CMS Rodríguez-Azuero > Bogota, Colombia > Firm Profile

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero
CALLE 75 NO. 3-53
BOGOTÁ
Colombia

Colombia > Compliance and white-collar crime Tier 2

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero fields a sizeable 11-strong team that is equally strong on the compliance and white-collar aspects of the practice. On the compliance front it advises on the development, implementation and improvement of governance frameworks, compliance programmes, systems and controls – as well as assisting with internal investigations including those with multijurisdictional and cross-border elements; here the firm’s global size and the forensics specialists and technology this allows access to is a considerable differentiator. On the white-collar front, the team advises on all matters related to criminal law and procedure, develops policies for the prevention and management of criminal risk, and undertakes client representation in any proceedings that arise. Head of the corporate criminal law practice -and co-head of the compliance and dispute resolution teams- Jacques Simhon has a Master’s degree in criminology and security (and a specialisation in financial law), and has over a decade’s experience as both advisor and litigant on corporate and personal criminal liability and criminal risk management. Daniel Rodríguez co-leads the areas of compliance and corporate criminal law, as well banking & finance, insolvency, and restructuring & liquidation, and heading up the area of public procurement; qualified in New York and California, as well as Colombia, he focuses on issues of risk management, AML, CTF, anti-corruption and smuggling. Recent and ongoing matters include representing victims of the Estrategias en Valores (“Estraval”) fraud case; representing publicly owned financial institution Fiduprevisora in administrative litigation for violating local regulations; and implementing a tailor-made AML/CTF programme for fintech platform Peiky. While the financial sector is a strength (notably in relation to AML/CTF compliance), another is financial fraud in the construction, real estate and infrastructure segments, where both Simhon and associate Santiago Calle have particular expertise. On the compliance side, senior associate María Lucía Amador is also noted – she too has specialisations in both infrastructure/state contracting and international finance law. Since the conclusion of research the practice has been further strengthened with the hire of Beatriz Molina as counsel; a former prosecutor, judge and magistrate, she can draw on over 15 years experience in the judiciary, particular in relation to criminal investigation and criminal litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jacques Simhon; Daniel Rodríguez

Testimonials

Their previous knowledge of fraud and theft at companies positions them as the best option when finding a firm that can handle a case involving high amounts. Their use of associated investigation teams to collect the largest volume of evidential material and the use of technology to analyse said material, gives the plaintiff the peace of mind as regards having a suitable team. To recapitulate: their focus on accompanying companies and their experience in cases of theft and fraud at organisations.

Key clients

Metlife

Progresión Sociedad Administradora de Inversión

Estraval

Airbus

Edificio Neos Nogal

Investors of Hilton Garden Inn Santa Marta, Colombia

Pavimentaciones Morales

CMPC Drypers Colombia

Jamestown Latin America

Fiduprevisora

Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten

DaVita

Covington and Burlington

Strabag (CML Construction Services)

Peiky

Consorcio PTAR Salitre

Work highlights

  • Advice and representation in all proceedings and investigations taking place in Colombia regarding a possible corruption scandal involving several jurisdictions.
  • Advice to Metlife Colombia Seguros de Vida on the implementation of internal mechanisms to prevent criminal risks, the modification  of its fraud prevention policy, and representation in all criminal procedures in which the company has an interest.
  • Advice to CMPC Drypers Colombia on the modification of it’s anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism compliance system (SAGRILAFT) to ensure compliance with new applicable regulations and standards as issued in December 2020.

Dispute resolution > Litigation Tier 2

Best known for its niche expertise in financial fraud matters and white-collar crime, CMS Rodríguez-Azuero has an impressive disputes-offering, handling administrative, civil, commercial, and tax litigation, corporate criminal matters, insolvency proceedings and contentious competition cases. The 12-strong group includes four expert partners who co-lead the practice; founding partner Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero has extensive experience in corporate and procedural law and continues to act for groups defrauded by Ponzi schemes in four such cases, currently. Also heading the public procurement area, Daniel Rodríguez acts in disputes related to commercial and financial law, including judicial insolvency procedures; Jacques Simhon heads up the corporate criminal law practice (as well as co-leading the competition area); and head of the TMT practice, Lorenzo Villegas Carrasquilla undertakes litigation in relation to regulated matters and competition; (he also handles arbitration). Nevertheless, the February 2021 departure of practice co-head Carolina Arenas was a loss; however, the office has responded rapidly, subsequently merging with boutique firm Sanabria & Andrade in mid-July which brought additional firepower in both dispute resolution and intellectual property. Henry Sanabria  is a civil procedural specialist, while Felipe Andrade's dual faceted practice covers both IP and contractual/extracontractual responsibility, the latter giving him considerable litigation experience; the pair arrive as partners, also bringing an additional three associates and three paralegals.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero; Daniel Rodríguez; Jacques Simhon; Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquilla

Testimonials

Jacques and his team have presented a tactic and strategy in accordance with the requested assignment. They are very technical in their work. His experience in corporate criminal matters makes one feel well accompanied in the tasks he has commissioned.

