokenization segment.
  • Advised Elanco Animal Health on  the merger control procedure in Colombia for its acquisition of Bayer AG’s animal health business.

Jaeckel/Montoya Abogados

A well-established and highly reputed boutique, the five-strong Jaeckel/Montoya Abogados consistently receives praise for the quality of its concepts, ethical standards, availability and ‘impeccable results' – be it in strategic advisory, litigious or preventative matters. A former Delegate Superintendent for the promotion of competition at the SIC, Jorge Jaeckel is one of the market’s stand out practitioners, with profound experience -over 20 years- advising and representing clients on the full range of competition matters and, in particular, on complex and sizeable cartel and antitrust cases; an early exponent of advertising law in the Colombian market, his expertise also extends into consumer law and unfair competition. Fellow name-partner Claudia Montoya is a specialist in preventative matters across the areas of competition, advertising law, consumer law and copyright; she too held various positions at the Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio. Recent and ongoing antitrust matters saw Jaeckel successfully represent a Colombian officer at the International Finance Corporation in the Ruta del Sol bid-rigging case (all charges against her being dropped); successfully represented Ecopetrol in an antitrust investigation; and, in ongoing matters is advising Cementos Titan and Tecnoquímicas in a nullity suits against sanctions levied following cartel investigations. The Miami-based Montoya is representing Alpina Productos Alimienticios in two ongoing class actions; undertook a merger filing concerning a consolidation in the pork sector in the ‘Eje Cafatero’ region; assisted two companies with competition authority dawn raids, and represented Reckitt Benckiser in high court unfair competition proceedings, among other matters. Moreover, the pair are ‘are always available to answer any query, no matter how simple or complex‘ and, ‘regarding operational issues, the firm is up to date an in line with the market.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Jaeckel; Claudia Montoya

Testimonials

The assertiveness of their opinions, always framed in the highest ethical standards. Jorge is always available. He analyses and understands cases from various perspectives and finds creative solutions that turn out to be very helpful and compliant with the law. His experience and knowledge of the norms and precedents make his concepts accurate. I think that he not only compares favourably but far surpasses competitors, the results in the cases that he takes speak for themselves. To reiterate, his advice is not only subject to traditional concepts, but on many occasions the solutions are creative and innovative, always ensuring legal compliance.

Regarding operational issues, the firm is up to date an in line with the market.

Claudia and Jorge are always available to answer any query, no matter how simple or complex.

Jorge applies the substantial and procedural rules in a harmonious way, achieving impeccable results; this differentiates the firm. He understands the client’s needs perfectly well. His concepts are really useful in relation to the client’s requirements. He always finds ways and solutions that conform to the law.

Key clients

Beat Ride

Biomerieux

Carvajal

Hocol

Alpina Productos Alimenticios

Acesco

Corona

Colgate

Reckitt Benckiser

Ecopetrol

Banco/ Almacenes Falabella

Phillip Morris Coltabaco

Tecnoquimicas

Mexichem

Positiva

Color Siete

Papeles Nacionales

Cadena

Subway Colombia

Harinera del Valle

Maria Victoria Guarín / International Finance Corporation

Gas Natural Vanti

International Planned Parenthood

Net Voix

Prosan

Posse Herrera Ruiz

In less than three years since his March 2019 return to Posse Herrera Ruiz from his role as global competition counsel at Unilever, Jorge De Los Ríos has transformed the firm’s competition and antitrust practice. A key differentiator, according to clients, is precisely that de los Ríos ‘has been a company lawyer, so he knows internal management and has a very commercial mentality that helps to find quick solutions’. As a result, the five-strong team ‘has a very commercial mentality‘ and handles the full range of competition matters -from merger control and antitrust litigation to regulatory compliance and consumer protection- with ‘a grounded practical approach‘. Moreover, the April 2021 promotion of former senior associate practice director Juan Pablo Bonilla has added experienced partner-level capacity to the practice, particularly regarding antitrust litigation and unlawful competition cases. Recent matters include acting as local counsel to Delta Airlines in the merger control proceeding for its joint venture with Latam Airlines; representing Halliburton in an investigation regarding anticompetitive conduct; and Adidas on various matters - including representation in an extra procedural evidence gathering case (related to a store opening) and undertaking an internal review of all vertical agreements regarding the retail, distribution and e-commerce segments. At associate level, with Hernan Panesso currently on sabbatical and following the mid-2020 departure of Natalia Fernández to DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán, key support comes from intermediate Laura Torrado who has a post-graduate degree in competition law and arrived from specialist boutique Valbuena Abogados in late 2019.

