Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) houses a comprehensive environmental law practice, which advises on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters from licensing and permitting, through to environmental liability, remediation processes and environmental punitive proceedings. While the practice sits as part of the firm’s wider energy and natural resources department, it supports clients from all industry sectors and is also involved in the environmental due diligence aspects of corporate transactions. Environmental law expert Lina Uribe is well versed across the full range of regulatory and judicial procedures, including the management and disposal of waste and hazardous substances and due diligence investigations. Uribe co-heads the practice together with energy and natural resources specialist Patricia Arrázola. Talented senior associate Lina Correa provides focused environmental law support.
Environment in Colombia
Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)
Patricia Arrázola; Lina Uribe
Gases Industriales de Colombia
Hitachi Power Grids
Softys (CMPC Company)
Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation and World Wildlife Fund
Acciones y Valores
- Advising the World Wildlife Fund and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation on agreements with the Colombia Government in relation to the Herencia Colombia programme, which aims to expand the National Protected Areas System.
- Acting for Acciones y Valores on the drafting of different agreements for the purchase of current and future carbon credits by its private investment fund for carbon projects aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions.
- Advising Pluspetrol Colombia on compliance with pending compensation obligations derived from its operation of three oil blocks in Colombia.
Holland & Knight
‘Great connoisseurs of environmental legislation‘, Holland & Knight‘s environmental law practice attracts strong reviews from sources due to its ‘highly specialised and trained team‘. Mainly —but not exclusively— focused on the energy and natural resources sectors, the team routinely supports clients from the extractive industries on compliance matters, regulatory litigation and project development. Additionally, the team handles a steady stream of transactional due diligence matters. High-profile department head Jose Vicente Zapata is highlighted for his ‘timely design of strategies aimed at safeguarding the company’s interests‘; he counts an impressive roster of electric, oil and gas, mining, agrochemical and industrial companies among his key clients. Additionally, senior counsel Juan Casallas supports on contentious work, while associate Margarita Solorza assists with regulatory and compliance matters. Senior associate Camila Del Villar departed the firm in February 2022. Since publicaton, Casallas has been raised to the partnership - effective as of January 2023.
José Vicente Zapata
‘This is a highly specialised and trained team in understanding and resolving matters as complex and specific as environmental law. It is difficult to find this specialty in other law firms, which is why Holland & Knight is a sought-after firm in this area.’
‘Great connoisseurs of environmental legislation and the functioning of institutions in Colombia. Always willing to advise in the search for solutions to complex issues.’
‘It is worth highlighting the diligence of Holland & Knight’s environmental law team and the depth of the advice — not only on legal issues but also on business issues — and the good treatment of its clients.’
‘Jóse Vicente Zapata, team head, provides specialised advice, particularly useful for industries such as mass consumption, for which their production plants are of great value and the environmental implications are transcendental for their operation. Thus, Jóse is a strategic ally.’
‘Holland & Knight is a firm with very good customer service and lawyers are accessible whenever necessary. We appreciate its quick responses and experience in environmental issues that not all firms in Colombia handle.’
‘The team responds quickly and timely to the requirements that are formulated. Lawyers are always very attentive to meet the requirements in the shortest possible time.’
‘We recommend the team for its experience in this area, its knowledge, speed of responses and commitment to clients.’
‘José Vicente Zapata is a lawyer with strong academic training and exceptional professional experience, always willing to support the company in the solution of complex matters and in the timely design of strategies aimed at safeguarding the company’s interests.’
- Advising a company dedicated to crude oil extraction on the environmental licensing process for the development of a large-scale hydrocarbons project located in Boyacá.
- Acting for a mining company operating in the precious metals sphere on the environmental licensing process for the development of a large-scale mining project in Colombia.
- Advising a company in the natural gas sector on its environmental licence proceedings, including assistance with hearings requesting additional information before the National Environmental Agency and advice on environmental sanctioning proceedings.
