Garrigues > Bogota, Colombia > Firm Profile

Garrigues
AVENIDA CALLE 92 NO 11-51
PISO 4
BOGOTA
Colombia

Colombia > Capital markets Tier 1

Demonstrating 'total knowledge and experience of the subjects; kindness, organisation and responsibility', Garrigues' Bogotá office enjoyed a stellar performance in the capital markets segment over the course of 2020. Headline mandates include advising issuer Empresa Metro de Bogotá and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) on the COP$2.4bn debt securities (Títulos de Pago por Ejecución - TPEs - in the form of electronic promissory notes) emission; and underwriters Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Santander Investment and Scotia Capital on Auna's $300m inaugural issue; as well as also counselling state finance agency Fondo Nacional de Garantías on the structuring of a partial guarantee to secure bond offerings by Colombian companies as part of the $7.3bn Unidos por Colombia program to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 10-strong practice is co-led by partner Roberto Borrás and counsel Camilo Gantiva, both of whom can count on previous experience at the Securities Market self-regulatory body; indeed, Borrás was president of the entity 2012-14 before arriving at the firm). As in the banking sector, key support comes from senior associate Paula Ospina Correa; over all, clients report a team that is 'highly professional, expert and prepared to meet the needs of their clients' and which knows 'how the procedures are developed and how they are handled properly and strategically'. Other matters include securities regulatory advice and consultancy for clients such as Alianza Fiduciaria, Corferias and Sodimac, loan securitisations, the negotiation of derivative agreements and cross border custodian operations.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Borrás; Camilo Gantiva

Testimonials

The level of the Garrigues team is excellent. Human quality, a sense of dignity for the other person and experience. Collaboration and respect for ideas, very good.’

It is a highly trained team that is very knowledgeable. Additionally, it listens to its clients -permanently and generously- always seeking to serve their interests, but always with ample and strong knowledge of the issues so as to also guide and advise in an accurate and timely manner. When comparing with other firms, I highlight their professionalism, knowledge of the issues, search for different alternatives and being absolutely serious and proactive. Very detailed in the work to be done.

Courtesy, knowledge, experience, rigour and total orientation / complete advice, given with responsibility and objectivity. They differ from other firms through all their knowledge and experience.

Their best qualities, they have total knowledge and experience of the subjects; kindness, organisation and responsibility.’

The members of the Garrigues team are highly professional, expert and prepared to meet the needs of their clients. They know how the procedures are developed and how they are handled properly and strategically. They work permanently in collaboration with clients to better respond to their suggestions. Before being aware of whether or not services are billed, they are concerned about serving their customers, meeting the commitments made, meeting legal requirements and responding in the respective times.’

The team has always shown knowledge about the issues on which we have consulted them. Camilo Gantiva has always been very kind and willing to answer the concerns we have had, as well as clarify the points that we consider necessary.

They stand out in their disposition, discipline and fulfillment of the entrusted activities.

