The ‘outstanding’ practice at Baker McKenzie S.A.S. is co-led by partners Ciro Meza and Gustavo Sánchez. With an abundance of high-level tax advice experience for numerous multinational and global companies, the firm stands out as a frontrunner in transfer pricing – having successfully negotiated and executed the first Advance Pricing Agreement ever executed in Colombia. The 11-strong team regularly advises on a range of matters including tax planning, wealth management, tax litigation, compliance, transfer pricing and IFRS tax-related cases. Particular sectors of focus include M&A / transactional advisory and structuring, wealth management, and oil and gas – for which the firm boasts an impressive pool of loyal, high-profile clients. Additional names to note include senior associate Andrea Jimenez, formerly an assistant judge of the Supreme Tax Court, who leads on tax litigation; and associates Carlos Gómez and Laura Durán, who are active in domestic and international tax planning. Former head of the wealth management sub-practice, Rodrigo Castillo Cottin, left the firm in October 2020 to open the Bogotá branch of Rimon Law. Since publication, the firm has substantially strengthened the practce group with the hire of Juan David Velasco from Posse Herrera Ruiz - effective as of April 2022.
Tax in Colombia
Baker McKenzie S.A.S.
Ciro Meza; Gustavo Sanchez
‘Their knowledge of the economic environment associated with the development of the corporate purpose developed by the company in the consultations posed to the firm, along with a multidisciplinary team, provide guarantees regarding the answers obtained.‘
‘The rates are clear and consistent with the quality of the responses obtained, providing transparency in the negotiations.‘
‘Direct contact with partners Ciro Meza and Gustavo Sanchez generates familiarity and a pleasant environment – it is a differentiating factor.‘
‘The support of the team in the transaction is outstanding, from the partner to the junior associates. The comprehensive and timely responses from the different areas addressed to questions that may arise in the course of the transaction, make it standout above the other firms.’
‘Additionally, they show interest in knowing the internal policies and dynamics of their clients, in order to achieve transactions that are consistent with said policies and dynamics.‘
‘After completing our transactions, they have identified sensitive issues for us and have offered us training to do group work and deepen the knowledge regarding the risks associated with these issues.’
‘Baker has experts in different countries, allowing it to solve transnational cases. Although the dialogue is centralised via a central point of contact, which makes things easier, he or she has the comprehensive support of various experts in different jurisdictions.‘
‘People are extremely friendly and understand our inquiries very well. The dialogue is very fluid.‘
‘We have been working directly with Ciro Meza for a long time. The dialogue with him is very pleasant and the quality of his service is impeccable. He is a person who knows how to gain trust, both for simple consultations and for very complex transnational issues. Ciro is and will continue to be our trusted tax attorney.‘
‘Baker’s tax area is characterised by its technical strength, but also by its ability to solve customers’ problems. In addition to identifying tax risks, it is important to highlight its ability to propose alternatives and solutions to the problems faced by companies in tax matters.‘
‘Through their seminars on ‘Taxation in Latin America’, Baker’s tax area shows interesting work for companies with operations in the American continent and with operations in the United States.’
‘Their interconnected knowledge between the different countries of the region makes the reviewing of the tax matters of companies with a presence across Latin America more accurate.‘
‘As a partner of the practice, Ciro Meza is always available to work on the matters that are entrusted to the firm. There is personalised attention from the partner, which allows the firm to always be in constant communication and up to date with the client. Working with Ciro is like working with an internal team, since he knows first-hand the operation and culture of the company.‘
‘They know the local regulations; are up to date and send newsletters.‘
‘We’d recommend Ciro Meza for tax and Daniel for foreign exchange matters.‘
‘Baker lawyers have a general and practical vision of the issues dealt with, propose solutions and look for several viable and applicable alternatives for the resolution of the problem, other firms are generally limited to one scope. We also value the closeness to the team and the availability to attend at any time, and their integrity and experience.’
‘The quality and professionalism of its collaborators is what makes this practice unique. The relationship with their clients is very close. They are very successful in their concepts and their treatment is very professional. Their handling and knowledge of the issues, and their abilities, are their best letters of introduction.‘
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
Public Sector Pension Investment Board
Novator Parners – Partners Telecom
- Assisting Novator Partners with the structuring of its business in Colombia – in particular on it’s entrance into the telecoms market through the acquisition of Avantel Colombia, as well as on its financing structure.
- Advising independent oil and gas company Geopark Colombia on its corporate restructure after the acquisition of UK-based Amerisur.
- Advising Airbnb on the regulations and obligations of extraterritorial VAT rules applicable on foreign domiciled companies in Colombia.
Following the April-2021 departure of key partner Lucas Moreno to EY Law, leadership of the ‘unbeatable’ practice at Brigard Urrutia is now split jointly between Andrés Hernández, who specialises in providing tax advice for PPPs; and Catalina Jaramillo, who boasts extensive experience in disputes and administrative proceedings before the tax authorities. The practice has impressive strength and expertise in the development of tax-efficient structures for both inbound and outbound transactions, often with cross-border components, in areas including M&A, tax-free and taxable acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, spin-offs and dispositions. The group also has notable capabilities in tax disputes, as well as transfer pricing for which the firm maintains a dedicated unit. Key clients in the extensive roster include some of the largest and most well-known companies in Colombia, both local and international. Former senior associate Edgar Ruiz left in April 2020 (and is now tax director at BTG Pactual), and has been replaced by Zaira Cortés, a September-2020 hire from Deloitte Asesores y Consultores who has since been promoted to senior. Noted for its ‘outstanding’ performance, the wider team also includes associates Pablo Ángel (tax consulting, restructuring and M&A), and Daniel Duque (tax consulting and planning). Since publication, the firm has further strengthened the practice with the Janaury-2022 hire of leading individual Adrián Rodríguez from Lewin & Wills, Abogados; he joins as co-head of the practice.
Andrés Hernández; Catalina Jaramillo
‘They are true experts in tax matters. They are young lawyers but with proven experience.’
‘During the pandemic they have innovated a lot in the way they communicate legal news, either with written virtual reports or with webinars.’
‘Their manner with the client is unbeatable: more than external consultants they’re friends of the client and that makes communication with them fluid. They care about the client and elaborate the best legal arguments to defend the matters that they are consulted on.’
‘The lawyers I have worked with are excellent and outstanding professionals, with excellent human qualities. They have very good knowledge and experience in the subjects for which they are contracted, and their management and performance during the development of the contract has been outstanding.’
China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC)
Droguerías y Farmacias Cruz Verde
Metro Línea 1
Transportadora De Gas Internacional (TGI)
PEI Asset Management
- Advised National Clinics on the design and implementation of a structure for the transfer of several clinics and properties to an international buyer.
- Advised Transportadora de Gas Internacional on the preparation of a lawsuit before the Consejo de Estado, successfully obtaining a ruling that modified the judicial precedent regarding the Industry and Commerce Tax applicable to gas transportation services in Colombian territory.
- Advised Nitro Energy Colombia on the preparation of a constitutionality claim before the Constitutional Court regarding the rules that imposed an additional contribution on entities operating in the hydrocarbon sector.
The well-renowned group at Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) is regularly sought after for its tax planning expertise, particularly in relation to M&A and banking and finance transactions. The practice excels under the joint leadership of experienced partners Mauricio Piñeros, who heads the tax team; tax litigation specialist Álvaro Andrés Díaz; and Ignacio Vélez who focuses on tax structuring and estate planning. Work highlights include advice to FCP Fondo de Capital Privado Nuevo Mundo on the design of the tax structure for the sale of Calima Shopping Mall; and advice to Acon Investments LLC on the structuring of an investment in shares in several non-Colombian companies through a Colombian holding company. Senior associate Carolina Bobillier stands out for her ‘collaboration, willingness and constant support’ on some of the most complex transactions undertaken by the practice, recently exemplified by the representation of Experian Colombia in a litigation against the Tax Administration. Fellow seniors Alejandro Sanabria (international tax law and business structuring) and Alejandro Sotello (who was promoted to the post in February 2021), are also noted. Since publication, Bobillier has been raised to the partneship - effective January 2022.
Mauricio Piñeros Perdomo; Álvaro Andrés Díaz; Ignacio Vélez
‘Knowledge and experience and closeness to the client: Álvaro Andrés Diaz and Carolina Bobillier. Innovative consulting services.’
