Public law in Colombia

Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados

Having been involved in many of Colombia’s most high-profile projects for approaching 25 years, Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados is necessarily deeply adept in public law matters. Most recently acting on Bogotá's first metro line project, the team advises public entities on all aspects of matters such as applicable legal frameworks, public contracting, tenders and auctions, PPPs, audits and control. Acting across key sectors of the Colombian economy - from public utilities and TMT infrastructure to transportation and public finance - the group also acts for private companies involved in public contracting or intending to participate in tendering processes. Infrastructure specialist Álvaro Durán has led on innumerable projects, including the structuring of both the 4G road concession project and the second runway of El Dorado Airport; Jorge Gabriel Taboada is similarly specialised with a deep knowledge of infrastructure matters, as well as expertise in both litigation and arbitration; and public law expert Gustavo Osorio has over 20 years' experience in the sector. The three co-head the 20-strong practice group with younger partners Carlos Andrés Sánchez and Álvaro Gasca. Moreover, the practice group can also rely on a strong second line of senior associates, including Edgardo Maya, Felipe Herrera and Gigliana Rivero Ramirez.

 

Testimonials

Dedication.

Key clients

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Servicio Geológico Colombiano

Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano

Empresa de Acueducto, Alcantarillado y Aseo de Bogotá

Inter-American Development Bank – Fundación Corona – Swiss Economic Cooperation

Fondo Nacional del Ahorro

Agencia Nacional de Minería

Findeter – UK Prosperity Fund

Ministry of Transportation

Work highlights

  • Advising Metro de Bogota -through Financiera Desarrollo Nacional – on the structuring of an electronic promissory notes issuance to be issued to the concessionaire as a form of payment.
  • Acted on behalf of Agencia Nacional de Minería in litigation against Drummond regarding the mining contract of El Descanso; Drummond is seeking the renegotiation of its gross income compensation.
  • Advised Empresa Ferréa Regional on a syndicated loan agreement with Itaú Corpbanca, Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional and Bancolombia for phases II and III of the Transmilenio Soacha Project development.
  • Provided legal support to Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano on matters related to public law, PPPs and procurement law.
  • Advised Empresa de Acueducto, Alcantarillado y Aseo de Bogotá regarding public law, public procurement and on the legal, regulatory and contractual framework applicable to infrastructure projects with private participation.

Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos

Regulatory law powerhouse Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos is widely recognised as a go-to firm for public law issues, both for consultancy and, particularly, for contentious matters due to the unrivalled expertise in complex litigation of the team's lead partners. Both Juan Carlos Esguerra and Felipe Piquero enjoy great standing among peers and clients alike. The pair co-direct a team sharply focused on administrative law, economic regulation and constitutional law, and which remains a popular choice for domestic and multinational companies, as well as public entities, seeking support on high-stakes matters with a public aspect, such as public procurement and tender processes. A recent case in point saw the team accompany Siemens Mobility during the bidding process for the selection of the contractor to carry out the works for Bogotá's metro project. Associate director of the public law practice Adriana Nieto advises clients on administrative and constitutional law matters and also has expertise in anti-corruption matters.

 

Testimonials

‘Their professional training and extensive experience is recommended. We highlight the participation of Drs. Felipe Piquero and Adriana Nieto‘.

Key clients

Asobancaria

Ministry of Transportation

Banco Davivienda

National Service of Education (SENA)

Siemens

CENIT

Finagro

Fiduciaria Bogotá

Fontur

PAYC

Fiduciaria La Previsora

Colsubsidio

Asocaña

Banco de Occidente

Corficolombiana

Work highlights

  • Represented Asobancaria on the submission of a constitutional challenge to a legal provision that imposed an additional 4% income tax on banking and financial institutions.
  • Advised Ministerio de Transporte on the legal structuring of the new concession that will operate the Single National Registry of Transit (RUNT) project; the legal structuring advisory comprised the bid documents, concession agreement and risk allocation matrix.
  • Represented Carbones del Cerrejon in a high-profile administrative judicial proceeding commenced by indigenous communities, members of the Congress and an NGO in order for the Consejo de Estado to nullify the environmental permits enabling the company’s operations.
  • Advised Fondo para el Financiamiento del Sector Agropecuario (FINAGRO) on the sale of forest acreage in different regions of Colombia; the advisory entailed an assessment of the public tender, origination of the tender documents and accompaniment throughout the procurement process.
  • Advised Cenit in an arbitral proceeding initiated by Canacol Energy Colombia for the alleged breach of the ship-and-pay contract between the parties.

