Firms To Watch: Energy and natural resources

Start-up boutique Estudio Legal Barrera Rey Abogados & Asociados advises on contractual and regulatory matters in relation to the oil-and-gas, electricity, mining, environmental and renewables sectors. Upstream specialist, managing partner Juan Diego Barrera Rey can draw on his former experience both in house (at Ecopetrol, Hocol, TPIC and Chevron, among others), as well as having spent time at the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH).

Energy and natural resources in Colombia

Brigard Urrutia

Brigard Urrutia‘s 23-strong team has a deep knowledge of the energy and natural resources industry, with international experience advising clients across the hydrocarbons and power  sectors, as well as major players in the mining sector. The team regularly acts as the legal project manager and main counsel on transactions, corporate governance, contractual, regulatory and contentious work in the energy space, and also advises extensively on infrastructure and public utilities-related matters. Managing partner Carlos Umaña has over 30 years’ experience in infrastructure and natural resources law and provides specialised advice on project development; frequently handling cross-border transactions in the sector, senior partner Carlos Urrutia advises clients on natural resources, aviation, and construction contracts. The pair co-lead the practice with Claudia Navarro, a partner of both the infrastructure and public utilities' and the renewable energy and energy efficiency practices, and who has considerable expertise in regulation concerning electricity generation and natural gas services; and associate practice director Marianna Boza who heads up the mining and oil-and-gas practices. Guillermo Tejeiro was appointed director of the environmental and sustatinable business group in July 2020 and is an additional key member of the team, as is corporate and transactional partner Jaime Robledo who has joined the group co-leading the practice. Key associates support comes from senior Manuel Gómez Fajardo (energy, regulation, public law). However mining and hydrocarbons-specialist Catalina Borda Restrepo moved in house at Parex Resources in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Umaña; Carlos Urrutia; Claudia Navarro; Jaime Robledo; Marianna Boza

Testimonials

A robust team with the ability to take on large volumes of work and deliver high-quality results in a timely manner. They have fluid interaction with other practice areas within the firm, which adds value to the client. Their reputation allows them to have a strong global network with other firms.

They are constantly working on new products that can add value to customer operations.

They have easy access to state entities and government authorities, which they put at the service of the client and facilitate them to meet their objectives.

Timely attention to requirements, knowledge and expertise of the team at the disposal of the company, multidisciplinary teams.

Timely attention to requirements.

Key clients

Oleoducto de Los Llanos Orientales

Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia

Geopark

Transmisora Colombiana de Energía

Carbo Sostenible

Athena Foods

Biofix Consultoría

Compañía de Puertos Asociados (Compas)

Ecopetrol Energía

Global Tower Solutions

Invenergy

Promigas

Grupo de Energía de Bogotá

Scotiabank Colpatria

Work highlights

  • Advised Geopark on the acquisition of Amerisur Resources, including due diligence on the assets, the drafting of due diligence reports, assistance with the drafting of the transactional documentation and in respect to the closing of the transaction; the team also provided advice on regulatory matters and approvals, and was involved in the successful $315m debt financing package.
  • Advised state-owned oil company, Ecopetrol, on the structuring of a draft long-term Power Purchase Agreement with renewable sources and that reflects current best practice – including risk allocation techniques and consideration of Colombia’s new regulatory framework; this model PPA was recently used for the  59MWp Granja San Fernando solar park project and is intended to be the baseline for future auctions developed by Ecopetrol and its subsidiaries.
  • Advised an investment group client on the regulatory aspects of the financing and collateral structure applicable for the acquisition of oil and gas assets in Colombia.

Posse Herrera Ruiz

Posse Herrera Ruiz natural resources and energy group advises clients on all aspects of up-, mid- and downstream oil-and-gas work, as well as on power generation (particularly renewables) and mining-related matters. Recent mandates include advising CEDCO, part of the Carlyle Group, on its prepayment of crude oil to Vitol, a transaction which allowed the client to ensure funding for its ongoing exploration activities at a pre-established price. The ‘practical and knowledgeableAlvaro José Rodríguez heads the natural resources department and focuses on energy and environmental matters. He is flanked by practice directors Diana Salazar , who leads the mining group and has over 30 years’ experience in the industry; and Mariana Sánchez, head of the natural resources and energy team, who has over 22 years’ experience and is skilled in matters relating to energy, infrastructure, oil and gas. Additional key support is provided by energy and natural resources senior, Erika Serrano Rojas, who has a strong specialisation in environmental matters that includes public sector experience.

Practice head(s):

Alvaro José Rodríguez

Testimonials

The team is accessible, practical and knowledgeable. They know the market and they know the law, which is appreciated by a foreign investor like us.

Álvaro José Rodríguez is affable, practical and knowledgeable. He knows when to take the lead and when to delegate. Catalina Noreña is hard-working, careful and sensible.

I want solid legal services, which I get from PHR.

Alvaro Jose Rodriguez led the team for us and delivered on time and on budget to our complete satisfaction.

I recommend Alvaro Jose Rodriguez unreservedly. He is creative and commercial.

It is a team that complements other specialties and offers comprehensive advice. It stands out from other firms on technical knowledge.

Diana Salazar is an outstanding lawyer, with the ability to advise and lead complex consultancies. Excellent.

Key clients

Occidental Petroleum Corporation

Arrow Exploration

Conoco Phillips

Cedco (The Carlyle Group)

Energo-pro

BHP Chile

SeaOne Caribbean

Northland Power

Hidrocasanare

Yara

Oiltanking

Agnico Eagle Mines

Sociedad Minera de Santander (Minesa)

Triple Flag Precious Metals

Work highlights

  • Advised Oxy on the sale of substantially all its onshore Colombian oil and gas assets to the Carlyle Group.
  • Advised Norwegian chemicals manufacturer Yara on a constitutional action brought by local indigenous communities regarding a plant that has operated for the past 40 years which the action sought to have cease production while the community was consulted about its operation.
  • Advised Northland Power in relation to a number of matters, including: advising in the bidding process for a 275 km transmission line 500 kW. Northland Power sought to enter the local transmission line market through this transaction; advising in the acquisition of one of Colombia’s largest power generators, EBSA; advising in the refinancing of the acquisition finance loan for the EBSA.

