Arbitration in Colombia
As evidenced by a sizeable caseload of relevant arbitral matters, Suescún Abogados stands at the forefront of the high-end domestic and international arbitration. The boutique is exclusively dedicated to arbitration and clients highlight the team's international experience and academic depth. Demonstrating 'creativity and a critical sense', firm-founder Jorge Suescún has acted as party counsel, panel-member, sole arbitrator or chairman in more than 130 arbitration processes. Fellow practice co-head Felipe Suescún is also highlighted for his technical and procedural knowledge. Offering personalised and highly specialised representation in disputes conducted under the rules of all the major arbitral institutions, the boutique intervenes in a wide range of sectors, including construction, electricity, energy, engineering, oil & gas, among others. Relevant support comes from associate Felipe González, particularly regarding mining, construction and infrastructure cases under ICC or CCB (Bogotá Chamber of Commerce) rules. The firm is also the Colombian member of ACLA, an association of disputes firms currently covering the four countries of the Pacific Alliance.
‘Despite being a family office, the relatively small team is extraordinary. Both Felipe and Jorge Suescún are legal scholars, have international experience and are great academics’.
‘The plus of this firm is its specialisation in national and international commercial arbitration and the highest knowledge of private law applicable to disputes regulated by Colombian law. I especially highlight the expertise that Jorge Suescún demonstrates in each of his interventions and responses. As an aspect to be highlighted, Jorge Suescún not only provides a systematic and deep knowledge of the applicable law, but also a lot of creativity and a critical sense. This allows the client to identify weaknesses in established positions, while proposing innovative solutions to regain the strongest position in the litigation‘.
‘We recommend Felipe Suescún for his technical knowledge in law and practical and precise knowledge of arbitration procedure. Likewise, he has excellent management in the relationship with the client’.
- Acting as local counsel representing Reficar in an $5.6bn ICC arbitration, currently one of the largest and most complex construction disputes in the world.
- Acted as lead counsel for two Goldman Sachs’ subsidiaries in a $1.6bn multi-party ICC international arbitration related to coal transportation via rail in Colombia.
- Acted as lead counsel to Fluor and Vepica in an international commercial arbitration against Siemens under the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce (CCB) rules, arising from a supply and installation of turbines contract.
- Successfully represented Cerrejón, the largest mining company in Colombia, in an international ICC arbitration against a multinational consortium (Ferrovial Agroman and Sainc Ingenieros), related to the construction of a marine project; the tribunal dismissed the $60m claims brought by the consortium and awarded all counterclaims and damages sought by the clients ($40m).
- Jorge de Suescún is currently acting as arbitrator in a $350m domestic arbitration under CCB rules between Grupo de Energía de Bogota and Enel.
Undoubtedly one of the most prestigious and specialist arbitral offerings not just in Colombia but regionally, ZULETA Abogados Asociados S.A.S fields a multidisciplinary six-partner team supported by 12 associates. Its impressive track record demonstrates unequalled strength in international arbitration, (both investment and commercial cases), under all the most common sets of arbitral rules (ICSID, ICC, ICDR, LCIA, etc.), and the firm has also developed a specialization in international public law that is unique in the local market. Founding partner and practice head Eduardo Zuleta is 'a point of reference' in the sector - a listed arbitrator for ICSID and the ICDR, not to mention local Chambers of Commerce in Bogota, Quito and Lima among others. In a key highlight, Zuleta paired up with fellow co-head, 'extremely bright young lawyer' Rafael Rincón, to act as lead counsel to a road concessionaire in a $100m ICC arbitration seated in Madrid. Additional bench-depth - and sectorial breadth - is provided by 30-year oil-and-gas veteran Gustavo Suárez, who acts as both arbitrator and expert witness on hydrocarbons' matters; Rafael Bernal, a former president, vice-president and deputy director of the Inter-America Commercial Arbitration Commission who has over a 40 years' experience in domestic and international arbitral matters; and former justice of Colombia's Council of State and Constitutional Court, Antonio Aljure, an expert in both public and private international law. Key associate input comes from Daniela Páez and Juan Ignacio Guerra, who attend commercial and investment, and domestic arbitration, respectively.
‘A team of excellent professionals of international stature. Probably the best arbitration firm in Colombia‘.
‘Eduardo Zuleta and Rafael Rincón are points of reference of their respective generations, in the arbitration scene. Both take the professionalism and moral honesty of the referee’s work to the maximum expression. Eduardo Zuleta’s trajectory gives him a unique knowledge of the benefits and shortcomings of the system and the unique opportunity to establish the policies and roadmap of changes in the arbitration institution par excellence and in the organization that publishes the most relevant soft laws. Few referees gather a 360 degree formation like Zuleta’s’.
