Noted for its ‘great technical knowledge‘, Baker McKenzie S.A.S.‘ impressively broad tax group is equipped to advise on the full range of tax planning and wealth management issues through to compliance, litigation and transfer pricing. Among its key attributes, satisfied clients commend it as ‘well versed in matters connected to taxation of foreign entities‘, which is evidenced by its ongoing advice to multinationals such as Airbnb, Facebook and Schlumberger. That being said, the group maintains an enviably strong position locally, with major domestic companies like Isagen turning to the firm for tax support. Following the arrival of transactional tax specialist Juan David Velasco from Posse Herrera Ruiz in April 2022, the team is now co-led by three partners, with Velasco sharing the practice leadership with Ciro Meza, who is highly regarded for his strong skill sets in planning, consulting and contentious tax; and Gustavo Sánchez, who leads the transfer pricing practice. The senior team also call on a capable pool of dedicated tax associates including Laura Durán, Andrea Jimenez and Carlos Gómez.
Tax in Colombia
Baker McKenzie S.A.S.
Ciro Meza; Gustavo Sanchez; Juan David Velasco
‘Baker McKenzie is characterised by its quality of service and familiarity with the client. It generates spaces to interact and learn first-hand the needs to be met and the values of the company.’
‘Baker McKenzie Colombia assists us with tax consulting matters, mainly related to non-resident VAT matters and other non-resident tax issues. The team is well versed in matters connected to taxation of foreign entities in the country, VAT matters, and specific tech industry matters.’
‘The team is very responsive, always able to assist and demonstrates great technical knowledge.’
‘Ciro Meza is a great professional with very good human qualities that stand out within the tax bar. In addition to being a consultant, he is a friend who supports us in the legal process.’
‘In my opinion, the team’s responsiveness is what differentiates it from other practices.’
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)
Public Sector Pension Investment Board
Novator Parners – Partners Telecom
- Assisting Novator Partners with the structuring of its business in Colombia and on its merger with Avantel Colombia.
- Advising Airbnb on the regulations and obligations of extraterritorial VAT rules applicable on foreign domiciled companies in Colombia.
- Advising Facebook on several matters, including on its business structure in Colombia and its tax obligations.
The tax department at Brigard Urrutia is held up by sources as ‘an interdisciplinary team that provides all the services associated with tax law‘. With its extensive experience spanning tax structuring, day-to-day advisory, transfer pricing and contentious matters, the group stands as a full-spectrum standalone offering that brings together lawyers, accountants and economists to provide comprehensive advice. The group was recently bolstered at top level by the January-2022 hire of all-round corporate tax specialist Adrián Rodríguez from Lewin & Wills, Abogados. Rodríguez -elected President of the Colombian Tax Law Institute in July 2022- now co-heads the practice alongside increasingly prominent tax litigator Catalina Jaramillo and tax planning partner Andrés Hernández, who demonstrates ‘excellent handling of complex issues‘. Among the group’s associates, director Daniel Duque and senior Zaira Cortés are both noted for tax consulting and planning matters. Senior associate Pablo Ángel left in June 2021 to join Ernst & Young Asesores Ltda.
Catalina Jaramillo; Andrés Hernández; Adrián Rodríguez
‘It is an interdisciplinary team that provides all the services associated with tax law matters. It is not necessary to go to any other firm, because Brigard Urrutia’s team can take care of complex and day-to-day issues without problems.’
‘Whenever we need it, we have the direct support of the partners or directors. Additionally, the tax team has constant interaction with other teams, so cross-practice advice is very fluid and efficient. It shows that the firm is a very professional organisation with great knowledge of clients.’
‘Lawyers are absolutely up to date. They also have excellent relationships with the tax authorities, so it’s easy to trust that their comments and advice take into account the latest developments and trends. They hold events and produce very useful academic material for clients — they go above and beyond with their services.’
‘The team’s interest in being efficient and offering clear and useful alternatives and answers is evident.’
‘Andrés Hernández has lots of experience, demonstrates excellent handling of complex issues and is willing to find solutions. Very quickly he has become a trusted advisor.’
Two way stadiums
Desarrollos y Proyectos
Transportadora De Gas Internacional (TGI)
Caribbean Financial Group
Linea 2 Metro de Bogotá
- Advised Productos Familia on the design and implementation of a structure to sell a significant interest in the company to Essity Hygiene and Health.
- Advised Two Way Stadiums on tax planning and day-to-day advisory in connection with the design and implementation of Arena del Río, a large-scale stadium in Colombia.
- Acted for Desarrollos y Proyectos on the design and implementation of a multi-vehicle and multi-level structure to invest in a renewable energy project.
Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)
Among Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA)'s key differentiators, sources praise the tax group’s ‘strong knowledge of the client’s business' as well as its ‘ability to provide an overview of regulations throughout the region'. The sizeable department grew to four partners in January 2022, following Carolina Bobillier's promotion to the partnership, and the breadth-and-depth of the practice is evidenced by a broad offering spanning tax planning, transactional tax structuring, transfer pricing and tax litigation. Mauricio Piñeros continues to head the group and is recognised for his adept handling of corporate and finance-related tax matters, foreign investment and tax litigation. Other senior names include tax litigation specialist Álvaro Andrés Díaz and tax consultancy and planning partner Ignacio Vélez. The ‘professional team' also draws upon senior associates Alejandro Sanabria, who focuses on international tax law and business structuring; and Alejandro Sotello, who sits in the tax and customs practice.
‘We highlight the team’s skills, extensive knowledge of taxes and ability to provide an overview of regulations throughout the region. It is a team with high seniority and experience in various industries.’
‘In comparison to other offices, GPA is very specific in its opinions; this is achieved because it takes time to understand the business before giving advice.’
‘GPA fields a professional team with extensive experience, not only in private practice but also in other roles such as tax director, which helps the team to understand the specific needs of clients.’
