Holland & Knight poaches Dentons Cardenas disputes head

Holland & Knight (Colombia) continues to pursue an aggressive expansion strategy, recruiting renowned litigator and arbitrator Alberto Zuleta from Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas to head its disputes practice.

Holland & Knight poaches Dentons Cardenas disputes head Alberto Zuleta

Holland & Knight announced the news yesterday. Zuleta, 46, takes the reins of a department already brimming with talent: Enrique Gómez-Pinzón, who helms the firm’s Bogotá office, is an internationally recognised arbitrator who regularly sits on ICSID tribunals, while both he and partner José Vicente Zapata are noted litigators. The practice boasts six associates. “We have seen a large increase in litigation work, especially in the areas of commercial, contracts and tort matters,” explains Gómez-Pinzón. “We expect Alberto to contribute greatly to the success of these matters.” The hire takes Holland & Knight (Colombia)’s partner count to seven, and the number of fully qualified lawyers to 40. Harvard-educated Zuleta, who has over 20 years of experience in litigation, arbitration and antitrust law, says he is “thrilled” to be joining Holland & Knight and is looking forward to expanding the firm’s international dispute resolution practice in Colombia. His track record includes acting for clients in proceedings at all levels of the Colombian judicial system, and he has extensive experience of domestic and cross-border arbitration cases under ICC and UNCITRAL rules. He also has a noted antitrust and competition law practice. Zuleta joined Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas – then known as Cárdenas & Cárdenas – in 2011, establishing the firm’s competition practice. Before this, he was a senior associate at Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta Abogados, a leading transactional firm in Colombia. Following his departure, partner Ximena Zuleta takes sole lead of Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas’ disputes and competition practices. Managing partner Bernardo Cárdenas says the firm is looking to add a disputes lawyer because of the practice’s high workload.  The latest addition is indicative of Holland & Knight’s strategy of prioritising experience in the recruitment process. Since opening an office in Bogotá in 2012, the firm has hired a handful of accomplished practitioners, including natural resources and litigation lawyer José Vicente Zapata, IP head Danilo Romero Raad, labour partner Vicente Umaña, tax attorney Juan Carlos Valencia, and energy practitioner Julian Santos Rubino.

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