Sanclemente Fernández Abogados S.A.

The nine-strong team at Sanclemente Fernández Abogados S.A. provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for energy and natural resources clients, with ancillary offerings such as corporate assistance and administrative support very much organised around this, the firm’s core practice. As a result the firm tends to build long-term relationships with its clients, in a model that has proved mutually beneficial. Diana Sanclemente has broad experience that includes administrative contracting, infrastructure, mining, and regulations in oil, gas, LPG and byproducts; senior partner Antonio Sanclemente specialises, particularly, in oil-and-gas matters and has truly extensive experience on major up- and downstream mandates; fellow senior partner José Gabriel Fernández focuses on banking and capital markets financings, along with corporate and M&A matters and has participated in structuring the acquisition, merger and consolidation of numerous companies in the sector; and Donaldo Ariza bring over 20 years’ experience in public law and administrative contracting to the energy-mining sector. Corporate partner Ignacio Giraldo also participates in the sector as necessary.

Practice head(s):

Antonio Sanclemente; José Gabriel Fernández; Diana Sanclemente; Donaldo Ariza

Key clients

Vetra Exploración Y Producción Colombia

Repsol Exploración Colombia

Amerisur Exploración Colombia

Helmerich & Payne (Colombia) Drilling Co

Baker Hughes De Colombia

Cepsa Colombia

Telpico Colombia

Parker Drilling Company International

Conoco Phillips Colombia Vetures

Work highlights

  • Legal advice and support to Amerisur Exploración Colombia related to its $314m merger with GeoPark and the transitioning of assets in Colombia, incuding 12 production blocks, development and exploration covering 2.5 million acres (including 11 blocks operated in the basin of Putumayo and the CPO-5 block -not operated by th ecompany- in the basin of Llanos).
  • Legal advice and support to Conoco Phillips Colombia on investment matters, exploration and production projects in the country.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S.

The mining and power practice at Baker McKenzie S.A.S. specialises in both electricity generation and oil-and-gas projects, with a particular focus on renewable energy. The nine-strong team has notable expertise advising clients on domestic and cross-border transactions in the mining segment and provides assistance to several different mining operation projects in Colombia - including issues such as the drafting of mining-related contracts; regulatory, social, environmental and administrative matters; real estate, rights-of-way and property access; and the obtaining of licences and permits for the development of projects. Alejandro Mesa is overall head of the offices energy, mining and infrastructure practice and has over 12 years’ experience (and a particular focus) advising on oil and gas matters. He is flanked by senior associate practice directors Mariana Villegas, who leads the power sub-practice; and the ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ Nicolás Arboleda, who leads the mining and metals practice. Claudia Benavides, Ciro Meza and Andrés Crump attend to relevant contentious, tax, and transactional (and PE) matters, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Mesa; Nicolas Arboleda; Andres Crump; Mariana Villegas

Testimonials

‘Strong corporate and industry knowledge. The firm provided flat rate for first part of transaction. Nicolas Arboleda was knowledgeable and responsive.

‘Working with Alejandro Mesa and Nicolas Arboleda has been a great experience.  Not only do they understand the Colombian legal environment extremely well, but they also understand our needs as a foreign-owned mining company. Alejandro Mesa and Nicolas Arboleda also have valuable perspective given their own knowledge of the global mining and energy industries – in addition to Baker McKenzie’s support given their own practices around the world.

‘We have found Alejandro Mesa and Nicolas Arboleda to work in a much more collaborative way than with other law firms.  Our corporate best interest is always at the front of their minds, and it is clear to us that they want us to succeed as well.

‘Alejandro Mesa and Nicolas Arboleda are who we have worked with as partner and associate, respectively. Both of them are attentive to our corporate needs, knowledgeable about the mining industry (globally and in Colombia), and are trustworthy and ethical in all that they do.

‘I have interacted with professionals in the mining area and I think they are very creative, knowledgeable, innovative and friendly. I think that combination makes them special and I wish them many successes. They are highly efficient, do a very interesting exercise in comparative law and are very collaborative in complex relationships.

‘Nicolás Arboleda stands out for his knowledge not only of the rules but also of the dynamics of the mining business. He has a great facility for relationships and interaction and he is very friendly and helpful.

Key clients

Peabody Energy Corporation

Crest Investments – Texas Mining and Associates

Talis Capital

Equilibre Capital

National Mining Agency

China CAMC Engineering

Ponce de Leon Mining

NewFields

Cooperativo Minero de Norte de Santander

DMC Mining

Cascadia Scientific

Merit Consultants / Cementation

Impala Terminals

Novum Energy Trading

Gramalote Colombia

Global Tower Solutions

Engie Colombia

EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF Renewables)

Canadian Solar

Solargreen

Trafigura Marketing Colombia

Oak Creek Energy

Voltalia

SPV Villanueva

Refocosta

Schlumberger Surenco

Graña y Montero (Morelco)

ONGC Videsh

Petroleo Brasilero (Petrobras)

Total EyP Colombie Sucursal Colombia

Brookfield

Work highlights

  • Assisted Texas Mining and Associates (and some of its subsidiaries and affiliates) with contractual, regulatory, corporate, employment and other matters related to their mining operations in Colombia.
  • Assisted Talis Capital with the review of a share purchase agreement to dispose of its shares in a Colombian company developing an underground coal project.
  • Awarded a mandate by Colombia’s National Mining Agency (the government agency that manages mineral rights and concessions), to develop and implement a tendering process to offer selected strategic copper areas to potential investors worldwide.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas

The ‘very professional’, nine-strong team at Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas is best known for its profound expertise in the oil-and-gas sector -particularly M&A work (including transactions involving multiple jurisdictions)- where it works on all aspects of hydrocarbons matters, from upstream to down and encompassing complex and multidisciplinary due diligence processes, legal opinions, multi-jurisdictional IPOs and take-overs, on behalf of foreign E&P companies, international banks and upper-, mid- and down-stream operators. The practice group's caseload also indicates increasing diversification with an up-tick in electricity-segment mandates. The firm’s regional head of hydrocarbons, Venezuela-qualified Jorge Neher‘s expertise and experience also reaches in to the mining segment. Santiago González focuses on M&A, financing and foreign investment in the energy sector, as well as on oil-and-gas regulation; while Bernardo Cárdenas focuses on project finance and capital markets and Hernán Rodríguez is involved in M&A transactions and has particular expertise in the mining sector. Key associate María Margarita Lorduy is director of the office’s environmental practice and has extensive experience of acting in relation to the entire extractive industries segment; she also handles community relations matters. However, Alejandra Bonilla moved back in house as corporate vice president (legal) at Frontera Energy in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Neher; Bernardo Cardenas; Santiago González

Testimonials

Dentons has a strong and versatile oil-and-gas team that continuously exceeds our expectations.

Hernan Rodriguez stands out as an outstanding practitioner and manager who has taken the time to understand our business well.

High knowledge of the issues, great willingness to discuss and innovate. They are mentality-oriented towards helping the client’s needs and not closing in on mental barriers (unlike most law firms).

Agility in their responsiveness so as to meet deadlines and objectives. I insist that they have a commercial approach with which it is a pleasure to work, they do not mentally close in on minor legal arguments but rather, are able to see the larger picture.

Very professional, they know how to listen, but at the same time they are warm and it is a pleasure to work with them. They always put the project ahead of their egos, which makes it easy to advance and be innovative. They are genuine in wanting the best for their clients, and they rejoice in their successes.

‘I’d note partner Santiago Gonzalez and his team, including Santiago Miramon, Lucia Escobar and Daniel Garcia.

It is an office that is willing to venture into unknown territory, gaining mastery of the subject quickly and efficiently, which led us to launch the first private renewable energy auction together.’

Key clients

Pluspetrol Colombia

ONGC Videsh (sucursal Colombiana)

Petroquimica Comodoro Rivadavia (PCR)

La Luna E&P

Enerland Group

Amcor Rigid Packaging USA

Puerto Bahía Colombia de Urabá

Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Bahía

Frontera Energy

Gran Tierra Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising Puerto Bahía Colombia de Urabá on the design-build-finance-operate-maintain-transfer contract for an electricity transmission line for a greenfield multi-purpose port project.
  • Advising Amcor Rigid Packaging USA on the negotiation of a supply contract (PPA) for the energy generated by Solar Power System with gratuitous bailment of the interconnection equipment, between Amcor and Celsia Colombia ESP, as part of the development of a solar power plant intended to supply power to a manufacturing plant located in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
  • Providing comprehensive and multidisciplinary legal advice to the Colombian subsidiary of ONGC Videsh on its day-to-day operations in the country, currently focused on the CPO-5 block located in Llanos Basin, onshore central Colombia.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)’ energy and natural resources practice advises on all types of energy-related transactions and regulatory matters, with key practitioners in the oil-and-gas and electricity segments. Patricia Arrázola heads the ten-strong team, and advises national and international companies in the electricity sector on corporate, regulatory, and M&A processes; Germán Villamil, in turn, overseas oil-and-gas matters, but also undertakes financings and demonstrates strong regulatory capabilities; while José Luís Palacios, who has an oil and gas background, continues to be increasingly active in power-segment transactions and has participated in energy deals across Latin America. Recent mandates include advising Carlyle Group on the acquisition by Colombia Energy Development (CEDCO) of all the holdings of Carrao Energy, primarily related to the Llanos 23 block. However, former senior associate Fabio Ardila moved to Cuatrecasas in March 2021, since when the firm has hired former Holland & Knight counsel, Daniel Fajardo, as a senior - effective October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Arrázola Bustillo

Testimonials

They have a good team at Gómez Pinzón which is in charge of undertaking the due diligence on the documentation presented; once received, they undertake meetings and approaches to subsequently reach an analysis. It certainly compares favourably with teams at other firms.’

‘The partners and associates are in permanent contact with the client and attend the meetings to solve the doubts they have.

With the GPA team we feel well accompanied and advised. We have worked on different projects with satisfactory results. The capabilities of the team are outstanding.

Key clients

Carlyle International Energy Partners II

Termocandelaria Power

Enfragen

EDP Renováveis

EDF Renewables

Hydroglobal

Colombia Energy Development

Trina Solar

IGS International

Orinoco Energy I / Sunco Capital

Invenergy Solar Development North America

Peninsula Petroleum

Acciona Energía Chile

World Wildlife Fund

Clorox De Colombia

Gases Industriales De Colombia

Compartamos Con Colombia-Wildlife Conservation Society

Work highlights

  • Advice to Termocandelaria Power (and its subsidiaries Termobarranquilla ESP and Termocandelaria ESP), on regulatory matters related to the electricitiy and gas sectors, as well as on corporate, contractual and environmental matters, among others.
  • Advised EDP Renováveis on the acquisition of certain important photovoltaic and eolic generation projects in the country with an expected generation capacity totalling 850–1000MW.
  • Permanent legal advice to leading global photovoltaic-module provider, Trina Solar.

