Brigard Urrutia > Bogota, Colombia > Firm Profile
Brigard Urrutia Offices
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Brigard Urrutia > The Legal 500 Rankings
Colombia > Banking and finance Tier 1According to satisfied clients, Brigard Urrutia ‘focuses on providing a quality service‘. A longstanding heavyweight in the banking and finance arena, the firm houses one of the most comprehensive practices in the market and routinely advises on the full spread of related issues, from syndicated loans and project financings, through to fintech and regulatory-related matters. Among the names to note, infrastructure specialist César Felipe Rodríguez is commended for his ‘exceptional knowledge in project financing‘. Rodríguez also shines in acquisition finance; he notably acted as Colombian deal counsel to AT&T Services, Open Plaza Corp and the guarantor subsidiaries on a $506.1m financing from AT&T to Open Plaza, as part of the LBO of AT&T-owned Vrio Corp. High-profile name Carlos Fradique-Méndez handles a mix of transactional and regulatory matters, with strong skill sets in banking, finance, capital markets and private equity. Felipe Alarcón, a former Deputy Director at the Financial Superintendence, is particularly sought after for his expertise in financial regulation. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) María Fernanda Diago is well versed in advising both borrowers and lenders on cross-border transactions — as is senior partner Carlos Urrutia, who enjoys a strong international profile both due to his premier banking experience and his background as a former Ambassador of Colombia to the US. At the associate level, María Fernanda Sánchez and Juan Eduardo Gómez are recommended.
Carlos Fradique-Méndez; César Felipe Rodríguez; Felipe Alarcón; María Fernanda Diago; Carlos Urrutia
‘The team at Brigard Urrutia focuses on providing a quality service. Lawyers display great legal knowledge in project financing, as well as excellent negotiating skills.’
‘The team’s response times are focused around the client’s needs and are matched by personal service.’
‘César Felipe Rodríguez is a partner committed to providing a quality service. He demonstrates excellent negotiation skills and exceptional knowledge in project financing. Also, he is an excellent human being.’
International Finance Corporation
Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)
Financiera Desarrollo Nacional
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
JP Morgan Chase Bank
China Development Bank
Banco de Bogotá
Ashmore Management Company Colombia
Gramercy Funds Management
LATAM Airlines Group
- Acted as local counsel to Electribus Bogotá Usme I and Electribus Bogotá Fontibón II on a financing from Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional and Groupe Agence française de développement to finance the acquisition of electric public-transport buses from BYD.
- Advised Caribbean Financial Group on the local aspects of its acquisition of the portfolio of book-borrowing operations of Alpha Capital and Vive Créditos Kusida, through an insolvency proceeding filed in the US.
- Acted as Colombian counsel to Termonorte, as co-obligor, on the structuring of a senior secured credit agreement governed by the state of New York between Fideicomiso PA FAFPG Termonorte, represented by Fiduciaria Bancolombia as borrower, and MUFG Bank as coordinating lead arranger and administrative agent.
Colombia > Capital markets Tier 1Brigard Urrutia is ‘unbeatable in the capital market space’, according to some. A consistent performer in debt and equity mandates, the group also strikes a balance between acting for issuers and underwriters. Carlos Fradique-Méndez is recognised for his experience in cutting-edge capital markets matters, where he combines strong transactional and regulatory expertise. Fradique-Méndez co-heads the department alongside corporate finance specialist Luis Gabriel Morcillo; together they represented the underwriters (Citigroup Global Markets, BofA Securities and JP Morgan Securities) on Banco Davivienda’s $500m issuance of perpetual bonds in the international market — which represented the first offering of its kind by a Colombian institution. Among its issuer-side highlights, the same team acted as Colombian counsel to AI Candelaria (Spain) on its $600m bond offering. In September 2021, senior associate Felipe Calderón left for Citibank, while two months later Luis Alejandro León joined as a senior associate from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.
Carlos Fradique-Méndez; Luis Gabriel Morcillo
‘The team’s industry knowledge is outstanding, and the partners in charge are excellent. The firm is unbeatable in the capital markets space.’
‘Luis Gabriel Morcillo and Carlos Fradique-Méndez are outstanding.’
Asociación Colombiana de Fondos de Capital Privado (ColCapital)
Blackrock Institutional Trust Company
Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM)
Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina
Credit Suisse Securities
Ashmore Management Colombia
Asociación Bancaria y de Entidades Financieras de Colombia (Asobancaria)
Patrimonio Autónomo Estrategias Inmobiliarias
Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)
Fábrica Nacional de Autopartes (Fanalca)
Advent International Colombia
Grupo Energía de Bogotá
Sura Asset Management
Bolsa de Valores de Colombia (BVC)
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Latam Logistic Properties
República de Colombia
Mercado Libre Colombia
Bank Of America
Península Investment Group
- Advised Citigroup Global Markets, BofA Securities and JP Morgan Securities on the issuance of perpetual bonds in the international market, worth $500m.
- Represented Credit Suisse Securities (USA) and Goldman Sachs & Co, as the underwriters, on a $400m follow-on notes offering by GNB Sudameris.
- Advised Ecopetrol on a two-tranche notes offering worth a combined $2bn.