Key clients

Fondo Nacional de Garantías

Gran Américas Usme Provisión

Banco de las Microfinanzas Bancamía

Auna

Alianza Valores

Empresa Metro de Bogotá

Banco Mundo Mujer

Fiduciaria Bogotá

Titularizadora Colombiana

Andean Towers Partners

Banca de Inversión Bancolombia

BNP Paribas

The World Bank

Fiduciaria Coomeva

Sodimac

Alianza Fiduciaria

Instituto Nacional de Vías

Gmasivo 10

Gmasivo 16

Nowmatic

Colombia > Competition and antitrust Tier 1

The Garrigues team is exceptional, according to clients who highlight the ‘brilliance' of its lawyers, the quality of their work and the readiness and ‘best disposition to take on the challenges they face'. The seven-strong team is active in merger control; demonstrates strength in the anticompetitive behaviour segment, investigations and administrative procedures; has expertise in unfair competition litigation; and provides strategic competition advisory, especially as regards the regulated sectors. Moreover, it’s already impressive client roster was boosted over the course of 2020 with significant additions including Iberia, Frontera and Falabella. This powerful offering is led by former Competition Authority head, José Miguel De La Calle, a 20-year veteran whose practice extends into public and administrative law and dispute resolution; in a notable appointment, he and banking head Roberto Borrás are co-advising the World Bank on the extent to which competition law should impact on Colombia’s forthcoming regulation of open banking. More typical mandates include advising Frontera Energy regarding SIC clearance for its acquisition of port operator Sociedad Puerto Bahía; and the ongoing representation of Bolsa Mercantil (BMC) in two high-profile bid-rigging investigations concerning a BMC-run commodity exchange for government / private sector procurement.  Principal associate Alejandro Acevedo‘s practice covers commercial law, procedural law and IP, with a particular focus on civil and administrative litigation (and arbitration) in relation to consumer protection, restrictive commercial practices, trade marks and unfair competition; clients speak of ‘a very correct advisor‘, who ‘handles his argumentation very well’ with ‘concepts that are very well founded‘ and who as a result ‘generates confidence‘. 2019-hire Anamaría Rico spent over three years at the SIC as advisor to the Deputy Superintendent for the Protection of Competition; recently promoted to senior associate, she focuses on advisory and dispute resolution in relation to anti-competitive practices, unfair competition and consumer protection. Other matters include advisory on anti-competitive behaviour, antitrust reviews of cooperation between competitors, and representation regarding unlawful competition claims. Associate Adolfo Enrique Gómez is also noted.

Practice head(s):

José Miguel De La Calle

Testimonials

The Garrigues team is exceptional. Their work is very good, the lawyers are brilliant and they have the best disposition to take on all the challenges they face. From partners to junior attorneys they are always available when you need them.

The team has been totally pertinent, orderly and very attentive. Theirs is a very professional and corporate manner, but at the same time very personal and close;  it’s a great balance. Alejandro [Acevedo] is one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with. The technical knowledge of the team, especially that of Alejandro, generated a lot of value. A transversal knowledge on the technical side of the intellectual property of plant varieties is a strength that I have not seen at another firm.

Knowledge of the law and the markets, in addition to providing timely and complete support. This makes the Garrigues team very reliable with positive achievements.’

Their knowledge of the law and how to apply it in the markets makes them very reliable and their compliance on all matters is excellent. The experience of Dr José Miguel de la Calle and Dr Alejandro Acevedo, their commitment and dedication make them a team that ensures very positive results.’

When support is needed from other areas, Garrigues professionals are also very reliable. Compliance with all commitments is exceptional.

The opportunity in the attention, the deep knowledge in the subjects that they tackle. Excellent teamwork.

The assertiveness and well supported of their appreciations and concepts. The knowledge and experience they have is transmitted in their positions and concepts very clearly and easily to their clients.’

The ease they have shown in working with other disciplines and other law firms that are their competitors, to provide an excellent service.

Key clients

Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España

Frontera Energy Colombia

Winner Group

Industria Nacional de Gaseosas (Indega-Coca Cola)

China Gezhouba Group Company

The World Bank

Prosegur Cash

Amazon US

Falabella de Colombia

Bolsa Mercantil de Colombia

Samsung Electronics Colombia

Work highlights

  • Advising Iberia in the merger control procedure before the Colombian aeronautical authority Aerocivil concerning its €1bn acquisition of Air Europa’s business division of air transport of passengers and cargo.
  • Advised Indega on an antitrust review of a strategic alliance between Bavaria, the largest brewing company in Colombia (with almost 90% market share), and Indega–Coca Cola, for the joint distribution and sale of their products.
  • Represented China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) in an administrative proceeding initiated by the SIC for alleged anticompetitive practices in the tender process for the Bogotá-Girardot highway PPP construction contract; following a 3-year investigation, the SIC dismissed the case in September 2020.

Colombia > Banking and finance Tier 2

The local office of Spanish-giant Garrigues offers all the advantages of an international firm in terms of product quality, service and technology, as well as -in the finance sector- an increasingly consolidated team. The 11-strong group regularly advises government financial agencies (such as the FDN and FNG), demonstrates ample project finance experience (recent mandates include advising BlackRock on its $464m refinancing of the Alto Magdalena 2 4G road project); and a leading role with regard to financial authority approvals and regulatory matters, particularly in relation to digital banking, fintech, e-commerce and payment systems (such as its local incorporation of MercadoPago as a finance company). Head of department Roberto Borrás (banking, finance, capital markets), has more than 25 years’ experience in the finance industry and his unique track record in the public sector (including as director of regulation at the Superintendencia Bancaria, director general of regulation at the Colombian treasury’s Unidad de Regulación Financiera, national Financial Superintendent, and president of the AMV – the regulatory body of the Colombian stock exchange), is at the core of the practice’s regulatory capabilities. Borras is flanked by counsels Camilo Gantiva (financings, capital markets, funds, fintech; he also acts as practice director) and Francisco Noguera (structured finance, project finance) each have some 15 years’ experience – including relevant in-house roles at the AMV and Bancolombia/Fiducuiaria Bancolombia, respectively.  Key support comes from senior associates Eduardo Sanmiguel and Paula Ospina Correa, whose practices’ centre on banking regulation, capital markets and fintech; and Alejandro García Botero, who focuses on acquisition and corporate financings and project finance. Nicolás Angulo, raised to senior associate in January 2021, is also noted. Since publication, Noguera has been raised to the partnership (January 2022) and Gantiva has left for Holland & Knight, effective February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Camilo Gantiva