Holland & Knight

The ‘excellent’, 15-strong team at Holland & Knight undertakes the full spectrum of oil, gas, energy and natural resources matters, as well as providing advice on environmental matters such as climate change, compliance auditing, energy efficiency, and sustainability issues, among others. Market stalwart and practice head Jose Vicente Zapata has over 20 years’ experience in the natural resources sector, representing electric, oil, gas and mining companies as well as having particular expertise in environmental matters. Raised to the partnership in August 2021, Ines Elvira Vesga is highlighted for her advice to national and foreign clients on regulatory issues and complex corporate negotiations involving petroleum agreements (in particular), but also handles matters across right across the oil, gas, and electricity sectors, along with natural resources matters in general. Senior counsel Juan Israel Casallas is another key figure in the practice group, his practice taking in public law, arbitration and administrative and constitutional litigation, largely in relation to the energy and natural resources sector, along with community and governmental affairs management, environmental liability, anti-trust proceedings and pre-merger review.  Semi-senior associate Estefanny Pardo is also a contentious specialist and is particularly active on environmental matters in the energy sector. However, former counsel Daniel Fajardo left the firm in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

José Vicente Zapata

Testimonials

It is an excellent team with a lot of experience and practice. He knows how to prioritise and understand the needs of his clients.

Very good and close attention. Immediate availability and quick responses.

Key clients

Petrobras de Valores Internacional de España (sucursal Colombia)

Sator

Emerald Energy

Lewis Energy Colombia

Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDBG)

TransGas de Occidente

Equión Energía

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to oil and gas E&P company Emerald Energy (a Sinochem Group subsidiary), on regulatory and contractual matters, including the preparation of contractual and legal documents related to its operation in Colombia and regarding environmental matters.
  • Advised and represented Brazilian state hydrocarbons entity Petrobras as a party involved in the declaration process of a regional environmental protection area initiated by Corporación Autónoma Regional del Tolima – Cortolima, representing the company in public hearings and administrative procedures related to the declaration process, as well as interaction with the local communities and authorities with jurisdiction in the proposed environmentally-protected area.
  • Advised coal mining company Sator on the environmental licensing procedure of a key coal mining project, involving strategic analysis of the environmental licences granted, with a focus on potential restrictions to in situ operations, and the drafting and submission of the corresponding appeal before the National Environmental Licensing Authority.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

The ‘approachable and very knowledgeable‘ team at Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría advises key players of the energy sector in the structuring, financing, and development of renewable power generation projects, as well as advising clients in the mining, hydrocarbons and natural gas sectors. Practice head Sandra Manrique has ‘great expertise and management of regulation in the energy sector,’ and is currently advising major stell producer Diaco on proceedings against several regulatory authorities in Colombia. Manrique is supported by a triumvirate of experienced colleagues. Associate practice director Johanna Cajigas leads the gas and hydrocarbons area and has extensive experience in natural gas, liquid fuels and LPG; principal associate Juan Pablo Gutiérrez heads up the electricity practice and is also noted for his wider expertise in infrastructure and natural resources; and senior associate Mateo Sinisterra heads up the mining practice and can also draw on expertise in this segment housed in the firm's Peru and Chile offices.

Practice head(s):

Sandra Manrique

Testimonials

‘Sandra Manrique has great expertise and management of regulation in the energy sector, both in the field of public and private auctions and in self-generation schemes, efficiently delivering appropriate solutions to the problems raised.

‘Juan Pablo Gutiérrez has demonstrated solid knowledge in advising on self-generation schemes.’

‘Luis Fernando Macías – experience and knowledge.’

‘Iván Paéz – very strong in procedural law, very accessible.’

‘Strengths and skills of the team – experience; knowledge; commitment to the client; availability of time for customer service; the security and trust they transmit; the interaction and support with different areas of the firm, which allows the situation to be resolved to be seen globally.’

‘PPU’s energy team is excellent, approachable, very knowledgeable about regulation and always gives recommendations adjusted to the reality of the business.’

‘The knowledge and experience that the members of the energy project development team have is outstanding compared to other firms that provide the same service.’

‘The service of the firm’s lawyers is outstanding (especially Sandra Manrique and Juan Pablo Gutiérrez). The effort to really understand the needs of the client and their business makes them differentiate themselves from other lawyers who provide the same service, which additionally results in timely and accurate advice of the best quality. On energy issues, we have always worked with PPU, as it is the firm that generates the greatest confidence in this branch. They have a flexible billing system that allows you to request proposals for fees tailored to each client.’

‘Sandra Manrique and Johana Cajigas (who mainly manage the commercial relationship with the company), have a degree of knowledge and experience in matters related to energy and natural gas regulation, which give clients great peace of mind regarding the inquiries made. Furthermore, added to the punctuality and timeliness with which they handle inquiries, they generate significant value for the company.’

‘They have an excellent relationship with the client and look for alternatives that allow the realisation of the business. They permanently carry out workshops in which they show updates and regulatory news.’

‘The practice is comprised of exceptional attorneys, experts, and industry insiders. They have an adequate synergy between team members and with other practices of the firm to provide comprehensive, high-quality support. Mateo Sinisterra is exceptional. He has a deep knowledge of mining regulations and a legal solidity that makes an impact. He is a comprehensive attorney, always ready to contribute the best service to clients and the legal community.’

‘The specialisation of the practice lawyers in each of the industries allows them to have a permanently visible face, facilitating interaction and monitoring of issues. Its cost/benefit ratio is very appropriate to the current situation of the sector.’