‘They have the knowledge and adequate support for the consultations made; I also note the professional ethics of the team.’
‘Carolina Bobillier – collaboration, willingness and constant support.’
‘They are very close and easy to work with. They generate a lot of trust from the first moment you come into contact with them. They are also agile and versatile.’
‘Closeness and their generation of trust. Also the ability to understand and provide the best solutions to your environment. Working with Ignacio Vélez is easy and versatile, it generates a lot of confidence.’
‘They work with a lot of versatility, they are not rigid and they easily adapt to work schemes.’
‘Knowledge of national and international legislation is a strong point.’
‘Strategy is the team’s best capability to bring the solution into focus after the presentation of the problem by the client.’
‘Dr Álvaro Andrés Díaz is an excellent professional and very outstanding in the knowledge and preparation he has with which to handle any tax problem brought by a client. He has a great experience in approaching the problem and formulating the strategy that seeks the most favourable solution for the client.’
‘The effectiveness and efficiency in the reception of requests, requirements or doubts presented by the client is a strength.’
‘The detailed preparation of various professionals on the team regarding the case of a particular client.’
Greenyellow Energia de Colombia
Fondo de Capital Privado Nuevo Mundo
Bavaria (AB InBev)
Jamestown Latin America Fund
Congelagro (McCain Foods)
MGM Innova Capital
Aerovías del Continente Americano – Avianca
- Acted as tax advisor to ondo de Capital Privado Nuevo Mundo and its investors in designing the structure for the sale of the Calima Shopping Mall to Mall Plaza in a tax-efficient manner.
- Advised Bayport Colombia on the implementation and application of an income tax exemption provided for interest on loans granted to companies dedicated to the generation of micro-loan portfolios.
- Acted for Experian Colombia in litigation against the Tax Administration regarding the amortization of the goodwill generated in the acquisition of the shares in Computec – which was subsequently merged into the company.
Lewin & Wills, Abogados
Specialist boutique Lewin & Wills, Abogados is widely recognised as a leader on M&A tax structuring and international taxation. Boasting a highly experienced and successful team, which has benefited from strategic expansion in recent years to deliver a healthy partner/associate ratio, the 12-strong practice is currently co-led by managing partner Alfredo Lewin (who advises on all tax aspects of cross-border transactions) and Adrián Rodríguez (who heads the tax areas of the firm). Sectors of focus include financial services, infrastructure, retail, oil and mining, and telecoms. Additional key names at partner level are: Luz Clemencia Alfonso, noted for her experience in wealth and estate planning and the development of relevant structures; and Juan Andrés Palacios, who is recommended for domestic and international taxations advisory and litigation including transfer-pricing controversies. However, Cristina Stiefken moved to Cuatrecasas in August 2021. Senior associate Mayerly Collazos, who primarily focuses on tax planning and equity schemes, is also noted. Since publication, Rodríguez has left the firm as of year's end 2021.
Alfredo Lewin; Adrián Rodríguez
‘They have a high level of expertise in tax matters and their concepts are spot on. Among its strengths: knowledge of the subject and technical expertise.’
‘They have a strong commercial orientation, and in that sense, they help the client to be satisfied with the rates paid or the methods of agreeing on them.’
‘Adrian Rodriguez has a high level of expertise on tax matters, he really supports the client in these matters, and thoroughly understands the needs and particularities of their business.’
‘Their knowledge of the regulations and permanent updating generate a high level of trust in their advice. The willingness of assigned attorneys to solve problems and clarify concerns is immediate. The formalisation of critical concepts is a guarantee of seriousness and commitment. With respect to teams from other firms, Lewin & Wills stands out for its problem-solving practice and clear definition of the way forward.’
‘The extensive knowledge and permanent updating of the issues that are the object of the contractual relationship, and its permanent willingness to accompany us and clarify doubts; highlighted: Carolina Trejos.’
‘The closeness of the attorneys assigned to the issues for which they were hired and their knowledge of the corresponding legal and juridical framework makes the advisory and support process very agile throughout. State-of-the-art technology in communications and archives.’
‘The prior and agreed definition of the rate scheme and associated costs is a great plus.’
‘With respect to other offices that have been used, Lewin & Wills stands out for its clarity and permanent support throughout the different processes that are the object of the professional relationship.’
‘Dr Lewin is one of the people with the most experience in tax matters in Colombia.’
‘Both Dr Alfredo and Juan Andres are great professionals. Available and accurate.’
‘In our experience, the work is fast and agile, and the deliverables are practical. They understand the need to produce easy-to-understand recommendations for executive decision making.’
‘We recommend them for their good judgment and tax knowledge.’
‘It is an excellent team.’
‘Good judgment and good advice. They have worked with my attorneys in the USA with respect to my children’s trusts.’
‘Alfredo Lewin is someone outstanding.’
Carbones del Cerrejón
Colombian Central Bank
Southern Bridge Capital
- Representing Carbones del Cerrejón in major tax litigations before the Colombian State Council in controversies related to special deductions, transfer-pricing rules and other tax-related matters.
- Advising real estate fund Southern Bridge Capital on the structuring of investments in Colombia, from a corporate and tax standpoint.
- Provided assistance to pharmaceutical and healthcare products company Syntofarma in an administrative proceeding concerning a substantial tax refund claim and liquidity relief.
Providing a full-service tax offering, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría fields a 19-strong department of specialists. Co-led by managing partner Martin Acero and tax planning and structuring expert Carolina Rozo, the practice features a strong level of interdisciplinary expertise as well as benefiting from cross-border collaboration with its offices in Peru, Chile and Spain. Rozo regularly represents prominent clients in key litigation cases against the Colombian tax authorities, notably among them a successful constitutionality action before the Constitutional Court to rule a 2% 2018 excise tax on real estate unconstitutional. In the wider team, Barranquilla office head, director Héctor Ramírez possesses strong technical knowledge in tax, corporate and transactional matters, while Verónica Barone -promoted to principal associate in January 2021- maintains a practice that covers tax, customs and international trade matters. Active associates Leonardo Cote and Santiago Fernández are also noted. Since publication, Ramírez has been raised to the parntership, effective January 2022.
Martín Acero; Carolina Rozo
Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena
CEPSA Sucursal Colombia
CI Girdle & Lingerie
Sociedad Aeroportuaria de la Costa
- Designed a stock option plan for Conexred, pursuant to Colombian tax, labour, corporate and regulatory implications.
- Advised Postobon on the spin-off and merger of highly important and well-known companies in Colombia.
- Represented Teleperformance in litigation before the Council of State concerning the reimbursement of income taxes, challenging the National Tax Authority’s position.
The practice at Posse Herrera Ruiz is highly regarded for its expertise in all tax-related matters, including tax advisory, restructuring, litigation, transfer pricing, M&A, corporate and international tax, accounting and compliance. The 30-strong team, under the seasoned leadership of founding partner Juan Guillermo Ruiz, acts for a diverse client base of large national and international companies across myriad industries, such as: government, mining, oil and gas, retail, hospitality, finance, agriculture, services, technology, energy and banking. Recent highlights for Ruiz and the team include assisting Sura with the reorganisation of its investment management division in Latin America; BHP on the planning of the sale of its participation in the world’s largest open cast coal mine; and Liberty on the potential purchase of a participation in Cotel which is being sold by Telefonica. Key names to note include partners Juan David Velasco (who leads the transactional team), and Juan Camilo De Bedout (who is head of tax litigation and also maintains strong involvement in the firm’s Medellin office); and associate practice director Jaime Gómez (who heads up the private wealth group). Since publication, Gómez has been raised to the partnership (with effect from January 2022); however, Velasco subsequently left the firm in April.
Juan Guillermo Ruiz
‘It is a very senior team with a clear and practical knowledge of national and international tax matters. We receive direct attention from the partner in the area with great agility in the times and clarity in the answers.‘
‘Experience, immediate attention, professional excellence.‘
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
Medical Properties Trust
ICI Inversiones & Construcciones Industrializadas
United Health Group
- Advised Occidental Petroleum Corporation on structuring the sale of all its oil projects and assets to The Carlyle Group.
- Advised Medical Properties Trust on the funding of the acquisition of three medical centres from National Clinics of Colombia; the transaction involved complex tax analysis given the special regulation concerning clinics and hospitals, and the limitations on interest deductibility in force in Colombia.