Testimonials

Their international scope gives them a comparative advantage with other firms, as they have a great knowledge of the local market annd can easily rely on offices in other countries for any query. The experience and participation of the partners in the transaction gives them much strength. I would like to highlight Roberto Borrás (partner), Francisco Noguera (counsel), Camilo Gantiva (counsel) and Nicolas Angulo (associate).

I believe that the support of the team was very important in terms of knowledge in the banking and financial sector, as well as their way of understanding the transaction to be carried out in order to provide adequate support at each moment of the transaction.’

I would highlight their relationship skills, analytical skills to find alternatives and solutions to each challenge, and their relationships with the Colombian financial sector. Communication skills are also a factor that stands out. Ignacio Londoño, Camilo Ganitva and Roberto Borrás.

Garrigues has a very strong practice in the banking area, combining technical knowledge, influence, openness and flexibility to support new players. Their fees are very reasonable and they engage with clients’ projects as if they were their own. It is definitely a law firm that we consider for the long term.

Roberto Borrás’ experience in the Financial Superintendence office, combined with his openness about new businesses, is really unique. He has a deep technical knowledge of financial regulation, but he can also see where its areas of improvement are and how new players can foster competition and innovation.

Eduardo Sanmiguel quickly understood the challenges we are facing and adjusted to our ways of working and tools quickly, becoming a very collaborative member of our extended team.

Flexible arrangements as to billing, allowing us to plan our expenses, while charging reasonable additional amounts, for times of higher demand.’

They also adjusted to our agile routines and were open to participate in our procedures and test our tools (such as Slack).’

Key clients

Fondo Nacional de Garantías (FNG)

Promotora Hospital de Bosa

Global Infrastructure Partners

MercadoPago

BlackRock Colombia Infraestructura

World Bank

Nubank

Concesionaria Alternativas Viales

Rappi

Scania

Codensa

Inversora Codensa

Enel X Colombia

Bancolombia

Global 66

Aflore

PPRO

Sabadell Bank

Grupo Coomeva

Work highlights

  • Advised Fondo Nacional de Garantías (FNG) on implementing key financial products for the Colombian market, notably, the Large Enterprise Guarantee (designed to guarantee loans granted to large enterprises), and new guaranteed bonds for securing bond offerings.
  • Advising Promotora Hospital de Bosa (and Grupo Ortiz and Incot, as sponsors), on a $76m loan granted by Bancolombia and Itau; Hospital de Bosa is the first health infrastructure project to be developed in Colombia under a PPP scheme.
  • Advised Global Infrastructure Partners as initial lender in a $110m mezzanine loan granted to the main shareholder of the concessionaire of Puerto Antioquia for  development of what will be the first multipurpose port in the Urabá region.

Colombia > Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Fielding a 'strong and experienced' M&A team comprised of 12 lawyers, the 'modern, innovative' Garrigues has 'up-to-date process in place and good technology support'. The practice is firmly focused on transactional activity, and undertook key acquisitions in the freight transport, payment management and health sectors during the course of 2020; it also has particular expertise in the telecom and tech sectors, with recent mandates including advising Chile-based Grupo GTD's acquisition of regional cyber-security company SecureSoft. M&A specialist Ignacio Londoño has over 20 years' experience, his practice extending into commercial and business law, restructuring, foreign investment, antitrust and IP law; he co-leads the practice with dual-qualified (Colombia / New York) Andrés Ordóñez who handles M&A, private equity, joint ventures and commercial contracts, particularly for strategic investors and PE funds. Recent matters include advising sister subsidiaries ZLS Aseguradora de Colombia and Zurich Colombia Seguros in Colombia on their merger and associated clearance processes; and Ufinet on a joint venture with local telecoms group ETB for the expansion of Bogotá's fibre-optic coverage. At senior associate level, key support comes from  Cristina Copete; primarily M&A focused, she 'handles complex transactions very well' and is 'always very aware of the entire process'. Moreover, the practice has been further boosted by the return of fellow senior Paola Valderrama, who re-joined the firm in August 2020 upon completion of her LLM. However, company law specialist Patrick Barros Ortiz, also a senior, moved to Consorcio Express as legal director in  April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Ignacio Londoño; Andrés Ordóñez

Testimonials

Garrigues Colombia’s M&A team is strong and experienced. They handle very well both local law deals as well as those in foreign law (NY mainly). Having worked with three other firms in Colombia, their M&A and corporate team stands out. They have excellent customer service and are always available to advise us. We have worked many holidays and even Christmas together without having any complaints. They are partners in our growth in Colombia.

