Juan Carlos Esguerra Portocarrero


Dr. Esguerra received his law degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, a specialist degree in socio-economic sciences at the same university, and a Masters in Law (LL.M) from Cornell University in the United States.

Aside from his professional practice, to which he has been dedicated since 1977 as a consultant, in litigation, and national and international arbitrations in the areas of administrative law, constitutional law, and civil and business law, Doctor Esguerra was Secretary General and Vice-Minister of Communications from 1974 to 1976, an elected Delegate to the National Constitutional Assembly in 1991, Minister of Defense from 1995 to 1997, Ambassador of Colombia to the United States from 1997 to 1998, and Minister of Justice from 2011 to 2012.

From 1991 to 1995 he was Dean of the School of Law at Universidad Javeriana, and for more than thirty years he has been a professor of administrative law and constitutional law at that university. On several opportunities he has also served as a professor of administrative law, constitutional law, and economic law at the Externado de Colombia, Andes, and the Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario universities. Since 1992, he has also been a member of the Cornell Law School Advisory Council.

In addition, he has authored numerous legal articles in specialized magazines on the subject of public law, and is the author of the book “La Protección Constitucional del Ciudadano” (Constitutional Remedies) (Legis, Bogotá 2004).

Since 2001 he has been a voting member of the Colombian Academy of Jurisprudence (Academia Colombiana de Jurisprudencia), of which he had been an associate member since 1996. On two opportunities (2004 and 2006) he has been an ad hoc Justice for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Since 1986 he has been a member of the arbitrators list of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce and since 1988 he is on the arbitrators list for the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ICC).


“Market commentators continue to recognise Juan Carlos Esguerra Portocarrero for his expertise, describing him as “a very important figure” in the market. They add: “He has a lot of experience in this area.” He has wide-ranging capabilities across constitutional and administrative matters, with particular expertise in litigation and arbitration proceedings.

Chambers and Partners
Colombia, Public Law

“Juan Carlos Esguerra Portocarrero is highlighted by sources who describe him as a “very good arbitrator and an excellent lawyer. He is very strong in this sector and has a lot of prestige.” He has further expertise in constitutional and administrative law.”

Chambers and Partners
Colombia, Dispute Resolution


Email: jcesguerra@esguerra.com

Phone: (+571) 3122900 Ext 109



  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, lawyer, 1972
  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Graduate Degree in Socioeconomic Sciences, 1972
  • Masters Degree in Law (LL.M), Cornell University, 1973


  • Spanish
  • English
  • German