Firm Profile > Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría > Bogota, Colombia

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría
CARRERA 9 74-08

Banking and finance Tier 1

Very well known’ for its ‘capacities, deep knowledge and highly qualified lawyers’, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría is praised by clients for its lawyers' ‘approachability and kind treatment’, despite its being a big firm. The 13-strong department is co-led by Juan Fernando Gaviria; held in high regard by the market, he led the team’s advice to Cementos Argos on its role as guarantor of Argos USA in connection with a short-term financing of $100m. Other recent mandates saw the practice group assist HSBC Securities Services and JP Morgan Securities, as underwriters, on a $750m notes issuance by public utility TGI. In addition to Gaviria, key practitioners Claudia Barrero, Hernando Padilla and Javier Valle co-head the practice. However, senior associate Carolina Duque and associate Camila Quintero left the firm in February and April 2019, respectively: Duque to co-found Medellín-based law firm Duque Velazquez Abogados and Quintero to become chief legal counsel at Ashmore CAF–AM Management.

Competition and antitrust Tier 1

Co-lead by the ‘excellentDiego Cardona and ‘go-to antitrust lawyer’ - and firm founding partner - Martín Carrizosa, the five-strong team at Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría handles matters across the sector from merger control to antitrust investigations. Recent work on the merger side saw the team advise Siemens and Alstom on the procedure regarding the strategic combination of the companies’ mobility business. The team also successfully defended Radio Cadena Nacional (RCN) in an investigation concerning alleged violation of merger control regulations in a transaction in the Colombian radio broadcasting industry. Other clients include Telepizza, Ferrero, ABB, Prysmian and Biofilm.

Corporate and M&A Tier 1

With an established reputation for ‘strong experience in M&A’, the Colombian office of the multi-jurisdictional Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría fields a 25-strong practice group jointly led by six partners. Recent mandates saw managing partner Martín Acero act for Lanoga Enterprises on the sale of its equity stake in Aseo Urbano to Veolia, and practice co-head Felipe Cuberos advise Chilco on its acquisition of a 51% stake in Sungas. Claudia Barrero, Juan Carlos Rocha, Nicolás Tirado and Hernando Padilla also co-lead the practice. In an audacious broadening of its corporate offering, the firm also recently integrated two boutiques - environmental law specialist Macías Gómez Abogados, and the white-collar and compliance-focused Forero Ramírez Abogados; Luis Fernando Macías (who specialises in corporate environmental law and litigation) and Juan Carlos Forero and Pamela Alarcón (who are experts in criminal corporate law and compliance) have become partners. Clients include Tecnoglass, Scotiabank Colpatria, Inmobiliaria Bondue and Macquarie Capital.

Litigation Tier 1

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría offers ‘experience and versatility’ and delivers ‘good results’ in complex civil, commercial and administrative litigation. Julio César González and Héctor Hernández co-head the 15-strong team, which has a ‘great capacity to understand the needs of the client and provide alternative solutions’. The firm is advising the subsidiary of a leading global investment bank in a class action brought by Senator Jorge Enrique Robledo, which seeks - within the company’s forced liquidation process as ordered by the health regulator - to declare the sale of the contracts, assets and liabilities of Saludcoop EPS in 2017 null and void; the investment bank had advised the company in the transactions. Other mandates included representing a number of local gas and energy company in an action against the issuance by the regulator of an executive order that modifies their remuneration. Senior associates Mario Pérez and Juan Sebastián Arias are also noted. Siemens, Lazard,  DHL and Citibank are some of the firm's other clients.

Projects Tier 1

Advising throughout all stages of project work, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría’s practice ‘responds to every need and requirement with no mistakes.’ Juan Fernando Gaviria and Jorge Di Terlizzi (‘both outstanding’) co-lead the 13-strong team, which is praised for its ‘response times, quality and deep knowledge of the industry and the transactional side’. Projects and infrastructure team coordinator Carlos Padilla is also a key practice contact; however, former senior associate Carolina Duque  left in February 2019 to establish Duque Velazquez Abogados. Recent mandates saw the team advice Cintra, Mercantil Colpatria and Confederación Andina de Fomento (CAF), and Ashmore Group Infrastructure Fund, as sponsors and concessionaire on the long-term financing of the PPP project for the construction, rehabilitation, improvement, operation and maintenance of the Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó toll road concession. It is also advising BlackRock in connection with the financing of the $600m Autopista al Mar 1 4G road project. Other clients include Goldman Sachs, Abertis, Transdev and Vinci Concessions.