Palacios Lleras

With particular strength in complex contentious matters, Palacios Lleras is recognised by market sources and peers for its strong track record in public law litigation. Founding partner Hugo Palacios Mejía's judicial career includes serving as co-judge of the State Council (the highest administrative law tribunal), as well as in the Constitutional and Supreme Courts; he leads a seven-strong practice group that also includes Óscar Gutiérrez, an expert in litigation regarding infrastructure and port matters. The team advises public infrastructure contractors in multiple industries on arbitrations and contentious proceedings in Colombia and abroad, and has notable expertise in constitutional proceedings, procurement contracts, and administrative law. Ángel Castañeda, a former Superintendent of Public Services and head of the legal office of the Regulating Committee for Gas and Energy (CREG), also has an active role in the practice, as well as heading the firm's projects area.

Practice head(s):

Hugo Palacios; Óscar Gutiérrez

Key clients

Pernod Ricard

Drummond

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Pernod Ricard in three judicial proceedings  against the Department of Cundinamarca over claims involving unfair competition matters, as well as tax issues regarding the monopoly of commercialization and distribution of imported distilled liquors.
  • Representing Drummond in two public contract actions against the National Mining Agency (ANM) regarding the payment of royalties related to two mining contracts in the Department of Cesar.
  • Acted for a client in litigation aimed at the annulment of an administrative order issued by the Ministry of Environment.

Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados

Leading infrastructure boutique Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados acts both for major private domestic and international players and Colombian state entities in relation to international public law, constitutional and administrative law and public procurement. The firm also stands out in international arbitration held under the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules, with two recent stellar cases defending Colombia against the Nicaraguan state - a matter led by highly-regarded group head and senior partner Carlos Gustavo Arrieta, a former Justice of the Council of State and Attorney General. Fellow practice co-head Yady Villaquirán directs the public and mining energy law area of the firm and is also a finance specialist. Among other mandates, the pair teamed up to advise Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, as contractor, in the legal structuring of the Parque Natural San Rafael y Cable Aéreo project, the most ambitious environmental project in Bogotá.

Key clients

Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Empresas Públicas de Medellín

Empresa Nacional Promotora de Desarrollo

Orica Colombia

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Ico Medios

Cerro Matoso

Accenorte

Celsia

British American Tobacco

Sociedad Minera de Santander

Work highlights

  • Carlos Gustavo Arrieta was appointed Colombia’s agent before the International Court of Justice in two cases filed by Nicaragua regarding the delimitation of their common maritime border, and alleged violations of sovereign rights and maritime spaces in the Caribbean Sea.
  • Represented Empresas Públicas de Medellín in all judicial, arbitral, disciplinary and fiscal liability processes related to the construction of a hydroelectric power plant, as well as advising on how to protect EPM’s investments and mitigate risks derived from government measures.
  • Permanent legal advisory to Empresa Nacional Promotora del Desarrollo Territorial, a public financing entity in charge of several public projects.
  • Successfully represented Orica Colombia in an administrative proceeding initiated by the state arms manufacturer, INDUMIL, that sought to impose sanctions for alleged breaches of contractual obligations; the case involved an administrative procedure valued at $100m and an arbitration valued at $10m.

Brigard Urrutia

An undoubted leader for public procurement management, Brigard Urrutia's extensive 24-strong practice advises major companies and public entities on the structuring of, and participation in, tendering processes in various sectors, demonstrating particular capability in the utilities and transport segments. The team has been involved in some of Colombia's most high-profile projects of late; most notably, managing partner and department co-head Carlos Umaña led the representation of China Harbour Engineering Company and Xi'an Metro in the successful participation in Bogotá's first metro line public tender. Alejandro García de Brigard, who heads the antitrust and competition area, and Claudia Navarro, director of the infrastructure and public utilities practice, also co-head the public law department. Strong associate support comes from public law practice director Julián Parra, who plays a key role advising concession holders on their relations with state contracting entities, and Juan Pablo Canaval, who also has in-house experience and focuses on infrastructure projects and the structuring of different stages of PPP projects and private initiatives.

Testimonials

 

Key clients

China Harbour Engineering Company

Cemex Colombia

Perimetral Oriental de Bogotá

Fanalca

Transdev Group

Departamento Nacional de Planeación (DNP)

Superpolo

A Todo Tren

Scania Colombia

General Electrics

DDB Worldwide

Shikun & Binui

Work highlights

  • Represented China Harbour Engineering Company and Xi’an Metro Company on their joint participation in the prequalification and public tender process conducted by Metro Company of Bogotá.
  • Represented Perimetral Oriental de Bogotá during a concession contract process.
  • Acted as legal advisor to the National Planning Department in the structuring of a PPP project for the construction and rehabilitation of two pivotal roads in Bogotá.
  • Advised on the structuring of a PPP project for the construction, operation and maintenance of several medical centres for the delivery of healthcare services in Bogotá.
  • Acted as counsel to Cemex Colombia in an antitrust investigation initiated by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce resulting from alleged cartel activity.

Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados

Boutique Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados combines an impressive record on the public procurement and tendering process side with strength in complex litigation and arbitration cases. Led by José Ignacio Leiva and Marcela Castro, the seven-strong practice specialises in project structuring and development, including project financing, and as a case in point, is acting as legal adviser to over 30% of the road concessionaires in Colombia. The group also has extensive experience in public transportation concessions and is frequently called on to advise concessionaries in bus rapid transit systems. On the contentious side, the firm advised Mota–Engil in an international arbitration proceeding against the FFIE Trust and Ministry of Education. Senior associates Néstor Camilo López and Camilo Andrés Acevedo are also key members of the team.

Key clients

Cal y Mayor Asociados

Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção

Doppelmayr Colombia

Ashmore Management Company Colombia

Grupo Metrobus

Transambiental

Concesión Alto Magdalena

Concesión Pacífico Tres

Concesión Desarrollo Vial de la Sabana

Concesión Santa Marta Paraguachón

EMCALI – Municipal Companies of Cali

METRO BUS

Pöyry

Grupo SI 18

Autopistas Urabá

Work highlights

  • Legal advisors of Mota–Engil on the structuring and execution of public contracts for the development and construction of more than 300 schools in different zones of the country.
  • Advised Cal y Mayor Asociados on the supervision of the concession agreement for the road that connects Bogotá with Villavicencio; the concession is one of the first granted in Colombia and is currently at the final stage of the construction of 23 bridges and 19 tunnels, among other works.
  • Legal advisor of six transport concessions on the project to renovate TransMilenio buses for phases I and II of the transportation system.
  • Acted as legal advisors of Municipal Companies of Cali (Emcali) in two large-scale projects in the city of Cali: the structuring and execution of a solar energy farm launched by the company; and the structuring and execution of ‘Lecho Del Río‘ project, which aims to solve the management of drinking water in the city.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas

A prominent player on the procurement side, Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas' public law practice combines an impressive track record acting in complex disputes and sanctions proceedings, with strength in PPP matters and corporate regulatory issues. Ximena Zuleta heads the seven-strong department which was strengthened this year by the return of Andrés Fernández de Soto; both partners have strong expertise in government procurement dispute resolution, including successfully acting in international arbitration. The team has also been involved in some of the country's most high-profile tender processes for infrastructure projects, recently including participation in the process to allocate the first line of the Bogotá Metro project. Appointed partner in April 2020, Pablo Jaramillo's practice encompasses infrastructure matters and administrative law; and senior associates Felipe Mónico (who joined in 2019 from procurement and engineering company SNC-Lavalin) and associate Martín Vásquez (who handles contentious public law matters) are also key participants in the practice.

 

Practice head(s):

Ximena Zuleta

Testimonials

Knowledge and experience in managing contractual processes with the Government and the controversies derived from them‘.

Key clients

LQA Funds / Aberdeen Standard Investments

 

Work highlights

  • Advised LQA Funds and its general partner Aberdeen Standard Investments during the pre-qualification and tender processes for the award of a concession agreement under the private-public partnership (PPP) scheme for the design-to-operation and maintenance of the Bosa Hospital in Bogota.
  • Advised a four-party consortium on the Metro de Bogota tender process during the pre-qualification and tender process for the award of a concession agreement for the design-to-operation and maintenance of the first line of the Bogota Metro.
  • Advised a global motor manufacturer on the bidding process, tendered by Transmilenio, for the award of 13 concession agreements for the provision and operation of 2,600 buses for the city of Bogota.
  • Advised an international consortium on the tender process for a concession agreement for the design, construction, financing and operation of a 40km light train system and the provision of trains to connect several municipalities with central Bogotá.
  • Advised a telecommunications company on sanctions proceedings carried out by the Ministry of Telecommunications.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)'s administrative and constitutional practice is dedicated to public sector management, specialising primarily in bidding processes, public contracts and sanctioning procedures. Advising private and public players, the group also renders legal counsel on proposed legislation and regulation, and plans for the design and structuring of public entities. Working across an array of industry sectors, the practice group has developed particular niche expertise in the gambling state-monopoly, drawing on its experience of advising the US gaming operator IGT's Colombian operations for 15 years. Also head of the firm's infrastructure practice, managing partner José Luis Suárez co-heads the practice, to which he brings expertise in transactions with, and procedures before, public entities. Senior associate practice director Paola Larrahondo, who among other highlights advised Aguas de Bogotá on the strategic issues arising from a transition of its business model, shares leadership of the eight-strong department. Fellow senior associate Juan Antonio Ucrós focuses on litigation, infrastructure projects, and administrative and public law.

