Colombia 2016 – GC Powerlist
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Colombia 2016

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Abel Lopez Campo

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary | VivaColombia

Abel Lopez Campo has been general counsel and corporate secretary at VivaColombia, the first and only low-cost airline in Colombia for nearly five years. Joining the company just two years...

Adriana Londoño

Director of Corporate Affairs | Cenit Transporte Y Logistica De Hidrocarburos

Adriana Londoño is director of corporate affairs at Cenit Transporte Y Logistica De Hidrocarburos, a specialist in the transportation of hydrocarbons in Colombia. Throughout her career she has built a...

Adriana Sinisterra Plana

Vice President Business and Legal Affairs | Fox Networks Group Latin America

An attorney admitted to practice in Colombia, New York and England with an abundance of experience in transactions, corporate law, contracts and compliance, Adriana Sinisterra Plana currently oversees Fox Networks’...

Alejandra Bonilla Lagos

Chief legal officer | Pacific Exploration and Production Corporation

With a career providing legal advice to oil and gas companies that spans 15 years, including 8 years at Pacific Exploration and Production Corporation (PEPC), Alejandra Bonilla Lagos is one...

Alejandra Pazos

Senior Officer Legal | Finance in Motion

Working as senior legal officer at one of the world leaders in impact investing, Finance in Motion, Alejandra Pazos is a sole in-house counsel working in the company office in...

Alejandro Amelines Guerrero

General Counsel and Secretary of the Board | Carbones San Fernando

Alejandro Amelines Guerrero is a formidable lawyer with a career spanning over 11 years in both the public and private sector. After spending three years as a legal advisor at...

Alejandro Madero

Vice President Legal | Citi

Alejandro Madero advises on treasury, securities and financial markets transaction risks at Citi Colombia and its subsidiary broker dealer arm Citivalores. Madero’s extensive experience in structuring a range of financial...

Alex Visbal

General Counsel and Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer | Grainger Colombia

A well-educated and highly experienced lawyer, Alex Visbal combines his duties of general counsel and chief compliance and ethics officer at Fortune 500 industrial supply company Grainger Colombia with a...

Alirio Uribe Garcia

Director Legal and Compliance - Americas | Stork

Alirio Uribe Garcia is an award winning in-house counsel with a depth of experience in the engineering and manufacturing sector. At the onset of Uribe Garcia’s legal career, he briefly...

Alvaro Josué Yáñez Alsina

Chief Legal Officer | Pacific Exploration & Production Corporation

Alvaro Josué Yáñez Alsina was appointed by Pacific Exploration & Production, the Canadian petroleum company, in Colombia to design the unification of existing contractual processes. Upon joining the company Yáñez...

Ana Maria Arbelaez

Legal Manager | Sanofi Aventis de Colombia

Ana Maria Arbelaez joined Sanofi Aventis de Colombia (Sanofi) in 2012, just as the French-headquartered multinational was consolidating its place as the one of the region’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers following...

Ana Maria Echeverria Urquijo

Legal Vice President and General Counsel | Inter-American Coal

Bogotá-headquartered Inter-American Coal is one of the leading integrated entities in the Latin American coal mining, trading and distribution market. General counsel Ana Maria Echeverria Urquijo leads a team of...

Ana María Gómez

Chief Compliance Officer (Latin America) | Kimberly-Clark

Over the course of her in-house legal career which spans over two decades, Ana María Gómez has been in charge of legal functions at some of the largest and most...

Ana Maria Revollo

Vice President - Legal and Compliance | Global Energy Development

With over 15 years of legal and managerial experience at the highest level, Ana Maria Revollo is perfectly suited to take charge of all legal and compliance matters at the...

Andrea Campo

Chief Attorney | Centrales Eléctricas del Cauca

Andrea Campo heads the legal department of one of Colombia’s largest electrical companies, Centrales Eléctricas del Cauca’s (CEDELCA). In her four years at CEDELCA, she has overseen profound changes to...

Andrea Eugenia Camargo Niño

Director of International Legal Affairs | Grupo Odinsa

Andrea Eugenia Camargo Niño joined Colombian construction and infrastructure development company Odinsa in early 2015. In a relatively short period of time she has helped to execute a number of...

Andrés Caldas Rico

Legal and Corporate Affairs Manager | Emgesa

With over two thirds of the Colombia’s energy demands now met by hydroelectric power, hydro- and thermal-power operator Emgesa has carved out a place as the country’s second largest generator...