- Advised Spanish construction company Sacyr on the tax implications associated with a Rule 144A Reg. S bond issuance to finance the construction of the Cúcuta-Pamplona highway.
Known primarily for its work on complex tax issues in M&A, spin-offs and corporate reorganisation schemes, the full-service tax practice at Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas regularly acts as counsel for a roster of domestic and international clients. The practice group is led by experienced partner Camilo Cortés in Bogota, flanked by key fellow-partners Ernesto Lopez and Carmen Sanabria, along with director of the transfer pricing team Germán Andrés Bohórquez. Experienced associate Natalia Dávila is also noted. Also noteworthy, the firm continues to grow its presence in Colombia (despite the pandemic), with a new office opening in Medellin in 2020.
With deep experience in tax advisory on cross-border transactions and M&A, DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán utilises its global network to excel on advice to its client base of both domestic and international companies, many of which are multinational and /or multilatina corporates. Noted for his ‘efficiency, assertiveness and great communication’, César Camilo Cermeño co-leads the team alongside Andrés González. Cermeño -a February-2020 hire from Garrigues– heads the tax litigation team and demonstrates impressive dispute resolution expertise; while González leads the tax and private wealth areas and focuses on tax in relation to international high-net-worth clients, and tax planning and structuring. Also of note are: associate practice director (as of January 2021), Maria Alejandra Buitrago (tax planning and tax structuring – particularly for collective investment funds and fiduciaries); and senior associates Camila Cuberos (local and international tax law; tax and estate planning, tax structuring in M&A, tax litigation, free trade zones and tax incentives for international trade and foreign investment); and 2020-hire, Catalina Martínez (tax and corporate law; advisory on income and estate tax matters and the structuring and incorporation of business ventures and projects).
César Camilo Cermeño; Andrés González
‘The strengths of DLA’s tax team include the lawyers’ knowledge of our business, their close and strategic accompaniment, being up-to-date on tax issues, and leading on strategies for judicial and administrative processes.’
‘César Cermeño’s qualities include his close relations with the client, his understanding of the business, his efficiency (with updated legal knowledge), assertiveness and great communication.’
‘The relationship of the firm is close, timely and of value for clients.’
Clinica de la mujer
Giros y Finanzas
Grupo Mexichem (now Orbia)
Steward Health Care System
Gerdau Diaco Group
Black & Decker
Genser Power – Proeléctrica
Acueducto Metropolitano de Bucaramanga
Kinco (Burger King Colombia)
Asociación Colombiana del Petróleo
- Assisted Latin American Capital Corporation with the purchase of part of Electricaribe’s energy distribution and commercialisation business, representing approximately 25% of the total market in Colombia.
- Assisted Shell EP Offshore Venture with the tax structuring of its acquisition of participation in three E&P offshore agreements (Fuerte Sur, Purple Angel y Col 5), including the design of an efficient investment structure covering all tax, customs, international trade (free trade zone regime), and foreign exchange matters.
- Advised and represented Ab InBev on controversies in both administrative and judicial fora regarding tax issues against local and national authorities.
The practice at Garrigues has a strong reputation for its 'excellent and technically reliable' work in tax litigation, international and local tax planning, income tax and VAT, as well as high-profile tax reform projects. Heading the team is Camilo Zarama, who boasts extensive knowledge on international tax planning and is also respected in tax litigation. Recent work highlights include advising Cavipetrol (Ecopetrol’s Employees fund) in a controversy regarding its legal nature and impact to taxpayers; representing Kimberly-Clark in multiple controversies against the municipality of Puerto Tejada for the improper charging of the public lighting tax; and advising Patria Investment in the restructuring of its international investment structure. Veteran attorney Fernando Zarama has been involved in the tax field in Colombia for over 30 years and continues to provide support on key litigation cases for the firm. Recently promoted of counsel Laura Galeano is recommended for her transactional tax and tax planning expertise.
‘The practice provides excellent and technically reliable collaboration, diversity, human quality, technical accuracy, knowledge and support.‘
Australis Partners Fund
NH Hotel Group
Winner Group (a subsidiary of Cirsa)
- Advised Praco Didacol (Inchcape subsidiary in Colombia) in the tax planning for the USD$70m acquisition of Daimler’s operation from Mercedes Benz.
- Advising Legis, one of the largest specialised publishing houses in Colombia, in the tax planning for the company’s corporate restructuring, including the tax impact of alternative structures.
- Advising Asociación de Transporte Aéreo de Colombia and AVIANCA as plaintiff in a nullity lawsuit against a stamp tax that the La Guajira Department imposed on all incoming and outgoing planes, passengers, and items from its airports. The stamp violates the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
Mid-sized firm Goh has continued its growth and now benefits from its combination of a boutique-style approach and flexibility, with the ‘extensive knowledge’ and client portfolio of a larger firm. The practice has vast experience in all tax-related matters, with particular focus on tax structuring on local and international transactions, compliance, transfer pricing and tax administration. The firm’s international network of offices allows a strong degree of cross-border collaboration, attracting a number of high-level clients. Leadership is shared between Juan Pablo Godoy, managing partner and head of the foreign trade law and mining and oil law practices; Catalina Hoyos, who heads the tax law and litigation practice; and Mónica Inés Hernández, a specialist in tax advisory work, litigation, and transfer pricing compliance. Other names to note include Luís Felipe Noreña, the recently appointed director of the firm’s Medellin office, who is well regarded by clients; and Catalina Amaris a tax infrastructure specialist based out of Costa Caribe.
Catalina Hoyos; Juan Pablo Godoy; Mónica Hernández
‘Goh stands out for having high-level professionals who provide high-quality advice and are deeply involved in operations – especially with new technologies.’
‘Catalina Hoyos, Catalina Amaris and Juan Pablo Godoy stand out for their outstanding knowledge of tax issues both nationally and internationally for new technologies and telecommunications, with specific knowledge of the business and interest in understanding customer problems.’
‘Goh has extensive knowledge in new technologies and their fiscal impact; its professionals contribute to the development and impact of telecommunications in Colombia.’
‘The experience, intelligence and quality of the direct interaction of Catalina and Luis Felipe with the client. Working with them allows for the understanding of situations, the finding of the appropriate strategy through to documenting effective writings to address the cases. Catalina Hoyos and Luis Felipe Norena are unique in the market for the combination of their experience, intelligence and quality of customer interaction.’
Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos (ECOPETROL)
Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)
Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA)
Gran Colombia Gold / Caldas Gold Corporation
Grupo Ecopetrol: Oleoducto Central, Cenit Transporte, Oleoducto de Colombia
Colombia Telecomunicaciones (Telefónica Group)
- Advising Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) on its financial derivatives and treasury operations, and in a wealth tax claim.
- Advising Gran Colombia Gold and Caldas Gold Corporation on a defence strategy regarding the deduction of royalties and other costs associated with the production of gold and silver, and that is likely to impact the whole industry.
- Advised Ocensa Central on the negotiation and termination of tax litigation with territorial entities.
With highly experienced and knowledgeable partners, boutique firm Quiñones Cruz stands out for its team's depth of technical expertise. The practice works across tax advisory, planning and policy projects, and demonstrates key strength in litigation and tax controversies - notably those involving constitutional law, transfer pricing and sub-national tax. Recent highlights include the successful defence of LG in a CIT dispute before the Council of State, resulting in a sizeable refund for an inaccurate tax penalty; and representing Bavaria on a highly material tax controversy regarding the deductibility of certain financial derivative payments from Bavaria’s CIT. The team is led by Diego Quiñones Cruz, a specialist litigant in domestic and international tax law; founding partner Lucy Cruz who boasts considerable experience in constitutional tax law; and Natalia Quinones, a key player in international tax and planning. Experienced senior associate Nathaly Higuera is both a lawyer and an accountant and also has expertise regarding wealth management.
