Firms To Watch: Public law

Cuatrecasas has been increasingly involved in the public law sphere since the hire of  dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) infrastructure specialist Ana María Sánchez, who joined in February 2022 from Peru’s Rebaza, Alcázar & De Las Casas, the nascent practice group subsequently being consolidated in the latter half of the year with the incorporation of senior associates Manuel Gómez Fajardo and Diana Rueda from Brigard Urrutia and Posse Herrera Ruiz, respectively .

Public law in Colombia

Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados

The highly regarded public law team at Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados impresses sources with its ‘creativity and analytical capacity to suggest actions and solutions’. The full-service group shines in all key areas of public law, with strong skill sets in transactional work, including infrastructure projects, as well as complex disputes and regulatory issues. Widely recognised as a reference in the area, department co-head Carlos Gustavo Arrieta is routinely sought after by public entities, and domestic and multinational companies to advise on judicial and arbitral proceedings. Fellow co-head Yady Villaquirán is an ‘exceptional professional’, who specialises in constitutional law, administrative law, infrastructure projects and mining law. Associate Santiago Cardona is additionally recommended for his growing profile in public law and energy and natural resources-related work.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Gustavo Arrieta; Yady Villaquirán Castro


Testimonials

Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados’ public law team is very well formed, the professionals are of the highest level and provide a highly personalised service.

Yady Villaquirán is an exceptional professional with great human qualities and an incomparable willingness to serve and care. Her extensive experience always makes us feel well supported in the matters under her responsibility.

This firm stands out in all aspects. I highlight the excellent relationship with the work teams and the leadership that Yady Villaquirán assumes in these projects, where different actors and disciplines are combined. Its collaborative approach is impeccable and it always goes beyond its commitments.

Yady Villaquirán is a very prominent leading lawyer in projects. Not only does she handle legal issues, but her knowledge in structuring projects with financial components is remarkable. The firm is always available for additional meetings. The commitment to close the project is total.

The team demonstrates good understanding of public procurement processes, as well as understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the contracting modalities. We highlight its creativity and analytical capacity to suggest actions and solutions.

In additional to their legal skills, we recommend lawyers for their human quality, communication skills and good interpersonal relationships.

Key clients

Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)


Bolsa Mercantil de Colombia (BMC)


Arbitration Tribunal: Air-E Vs Ufinet Colombia


Departamento Nacional de Planeación (DNP)


Colombiana de Escenarios


ICO Medios


Work highlights


  • Advising Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, as contractor, on the legal structuring of the Ranchería-San Juan de Cesar and Triángulo del Tolima’s irrigation districts.
  • Advising Bolsa Mercantil de Colombia on new regulations concerning the acquisition of goods and services for public entities through commission agents.
  • Advising KMPG and Steer Davies Gleave on the development of a methodological proposal for the structuring of public infrastructure projects with private investment.

Brigard Urrutia

Brigard Urrutia has ranked ‘among the leaders in public law for many years’, according to sources. The team, which acts for the full spread of government agencies, state-owned enterprises and private companies, is often brought in at the structuring stage to help develop major projects, such as its recent appointment by Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) to be part of the team responsible for structuring Bogotá’s second metro line project. High-profile figure Carlos Umañaprovides confidence and security to his clients’; he led on the FDN work. The group also draws on infrastructure and public utilities partner Claudia Navarro; public law practice director Julián Parra, who ‘constantly looks for solutions and alternatives to overcome obstacles’; and director Mario Forero, who is noted for public procurement and administrative law matters.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Umaña; Claudia Navarro; Julián Parra; Mario Forero


Testimonials

We value the team for its ability, prestige and experience. It has been among the leaders in public law for many years. We particularly recommend practice director, Julián Parra.

It is one of the best law firms in Colombia. Its lawyers are highly recognised. By dedicating themselves to several practice areas, lawyers can offer comprehensive legal advice. Good treatment with the client and very good quality of services.

Carlos Umaña is a lawyer with extensive experience and knowledge, he provides confidence and security to his clients.

Associate Mario Forero is one of the lawyers in his practice area that we rely on for public services and administrative law advice; he maintains excellent relationships with clients and has a very good command and knowledge of legal issues in this practice area.

The team genuinely understands the client’s needs and prepares and adapts recommendations and actions with the client’s demands as a priority. The team provides exceptional strategic support, offering alternatives and different approaches to find solutions.

Associate Julián Parra is an excellent lawyer, who constantly looks for solutions and alternatives to overcome obstacles. He is always available to meet customer requests and is always up-to-date on the different regulatory elements.

Key clients

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)


National Agency for the Defense of the State (Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado)


Special Unit for Public Utilities (Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos – UAESP)


Red Cárnica


Green Móvil P6 and Green Móvil P17 (owned in equal parts by Fanalca and Transdev)


ZMO Fontibón III and ZMO Fontibón V (owned in equal parts by Fanalca and Transdev)


Consorcio Cable Móvil


Oleoducto Bicentenario


Forte Global


Olimpia IT


Metro Línea 1


Concesionaria Férrea de Occidente (controlled by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation)


BMO Sur (owned in equal parts by Fanalca and Transdev)


Concesión Santa Marta Paraguachón


Concesión Costera Cartagena Barranquilla


Canadian Solar


CRRC Changchun Do Brasil Railway Equipamentos & Serviços


Ciudad Limpia


Concesión Perimetral Oriental de Bogotá


Work highlights


  • Selected by Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional to structure Bogota’s Second Metro Line project; currently, Colombia’s largest infrastructure project valued at approximately $3.4bn.
  • Entered into a consulting agreement with the National Agency for the Defense of the State for analysing mistakes which government entities may incur when undertaking administrative proceedings aiming to impose sanctions.
  • Advised CRRC Changchun Do Brasil Railway Equipamentos & Serviços, as a member of the joint venture awarded the civil works contract, on the construction of the 80th Avenue Medellin Tramway project.

Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados

Satisfied clients of Durán & Osorio Abogados Asociados say it stands out for its ‘extensive knowledge of public law and private law’, which equips it to ‘solve public problems and propose viable solutions’. The group is additionally distinguished by its record in representing major government agencies and state-owned enterprises at home and abroad, including ANI, Ecopetrol and the UK’s Crossrail International. Álvaro Mauricio Durán Leal is a go-to public law specialist and recently advised IDB on the development of a framework analysing the different contractual functions of the contracts for the First Line of the Bogotá Metro and the Second Line of the Lima Metro. Durán co-heads the department alongside Jorge Gabriel Taboada, who is highly regarded for infrastructure and litigation; London-based projects expert Carlos Andrés Sánchez García; and Álvaro Gasca, who is particularly active in the PPP sphere. Senior associate Felipe Herrera provides capable support.

Practice head(s):

Álvaro Mauricio Durán Leal; Jorge Gabriel Taboada; Carlos Andrés Sánchez García; Álvaro Gasca


Testimonials

The group of lawyers formed and led by Álvaro Mauricio Durán Leal are nothing less than excellent.

The team possesses great depth of legal knowledge and good financial knowledge. Very practical in their reflections with technical equipment.

D & O’s work stands out from other teams due to its knowledge and experience, but above all due to its interest and capacity in public innovation. Partners have given direct support to innovative public procurement processes promoting the Social Impact Bond programme in Colombia.

Its teams have extensive knowledge of public law and private law, which allows connection and articulation to solve public problems and propose viable solutions.

We value lawyers for their very good availability, billing and excellent customer relationships.

The Duran & Osorio team provides constant theoretical-practical updates on current market trends, which allows them to address, analyse and solve issues, conflicts or difficulties in an avant-garde and innovative way.

We recommend the team for its high degree of both theoretical and practical knowledge of the markets and the commitment it presents to its clients.’

Key clients

Crossrail International / Ministry of Transport


World Bank


Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional


Patria Investments


Empresa Férrea Regional – EFR


Inter-American Development Bank


Mercantil Colpatria


Concesionaria Rutas del Valle


Ministry of Transport


International Finance Corporation (IFC)


National Roads Institute (INVÍAS)


Ministry of Finance and Public Credit


Odinsa


Servicio Geológico Colombiano


National Planning Department (DNP)


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


Work highlights


  • Advised IDB on the development of a theoretical and methodological framework analysing the different contractual functions (control, co-ordination and adaptation) of the contracts for the First Line of the Bogotá Metro and the Second Line of the Lima Metro.
  • Advised Mercantil Colpatria and Patria Investments on its successful tender for a major road infrastructure project; it is subsequently advising the concessionaire (Concesionaria Rutas del Valle) on the execution of the concession contract, and also on its contractual relationship with ANI.
  • Retained by Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) to design a new institutional arrangement for the railway system in Colombia.

Esguerra JHR

An expert in Colombian public and administrative law’, Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos is particularly admired for its contentious firepower, where it frequently handles high-stakes constitutional and administrative law disputes — in both judicial and arbitral forums. The group also advises a diverse roster of local and multinational companies and public entities on bidding processes, project structuring and public contracts, among other matters. Name partner Juan Carlos Esguerra maintains a prominent disputes practice; he recently paired up with Felipe Piquero to represent Ecopetrol in two different collective rights protection suits aimed to block its $3.5bn acquisition of the government’s stake in ISA. The team also includes next-generation public law specialist Adriana Nieto, as well as public-law focused associates Jorge Andrés Gómez and María Fernanda Barraza Díaz. Associate Carlos Lasprilla left in July 2022 to study abroad. Since publication, the firm has merged with tax specialist firm Jiménez, Higuita, Rodríguez & Asociados (Tax & customs) to become Esguerra JHR – effective as of February 2024.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Esguerra; Felipe Piquero; Adriana Nieto


Testimonials

The firm is an expert in Colombian public and administrative law. The team possesses deep experience in this field, so its advice is clear and appropriate; it warns of risks and proposes mitigation strategies.

We particularly highlight the work of Felipe Piquero and Jorge Andrés Gómez Avendaño.

The team’s strongest points are its opportunity, closeness, proactivity, empathy with internal officials, willingness and openness. It is a highly outstanding firm, which provides a lot of security in its management, and in which we have great confidence.

We recommend the tea, for its wide disposition to find solutions and strategies to take all the matters forward. I would say that its ability to provide a holistic view of the topics, with specialised focuses that interconnect, is its great differential.

Felipe Piquero and Juan Carlos Esguerra provide complementary perspectives on the themes that we entrust to them. Undoubtedly, the direct attention of the partners is the great differential; they are always open, with the best disposition to talk about the different matters entrusted to them.

Key clients

Cemex Colombia


Caja Colombiana de Subsidio Familiar (Colsubsidio)


Ecopetrol


Empresa de Teléfonos de Bogotá (ETB)


UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones


Hocol


Ministerio de Transporte


Payc


Seguros Generales Suramericana


Seguros de Vida Suramericana


Work highlights


  • Represented a construction company in the fiscal liability process initiated by the Contraloría General de la República in connection with the construction of projects using public resources.
  • Represented Caja Colombiana de Subsidio Familiar (Colsubsidio) in judicial proceedings arising from the performance of contracts for the construction of approximately 2000 new homes.
  • Advised the Ministerio de Transporte on the legal structuring of the new concession that will operate the RUNT project, as well as on the auditing agreement by which an independent party will comprehensively supervise the concession agreement.

Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados

Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados is a popular choice to represent concessionaires and construction companies in public law matters. The group enjoys a prominent reputation for its activity in the transport infrastructure sector — primarily public bus systems and road projects — but it consistently advises a varied mix of clients on public bids, works contracts and contentious matters, including sanction proceedings. Co-founding partner José Ignacio Leiva maintains a broad public law focus, with notable expertise in advising concessionaires on bus transit systems. Leiva co-heads the practice together with Marcela Castro — who is highly regarded for infrastructure-related work — and projects partner Natalia Uribe. Practice director Diego Felipe Guzmán moved in house at Concesionaria Vía 40 Express in March 2023.

Practice head(s):

Jose Ignacio Leiva; Marcela Castro; Natalia Uribe


Key clients

Acciona Agua


Convías


Concesionaria Vial Montes de María


OHL


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


Grupo SI 18


Autopistas Urabá


Agencia Nacional de Minería


Concesión San Rafael


Consorcio Mar 2


Corredor Portuario de Cartagena


Interconexión eléctrica (ISA)


Unión Vial Río Pamplonita


WSP Ingenieros


AYESA


Consorcio Estación Elevadora de Canoas


Egis Group


KMA Construcciones


Consorcio Constructor Perimetral de Oriente Bogotá


Unimetro


Sotramac


Concesión La Pintada


Concesión Ruta al Mar


Construcciones El Condor


Work highlights


  • Advising several concessions (including Concesión Unión Vial Río Pamplonita, Concesión Mar 1, and Concesión Devisab) on various ongoing matters, including financing processes, public bid procedures and dispute resolution.
  • Advising Brazil-based Tembici on the bidding process for the urban bicycle system of Bogotá city.
  • Advising six transport concessions on the project to renovate TransMilenio buses for phases I and II of the transportation system in Bogotá.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas finds favour for its ‘experienced and well co-ordinated team,’ which advises domestic and multinational companies on a range of bidding processes, government contracts, sanction proceedings, and related issues. The group also stands out for its ability to draw on the wider firm’s project practice for support on transactional matters. The ‘very methodical but also very practical’, Ximena Zuleta spearheads the department and advises on administrative law, government procurement and projects, including litigation. Other key contacts include public law litigator Andrés Fernández de Soto and projects head Pablo Jaramillo, while associate Nicolás Díaz supports on projects-related work. Associate Laura Streubel left to study abroad in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Ximena Zuleta


Testimonials

The team stands out for the permanent presence of the partners in the consultations that are made; in the meetings that are required for the issues, as well as the organisation in the management of information. The firm’s partners are the ones who directly respond to our requests.

Ximena Zuleta is fantastic. She stays very involved in the transaction and her support is valuable and permanent. She and her team are very attentive to details, which is essential for bidding processes. She is very methodical but also very practical.

Lawyers are very dedicated to the work. As a client, one feels that their project is the most important thing to Ximena Zuleta and her team.

My relationship with Dentons allowed me to identify an experienced and well co-ordinated team. The expertise and management of information by each professional was relevant to the process. I can highlight its lawyers’ experience and commitment.

Key clients

Puerto Bahía Colombia de Urabá


United Nations Industrial Development Organization Headquarters (UNIDO)


Work highlights


  • Advising Puerto Bahía Colombia de Urabá on the regulatory framework for port concessions, public law, and several contractual matters, including advising the client on the contractual management of the port concession with the National Infrastructure Agency.
  • Advising United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Headquarters (UNIDO) on the “Energy Districts in Colombia – Phase II” project, which aims to foster and promote energy-efficient and sustainable urban development.

Garrigues

The public law team at Garrigues secures praise for its ‘professionalism, respect, and personalised attention’. The thriving practice added six new clients during 2022/23, including Draeger Colombia and CapitalBus, and acts on a wide scope of public procurement, projects, and contentious matters. Highlighted as a ‘lawyer like no other’, department co-head Adriana Espinosa possesses extensive experience in infrastructure projects, tender processes and sanction proceedings. Fellow co-head José Miguel De La Calle is recommended for his litigation expertise and notably serves as an associate judge on the Constitutional Court. The team also includes counsel Iván Fierro; principal associate Melissa Castro; and senior associates Camilo González and Juan Ospina.

Practice head(s):

José Miguel De La Calle; Adriana Espinosa


Testimonials

The team is willing to respond at any time. Lawyers are always up-to-date on current issues and pay due attention to representing the company.

We highlight Adriana Espinosa, who is a warm and brilliant person, a lawyer like no other.

We recommend the group for its knowledge in contractual management and applicable legislation in PPPs and infrastructure projects. The team stands out due to its customer service, with two good-level partners, knowledge of specific issues and excellent management with counterparties.

Adriana Espinosa and counsel Iván Fierro are knowledgeable about contractual management and customer relations.

The firm has specialised high-level teams, with a focus on providing alternatives for case resolution contemplating short-medium and long-term implications.

We highlight lawyers for their disposition and agility in customer service and the level of expertise of each lawyer in their field.

​‘The team’s main qualities are professionalism, respect, and personalised attention.