‘Eduardo Zuleta’s experience makes the difference. Rafael Rincón is an extremely bright young partner’.
‘Their disposition, efficiency and sense of responsibility is excellent. Zuleta Abogados Asociados is made up of an interdisciplinary team of lawyers with experience and in-depth knowledge of the law. We have had as advisor or referee Eduardo Zuleta, Antonio Aljure, Rafael Bernal, Rafael Rincón, and Gustavo Suárez, all are excellent’.
‘It is a highly professional team committed to the cause of its client. Eduarzo Zuleta, Daniela Paez and Rafael Bernal deserve special attention‘.
‘Rafael Rincón has good command of conflict resolution, international, procedural and free competition law. Excellent customer management. Associate Sebastián Briceño masters the process. He is a very structured, competent and efficient lawyer. He has a very good treatment, which allows an easy interaction to carry out different activities’.
Drummond / Drummond Coal Mining
Aleatica (former OHL Concesiones)
Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia
Shikun & Binui
Superior Energy Services
Santo Domingo Motors Company
Fondo Latinoamericana de Reservas (FLAR)
Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Barranquilla
- Lead counsel to Autopista Río Magdalena and Aleatica in an international arbitration against another Spanish construction company; proceedings are under ICC rules and seated in Madrid.
- Counsel to a Mexican-Colombian consortium in an international arbitration against a State entity; seated in Medellín and under ICC rules, the case concerns a major local infrastructure project.
- Lead counsel to Santo Domingo Motors in international arbitration against a company in the tech sector; seated in Santo Domingo and under local Chamber of Commerce rules.
- Lead counsel to a Spanish waste management company in international arbitration against a Colombian corporation under ICC rules.
- Represented the operator of one of Colombia’s largest hydroelectric plants, as both defendant and counterclaimant, in a domestic arbitration before Bogotá’s Chamber of Commerce.
Baker McKenzie S.A.S.
Well known for its prominence in litigious matters, Baker McKenzie S.A.S.’ local team, under the leadership of key contact (and Global Chair of the firm's Dispute Resolution Group) Claudia Benavides has increasingly developed top-notch arbitration expertise, with demonstrable strength in multi-jurisdictional cases regarding post-transactional scenarios and construction disputes. Benavides has recently led on four complex high-value international arbitration matters, all of them under ICC rules. The 14-strong practice also includes Cristina Mejia, whose arbitral focus is on the finance, infrastructure, oil, real estate and pharmaceutical sectors; and was notably strengthened with the May-2019 hire of María Angélica Burgos as senior associate. Previously a partner at ZULETA Abogados Asociados S.A.S, Burgos is experienced in arbitrations under ICSID, UNCITRAL and ICC rules, as well as in domestic arbitration. Associate Jorge Valencia is also noted.
Louis Berger Group
Parsons Group International
China United Engineering Corporation
Progin / Anas
- Successfully acted for China United Engineering Corporation in both the Constutional Court and the Council of State in defence of a prior, $200m arbitral award also handled by the team.
- Represented a state-owned company in a ICC arbitration in New York.
- Representing a port related company in international arbitration proceeding under ICC rules.
- Representing an international investment fund in an international arbitration under ICC rules against a foreign company and related to the exercise of rights set forth in an agreement for the acquisition of the shares of a Colombian company.
Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados
Insurance claims dispute-resolution boutique Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados principally advises international companies with local operations in Colombia on compliance with public contracts, but also handles arbitral disputes that arise from the same. Led by Bernardo Salazar, the group undertakes both domestic and international arbitration across a wide array of sectors including mining, oil, pharmaceutical, construction, insurance and utilities. In a key highlight, the team represented Glencore's Colombian subsidiaries in a -now concluded- $1.6bn ICC arbitration against a railway concessionaire. The team is also advising a client on three arbitral claims that ensued after the termination of a transportation agreement for a regulated product.
Pacific Stratus Energy
Johnson & Johnson MD&D
Alpina Productos Alimenticios
- Co-represented -as local counsel with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer- Glencore’s Colombian subsidiaries in a $1.6bn ICC arbitration against a railway concessionaire.
- Represented Alpina in an arbitration proceeding related to the breach of a maquiladora contract.
- Represented Carbones de la Jagua in an arbitration proceeding in which the claimant sought payment of damages.
- Represented Impala Terminals in an arbitration proceeding related to a breach of a construction contract at its port facilities in Barrancabermeja.
