Colombia

Reviews

Practice area

World Tax Reviews

Tax
Araújo Ibarra Consultores Internacionales

Araújo Ibarra’s biggest strengths are its tax planning and consulting focused on international companies that invest in Colombia. Héctor Falla leads the tax team that provides services in domestic and international tax advisory, international trade and foreign investment. The firm, for example, works on corporate structures for the commercialisation and sale of merchandise abroad by Colombian branches of foreign companies and it is active in corporate and tax reorganisations of Colombian clients’ assets. The tax team also has a focus on tax controversy. 

In the tax controversy space, the tax team represented Drypers Andina and it successfully led the refund request process before the local tax authority. The tax group advised the same company on the tax structuring of the commercial discounts policy applied to its products. The firm worked on numerous transactional works focused on customs, but all the matters and clients were confidential. 

Baker McKenzie

A leading firm in the Colombia market, Baker McKenzie’s tax team spans a wide range of areas, including tax planning, M&A, tax wealth management, tax litigation and tax compliance. In addition, the firm has an emphasis on the transfer pricing practice area. Although the firm is active in different sectors, it excels in the oil and gas industry. 

Over the research period, the tax team conducted an impressive number of deals and cases, in particular focused on M&A transactions. It also advised private equity funds in Colombia and wealth management. An outstanding deal saw the firm advising Brookfield Infrastructure on all tax matters related to its acquisition of a controlling stake in Gas Natural. Other clients included Altra Investments, Airbnb, Invenergy and Noble Energy. 

The tax group added senior associate Juan Carlos Vinasco hired from Deloitte. 

Client feedback  

“Excellent client response, advice and attention to detail.” 

“Strong knowledge in domestic and international tax law for planning.” 

“The work from the Baker McKenzie team in Colombia is excellent; responses are swift, succinct and on point.” 

“Very clear concepts and recommendations that were adopted and not changed during the last two reforms in Colombia. Fast and easy contact to the lawyers.” 

Brigard Urrutia

Founded in 1934, the law firm Brigard & Urrutia is among the top players in Colombia. The tax team is comprised of three partners and 15 professionals specialised on inbound and outbound investments, with a focus on M&A. The tax group offers services in tax planning and implementation of tax structures for M&A, taxable acquisitions, reorganisations and restructuring. The firm is also very active in tax litigation, providing advice and representation in tax disputes and litigation before the tax authorities and the tax courts. Moreover, the firm has gained a reputation for its transfer pricing practice area. 

Over the research period, the tax team worked on an impressive number and complex issues representing domestic and international clients, in addition to many financial institutions. A standout matter was the representation of the Norwegian offshore drilling contractor Dolphin Drilling on different tax matters, including on tax planning in Colombia to operate in an offshore free trade zone. Another interesting mandate saw the team advising Citibank on the tax structuring for the sale of its consumer banking business to Scotiabank. Other clients included Fábrica Nacional de Autopartes – Fanalca, Netflix and PEI Asset management.  

In terms of lateral moves, the team welcomed three senior associates: Pablo Ángel Vallejo from Deloitte, Daniel Duque Estévez from PwC and Edgar Ruiz Van den Enden from BTG Pactual. The team saw the departure of transfer pricing lead Ricardo Beltrán who went to Garrigues and partner José Romero who joined the Colombian Tax Office. 

Client feedback  

“Strengths are domain knowledge and detailed approach.” 

“The tax team of the firm is a local team very committed, technical and knows the operations of M&A very well, which allowed us from the first moment to plan, execute and achieve the transaction.”  

“High knowledge and experience in tax law issues and compliance. Cordial and kind treatment. To improve, they could look more at aspects of form in the writing of documents.” 

Deloitte

A leading firm in Colombia, Deloitte’s tax team spans a wide range of areas, including M&A, controversy and indirect tax. In addition, the firm is among the top players in transfer pricing practice area. The tax team works on an array of sectors and has a strong focus on energy. 

Over the research period, the firm assisted a company on the registration of friendly energy projects before the energy and mining planning unit, as well as on the application for the related tax benefits. In addition, the tax team represented different companies on cases of indirect taxes. All the names remained confidential.  

In terms of lateral moves, the firm strengthened its team with the addition of business tax manager John Vargas Zambrano, hired from EY, and business tax manager Carlos Martinez Rivera from Avianca. 

Client feedback 

“The services provided by Deloitte and the analysis submitted were complete and were the result of deep and professional knowledge on tax matters. The services received had a high quality and fulfilled our expectations.” 

EY

EY is among the top players in Colombia. Its tax team is comprised of 336 members, including 12 partners and five associates. It is highly specialised on international taxation, consultancy issues and tax controversy, in addition to tax compliance matters. The firm has also a very strong transfer pricing practice area. It covers a variety of sectors, such as retail and consumer products, financial entities, oil and gas and it regularly advises foreign clients investing in Colombia with an emphasis on M&A. 

This year EY has worked on numerous impressive matters involving multinational companies. All the names remain confidential.  

Client feedback  

“EY has a lot of strengths: Knowledge, expertise and support.”  

Garrigues

The Bogotá office of Garrigues was the second office opened by the Spanish powerhouse in Latin America after its main office in São Paulo. The firm’s biggest strengths in Colombia are its transactional and controversy tax practice areas. In the transactional practice, the tax team regularly works on tax planning regarding M&A, finance and project development. In the controversy practice, the team is involved in tax disputes between high-profile players and several government agencies.  

In the transactional practice area, the tax team advised the Spanish hospital group Quirónsalud on the tax planning on its acquisition of Clinica Medellín. Another interesting mandate saw the group acting as tax advisor to Australis Partners Fund on its investment in the Reve Group. During the research period, the tax team worked on a number of tax controversy cases, involving Asociación de Transporte Aéreo de Colombia and Avianca and Aero Republica. 

In terms of lateral moves, Garrigues hired Maria Isabel Espinel Coral who left Dentons. The firm also strengthened its team with senior associates Julio César Toro hired from KPMG and Ricardo Beltran hired from Brigard & Urrutia. 

Godoy & Hoyos Abogados

Godoy & Hoyos Abogados excels in the controversy practice area and in tax planning with an emphasis on M&A, restructuring and reorganisation. Founded in 2004, the firm has gained a reputation in the Colombia market advising institutions, corporations and financial institutions with a strong focus on the oil and gas sector. The firm is active in tax policy and it has a strong transfer pricing practice. Catalina Hoyos Jiménez leads the tax department that includes lawyers and accountants. Her practice areas include tax planning, advisory work and transfer pricing. Juan Pablo Godoy Fayardo is the co-director of the tax team and the director of the mining, oil and gas practice. 

Over the research period, the firm worked on numerous cases in tax controversy. A standout case was representing Aldea Proyectos Immobiliaros before the Colombia Constitutional Court. An interesting mandate in the tax policy area was to advise the Ministry of Finance on the new tax reform. 

Lloreda Camacho & Co

Lloreda Camacho & Co has developed a respected tax practice, which is in particular active in tax planning, cross-border transactions, consultancy and tax controversy. David García leads the department, which is specialised in the pharmaceutical, oil and gas, mining and retail sectors.  

Over the research period, the tax team advised Roche on the tax structure for the commercialisation and distribution of a new business unit. Another interesting mandate saw the group advising Esab-West Arco on its corporate reorganisation. Other clients included GlaxoSmithKline, Dominion Global, Universal Music and PTC Therapeutics.  

Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

A leading firm in Latin America, Philippi Pietrocarrizosa Ferrero excels in international reorganisation, local and off shore tax planning, private clients and tax litigation. The firm has also gained a reputation in the transfer pricing practice area. Martín Acero and Carolina Rozo co-head the tax practice. 

Over the research period, the tax team worked on different M&A transactions. A standout matter was the representation of Banco Colpatria Multibanca Colpatria on its international corporate, tax and foreign exchange structure to acquire Citibank Colombia’s private bank. Another interesting mandate saw the group advising Immobiliaria Bondue on the tax structure for a joint venture project with the Canadian company Avicanna. Other clients included Mexico Infrastructure Partners, Drypers Andina and Simmons & Simmons. 

In terms of lateral moves, the team welcomed regional transfer pricing director Sandra Pineda, hired from KPMG. In addition, senior associate Nicole Rios joined the firm from EY.  

PwC

Carlos Mario Lafaurie leads the tax team at PwC. The firm’s biggest strengths are tax compliance, tax consulting and planning. In addition, the firm has a strong transfer pricing practice area. The tax group has a large base of international clients and it is specialised in different sectors, including agribusiness, financial services, energy, mining, infrastructure and automotive.  

Over the research period, the tax group worked on numerous tax matters, which all remain confidential. 

The team lost associate partner Ingrid Díaz who joined the Dirección de Aduanas e Impuestos Nacionales. 

Sanint Rivas

Sanint Rivas’s biggest strengths are its corporate tax planning and transfer pricing practice areas. The firm offers services on corporate reorganisations, consulting and compliance to national and international clients. Key contacts at the firms are Laura Sanint and Daniela Rivas. 

Over the research period, the group advising Agropecuaria Bambusa on tax matters and Inversiones y Construcciones Incol on the structuring and the negotiation of a trust agreement. Other matters in the corporate and transactional areas remained confidential. 

Vivanco & Vivanco

Founded in 1902, Vivanco & Vivanco is headquartered in Miami and is one of the oldest firms in Latin America with offices in Costa Rica, Argentina, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia, in addition to a branch in London. Its Bogota office acts on matters such as tax issues related to corporate activity, cross-border tax planning and tax advisory. In particular, the tax team advises companies that invest in Colombia and it is also active in advising private clients. Key contacts at the firm are CEOs and partners Clemente Vivanco and Guillermo Camacho. 

Over the research period, the tax team worked on numerous matters often involving issues between Colombia and Ecuador. For example, the tax team advised the Colombian company 3Biomat on structuring its holding ownership through international entities to reduce its tax burden. The group also assisted on tax corporate matters Colombian companies Implameq and Alegra.