Insurance in Colombia
Praised by clients, Brigard Urrutia's multidisciplinary insurance and reinsurance practice fields three partners and six lawyers; bringing to bear comprehensive experience across the full range of corporate, regulatory and contentious matters, it offers a "one-stop-shop" service for companies in the insurance sphere. Reputed litigator Irma Rivera Ramírez (who also has an established trajectory in domestic and international arbitration), co-heads the team along with managing partner Carlos Umaña, who has deep experience in public procurement and energy related projects; and Carlos Urrutia, a specialist in cross-border and international transactions in multiple fields. Noted senior associate Lucas Fajardo, who has previous experience in-house at a leading Colombian insurer, is also a key member of the team.
‘It is a multidisciplinary team. They have various specialised areas in such a way that a subject that may include several edges can be reviewed with the firm without the need to hire other specialist lawyers’.
‘They have an ability to adapt to the client’s needs. We also highlight the close attention from partners’.
‘The availability, commitment and quality of the concepts’.
‘Associate Lucas Fajardo is highlighted; in addition to his knowledge, he has the advantage of having worked in an insurance company and, therefore, understands the needs of the clients and the consultancies are more focused the business’ needs‘.
‘Álvaro Cala is highlighed for his technical knowledge and empathy’.
‘The availability, commitment and quality of the concepts’.
‘Lucas Fajardo is the associate with whom we have the most interaction. We highlighting his decisive capacity and good legal advice. Lucas has a lot of experience and we consider him a great element of the firm’.
Lloyd’s / Lloyd’s Colombia Oficina de Representación
American Bankers Insurance Group
PEI Asset Management
MetLife Colombia Seguros de Vida
Starr Indemnity and Liability Company – Oficina de Representación
Fábrica Nacional de Autopartes – Fanalca and Transdev
Cardif Colombia Seguros Generales
- Provided permanent legal advice to Lloyd’s on all the regulatory and corporate matters related to the operation of Lloyd’s Colombia Oficina de Representación.
- Provided permanent counsel to American Bankers Insurance Group, as assurant, particularly in the implementation of an extended warranties’ program for Ford vehicles and in the structuring of the contract for the marketing of mobile insurance policies with Apple distributors in Colombia.
- Provided permanent advice to Allianz Seguros; particularly on the merger of two companies of the group; and, the insurance policy that an American multinational ride-sharing company has taken with the client.
- Provided legal advice to Munich Re on the regulatory, corporate, contractual, tax and labour matters related to their operation in Colombia.
DAC Beachcroft Colombia
Providing an extensive service to insurers and reinsurers alike, global specialist DAC Beachcroft Colombia has a particular strength in advising on complex and high-value claims. Led by two expert partners, Camila de la Torre with a long trajectory in the field, and fellow co-head Juan Diego Arango, the nine-strong group has strengthened on both the regulatory and contentious fronts with the hiring of associates Malory Zafra Sierra from Willis Towers Watson and Diego Alejandro Coronado from Zurich Colombia, as well as with the high profile incorporation of litigator Ana Catalina Restrepo who arrived from Tamayo Jaramillo & Asociados as a partner in early 2019. Senior associate Ángela Hernández is also a key member of the team.
AEGIS Managing Agency Limited
Tokio Marine HCC
Basler Versicherung AG
Swiss Reinsurance Company
Navigators UK (The Hartford)
Liberty International Underwriters
- Instructed by AXA XL to act as loss controller and to provide assistance and advice on coverage in a pollution claim.
- Represented Zurich UK and QBE as the cedants in a class action initiated against the insured for pollution of a river.
- Represented Liberty International Underwriters for a claim arising from a constructor liability policy being triggered due to damage caused to adjacent property of one of the insured’s projects.
- Represent AEGIS as the local cedant in litigation regarding a ‘loss of pilot license’ policy under which a former airline pilot was requesting coverage.
Salazar Pardo & Jaramillo Abogados
With a focus on contentious work related to public law, Salazar Pardo & Jaramillo Abogados expertise is particularly sought after for commercial and administrative litigation; the team also stands out in insurance-related international arbitration and parallel litigation. The boutique is led by three expert partners, Carlos Ignacio Jaramillo, whose considerable track-record includes senior roles in the judiciary and at the banking regulator's office; senior partner Gabriel Pardo; and Esteban Pardo who focuses on complex arbitration and litigation, and handles financial lines, industrial risks, environmental coverage, D&O, E&O, PI, general liability and compliance bonds. The firm works closely with London firms Clyde & Co LLP and HFW, as required, in relation to London-market matters.