Chemás & Asociados
Boutique Chemás Roldán & Asociados is highly sought after for its strong specialisation in representing major private companies in arbitrations arising from public-service-infrastructure project disputes. The eight-strong practice covers an array of specialist sub-sectors, including energy, roads and highways, and telecommunications. Founding partner Jorge Eduardo Chemás and Ingrid Soraya Ortiz co-lead the team, deriving productive synergies from combining their respective specialisms in administrative and public procurement law, and commercial and antitrust law, to handle contractual arbitration disputes. Furthermore, the practice has niche expertise in the enforcement of arbitral awards; in a headline example, the group successfully obtained the confirmation of a favourable arbitral ruling before the Council of State on behalf of Constructora Andrade Gutiérrez against the state entity INVIAS.
‘They are very rigorous with their information, they read all communications carefully and, after some time, their knowledge about the case is deeper than the client’s. They undertake a classification and management of information that is very successful’.
‘Ingrid Soraya Ortiz is very, very rigorous in handling the process. She knew all the information and did an excellent job, not only did she know everything about the case but also studied each topic of the process in depth . Jorge Eduardo Chemás is very strategic and knows how to direct the process very well. I love that he knows the cases so intimately, unlike other offices where junior lawyers are the ones who know the processes, this really makes a difference‘.
Autopistas De Santander
Grodco Ingenieros Civiles
Centro De Gerenciamiento Doña Juana
Compañía Electrica de Sochagota
Concesión Santa Marta Paraguachón
Coninsa Ramón H
Constructora Andrade Gutierrez
Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bucaramanga
Ingenieros Constructores Gayco
Ingenieros Consultores Civiles y Eléctricos – (Ingetec)
Malla Vial Del Valle
Pavimentos Colombia (Pavcol)
- Successfully represented CODAD in an arbitral tribunal against ANI’s Unidad Administrativa Especial de Aeronáutica Civil regarding regulatory changes affecting the concession contract for repairing the North runway of the El Dorado Airport.
- Representing Coninsa Ramon H in Bogota Chamber of Commerce arbitration against Leasing Bancolombia and AES Chivor concerning additional reparations required to ensure a projects’ functionality subsequent to their supposed completion of works.
- Advising Centro de Gerenciamiento de Residuos Doña Juana in a $400m, Bogotá Chamber of Commerce arbitration against the Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Publicos (UAESP), for economic imbalance in a waste mangement public services concession dating back over the last ten years.
Affinitas-member firm Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) continues to participate in high-stakes arbitration cases representing major companies and State parties in national and international arbitration proceedings. The full-service firm's sweet spot is investment protection and recent matters have seen the team represent a Spanish construction company in an ICR-governed dispute arising from the performance contract. Off-counsel William Araque, with a career spanning over 25 years, and David Araque, who has an engineering background in addition to his legal training, co-lead the 16-strong practice. The firm has sought to increase its participation in international arbitration through a recent alliance with Clyde & Co LLP to represent clients before international tribunals in relation to investment protection arbitration and in medium-to-large commercial arbitration cases. The group also has investment-treaty arbitration experience.
‘The timeliness in the provision of their services, knowledge and experience in practice are highlighted. There is no doubt that it has qualified personnel to offer a very good service‘.
‘David Araque is recommended for his business knowledge and the ability to provide effective solutions‘.
‘The dispute resolution team has several key capabilities, it exceeds expectations every time we consult them as their law knowledge in general is superior to other firms‘.
‘David Araque is the partner that we mostly work with and we couldn’t be happier with the service he and his team provides. He understands our business as a whole, which makes his advice key to our companies‘.
Huawei Managed Services
Refinería de Cartagena
General Motors Colmotores
Solarte Nacional de Construcciones
Construcciones Colombianas OHL
Graña Montero Jiménez
- Represented Energía para el Amazonas in an arbitration proceeding against the company for alledlegy breaching a lease contract.
- Represented Agrupación Guinovart Obras & Servicios Hispania in an arbitration proceeding administered by the ICDR in regard to additional works requested by the employer, Metroplús.
- Advised a construction company on initiating an investment treaty arbitration against a Latin American State; expected to proceed under UNCITRAL rules.
- Advised Termobarranquilla on an arbitration where the parties are mutually claiming breach of contract.
Holland & Knight's disputes practice excels in arbitration, with notable firepower in complex, multi-jurisdictional cases. Primarily acting for multinationals with operations in Colombia, the practice undertakes local and international investment and commercial arbitration, which is handled by two reputed partners who also both have experience sitting as arbitrators. Executive partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón, who currently divides his time between Bogotá and Washington, has been on the ICSID roster of arbitrators since 2000; with past experience in investment cases throughout the region, more recently he has acted as arbitrator in two ICSID cases, and also has extensive experience in ICC and CIETAC tribunals. As party counsel, Gómez-Pinzón paired up with practice head Alberto Zuleta to represent a contractor against a state-owned entity in ICC arbitration. Zuleta, in turn, who has extensive experience operating within the ICSID and UNCITRAL frameworks, as well as under local arbitration centre rules, has been active of late as party counsel to a hydrocarbons company, and is acting as arbitrator in two ICC cases. With over ten years' experience, senior counsel Juan Casallas focuses on public law, arbitration, and constitutional and administrative litigation.