Andrés Crump

Senior Vice President and Counsel | Brookfield Asset Management

An experienced lawyer with a highly impressive track record in transactional law, Andrés Crump has helped Brookfield Asset Management through some very high profile, infrastructure-related transactions, not only in Colombia...

Andrés Perez

Legal Director | Publicar

For publishing company Publicar, strategy is an essential ingredient in weathering the storm of industry-changing consumption habits, and a key aspect of implementing that strategy is Andres Perez’s dynamic relationship...

Ángel Alberto Velandia Rodriguez

Vice President, General Counsel and Company Secretary | Bolsa de Valores de Colombia

Ángel Alberto Velandia Rodríguez is general counsel and company secretary at Bolsa de Valores de Colombia (BVC), the stock exchange of Colombia. Velandia Rodriguez joined BVC in 2006 and was...

Antonio Salazar

Head of Legal (Andean regio) | DHL

For more than a decade, Antonio Salazar has managed DHL’s legal activities across the Andean region. He is direct head of the legal department for DHL Global Forwarding in Colombia...

Camilo González Téllez

General Counsel and Compliance Officer | Cemex LatAm Holdings

‘Being the general counsel of a company like Cemex’, according to one nominator, ‘is not an easy proposition. [The role] combines a great volume of relatively mundane matters together with...

Carlos Hernán Paz Mosquera

Legal Manager and General Secretary | Eficacia

Since 2011 Carlos Hernán Paz Mosquera has been a senior figure in the legal team at business services and business process outsourcing (BPO) provider Eficacia, the sixth largest employer in...

Carlos Herrera

General Counsel | ETB

Carlos Herrera’s general counsel role at the major Colombian telecommunications company ETB represents the culmination of 18 years of experience at the pinnacle of high profile government, regulatory and corporate...

Carlos Laguado

Director of Legal Operations (Chile and Colombia) | General Motors Financial

Carlos Laguado is a proven specialist in multinational merger and acquisitions, product capital markets and corporate finance. Capable of leading teams comprised of different cultures and nationalities, Laguado is recognised...

Carolina Arciniegas Parga

Legal Affairs Manager | GlaxoSmithKline Colombia

An ‘efficient and proactive’ legal professional, Carolina Arciniegas Parga has a reputation for her ability to effectively manage several areas of the law. An expert with 16 years of experience...

Carolina Largacha

Legal Manager | Corredores Asociados

As legal manager of one of Colombia’s most influential investment banks and broker-dealer firms and a subsidiary of the top three Colombian bank Davivienda, Carolina Largacha has been heavily involved...

Cesar Augusto Lozano

General Counsel (Latin America) and Compliance Officer | Compañía Española de Petróleos (Cepsa) Colombia

Spanish multinational oil and gas company Compañía Española de Petróleos (Cepsa) began its operations in Colombia in the early 2000s. Shortly after Cepsa’s entry into the market, President Uribe implemented...

Cristina Lloreda

General counsel | Sanford Management

Cristina Lloreda is the commercially savvy general counsel of holding company Sanford Management, where she handles the legal needs of a 15-company portfolio. Since her 2013 appointment, Lloreda has been...

Daniel Alfonso Perea

Vice President Corporate and Legal Affairs | Terpel

Daniel Alfonso Perea has been part of Terpel’s legal team for over a decade and has served as its vice president for corporate and legal affairs since 2008. Perea has...

David Quiroz Rendon

Legal Director | Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson’s legal director for the entire North Latin America region, David Quiroz Rendon is widely praised by peers and clients alike. Described by his colleagues as a ‘great...

Diana Carolina Camargo Sanchez

Director of Legal, Logistics and Business | Biomax Biocombustibles

Diana Carolina Camargo Sanchez joined Colombian wholesale distributor and retailer of fuels Biomax Biocombustibles (Biomax) in 2010 and has occupied a senior legal position since 2012. Biomax operates a network...

Diana Margarita Vivas Munar

Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs | Empresa de Energia de Bogotá

Empresa de Energía de Bogotá (EEB), the second largest electricity transmission and utilities provider in Colombia and one of the largest companies in country, is often held up as a...

Diana Yepes

Legal Manager | Bridgestone De Colombia

Over her five year tenure as legal manager for the Colombian part of international tyre and rubber company Bridgestone, Diana Yepes has undertaken an overhaul of the legal function that...

