Holland & Knight > Bogota, Colombia > Firm Profile
Holland & Knight Offices
CARRERA 7 #71-21
TORRE A, PISO 8
- Go to...
- Firm Profile
- Main Contacts
- Lawyer Profiles
Holland & Knight > The Legal 500 Rankings
Colombia > Environment Tier 1‘Great connoisseurs of environmental legislation‘, Holland & Knight‘s environmental law practice attracts strong reviews from sources due to its ‘highly specialised and trained team‘. Mainly —but not exclusively— focused on the energy and natural resources sectors, the team routinely supports clients from the extractive industries on compliance matters, regulatory litigation and project development. Additionally, the team handles a steady stream of transactional due diligence matters. High-profile department head Jose Vicente Zapata is highlighted for his ‘timely design of strategies aimed at safeguarding the company’s interests‘; he counts an impressive roster of electric, oil and gas, mining, agrochemical and industrial companies among his key clients. Additionally, senior counsel Juan Casallas supports on contentious work, while associate Margarita Solorza assists with regulatory and compliance matters. Senior associate Camila Del Villar departed the firm in February 2022. Since publicaton, Casallas has been raised to the partnership - effective as of January 2023.
José Vicente Zapata
‘This is a highly specialised and trained team in understanding and resolving matters as complex and specific as environmental law. It is difficult to find this specialty in other law firms, which is why Holland & Knight is a sought-after firm in this area.’
‘Great connoisseurs of environmental legislation and the functioning of institutions in Colombia. Always willing to advise in the search for solutions to complex issues.’
‘It is worth highlighting the diligence of Holland & Knight’s environmental law team and the depth of the advice — not only on legal issues but also on business issues — and the good treatment of its clients.’
‘Jóse Vicente Zapata, team head, provides specialised advice, particularly useful for industries such as mass consumption, for which their production plants are of great value and the environmental implications are transcendental for their operation. Thus, Jóse is a strategic ally.’
‘Holland & Knight is a firm with very good customer service and lawyers are accessible whenever necessary. We appreciate its quick responses and experience in environmental issues that not all firms in Colombia handle.’
‘The team responds quickly and timely to the requirements that are formulated. Lawyers are always very attentive to meet the requirements in the shortest possible time.’
‘We recommend the team for its experience in this area, its knowledge, speed of responses and commitment to clients.’
‘José Vicente Zapata is a lawyer with strong academic training and exceptional professional experience, always willing to support the company in the solution of complex matters and in the timely design of strategies aimed at safeguarding the company’s interests.’
- Advising a company dedicated to crude oil extraction on the environmental licensing process for the development of a large-scale hydrocarbons project located in Boyacá.
- Acting for a mining company operating in the precious metals sphere on the environmental licensing process for the development of a large-scale mining project in Colombia.
- Advising a company in the natural gas sector on its environmental licence proceedings, including assistance with hearings requesting additional information before the National Environmental Agency and advice on environmental sanctioning proceedings.
Dispute resolution > Arbitration Tier 2Lawyers at Holland & Knight score highly with sources due to their ‘knowledge, dedication, generosity and understanding‘. The Bogotá office of the Florida-headquartered firm has a thriving arbitration practice, which is best known for its reputation in representing multinational clients in commercial and investment arbitrations. Following the March 2022 departure of former department head Alberto Zuleta-Londoño, executive partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón now steers the team. Gómez-Pinzón, whose practice is split between Bogotá and Washington DC, handles a range of cross-border transactions and international arbitration cases; notably he has participated in international investor arbitrations against Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panamá and Honduras. Energy specialist Jose Vicente Zapata is also a key member of the arbitration practice and has a focus on environment, energy and natural resources-related disputes. The group also leans on the experience of senior counsel Juan Casallas, who is recognised for his record in commercial, constitutional and administrative law matters, and associate Estefanny Pardo, who is noted for environmental law and energy disputes. Since publication, Casallas has been raised to the partnership - effective as of February 2023.
‘The team is experienced and up-to-date on relevant topics. Lawyers demonstrate excellent command of English for international processes.’
‘We particularly appreciate José Vicente Zapata’s knowledge and dedication.’
‘We value its lawyers sagacity, knowledge, dedication, generosity and understanding of the situation.’