‘Holland & Knight’s dispute resolution group knows how to handle the dynamics of a judicial process and they have high standards of experience in each of the disputes they advise’.
‘Alberto Zuleta’s high experience in judicial and arbitration processes allows him to generate confidence in the client, knowing that his dispute is in the best hands‘.
- Represented a company in the oil sector in an ICC arbitration brought by a consortium in relation to the construction of infrastructure facilities.
- Acted as local counsel to a mining company in a multi-party ICC arbitration.
- Enrique Gómez-Pinzón was a co-arbitrator in an ICSID case relating to a Netherlands-Venezueal bilateral investment treaty (BIT) dispute concerningcoffee production facilities.
- Alberto Zuleta is acting as arbitrator in ongoing ICC arbitration.
Highlighted for extensive knowledge in national and international issues, the multi-jurisdictional, full-service Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría advises an impressive roster of significant clients from key economic-sectors in domestic and international arbitration, as well as in remedial advice. Practice head Julio César González handles both local and international cases, as well as sitting as an arbitrator in domestic tribunals; he recently led counsel to an international consortium in an international arbitration case related to the aviation sector. Fellow co-head, veteran practitioner Héctor Hernández, has particular expertise handling disputes involving infrastructure projects. Hernández's recent case highlights include advising a construction company regarding a prospective, dual ICC commercial / ICSID investment arbitrations. Principal associate Juan Sebastián Arias, who has advised in arbitration proceedings seated in various jurisdictions, including France, Spain and the United States, is also a key member of the practice; however, former principal associate Juan Mendoza moved to Tobar & Romero Abogados in July 2019.
‘It is a solid team, made up of lawyers with a lot of experience in the matter. They use pragmatic approaches and are very diligent’.
‘Their professional experience and extensive knowledge in national and international issues are highlighted’.
‘Julio González is skilled person with a great ability to understand problems and provide quick and cost-effective solutions. Associates Mario Pérez and Carolina Correal are very professional, agile and quite diligent in monitoring processes’.
‘They are noted for their professional experience, and teamwork, especially in regards to the multidisciplinary relationship. Héctor Hernández, senior associate Juan Sebastián Arias and associates Laura Lamo, Verónica Barone and María Alejandra Pallares are outstanding’.
‘To fully understand a dispute, they take the trouble to make field visits and study thouroughly all the information supplied. They have a knowledge and experience in defense strategies that differentiates them from others. Julio González and Mario Pérez provided comprehensive advice’.
Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao
Piaggio Group Americas
New Granada Energy Corporation
Frontera Energy (Colombia)
Concesionaria Ruta del Cacao
Jaguar Land Rover Colombia
Asociación Colombiana de Fondos de Capital Privado (Colcapital)
Compañía Eléctrica de Sochagota
- Advised a Colombian construction company as one party of a Colombian-Spanish joint venture in ongoing international arbitration regarding certain construction works El Dorado Airport’s runway.
- Represented the concessionaire of an EPC contract for the construction of 200km of roads in an arbitration regarding several differences arising from the interpretation of the concession agreement.
- Represented a construction conglomerate in an international arbitration.
- Represented an energy company an international arbitration initiated by a multinational oil company derived from a share-purchase agreement.
Posse Herrera Ruiz renders advice on a steady stream of domestic and international arbitration, as well as remedial advice, to national and international clients from diverse sectors. Well known litigator and practice head Daniel Posse also has noteworthy experience in domestic and international arbitration, as both arbitrator and party counsel. Posse's recent caseload includes successfully leading representation of Constructora Ariguani in a $42m cases against Conalvías. Lauded for the effectiveness of her strategies, fellow co-head Carolina Posada recently advised EP Steel Trading on obtaining precautionary measures prior to an international arbitration tribunal to be held in Hong Kong; she also has extensive arbitral experience in the Chambers of Commerce of Bogotá, Cali and Medellín. Senior associate Estefanía Ponce, who returned to the firm after some five years in mid-2019, has extensive experience in commercial and investment arbitration; triple-qualified (Colombia, New York, Paris), she also has experience as an administrative secretary in arbitral tribunals under ICC and UNCITRAL rules. However, former head of the public law team, María Lucía Posada, who was also active in arbitral matters, left the firm as of July 2020.
‘Posse Herrera Ruiz’s dispute resolution practice could be the best in the country. Their strength lies in the team, which is made up of professionals with knowledge and extensive experience in different types of disputes and in different litigation specialties, in such a way that the team complements itself and provides a very complete service. Additionally, I have been able to perceive first-hand that the firm dedicates great effort and cares about providing a quality service to its clients. Last but not least, I have found the support of a large law firm very useful, as I had the support of other areas of the firm (e.g., taxes and customs, financial, mines and energy) when the dispute in question has dealt with those substantive areas‘.
