Insurance in Colombia
The well-reputed Brigard Urrutia fields an 11-strong practice group co-directed by five partners; all have been busy. Recent work saw managing partner Carlos Umaña lead advice to Bupa in connection with agreements entered into with a local insurer for the commercialisation of international private health insurance plans in Colombia. Carlos Urrutia provided legal advice to Talanx International in connection with the potential acquisition of a Colombian insurance company and its merger with another local insurer already controlled by Talanx. Irma Rivera advised IBM on various matters related to a claim brought by a client of the company against IBM’s insurer and concerning the performance of a bond. Luis Alfredo Barragán and senior associate Lucas Fajardo are also key members of the team. Clients include Lloyd’s, Willis Towers Watson Colombia Corredores de Seguros, Allianz Seguros and PEI Asset Management.
DAC Beachcroft Colombia
A global specialist with a regional presence, DAC Beachcroft Colombia’s practice works with insurers and reinsurers across the Lloyd’s London, European and US markets. Camila de la Torre co-leads the seven-strong team with Juan Diego Arango. The team continues to advise Liberty International Underwriters on more than 500 claims related to the specialty financial lines reinsurance policies portfolio; the firm provided the claims handling service for reinsurers, liaising closely with the relevant cedants and brokers. In other work, the team was appointed by reinsurers Hiscox, Markel, Starstone and Talbot to advise on a loss triggering a malicious acts/terrorism policy, as a result of an attack of an oil facility causing material damages and business interruption. Other 2018 mandates included conducting a registration process for American Agricultural Insurance Company in order for its reinsurers to start underwriting risk in Colombia. Other clients include Zurich Insurance, Tokio Marine Kiln Group, Chub and RSA UK.
Salazar Pardo & Jaramillo Abogados
Boutique firm Salazar Pardo & Jaramillo Abogados has recognised expertise in complex insurance and reinsurance litigation at both the national and international levels. Carlos Ignacio Jaramillo, Gabriel Pardo and Esteban Pardo head the practice, which during 2018 found itself particularly focused on three very significant insurance cases - of material damage, civil liability and loss of earnings related to the policies of Ecopetrol, Reficar and EPM, respectively. The team is also representing La Previsora, Allianz, AXA Colpatria and SBS Seguros, among others, in litigation and various other procedures. It also works closely with London firms Clyde & Co LLP and HFW as required in relation to London-market matters.
Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados
Botero Salazar Tobón Abogados is a recognised insurance claims litigation boutique with a business-oriented approach. Leading lawyer Bernardo Salazar heads the four-strong practice. The team is advising SURA on the nullity of insurance policies issued by RSA, which was acquired by SURA in 2016; RSA issued several insurance policies that ensured the reimbursement of tax returns, however a fraud was committed involving public employees of the tax administration to illegally obtain tax returns. Among other highlights, the team continued to act for Seguros del Estado in disputes involving compliance with public contracts. Clients include CBI Colombiana, AON Risk and Chubb. Former senior associate Lina Moreno moved to Willis Towers Watson as a claims executive.
Londoño & Arango Abogados
Boutique Londoño & Arango Abogados handles a broad range of insurance law matters for insurance companies, including advising on the structuring of insurance contracts, the management of claims, claim rejection and negotiating with claimants. Maximiliano Londoño and Daniel Arango head the five-strong practice, which advised and represented SURA in a subrogation and recovery claim following a fire at a power plant in Colombia. The team also achieved the settlement of a contractual conflict with a public body on behalf of a technology services company.
Widely recommended, Tamayo Jaramillo & Asociados is considered ‘the national benchmark regarding civil liability matters’. Founder Javier Tamayo Jaramillo (‘a national reference in the field, both on the academic and practical levels’) co-leads the 15-strong practice with five other partners; Laura Restrepo and Ana Catalina Restrepo are also noted members of the practice. The team is representing SURA in a high-profile case where the defendant underwrote a liability policy with the insurer to protect its business; claimant Exotika Leather is seeking payment of compensation for damages. Other 2018 mandates included advising HDI Seguros on a damages and compensation claim brought by Macana Apartamentos against HDI’s client, Municipio de Medellín. Clients include Seguros Confianza, Crawford, Seguros Bolivar and Chubb Seguros.
DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán represents clients in judicial, arbitral and corporate issues related to the insurance and reinsurance sectors, both at the local and international level. The practice, co-led by Camilo Martínez and associate Sergio Rojas, has been successfully representing QBE in several fiscal liability procedures initiated by the General Comptroller of the Republic and investigating if the insurance company was obliged to pay the Colombian state indemnifications due to the misuse of public resources. In other mandates the firm acted for Axa Colpatria Seguros De Vida before the General Comptroller, obtaining a favourable decision denying any fiscal liability and ordering termination of the proceeding.
Kennedys continues to strengthen its presence in Colombia, increasing its bench from five to eight lawyers in early 2018. Practice head Monica Toccaruncho is ‘always available’ and has ‘unique knowledge and expertise’; she is praised for ‘understanding the local market and having good relationships with cedants’, as well as ‘having a good interaction with the London market’. The office is involved in high-profile legal proceedings in relation to an energy infrastructure project on behalf of several insurers and reinsurers. Other work highlights included advising Seguros Bolivar on the structuring and negotiation of a deal between the insurance company and Bupa for the commercialisation of international health insurance products. Clients include Chubb Seguros, Munich Re, HDI Seguros and BTG Pactual Resseguradora.
Posse Herrera Ruiz primarily deals with insurance and reinsurance matters related to infrastructure projects, where it represents both lenders and sponsors; for example, the practice recently advised Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional on structuring its risk matrix and drafting its insurance requirements. The four-strong team, led by Oscar Tutasaura, also assisted POMA on its insurance clauses concerning the Pereira and the Picacho cable car projects in Medellín. Other clients include CNPX, QBE Europe and Hamilton Re.
Vélez Gutiérrez Abogados
Zurek Gomez Abogados
Zurek Gómez Abogados represents insured parties as well as insurance and reinsurance companies in court and arbitral proceedings and works ‘very hard to prevent potential risks that could be involved in each issue’. Maria Isabel Zurek, who is ‘focused on achieving clear results’ and develops ‘concepts in depth’, co-leads the six-strong boutique with Enrique Gómez. The practice is currently advising Constructora de Infraestructura Vial (Coninvial) in an extrajudicial claim against QBE for damages caused in relation to the collapse of the Chirajara Bridge. Other 2019 highlights included assisting UAESP, the authority supervising all companies providing public services, on a judicial proceeding against MAPFRE and Confianza for the liquidation of an insured state contract covered with a performance bond. Clients include Allianz, Finagro, Colpensiones and Coviandes.
A new entry to the ranking, J. Correa Abogados represents local insurers and insured parties and is particularly recommended for marine and transport insurance. With vast experience in the shipping industry, John Correa heads the four-strong practice, which successfully represented Banco Colpatria in an appeal against Liberty Seguros before the High Court of Bogotá in relation to its denial of compensation for damages caused by the flooding of a residential complex during its construction. Clients include Allianz, Chubb Seguros, Sura and Aviva.
The practice at new entrant M&P Abogados is led by ‘recommended’ practitioner Héctor Medina, who ‘participates in clients’ day-to-day matters as well’. The group focuses on representing insurance companies in litigation cases, and insurance consultations for public procurement processes. It is currently representing a developer in a claim regarding a compensation policy for breach of contract.
Neira & Gómez Abogados
Boutique firm Neira & Gómez Abogados receives praise for ‘thoroughly analysing’ issues, providing ‘clear and effective solutions’ and ‘always being available’. Founding partner José María Neira, Juan Camilo Neira and Juan David Gómez co-lead the practice, which focuses on insurance litigation on behalf of both insurers and the insured. The practice continues to represent Seguros Bolivar in several judicial cases regarding the collapse of the SPACE Building in Medellín, having achieved three favourable results to date. Other clients include Liberty Seguros, Concesión Autopista Bogotá – Girardot and Segurexpo.