Eduardo Rosado Fernández de Castro

General Counsel and Corporate Affairs Vice President | Promigas

Eduardo Rosado Fernández de Castro’s legal career spans over two decades. He started out as an independent lawyer in 1990, joining Cementos del Caribe, now known as Cementos Argos, as...

Elisa Murgas De Moreno

Vice President Legal Affairs and General Secretary | Avianca Holdings

Avianca Holdings, a subsidiary of Synergy Group, is currently the second largest airline holding in Latin America by revenue and fleet size, serving more than 100 destinations in 26 countries....

Emiliana Villa Mejia

Lawyer and General Secretary | Airplan

Airplan is a Colombian manager and operator of six major airports in North Central Colombia. At the helm of the company’s legal department is general secretary Emiliana Villa Mejia, who...

Felipe Marquez Robledo

Vice President Corporate Affairs and General Counsel Colombia | AngloGold Ashanti

In his role as vice president for corporate affairs and general counsel at the Colombian operations of global gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti, Felipe Marquez Robledo oversees a large legal...

Fernando Junguito

Legal Manager | Impala Terminals (Trafigura)

Fernando Junguito performs a key role in leading some of the most impressive transportation projects in Colombia and overseas, in Impala Terminals a global logistics provider that is part of...

Fernando Rodas

Vice President, Legal and Secretary General | Grupo Suramericana

Fernando Rodas is legal vice president and secretary general at Grupo Suramericana (Grupo Sura), a leading Colombian insurer and one of the top 10 largest companies in the country. A...

Fernando Victoria Peña

Legal and Compliance Director | Teleperformance Colombia Group

Fernando Victoria Peña has been legal and compliance director at Teleperformance Colombia Group, the Colombian arm of the global outsourcing company, since August 2010. Over the past six years, he...

Gustavo Sáchica

Head of Legal and General Secretary | MetLife

Gustavo Sáchica oversees all legal work related to MetLife’s 400,000 policy holders in Colombia. Sáchica joined MetLife in 2015, two years after the global insurer had entered the Colombian market...

Hector Garcia Corredor

Head of Legal and Compliance (Andean) | Bayer

Bayer’s head of legal and compliance for the Andean region, Hector Garcia Corredor, has been instrumental in helping the German pharmaceutical company to build a robust presence in the Venezuelan...

Helena Alvarez Uribe

Head of Corporate and Legal Matters (Andean region) | Henkel

German consumer and industrial manufacturing giant Henkel is responsible for some of the world’s most recognisable homecare brands. With nearly 4,000 employees working at production facilities across Latin America, its...

Ingrid Pahl

Legal Vice President and General Secretary | Banco Itaú


Ingrid Pahl is an award-winning legal vice president and general secretary of Banco Itaú, the largest bank in Latin America and seventh largest in the world by assets. With more...

Jairo González Gómez

General Counsel and Secretary General | Grupo Nutresa

With dozens of brands available in over 60 countries, food processing and distribution conglomerate Grupo Nutresa is one of Colombia’s largest and best-known companies. General counsel and secretary general Jairo...

Jario Arias

Director of Legal | Isagen

Jario Arias began his legal career in Colombia’s Superintendence of Banks (now known as Superintendence of Finance) in 1996, working initially in contracts and later on in the legal opinion...

Johanna Alexandra Cifuentes García

Head of Legal Compliance (Colombia) | Roche

In the mountainous and isolated Antioquia region of Colombia, Roche’s Genentech unit is trying to unlock a scientific mystery and cure a disease affecting around 15 million people worldwide. When...

Jorge Andrés Torres

Legal Manager | British American Tobacco

Although Colombia remains one of Latin America’s largest cigarette markets, the country is increasingly seeing the type of legal challenges that have become common in Europe and the US. Jorge...

Jorge De Los Ríos

General Counsel | Unilever

Jorge De Los Ríos is a legal professional with strong expertise in commercial law, competition law, consumer protection and intellectual property. Currently he oversees the legal function at Unilever, which...

Jorge Díaz Gómez

Legal Manager | Azteca Comunicaciones

Jorge Díaz Gómez is responsible for the legal and regulatory activities and decisions of Azteca Comunicaciones in Colombia. Having been named legal manager two years ago, Díaz Gómez reshuffled his...

Jorge Luis Castro

Legal Director | Ciudad Limpia Bogotá

Legal director at the Bogotá arm of the Colombia-based waste management business Ciudad Limpia Bogotá, Jorge Luis Castro has undertaken a successful overhaul of the legal function, restructuring the legal...