Key clients

Minera de Cobre Quebradona

Diaco

La Luna Sucursal Colombia

CNE Oil & Gas

Organizacion Terpel

Shell Exploration & Production Colombia

South 32

Parex Resources Colombia

Gran Tierra Energy Colombia

Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos

Drummmond Energy Colombia

Empresas Públicas de Medellin

Hocol

Acciona ENergía Chile

Lewis Energy Colombia

Perobras International Braspetro

Gases del Caribe

Corporación Soluciones Energéticas Integrales

Anglogold Ashanti

Engie

Gramalote Colombia

Luz Adriana Álvarez

Colombian Mining Association

Juan Manuel Ruiseco

Work highlights

  • Legal advice to Corporación Soluciones Energéticas Integrales (Cosenit) on the execution of the Quico II project and the selection of an agent to provide power supplies via photovoltaic power self-generation plants; the contract was awarded to Codensa ESP which will build, operate and maintain the generation infrastructure that will allow a series of industrial companies in Colombia to operate their businesses.
  • We obtained the reversion of the termination of one of Luz Adriana Álvarez’s mining concessions.
  • Representing major steel producer Diaco in proceedings against several regulatory authorities.

Angulo Martínez & Abogados

Founded in 2016, Angulo Martínez & Abogados has built up an impressive client roster which it attends providing specialist and comprehensive advice -particularly from the project development perspective- on the electricity sector, including -most recently- advisory regarding the energy transition processes and the ESG challenges for companies in the power segment. The team has experience working on matters concerning the energy regulatory framework, transational matters and power infrastrucuture, and also demonstrates expertise in renewables projects, both wind and solar. Founding partner Juan José Angulo advises domestic and foreign clients in matters related to electricity, as well as natural gas, carbon, and solar projects. Key support, specifically on both tax and contentious matters is provided by Juan Fernando Giraldo in Cali.

Practice head(s):

Juan Jose Angulo

Key clients

Solarcentury

Harinera del Valle

Ingenio María Luisa

Univergy Solar

Trina Solar

MINESA

EDP Renováveis

Oleoducto Central – OCENSA – (Subordinated from Grupo Empresarial Ecopetrol)

Oak Creek Energy

Neoen

Efigen / Flexigabion

Renovatio Trading Américas ESP

Renovatio Eco Solutions

Begonia Power ESP

Promisol

Technoelite Green Energy

RG Renovatio Group

CENIT

Asociación de Energías Renovables Colombia – Ser Colombia

Ganados Monterrey

Ecoflo Colombia

Ecoplexus

Organización Ruiseco (Frontier Coal – Ultracem – Juan Manuel Ruiseco V & Cia)

Manuelita

Aceites Manuelita

Palmar de Altamira

Ingenio La Cabaña

Proyectos Energéticos del Cauca – Proenca ESP

Gran Tierra Energy Colombia

Ecoenergía Colombia

Solargreen (Grupo Solaer)

Work highlights

  • Advising Trina Solaron the development of 300MW in solar projects awarded at the auction for renewable energy, comprising the Campano, San Felipe and Cartago projects.
  • Provided legal support to Solargeen on the drafting and negotiation of the agreement for the shared use of an overlapped area between a natural gas field and the 100MW Bosques Solares de los Llanos solar farm which came into partial operation between September 2020 and January 2021, and is one the most complex and successful solar projects in Colombia.
  • Represented and defended the private, not-for-profit guild, Ser Colombia (which brngs together some 70 renewable energy companies and developers), before the Constitutional Court of Colombia against a lawsuit challenging the mandatory purchase of  non-conventional energy instated in Article 296 of Law 1955/19.

Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados

Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados’ public law, energy and natural resources practice is primarily oriented towards advising companies and public entities on administrative procedures before national authorities, including fiscal liability procedures, administrative fines and sanctioning processes (particularly in the fuels and hydrocarbon sector), and the analysis and participation in the issuance of rules and decrees by the government. Senior partner Carlos Gustavo Arrieta undertakes arbitral and litigious representation, particularly regarding administrative matters related to mining and oil-and-gas law; he co-heads the practice alongside finance and public law specialist, Yady Villaquirán, who directs the firm's public and mining energy law practice.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Gustavo Arrieta; Yady Villaquirán Castro

Testimonials

‘The firm is characterised by the teamwork of different lawyers to resolve the client’s concerns and at the same time so that the client receives a complete and comprehensive response on the matter.’

‘The main characteristic of the firm is the close and personalised relationship with the client.’

‘Yady Villaquirán knows the practice topics very well and is a leader who is clear and precise in her recommendations.’

‘AMYA is a leader among legal firms in Colombia. The knowledge and experience of its partners and the team is very broad and allows clients to have in them a trustworthy firm that assertively leads the result. It is in the top three of the energy and environmental rights firms in Colombia.’

‘The proximity to the client, the “online” advice that AMYA offers allows the clients to make the right decisions with the required opportunity.’

‘The AMYA human group is excellent. Exceptional personal and professional quality. Result-orientation generates great trust in the client.’

‘It’s a solid team from every point of view. Legal knowledge is a strength that we have valued.’

‘The professional and humane treatment allows a fluid and respectful communication. The billing process is clear and transparent.’

‘The experience of its professionals has been essential to successfully carry out the cases they have taken up on our behalf.’

‘Dr. Carlos Gustavo Arrieta has excellent judgment and command of law in general.’

‘Dr. Arrieta has a lot of experience in handling the most complex mining issues in the country.’