Commitment and complicity with their clients. They convey the feeling that you are working with an internal advisor from your own company.

-Daniel Rodríguez: excellence in knowledge and ability to capture the needs of his client and transmit them to his team. Cordiality and contagious enthusiasm.– María Lucía Amador: hard worker until exhaustion, knowledgeable on the subject, always available to answer questions and excellent coordinator.– Jacques Simhon: professionalism, seriousness, coherence, depth of analysis and prudence.

I have found a team of young professionals who are very well prepared and above all attentive to providing solutions to requirements. They are always ready to serve the client well. They include: Jacques Simón as a criminal lawyer, Natalia Guerrero as a tax attorney, Santiago Calle, Camilo Caicedo as a corporate member along with Andrea Zuñiga, Lina Barreto, María José Correa.’

They are an excellently organised team, with an absolute vocation for customer service. They are great experts in the subjects they deal with and having meetings with them on specific issues is like attending a master class where you can always learn something.

The partners of the firm are highly knowledgeable about the subjects they practice. Daniel Rodríguez is one of the most empathic and knowledgeable lawyers I have ever met. He is a great expert in compliance and accumulates an experience in the discipline that few people provide in Colombia. Jacques Simhon is an excellent criminal lawyer who analyses cases, anticipating all the consequences that must be considered. Both are completely accessible and easy to handle. A pleasure working with them.

The relationship with the client has seemed exceptional and complete at all times.

Knowledge and commitment.’

Key clients

Fiduprevisora

Avantel

Group of victims (15) of Vesting Group Colombia

Group of victims (31) of Tu Renta Profesionales en Inversiones

Group of victims (43) of Estrategias en Valores

Group of victims (535) of Elite International Americas

Banco Internacional de Costa Rica (BICSA)

Interprint do Brasil Indústria de Papéis Decorativos

Work highlights

  • Ongoing representation of the interest of Avantel in various cases regarding its access to the RAN (Roaming Automatico Nacional); the loss of access would make it impracticable for the company to provide the call services it offers.
  • Representing Fiduprevisora, as Trustee and administrator of the Fondo Nacional de Garantías, in a $12m claim initiated by Isagen in relation to the credits made when it was a public entity.
  • Representing a group of victims of the Estraval fraud (the company took over COP$600bn in illegal deposits, affecting over 4000 people); in the most recent development, the Superintendence of Companies approved the constitution of a trust fund, implying an asset-award proceeding, through which each victim is expected to recovered assets of approximately $14.000.

Colombia > TMT Tier 2

The team at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero has a ‘solid knowledge, excellent predisposition to work and very good coordination’, and handles a wide range of technology, digital transformation, and telecommunication matters. Recent highlights saw the team advising LifeMiles on several issues including data protection and the structuring and implementation of new business lines. ‘Excellent’ practice head Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquilla is praised for his expertise in telecommunications and internet law, and advises on a range of matters related to disruptive technologies, big data, artificial intelligence, fintech, cyber-security, start-ups and telecommunications regulatory issues. Specialist senior associate María Camila Piedrahita advises national and international clients on a broad range of  TMT matters; she is ‘proactive and always attentive to the client’s needs’.

Practice head(s):

Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquilla

Testimonials

It is a great work team, with solid knowledge, excellent predisposition to work and very good coordination. The solidity of their training, the ability to work together and the good treatment.

Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquilla is a great professional and an even better person with whom it is a pleasure to work. María Camila Piedrahita is also an excellent lawyer, proactive and always attentive to the client’s needs. The team’s understanding of our business models is crucial, and better than that of most firms. Its experience in the technology field is felt through the confidence with which the team gives counsel to our company. I would suggest data protection is the team’s number one strength, and that they are probably among the strongest in the country in this field.

Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquilla is an excellent lawyer with outstanding capabilities to understanding technology business models and identifying their intersection with various areas of law.

María Camila Piedrahita is an outstanding lawyer with excellent understanding of data protection law on top of the ability to teach it in understandable ways -even to non-lawyers – and she is definitely proactive towards us as the firm’s client.

The CMS team was very competitive, demanding and efficient in its work, with the significant level of detail necessary for the entrusted activity that served to raise the capacity and level of the company’s internal team.’

A high degree of commitment from the entire team, from the partner, senior and junior associates, which is not always found at all firms. Likewise, a deep knowledge of the subject was evidenced at all levels, which shows the standardisation and general studiousness of the firm and all its lawyers.

