Compliance and white-collar crime in Colombia

Jaime Granados Peña & Asociados Ltda

Originally founded in 1998 and operating under its current name for the last 20 years, Jaime Granados Peña & Asociados Ltda is an eight-strong, specialist penal boutique that has long enjoyed a pre-eminent position in the market. Founding partner Jaime Granados has over 20 years' experience in the sector, where he has undertaken many of the country's most sensitive cases, from that of colonel Alfonso Plazas Vega to the ongoing defence of former president Álvaro Uribe or that of former Army commander Nicacio Martínez. In terms of jurisprudence, Granados was a member of the preparatory commission for constitutional reform of the penal system in 2002, as well as an advisor to the Presidency for the country's constitutional reform of 1991. He is flanked by senior associates Juan Felipe Amaya Mejía and María Carolina Azuero Manrique (who has Master's degrees in penal science and criminology, and international law, respectively); and Carlos Fernando Alarcón González, who also has a specialisation in penal law. However, practice director David Espinosa Acuña left to establish his own firm, David Espinosa Acuña & Asociados in late 2019; senior associate Sebastián Erazo Camargo left in October 2020 to become a partner at OBM Law; and most recently (in February 2021), Esteban Sotomayor Puerto, also a senior, left to diversify his practice further into governance and associated matters - he is currently undertaking an LLM in corporate global compliance.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Granados

Jaime Lombana & Abogados

Originally founded in 1992, Jaime Lombana & Abogados handles criminal law, disciplinary matters and tax liability. Founding partner Jaime Lombana has built a hugely impressive reputation handling cases of national significance, such as the Hidroituango environmental case or the defence of Tecnoglass against the Superintendencia de Companias; he too has represented ex-president Álvaro Uribe, as well as handling other polemical cases such as those of Commsa, Dragacol, Telebucaramanga and Emcali. A founding member of the Fundación Internacional de Ciencias Penales (FICP), he has some 30 years' experience. Key figures in the young team include Felipe Alzate Gómez and Natalia Cifuentes Castro; however, Iván Jiménez Lafaurie left in February 2021 to become an advisor to the Minister of the Interior. Other relevant matters include the successful representation of the President of Corficolombiana, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutiérrez, in cases emerging from the Odebrecht scandal; and as counsel to Neocorp against Carlos Mattos in the Hyundai case.

Practice head(s):

Jaime Lombana

Mauricio Pava L. Abogados

With a broader engagement on the compliance-side than most of the traditional white-collar practitioners, Mauricio Pava L. Abogados is a corporate white-collar boutique that houses a 10-strong legal team and -according to peers- has particular profile in the finance sector ('a sizeable firm, they have the finance sector largely monopolised on this front') where it has acted for clients including the Banco de la República y la Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia. A conjuez of both the Supreme Court's criminal chamber and of the National Electoral Council, Mauricio Pava Lugo is a renowned penal specialist with over 20 years' experience and particular expertise in penal cassation; he is also a member of the advisory council on criminal policy of the Colombian state (2018-21), the Colombian association for integrity, ethics and compliance (ACIEC) and the Spanish compliance association (ASCOM). Director of operations Jacobo Alejandro González leads on matters concerning punitive law and financial risk, and is also specialised in computer crime and cybersecurity matters, while Juan Camilo Bolaños Pèrez heads up the firm's Medellín office. Daniel Santiago Guio Díaz and Juan Davi Leon Quiroga area also noted. The firm also has a sibling entity -Pava & Diaz Arana- which focuses on corporate risk and punitive law.