Key clients

Carbones del Cerrejón & Cerrejón Zona Norte

Drummond

Cerro Matoso

Continental Gold

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)

Celsia

Asociación Colombiana del GLP (GasNova)

ConocoPhillips

Minería y Energía Minesa

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)

VP Ingenergía

Ismocol

Minera Vetas

Galway Resources Vetas Holdco Sucursal

Asociación Colombiana de Minería (ACM)

Work highlights

  • Advising Carbones del Cerrejón and Cerrejón Zona Norte on all types of mining and public law issues and represents the company in administrative proceedings held before the mining sector agencies and some jurisdiction authorities.
  • Advising ConocoPhillips on matters regarding the legality of the use of fracking for the non-conventional exploitation of hydrocarbons; as well as representation in a class action that seeks to prohibit the company from continuing operations, arguing the alleged illegal use of “fracking” in the concession areas granted to ConocoPhillips by the Colombian Government.
  • Representing Cerro Matoso in a judicial process related to a nullity action held by that company against Contraloría General de la República as a result of a fiscal liability judgment issued by that authority.

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero

The team at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero advises oil and gas companies and operators on the drafting and negotiation of joint operating agreements, EPC contracts and oilfield services contracts. Moreover, the firm has played a role in shaping the legal framework for the energy industry with its participation in the creation of the Fund for Non-Conventional Energy and Efficient Energy Management (FENOGE), the first public fund created exclusively to finance unconventional energy sources, as well as acting as lead counsel to both the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), on the design, drafting and implementation of Colombia’s new Offshore E&P contract. Daniel Rodríguez who principally advises clients on regulatory issues and the structuring, design and implementation of energy-related projects across the hydrocarbons, power (and renewables) and mining sectors, co-leads a team now 14-strong, following the firm’s July 2021 tie-up with specialist power boutique Yáñez & Asociados. The merger, which considerably strengthens the practice and also expands its capabilities in environmental and climate change matters, sees new partners Álvaro Yáñez Peñaranda and Álvaro Josué Yáñez Alsina become co-practice heads.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Rodríguez

Testimonials

Unity of judgment among team members, the product of rigorous analysis and clear coordination. Their availability to expand and clarify the points that presented doubts or concerns in the client. The documents presented have a very good presentation, structure and coherence.

The team was outstanding, from Daniel Rodríguez (partner) and María Lucía Amador (senior associate), as well as María Paula Sandoval and Paula Andrea Rodríguez (associates). The advice provided was 100% virtual due to the health measures established due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have no way to compare with other firms on the execution of their work. The team led by Daniel Rodriguez exceeds the level of knowledge on compliance issues that firms in Colombia have in general. As legal manager, I had been looking for several years looking for a firm that could advise us in a solid way on this matter and none of the large full-service firms had the knowledge that the CMS Rodriguez Azuero team has.

Daniel Rodriguez is phenomenal. He is always ready to support us on compliance issues. The great knowledge that he has on the subject stands out and that far exceeds many other law firms. There is no other firm that he can recommend on compliance issues.

The CMS team stands out because it always seeks to have a great knowledge of our business and to be a strategic ally of our business.’

Sector knowledge and pragmatism. Very quick speed of turnaround. Daniel Rodriguez is the key contact.

Key clients

Promigas

Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos

Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure

Eni

Work highlights

  • Advised Promigas on the design and implementation of a legal and regulatory mechanism that will allow the behaviour of GNV’s price to move consistently with the fluctuation of its substitutes.
  • Advised Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos on the applicable regime and recommendations for the improvement of its administrative sanctioning procedures.
  • Advised Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure on the acquisition of the shares held by AAGES Spain in Parque Fotovoltaico La Sierpe, an SPV developing a 20MW photovoltaic project in Sucre, Colombia.

Estudio Legal Hernández

The five-strong team at Estudio Legal Hernández is ‘super professional and responsive’ and advises clients including industrial and commercial power consumers; the developers, builders and operators of conventional and renewables' projects; and public service companies (generators, distributors and energy marketers), on a comprehensive array of legal, regulatory, commercial and contractual matters related to the electricity sector Practice head Juanita Hernández has more than 14 years’ experience in energy-related matters (including public sector experience), and also handles associated administrative matters, investigations and sanctioning processes. Also noted: firm president and public law specialist Augusto Hernández Becerra and director of the state contracting practice, Augusto Hernández Vidal.

Practice head(s):

Juanita Hernández Vidal

Testimonials

Small team led by partner Juanita Hernández, with a lot of knowledge on energy projects in Colombia in its various components (regulatory, environmental, commercial). The fact that it is a small team facilitates the daily and fluid contact, necessary for the daily management of projects.

The managing partner Juanita Hernández stands out for her availability and detailed knowledge of how to set up and operate an energy project in Colombia. I would definitely recommend her – without a doubt.

Monthly and detailed billing makes it much easier to control costs.

They are specialists in the energy sector. They are very knowledgeable and very active on the subject.

Super professional and responsive, obviously high quality work.

I like the newsletters they send out about legal and regulatory changes.

Key clients

Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol Energía

Esprod

Renergetica Latam Corporation

Solargreen

Diverxia Infrestructures

Notus Energia

Rayo Energia

Aages

Prodiel

Electrovichada

Grupotec

Cellvoz

Suncolombia

Work highlights

  • Legal advisory to Ecopetrol regarding the regulatory viability of its energy sale scheme in relation to its 59MW San Fernando solar autogeneration park.
  • Comprehensive advice to Solargreen on regulatory, real estate, property and contractual matters related to the development of a series of more than 15 generation projects with non-conventional sources of renewable energy (FNCER) in Colombia.
  • Advised the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo on the structuring of contracts covered under the Energy Savings Insurance (ESI) programme.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.

The small team at Lloreda Camacho & Co. ‘has extensive knowledge in the energy and mining sector’, particularly the latter, where it assists clients with the negotiating and drafting of mining joint ventures and advises on mining sector transactions, establishment of special purposes vehicles, option agreements, purchase agreements concerning mining titles and related, building, construction and operating agreements, among other matters. Partner Ignacio Santamaria (who has over 30 years’ experience in mining law) is an experienced advisor of both domestic and multinational companies; he co-heads the mining and natural resources practice alongside associate director Angela María Salazar, who has particular experience in the financing of the construction of mines - particularly in the gold segment. The practice also has a strong grasp of environmental law, advising on matters ranging from carbon bonds to the final disposal of electrical-products.