‘Outstanding attorneys: parnter Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquilla; senior associate María Camila Piedrahita and junior associate María Alejandra Soler.

The consultancy involved many hours of work in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team in the company, which was achieved 100% virtually. The ease of converting face-to-face consultations to a virtual model immediately and without incident is highlighted, in fact, I believe that in the end it was a benefit for the development of the entrusted activity. Likewise, although there was an agreement regarding person/hours, when it was necessary to extend it – without additional costs – this was not an impediment and all activities were managed.

Key clients

Google

Beat

Publicis

Casa Editorial El Tiempo

Credibanco

Zafin

Warner

Adobe

Pharma market

Electrolux

Work highlights

  • Permanent advice to Google regarding all commercial/TMT law and litigation matters in Colombia.
  • Advising transport app Beat on data protection compliance and regulatory matters including internet intermediaries’ regulation in Colombia, as well as assistance on responses for users right to petition and advice regarding litigation.
  • Advising Credibanco (a financial entity) on the queries and permanent discussions raised by the Ministry of ICT, ass well as advice regarding the differences between information services and telecommunications services.

Colombia > Banking and finance Tier 3

The Bogotá outpost of the global firm, CMS Rodríguez-Azuero has long maintained a certain prominence in the banking and finance sector due to senior partner Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero‘s sector expertise -particularly in regulatory matters- in a practice that covers bank contracts, securities and capital markets (and associated contentious matters), insurance, and fiduciary law and trusts products. Practice co-head Daniel Rodríguez focuses on banking, finance, insolvency, restructuring/liquidation, compliance and corporate criminal law, as well as leading the office’s public procurement area; he has considerable experience advising all parties -borrowers, lenders and intermediaries- on infrastructure transactions and project finance matters. Recent work for the 10-strong practice includes advising Banco de Chile on a short-term loan; French multilateral Agence Francaise de Development on various matters including a €120m budgetary loan to the Special, Industrial and Harbour District of Barraanquilla; and ongoing assistance to independent commodities trading house, Gunvor Group regarding a €210m advance payment agreement. Senior associate María Lucía Amador handles banking and finance, public contracting, infrastructure and compliance matters in a broad practice with a strong element of project and structured finance, as well as cross-border lending, security-package design and debt restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Sergio Rodríguez-Azuero; Daniel Rodríguez

Testimonials

CMS Rodriguez-Azuero, has extensive experience in this practice and has managed to stand out. This is noticeable when they are asked to undertake mandates in the sector, as they manage to find the perfect balance between legal issues and the way to apply them in certain circumstances.

Their availability and ability to receive feedback on the work and incorporate what is necessary after several interactions, without this representing additional costs, is impressive.

I really liked that for the particular matters that we reviewed there was a fixed rate in place; this facilitated planning issues for the legal departments of the companies.

Key clients

Banco Santander

Departamento Administrativo Defensoría del Espacio Público del Distrito de Bogotá (DADEP)

Agence Francaise de Development

Gunvor Group

Banchile Administradora General de Fondos

Banco de Chile

Work highlights

  • Advised Agence Francaise de Development on the budgetary loan granted to the Republic of Colombia for the financing of the 2018-2022 National Development Plan, for a maximum aggregate amount of €210m.
  • Advised Banchile, as a creditor, on the financing of the land acquisition for the construction of a real estate project in Medellín.
  • Advised the DADEP on the interpretation of the debt capacity requirement of a public tender, the purpose of which was to grant the concession for the design, fabrication, allotment, installation, upgrade, maintenance and operation of Bogotá’s urban furniture.

Colombia > Corporate and M&A Tier 3

With ‘high competence in M&A and regulation‘, CMS Rodríguez-Azuero enjoys a strong profile locally due to its longstanding role in the Colombian market, while reaping the benefits of its tie-up with UK-based global player CMS, particularly its Peruvian and Chilean offices. Managing partner Juan Camilo Rodríguez leads the practice; a 20 year’ veteran with considerable transactional experience, he advises on issues related to foreign investment, shareholder agreements, agency and distribution agreements, corporate governance, competition law, and tech-transfer and joint venture agreements, among other matters. Clients speak of ‘an excellent lawyer, practical, commercial, very well-connected and knowledgeable, but also down-to-earth and a pleasure to work with.‘ Recent mandates include advising Atlantica Infraestructura Sostenible on its $20 acquisition of AAGES Spain 2; fintech start-up Bold on its seed and series A financing rounds; and IDEMIA o the liquidation of two branches of subsidiary Safran in Colombia. Key support comes from associate practice director Amanda Arcaya (M&A, JVs, financings, restructurings amd general corporate/commercial advisory) - an August-2021 hire from Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas who replaced Andrea Zuñiga (now in house at Lenovo); and associate Camilo Caicedo (who has a strong tax aspect to his practice); both are highly regarded by clients. However, intermediate associate María Camila Pineda moved to Baker McKenzie S.A.S. in June 2021. Since publication, the firm has further strengthened its corporate, commercial and M&A offering (and also its energy and climate change capabilities), with the hire of former Norton Rose (Venezuela) partner, Leopoldo Olavarría as counsel.