Diego Quiñones Cruz; Lucy Cruz de Quiñones; Natalia Quiñones
‘Confidence, deep knowledge of tax matters, excellent training of its lawyers.‘
‘In-depth knowledge of taxation and direct customer service.‘
‘Quiñones Cruz Abogados is a firm with extensive experience in tax matters and has advised us for more than 12 years, during which time it has acquired a great record of cases won and establishing jusrisprudence in several of them. It is one of the firms with the greatest reputation and prestige in the country – highly respected and recognised not only by other firms but by the Tax Authorities (local and national).‘
‘Dra Lucy Cruz is widely recognised and respected by all those who have or handle tax matters both in the administrative and judicial stages. Not only as a litigant, she has a great reputation, but also a great reception at the academy where she teaches tax law classes.‘
‘Dr Antonio Quiñones is one of the most recognised lawyers in tax matters of the municipal and departmental order, particularly on the subject of Industry and Commerce Taxes. He has established jurisprudence in several cases that he has brought to our company.‘
‘Dr Diego Quiñones also has extensive international training in tax law and complements his experience very well with that of Dr. Lucy Cruz and Dr. Antonio Quiñones. His contribution is essential in dealing with the cases of multinational companies like ours.’
‘Dra Nathaly Higuera puts at the service of the client not only her training (accountant and lawyer) but also her experience to complement the orientation of the cases attended. It is a great communication channel between the firm and the client.’
‘The partners are really up to date with all the existing jurisprudence. Dr Lucy Cruz always knows the best way to approach a case before the courts. The international experience of Doctor Diego Quiñones is very adequate to support us with the concepts in concerns that are raised by the Corporate Top Management. Associate attorney Nathaly Higuera is a very complete professional and she effectively supports us in our needs.’
It is a highly trained team, we have received excellent advice.
What makes them stand out is the quality of the service they provide and the experience that the team has, in particular Dr Lucy Cruz de Quiñones, in addition to the knowledge that she possesses, she is an excellent human being, always attentive to us. It has been an excellent experience working with Quiñones Cruz
Seguros del Estado
Doka de Colombia
- Represented LG before the Council of State in relation to a CIT dispute between LG and tax authority DIAN for the treatment of commercial conditional discounts and an inaccurate tax penalty.
- Advised Chevron in relation to a group action against various oil and gas producers and DIAN, in relation to the treatment of oil and gas royalties as deductions from the CIT.
- Represented Ecopetrol in a major multimillion-dollar tax controversy with the Municipality of Barrancabermeja concerning business tax (ICA) for the tax year 2014.
Cañon & Cañon Abogados SAS
Specialist tax boutique Cañon & Cañon Abogados SAS offers tax advice and legal services to national and international clients with business in Colombia. The 11-strong team evidences strong interdisciplinary skills, and is co-led by Carlos Andrés Cañón and Carolina Cañón, who both demonstrate strength across tax planning, advisory, compliance, due diligence, and wealth planning. Recent highlights include advising Provenzal – L’Occitane (an international retailer) in relation to national, departmental and municipal taxes. Senior associate Sebastian Bohorquez is also noted.
Carlos Andrés Cañón; Carolina Cañón
‘The firm advises us on accounting and tax issues and develops strategies for the management of a family business. They have immense knowledge of the ever-variable tax regulations of Colombia and their advice is quick and professional. They are superior to other firms that eventually gave me advice.‘
‘They are always available to attend to any request and to do so quickly. The personal treatment is admirable. Doña Leonor de Cañón began many years ago providing us with accounting and tax advice. Later, Carolina Cañón has been key in setting up the company’s business structure and in its subsequent evolution. She has sometimes had to join other law firms for specific jobs and she has done so efficiently and brilliantly.‘
‘The client/firm relationships are excellent and generous as they constantly send information about tax measures and state policies that may have an effect on our company.
‘A very solid family team with very professional knowledge and very transparent. Always looking for solutions and putting the customer first.‘
‘Carolina Cañón and Carlos Andres Cañón are always very well informed about the legal aspects. They are always willing to work and continuously monitor the work. Very knowledgeable about the sector and always up to date.‘
Continua Energy – Trina Solar
Provenzal – L’Occitane
Flora Growth Corp
France Embassy in Colombia
Araujo Ibarra Abogados
Godoy Cordoba Abogados
Invest in Bogota
Brasil Government- Brasil Embassy in Colombia
- Advice to Continua Energy–Trina Solar on the design of an international investment strategy for the development of energy investment projects worth $100m.
- Advising Provenzal–L’Occitane in relation to national, departmental and municipal taxes; the firm also provides tax planning advice to the client.
- Advising Grupo Carrera on corporate national and international tax planning, as well as tax compliance and legal regulatory obligations.
Jimenez Higuita Rodriguez & asociados
Specialist boutique firm Jimenez Higuita Rodriguez & Asociados continued to expand its practice with the hire of four new attorneys during 2020, reinforcing an experienced and capable team under the joint leadership of Julián Jiménez (tax law), Jairo Alberto Higuita (structured tax planning), Carlos Giovanni Rodríguez (tax law) and Bibiana Buitrago (litigation and transfer pricing). Providing comprehensive advice across tax, customs and exchange law, the group is active for a considerable client base in key sectors including: finance and capital markets, healthcare, infrastructure and construction, education, food and drink, and information technology. Additionally, the firm benefits from its collaboration in Colombia with international network firm Andersen Global, facilitating advice to multinationals clients.
Julián Jiménez Mejia; Jairo Alberto Higuita Naranjo; Carlos Giovanni Rodríguez Vásquez; Bibiana Buitrago Duarte
Grupo IAE (Prolectrica & Cia)
Grupo Hada International
Grupo Empresas Gasco
Sociedad Colombiana de Anestesiologia y Reanimacion (SCARE)
- Assisted Grupo IAE (Prolectrica) with the structuring and implementation of the company’s international merger.
- Advising Grupo Coomva on tax obligations with the implementation of its new virtual banking and digital payment methods.
- Assisting Grupo Ethuss with structuring and initiating a private equity fund abroad, as well as restructuring the company’s business lines.
Mauricio A. Plazas Vega Abogados & Asociados
Mauricio A. Plazas Vega Abogados & Asociados (MPV) is a specialist tax boutique that handles local taxation and tax planning, in addition to complex tax controversies and litigation. The practice group’s primary areas of focus include public finance, foreign investment, corporate matters, constitutional law, wealth management and tax issues related to sports law. Currently 15-strong, the team is led by founding partner Mauricio Plazas Vega (‘a benchmark on the subject of tax law‘) who boasts more than 30 years’ experience in the Colombian tax market. In the wider department, key names to note are junior partners María Catalina Plazas (an ‘excellent, agile, fast tax lawyer‘ who heads the tax litigation team), and Andrés Felipe Velázquez (‘great knowledge, cordiality, clarity when presenting his arguments‘, who focuses on national taxes and associated litigation).
Mauricio Plazas Vega
‘The firm displays great depth and rigour in each and every one of its approaches. Transparency, high criteria and timeliness in recommendations characterise the members of the firm, which is a key element in the adoption of corrections and improvements in internal processes with a view to reducing tax risks.’
‘The great academic focus of Dr Mauricio Plazas Vega facilitates the appropriation of the concepts addressed in the different spaces which end up becoming a true kind of tax law, for the different internal and external actors, with or without knowledge about these matters. Finally, a great characteristic of the firm is the high empathy displayed by its different members, especially doctors Mauricio Plazas and Andrés Velásquez, which leads them to put themselves in the shoes of the officials who make decisions and define strategies that facilitates the exercise of our role.’
‘Different members of the firm have taken steps in the academic field. Likewise, they have begun to send information of interest in tax matters for the definition of anticipation strategies regarding the matters handled in our companies.’
‘The team has great knowledge in tax matters, matters are handled directly by its partners and more experienced lawyers, with a conceptual clarity that generates trust and tranquility. It is a team that stands out from other firms.’
‘Andrés Velásquez is an outstanding associate, has great knowledge, cordiality, clarity when presenting his arguments.’
‘The MPV firm compares favourably with the teams of other firms because they have a holistic vision in that they combine with law and finance. A very close and trustworthy treatment.’
‘Dr Mauricio Plazas, in addition to being a benchmark on the subject of tax law, is knowledgeable and has vast experience in the hydrocarbon sector, and also has an irrefutable rate of litigious success. Derived from the personal and professional qualities of Doctor Mauricio, the team he leads follows his guiding principles and that lead to excellent results. Total cohesion.’
‘In addition to the permanent update bulletins, there are time slots to discuss industry problems that allows one to anticipate and reduce risks.’
