Put simply, Baker McKenzie S.A.S. is ‘outstanding‘, according to sources who highlight its ‘organised, efficient and very diverse‘ arbitration team. Equally adept in commercial and investment arbitrations, the firm handles the full spread of disputes from transaction-related issues, through to major construction cases. The team is also distinguished by its strong international experience, with many of its lawyers dual-qualified — the firm’s extensive global network is a further asset in multinational cases. Department head Claudia Benavides is noted for providing ‘excellent outcomes for her clients‘ and is global chair of the firm’s dispute resolution group; she has recently represented a string of domestic and international clients in construction arbitrations, among other matters. The group also benefits from the senior expertise of dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) Cristina Mejia, who is valued by sources for her ‘outstanding criterion to judge the legal and practical risks of the business‘; she brings to bear over 15 years’ experience in domestic and international arbitration. At associate level, senior associate María Angélica Burgos is highlighted for being ‘well versed on quantum issues‘. Other recommended lawyers include dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) senior associate Daniela Páez Cala; and associate Sebastian Quintero, who handles a range of contentious work. Senior associate Jorge Valencia left to become senior counsel at Zoom in June 2021.
Arbitration in Colombia
Baker McKenzie S.A.S.
‘The arbitration team at Baker McKenzie in Colombia is outstanding. It is very organised, efficient, and very diverse.’
‘BM’s team is very professional and dedicated to its cases. Lawyers are very focused on each detail of the case, from the general strategy to minor evidence and argument. All team members are enthusiastic about their work.’
‘This dispute resolution practice is excellent. Lawyers’ quality of work, availability and responsiveness differentiates them in market. The collaboration of the team, knowledge of the issues and strategies provides added value.’
‘We value the firm’s empathy, high-level quality and timeliness in case management. Lawyers are aware of the terms and I love that they always give clear and timely strategies.’
‘The team is dedicated and enthusiastic about the job, always passionate.’
‘Claudia Benavides is highly respected in the industry, has a great track record, and her work results in excellent outcomes for her clients.’
‘Baker’s dispute resolution team is agile and hands-on. In particular, Cristina Mejia shows outstanding criterion to judge the legal and practical risks of the business, which generates confidence in her opinions and criteria.’
‘María Angélica Burgos (associate) is well versed on quantum issues, works very efficiently and her support results in excellent outcomes for her clients.’
Phoenix Tower International
MRO Servicios Logísticos
Posse Herrera Ruiz
The ‘very comprehensive' arbitration practice at Posse Herrera Ruiz strikes the right note with sources for consistently committing the ‘maximum effort in satisfying the needs of its clients'. The sizeable 12-lawyer-strong group represents local and international clients on a mix of domestic and international arbitration, including commercial arbitration, investment arbitration and arbitral award enforcement proceedings. Among the names to note, Daniel Posse is recommended for his ‘enormous experience in dealing with judicial and arbitration processes‘; he led the firm’s advice to the members of the CCC Ituango consortium in an arbitration against Empresas Públicas de Medellín concerning liability for the collapse of the auxiliary diversion gallery of the Ituango Hydroelectric Project. Posse co-heads the department alongside Carolina Posada, who ‘integrates very well into work teams' and has notched up an impressive record of cases in the construction, energy and defence spheres. The practice also fields an impressive second line of younger lawyers, with senior associate Estefania Ponce standing out for her marked focus on arbitration — notably, she is qualified in Colombia, New York and Paris. Additionally, sources highlight senior associate Laura Vengoechea (‘a good legal command of the issues'), associate Natalia Tobón (‘technically impeccable'), and associate Daniela Corchuelo (‘great knowledge in procedural matters'). Senior associate María Isabel Osorio and associate Alejandro Casas also provide capable support.
Daniel Posse; Carolina Posada
‘PHR lawyers are experienced people, with in-depth knowledge of the law and jurisprudence in Colombia. They defend our interests while always maintaining maximum objectivity on the issues in dispute, advising us on whether or not it is coherent to defend. Their arguments and legal strategies are solid and generate confidence in the defence of our interests.’
‘The team commits the maximum effort in satisfying the needs of its clients, devoting all the time that is necessary to meet the objectives set. There is excellent co-ordination between the members of the work team — they are also capable of forming effective work teams with external allies.’
‘The PHR team is very comprehensive, covering all the different areas of law. Additionally, it incorporates the advice of experts, who strengthen the legal arguments of our defence. It is an office with experience and extensive knowledge that generates confidence in its ability to defend our interests — always within the framework of legality and transparency.’
‘We appreciate how lawyers get involved and strive to understand business issues, and the client, in order to attend all the processes in their charge; its search for efficient and effective solutions to the situations that arise; its availability to attend and resolve all concerns; and its excellent client service.’
