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Brigard Urrutia

Jose Francisco Mafla

Jose Francisco Mafla



  • Customs and International Trade
  • Cannabis Law

WSG Practice Industries


WSG Leadership

Customs and International Trade
WSG Group Leaders
ABA Group
Trade and Investment Group
Group Leader
He worked as foreign attorney in Harkins Cunningham LLP in New York, and in Uría Menéndez in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Mafla joined Brigard Urrutia in 2006 and is Partner of the firm since 2015, focusing on the Corporate/M&A, and Customs and International Trade practices. Mr. Mafla is admitted to practice law in Colombia (2001), in the state of New York (2006) and in the United States Court of International Trade (2015).

Attorney with wide expertise in commercial law, international business law, mergers and acquisitions, and customs and international trade. Mr. Mafla is also an arbitrator at the Center for Conciliation and Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá, and currently is the Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Colombian American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM Colombia). He is also member of the Academic Committee of Customs and Foreign Trade of the Colombian Institute of Tax Law.

Mr. Mafla is an attorney from the School of Law of Universidad de los Andes, and obtained a postgraduate degree in Business Law from Universidad Externado in Colombia. He also holds an LL.M from New York University School of Law. Aside from his legal practice, He is professor (undergraduate and postgraduate studies) of Commercial Law and International Economic and International Trade Law at Universidad Externado, Universidad de los Andes, ICESI and EAFIT in Colombia.

He was recognized as star associate by Chambers and Partners Latin America in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He was also recognized as a leading lawyer by Legal 500 in 2012 and 2013 and by Who’s Who Legal. After his appointment as partner in 2015, Chambers and Partners recognized him as an “Up and Coming" lawyer for Colombia in connection with International Trade/WTO.Mr. Mafla obtained the scholarship Lucia Patino at Universidad de los Andes in 1999.

Bar Admissions

Was admitted to practice law in Colombia in 2001, in the State of New York, United States, in 2006, and in the U.S. Court of International Trade in 2015.


Lawyer from Universidad de los Andes. He holds a postgraduate degree in Business Law from Universidad Externado de Colombia and an LL.M from New York University School of Law. He also has Diploma in French Language and Civilization from University of Nantes and a Diploma in Customs Law from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
Areas of Practice

Cannabis Law | Customs and International Trade

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Worked from September 2008 to April 2009 as exchange lawyer with the Spanish legal firm Uría Menéndez. In 2005 and 2006 was employed by Harkins Cunningham LLP as foreign lawyer, and was an associate at Cavelier Abogados from 2001 to 2004. Also published an article entitled "Disintegration of Commercial Integration - Trade System" - Cavelier Abogados article, 2003. Currently is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the New York State Bar Association.

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • International Fiscal Association


- Tratados internacionales de Colombia: oportunidades para la inversion, Uria Mendez, 2009.
- Regimen de medidas antidumping en Colombia, 2010.
- TLC/FTA Colombia-Triangulo Norte: Regimen de Inversiones. 2010.

Investment opportunity: New competitive free trade zone regime
Brigard Urrutia, March 2021

Colombia updated its free trade zones regime to increase the competitivity of this investment opportunity. Among others, it now allows three new activities for free trade zones, introduces the creation of a concertation committee to discuss key topics between the Government and the private sector, and it simplified procedures to declare a free trade zone. Decree 278 of 2021 was introduced as a tool towards innovation in the free trade zone regime...

COLOMBIA: Legal Developments In Customs & Foreign Trade
Brigard Urrutia, February 2018

Last year the Colombian Congress issued Law 1841, which incorporated the Free Trade Agreement (“FTA”) between Colombia and Israel into the Colombian legal system. Currently, the law approving the Treaty is under review by the Colombian Constitutional Court for its definitive entry into force...

Development of Latin America Through Foreign Trade and Investment
Brigard Urrutia, November 2017

Latin America’s current economic growth levels are among the world’s highest, and the region is preparing its regulations to meet new economic challenges. As such, the fostering of foreign trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) is important to increase GDP growth, create job opportunities, and improve logistics and production...

Additional Articles

- ¿Mecanismos de Participacion Ciudadana, ficcion o realidad? Uniandes, 2001.
- Desintegracion de la integracion comercial de las Americas, Cavelier Abogados, 2003.
- Ultra vires en el derecho colombiano y comparado, Cavelier Abogados, 2003.
- Current access conditions for foreign-funded banks in China, NYU, 2005.
- The ultimate fertilizer: using law to foster agribusiness, Latin Lawyer, 2006.
- Directors ' liability and indemnification: a global guide, Globe Business Publishing, 2007.


COLOMBIA: Legal Developments In Customs & Foreign Trade During 2017
Posted on February 9, 2018
Practice Group: Trade and Investment - Latin America

I would like to bring your attention to some key legal developments that occurred in Colombia in Customs and Foreign Trade over the last year.

These legal developments are related to 4 major industry topics:

- FTA's and other Trade Agreements

- Trade Defense ...

Development of Latin America Through Foreign Trade and Investment
Posted on November 21, 2017
Practice Group: Trade and Investment - Latin America

Please allow me to refer you to the analysis below on the development of Latin America through Foreign Trade & Investment:

José Francisco Mafla and Camilo Castrill at Brigard & Urrutia Abogados explore the development of trade throughout Latin America, and its effect on ...

Practice group cocktail in DC and networking
Posted on May 10, 2015
Practice Group: Trade and Investment - Latin America

A few days ago in Washington DC we had the first cocktail of our Trade and Investment Practice Group. It was an excellent opportunity for networking and strengthening relations among delegates of several WSG firms.

The participants to the event were able to meet and network ...

China’s Market Economy Status after 2016?
Posted on February 26, 2015
Practice Group: Trade and Investment - Latin America

Over the last years, most WTO Members have categorized China as a Non-Market Economy (“NME”) during antidumping investigations (“AD investigations”). For this reason, China and Chinese companies have been subject to methodologies that deviate from the strict comparison with domestic prices ...

Ideas and initiatives for the Practice Group
Posted on November 19, 2014
Practice Group: Trade and Investment - Latin America

Fellow Practice Group members, 

I am very glad of making the first entry of the group’s blog, in which I sincerely welcome you again to WSG’s new International Trade and Investment Practice Group (Latam). This ...

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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