Practice head(s):

Jorge de los Ríos

Testimonials

Practical, clear and concise. Extensive knowledge. Hernan Panesso, Jorge de los Rios.

This practice is unique because they provide us with comprehensive and highly focused advice on business issues, mainly on unfair competition, integrations and consumer law. It compares favourably with the teams of other firms mainly because its practice is so focused on the business.

They are excellent lawyers, efficient, they understand our business very well and give us solutions focused on our business.

The team is very practical, concrete and helpful. We feel very well represented with a pro-business, constructive tone. Great technical knowledge in the answers and correct.

Clear attention of the partner of the area with a grounded practical approach. Other firms are often very theoretical and far removed from the business world.

Posse Herrera Ruiz’s great differentiator in the competition and free market segment is its deep knowledge, which allows it to provide valuable legal advice to prevent high-impact risks. Their concepts are very clear, despite this being an area of ​​technical knowledge. The work team stands out from other participants in this sector.’

The plus that Posse Herrera Ruiz offers is the deep knowledge and experience in matters related to competition and the free market. The advice given by Jorge de los Rios on  projects crucial to the aims of the company is remarkable. Additionally I highlight the lawyers interest in their clients and in understanding their concepts and managing procedures.

It is an aligned team, very professional and responsible. They are very reliable lawyers and have a very commercial mentality that helps to solve problems that we have in companies.

They are very prepared lawyers. In the case of competition, I work with Jorge de los Rios and he has been a company lawyer, so he knows internal management and has a very commercial mentality that helps to find quick solutions.

Jorge and his team are always available and ready to work. Its response capacity is very high; In addition, they have excellent technical and practical knowledge of competition law in Colombia.

Jorge de Los Rios (partner): Jorge dominates perfectly and is very familiar with the operation of authority in Colombia. Admeas, Jorge has an excellent perspective on international competition law. This is key and helps substantially in coordinating multi-jurisdictional filings.

Hernan Panesso (Senior associate): Hernan is a hard worker and is always available to resolve any necessary clarification.’

The Posse Herrera Ruiz team is very knowledgeable on the subject. Posse Herrera Ruiz’s priority is to be able to cover all possible risks. Likewise, the team has always shown itself with the best possible availability to answer our questions.

The area is directed by Jorge De Los Rios, who has extensive experience in mass consumption companies, and understands the needs and times of us as clients.

The attention to the company, the attention to detail and the response times are very favourable. The best quality is the knowledge of the subject and, above all, the clarity with which they present the issues and the mechanisms to proceed in practice. Jorge de los Rios has been fundamental in the issues that we have been working on, as have Alejandro Casas and Daniela López. It is the first time that we have worked with the cmpetition practice and it has been very relevant to see the support and knowledge in the matter of all team members and prompt and timely care.

Key clients

Thoma Bravo

Occidental Petroleum

Diageo / Diageo Colombia

Arcelor Mittal

TCS Solution Center Sucursal Colombia

Adidas

Automotores Toyota Colombia

Delta Airlines

Halliburton

Ingebombas

Jerónimo Martins

Mecanoelectro

Praco Didacol

Ingram

SKBergé

Work highlights

  • Assisted private equity firm Thoma Bravo in the merger control proceeding for its $3.9bn acquisition of cyber-security company Sophos – one of the very few cases in which the Competition Authority accepted has a worldwide market definition.
  • Acted as local counsel to Penguin Random House on the Colombian aspects of its $2bn acquisition of the Simon & Schuster publishing business  from ViacomCBS.
  • Counsel to Automotores Toyota Colombia in an ongoing SIC investigation, in an extra-procedural evidence gathering case initiated by Motoreste to assess if they can open a claim for unlawful competition, and in regard to all the company’s ongoing consumer cases.