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero fields a sizeable 11-strong team that is equally strong on the compliance and white-collar aspects of the practice. On the compliance front it advises on the development, implementation and improvement of governance frameworks, compliance programmes, systems and controls - as well as assisting with internal investigations including those with multijurisdictional and cross-border elements; here the firm's global size and the forensics specialists and technology this allows access to is a considerable differentiator. On the white-collar front, the team advises on all matters related to criminal law and procedure, develops policies for the prevention and management of criminal risk, and undertakes client representation in any proceedings that arise. Head of the corporate criminal law practice -and co-head of the compliance and dispute resolution teams- Jacques Simhon has a Master's degree in criminology and security (and a specialisation in financial law), and has over a decade's experience as both advisor and litigant on corporate and personal criminal liability and criminal risk management. Daniel Rodríguez co-leads the areas of compliance and corporate criminal law, as well banking & finance, insolvency, and restructuring & liquidation, and heading up the area of public procurement; qualified in New York and California, as well as Colombia, he focuses on issues of risk management, AML, CTF, anti-corruption and smuggling. Recent and ongoing matters include representing victims of the Estrategias en Valores ("Estraval") fraud case; representing publicly owned financial institution Fiduprevisora in administrative litigation for violating local regulations; and implementing a tailor-made AML/CTF programme for fintech platform Peiky. While the financial sector is a strength (notably in relation to AML/CTF compliance), another is financial fraud in the construction, real estate and infrastructure segments, where both Simhon and associate Santiago Calle have particular expertise. On the compliance side, senior associate María Lucía Amador is also noted - she too has specialisations in both infrastructure/state contracting and international finance law. Since the concusion of research the practice has been furhter strengthened with the hire of Beatriz Molina as counsel; a former prosecutor, judge and magistrate, she can draw on over 15 years experience in the judiciary, particular in relation to criminal investigation and criminal litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jacques Simhon; Daniel Rodríguez

Testimonials

Their previous knowledge of fraud and theft at companies positions them as the best option when finding a firm that can handle a case involving high amounts. Their use of associated investigation teams to collect the largest volume of evidential material and the use of technology to analyse said material, gives the plaintiff the peace of mind as regards having a suitable team. To recapitulate: their focus on accompanying companies and their experience in cases of theft and fraud at organisations.

Key clients

Metlife

Progresión Sociedad Administradora de Inversión

Estraval

Airbus

Edificio Neos Nogal

Investors of Hilton Garden Inn Santa Marta, Colombia

Pavimentaciones Morales

CMPC Drypers Colombia

Jamestown Latin America

Fiduprevisora

Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten

DaVita

Covington and Burlington

Strabag (CML Construction Services)

Peiky

Consorcio PTAR Salitre

Work highlights

  • Advice and representation in all proceedings and investigations taking place in Colombia regarding a possible corruption scandal involving several jurisdictions.
  • Advice to Metlife Colombia Seguros de Vida on the implementation of internal mechanisms to prevent criminal risks, the modification  of its fraud prevention policy, and representation in all criminal procedures in which the company has an interest.
  • Advice to CMPC Drypers Colombia on the modification of it’s anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism compliance system (SAGRILAFT) to ensure compliance with new applicable regulations and standards as issued in December 2020.

Fabio Humar Abogados

Founded in 2010, Fabio Humar Abogados is a specialised economic criminal law boutique that specializes in white-collar crime and compliance matters. Clients are effusive, lauding the practice as ‘one of the best in the country‘ and which they ‘do not hesitate to recommend over other firms‘. The tightly-focused group handles criminal investigations at all court levels, corporate (criminal) compliance and prevention, anti-money laundering (AML), and the criminal implications of competition and public tendering processes. It is also adept in investigations and processes before securities market self-regulator, the AMV, and tax investigations before the Comptroller General of the Republic. A former prosecutor at Colombia’s Financial Crimes, Money Laundering and Economic Order Unit (UIF), managing partner Fabio Humar is a criminal law practitioner with a specialisation in stock market law and a Master’s degree in economic law. Recent matters include defence against charges of money laundering, handling matters of reputational management, representation in SIC antitrust investigations, and compliance and due diligence mandates. Key support comes from senior associates Sandra Ramón Saavedra and Gloria Liliana Pérez, both litigators. Junior Juan Camilo Casas arrived from Lagarcha Torres & Abogados in March 2020; however, Santiago Franco Najar left in July the same year to establish his own, eponymous, white-collar and compliance boutique.

Practice head(s):

Fabio Humar

Testimonials

Our impression is absolutely favourable. They are professional, timely and successful. They are good professionals who demonstrate good judgment. All have had experience in the judicial branch, which ensures the effectiveness of their recommendations and decisions. Partners: Fabio Humar, Sandra Ramón and Gloria Liliana Pérez.

The managing partner is always in charge of cases.

Personalised attention is the point where it differs from other law firms on the cutting edge in that it has implemented 24/7 communication channels with its clients. The cost of the firm is reasonable considering the very high level of the lawyers that make up the same.