‘The team’s ‘plus’ is that its lawyers’ experience is not exclusively in signing; it helps that they understand the management details and how plans should be executed. Strong knowledge of the client’s business, customer service and availability.’
Fondo De Capital Privado Nuevo Mundo – Compartimento 1
Greenyellow Energía De Colombia
Alvarez & Marsal / HH Global Colombia
Cosco Shipping Lines Colombia
Booking Com International
Aerovias Del Continente Americano (Avianca)
Productora De Alimentos Concentrados Para Animales Contegral
Partners Telecom Colombia
- Advised Fondo De Capital Privado Nuevo Mundo – Compartimento 1 on tax structuring concerning the $127m sale of Centro Comercial Calima to Mall Plaza.
- Advised Greenyellow Energía de Colombia on tax planning and structuring matters concerning the acquisition of Termonorte, a Colombian renewable energy source RES project SPV.
- Provided tax advisory to Alvarez & Marsal in relation to structuring the reorganisation of the investments of HH Global in Colombia.
Lewin & Wills, Abogados
Tax boutique Lewin & Wills, Abogados is highly sought after for its long-established reputation as a leader in M&A tax structuring and international taxation. The firm can turn its hand to tax matters in all industry sectors but is particularly active in the technology, financial services, infrastructure, retail, energy and telecoms spheres. Managing partner Alfredo Lewin now solely leads the department, following the departure of former co-head Adrián Rodríguez in December 2021. Lewin is highly regarded for his comprehensive expertise, which spans transactional tax, income and estate tax, transfer pricing and arbitral proceedings. The team also includes Luz Clemencia Alfonso, who focuses on domestic and multinational consulting and tax planning; Juan Andrés Palacios, who is noted for consultancy and contentious matters; and Federico Lewin, who was promoted to partner in January 2022. However, Cristina Stiefken moved to Cuatrecasas in August 2021. Key support is provided by senior associate Mayerly Collazos, who has an emphasis on tax planning.
Carbones del Cerrejon
Banco de la República
Southern Bridge Capital
China United Engineering
Talisman Oil & Gas
- Representing Carbones del Cerrejon in major tax litigation cases before the Colombian State Council and other tribunals in Colombia, including in controversies related to special deductions, transfer-pricing rules and other tax-related matters.
- Advising Disan on tax law, including on corporate structure-related matters and tax controversies before national and local tax authorities.
- Advising Tapestry Compliance in Colombia on advisory matters related to compensation plan consultations for clients such as Weber, Morgan Stanley, Ericsson, Ingredion and Dell.
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría
‘In tune with the client’s needs', Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría's tax team impresses sources for its ability to join up with other areas of the full-service and multi-jurisdictional firm to provide ‘comprehensive tax advice that takes into account almost all of the possible implications'. Standing as one of the most dominant tax practices in the market, the group routinely advises on tax planning, transactional tax structuring and tax litigation — it also benefits from a thriving transfer pricing unit. Key figure Martín Acero is noted for his experience in corporate, transactional and private client tax and co-heads the department alongside Carolina Rozo, whose practice takes in tax consultancy, tax planning and litigation. The group additionally includes Barranquilla office head Héctor Ramírez, who was promoted to partner in January 2022 and specialises in tax and international trade. Principal associates Leonardo Cote and Verónica Barone are also recommended.
Martín Acero; Carolina Rozo; Héctor Ramírez
‘The law firm has at its disposal all the areas of law that I need as a client; this is a great advantage as it has all the resources required to provide comprehensive tax advice that takes into account almost all of the possible implications. It also has excellent contacts with the relevant authorities.’
‘The team is always cohesive and in tune with the client’s needs. The team is very well integrated and comprised of lawyers with different skills.’
‘Martín Acero and his tax team are clear in their assessments. Lawyers are practical in presenting solutions when things look difficult; they are orderly and fulfil the commitments acquired in the delivery of the advice.’
‘In general, the partners of the firm are people who have high national recognition, therefore they are very well informed.’
Organización Ardila Lulle
Cepsa (Sucursal Colombia)
Fondo de Capital Privado Fintra
Latam Logistic Propco
Auteco and Auteco Mobility
- Designed the tax structure of the corporate integration of the Colombian, Peruvian and Chilean stock exchanges.
- Advised CMPC Tissue on the design of a regional transfer pricing policy, consistent with the overall corporate strategy of the multinational group and its interest to enter into the regional market.
- Advised Tekni-Plex on designing the tax structure for its acquisition of Grupo Phoenix operations in Colombia, Mexico and USA, through the acquisition of an offshore holding company.
Posse Herrera Ruiz
Distinguished by its ‘strong business vision', Posse Herrera Ruiz's tax group also stands out for being one of the largest teams in the market. The 32-strong group, which is spread between the firm’s Bogotá, Medellín, and Barranquilla offices, covers the waterfront on tax matters, with highly regarded offerings in transactional tax, tax planning, contentious work and transfer pricing. High-profile tax expert Juan Guillermo Ruiz heads the practice and recently advised on one of the year’s headline mandates when he led the tax advice to the Colombian Government on the $3.6bn sale of its controlling shareholding of ISA to Ecopetrol. Other senior names in this ‘dynamic tax team' include tax litigation specialist Juan Camilo De Bedout and Jaime Gómez, who focuses on tax planning and was promoted to partner in January 2022. However, transactional tax specialist Juan David Velasco left the firm in April 2022.
Juan Guillermo Ruiz
‘Those who provide us with their services in this firm, are very timely in their responses and extremely detailed. Lawyers prioritise knowing us and understanding our business to provide us with the best possible advice.’
‘PHR supports us on different projects that have the particularity of not only requiring tax knowledge but also a holistic vision of the business to able to make the best decisions. The firm stands out compared to others for its strong business vision, which is why it has been a good partner for our projects.‘
‘Both Juan Guillermo Ruiz and Jaime Gómez stand out for their very good dispositions and holistic vision. In the case of Juan Guillermo, his vast experience is evident; he has great knowledge of the market and its different actors.’
