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Colombia > Energy and natural resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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  1. Energy and natural resources
  2. Leading individuals
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Who Represents Who

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Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas has strengthened its standing in the market with the hire in the past year of a five-strong team from Norton Rose Fulbright led by Jorge Neher, who has over 30 years’ experience in the sector, and including key members HernĂĄn RodrĂ­guez and Santiago GonzĂĄlez who are ‘well known in the market’. The firm has in consequence expanded its roster of clients to include, for example, Gran Colombia Gold Corp, Anglo Gold Ashanti, Anglo American, Royal Road Minerals and YPF. Other longstanding clients include Frontera Energy and Korea National Oil & Gas Corporation. Bernardo CĂĄrdenas heads the practice – now alongside Neher – and James Valdiri is also noted; however, associate InĂ©s Elvira Vesga is now at Norton Rose Fulbright. The team advised Newmont Mining Corporation on a due diligence process for the acquisition of 19.9% shares of Continental Gold, owner of the BuriticĂĄ deposit, a gold project comprised by 65 mining concessions in the Antioquia region. RodrĂ­guez continues to advise Iamgold (after leading the original transaction while still at his former firm) regarding the option agreement for the acquisition of various mining assets.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría ‘stands out for its closeness to the client and its agility to resolve issues’ and its practice is considered ‘one of the best’. A highly specialised team works advising on projects across the environment, mining, industrial, energy, corporate, infrastructure and real estate sectors. Sandra Manrique heads the practice and is advising on the incorporation of a power commercialization entity for Ecopetrol’s operations in Colombia. Manrique is also advising South32 Energy on the incorporation of a power and natural gas commercialization company, and Hocol on regulatory matters concerning pipeline usage and on the legal structuring related to Reficar’s gas requirements. The team is also working on the structuring of a self-generation project for Geopark Colombia, including preparation of the bidding process for the selection of a contractor and the preparation of the services agreement for the development and operation of a natural gas power plant, as well as the regulatory scheme for a pipeline to bring gas to the plant. María Margarita Lorduy leads the environment team. Other clients include Mechero Energy and Vitol Colombia.

Posse Herrera Ruiz works in all key segments of the energy and natural resources space. The practice, led by Àlvaro JosĂ© RodrĂ­guez is advising oil and gas companies with onshore and offshore projects, to whom the firm delivers additional integrated counsel on tax and international trade to benefit from Free Trade Zones. The practice also focuses on conventional and renewable power generation and transmission and is assisting several companies on the development of wind power generation projects and greenfield solar projects. The firm is also active in environmental and social issues, namely environmental licensing due diligence and compliance. Recent mandates include advising Synergy Energy Corporation on the sale of 100% of the shares of Petrocolombia to Hades E&P Holding; the purchase price was structured in a staggered manner depending on certain oil and gas production milestones under an open association contract with Ecopetrol. The former legal director of Trafigura in Colombia Mariana Sanchez and environmental law-focused associate Maria Catalina Visbal are also both noted. Enel Green Power, Anadarko, Conoco Philips, Trafigura and Itau are also on the client roster.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S. advises local and international companies on activities in the energy and oil and gas industries, including power generation, transmission, distribution and commercialization, exploration, production, transportation, trading and export. Recommended for his ‘extensive experience and problem-solving approach’ Alejandro Mesa heads the team in which Jaime Trujillo, Ciro Meza and Felipe Correa are all also noted figures. The team is advising Enbridge affiliate, Oleoducto al Pacífico, on the structuring of a $5bn oil pipeline project that will connect the producing fields in Los Llanos basin with an export facility on the Pacific Ocean. Other clients include Schlumberger, ONGC Videsh, (an affiliate of Valorem), Voltalia Investissement and Total E&P.