Practice head(s):

Ignacio Santamaría; Angela María Salazar

Testimonials

Lloreda Camacho & Co is characterised by offering direct and personalised attention from its partners and directors. It is very common in large law firms that you only see the partner and director at the opening of the job, and then you must interact with the most junior lawyers. This reduces the quality of the work due to the lack of knowledge that usually exists in the younger team, and the cost increases for the reprocessing of the products to be delivered, since they do not reflect what the client wants. This way of working has allowed me to maintain a working relationship with Lloreda Camacho & Co for more than five years.’

Ignacio Santamaría and Ángela Salazar have been the attorneys in charge of the care since I have a relationship with Lloreda Camacho & Co.

They have extensive knowledge in the energy and mining sector, and an open mind towards the evaluation of legal aspects with the client. In addition to knowing the sector, they are aware of the importance of being able to analyse the legal aspects hand in hand with the client who is the one who has the detail and knowledge about the particularities of the business. This means that the products delivered by them are not standardised, and have practical application for the customer.’

They take care of me personally and immediately.

Key clients

TSX Trust

Anglo American

Zijin-Continental Gold

Outcrop Gold

Incimmet

Antioquia Gold

Libero Copper

Minera Vetas

Volador Holdings

B2Gold

Minera Monte Aguila

Collective Mining (Bermuda)

Mineros

Mineros Aluvial

Stracon GyM

Lost City

Minera Monte Oro

Work highlights

  • Advised TSX Trust Company on the review of an Indenture Agreement in light of Colombian law; the negotiation and putting in place of the required securities so as to guarantee Caldas Gold Corp’s senior secured obligations under said indenture agreement.
  • Due Diligence on Caldas Gold Marmato’s assets in Colombia and the review of a legal opinion of the same on behalf of Scotia Bank, Cannacord Genuity Corp, Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc and Red Cloud Securities Inc.
  • Advising Outcrop Gold Corp. and Lost City on the acquisition of certain mineral interests in Falán, Tolima, so as to complete Santa Ana’s mining project.

Chalela | Abogados

Boutique firm Chalela | Abogados has an ‘excellent team of lawyers’ and a ‘well-earned reputation in the energy and gas sector’. The ten-strong boutique is founded by Federico Chalela, who has more than 16 years of experience and focuses on projects, disputes and business law for the oil and gas, energy, infrastructure, real-estate, utilities and other regulated industries. Key support is provided by associate directors María Isabel Paz (dispute resolution in relation to private and public law) and Ana María Iregui (corporate, commercial, contracts and M&A). Ongoing development saw the firm add a further junior associate in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Federico Chalela; Ana María Iregui; María Isabel Paz

Testimonials

Chalela Abogados has an excellent team of lawyers led by Federico Chalela who are extremely knowledgable and commercially astute.’

Their level of attention to detail and their commercial astuteness and practicality, coupled with knowledge of the local laws.’

Their client service is second to none.

Personalised attention and permanent availability.

Quality and opportunity in the service. Wide spectrum of service areas.

The attention and dedication to their customers. The concern with details in the various processes demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and dedication.

I consider their attention to detail as the most important thing to highlight. They go deep into the details and have observations or conclusions that make a difference.

Judicious and in-depth studies of the subjects entrusted to them. Great knowledge of the energy and natural resources sector, its relevant actors and their strengths and weaknesses.

Their open disposition to work on specialised topics typical of the industry – doing so with great fluency and dexterity.

It has a well-earned reputation in the energy and gas sector that is always put at the service of its clients when representing them before other relevant players in the sector.

Key clients

High Power Exploration Inc

BC Exploración y Producción de Hidrocarburos (sucursal Colombia)

Equion Energía

Petrosud

Suarez Camacho

BDE Consultants

Quala

Nacional de Chocolates

Minerales Córdoba

Frontera Energy

Bombai

Inversiones GLP

Pacific Midstream

Work highlights

Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados

The team at Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados advise on matters including energy generation, water resources, and in the construction and operation of public services utilities, and is recognised for its expertise in special regulations regarding energy and natural resources. Jorge Gabriel Taboada has extensive experience in the public sector, and Álvaro Gasca specialises in social and urban infrastructure projects.

Goh

The team at Goh provides specialist advice to companies operating in the mining and oil-and-gas industries, demonstrating particular expertise advising on regulatory, contractual, environmental and tax matters. Managing partner Juan Pablo Godoy stands out for his experience in the foreign trade, mining and oil sectors; while litigation partner Juan Sebastián Lombana focuses on the oil-and-gas sector where he has a long track record (having formerly been in house at CENIT, Talisman Energy and Pacific Rubiales); associate director Álvaro Sabbagh advises mining and oil-field service companies on contract and corporate law, as well as advising oil operators on state-contracting processes with the ANH.

Practice head(s):

Juan Pablo Godoy; Juan Sebastián Lombana; Álvaro Sabbagh

Key clients

Maurel & Prom

Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos

Occidental de Colombia

CPVEN E&P / CPVEN Servicios Petroleros

Vitol Colombia

Gran Colombia Gold

Oleoducto Central (OCENSA)

Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)

Superior Energy Services

Renergética Colombia

Work highlights

  • Advising CPVEN E&P as non-operator of the joint venture for the VMM–32 block.
  • Legal advice to Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos regarding a possible settlement in respect of ship-or-pay transportation-contracts with Frontera Group.
  • Executed a complete legal due diligence for client Maurel & Prom in order to advise on the possible acquisition of the oil-and-gas company Amerisur, which has assets and operations primarily in the Putumayo region in southern Colombia.