‘Relevant and accredited academic and professional strength of its leaders, which is transmitted to their teams.’
‘It has a very strong technical reference from the professional and academic perspective in front of peers.’
‘Academic strength and experience in both the consulting and litigation branches of practice.’
‘A diverse team.’
‘The lawyers of the practice are very competent and studious of tax regulations, always doing an exhaustive investigation on the issues to be reviewed. They stand out from other law firms. The customer service is excellent, always very attentive to what the customer needs, fast and punctual with the services, as well as the very good quality of the information.’
‘Catalina Plazas Vega – an excellent, agile, fast tax lawyer, accurate in her concepts, and studious and resourceful in providing the service. Mauricio Plazas Vega, an excellent lawyer who has handled many successful cases; his concepts are very well studied and analysed and he always looks for the best alternatives- and if they do not exist, he is explicit about the risks and consequences of an operation.’
Pacific Stratus Energy
Caja Colombiana de Subsidio Familiar (COLSUBSIDIO)
Yanbal de Colombia
Tonnemax (in bankruptcy)
Carbones del Cerrejón
Meta Petroleum (sucursal Colombia)
- Advised Cemex Colombia on a precedent-setting case related to a lawsuit against the tax assessment review, issued by DIAN, concerning income tax for year 2009.
- Represented Hocol in proceedings against the DIAN in which the client had availed itself of certain benefits that allowed it to pay its obligations with discounts on interest.
- Advised multinational nickel miner Cerro Matosoa on a complex legal opinion and memorandums addressed to the National Attorney General’s Office, regarding the appropriateness of the deduction of royalties.
Rueda Mantilla Abogados
Boutique tax firm Rueda Mantilla Abogados has an experienced team that handles complex cases concerning all financial, accounting and business aspects of tax law, with particular strength in relation to restructuring and insolvency processes. Its client base includes a number of high-net-worth individuals which the group advises on estate planning, as well as local and international companies attended to on transactional matters, such as mergers and spin-offs, as well as on tax assessments. Founding and managing partners Hernando Rueda, an experienced international tax consultant, leads the team, which also includes impressive associate David Rueda. The team was further strengthened in Janauary 2021 with the hire of intermediate associate Eric Steven Dulcey.
Hernando Rueda Amorocho
‘They are a firm with very good knowledge of legal issues and always ready to serve. They obtain favourable results.‘
‘They have good experience, knowledge and communication skills to obtain good results in their performances.‘
‘They seem to always be up to date and regularly hold lectures on current affairs.‘
‘The firm’s analysis and conclusions are robust and the presentation of key points is accurate and in structured documents. The analysis is done from various perspectives, including experts from different specialities. They are very open to challenges.‘
‘Disposition and return of timely calls. Hector Carvajal and Santiago Salazar (what a pity he left).‘
Tax boutique SanintRivas stands out for its specialist transfer pricing, compliance and tax audit experience. Led jointly by founding partners Laura Sanint and Daniela Rivas, the firm is also noted for its strength in litigation and tax controversies. Recent work highlights include assisting Grupo Sura establish a suitable transfer pricing policy in accordance with its business model, latest industry standards, strategic tax considerations and practical compliance issues, and applicable in the different jurisdictions in which the group operates. Sanint demonstrates expertise in local and international corporate reorganisations and tax planning, while Rivas excels in tax consulting, compliance and litigation.
Laura Sanint; Daniela Rivas
‘Laura and Daniela have been key to the international growth of our business. They have specific knowledge that has helped us a lot to understand how we can avoid risks and optimise taxes / costs in our operation.’
‘Laura and Daniela are always available to discuss specific issues, and at the same time they prepare very well to give us more global strategic recommendations.’
‘They understand customer requirements well, respond quickly and efficiently, and are able to give helpful advice.’
‘Laura Sanint stands out for her efficiency and good advice.’
‘It is a young team, led by a woman who has escaped from the traditional molds.’
‘They know, in a strategic way, the impact of transfer prices at a global level, and are critical and constructive in order to improve processes within organisations. I’d highlight their knowledge and attention.’
‘Empathy, the depth of their concepts and the willingness to delve into relevant topics.’
‘Their professionalism, quality of treatment and efficiency. They helped us out of a nightmare!’
‘SanintRivas provides a very personalised service. I have never encountered lawyers who are able to assess client needs with such a high quality of work and direct personalisation. They are the best lawyers I have ever worked with in my career.’
‘They always make me feel like my work is the most important assignment they have, even when I know they are busy. I never feel as if they are unprepared. They take time to really analyse – not just the legal process, but also the overall situation of the business – when making recommendations and processing the assignments.’
‘They are a fully female law firm and seem to use very current and simple billing practices. They have always been very clear about pricing and have always respected our agreements, even when the work and timelines have been extended.’
‘Top-notch knowledge regarding international tax law and implications on different jurisdictions in Latin America.’
‘100% involvement of senior team in every step of the project, from understanding the situation to developing the analysis and finally issuing a recommendation. Other firms don’t devote the same senior/partner time in this sort of project.’
‘Full understanding of new business models (digital and tech-enabled) which results in recommendations and legal strategies that are fully aligned with the “new economy” in Latin America. Bringing into the project experts in the field of intangible asset valuation.’
‘Daniela and Laura possess an ability to provide strategic personal service. They evaluate what works best for you from a practical perspective.’
‘They have introduced a more comfortable flexible billing model.’
‘Their direct relationship and knowledge of our companies allows us to interact with the firm as if it were in-house advice.’
‘Daniela Rivas and Laura Sanint represent our main support in the interaction with the tax and corporate authorities of Colombia, the immediate availability and their deep knowledge of our business allows us to go to the firm knowing that the problems or challenges we encounter will be attended to promptly and with quality.’
‘The firm’s high level of training and its permanent contact with one of the leading universities in the country, allows them to have access to highly trained and motivated human talent.’
Grupo De Inversiones Suramericana
Comercializadora Internacional De Bananeros Unidos De Santa Marta (BANASAN)
Inversiones Y Construcciones (INCOL)
Agrotropic Invest And Trade
- Advising Grupo Sura on establishing a transfer pricing policy according to its business model, the latest industry standards, strategical tax matters and practical compliance issues, and applicable in the different jurisdictions in which the group operates.
- Advising Frubana, a technology group that allows producers of agro products to sell directly to retailers, food services and other large consumers, on setting up a transfer pricing policy in accordance with its business model.
- Advice to (former) Chilean law firm Baraona Fischer Abogados regarding transfer pricing analysis to structure the supply agreements of goods and services by STE Energy (Italia) to STE Energy Chile for the purpose of the EPC agreement between STE. Energy Chile and Enel Green Power del Sur to develop the Campos del Sol Sur energy project.
Cahn-Speyer, Paredes & Asociados
The practice at tax boutique Cahn-Speyer, Paredes & Asociados is led by expert litigator Paul Cahn-Speyer, and fields experienced attorneys in a range of tax-related matters, most notably tax implications in regards to foreign direct investment. The firm also demonstrates experience in transfer pricing matters, restructuring and litigation, international taxation, trade and commerce, and sanctions imposed for non-compliance.
The seven-strong team at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero offers specialist consultancy advice on tax and exchange matters both to companies in the financial sector and to foreign investors, with particular focus on the real estate and energy sectors. The practice is co-led by Natalia Guerrero, who has extensive experience in administrative proceedings and litigation; and July-2020 hire, Santiago Arbouin, who excels in local and international tax, and is tasked with developing the firm’s customs and foreign trade practice. Key associate support comes from Natalia Recio and Laura Rodríguez (who arrived with Arbouin and advise on both tax and ITC matters); however, Javier Orozco left for Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) in June 2021. Recent highlights include advising Nedcoffee on the structuring of its acquisition of a coffee business in Colombia from corporate and tax perspectives as part of its wider handling of the deal.
Natalia Guerrero; Santiago Arbouin
Frontera Energy Colombia Corp (sucursal Colombia)
Electricité de France (EDF Group)
Consorcio Fibra Óptica 2019 – SFI
Harinera del Valle
- Assisted Electicité de France (EDF) with the tax structuring and tax planning for the incorporation of a legal vehicle in Colombia.
- Advised Consorcio Fibra Óptica – SFI, one of the largest suppliers to crude-oil pipeline OCENSA, on a VAT exoneration claim for an optic fibre technology project in the Colombian Sea.