‘A dynamic tax team.’
‘Juan Camilo De Bedout shows his experience and his desire to always be at the forefront of the issues he handles. He cares as if it were his business, when he provides his advice.’
Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito Público
Grupo de Energía de Bogotá
UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones
United Health Group
Seguros Generales Suramericana
Christofferson, Rob & Company
- Advised the Colombian Government (Ministerio de Hacienda y Crédito Público) on the tax aspects of the sale of its controlling shareholding of ISA to Ecopetrol.
- Advised Grupo de Energía de Bogotá on the tax aspects of the negotiation and implementation of a reorganisation structure with Enel Americas involving the merger of Codensa, EGP Colombia and Enel Green Power into Emgesa (which is the resulting entity).
- Acted for Anglo American on the tax aspects of the indirect sale of a Colombian-situs asset (branch of a foreign entity of the mining sector).
Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas
‘A collaborative team that understands the nuances of the business', Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas' tax group is valued by sources for its ‘knowledge and experience in the various areas that must be handled'. On the non-contentious front, it handles tax advisory work, tax planning and transaction structuring for an impressive roster of domestic and multinational clients. The department is also well versed in transfer pricing and tax litigation. Practice head Camilo Cortés is noted for his broad experience, which spans the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Other senior names to note include partners Carmen Sanabria and Ernesto Lopez. Associate Natalia Dávila left the firm in January 2022.
‘We recommend the team for the careful attention given by both partners and associates. Lawyers demonstrate professionalism and real understanding of the client’s concerns.’
‘In tax matters, in relation to mergers and foreign exchange issues, DCC has highly competent lawyers with knowledge and experience in the various areas that must be handled. Previously, I have had contact with firms that handle tax issues but not mergers; or that know about exchange issues but not mergers.’
‘It is a collaborative team that understands the nuances of the business and is attentive to resolving clients’ doubts and concerns.’
‘We value the firm’s knowledge and experience in different areas.’
‘We highlight the simplicity of the provided advice and the warm attention of its lawyers.’
Fondo Corredores Davivienda
Clorox de Colombia
Minera el Roble
- Advised Deva Capital on a structure to disburse a loan to Colombian companies which will be paid in Colombian pesos; the structure was designed to minimise the applicable taxes and comply with foreign exchange requirements.
- Advised Orbia Colombia on the tax implications of operating in Colombia and implementing a fidelity programme.
- Advised Lucens Capital Partners on structuring the transfer of assets and compliance with the closing conditions, resulting in a minimum tax impact for the client.
DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán
DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán's tax practice is hailed by sources for its ‘knowledge of the sector' and for its ‘quick and punctual consultations'. The busy department strikes a balance between contentious and non-contentious work, with recent strong showings in transactional tax matters and complex litigation for major regional and multinational corporations. It also has significant capability in transfer pricing and wealth planning. Andrés González leads the tax and private wealth departments, while César Camilo Cermeño spearheads the tax litigation offering; together they are highlighted for their ‘extensive knowledge of tax law'. Associate practice director Maria Alejandra Buitrago is also recommended. However senior associate Camila Cuberos left to become a freelance tax consultant in June 2021.
Andrés González; César Camilo Cermeño
‘We recommend the firm for its knowledge of the sector and for its predisposition to quick and punctual consultations.‘
‘Andrés González and César Camilo Cermeño provide excellent service, immediate availability and extensive knowledge of tax law.’
‘Lawyers provide punctual and practical solutions.‘
Grupo Familia (now Essity)
Justo & Bueno
Clinica de la mujer
Giros y Finanzas
Grupo Mexichem (now Orbia)
Steward Healthcare International Group
Gerdau Diaco Group
Black & Decker
Genser Power – Proeléctrica
Acueducto Metropolitano de Bucaramanga
Kinco (Burger King Colombia)
Asociación Colombiana de Petróleos
Centrales Eléctricas de Nariño
Zona Franca de Barranquilla
Zona Franca de Cartagena
Zona Franca de Palmaseca
- Advising Avianca in several tax litigations, including successfully representing it in a $30m dispute in which the Colombian Tax Authority initially rejected the treatment given to its operations in the framework of a legal stability contract, regarding aircraft- leasing operations.
- Representing Codensa and Emgesa in several disputes brought by the Public Services Superintendency and Colombian Energy Regulation Committee regarding the taxable base of the ‘special’ and ‘additional’ contributions for public services determined by the companies.
- Advising AB InBev on controversies at the administrative and judiciary level regarding tax issues against local and national authorities.
Lawyers in Garrigues‘ tax team are ‘very experienced, knowledgeable and clear‘, according to sources. The rapidly growing practice added several new clients over the past year, including EBANX and Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Bahía, and it also saw the arrival of new transactional tax-focused senior associate Oscar Munevar, who joined from Deloitte (Luxembourg office) in May 2021. International tax specialist Camilo Zarama continues to head the department and brings to bear strong expertise in transactional tax — especially funds-related matters — as well as tax litigation. The group also draws upon experienced of counsels Fernando Zarama and Laura Galeano. Since publication, the office has considerably strengthened its bench with the February 2023 hire of Mónica Bolaños from Deloitte Asesores y Consultores, where she was formerly lead M&A and international tax partner for Colombia and the Andean Region.
‘The team is comprised of comprehensive lawyers who do not focus on a single issue but are capable of attending and addressing problems and transactions from all points of view.’
‘We recommend the team’s preparation, experience and excellent interpersonal relationships, especially of partner Camilo Zarama.’
‘Lawyers are very experienced, knowledgeable and clear; they offer excellent care.’
Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Bahía
Praco Didacol / Inchcape
- Represented Securitas Colombia on the refund request before the Bogotá tax authorities regarding the Industry and Commerce Tax paid in excess in Bogotá for six years.
- Advised the subsidiaries of Brinks de Colombia on the refund request related to the corporate income tax of Epago de Colombia and Procesos & Canje.