Jorge Mario Meneses

Regional Corporate Counsel LAC and Caribbean | Guy Carpenter

A specialist in contract and commercial law, with extensive experience in handling corporate legal aspects and the implementation of corporate compliance policy, Jorge Mario Meneses serves as regional corporate counsel...

Jorge Martinez de Leon

General Secretary and Legal Representative | Caracol Television

With 27 years of professional experience in the telecommunications industry in Colombia, Jorge Martinez de Leon is one of the most well established and recognised lawyers in the sector. In...

José Joaquín Díaz Perilla

Chief Legal Officer | Banco de Bogotá


With operations dating back to 1870, Banco de Bogotá is the oldest commercial bank in Colombia. The bank’s reputation for stability is echoed throughout its operations and particularly in its...

José Millet García

Senior Legal Manager (Mexico and Northern Latin America), | EMC Corporation

José Millet García is a highly experienced, multicultural and trilingual lawyer with over a decade of experience of managing legal processes at the highest level. He is currently senior legal...

Juan Camilo Castro Salcedo

Legal Director | AT&T

Juan Camilo Castro Salcedo currently oversees a legal team of 25 employees across Colombia, Ecuador and Peru in his role as legal director at AT&T. Described by peers as an...

Juan Felipe Cruz

Legal Manager and Compliance Officer (Andean and Central America) | Reckitt Benckiser

Based in Cali, Juan Felipe Cruz oversees the legal and compliance department that supports global health and hygiene business (formerly Reckitt Benckiser), in 10 countries across Central America and the...

Juan Luis Múnera

Vice President Legal and Institutional Affairs | Cementos Argos

After briefly working part-time as an assistant professor and private practice lawyer at firms Arrubla, Devis, Tamayo and Brigard & Urrutia Abogados, Juan Luis Múnera joined Bancolombia in October 1998...

Juan Manuel Cuellar Cabrera

Legal and Corporate Affairs Director | Bioenergy

Juan Manuel Cuellar Cabrera boasts a rich, decade-long legal career in the Colombian energy sector. After brief spells as a private practice lawyer at Duran, Acero & Osorio Abogados and...

Juan Pablo Barrera Ulloa

Legal Vice President | Decameron All-Inclusive Hotels & Resorts

Driven by the ‘constant search for schemes that generate value for the organisation,’ Decameron All-Inclusive Hotels & Resorts’ Juan Pablo Barrera Ulloa, uses his broad wealth of experience of legal...

Juan Pablo Ovalle Arana

Legal Counsel (Colombia) | IBM

As the Colombian head of legal at one of the world’s largest companies, it would be inaccurate to describe Juan Pablo Ovalle Arana as a “rising star”. Nonetheless, Ovalle Arana’s...

Juan Pablo Restrepo

Chief Counsel (Central America, Caribbean and Andean countries) | Mondelēz International

As well as building a comprehensive in-house legal team at confectionery, food, and beverage conglomerate Mondelēz International, Juan Pablo Restrepo has optimised the external counsel service model for Central America,...

Julian Avila

Legal Manager- Legal Shared Services Team | AON Risk Solutions

A young and driven lawyer, Julian Avilla works as a legal manager at the risk management business of the leading global provider of professional services AON Risk Solutions. Joining the...

Katherine Silva

Legal Director | Hyundai Colombia Automotriz

As legal director of the Colombian branch of one of the world’s most recognisable transnational companies, Hyundai, Katherine Silva is kept very busy. Her areas of competence include corporate issues...

Laura Vejarano

General Counsel | Terranum Group

Formerly a private practice lawyer with nine years of experience at a “big four” firm and various law firms, Laura Vejarano is credited by her peers for her strong entrepreneurial...

Lina Maria Cortes

Health Care Compliance Officer (Northern Latin America) | Johnson & Johnson

Lina Maria Cortes has had a highly successful career conducting impressive legal and compliance work both in-house and in private practice. Appointed as health care compliance officer for Johnson &...

Lina María Mosquera Gonzalez

Intellectual Property and Cybersecurity Counsel | Microsoft

With over 10 years of experience in intellectual property and corporate law as both an in-house counsel and private practice lawyer, Lina María Mosquera Gonzalez is in the perfect position...

