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Colombia > Labour and employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Labour and employment
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Baker McKenzie S.A.S. is ‘a leading name in the employment law field’ and has one of the largest practices in the country, led by ‘experienced’ practitioner Tatiana Garcés and the ‘well-reputed’ Evelyn Romero. In a recent work highlight, the group advised an international corporation in relation to the alignment of local labour legislation and international maritime regulations. Garcés successfully represented a private corporation in a class action against the Special Payroll Contributions and Pension Special Unit (UGPP, in Spanish), seeking the annulment of a decision which curtailed the client’s right to a defence. The team also acted for a global corporation in connection with the transfer of all the employment contracts of a consumer unit of the company to a newly created entity, along with the transfer of all pension liabilities to the new corporation. Senior associate María Cecilia Reyes is noted.

Godoy Córdoba member of Littler Global is ‘a recognised name in Colombia’s labour and employment sector’, and ‘a clear leader in the market’. The practice is part of the Littler Global Association and covers the full gamut of labour law including litigation, audits, due diligence, collective negotiations, corporate support, and immigration. It advised Petroamerica on its acquisition by Suroco and Petronova, covering the harmonisation of labour conditions, compensation regimes and benefits, and the transfer of personnel. It also acted for Hewlett-Packard on the Colombian implementation of its global business split-off, including the analysis and implementation of employment policy. Founding partner Carlos Hernán Godoy, Luis Alejandro Córdoba, Ana Cristina Medina, Santiago Martínez and Francisco Buriticá are all highly recommended, with senior associate Federico Bernal also a very active member of the team.

A very visible player in the labour arena’, Lopez & Asociados Abogados attracts praise for its ‘knowledge and up-to-date assistance’. The pioneering practice advises an array of local and international corporations on the full range of labour matters, and is particularly recognised for its work in the areas of social security and collective bargaining, as well as transactional support. Highlights included undertaking for AngloGold Ashanti a preventative analysis of the nature of payments made to mobile employees and their alignment with current labour legislation. The firm also assisted Grupo Aval in the structuring of a policy governing its contractual relations with third parties providing temporary services or contractor operations, to comply with the current Colombian regulations. Other clients include Cencosud, Detal, DirectTV and Telefónica Colombia. Managing partner Juan Pablo López is recommended, and Angélica Maria Carrión and Alejandro Castellanos are also key members of the practice.

Boutique Alvarez Lievano & Laserna S.A.S was founded by three former partners of well-respected firm AESCA (now defunct), whose tradition and work ethic have been inherited by the new practice. Carlos Álvarez Pereira is ‘one of the most outstanding practitioners in the sector and a reference name for labour matters’, and has served as a judge in the Supreme Court’s labour cassation chamber. Claudia Liévano and María Lucía Laserna also attract praise for their experience and knowledge. BBVA, Codensa and Ecopetrol are among the firm’s clients.

Brigard & Urrutia’s labour team is appreciated for its ‘efficiency, quick responses and appropriate advice’. It assists a range of clients in relation to individual and collective issues, labour audits, voluntary termination plans, litigation and due diligence, with particular strength acting for clients in the pharmaceuticals and advertising sectors and also for foreign embassies and recruitment consultancy businesses. It acted for Editorial Televisa Colombia in highly publicised proceedings initiated by a former director and legal representative of one of the client’s magazines (Caras) who sought reinstatement to her position. It also advised 3M Colombia on a voluntary retirement plan in the context of the merger of 3M and Capital Safety Group’s three companies, requiring the negotiation of the termination of employees’ contracts and regulatory approval. Catalina Santos and Álvaro Cala are the leading names, with associate José Alejandro Sierra also noted. Intel Corporation, Fox Colombia, Philips and the British, US and Israel embassies are other clients.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría’s strengths include its ‘thorough knowledge of the local legal system, quality of service and availability of partners’; ‘its lawyers make clients feel confident about every step they take’. The ‘prestigiousHéctor Hernández co-heads the team, and recently led advice to Ripley International on the structuring, negotiation and implementation of a retirement plan for the company’s 1,300 employees in the context of its winding-up of operations in the country. The practice also assisted Mondelēz Colombia in preventative matters related to its 900-plus employees in Colombia, covering a review of employment contracts and compliance with social security obligations; and also representing the client before the Ministry of Labour in administrative proceedings across the country. Associate Carolina Porras, who co-heads the practice, is also recommended.