‘Daniel Posse has enormous experience in dealing with judicial and arbitration processes, extensive knowledge of procedural matters and a great ability to direct and lead the team. Carolina Posada has extensive legal knowledge in different areas of law, especially procedural matters, integrates very well into work teams and has enormous experience in arbitration matters.’
‘Carolina Posada is diligent. She knows the civil regime in Colombia very well. Laura Vengoechea is very attentive, she is usually available to discuss any point and has a good legal command of the issues.’
‘Associate Natalia Tobón is an excellent litigation lawyer. She gave us peace of mind regarding our position during the arbitration process. She also proved to be technically impeccable, showing a clear knowledge of the legal concepts required to undertake the arbitration.’
‘Associate Daniela Corchuelo is characterised by her great knowledge in procedural matters and especially in the field of arbitration. She has a practical sense that allows her to properly apply knowledge and has great charisma that allows her to establish very good relationships with clients and colleagues.’
Construções e Comércio Camargo Corrêa
Naturgy Distribución Latinoamérica
Une EPM Telecomunicaciones
Sociedad Minera de Santander
- Represented UK-based South 32 Investments in an arbitration proceeding against the Republic of Colombia, under ICSID rules, pursuant to the Colombia-UK BIT.
- Represented the members of the CCC Ituango consortium (Construções e Comércio Camargo Corrêa, Camargo Corrêa Infra, Constructora Conconcreto and Coninsa Ramón H) in an international arbitration against Empresas Públicas de Medellín, concerning liability for the collapse of the auxiliary diversion gallery of the Ituango Hydroelectric Project.
- Advised Industria Militar on an international arbitration initiated by Orica, under the rules of the Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá, relating to a co-production agreement.
‘A high-quality disputes boutique', Suescún Abogados attracts strong praise for its ‘very creative lawyers' and its ‘deep understanding of all aspects of Colombian law' — it is also widely recognised for its strength in international arbitration. Fielding two partners and two associates, the team’s compact size is no barrier to high-profile mandates and it is routinely the first port of call to advise on complex, high-end arbitrations for major global clients. In a recent example, the firm represented Ecopetrol subsidiary Refinería de Cartagena in an ICC arbitration, seated in New York, against EPC contractor, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, in a high-value case concerning costs and delays in connection with the construction of a refinery in Colombia. Felipe Suescún, highlighted as ‘a lawyer of the highest calibre', is leading the Refinería de Cartagena work and has also recently led cases for Finland-based Wärtsilä and Sociedad Portuaria de Buenaventura, among others. Firm founder Jorge Suescún is one of the most sought-after arbitration specialists in the market and is singled out by sources as ‘one of the true deans of the Colombian bar'; he brings to bear over 40 years of experience and has acted as lead counsel, arbitrator or chairman in over 180 arbitrations. Highly rated associate Felipe González Arrieta left in August 2021.
Jorge Suescún; Felipe Suescún
‘A high-quality disputes boutique. The group is comprised of very creative lawyers with deep understanding of all aspects of Colombian law — they are also very easy to work with.’
‘Although the firm has in-depth knowledge of Colombian law, and many of its cases are national arbitrations, the practice of international arbitrator Jorge Suescún stands out. His performance in complex international arbitrations, under substantive laws from different jurisdictions, is widely recognised.’
‘Jorge Suescún is one of the true deans of the Colombian bar: a very erudite lawyer who can distil things down easily for arbitrators and judges to understand. It is a real privilege to work with him.’
‘Felipe Suescún is a lawyer of the highest calibre. He is both a professor and practitioner and these roles complement one another. Felipe is one of the leading arbitration lawyers in Colombia and has an amazing intellect.’
‘Felipe and Jorge’s practice is strong due to their deep knowledge of Colombian private law. Further, it is not restricted to the natural reactive character of litigation, but is nourished by consulting companies on pre-litigious substantive issues with an impact on arbitration proceedings initiated later.’
Carbones del Cerrejón
Refinería de Cartagena
Sociedad Portuaria de Buenaventura
Sociedad Portuaria de Santa Marta
- Acted as local counsel to Refinería de Cartagena, a subsidiary of Ecopetrol, in an ICC arbitration seated in New York against EPC contractor Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, concerning costs and delays in the construction of a refinery.
- Advised Finland-based constructor Wärtsilä in disputes with the owner and subcontractors arising from the execution of an EPC contract for the construction of a thermoelectric plant in Colombia.
- Advised the board of directors of Cementos Argos on the hostile takeover bids presented by Grupo Gilinski in the latter’s attempt to buy an interest in Grupo Sura.