Luis Felipe García Carvajal

Country Head of Legal Services | Panalpina

Luis Felipe García Carvajal specialises in international and insurance law, with extensive experience in negotiating, reviewing and drafting contracts. Currently general counsel for Colombia and Ecuador at one of the...

Luis Fernando Diaz

Regional General Counsel (Latin America and Caribbean) | SAP

Diaz joined German multinational software corporation SAP in 2007 as general counsel for Spanish-speaking Latin America and has since assumed responsibility for the Caribbean. His rise to prominence as one...

Luisa Fernández Mejía

Vice President of Corporate Affairs | Drummond

A lawyer well known for her methodological and disciplined approach to work, Luisa Fernández Mejía has worked at the helm of the corporate affairs function at the metals and mining...

Manuel Mejia

Country Counsel (Colombia and Panama) | Hewlett Packard Enterprise

A commercial lawyer with a vast experience of providing legal advice in Colombia, Manuel Mejia is a proven expert in the support and coordination of corporate law, consumer law, M&A...

Maria Fernanda De Salvador

Legal Manager | Emerald Energy

As the legal manager of the oil exploration company, Emerald Energy, Maria Fernanda De Salvador, along with her team, handles all the exploration and production contracts to assure that the...

Mariana Sanchez

Legal Director | Impala Terminals (Trafigura)

Impala Terminals is a global logistics provider that focuses on emerging markets and operates as a part of the Trafigura Group, one of the world’s leading trading companies. Mariana Sanchez...

Martha Elena Ruiz Diaz-Granados

Company Secretary and Legal Counsel | Telefónica

Martha Elena Ruiz Diaz-Granados is company secretary and legal counsel at Movistar, Telefónica’s Colombian operating entity. During her time with the company, Ruiz Diaz-Granados has helped maintain stability and consistency...

Mauricio Cuesta

General Counsel | CI Colombian Natural Resources

A globally educated lawyer with a strong educational background that incorporates degrees from Universidad del Rosario, Universidad Externado de Colombia and Fordham University, Mauricio Cuesta also boasts over 14 years...

Mauricio Rosillo Rojas

Vice President of Legal and Company Secretary | Bancolombia


Mauricio Rosillo Rojas has served as vice president of legal and company secretary at Bancolombia since 2008. Managing the legal operations at Colombia’s largest commercial bank, which operates in retail...

Miguel Ronderos Corredor

Associate General Counsel and Human Resources Director (Spanish Speaking Latin America) | Spring Global

Described as a ‘diligent individual’, ‘great leader and team worker’, Miguel Ronderos Corredor is a real asset to the software company Spring Global with his strong expertise in cross-border transactions...

Mónica Acosta

Regulation and Corporate Affairs Manager | British American Tobacco

For 18 years Mónica Acosta has worked in the British American Tobacco (BAT) Colombia legal team, occupying a number of senior positions. She is recognised for her wide-ranging expertise in...

Mónica Durán

Legal Director(Latin America) | Yara

A legal management executive with 16 years of experience in commercial law, Mónica Durán has spent the last ten years in the hydrocarbon and chemical industry developing start-up companies, leading...

Monica Tocarruncho

General Counsel | RSA Colombia

A bilingual lawyer that specialises in financial and contract law, Monica Tocarruncho has over 10 years of experience providing legal advice on corporate and insurance matters. Described by her peers...

Natalia Camacho

Legal Manager | Altra Investments

Natalia Camacho is a talented legal professional with over nine years of experience in corporate law and M&A work. Currently legal manager at Altra Investments, an investment business focusing on...

Nicolás Cuadros

Legal Director (Colombia and Venezuela), | Philip Morris International

Nicolás Cuadros joined Philip Morris in 2011 as legal manager of its Colombian affiliate Coltabaco. Later that year, Colombia implemented some of the strictest tobacco control laws in the world,...

Nicolás Rozo Colomer

General Legal Counsel (Colombia) | Weatherford

Weatherford is one of the leading providers of technology and services to the oil and gas industry, helping to maximise the recovery of hydrocarbon deposits in more than 100 countries....

Nicolas Rubio

General Counsel | Cerro Matoso / South 32 Mining

General counsel of Cerro Matoso, a large Colombian ferronickel mine owned by South 32 Mining (formerly BHP Billiton), Nicolas Rubio has made a significant impact on the legal function during...