OGE Oil, Gas & Energy Legal Services

The ‘specialised and high-level’ practice at OGE Oil, Gas & Energy Legal Services focuses on electric power and natural gas, with the six-strong team advising clients on energy generation, energy transmission and the renewable power areas in particular. In the gas segment, the team is currently advising Mc2 regarding natural gas commercialisation activities in the Colombian wholesale market. Founding partner Hemberth Suarez ('commitment, knowledge and performance') provides legal advice to companies in the electric power, natural gas and renewable energy generation sectors, and co-heads the team alongside Silvia Vargas (formerly regulatory head at Canacol Energy), who has extensive experience and knowledge in the energy and public utilities sector.

Practice head(s):

Hemberth Suárez; Silvia Vargas Ortega

Testimonials

They are allies when carrying out projects. I highlight the immediacy of the attention by its partners who are duly up to date.

The consultancy of OGE Legal was worthy and helpful for advising certain companies regarding the legal status of power for off-grid zones. I think the advisory was unique because of the clarity of concepts and their great way of imparting knowledge.

OGE is characterised by the clarity and amenity of both training and regulation update presentations during consultations.

‘Their introduction of webinars to explain concepts and the updating of regulations and sustain virtual-based transfer of knowledge for the consultancy helps the zero-emissions policies of both OGE and our company.

‘I’d highlight how the lawyers – each with their different areas of legal knowledge – are integrated; their kindness, commitment, prudence and dedication stand out compared to other legal teams. Hemberth, Silvia, Ricardo are excellent lawyers who undertake constant interaction and monitoring of the tasks carried out with the client.’

They are a great team, with extensive knowledge of the regulation of the sector, and they assume the representations and powers that they are granted with great responsibility; it is a specialised and high-level firm comparable to the best in the country.

It stands out for its great commitment and personalised attention, its follow-up and accompaniment of the authorised processes,  great responsibility and the delivery of reports in a timely manner, which – in addition to using electronic media in terms of training reports and billing – allows them to be at the forefront. Their contributions and knowledge of the regulation of the public services sector (and also in the commercial field), the constant level of updating and its performance in training processes and education at the institutional corporate business level. We especially highlight the level of commitment, knowledge and performance of Hemberth Suárez.

Key clients

Unifund

Girsol

Vanti

Bioenergas

Trina Solar

Mc2

Technoelite Green Energy

Parex Resources

Dinagas

Bolsa Mercantil De Colombia

Gases De Occidente

Nextgy

Nencol

EFC

Sunny App

Parex Resources

Cidet

Lica Renovables

Work highlights

  • Advised Trina Solar on the regulatory analysis of the first auction for a long-term contract in connection with a Non-Conventional Renewable Energy Source energy project in Colombia
  • Advising NENCOL on the construction of  series of natural gas-fired power generation facilities with an installed capacity of over 400MW; the projects are Termogaira, Termobonda and Termocosta.
  • Advisor to, and the legal representative of, UNIFUND before the Superintendencia de Servicios de Públicos Domiciliarios, against the collection of two taxes totalling $300,000.

Palacios Lleras

With its strong tradition and expertise in public law plus a lengthy involvement in the energy sector since its privatisation, the team at Palacios Lleras enjoys a high degree of specialisation in the energy and gas sector, with the firm advising and representing companies before regulatory authorities on matters such as tariff filing, technical controversies and market problems. In a case in point, the team represented Equion before the Superintendence of Public Utilities regarding queries arising from the company’s performance related to its duties as a gas producer. The 11-strong practice group is led by founder Hugo Palacios Mejía in conjunction with Óscar Gutiérrez, both of whom have a strong profile in dispute resolution, including administrative litigation. However, former fellow co-head Ángel Castañeda  and associate Luís Alberto Vicuña left for start-up X100 Legal in April and May, 2021, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Hugo Palacios Mejía; Óscar Gutierrez

Testimonials

They have extensive specialised knowledge and have had a long history in the sector.

Internal attorneys must have detailed knowledge in legal matters and gas and energy regulation, and must be updated daily of each and every one of the regulations that apply to the case of the gas distribution business as well as in the natural gas transportation business. This knowledge is what differentiates the firm from others.

Key clients

Drummond

Drummond Energy

Seaone

APR Energy

Termoyopal

Gases del Caribe

Equion

Promigas

Compañía Energética de Occidente

Surtigas

Kronos

Biocondensados

Work highlights

  • Advised Seaone during the selection process to assign the reliability charge that was won with the Termosolo projects 1 and 2; deal value: up to $40m.
  • Represented Drummond Energy in a judicial proceeding before the contentious administrative jurisdiction regarding fracking practices in Colombia.

X100 Legal

Born out of the former Castañeda & Velasco Abogados, X100 Legal is a boutique that predominantly undertakes transactional, regulatory and litigious matters across the energy, infrastructure, construction and real estate sectors. The six-strong team is led by partners Sylvia Torres (corporate, commercial and tax) and Ángel Castañeda, who, with his specialisation in economic regulation, public services, state contracting, hydrocarbons infrastructure and electricity and gas, among other matters, leads the energy practice. Key support in the sector is provided by associate Luis Vicuña, who has over a decade’s experience in oil gas and electricity matters; the pair joined the firm in early 2021 from Palacios Lleras. A former Superintendent of Public Services and head of legal at the Regulating Committee for Gas and Energy (CREG), Castañeda’s recent matters include advising on an open season transport process in the gas sector; contract negotiation of the leasing of generation equipment, natural gas purchase agreements and reguatory affairs, and representation of clients before the Superintendence of Public Utilities.

Practice head(s):

Ángel Castañeda

Testimonials

Ángel Castañeda: a great professional, with extensive knowledge of the sector.