Colombia

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Superior Council of the Judiciary

Competition authority: Superintendency of Industry and Commerce

Financial regulator: Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction: 

Financial and corporate, Project development

Jurisdiction overview

Those who wish to practice law in Colombia must register with the National Registry of Attorneys with the Superior Council of the Judiciary. Foreign lawyers have the option of getting their degrees approved by participating in a proceeding with the Colombian Ministry of Education.

In order to be allowed to set up a legal practice in Colombia, foreign firms must either partner with local firms or have a local subsidiary in Colombia. 

Baker & McKenzie, Norton Rose Fulbright and Garrigues are examples of global firms with a presence in Colombia. 

In January 2015, Colombian firm Prietocarrizosa and Chilean firm Philippi Yrarrázaval Pulido & Brunner, in association with Iberian law firm Uría Menéndez, merged to create Philippi Prietocarrizosa & Uría.This marked the first merger between a Colombian and Chilean law firm that resulted in a major regional firm.   

Firms are spread throughout Colombia, but are strongly concentrated in the capital Bogotá and in Medellín.

Financial and corporate
Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has a leading M&A practice which often advises private equity clients such as Brookfield and Altra Investments on acquisitions and sales.

The firm’s project development team is active in the PPP space and has advised clients, often on the sponsors’ side, on roads, airports and power transmission projects this research period.              

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Broookfield $560 million acquisition of 59.1% stake in Gas Natural

•                      Proyecto America $200 million financing

•                      Rafael Nuñez International Airport expansion

•                      Unilever acquisition of Quala's home and personal care business

•                      Weener Plastics acquisition of Proenfar 

Client feedback

“Very professional and kind. They know their business and are able to adapt to our needs.” – M&A

“Very good job: they have a lot of experience. Cost-effective, high quality and good service.” –M&A

Brigard Urrutia

Brigard Urrutia is a leading transactional firm for banking, M&A, capital markets and project development matters.

The firm’s financing team continues to be active on the financing of 4G infrastructure toll roads, advising both sponsors and lenders.

Most of the firm’s capital markets deals this research period took place in the debt capital markets space and involved international bond issues. The firm advised both issuers and underwriters. 

The M&A team has advised a mix of sellers and buyers on high-value acquisitions recently.

Recent project development work saw the firm advise on a range of matters such as advising a bidder on concession for developing renewable energy projects and the concessionaire of a 4G toll road on developing the toll road.

Juan Pablo Canaval joined the firm as senior associate in the firm’s infrastructure practice and Carolina Restrepo Escobar joined as senior associate in the banking practice.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Bolsa de Valores de Colombia / Deceval merger

•                      EPSA $146.5 million green bond issue

•                      Republic of Colombia $500 million 4.5% and $1.5 billion 5.25% sovereign bonds offer

•                      Ruta del Cacao PPP

•                      United Health Group $2.8 billion acquisition of Banmédica

Client feedback

“Very good job. Excellent relation to price vs. professionalism.” – Banking

“The work performed was good, their advice is trustworthy and their knowledge on regulatory matters and financial law is solid.” – Banking, Financial services regulatory

“This firm has an outstanding experience and a very good availability to provide legal services. The firm is extremely reliable. The firm and all the members have a special vision to anticipate legal problems and to provide quick and easy solutions.” – Capital markets: debt

“Excellent.”  - M&A

“Outstanding M&A and corporate law teams. Within our firm we call them the Dream Team.” – M&A

“The services provided by the firm fulfilled our expectations. The analysis was professional and rigorous. The team that worked for us was aligned with our corporate strategy. The team stood out for its solid presentations and enriching discussions.” – Project development

Carlos Fradique-Méndez

“Excellent lawyer. His knowledge and experience make him one of the best lawyers in the industry.”

Dario Laguado

“Extremely responsive, great solutions presented. Outstanding on delivering on time.”

Sergio Michelsen

“Perfect.”

Claudia Navarro

“Exceptional professional. Claudia was always willing to answer our inquires. Her responses were always concrete and useful.”

Cesar Felipe Rodriguez

“Excellent lawyer and very good solving problem person.”

Hernan Vidal

“This senior associate has an exceptional knowledge of the capitals markets sector, is very meticulous and dedicated to detail and provided agile and complete answers to several matters that arose.”

Dentons Cárdenas & Cárdenas

Dentons Cárdenas & Cárdenas is a strong transactional firm with a significant presence in both the banking and M&A areas.

The firm’s banking team advised a mix of borrowers and lenders recently and has been active in the energy and infrastructure sectors.