The Fabio Humar Abogados firm is one of the best firms in the country. We have worked with others but, without a doubt, Fabio Humar and his team have strengths that no other firm has. Humar is bilingual – absolutely fluent in English, and that gives him an advantage over most other criminal lawyers. In addition, they know the peculiarities of the country’s criminal legal system like no other. Humar and his team are the most assertive and practical in the national market.

We have worked with other criminal law firms and we have no doubt that the Fabio Humar firm is one of the best. They are assertive, strategic, but always with innovative solutions, thinking about the well-being of the client and the maintenance of the business.

Fabio Humar Abogados is one of the most efficient and capable firms with which we have worked. His case strategies are innovative, and they deliver effective results. Which implies the elimination of excess unnecessary costs for the client. In addition, the level of commitment of the firm’s lawyers is absolute, giving 100% to the assigned responsibilities.

FHA attorneys are characterized by being highly recognised within the penal sphere, which is why their word has a lot of weight with the authorities at the time of issuing concepts. We do not know the strategies of other offices, but we can affirm that the FHA firm presents very novel strategies in billing, since it charges according to the difficulty of the case and the speed that it is resolved, without there being fixed rates (such as the billable hour) or hidden costs.

Fabio Humar Abogados, led by Fabio Humar, is one of the best practices in criminal law that the country has. We have worked with other criminal law firms, but Fabio Humar’s is by far the best. Fabio Humar’s professionalism, dedication and skill is exceptional. Humar is bilingual, and that is an advantage that makes him superior to other attorneys.’

I have worked with other criminal lawyers, and Humar’s firm is the best.

Humar differs in that he has a very high recognition in the Colombian justice system. His mere presence makes judges and prosecutors look at the case with different eyes.

The highest quality of Humar is that it attends clients in a personalised way. He works with Sandra Ramon, who is a very good lawyer.

Fabio Humar has several things that make him innovative: the 24/7 support he provides to his clients is unique. He never stopped serving us, which makes the customer feel very well cared for.

The billing system is much better than other firms, since it charges according to the strategy that has been proposed, and not according to fixed rates.

Francisco Sintura Varela Abogados Asociados SA

Francisco Sintura Varela Abogados Asociados SA is a longstanding white-collar crime boutique with a strong focus on the financial sector (particularly securities and exchange matters), insurance, tax, real estate, ennvironmental matters, telecom and copyright, along with criminial and administrative defence of directors, boards and officers. The firm’s sibling consultancy -Sintura Martínez- provides anti-money laundering consultancy and auditing servces. Director of the the Penal law department at the Universidad del Rosario for over 30 years, Francisco Sintura is a former head of the Control Division at the Banco de la Republica and of the foreign trade section of the Banking Superintendence, as well as an associate judge (conjuez) of the Supreme Court and Attoreny General. Fellow partner and litigant Pilar Astrid Sánchez is also specialised in finance matters, having formerly acted as a legal advisor to the Superintendence for Foreign Exchange Control, the Banking Superintendence, the Bogotá Stock Exchange (CNV) and as head of the legal office of the Ministry of Justice, among other positions.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Sintura

Key clients

Grupo Aval

Banco de Bogotá

Banco de Occidente

Banco AV Villas

Banco Popular

Corficolombiana

Alianza

Coomeva

Porvenir

Acción Fiduciaria

Siemens

Manufacturas Elliot

Jorge Cortés y Cia

Ingenio Mayagüez

Chevron Petroleum

Federación Colombiana de Cafeteros

Incauca

Postobón

Prias Cadavid Abogados

With some 15 years in the market, Prias Cadavid Abogados is a specialist penal boutique with deep experience across the regulated sectors -notably finance and telecommunications- as well as in matters concerning environmental crime, internal fraud, cybercrime, industrial property and copyright infringement, and crimes against heritage. Both founding partners have extensive trajectories in the sector: Juan Carlos Prías has a Master's degree in international economic penal law and almost 40 years' experience in the sector, while Paula Cadavid has approaching thirty years' experience -including as an advisor to both the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General- and both a Master's degree and a doctorate in criminal law; each has also served as an associate judge of the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court. Frequently noted by peers, the pair lead a team currently 10-strong that undertakes judicial representation (either of the victim or those charged with criminal activity), investigations and evidence collection, risk prevention and compliance counselling. Experienced associate support comes from Emilio Restrepo Villegas.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Prías; Paula Cadavid

Key clients

Bancolombia

Bayer

Rappi

Telefonica

Uber

Cáez Muñoz Mejía Abogados (CMM)