- Advising Banchile Inversiones on the tax planning and tax structuring of an investment in Colombia concerning social housing and real estate projects in different municipalities.
‘A specialised firm with the greatest experience’, tax boutique GHAN Abogados was founded in 2914 and has a strong reputation in tax law, transfer pricing and the tax structuring of projects; moreover, it receives high praise from clients for the depth of knowledge and attentiveness of its lawyers. Practice head Óscar Iván González, is renowned tax expert who ‘stands out' for his ‘high level of tax and corporate competencies'. Recent work highlights include advising Espacio Productivo on qualifying for the renewable-energy-project tax incentives available under current regulations and submission of the relevant documentation before the competent authority to obtain said incentives.
Oscar Ivan Gonzalez
‘I highlight the firm’s work ethic, customer support and concern that the customer understands the tax complexities and prevents any contingency. A unique business ally.‘
‘Oscar is a pragmatic lawyer who quickly understands the client’s needs and transmits his experience and knowledge, not only providing services but also training and strengthening the entire team of the company.‘
‘A specialised firm with the greatest experience and willingness to serve its clients. Permanent and preventive accompaniment. Personalised training on complex matters. Immediate availability.‘
‘Knowledge of legal issues, especially those related to payments to subsidiaries and double taxation treaties.‘
‘In the specific case of Oscar Iván González, his greatest quality is his treatment with the client and his disposition, in addition to his knowledge of legal and tax issues.‘
‘I’d highlight their relationship with the client, disposition, openness, clarity in expositions. Additionally, the collection of fees is fair, it is not disproportionate.‘
‘What differentiates Ghan Abogados is their extensive knowledge of the Colombian tax system, their ease of explaining it, the confidence they give to the client in the tax planning of their projects, their proactivity in finding solutions and their high availability. The quality of Óscar González’s teaching, his knowledge of the sector and his high availability means that a company can be calm, which is key to ensuring the viability of new projects. I have worked with other firms and none have had the quality of Oscar and Ghan Abogados.‘
‘Ghan Abogados is always up-to-date and keeps us up-to-date with the fiscal and legislative tax reforms in Colombia.‘
‘It is a team led by a renowned tax expert, its work is of quality and stands out for its tax knowledge of new technology, development and innovation sectors. Oscar González is a lawyer with high tax and corporate competencies. His work is of high quality and generates added value for his clients.‘
‘It is a firm at the forefront and that adapts quickly to changes.‘
Automotores Toyota Colombia
Enerfin Sociedad de Energía
Carestream Health Colombia
- Advising Elecnor and its Colombian subsidiary on all matters related to the tax structuring of its EPC Agreement with Isagen for the design, development and construction of a 20MW wind farm.
- Advising Automotores Toyota de Colombia in connection with the tax structuring and tax risk management analysis of the company’s newest loyalty plan, intended to improve its post-sale services.
- Advised Spendlab’s subsidiaries in the US, The Netherlands and Mexico on its international tax strategy to enter the Colombian market.
Montaña & Consultores Asociados
Praised by clients for its proactive approach, specialist boutique Montaña & Consultores Asociados stands out for its ‘rigour and professionalism’. The seven-strong team specialises in issues of fiscal policy and tax administration in relation to urban law and financing instruments for development. Joint heads of practice Magda Cristina Montaña (a former deputy Legal Director of Tax and District Director of Taxes at the Capital District of Bogotá’s Ministry of Finance), and associate legal practice director Andrea Monsalve have particular expertise in administrative tax law and international planning, having acted recently in a number of cases involving structuring and regulatory proposals. Environmental law specialist Yolyn Carolina Rodríguez is the director of the urban and real estate practice at the firm.
Magda Cristina Montaña; Andrea Monsalve
‘What makes it unique is the rigour and professionalism of the work team, as well as the proactive attitude that is maintained throughout the work.‘
‘As regards the strengths and abilities of the team, there is a complementarity of the technical specialties with the strength of very good direction of the team on each mandate.‘
‘The plus is their experience and their willingness to answer questions and requirements.‘
‘Their best qualities are responsibility, commitment, and professionalism. Magda Montaña, Andrea Monsalve, Yolyn Carolina Rodriguez and Óscar Borrero are all outstanding.‘
‘There was a permanent and continuous availability of the technical team to advance and resolve concerns in various settings and with various actors. In this sense, the comparison with other firms is that this willingness to collaborate and the search for excellence make this team at Montaña y Consultores Asociados stand out above others.‘
Alcaldía de Barranquilla
Alcaldía de Bucaramanga
Area Metropolitana de Bucaramanga
The World Bank
Gobernación del Atlántico
Idom Consulting, Engineering, Architecture
Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional
- Legal analysis and advice to The World Bank on the economic impact crisis generated by the COVID-19 on the cadastral appraisal, property tax, delineation tax, capital gains, appreciation contribution and betterment levy.
- Advised the Área Metropolitana de Bucaramanga on the implementation of a multipurpose cadastre in the municipalities of Bucaramanga, Girón, Piedecuesta and Floridablanca, as well as on the correct exercise of the cadastral functions assumed from assuming the position of cadastral manager.
- Advised Kfw on a legal and regulatory proposal for the correct implementation of surface rights and the structuring of a pilot project for its application in the city of Medellín (Law 2019 of 2021, article 54).
Osman Abogados -formerly Osman Rodríguez Abogados until December 2020- is a small, three-strong tax boutique headed by Pedro Pablo Osman and specialising in tax consulting on national and subnational taxes, planning, cross-border transactions, due diligence and tax litigation. Warmly endorsed by clients, the practice has a focus on key industries including pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, mining, healthcare, telecoms and real estate. Associate Jorge Benavides is also recommended.
Pedro Pablo Osman
‘Osman Abogados offers us knowledge of legal regulations and financial advice tailored to the nature of our companies – given that we are a strategic media alliance, constituted as a consortium and our mission is very specific.’
‘The knowledge that Osman Abogados has of our operations allows us to facilitate the different consultancies we require. This is an advantage over other consulting companies.’
‘Relationship, knowledge of our operations and trust are an important differentiator.’
‘Attention and communication are among their outstanding qualities – which are sometimes difficult to find in the competition.’
‘Flexibility in understanding our needs makes a difference.’
‘Definitely the relationship with the people and the collaboration we receive is an advantage over others.’
‘The close treatment of the managing partner Pedro Osman.’
‘The team is very qualified and the lawyers are always available to the clients.’
‘Pedro Pablo Osman is very capable and an outstanding lawyer in tax law. His competitive advantage is his ability to anticipate the tax risks so as to take decisions on time.’
‘Legal support with a complete vision in specific different legal areas.’
‘Osman Abogados combines extensive knowledge of the legal tax landscape in Colombia with personalised high-level attention.’
‘Pedro Pablo Osman is very knowledgeable, immerses himself in our company’s issue at hand, and provides creative solutions quickly.’
‘The firm continues to impress thanks to innovative solutions, delivered in a timely manner, and great availability of the senior partner.’
‘They are very good strategists and give the client options.’
‘The very high level of knowledge and experience of Pedro Osman, who provides advice and monitors the responses of his team.’
‘Personalised attention; being a boutique firm, the level is higher than that provided by junior lawyers.’
‘ It takes advantage of virtuality in the speed of meetings and its responses.’
‘It is a very professional team and of high quality in its advice. Their accuracy is excellent.’
‘They definitely stand out against teams from other firms.’
‘Its associate lawyers are in charge of dealing with issues with immediacy, professionalism and coordination. The knowledge in the different legal areas, allow the issues to flow with confidence and tranquility for us clients.’
‘The firm’s advice and technological aids have been fundamental in this time of pandemic. The service has been maintained with high standards, despite the obligatory virtuality.’
Consorcio Canales Nacionales Privados
SIMGEA Edificaciones Sostenibles
Stanley Black & Decker Colombia Services
Lycée Français Louis Pasteur
Organización Fundación de la Mujer
Organización La Paz
RB Deco (Roche Bobois)
- Tax and legal advisory to structure an online marketplace for the sale of products by the entity’s clients.
- Tax and legal advisory to determine the specific tax benefits for two sustainable construction projects upon obtaining -in 2020- the official environmental certifications that are mandatory to claim said tax benefits.