Andres Ordonez is permanently dedicated to the growth of our business by participating in the negotiations that we request. He understands our needs and the position of ATP’s Legal, M&A, Commercial and Operations department very well.

Cristina Copete handles complex transactions very well and manages to unblock situations in which a deal can be complicated.

It is a committed and experienced human team. They are responsible and judicious at work, and provide good customer service.

‘The human quality of the professionals is excellent. Overall it is a modern innovative firm with up-to-date processes in place and good technology support.

Cristina Copete, always very aware of the entire process, always ready to provide solutions.

Key clients

TIBA

Directv Colombia

Praco Didacol – Inchcape

Centro Medico Imbanaco

Cedimed

Accenture

Vulcan Capital

Clínica del Prado

Grupo Valisa

Inputs Brokers

Fresenius Group

Quirónsalud

Enel

Prosegur

Andean Tower Partners

FCC Aqualia

Banco W

Zurich Insurance Group

Aena Internacional

Work highlights

  • Advised leading Spanish freight forwarder TIBA on the acquisition of Bemel Group, the third largest freight forwarder in Colombia; the transaction markey TIBA’s entry in Colombia.
  • Advised Prosegur on its acquisition of Medellin-based Corresponsales Colombia (Pagafácil), a provider of cash management outsourcing services and remittances.
  • Advised Fresenius subsidiary, QuirónSalud, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Centro Médico Imbanaco de Cali for over $300m; the transaction follows a string of acquisitions by QuirónSalud in Colombia and Peru.

Colombia > Projects Tier 2

Garrigues ‘ ‘hardworking and committed‘ team is comprised of experienced lawyers with expertise in project finance, corporate, M&A, public law, public procurement and regulatory law. Adriana Espinosa, who has nearly 20 years experience in public law and infrastructure matters, co-leads the team with counsel Francisco Noguera , who specialises in project finance and has participated in transactions ranging from toll roads to oil and gas, energy and public infrastructure. Principal associate Iván Fierro is noted for his extensive experience in the structuring of public-private partnership projects. Recent work mandates saw the team advise Concesionaria Alternativas Viales, Grupo Icein and Mota Engil on the financing for the Cambao-Manizales 4G toll road project. Since publication, Noguera has been raised to the partnership - effective January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Adriana Espinosa; Francisco Noguera

Testimonials

Their international scope makes gives them a comparative advantage with other firms, as they have a great knowledge of the local market but can easily rely on offices in other countries for any queries. The experience and participation of the partners in the transaction gives them great strength . I would like to highlight Adriana Espinosa (partner) and Iván Mauricio Fierro (associate).’

It is a firm with a trained team with good experience and always ready to help us when we need them most. They work hard and are attentive to detail. They are straightforward and seek to accommodate the particular needs that we have.’

It is a team that leverages its specialised teams well, both in the country and abroad, which helps to give a 360 vision of the project.

It is a hardworking and committed team that builds trust. Adriana Espinosa is always ready to serve and collaborate with her clients. Iván Fierro is a lawyer characterised by his commitment and management. Juan Ospina is characterised by his management and his dedication to work.

It is a top-of-the-line team that achieves a clear articulation by transmitting to the client a very interesting integrality, coherence and understanding. It favours the adequately coordinated, personal attention of each specialist, in  conjunction with permanent customer support and a creative and efficient search for alternatives. They integrate physical facilities and technological facilities with personalised and timely attention.