Practice head(s):

Juan Camilo Rodríguez

Testimonials

The lawyers of this firm are closer to the client. Unlike other firms, there is no gap or superiority note between the lawyer and the client, which allows one to deal with matters with greater confidence.

Especially for corporate issues, it seems to me that they enjoy high quality and a good knowledge vs. price ratio.

One of the favourable things is that the firm has the ability to provide pre-service quotes and stay within the promised values, without repeatedly charging overtime or each of the minutes of calls with the client, which is an unfortunate practice. Its ethics are those of other high-level law firms.

Great response capacity and top quality, when faced with pressing situations. Huge ease of understanding corporate issues involving multiple jurisdictions and complex corporate structures. Permanent, fluid and assertive communication with the client.’

Great capacity to detect with great speed and precision the critical points of a complex transaction and ease of incorporating them into the commercial strategy in commercial transactions of great value and dimension.’

Speed ​​and high quality of services and deliverables. Excellent balance between opportunity and depth. A work team committed to the result expected by the client.’

Great knowledge of the infrastructure and energy sector, with high competence in M&A and regulation. Great availability of the team to respond and support in a very short period of time. It compares favourably with other firms we have worked with in Colombia.’

Juan Camilo Rodríguez standsout for his technical knowledge, knowledge of the sector, negotiation skills and availability.’

Key clients

Atlantica Infraestructura Sostenible

Nedcoffee

Indigo Group

Bold

IMCD

Harinera del Valle

Idemia

South 32 Energy

Circulo de Viajes Universal

Haskell Group

Work highlights

  • Advised NASDAQ-listed portfolio company Atlantica Infraestructura Sostenible on the acquisition of 100% of the shares of AAGES Spain 2, (a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp) held in Parque Fotovoltaico La Sierpe ESP, a company developing a photovoltaic project in the department of Sucre, Colombia.
  • Permanent legal advice to Amsterdam-headquarted Nedcoffee on all day-to-day corporate and commercial matters, as well as strategic legal issues.
  • Permanent advisory to parking and mobility solutions company, Indigo Group, regarding daily corporate and commercial matters and its investments in Colombia.

Colombia > Energy and natural resources Tier 3

The team at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero advises oil and gas companies and operators on the drafting and negotiation of joint operating agreements, EPC contracts and oilfield services contracts. Moreover, the firm has played a role in shaping the legal framework for the energy industry with its participation in the creation of the Fund for Non-Conventional Energy and Efficient Energy Management (FENOGE), the first public fund created exclusively to finance unconventional energy sources, as well as acting as lead counsel to both the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), on the design, drafting and implementation of Colombia’s new Offshore E&P contract. Daniel Rodríguez who principally advises clients on regulatory issues and the structuring, design and implementation of energy-related projects across the hydrocarbons, power (and renewables) and mining sectors, co-leads a team now 14-strong, following the firm’s July 2021 tie-up with specialist power boutique Yáñez & Asociados. The merger, which considerably strengthens the practice and also expands its capabilities in environmental and climate change matters, sees new partners Álvaro Yáñez Peñaranda and Álvaro Josué Yáñez Alsina become co-practice heads. Since publication, the firm has further strengthened its energy and climate change team with the hire of Mónica Torres -formerly head of boutique firm Viable Legal Business- as counsel; effective as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Rodríguez

Testimonials

Unity of judgment among team members, the product of rigorous analysis and clear coordination. Their availability to expand and clarify the points that presented doubts or concerns in the client. The documents presented have a very good presentation, structure and coherence.

The team was outstanding, from Daniel Rodríguez (partner) and María Lucía Amador (senior associate), as well as María Paula Sandoval and Paula Andrea Rodríguez (associates). The advice provided was 100% virtual due to the health measures established due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have no way to compare with other firms on the execution of their work. The team led by Daniel Rodriguez exceeds the level of knowledge on compliance issues that firms in Colombia have in general. As legal manager, I had been looking for several years looking for a firm that could advise us in a solid way on this matter and none of the large full-service firms had the knowledge that the CMS Rodriguez Azuero team has.

Daniel Rodriguez is phenomenal. He is always ready to support us on compliance issues. The great knowledge that he has on the subject stands out and that far exceeds many other law firms. There is no other firm that he can recommend on compliance issues.

The CMS team stands out because it always seeks to have a great knowledge of our business and to be a strategic ally of our business.’

Sector knowledge and pragmatism. Very quick speed of turnaround. Daniel Rodriguez is the key contact.

Key clients

Promigas

Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos

Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure

Eni

Work highlights

  • Advised Promigas on the design and implementation of a legal and regulatory mechanism that will allow the behaviour of GNV’s price to move consistently with the fluctuation of its substitutes.
  • Advised Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos on the applicable regime and recommendations for the improvement of its administrative sanctioning procedures.
  • Advised Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure on the acquisition of the shares held by AAGES Spain in Parque Fotovoltaico La Sierpe, an SPV developing a 20MW photovoltaic project in Sucre, Colombia.

Colombia > International trade and customs Tier 3

The customs and international trade team at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero offers comprehensive advice to national and foreign companies, preparing operational and strategic alternatives for customs optimisation. The firm has experience in customs and trade litigation concerning administrative and judicial authorities, and is also active in foreign exchange-related matters. Partner Santiago Arbouin joined the team in June 2020, following his departure from Unalegal, and leads the customs and trade practice - as well as co-heading the tax team. Arbouin is a specialist in local and international tax, customs tax, foreign trade, and customs law from the strategic planning perspective.

Practice head(s):

Santiago Arbouin

Testimonials

Very professional and solid team; Karl Mutter.

CMS Peru and CMS Colombia work together for cross-border issues. Very good integration and collaborative work.

Key clients

FCC Aqualia

IMCD Group

CI Ecoexim

MA Creative Production Group Colombia

Consorcio Fibra Óptica 2019 – SFI

GSP Servicios Generales – AUNA

Harinera del Valle

Bold.Co

Corel

Work highlights

  • Advised the Client, a global leader in the sales, marketing, and distribution of specialty chemicals and ingredients, in a customs law and trade and foreign exchange due diligence process.
  • Advised the client on customs and foreign trade planning, seeking the most efficient tax and customs structure for the company.
  • Advised the Client, a leading marketing company, on the tax structuring and customs planning of import and exports operations;  including a general foreign trade plan.

Colombia > Life sciences Tier 3

With a stronghold in the regulatory aspect of the life sciences sector, CMS Rodríguez-Azuero is well versed advising local and foreign companies in the manufacturing and distribution fields across the food and beverages, medical devices and pharmaceutical industries. Practice head Karl Mutter has over a decade of experience in everything related to market approvals, issues related to labelling, functional claims, and product advertising. Associate director Luz Helena Vargas focuses her practice on sanitary regulatory and leads the procedures and management of portfolios of health registrations at both national and international levels. Associate support comes from María Ximena Castellanos to complete the group.

Practice head(s):

Karl Mutter

Key clients

Red Bull

Lohmann & Rauscher

La Trocha Brewery

SDI

Livanova

Lentesplus.com (Locust)

Nobel Biocare

Pisa Farmaceutica

Nordic Naturals

New Earth Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Riopaila Castilla, one of the biggest producers of sugar in Colombia, with regard to producing disinfectant alcohol.
  • Assisting New Earth Company, a US-based dietary and nutritional supplements company specialising in innovative products with a difficult market approval for an algae based supplement.
  • Supported the Colombian branch of major Mexican pharma group, Pisa Farmaceutica, with new lines of products unfamiliar to them, such as cosmeceuticals.

Colombia > Public law Tier 3

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero‘s public law practice is well known for its strength in  procurement management and specialised knowledge of administrative law. The group advises contracting authorities and private companies in relation to public construction, concession and PPP contracts, auditing, public framework, and consultancy agreements. With a broad service offering, the firm’s advice also extends to representing public authorities in arbitration panels. A recent case saw the team advise the Colombian National Planning Department in two important projects related to the assessment of PPPs for roads and railway projects in Colombia. Daniel Rodríguez, whose practice also encompasses finance, compliance and corporate criminal law, leads the seven-strong team that are ‘always ready to go the extra mile'. Key associate-level support comes from senior María Lucía Amador and intermediate Paula Andrea Gutiérrez, who are both names to note.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Rodríguez

Testimonials

The consulting team always showed good availability to develop the consultancy and looked for additional sources of information to complement the information that was difficult to access; most of the analyses carried out as a result of previous experiences yielded valuable conclusions to fulfill the objective of the consultancy.

‘Everyone was very willing to collaborate, with good knowledge of the subject under evaluation in the consultancy.

The CMS Colombia team is always willing and committed to listen to the challenges that the business faces with various situations that manifest in its operations, and to devise and execute paths that in a practical, effective and legally neat way help to overcome these challenges and achieve favorable results for the company and its business.

They are a team of highly prepared professionals, very capable and always ready to go the extra mile to provide timely responses to any urgent or pressing need, regardless of whether they must dedicate hours of their weekly rest days in order to meet us as clients, that also makes them special. My experience with the following lawyers has been excellent: María Lucía Amador, Paula Andrea Gutiérrez, Natalia Guerrero and partners Daniel Rodriguez and Lorenzo Villegas.’

The free webinars and conferences with current topics of interest to which they invite us are a novelty that both CMS and several other national and international firms have been offering. The CMS invitations have been interesting because of how novel, timely and far-reaching they are.

We are always in great need of knowledgeable counsel in Colombia. CMS Rodríguez-Azuero provides key capability for our operations and local legal concerns. I have always found Daniel Rodríguez exceptionally clear to work with.

Partner Daniel Rodríguez has been an excellent resource for us. Very diligent and responsive and very well informed. He has been great.

I want to note María Lucía Amador, Paula Gutíerrez, Omar Martínez and Daniel Rodríguez.

Key clients

Google

Colombian National Planning Department

Arup

Agence Francaise de Développement

Hewlett Packard Colombia

Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos

Pacheco Estudio de Arquitectura

Interamerican Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Google Colombia in relation with all commercial matters in Colombia, including among others, the viability of entering into several public contracts.
  • Represented the Colombian National Planning Department (DNP) in a public contract to evaluate the application of the PPP scheme in road infrastructure projects structured and/or awarded under Law 1508 of 2012; as well as providing recommendations to the relevant public stakeholders for the projects to be structured under this scheme in the future (5th Generation of Road Concessions).
  • CMS Colombia, Perú, Chile and México entered into a framework agreement with the Interamerican Development Bank to work on Public-Private Partnerships in infrastructure assets and services that will ultimately contribute to economic growth and equity in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Colombia > Intellectual property Tier 4

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero's practice head Karl Mutter is 'brilliant advising on life sciences matters' and so many of the firm's clients are from the health sector, such as Khiron and Optica Alemana Schmidt Hijos, but the firm also advises companies from the food and beverage and technology sectors. The firm manages IP assets both nationally and internationally, benefited by its global network. The team's associate director, the 'proactive' and 'thorough' Lola Kandelaft, qualified in France and provides international expertise, advising on defence of portfolios, negotiation of contracts and representation in IP rights infringement claims. TMT partner Lorenzo Villegas Carrasquilla advises on data protection and privacy.

Practice head(s):

Karl Mutter

Testimonials

A very good balance of knowledge and closeness in communication. A good global vision of intellectual property can be gained from the experience of the partners in this field. They are aware of the latest advances in digital legislation, in particular on intellectual property!

Our company was subject to a serious intellectual property problem, since several websites with the name of the company and the like were bought by unknown people and published pages of pornography, damaging our image, as we sell school uniforms to the highest level schools. On the recommendation of Lola Kandelaft and Karl Mutter, we filed a lawsuit with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), which was favorable to us and we were able to recover the domains. No law firm had been able to guide us to solve this problem.

Lola Kandelaft and Karl Mutter have knowledge of the handling of processes before the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which I have not found in any other firm, on the other hand they also consolidated the registration of the trade mark with its distinctive signs in Colombia, which has given us the peace of mind to continue investing in its positioning in the market.’

The treatment of the lawyers is personal and very warm without losing their professionalism, they get involved with our company, they understand it and that is why they give us excellent support on the subject of intellectual property.

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero IP team is one of my preferred firms in Latin America. Their approach is focused on the client’s business and problem solving. The team is very responsive and available.’

Karl Mutter is very responsive and brilliant advising on life sciences matters; Lola Kandelaf is a precious asset for clients involved in sensitive negotiations and contentious matters in Colombia. Lola is certainly one of the best trade mark advisers I have ever worked in the region.’

The legal services provided by the team are timely and reliable. The team demonstrates a very good command of the topics consulted.’

Karl Mutter and Lola Kandelaf stand out for the quality of their advisory service. The plus that makes them stand out is their closeness to the company and their understanding of the business.’

Key clients

Khiron Lifesciences

Bodytech

Óptica Alemana

Vesalius Pharma

Canels

Argelia Internacional

Pharmalabs

Miguel Angel Matamoros

Konker

Caracolitos

Katherina Bach

Destileria Nacional

VedderPrice

Licks Advogados

MMS Comunicaciones Colombia

Camara Colombiana De Comercio Electrónico

Work highlights

  • Drafted and executed a strategy to protect Khiron Lifesciences’ trade mark portfolio in several jurisdictions.
  • Successfully obtained for Caracolitos S.A.S. the transfer of two infringing domain names through UDRP complaint.
  • Advised Argelia Internacional SA on the protection of its trade mark portfolio in Colombia, facing and tackling many obstacles from the TM Office.

Colombia > Projects Tier 4

The team at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero are experts in structured project and corporate finance, infrastructure and public law, and public procurement anticorruption regulations. The practice has been involved in providing advice to clients in relation to concession and PPP contracts, public work contracts, and framework agreements, among others. Daniel Rodríguez heads the team and has significant expertise regarding the social, environmental and land acquisition complexities related to project finance deals and infrastructure projects. Senior associate María Lucía Amador is a key team member and also participates in the banking and finance and compliance practice areas.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Rodríguez

Colombia > Real estate Tier 4

The seven-strong practice at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero focuses on providing structuring advice on complex real estate investment transactions in Colombia, as well as handling property portfolios, contracts, leases and litigation. Co-led by managing partner Juan Camilo Rodríguez and Jacques Simhon, who is recommended by clients as ‘a great ally’, the team regularly advises on license management, management of partial plans, and advice in sanction processes before local, district and national authorities. Key names include experienced counsel Carolina Lozano, formerly a vice president at Fidicuiaría Bogotá, who joined the firm in January 2021; and corporate associate practice director Armanda Arcaya, and August-2021 arrival who will be active on transactional activities in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Juan Camilo Rodríguez; Jacques Simhon

Testimonials

Partner availability is exceptional. Jacques Simhon is a great ally and is always available to answer your calls.

As a young partner Jacques is very aware of the importance of sustaining a commercial relationship.

Key clients

Promotora ACR – La Serrezuela

Promotora ACR – Edificio 593

Circulo de Viajes Universal

Promotora ACR – Club de Playa Tierra Bomba

Work highlights

  • Advised Circulo de Viajes Universal in various real estate investment projects, including the purchase of 51% of one of the most luxurious spa complex in Bogota.
  • Advised Promotora ACR – Club de Playa Tierra Bombain in the acquisition and regularisation of land, held through ancestral deeds, for the real estate project Tierra Bomba Luxury Beach Club, a leisure property near Cartagena.

Colombia > Labour and employment Tier 5

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero‘s practice is headed by ‘expert in pension issues’ Adriana Escobar, who led on advice and representation for Sanofi, working to reduce the client’s social security debt. The department advises on social security regulations and cross-border bilateral agreements on pension matters, as well as handling employment contracts, dismissals, occupational hazards and immigration matters. The firm also represents clients in judicial and administrative processes and provides due diligence during M&A and UGPP inspections, as well as advising on disability recovery processes before health entities. Associate director Juan Carlos González advises on social security matters and represents clients in disputes before the Supreme Court and Ministry of Labour. Iván Jiménez left to found his own consultancy in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Adriana Escobar

Testimonials

Experts in pension issues.

Excellent service: Adriana Escobar is always accompanying the processes. She is an expert in pension issues and provides us with an excellent service, with simple and truly implementable solutions for the business.

‘Knowledge of labour legislation, understanding of the particular circumstances during the pandemic and the exceptions offered by the employment protection legislation. Friendly and very timely (quick) in their responses, even with the difficulties of a pandemic. Also, great understand of the needs and capabilities of the contracting company.’

I’d highlight the special attention given to the particular case, the opportune responses, and concepts that were very pertinent to the consultation and useful for employees and the company.

For me, this is a team that is both professional and strategic, and very human and sensitive, which undoubtedly generates value in a systemic way. I want to highlight the professional work of Juan Carlos González, who from the first moment was a professional who gave me, in addition to clarity, a lot of tranquility due to his high knowledge of the subject that he was leading for my company.

The difference from other offices is the monitoring and information on the status of processes.

Key clients

Sanofi Eventis

Equion-Energia

NedCoffee

Productos Alimenticios el Recreo

Andrade Gutierrez Engenharia

Fiduciaria Davivienda

Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Bahía

Beat Colombia

Allied Aviation

Agencia GIZ

Prodigius (Publicis Groupe)

Soluciones Ocupacionales

Masterline

Sika

Grano de Arena

Transaire

Diaco

Work highlights

  • Provides permanent advice for Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Bahía regarding labour and employment matters, focusing on stablishing strategies regarding union management, outsourced services, human resources policies and good labour practices, among other relevant topics.
  • Advising Fiduciaria Davivienda on the complete fulfillment of decisions from the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice, through the instauration of settlement agreements on the payments of monthly pensions which has allowed the client to remain harmless from any new claims.
  • Aided Diaco in reducing its social security contingencies, in order to avoid judicial claims that could generate higher costs for the company.

Colombia > Tax Tier 5

The seven-strong team at CMS Rodríguez-Azuero offers specialist consultancy advice on tax and exchange matters both to companies in the financial sector and to foreign investors, with particular focus on the real estate and energy sectors. The practice is co-led by Natalia Guerrero, who has extensive experience in administrative proceedings and litigation; and July-2020 hire, Santiago Arbouin, who excels in local and international tax, and is tasked with developing the firm’s customs and foreign trade practice. Key associate support comes from Natalia Recio and Laura Rodríguez (who arrived with Arbouin and advise on both tax and ITC matters); however, Javier Orozco left for Gómez-Pinzón Abogados (GPA) in June 2021. Recent highlights include advising Nedcoffee on the structuring of its acquisition of a coffee business in Colombia from corporate and tax perspectives as part of its wider handling of the deal.

Practice head(s):

Natalia Guerrero; Santiago Arbouin

Key clients

Frontera Energy Colombia Corp (sucursal Colombia)

Electricité de France (EDF Group)

Consorcio Fibra Óptica 2019 – SFI

Sucden Americas

Banchile Inversiones

Berlitz Colombia

Harinera del Valle

Security Shops

Milenio PC

Eforcers

Work highlights

  • Assisted Electicité de France (EDF) with the tax structuring and tax planning for the incorporation of a legal vehicle in Colombia.
  • Advised Consorcio Fibra Óptica – SFI, one of the largest suppliers to crude-oil pipeline OCENSA, on a VAT exoneration claim for an optic fibre technology project in the Colombian Sea.
  • Advising Banchile Inversiones on the tax planning and tax structuring of an investment in Colombia concerning social housing and real estate projects in different municipalities.

Ranked as a Top 10 Global Law Firm, CMS is a Future Facing full-service law firm with more than 70 offices in more than 40 countries and 5,000+ lawyers worldwide that combines deep local market understanding with a global overview. CMS has a strong presence in Latin America, with offices in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. We are one of the few law firms present in all Pacific Alliance countries.

CMS Rodríguez-Azuero in Colombia is built on deep local roots with more than 40 years of experience providing specialised legal advice with high management skills and a strategic approach to local and multinational clients.

The firm offers a unique combination of expertise including Antitrust, Competition & Trade, Banking & Finance, Commercial, Corporate / M&A, Employment & Pensions, Dispute Resolution, Public Procurement, Real Estate, Tax, Compliance, Corporate Criminal Law, Intellectual Property, Technology, Media & Communications, Lifesciences & Healthcare, Insolvency, Restructuring & Liquidation, Customs Law & Trade, Consumer Products, Funds, Hotels & Leisure, Infrastructure & Projects, Insurance, Private Equity, Energy & Climate Change.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Sergio is Founding Partner and head of the Banking & Finance practice and co-leader of the Dispute Resolution area for the Firm. Sergio Rodríguez Azuerosergio.rodriguez@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Juan Camilo is Managing Partner and leads the Corporate / M&A and Commercial areas and co-leads the Real Estate practice for the Firm. Juan Camilo Rodríguezjuan.rodriguez@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Daniel is Partner of the Firm and co-leads the areas of Banking & Finance, Insolvency, Restructuring & Liquidation, Compliance, Energy & Climate Change and Corporate Criminal Law and leads the Public Procurement area. Daniel Rodríguezdaniel.rodriguez@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Jacques is Partner and leads the Corporate Criminal Law practice and co-leads the Real Estate, Dispute Resolution, and Compliance practices for the Firm. Jacques Simhonjacques.simhon@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Natalia is Partner and coleads the Tax practice for the Firm. Natalia Guerreronatalia.guerrero@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Karl is Partner and leads the Intellectual Property and Life Sciences & Healthcare areas. Karl Mutterkarl.mutter@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Lorenzo is a Partner for the Firm in the Technology, Media & Communications (TMC) and Antitrust, Competition & Trade practices and coheads the Dispute Resolution team. Lorenzo Villegas-Carrasquillalorenzo.villegas@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Adriana is Partner of the Firm and leads the Employment & Pensions practice. Adriana Escobaradriana.escobar@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Santiago is Partner and leads the Customs Law & Trade practice and co-leads the Tax area for the Firm. Santiago Arbouinsantiago.arbouin@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Álvaro Josué is Partner and coleads the Energy & Climate Change team for the Firm. Álvaro Josué Yáñezalvarojosue.yanez@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Álvaro is Partner and coleads the Energy & Climate Change team for the Firm. Álvaro Yáñez Peñarandaalvaro.yanez@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Henry is Partner of the Firm and coleads the Dispute Resolution practice. Henry Sanabriahenry.sanabria@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Felipe is Partner of the Firm and coleads the Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property practices. Felipe Andradefelipe.andrade@cms-ra.com+57 1 321 8910
Lawyers and paralegals : 50+
Partners : 13
Staff : 20+
All commercial and local languages in countries where CMS operates
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