- Tax and legal advisory to a Colombian company for the sustainable production of medical cannabis.
Paniagua & Tovar Abogados S.A.
New to the rankings this year, boutique firm Paniagua & Tovar Abogados S.A. provides a highly specialised service in complex mandates covering all elements of tax advice, including tax planning, business structuring, wealth planning and tax litigation before the national and local tax authorities. Clients include a host of household name, local and international companies. The six-strong team is co-led by name partners Jorge Camilo Paniagua (tax and foreign exchange) and Mario Felipe Tovar (strategic tax); along with Carol Caita Correa, who focuses on the customs and foreign trade aspects of the practice. Work highlights include advising Damen Shipyards Gorinchem on a contract related to the development of a marine research vessel for client Dirección General Marítima, including consideration of the tax efficiencies arising from the import of technology from the Netherlands to Colombia, the mitigation of the tax impact for the contracting parties and customs optimisation of the operation.
Jorge Camilo Paniagua; Mario Felipe Tovar; Carol Caita Correa
Equirent Vehículos y Maquinaria
Extractora La Gloria
Corporación Enlace Internacional
M R de Inversiones
Servicios Técnicos Portuarios
OHL Industrial Colombia – OHLIndustrial
Sociedad Hotelera Tequendama
Subway Partners Colombia
Cóbico – Familia Zambrano De Castro
Damen Shipyards Gorinchem
Porfenc de Colombia
Wahl Clipper Colombia
Qmax Solutions (sucursal Colombia)
Societe De Cooperation Pour Le Développement International (Socodevi)
Sociedad Colombianad de Expansión Agropecuaria (SOCEAGRO)
- Successfully represented Grünenthal Colombiana before tax authority DIAN in a claim for compensation of losses following its 2014 merger with ABL Pharma that resulted in offset tax losses of over $10m.
- Advising Sibelius Empresarial on the tax structuring of its eponymous construction project.
- Advised Banco Finandina on the exchange and tax structuring of a financial product of the Bank which facilitates the placement of credits with tax efficiency.
With particular expertise advising on all legal-related matters in the aviation industry, the ‘outstanding’ team at Parra Rodríguez Abogados is well regarded by clients for its fair and dedicated advice. The practice of co-led by Álvaro Parra, who has a strong track record in acting for high-profile national and multinational corporations, as well as high-net-worth individuals, from both the public and private sectors; and María Margarita Parra, who boasts a wealth of experience in tax consultancy, planning, compliance, restructuring and litigation. Key associate support is provided by corporate practice director Luís Fernando Díaz and intermediate Juan José Goyeneche. Notably, the practice was further strengthened with the hire of senior Marcela Cadavid from KPMG en Colombia in February 2021.
Álvaro Parra Gómez; María Margarita Parra Gómez
‘It was a pleasant experience to find a committed and accomplished team. I also found that they have certainly mastered the subject and I have found their appraisals to be correct. I would not hesitate to go to the Parra Rodríguez Abogados team again.’
‘Their human warmth apart from their knowledge. Alvaro Parra and his team in the tax sector are ready to listen to large or small concerns. Managing partner Bernardo Rodriguez has clear and definitive guidelines, meaning that we do not waste time.’
‘The firm’s strength is its people, their knowledge, and the depth of their analysis and conclusions. Their responses are clear and precise at all times.’
‘The team is outstanding.’
‘Particularly this year, they have helped us with all the requirements and surprise visits from the Colombian tax authorities (DIAN).’
‘They have also helped us with tax planning. Álvaro Parra, who is the partner of the area, is always in charge of all issues. Also, Marcela Cadavid and Juan José Goyeneche are noteworthy.’
‘Comparison with teams from other firms does not take place. Being a medium / small client, in no other office have I been assisted like in this one, in all the processes that I have carried out with them, a name-partner has sat down without counting the hours to give me all the attention I have needed. The cost benefit is very high, and the long-term recommendations that have always been made to me show a lack of interest in billing individual hours from an impeccable customer service policy. The interdisciplinary team behind each consultation knows in depth the details of the problems to be solved and proposes constant alternatives and solutions.’
‘Not only is it a plus, it is an asset with which you can hardly compete. The service policy of this firm is unmatched by any other firm I have worked with before. Dr Álvaro Parra has been at the forefront of each of our requirements taking the time so that each section of work is a master class.’
‘The technical and professional practice that this firm lends us is clearly monetisable, especially in tax consulting, they are a clearly a partner for growing businesses.’
‘This firm has a very clear look at the exercise of acquiring new clients, providing lateral services and constant consultation. As a novelty for us, the support that occurs after each consultation is close and efficient.’
Krauss Maffei Andina
GE Capital Aviation Services
Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
Fundación Abood Shaio
Netcracker Technology Colombia
BMC Software Colombia
People Performance International
- Assisted Krauss Maffei Andina on creating a legal regional matrix of taxes applicable in 20 jurisdictions where the client has business operations.
- Advising GE Capital Aviation Services regarding the taxation of airliner use in Colombia, as well as regarding operation financing and fiduciary rights contracts.
- Advising Knauf International on national and territorial tax issues regarding its operations in Colombia, as well as on income taxation applicable to Knauf’s expatriate employees.
Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados
The tax practice at Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados is particularly known for its expertise regarding the firm’s core practice, real estate, where it advises both specialist market players and household-name clients on all tax-related matters. Beyond the real estate segment, the group also evidences solid capabilities in dispute resolution related to national and local taxation, and individual and corporate tax planning. María Helena Padilla leads the team, demonstrating extensive experience in transactional, advisory, and litigation work. At associate level, senior tax advisors Melissa López and Viviana Africano Franco (a February-2020 arrival from Ruiz & Asociados Abogados) are the key names to note; both handle tax consultancy, statements and planning.
María Helena Padilla Bello
MPS Mayorista de Colombia
Monsaterio Benedictino Tibati
- Advised Entorno Urbano on a strategy to increase the value of five properties and neutralise the gift tax’s impact on the sale, according to tax laws before the IGAC (Instituto Geográfico Agustin Codazzi).
Rodríguez Bravo Abogados S.A.S.
The four-strong tax team at boutique firm Rodríguez Bravo Abogados S.A.S., founded in 2015, strikes ‘a very good balance between experience and innovation’. Specialising in tax and exchange regime law, Sebastian Rodriguez leads s practice that has also earned a fine reputation for successful tax planning. The group works for a number of high-profile clients – notably in 2020 for Scotiabank, among others, and has also recently seen growth in its tax litigation offering.
Sebastian Rodriguez Bravo
‘What makes this practice unique is the level of knowledge, professionalism and confidence. Compared to other firms, it stands out in its level of service and the quality of its advice and support during the processes.’
‘Our company is personally advised by Dr Sebastián Rodriguez. Starting with his technical and professional excellence, his disposition is permanent and empathetic. That for us is unique in the market.’
‘The firm evolves agilely as necessary. They recently renewed their billing processes, which is more expeditious, fully electronic, which facilitates internal administrative tasks in our company. We have only obtained this level of service and transparency in billing with the Rodriguez Bravo firm.’
‘Excellent, very competent and diligent. They achieve the result in the best way. Personalisation. It’s like being at home and their knowing what you really need.’
‘Always very informative. sharing updates of new changes in legislation. Very proactive.’
‘What makes the practice unique is that it is personalised, has absolute confidentiality, quality of information of the highest level.’
‘The strengths of the Rodriguez Bravo team are the following: it is a team with high legal investigation capabilities; they take the time to understand the context of the query so that whenever we have tax questions in the company we can always turn to him and his team.’
‘Rodriguez Bravo is agile, has regulatory knowledge, they are very responsible and their great advantage over other firms is the agility of the responses, the honesty in the management of the hours charged and the effectiveness of the solutions and the concepts they issue.’
‘Sebastian Rodriguez Bravo’s knowledge is deep and up-to-date; the plus is in the agility of the responses – they’re timely, one does not wait for days like at other firms and the quality of the information and legal concepts delivered are excellent.’
‘Rodriguez Bravo Asociados migrated to electronic billing last year and has state-of-the-art technological tools that allowed in times of a pandemic that there would be no service interruptions or problems with the handling of confidential information.’