Avante Abogados

Founded in 2019 by Juan David Gutiérrez and Carlos Esguerra, Avante Abogados is 'a boutique law firm specialised in cross-cutting issues of economic and market law, focused in competition, consumer, personal data and judicial representation on commercial and related matters'. Characterised as ‘y1oung professionals with great expertise, maturity and interactivity', the partners have an array of related experience, both in the public sector (SIC, Communications Regulatory Commission, US Federal Trade Commission and Ministry of Justice) and private practice. Increasingly working in cross-disciplinary projects with aspects of competition, data privacy, tech and regulatory law, the team also 'demonstrates extensive knowledge of other markets in Latin America'; indeed, recent work included advising Anheuser-Busch InBev (in conjunction with Rizik Adviory) on all antitrust-related matters in the Dominican Republic, Panama and Barbados. More typically, the team covers the array of competition matters, with particular niche expertise in those with a public aspect, as well as an in-depth offering concerning the market's ancillary regulatory, consumer and data privacy areas. At associate level, the departure of María Angélica de la Hoz to the European Space Agency was offset by the hire of Ana María Mesa from Philippi.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Esguerra; Juan David Gutiérrez

Testimonials

The most important novelty of Avante Abogados is that it combines legal professionals with economics professionals, making it possible for them to position themselves as a firm with expanded and interdisciplinary capabilities and knowledge about market law and TMT.

Partner Carlos Esguerra stands out among his peers in Colombia for the knowledge and experience he has in handling complex TMT and competition matters. His closeness to the client, the interdisciplinarity of his team and his experience at various entities of the Colombian State make him stand out and differentiate himself very clearly from lawyers who do not have the aforementioned experience.

This is a boutique firm specializing in competition law, unfair competition and data privacy. In that narrow focus area, the two-partner team is extremely business and service oriented, and responsive.

I have been able to work collaboratively with this firm in the successful handling of notifications to the Office of the Superintendent of Industry and Commerce (SIC). The partners are quite knowledgeable and have great access to SIC’s officials.

Both Juan David Gutierrez and Carlos Esguerra have proven to be great professionals, easy to work with, and lightning quick in replying to requests.

Carlos Esguerra combines specialised knowledge with relevant practice in public and regulatory entities.

Avante is a boutique law firm specialised in cross-cutting issues of economic and market law, focused in competition, consumer, personal data and judicial representation on commercial and related matters. Its partners are highly qualified academically (PhD, LLM etc) as well as being experienced in advice and litigation, and knowledgeable of the authorities through their time as civil servants.

Technology and innovation are constant, and they are very focused and active on the issues of the digital economy. The firm’s practice of protecting personal data, and its economic impact, is highly recognised.

Young individuals with a good balance of public and private experience, highly qualified, and with a high international profile both academically and in terms of practice. 100% bilingual.

Respect and cordiality as innate qualities of the human being are constantly developed in their daily practice, in addition to that, the management capacity in the assumed issues allows them to be on a par with other firms.

Juan David Gutiérrez: his high academic level at the local and international level, together with his experience in management and advice in the public and private sectors, allows him to be a benchmark in topics such as law and economics, competition, public policies; all of which translates in qualities of high added value within one’s company.

Carlos Esguerra and his team have excellent knowledge of the issues and accurately identify the client’s need. They are a deep, clear and concise team that give assertive and immediate answers to the needs of the business. They fit their work within established budgets and take the urgency of their clients very seriously.

The firm has a very professional approach which is, at the same time, very academic and demonstrates extensive knowledge of other markets in Latin America.

Carlos Esguerra is thorough and one can expect to receive useful and quality advice.

Young professionals with great expertise, maturity and interactivity. Lots of practical and regulatory knowledge.

Key clients

Aerocivil (Colombia’s Civilian Aeronautics Authority)

Anheuser-Busch InBev (Dominican Republic, Panamá and Barbados subsidiaries)

Leonisa

Central Comercializadora De Internet

Abbott-Lafrancol

Rizik Advisory

Wiggin LLP

Philip Morris International

Coca-Cola FEMSA

Serrano Martínez

Advocat

Lamitech and Primadera (Grupo Sanford)

