2021 Latin Lawyer Elite firm
Transactional flair at Gómez-Pinzón allows the firm to serve itself a generous slice from Colombia’s plentiful M&A, corporate and finance deal-making flow. First-class legal services regularly land the firm a place on some of the finest cross-border work available in and around one of Latin America’s fastest-climbing economies.
2020 may have brought a global pandemic into the fold, but that did not stop the firm from seizing the opportunity to carry out valuable work for an impressive portfolio of clients. In October, the M&A team was occupied with helping The Carlyle Group buy Occidental’s entire Colombian portfolio for US$825 million. Meanwhile, while the aviation industry was hugely impacted by the health emergency, Gómez-Pinzón was on-call to help regional airlines through reorganisation and refinancing. In the final quarter of last year, the firm helped Colombian flag carrier Avianca obtain US$2 billion debtor-in-possession financing as part of its restructuring deal. Gómez-Pinzón’s transactional work was recognised in Latin Lawyer’s 15th Annual Deal of the Year Awards too, having represented EnfraGen in its US$1.76 billion renewables financing which won the accolade which was last year’s Deal of the Year Winner in the Project Finance (Energy) category.
In another example of the landmark deals Gómez-Pinzón takes on regularly, the team helped IDB Invest structure and underwrite Colombia’s first-ever gender-focused social bonds.
A track record of market-leading expertise and glowing feedback from clients feeds the firm a steady stream of relevant transactions, that keep the firm’s highly trained transactional faculties acutely sharpened. Its performance amid the health crisis is a reflection of Gómez-Pinzón’s unrivalled dedication to its clients with a hands-on approach that leaves behind a favourable impression.
Agility is something that Gómez-Pinzón does consistently well and that was tested when the covid-19 pandemic struck last year, and the firm was able to demonstrate that penchant for adaptability with confidence. It became a dependable adviser amid the crisis and devised a structure that made it the first port-of-call for expert legal advice. These initiatives included the creation of a covid-19 hub updating clients on the latest legislation changes and de facto emergency regulation, while the firm ensured its practitioners were fully trained on how to help its clientele most impacted by the pandemic.
Leading by example, the firm has earned its status among Colombia’s elite for its standout contributions to the legal market both in terms of transactional excellence and paving the way for diversity in the legal sector. Around 34% of Gómez-Pinzón’s partnership is made up of women – higher than average for Colombia, while its partner to associate ratio is one of the most proportional in the local market.
Strategic investment in the latest digital and legal software has always stood Gómez-Pinzón’s lawyers in great stead. Top of the range backend and frontend technology gives practitioners the winning formula to advise their loyal clients from all corners of the world should the circumstances demand it. As the use of artificial intelligence in Colombia has developed exponentially in recent times, Gómez-Pinzón has kept its finger on the pulse, with the latest tools accessible to its partners, including client data protection software and ample cloud storage. This is a long-standing feature of the firm which was installed long before 2020’s coronavirus crisis. The firm’s unflappable response to 2020 events was an apt demonstration of how Gómez-Pinzón’s resolve to be one step ahead of the game rewards it in-kind time and again.
Innovative infrastructure complements Gómez-Pinzón’s world-class legal offering, with non-transactional talents constantly evolving across other areas of the firm. It made promotions in its energy and intellectual property practices in 2020, areas that have long been valuable and respected components of the firm. With consistent strength in tax, litigation and arbitration matters, the future looks bright for non-transactional work at Gómez-Pinzón and clients can depend on market-leading advice from the cream of the crop in terms of market-leading expertise.
Gómez-Pinzón’s lawyers are tuned into growing trends, and it has made inroads with a sturdy infrastructure practice to mop up a simmering pot of work coming from Colombia’s fourth-generation toll road programme.
At the heart of the firm is its people. A diversity and inclusion committee was consolidated at Gomez-Pinzón over the past year and serves as a vital organ that supplies each department with the resources they need to ensure the practice group is making active steps to promoting and improving minority representation at the firm. A total of ten members sit on the diversity committee, with taskforces aimed at tackling gender equality, LGBTIQ+ matters, racial and ethnic diversity, disability rights and social mobility. Within Gómez-Pinzón’s management policy is a rule that stipulates that at least one female partner sits on its executive committee at all times. In honour of its pioneering strides in this arena, the firm was the recipient of Latin Lawyer’s Diversity Initiative of the Year Award in 2020 for providing a paternity leave of up to 28 days for its male employees – 20 days longer than the legal allowance required by Colombian law.
Of course, steps towards progress and positive action are a characteristic deeply rooted in Gómez-Pinzon’s culture. The firm is known for a strong and successful pro bono department, much of which is steered by partner Paula Samper - a founding member of Colombia’s clearing house. Its position within the Affinitas alliance, which connects the top firms among the four Pacific Alliance countries, also places the firm in a favourable position to continue to excel with a full gambit of legal work on an international level.
Gómez-Pinzón has offices in Bogotá and in Medellín.
Gómez-Pinzón is part of the well-established Latin American legal alliance Affinitas. The alliance connects it to a wealth of leading firms including Chile’s Barros & Errázuriz Abogados, Mexico’s Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes SC and Peru’s Miranda & Amado Abogados. Each firm in the alliance elects two partners to represent it via an executive committee. Gómez-Pinzón made history in 2020 when it put forward its partner Lina Uribe to be one of the firm’s representatives, making her the first woman to be elected to the Affinitas executive board, ahead of her recent appointment as one of the first female corporate department heads in the country.