Colombian lawyers prepare for change Gustavo Petroa former left-wing guerrilla who has pledged to restrict extractive industries and raise taxes on the wealthy, takes office as president on August 7. He is the first leftist to govern Colombia, which is one of Latin America’s largest economies and has recently been a hotbed of cross-border corporate work for global lawyers.
Law.com International interviewed José Luis Suárez, managing partner of elite Colombian law firm Gómez-Pinzón Abogados, about his expectations for legal work under the new government.
Suárez is optimistic about the continuation of the work. Gómez-Pinzón employs 152 lawyers and 22 partners in 16 practice areas in Colombia.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
In which practice areas do you expect to see more demand for legal services during the next administration? Why?
We are optimistic and hope that this new government will help the industry to develop in the country. We see a lot of work on taxes because a major tax reform is coming that will bring many changes. There is also an increase in energy work with the transition to renewable and clean energies. Similarly, demand is expected in administrative law with hiring and reorganization of relations between the private sector and the State.
In which practices do you expect to see less demand? Why?
We see a positive picture and we believe that we will see demand in all our practices. However, there is some uncertainty regarding foreign investment, as investors are still trying to figure out what will happen with funding and access for Colombian issuers to international markets. In addition, there are questions about whether the cost of public-private projects or concessions will continue or whether we will revert to a public works program.
What do you advise customers? Have your recommendations changed given the changes in Colombia?
As a firm, we remain committed to keeping our clients informed as changes are introduced – legal and constitutional reforms and corresponding regulatory adjustments. Our goal, whatever changes come, will always be to contribute to the development and defense of rights in the country.