Alpina

Cuval Abogados

Discos Fuentes

Group Novus

Direct TV

Estudio Trevisán

Work highlights

  • Advised Colombia’s civil aviation authority,  Aerocivil, on all its competition law and economic regulation matters, including legal advice on a high-profile regulatory procedure with a strong legal discussion related to competition law in the ‘travel agencies and digital platforms’ segment, along with three merger review proceedings in the airline sector.
  • Legal advisory (in partnership with Rizik Advisory), to Anheuser-Busch InBev on all its antitrust related matters in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panamá and Barbados; the team also conducted a full-scale competition law audit of the client’s operation in Dominican Republic.
  • Advised clients on the “.co” domain administrator public bidding process (official estimated value of $30m); as well as ongoing representation of the client (in a joint effort with Deik Acostamadiedo Abogados), in litigation against MinTIC before the Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas fields a small but capable team in competition and antitrust matters, under the direction of public law expert (and 25-year veteran), Ximena Zuleta, who also heads up the infrastructure practice. She is supported by fully dedicated senior associate Carlos Arboleda (who also co-leads the firm's regional practice), and clients highlight their 'timely and comprehensive' service, availability and attention to solving their needs. The practice has particular experience in bid-rigging cases (participating in both the recent Bogotá-Girandot and Ruta del Sol cases), audits, investigations and merger control. Recent matters include advising Ron La Hechicera on a merger clearance resulting from Pernod Ricard's takeover of the distiller; and Makro Supermayorista on an internal audit to verify implementation of their competition compliance policy; the team also provides ongoing advice, such as that extended to BASF Química Colombiana in relation to competition matters, training and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Ximena Zuleta

Testimonials

Dentons’ competition team has solid knowledge of the subject and they are a reliable support for my company in this field. Availability, high knowledge, reliability.’

Carlos Arboleda and Ximena Zuleta: their service is timely and comprehensive and they are available and attentive to solving the needs we have .

 

Key clients

ICEIN Ingenieros Constructores

WSP Global

BASF Química Colombiana

Mastercard Colombia

Derco Colombia

Kantar Ibope Media

Accenture

Makro Supermayorista

Avantel

Work highlights

  • Represented ICEIN Ingenieros Constructores (as an interested third party) in the bid-rigging investigation by the SIC in the tender process to construct and operate the expansion of the Bogotá-Girardot highway.
  • Acted as counsel to professional services and engineering consulting company WSP Global in the merger control procedure of its acquisition of Canadian-based Enterra Holding.
  • Acted as counsel for mobile services operator Avantel in the merger control procedure related to its acquisition by Partners Telecom Colombia.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.

Very focused on the practical sense and application of the topics‘, Lloreda Camacho & Co.‘s competition, antitrust and consumer protection practice has a broad offering with notable activity in merger control, leniency programmes and unfair competition litigation. The small practice is led by ‘hugely experienced‘ corporate all-rounder Enrique Álvarez who ‘knows a lot about the subject‘ and is also ‘very clear in his explanations, very didactic and very practical in finding solutions‘. Arguably, however, it is senior associate Darío Cadena  who is the key specialist on the team; dual qualified in New York and Colombia, he is director of both the competition and consumer law practices. Significant recent mandates include representing the Autorregulador Nacional de Avaludores (ANA) in an antitrust investigation into the entity’s alleged failure to monitor and disbar associates; acting as counsel to Flores Ipanema in various transactions to increase its production capacity, including all merger review aspects; and advising the likes of Merck Sharp & Dohme Animal Health, Roche and others, on the competition aspects of commercial policies, their implementation and associated training. Senior associate (and head of data privacy) Maria Alejandra De Los Ríos, and administrative law focused associate Daniel Cardona are also active in competition matters. Since publication, both Cadena and Cardona have been raised to the partnership with effect from December 2021.

Practice head(s):

Enrique Álvarez; Darío Cadena

Testimonials

I would highlight the clarity of their concepts and how concise the lawyers are; their will to go beyond the analysis of the legal norm so as to evaluate the alternatives and risks inherent to each one. The direct attention of the partner in charge (Enrique Alvarez) and the personal and professional quality of his associates (Dario Cadena, Daniel Cardona, Maria Alejandra de los Rios).

Enrique Alvarez knows a lot about the subject and has a lot of experience but, in addition, he is very clear in his explanations, very didactic and very practical in finding solutions. His associates are also very knowledgeable, have an excellent disposition at all times and their concepts are very clear and concise.’

Lloreda Camacho is impeccable in its administrative and billing tasks, which  in-house attorneys greatly appreciate because it saves us valuable time. The firm  adapted very well to virtuality and permanent access to the partner-in-charge or senior associates means a lot to us.

They are a team always very focused on the practical sense and application of the topics on which they are consulted, which makes them very useful and efficient. They are concrete, agile, they understand the context from which one makes the consultation, and the hours and fees they invoice for this are very reasonable and justified.

Their concepts are always very clear and concrete: they go directly to the point consulted without extending unnecessarily.