City focus > Cali Tier 1‘An expert firm with excellent service‘, Brigard Urrutia continues to be the only full-service national heavyweight with an on-the-ground presence in Cali. More than this, the firm remains fully committed to expanding its offering in the city and the wider region, with the team recently swelling to five lawyers following several new hires into the office including: international trade-focused of counsel Maria Eugenia Lloreda, who joined in April 2021 and is a former regional manager at ANDI; senior associate Jimena Rincon , who has an emphasis on corporate and M&A matters and arrived in April 2022 from Fanalca; and intermediate associate Rafael Reyes, who advises on labour and employment law and was formerly a clerk for specialised labour judges — he joined in 2021. The office is now equipped to provide standalone advice on a wide range of corporate and M&A, international trade, labour and employment and antitrust law— it can also parachute in teams from the wider firm as required. Competition and antitrust expert Alejandro Garcia de Brigard continues to head the local practice and recently provided training to 18 companies in Valle del Cauca on technological prototyping, data management and intellectual property.
‘It is an expert firm with excellent service.‘
‘The main strength of the Brigard Urrutia team is that it manages to integrate very effectively the different disciplines that can contribute to the solution of a particular problem or situation. So definitions and decisions always have the support of having been built holistically.’
‘Industry knowledge is outstanding, and the partners in charge are excellent.’
‘I highlight the integration of the BU team; the practice provides comprehensive advice. Lawyers do not bill unnecessarily and seek 360º solutions together with colleagues from other practices.’
‘It is a comprehensive team, which has professionals specialised in different areas of law and at the forefront of relevant legal discussions. The firm has also implemented diversity and inclusion efforts.’
Suzuki Motor de Colombia
Sinergia Global en Salud
Gases de Occidente
CI de Azucares y Mieles
Zonamerica Usuario Operador de Zonafranca
Baño Móvil de Colombia
Ingeniería Maquinaria y Equipos de Colombia (IMECOL)
Servicio de Comercio Estratégico (Unico Outlets)
Santa Anita Nápoles
Cargill Trading Colombia
Siderurgica del Occidente
Sociedad Puerto Industrial Agua Dulce
Italcol de Occidente
Cámara de Comercio de Cali
Goodyear de Colombia
Industria Colombiana De Dotaciones Metalicas
Mindray Medical Colombia
Cartón de Colombia
Consorcio Infraestructura Rover 012
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP
- Advising Christus Health on M&A matters, general corporate, tax, labour, and healthcare regulation.
- Advising Comercializadora de Azucares y Mieles (CIAMSA) on corporate, environmental, custom, tax and, labour law matters.
- Acting for Suzuki Motor de Colombia on corporate, commercial, tax, and competence matters.
Colombia > Competition and antitrust Tier 1Brigard Urrutia‘s competition team leverages the firm’s top-tier corporate practice to pack a punch in merger filings. However, the group is more than just a transactional support practice, as demonstrated by its recent strong performance in competition litigation and complex behavioural matters. Dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) department head Alejandro Garcia de Brigard brings to bear an impressive record in advising on the local leg of major cross-border merger reviews; notably, he and his team handle nearly a quarter of the country’s total merger filings — he also advises on investigations and enforcement matters. García’s recent highlights include advising AstraZeneca on merger control matters related to its acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceutical and also representing Suzuki Motor de Colombia in the Competition Authority’s antitrust investigation into alleged anti-competitive conduct in the public procurement of motorcycles. Senior associate, and practice coordinator, Nicolás Cardona is also a key contact and brings significant hands-on expertise earned during a three-year stint at the Competition Authority.
Alejandro García de Brigard
Suzuki Motor de Colombia
Chevron Global Energy
Novartis de Colombia
Trichem de Colombia
The Walt Disney Company
Colombia Telecomunicaciones (COLTEL)
Latam Airlines Group
- Advised Latam Airlines Group on the merger control aspects of the metal-neutral agreement with Delta Air Lines before the National Civil Aviation Authority, triggered by the Trans-American Joint Venture Agreement between Latam and Delta.
- Successfully represented AstraZeneca in the merger control procedure triggered by its acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceutical.
- Acted as local counsel to The Walt Disney Company on several antitrust matters, including on the launch of the Disney+ and Star+ platforms in Colombia and the region.
Colombia > Corporate and M&A Tier 1According to satisfied clients, Brigard Urrutia is distinguished by ‘its quality of work, efficiency and agility‘. A transactional powerhouse, the firm leverages its full-service model to pack a punch in advising major national and multinational companies on the full spread of corporate and M&A matters — across all business sectors. The group demonstrates adroit handling of headline-grabbing deals for both sellers and acquirers, and it is also well-equipped to advise on compliance and non-transactional matters. High-profile M&A co-head Sergio Michelsen Jaramillo is an instantly recognisable name for corporate deals and brings to bear over three decades of experience on sophisticated transactions. Michelsen recently teamed up with dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) corporate heavyweight Jaime Robledo and up-and-coming specialist Tomás Holguín to advise former shareholders of Productos Familia (including Valores Industriales, Reforestadora y Manufacturera los Retiros and members of the Gómez family) on one of the year’s marquee deals: Essity’s $1.5bn acquisition of approximately 44% of Productos Familia through a tender offer. In another cross-border highlight, Darío Laguado Giraldo teamed up with corporate finance expert Carlos Fradique-Méndez to act as local counsel to Alpha Capital CFG on its acquisition, out of bankruptcy, of the payroll loan portfolio of Alpha Latam Management and its subsidiaries in Colombia. Other key partners include Álvaro Cala, who specialises in the aviation and real estate sectors, Fernando Alfredo Castillo, who has a good record in cross-border work, as well as managing partner Carlos Umaña and senior partner Carlos Urrutia. The department also benefits from a deep bench of associates, including dual-qualified Paola Ordoñez (M&A), Laura Ricardo Ayerbe (M&A, corporate and commercial) and Barranquilla-based Andrea Camila Cruz (M&A, corporate and commercial). Two changes in September 2021 saw Ángela García Páez promoted to director within the corporate and M&A team, while former senior associate Daniel Moncaleano left to join Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in the US.