Colombia > Energy and natural resources Tier 2Energy is a core practice globally for Miami-headquartered Holland & Knight and its international prowess is evidenced by its premier client roster, which is comprised of major regional and multinational corporates. Widely recognised for the strength of its oil and gas practice, the group also houses robust offerings in power and mining law. Department head Jose Vicente Zapata enjoys a strong profile in the market for his expertise in the electricity, oil, gas, mining and agrochemical spheres; his broad practice focus spans corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. Ines Elvira Vesga is also a key contact and is particularly recognised for her track record in the oil and gas sector. Senior counsel Juan Casallas provides contentious and regulatory support, while associate Estefanny Pardo has an emphasis on mining, environmental and energy disputes. In a significant development, the group was boosted in August 2022 by the hire of mining specialist Milton Fernando Montoya, who joined as of counsel from his own boutique firm Estudio Juridico Montoya & Asociados, bringing a team of three associates with him. Since publication, Casallas has been raised to the partnership - effective as of 2023.
José Vicente Zapata
Petrobras de Valores Internacional de España (sucursal Colombia)
Lewis Energy Colombia
Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDBG)
TransGas de Occidente
- Advising Inter-American Development Bank Group on various matters, including on the development of energy and oil and gas regulation, the implementation of bid rounds and contracting guidelines for the energy sector in the Republic of Panama.
- Acting for Geopark on various corporate, regulatory and environmental matters.
- Advising Chilco on due diligence with respect to the assets of a regional LPG distributor in different municipalities and also advising on the negotiation phase and contract revision for the acquisition of such assets.
Colombia > Corporate and M&A Tier 3The Bogota corporate team at Florida-based Holland & Knight is ‘focused on its clients and the search for solutions‘, according to sources. The group covers the waterfront on corporate issues and routinely advises on company incorporations and joint ventures, right through to M&A transactions and corporate reorganisations. Resident partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón splits his practice between Bogotá and Washington DC and handles a range of cross-border investment and M&A matters; he is leading the firm’s advice to Cemex Latam Holdings on its attempts to nullify certain corporate decisions that were taken during the capitalisation made in 2015 by Cemex Colombia in the company Zona Franca Especial Cementera del Magdalena Medio. Lucas Saffon-López co-leads the group alongside Gómez-Pinzón and also has an emphasis on international deals, while José Vicente Zapata is noted for his transactional expertise in the natural resources sector. The group also includes newly promoted (January 2022) corporate and tax partner Rafael Lafont Castillo. The firm witnessed a flurry of associate departures in 2021: associate practice director María Isabel Romero de la Torre, senior counsel Daniel Fajardo and associate María Alejandra Cabrera all left the firm.
Enrique Gómez-Pinzón; Lucas Saffon-López
‘A highly innovative and professional team, which is focused on its clients and the search for solutions.’
‘We value lawyers for their knowledge, dynamism, speed and solutions.’
Banco General de Panama
Hemisphere Media Group
Taikai USA Switchgear
- Advised Banco General de Panamá, as creditor, on the reorganisation process currently being carried out by Alfacer del Caribe and Alfagres before the Superintendence of Companies.
- Acted for Cemex Latam Holdings in the preparation and filing of a lawsuit before the Superintendence of Companies requesting the declaration of nullity of certain corporate decisions that were taken on Cemex’s capitalisation in 2015 by Cemex Colombia.
- Advised Colombian food company Productos Ramo on its merger with Molinos Las Mercedes.
Colombia > Public law Tier 3Holland & Knight has an established track record in advising major companies in the mining, energy and infrastructure sectors on public law. Particularly active in contentious work, the team is recognised for its expertise in class actions, public environmental law issues and other constitutional law matters. Group head José Vicente Zapata ‘generates value with his participation’ and is recommended for his regulatory experience in the energy and environmental sectors. Senior counsel Juan Casallas is noted for constitutional and administrative law disputes, both judicial and arbitral. Former practice co-head Alberto Zuleta-Londoño left the firm in March 2022. Since publication, Casallas has bee raised to the partnership - effective as of February 2023.
José Vicente Zapata
‘Extensive knowledge and experience in environmental issues.’
‘José Vicente Zapata is very dedicated to his cases and always generates value with his participation.’
USA-based Construction Company
- Representing a multinational group of companies in a fiscal liability proceeding before the Contraloría General de la República in relation to fiscal detriment regarding a project to expand a state-owned asset.
- Represented oil and gas company, Equion, in more than 200 judicial proceedings related to the discussion of an environmental tax with the National Agency for Environmental Licenses (ANLA).
Colombia > Banking and finance Tier 4The Bogotá outpost of US-headquartered Holland & Knight ‘strives to build long-term relationships‘, according to clients. A solid performer in cross-border transactions, where it draws on its extensive global network, the team also secures a steady stream of domestic financings. In a significant coup, the firm hired former Garrigues‘ counsel, Camilo Gantiva, as partner and head of the office’s financial-services regulation and capital markets’ practices. The team also includes Bogotá executive partner Enrique Gómez Pinzón, who splits his time between Colombia and Washington DC, as well as international transactions specialist Lucas Saffon-López and recently promoted (August 2021) partner Juliana Saa. Alberto Vergara is an active associate.
Enrique Gómez-Pinzón; Lucas Saffon-López
‘It is an excellent team. Although compact, the practice serves the client in a timely manner and in the best way.’
‘We value lawyers’ total availability to solve the requirements of their clients, particularly Juliana Saa and Lucas Saffon-López.’
‘Holland & Knight is an extraordinary firm. Its billing and collaboration make it superior to others. Likewise, it understands its clients’ business and strives to build long-term relationships, which translates into positive efficiencies for its clients’ transactions.’
‘Juliana Saa is very proactive and considerate of the interests of her clients and the transaction.‘
Itaú Corpbanca Colombia
- Represented GeoPark on the Colombian law aspects of its $150m notes offering, issued under Rule 144A/Reg.S.
- Advised Bancolombia on the refinancing of the debt of five small hydroelectric plants operated by the LAREIF Group, totalling COP$350bn.
- Advised Banco Santander, Banco Davivienda and Itaú Corpbanca Colombia on a dual currency project finance transaction for the financing of a 23 km transmission line in the Atlántico Department.
Colombia > Competition and antitrust Tier 4Holland & Knight's competition practice is particularly well versed in unfair competition and IP-related work, with an emphasis on litigation. Litigator Danilo Romero Raad heads the team and combines strength in contentious competition, IP, data privacy and consumer protection matters. Associate Camila López Vigoya is also noted for her experience in administrative law cases.
Danilo Romero Raad
Garlock Pipeline Industries
GE Healthcare Colombia
- Advised Ortomec on preparing and filing an unfair competition complaint against Instruserv before the SIC.
- Advised Garlock Pipeline Industries on answering an unfair competition complaint before the Civil Court.
- Represented Mónica Cristancho in the investigation into alleged collusion in the public bidding process to construct a highway on the Bogotá-Girardot road.
Dispute resolution > Litigation Tier 4Holland & Knight‘s litigation offering is now spearheaded by energy specialist Jose Vicente Zapata — who also handles environmental liability and judicial proceedings — following the departure of Alberto Zuleta-Londoño in March 2022. The team additionally draws upon the senior expertise of executive partner Enrique Gómez Pinzón, who splits his time between Bogotá and Washington DC and is active in arbitral disputes, as well as senior counsel Juan Casallas, who routinely advises on commercial, constitutional and administrative law cases. Key associate Estefanny Pardo has an emphasis on environmental litigation but is well versed across a wide scope of energy and natural resources-related matters. Since publication, Casallas has been raised to the partnership - effective as of February 2023.
Jose Vicente Zapata
‘We appreciate the dedication and experience of the partner, his participation in multiple cases keeps him up-to-date on trends.’
‘We highlight Jose Vicente Zapata’s dedication and proactivity.’
‘It is a committed team with the ability to react quickly. It also demonstrates very good academic foundations to address the legal challenges that arise.’
‘Lawyers are very practical and approach the resolution of problems from real and functional perspectives for clients.’
Colombia > Intellectual property Tier 4Holland & Knight finds favour with sources for its ‘personalised, prompt and useful advice‘. The group is distinguished by its multidisciplinary approach to the area, which sees it provide integrated support on IP together with competition, consumer protection and data protection law. Department head Danilo Romero Raad is a regulatory specialist, whose practice spans IP, competition, consumer protection and TMT-related matters. Recommended names at associate level include Camila López, who has a broad regulatory focus; and Maria José Pardo, who joined in August 2021 from Brigard Castro. Associate Bettina Sojo, currently on study leave in New York, is also noted. Since publication, the team has been notably strengthened with the October-2022 hire of former director of the National Directorate of Copyright in Colombia, Camila Santamaría, as senior counse; with approaching 20 years’ experience, she has held leadership roles at both ASIPI and INTA – in the latter case serving on the organisation’s Latin America Global Advisory Council.