Mid-sized, full-service firm Cáez Muñoz Mejía Abogados (CMM) was one of the first to integrate white-collar criminal services into its wider corporate offering. Preventative criminal counselling, the design of compliance programmes and risk analysis of possible criminal contingencies associated with acquisitions and other transactions all constitute part of its offering, along with criminal defence representation and the counselling (and representation) of victims. With particular expertise regarding corporate criminal responsibility, name partner Alejandro Mejía 'demonstrates knowledge and great ability to define the strategy' and 'stands out for his dedication to cases'. Recent matters include both the filing of criminal complaints (on grounds ranging from alleged fraud and defamation to ransomware attacks), and criminal defence; the team is also involved in significant international arbitration. Key support comes from senior associate Carlos Andrés Mahecha (who has a Master's degree in criminal law) and associate practice director Antony Palacios. Associate Juan Pablo Pantoja was hired in November 2020; however, Vanessa Zapata moved in house at Certicámara the following month.

Testimonials

They have a group of lawyers who provide personalised attention and one of the partners will always be in charge of each process. Those who make up the team demonstrate knowledge and ability to design an adequate strategy for the client. Personalised attention to clients by partner Alejandro Mejía, who follows up on each case with a clear and timely response to the requirements raised and who always demonstrates knowledge and great ability to define the strategy.

The team is located within a firm that undertakes other specialties, therefore customer service is comprehensive. Among its members there is a work ethic where respect and teamwork prevail. Given the situation caused by COVID 19, the team did not neglect its clients, quickly accommodating itself to virtuality and thus continuing with their attention and that of the processes.

I love that above all they’re concerned about taking care of the name and reputation of the company. The lawyers of the firm were attentive, professional, the deliverables of the highest quality.

Alejandro Mejia was close, he was very interested in hearing and understanding the case and the concerns that we had as a company; the result reflects the integral work of the firm in which the case is analysed not only from a particular perspective (criminal) but also from possible alternative routes from different branches of law.

The process and communication with the lawyers was simple, fluid.

Both Alejandro Mejia and Guillermo Caez stand out for their dedication to the cases that are presented to them and their constant monitoring.They are up to date, in the administrative and professional area and use the latest communication and transaction tools with the client.

Key clients

Colombia Telecomunicaciones

OPAIN

Biomax Biocombustibles

Niver

ConocoPhillips

CEPSA Colombia

Sanclemente Fernandez Abogados

Repsol Colombia

Colvinsa

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Paladin Realty

Grupo BC – Cibergestión Colombia

Star Defence Logistics Engineering

Merqueo

Alpina

Work highlights

  • Filed a criminal complaint on cybercrime charges against a former contractor of Cibergestión who allegedly performed a ransomware attack against the database provided by Cibergestión to major clients to make them look unresponsive as confidential software information was simultaneously being sold to competitors.
  • Advised ConocoPhillips Colombia in a claim brought by an environmental collective claiming the company was involved in illegal fracking operations.
  • Filed a criminal complaint on behalf of AR Construcciones suing a well-known elevator developer company due to alleged fraud in an elevator supply contract based on planned obsolescence.

Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance

The Bogotá office of Miami-based Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance has steadily developed its successful local white-collar practice, which blends seamlessly with the firm's overall regional practice and well-known specialisation in OFAC investigations and sanctions-related matters. The core local team comprises managing partner Marcela Blanco, who advises on corporate governance as well as handling domestic and international litigation, and criminal litigator Javier Coronado, an ACAMS-certified AML and global sanctions specialist who was promoted to the partnership in early 2020. Praised as 'a committed, transparent lawyer', Coronado 'gives confidence to his clients with his transparency, knowledge and professionalism’, 'absolute disposition', and 'with whom communication is simple and efficient'. Moreover, the pair -both dual-qualified- can nevertheless call on heavyweight backing from the firm's Miami office with founding partner Michael Díaz Jr. a frequent participant in Colombian matters as part of his regional practice and specialist niche in OFAC sanctions and associated criminal cases. Recent matters include matters of criminal investigations and fraud, securities fraud, embezzlement, and in particular, niche specialist advisory and representation regarding OFAC- related sanctions concerning Venezuela, Nicaragua and other jurisdicitons. Since research closed the firm has announced Coronado's move to the Miami office and his replacement by Marcelo Buendía Vélez, a white-collar litigation and investigations specialist who arrives from the Attorney General's officer where he worked as a prosecutor - primarily in relation to money laundering and tax fraud cases. He joined the office in late-September 2021.