- Advised CCLA on the tax planning for a contract with Bancolombia to develop real estate projects in the country.
Tax is a firm-wide sweet spot for Goh and it impresses clients with its ‘combination of professional excellence and business understanding'. Well weighted between private and public sector work, the full-spectrum practice handles tax planning, transaction structuring and contentious matters for an increasingly lengthy roster of leading companies. Catalina Hoyos is sought after for her combination of transactional tax and tax litigation expertise; she recently advised Interconexión Eléctrica on the tax aspects of its $331m bond offering on the Singapore Stock Exchange. Managing partner Juan Pablo Godoy is recommended for his specialist focus on the extractive and infrastructure industries. The group also includes tax partner Mónica Inés Hernández and associate directors Luís Felipe Noreña and Catalina Amaris.
Catalina Hoyos; Juan Pablo Godoy; Mónica Hernández
‘The team is very comprehensive, lawyers are always very willing to collaborate and it is an office with professionals from all practice areas.’
‘We value the team’s knowledge and willingness to care.’
‘We recommend the team for its combination of professional excellence and business understanding. The team guides and proposes solutions in a personal and reliable environment.’
‘We highlight lawyers’ listening skills, business understanding and advice in the midst of a relationship of trust.’
Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)
Grupo Ecopetrol: Ecopetrol, Oleoducto Central, Cenit Transporte, Oleoducto de Colombia, Hocol
Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA)
Gran Colombia Gold
Colombia Telecomunicaciones (Telefónica Group)
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
- Successfully advised legal tech start-up, Yustii, on qualifying for the patent box tax regime in Colombia.
- Advised Interconexión Eléctrica on tax matters related to a major bond offering on the Singapore Stock Exchange, with the participation of investors from the US, Europe, Canada, Asia and Latin America.
- Represented Gran Colombia Gold and Caldas Gold Corporation on an inspection process by the tax authorities into several mining companies, aimed at disregarding the deduction of royalties and other costs associated with the production of gold and silver.
Quiñones Cruz's exclusive focus on tax law pays dividends, with major Colombian and international clients turning to the firm for complex and strategic tax matters. The highly specialised boutique handles the full gamut of tax matters, but is particularly renowned for its litigation prowess; significantly, it has a success rate of over 90% in sums under discussion since its establishment in 1978. Names to note include founding partner Lucy Cruz, who is widely hailed for her record in constitutional tax cases; Natalia Quinones, who specialises in international tax law; and Diego Quiñones Cruz, who focuses on tax litigation. Additionally, senior associate Nathaly Higuera is well versed in corporate tax and exchange law.
Lucy Cruz de Quiñones; Diego Quiñones Cruz; Natalia Quiñones
Seguros del Estado
Doka de Colombia
Transgas de Occidente
- Spearheaded the constitutional law action that led to the overturning -by the Constitutional Court- of various provisions of the special and extraordinary additional levies applied to energy providers and generators.
- Successfully represented a company in the oil and gas industry in an administrative appeal in a multi-jurisdictional permanent establishment attribution case, which led to the overturning of a multimillion-dollar tax penalty.
- Successfully represented Bavaria before the Council of State in a highly material CIT case concerning the treatment of cross-currency swaps.
EY Law Bogota
‘A team of highly trained professionals‘, EY Law Bogota‘s Colombia practice receives its first ranking on the back of a strong year, which has seen it diversify and expand its tax capability. Notably, in June 2021 the group added new executive director Pablo Ángel, who was formerly a senior associate at Brigard Urrutia. The team, which is spread across offices in Bogotá, Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla, houses specialist offerings in transactional matters, international tax, transfer pricing, tax incentives and litigation, among other segments. Transfer pricing specialist Andrés Parra co-heads the team together with tax litigator Margarita Salas and international tax partners Luis Orlando Sánchez and Aleksan Oundjian.
Andrés Parra; Luis Orlando Sánchez; Aleksan Oundjian; Margarita Salas
‘EY has a team of highly trained professionals (some of them with Master’s degrees abroad) with extensive experience in all sectors of the economy, in various countries and in the most complex tax matters.’
‘Members with experience in roles other than consultancy have recently joined the practice, as is the case of the former magistrate who today accompanies the litigation team.’
‘The team that deals with issues such as transfer pricing is a highly trained team, and synchronisation is noted among each of the members regarding the matters handled for the client.’
‘Lawyers are always ready to collaborate or ask if there are more requirements in which they can help. We value the team’s knowledge in both local and national taxes.‘
‘In my opinion, Luis Orlando Sánchez is one of the most capable and highest performing partners at EY. He has a master’s degree from NYU and has worked in several countries besides Colombia. He currently leads the international tax practice and has been very helpful in advising us thus far.‘
‘The team stands out for its approach; lawyers care about understanding and supporting clients. It is noteworthy that each matter is treated as unique. Lawyers are always willing to support, no matter their schedule, they are always there.‘
‘Margarita Salas is always available, goes the extra mile and provides innovative solutions.‘
‘The team that assists us in transfer pricing is led by Andrés Parra, who is a lawyer of very high professional and personal qualities.‘
Johnson & Johnson
British American Tobacco (BAT)
- Advised Akzo Nobel Sourcing on transaction-related tax structuring and due diligence matters.
- Successfully represented Olimpica in a case dealing with the application of the local industry and commerce tax in the large retail business.
- Advised Trina Solar Colombia on the planning and application of tax incentives for non-conventional sources of energy.
Jimenez Higuita Rodriguez & asociados
Tax is a mainstay at Jimenez Higuita Rodriguez & Asociados and the boutique firm also brings supplementary strength in complementary areas such as customs, exchange matters and corporate law. Additionally, the firm’s January-2022 accession to membership of Andersen Global in Colombia ensures that it has the resources to provide cross-border representation of multinational clients. Managing partner Julián Jiménez spearheads a tax department that also includes tax planning partner Jairo Alberto Higuita; Carlos Giovanni Rodríguez, who has a focus on the infrastructure, automotive and health sectors; and Bibiana Buitrago, who is noted for litigation and transfer pricing.
Julián Jiménez; Jairo Alberto Higuita; Carlos Giovanni Rodríguez; Bibiana Buitrago; Andrés Pachón Luna; Carolina Martínez Alvarado; Andrés Guevara González; Susana Casas Valencia; David Jiménez
Bolsa de Valores de Colombia
Editora Urbana – Finca Raíz
Sinergia Global en Salud
Banco de la República
- Advised One Link on the tax aspects of its acquisition by France-based WebHelp.
- Advised Bolsa de Valores de Colombia on the tax aspects of the structuring of the new COLCAP index exploitation model.
- Advised the EPC contractor on the Puerto Antioquia project, Consorcio Cotema (a joimt venture between Saipem and Termotécnica Coindustrial de Colombia), on tax, exchange and customs matters.
Mauricio A. Plazas Vega Abogados & Asociados
Mauricio A. Plazas Vega Abogados & Asociados attracts praise for its ability to ‘pose difficult questions that mobilise‘. The prominent tax boutique advises on a comprehensive spread of matters, with notable expertise in public finance, foreign investment, constitutional matters, wealth management and sports law-related issues. Tax specialist Mauricio Plazas Vega is a 30-year veteran noted for his ‘conceptual clarity, reputation and recognition‘. The group also includes tax litigation head María Catalina Plazas and Mauricio Mendoza Méndez, who has a focus on representing clients in the non-profit sector. Andrés Felipe Velázquez left the firm in October 2021.
Mauricio Plazas Vega
‘Lawyers are very rigorous in their analyses and pose difficult questions that mobilise. We highlight the team’s academic background, conceptual clarity, reputation and recognition — Mauricio Plazas Vega in particular.’
‘The team that attends to us is always top-of-the-line. Issues are widely discussed until a concrete solution is found. The team demonstrates kindness and promptness to respond to needs that sometimes require immediate attention.’
‘The team at MPV has a prestige and seriousness that generates confidence; it provides great support in making fiscal decisions.‘
‘Lawyers are highly qualified professionals and key partner, Mauricio Plazas Vega, is one of the best professionals that our company can count on; a great human being.’
‘MPV has extensive experience in the field and provides a comprehensive service, allowing other risks and recommendations to be seen. Service is always aimed at a better understanding of the standard and the correct and professional way of performing operations.’
‘We value the firm for the experience and professional diligence with which lawyers carry out their work, providing the required interdisciplinarity. The team’s approach allows a range of topics to be reviewed.’
‘I particularly recommend Mauricio Plazas Vega for his availability on the phone when required and his timely and sustained responses.’
Caja Colombiana de Subsidio Familiar (Colsubsidio)
Yanbal De Colombia
Tonemax (in liquidation)
- Successfully represented Fábrica De Grasas y Productos Químicos (Grasco) in proceedings challenging DIAN’s rate on its official assessment.
- Acted for Tonemax in a dispute that focused on determining the legality of the official assessment review, by which the private return for the second two-month period of the sales tax for the taxable year 2011 of the company was modified.
- Successfully represented Pacific Stratus Energy in VAT-related administrative proceedings.
SanintRivas scores highly with clients for its ‘knowledge of innovative tax structures' as well as for its ‘creativity and willingness to innovate'. Best known for its record in tax disputes, particularly transfer pricing-related cases, the team also advises on consultancy and transactional matters. Transfer pricing specialist Laura Sanint co-heads the practice and recently advised Rovique Private on the $22m sale of its shares in Brinsa to Valores Industriales. Fellow co-head Daniela Rivas provides ‘a responsive and personalised service' and handles tax planning, consulting, compliance and litigation.
Laura Sanint; Daniela Rivas
‘The team’s strengths are: its personalised service available at any time; knowledge of innovative tax structures; and creativity and willingness to innovate.’
‘We highlight the firm for its knowledge and support at all times.’
‘All professionals demonstrate human warmth and talent in each area of law.’
‘Daniela Rivas provides a responsive and personalised service.’
Adelante Soluciones Financieras (ADDI)
General Catalyst Group X
Aerovías del Continente Americano (AVIANCA)
Grupo De Inversiones Suramericana
Fischer & CIA
Comercializadora Internacional De Bananeros Unidos De Santa Marta (BANASAN)
Inversiones Y Construcciones (INCOL)
Agrotropic Invest And Trade
- Advised Rovique Private on the sale of its shares in Brinsa to Valores Industriales, including tax matters.
- Advised Adelante Financial Holdings on analysing the transfer pricing implications of a restructuring that took place under US federal income tax laws.
- Advised General Catalyst Group X on the Colombian tax aspects of its investment in the Series D Round of NotCo.
Cahn-Speyer, Paredes & Asociados
Cahn-Speyer, Paredes & Asociados enjoys a long-established reputation for its robust all-round tax offering, which shines in tax planning, foreign investment and contentious matters. Seasoned specialist Paul Cahn-Speyer is the key contact and is recognised for his extensive experience in the tax sphere.
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero advises on a wide range of corporate tax issues, with transactional matters, international taxation and litigation all key areas of activity. Santiago Arbouin, who specialises in tax, customs law and international trade, now solely leads the group following the departure of former practice co-head Natalia Guerrero in December 2021 — she is now tax manager at GeoPark. However, in February 2022 the team welcomed the arrival of associate director Nicole Ríos from from Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, who also splits her time between the tax and customs law and trade departments. At associate level, juniors Natalia Recio and Laura Rodríguez are recommended.
‘We recommend the firm for its real time attention.’
‘The team is distinguished by its good disposition with the client; lawyers listen to the client and ask about specific issues.’
Frontera Energy Colombia
Electricité de France
Compañía internacional de Integración (CI2)
- Successfully represented Frontera Energy Colombia before the Tax Court in litigation against the tax authorities related to the imposing of a penalty for offsetting a credit balance against the CIT.