‘Conceptual clarity is an important strength, however the big difference is made by the fact that they spend time getting to know the business and the internal dynamics and the environment so that the legal assessments are much more robust and clear.’
‘Their high knowledge and professionalism have never clashed with the friendliness of the firm’s team, which has permitted a very close relationship with our team in the company. Sebastián Rodríguez is always at the front of the issues and dedicates quality time to understand the priorities and the detail of the needs in a consultation.’
‘It is a firm that manages a very good balance between experience and innovation (technological and media tools) that today is a key element in the efficiency of business dynamics and advice. Response times are excellent.’
Corporacion Punto Azul
Quibi y Biofluidos laboratories
The tax practice at Contexto Legal S.A. provides comprehensive advice on tax and exchange planning, tax advisory and litigation, to a number of clients across key industries, including: finance, transport, technology, environment and telecoms. The practice is led by Federico Escobar, following the departure of Carlos Andres Gonzalez to Ernst & Young Asesores Ltda in 2020. Escobar leads the tax law, family and business estate planning teams, and is an expert tax consultant for both private individuals and companies. Another name to note is associate Marcela García Ciro.
Federico Escobar Benavides
Libera Suply Chain Finance
Compañía de Créditos Rápidos
The Consumer Goods Forum
Brickell Travel Management
International Flavors & Fragrances
Corporación San Pablo
Transportes Rápido Ochoa
Choucair Cárdenas Testing
Trichem de Colombia
- Assisted The Consumer Goods Forum on the design of a corporate and tax structure for the operations of the organisation in Latin America.
- Tax litigation on industry and commerce tax for International Flavors & Fragrances.
The tax practice at Lloreda Camacho & Co. advises numerous clients across the pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, mining, retail and telecoms sectors. The team specialises in advice on tax planning alternatives and the interpretation of international tax regulations. The team has also been involved in significant projects related to non-profit entities. Practice head Ignacio Santamaria has a particularly strong track record in tax advice for mining and energy companies. Former senior associate Julian Andrés Peña moved to Posse Herrera Ruiz in May 2021, since when key associate support comes from Juan Fernando Díaz Reyes, who was promoted to senior in August.
‘The team is very professional and also incredibly friendly. We always use them and we are very happy with them.‘
‘Apart from having spectacular knowledge, Andrés Hidalgo (the partner we work with), always has the best disposition, the best ideas, and the best human quality of all the partners with whom we have worked.‘
‘The firm’s people are of an unmatched human quality. Apart from being excellent professionals, they are upstanding and warm people.‘
Thomson Reuters de Colombia
Tamaro (Barbato family)
SNF (sucursal Colombia)
Sealed Air Colombia
- Advised Multidimensionales on a request for the reimbursement of a balance-in-favour before the National Tax Authority (DIAN).
- Advised Thomson Reuters de Colombia on the tax implications derived from transferring its services provider from a Colombian to Brazilian company.
- Advised SIEL on income tax withholding implications as applied to services that the client provided from abroad and regarding selling goods in Colombia.
The newly-established Colombian office of international firm Rimon PC joins the rankings this year, with the introduction as head of practice of experienced partner Rodrigo Castillo Cottin, following his departure from Baker McKenzie S.A.S. in October 2020. The ‘best-in-class’ tax and estate planning practice demonstrates a wealth of experience in private wealth and tax structuring matters, with clients seeking-out Cottin for advice in complex multi-jurisdictional reorganisations. Key associate support is provided by senior Ana María López Murillo; the practice gaining further depth and capacity with the February 2021 arrival of semi-senior Alejandra Becerra (an accountant with a tax specialisation). Since publication, the firm has surprised the market with a merger to become Ibarra Abogados Rimon Law.
Rodrigo Castillo Cottin
‘Rodrigo Castillo and his team of experienced professionals are best in class in Colombia among private wealth and tax attorneys. They understand the complexities of Colombian tax law and the intersection of such laws with the laws of other jurisdictions, most notably the US. They are responsive and pleasant to work with. They provide clear answers to complex questions. Rodrigo Castillo is most notable for his expertise and knowledge of intricate tax laws. He also provides timely and valuable updates on Colombian tax law. He is an excellent resource for US professionals in dealing with Colombian tax and estate planning laws.’
‘The legal team is diverse with several female attorneys holding senior roles in the group.’
‘Very organised practice; the individual I work with is top of the line. Not only because of the complete professional knowledge, capabilities and discipline, but who -as a person- is someone who inspires trust, a positive attitude and always welcomes challenges with a smile and readiness. The least that can be said is that the individual is fully dedicated to the customers needs and always one step ahead and will always be very sincere with the matter in hand.’
‘The billing system is very nice. Simple and clear. Wonderful for busy clients.’
‘They have a great knowledge of Colombian tax law and its interaction with tax laws abroad. They formulate solid legal solutions with good foundations. The greatest quality is that they permanently monitor what they are doing, proactively solving problems. It keeps clients informed of the different changes in the laws, and their impact on the industries. When something changes, they are proactive in contacting the customer.’
‘I was impressed by the depth of knowledge in “wealth management” issues, a topic which I had treated lightly as an after-thought. I was given a thorough briefing on the subject with sensitivity to the risks and opportunities. I was also impressed by the resourcefulness of the team to explore diverse options, pulling experts with a global perspective and a relentless drive to tailor the solution to the client’s specifications and expectations. Throughout the process I felt a close proximity to Rodrigo Castillo Cottin who understood my concerns, providing alternative solutions and crafting sound proposals. I felt very comfortable with the time availability and dedication, follow-up on open items, attention to detail and thorough explanations of risks, opportunities and impacts. I had the sensation that he truly cared about me.’
‘I felt very comfortable with the “deep dive” approach to personal estate matters, looking from different perspectives, comprehensive discussions of options and empathetic understanding. I was favorably impressed by the ability to pull expertise from a contact network at a global scale that added significant value. For this particular engagement on my estate planning, I did survey other firms and selected Rimon Law not only for its expertise but also on the feeling of providing a personalised service and focus with dedication to the subject matter.’
‘Rodrigo Castillo Cottin’s team at Rimon law are our ‘go to’ advisors for all Colombian tax matters. Rodrigo is responsive. He gets to the nub of the matter quickly and directly and focuses on the issues which need addressing.’
‘Rodrigo is responsive; timely; able to focus on the issues at hand.’
‘The firm, Rimon Law is by far the best legal advisor that we have at our Family Office. The plus: The proximity, availability and precision of their opinions.’
‘They differ in terms of clarity, and response time. The issue of billing is much clearer than the competitors.’
‘Best qualities: Rodrigo Castillo is a very observant person, who is always ready to provide solutions and warn of risks. The personal relationship and closeness. The willingness to always support projects, regardless of size and complexity.’
‘The depth of expertise in their areas of specialty and proactive support.’
‘Rodrigo Castillo Cottin brings extensive expertise with a systematic and logical process that makes all things understandable and in doing so finds solutions.’
‘It is a unique team. Not only in the knowledge and updating of national and international laws, but in general in everything they transmit that gives their clients a unique tranquility that is not easy to find. Rodrigo compares well to all the attorneys I’ve ever met. The personal relationship is more than admirable. This quality, plus their knowledge, is enough to consider them as an asset. Rodrigo Castillo and his team are very easy to contact, they get across very easily, they are very attentive to their clients.’
‘The team of lawyers has an excellent service with its clients. They always have an attitude that seeks clear and quick solutions and their answers are immediate. I highlight the good service and the method of its process; Rodrigo Castillo Cottin / Ana Maria Lopez.’
Sanclemente Fernández Abogados S.A.
With a particular focus on energy, oil and gas, mid-sized firm Sanclemente Fernández Abogados S.A. advises on all legal matters related to tax, customs and foreign exchange. The practice is led jointly by senior partners José Gabriel Fernández and Diana Sanclemente with key support from October-2020 hire, senior associate Juan Carlos Díaz (who replaces Catalina García who moved into the public sector at tax authority, DIAN), and intermediate Manuel Niño. Recent matters include advising on the consequences of profit distribution operations and the payment of dividends in light of double taxation agreements.
José Gabriel Fernández; Diana Sanclemente
- Advising Megalabs Colombia on the filing of local tax returns on behalf of merged entities, as well as on compliance with local tax rules in order to achieve cancellation of defunct registrations as a taxpayer.