Testimonials

A comparative advantage is the fact that the entire legal team of the firm has experience in litigation in US jurisdictions as well as in Colombia. They are bilingual lawyers who have worked in both jurisdictions, with all the advantages that this entails.

Javier Coronado, who directs the practice in Colombia, is a young, bilingual lawyer, licensed in the bar of some US states and highly skilled and competent in litigation matters. Despite his youth, he has great experience serving his clientele.

It is one of the few firms in Colombia that offers professional advice from an international network of lawyers in those places where it has a presence, practically automatically. This enriches the legal advice they offer to their clients.

Dr Javier Coronado is an excellent professional, he is always in a position to quickly collaborate with the company’s requirements, providing effective solutions.

The practice of the Diaz Reus team is unique in that its partners personally attend to cases. The firm’s team is very complete and is always available to answer your questions. Javier Coronado, the partner is excellent, the way he attends and listens to the client’s problems shows that he strives to understand them beyond the legal advice.

Javier Coronado’s experience and the professionalism with which he leads the processes make the firm outstanding. He is a committed, transparent lawyer, with an absolute disposition and with whom communication is simple and efficient.

The way in which he explains to his clients the steps to follow, the decisions to be taken and the strategies to implement are quite clear, which generates calmness in the client as regards the progress of the processes and with the decisions that are made. they take. It is also a completely affordable team, which makes a great differentiator with other firms.

Javier Coronado is a lawyer who gives confidence to his clients with his transparency, knowledge and professionalism. He is a lawyer who is constantly learning, quite dynamic and very committed to his clients, with their expectations and objectives.

Javier’s relationship with his clients is unmatched and the billing turns out to be quite attractive, especially versus the quality of the service they provide, which is extraordinary.

Without a doubt, their most important asset is Javier Coronado. Perhaps the best criminal lawyer in Colombia. The quality of his criminal litigation is outstanding. He is a great strategist in his practice and knowledgeable of all criminal law and criminal procedure.

Key clients

Allianz Seguros de Vida

COLSERAUTO

Grupo CTO

Karisma Latam Hotels and Resorts

HAE Group

Santiago Velez & Asociados Corredores de Seguros

Ciudadela Comercial Unicentro

Laboratorios Biogen de Colombia

Machinetronics

Consultores Unidos Asociados

Construcciones Monserca

Work highlights

  • Ongoing reresentation of global insurance company Allianz in its criminal cases against former employees, clients and insurances intermediaries, as well as against external parties, including criminal cases for insurance fraud, insider trading, and embezzlement; specifically, conducting the pertinent internal investigation on behalf of the client and actively cooperating with Colombian law enforcement in the criminal investigation and prosecution of the offending parties.
  • Ongoing advvisory to multinational educational corporation Grupo CTO as regards all the company’s inquiries regarding Colombian law and regulations, including inquiries about the client’s compliance with Colombian laws on copyright, trade marks, antitrust, consumer protection, and criminal law.
  • Successful representation of Venezuelan engineering and maintenance services company Construcciones Monserca in obtaining written guidance from OFAC confirming PDVSA’s authority to pay outstandinf fees of over one million dollars to the client.

MestreMendieta Penalistas

An April 2019 spin-off from the former M&P Abogados, MestreMendieta Penalistas is at the forefront of corporate white-collar matters, particularly in relation to the finance, mining and service industries, manufacturing and the public sector. Moreover, the five-strong team does 'not only focus on criminal matters but also on how to find solutions and mitigate risks'. The practice is led by senior partner José Fernando Mestre, who has over 20 years' experience in penal matters and is director of the criminal law department at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Clients highlight Mestre's 'permanent updating as regards legal issues', ensuring 'his practice is "state of the art"'. Working alongside Mestre for approaching 15 years, fellow name partner Nadia Carolina Mendieta has two JDs and specialisations in criminal science and disciplinary law; 'closely accompanying cases', clients highlight her rigour and preparation 'with great anticipation for upcoming events and schedules'. Recent matters include advice to -and representation of- Bancolombia and Banco Davivienda in relation to banking fraud; defending Reficar's former legal counsel in the high-profile embezzlement case concerning modernisation of the Reficar refinery; and in the public sector, advising/representing the Superintendencia de Puertos y Transporte regarding various criminal issues arising from its operation. Key support comes from dual-qualified (New York / Colombia) senior associate Nicolás Hurtado whom clients laud as 'highly collaborative and attentive' and who 'enriches the advice and strategy with innovative mechanisms and proposals'; moreover, 'his bilingualism allows him to handle cases with a high component in English'.