‘It is worth highlighting the work Carolina Posada, showing a great mastery of the issues and is always available to answer customer calls and questions‘.
‘The personalised attention from partners is highlighted. In particular I work with Carolina Posada, who handles a large part of the practice, stands out especially from the team. She is a highly experienced arbitration and litigation attorney who knows many fields of law. She always has the right answer for every question we ask and her strategies are very effective. I am impressed by her ability to handle many subjects at once, with an agility and speed that is rarely seen in the market, but at the same time with a lot of depth and knowledge. Laura Castilla, a junior lawyer who works hand in hand with her, is very attentive and always available‘.
Nabors, Nov Colombia and Halliburton
- Advised EP Steel Trading Company on requesting precautionary measures prior to an international arbitration tribunal to be held in Hong Kong; the first time such measures have been awarded prior to the start of the tribunal under the Arbitration Statute.
- Successfully advised oil refinery Reficar in an arbitration tribunal against Schrader Camargo, and in a subsequent constitutional action.
- Represented Broadgrain Commodities in the recognition proceedings of a Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), arbitral award against Surtiabarrotes Internacionales before Colombia’s Supreme Court.
- Advised an engineering services company in an international arbitration tribunal against a state entity for the economic disequilibrium of the concession contract.
Infrastructure firm Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados acts in complex and highly valued arbitration cases, not only in relation to infrastructure, oil, gas and mining projects, but also representing technology and defence companies, and financial institutions –particularly trusts. Led by three experienced partners, the practice handles disputes in relation to government contracts, public procurement and concessions. Senior partner Carlos Gustavo Arrieta is experienced acting as an arbitrator and has served as the agent of Colombia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Paula Andrea Ramos, an expert in international commercial arbitration, has represented government clients, multinational corporations and banks; while fellow co-head and senior partner Álvaro Mantilla also leads on relevant arbitration cases.
‘It is a very good team always ready to have contact with the client to resolve concerns about the legal strategy. The team dedicates time to the case, learning the technical aspects, which allows the client to understand the dispute. They have considerable experience in handling disputes before arbitration tribunals’.
‘We have direct contact with Paula Ramos and senior associate Carlos Alberto Manzano, and when necessary, with Álvaro Mantilla. The plus that makes them stand out is the existence of a consolidated team of lawyers and the specific experience in infrastructure litigation’.
‘They develop a thorough understanding of each case, defining the strategy to follow. Alvaro Mantilla, Paula Andrea Ramos and senior associate Carlos Alberto Manzano are highlighted‘.
Concesionaria Vial de los Andes
Concesionaria Vial del Pacífico
Sociedad Operadora de Aeropuertos de Centro Norte – AIRPLAN
Comunicación Celular (Comcel)
Constructora de Infraestructura Vial
Cerrejón Zona Norte
Consorcio Constructor Pacífico 1
Concesionaria Vial del Oriente
Consorcio Vía al Mar
Conoco Phillips Colombia
- Representing Consorcio Express in a contractual claim valued at $1bn before an arbitral tribunal established to determine the extent of damages caused by a breach of contract by Bogotá’s city authorities.
- Represented Constructora de Infraestructura Vial in an arbitral tribunal against Gisaico in which both parties sued each other in order to apportion responsibility for the collapse the Chirajara Bridge, part of a highway development.
- Represented Panamericana in a $22m arbitration proceeding started against the Department of Cundinamarca’s Instituto de Infraestructura y Concesiones.
Brigard Urrutia's sizeable 20-strong team is led by practice head Irma Rivera, who has extensive experience both as party counsel in arbitration proceedings and as well as numerous appointments as both a domestic and international arbitrator. The team is particularly active -and experienced- in disputes involving strategic sectors such as oil and gas, public services, transport and power infrastructure. Associate director Felipe Mutis is also a key member of the team, which was reinforced with the October-2019 hire of experienced senior associate Ana Carolina Abreo (whose past experience includes time at Vinson & Elkins LLP’s IDR & Arbitration practice group), following the departures of Luis Alfredo Barragán (to Asteri Abogados) and senior associate Natalia Ángel, in August and September 2019, respectively.
‘A strong team that anticipates legal risks and generates a valuable proposition that works for business objectives. Always taking care of all aspects and with a 360 degrees vision and strategic thinking‘.
‘Irma Isabel Rivera is recommended‘.
‘The conflict resolution team, especially Felipe Mutis, shows a deep knowledge, not only of procedural law, but, also in substance . Despite his youth, he has vast experience and reflects confidence in all his performances. I would highlight the arduous preparation and the depth of their writings’.