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría
Among Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría's key assets, sources highlight its ‘technical knowledge regarding regulation' as well as its ‘constant availability and very good response times'. The firm excels in all key pillars of environmental law, from permitting and compliance issues, through to litigation and sanctioning processes. The group’s development of a new sanitary law sub-practice is also worthy of note; it is adjusting to new public health regulations created in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Department head Luis Fernando Macías is widely hailed an expert in his field, particularly in regard to contentious matters. The practice also houses an impressive group of associates, with principals Ivan Paez and Alexander Acosta noted for litigation and advisory work respectively. Additionally, senior associate María Alejandra Gómez garners rave reviews from clients for her ‘deep knowledge of environmental law'.
Luis Fernando Macías
‘We highlight PPU’s speed in its responses to our queries, its technical knowledge regarding regulation and the advisory capacity of the team. We are very satisfied with the support the firm provides, the professionalism with which lawyers address our concerns and the kindness of the team.’
‘We appreciate the firm’s constant availability and very good response times.’
‘It has a qualified team, with extensive knowledge in the field, which always seeks to provide the best advice to the client.’
‘Lawyers are always willing to collaborate to advise on the issues on which they are consulted and demonstrate good knowledge of the project undertaken.’
‘We have built a close relationship with the advisors who assist us, particularly with María Alejandra Gómez, who clearly understands the needs of our business and assists us quickly, kindly and wisely.’
‘María Alejandra Gómez is an excellent professional, with great knowledge. She provides us with options to solve problems and always maintains a good disposition.’
‘Principal associate Ivan Paez perfectly understands the issues and is always available to provide legal support as required. He looks for practical solutions within the legal framework to help our company.’
‘María Alejandra Gómez offers excellent service and demonstrates deep knowledge of environmental law and its applicability to the infrastructure industry.’
Mansarovar Energy Colombia
Concesionaria Vial del Pacífico
Sociedad Aeroportuaria de la Costa
Compañía Nacional de Levaduras, Levapan
Transmisora Colombiana De Energía
Autopistas del Nordeste
Concesionaria Vial Del Oriente
Aes Chivor & Cia
Productos Naturales de la Sabana – Alquería
- Advised Bayer on designing a strategy to authorise the production of agrochemical products, such as glyphosate, through the modification of the environmental licence by Resolution 1044 of 2020.
- Represented Mansarovar Energy Colombia on the submission before the Environmental National Authority of the updating of the obligation related to the forced investment of 1% of the value of the total project, as an opportunity to avoid overruns to the client.
- Successfully represented Holcim Colombia before the Tribunal de Boyacá in the judicial process of Reparación Directa, with regards to accusations of negative impacts on water resources linked to the occurrence of floods in the lands surrounding the plant.
The environmental law team at Brigard Urrutia ‘covers many areas' and is ‘able to intertwine relationships between them in a very efficient way', according to sources. The firm’s interdisciplinary approach sees the practice bring together specialists from across its energy, projects and corporate departments, who advise a broad mix of industry clients on regulatory, contentious and transactional matters. Senior associate Guillermo Tejeiro spearheads the environmental and sustainable business development group and brings to bear 15 years' experience representing domestic and multinational clients on environmental regulation, tax issues and litigation. Corporate partner Jaime Robledo is also a key contact and provides support on commercial, administrative and strategic matters.
Jaime Robledo; Guillermo Tejeiro
‘The team is very diverse; it covers many areas and is able to intertwine relationships between them in a very efficient way.’
‘We value to the team for its seriousness, respect and the quality of the final output.’
Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia / Oleoducto de Los Llanos Orientales
Aerovías del Continente Americano
Drummond Energy / Drummond
Rich de Colombia
Azure Fisheries Colombia
Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos
- Advising Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia and Oleoducto de Los Llanos Orientales on general environmental matters, including advisory on legal and technical aspects of their operations in Colombia.
- Acting as general environmental advisor to Aerovías del Continente Americano, including advisory on legal and technical aspects of its operations.
- Acting as general environmental advisor to Ecomedics on its operations, including advisory on legal and technical matters.
Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados
Satisfied clients of Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados‘ environmental law group highlight the ‘proximity of the senior lawyers', who ‘make clients feel like they are a priority'. The firm possesses a full-service practice, which is particularly recognised for its track record in environmental emergencies. Other strong suits include regulatory and compliance matters and environmental sanctions procedures. Associate director and group head Silvia María Méndez Parodi is a former environmental advisor at the International Affairs Office of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development; she advises an array of energy and natural resources, construction and consumer goods companies on their environmental law requirements
Silvia María Méndez Parodi
‘We appreciate the firm’s collaborative approach, the attention to detail and the response times.’
‘We highlight the proximity of the senior lawyers; we are able to access them and they always have an answer — they make clients feel like they are a priority for them.’
‘The environmental law team is very strong. We have been working with the firm for several years and we are very satisfied. The advice is comprehensive and is reviewed from various points of view, while the team is strong and interdisciplinary.’
‘The team is specialised in the environmental law area. Lawyers provide direct and personalised advice.’
Escuela Colombiana de Ingeniería Julio Garavito
Corporación Club Los Lagartos
Monster Energy Colombia
Caja de Compensación Familiar de Antioquia (COMFAMA)
- Assisting GeoPark with the analysis of oil easements, environmental responsibility and environmental and mining compliance matters.
- Advising Organización Terpel on two environmental sanctioning processes: the first concerns accidents involving oil spills in a storage plant located in Barrancabermeja, while the second relates to wastewater discharges.
- Advising Constructora Bolívar on environmental issues related to the development of land plots and the building of housing projects located near Bogotá.
Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados
Lawyers at Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados stand out for being ‘professional people who understand their client’s business‘. The firm’s heavyweight real estate practice ensures that the group has a thriving construction-related environmental offering and it is also highly active in the public utility space. Natalia Nuñez leads the department and is highly regarded for her broad industry experience, which spans urban planning, public services and energy and natural resources; she handles a mix of regulatory, transactional support and contentious work. The team is also capably supported by senior associates Natalia Álvarez and Ángela Pinzón, who both specialise in environmental law and public utilities.
‘Environmental practice requires knowledge of regulations and good judgment as, often, the norm is ambiguous. Likewise, discretion and good personal relations between the private and the public is essential. Clients require advisers with solid ethical and moral principles. PGP enjoys all of the above and offers a safe, honest and reliable practice.’
‘PGP’s team of lawyers are leaders both in the handling of information and in the knowledge they bring to support clients. In my company’s experience, the team of environmental, urban and public services lawyers have given me sufficient support and backing.’
‘Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados solves issues and problems in the environmental law area.’
‘The team’s advantages are its knowledge of the issues and its experience. It differentiates itself in the quality of its deliverables and support.’
‘Natalia Nuñez and Natalia Álvarez are lawyers with all the environmental legal knowledge; they are attentive to all the requests we make of them, they deliver their work with professionalism and I will always feel supported by each one of them.’
‘The firm’s lawyers stand out for being professional people who understand their client’s business, needs and/or conflicts — in practice, they perform as if they were the client. Lawyers remain close, friendly but firm in their advice and guidance. Lawyers excel in their functions and in their relationship with the client.’
Prodesa & Cia
Compañía Urbanizadora Toro y Constructora y Edificadora Ortiz / Torortiz
Flores de Serrezuela
Ladrillera Santa Fe
- Advised Corporación Levante on obtaining a water concession permit to operate a large-scale industrial bottling facility that requires a water flow of 50 litres per second.
- Represented Garcés Eder before the environmental authority of the municipality of Santiago de Cali in efforts to demonstrate that one of the client’s properties is incorrectly classified as an environmentally protected area.
- Advised Actual Constructora on obtaining public utility connection for more than 700 homes in the municipality of Cundinamarca.
Posse Herrera Ruiz
Posse Herrera Ruiz scores highly with clients for its ability to provide ‘24/7 service on critical issues'. The team covers a wide range of environmental law matters, with strong showings in permitting, sanctioning, project development and transactions. Notably, the environmental group is closely aligned with the firm’s energy department, which translates into a marked focus on energy and natural resources clients. That being said, it also has strong experience in the agriculture, construction and manufacturing spheres. Natural resources head Alvaro José Rodríguez oversees the practice and handles a balance of regulatory and contentious work. Key support is provided by senior associate Erika Serrano Rojas, who advises on energy and environmental law. Associate Julián Manrique left for an in-house role at Prime Energía in September 2021.
