Maritime and Ports Law


Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos has an extensive experience in maritime and ports law. Its practice in these areas law is led by Mr. José Vicente Guzmán, who has worked not only in maritime and ports law matters during 22 years, but also in transportation law, aviation law, insurance law and arbitration.

The professional team in this practice has counseled private and public institutions in all the matters related to maritime and ports law. Their experience includes the management of marine insurance claims, ship’s registration, advice on the negotiation and drafting of freight forwarding agreements, charter parties and bills of lading contracts, towage contracts, salvage contracts, ship’s sale agreements and marine mortgages, operations and port services contracts, etc. They have also advised private and public institutions in the conclusion of ports and marine insurance contracts and the filing of ports and marine insurance claims. The maritime and ports law team has undertaken procedures for beach, dock and pier concessions as well. Among the public entities that have engaged the maritime and ports law practice services, the Ministry of Transportation and the General Maritime Direction (Dirección General Marítima – DIMAR) have been the most frequent. The maritime and law practice has counseled these entities especially in the analysis of the maritime and transportation legislation, as well as in the proposal for its adaptation to modern needs.

In the ports sector, our maritime and ports law team is renowned for the legal structuring of port concession contracts for both public service and private service ports, in all the port zones throughout the country. It has also provided advice in the drafting of specialized insurance contracts to cover the civil liability of ports and port operators, as well as matters related to anti-trust law and consumer protection.

Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos has a wide experience in litigation matters in the fields of maritime and ports law, both before harbor authorities (Capitanías de Puerto) when they act as judicial authorities and before judges, as well as in national and international arbitration.

The following are the basic services provided by Esguerra Asesores Jurídicos’ maritime and ports law practice:

Maritime Law

  • Ship’s registration. Construction contracts and sales agreements. Marine mortgages. Advise in and undertaking of procedures before the maritime authority. Investigations of marine accidents and casualties carried out by port authorities, violation of marine regulations, beach and low sea banks construction and marine pollution.
  • Advice on freight forwarding contracts, charter parties and bills of lading contracts, multimodal transport and agency contracts.
  • General average.
  • Beach, dock and pier concession procedures.
  • Concession, license and authorization procedures for maritime activities, such as exploration, exploitation, investigation, marine platforms, etc.
  • Legal counseling in the conclusion of maritime insurance contracts: transportation, hull and machinery and civil liability insurance. Policy reviews. Insurance claims. Subrogation actions after the payment of marine casualties and accidents.
  • Licences for carrier companies.
  • Litigation, mediation and both national and international arbitration.
  • Ship’s arrest.

Port Law

  • Advise in and undertaking of procedures and development of port concessions and dock and pier licenses. 
  • Drafting and review of ports technical operation conditions regulations.
  • Study and elaboration of services contracting systems of ports and port operators.
  • Civil liability studies of ports and port operators and elaboration of contracting systems about civil liability.
  • Anti-trust law and consumer protection in the port sector.


  • Drummond Ltd.
  • Transport Services LLC
  • American Port Company, Inc.
  • Cementos Argos S.A.
  • F.H. Bertling Logistics Ltd.
  • Magnum Logistics S.A.
  • ExxonMobil de Colombia S.A.
  • Sociedad Portuaria de Santa Marta S.A.
  • Sociedad Portuaria del Norte S.A.
  • Barranquilla International Terminal Company S.A.
  • Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Tumaco S.A.
  • Colombian National Resources – CNR
  • OCENSA – Oleoducto Central de Colombia S.A.
  • TT Club Mutual Insurance Association Ltd.
  • United Kingdom P&I Club Ltd.
  • SKULD P&I Club Ltd.
  • The Steamship Mutual
  • Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Ltd.
  • Seguros Comerciales Bolívar S.A.
  • De Lima Marsh S.A.
  • Ministerio de Transporte
  • Dirección General Marítima
  • Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional


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