Key clients

Goodyear

Interpublic Group of Companies Colombia

Seguros Bolívar

Flores Ipanema

Corporacion Autoregulador Nacional de Avaluadores (ANA)

Productos Roche

Novo Nordisk

FedeSeguridad

Drypers Andina

Herbalife Nutrition

Work highlights

  • Assisted Goodyear with a review of the aganda of a trade association and attended meetings to ensure compliance with antitrust laws whilst discussing industry wide initiatives.
  • Transactional counsel to the IPG group in connection with the acquisition of Lowe and its media agency (Beat) in Colombia; the competition team acted as antitrust lead counsel for purpose of securing clearance for the transaction.
  • Advised Seguros Bolívar financial group on the development of e-commerce platforms (and in relation to several sensitive issues such as pricing, advertising, data protection and warranties) from the perspective of antitrust and consumer law.

OlarteMoure

Best known for its strength in IP matters, particularly patents, OlarteMoure actually has wider sector expertise and advises an array of blue-chip clients -particularly in the food and beverage sector- on antitrust, unfair competition and consumer law matters. Indeed, clients 'feel confident, secure and well represented' by the team. 13-strong, the practice is led by name partners Carlos Olarte and Juan Guillermo Moure in conjunction with litigation and ADR practice director, Juan Felipe Acosta (who also handles merger filings); additionally, associates Camilo Andrade and Santiago Lombana were appointed practice co-chairs in May 2020. It is Moure, however, who -formerly in charge of the Competition Delegation at the SIC, and with approaching 30 years' experience- is very much the founding father of a practice that particularly distinguishes itself through its strength in competition litigation. It has also successfully leveraged its regulatory expertise in the sector into a noteworthy competition compliance sub-practice. Recent matters include advising WOM on its entry into the Colombian market, an ongoing process that to date has required bringing an unfair competition lawsuit again a competitor as well as restrictive trade practice suits and administrative actions before the regulatory entities.

Practice head(s):

Juan G Moure; Carlos R Olarte; Juan Felipe Acosta; Santiago Lombana; Camilo Andrade

Testimonials

I love to rely on the lawyers of Olarte because they listen to your need, explain the issues, give you options, accompany you in the risks and think about the client’s business as a whole and not separately. Juan Felipe Olarte, Camilo Andrade, Isabella Herrera, Estefania Espinal – the entire competition team is unmatched, they adjust to the client’s times and needs, they are very flexible, personally they make me feel very supported and accompanied.

It seems to me that compared to other firms they are very close and speak in a language that is easy for non-lawyers to understand.

They are an office that is always available to answer questions, they give personalised service and pay attention to detail.

It is a team with vast academic knowledge and extensive experience in the field of free competition and unfair competition and which approaches the issues and establishes interdisciplinary litigation strategies.’

They’re prepared people with a lot of experience in their areas of knowledge.

Despite the pandemic produced by Covid-19, I emphasize that communication with the OlarteMoure team was not affected: with different technological tools we were able to obtain the service in perfect condition.

The knowledge that the Olarte Moure team has of the client and the sector. Likewise, its experience litigating these matters before the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce.

They are business oriented, have an in-depth knowledge of the technical subject and act as business partners of the client.

OlarteMoure’s knowledge of Grupo Empresarial Nutresa, its businesses, its policies and ways of acting, makes this team a very good legal advisor in this practice.’

We feel confident, secure and well represented with the OlarteMoure competition team, it is an interdisciplinary team, diligent, expert and with very good recommendations.

It compares favourably with the teams from other firms we have worked with.

The pluses of the OlarteMoure team are:– Honesty.– Integrity.– Warmth.– Outstanding knowledge.’‘An outstanding team: partner Maria Clara Munera; associate Luciana Moreno and director Maria Alejandra Pava.

Key clients

Grupo Nutresa

Grupo Familia

Colombian Society of Authors and Composers (SAYCO)

Auteco

Organización Terpel

Auteco Mobility

Celerix

Dimayor (a Colombian football division)

Wom / Partners Telecom Colombia

FMC Colombia

Work highlights

  • Advised Organización Terpel on obtaining the dismissal of several unfair competition charges brought by a competitor, with fines limited to $100,000 from a total of $5m sought by the plaintiff.
  • Lead co-counsel to SAYCO in a strategy aimed to reverse an antitrust sanction levied against the company in a case whose outcome could change the underpinning of how organisations handling the collective management of copyrights operate, thereby becoming a landmark case for other Latin American antitrust authorities.
  • Advised Auteco in a contractual conflict with one of the largest motorcycle suppliers worldwide and which also had a dominant position in the Colombian market; the parties subsequently terminated their agreement.

DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán

DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán‘s multidisciplinary practice has expertise in merger reviews, antitrust investigations (including bid rigging) and complex competition litigation; and client highlight the lawyers ‘knowledge of the subjects in which they are specialists [which] ensures they handle them perfectly‘, their ‘very clear concepts‘ and that they ‘always look for the best option‘. A qualified economist as well as a lawyer, María Claudia Martínez is the key name in the six-strong group; practice director since 2016 and raised to the partnership in August 2019, she is now also responsible for data and consumer protection matters. Clients note her ‘exceptional professional knowledge‘ and building of ‘close and trustworthy‘ relations. Fellow co-head and managing partner Camilo Martínez has notable administrative litigation experience (he also handles arbitration), and frequently works with senior associate and litigation practice director Julian Solorza; the pair are ‘very collaborative‘. Recent mandates include representing construction company Erjar in an SIC bid-rigging investigation; Transportes Calderón against alleged participation in a collusive agreement; and EDEMSA in unfair competition litigation against EDEMCO. The hire of senior associate Natalia Fernández (from Posse Herrera Ruiz) in July 2020 further strengthened the team which can also call on experienced intermediate Daniela Huertas.

Practice head(s):

María Claudia Martínez; Camilo Martínez

Testimonials

The practice differentiates itself through its knowledge of industry norms and Colombian and international legislation.

They know the legislation in depth allowing them to make preliminary recommendations rapidly. It compares favourably with other teams and the lawyers are dynamic and committed. They study the issues in question so as to know them in depth and propose suitable responses and strategies. Nestor Camilo Martínez and Julian Solorza are very collaborative, particularly when it comes to presenting the monitoring and progress of the processes in their charge.’

They are highly competitive, their knowledge of the subjects in which they are specialists ensures they handle them perfectly, and they have very clear concepts and they always look for the best option.

We mainly work with Felipe Quintero and Maria Claudia Martínez. They are among the best lawyers the country can have: their professional knowledge is exceptional, and their human qualities and their relationship with their clients is close and trustworthy.

They live at the forefront; they have an excellent relationship with people and 24/7 customer service. Its concepts and solutions are always to defend the interests of the business.

Key clients

Asocaña

Incauca

Providencia

Ingenio Maria Luisa

Ingenio Pichichi

Electricas de Medellín Ingenieria y Servicios (EDEMSA)

EPK Smart Kids

Tecnoquímicas

Erjar

Patria Investments

Waterlogic

Advent International

Transportes Calderón

Carvajal

Argos

Work highlights

  • Legal advisors in the alleged sugar cane cartel in Colombia.
  • Advisors to  paper and print producer Carvajal regarding sanctions imposed by the Competition Authority for supposed particiation in a notebook price-fixing cartel.
  • Advisors of cement and concrete company Argos in relation to sanctions levied by the Competition Authority for participation in a price cartel with three other cement companies.

Serrano Martínez

Serrano Martínez is an eight-strong boutique firm primarily focused on corporate and competition matters and 'distinguished by its excellent service and the high quality of its work'. Founded in 2017 the firm has had an impressive first few years in the market and undertook the third highest number of merger filings during the course of 2020. Indeed, with a reduced number of antitrust investigations under the current competition superintendent, the firm has primarily been active in filings and competition-related litigation of late. Co-founding partner and 'a star performer', competition head Felipe Serrano is lauded by clients who note his former experience at the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) and 'mastery of the topics'; he was appointed President of the Colombian Competition Law Association (ACDC) in April 2021. Fellow name-partner, corporate M&A specialist Juan Diego Martinez, co-heads the practice and clients identify the proximity and inter-relation of the two practices as central to the firm's success. Key support comes from senior associate Andrés Jaramillo Sanz, who arrived from Colombia's Antitrust Authority in 2019; advising on antitrust, merger review /clearance and unfair competition, he also has extensive commercial and competition litigation experience. Headline matters includes multifaceted work on behalf of various Uber entities, to wit: successfully defending the company's right to operate in Colombia in an unfair competition case; litigation against fines imposed by the transportation and competition authorities; and in merger clearance matters related to the company's tie-up with Cornershop. The team has also assisted Primax with 13 successful merger-clearances and provides ongoing general competition and antitrust advisory to the likes of Gases del Caribe, Vanti, Amazon and Allianz Colombia.