Sergio Michelsen; Darío Laguado; Jaime Robledo; Fernando Castillo; Tomás Holguín
‘The firm is distinguished by its quality of work, efficiency and agility. We worked with Darío Laguado, Fernando Alfredo Castillo and associate Andrea Camila Cruz.’
Grupo Casino – Casino Guichard Perrachon
Softbank Group Corp and Softbank Vision Fund
Tribeca Asset Management
MLO – Productos Naturales de la Sabana (Alquería)
Droguerías y Farmacias Cruz Verde
United Health Group
Innova Capital Management
Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional
- Advised former shareholders of Productos Familia (including Valores Industriales, Reforestadora y Manufacturera los Retiros and members of the Gómez family) on Essity’s $1.5bn acquisition of approximately 44% of Productos Familia through a tender offer.
- Advised Marco Antonio Avella Palacio, as the seller, on the acquisition of the Vitalis Group by ACON Investments and its affiliates.
- Acted as local counsel to Alpha Capital CFG on its acquisition, via a successful bid process under article 363 of the US Bankruptcy Court, of the payroll loan portfolio of Alpha Latam Management and its subsidiaries in Colombia.
Dispute resolution > Litigation Tier 1Standing out for the ‘analysis and depth with which it deals with the issues‘, Brigard Urrutia‘s team is comprised of lawyers who ‘understand the needs of clients‘. The combined litigation, arbitration and insolvency group covers the waterfront on contentious matters, with strong skill sets in civil and commercial proceedings, administrative actions, mass litigation and judicial bankruptcy cases. Department head Irma Rivera Ramírez brings to bear over 25 years of experience and routinely leads on major national and cross-border litigation and arbitration proceedings. Among Rivera’s recent highlights, she has represented clients in unfair competition cases, constitutional actions and contentious bankruptcy proceedings, as well as commercial litigation. The department can now calls upon the specialist expertise of two partners, following the February-2022 promotion of former associate director Felipe Mutis, who sources single out for his ‘ability to analyse and search for solutions‘. Mutis is widely recognised for his emphasis on disputes concerning the infrastructure, energy, M&A and telecoms sectors. The team also benefits from an impressive second line of senior associates, including dual-qualified (Colombia/New York) María Munevar Torrado, who handles a mix of litigation and arbitration cases; Carlos Mauricio Cerrato, who has a focus on civil and commercial matters; insolvency head Paola Guerrero Yemail; and Ana Carolina Abreo, who specialises in public procurement and administrative law matters. The group also recently welcomed new senior associate Camilo Valenzuela, who joined the firm in September 2021 from Lloreda Camacho & Co. and has experience in all core areas of dispute resolution. Intermediate associate Melissa Fonseca left the firm in February 2022.
‘We recommended the firm for: the analysis and depth with which it deals with the issues; the quality of the documents; the client service — the team is always available; lawyers’ involvement in the issues and their search for solutions.’
‘Lawyers display knowledge of the business and of the industry within which our company operates.’
‘It is a comprehensive team, which has professionals specialised in different areas of law and at the forefront of relevant legal discussions. They have also implemented diversity and inclusion efforts.’
‘We highlight Felipe Mutis for his knowledge of the business, his ability to analyse and search for solutions, his excellent customer service, his availability, his timeliness in responses and his ability to find the best options for clients.’
‘They are lawyers who understand the needs of clients and, in turn, the complexity of the Colombian legal system. In that sense, the legal advice received is comprehensive.’
‘I highlight Felipe Mutis, recently appointed as partner of the firm, for his work in the litigation area. Additionally, Carlos Mauricio Cerrato, María Munevar Torrado and Valeria Cárdenas have also adequately supported the company in different types of litigation.’
Colombia > Energy and natural resources Tier 1Brigard Urrutia finds favour for its ability to ‘very effectively integrate the different disciplines that can contribute to the solution of a particular problem‘, with sources attesting that this ensures ‘decisions always have the benefit of having been built holistically’. The firm houses a deep and broad energy and natural resources practice, which routinely advises key industry participants on the full life cycle of matters, from regulatory issues, through to finance and corporate transactions. Among the names to note, managing partner Carlos Umaña is recognised for his specialist focus on infrastructure, procurement, utility and natural resources law, while senior partner Carlos Urrutia is sought after for his broad commercial practice that spans regulatory, contentious and transactional work. The department also draws on the senior experience of energy regulation expert Claudia Navarro, who is well versed in both the electric and natural gas spheres, transactional specialist Jaime Robledo and associate director Marianna Boza, who spearheads the firm’s mining and oil and gas group. The practice also leans on a talented band of more junior lawyers, including senior associate Juan Carlos Padilla, who joined in June 2021 from Transportadora de Gas Internacional.
