Gómez-Pinzón is at the forefront of legal services in Colombia. Its reputation for transactional excellence has given it the pick of high-value and landmark deals in the Colombian, regional and international markets. Both in terms of quality of work and calibre of clients, Gómez-Pinzón is the cream of the crop among Colombian legal law firms. Its star-studded client list speaks for itself, while the level of sophistication of its advice is equally outstanding. In an economy that was dealt a mixed hand – an impressive post-pandemic recovery combined with the election of Colombia’s first left-wing president – Gómez-Pinzón strides ahead successfully thanks to a sense of agility that allows it to bend with the times.
Recently, the firm has found itself at the forefront of some impressive deal-making. Gómez-Pinzón saw Colombian airline Avianca through its enduring Chapter 11 process, helping the indebted airline to come through the other side of the complex restructuring deal. This transaction won at Latin Lawyer’s Deal of the Year Awards, in the restructuring category.
The Colombian outfit is kept busy by some of Colombia’s – and indeed Latin America’s – most important clients. State-owned Ecopetrol is a key client that regularly returns to the firm for advice. Though the firm maintains a healthy relationship with leading and international banks operating in Colombia, including JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, along with Citibank, Scotiabank and Santander. In one recent deal, the firm assisted several of those banks in financing related to Colombia’s divestment of its majority stake in national energy group Interconexión Eléctrica (ISA) to Ecopetrol for $3.7 billion.
In a study into ‘Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies?’, carried out by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA), which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Gómez-Pinzón was the second most popular Colombian firm among the region’s leading companies, representing 15 of these organisations. 2021 was a busy year for restructuring-related financings and acquisition funding alike. This was reflected in LACCA’s ‘Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Banks?’ which found that Gómez-Pinzón was the number one choice for the region’s leading financial institutions. The firm represented seven of Latin America’s 50 largest banks in 2021.
Gómez-Pinzón put clients above all else, a quality that distinguishes it from competitors. Lawyers here pay close attention to the needs of their clients and go the extra mile to ensure that they make a difference with their service. In return, clients trust the firm with any number of complex transactions and can rely on a speedy response time too. Positive feedback often praises Gómez-Pinzón’s high-quality legal services and detailed understanding of their respective practice areas. Large conglomerate and multinational clients enjoy the broad range of legal services available to them at this firm too. Its position within the Affinitas alliance, which links four top firms in the Pacific Alliance countries, also places Gómez-Pinzón in a favourable position to earn a place on some world-class deals.
The firm weathered the storm of the covid-19 crisis and other obstacles supremely, coming out the other side even stronger. With one finger always on the pulse, Gómez-Pinzón remodelled its working structure to accommodate for an updated working culture post-pandemic. A hybrid working system is now a permanent fixture of the firm, while new office-booking software allows all lawyers to make the most of the firm’s workspace equally – even senior partners’ offices can be booked out by any attorney on the system. This is an example of a firm that has used the challenges put before it to change for the better and make important adjustments, continuing as always to put its people first.
Gómez-Pinzón has led the way for diversity in the legal sector for many years. Over 30% of its partnership is made up of women, which is above the average for Colombian firms. Its partner-to-associate ratio remains one of the healthiest on the market too. Partner Lina Uribe García heads up the M&A department, a practice area that is typically male-dominated in Latin America. Uribe was previously appointed as the first female member of the Affinitas executive committee. The firm’s diversity and inclusion committee of 10 members is an important bloodline that feeds ideas and initiatives to Gómez-Pinzón’s various practice groups. The committee has multiple task forces aimed at tackling gender equality, LGBTIQ+ matters, racial and ethnic diversity, disability rights and social mobility. Gómez-Pinzón’s management policy demands that at least one female partner sits on its executive committee at all times. The firm is a former recipient of Latin Lawyer’s Diversity Initiative of the Year Award for providing extended parental leave to male partners.
No expense is spared when it comes to investment in technical innovation at Gómez-Pinzón. While lawyers benefit from up-to-the-minute back- and front-end technology, the firm also has sophisticated transaction management software to facilitate legal work. Artificial intelligence software allows for airtight protection of client data, while ample cloud storage gives lawyers a boundless scope for work. The automation of several legal processes at the firm has made operations much slicker. Gómez-Pinzón is all too aware that being one of the larger players on the market comes at a price, and its generous investment in technical equipment has paid off in dividends.
Human investment is equally as important as monetary interests for Goméz-Pinzón. Headcount remained steady throughout much of 2021 and 2022, as the firm focused on retaining talent as turnover rates grew in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. People are at the heart of the Colombian firm’s operations; thus, it has gone to great lengths to ensure that its current lawyers are satisfied with the business. Bonuses were paid to partners even amidst the pandemic. With the crisis has eased off somewhat, the firm managed to expand in several areas through partnership promotions and lateral hires. The firm kicked off 2022 by promoting three in its administrative law and tax groups, just months after a former associate returned to the firm’s M&A partnership. As of May 2022, the firm has an alliance with a white-collar boutique, Fabio Humar Abogados, strengthening its capabilities there.
Non-transactional capabilities like these are constantly evolving across the firm. It tax, energy and intellectual property areas are valued areas of the firm that continue to grow in size and quality. Recently, the firm has focused on establishing its compliance group, which it launched at the beginning of 2021. Its disputes offering is also a force to be reckoned with, advising local and international clients, such as Uber, on landmark cases.
Gómez-Pinzón is laser-focused on the future, and its forward-looking attitude ensures that the firm will continue to evolve as time progresses. This is a firm that is serious about making a difference through its legal advice, as demonstrated by its diligent pro bono department, which strongly features partner Paula Samper Salazar, who is a founding member of Colombia’s clearing house.
Mauricio Piñeros took over as managing partner in January 2023, replacing José Luis Suárez who held the post since 2013. In 2022, Suárez received Latin Lawyer’s Law Firm Leader of the Year Award. Suárez will continue as a member of the firm’s executive committee and partner in the firm’s banking, finance and capital markets group.
Gómez-Pinzón counts offices in Bogotá and in Medellín.
Alliances & networks
Gómez-Pinzón features as one of the leading firms in Affinitas, a legal alliance of Latin American firms. This allows it to rub shoulders with some of the region’s fellow Elite firms: Chile’s Barros & Errázuriz Abogados, Mexico’s Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes SC and Peru’s Miranda & Amado Abogados. Gómez-Pinzón partner Lina Uribe García is the first woman to be elected to the Affinitas executive board.