Firm Profile > Holland & Knight > Bogota, Colombia

Holland & Knight
CARRERA 7 #71-21

Arbitration Tier 2

Holland & Knight’s well-regarded practice handles local and international investment arbitration. In ‘renowned’ executive partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón the firm has a ‘star player’ with extensive experience as an arbitrator in ICC, ICSID and CIETAC tribunals; a heavyweight in the market, Gómez-Pinzón is currently acting as arbitrator in three different ongoing ICSID cases. Also, with an ‘outstanding’ reputation, practice head Alberto Zuleta is leading two of the most relevant international arbitration processes in Colombia, both of them under ICC rules; one involves a multi-party dispute between a consortium of coal companies regarding the operation of a Colombian railroad.

Litigation Tier 2

Primarily acting for multinationals with operations in Colombia, Holland & Knight fields an ‘outstanding' multi-disciplinary practice group that is 'available 24/7’. Led by Alberto Zuleta, who finds solutions ‘to the toughest problems’, the eight-strong team also includes energy - and energy disputes - specialist José Vicente Zapata (who is highlighted both for his expertise and because he is ‘always hands-on, supervising and working directly on your requests’) and executive partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón. The practice is currently representing a mining company in several constitutional claims for the protection of fundamental rights regarding ethnic communities. Among other recent highlights, the team continues to defend a telecoms company against a claim brought by a distributor for breach of contract. Associates Juan Casallas and Daniel Fajardo are also noted.

Corporate and M&A Tier 3

Holland & Knight’s ‘very capable’ 12-strong practice is led by managing partner Enrique Gómez-Pinzón, a renowned figure who is ‘very respected in the market’. Additional key participation comes from the energy-focused José Vicente Zapata and IP and antitrust specialist Danilo Romero, who led the advice to Barcelona-based fashion and beauty group Puig on its acquisition of a minority stake in Loto del Sur. In other work examples, the team is advising two energy sector companies on the structuring of an alliance with a third relevant market player for the purposes of co-developing energy projects in the country. Associate Lucas Saffon-López is also noted.

Energy and natural resources Tier 3

Clients particularly value Holland & Knight’s ‘proximity’ and availability to attend to urgent issues in a timely fashion, providing ‘concrete results and showing a comprehensive understanding of the needs of the client’. The practice covers the full scope of energy and natural resources work, with an emphasis on environmental law. The 13-strong team is led by the highly recommended José Vicente Zapata, who has over 20 years’ experience in the sector; Zapata and associate Margarita Solorza are noted for their ‘constant support’. The practice reinforced the oil-and-gas desk with the incorporation of Inés Elvira Vesga, who formerly led the hydrocarbons practice at Norton Rose Fulbright, which has now left the Colombian market. The team is currently advising several international independent oil-and-gas companies and miners in relation to regulatory and environmental matters, including representation in legal proceedings such as class actions and damages suits, related to their operations in the country.

Intellectual property Tier 3

Holland & Knight’s five-strong practice is recommended for its ‘high-quality work’ in prosecuting applications and maintaining and enforcing registrations. Danilo Romero, who ‘stands out due to his expertise and good relations with clients’, heads the team, which continues to advise Organización Terpel regarding its intellectual property matters, particularly the protection of trade dresses, trade marks, and patents; the team’s 2018 matters included assisting the company with establishing the notoriety of the trade mark “Terpel”. Other clients include Williams Sonoma, Major League Baseball Properties and Pegatex Artecola.

Banking and finance Tier 4

Holland & Knight’s ‘highly qualified’ Colombian office advises domestic and foreign financial institutions - including multilaterals - on bank regulatory and financing matters including financial services, credit transactions, project finance and syndicated loan facilities. Praised for its ‘deep knowledge and experience in several transactions’, which generates ‘valuable efficiencies’, the cross-border investment and financing department is led by office managing partner Enrique Gómez Pinzón. Recent matters saw the team act as counsel to FDN regarding a liquidity credit agreement obtained by Concesionaria Ruta del Cacao in connection with the $590m financial closing of the Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó toll road. The team was strengthened with the hire of Carolina Arciniegas, formerly legal counsel at Diageo, who joined as senior counsel in February 2019. ‘Outstanding’ associate Juliana Saa is also noted.  Other clients include Bancapital, Goldman Sachs, Inverlink, Bancolombia, Banco Itaú and Fondo CAF-Ashmore.

Competition and antitrust Tier 4

Holland & Knight’s practice group handles competition and antitrust law, as well as consumer and IP matters. Recent work saw practice head Danilo Romero, an IP expert, defend a multinational in an unfair competition process regarding allegedly misleading advertising initiated by one of the company’s main competitors. The group is also representing an individual under investigation by the SIC for alleged collusion in relation to an infrastructure construction concession. Dispute resolution practice head Alberto Zuleta also handles antitrust investigations and litigation proceedings before the SIC. Clients include Terpel and Pegatex-Artecola.

Labour and employment Tier 4

The ‘experienced team’ at Holland & Knight provides practical advice on day-to-day labour matters including union-management and corporate immigration issues, as well as acting in litigation and administrative procedures before the relevant authorities. Vicente Umaña heads the eight-strong department, which was further strengthened with the arrival of senior counsel Isabella Gandini, who joined in early 2019 from Norton Rose Fulbright, where she formerly led the labour and employment practice. Recent work has seen the team advise Linde Colombia on day-to-day individual and collective employment matters; it also successfully assisted the company with a complex procedure before administrative authorities. Associates Carolina Castro and Camilo Garcia are also noted.

Projects Tier 4

Holland & Knight is primarily active on the project-finance side of 4G road-infrastructure projects. Norberto Quintana and Enrique Gómez-Pinzón are the key practice contacts, with Colombian infrastructure-promotion agency Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN) a major client.

Tax Tier 4

Efficient and displaying good strategies’, Holland & Knight’s department provides advice on a wide range of transactional tax matters, as well as remedial advice in litigation proceedings. The five-strong team, led by the well-regarded Juan Carlos Valencia, ‘has extensive knowledge’ and ‘a close relationship with the regulator, which allows it to resolve doubts effectively’. Recent work saw the practice assist Ventura Capital with its corporate reorganisation; the team also provides the client with permanent corporate and tax advice for all entities in which the company holds equity.

Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,300 lawyers and other professionals in 28 offices in the US, London, Bogota and Mexico City.

With over 35 years of experience representing clients in Latin America, Holland & Knight expanded in the region by opening an office in Bogota in 2012. It is one of the few U.S.-based firms with a full-service office in Colombia, which allows it to play a key role in helping clients achieve their short and long-term goals. The office includes Colombian-licensed practitioners based in Bogota, in addition to lawyers who maintain dual practices with offices in both the US and Colombia.

The team offers solutions to Colombian companies with local and international legal needs as well as non-Colombian companies that wish to enter the Colombian market. Members of the team assist clients in all aspects of their business operations, with an emphasis on transactional matters and international disputes.

The Bogota office team includes Colombian-licensed practitioners based in Bogota, as well as lawyers who maintain dual practices with offices in both the US and Colombia. It provides bilingual and bicultural representation to companies in Colombia and across Latin America. The firm’s physical presence in Colombia, combined with the depth and scale of its practices, regional relationships and international reach, enables Holland & Knight to provide comprehensive and seamless legal services to its clients in the region.

Main areas of practice
Corporate services: the firm is ready to represent clients in a wide variety of legal transactions, including M&A, formation of new companies, corporate reorganizations and capitalization structures, real estate, financial services and contracts.

Taxation: services are both preventive and remedial. The team helps clients avoid tax pitfalls, as well as assisting in the efficient structuring of transactions to avoid overpayment of tax obligations.

Labor and employment: the group can provide organizations with corporate diversity and equal employment opportunity counseling, advice on union-management relations and assistance in all corporate immigration matters.

Energy/natural resources: the team leads oil and gas, energy, natural resources and mining practice in Colombia, with more than 25 years of experience in environmental compliance and regulatory litigation, oil and gas projects, mining projects, project finance, foreign investment projects, mergers and acquisitions, and complex corporate reorganizations and financial restructurings.

Environment: the team’s experience includes issues pertaining to climate change; coastal issues; compliance auditing and corporate governance; energy efficiency; environmental health and safety; environmental issues in corporate and real estate transactions; environmental permit approvals in major project development; green building; litigation, including toxic torts; natural resources; solid and hazardous waste; and sustainability issues.

Intellectual property and competition: the firm is ready to advise in all matters related with trademark and patents, as well as in copyright. The firm has the experience required to manage all kind of mergers and acquisitions following local regulations.

Litigation and arbitration: the group has the experience to coordinate, manage and supervise multijurisdictional litigation, and local and international arbitration, determining the most favourable applicable law and resolving conflicts between the laws of multiple interested jurisdictions.

Financial services: the group has the experience required to work in all kind of project finance transactions, as well as in market capital matters.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate services and M&A Enrique Gómez Pinzón +57.1.745.5720
Taxation Juan Carlos Valencia +57.1.745.5720
Financial services Enrique Gómez Pinzón +57.1.745.5720
Energy/natural resources and environment José Vicente Zapata +57.1.745.5720
Intellectual property and competition Danilo Romero Raad +57.1.745.5720
Litigation and arbitration Alberto Zuleta Londoño +57.1.745.5720
Labor and employment Vicente Umaña Carrizosa +57.1.745.5720
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Carolina Arciniegas  photo Ms Carolina Arciniegas
Ms Isabella Gandini  photo Ms Isabella Gandini
Mr Enrique Gomez-Pinzon  photo Mr Enrique Gomez-Pinzon
Mr Danilo Romero Raad  photo Mr Danilo Romero Raad
Mr Vicente Umaña  photo Mr Vicente Umaña
Mr Juan Carlos Valencia  photo Mr Juan Carlos Valencia
Ms Ines Elvira Vesga  photo Ms Ines Elvira Vesga
Mr Jose Vicente Zapata  photo Mr Jose Vicente Zapata
Mr Alberto Zuleta  photo Mr Alberto Zuleta
Other fee-earners : 47
Total staff : 81
Spanish etc.
Chinese (Mandarin)
Partners : 6
Senior Counsels : 3
Associates : 38
Law Clerks : 6