Key clients

Empresa Metro de Bogotá

Promotora Hospital de Bosa

OHL–Senda Infraestructuras

Unidad Administrativa Especial Aeronáutica Civil (AEROCIVIL)

Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano (IDU)

Scania Colombia / Scania Latin America

Corporación Financiera Colombiana (Corficolombiana)

Global Infrastructure Partners

Concesionaria Alternativas Viales

Concesionaria Vial del Pacífico

Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional

Banco de Bogotá

Banco de Occidente

Unión para la Infraestructura

CAF Ashmore Fund

BlackRock

Bancolombia

Cubico Sustainable Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised Empresa Metro de Bogotá on the legal structuring of the first line of Bogotá’s metro system, described as the most important infrastructure project for the city and in Colombia, given that the jobs generated will be crucial for the country’s economic and social recovery.
  • Advising Promotora Hospital de Bosa and Grupo Ortiz and Incot on the Hospital de Bosa project, the first health infrastructure project to be developed in Colombia under a PPP scheme.
  • Advising OHL as a potential bidder in the tender for the first in the 5th generation toll road program launched by the Colombian government in April 2020.

Colombia > Public law Tier 2

Garrigues handles a broad array of bid tenders, public procurement matters, administrative and regulatory procedures and litigation. With a continually growing client base, the firm regularly represents clients in some of Colombia’s leading public projects mandates; most notably, assisting with the development of Bogotá’s first metro line. Managing partner and ‘excellent legal professional’ José Miguel De La Calle, a former Superintendent of Industry and Commerce, co-leads the team alongside Adriana Espinosa, who joined from Arrieta Mantilla & Asociados in March 2020, as head of the infrastructure practice. Espinosa possesses extensive experience across structuring infrastructure projects, tenders, public procurements contracts, management of administrative penalties and judicial proceedings. Among a powerful second tier of principal associates, Ivan Mauricio Fierro, a former project head at the vice-presidency for structuring at the Agencia Nacional de Infraestrucutra (ANI), provides key support.

Practice head(s):

José Miguel De La Calle; Adriana Espinosa

Testimonials

The Garrigues team is characterised by being a professional team that knows how to perfectly balance rigour and practicality. It is a firm of the highest level with the standards required to handle transnational matters. I have been working with the firm for a couple of years now and I hope I can count on their support for many more. Alejandro Acevedo is an extraordinary lawyer, very professional, a tireless worker and with the best possible disposition. His support has been key for me in various projects of the company that I represent.

The service that this Corporation has received from the Garrigues Colombia team is framed by high standards of quality, professionalism and opportunity, in addition to exceptional customer service.’

The attorneys appointed to carry out the work contracted by ONAC have been Dr José Miguel de la Calle, Dr Melissa Rojas and Dr Camilo González, professionals who have been characterised by their fluency, professionalism and expertise in handling the entrusted subjects.

We have received permanent support from Garrigues in the different areas of law in the specific sector that we request, its’ professionals are experts in each sector with profound criteria.

Their availability and profound criteria, Garrigues goes beyond what is requested by the client, the partners are assertive and present, they are not figures in an atrium.’

The collaboration, availability and abilities with people are an aspect to highlight in the professionals of Garrigues.

They are expert lawyers in their subject, they know the procedures in detail, they advise their clients in an effective, efficient and direct way. There is always closeness with the client, seeking the best benefit for them, and with the clarity of the pros and cons of the processes and procedures to be carried out.’

Roberto Borrás: his total empathy and knowledge of the issues, always friendly and with extensive experience, always available, a generous listener and an excellent legal professional. Dr Jose Miguel De la Calle, an excellent legal professional, knowledgeable about the processes, with extensive experience, total dedication to clients. The great professionalism of the firm and of the teams of these two wonderful professionals.’

Key clients

Unidad Administrativa Especial Aeronáutica Civil (Aerocivil)

Organismo Nacional de Acreditación de Colombia

Senda Infraestructuras–OHL

Corporación de Ferias y Exposiciones (Corferias)

Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano (IDU)

Indra Colombia

Fundación SaludMía

Varosa Energy

Empresa Metro de Bogotá

Scania Colombia / Scania Latin America

Asociación Bancaria y de Entidades Financieras de Colombia (ASOBANCARIA)

Coorserpark

Quarzo Construcciones

Empresa Nacional Promotora del Desarrollo

Territorial (formerly ‘Fondo Financiero de Proyectos de Desarrollo’)

Superintendencia Nacional de Salud

Compañía de Créditos Rápidos

Beat Ride App Colombias

Secretaría Ejecutiva del Convenio Andrés

Bello (SECAB)

Work highlights

  • Advising Aerocivil on the structuring process of a public tender to select a trust company that will manage the resources of Aeropuerto del Café (Aerocafé), a new airport in the municipality of Palestina in Caldas, and one of the most important regional airports in Colombia.
  • Advised Organismo Nacional de Acreditación de Colombia (ONAC) in a critical dispute concerning the very nature of the organisation and the way it provides its services.
  • Advising OHL in relation to the “Nueva Malla Vial del Valle Del Cauca” project tendered by the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) as the first of the fifth generation toll road programme launched by the Colombian Government in April 2020.