Carlos Umaña; Carlos Urrutia; Claudia Navarro; Jaime Robledo; Marianna Boza; Juan Carlos Padilla; Manuel Gómez
‘The main strength of Brigard Urrutia’s team is its ability to very effectively integrate the different disciplines that can contribute to the solution of a particular problem or situation. Therefore, definitions and decisions always have the benefit of having been built holistically.’
‘The firm’s relationships with the key agents in the different industries/sectors is excellent, which facilitates legal processes.’
‘Brigard Urrutia’s attorneys are comprehensive professionals who, in addition to knowing their field of work very well, are excellent people and have very good soft skills. It is highly valued that everyone speaks English as it facilitates interactions with staff from our company’s headquarters.’
Oleoducto de Los Llanos Orientales
Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia
Puerto de Barranquilla
Energía de Colombia STR and Grupo Ortiz
Vestas Mexicanas del Viento
- Advised Mineros on the preparation of contractual and institutional documents, and the structuring of a data room for due diligence of Nicaraguan, Argentinian and Colombian mining assets, all within the framework of its international expansion and listing on the Canadian stock market.
- Advised Canadian Solar on the award of the first auction in Latin America to install a 45MW electric-energy battery-storage system in Barranquilla Atlántico, and on the award of the third renewables energy auction in Colombia — as well as on project development, structuring and performance.
- Acted for Matrix Renewables on the financing granted by the Inter-American Development Bank and Bancolombia for the operation and maintenance of three photovoltaic solar plants located in Meta, Colombia.
Colombia > Insurance Tier 1
‘An excellent multidisciplinary team‘, Brigard Urrutia‘s insurance and reinsurance group is composed of lawyers, ‘who are really dedicated to their clients‘, according to sources. The firm acts for an impressive roster of major insurers, which it advises on the full gamut of corporate, regulatory and contentious matters — it is notably sought after by foreign companies looking to register before the Financial Superintendence and is currently representing 56 such clients. Director Lucas Fajardo ‘knows the industry like nobody else‘ and is recommended for his specialist focus on advising insurers and reinsurers on regulatory, corporate and contractual matters. Contentious specialist Irma Rivera Ramírez routinely represents insurance companies in major judicial and arbitral disputes, while managing partner Carlos Umaña is noted for his experience in non-contentious insurance; together they co-head the practice alongside Fajardo. In May 2021, insurance-focused associate Iván Montenegro re-joined the firm from JMalucelli Travelers Seguros, where he was legal director.
Carlos Umaña; Irma Rivera; Lucas Fajardo
‘An excellent multidisciplinary team, with a strong focus on the client and their businesses.’
‘Lucas Fajardo, director, stands out. He knows the industry like nobody else and is always available.’
‘Brigard Urrutia’s insurance and reinsurance team is comprised of lawyers who are really dedicated to their clients and who provide timely and pragmatic advice.’
‘Lucas Fajardo and Iván Montenegro are smart lawyers who know their business and who provide tailor-made advice to their clients.’
American Bankers Insurance Group (Assurant)
Axa APP Healthcare
Big Pass Edenred
Cardif Seguros Generales
Chubb Seguros Colombia
Coface Colombia Seguros de Crédito
Energía de Colombia STR
Fábrica Nacional de Autopartes (Fanalca)
Lloyd’s (oficina de representación)
Markel Syndicate Management (Syndicate 3000)
Munich Re (oficina de representación)
PEI Asset Management
Starr Indemnity and Liability Company
Sekuritas, Corredores de Seguros
Zurich Insurance Group
- Advised Chubb Seguros Colombia on insurance distribution agreements with local banks for its bancassurance business and also on corporate and regulatory matters regarding its daily operations.
- Advised AXA PPP Healthcare on the structure of some reinsurance agreements with local insurers.
- Advised QBE Insurance Group on the establishment of a representative office in Colombia, a process which required a major legal proceeding before the Financial Superintendence.
Colombia > Projects Tier 1Brigard Urrutia's multidisciplinary practice draws on partners from across the full-service firm to provide comprehensive coverage of projects law in Colombia. A particularly strong performer in project finance, the group routinely represents lenders and sponsors on major deals in the energy, social infrastructure and economic infrastructure spheres. Among the names to note, managing partner Carlos Umaña is recognised for his broad expertise in public procurement, infrastructure and energy law. Carlos Fradique-Méndez's corporate finance prowess positions him as a key contact for project finance transactions, particularly cross-border mandates. Claudia Navarro has a distinct regulatory angle to her practice and is noted for energy projects. Other key names include banking and finance partners César Felipe Rodríguez, María Fernanda Diago and Felipe Alarcón. The team also benefits from a strong second line of associates, including Julián Parra and Juan Pablo Canaval (who both focus on public law and infrastructure), and Juan Carlos Padilla, who joined the team in August 2021 from Transportadora de Gas Internacional.