The firm has a leading mining practice and has advised mining companies acquiring and selling assets, on regulatory matters and on obtaining financing.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Frontera Energy Corporation $100 million financing

•                      Genomma Lab Internacional and Genomma Laboratories Mexico $100 million financing

•                      Gran Tierra Energy $104.2 million acquisition of Putumayo and Llanos assets

•                      Onelink Acquisitionco $25 million financing

•                     Organización Terpel $714.7 million acquisition of ExxonMobil lubricants business in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador

Client feedback

“Very good. Knowledgeable and responsive.” – Banking

Excellent team work.”  - Financial services regulatory

“Very strong negotiation skills coupled with communication effectiveness.” – M&A

“The firm deployed its resources to meet our requirements in an efficient and effective way. The way they collaborated with us was smooth and swift.” – M&A

DLA Piper Martinez Beltran

DLA Piper Martínez Beltrán is strong in M&A. The firm advises buyers and sellers on a mix of private equity and strategic M&A and has seen work in a range of sectors including real estate, insurance and consumer goods and services.

The firm has an active banking team, advising both borrowers and lenders, which has seen a lot of work in the real estate and project finance spaces recently, especially in the financings of toll roads.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Decameron acquisition of Decameron Golf Beach Resort & Villas

•                      EPSA $534 million acquisition of Enertolima

•                      Ruta del Cacao PPP

•                      San Francisco Investments $74 million financing

•                      Zurich Insurance $409 million acquisition of QBE Insurance Group’s Latin American business

Client feedback

“Great combination between business and law to achieve successful contract negotiations.” – M&A

“Solid firm with capable lawyers.” – M&A

“They were diligent, creative, business savvy and resourceful in negotiating on my behalf throughout the acquisition. I felt fully supported by their team and the partners involved.” – M&A, Private equity

Juan Manuel de la Rosa

“I cannot speak more highly of Juan Manuel. I've worked with him for years and have recommended him multiple times to others who also praise him. His work ethic, creativity in problem solving and his absolute loyalty to the client is unparalleled.”

Felipe Quintero

“Extremely detailed in due diligence and contract negotiation. Very deep knowledge of transactions combined with business sense and knowledge of the client.”

“Excellent lawyer that provides good quality legal advice.”

Garrigues

Garrigues is active in financing and M&A.

The firm’s banking team is active in the financing of 4G toll roads, advising both borrowers and lenders.

The firm has seen M&A work, mostly advising buyers this research period, in a range of sectors including healthcare, financial services and insurance.

Cristina Copete joined the firm’s M&A practice as senior associate from Gómez-Pinzón.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Banco W $50 million bond issue

•                      Bogota-Villavicencio 4G toll road

•                      CMIG International $300 million acquisition of Old Mutual Latin American operations  

•                      DHL Supply Chain acquisition of Suppla

•                       Zurich Insurance $409 million acquisition of QBE Insurance Group’s Latin American business 

Client feedback

“Overall 10/10. Their attentiveness, response rate, dealing with multiple jurisdictions, communication skills and an in-depth knowledge of the Colombian regulatory environment was testament to our success in this acquisition.” – M&A

Gómez-Pinzón

Gómez-Pinzón has a strong banking team which advises borrowers and lenders and has seen work in refinancings, acquisition financings and project financings this research period.

The capital markets team advises issuers and underwriters on a mix of debt and equity deals, counting stock issues, bond issues and green bonds among its recent transactions.

In M&A the firm has advised sellers and buyers and seen several deals involving the sale of energy and infrastructure projects or assets.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Bogotá Metro Line 1

•                      EPSA $146.5 million green bond issue

•                      Hydro Global Investment acquisition of 80% Talasa ProjectCo and Talasa Conexion

•                      Isagen $174 million refinancing

•                      Weener Plastics acquisition of Proenfar

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría is a leading firm in the market with broadly strong finance and M&A practices. Over the research period the banking and finance team has advised a mix of borrowers and lenders on acquisition, project and corporate finance matters.

The M&A team advised a mix of buyers, sellers and joint venture parties and saw some notable work in energy, banking and aviation this research period.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Bank of Nova Scotia and Scotia Colpatria acquisition of Citibank Colombia’s consumer business

•                      Cementos Argos $100 million financing

•                      EPSA $534 million acquisition of Enertolima

•                      Gran Colombia Gold Corp $98 million 8.25% notes private placement

•                      TGI $750 million 5.55% notes issue

Posse Herrera Ruiz

Posse Herrera Ruiz maintains a leading practice across the board.

The firm’s banking team, advising both borrowers and lenders, is active on 4G financings, real estate financings, acquisition financings and other corporate financings.

In addition to its work on 4G toll roads, the projects team has advised bidders on bids and developers on EPC contracts for other transport projects (such as buses and cable cars) and on energy projects.                

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Australia Partners Advisors acquisition of 50% stake in Alianza Fiduciaria and Alianza Valores Comisionista de Bolsa

•                      Girardot-Ibagué-Cajamarca 4G toll road

•                      Grupo Aúna acquisition of 97.3% stake in Promotora Médica Las America

•                      Organización Terpel $385.7 million 5.65% notes issue

•                      Organización Terpel $714.7 million acquisition ExxonMobil lubricants business in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador