Firm Profile > CMS Rodríguez-Azuero > Bogota, Colombia
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero Offices
CALLE 75 NO. 3-53
CALLE 77 NO. 7-44 OFI. 202, TORRE SIETE 77
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero > The Legal 500 Rankings
Litigation Tier 2
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero has had dispute resolution at its core since its original founding as a boutique in 1980, particularly in financial regulatory and administrative litigation. The practice group also houses white-collar crime capability. The 13-strong team is co-led by senior partner Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero and Carolina Arenas, who has particular expertise representing groups defrauded by Ponzi schemes. Daniel Rodríguez, who leads the compliance and public procurement practices, and Jacques Simhon, who leads the corporate criminal law practice, are also active in the sector. The team is currently advising Banco Internacional de Costa Rica (Bicsa) on the defence of its financial creditor rights in Estraval’s insolvency and liquidation proceeding. Other key active clients include Avantel, Fiduprevisora and Interprint.
Banking and finance Tier 3
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero advises national and international entities such as credit institutions, financial service companies, insurance companies and other market players (notably, multilateral finance institutions) in connection with complex financing and regulatory issues. With an ‘extraordinary knowledge of financial services’, Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero and Daniel Rodríguez jointly lead the nine-strong practice group, which recently acted as counsel to Banco Santander on the structuring, negotiation and drafting of an $87m-per-month finance facility granted to Emgesa. Other mandates included advising the IDB on the structuring of the initial financing and a trust scheme in connection with the loan the client extended to payroll-pledged loans business Bayport. Other clients include Banco de Chile, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) and the IIC.
Corporate and M&A Tier 3
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero’s corporate and compliance department undertakes the full range of corporate transactional matters and has a particular focus on due diligence processes in relation to anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism, corruption and illegal activities, as well as designing and implementing prevention strategies. Renowned for his experience in financial, regulatory and administrative litigation, Juan Camilo Rodríguez co-heads the 12-strong department in conjunction with Daniel Rodríguez and Jacques Simhon. In a cross-border matter also involving Chile and the UK, the firm acted in tandem with CMS Carey & Allende to advise Charles Taylor on its acquisition of the FGR Group, with the team conducting due diligence on the target company’s Colombian vehicle. Clients include Fiduprevisora, Dover Corporation and Apax Partners.
TMT Tier 3
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero enters the rankings in the wake of its incorporation of data protection and IP specialist Lorenzo Villegas Carrasquilla, who has over 18 years’ experience, half of it at his former, eponymous boutique Lorenzo Villegas Consultores. Villegas receives excellent feedback from clients and peers alike, who point to his ‘expertise’ – in particular in e-commerce - ‘seniority’ and ‘attitude’. The team, now four strong, ‘is highly business oriented and provides innovative solutions’; moreover, ‘its response time and availability are excellent’. 2018 mandates saw the group undertake negotiations with third parties regarding personal data protection, handle issues involving e-commerce business channels, and provide advice on topics related to telecoms and radio broadcasting. Clients include Falabella, Google, Adobe, Aon, Publicis and Avianca.
Arbitration Tier 4
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero’s lawyers have ‘strong experience’ in local arbitration disputes. Founding partner - and co-leader of the practice - Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero served as chair of the arbitration panel summoned to decide disputes between Unión Temporal Muelle et al and Barranquilla International Terminal Company and Barranquilla Container Terminal. Meanwhile Daniel Rodríguez, who leads the compliance and public procurement areas, served as panel chair in the disputes between two private parties regarding a purchase agreement.
Energy and natural resources Tier 4
New entrant CMS Rodríguez-Azuero recently advised the Ministry of Mines and Energy on the comparative review of the contractual model for the allocation of offshore blocks; the input was taken by national regulator AHN for the amendment of the template contract for deep-sea concessions. The advice was provided by the firm in conjunction with CMS’ offices in Brazil, Mexico, Angola and the UK. The local team is also advising Grupo de Energía de Bogotá regarding the electricity and natural gas sectors’ regulatory and public law requirements. Daniel Rodríguez heads the four-strong practice. Other clients include South 32 Energy and Global Green Growth Institute.
Intellectual property Tier 4
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero’s IP practice enters the rankings following the development of the practice that has occurred since the incorporation of Karl Mutter to head the area in April 2018. A specialist in life sciences regulation with over 18 years’ experience in the IP sector, he formerly ran his own firm Mutter Asociados. Associate director Lola Kandelaft handles the IP and competition areas, while TMT-specialist Lorenzo Villegas Carrasquilla is also active in the sector. The team assisted Óptica Alemana, established in 1914, with the implementation of a global defence strategy to prevent the risk of generification of the brand, a process involving cease-and-desist letters, alternative dispute resolution processes and eventually infringement lawsuits. Other clients include Bodytech, CRC Salud Viva and Vesalius Pharma.
Projects Tier 4
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero advises public and private entities on the structuring, design and implementation of infrastructure projects. The practice advised the Inter-American Development Bank, and affiliate Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest), regarding a credit facility granted by Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional for the purpose of financing - primarily - 4G road-infrastructure projects. The team continues to advise Conecta Caribe –as sponsor of a PPP project to build a new airport in Cartagena de Indias – on the design of the contracts regarding the feasibility stage of the PPP and the design of the required trust structures, and on other, associated projects to be developed around the airport, as well as the land acquisition process. Practice head Daniel Rodríguez is the name to note.
Real estate Tier 4
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero advises a mixed domestic and international client roster on, primarily, the structuring of complex private development projects. Co-led by managing partner Juan Camilo Rodríguez and Jacques Simhon, the team is recommended for tailoring its advice and ‘accompanying clients throughout all stages of the project’. The team continued to advise ACR Group on the drafting and negotiation of all retailer-lease contracts associated with its La Serrezuela luxury retail centre in Cartagena, as well as with the acquisition of additional land for the expansion of the project. The practice is also advising Círculo de Viajes Universal on its investment in several major real estate projects, including the acquisition of a 51% stake in a spa in Bogotá. Senior office partner Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero is also active in the practice. Other clients include Ciudad Lagos de Torca Landowners, Colegio Colombo Hebreo and Aldea Proyectos.
Tax Tier 5
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero’s three-strong tax department is now led by Natalia Guerrero, who joined the firm from oil-and-gas company Frontera Energy, and offers comprehensive advice on all tax issues. The firm acted for Frontera Energy on several matters, including litigation against the tax authority for the recovery of income tax deductions. The team also advised Xertica subsidiary Eforcers on a threefold transaction to integrate and expand the client's business across Latin America; the mandate entailed tax structuring of the transaction to allow efficient movement of assets within all merging participants, and also to allow investment from an international private equity fund. Practice clients include NGE Contracting, NetGo, Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá and Cámara Colombiana de Comercio Electrónico.
Labour and employment Tier 6
CMS Rodríguez-Azuero's practice handles contracts, workplace regulations, hirings, dismissals, retirement plans and the labour aspects of M&A transactions, as well as contentious matters. The team is currently advising on the termination of an employment relationship and analysing alternatives regarding a key position in the subsidiary of an international company. Associate María Paula Romero is the name to note.