Carlos Umaña; Carlos Fradique-Méndez; César Felipe Rodríguez; Claudia Navarro; Maria Fernanda Diago; Felipe Alarcón
Bosques Solares de Los Llanos 1 and Matrix Renewables
Energía de Colombia STR
Fondo de Deuda Senior para Infraestructura en Colombia CAF-AM Ashmore I
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Colombia
Metro Línea 1
Concesión Santa Marta Paraguachón
Concesión Túnel de Aburrá Oriente
Green Móvil P6 and Green Móvil P17 (companies owned in equal parts by Fanalca and Transdev)
ZMO Fontibón III and ZMO Fontibón V (companies owned in equal parts by Fanalca and Transdev)
BMO Sur (owned equally by Fanalca and Transdev)
BMP Sur (owned equally by Fanalca and Transdev)
Consorcio Cable Móvil
Concesionaria Férrea de Occidente
Concesión Costera Cartagena Barranquilla
BNP Paribas, CDPQ Revenu Fixe, Itaú Corpbanca (New York branch), and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and Financial Services Corporation
- Advised Canadian Solar on the successful award of the auction to install an electric energy battery storage system of 45MW in Barranquilla, and on the award of the third renewable energy auction in Colombia.
- Advised Matrix Renewables on the financing granted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Bancolombia for the operation and maintenance of three photovoltaic solar plants in Meta.
- Acted for BBVA and Bancolombia on the financing to Metro Línea 1 for the construction of the first line of the Bogotá Metro (Primera Línea del Metro de Bogotá).
Colombia > Public law Tier 1Brigard Urrutia's group has an enviable track record in linking the public and private sectors in the context of significant public interest projects. The multidisciplinary practice combines strong skill sets in regulatory and financial planning matters and routinely advises on PPPs in the transport, utilities and other areas. In a strong example of its reputation in this space, managing partner and department co-head Carlos Umaña recently led the firm’s advice to Pfizer on one of the first vaccine purchase-and-supply agreements to be reached by the National Government. The group is co-led by infrastructure and public utilities partner Claudia Navarro and associate Julián Parra, who co-ordinates the practice.
Carlos Umaña; Claudia Navarro; Julián Parra
‘The team maintains high standards in the provision of its services.’
Hogan Lovells / Pfizer
Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN)
Green Móvil P6 and Green Móvil P17 (owned in equal parts by Fanalca and Transdev)
ZMO Fontibón III and ZMO Fontibón V (owned in equal parts by Fanalca and Transdev)
Consorcio Providencia (a consortium of Amarilo, Constructora Bolivar and Marval)
Consorcio Cable Móvil
Oleoducto Bicentario de Colombia
Arquitectura & Concreto
- Advised Pfizer (through Hogan Lovells) on special regulations applicable to the acquisition of vaccines; as well as on the transaction scheme that was proposed by the National Government for the vaccine supply agreement, which involved several stakeholders.
- Appointed by Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional to be part of the team responsible for structuring Bogotá’s second metro line project.
- Acted for Consorcio Providencia (a consortium of Amarilo, Constructora Bolivar and Marval) as government-appointed contractor for a delegated management construction contract aiming to build necessary houses for communities affected by hurricane Iota in Providencia.
Colombia > Tax Tier 1The tax department at Brigard Urrutia is held up by sources as ‘an interdisciplinary team that provides all the services associated with tax law‘. With its extensive experience spanning tax structuring, day-to-day advisory, transfer pricing and contentious matters, the group stands as a full-spectrum standalone offering that brings together lawyers, accountants and economists to provide comprehensive advice. The group was recently bolstered at top level by the January-2022 hire of all-round corporate tax specialist Adrián Rodríguez from Lewin & Wills, Abogados. Rodríguez -elected President of the Colombian Tax Law Institute in July 2022- now co-heads the practice alongside increasingly prominent tax litigator Catalina Jaramillo and tax planning partner Andrés Hernández, who demonstrates ‘excellent handling of complex issues‘. Among the group’s associates, director Daniel Duque and senior Zaira Cortés are both noted for tax consulting and planning matters. Senior associate Pablo Ángel left in June 2021 to join Ernst & Young Asesores Ltda.
Catalina Jaramillo; Andrés Hernández; Adrián Rodríguez
‘It is an interdisciplinary team that provides all the services associated with tax law matters. It is not necessary to go to any other firm, because Brigard Urrutia’s team can take care of complex and day-to-day issues without problems.’
‘Whenever we need it, we have the direct support of the partners or directors. Additionally, the tax team has constant interaction with other teams, so cross-practice advice is very fluid and efficient. It shows that the firm is a very professional organisation with great knowledge of clients.’
‘Lawyers are absolutely up to date. They also have excellent relationships with the tax authorities, so it’s easy to trust that their comments and advice take into account the latest developments and trends. They hold events and produce very useful academic material for clients — they go above and beyond with their services.’
‘The team’s interest in being efficient and offering clear and useful alternatives and answers is evident.’
‘Andrés Hernández has lots of experience, demonstrates excellent handling of complex issues and is willing to find solutions. Very quickly he has become a trusted advisor.’