Colombia > Tax Tier 2

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.

Practice head(s):

Camilo Zarama

Testimonials

The practice provides excellent and technically reliable collaboration, diversity, human quality, technical accuracy, knowledge and support.

Key clients

Australis Partners Fund

AeroRepública

QuirónSalud

NH Hotel Group

Bavaria

Avianca

TermoemCali

Ufinet

Prosegur

Cavipetrol

Coquecol

Legis

Winner Group (a subsidiary of Cirsa)

Codere

Praco Didacol

Kimberly Clark

Direct TV

Work highlights

  • 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.

Dispute resolution > Arbitration Tier 3

Undertaking domestic and international proceedings related to commercial, contractual and shareholder disputes, frequently for major infrastructure and energy companies, Garrigues‘ Bogotá office continues to experience growth in its arbitral caseload. Dual qualified (Colombia / New York) practice head Alberto Acevedo has over 15 years’ disputes experience and handles local and international arbitration, including investment cases. He leads a six-strong team that provides ‘timely and high-quality advice‘, ‘excellent attention‘ and demonstrates ‘solid knowledge‘. Significant current matters include proceedings concerning the alleged breach of several pipeline supply contracts and an ICC construction contract arbitration concerning the breach of an EPC agreement; indeed, the construction segment has become a particular strength. With experience at the Superintendencia de Sociedades (bankruptcy area) and the third section of the Council of State, well-regarded senior associate Ángela María Rueda has a broad disputes practice and a specialisation in public law. However, associates Luis Guillemo Rosero and Angélica María Perdomo left to join Zuleta Abogados Asociados S.A.S and the international arbitration department of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce’s arbitration and conciliation centre in January and April 2021, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Alberto Acevedo

Testimonials

The litigation and arbitration team has solid knowledge in its area, which allows it to provide timely and high-quality advice, always being ready to provide support in the needs of the company.

‘They have a great capacity for prior analysis of the context for the subsequent structuring of legal defence. and in an empathic and strategic way they make a very good team with the areas involved in the defence of the company.

They are really good – committed, good customer service and excellent relationship with customers.

Their excellent attention at any time and their disposition; that they make the client feel unique despite having thousands of cases, they are up to date with all digital tools and offer a very good personalised service.

Key clients

Frontera Energy

OHL

Transmilenio

Codere

Gestcolombia (Urba Group)

Enel

Socios Online

Work highlights

  • Representing Transmilenio in a first-of-its-kind technical arbitration against Recaudo Bogotá demanding a compulsory review of the costs and fees charged by Recaudo Bogotá based on Contract No. 001 of 2011.
  • Representing Socios Online as plaintiff in a domestic arbitration filed against GNP following an alleged breach of contract by the latter in relation to a joint venture agreement between the parties to render online marketing services to Claro.
  • Defending OHL Industrial in a domestic arbitration filed by Estrumetal due to the alleged breach of a construction contract between the parties; Estrumetal was OHL Industrial’s subcontractor in the construction of a cement plant for the Corona/Molins joint venture in Antioquia, Colombia.

Dispute resolution > Litigation Tier 3

With ‘solid knowledge‘, Garrigues‘ Bogotá-based disputes practice handles a diverse caseload of commercial and administrative litigation, and arbitration, as well as maintaining a well-regarded bankruptcy practice. The team demonstrates ‘a great capacity for prior analysis of the context, for the subsequent structuring of legal defence‘, and plays to its strengths when handling breach of contract and civil liability matters, in particular; it has also seen an uptick in bankruptcy work and insurance litigation. Leading a six-strong group that also has expertise in the regulated sectors, dual-qualified (New York / Colombia) practice head Alberto Acevedo has over 15 years’ disputes experience and undertakes domestic and international litigation (and arbitration). Key associate support comes from up-and-coming senior associate Ángela María Rueda and associate Daniel Quintero, while real-estate practice senior associate Melissa Castro has public law-related litigation experience. Recent matters include public and private contract terminations, financial fraud and agency-agreement disputes, among others.

Practice head(s):

Alberto Acevedo

Testimonials

The litigation and arbitration team has solid knowledge in its area, which allows it to provide timely and high-quality advice, always being ready to provide support in the needs of the company.