Key clients

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)


Obrascón Huarte Laín, sucursal Colombia


Draeger Colombia


JA Solar


Matrix Giros y Servicios


Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano


Emasivo 10 and Emasivo 16


Editorial Santillana


Asociación Bancaria y de Entidades Financieras de Colombia


Sociedad Portuaria Río Grande


Organismo Nacional de Acreditación de Colombia (ONAC)


Agencia Nacional de Minería


Concesionaria Ruta al Sur


Doble Calzada Oriente


DirecTV Colombia


CapitalBus


Work highlights


  • Advised FDN on structuring the legal framework for the bidding process for the construction of Metro de Bogota’s second line.
  • Advised OHLA and Grupo Ethuss on the public tender process held by ANI for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Accesos Norte II toll-road project.
  • Advised OHLA and Grupo Ethuss on the public tender processes held by ANI for the construction, operation and maintenance of the 5G toll roads Troncales del Magdalena I and II.

Palacios Lleras

Public law is a mainstay at Palacios Lleras, with the boutique firm sought after for its record in contentious work. The group primarily acts for public contractors and private companies in judicial and arbitral disputes, with a focus on state liability and judicial review proceedings. It is also highlighted for its ‘special experience in constitutional tax issues’, particularly on behalf of energy and natural resources clients. Public law veteran Hugo Palacios Mejía co-heads the department alongside Óscar Gutiérrez, who specialises in litigation regarding infrastructure and port matters; Pedro Pacheco, who is noted for constitutional litigation and class actions; and Luis Miguel Falla, who focuses on public law disputes.

Practice head(s):

Hugo Palacios Mejía; Óscar Gutierrez; Pedro Pacheco; Luis Miguel Falla


Testimonials

The Palacios Lleras team is very professional and has extensive experience in tax matters. In front of teams from other law firms, it shows excellent skills, especially in matters related to the constitutional review of current regulations.

Our relationship with the Palacios Lleras staff is very good; the firm maintains top-of-the-line technological and logistical practices.

Palacio Lleras has special experience in constitutional tax issues. In this area it is a leader compared to its competitors.

Key clients

Drummond


Airplain


Canacol Energy Colombia


Colombian Natural Resources III (CNR III)


Fundación Ceiba


Carbones del Cerrejón


Work highlights


  • Representing the Colombian Mining Association before the Constitutional Court pursuing the judicial review of two articles of the latest tax reform recently approved by Congress and endorsed by the newly elected government.
  • Defending Avianca in a constitutional action alleging that Avianca violated collective rights related to the antitrust and consumer rights regime, due to an alleged corporate integration with low-cost airline, Viva.
  • Representing Drummond in several class actions in which the plaintiffs argue that the mining industry causes air pollution and water contamination.

Chemás & Asociados

Chemás & Asociados scores highly with sources for its ‘extensive experience in conflict resolution’ with a focus on ‘highly complex lawsuits in the infrastructure sector’. The boutique firm’s signature contentious public law expertise also spans the energy and telecoms sectors, among others. Jorge Eduardo Chemás is recognised for his track record in public procurement disputes; he co-heads the group together with fellow litigators Ingrid Soraya Ortiz (‘focused, grounded and objective’) and Sergio Alejandro Chemás (‘high analytical capacity to solve complex legal problems’).

Practice head(s):

Jorge Eduardo Chemás; Ingrid Soraya Ortiz; Sergio Alejandro Chemás


Testimonials

The team has extensive experience in conflict resolution with a special focus on highly complex lawsuits in the infrastructure sector. The firm has a high capacity for negotiation and handling of judicial processes.

Jorge Eduardo Chemás is one of Colombia’s most experienced specialists in litigation and arbitration concerning infrastructure and hydroelectric projects and has extensive technical knowledge of these industries. Sergio Alejandro Chemás has a high analytical capacity to solve complex legal problems.

It is a multidisciplinary team, with a permanent interest in the client, to whom it gives gives the perception of being its first and only priority — this stands out when compared with other firms.

Partners in the team have the possibility of practising law in Colombia, New York and France, so the perception as a legal advisor is global and more complete than any other, as is the case of Sergio Alejandro Chemás.

The team at Chemás & Asociados is experienced and competent. Lawyers are timely in their responses and approaches. They are friendly, clear and specific in their requests, Proactive and purposeful.

Jorge Eduardo Chemás provides confidence, security and credibility. He is attentive and available to the queries and requirements that are formulated. We highlight his experience and knowledge.

Sergio Alejandro Chemás is attentive and available for our queries and requirements. Provides creativity, proactivity and is positive in handling requirements. Ingrid Soraya Ortiz is practical and educational when relaying information and requesting information. Focused, grounded and objective.

Jorge Eduardo Chemás is a lawyer with extensive experience and his advice is impeccable. He offers a personalised service that conveys security to clients. He is absolutely assertive in the elaboration of risk maps and in the implementation of strategies in moments of crisis.

Key clients

Centro de Gerenciamiento Doña Juana


Sedes Educativas Consortium


Autopista de Santander


Ingenieros Consultores Civiles y Eléctricos (INGETEC)


Grodco Group


Telefónica Móviles


Troncales Bogota Consortium


Distral


Sochagota


Pavcol


Inverlink Estructuras Inmobiliarias


Constructora Andrade Gutiérrez


Yuma Autopistas


Codad


Termo Mechero Morro


Work highlights


  • Represented CGR Doña Juana, operator of the Doña Juana landfill, against the Special Administrative Unit for Utilities in $230m litigation concerning breach of contract.
  • Advised Consorcio Ingetec-Sedic in multiple claims originating from the Hydroelectric Plant of Ituango construction controversy, with an aggregate value of over $800m.
  • Represented the Sedes Educativas Consortium in arbitration against Autonomous Patrimony of Educational Infrastructure Financial Fund (represented by FFIE Alianza BBVA Consortium) in a breach of contract dispute related to overseeing the construction of 112 schools.

