26 April 2021

Spanish firm ECIJA opens for business in Colombia

Integration with local firm MBCR brings ECIJA's LatAm presence to 14 countries

By Madeline Anderson

(L-R) Lorena Garnica, Camilo Ramirez, Pablo Marquez, Patricia Renjifo, Carlos Hugo Ramirez and Julio Castaneda Image courtesy of ECIJA

Madrid-based law firm ECIJA is opening up shop in Colombia through the integration of local firm MBCR, its latest acquisition in a string of Latin American ventures.  

The merger with full-service business firm MBCR will add a team of 36 professionals including six partners to ECIJA’s global structure. The Bogota-based team will be led by MBCR's founding partner Pablo Marquez and will include partners Julio Castaneda, Carlos Hugo Ramirez, Patricia Renjifo, Camilo Ramirez and Lorena Garnica. 

With the integration of MBCR, ECIJA’s Latin American presence has climbed to 14 countries, solidifying it as the Spanish law firm with the largest LatAm footprint.  

The firm’s new Colombian outfit brings a wealth of expertise in the competition, TMT and entertainment sectors and also focuses on advising clients in the banking, energy, retail, utilities, real estate and pharmaceutical industries. 

Marquez, managing partner of ECIJA Colombia, highlighted the two firms’ complementary expertise in information technology, media, telecommunications and intellectual property, adding that the move would allow the practice to make “quantitative and qualitative” leaps in its service offerings. 

Hugo Ecija, ECIJA’s founding partner and executive chairman, said: “Latin America has been and is a priority for the firm. With the new opening in Colombia, one of the most important legal markets in the region, ECIJA not only manages to position itself as a leader in Latin America, but also strengthens its office structure to accompany its clients in their internationalisation process.” 

The deal follows hot on the heels of the firm’s combination with Argentinian firm ELZEN, which was announced in March. 

According to Ecija, additional transactions in the region are expected to follow in the coming months as the firm looks to secure footholds in more key jurisdictions as part of its wider internationalisation agenda. 

Last year, ECIJA made a string of acquisitions in the Latin American legal market, adding offices in Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador and Guatemala as part of its “relentless” international growth strategy. It also has operations in Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Puerto Rico. 

Earlier this month, fellow Spanish heavyweight Garrigues announced its revenue figures for 2020, revealing its presence in Latin America dented its growth numbers for the year due to the sharp decline in the region’s currencies as a result of the pandemic. 

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