General Electric Company / General Electric International (GE)
- Representing a cargo terminal company in domestic arbitration arising from the agreement for the construction of additional facilities at one of the client’s terminals.
- Represented a client as both defendant and counterclaimant in an arbitral proceeding initiated by an oil and gas company.
- Successfully represented a corporate client in a constitutional action filed by its counterparty against the award issued by the arbitral tribunal.
- Successfully represented a client as defendant and counter-claimant in a domestic arbitration.
Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados specialises in advising its stellar client-base of construction companies and road concessionaires on contentious matters, particularly contractual arbitrations and administrative disputes. Founding partner, José Ignacio Leiva, a public law specialist, is the key name in the infrastructure boutique's dispute resolution area, routinely advising and representing construction and transport companies in complex disputes. Fellow founding partner Marcela Castro also intervenes in relation to infrastructure disputes. Senior associates Néstor Camilo López, Camilo Andrés Acevedo and Natalia Uribe, who arrived from Posse Herrera Ruiz in August 2019, provide relevant support.
Cal y Mayor Asociados
Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção
Ashmore Management Company Colombia
Concesión Alto Magdalena
Concesión Pacífico Tres
Concesión Desarrollo Vial de la Sabana
Concesión Santa Marta Paraguachón
EMCALI – Municipal Companies of Cali
Grupo SI 18
- Advised Mota–Engil in international arbitration proceedings against the FFIE Trust and Ministry of Education, claiming general and reputational damages.
- Successfully represented Concesionario Alto Magdalena in a dispute board against the National Infrastructure Agency regarding the concession contract of highway – Girardot – Honda – Puerto Salgar.
Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas
Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas handles high-value, high-stakes arbitration, particularly with regard to construction. The department is seeing an uptick in cases following the October 2019 of Andrés Fernández de Soto, who for the previous year had been of counsel. Well regarded for his strategy orignation, Fernández de Soto is experienced acting as both counsel and arbitrator in domestic and international arbitral hearings. Recent highlights saw him acting in tandem with public law and competition practice head Ximena Zuleta in successful dispute board representation of Consorcio HHA Aguas de Aburrá. Senior associate and practice co-head Paula Vejarano has notable experience in construction and public–private partnership (PPP) related disputes; she is also a an arbitrator of the Cali Chamber of Commerce.
Aecom Technical Services
Exxon Mobil de Colombia
Ford Motor Company
Consorcio Aguas de Aburrá HHA
- Represented a multinational infrastructure and engineering group in domestic arbitration against a public entity seeking $60m in unpaid expenses in connection with a public infrastructure contract.
- Represented Consorcio HHA Aguas de Aburrá in a dispute board against Aguas Nacionales EPM in connection with a contract for the construction of a waste management plant in Bello.
DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán handles domestic and international arbitration in commercial disputes, with a knack for using remedial advice for resolving contractual disputes through negotiation. In a case in point, 'experienced, calm and honest' managing partner Camilo Martínez led the representation of the shareholders of an automotiver importer in negotiations during the establishment of an international arbitration tribunal, allowed the issue's resolution prior to the arbitrations initiation. The group is also acting in two different ICSID arbitration pre-trial stages, representing the interests of companies pursuing legal actions against sovereign governments. Senior associate Julian Solorza, who focuses on domestic arbitration, is also a key member of the team. In a notable move since publication, the firm has hired Ricardo Alarcón -formerly an associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP's Paris office- as international arbitration practice director (effective as of February 2021).
‘DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán’s professionals have great personal qualities. All have great professional experience and knowledge of their subjects’.
‘Their teamwork is excellent, distributing functions and the entire team is well trained’.
‘Excellent procedural and substantial knowledge on issues of civil and contractual liability’.
‘The personal treatment is excellent. They are respectful and with an interest in collaborating with the client, further to what is asked from them. María Claudia Martínez, Julian Solorza, and Nestor Camilo Martínez are noted‘.
‘José Miguel Mendoza is an excellent lawyer, diligent, with adequate and clear knowledge, and very good customer service’.
‘High preparation and knowledge of legal and dispute resolution issues. I highlight the work of associate director Sergio Rojas’.
‘Associate director Sergio Rojas is a highly prepared, studious and analytical lawyer. Camilo Martínez Beltrán is an equally knowledgeable, academically prepared, experienced, calm and honest attorney. They make use of the attributes, experience and knowledge of other lawyers in the firm, which contributed to make our case more robust and solid’.
Fondo Nacional de Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres
Ingenio Del Cauca
Banco Av Villas
Bolsa de Valores de Colombia
EPK Kids Smart
Ingenio Del Cauca
Tribeca Asset Management
- Representing the interests of a power infrastructure company in the pre-trial stage of an ICSID arbitration procedure against a Latin American country arising form alleged breaches of contract.
