Partners: Antonio Sanclemente, José Gabriel Fernández, Diana Sanclemente, Donaldo Ariza, Claudia Rodriguez, Teresita Cordona, Ignacio Giraldo
Number of lawyers: 23
Languages: Spanish, English, German
With a long-standing practice, SFA law firm follows a ‘one-stop-shop’ strategy to assist business people and corporations in need of consolidating their presence in Colombia. The firm’s experience in foreign investment allows it to guide potential investors from the identification of opportunities to the implementation once the investment decision is made. The practice follows a multidisciplinary approach, which serves best the needs of the clients. A team of lawyers, economists, business administrators, accountants, official translators and legal assistants work in a tailored approach to offer unique expertise and value to address client matters.
Main Areas of Practice:
Energy and Natural Resources
Corporate & M&A & Commercial Law
Public Law & Government Contracting
Customs Law & Foreign Trade
Financial & Banking Law
Administrative law, arbitration, aviation, banking and finance, capital markets, competition, consumer protection, corporate, commercial law, contracts and bidding processes, customs, environmental, foreign investment, infrastructure, intellectual property, labour and immigration, litigation, M&A, oil, gas and mining, project finance, tax, trademark and patents.
Oil, Gas & Mining:
With over 78 years of experience, SFA has acquired unique know how and expertise allowing the firm to offer top quality legal services to the oil, gas and mining industries in Colombia. Currently, the firm represents clients in all legal aspects related to domestic and international transactions, as well as in regulatory, legislative and judicial proceedings regarding exploration, production, transportation, sales and re-sales, refining, marketing and financing. Likewise, the firm provides assistance to a substantial number of the oil and gas service companies in Colombia. Some of its contributions include legal assistance during: Bidding processes and direct contracting of exploration and production and technical evaluation governmental contracts; farm-out and joint operations negotiations and agreements; government approvals including, but not limited to, environmental licenses, consultation with the communities; assistance during importation process and tax exemptions; construction of civil works, production facilities and transportation systems; oil pipeline financing and construction; land negotiation; drafting of contracts for oil and gas companies to be able to carry out their business activities; negotiation of mining concessions and of mineral extraction contracts; and court litigation.
As one of the firm’s main areas of specialisation, SFA provides total support to foreign investors throughout their business incorporation process in Colombia. The firm’s activity has included structuring fiscally efficient investments, foreign exchange considerations, consulting during the negotiation process, due diligence, documentation and formalisation activities with the authorities. Furthermore, SFA provides modern office space, state of the art equipment and top quality services on its premises while clients are starting their business in Colombia. The firm also offers all possible administrative, accounting and paralegal and clerical support. Once the foreign investment is incorporated, it guides and advises on commercial activities on a day to day basis. Likewise, SFA participates in the detailed follow-up of each and every obligation that foreign investors must take into account while operating in Colombian territory.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
SFA has successfully participated in M&A projects in Colombia, assisting during the structuring, negotiation and implementation stages. Likewise, the firm has a wide experience conducting due diligence processes aimed at the acquisition, merger and consolidation of several companies,with or without the participation of foreign investors. Such activities have included aspects related to corporate, foreign exchange, labour, contractual, environmental, brand and licence matters. In some cases, the firm has also been in charge of financial and tax reviews.
For more than 75 years, the firm has represented national and international companies. SFA provides counsel for structuring and negotiating transactions, drafts and interprets agreements, provides counsel for client’s day to day operations and offers legal support for structuring and organising companies.
Labour & Immigration:
The firm provides assistance to companies regarding labour matters, such as: drafting of legal opinions; legal representation to companies during labour suit proceedings; review of calculations, settlements, dismissal letters; labour auditing processes; visas procedures and providing general counsel for labour aspects to HR departments on a daily basis.
Banking & Financial Institutions:
The firm provides legal services to local and international banks, financial corporations, international financial leasing companies, investment funds, trusts and other national and international financial institutions regarding transactions of great significance to Colombia. SFA’s experience in this sector has enabled it to participate in activities such as: incorporation of foreign banks; mergers and acquisitions related to financial institutions; registration and operation of foreign bank representation offices; structuring, negotiation and implementation of international syndicated loans; due diligence activities, documentation of offering circulars and government approvals for capital market programs (ADRs, GDRs, shares, etc); project financing; hedging and derivatives transactions; participation in capital market programs.
The firm’s litigation attorneys represent clients’ interests in all kinds of legal controversies in courts and tribunals. Based on clients’ needs, the firm litigates in the following areas: environmental, labour and tax matters; constitutional and public law matters; civil and private law matters; public actions, popular actions, class actions; contractual and tort liabilities; arbitration tribunals and other alternative means of solving disputes contemplated in the Colombian law; amicable resolution of controversies, both with the government and private entities.
SFA’s tax practice has been growing in the last years, providing our clients with comprehensive domestic and international tax, foreign exchange and international trade services. SFA’s services include advisory in tax regime applicable to different types of business and transactions, tax planning in national and cross-border investment projects. Working together with the labour and migratory practice, SFA carries out tax advisory and planning services for expatriates. SFA gives advice and represents clients in tax discussions before national and municipal tax administrative authorities, including tax refund processes, and before the administrative-contentious jurisdiction and in disputes related to international agreements on foreign investment protection in Colombia. The firm also provides support to comply with formal tax and foreign exchange obligations.