- Assisted EDF with the tax structuring and tax planning for the incorporation of a legal vehicle in Colombia.
- Advised Kiva on financial, tax and exchange matters concerning the development of a financial inclusion portal where social investors can lend money to entrepreneurs to start or extend a company.
Holland & Knight
New entry into the tax table for 2023, Holland & Knight has significantly ramped up its tax offering of late. In June 2022, new partner hire Gustavo Pardo Ardila incorporated his practice, Gustavo Pardo y Asociados, into the firm. At associate level, José Alejandro Vivas also joined from Pardo’s former boutique, while associate Juan Pablo Díaz arrived in November 2021 from Brigard Urrutia. The three-partner team also includes Juan Carlos Valencia, who is recognised for his extensive experience in tax litigation, and transactional tax specialist Rafael Lafont, who was promoted to partner in January 2022. The team is now particularly well paced to advise clients on tax litigation, tax planning and investment structuring between Colombia and the US.
Gustavo Pardo Ardila; Juan Carlos Valencia; Rafael Lafont
Lenovo (Asia Pacific) (Sucursal Colombia)
GE Healthcare Colombia
XYZ Call Center Solutions
Fundación Universitaria del Area Andina
Crepes & Waffles
- Advised GE Healthcare Colombia on day-to-day tax matters.
- Assisted Crepes & Waffles with complex tax matters, including in relation to real estate investments and equity acquisitions abroad, among other issues.
- Advised Lenovo (Asia Pacific), sucursal Colombia on tax matters, including in connection to a reorganisation process in which it is a creditor.
Ibarra Abogados Rimon Law
In a significant market development, Ibarra Abogados Rimon Law was formed in October 2021 through the merger of legacy firm Ibarra Abogados with the newly established (2020) Bogotá office of international firm Rimon PC. The combined five-strong tax, trusts and estates group is recognised for its focus on private wealth matters, with strong experience in the handling of multi-jurisdictional reorganisation of assets and tax structures for family groups. Department head Rodrigo Castillo Cottin secures rave reviews from sources for his ‘unique ability to evaluate client issues and offer practical viable solutions'. Senior associate Ana María López Murillo provides capable support.
Rodrigo Castillo Cottin
‘The service has several unique aspects that relate to my requirements: it is international in scope and prepared to deal with bilingual, multi-judicial operations, with a very open and collaborative approach and the ability to bring ready proven solutions to the table from extensive experience.’
‘Rodrigo Castillo is very accessible, with a quick evaluation of how to deal with any situation and a proposal of what to do for the next steps. Rodrigo’s expertise includes perfect English and extensive experience in North American regulations.‘
‘Working with Rimon Law through estate planning and tax matters has been an extremely rewarding experience. It is very knowledgeable and experienced in these matters, providing expert counsel, thoroughly assessing the situation while exploring options and alternate action plans tailored to the needs of the client.’
‘The end-to-end process runs very smoothly with ease of accessibility, excellent turnarounds and follow-ups while moving expeditiously toward resolution. At all times you feel that they are on top of the issues being consulted. It has been a gratifying relationship with excellent rapport and empathy.’
‘The international wealth team headed by Rodrigo Castillo, has a unique ability to evaluate client issues and offer practical viable solutions.’
‘Rodrigo Castillo is one of the best private wealth planning/tax attorneys I have worked with. His expertise in Colombian tax law coupled with his understanding of US tax issues makes him a valuable partner in assisting international families and clients with ties to Colombia.’
‘The greatest strength of the practice is the prompt response to client concerns with concrete and unambiguous solutions. This is added to the deep knowledge of the regulations in force and the proactivity in responding to those regulations.’
‘The quality and professionalism of Rodrigo and his team is exceptional. The team’s detail-oriented support and care makes it different.’
Montaña & Consultores Asociados
As firm specialising in tax, real estate and infrastructure projects, Montaña & Consultores Asociados shines in urban development-related matters. The team also advises companies on general tax compliance and contentious tax work. General director of the firm Magda Cristina Montaña has a focus on tax and urban development financing and co-heads the department alongside practice director Andrea Monsalve, who specialises in tax and administrative law.
Magda Cristina Montaña; Andrea Monsalve
Paniagua & Tovar Abogados S.A.
According to sources, Paniagua & Tovar Abogados S.A.‘s tax team assists clients to strike a balance ‘between business intentions and tax obligations'. The firm’s continued solid performance in tax litigation is supported by experience in tax planning, business structuring and wealth planning — for a mix of national and foreign companies and individuals. Tax, corporate and foreign exchange partner Jorge Camilo Paniagua co-heads the department together with Mario Felipe Tovar (‘always ready to offer highly efficient tax solutions') and Carol Caita Correa.
Jorge Camilo Paniagua; Mario Felipe Tovar; Carol Caita Correa
‘If efficient tax solutions are required, without a doubt, I would always recommend Paniagua & Tovar Abogados. The needs of our company are met by Mario Felipe Tovar who, in addition to knowing our business in detail, is always ready to offer highly efficient tax solutions that represent significant savings for our company.’
‘Analysing the tax impact on our industry was not easy. There are different positions, from various sources, and finding an efficient way to proceed with our operations was a difficult challenge that PTA’s tax department has been able to manage.’
‘The team has been crucial to the management of our company’s tax affairs. The tax planning carried out in relation to our operations has been of vital importance.’
‘The guidance received from PTA has allowed us to make the right decisions in order to achieve the right balance between business intentions and tax obligations required at the national level.‘
‘Due to the support from this tax practice, we have found many fiscal efficiencies.’
‘Mario Felipe Tovar, as tax partner has been important in obtaining our achievements.’
Equirent Vehículos y Maquinaria
Extractora La Gloria
Corporación Enlace Internacional
MR de Inversiones
Servicios Técnicos Portuarios
OHL Industrial Colombia
Sociedad Hotelera Tequendama (Hotel Tequendama)
Subway Partners Colombia
Cóbico – Familia Zambrano de Castro
Damen Shipyards Gorinchem
Wahl Clipper Colombia
Q’Max Solutions (Sucursal Colombia)
Societè de Cooperation Pour Le Développement International (SOCODEVI)
Sociedad Colombiana de Expansión Agropecuaria (SOCEAGRO)
Payless Shoesource USA
The Tea House
Healthy Servicios de Catering
- Advised Medicadiz on tax planning matters in relation to the sale of shares by its shareholders, with the purpose of legally reducing the tax burden.
- Advised Caria Group on the sale of the Caria Group FL branch in Colombia.
- Advised OHL Industrial Colombia on the tax audit process of income tax for the fiscal year 2018, in which the interpretation of the method of degree of completion of construction service contracts, provided for by article 200 of the Tax Statute, was discussed.
Parra Rodríguez Abogados
The ‘flexible and practical' tax group at Parra Rodríguez Abogados is recognised for its experience in tax compliance, tax planning and controversy cases. Álvaro Parra is singled out by sources for his ‘extensive knowledge in tax and corporate matters' and co-heads the four-strong department alongside María Margarita Parra, whose practice spans tax, real estate and administrative law. Senior associate Marcela Cadavid and intermediate Juan José Goyeneche are also noted for tax work.
Álvaro Parra; María Margarita Parra
‘The team is flexible and practical when it comes to issuing legal advice. Lawyers provide support and adequate solutions for the company’s operation.’
‘Álvaro Parra is an excellent lawyer with extensive knowledge in tax and corporate matters, he provides continuous support to the company which makes our relationship close.’
Sudamericana Integral de Construcciones Sudinco (SUDINCO)
SMBC Aviation Capital
Cargolux Airlines International
GE Capital Aviation Services
GIS premium Colombia
Gameloft (sucursal Colombia)
Fundación Abood Shaio
Netcracker Technology Colombia
BMC Software Colombia
Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI)
Vuela Aviación (Volaris)
- Advised Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura on the tax treatment of the payments made abroad to international arbitration tribunals such as the ICC, ICDR and CIAM.
- Advised United Airlines on tax matters connected to its operations in Colombia.
- Advised Cargolux on Colombian tax issues.
Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados
In line with its signature real estate strength, Pinilla González & Prieto Abogados routinely represents real estate and infrastructure companies on tax matters, with notable expertise in local taxes — particularly those related to real estate and construction projects. The team also handles a growing volume of financial services-related work. Practice head María Helena Padilla provides ‘timely solutions in accordance with the client’s needs‘ and is equipped to advise on tax planning, consultancy and litigation. Senior tax advisor Viviana Africano Franco provides support. Senior associate Melissa López left the firm in August 2021.
María Helena Padilla
‘We value the team for its knowledge and up-to-date understanding of the applicable tax regulations.’
‘The team stands out for its exceptional human treatment, extraordinary professionalism and ethics in dealing with, and resolving, queries and proposing appropriate solutions framed to the client’s needs.’
‘Lawyers have a high level of professionalism compared to other firms. They consistently share with their clients the relevant tax news and developments and how they affect our sector.’
‘The firm’s qualities are its ethical standards and its ability to identify problems and plan adequate, timely solutions in accordance with the client’s needs, particularly María Helena Padilla.’
Rueda Mantilla Abogados
Specialist tax firm Rueda Mantilla Abogados is equipped to advise on a wide range of transactional, consultancy and contentious tax matters. However, it is particularly distinguished by its niche expertise in advising on tax issues connected to restructuring and insolvency proceedings. Managing partner Hernando Rueda, a former head of the Large Taxpayers Office at the National Tax and Customs Department, spearheads the practice with support from director David Rueda; ‘together, they find the best legal solutions', according to satisfied clients.
‘Rueda Mantilla Abogados is excellent. Lawyers are always attentive to the requirements of clients and specialise in difficult cases — with very good results. Hernando Rueda is one of the most informed people in the field.’
‘Hernando Rueda has experience in the public sector and knows a lot about companies and taxation. He always works hand-in-hand with David Rueda; together, they find the best legal solutions.’
Contexto Legal S.A.
Contexto Legal S.A.'s tax team is valued by clients for its ‘immediacy in providing solutions'. The firm specialises in tax planning matters, for both families and companies, including asset protection issues, transactional tax and reorganisations. It has also seen an increase in contentious tax cases of late, with recent notable wins at municipal and national level. Key contact Federico Escobar handles tax and estate planning, with support from associate Marcela García Ciro.
‘What makes this practice unique is its immediacy in providing solutions for the specific tax situations of our company. We have access to people with analytical and decision-making skills at competitive and affordable fees.‘
‘This team is different due to its strong support, agile solutions and its lawyers’ warmth and closeness.’
Transportes Rápido Ochoa
International Flavors & Fragrances Colombia
- Successfully represented Transportes Rápido Ochoa in bringing a claim against a municipality regarding industry and commerce tax.
- Advised Prebel on day-to-day tax matters concerning transactions with its international suppliers.
- Advised Visdecol on implementing a tax-planning structure for the shareholders and the company.
Tax boutique GHAN Abogados handles a wide range of tax planning, transfer pricing and transactional tax matters, with a particular focus on the tax structuring of private and public investment projects. Practice head Óscar Iván González has made a strong showing, recently, representing domestic and multinational clients (including Greenmovil and Siemens Energy) on renewable energy tax initiatives.
Óscar Iván González
Automotores Toyota Colombia
Sudamericana Integral de Construcciones Sudinco Colombia
Skandia Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones y Cesantías
- Advised Terpel Energía on tax strategy to reorganise the current operational structure.
- Advised Greenmovil on the strategy to apply the energy efficiency tax benefits applicable to the acquisition of a fleet of 400 electric buses to be added to the public transportation system in Bogotá.
- Provided tax advice to Engie Colombia in connection with potential alternatives to implement a joint investment on an energy storage project.