- Represented Ernesto Serrando and his family as minority shareholders in Avidesa Mac Pollo, in an action brought before an arbitration panel aimed at challenging a share issuance.
- Represented the shareholders of a motor importer company during the establishment of an international arbitration tribunal; the proceeding was withdrawn by the plaintiff after negotiations.
Distinguished by its regulatory and public law knowledge, Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos' arbitration practice is heavily slanted towards administrative and constitutional law matters relating to public contracts and infrastructure. Three expert partners head the 13-strong practice; Juan Carlos Esguerra is experienced both as counsel and arbitrator in national and international proceedings. Felipe Piquero acts in cases related to public procurement, domestic and international state-responsibility, and human rights law. Acting in several of Colombia's arbitration centres, Andrés Jaramillo focuses on commercial and administrative contractual matters, and also has niche expertise in port-related issues. However, key associate, practice director María Cristina Martínez, left the firm in July 2020.
Their professional training and extensive experience is recommended. We highlight the participation of Drs. Felipe Piquero and Adriana Nieto’.
Carbones del Cerrejon
Une EPM Telecomunicaciones
Compañía de Seguros Confianza
Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos
Fondo Nacional de Turismo
- Represented Fondo para el Financiamiento del Sector Agropecuario (FINAGRO) in a precedent setting case regarding an operational agreement with regard to a private equity fund.
- Acted as legal advisor of Cenit in arbitration initiated by Canacol Energy Colombia regarding an alleged breach in the ship-and-pay-contract between the parties.
- Counsel to Ecopetrol subsidiary, Hocol, in domestic arbitration seeking compensation for the alleged failure of equipment sold by Adrialpetro.
Exhibiting steady growth in its caseload, Garrigues undertakes domestic and international arbitration in relation to commercial, contractual and shareholder disputes, acting for major infrastructure, energy and security companies, many with a regional presence. Alberto Acevedo heads the six-strong team, which is acting as co-counsel -with the firm's Madrid office- in ICC arbitration related to a toll road development. In an example of the department's sweet spot in corporate disputes, it is representing a utility in multiple domestic arbitration proceedings related to corporate governance and investment agreements. Promoted to senior associate in January 2020, Ángela María Rueda is also a name to note.
‘Garrigues is a unique practice because of the sensibility shown towards the client. They explain legal issues to the client in a commercial way, the practice has specialised teams in order to present a proper defence, and also looks for an amicable resolution in order to benefit both parties, always protecting the best interests of the client’.
‘Alberto Acevedo is a professional with a high level of experience and development, capable of transmitting his complete knowledge in the field and resolving complex conflicts in the simplest way possible. An invaluable support for an in-house lawyer’s office’.
‘They have an excellent disposition for the review, analysis and management of the processes, they keep updated and offer alternatives for the situations presented’.
‘Alberto Acevedo and Daniel Quintero are trained professionals with experience in the topic consulted. They support the client’s decision with objective and clear information’.
Operadora Alsea de Colombia
- Represented a utility in several arbitration proceedings regarding the validity of corporate decisions.
- Represented a construction company in an ICC arbitration seated outside Colombia.
- Successfully defended Frontera Energy, in a $5m construction arbitration filed by former contractor SDV, following the early termination of a contract.
Best known for its expertise in the telecoms and pharmaceutical industries, Lloreda Camacho & Co.'s comprehensive practice handles both domestic and international arbitration procedures. Practice head Gustavo Tamayo leads the six-strong multidisciplinary practice, which acts in an array of industries. Current mandates include acting as local counsel alongside international powerhouse Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP on behalf of America Movil in a $2bn international investment arbitration concerning an alleged breach by the Republic of Colombia of the Colombia-Mexico free trade agreement (FTA). Senior associate Camilo Valenzuela who focuses on civil procedural law, international arbitration, ADR and evidential matters is also a key member of the team. However, former director of firm's litigation, arbitration, insolvency and dispute resolution department, Dora Morales moved in house at Autopistas Urabá in May 2020.
Mccann Erickson (Colombia)
Eli Lilly Interamerica
Coca-Cola Servicios de Colombia
Unilever Andina Colombia
- Acted as local counsel to America Movil in an international investment arbitration case related to an alleged breach by the Republic of Colombia of the Colombia-Mexico FTA.
- Represented KMA in a domestic arbitration regarding an unlawful termination of agreement.
- Advised Comcel in the arbitral claim against the Television Regulatory Authority.