- Represented an insurer in a litigation case regarding the delays and damages that occurred during an infrastructure construciton project.
- Represented a company from the oil and gas sector in a contentious case related to environmental damage.
With a sizeable practice that fields four expert partners, insurance boutique Tamayo Jaramillo & Asociados 'generates confidence' because of its 'service and disposition'. Based in Medellín (but with offices in Bogotá), the firm is as strong in conciliation procedures and settlement agreements as it is handling contentious matters before the regulators and civil, labour and administrative courts, as well as in arbitration. The group advises on accidents, environmental contamination, product liability, medical malpractice, machinery failure and fiscal liability, among other areas. Founding partner Javier Tamayo Jaramillo, whose professional path includes senior roles in the judiciary and academy, leads the practice with fellow co-heads Laura Restrepo and Carlos Andrés González, both specialising in risk analysis, liability and insurance law, and Ana Isabel Villa, who has specialist knowledge of medical law.
‘Laura Restrepo and Ana Isabel Villa generate peace of mind to deliver our legal affairs since they deliver their service not only towards us as an insurer but also towards our clients, always seeking to avoid disputes; and when we are in a litigious environment they generate confidence about the steps to follow in our defense and that of our insured’.
‘In-house lawyers, more than knowing that there is a firm’s backing, are interested in knowing who will handle their matter. The rotation of lawyers in the firm is also evaluated. High turnover, which does not occur in this firm, generates loss of continuity in the knowledge of the matter. When making comparisons with other firms, the team is favoured by its knowledge, its resolution and its proximity’.
‘Laura Restrepo, Carlos Andrés González, Ana Isabel Villa generate closeness and trust, they are decisive and with full knowledge of matters’.
‘For their service and disposition.’
Chubb Seguros Colombia
Seguros Generales Suramericana
Istmo Compañía de Reaseguros
- Represented Suramericana de Seguros against a claim by Exotika Leather, which sought compensation for alleged damages.
- Represented Suramericana in a class action lawsuit presented by residents of areas near the river Sogamoso against ISAGEN and other parties.
- Represented Chubb de Colombia in seeking to overrule the declaration of a breach of contract.
Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados
Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados' signature insurance practice remains a significant presence in the market, with clients appreciating its business-oriented approach. The team is best known for both its strong litigation and arbitration track record, and enjoys a stellar client list which includes some of the most prominent insurers and reinsurers operating in Colombia and regionwide. The 'excellent’ Bernardo Salazar, who handles arbitration, litigation and conciliation in administrative, insurance and commercial disputes; and litigator Luís Felipe Botero (insurance and advisory and litigation), co-head the five strong area.
‘Bernardo Salazar is an excellent lawyer with extensive experience in insurance and reinsurance in Latin America and Colombia‘.
Seguros del Estado
Willis Tower Watson
Allianz Seguros / Clyde & Co
- Local counsel to CB&I (now McDermott) in conjunction with Foley Hoag in a claim against Axa Colpatria Seguros under the terms of an architects and engineers professional liability policy issued to CB&I.
- Represented Seguros Generales Suramericana in a case where the claimant was seeking the payment of moral and material damages.
- Provided permanent representation to Seguros Generales Suramericana in approximately 20 consumer protection cases before the financial regulator.
Londoño & Arango Abogados
Centring its practice o the contentious aspect of insurance practice, Londoño & Arango Abogados is particularly highlighted for both for its proximity to the client and for bringing 'best practices' to bear. The six-strong boutique represents insurance companies and reinsurers in arbitration and litigation relating to directors and officers (D&O), and errors and omissions (E&O) policies, product liability, global banking policies and bonds. Additionally, it advises on the structuring of insurance contracts, the management of claims, claim rejection and negotiating with claimants. Based in Medellín but practising nationwide, the firm was established in 2009 by Maximiliano Londoño, Agustín Londoño –both with prior experience in significant insurance firms– and Daniel Arango, who held in-house roles at EPS and Medicina Prepagada Suramericana.
‘Maximiliano Londoño and Daniel Arango are very comprehensive and upright lawyers; they know their clients perfectly, they are effective and practical in achieving their objectives. They stay at the forefront with best practices and are completely available in such a way that I feel like they are part of my internal team. Their services stand out compared to the services of other firms and the cost-benefit ratio is very good‘.
‘Maximiliano Londoño is an intelligent man, a good, prudent and sincere advisor who always benefits the interest of the company above any other interest. In times of difficulty I have always counted on him‘.
Seguros Generales Suramericana
Interconexión Eléctrica – ISA
XM Compañía de Expertos en Mercados
- Represented SURA in a $50m recovery claim following a fire at a power plant in Colombia.
Handling complex cases, the DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán's insurance group shines in fiscal liability procedures initiated by the General Comptroller of the Republic, acting successfully in such cases during 2019 for the likes of QBE and AXA Colpatria. Led by managing partner and litigator Camilo Martínez and associate director Sergio Rojas, the practice acts across a broad contentious front, representing clients before ordinary and administrative courts, and arbitration bodies. The firm also structures insurance and reinsurance programmes and advises on compliance matters.
‘It is a well-known firm that handles complex cases, I do not find many differences between its competitors from a legal point of view’.
Fondo de Gestión de Desastres
Segurexpo de Colombia
Gases del Caribe
- Successfully represented QBE in several fiscal liability procedures initiated by the General Comptroller of the Republic in relation to alleged misuse of public resources.
- Offered permanent advice and representation to Gases del Caribe regarding all claims matters, including contractual policy claims.
The global specialist firm Kennedys set foot in Colombia in 2016, establishing an office which, under the leadership of Mónica Tocarruncho, has developed into a nine-strong team that is growing in profile and market presence. A former general counsel at insurer RSA, Tocarruncho is currently co-leading –along with the firm's London office– the representation of a group of reinsurers in one of the most significant insurance construction cases of recent years, related to the Hidroituango hydroelectric project. The practice has a broad service offering ranging from corporate and regulatory advice to policy drafting, coverage analysis, claim negotiations, dispute resolution and mediation, as well as the representation of insurers and reinsurers before the authorities. Senior associate Catalina Botero is also a relevant member.
SBS Seguros Colombia
Chubb Seguros Colombia
Compañía de Seguros Bolivar
Schweizerische Rückversicherungs Gesellschaft
Seguros Generales Suramericana JLT Re Colombia
Corredores Colombianos de Reaseguros
- Representing the reinsurers in a $3bn construction case regarding the hydroelectric power project Hidroituango.
- Successfully represented ZLS Aseguradora de Colombia in a fiscal liability proceeding in which the General Comptroller’s Office revoked its original decision regarding the insurers.
Posse Herrera Ruiz's insurance practice balances its contentious and advisory activity for major national and international companies, with acting on behalf of insurers and reinsurers before regulators and offering counsel on compliance and mergers. Oscar Tutasaura, also a co-head of the corporate and M&A practice, and litigator Carolina Posada -who has broad expertise in insurance contractual responsibility and damages- lead the six-strong team. Counsel Diana Salazar divides her practice between mining and insurance matters - on the latter front handling coverage, claims, policy redaction and coverage auditing, among other matters. The practice is particularly active across the banking, finance, mining, and construction sectors.
Abengoa Algonquin Global Energy Solutions (AAGES)
J Malucelli Travelers Seguros
SeaOne Puerto Solo
- Advised Constructora Ariguani in arbitration proceedings regarding a claim against SBS Seguros Colombia concerning a surety policy to guarantee an advance payment for constructing a toll road.
- Advised Seguros Bolivar on its acquisition of Liberty Seguros de Vida; the transaction involved two different insurance lines: labour accidents and life insurance.
Vélez Gutiérrez Abogados
Vélez Gutiérrez Abogados focuses on contentious matters in the insurance sector including civil, contractual, and state liability and administrative matters. Ricardo Vélez heads the practice; clients have included AIG, Allianz, Chubb Seguros, Generali, Terpel, Sura and Mapfre.
- Representing an insurer in a litigation initiated by a state entity.
- Legal advice to Chubb Seguros on the legal procedure between the insurer and Coninvial in relation to the collapse of the Chirajara Bridge.