Paola Andrea Valero Carrero

Legal Director | Schneider Electric

Praised by her peers for her high level of professionalism, Paola Andrea Valero Carrero is a formidable legal expert with substantial expertise in corporate law, dispute resolution and transactional matters....

Patricia Sawyer

Corporate legal manager | Pacific Exploration and Production Corporation

Patricia Sawyer is a senior lawyer with 29 years of experience working with international energy companies in Colombia and Venezuela. Over the course of her legal career she has had...

Patricia Sousa

Regional Legal Director | Pfizer

Patricia Sousa is head legal counsel for both the pharmaceuticals and retail divisions of Pfizer in Latin America. For more than 10 years she has guided the company’s regional activities...

Pedro Fernando León González

Head of Legal and Compliance | Banco Santander de Negocios Colombia


Pedro Fernando León González joined Santander three years ago during a period of turbulence for its Colombian operations. In 2012 Santander ended 15 years in the local market by selling...

Rafael Bedoya Rivas

Legal Coordinator | Aspaen

Aspaen is a Colombian non-profit organisation founded in 1964 as a project to promote education in Colombia. It currently operates over the country with 21 institutions in eight cities throughout...

Rodolfo Mario Garcia Paredes

Corporate head of legal | Ecopetrol

With 16 years as the corporate head of legal at Ecopetrol, one of the four main petroleum producers in Latin America, Rodolfo Mario Garcia Paredes’ legal advice has seen the...

Rodrigo Borda Olarte

Senior Legal and Compliance Counsel | Bayer Colombia

Throughout his career Rodrigo Borda Olarte has shown a passion for excellence, personal development and management of high performance teams. Working as senior counsel and compliance at the global pharmaceutical...

Sharon Diazgranados

Coordinator of Legal Affairs | Corporación financiera Colombiana

Sharon Diazgranados, legal affairs coordinator at Corporación financiera Colombiana (Corficolombiana), a Colombian private equity firm, is widely praised for her thoroughness. ‘She will undertake each and every assignment with the...

Silvia Barrero

Vice President Legal and Corporate Affairs | Coca-Cola FEMSA

Food, beverages and tobacco

Silvia Barrero serves as the current vice president for legal and corporate affairs at Coca Cola’s Latin America arm Coca-Cola FEMSA. A graduate from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Universidad de...

Silvia Rueda

Legal Coordinator | Bimbo De Colombia

A highly analytical and creative lawyer with excellent interpersonal skills and a constant drive to learn and work with others, Silvia Rueda has extensive experience in consumer and foreign exchange...

Tatiana Montealegre

Chief Legal Officer | Parque Arauco

Tatiana Montealegre has a uniquely complimentary assortment of public and private sector experience. Her seven years spent as an independent lawyer, advising financial institutions on corporate restructuring, coupled with her...

Tito Parra

Legal Manager | Abbott Laboratories

An exceptional legal professional with a broad knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry, Tito Parra has spent the last 22 years working as an in-house counsel at Abbott Laboratories. Currently serving...

Ulises Canosa Suárez

General Secretary, Executive and Legal Affairs Vice President | BBVA Colombia

Armed with a decorated career of nearly 30 years of providing effective and reliable advice, Ulises Canosa Suárez of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Colombia (BBVA Colombia) has regularly demonstrated his...

Victor Andres Gómez Henao

Legal Process Manager | La Previsora

Victor Andres Gómez Henao joined insurer La Previsora as legal process manager in June 2016 at a time when the Colombian state-owned insurer was preparing for a significant change in...

Virgilio Junior Diaz Mendoza

Senior Counsel (Colombia), General Counsel (Venezuela) | Siemens

Virgilio Junior Diaz Mendoza started his legal career as honorary legal assistant at the Superior Court of the Bogotá Judicial District Labor Court. In December 2004, Diaz Mendoza made his...

For 29 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. The GC Powerlist is the latest publication from The Legal 500, turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognising those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: Colombia, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in the region.

We have canvassed opinions from law firm partners and in-house counsel across Colombia, to identify corporate counsel that have been instrumental in changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; developing brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; creating innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; or providing a business working model that other corporate counsel should follow. Our team of experienced researchers assessed the nominations, speaking both to general counsel and nominating lawyers to finalise each list. The GC Powerlist: Colombia features not just information on why that individual has made the list, but also comment from those in-house lawyers about how they have helped shape innovation in the legal industry.

