The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon


Work +57 1 326 6999


Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2


With its ‘highly capable and business-oriented team’, Garrigues is particularly highlighted for project finance and financial regulatory matters. Recommended practice co-head Roberto Borrás, a former chief financial superintendent, led advice to CMIG on obtaining an approval from the Colombian financial regulator to acquire four financial institutions previously owned by Old Mutual. Borrás' fellow practice co-head, counsel Camilo Gantiva, is noted for his ‘deep knowledge’ and ‘practical approach’; he acted for state entity Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), as structuring agent, and Empresa Metro de Bogotá, as borrower, in the negotiation of credit agreements with multilateral organisations to obtain financing for the development of the first line of the $4.2bn Bogotá Metro project. The practice group’s third co-head, Francisco Noguera, who is ‘extremely capable in project finance’, assisted a syndicate of local lenders, including FDN, with the $570m project financing of the Coviandina PPP toll road project. Other clients include Zurich Insurance, BlackRock, Bancolombia, the World Bank and Alianza Fiduciaria.

Leading individuals

Roberto Borrás - Garrigues

Rising stars

Camilo Gantiva - Garrigues

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2


Garrigues’ practice ‘understands international business and the interplay with the country’s legal procedures’, and is recommended both for high-profile cartel cases and merger control filings. José Miguel De La Calle, a former head of the SIC, leads a six-strong team which was further strengthened with the incorporation of associate Carolina Polanco, who joined from regulator SIC where she co-ordinated a taskforce for the promotion and protection of competition. The team is defending Editorial Santillana before the competition authority against allegations of bid-rigging in public procurement activities; the claim was made by Colombia Compra Eficiente, the country’s purchasing agency. The group was also retained by Prosegur to assist on the merger control procedure regarding the company’s acquisition of G4S’s Colombian cash management unit; the transaction was unconditionally cleared. Other clients include Enel X, Whirlpool, Locust and Bolsa Mercantil. Senior associate Alejandro Acevedo is also noted; however, his fellow senior associate, lawyer and economist Angela María Noguera, left in late 2018 before subsequently establishing her own firm, Noguera Moreno Consultores.

Leading individuals

José Miguel De La Calle - Garrigues

[back to top]

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2


Proactive and knowledgeable’, Garrigues’ practice group has a multi-disciplinary focus and ‘expertise across different industries’; it handles the full range of corporate matters, including cross-border M&A operations and private equity investments, among others. Recommended figures Ignacio Londoño and Andrés Ordóñez, who joined as counsel from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in 2017, co-head the ten-strong practice. Recent mandates include assisting Fresenius subsidiary Quirónsalud with the acquisition of Clínica Medellín, which operates a portfolio of healthcare services in Medellín’s metropolitan area. It also advised Prosegur Cash on its acquisition of Grupo Almo’s Central American cash-in-transit business, and Valorem on the sale of its local logistics company, Suppla, to DHL Supply Chain, among other matters. Experienced senior associate Cristina Copete joined from Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) in January 2019. Other clients include Zurich Insurance, Enel X, Valorem and China Harbour Engineering Company.

[back to top]

International trade and customs
International trade and customs - ranked: tier 3


Garrigues’ four-strong practice, led by César Cermeño, focuses on customs controversies and free trade zone qualifications, as well as providing support in due diligences for high-profile transactions. The team continues to advise Patria Investments on the incorporation of Odata, one of its portfolio companies, and in the process of registering Odata as a free trade zone user. The team also assisted Ilunion with gaining qualification as a free trade zone user. Associate María Paz Arroyave is also noted.

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 6


Established in 2016, Garrigues’ practice focuses on litigation and compliance. Led by senior associate Carlos Silva - and with key support provided by Ignacio Londoño - the team assisted Rothenberger with the assessment and implementation of the best contractual structure for the company’s operations in the country. Other recent mandates included assisting Rizzani de Eccher with obtaining approval from the Ministry of Labour for the collective dismissal of over 200 employees.

[back to top]

Projects - ranked: tier 2


Garrigues’ practice is particularly recommended for ‘resolving all difficulties arising from project financing’. Francisco Noguera (‘understands the needs of complex projects’) and senior associate Iván Fierro, who joined the firm in 2018 from national infrastructure agency ANI, co-lead the ten-strong team. The practice group is currently advising BlackRock on the $570m project financing of the Ruta Del Cacao 4G toll road project. The team is also one of those selected to advise Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional and Empresa Metro de Bogotá on the structuring of the project for Bogotá’s first metro line. Other 2018 mandates included advising Bancolombia, as sole lender, on the $44m PPP toll road project Accesos Norte de Bogotá. The departure of former senior associate Natalia Auli was offset with the July 2018 arrival of senior associate Alejandro García from Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA). Associates Paola Valderrama and Nicolás Angulo are also noted. Clients include San Francisco Investments, Valorem, Banco Davivienda and Corficolombiana.

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 4


The practice group at Garrigues’ Bogota office handles investment in real estate through transactions involving private equity funds and trusts. It also has considerable experience in land management and has been advising Odinsa on both the expansion of El Dorado airport and the construction of Cartagena’s new airport. José Miguel de la Calle heads the four-strong team, with senior associate Melissa Castro a key member. Other matters include assisting Old Mutual with the acquisition of several commercial properties in a major Colombian city and the associated assignment of lease agreements with retailers. Other mandates included assisting care company Cooserpark with the urban planning and construction permits required to develop an eco-friendly ash forest; the advice included representing the company in a real estate dispute filed by a local community, based on alleged misuse of the soil. Clients include Cafam, Andean Tower Partners, WeWork and Fiduciaria Bogotá.