At Posse Herrera Ruiz, Carolina Camachohas built a strong team that efficiently covers clients’ needs; its timing and quality of work are among its strengths’. Senior associate Camilo Bernal is leading advice to Productora de Cables Procables in an administrative investigation by the Ministry of Labour triggered by the death of an independent contractor’s employee on the company’s premises; the work has included an evaluation of compliance with Colombian regulations, in particular health and safety issues. Camacho led advice to Benchmark Holdings and CENIACUA on the structuring and implementation of a contract termination plan for its employees and their re-employment via a new entity. Other clients include Anadarko, Google, Syngenta and the British Council.

With a well-established presence on the northern coast and a growing profile nationally, Chapman & Asociados’ sizeable practice is led by Charles Chapman and Mirna Wilches, and has a strong reputation for its work in collective labour and social security matters. The practice has been appointed by the Municipality of Soledad to advise on all its labour and employment matters, while other clients include Grupo Argos, Banco Corpbanca and Alfagres.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas’ labour group acts for local and international corporations on the full spectrum of employment law matters, with a focus on day-to-day labour policies. It recently acted for a global corporation on the implementation of an employee incentive plan; and also assisted a global communications corporation in devising a scheme to hire more than 200 employees who previously provided indirect services to the client, covering termination arrangements, settlement agreements and re-hiring. Lorena Arámbula leads the four-lawyer team.

Highlights for Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) included representing Axioma Comunicaciones in relation to a judicial claim alleging the existence of a contractual relationship while providing services via an agency. It also assisted a well-known international air corporation in the negotiation of settlement terms for senior management personnel of a target company, prior to its purchase. Schaeffler Colombia, OHL and PriceSmart are among its clients. Senior associate Patricia Vergara leads the practice.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.’s compact labour group advised Ocesa Colombia on labour and immigration matters concerning a number of concerts performed by major international recording artists. Minera Cobre de Colombia, Exxis Group, and Cardiff Colombia Seguros are also clients. The practice is headed by Enrique Álvarez.

A highly reputed practitioner and expert in employment law’, Diego Felipe Valdivieso leads the team at VS+M Abogados. Clients have included Vertical de Aviación, Schréder Colombia and Calzado Palermo.

Under the leadership of Martha Bonett, Cavelier Abogados’ labour practice is regularly engaged by local and international clients. Previous clients have included Hoteles Decamerón, Litoplas and Ferrasa.

Escandón Abogados, a spin-off of the now defunct AESCA, is a specialist firm focusing on labour law and social security issues. Alberto Escandón is the key name.

Vicente Umaña leads the eight-lawyer practice at Holland & Knight, which is active for clients in the oil and gas, and energy sectors. Its expertise spans collective negotiations, compensation issues, employment disputes and employee benefits.

Norton Rose Fulbright delivers ‘pragmatic advice using plain language’. Isabella Gandini is the key name in the practice, which advises clients in the oil and gas, mining, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and technology sectors.

Regional powerhousePilonieta Alvarez Abogados Laboralistas is noted for its ‘rigour and seriousness when dealing with sensitive instructions’, and is also praised as having ‘adapted to new challenges and strengthened its capabilities to meet clients’ needs’. Founding partner Eduardo Pilonieta has vast experience, and Patricia Álvarez is ‘the engine behind the firm’s constant evolution’.

Boutique Baquero & Asociados S.A covers the full gamut of labour law matters. Guillermo Baquero is the main contact name.

Hernando Cardozo is the key name at Cardozo Ordóñez Ltda, which handles individual and collective labour instructions and also covers immigration matters.

Cortés, Romero & Asociados Ltda successfully combines ‘labour law expertise with a business approach’. José Luis Cortés and Catalina Romero are noted for their work. Clients include Hoteles Cosmos, Getronix, Hospimedics, and Acciones y Valores.

Guerrero & Asociados Asesores Laborales has a strong track record in collective bargaining and employment litigation. Significant clients include Grupo Familia, Blancox and Brinsa. Juan Manuel Guerrero is the main contact.

JG & Asesores Laborales S.A.S’ labour group is led by Juanita Galvis and advises clients on collective bargaining, audits and litigation proceedings. Galvis was an associate at the now defunct AESCA for 13 years.

Tannus & Asociados’ team is ‘small but deals with important matters’. The practice covers audits, training and administrative proceedings before the authorities. Rodrigo Tannus is the key name.

A new entry to the ranking, DLA Piper Martinez Beltran’s employment team is led by senior associate Andrés Felipe Paz and works closely with the firm’s other departments. Clients include Ingenio Pichichí, Unity Technologies and Sar Energy.

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