Practice head(s):

Felipe Serrano; Juan Diego Martinez

Testimonials

Regulatory work and M&As for our operation in Colombia, we have the strongest team of all in Colombia, their combined experience as experts in competition and local regulation make their advice unique in the country.

All of the firm’s lawyers have proven experience in their field of action, being former officials with proven reputations they make foreign clients who are expanding their innovative and little regulated businesses feel very well advised by this team.

The day-to-day is dealt with directly by the partners, the advice comes directly from the most senior experts of the firm and not from its junior lawyers.

Serrano Martínez is distinguished by its excellent service and the high quality of its work. The firm has positioned itself favourably in the sector and is currently recognized as one of the leading companies in the practice of competition law.

A plus that makes Serrano Martínez stand out in the exercise of competition law is that its partner Felipe Serrano has previous experience in positions of responsibility in the SIC (competition authority). In addition, they have worked with strategic sectors such as hydrocarbons and aviation. Likewise, the team has Andrés Jaramillo who also stands out for his expertise in the area.

The commitment, knowledge and dedication of the Serrano Martinez team of attorneys is exceptional.

I have had the opportunity to work as a client with other expert competition law firms, and Serrano Martinez undoubtedly stands out favourably over its peers in the market.

Felipe Serrano: he has developed a good name and reputation in Colombia for being an integral lawyer, dedicated to the client, with mastery of the topics consulted and, above all, response times that are the best.

Camila Cárdenas: a young lawyer who stands out for her mental agility and mastery of the assigned topics. Availability and the vocation of customer service are a pillar of her personality.

Extensive knowledge of the area of ​​practice, with experience obtained in the public sphere, which allows us to adjust our work to current regulations. They are very competitive with other firms in the sector.

Felipe Serrano is very responsive and practical in guiding clients through the Colombian antitrust regime. This is particularly valued in a jurisdiction where insight into practical enforcement is just as important as knowing the black letter law. Felipe Serrano – he’s a star performer.

Felipe is extremely responsive to client needs for budgets and transparency, and has stayed well within budgets on the matters I have had with him.

The strength of Serrano Martínez’s practice is his specialised attention to issues of antitrust law and corporate law, always paying attention to the client’s needs, and with effort and dedication.

Felipe Serrano is an excellent lawyer who stands out not only for his academic knowledge, but also for his excellent human qualities. Specifically, he has the ability to clearly and thoroughly address all antitrust matters.’

Key clients

Uber Technologies, Uber Colombia and Uber

Uber Eats LatAm

Cloud Kitchens

Chevron Petroleum Company

Protisa Colombia

Discos Fuentes Edimusica

Primax Colombia

Gases del Caribe

Vanti

CI Invermec

Inversiones en Recreación, Deporte y Salud (Bodytech)

Marval

Allianz Colombia

Work highlights

  • Counsel to Uber Technologies in a case brought by taxi company Cotech for unfair competition, successfully overturning the first instance decision against the company on appeal at the Superior Tribunal in Bogotá and thereby facilitating the company’s ongoing operation in Colombia.
  • Our firm is currently advising UBER COLOMBIA S.A.S., Colombian based Uber company of one of the major worldwide companies of Transportation Network Currently advising Uber Colombia before the Colombian Competition Authority with regards to the Uber – Cornershop merger.
  • Our firm has advised and represented Primax in the filing proceeding of thirteen merger submissions before the Colombian competition authority with regards to its acquisition of gas stations; to date, all such applications have been successfully approved.

Valbuena Abogados

Originally established back in 2011 and operating under its current name since 2017, 'highly competent' five-strong competition boutique Valbuena Abogados has a close focus on regulated sectors - notably telecoms, pharma, energy and natural resources, transport, ports and logistics, and infrastructure. Founding partner Gustavo Valbuena is a former Superintendent of Industry and Commerce and is particularly active advising and representing a largely blue-chip client roster on SIC investigations. A case in point is the team's ongoing representation of KPMG for allegedly facilitating anticompetitive practices at various of its clients while undertaking its role as fiscal auditor. Key support comes from consultant Laura Buendía and senior associate Carol Sanchez Zambrano. Other matters include filings for precautionary measures, representation against claims of unfair competition, and defence against claims of alleged abuse of dominant market position.

Practice head(s):

Gustavo Valbuena

Testimonials

The team is highly competent, knows the business and adapts to our needs in response times.

The partner is aware of all emails and requests, which guarantees quality and time control.