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero

Among CMS Rodríguez-Azuero’s practice sweet spots, the team is particularly well versed in public procurement, with extensive experience in advising companies — particularly IT companies such as Google — on contracts with public authorities. The group also benefits from its ability to lean on the wider firm’s project finance and anti-corruption groups. Transactional finance specialist Daniel Rodríguez co-heads the department alongside dispute resolution partners Henry Sanabria and Felipe Andrade. Promoted to senior associate in March 2023, public procurement-focused Paula Andrea Gutiérrez is also noted. In May 2022, associate director María Lucía Amador left to join Mendoza Abogados.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Rodríguez; Henry Sanabria; Felipe Andrade


Key clients

Google


Agence Francaise de Développement


Hewlett Packard Colombia


JCDecaux


Interamerican Development Bank


FCC Aqualia


Grupo Energía Bogotá


Work highlights


  • Advised JCDecaux on several negotiations before public entities regarding concession contracts, including advising on a new concession contract for the provision of urban furniture for Bogotá.
  • Advised AFD (the French Development Agency) on the budgetary loan granted to the Republic of Colombia for the financing of governmental initiatives worth up to €200m.
  • Advised Hewlett Packard Colombia on several public procurement processes.

Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)

The interdisciplinary group at Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) demonstrates ‘strong knowledge of the management of concessions with the state’. The team, which acts for a diverse mix of private and public entities, routinely advises on bidding processes, public procurement procedures and infrastructure project development — it also has experience in administrative sanctioning proceedings. The department is co-led by infrastructure and administrative law specialist Paola Larrahondo together with José Luis Suárez, who specialises in public law and finance matters. Senior associate Juan Antonio Ucrós is also recommended public law and infrastructure work.

Practice head(s):

Paola Larrahondo; José Luis Suárez


Testimonials

The team has strong knowledge of the management of concessions with the state. It houses an interdisciplinary team, which provides for a broad and diverse perspective of the problems to be solved.

The team’s experience of working on both sides of the business (public and private) is very profitable to us, it makes lawyers understand the problems more thoroughly, allowing for the most enriching value proposition.

The public law team is very diligent and knowledgeable in terms of administrative law, bidding processes, etc.

Lawyers are mostly passionate about the issues they work on.

Key clients

CRRC (Hong Kong)


IDOM Consulting


World Wildlife Fund, WWF Colombia, Gordon E and Betty I Moore Foundation


Metro de Bogotá


Ashmore Andino II Fund – FCP and Ashmore Andean Fund II


VGMobility


IGT Juegos


BTS Concesionario


Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao


Interamerican Development Bank


IDS AirNav


Fundacion Carulla – aeioTU


Honeywell


Bwin Latam


Concesionaria Runt


EVPP arquitectos – BEV


Grupo Energia Bogotá


Work highlights


  • Advised CRRC (Hong Kong) and Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao on the award of the contract for the construction of the second line of the Medellín Metro.
  • Advised IDOM Consulting, Transmilenio and the Inter-American Development Bank on the structuring and incorporation of a new state-owned company as Bogota’s public transport system operator.
  • Advised World Wildlife Fund, WWF Colombia, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation on a multi-donor financing scheme, executed with the Colombian national government, for the protection of natural areas and climate change mitigation.

Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight’s May 2023 absorption of Cuberos Cortés Gutiérrez (CCG) reinforces its solid public law offering. The former firm is arguably best known for its strength in public environmental law, where it advises major energy, natural resources and infrastructure clients on regulatory and contentious matters. The arrival of the CCG team provides additional firepower in the transport sector, where the legacy firm was noted for its representation of major public transportation providers and operators. Department head José Vicente Zapata is an expert in public law issues concerning the environment, and the energy and natural resources sectors. The group also includes newly promoted (February 2023) partner Juan Casallas, who focuses on public law, and constitutional and administrative law disputes. Former CCG practice head Edwin Cortés Mejía is particularly noted for his record in the bus rapid transit (BRT) segment.

Practice head(s):

José Vicente Zapata


Testimonials

The differentiator of this practice is the team’s extensive knowledge on the diversity of issues covered by public law. Undoubtedly, one of its strengths is its knowledge of environmental law and the expertise it provides to companies with production plants.

We highlight José Vicente Zapata for his knowledge of environmental regulations. Senior counsel Margarita Solorza also stands out for her knowledge and level of response.

We recommend the team for its great client service. The issues are handled diligently and thoroughly. Lawyers demonstrate extensive technical and industry knowledge and provide holistic counselling.

Lawyers are always available. Highly complex issues are adequately handled.

Key clients

Equión Energía


Gmóvil


Pacific Goetech Systems


Electro Hidráulica Representaciones


Ministerio de Minas y Energía/Servicio Geológico Colombiano.


Escala Capital


Fideicomiso Santa Sofia


TN Colombia


Khymos


Work highlights


  • Represented Equión Energía in more than 200 judicial proceedings, including cases related to the discussion of an environmental tax derived from the environmental licence granted for oil projects.

Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados

Leveraging its impressive record in state privatisations, Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados stands out for its ‘knowledge and experience in public law and arbitration’. Aside from its privatisation expertise, the group advises on a wide range of tender processes, public contacts, and administrative sanctioning proceedings, among other contentious and non-contentious matters. Founding partner Diego Muñoz Tamayo leads the department and is highlighted as an ‘excellent legal strategist’. The group also includes Felipe Trías, noted for his focus on public bidding processes, and environmental practice director Silvia Méndez.

Practice head(s):

Diego Muñoz Tamayo


Testimonials

I believe that one of the greatest qualities of Muñoz Tamayo & Asociados is its knowledge and experience in public law and arbitration. Additionally, I consider that Diego Muñoz Tamayo is an excellent legal strategist, which is why he is a true support in solving problems.