 

Key clients

Empresa Metro de Bogotá

Aguas de Bogotá

Ashmore

IGT

Ingenio Providencia

Ministry of Housing, Cities and Territories

GS Inima

EVPP

ACM

IDOM

Work highlights

  • After a competitive process, the firm was tasked for a second year with  day-to-day advisory to Empresa Metro de Bogotá in relation to the capital’s first metro line, including public procurement guidance and representation before the Ministry of Finance.
  • Advised Ashmore Andino II Fund – FCP and Ashmore Andean Fund II on the public tender for the financing, provision and operation of buses (Phases I and II) and electric buses of Transmilenio.
  • Advised the Ministry of housing, cities and territories on the entity’s plans to incorporate a new state-owned company to develop water and sanitation infrastructure projects.
  • Permanent  advice to Aguas de Bogotá on strategic issues arising from transitioning its  business model to permit participation in the new public service model.
  • Acting in a consortium with EY (selected by competitive process) to establish the feasibility of a PPP project for the implementation of a 100% electric bus transportation system on the islands of San Andrés and Providencia, in the Caribbean.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

Serving both relevant companies and public entities in a wide array of sectors, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría advises and provides support on transactional and regulatory matters as well as representing clients in administrative and judicial hearings related to public law and regulatory sanctioning. With robust energy, natural resources and infrastructure practices, the full-service firm renders legal counsel on constitutional and administrative law, public procurement, administrative sanctions and contractual complaints. Under the direction of insfrastructure leader Jorge Di Terlizzi, the four-strong team also handles fiscal liabilities procedures and bribery investigations. Key support comes from principal associate Diana Botero, whose corporate practice takes in administrative matters, public bids and state contracting matters; and senior associate Camilo Forero (state contracting and litigation) who joined in November 2019. However, former infrastructure partner César Barrero moved to KPMG the same month.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Di Terlizzi

Testimonials

The plus is the knowledge of public sector norms, in particular, regulatory matters‘.

 

Key clients

Sociedad Interamericana de Aguas y Servicios (INASSA)

Sociedad Aeroportuaria de la Cosa (SACSA)

Siemens

Naviera Central

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena

Terminal Link / CMA-CGM

Transportadora de Gas Internacional

SAP Colombia

Cochlear Latinoamérica

Koninklijke Vopak

Celsia Group

B Braun Medical

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena (Terminal Fluvial de Andalucía)

Work highlights

  • Represented Interamericana de Aguas y Servicios (INASSA) in a constitutional class action initiated by the Attorney General’s Office against INASSA and its water utilities sector affiliate seeking fee reimbursement under a technical assistance contract.
  • Advised Siemens on a judicial action challenging the award of a bid  opened by Bogota’s Department of Mobility for the modernization of Bogota’s mobility and traffic light system.
  • Successful representation of Naviera Central in an administrative sanctioning procedure initiated by Autonomous Corporation for Magdalena River- Cormagdalena, and stemming from an alleged breach of contractual obligations.
  • Advised Cochlear Latinoamérica regarding a third party’s possible violation of public law and procurement principles during an abbreviated selection process to provide medical ear devices to the National Police.
  • Advised Koninklijke Vopak on port law diligence in regards to the purchase agreement of 49% of shares of a regassification port terminal in Cartagena.

Chemás Roldán & Asociados

The former Chemás Roldán & Asociados has reincorporated as Chemás & Asociados following the October 2019 departure of Fernando Alberto Roldán to establish Roldán Uribe & Alvarez Abogados. Nevertheless, the primarily disputes-oriented boutique remains in great demand for its high-level expertise, client proximity and tailor-made advice and representation. Under the leadership of experienced litigator Jorge Eduardo Chemás, who 'stands out for his integrity, knowledge and proper handling of public procurement' matters, the firm has a strong track record acting for corporate clients in all administrative instances, as well as in civil courts and arbitral tribunals, and handling popular actions, fundamental constitutional rights cases (acciones de tutela) and fiscal responsibility. The group also advises on public procurement adjudications and licensing matters, along with general conflict resolution. Co-head Ingrid Soraya Ortiz specialises in contractual responsibility and Sergio Alejandro Chemás in administrative law and public procurement; both are names to note.

 

Testimonials

The practice serves the client in a very personalised way. Direct contact with the partner, which is very important to us, makes them unique in this market. In addition, the team immerses itself totally in the client’s area or sector, which leads them to better understand the market and also better serve the client’s needs‘.

Jorge Eduardo Chemás is a very experienced lawyer. He has a great capacity for analysis and comprehension, which allows him to strategically structure issues and thus better defend the client’s rights. His team also has developed these capacities under his leadership‘.

The firm has particular expertise in transportation infrastructure , with a long history and solidity on the subject. Their knowledge guarantees an impeccable handling of the process, obtaining, in our case, more than satisfactory results‘.

Ethical professionals with experience, sharp and committed to their clients without losing objectivity‘.

José Eduardo Chemás stands out for his integrity, knowledge and proper handling of public procurement issues, his concepts are concrete but deep and he is close to clients. His accompaniment makes a difference through his serenity and judgement‘.

Key clients

Autopistas De Santander

Grodco Ingenieros Civiles

Codad

Compañía Electrica De Sochagota

Concesión Santa Marta Paraguachón

Constructora Andrade Gutierrez

Elecnorte

Ingenieros Constructores Gayco

Ingetec – Ingenieros Consultores Civiles Y Eléctricos

Malla Vial Del Valle

Pavcol – Pavimentos Colombia

Telefonica Mobiles

Termoemcali

Termomechero Morro

Work highlights

  • Representing Autopistas Santander in a $170m arbitration seeking the annulment of a conciliatory agreement signed with the Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura, modifiying the liquidation agreement contained in the concession contract.
  • Represented Centro de Gerenciamiento de Residuos Doña Juana in a $400m suit against the Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos (UAESP) for the economic imbalance of a concession contract.
  • Permanent legal counsel to Compañía de Desarrollo Aeropuerto El Dorado (CODAD) during the course of multiple fiscal responsibility cases – in none of which the company has been declared liable.
  • Advising Ingetec – Ingenieros y Consultores regarding preliminary investigations into the Hidroituango Hydroelectric Plant fiscal responsibility process; the client has a contract to audit and supervise a section of the plant’s construction.

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero's public procurement department offers comprehensive advice on infrastructure projects and public procurement at all developmental stages to private and state parties, as well as undertaking litigation and arbitration. With a broad service offering, the firm's advice also extends to financial, environmental, real estate, antitrust, corporate and tax matters related to public procurement procedures and projects. Heading the four-strong group - and also co-leading the compliance and antitrust practice - Daniel Rodríguez combines his knowledge of infrastructure and public law with 20 years' experience in financial law and anticorruption regulations. Senior associate María Lucía Amador and associate Paula Andrea Gutiérrez, who handle a combination of finance, project finance, administrative law, public contracting and compliance, complete the group.

 

Practice head(s):

Daniel Rodríguez

Key clients

Ingeniería de Vías

Grupo Energía Bogotá

Hewlet Packard Colombia

Strabag

Colombian National Planning Department

Arup

Interamerican Development Bank

Nominet

Berd

Work highlights

  • Advised Ingeniería de Vías in a suit brought by a subcontractor in a public construction contract claiming force majeure for allegedly unanticipated geological conditions slowing fullfillment of the contract.
  • The firm was awarded a public contract to evaluate the 4th Generation of Road Concessions Programme (4G).
  • Provided counsel to Grupo Energía Bogotá regarding general public law and public procurement matters, in particular, on the design and drafting of legislative bills and regulations.
  • Advised Hewlet Packard Colombia in connection with several public procurement processes for the award of framework agreements and regarding the performance of agreements entered into with Colombian public entities.
  • Advised Arup on the application of the PPP model to railway infrastructure projects under 2012’s Law 1508.

Garrigues

Garrigues' recommended public law area is experienced in accompanying companies throughout PPP tie-ups and concession contracts for public procurement projects, as well as rendering public management consultancy and advice on bidding processes to state entities. Also head of the office's competition and antitrust area, José Miguel De La Calle - whose practice also encompasses public law, litigation and real estate - leads the 15-strong team. An impressive second line includes principal associate Iván Fierro, who has over 15 years' experience in infrastructure projects advising both state entities and corporates, along with senior associates Melissa Castro (public law, real estate law and litigation) and Alejandro Acevedo (public law, competition law and dispute resolution).

 

Practice head(s):

José Miguel De La Calle

Testimonials

Commitment, knowledge, understanding of the sector’.

‘Friendliness, delivery and availability’.

Key clients

Bolsa Mercantil de Colombia

Asociación Bancaria y de Entidades Financieras de Colombia (ASOBANCARIA)

Coorserpark S

Molecular Infusions Colombia

Quarzo Construcciones

Varianz Bio Lab

Varosa Energy

Universidad Internacional de La Rioja- UNIR

Empresa Nacional Promotora del Desarrollo Territorial

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional / Empresa Metro de Bogotá

Empresa de Renovación y Desarrollo Urbano de Bogotá

Promotora y Desarrolladora Mexicana

Transfondo

Scania Colombia

Superintendencia Nacional de Salud

Yellow Soluções de Mobilidade

Work highlights

  • Analysis of a proposed bill to regulate the public contracting regime, identifying certain legal irregularities and proposing amendments to align it with current legislation, on behalf of Bolsa Mercantil.
  • Representing ASOBANCARIA in a proceeding against several government bodies to void a new regulation that fixes the price for certain services provided by financial institutions.
  • Assisted Empresa de Renovación y Desarrollo Urbano de Bogotá on the launching a PPP concession project for the development and construction of the new administrative center in Bogotá.
  • Advised Scania Colombia and Scania LATAM regarding its participation (as a manufacturer) in the public tender to renew the fleet of the Integrated Public Transport System of Bogotá (SITP).

Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight's practice has a focus on contentious work relating to public environmental law matters, acting for major mining, oil and gas, and construction companies. The group advises on jurisprudence from the Constitutional Court and the Council of State on matters such as popular consultations, prior consultation and constitutional claims for the protection of fundamental rights, as well as undertaking local and international arbitration. Energy and natural resources leader José Vicente Zapata and experienced litigator Alberto Zuleta (also head of the firm's dispute resolution area) co-head a ten-strong practice group that provides 'excellent customer service and pragmatism'. Senior counsel Juan Casallas, particularly noted for his 'substantive knowledge of administrative and constitutional law', is also a key member of the practice group.

 

Testimonials

HK’s practice in public law is good because it has lawyers with a great knowledge of administrative and constitutional law‘.

Substantive knowledge of administrative and constitutional law in Colombia, particularly that of lawyer Juan Casallas. Juan’s substantive knowledge, with the excellent customer service and pragmatism of Jose Vicente Zapata and Alberto Zuleta, make it easy to work with this team on issues of public law. A point to highlight is that this team does not “accommodate to” what the client asks for, but they truly provide an objective and responsible advice, not just to please the client‘.

We require lawyers with solid and deep knowledge in environmental and procedural matters. Compared to other teams of professionals from other offices, Holland & Knight has top-quality environmental specialists who efficiently contribute to meet our consulting needs‘.

They are always willing to collaborate with us. It is a robust team, prepared in a real and effective way to act immediately to our needs. They have good communication skills and a willingness to collaborate, especially Jose Vicente Zapata, Estefanny Pardo and Jonathan Sánchez‘.

Work highlights

  • Representation of a multinational group of companies in a fiscal liability proceeding before the Contraloría General de la República concerning the fiscal detriment of a project to expand a state-owned asset.
  • Representation of an international company in international arbitration against the Colombian state.
  • Representation of a natural resources company in several constitutional claims for the protection of fundamental rights regarding disputes involving prior-consultation controversies with indigenous communities.

Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados

Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados handles a broad array of bid tenders, public procurement matters, administrative and regulatory procedures and litigation. Recommended for 'the way it approaches problems' and speed in proposing alternatives, the team is experienced in highly regulated sectors such as telecommunications, health, foreign investment, and environment and energy. Managing partner Diego Muñoz Tamayo, who had a leading role in public sector privatizations in Colombia, and Juan Manuel Sabogal, an environmental expert with extensive experience as legal director at several public entities, co-head the five-strong practice. Among its relevant recent mandates, the practice advised Hyundai Engineering and Construction with regards to its participation in the public tender bid for Bogotá's first metro line.

Testimonials

[Recommended for] ‘the way it approaches problems, and the speed with which the lawyers can assimilate an issue and propose alternatives‘.

Key clients

Asociación Nacional de Empresas Generadoras (ANDEG)

Corporación de los Trabajadores de la Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos Ecopetrol (Cavipetrol)

GeoPark Colombia

Organización Terpel

Hyundai Engineering and Construction

Altos de Teusacá

Sociedad de Expansión Agropecuaria (Soceagro)

Coomeva

Work highlights

  • Legal consultancy to Hyundai Engineering and Construction regarding its participation in the public tender bid for the concession contract for the construction of the Bogotá Metro System.
  • Prepared multiple petitions on behalf of Asociación Nacional de Empresas Generadoras (ANDEG) for filing before the Energy and Gas Regulatory Commission (CREG) regarding one of its decisions.
  • Retained by Cavipetrol to seek administrative clarification of the ownership of a territory located in the Caribbean region and populated by Afro-descendant communities,  pursuant to a Constitutional Court order.

Posse Herrera Ruiz

The July 2020 departure of María Lucía Posada was a significant setback to Posse Herrera Ruiz's comprehensive public procurement and tendering practice, especially coming soon after key senior associate Paola Aldana's April move to DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán. Nevertheless, the now five-strong group - currently led by projects practice head José Alejandro Torres - has a track record that includes successfully assisting in contentious proceedings concerning constitutional and administrative law, as well as public procurement and contractual disputes, and acting across a broad array of sectors for both suppliers and contracting authorities. Associate-level support comes from senior associate Diana Rueda, an October 2019 hire from Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas, and Carolina Puentes Perdomo, who arrived from specialist state contracting, infrastructure and public law boutique OPEBSA in February 2020. Real estate and urban planning specialist Alejandro Turbay - who recently made partner - also has a key participation in the practice.

 

Practice head(s):

Maria Lucia Posada

Testimonials

 

Commitment and personal attention‘.

Key clients

Cartera Colectiva fondo de Inversión Forestal Colombia

Cerro Matoso

Celeo

APCA Metro Capital

Bancolombia

APCA Consorcio Linea 1

Huawei

Blackrock

Lime

Work highlights

  • Advised investment fund Cartera Colectiva Fondo de Inversión Forestal Colombia on matters concerning land restitution and its teak plantations, initiating a constitutional action in order to safeguard the client’s rights.
  • Represented regular client Cerro Matoso in a constitutional claim – now before the Council of State – concerning responsibility for paying compensation to resident populations settled near its mining operations.
  • Advised consortium APCA Metro Capital on its participation in the bidding process for the construction of Bogota’s first metro line.
  • Advised Huawei on a group action initiated by a non-profit organisation, claiming that the bid process to supply a technical education institute was rigged to ensure only Huawei would qualify.

ZULETA Abogados Asociados S.A.S

Zuleta Abogados Asociados S.A.S focuses on the structuring of infrastructure projects and public law, advising on public bidding processes and on the performance of public contracts. The six-strong area, led by well-regarded practitioner Miguel Castro, is experienced in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), operation and management of concession agreements and PPPs for roads, airports, rail, public building and waste systems projects. Rafael Rincón, who has significant experience in transnational disputes, is also a key member of the team. The sizeable boutique's major strength in dispute resolution and international law translates into the handling of all types of settlement and dispute resolution mechanisms involving public entities - from amicable compositor panels to international arbitral tribunals. In a key highlight, the firm represented two companies in two international arbitrations (seated in Spain and Colombia) arising from a major road infrastructure project.

 

Practice head(s):

Miguel Castro

Key clients

Pavimentos Colombia / Mario Huertas

Odinsa

Currie & Brown

Torrescámara y Cia de Obras

Autopista Río Magdalensa (concessioniare)

Valtalia Investments

COPASA

Conconcreto / Pactia / Grupo Heroica

Work highlights

  • Advised Pavimentos Colombia and Mario Huertas on the legal structuring of a PPP consisting in the design, construction, operation and management of the Autopista ALO Sur toll-road project, Bogotá.
  • Advised Odinsa and Pavimentos Colombia on the legal structuring of a PPP consisting in the design, construction, operation and management of works on El Dorado Airport’s runways.
  • Advised Valtalia Investments on an option sale purchase agreement between the client and one of the shareholders of the concessionaire SPV-Doña Juana, which operates the largest sanitary landfill in Bogotá.
  • Representing a company in two international arbitrations (seated in Spain and Colombia), and arising from a major road infrastructure project.

Baker McKenzie S.A.S.

Recommended for its robust but creative approach to public law, Baker McKenzie S.A.S. handles a broad array of bid tenders, public procurement and compliance issues. Also leading the firm's energy, mining and infrastructure practices, Alejandro Mesa co-heads the public law practice with noted senior associate María Montejo. The pair, in conjunction with noted associate Paula Melendro, recently advised and supported Somos K on the bidding process for the financing, procurement and delivery of 377 electric buses to Trasmilenio.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Mesa; Maria Montejo

Testimonials

Firstly, I’d highlight the constant capacity for investigation and being up-to-date, which is reflected in their constant feedback. Another element that is usually remarkable is innovation, since a typical and usual challenge with regards to the field of public law is to interpret it in a robust but creative way. Lastly, the value for money that you get when hiring the team is unbeatable. In general Baker McKenzie stands out in all these elements in a favourable way compared to other firms‘.

In particular, the support that our team had from Maria Montejo and Paula Melendro was exceptional‘.

The team maintains a balance between the innovation of its products and the application of the latest regulations in accordance with the current laws of the country‘.

The points on which the firm’s lawyers excel lie primarily in their adaptability and proactivity‘.

Key clients

Sistemas Operativos Móviles (“Somos K”)

Cadena

Schlumberger

Bonus Banca de Inversion

Hitachi

Work highlights

  • Advised and supported Somos K on the bid process for the financing, procurement and delivery of 377 electric buses to Trasmilenio.
  • Advised Cadena on a public bidding process to supply, formalise and provide the service of personalisation, custody and distribution of Colombian passports.

Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados

Recognised as the go-to firm for real estate and urban law matters, Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados' 'solid' public and administrative law department is highly specialised in litigation, administrative and constitutional law relating to land use and environmental law. Led by David Garzón, who is recommended for his knowledge and disposition, the seven-strong team primarily represents investors and major construction companies before local and national authorities on the seeking of annulments, in class actions and the preventing or lifting of sanctions against the development of housing, commercial and tourism projects.

Practice head(s):

David Garzón Gómez

Testimonials

The  public law practice is solid on matters of urban law. PGP is an urban law boutique and its practice is solid with Juan Manuel González at the helm. David Garzón’s knowledge is also highlighted‘.

Knowledge of urban law, disposition and willingness to serve. Fast-paced in their responses, particularly David Garzón‘.

Key clients

Cámara Colombiana de la Construcción Bogotá & Cundinamarca (Camacol B&C)

Constructora Fernando Mazuera

Constructora Bolívar

Código Proyectos

Constructora Hayuelos

Arias Serna & Saravia

Ventura Capital

HBI Banca de Inversión

Amarilo

Ingeurbe

Grupo Contempo

Ospinas

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of Camacol B&C to obtain the  judicial annulment of District Decree 364 (2013), by which the land use regulation of the city was modified.
  • Successfuly represented Ospina against a plaintiff action seeking to stop the development of a shopping centre in the city of Cúcuta, via annulment of the construction licence and environmental permits.

Pombo Caballero Abogados S.A.S.

Dispute resolution and consultancy are the two pillars of boutique firm Pombo Caballero Abogados S.A.S.' 11-strong public procurement-focused practice group, which advises both public entities and private companies. Practice head María Paula Caballero accompanies clients in the execution of concession projects and other government contracts, as well as providing advice on issues related to anticorruption. Associate director of litigation Johana Zapata co-leads the department, while founding partner Rodrigo Pombo, who is experienced in public law regarding PPP contracts, also plays a key role in the practice.

 

Key clients

Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura

Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar

Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado

Jan de Nul

Torrescámara

Restrepo y Uribe

Bavaria

AFA Consultores y Constructores

Certicámara

Fedeseguridad

Consorcio Metroandina

Ingeniería de Proyectos

Carvajal Tecnología y Servicios

Brinks de Colombia

DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán

APPlus Colombia

Arquitectura y Concreto

Work highlights

  • Represented Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura in arbitration with Concesión Ruta al Mar regarding the execution of their PPP concession contract.
  • Advised Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar on the general direction of several topics regarding government contracts.

Valbuena Abogados

​​Competition boutique Valbuena Abogados has a focus on specialised contentious work under the leadership of experienced litigator and former head of the competition authority Gustavo Valbuena. The five-strong group, recommended for providing personalised attention and tailor-made advice, acts in various contentious administrative matters, including handling nullity lawsuits and the restoration of rights against administrative decisions issued by public entities, across a broad array of industries.  

Practice head(s):

Gustavo Valbuena

Testimonials

It is a boutique firm that serves clients in a personalised way, caring about knowing their needs and has a competent team with excellent knowledge‘.

Key clients

Constructora Conconcreto

Federación Colombiana de Futbol

KPMG

Tecnoquímicas

Ibeaser

Frontera Energy (Colombia)

Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare (Colombia)

Decameron

ExpresoPalmira

Fertipetrol

Uniphos Colombia Plant

Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura

Work highlights

  • Represented Comcel in a nullity lawsuit against an administrative decision that imposed a $3.3m fine on the company for allegedly breaching the consumer protection regime in an advertising campaign.
  • Represented Aseocolba in a nullity suit filed against the official liquidation of the Industry and Commerce tax returns issued by the District Tax Directorate of the Department of Finance of the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá.