Posse Herrera Ruiz is a trailblazer in Colombia’s legal market, complementing transactional excellence with fine-tuned regulatory knowledge. The firm stands out from its competitors through the industry-led expertise that runs throughout its full-service offering. Posse Herrera’s polished practice areas rely on each other to offer a premium service to clients, who resoundingly praise the firm’s attentiveness. Those clients pertain to a wide-ranging variety of sectors, from large multilatinas to international private-equity investors. Posse Herrera may count on market-leading expertise in its M&A, finance and infrastructure areas, but its disputes and tax offerings give it a certain competitive edge on the market.
The firm pays close attention to industry trends and has an accurate radar for areas collecting interest from international investors in Colombia. As such, the firm has peppered sector-specific knowledge of popular areas such as healthcare and fintech throughout its transactional offering. The non-transactional mining, real estate and insurance practice groups also benefit from this tried and tested strategy.
Talent has long been the most valued asset of Posse Herrera’s offering, and the retention of its brightest lawyers is one of the firm’s main priorities. Homegrown talent is important to the Colombian law outfit and indeed Posse Herrera promoted four to partner at the end of 2021, adding new finance, infrastructure, energy and tax expertise to the partnership. Although, the firm is not immune to the challenges in talent retention faced by the wider legal community and thus has made some recent lateral hires following some departures.
Posse Herrera’s busy project finance department recorded another successful period for deal-making over 2021 and 2022, advising on some landmark transactions related to Colombia’s fourth-generation toll-road programmes. In one highlight, it landed a place advising on the largest-ever 4G toll road financing in Colombia, which came in at just under $1 billion. The programme continues to supply an ample caseload of work to this firm.
The Colombian firm worked on some eye-catching work in recent times, such as its advice to French container-ship group CMA CGM for the $3 billion acquisition of US-based logistics assets.
Posse Herrera’s has an active role in the energy and mining industries, giving it a wealth of first-class clients such as Petrobras and Chilean energy group Copec. The full list includes big names from a wide range of industries, including insurance companies RSA, Grupo Bolivar and AIG; retailer Cencosud and Brazilian grocery chain Pao de Acucar – now known as GPA – are also clients. Mexican cement maker CEMEX, Coca-Cola bottler Femsa and conglomerates such as Grupo Sura and Maersk all feature too. Other key names include Brazilian beauty brand Natura, Chilean transmission group AES Gener, as well multiple international and local banks. According to a study, ‘Who Represents Latin America’s Biggest Companies?’, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (LACCA), which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Posse Herrera advises 14 of the 100 largest companies in Latin America, placing it among the three most popular counsel in Colombia.
Years after leaving its alliance with Iberian firm Cuatrecasas, the firm’s international presence is as sturdy as ever, with lawyers in this firm working on cross-border and highly relevant transactions. Its membership in leading global networks such as Meritas and Interlaw also gives the firm a global presence.
Posse Herrera has poured plentiful funds into technology and innovation investment, striving to keep its finger on the pulse. This forward-thinking business style has steered the firm through many a storm, the covid-19 pandemic included. As soon as the global health emergency kicked off, its lawyers were kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment allowing them to serve clients as efficiently as they can in the office. Now, the firm has smoothly transitioned to a hybrid model offering employees flexibility on which days they wish to come to the office. On most days, the firm’s operations are at least half capacity. Legal project-management software is among the latest innovations to be added to the office, which allows it to enhance its interactions with clients.
An executive committee formed of three partners meets every week to ensure the smooth running of the well-oiled engine of the firm. Meanwhile, the outfit is conscious of the increasing importance of diversity and inclusion in the legal industry and has made steps to improve this at the firm. Gender representation is one of the areas it has focused on, with two of the firm’s 2021 partner promotions made up of women. Posse Herrera has a diversity policy and continues to explore ways that it can have better representation of staff from different sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds and race.
Posse Herrera’s management team keeps abreast of ways to ensure that lawyers stay motivated at the firm, and partnership equity rates have continued to be steady despite some market uncertainty. For the first time, the firm is also reconsidering its lock-step compensation scheme. Posse Herrera has trialled a bonus scheme for lawyers that are performing exceptionally well, while also putting forth a programme whereby some associates receive bonuses from the firm’s profits. For now, the lock-step system remains in place, but Posse Herrera keeps one eye on more modern compensation schemes too. A harmonious combination of efficiency in pricing and performance is carried through seamlessly by the firm’s stellar quality legal services.
Jaime Herrera is the managing partner, and he works closely with an executive committee formed of three partners.
The firm counts busy offices in Bogotá, Medellín and Barranquilla.
Alliances & networks
Posse Herrera Ruiz is the Colombian representative of legal alliances Interlaw and Meritas. The firm is also part of three other networks: ADVOC, the International Network of Boutique Law Firms and the Employment Law Alliance. Posse Herrera represents Colombia in several international chambers of commerce, while it is also a member of Concilium, a network that connects law firms in investigations and compliance work.