Arrubla Devis Asociados
Boutique firm Arrubla Devis Asociados handles domestic arbitration in relation to contractual and commercial disputes, acting for both public and private-sector clients. Led by founding partner Jaime Alberto Arrubla Paucar, a reputed figure in commercial law, the practice is defending the National State Agency for Judicial Defence in two high-value cases against the Colombian State. Arrubla Paucar also acts as arbitrator, often as tribunal president in domestic arbitral procedures. Senior associate Rafael McCausland is also noted.
‘We have had total satisfaction working with the firm. The team reflects all the experience of a former Magistrate and Secretary General of the Presidency of Colombia, who has also written six books, such as Jaime Arrubla. The academic knowledge and the litigation are in a single firm, with a great sense of responsibility that adds to the previous qualities. Jaime Arrubla’s management is reflected throughout the team’.
‘They combine a deep knowledge of Colombian law, with an understanding of international business law. They provide a service whose quality and response time are by far the best I know’.
‘Jaime Arrubla is one of the most important jurists in the country and combines his experience as a judge, with many years practicing law, which gives him great professional versatility. Jaime Esteban Arrubla and Rafael McCausland are excellent lawyers, fully bilingual, with solid legal knowledge and outstanding analytical skills’.
‘Jaime Arrubla and Rafael McCausland are legal professionals with a long history and responsibility, always ready to keep their clients very well informed of the strategy and of each event to be developed’.
ANDJE – Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado
Fábric de Especias y Productos El Rey
Triguisar de Colombia
Smurfit Kappa – Cartón de Colombia
- Represented the National State Agency for Judicial Defence (ANDJE) in a $300m arbitration brought by UTMVVCC alleging breach of a concession contract by national infrastructure agency, ANI.
- Represented Portal Calicanto, the developer of Cartagena’s integrated public transport system, against Transcaribe, the governmental entity in charge of the operation, in a dispute regarding overcosts to the contract.
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero undertakes domestic arbitration in a wide range of sectors. Founding partner -and co-leader of the practice- Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero bring his enormous expertise in financial regulation to bear, frequently acting as an arbitrator in finance sector cases. Fellow co-head Daniel Rodríguez regularly acts as both party counsel and arbitrator, primarily in connection with construction and infrastructure projects; while Lorenzo Villegas Carrasquilla, who leads the technology, media and communications practice, is experienced in international investment arbitration related to his specialisation.
‘Their key strengths are the availability to resolve doubts, the awareness of the process, and the knowledge of the subjects. Also, delivering responses in a timely manner’.
Banco Internacional de Costa Rica (BICSA)
Interprint do Brasil Indústria de Papéis Decorativos (Interprint)
- Represented a group of shareholders from a commercial services company in an arbitral proceedings regarding a breach of a contract.
- Sergio Rodríguez Azuero acted as arbitrator in a dispute regarding the coverage of a bank liability policy.
Long-established firm Palacios Lleras retains a solid reputation for arbitration matters, primarily handling corporate, infrastructure and construction disputes, particularly those with complex technical aspects. Senior partner Hugo Palacios Mejía is an experienced arbitrator in both domestic and international (ICC) arbitrations, and co-leads the team with Óscar Gutiérrez, who has a similarly lengthy track record in local and international cases. The pair recently acted as co-counsel to Drummond in a high-profile multiparty ICC arbitration.
Drummond Coal Mining
Telecommunications sector association
Pernod Ricard Colombia
- Acted as co-counsel of Drummond and its subsidiary Drummond Coal Mining in a multiparty international ICC arbitration in a dispute concerning agreements regarding the transportation of coal via a railway on Colombia’s northern coast.
Parra Rodríguez Abogados acts in domestic arbitration, particularly for construction and energy companies, and has key expertise in defending the enforcement of arbitral awards in annulment actions. The mid-sized firm also undertakes the designs of conciliation and mediation strategies. Practice heads Bernardo Rodríguez and Álvaro Parra bring their extensive corporate and financial, and fiscal know-how to the five strong team.
‘This law firm is highly professional, serious and respectful. They have knowledge of Colombian legislation and are a great support for multinational and/or foreign corporations’.
‘The professionals are bilingual and highly qualified. Bernardo Rodríguez, Daniela Pérez, Carlos Gómez and Luís Díaz del Castillo stand out’.
‘Parra Rodriguez Abogados’ lawyers are distinguished by their skills and abilities, making use of the most advanced techniques and legal tools, which makes them one of the most recommended and competent firms in the country’.
‘The lawyers of this prestigious firm are distinguished by their solidarity and affection with the client, their sense of humanity and solidarity added to their capacity and professionalism make them stand out from a large number of firms’.
- Successfully represented a company involved in an arbitration annulment action initiated by the counterparty.
- Acted as counsel of a company in the application of interim measures (in Colombia) regarding collection and enforecement proceedings for payment of an arbitral award.