‘They have a great capacity for prior analysis of the context for the subsequent structuring of legal defence. and in an empathic and strategic way they make a very good team with the areas involved in the defence of the company.

They are really good – committed, good customer service and excellent relationship with customers.

Their excellent attention at any time and their disposition; that they make the client feel unique despite having thousands of cases, they are up to date with all digital tools and offer a very good personalised service.

Key clients

Frontera Energy

OHL

Transmilenio

Codere

Gestcolombia (Urba Group)

Enel

Socios Online

Work highlights

  • Defence of Frontera Energy’s Colombian subsidiary in a class action filed before the civil circuit courts of Colombia by a group of former minority shareholders of Canada-based parent-company Frontera Energy.
  • Defence of Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Barranquilla in a suit filed by global insurer Allianz against the port operator (and maritime agent, Naves) which seeks reimbursement of the insurance costs covering the damage to steel coils bought by insured-party Corpacero.
  • Representation of Andean Towers Partners in the insolvency proceedings of Colombian mobile operator Avantel.

Colombia > Real estate Tier 4

The real estate practice at Garrigues offers effective advice on complex transactions involving private equity funds and trusts. The firm has good knowledge of planning and zoning regulations from a commercial and civil law perspective. Melissa Castro, who focuses on public law, real estate law and litigation, is now head of the team following her promotion to principal associate in December 2020. Carolina Pérez Forero has experience in planning and construction law, public contracts, and property management for projects. Associate Catalina López is another key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Castro

Testimonials

Garrigues has an integral team of professionals that allows it to provide a complete and quality service. Melissa Castro is an excellent professional with criteria and great knowledge in her area.

Their knowledge; they have suitable personnel for the analysis that we required.

The team is good – however, they must improve in response times.

Melissa Castro handles information with clarity and transmits reliability in the analysis carried out.

Garrigues is characterised by having a professional team, at the forefront of technology and trained to provide the customer with the best service. As a real estate law team they have not only extensive knowledge of the subject, but also the ability to adapt both in the methodology and in the particularities of wider circumstances, especially in the past year with the health situation of the country and the world, which allows be a strong competitor in the market.

The team we work with provided exceptional service. Their professional and human qualities allows them to provide a 360° service. They are very attentive, willing and resourceful lawyers.

Virtuality has allowed the service to become more efficient. To that extent, since the delivery of the service proposal, the different memoranda and billing, which have migrated to the purely virtual field, have allowed the process to be more agile and reliable for the user in a very efficient way.

This practice has a high knowledge of various branches of law, which makes their assistance comprehensive and highly beneficial for companies and in-house teams. With reasonable attention to the cost-benefit ratio and a permanent disposition to accompany the client, they are also open to consider various billing and service models. They adapt to the client’s needs and have assumed the new remote customer service modalities without losing closeness or capacity.

Key clients

Skandia Real Estate Private Equity Fund

Odinsa

Andean Tower Partners

Acalis

Komatsu

Cubico

Cooserpark

Team Foods

Suppla

Alsea

Banco Davivienda

EdgeconneX

Work highlights

  • Advised Komatsu, a Japanese manufacturer, in the USD$23m acquisition of land and construction of a warehouse.
  • Carried out a due diligence over several telecom towers in different cities and towns of Colombia that Andean Tower Partners – ATP acquired from Telefónica.
  • Advising Cooserpark with the urban planning and construction permits requests to build an eco-friendly ash forest.

Colombia > Labour and employment Tier 5

Garrigues has seen a recent growth in healthcare sector work, such as advising on the labour issues related to the liquidation of two healthcare subsidiaries, as well as in its consultations on termination procedures, senior executive dismissals and immigration. The firm has collaborated with its Peruvian labour practice to advise on cross-border issues. Regular work includes lawsuits filed by former employees, liability prevention and due diligence for M&A and banking and finance transactions. Ignacio Londoño and senior associate Carlos Arturo Silva Burbano head the team. Nicolás Clark returned to the firm’s Seville office but continues to aid the Colombian team. Since publication the firm has announced the hire of Carolina Camacho Solana, formerly head of the labour practice at Posse Herrera Ruiz, as a partner - effective as of May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Arturo Silva Burbano; Ignacio Londoño

Testimonials

They are very professional, providing legal advice in a timely and accurate manner.’