ZULETA Abogados Asociados S.A.S
The ‘very strong team' at Zuleta Abogados Asociados S.A.S is commended as being ‘always willing to understand the needs of its clients'. Widely regarded as the market leader for complex arbitration in Colombia, the boutique firm combines specialist offerings in dispute resolution and international law, together with sector-specific strength in energy and infrastructure, to pack a punch in representing major domestic and multinational companies in complex commercial and investment arbitrations. Few arbitration specialists are as sought after as key partner Eduardo Zuleta, who is recognised as a leading counsel both in Colombia and the region. Zuleta recently paired up with prominent up-and-coming partner Rafael Rincón to represent Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia in multi-party conciliation proceedings before the Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca, concerning disputes against an international oil exploration company arising from the Bicentenario Pipeline. Other recommended senior names include energy specialist Gustavo Suárez, who co-heads the practice together with Zuleta and Rincón, seasoned 40-year veteran Rafael Bernal, and public and private international law expert Antonio Aljure. The group also draws on a sizeable pool of capable associates, which includes Juan Ignacio Guerra, Maria Camila Rincón, Santiago Zuleta and Luis Guillermo Rosero. In August, 2021 Sebastián Briceño left to study in the US.
Eduardo Zuleta; Gustavo Suárez; Rafael Rincón
‘Zuleta Abogados has a very strong team, which is always willing to understand the needs of its clients.’
‘Lawyers proactively respond to any issues raised and provide in-depth analysis of the situation to seek solutions. I find the firm’s collaborative approach to its clients to be more purposeful than other firms.’
‘We value the firm’s extensive experience, knowledge, theoretical support and very good personal relationship.’
Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia
Perimetral Oriental de Bogotá / Shikun Binui
Drummond Ltd / Drummond Coal Mining
Aleatica and Autopista Rio Magdalena
AES Chivor & Cía
Santo Domingo Motors
OHL Concesiones (now IFM Global Infrastructure Fund)
Oleoducto de los Llanos Orientales
- Represented Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia in multi-party conciliation proceedings before the Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca, concerning disputes against an international oil exploration company stemming from the financing, construction, and operation agreements of the Bicentenario Pipeline.
- Advised Perimetral Oriental de Bogotá, as the concessionaire, and Shikun Binui, as the sponsor, on potential claims arising from a PPP agreement concerning the construction of a highway near Bogotá.
- Acted —as co-counsel— to two US-based mining companies in a multi-party international arbitration under ICC Rules, which concerned rights of access to a railway facility in Colombia.
Adell & Merizalde
In a significant development, Merizalde Abogados reincorporated as Adell & Merizalde in May 2022, following the addition of Stephan Adell to the masthead. Adell, a former partner at Squire Patton Boggs, will be based in Santo Domingo. The specialist arbitration boutique now has platforms in Panama and the Dominican Republic as well as Colombia, which should support its pan-Latin American firm model going forward. Juan Felipe Merizalde remains the sole partner in Bogotá and has participated in over 60 arbitrations (either as counsel or arbitrator). Among his recent cases, Merizalde is acting as co-counsel, alongside his former firm Dechert, in representing Colombia in an ICSID arbitration brought by Glencore International, Prodeco and Sociedad Puerto Nuevo, related to Puerto Nuevo’s operation of a coal port in Colombia. The thriving practice also leans on the experience of impressive up-and-coming director Andrea Santacoloma, who splits her time between Colombia and Panama, and associate Juan Pablo Gómez Moreno, who joined in January 2022 from Refinería Cartagena, where he was international arbitration counsel. Sofia Galindo left in January 2022 to become an international arbitration law clerk at Latham & Watkins in Paris.
Juan Felipe Merizalde
Republic of Colombia
- Representing Colombia in an ICSID arbitration brought by Glencore International, Prodeco and Sociedad Puerto Nuevo, related to Puerto Nuevo’s operation of a coal port in Colombia
Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados
Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados‘ arbitration unit sits as part of its wider litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution practice. Particularly recognised for its emphasis on construction arbitrations (in line with firm’s signature infrastructure strength), the team also has experience in the energy, technology and financial services spheres. Seasoned veteran Carlos Gustavo Arrieta Padilla currently serves as the Agent of the Republic of Colombia before the International Court of Justice and enjoys a strong profile for contentious matters; he is particularly recommended for mining, energy and public law-related cases. Also a senior figure, Paula Andrea Ramos is widely hailed for her record in infrastructure arbitrations; she recently represented Concesionaria Panamericana in arbitration proceedings against the Instituto de Infraestructura y Concesiones de Cundinamarca (ICCU), connected to the operation and maintenance of certain road routes. The group also incudes senior partner Álvaro Mantilla and Carlos Alberto Manzano, who both co-lead the practice together with Arrieta Padilla and Ramos. Associate Rodrigo Sánchez Pineda is also noted for his focus on domestic and international arbitration disputes.
