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Brigard Urrutia

Work +57 1 346 2011
Bogota, Cali

Jose Francisco Mafla

Work +57 1 3462011 Ext. 8753
Brigard Urrutia

Work Department

Customs and International Trade; Mergers & Acquisitions




He worked as foreign attorney in Harkins Cunningham LLP in New York, and in Uría Menéndez in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Mafla joined Brigard Urrutia in 2006 and is Partner of the firm since 2015, focusing on the Corporate/M&A, and Customs and International Trade practices. Mr. Mafla is admitted to practice law in Colombia (2001), in the state of New York (2006) and in the United States Court of International Trade (2015).

Attorney with wide expertise in commercial law, international business law, mergers and acquisitions, and customs and international trade. Mr. Mafla is also an arbitrator at the Center for Conciliation and Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá, and currently is the Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Colombian American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM Colombia). He is also member of the Academic Committee of Customs and Foreign Trade of the Colombian Institute of Tax Law.

Mr. Mafla is an attorney from the School of Law of Universidad de los Andes, and obtained a postgraduate degree in Business Law from Universidad Externado in Colombia. He also holds an LL.M from New York University School of Law. Aside from his legal practice, He is professor (undergraduate and postgraduate studies) of Commercial Law and International Economic and International Trade Law at Universidad Externado, Universidad de los Andes, ICESI and EAFIT in Colombia.


Spanish, English and French


Member of American Bar Association (ABA) and Instituto Colombiano de Derecho Aduanero (ICDA).


Lawyer from Universidad de los Andes. He holds a postgraduate degree in Business Law from Universidad Externado de Colombia and an LL.M from New York University School of Law. He also has Diploma in French Language and Civilization from University of Nantes and a Diploma in Customs Law from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. 



Corporate and M&A

Within: Leading individuals

José Francisco Mafla - Brigard Urrutia

Within: Corporate and M&A

Full-service firm Brigard Urrutia is a longstanding point of reference in the corporate and M&A market, with a sizeable 30-strong team of lawyers whose service is recommended as ‘outstanding’. Overall practice co-heads Sergio Michelsen, Dario Laguado and Jaime Robledo focus primarily on transactional matters and led the legal advice to Primax Peru - as independent third-party purchaser - on the acquisition of approximately 95% of the shares of Terpel subsidiary Distribuidora Andina de Combustibles (formerly owned by Copec, Mobil Petroleum Overseas Company and ExxonMobil); the operation involved complex regulatory and antitrust analysis, as well as operational complexities regarding the relationships with other business partners. Meanwhile, Michelsen and Laguado led the advice to Bolsa de Valores de Colombia and DepĂłsito Centralizado de Valores de Colombia (Deceval) on the acquisition by the former of a 100% stake in Deceval. Álvaro Cala heads the corporate practice. The team saw the additions of associates Laura Ricardo (from Gas Natural Fenosa) and VerĂłnica Umaña (from Greenberg Traurig, LLP), and senior associate Ángela GarcĂ­a (from GĂłmez-PinzĂłn Abogados (GPA)) in January 2019. However, five associates left the firm, including senior associates Jeison Larrota (to Acumen Legal) and Christian DĂ­az Ordóñez (to Geopark). JosĂ© Francisco Mafla and Carlos Umaña are also names to note.

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International trade and customs

Within: International trade and customs

‘Much in demand’, Brigard Urrutia’s five-strong practice is led by JosĂ© Francisco Mafla and advises companies on matters concerning customs law, special importation schemes, the application of trade and investment treaties (BITs), customs valuation, and rules of origin and tariff classification, among other areas. The team is currently advising Programa de TransformaciĂłn Productiva (PTP) on the identification of the most appropriate legal vehicle for the implementation of the so-called “Associations for foreign trade”, identifying opportunities for tax savings in the development the vehicle and other optimisations. The programme is part of the national public policy to support small and medium-sized enterprises. Other matters included providing permanent legal advice to Dufry Group. Senior associate Camilo CastrillĂłn and associate Gerardo Chadid are also names to note.

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Within: Tax

Providing ‘a thoroughly comprehensive service’, Brigard Urrutia’s tax department is often involved in ground-breaking transactions with a cross-border component, and the team is particularly well reputed for its handling of transfer pricing defence. Lucas Moreno now heads the team following the departure of JosĂ© AndrĂ©s Romero to the Colombia’s tax and customs authority, the DIAN. Customs and international trade practice head JosĂ© Francisco Mafla and newly promoted partners Catalina Jaramillo and AndrĂ©s HernĂĄndez (who is recommended for his ‘responsiveness, soft skills and flexibility’) are also key members of the department. The team recently advised Dolphin Drilling Group on tax planning in relation to operating in an offshore free trade zone and transfer pricing analysis, among other matters. Other work saw it advise FĂĄbrica Nacional de Autopartes (FANALCA) on structuring the tax-treatment aspects of its successful bid for a $700m public tender for the provision and maintenance of the bus fleet of Bogotá’s rapid transit system. Other highlights included advising Netflix regarding VAT tax obligations for foreign service providers. Other clients include Bancolombia, Isagen, BlackRock Citibank, Terranum and Grupo Argos.

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