Two way stadiums
Desarrollos y Proyectos
Transportadora De Gas Internacional (TGI)
Caribbean Financial Group
Linea 2 Metro de Bogotá
- Advised Productos Familia on the design and implementation of a structure to sell a significant interest in the company to Essity Hygiene and Health.
- Advised Two Way Stadiums on tax planning and day-to-day advisory in connection with the design and implementation of Arena del Río, a large-scale stadium in Colombia.
- Acted for Desarrollos y Proyectos on the design and implementation of a multi-vehicle and multi-level structure to invest in a renewable energy project.
Colombia > TMT Tier 1Widely acknowledged as a market leader for TMT law in Colombia, Brigard Urrutia scores highly for its intrinsic understanding that ‘industry dynamics require quick, concrete and concise answers, not endless memorandums‘. The group excels across the full spread of technology, media and entertainment law, and is routinely engaged by leading national, regional and global clients to advise on strategic regulatory matters and major transactions. Department head Sergio Michelsen Jaramillo is a go-to specialist in the field and recently advised SpaceX on its entrance into the Colombian market. Key support is provided by practice director Juan Nicolás Laverde, who is ‘always available and clear in his answers‘; and senior associate Andrea Bonnet, whose practice spans IP, technology, data protection and telecoms.
‘The TMT team at Brigard & Urrutia has been advising us for many years and they know our business very well. They understand that industry dynamics require quick, concrete and concise answers, not endless memorandums with the details of all the theoretical parts.’
‘Lawyers respond directly to the queries we make in order to make important decisions for the business. Some time ago, the firm sent regulatory bulletins that were very useful in keeping us updated, and they also offer talks on different topics that are of interest to us.’
‘Director Juan Nicolás Laverde is business-friendly and always looks for ways to advise us taking into account the needs and objectives of the business, without failing to highlight the legal risks when they exist. He is easily accessible, always available and clear in his answers. His knowledge of the business makes him stand out from the competition.’
Hughes Network Systems
Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX)
The Swatch Group
- Advised Space Exploration Technologies on the relevant telecoms regulatory requirements and standards to enter the Colombian market.
- Acted for AT&T on the sale of its Vrio Corp business unit to Grupo Werthein.
- Advised D-Wave Systems on all its portfolio services, including a deep analysis of the legal challenges concerning its entry into the Colombian market and the provision of its services in Colombia.
Dispute resolution > Arbitration Tier 2Brigard Urrutia houses a comprehensive arbitration practice, which plugs into the wider firm’s full-service offering to advise on domestic and international arbitrations across all core industry sectors. That said, the team’s busy caseload reflects its particularly strong record in the construction, energy and public sector arenas, where it routinely acts for both major Colombian and multinational clients. Department head Irma Rivera Ramírez has a broad disputes practice and spearheads both the litigation, arbitration and insolvency group and the insurance and reinsurance team. On the arbitration front, Rivera has notched up key roles in major arbitrations for both national and foreign clients. The group also benefits from the experience of newly made-up partner Felipe Mutis, who has supported on several construction and concession-related arbitration cases of late. Key associates include María Victoria Munevar, Camilo Valenzuela (who joined from Lloreda Camacho & Co. in September 2021) and Ana Carolina Abreo — all advise on a mix of litigation and arbitration proceedings.
Colombia > Environment Tier 2The environmental law team at Brigard Urrutia ‘covers many areas' and is ‘able to intertwine relationships between them in a very efficient way', according to sources. The firm’s interdisciplinary approach sees the practice bring together specialists from across its energy, projects and corporate departments, who advise a broad mix of industry clients on regulatory, contentious and transactional matters. Senior associate Guillermo Tejeiro spearheads the environmental and sustainable business development group and brings to bear 15 years' experience representing domestic and multinational clients on environmental regulation, tax issues and litigation. Corporate partner Jaime Robledo is also a key contact and provides support on commercial, administrative and strategic matters.
Jaime Robledo; Guillermo Tejeiro
‘The team is very diverse; it covers many areas and is able to intertwine relationships between them in a very efficient way.’
‘We value to the team for its seriousness, respect and the quality of the final output.’
Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia / Oleoducto de Los Llanos Orientales
Aerovías del Continente Americano
Drummond Energy / Drummond
Rich de Colombia
Azure Fisheries Colombia
Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos
- Advising Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia and Oleoducto de Los Llanos Orientales on general environmental matters, including advisory on legal and technical aspects of their operations in Colombia.
- Acting as general environmental advisor to Aerovías del Continente Americano, including advisory on legal and technical aspects of its operations.
- Acting as general environmental advisor to Ecomedics on its operations, including advisory on legal and technical matters.
Colombia > International trade and customs Tier 2Brigard Urrutia‘s international trade practice strikes the right note with its ability to ‘simplify complex issues‘ as well as for its provision of recommendations that are ‘on point and easy to implement‘. A prominent player in trade remedy cases, the firm is significantly involved in five of the six anti-dumping investigations that are currently being conducted by the Ministry of Trade. Customs disputes, free trade zones and free trade agreements are also areas of experience. Jose Francisco Mafla, who is admitted to practice in Colombia, New York and before the US Court of International Trade, is an increasingly prominent name in the market; he handles an array of customs issues, trade remedies, WTO regulation, free trade agreements and dispute resolution. Mafla co-leads the department alongside associate director Camilo Castrillón, who is particularly noted for his focus on foreign investment and free trade zones. Intermediate associate Gerardo Chadid provides specialist support.