Alvaro Mantilla; Carlos Gustavo Arrieta Padilla; Paula Andrea Ramos; Carlos Alberto Manzano
Concesionaria Nueva Via al Mar
Consorcio Constructor Pacífico 1
Concesionaria Ruta Del Cacao
Concesionaria Vial de Los Andes
- Successfully represented Concesionaria Panamericana in an arbitration proceeding against the Department of Cundinamarca’s Instituto de Infraestructura y Concesiones de Cundinamarca (ICCU), connected to the operation and maintenance of certain road routes.
- Successfully represented Consorcio Constructor Pacífico 1 (a subcontractor of motorway concessionaire, Covipacífico) in a construction arbitration against Gisaico.
- Represented Concesionaria Ruta Del Cacao in an arbitration proceeding filed against The National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) seeking redress for contract compliance, economic imbalance of the contract and contract interpretation.
Brigard Urrutia houses a comprehensive arbitration practice, which plugs into the wider firm’s full-service offering to advise on domestic and international arbitrations across all core industry sectors. That said, the team’s busy caseload reflects its particularly strong record in the construction, energy and public sector arenas, where it routinely acts for both major Colombian and multinational clients. Department head Irma Rivera Ramírez has a broad disputes practice and spearheads both the litigation, arbitration and insolvency group and the insurance and reinsurance team. On the arbitration front, Rivera has notched up key roles in major arbitrations for both national and foreign clients. The group also benefits from the experience of newly made-up partner Felipe Mutis, who has supported on several construction and concession-related arbitration cases of late. Key associates include María Victoria Munevar, Camilo Valenzuela (who joined from Lloreda Camacho & Co. in September 2021) and Ana Carolina Abreo — all advise on a mix of litigation and arbitration proceedings.
Chemás & Asociados
Chemás & Asociados‘ marked focus on the transport, energy, telecoms and infrastructure sectors continues to pay dividends, with the firm remaining a top choice to represent clients in claims against the National Infrastructure Agency, the National Roads Institute and the Regulation Commission, among other public entities. The boutique firm enjoys close relationships with both Colombian and foreign clients and makes regular appearances at both domestic and international arbitration tribunals. Founding partner Jorge Eduardo Chemás has nearly four decades of experience, which includes a three-year stint as Legal Counsel to the Presidency of the Colombian Republic. Chemás recently teamed up with junior partner Sergio Alejandro Chemás Vélez to represent Centro de Gerenciamiento de Residuos Doña Juana in its $400m claim against Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos, relating to a concession contract for a waste treatment plant. Ingrid Soraya Ortiz, who co-leads the department alongside the aforementioned partners, also has strong arbitration experience. Associate Manuela Sossa Sánchez is noted for her focus on public procurement arbitrations.
Jorge Eduardo Chemás; Ingrid Soraya Ortíz; Sergio Alejandro Chemás
Consorcio Troncales Bogotá
Ingenieros Consultores Civiles y Eléctricos (INGETEC)
Autopistas de Santander
Grodco Ingenieros Civiles
Centro de Gerenciamiento Doña Juana
Constructora Andrade Gutiérrez
- Represented Centro de Gerenciamiento de Residuos Doña Juana in its claim against Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos alleging an economic imbalance in relation to the concession contract to operate and modernise a waste treatment plant.
- Represented Compañia de Desarrollo Aeropuerto Eldorado (CODAD) in filing an arbitral suit against Constructora LHS, relating to the penalty clause of the contract for the construction of the south runway of El Dorado Airport
- Acted for INGETEC (as a member of Consorcio Sedes Educativas) in national arbitration proceedings initiated against Consorcio FFIE Alianza BBVA, seeking to recover cost overruns and lost income due to the defendant’s breach of contract during the execution of the National Plan for Educational Infrastructure.
Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)
Standing out for its ‘deep knowledge and availability‘, Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) also finds favour with sources for its ‘legal excellence in multiple fields and excellent client service‘. The group has broad experience in arbitration cases, particularly domestic commercial arbitrations, where its lawyers have been involved in over 200 cases — its lawyers have also secured key roles in 13 international commercial arbitrations. Department director David Ricardo Araque is commended by clients for his active involvement in cases and possesses a strong record in matters relating to the construction, insurance, energy and commercial distribution fields, among others. He recently represented Cine Colombia in a $5m arbitration against Construcciones Planificadas related to a lease agreement. The group also benefits from the senior expertise of counsel William Araque, who has over 40 years’ disputes experience. Among its key associates, Loredana De Trizio, who ‘cares deeply about understanding the issues‘, and Samuel Hernández Lizarazu, are recommended at senior level; while intermediate associates Alfonso Linares Durán and María Valentina Díaz also provide capable support. Additionally, in September 2021, the department welcomed two new lawyers: highly rated senior associate Felipe González Arrieta joined from Suescún Abogados, while associate Marcela Lesmes joined from the Superintendence of Corporations.