Danilo Romero Raad
‘It is an excellent office, which provides personalised, prompt and useful advice. We appreciate its quick attention to matters.’
‘The team’s provision of prompt and adequate services distinguishes it in the market. Associate Camila López particularly stands out in our opinion.’
Illinois Tool Works
Major League Baseball Properties
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton / Williams Sonoma
Disagro de Guatemala
- Successfully represented Colombian Influencer @IssaVasquez in trade mark litigation brought by a restaurant.
- Represented Cyrgo on the preparation and filing of a domain name complaint before the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
- Advised Major League Baseball Properties on protecting its intellectual property portfolio in Colombia.
Colombia > Labour and employment Tier 4Lawyers at Holland & Knight provide ‘fast and personalised attention', according to sources. The practice has seen some major changes of late, with former department head Vicente Umaña leaving the firm in April 2022, to be replaced by new practice lead Carolina Castro, who was also promoted to senior counsel. The group also draws upon associates Jimena Nieto, who is well versed in collective bargaining, disciplinary procedures and termination plans; and Camilo García, who handles various corporate matters, with a focus on labour law.
‘It is a team with the common denominator of excellence.’
‘Lawyers provide fast and personalised attention.’
Crepes & Waffles
Arthur J Gallagher
Corporación Club Payandé
Staffing Abroad / Lending USA
- Advising Crepes & Waffles on day-to-day labour matters, including on the structuring of human resources procedures and policies, working hours special schemes and disciplinary procedures; additional matters include successfully representing the client before the Labour Court.
- Advising Wizeline on its initiation in Colombia from a labour perspective, and on day-to-day labour matters.
- Representing Unisys on litigation matters before State Counsel against Unidad de Gestión Pensional y parafiscal (UGPP) for supposed breach of social security-related obligations during the years 2012 to 2020; it secured a reduction of over 80% of the recalculation and fines.
Colombia > Projects Tier 4Holland & Knight houses a robust project finance capability, which is recognised for its record in representing local and international banks and sponsors on financing transactions. It also acts for infrastructure companies in environmental, contentious and corporate law matters. Office head Enrique Gomez-Pinzon splits his time between Bogotá and Washington DC and specialises in cross-border investment and financing, project financing and international arbitration.
Colombia > Tax Tier 4New 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.
Colombia > Capital markets
Latin America: International firms > International arbitrationHolland & Knight LLP covers commercial and investment-treaty disputes under all major arbitration rules and is known for its expertise in infrastructure, energy, mining and construction cases. Experienced international arbitration practitioner Adolfo Jimenez, who acts as both advocate and arbitrator, leads the firm’s international arbitration practice out of Miami, with domestic and international trade attorney Carlos Vejar (in Mexico City), providing senior support. Other key senior names include highly experienced arbitrator Enrique Gómez Pinzón, who divides his time between the firm’s Washington DC and Bogota offices; and New York-based litigation partner Marisa Marinelli. Bogota-based dispute resolution partner Alberto Zuleta left to join Cuatrecasas in late 2021.
Medical University Hospital Authority
Eco Oro Minerals
Royal Industries International
King Baby Marine
- Acted as lead counsel to Eutel’s Satmex for more than 10 years in an investment arbitration proceeding against the Mexican government before ICSID for breach of several provisions under the Mexico-France bilateral investment treaty.
- Secured a victory for Drummond in a nine-party ICC arbitration involving the construction of a railway in Colombia.
- Advising a precious metals exploration and mining development company Eco Oro Minerals with respect to an international arbitration filed against Colombia concerning the prevention of mining activities in a protected area despite the existence of mining titles before the area was protected.
Holland & Knight > Firm Profile
Holland & Knight is a global law firm with approximately 1,700 lawyers and other professionals in 31 offices around the world. Our Bogotá office includes Colombian-licensed practitioners based in Bogotá, as well as lawyers with offices in the US and Colombia. We provide bilingual and bicultural representation to companies of all nationalities.