I recommend the team for its knowledge, and its strategic approach.

Key clients

AMP Capital


Dataprom Equipamentos E Servicios De Informatica Industrial


Organización Terpel


Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas (LAS)


IDC Construción


Sociedad de Expansión Agropecuaria – Soceagro


Promotora Convivienda


Work highlights


  • Advised AMP Capital on its investment in two concessionaire companies that were awarded concession contracts by Empresa de Transporte del Tercer Milenio (Transmilenio) for the provision of electric buses and the operation and maintenance of associated infrastructure.
  • Advised Dataprom Equipamentos e Servicios de Informática Industrial on matters related to its participation in the implementation and operation of the collection system for Cartagena’s mass transportation system.
  • Advised Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas (LAS) on protecting the use of its base of operation out of Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport and on negotiating an alternative location within the airport with Opain, the current airport operation concessionaire.

Palacio, Jouve & García

Public law is a key pillar of Palacio, Jouve & García’s practice, with the group well equipped to advise domestic and multinational companies, as well as public sector clients, on administrative law matters and government contracting; its lawyers attract praise for their ‘broad business perspective’. Department head Oscar Hernández Morales advises on the structuring of infrastructure projects, tender processes, sanctioning procedures and administrative litigation. María Teresa Palacio also handles infrastructure and public services-related work.

Practice head(s):

Oscar Hernández Morales


Testimonials

The team is very good. It demonstrates a high willingness to serve combined with solid legal knowledge.

Lawyers are willing to carry out analysis of the issues with a broad business perspective and provide innovative solutions.

It is a service typical of a boutique firm. The partners deal directly with the matters and give personalized treatment to the clients, which facilitates the understanding of the matters and the elaboration of the concepts.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría’s public law practice is closely aligned to its projects offering, with the group noted for its handling of public law-related transactions, including PPP contracts and purchase agreements. The team also advises on public procurement and contentious matters. Infrastructure and projects specialist Jorge Di Terlizzi co-heads the department alongside Carlos Padilla, who specialises in infrastructure, PPP and IT projects. Key associates include Camilo Forero, who advises on infrastructure, projects and public law; and Santiago Cruz, who focuses on dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Jorge Di Terlizzi; Carlos Padilla


Testimonials

They have an interdisciplinary team that, in addition to public law, can provide support on any area of law that a company requires. Great commitment to work and depth in the results.

The relationship with the client is very good, based on respect, timely attention and depth of knowledge of the issues.

We recommend the group for its transfer of knowledge to the client in an empathetic and effective way. Also for its timely advice and strategy development.

Key clients

China Harbour Engineering Corporation


Idestra


Grupo Aeroportuario del Caribe (Barranquilla Airport Concessionaire)


Sociedad Aeroportuaria del Caribe (Cartagena Airport Concessionaire)


Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Barranquilla


Concesionaria Ruta del Cacao


Cintra Infraestructuras and Cintra Global


Vinci Highways and Vinci Concessions


Constructora Conconcreto


Acciona Concesiones


Mercantil Colpatria


Servicios Postales Nacionales


Work highlights


  • Advising Grupo Aeroportuario del Caribe on the performance of the concession agreement of Barranquilla International Airport, including on the negotiation of the rebalancing of the concession agreement due to the negative economic effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising Sociedad Aeroportuaria del Caribe on the performance of the concession agreement of the Cartagena International Airport, including on the extension of the concession agreement term.
  • Advising China Harbour Engineering Company on the unsolicited PPP proposal for the construction of the second tunnel of the La Línea Project, among the largest road tunnels in Colombia.

Posse Herrera Ruiz

Posse Herrera Ruiz’s public law practice demonstrates ‘clear knowledge and understanding of the public and administrative legal environment’, according to sources. Primarily recognised for its work in the public procurement and projects spheres, the group also advises on contentious matters, including sanctions proceedings. The multidisciplinary group is co-led by infrastructure, projects and public law partner Cristina Vásquez, alongside dispute resolution expert Daniel Posse. Other senior-level contacts include litigator Carolina Posada and transactional infrastructure specialist José Alejandro Torres. Associate Juan David Fiallo, who specialises in dispute resolution, provides support.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Vásquez; Daniel Posse


Testimonials

The PHR team stans out for its immediate response to needs and fluid communication.

We highlight lawyers for their knowledge about the subject, analysis of the cases, and excellent communication.

The team demonstrates clear knowledge and understanding of the public and administrative legal environment and high level of diligence in its management.

Lawyers have a great capacity for analysis, risk assessment and taking concrete actions.

The team, in addition to being informed of the company’s requirements, seeks to understand its needs to provide the exact advice.

PHR is a firm of high quality, excellent service, very complete in every way. Its quality, closeness and disposition stand out in comparison with other firms.

Cristina Vasquez is knowledgeable about public law matters, is efficient in her responses and responds in a timely manner.

It is a firm that gives comprehensive legal advice accompanied by practical and strategic application. Lawyers are always available, friendly, deep in their concepts and with a very important orientation to help the client.