Practice head(s):

José Fernando Mestre; Nadia Carolina Mendieta

Testimonials

Expert knowledge of criminal matters, diversity, customer support, fast execution.

Their dedication to understand and study in detail the case they represent. Given their extensive training and depth of law, they have the ability to understand the different legal aspects of business affairs. They have great ability to identify the relevant elements of the process and work around them, which favours the forcefulness of their work. They also have a great connection with the academy, an important factor for knowing first-hand the debates and trends of law in said forum. Their practice has received wide and favourable recognition and they are in a moment of growth that will require them to expand their legal and support team. They operate a fixed fee for taking on the different stages of the case, which optimizes the billing process, lessens administrative paperwork and allows focus on the substantial aspects of the case. They are very collaborative and outstanding in managing the needs of those they represent. They maintain a very professional and close relationship with the client, understanding both their legal and personal needs when facing a process they regard as unfair. They have suppliers and strategic allies in technical fields that favour the legal work of the team and therefore the needs of the case.

The training and career of Dr José Fernando Mestre is outstanding. His wide and deep knowledge of the law gives confidence to the client. His permanent updating as regards legal issues not only makes his practice ‘state of the art’, but also make him a  promoter and manager of the transformation and changes in law and legal requirements in accordance with the demands of new realities.

Dr Nadia Mendieta is rigorous in her legal duties, she prepares with great anticipation for upcoming events and schedules – and does so with incomparable human warmth.

Dr Nicolás Hurtado brings an academic background with an insight into other jurisdictions and the legal systems of other countries. He enriches the advice and strategy with innovative mechanisms and proposals. His bilingualism allows him to handle cases with a high component in English and Spanish. He is highly collaborative and attentive to the client’s needs.

It is a firm that focuses on knowing the client in a specific way so as to be able to advise correctly. They build trust in internal teams at all levels. They not only focus on criminal matters but also on how to find solutions and mitigate risks.

Silvia Moncada joined a few months ago and she is a great professional, very active and interested in supporting difficult and challenging cases with the authorities. It is very enriching that Nadia Mendieta closely accompanies the cases and gets involved when they do not flow or the road gets difficult.

Mestre & Mendieta are close to the clients, they give tranquility in difficult issues, their language is simple and easy to understand. The plus is the constant communication they give about the progress or steps that are entrusted to them.

‘It is the first time that I have gone to a law firm so I have no point of comparison. However, I take the opportunity to say that Mestre Mendieta has been very efficient and it gives me peace of mind that they handle my cases. To date the way in which these procedures are carried out has seemed simple to me.

Key clients

AngloGold Ashanti Colombia

Superintendencia de Puertos y Transporte

Bancolombia

Industria Nacional de Gaseosas

GM Financial Colombia

Banco Davivienda

Phillip Morris

Legislación Económica

Cargill de Colombia

Andrés Carne de Res

Cosmos Insignia

Felipe Arturo Laverde Concha

Acueducto Metropolitano de Bucaramanga

Work highlights

  • Permanent legal advice to AngloGold Ashanti Colombia regarding issues arising from its operations, as well as representation of the company and its executives before the Attorney Generals’ Office.
  • Advice to Bancolombia regarding banking fraud in relation to financial transactions, the drafting of criminal complaints and representation of Bancolombia (as a victim) in the investigations conducted by the Attorney Generals’ Office and in court; we currently represent the client in 14 cases.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

The March 2019 incorporation of the former Forero Ramírez white-collar boutique brought regional firm Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría's Bogota office established capacity in penal and compliance matters. regarded as 'good, young and solid' by one peer, the six-strong practice handles the full spectrum of compliance and white-collar matters and is led by Juan Carlos Forero and Pamela Alarcón. With over 20 years criminal law and litigation experience, Forero is a former Attorney General of the Nation and associate judge of the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court; he has a notable track record advising and representing state entities and concessionaires in criminal matters, as well as advising on the prevention of criminal behaviour. Alarcón, in turn, also has extensive criminal law, corporate criminal law, anti-corruption, crime prevention and compliance experience, as well as handling risk analysis and criminal litigation, and having a strong reputation for crisis management scenarios arising from criminal activity within companies (she also directs the firm's regional compliance practice). Recent matters include advising Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Santa Marta (SPSM) on the design and implementation of an AML/CFT risk detection system and PEI Asset Management on a corporate compliance programme (including know-your-client procedures, AML and ABC policies etc), and permanent advisory on compliance matters to Diana Corporación. In the absence of principal associate Armando Lacouture, currently undertaking his LLM, key associate support comes from intermediate Andrea Succar.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Forero; Pamela Alarcón

Key clients

Sociedad Aeroportuaria de la Costa (SACSA)

Asociación Probienestar de la Familia Colombiana (Profamilia)

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Santa Marta

PEI Asset Management

Empresas Públicas de Medellin (EPM)

Diana Corporación (Dicorp)

Terranum Corporation

Mondelez International

Banasan

ADDI

Work highlights

  • Advised Empresas Públicas de Medellin –EPM on the implementation of the regulatory requirements issued by the Resolution 080 of the Colombian Regulatory Commission for Energy and Gas-CREC.
  • Designed and carried out a robust and effective compliance program regarding AML and ABC policies.
  • Advised Profamilia on complying with the AML/CFT obligations stated in the External Circular No. 003, 2018 of the Health Superintendence of Colombia.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S.

While penal law is not an explicit part of the office's service offering, in senior associate Bibiana Cala, Baker McKenzie S.A.S.  has a significant young white-collar practitioner. Providing both litigious and advisory assistance, Cala has over 15 years' penal-practice experience and formerly acted as an advisor to the vice-ministry for criminal policy. In conjunction with veteran competition partner, Carolina Pardo, who heads up the office's compliance practice (indeed, she is a member of the global steering committee for the firm’s compliance & investigations group), the firm's Bogotá office undoubtedly has the resources to attend to white-collar and compliance investigations and cases if not a fully articulated practice group as yet. Associate Karen Santamaría  (compliance and investigations, corporate governance), is also noted.

Brigard Urrutia

In March 2020 Brigard Urrutia brought in Ricardo Forero -formerly a senior director at Kroll- to head up the firm's nascent corporate crime, compliance and investigations practice, in conjunction with associate Andrea Plazas. With over 15 years' experience in private practice, the public sector and in house, Forero has a Master's degree in criminal law and focuses on corporate criminal matters, compliance, FCPA-related matters and investigations, and the practice has already seen an uptick in work since his arrival. Plazas has also been instrumental in the development of the practice, leading on all matters concerned with compliance as well as advising on AML, CTF, and anti-bribery and corruption measures. Recent matters have seen the team undertaking internal investigations, representing clients in transnational criminal investigations, and handling the design and implementation of compliance programmes involving ATF, CTF, ABC and data privacy.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Forero; Andrea Plazas

Key clients

Bogotá Móvil Operación Sur

Mars

Aleatica

H&M Hennes & Mauritz

Metro Línea 1

NuVasive

Greensill Capital

NuBan

Work highlights

  • Advised H&M Hennes & Mauritz Colombia on the design and implementation of a local compliance programme including anti-bribery, anti-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering as well as data privacy.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)

The nascent, specialist, risk and compliance practice at Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) has been kick started by the firm's late-2020 hire of former Yanbal International legal-head, Adriana Bravo, a 30-year legal veteran who has over a decade specialising in corporate governance and compliance, AML and CTF, anti-bribery and corruption, corporate ethics, and data protection and information security. She co-leads the practice with corporate partner Mauricio Jaramillo. M&A practice head Lina Ocampo is also active as regards environmental compliance, while key support comes from corporate and transactional senior, Monica Cuestas.

Practice head(s):

Adriana Bravo

Key clients

Scheffer & Cia

Pluspetrol

Macquarie Capital (USA)

Work highlights

  • Preparation of a matrix of all the general legal obligations and risks related to Covid.
  • Preparation of antitrust compliance programmes for two companies.
  • Preparation of an antitrust compliance program for the client, including the preparation of a matrix of all the legal risks related to the company’s day to day operations and a mitigation strategy, and concerningcompliance, anti-bribery, and anti-corruption matters, data protection, and antitrust.