Jose Francisco Mafla; Camilo Castrillon
‘It is the best in its field. Being a young team, it has great experience and customer management superior to firms with extensive experience. Lawyers perfectly understand our sector and simplify complex issues for our understanding. Recommendations are always on point and easy to implement.’
‘Jose Francisco Mafla and associate Gerardo Chadid are the best foreign trade advisers I have had the pleasure of working with. They can make an easy and quick reading of any change in subject matter and recommend us, in a timely manner, ways to comply with current and new regulations. We always count on them to make transcendental decisions for our company.’
Federación Colombiana de Productores de Papa (FEDEPAPA)
Sociedad Portuaria El Cayao (SPEC)
Aluminum & Glass Products
Empresa Colombiana de Cables (EMCOCABLES)
- Advised TDCX Holdings on the application for the declaration of a Single Enterprise Free Trade Zone (FTZ) — the project was approved and it is therefore operating within the special FTZ regime.
- Represented Mexichem Colombia’s interests in an investigation into whether the elimination of the anti-dumping duty imposed on imports of the plasticizer DOP from Mexico and the Republic of Korea would allow the continuation or recurrence of dumping, injury and the causal link that was intended to be corrected.
- Successfully represented the largest Colombian producer of steel wire ropes and strands in a sunset review seeking a five-year extension of the anti-dumping duty currently applicable to imports of steel wire ropes and strands from China.
Colombia > Labour and employment Tier 2Brigard Urrutia‘s department is divided into two distinct standalone offerings, with the labour and employment team and the immigration group routinely working hand-in-hand to provide comprehensive coverage of human resources law. The strength of the firm’s combined capability is evidenced by its status as the sole Colombian member of the Ius Laboris network. Catalina Santos spearheads the department and is equipped to advise on the full range of consultancy, collective bargaining, transactional support and contentious matters. At associate level, José Alejandro Sierra (who focuses on litigation and pensions), and Camilo Mutis (who specialises in contentious work) are the key names.
‘Brigard Urrutia’s labour lawyers know our company’s labour history (collective agreements, people with reinforced stability, etc.) inside-out and they know our internal human resources policies very well. But, additionally, it knows our projects and business plan — the firm understands that this provides an added value.’
‘We value the firm’s knowledge of our company. Catalina Santos is the lawyer who knows us best in this practice.’
The Walt Disney Company
- Retained by ExxonMobil Corporation to provide legal counsel and assistance with the administration of pension liability matters.
- Represented Austin Ingenieros Colombia in over 30 employment litigations, which were mainly initiated by former Austin employees requesting the declaration that two extra legal benefits – transportation and meal allowance – have salary nature.
- Advised H&M on the opening of new stores in Colombia during the third wave of the pandemic, including advising on the implementation of all biosecurity protocols and measures in each city, the registration of employees, and compliance with health and safety regulations.
Colombia > Real estate Tier 3Brigard Urrutia‘s ‘extensive knowledge in real estate law‘ is evidenced through its increasingly even split between transactional real estate mandates and urban planning. Other practice sweet spots include tourism and hospitality, real estate finance, and regulatory issues, including expropriations and urban licensing. Francisco Uribe heads the practice and is well versed across a broad array of real estate matters, including hotel-related projects, urban operations and REITs. The department also has recourse to a pool of talented younger lawyers, including director and urban planning specialist Wilben Palacios, and associates Juanita Bermúdez and Nathalia Arias.
‘The firm maintains a genuine relationship with clients to understand and respond to the needs of companies.’
‘Despite being a very large firm, client management is very personalised and the team of lawyers is of the highest professional level.’
‘It provides solid support in meetings, despite the team being small. It handles specialised programmes for practice, which is very good for the client.’
‘Director Wilben Palacios advised us. He is a professional with a lot of knowledge in this area and has a cordial and responsive approach.’
‘A team with extensive knowledge in real estate law and excellent customer service. Its extensive knowledge facilitates the negotiation and closing of transactions associated with acquisitions and financing of real estate projects.’
Arquitectura & Concreto
Two way Stadium Barranquilla
Patrimonio Autónomo Estrategias Inmobiliarias (PEI)
Smartfit Escola de Ginastica e Danca
- Represented Arquitectura y Concreto in the negotiation of its participation in a leisure real estate development in Barú, Calablanca
- Advised the landowner (Jaguar Capital), and subsequently the developer (Arquitectura y Concreto) and the investment fund (PEI) on the development and construction of the Nuestro Bogotá Shopping Center, which integrates commercial, working, and short-term stay spaces due to its proximity to El Dorado International Airport.
- Advised Terranum Desarrollo, as the developer, on the ZOL Funza real estate project to develop a logistics park in Bogotá.