Gustavo Valbuena: the participation and involvement of the firm’s directors in each case, contributing their knowledge and experience. He provides excellent guidance and direction for the best conflict resolution.

Laura Buendia: Excellent customer service, fast and quality execution of her commitments, work and projects.

Valbuena y Abogados has an excellent work team with high knowledge of the subject of “Competition and Antitrust”. They have great availability and response to customer requirements and needs, make good use of virtual communication technology and common tools for preparing and reviewing documents, and maintain a wide range of social, commercial and union relations.

Partner Gustavo Valbuena coordinates the steps taken by the firm, knows the business’ needs and manages the legal risk control of the operation.

Associate Laura Buendía, permanently available, dominates the process of sanctioning processes and is involved with the company’s team in the defence strategy.

Key clients

Constructora Conconcreto

Federación Colombiana de Futbol

KPMG

Tecnoquímicas

Ibeaser

Frontera Energy Colombia

Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare Colombia

Decameron

ExpresoPalmira

Fertipetrol

Uniphos Colombia Plant

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura

Work highlights

  • Advised Constructora Conconcreto and Industrial Conconcreto, as members of a construction consortium, in an investigation carried out by the National Competition Authority, for alleged involvement in collusive behaviors in the selection process for the award of the “IP Tercer Carril” contract related to the Via 40 Express road project, promoted by the National Infrastructure Agency.
  • Advised the Colombian Football Federation in realtion to a National Competition Authority investigation cooncerning whether senior executives of the CFC were involved in exploitative behaviours during the qualifying rounds to the World Cup.
  • Advised Ibeaser on an investigation initiated by the National Competition Authority (SIC) against the company’s majortity shareholder, Juan Carlos Almansa Latorre, for allegedly incurring collusion in tenders within the School Food Plan of Bogotá.  

Goh

The undoubtedly up-and-coming Goh -formerly known as Godoy Hoyos- leverages its track record in regulatory and corporate law to specialise in antitrust and competition issues, particularly those concerning the energy sector, where the group receives praise for its expertise and for having 'in-depth knowledge of the hydrocarbons regulatory framework and how it goes hand in hand with competition and integration regulations', and the consumer and software sectors. With an established reputation for competition matters, practice head Jaime Moya 'ensures excellent quality legal advice', according to clients (he also co-leads the firm's corporate practice). Key support comes from experienced senior associate Natalia Suárez Sánchez.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Moya

Testimonials

The Godoy Hoyos team has in-depth knowledge of the business carried out by our company, of the hydrocarbons regulatory framework and how it goes hand in hand with competition and integration regulations.’

The permanent availability of the partner Jaime Moya and his concern for having a deep understanding of his client’s business should be highlighted – it undoubtedly makes a difference in ensuring excellent quality legal advice.

At Godoy Hoyos they have been very active in offering training spaces (webinars) for their clients, as well as information channels on changes in regulations.

Key clients

Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos

Oleoducto De Colombia

Ocensa

Holland & Knight

Following on from the specialisation of the highly regarded IP expert Danilo Romero Raad, the competiiton practice at Holland & Knight's Colombia office is, perhaps, more focused on unfair competition and the IP aspects of the practice, than antitrust matters and merger filings. Nevertheless, the practice does attend to all aspects of the sector with the 'very capable and business oriented' Romero leading a 'highy professional' five-strong team that demonstrates 'quality in their work' and 'understanding of the case'. Recent matters saw experienced litigator Romero represent GE Healthcare Colombia in contentious matters before the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce. With associate Bettina Sojo currently undertaking her LLM, key support comes from Camila López Vigoya, who has a post-graduate degree in competition law.

Practice head(s):

Danilo Romero

Testimonials

Precise and timely advice. Danilo Romero is an outstanding lawyer, very capable and business-oriented.

It seems to me a highly professional legal team specialised in the areas they serve.

Their teamwork, disposition and quality of work distinguishes them from other firms, I think; Danilo Romero, Andres Nossa, Bettina Sojo and Paula Castaño – quality in their work, understanding of the case.

Key clients

Ortomec (formerly Biomec)

Acesco

Ole Communications

GE Healthcare Colombia

Work highlights

  • Assisted international multi-media company Ole Communications with an antitrust filing concerning a proposed buyout of the company’s equity by Home Box Office; and the simultaneous spin-off of the business of distribution, sales and representation of third-party basic channels.
  • Advised Ortomec on the preparation and filing of an unfair competition complaint against Instruserv before the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce.