Claudia is a partner at Baker McKenzie. Since 2010, she heads the Dispute Resolution practice in Colombia. In 2018, she was appointed Chair of the Latin America DR practice and since 2019 Claudia is the Global Chair of the Firm's Dispute Resolution Group.
Claudia is also a listed arbitrator of the panel of arbitrators of the Center of Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá for both, domestic and international arbitration; a listed arbitrator of the Panel of Arbitrators of the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (Shanghai International Arbitration Center); and a listed arbitrator of the Panel of Arbitrators of the Arbitration Court of Amcham Peru.
Claudia is a highly-regarded expert in transnational litigation and international arbitration. She has over 20 years of extensive experience handling complex litigations and arbitrations related to construction and infrastructure projects, post-acquisition disputes, disputes in the energy sector, distribution and supply agreements, unfair competition, product liability, insolvency and general breach of contract. She often advises investors on treaty planning, and leveraging international protections in the context of government interference. She acts for and against state entities, with particular experience in the energy sector and large infrastructure projects.
Claudia has been ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as an expert in the field of dispute resolution. According to these publications, the group led by Claudia "'generates absolute confidence’ according to clients who highlight the team’s ‘efficiency, agility and commitment’, ‘broad market knowledge’, and ‘careful follow-up of cases", pointing that "It is led by the ‘expert’ and ‘deeply involved’ Claudia Benavides whose ‘intelligence, diligence and acuity to foresee legal risks’, make her a stand out legal adviser.” Chambers and Partners Latin America notes that "Claudia Ines Benavides Galvis is praised by interviewees for her "wide knowledge of the area, precision and in-depth background" in the field of dispute resolution." She has been ranked Band 1 in Chambers & Partners' individual ranking and in the "Leading Lawyer" listing by The Legal 500. The prestigious publication Who's Who Legal: Arbitration describes her as one of the world experts in arbitration and Benchmark Litigation featured her in the Top 25 Latam Women in Litigation listing. The team led by Claudia is ranked Tier 1 in the prestigious directory The Legal 500. In addition, she was recently awarded by Best Lawyers 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation and recognized by such publication as a leader in Arbitration, International Arbitration and Mediation. In 2021, Claudia was named Litigation Latin American Lawyer of the Year by Euromoney's Women in Business Law Americas, and she was added to the Lawdragon Global Litigation 500 list, an accolade reserved for lawyers who "know their way around global business battlefields."
Claudia has been actively involved with academia. She regularly speaks in important national and international conferences and she is the author of several articles related to her practice.
Claudia has an extensive experience handling complex litigations and arbitrations related to construction and infrastructure projects, multimillion stock purchase agreements, post-acquisition disputes, disputes in the energy sector, distribution and supply agreements, insurance, transport, shipping law, unfair competition, product liability, insolvency and breaches of contract.
Representative Legal Matters
Successfully represented a major Chinese company in arbitration proceedings filed by a major Colombian company pursuant to the civil works contract entered into between the parties for the constructions of a power plant. Value exceeding USD 45.000.000.
Represented the subsidiary of a major British company in a dispute that provided for international arbitration seated in New York regarding breach of a multimillionaire stock purchase agreement of a Colombian company, under ICC rules. She obtained outstanding results for our client. Value around USD 60.0000.000.
Represented a major French company in international arbitration proceedings, under ICC rules, seated in New York, regarding the disputes that arose for alleged breach of representations and warrantied within an interest purchase agreement of a Colombian company. Value around USD 24.000.000.
Successfully represented a major international consortium in international arbitration proceedings against a state owned company regarding the breach of an EPC contract for the engineering, acquisition, construction, installation and commercial operation of a power plant in Colombia. Value exceeding USD 200.000.000.
Representing an infrastructure company in arbitration proceedings arisen from the breach of a contract related to the assembly and installation of conveyor belts. Value around USD 10.000.000.
Successfully represented an energy company in an arbitration related to the liquidation of an energy distribution and operation contract. Value around USD 25.000.000.
Represented an energy company in relation to arbitration proceedings, under ICC rules, regarding the alleged breach of obligations of a contract for the implementation and operation of an operation system in the oil sector. Value around USD 4.000.000.
Representing a multilatina in regards to a dispute related to a contract stating international arbitration proceedings under CCI rules, for the non-fulfilment of obligations in relation to the construction of a water treatment plant. Value around USD 120.000.000.
Representing a subsidiary of a French multinational within a class action in which claimants are seeking the recognition and payment of damages allegedly caused by an oil spill that occurred on July 20, 2014 in a port in the Republic of Colombia. Value around USD 1 billion.
Represented a Swiss pharmaceutical company within a litigation brought by a local company seeking the declaration of a de facto commercial agency agreement. The plaintiff is claiming payment of the commercial severance pay and the equitable indemnity due under Colombian law to commercial agents upon termination of the relationship. Value around USD 50.000.000.
- Band 1, Individual Ranking Dispute Resolution, Chambers & Partners 2021
- Leading Lawyer in Dispute Resolution, Legal 500, 2021
- Global Leader, Recommended, Who´s Who Legal: Arbitration 2021
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Global Chair of Baker McKenzie Dispute Resolution practice group.
- Baker McKenzie's International Arbitration Steering Committee (2015-2018)
- Listed arbitrator of the Center of Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá for both, domestic and international arbitration.
- Listed arbitrator of the Panel of Arbitrators of the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (Shanghai International Arbitration Center).
- Listed arbitrator of the Panel of Arbitrators of the Arbitration Court of Amcham Peru.
- Chair of the Arbitration and ADR Commission of ICC Colombia (2018-2019)
- Representative of the ICC YAF Latin America Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) (2014 - 2017).
- Member of the International Arbitration Latin American Group of ICC.
- Member of the ICC Arbitration and ADR Commission.
- Member of the Singapore International Arbitration Center Users Council.
- Founding member of the Colombian Chapter of the Club Español del Arbitraje. Member of the board of the Colombian Chapter.
- Member of ALARB - Asociación Latinoamericana de Arbitraje.
- Member of the Comité Colombiano de Arbitraje .
- Colombian subcommittee for The Pledge - Equal Representation in Arbitration.
- Member of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Committee of Baker McKenzie and Chair of the Latam D&I Steering Committee
- Colombia (1997)
- The London School of Economics and Political Science (LLM with merit honors) (2001)
- Universidad de los Andes (Economics) (1999)
- Universidad de los Andes (Lawyer) (1997)
Publications and Presentations
- Speaker at the "VII International Arbitration Congress" - New developments in international arbitration - August 21, 2019.
- Speaker at the conference “13 ICC New York Conference - Debate: Freedom of choice vs. Assurance of expertise" in New York, EE.UU on September 27-28, 2018.
- Speaker at the conference “Young ICCA Skills Training Workshop:Interim Measures And Emergency Arbitrators In International Arbitration" in Bogota, Colombia on September 21, 2018.
- Speaker at the conference “Conversatorio sobre Arbitraje e Industrias. Experiencias de la ICC” in Medellin, Colombia on September 12, 2018.
- Speaker at the conference “4º Foro Arbitraje ICC. El laudo arbitral”, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on May 22, 2018.