William Araque; David Ricardo Araque
‘Gómez Pinzón is an interdisciplinary team, with legal excellence in multiple fields and excellent client service. They are ready to deeply understand the client’s needs and seek the best recommendation to safeguard their interests.’
‘We appreciate the team’s total dedication and knowledge.’
‘The dispute resolution partner David Ricardo Araque is in charge of the client: he tends to legal and administrative requirements, attend meetings, provides legal advice and actively leads the lawyers.’
‘The team stands out for its deep knowledge and availability.’
‘Loredana De Trizio is an excellent professional, especially in the contentious-administrative branch. She cares deeply about understanding the issues and seeking solutions that favour the client’s interests.’
Energía para el Amazonas (ENAM)
Enel green power
Arista de Colombia
Grupo Patria Re (Mexico)
Refinería de Cartagena
Forestal Monterrey Colombia
Procesadora de Cales – Carmeuse Lime Stone (US)
Agrupación Guinovart Obras y Servicios Hispania (Spain)
MGM Ingeniería y Proyectos
- Acted for Cine Colombia on a $5m arbitration against Construcciones Planificadas related to a lease agreement on a major area of El Edén Centro Comercial.
- Advised Enel Green Power, as claimant, on a $9m arbitration against Quanta Services, connected to a contract for the construction of a 200 MW wind farm.
- Advised Generadora y Comercializadora de Energia del Caribe (GECELCA) on initiating arbitration -under the rules of the Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Barranquilla- against Termobarranquilla.
Holland & Knight
Lawyers at Holland & Knight score highly with sources due to their ‘knowledge, dedication, generosity and understanding‘. The Bogotá office of the Florida-headquartered firm has a thriving arbitration practice, which is best known for its reputation in representing multinational clients in commercial and investment arbitrations. Following the March 2022 departure of former department head Alberto Zuleta-Londoño, executive partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón now steers the team. Gómez-Pinzón, whose practice is split between Bogotá and Washington DC, handles a range of cross-border transactions and international arbitration cases; notably he has participated in international investor arbitrations against Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panamá and Honduras. Energy specialist Jose Vicente Zapata is also a key member of the arbitration practice and has a focus on environment, energy and natural resources-related disputes. The group also leans on the experience of senior counsel Juan Casallas, who is recognised for his record in commercial, constitutional and administrative law matters, and associate Estefanny Pardo, who is noted for environmental law and energy disputes. Since publication, Casallas has been raised to the partnership - effective as of February 2023.
‘The team is experienced and up-to-date on relevant topics. Lawyers demonstrate excellent command of English for international processes.’
‘We particularly appreciate José Vicente Zapata’s knowledge and dedication.’
‘We value its lawyers sagacity, knowledge, dedication, generosity and understanding of the situation.’
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría
At Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, lawyers ‘demonstrate total commitment' and provide ‘comprehensive support', according to sources. The arbitration practice leverages the firm’s robust international network — which encompasses on-the-ground teams in Chile and Peru as well as a formal alliance with Uría Menéndez — to form a formidable offering in multi-jurisdictional disputes. Department co-head Hector Hernandez handles the full range of contentious matters and clients say, ‘his experience brings great peace of mind'; he has advised on a string of domestic and international arbitrations over the past year, including cases concerning the transport, energy and infrastructure sectors. Julio César González co-heads the practice and is also well-equipped to handle domestic and international arbitrations, with a strong recent record in energy and construction cases. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) principal associate Juan Sebastián Arias is noted for his ‘simple explanations and ability to provide clear advice'; he has a strong focus on arbitration. Principal associates Santiago Cruz Mantilla and Alejandra Gómez also frequently support the practice.
Héctor Hernández; Julio César González
‘We recommend the team due to its availability and practicality.’
‘Lawyers demonstrate total commitment to the dispute and provide comprehensive support.’
‘Héctor Hernández has assisted us constantly and directly in judicial processes. He stays close to the client and his experience brings great peace of mind.’
‘Associate Juan Sebastián Arias is very professional and always ready to resolve our concerns.’
‘I highlight Juan Sebastián Arias for his good disposition, simple explanations and ability to provide clear advice.‘
Fondo de Capital Privado Fondo Inmobiliario Colombia
Canacol Energy Colombia
Sociedad Portuaria de Buenaventura
Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao
- Successfully represented state-owned Gecelca 3 in an international arbitration brought by Chinese consortium CUC-DTC related to the construction of a thermal power generation plant in Puerto Libertador.
Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados
Arbitration is a mainstay at dispute resolution boutique Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados. The firm acts for an impressive roster of multinational clients and is a particularly popular choice for companies in the energy and natural resources (Glencore, Trafigura), life sciences (GSK, Johnson & Johnson) and insurance (Sura, Chubb) sectors. Bernardo Salazar is well versed in both domestic and international arbitrations and recently acted for Puma Energy in an arbitration proceeding against Grupo Empresarial de la Costa related to a lease agreement for a petrol station. Luís Botero, who is a prominent name for energy-related work, is also a key contact.
Bernardo Salazar; Luis Botero; Andres Tobon
Pacific Stratus Energy
Johnson & Johnson MD&D
Hitachi Data Systems
Gran Tierra Energy
Beat Ride App Colombia
Entidad Promotora De Salud Sanitas
- Represented Puma Energy in an arbitration proceeding against Grupo Empresarial de la Costa related to a lease agreement for a petrol station.
- Acted for Ciudad Limpia in an arbitration filed by Promoambiental Distrito against Procesador de Información del Servicio de Aseo (of which Ciudad Limpia is one of the constituent companies) claiming unpaid sums for cleaning services.
Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados
Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados' signature strength in projects and public law translates into a thriving arbitration practice that specialises in infrastructure-related disputes. The boutique firm has a solid track record in large-scale cases and is routinely called upon by Colombian and multinational construction companies and concessionaires to advise on domestic and international arbitrations. Disputes head José Ignacio Leiva is particularly recognised for public transport and procurement-related matters; he recently represented Metrobus in arbitral proceedings against Transmilenio stemming from the liquidation of a concession contract. Projects and infrastructure specialist Marcela Castro is also a key contact. Associates Natalia Uribe and Laura Amaya provide support.
José Ignacio Leiva; Marcela Castro
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
Grupo SI 18
Agencia Nacional de Minería
Metro Línea 1
Concesión San Rafael
Consorcio Canales 20
Consorcio Mar 2
Corredor Portuario de Cartagena
Interconexión eléctrica – ISA
Unión Vial Río Pamplonita
Consorcio Estación Elevadora de Canoas
Consorcio Constructor Perimetral de Oriente Bogotá
Concesión La Pintada
Concesión Ruta al Mar
Construcciones El Condor
- Acted for Agencia Nacional de Minería in arbitral litigation against Cerro Matoso for unpaid royalties related to iron ore extraction.
- Represented Mota-Engil in an international arbitration proceeding against the FFIE Trust and Ministry of Education seeking general and reputational damages in relation to the development of more than 300 schools across the country.
- Acted for Metrobus in arbitral proceedings against Transmilenio stemming from the liquidation of a concession contract.
DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán
The ‘excellent interdisciplinary team‘ at DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán is ‘trustworthy, transparent and professional‘, according to sources. The practice secures a particularly high percentage of domestic arbitrations — though it also possesses significant international arbitration experience — with an emphasis on the energy, infrastructure and transport sectors. Managing partner Camilo Martínez handles the full array of contentious matters and represents Colombian and multinational companies in arbitration proceedings — both domestic and international. Other senior names include José Miguel Mendoza, who specialises in shareholder disputes. Additionally, Sergio Rojas, who focuses on liability disputes, and domestic arbitration expert Julian Solorza, were both promoted to partner in January 2022. Key support is provided by director of international arbitration Ricardo Alarcón and associate Sergio Londoño.
Camilo Martínez; José Miguel Mendoza; Nicolás Polanía; Sergio Rojas; Julian Solorza
‘I’ve worked with other well known firms in Colombia, and DLA Piper Martínez Beltrán is by far the best of its kind! They are trustworthy, transparent, and professional.’
‘DLA Piper Martínez Beltrán has an excellent interdisciplinary team. We value its strong writing skills and the high quality of its lawyers and partners.’
‘This team understands my business, my industry, and my opportunities better than any other we’ve worked with. It is very strategic. It takes care of my reputation and my company’s profits. It knows the laws and the regulations, and lawyers are very decent, diverse and respectful.’
‘Sergio Rojas is amazing. His professional integrity, his business savviness, and his human decency make him a crucial business partner.’
‘I know if Camilo Martinez is involved, our company is in the best possible position to face all of the challenges. We’ve been through a long and difficult journey, but we’ve never feared; we’ve always known that we’ve had the best attorneys in the country.’
Epk Kids Smart
Corporación Club El Nogal
Importaciones y Representaciones Industriales De Colombia / Iri De Colombia
Federación Nacional De Comerciantes (Fenalco)
Inversiones Janna Raad & Cía.
Operadora De Carbón De Santa Marta (Carbosan)
Ernst& Young Audit
Major Shareholders Of Comestibles Aldor
Shareholder Of Induma
Tribeca Asset Management
Shareholders of OTACC
Eduardo Franco & Ángela Gómez
Bolsa De Valores De Colombia
Integral Ingeniería De Supervisión and Consorcio Generación Ituango
Daewoo International Corp
Fondo Nacional De Gestión Del Riesgo
Bolsa De Valores De Colombia
Banco Av Villas
Hilton Worldwide Manage Branchco
Integral / Consorcio Generación Ituango
Zurich Colombia Seguros
Gases Del Caribe
BTG Pactual – Segurexpo De Colombia
HDI Seguros De Vida
- Represented Ventura Group before an arbitration tribunal in bringing a claim against Colombia’s largest port operator for breach of several lease and infrastructure use contracts.
- Represented APM Terminals Management (Barcelona) in an arbitral dispute initiated by activist shareholders of Terminal de Contenedores de Buenaventura seeking to challenge several corporate resolutions passed during a shareholders’ meeting.
- Acted for Empresa Capitalizadora del Tolima, as defendant, in an arbitration proceeding alleging that the price agreed for a sales and purchase transaction was based on misrepresentations.
Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos
Public law specialist Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos has a focus on domestic arbitration. Its activity in this area was recently evidenced by its advice to Fondo para el Financiamiento del Sector Agropecuario (FINAGRO) in six arbitral proceedings related to the breach of a management contract concerning several reforestation projects with Forestal Monterrey Colombia — public law partners Felipe Piquero and Adriana Nieto handled that work. The dispute resolution department is co-led by Piquero together with former Minister of Justice Juan Carlos Esguerra and Andrés Jaramillo Hoyos.
Juan Carlos Esguerra; Felipe Piquero; Andrés Jaramillo Hoyos
- Represented Fondo para el Financiamiento del Sector Agropecuario (FINAGRO) in six arbitral proceedings related to the breach of a management contract concerning several reforestation projects with Forestal Monterrey Colombia.
Lloreda Camacho & Co.
Regulated industries specialist Lloreda Camacho & Co. utilises its close relationships with life sciences, telecoms and energy companies to excel in advising on arbitrations pertaining to these spheres. Department head Gustavo Tamayo is highly regarded for his telecoms expertise and is notably representing América Móvil’s local subsidiary, Comcel, in a long-running case against Empresa de Telefónos de Bogotá concerning interconnection charges. Christian Pérez Rueda is associate director of the litigation, insolvency and insurance groups and has a growing profile for insurance-related cases. Senior associate Camilo Valenzuela left the firm in September 2021.
Gustavo Tamayo; Christian Pérez
Mccann Erickson Corporation Colombia
Comunicacion Celular / Comcel
Eli Lilly Interamerica
Coca-Cola Bebidas de Colombia
Unilever Andina Colombia
- Represented KMA Construcciones in arbitral proceedings against Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) for refusal of a duly proposed PPP infrastructure agreement.
- Represented Comcel in an $80m case against Empresas de Telefonos de Bogotá (ETB) regarding interconnection charges.
Arrubla Devis Asociados
The dispute resolution team at Arrubla Devis Asociados is highlighted by sources for its ‘in-depth and timely advice‘ and its ‘analytical capacity‘. On the arbitration front, the group enjoys a close relationship with he National State Agency for Judicial Defence (ANDJE), which it is currently representing in three substantial arbitrations. A former chief justice of the Colombian Supreme Court, Jaime Arrubla spearheads a team that also includes newly promoted partner Rafael McCausland, who provides ‘practical and solid solutions that add value to the business’.
Jaime Arrubla Paucar; Rafael McCausland; Sebastián Montoya
‘The Arrubla Devis office is a team with strong qualities in the provision of legal services, providing in-depth and timely advice on the matters consulted.’
‘We consider that the competitive advantage that this firm provides is its analytical capacity in the controversies that are presented for its consideration.’
‘The team is comprised of lawyers with high professional and human qualities, who stand out for their responsibility and compliance.’
‘Jaime Arrubla and Rafael McCausland provide their professional services with a high level of knowledge and in a timely manner, always showing the best attitude to resolve the issues presented, always providing responses in accordance with the law as well as high ethical levels.’
‘The team has the advantage of advising in different areas of law and not only in the contractual area. This allows the advice to be comprehensive, including a very robust pre-litigation advice. The fact that the firm is a boutique also allows its attention to be personalised.’
‘Rafael McCausland stands out for his confidence in issuing suggestions. This quality is very positive because opinions issued from other firms are often timid and leave more doubts than certainties, Rafael is characterised by providing practical and solid solutions that add value to the business.’
Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado (ANDJE)
Fábrica de Especias y Productos El Rey
Triguisar de Colombia
Smurfit Kappa – Cartón de Colombia
Boston Medical Group
Aguacatales de Colombia
- Represented the National State Agency for Judicial Defence (ANDJE) in three high-impact arbitrations.
- Acted for Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas in an arbitral procedure against its contractor regarding the controversy around the construction of a new set of buildings for the University.
Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas
According to sources, Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas demonstrates ‘strong legal knowledge and understanding' in its handling of arbitration cases. The group is noted for its experience in both domestic and international commercial arbitration proceedings; in terms of the latter, its ability to plug into the wider firm’s extensive global network is a significant asset. Department head Andrés Fernández de Soto acts as both arbitral counsel and arbitrator and brings over 35 years' experience to his role. Senior associate Paula Vejarano, who is a listed arbitrator for both the Cali and Medellín Chambers’ of Commerce, is also a key contact.
Andres Fernandez de Soto; Paula Vejarano
‘We appreciate the team’s strong legal knowledge and understanding of the necessities. Lawyers take extreme care in handling the different issues and demonstrate a strong ethical sense.‘
Autopistas de Urabá
Bunker Holding Group
Aecom Technical Services
Azteca Comunicaciones (TV Azteca)
Ford Motor Company
Consorcio Aguas de Aburrá HHA (Acciona Agua SAU / Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. / Hyundai Engineering Co.)
Consorcio MASA – Acciona (Mantenimiento y Montajes Industriales / Acciona Infraestructura)
- Representing a multinational infrastructure and engineering group in a domestic arbitration against a public entity.
- Advising an international engineering consortium in an ICC international arbitration against a public entity, in a case concerning a construction contract for a waste management plant.
Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados
New entrant to the ranking, Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados leverages its top-tier positions in projects and public law to garner a steady stream of infrastructure-related arbitrations. Clients are drawn from both the private and public sectors, with Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) and the National Roads Institute (INVIAS) both on the department’s books. Managing partner Jorge Gabriel Taboada is recommended for his expertise in disputes with a significant public law dimension. Junior associates Sofía Leguizamón and Camila Angulo provide specialist dispute resolution support.
Jorge Gabriel Taboada
Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI)
Instituto Nacional de Vías (INVÍAS)
Construcciones Rubau (sucursal Colombia)
Aguas de Cartagena
Unión Temporal Estructura Temporal 2019
- Representing Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI) in arbitral proceedings related to the early termination of a PPP concession contract.
- Acting for Instituto Nacional de Vías (INVIAS) on an arbitral procedure related to the Pumarejo bridge that crosses the Magdalena River and connects the Atlántico and Magdalena departments.
- Representing Aguas de Cartagena (ACUACAR) in an arbitral procedure seeking recovery of an investment made by ACUACAR following an accident concerning a submarine sanitary water outlet.
Garrigues‘s arbitration practice is well versed in all key industry segments but is arguably best known for its experience in construction-related disputes. Department head Alberto Acevedo has over 15 years' experience in contentious work and is equipped to advise on both national and international arbitrations; notably, he is also qualified in New York, which is an asset in multi-jurisdictional cases. Senior associate Ángela María Rueda is an increasingly prominent member of the team and is particularly recommended for cases with a public law element.
‘For our company, it is essential to have the support of lawyers who, in addition to having legal knowledge of the issue in dispute, understand the company’s business — not only from a legal viewpoint, but also from a commercial perspective. The Garrigues team stands out for its skills in this area.’
‘The team that supports us is led by Alberto Acevedo, who stands out positively for his almost immediate availability to attend to any requirement, meeting, call, etc. Additionally, the quality of the advice received and the proposals for legal strategies to address the issues and achieve satisfactory results for the company should also be highlighted.’
Frontera Energy Corp. Sucursal Colombia
- Acting for Transmilenio on a technical arbitration proceeding against Recaudo Bogotá seeking a compulsory review of the costs and fees charged in the context of the contract that governs the handling of the city’s public system bus fares.
- Representing Socios Online in a domestic arbitration initiated against Grupo Nacional de Proyectos seeking $2m in compensation for breach of a collaboration agreement for the supply of digital services.
- Defending Natuera in an arbitration proceeding initiated by Engicold seeking compensation for the breach of an agreement.
Palacios Lleras is a historically strong performer in domestic and international arbitrations, with experience representing both public and private entities in high-stakes cases. The boutique firm’s strength in public law translates into a particularly solid record in construction and infrastructure-related disputes — it also handles natural resources and corporate-related issues. Founding partner Hugo Palacios Mejía steers a dispute resolution group that also includes senior litigators Óscar Gutiérrez and Pedro Pacheco, as well as senior associate and international arbitration co-head Giselle Herrera Kheneyzir.
Hugo Palacios Mejía; Óscar Gutiérrez; Pedro Pacheco
Drummond Coal Mining
Canacol Energy Colombia