Key clients

Drummond


Sociedad Minera de Santander – Minesa


Diageo


Alianza Fiduciaria


Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá


Construcciones El Condor


Vías de las Americas


Frontera Energy


Sacyr


AC Capitales


Constructora Conconcreto


Consorcio CCC Ituango


Camargo Corrêa Contruções e Participações, Camargo Corrêa Infra


Industria Militar – Indumil


Colombia Móvil


Edatel


Agofer


Odinsa


Sociedad Portuaria Energética Multipropósito y Contenedores Puerto Solo Buenaventura


DB Engineering & Consulting


Terpel


Puerto de Santa Marta Sociedad Portuaria


John Laing


Concesión La Pintada


Work highlights


  • Represented Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogota in a case seeking the collection of “access charges” for around $18m, plus delay interest, alleging the application of a remuneration scheme was different from the one contractually agreed.
  • Advised Sudamericana Integral de Construcciones (Sudinco) on the Navegabilidad del Rio Magdalena bid process.
  • Advised Saur on the due diligence of all of its public procurement contracts as part of the sale of Saur (and six subsidiaries), to Aqualia.

Rincón Castro Abogados

New firm Rincón Castro Abogados, formed in early 2023 with the breakaway of key partners from the former Zuleta Abogados Asociados, utilises its firm-wide dispute resolution prowess to shine in complex disputes, regulatory work and international law matters. The group also advises a mix of multinational companies and state entities on infrastructure projects and investment transactions. The increasingly prominent department is co-led by Rafael Rincón, who specialises in international arbitration, international litigation and public international law; Miguel Castro, who has a focus on public procurement and administrative law matters; and Jorge Tirado, who joined from Colombia’s National Agency for Public Procurement in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Rincón; Miguel Castro; Jorge Tirado


Testimonials

We love working with Rincón Castro. The team responds to our requests without delay and always with the greatest professionalism, involving the same partners in solving our concerns.

The team manages, in a practical way, the problems that are put to its consideration and responds appropriately, so that our problems or concerns are resolved quickly. They are generous lawyers in that they openly share their knowledge and vision, with an approach that often shields our blind spots.

The team’s strengths are its ability and knowledge of the public law area. It compares favourable to other firms. Lawyers make excellent teammates and are attentive.

Key clients

Keralty


Entidad Promotora de Salud Sanitas


WSP Colombia


Sacyr


Isagen


Grupo de Energía Bogotá


Perimetral Oriental de Bogotá


Obras y Servicios (COPASA)


Valtalia Investments


Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia


Oleoducto de los Llanos Orientales


Oleoducto Central (Ocensa)


Transversal del Sisga


M1 Transportes Sustentaveis, sucursal Colombia (TemBici Colombia)


Consorcio SH


KMA Construcciones


La Cascada


Work highlights


  • Representing Obras y Servicios (COPASA) in a constitutional class action and an administrative procedure for the alleged violation of collective rights of protection of cultural heritage of the nation related to the construction of a public hospital project.
  • Representing Isagen in litigation before an administrative court to avoid the imposition of obligations not provided by law.
  • Advising Grupo Energía Bogotá on various matters, including on public law regulatory matters concerning the energy sector, and also on the public procurement and public utilities regimes.

Ariza & Marin

Ariza & Marin’s public law team is distinguished by its ‘commitment to client requirements’. The group’s orientation towards contentious work translates into a practice that is particularly active in disputes concerning government contracts, expropriation, state liability, class actions, and disciplinary and fiscal actions, among other matters. Department co-head Carolina Ariza has extensive experience in public law-related disputes, both arbitral and judicial. Fellow co-head, and senior associate, María Paz Restrepo is also recommended; she joined the team in November 2022 from the Administrative Court of Antioquia.

Practice head(s):

Carolina Ariza; María Paz Restrepo


Testimonials

The office has a large interdisciplinary group, which guarantees comprehensive advice regarding the needs of each user, as well as providing ongoing support and monitoring to obtain the expected results.

Each of its members and partners have great human qualities and assertive communication, among which Carolina Ariza stands out.

The team is distinguished by its seriousness, order and commitment to client requirements. It is a group of professional people, educated, and well presented.

Key clients

AkzoNobel / Andercol


Grupo Argos


Valores Simesa


Caja de Compensación Familiar de Antioquia (Comfama)


Hyundai Engineering and Construction


Acciona Agua


Ingenierías Aliadas


Construcciones El Condor


Concesión Ruta al Mar (Corumar)


Enecon


Work highlights


  • Representing Caja de Compensación Familiar (Comfama) in an administrative action ordering the public authorities to comply with its duties of disaster risk prevention and mitigation, in an area seriously affected by a geological phenomenon.
  • Representing IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture in six proceedings stemming from the destabilisation of hundreds of houses during a construction project.
  • Representing Grupo Argos in several executive proceedings against the Special, Industrial and Port District of Barranquilla following its undue collection of a territorial tax; value $1.6m.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.

Lloreda Camacho & Co.’s firm-wide focus on heavily regulated industries is reflected in its public law practice, which is particularly well versed in representing clients in the infrastructure, telecoms, energy and healthcare sectors. The group handles a wide range of matters, but is primarily recognised for its work in government procurement and infrastructure. Procurement and transactional specialist Andrés Hidalgo co-heads the department together with next-generation partner Carlos Carvajal, whose practice spans government contracting, infrastructure, and real estate.

Practice head(s):

Andrés Hidalgo; Carlos Carvajal


Key clients

Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA)


Enel Group


Gaming Laboratories International


Comcel (America Movil)


European Dredging Company


Permian Global Research


Advanced Sterilization Products Colombia


ITMS Colombia


KMA Construcciones


Thermo Scientific Colombia


Work highlights


  • Advised ISA on the legal feasibility and alternatives to obtain funds for performing environmental projects concerning jaguar conservation in the Andean Region.
  • Advised Enel X, and its Colombian affiliates Colombia ZE and Bogota ZE, on the awarding and the further execution, formalisation and performance of two concession agreements with Transmilenio.
  • Represented Gaming Laboratories International in a bidding process carried out by Lotería de Boyacá.

