2021 Latin Lawyer Elite firm
Posse Herrera Ruiz has earned its indisputable title as a transactional powerhouse. Its industry-led approach assures that the firm’s talents traverse between departments, with lawyers securing a place on some of Colombia’s most pivotal transactions sector-wide. This multiskilled outfit is a master of all trades. Along with deal-making star quality, Posse Herrera Ruiz has a world-beating disputes department that places it among Colombia’s elite, while its tax and energy capabilities are sharply preened too.
The firm prides itself on ensuring its advisers are true experts in their field, with industry-specialised advice. This winning formula has generated exponential success for its mining, real estate and insurance practice groups among a spate of other high-achieving areas.
Investing in its most valuable asset, talent, has ensured the firm consistently remains at its operational peak. To this end, Posse Herrera boosted its well-polished project finance and infrastructure department in 2020 with the appointment of a former in-house counsel for Colombian construction giant El Cóndor. Cristina Vásquez became an infrastructure director at the firm in October, with a role sitting neatly between senior associate and partner. In the face of the covid-19 pandemic, the firm added new talent to help its clients best affront the difficulties incurred by the global economic and health crisis. Hiring from one of its key clients, El Cóndor, is a strategic move that is the signature of the firm’s tactful agility and outside-the-box thinking.
Despite the upheaval presented by the coronavirus crisis, Posse Herrera’s project finance group had an active year. Work from Colombia’s 4G programme kept its lawyers busy with some stand-out transactions, one highlight being a US$510 million financing it helped Spanish constructor Sacyr obtain for a toll road in north-eastern Colombia.
Posse Herrera’s activity in the energy and mining industries has won it first-class clients such as Petrobras and Ecopetrol-unit Reficar. It is not short of well-known names across a broad scope of industries either, including insurance companies RSA, Travelers and AIG; retailer Cencosud and bottler Femsa, as well as conglomerates such as Grupo Sura and Maersk. Other notable mentions include Brazilian beauty brand Natura, Chilean transmission group AES Gener, as well as a slew of foreign and national banks. According to a study, ‘Who Represents Latin America's Biggest Companies’, published by the Latin American Corporate Counsel Association, which is affiliated to Latin Lawyer, Posse Herrera advises 17 of the 100 largest companies in Latin America, making it the most popular firm among these clients in Colombia.
At the beginning of 2020, the Colombian firm decided to go its separate ways from Spanish outfit Cuatrecasas, ending a three-year non-exclusive alliance. Following the amicable split, Posse Herrera remains an international presence and this savvy bunch of lawyers are, as always, highly capable of standing on their own two feet in a global setting, with a fast-flowing supply of clients from all four corners of the world. Posse Herrera remains a member of leading legal global networks, such as Meritas and Interlaw. Lawyers at the firm are regularly given the seal of approval as go-to experts by leading corporate counsel in Latin America, with the firm having the largest number of LACCA Approved members in its partnerships than its competitors in the elite ranks of Colombian deal-making.
When it comes to investing in its future, Posse Herrera isn’t pinching the pennies. The group has injected considerable funds into its technology and innovation offering at the firm. That forward-thinking proved a vital life raft when the pandemic hit, ensuring its lawyers could work from home and its clients could continue to receive expert guidance with minimal disruption. Lawyers at the firm can be assured that hard work is recognised at Posse Herrera Ruiz too. In the 2021 promotion round, it elevated a director to partner. Legal project management software is among the latest mod-cons to be installed in the office and is just one way the firm is maintaining efficiency along with its mainstay of personalised interactions with clients.
An executive committee formed of three partners meets every week to ensure the smooth-running of this airtight ship.
Posse Herrera’s management team is devoted to keeping its lawyers motivated too, and partnership equity rose last year despite financial uncertainty worldwide. A two-pronged approach of efficiency in pricing and performance is paired with competitively high-powered legal services to keep the firm plain sailing amidst stormy waters. The group remained remarkably quick on its feet amid the pandemic, having carved out space to develop legal expertise in growing industries such as the latest honeypot of healthcare and medical assets – where many foreign private equity investors have kept a firm eye on rising potential.
The firm fields busy offices in Bogotá, Medellín and Barranquilla.
Alliances and networks
Posse Herrera Ruiz is the Colombian member 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 (ELA). 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, compliance and corruption work.