Alvaro José Rodríguez
‘We have been working with PHR for eight years, initially as advisors on regulatory, environmental and contractual issues for our refinery, but more recently on a photovoltaic energy project. PHR offers us a 24/7 service on critical issues, is always available and provides access to different legal areas related to our activity.’
‘For more technical issues (electricity or environmental technical matters), the team offers us access to its external team of engineers and environmentalists. This is a very valuable ‘plus’ for us.’
‘We value the firm’s availability, pro-positive disposition and comprehensive advice on different matters. We interacted with the partners Mariana Sanchez (energy and natural resources) and Alvaro José Rodríguez, and with environmental associate Erika Serrano Rojas.’
Renewable Resources Group
Agnico Eagle Mines
- Advising Minesa on the preparation of a reconsideration petition against the decision of the National Agency for Environmental Licences (ANLA) to dismiss Minesa’s second mining application for an environmental licence on the grounds of alleged insufficiency of technical information.
- Advising Hidrocarburos del Casanare on structuring legal strategy and preparing its defence in an environmental sanctioning process related to the alleged violation of atmospheric emissions regulations.
- Acting for Mainstream Renewable Colombia on the structuring of contracts for the development of environmental studies in various renewable energy projects to be developed in La Guajira.
Araújo Ibarra Consultores Internacionales
International trade firm Araújo Ibarra Consultores Internacionales houses a compact environmental law practice, which focuses on assisting clients with compliance and regulatory matters. Key contact Gerardo Viña Vizcaino specialises in the design, formulation and evaluation of environmental strategies, with particular attention to the mining, energy, infrastructure and agriculture industries. The practice also draws on the expertise of environmental specialist Javier Eduardo Trillos, who advises on environmental regulation and investment-related issues.
Baker McKenzie S.A.S.
The multidisciplinary practice at Baker McKenzie S.A.S. draws on lawyers from the energy, mining and infrastructure department as well as the corporate team. Arguably best known for advising on the environmental due diligence of major transactions, the group further provides regulatory and compliance support to clients undertaking energy, mining and infrastructure projects and also handles administrative procedures. Senior associate Camila Jiménez anchors the practice and counts among her clients companies operating in the extractive, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. At partner level, energy practitioner Alejandro Mesa and corporate specialist Andrés Crump are key contacts. The firm hired five-year-qualified associate Laura Torres in June 2021; she joins from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and has a focus on energy and environmental law.
Alejandro Mesa; Andrés Crump; Mariana Villegas; Camila Jiménez; Laura Torres
Trafigura Marketing Colombia
Oak Creek Energy
MAC Johnson Controls
Graña y Montero (Morelco)
Total EyP Colombie (Sucursal Colombia)
Crest Investments – Texas Mining and Associates
Cummins Norte de Colombia
International Flavors and Fragances Colombia
Global Tower Solutions
Sociedad Portuaria Impala Terminals
Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Bahía
Agregados de Oriente
- Advised Ecopetrol on environmental aspects regarding its $3.6bn acquisition of Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA).
- Advised Schlumberger Surenco on the applicable environmental and regulatory requirements regarding certain onshore and offshore projects in Colombia.
- Advised FMC Technologies on obtaining the applicable permits granted by DIMAR, in order to be able to provide maritime services to an offshore project to be undertaken by Shell.
Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas
‘A high-level legal team in environmental issues', Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas' group strikes the right note with its ‘in-depth and up-to-date knowledge'. The practice handles a comprehensive range of matters, from environmental evaluations and compliance audits, through to due diligence and contentious proceedings. In terms of industry sweet spots, the firm’s robust energy practice ensures it is particularly active in the energy and natural resources sphere, but it also represents clients operating in the infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and transport sectors. Associate practice director María Margarita Lorduy heads the team and is roundly praised for ‘deep knowledge and mental acuity'. Energy and natural resources specialist Hernán Rodríguez is also noted.
María Margarita Lorduy
‘It is a high-level legal team in environmental issues. María Margarita Lorduy, head of the team, has a high level of knowledge in environmental legal issues and her team of lawyers is very good. Her charisma, attention, kindness, diligence and professionalism are the team’s strengths.’
‘Outstanding legal services with in-depth and up-to-date knowledge on the most relevant environmental matters across various industries.‘
‘The team has the commercial awareness to provide valuable legal input to the client’s decision-making process.’
‘María Margarita Lorduy provides excellent legal advice on environmental-related matters. She and her team look at the relevant assets involved in a project or transaction in a comprehensive way to warn about potential challenges and/or contingencies. It is a very competent team, led by an extraordinary leader.’
‘María Margarita Lorduy is one of the leaders in environmental law matters in Colombia, and she stands out for her deep knowledge and mental acuity. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with her. She works hard to consolidate the culture of collaboration among environmental law professionals in Colombia.’
‘María Margarita Lorduy demonstrates strong knowledge, service efficiency and responsiveness.’
ONGC Videsh (sucursal Colombiana)
La Luna E&P
Gran Colombia Gold Corp
Lincoln Soldaduras de Colombia
Puerto Bahía Colombia de Urabá
Rio Tinto Minera Perú
Orea Mining Corporation
- Advised the Colombian branch of ONGC Videsh on establishing a biological corridor named ‘The Puma Triangle’ by the local environmental authority and its implications for ONGC’s operations and also on the feasibility of conducting an injection and reinjection pilot as a minor change.
- Acted for La Luna (and its Colombian branch), on day-to-day legal and regulatory matters regarding its oil-and-gas operations in Colombia, including environmental matters.
- Advised Lincoln Soldaduras de Colombia in strategic environmental matters, including on designing a defence strategy before the local environmental authority in an environmental sanctioning procedure.
Lloreda Camacho & Co.
New entrant to the ranking, Lloreda Camacho & Co. attracts praise from clients for its ‘remarkable level of service and knowledge of environmental issues‘. The group leverages the wider firm’s strengths in life sciences and mining to focus on environmental matters in relation to those industries, and it counts Johnson & Johnson de Colombia, Anglo American Services and Mineros among its key clients. The group is co-led by energy and natural resources specialists Ignacio Santamaria and Angela María Salazar , together with up-and-coming senior associate Natalia Soto .
Ignacio Santamaría; Angela María Salazar; Natalia Soto
‘Remarkable level of service and knowledge of environmental issues.’
‘The knowledge and availability of Natalia Soto is wonderful; without a doubt, we feel very calm and safe when Natalia supports us on environmental issues.’
‘At Lloreda Camacho & Co, talking with a partner is easy; they are accessible to the client, which is not the case in many other firms.‘
Johnson & Johnson de Colombia
Anglo American Services (UK)
Minera Cobre de Colombia
- Advising HP Colombia in connection with environmental regulations and related matters.
- Advising Mineros on environmental regulations and related matters.
- Advising Buena Vista Colombia on environmental law issues applicable to the company’s agricultural activities.
Palacios Lleras handles the full range of regulatory and litigious environmental law matters, with contentious cases providing the bulk of work. Among its strong suits, the team is frequently called upon to advise natural resources —particularly mining— companies on disputes concerning alleged water and air contamination damages. The firm’s potent public law offering also ensures that it is well versed in advising on issues related to public utilities, including waterways and powerlines. Department head Hugo Palacios Mejía and litigator Oscar Gutiérrez are the key contacts.
Hugo Palacios Mejía
American Port Company
Drummond Coal Mining
- Advising American Port Company and Drummond in a class action initiated against them —and other mining companies, the Ministry of Environment, the Superintendence of Ports, and other public entities— relating to damage allegedly caused by coal transportation activities within the area of the township of Don Jaca.
- Representing Drummond, American Port Company, Drummond Coal Mining and Transport Services in 38 actions initiated by fishermen in connection with an incident that led to the partial sinking of a barge carrying coal.
- Advising Drummond in several class actions initiated against it —and other mining companies and certain public entities— alleging that the mining industry causes damaging air pollution and water contamination.