Medellín & Durán Abogados

Medellín & Durán Abogados is commended for its ‘extensive experience in the public law space’. The team is distinguished by its focus on state-side defence, where it specialises in representing public-sector entities in matters ranging from risk prevention through to administrative and constitutional litigation. Department co-head Carlos Eduardo Medellín brings to bear an impressive track record in public service, which includes a stint as Director of the National Institute of Radio and Television (INRAVISION). Litigator Rodrigo Antonio Durán, also a former Director of INRAVISION, co-heads the group.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Eduardo Medellín; Rodrigo Antonio Durán


Testimonials

The Medellin & Duran firm has extensive experience in the public law space and in addition to this, it fields partners who stay on top of the requirements made by their clients and they are the ones who support us in decision-making.

It has a team of the highest level and reputation both professionally and personally, which makes an entity like ours – which manages so many public resources – feel calm and confident in each of its decisions.

Key clients

Ministerio del Deporte


Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito Público


Secretaría Distrital de Movilidad


Fondo Adaptación


Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano (IDU)


Transmilenio


Comisión de Regulación de Agua Potable y Saneamiento Básico (CRA)


Instituto Geográfico Agustín Codazzi


Ministerio de Educación Nacional


Secretaría de Educación del Distrito


Unidad Administrativa Especial de Catastro Distrital


Transportadora de Gas Internacional


Fondo Nacional del Turismo (FONTUR)


Fiduciaria Scotiabank Colpatria Vocera Patrimonio Autónomo (AEROCAFE)


Unidad Administrativa Especial Aeronáutica Civil (Aerocivil)


Secretaría Distrital de Desarrollo Económico


Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales


AXA Colpatria Compañía de Seguros


Empresa de Metro Bogota


Fondo Nacional de Garantías


Refineria De Cartagena (REFICAR)


Ecopetrol


Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos


Alcaldía Municipal de Soacha


Empresa de Acueducto de Bogotá


Grupo de Energía de Bogotá


Work highlights


  • Advised the Institute Geográfico Agustín Codazzi (IGAC) on various matters, including representation in judicial, extrajudicial, and administrative actions.
  • Represented Transmilenio before the Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca in a dispute with Coobus.
  • Filed a lawsuit on behalf of AXA Colpatria Compañía de Seguros seeking declaration that Axa Colpatria’s insurance policy should not have been charged in relation to the Hidroituango project.

Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados

Real estate powerhouse Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados is noted for its focus on representing real estate investors and construction companies in public law litigation; both at the judicial and administrative levels. The group has also recorded growing activity in handling public procurement proceedings and advising on the pre-feasibility phases of infrastructure projects. Group head David Garzón specialises in litigation before the administrative courts related to land use and real estate law.

Practice head(s):

David Garzón


Testimonials

It has an interdisciplinary team trained to meet our requirements.

We value the team’s willingness to respond to requests, particularly David Garzón.

The team knows the regulations in public law and compare favourably with other firms in the follow-up and rigour of the cases entrusted to it. The team maintains a direct relationship with us as clients.

We highlight the team’s assertiveness in resolving the issues under its charge, as well as its high knowledge and specialty.

Key clients

Estudios Civiles y Sanitarios Essere, Jardines de Paz and Jardines del Apogeo


Tecni Costura


Promotora Morros Epic


Corporacion de Fomento Cultural Corfomento


Sandra Martínez Uribe


Work highlights


  • Successfully represented Promotora Morros Epic in an administrative investigation related to the unlawful use of public property through the construction of three residential complexes.
  • Advised the Unidad Nacional del Gestión de Riesgo–Subcuenta Covid 19 on the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.
  • Successfully represented Tecni Costura in a damages claim brought against the Colombian Ministry of Defence.

Pombo Caballero Abogados S.A.S.

Pombo Caballero Abogados S.A.S. dedication to the public law and public procurement areas has seen the boutique firm establish a strong reputation for its niche expertise in supervision contracts. Other areas of activity include bidding processes, litigation and arbitration. Lawyers are held up for their ‘great knowledge of administrative law’, with particular praise reserved for name partners Rodrigo Pombo and María Paula Caballero, who both handle public law, public procurement and infrastructure matters. In March 2022, director Juliana Fajury Patarroyo arrived from Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados; director Diego Felipe Guzmán Fajardo subsequently moved in the opposite direction, joining Castro Leiva Rendón Abogados in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Juliana Fajury Patarroyo


Testimonials

We use the firm for public law, administrative law, and litigation. Excellent lawyers with mastery of the subject and extensive experience.

We value the team’s personalised attention, efficiency and fair prices.

A highly qualified team for advice in the public procurement field.

Key clients

Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado


Ministerio de Justicia y del Derecho


Agencia Nacional de Minería


Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos (UAESP)


Jan de Nul


Torrescámara


Restrepo y Uribe


Bavaria


AFA Consultores y Constructores


Carvajal Tecnología y Servicios


Consorcio Metroandina


Applus Colombia


Arquitectura y Concreto


Ingeniería de Proyectos


Brinks de Colombia


Procesos & Canje


Norgas


Parex Resources Colombia


Consorcio Interventor ERS


Sodimac


Asomovil


Consorcio Puentes Tibú


CAEM


Lantania


1 Solution


Work highlights


  • Advising Agencia Nacional de Defensa Jurídica del Estado on legal defence strategies and participation in several complex claims involving government entities.
  • Advising the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice and Law on several matters concerning legislative initiatives and public law.
  • Advising Agencia Nacional de Minería on the evaluation, analysis and elaboration of legal concepts and professional opinions that might emerge as part of its inspection function regarding mining titles – especially those related to national-interest projects.