Zurek Gomez Abogados
In the insurance sector, boutique firm Zurek Gomez Abogados handles insurance, policy subscriptions, claims and conciliation procedures brokerage matters and policy drafting and analysis, as well as representing insured parties, exclusively. With over 25 years’ experience each, Maria Isabel Zurek (who has prior experience as legal director at Seguros La Previsora), and litigator Enrique Gómez co-lead the six-strong firm. Experienced in national and international insurance brokerage, and the drafting of national and international insurance contracts, the practice is best known for its expertise handling complex dispute resolution cases; in a key example, the team is representing Colpensiones in an arbitral claim against AXA Colpatria concerning fraudulent payments coverage; the case has become a high-profile issue due to possible ramifications on the pension system.
‘It is a highly specialised practice, the partners follow jurisprudence and its updates closely, which is reflected in the handling of each case and the state. Rarely does a team in an ordinary firm manage to cover all relevant aspects of litigation with such speed and efficiency‘.
‘María Isabel Zurek knows the market, its trends, movements, the most outstanding actors and needs. She has an excellent relationship in the insurance sector. Enrique Gómez is a great litigator and also a lawyer with great command of economic, financial and accounting issues, with great ease of expression in three languages‘.
‘Enrique Gómez and María Isabel Zurek complement each other very well when it comes to doing work, the teamwork of the two is very efficient for them and consequently the response to their clients is timely and correct.‘
UAESP (Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos)
Finagro (Fondo para el financiamiento del sector agropecuario)
Flota Mercante (in liquidation process)
CAPRECOM (health care provider in liquidation)
Coviandes (Concesionaria Vial de los Andes)
Coninvial (Constructora de Infraestructura Vial)
Covioriente (Concesionaria Vial del Oriente)
Colpensiones (Administradora Colombiana de Pensiones)
- Represented Colpensiones in arbitration against AXA Colpatria for losses due to fraudulent payments made under various modalities.
- Advising Flota Mercante (in liquidation) on the legal proceedings against Fiduagraria (and including its insurers: Colpatria, ACE, QBE and MAPFRE).
J. Correa Abogados
Recommended for his international contact network for marine and transport insurance, John Correa leads the four-strong boutique J. Correa Abogados. With vast experience in the shipping industry, the practice regularly represents most of local insurers as well as its assureds in the largest transport casualties affecting the local insurance market, such as the loss of marine vessels.
‘They are recommended for the contacts they have in other countries to deal with issues’.
Seguros Generales Suramericana
Compañía De Seguros Bolivar
International Seguros Colombia
- Advised Seguros Generales Suramericana on the economic damages derived from a collision between two ships in the port of Shanghai; and successfully represented the company before Hong Kong’s Administrative Superior Court, reducing the insurers contributions to salvage and a general average of 80%.
Primarily working as advisors to, and representatives of, insurance companies, boutique firm Medina Abogados -a spin off from M&P Abogados - opened its doors in February 2019. Founding partner Héctor Medina has amassed almost two decades' insurance experience and leads a six-strong team that undertakes litigation at all levels, handles arbitration and also renders advice about insurance-related aspects of public procurement processes. Key associate support comes from Germán Cajamarca.
‘Both Héctor Medina and Germán Cajamarca are excellent lawyers and extraordinary people. They convey confidence when addressing a legal problem and their results always exceed expectations’.
‘The firm stands out for its availability and coverage for certain areas of the country where it is difficult to find lawyers with experience in insurance’.
‘Héctor Medina stands out for his availability and professional performance in litigation in the insurance sector’.
‘Héctor Medina is a very deep and analytical lawyer. He provides direct advice and is concerned about defending the interests of his clients effectively‘.
‘They are lawyers with permanent availability. I feel comfortable assigning highly complex matters to them’.
‘I’d highlight their accompaniment at all times, the closeness and the trust they generate in their clients; legal rigour and vast knowledge’.
- Representing an insurer in an arbitral process at the Superintendence of Societies concerning an alleged breach of contract.
- Representing an insurer in a number of processes in the first and second instance, and cassation before the Supreme Court of Justice, regarding extra-contractual civil liability insurance policies.
Neira & Gómez Abogados
Insurance-law boutique Neira & Gómez Abogados focuses on insurance litigation on behalf of both insurers and the insured. It is led by founding partner José María Neira, along with Juan Camilo Neira and Juan David Gómez. Past matters saw the practice represent Seguros Bolivar in several judicial cases regarding the collapse of the SPACE Building in Medellín. Past clients include Liberty Seguros, Concesión Autopista Bogotá – Girardot, and Segurexpo.