Tax Tier 1

The service at Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría is ‘excellent’ since the 15 lawyers who compose the team are ‘always available to address any issue in a timely and professional manner’. Well-regarded office managing partner Martín Acero and Carolina Rozo co-head the practice group, of which senior associate Diego Velandia is also a key member; however, former senior associate María Alejandra Buitrago joined DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán. Recent mandates saw the team advise Banco Colpatria on the design of the international corporate, tax and foreign-exchange structure to acquire Citibank Colombia’s private banking, private clients and consumer operations businesses. Other matters included designing a legal and tax structure to permit the rendering of different services between Drypers Andina, a company incorporated in a (Colombian) free trade zone, and Protisa Colombia, which is incorporated within national customs territory. The team also developed a tax structure on behalf of Inmobiliaria Bondue to facilitate its entry into a joint-investment project with Canadian company Avicanna for the production of “sun grown” cannabis. Other clients include Mexico Infrastructure Partners, Aesco, Visa, Citibank and Proquinal.

Arbitration Tier 2

Multi-jurisdictional firm Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría fields a 15-strong practice group in Colombia that is active in both national and international arbitration. Department co-head Julio César González is leading the advice to a Portuguese agro-industrial company in an international arbitration under the rules of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce and concerning the breach of an $11m supply agreement to deliver food to Venezuela. His fellow co-head, Héctor Hernández, is representing the concessionaire of an EPC contract for the construction of 200km of roads in an arbitration regarding interpretation of the concession agreement. Principal associates Juan Mendoza and Juan Sebastián Arias, who joined in 2018 from Jones Day’s Miami office, are also key members of the team.

Energy and natural resources Tier 2

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría recently incorporated corporate environmental law boutique Macías Gómez Abogados, led by Luis Fernando Macías, who has over 25 years’ experience in the area. Sandra Manrique heads the practice, which provides comprehensive advice on the development of mining, oil-and-gas and power projects, including renewal energy. The team advised Mechero Energy on the development of a natural gas power plant, including the negotiation of the connection contracts with the network operator. For Geopark, the team continues to work on the structuring of a self-generation project, including a bidding process for the selection of a contractor and the preparation of the services agreement for the development and operation of a natural gas power plant. The firm also acted for South32 Energy on the incorporation of a power and natural gas commercialisation company. Other highlights included advising Diana Corporación on the development of a biomass power generation project. On the mining front, it advised Anglogold Ashanti on the definition of a legal strategy to approach the mining authority to terminate all pending proceedings. Other clients include BHP Billiton, Ecopetrol and Vitol Colombia.

Labour and employment Tier 2

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría’s practice group has ‘ample experience in handling delicate situations’ involving the client’s employees, ‘providing strategic advice about how to handle them’. Héctor Hernández and Carolina Porras -who was raised to the partnership in January 2020- co-head the six-strong department; (Porras ‘has profound knowledge and provides reliable advice’). In recent work the team successfully assisted Mondelez in over 15 rights-of-action claims and it is currently representing the company in eight different labour-court proceedings brought by 68 former employees claiming reinstatement to former positions with full rights. Other matters include advising Agrícola Automotriz on the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement and Paesa regarding labour due diligence of the company’s compensation scheme, among other matters. Former principal associate Diana Zuleta moved to DLA Piper Martinez Beltrán. Other clients include Under Armour, Cinte, Abbott Laboratories and Chevron.

Intellectual property Tier 3

At Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, Mauricio Patiño co-leads a practice with genuine region-wide capability along with principal associates Camilo Suárez, head of IP and unfair competition; Gerardo Flórez, who leads the international trade mark prosecution, copyright and data protection team; and Zoraida Fonseca, who heads up the local trade marks and patents department. The nine-strong group is currently representing Postobón before the Andean Court of Justice in a first-of-its-kind case in the region, in which plaintiff Acava sued the Republic of Colombia for breaching IP laws by granting the registration of a particular pink-coloured trade mark to Postobón to identify apple-flavoured sodas. Other matters saw the team act for Robert Bosch in a seizure raid as part of the anticounterfeiting strategy jointly deployed by the firm in conjunction with the Local Specialized Prosecutor’s Office. Clients include Nestlé, Discovery Communications, Longchamp and Louis Vuitton Malletiere.

International trade and customs Tier 3

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría is experienced in structuring domestic and international operations and transactions, and offering consultation on tax planning and customs matters, and also has free trade zone expertise. Martin Acero and Carolina Rozo head the four-strong team, which advised the consortium formed by five liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) commercialisation companies in Colombia (Chilco Distribuidora de Gas y Energía; Inversiones GLP; Montagas; Compañía de Almacenamiento de Gas and Grupo INSA) on issues related to importation of the fuel. Other mandates included assisting Drypers Andina with the design of a legal structure to render different services between the companies of the group. Abbott Laboratories, Productora de Confección, Zona Franca Las Américas and Vitol are also clients.