If you have feedback on the GC Powerlist: Colombia, or wish to nominate other in-house individuals (either in Colombia or global), please do get in touch at

We hope that this listing will stimulate debate around the role of the in-house lawyer and help corporate counsel with possible improvements and efficiencies in running their departments.

David Burgess 

Publishing Director

Baker & McKenzie

Baker & McKenzie logo

If we look back at the recent past and towards the short- and medium-term future, it is difficult to imagine more interesting times for Colombia from a political, economic and business perspective.

Colombia has come a long way in establishing itself as a credible, fast-growing and resilient economy, which is now producing world-class companies that are capable of competing at a regional and global level. Security is improving by the day; a large scale infrastructure program is finally coming together; and the government and the largest remaining guerrilla group have reached an agreement on the terms of a cease fire and handover of weapons. By the time you read this, a definitive peace agreement will probably have been reached.

At the same time, we cannot ignore that Colombia is facing important challenges. Some global in nature, such as the downturn in the price of commodities, the volatility of exchange and interest rates and a weak equities market. Some self-inflicted, such as a severely uncompetitive tax regime, a dysfunctional judiciary, legal instability and a polarised political leadership.

The legal profession is in a unique position to help Colombia build upon these strengths and overcome these challenges.

To start off, we need to stay positive at all times, even in the face of dire predictions by the prophets of doom. Thinking that Colombia has a bright future is not only good for business: it is probably true.

Investment should increase in the foreseeable future for a number of reasons. Colombia compares well to the region in terms of GDP growth and demographics; the exchange rate of the Colombian peso vis-à-vis the US dollar has made Colombian targets more affordable and exports should be competitive once again. Additionally, although lower commodities prices and compliance scandals have put some regional players in distress, these same factors have prompted a spike in deal making.

The government has committed to submitting a tax reform bill to congress during the second half of the year, aimed at restoring competitiveness without sacrificing revenue, by lowering rates and expanding the base. This means that, as a general rule, a business that is paying its taxes properly today should benefit from a noticeable reduction in its future tax burden. This is a great opportunity but many loopholes and privileges will need to be eliminated for it to work. We are obligated to make positive contributions to the debate with the greater good of the country in mind, for example, by facilitating the removal of such loopholes and privileges.

Now that a number of 4G toll road concessions have achieved financial closing, the implementation of the infrastructure program should generate the countercyclical effect much touted by the government. We need to ensure not only that the projects are completed in time and within budget but, most importantly, that the upgrade in infrastructure actually makes the country more competitive by way of a reduction in transportation costs.

The overall context of peace negotiations and an eventual end to conflict offers many opportunities for us to meet our responsibilities. To mention just a few:

    • We can play a role in building peace, by helping educate the Colombian public on the features of the peace agreements, once they are made public. This does not mean trying to influence the outcome of the vote, whereby we will approve or reject the agreements. It means getting people involved and making them realise that what we have to decide is not whether the agreements are perfect, (they most certainly will not be), but whether they are good enough for us to turn the page in our long history of violence.
    • In the meantime, we will need to work very hard to foster respect for the outcome of the process, whatever it may be. Otherwise, the peace agreement will sadly become yet another source of tension among Colombians.
    • We will also play a role in maintaining peace by helping create the conditions required for displaced people and demobilised combatants to make an honest living. We can do our bit to ensure that acceptable minimum working standards are always observed, and to instil best business practices. The fact that entire areas of the country will finally be open to legitimate businesses is a golden opportunity to attack corruption at its core, and our organisations should be prepared to act as role models in this respect.
  • Our role in building a long-lasting peace can be equally important by fostering many of the values that inspire our organisations, such as tolerance, meritocracy, diversity, accountability and social responsibility.

At Baker & McKenzie we believe that the best clients are those with which there is a good fit in terms of our culture, ethos and aims. This fit is what allows us to work well and succeed together.

At this point in time, in the current juncture of Colombia’s history, we cannot limit ourselves to working together in the provision of legal services only. The opportunities and challenges that I’ve referred to above give us the chance, and the obligation, to do something far more important that goes beyond the purely legal function.

We like to believe that we are different in the way that we think, work and behave. We have an instinctively global perspective. Diversity is in our DNA. We are committed to developing our members as far and as fast as their talents and drive will take them. We endeavour to be practical and pragmatic. Ideas and innovation are expected. Pro bono and community service are at the top of our agenda.

If this sounds familiar, it means that we can join forces and make a difference for our country in these most interesting of times.

GC Summit Ankara 2023