[back to top]

Tax - ranked: tier 2


Tax has long been Garrigues’ core practice and the firm has come to be known internationally for its involvement in high-profile tax disputes and transactional tax planning, as well as for advising on tax policy reform projects. In the Bogotá office, the profusely praised Camilo Zarama heads a team that ‘stands out for its creative and complete approach’. Counsel César Cermeño heads the tax litigation sub-department and is regarded as ‘a reference in the field’ by clients and peers alike. The practice group can also count on of counsel Fernando Zarama, who has over 30 years’ experience, and recommended principal associate Laura Galeano. Recent mandates included advising Quironsalud on the tax planning for an investment structure used to acquire Clinica Medellín, including definition of the tax structure and identification of possible tax liabilities, and Australis on the tax planning for the acquisition of 50% of Alianza Fiduciaria and Alianza Valores from Advent International, which involved analyses of both the local tax implications and of those in Chile and Spain. On the contentious side, the litigation team filed a nullity lawsuit on behalf of Asociación de Transporte Aéreo de Colombia against a stamp tax that the Department of La Guajira imposed on planes, passengers and items flying from its airports. Other mandates included representing Esenttia in an $8m lawsuit against the Tax and Customs Administration related to the rejection of expenses incurred due to the maintenance of machinery that constitutes a fixed asset of the company. Clients include KOPPS (an AB InBev subsidiary), British American Tobacco, Whirlpool and Australis Partners.

Leading individuals

Fernando Zarama - Garrigues

Next Generation Partners

Camilo Zarama - Garrigues

Rising stars

César Cermeño - Garrigues

[back to top]

Colombia: Dispute resolution

Arbitration - ranked: tier 4


Garrigues acts in national and international arbitrations, mostly relating to construction and shareholder disputes. The ‘strong’ Alberto Acevedo leads the seven-lawyer practice, which is currently representing Frontera Energy in a construction arbitration initiated by SDV Energía e Infraestructura, one of its former contractors. The firm is also acting for OHL in a domestic arbitration initiated by Mas Stone, one of its gravel supplying contractors.

[back to top]

Litigation - ranked: tier 2


Garrigues’ team’s ‘exceptional negotiation, research and communication skills allow for fluid work between lawyer and client’. Alberto Acevedo leads the seven-lawyer practice, which can also draw on support from the firm’s wider network. The team is representing TC Buen in a collective action initiated by a group of Buenaventura residents who are claiming redress for the damages caused to their houses and other environmental damages by the company’s port operations; it is also advising Bingos Codere in a series of cases filed by the landlords of one of its casinos in Bogotá after the client assigned the lease agreement to a third party. Other clients include Prosegur, Frontera Energy, Old Mutual and OHL.

[back to top]

Further information on Garrigues

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Garrigues in other jurisdictions.


Offices in Brussels


Offices in Shanghai and Beijing


Offices in Santiago


Offices in Bogota


Offices in A Coruña, Alicante, Cáceres, Granada, Las Palmas, León, Malaga, Murcia, San Sebastian, Valladolid, Vitoria, Zaragoza, Oviedo, Burgos, Palma de Mallorca, Pamplona, Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao, Madrid, Vigo, Valencia, Tenerife, Logrono, Toledo, and Madrid


Offices in London


Offices in Casablanca and Tangier


Offices in Mexico City


Offices in Lima


Offices in Warsaw


Offices in Lisbon and Oporto

Legal Developments by:


    On June 17, 2010, following a rough and eventful passage through Parliament, the Lower House of the Spanish Parliament finally approved a transcendental amendment to the Spanish Corporations Law (to article 105.2) affecting only listed corporations: a prohibition on voting ceilings for a same shareholder (or companies in the same group), regardless of the number of shares they own. 
    - Garrigues

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Communiqué on Equity Crowdfunding Is Officially Published

    By way of background, in January 2019, the Capital Markets Board (“ CMB ”) had issued an announcement on its website on the Draft Communiqué on Equity Crowdfunding [1] . The CMB has now officially published the Communiqué on Crowdfunding No. III-35/A (“ Communiqué ”), on October 3, 2019. The Communiqué entered into force as of October 3, 2019.
  • Beneficial Ownership Concept new interpretation from the Russian federal tax service

    The recent interpretative letter issued by the Russian Federal Tax Services (“FTS”) on 08th August 2019, has provided further guidance as to the application of the Beneficial Ownership Concept, further to the letter initially provided on the 12th of April 2018 which adopted a strict approach of the concept. 
  • Cyprus and Netherlands Double Tax Treaty Update

    Cyprus has concluded the negotiations for the avoidance of double taxation with the Netherlands. The double tax treaty was agreed at technocratic level in Hague. It is expected to be signed by the end of 2019 or early in 2020.
  • Vacancy - Senior Corporate Lawyer

    The Senior Corporate Lawyer, who will be reporting to Partners, will be working with both the firm’s legal team as well as the financial services team. The successful candidate will be requested to show initiative, take on certain responsibilities within the firm, work in a multinational environment and will immediately be given the opportunity to further advance their career within the law firm.

    The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on February 26, 2019, in the “Danish Beneficial Ownership Cases”, can be perceived as a landmark on the interpretation of the Beneficial Ownership concept under the Interest and Royalties Directive (IRD) and the Parent-Subsidiary Directive (PSD).
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‘centre of life test’ in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of  ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan   [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess  Surinder Singh  cases that appear before them.

    Italian rules on jointventures concerning public procurement and concession contracts are set out inlight of the European legal framework provided for in Directive 2014/23/EU and 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. The European rules aim to ensurethe best use of public money so that EU citizens benefit from strategicinvestments and services at fair prices. In this context, public procurementand concessions represent key instruments that need to be regulated and standardisedin order to ensure free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedomto provide services.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a  sole representative visa  is not “a  majority shareholder in the overseas business”.