Real estate Tier 3

Recommended for its ‘good negotiation skills’, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría’s six-strong practice has been involved in significant transactions in the Colombian market of late; led by Juan Carlos Rocha, the team’s wider service offering covers all legal aspects related to the structuring and development of real estate projects. Principal associate Juan Miguel Luna, who has niche specialisation in heritage-protected properties as part of his wider practice, is also a key team member. In addition to benefiting from the office’s general strength in corporate matters, the practice also includes an urban law sub-group. Recent mandates saw Rocha lead the advice to Bancolombia on the approximately $45m capitalisation of real estate trust Viva Malls. The team also advised H&M on its retail store expansion plan in Colombia, and Colvalor both on the acquisition of properties to develop real estate projects and on real estate matters regarding the commercialisation and operation of the company’s portfolio of real estate projects. Other mandates included advising Anglo Gold Ashanti and Drummond regarding rural real estate properties. The February 2019 departure of former principal associate Silvia Avendaño, who specialised in project structuring and project development contracts, is a loss, however. Clients include Parque Arauco, Ripley International, SBA Torres Colombia, Fondo Inmobiliario Colombia and WeWork.

TMT Tier 5

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría provides advice on telecoms, data protection and privacy regulations, including compliance issues in connection with the collection and processing of data. Diego Cardona heads the seven-strong practice, which recently advised Visa on the design and implementation of measures to comply with data protection regulations concerning the collection and processing of data in the financial sector, and on the registration of the company’s data bases with the National Database Registry. Other clients include Mondelez, Nokia, Radio Cadena Nacional and Siemens.

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uria is the first major Ibero-American law firm, with offices in Chile, Colombia and Peru. Uria Menendez also brings to the Firm its network of offices.

Areas of practice
Banking, finance and capital markets: advises banks on syndicated financing, asset financing and project financing and the development of the innovative financial structures and products, represents underwriters and issuers in the placement of bond and securities in Colombia and abroad.

Competition: antitrust, including investigations by authorities, litigation concerning cartels and abuse of dominance, consultations on M&A operations, settlements, audits on level of compliance and legal reports.

Corporate/M&A: all aspects of corporate law, including business integrations, tax matters, structuring and implementing public tender offers and the acquisition and sale of listed companies, restructurings, national and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs and business reorganization proceedings.

Dispute resolution: prevention and resolution of civil and criminal disputes involving complex legal and technical issues for national and international clients spanning a wide range of industries.

Energy, mining and natural resources: highly specialized lawyers provide comprehensive advice on legal matters for the development of projects in different areas such as mining, industrial, energy, corporate, infrastructure and real estate, among others.

Infrastructure and projects: advising companies involved in toll roads and ports and purchasers and sellers; participated as counsel in financing; and on the privatization of public utilities and ports.

Intellectual property/life sciences: all aspects of intellectual property, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, copyrights, sports and entertainment matters, litigation, unfair competition, pharmaceutical licensing and health registrations.

Labor: litigation, collective bargaining, employee benefits, due diligence and audits, corporate restructuring, immigration, pensions, internal policies, wages and benefits, taxation, health and safety.

Private clients and family: long-term all inclusive legal advice, in accordance with the highest international standards, for business families on the development of estate planning structures.

Public law: long-standing public law department advising a wide range of clients from the private and public sectors, such as governmental entities.

Real estate: shopping mall planning and construction, superstore construction, real estate trusts and leasing, long term lease agreements, due diligence, real estate guarantees, regulatory issues and local permits.

Tax and international trade: structuring domestic and international operations and transactions involving foreign trade, customs and foreign exchange, tax planning, customs consulting and tax litigation.

TMT (technology, media and telecommunications): advising multinational media and technology companies in all their regional legal matters, from software licenses and TV formats to customs matters.

Department Name Email Telephone
Co-chairs M Armas
Co-chairs M Acero
Banking, finance and capital markets JF Gaviria
Banking, finance and capital markets C Barrero
Banking, finance and capital markets H Padilla
Banking, finance and capital markets J Valle
Competition M Carrizosa
Competition M Patiño
Competition D Cardona
Corporate/M&A M Acero
Corporate/M&A M Carrizosa
Corporate/M&A JC Rocha
Corporate/M&A C Barrero
Corporate/M&A F Cuberos
Corporate/M&A H Padilla
Corporate/M&A N Tirado
Dispute resolution H Hernández
Dispute resolution JC González
Dispute resolution F Cuberos
Dispute resolution M Patiño
Dispute resolution M Carrizosa
Energy, mining and natural resources S Manrique
Infrastructure and projects J Di Terlizzi
Infrastructure and projects JF Gaviria
IP/life sciences M Patiño
Labor H Hernández
Private clients and family C Barrero
Public law C Barrero Berardinelli
Public law J Di Terlizzi
Public law S Manrique
Real estate JC Rocha
Tax and international trade M Acero
Tax and international trade C Rozo
TMT M Patiño
TMT D Cardona
Other fee-earners : 367
Total staff : 615
Partners : 52