Colombia > Compliance and white-collar crime Tier 4Brigard Urrutia‘s compliance team finds favour for its ability to ‘successfully simplify complex issues‘. The multidisciplinary practice enjoys closes relationships with raft of global corporations, which it advises on risk management systems, through to sensitive criminal investigations. Director and practice head Ricardo Forero is singled out as a ‘well-trained, experienced and creative lawyer‘ and brings to bear over 16 years’ experience; he is well versed in criminal proceedings, compliance and FCPA-related matters. Since the practice’s formation in 2020, the firm continues to invest in building up its compliance offering and in July 2021 it welcomed new associate María Camila Sarria, who joined from the in-house legal team at Casa Editorial El Tiempo. Associate Andrea Plazas left to study in the UK.
Ricardo Forero; Paula Soto; María Camila Sarria
‘I would highlight the integration of the BU compliance team. Lawyers are attentive, they do not bill unnecessarily and they look for 360º solutions together with colleagues from other practices.‘
‘We value the expertise of the team, technically it is well-prepared to provide the necessary support.’
‘Lawyers are clear in the information they transmit and successfully simplify complex issues. They have a good understanding of our industry and its risks. They make simple recommendations that are easy to implement.’
‘We recommend this firm due to the quality of its lawyers and the expert knowledge it provides.’
‘The compliance and white-collar crime practice is formed of very talented people.’
‘Director Ricardo Forero is very professional, and demonstrates a mastery of criminal litigation.’
‘Ricardo Forero is in charge of this practice. He is a person who is always just a phone call away, which will always be highly valued by us. He is clear in his explanations and proposes simple and easy-to-implement solutions.’
‘Ricardo Forero stands out for his proximity and his knowledge of the sector. A well-trained, experienced and creative lawyer.’
H&M Hennes & Mauritz
The Walt Disney Corporation
Caribbean Financial Group
China Three Georges
- Advised GFCM Comercial México on the design and implementation of a local compliance programme, including anti-bribery and anti-corruption issues.
- Provided criminal compliance counselling to The Walt Disney Company Colombia.
- Advised Red Hat Colombia on criminal compliance matters.
Brigard Urrutia > Firm Profile
Founded in 1934 and with over 85 years of experience, Brigard Urrutia is recognised as a leading law firm in Colombia and one of the most prestigious in Latin America. The firm’s size gives it the ability to offer an unparalleled range of first-class legal services and bespoke solutions to its global client base which includes leading domestic and foreign financial institutions, multinational corporations, private equity/venture capital funds, state-owned enterprises, governments and multilateral agencies. The firm frequently advises on complex cross-border matters, and its attorneys have been involved in many of Colombia’s groundbreaking landmark transactions. The firm is committed to its clients and seeks to provide them with comprehensive and expert advice.
It has a multidisciplinary team of specialised attorneys in various practice areas of business law, who follow the most rigorous ethical principles and the highest standards of professional excellence. All its partners and associates are fluent in at least one language other than Spanish, and many are admitted to practice in foreign jurisdictions (most notably in the State of New York). The firm’s lawyers are graduates from Colombia’s top universities and many have completed post-graduate programs in law schools located in the United States and Europe.
Brigard Urrutia also has a management team that is constantly innovating through solutions, best practices and trends to attain optimal customer experience levels. As part of its transparency policies and institutional values, it has a corporate governance structure that allows the firm to implement the best international practices. These practices help guarantee compliance of internal and external rules and achieve the objectives set forth in its strategic plan.
|Banking and financial services; Natural Resources; Insurance||Carlos Urrutia|
|Public Law; Infrastructure and public utilities||Carlos Umaña|
|Corporate M&A; Trusts and Estates; Telecommunications, Media, Entertainment and Technology||Sergio Michelsen|
|Banking and financial services; Capital Markets, Securities and Private Equity; Forex, derivatives and structured products||Carlos Fradique-Méndez|
|Litigation, arbitration and insolvency; Insurance and reinsurance||Irma Rivera|
|Tax||María Catalina Jaramillo|
|Banking and financial services||César Felipe Rodríguez|
|Infrastructure and public utilities||Claudia Navarro|
|Customs and international trade||José Francisco Mafla|
|Capital Markets, Securities and Private Equity||Luis Gabriel Morcillo|
|Corporate M&A||Darío Laguado|
|Antitrust and competition||Alejandro García de Brigard|
|Labor and employment; Immigration||Catalina Santos|
|Corporate M&A||Jaime Robledo|
|Banking and financial services||Felipe Alarcón|
|Banking and financial services||María Fernanda Diago|
|Corporate M&A||Tomás Holguín|
|Corporate M&A||Fernando Alfredo Castillo|
|Real Estate||Francisco Uribe|
Staff FiguresAssociates : 165 Partners : 22
LanguagesSpanish English German Italian French Portuguese
MembershipsLex Mundi - The World's Leading Association of Independent Law Firms World Services Group (WSG) The Interlex Group IBA (International Bar Association) ABA (American Bar Association) Ius Laboris Pacific Rim Advisory Council (PRAC)
- Banking and finance
- Capital markets
- City focus > Cali
- Competition and antitrust
- Corporate and M&A
- Dispute resolution > Litigation
- Energy and natural resources
- Public law
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Dispute resolution > Arbitration
- International trade and customs
- Labour and employment