Brigard & Urrutia offers a ‘very good service, with high quality and important expertise on environmental matters’. With particular expertise and experience in the mining sector, the six-strong lawyer practice is led by managing partner Carlos Umaña and senior partner Carlos Urrutia. Senior associate Guillermo Tejeiro is also highly thought of. The team advised Lhoist Colombia regarding a change of local territorial planning and its impact on the company’s development activities, including the defence and representation of its mining titles and rights, and obtaining environmental permits before several administrative authorities. Highlights included advising Copperbelt Minerals in the search for mining projects and the acquisition of mining concessions in Colombia. Generarco, Armena Refinery USA and Orion Mine Finance are also on the client roster.

GĂłmez-PinzĂłn Abogados (GPA) has seven lawyers involved in energy and natural resources, with a multidisciplinary approach to large transactions and projects in the energy and natural resources sector. Clients appreciate ‘their knowledge of the various legal situations that can impact operations of acquisition of fields is profitable for foreign investors or companies outside the sector’. The practice is co-led by GermĂĄn Villamil, head of oil and gas, Patricia ArrĂĄzola, head of energy and mining, and Lina Uribe, head of environment. The practice group has been advising Grupo TĂ©rmico, a consortium comprising the country’s largest gas-fired generators, Termobarranquilla, Termocandelaria and Celsia, with power plants located in Barranquilla, on a unique project in connection with a bid to award the construction for a new LNG import terminal. Other highlights include acting as counsel for Gas Natural Fenosa in regulatory matters during the takeover process of Electricaribe by the Superintendence of Public Services. Ecopetrol, Schlumberger, Trafigura and Canacol Energy are also clients.

Sanclemente Fernåndez Abogados S.A. advises local and international clients in the oil, gas and mining sectors. The firm gives permanent advice to Cepsa on different legal matters, such as drafting and the negotiation of service agreements to be executed with other companies. Additionally, it is also advising the company on the process of initiating activities in Peru and the mobilization of Colombian personnel to Peru. Other matters include advising Valerus Field Solutions on the execution of legal matters related to the turn key commissioning contract of a gas compression plant subscribed with Promigas and Promisol. José Gabriel Fernåndez, Antonio Sanclemente and Diana Sanclemente are the key names.

With widely recognised expertise in the construction and operation of public services utilities, DurĂĄn & Osorio Abogados Asociados is experienced in special regulations regarding energy and natural resources. Jorge Gabriel Taboada and Gustavo Osorio lead the team, with Àlvaro Gasca a third key figure. The team is advising the Superintendence of Public Utilities with regard to the entire procedure of intervening in Electricaribe, one of the most important energy suppliers in the Caribbean Region, which was facing an imminent cessation of payments to suppliers. The team is also currently advising Empresa de Energía de Bogotá (EEB) on developing a proposal for an analysis of all the projects under execution in the energy sector, and specifically those involving energy transmission. The team is also acting as a business strategies advisor to EEDAS, CEDELCA and DISPAC.

Godoy & Hoyos Abogados SAS provides advice to local and international companies with operations in the mining, oil and gas industries. The practice group led by Juan Pablo Godoy has developed particular expertise in regulatory, contractual, environmental, and tax matters related to these industries. The team has advised Exxon Mobil in regulatory, foreign exchange, customs, and tax issues, and in particular on matters related to compliance with, and the implications of, contracts signed with the National Hydrocarbons Agency for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons and on technical evaluations. Additionally, it also advises on (energy related-) offshore free trade zones. Calfrac, Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos, Occidental de Colombia and CPVEN Sucursal Colombia are also clients.

Holland & Knight’s practice covers corporate and commercial matters in energy and natural resources, with an emphasis on environmental law. The 10-strong team is led by the highly recommended JosĂ© Vicente Zapata, who has over 20 years’ experience in the sector, and represents electric, oil, gas, mining, agrochemical and industrial companies, as well as government entities. The team is advising several oil and gas entities in relation to regulatory and environmental matters related to their operations in the country. The practice also acted as local counsel to GeoPark Limited on the issuance of its $425m secured amortizing notes. ExxonMobil Colombia, Shell, Celsia and Gran Tierra Energy Colombia are among other clients.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.’s practice is specialised in the mining and environmental segments, offering an integrated service by assisting clients in negotiating and drafting joint ventures, acquisition of companies and mining titles, preparing due diligence, processing environmental licenses, and acting in litigation involving local communities’ rights. ‘Brilliant’ Ignacio Santamaría heads the area, with senior associate Angela María Salazar also noted. Highlights include handling the due diligence report and financing through a purchase agreement of a $28m acquisition on behalf of Continental Gold. Other clients include Antioquia Gold, Minera Cobre de Colombia, Minera Vetas and Red Eagle Mining.

Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados focuses on environmental and collective law, acting for clients from the mining, oil and gas, energy sectors on licensing of exploration concessions, as well as in litigation. The team, led by Juan Manuel Sabogal, is representing Doble A Ingeniería in a class action for the protection of collective rights supposedly threatened by the pollution of a wetland near Bogotå. The team also is assisting GeoPark in the analysis of oil easements, environmental responsibility, and compliance with the obligations, as well as with legal claims related to alleged social and environmental impacts on the local population in Casanare. Carlos Mantilla Gómez re-joined the firm and brings additional environmental expertise as well as his corporate know how. Other clients include Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Constructora Bolívar, Explotaciones Carboníferas Yerbabuena and Exsa.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice covers energy and natural resources, including power generation and the extractive industries, as well as environmental law. Leopoldo OlavarrĂ­a heads the eight-strong lawyer team, with Luis Carlos Neira a key member. Associate InĂ©s Elvira Vesga joined from Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas as director of the oil and gas segment, but Nicolas Arboleda, head of mining has left for the private sector and the firm has also lost Jorge Neher, HernĂĄn RodrĂ­guez and Santiago GonzĂĄlez to Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas. The team advised Sloane Energy on the development of La Luna project which comprises a coal generation power plant, an underground coal mine and a transmission line. It also assisted the drilling contractor of an oil and gas operator in the Colombian offshore sector under the permanent offshore free trade zone scheme. Braserv PetrĂłleo, Puma Energy, Gran Tierra Energy and Bridgestone are some of the clients.

Boutique Chalela | Abogados offers legal services to the oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, infrastructure sectors as well as to energy-related service companies and projects. The 12-strong lawyer team, led by Federico Chalela, advised Gran Tierra in connection with a number of oil and gas contractual and regulatory affairs, including advice on crude transportation issues. Other highlights during 2017 included advising on a natural gas commercialization bidding process, and the preparation of long-term contingent supply and long-term take-or-pay contracts for Equion Energia Limited and Emerald Energy.

Palacios Lleras is particularly known ‘for assuming cases that require strength in depth, dedication, strictness, input from partners and integrity’. The practice led by Hugo Palacios Mejía, Oscar Gutierrez and Carolina Deik, advises on mining, oil and natural gas matters, as well as associated environmental issues and litigation cases. The team is currently advising an international mining company in contractual disputes against the National Mining Agency.

Pinilla GonzĂĄlez & Prieto Abogados continues to advise local and international clients on matters related to the regulatory aspects of energy construction projects but has also lately delved into the water and mining sectors with the arrival of new head of team, associate Natalia Nuñez, an environmental law specialist; she replaces Claudia Mora who left the firm. The six-strong practice is currently advising a construction company before the competent environmental authorities on two crucial projects regarding wetlands. Agrobetania, Escalar, Universidad de la Sabana and Prodesa are among the firm’s clients.

Founded in 2016, boutique Angulo Martínez & Abogados enters the rankings on the back of a strong caseload and significant presence in the renewable energy market, where it attracts praise for ‘the fact that they are specialized on energy law but also that it keeps an interest in its clients’ projects, does constant follow ups and is always on the lookout for updates in the regulation that can benefit its clients’ projects’. Founding partner Juan José Angulo assisted a client with the connection procedure to the National Interconnected System (and partial obtaining of it) for a 330 MW wind farm to be located in the Guajira area. Clients include Grupo Renovatio, Grupo Solaer and Grupo Manuelita.

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