Lloreda Camacho & Co.
The ‘courteous and very friendly‘ group at Lloreda Camacho & Co. has an emphasis on tax planning and transactional tax matters, particularly within the life sciences, telecoms, retail, and energy and natural resources sectors. Ignacio Santamaria, who is a key partner for tax, natural resources and foreign trade, co-heads the department alongside senior associate Luis Felipe Paredes, who joined in May 2021 from AB Consultores. Former senior associate Julian Andrés Peña left the firm in May 2021,
Ignacio Santamaría; Luis Felipe Paredes
‘Information flows through the Lloreda Camacho & Co team; that is, any query is dealt with in a timely manner, even if it is received through another function, and timely support is obtained, either directly from the tax team or through another area.’
‘Lawyers can always be reached and a timely response is always obtained. The team is proactive and its advice is very comprehensive. The firm raises alerts about all the related obligations — which it offers to attend to immediately and provides all the tools, so that the answer is clear and concise. It follows up frequently.’
‘The team’s courteous and very friendly attitude stands out. When defending the client’s interests, lawyers do so with a sense of ownership and in a very professional manner, contributing to the good image of their clients and to fulfilling their obligations in a timely and efficient manner.’
Grupo Phoenix Holdings
Maersk South America
Fondo Noruego para los Derechos Humanos
- Advised Grupo Phoenix Holdings on the corporate and tax aspects of the sale of a company of the group that owns assets located in Colombia.
- Acted for Thomson Reuters on commercial and tax matters related to the termination and the execution of information supply contracts.
- Advised Hamburg Süd on corporate and tax matters connected to the sale of shares of a Colombian company.
Despite its compact size, Osman Abogados is highlighted by sources as ‘very efficient‘, due to its ‘personalised and timely way of dealing with matters‘. The three-strong boutique can turn its hand to matters in all of Colombia’s key business sectors and it routinely advises on national and international tax planning, transactional tax, due diligence and tax litigation. Pedro Pablo Osman ‘offers innovative solutions‘ and spearheads a team that also includes associate Jorge Benavides.
Pedro Pablo Osman
‘Osman Abogados is very efficient, due to its personalised and timely way of dealing with matters, with short and forceful answers.’
‘Pedro Pablo Osman’s leadership is definitely noticeable, both in the team and in the precision of its legal advice.’
‘Knowledge, precision and sharpness is what this team delivers to us.’
‘Lawyers provide timely attention and quality responses.’
‘Working with partner Pedro Pablo Osman is very productive and enjoyable. He is personally involved with matters and offers innovative solutions, not just answers.’
Consorcio Canales Nacionales Privados
SIMGEA Edificaciones Sostenibles
Stanley Black & Decker Colombia Services
Industria Ganadera Hato Cebu
Lycée Français Louis Pasteur
Organización Fundación de la Mujer
Organización La Paz
RB Deco (Roche Bobois)
Cortés Romero & Asociados
Federación Colombiana de Agentes Logísticos
Inversiones Valles Verdes
Malco Cargo (TCC)
Express Luck Colombia
- Advised Concesionaria Vial Andina on planning transferences of public-works machinery with significant commercial value.
- Advised Express Luck Colombia on day-to-day tax matters connected to producing and importing televisions from a Colombian free zone.
- Advised a software developer on the tax aspects of a cross-border share deal.
Rodríguez Bravo Abogados S.A.S.
A boutique firm specialising in tax and exchange regime law, Rodríguez Bravo Abogados S.A.S. is noted for its ‘understanding of problems and ability to provide timely solutions'. Primarily active in tax planning matters, the team has been increasingly active in tax litigation of late. Firm founder Sebastian Rodriguez is recommended by sources for ‘the speed and neatness of his work’.
‘We highlight the firm’s speed in responding to requests, listening skills, understanding of problems and ability to provide timely solutions. Rodríguez Bravo Abogados is fast and provides good solutions.’
‘Sebastian Rodriguez is very intelligent, he is up to date on regulations and his greatest quality is his transparency. He differs from his competitors in the speed and neatness of his work.’
‘The quality of service, experience and commitment is very high.’
‘The team is distinguished by its personal treatment, expertise, the use of different technological tools for the timely development of service provision and guarantee of customer satisfaction.’
‘The partner was in contact with us throughout the whole advisory process.’
‘Lawyers stand out for responding to customer requests and requirements quickly and expeditiously, guaranteeing at all times that the required request is fulfilled. They are also distinguished by their experience in the tax area, and good knowledge on the subject.’
‘The team is excellent; it works in co-ordination with the client to achieve the objective in the shortest possible time with maximum effectiveness.’
‘Lawyers use easy-to-understand language and make an effort to help clients understand the legal basis of the process they are carrying out, which instils confidence.’
Protección Agropecuaria Compañía de Seguros (Proagro)
Corporación Punto Azul
- Advised Lisa Meitner on the tax aspects of its $4.5m sale of assets.
- Advised Conpe3 on the tax, corporate and currency exchange planning of the financing, construction and sale of a mall in Bogotá.
- Advised Proagro México on day-to-day tax matters regarding its insurance business in Colombia.
Sanclemente Fernández Abogados S.A.
The tax team at Sanclemente Fernández Abogados S.A. is distinguished by ‘its commitment and personalised attention‘, according to sources. Primarily active in energy and natural resources-related tax matters, in line with the wider firm’s industry strengths, the group handles an array of tax planning, transactional support and contentious work. The department is co-led by transactional energy specialists José Gabriel Fernández and Diana Sanclemente together with senior associate Juan Carlos Díaz, who specialises in tax law. Associate Manuel Niño left in May 2022.
Diana Sanclemente; José Gabriel Fernández; Juan Carlos Díaz
‘The team’s strong points are its commitment and personalised attention. It stands out for its interest in the client, depth of knowledge in the subject and collaboration.’
‘The ‘plus’ of this team is the personal attention and commitment demonstrated by the lawyers to each case.‘