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Interview Series

Diego Muñoz Tamayo

Muñoz, Tamayo & Asociados, Colombia

02 Jun 2020

Being part of this network through these past years, has given us exposure in other markets and has allowed us to establish or strengthen long term professional relationships with many colleagues around the world.

What is new with your firm? 

The current situation caused by the Covid – 19 has been challenging for all economic sectors, and the legal services one has not been an exception. Fortunately, at the firm, we were able to quickly adapt to this new way of life and of rendering legal services. We have easily implemented all measures to allow the team to work remotely and still maintain our commitment with our clients, and the high quality and excellent service we endeavor to provide them.

Fortunately, the role of technology has been crucial in this process and, in the case of MTA, we had made significant investments to renew and enhance the robustness of our technological infrastructure, which has been a very positive element to face the crisis without any inconvenience.

Moreover, and in order to service the new needs of our clients during these times, we have reassigned our teams to strengthen those practice areas which have had a higher workload, as a result of the pandemic. We have also structured specialized teams with the purpose of anticipating the needs of our clients that may arise from the crisis or the regulatory measures that the government has issued to address the emergency. 

In spite of the great challenges of the current global situation, we have adapted to the new way of working and, fortunately, we have been able to continue relying on the support of our entire team, while keeping them safe.


Which practice areas are the most in demand in your firm?

Traditionally corporate and M&A and the Projects practices are not only our emblematic, respected and renowned practice areas, but they are also our busiest. We have always been one of the leading firms in the local market in these areas. We are regularly at the forefront of the acquisitions of Colombian companies by local and foreign businesses and/or private equity funds. We have worked with local and foreign clients on their investments in Colombia and have established ourselves at the vanguard of the sector in international transactions in our country.

As a result of the pandemic, other practice areas have recently had a significant increase in their demand. For example, our Labor & HR, Tax, and Corporate and Contractual practices have been particularly on demand at these times, as we have been advising clients on a variety of aspects that have arisen because of the pandemic.

The restrictions to mobility implemented for the pandemic have also had a very positive impact on e-commerce and fintech companies. Therefore, our clients involved in those sectors, as well as new ones that have recently retained us, have also been quite active, which has allowed our firm to continue to develop this practice and to position ourselves at the forefront of this sector in Colombia.


Can you share an example of cross-border work with another Legalink member?

In our 2 years as members of the Legalink network, we have not only given and received referrals to and from our colleagues, but we have also had the pleasure and privilege of doing some cross-border work alongside some of them.

One example of this collaboration occurred in 2019, when we worked together with our friends from Bersay & Associés from France in order to analyze both the tax implications under the double taxation treaty between Colombia and France, as well as the relevant antitrust matters, of a transaction where a French investment company and a British infrastructure company were interested in jointly acquiring a percentage of the outstanding shares of a Colombian special purpose vehicle that was the concessionaire of a road concession in northern Colombia.

We have also received different referrals from Rittershaus Rechtsanwäle, Feldsberg Advogados and Dvorak Law Group LLC from Germany, Brazil and the United States, respectively and continue to work today with some of the clients they kindly referred. Similarly, in 2019 we received some work from Mischcon de Reya and reviewed an SPA and the license of a mining operation in Colombia in relation to an investment being done in the country by one of their clients.

During the last year, and very actively during the pandemic, MTA has been working with McKinsey & Company to coordinate their work in different Latin American countries, especially in matters related to employment law and data protection. This has allowed us to work in a very coordinated and swift manner with our colleagues from Nicholson y Cano in Argentina, Feldsberg Advogados in Brazil and Hernández & Cia. in Perú.

The referrals we have given have not been limited to Latin America. In addition to the referral given to Bersay, in 2019 we also referred Ioannides Demetriou LLC to the London office of an American insurance and reinsurance company that was seeking legal counsel in Cyprus.

We look forward to having the opportunity to continue working with our friends within the Legalink community.


What are your views on Legalink expansion? 

Although we are relatively recent members of the Legalink network, we have been witnesses of all the networking and interactive expansion that the organization has achieved. It is very exciting to know that new members are constantly joining. Furthermore, being part of this network has allowed us to refer work to highly skilled and collaborative colleagues involved in international legal services. Therefore, this membership has been a huge opportunity to continue connecting with other law firms all over the world.


As regards to Legalink, are you happy about your firm’s membership? What can we do better?

We have always felt very happy and honored to be members of Legalink, and we feel the constant support of the management committee and staff with some inquiries that we have occasionally had.

Being part of this network through these past years, has given us exposure in other markets and has allowed us to establish or strengthen long term professional relationships with many colleagues around the world. Legalink has also been an excellent example of teamwork, force multiplier in order to give clients the best service, and our firm a better market position.


What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Reading, travelling, writing, walking and enjoying a good chat with my friends.