Permanent availability and agility in responses. Partner Carlos Arturo Silva is a very good professional in labour matters. Rapid adaptation to the Covid-19 crisis and permanent support in the labour changes that this event brought to companies.’

The depth in the concepts and the punctuality to deliver knowledge; also sending news.

Key clients

Acalis

Rosen

Toxement

Nacional De Seguros

Remote Technology

Avaya Communication

Ilunion Lavanderia

Seven Eighths

Kellogg

Tramas

BME Soporte Local

Medifertil

FCC Aqualia

McAfee

Vidal

Best Day (South-Net Turismo)

InnerWorkings

Fútbol con Corazón (Non profit organization)

COPASA

Babaria

Sanchez Cano

Get Justo

Infobae

Work highlights

  • Labour planning for Ilunión Lavanderia to address the Covid-19 pandemic and support with the hiring of employees with disabilities.
  • Advising Andean Tower Partnerts ATP on the implementation of telecommuting within the company as a permanent measure, as the working from home (WFH) modality will cease to comply with labour regulations when the health emergency state ends.
  • Advising Quirónsalud on several strategic labour issues related to the liquidation of two subsidiaries acquired in 2019, Ecografía Clínica del Prado (ECOPRADO) and Radio Diagnóstico las Vegas, including the termination of employees and avoiding collective dismissals.

The Bogota office comprises a solid team of multidisciplinary, highly trained, Colombian lawyers. As well as boasting a wealth of experience in the local market, many of these professionals have worked at major law firms in other jurisdictions, such as Madrid, New York and London.

Over the last few years, Garrigues’ immediate positioning as one of the leading firms in Colombia has been clear, having advised on some of the highest level projects and matters, and acting as legal counsel to top-tier international and domestic clients, who are industry leaders in Latin America.

Garrigues’ team in Bogota now comprises 45 professionals, with highly respected lawyers in the Colombian legal services market and with extensive experience in the area of international investment.

The firm has five offices in Latin America: Lima, Bogota, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile and Sao Paulo. Garrigues has the largest network of own offices in the region, among the major European law firms. It also has its own offices in Spain (in 20 cities), Belgium, China (Beijing and Shanghai), Portugal, Poland, Morocco, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Senior contacts
Jose Miguel De la Calle (partner): Jose is a senior partner and experienced lawyer with a solid background in industry and government entities, including Legal Vice President of the National Bank of Commerce and Superintendent of Industry and Trade. His practice focuses on corporate law, financial and economic law, administrative law and competition law. Graduated from School of Jurisprudence at Colegio Mayor del Rosario in 1991and has a Master’s in Law (LL.M) with honors from Harvard University.

Ignacio Londono (partner): master of law degree in corporate and financial law (LLM) from Columbia University. Founder and partner of the firm De la Calle, Londono, Lopez & Posada, where he worked for 15 years. He has been professor of commercial contracts and companies at Universidad de los Andes, as well as professor of business legal aspects of the MBA program of the Business School of the same university for more than 15 years.

Roberto Borras (partner): Roberto leads the capital markets and banking and finance practice. He served as chief financial superintendent of Colombia, director general of the financial compliance unit of the Colombian ministry of finance and public debt, and chairman of the Colombian securities market self-regulatory body. He also served as deputy superintendent for risks and superintendent for conglomerates in the financial superintendency. He has worked as an international consultant for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas (ASBA) and USAID.

Camilo Zarama (partner): Camilo worked in the tax law team at the Madrid office, where he was a member of the international service line and former part of the tams advising the firm’s main energy and telecommunications clients, among others. He has acted as tax advisor to various companies in M&A and in the field of tax litigation. Admitted to practice both in Colombia and Spain.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Corporate M&A Ignacio Londoñoignacio.londono@garrigues.com
Corporate M&A Andrés Ordoñezandres.ordonez@garrigues.com
Tax Camilo Zarama Martínezcamilo.zarama@garrigues.com
Finance Roberto Borrás Polaníaroberto.borras@garrigues.com
Antitrust José Miguel de la Calle Restrepojose.miguel.delacalle@garrigues.com
Litigation Alberto Acevedo Rehbeinalberto.acevedo@garrigues.com
Labor Ignacio Londoñoignacio.londono@garrigues.com
Public law José Miguel de la Calle Restrepojose.miguel.delacalle@garrigues.com
Foreign trade Cesar Cermeñocesar.cermeno@garrigues.com
Infrastructure Ivan Fierroivan.mauricio.fierro@garrigues.com
Other fee-earners : 36
Partners : 7