We counsel clients in cross-border transactions, taxation, labour and employment, intellectual property and competition, energy, environmental law, natural resources, infrastructure, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity investments, banking and finance, project finance, and international litigation and arbitration. We also provide regulatory advice to foreign companies doing business in Colombia, as well as Colombian companies doing business abroad.
Our partners have over 25 years of experience in their respective fields, working abroad and in Colombia. We have handled different types of complex transactions and possess the expertise to meet all requirements and legal needs. Currently, we are considered one of the leading firms in the market in the main practice areas.
Main practice areas
Arbitration and Litigation: We assist clients to resolve conflicts through coordinating, managing and supervising multijurisdictional litigation, local and international investment and commercial arbitration. Our litigators have experience as international arbitrators in ICC, ICSID and CIETAC matters and in commercial arbitrations.
Banking and Finance & Capital Markets: Our lawyers advise financial institutions in bank regulatory and financing matters, financial services and credit transactions, cross-border financial transactions, project finance transactions and syndicated loan facilities in different markets.
Corporate, Compliance and M&A: We represent clients in a wide range of transactions, including compliance, M&A, incorporation of new companies, corporate reorganizations, spinoffs and capitalization structures, real estate and contracts.
Energy and natural resources: The team is an industry leader in oil and gas, energy, natural resources and mining in Colombia, with in-depth experience in regulatory litigation, oil and gas projects, mining projects, renewable energy projects, project finance, foreign investment projects, M&A, corporate reorganizations and financial restructurings.
Environmental: The team’s experience includes issues pertaining to climate change, compliance auditing and energy efficiency, environmental health and safety, environmental issues, environmental permit approvals, litigation and sustainability issues.
Infrastructure: The office provides advice during the bid preparation, the negotiation of the engagements terms and the drafting and negotiation of all type of contracts in different industries. We have strong experience in PPP projects in Colombia and abroad.
Intellectual property and competition: Holland & Knight provides a complete range of legal services designed to help you protect your innovations and succeed in a global competitive market. The office advises clients in matters related with intellectual property, competition law, consumer law, data protection and regulatory affairs.
Labour & Employment: We provide comprehensive labour and labour relations advice, including litigation and corporate diversity and equal employment opportunity counselling, as well as advice on union-management relations and assistance in corporate immigration matters.
Taxation & Foreign Exchange: We help clients to avoid tax pitfalls and assists in the efficient structuring of transactions to avoid overpayment of tax obligations. Our tax attorneys have experience successfully litigating complex tax cases before the highest courts in Colombia.
|Corporate services and M&A||Enrique Gómez Pinzónemail@example.com||+57.601.745.5720|
|Taxation||Juan Carlos Valenciafirstname.lastname@example.org||+57.601.745.5720|
|Financial services||Enrique Gómez Pinzónemail@example.com||+57.601.745.5720|
|Energy/natural resources and environment||José Vicente Zapatafirstname.lastname@example.org||+57.601.745.5720|
|Intellectual property and competition||Danilo Romero Raademail@example.com||+57.601.745.5720|
|Oil & Gas||Inés Elvira Vesgafirstname.lastname@example.org||+57.601.745.5720|
|Banking & Finance||Maria Juliana Saaemail@example.com||+57.601.745.5720|
|Capital Markets||Camilo Gantivafirstname.lastname@example.org||+57.601.745.5720|
|Office Manager||Maria Paula Albanemail@example.com||+57.601.745.5720|
|Mr Juan Casallas||Senior Counsel||View Profile|
|Mr Camilo Gantiva Hidalgo||Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Enrique Gomez-Pinzon||Executive Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Rafael Lafont||Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Gustavo Pardo Ardila||Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Danilo Romero Raad||Partner||View Profile|
|Ms Juliana Saa||Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Juan Carlos Valencia||Partner||View Profile|
|Ms Ines Elvira Vesga||Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Jose Vicente Zapata||Equity Partner||View Profile|
Staff FiguresOther fee-earners : 30 Total staff : 80
LanguagesSpanish etc. English French Italian
OtherPartners : 8 Senior Counsels : 2 Associates : 28 Law Clerks : 6
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Dispute resolution > Arbitration
- Energy and natural resources
- Banking and finance
- Competition and antitrust
- Dispute resolution > Litigation
- Intellectual property
- Labour and employment