Mexico

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Ley Reglamentaria del Artículo 5o. Constitucional, Relativo al Ejercicio de las Profesiones en el Distrito Federal

Competition authority: COFECE

Financial regulator: CNBV 

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction: 

Banking, Capital markets, M&A, Project development, Project finance

Jurisdiction overview

Mexico has the second largest economy in Latin America, second only to Brazil. Its legal system is based on civil law.

Lawyers qualify by being licensed as a ‘cedula profesional’ but do not have to be a member of any other professional body. Though the country is a federal system licensing is on a national level.

The country has few restrictions when it comes to foreign law firms practising though any firm whose ownership is more than 49% foreign requires a green light from the Foreign Investment National Commission.

Transactions frequently involve a US legal aspect and require US or global counsel to advise on the US side of the deal. 

While foreign lawyers cannot appear in court, they can participate in arbitration.

Some prominent global firms with offices in Mexico include Baker & McKenzie, Holland & Knight, and White & Case. Still, on the whole, larger firms are rare in Mexico, with most attorneys belonging to small to medium sized firms. Many Mexican attorneys are also licensed to practice in the US.

The opening of Mexico’s hydrocarbons industry to the private sector in 2014 has boosted business in Mexico. Some firms eying the energy and infrastructure potential are looking to make their mark in Mexico’s legal market. For example, global firm Mayer Brown opened a Mexico City office in August 2015.

Financial and corporate
Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is strong on banking, M&A and project development matters. 

The banking team advises borrowers and lenders and has seen recent work in energy, banking and real estate.  

In M&A, the firm advises buyers and sellers. Recent work took place in healthcare, automotive and hospitality.  

The firm’s project team often advises clients on bidding rounds for oil projects. The firm has worked on other matters as well, though recent ones were confidential.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Emerson Electric $810 million acquisition of Textron’s Tools & Test 

•Hella Automotive Group $1.625 billion financing  

•KKR £6 billion acquisition of Unilever's spreads business 

•Magna €230 million acquisition Olsa 

•Otay-Tijuana $90 million financing 

•Platinum Equity $2.1 billion acquisition of Johnson & Johnson's LifeScan   

•Yucatán 90MW wind farm 

Client feedback 

“They are very keen on our needs and very client-oriented. Between Mexico and Seoul, there was a time difference that could have been a huddle to conducting the deal on time, but the Baker McKenzie team always responded to our emails on our timeline, which was very [much] appreciated.” – Banking 

 “They were very responsive and gave good advice on this project.”  - M&A  

“The firm provides ‘best in class’ service and knowledge. The attorneys are very involved in industry, and with government leaders, and thus provide great insight on matters of importance to our company.” – Project development  

“Highly skilled and proper service.” -  Project development   

Basila Abogados

Basila Abogados is an active capital markets firm which sees a lot of deals that involve advising issuers and fund administrators on CKD issues.

Castillo & Castro Abogados

Castillo & Castro Abogados was formed this research period as a restructuring boutique by two former Santamarina & Steta partners. 

This research period, the firm was active advising issuers on bond issues and forming bond programmes.

CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow

CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow is known for its project development and project finance practice. 

Over the research period, the project development team has advised the Mexico City government on concession for transport hubs and advised bidders on bids for highways and energy projects. 

The project finance team advises borrowers and lenders and has been active in the energy and transport sectors this research period.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Termo Waste to Energy PPP 

•CDPQ and CKD IM $1.35 billion acquisition of 80% of Enel’s renewable energy assets  

Creel García-Cuéllar Aiza & Enríquez

Creel García-Cuéllar Aiza & Enríquez is specialised in structured capital markets products like FIBRAs (Mexican Real Estate Investment Trusts) and CKDs (securities for investment in infrastructure and other projects), where it advises both issuers and underwriters.

Recently the firm has used this expertise to gain a stronghold in the FIBRA E (FIBRAs for investment in energy and infrastructure) and CERPI (securities that are similar to CKDs but can invest in projects outside of Mexico) space. Most CERPI work involved advice to the sponsors and the FIBRA E work primarily saw the firm advise the underwriters, but also involved issue-side work.

Additionally, the firm recently advised the issuers on the two SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) IPOs in the market.

The firm is also a leader in banking (both lender-side and borrower side) and in M&A (buyer and seller side).

 A notable staffing change saw Juan Carlos Ollivier Morán join the firm from CNBV (Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores) as counsel in the capital markets practice.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Actis $1.256 billion acquisition of InterGen's Mexican business

•                      CFE FIBRA E IPO

•                      EVM II 850MW gas-fired power plant

•                      International Bank for Reconstruction and Development $1.3 billion bond issue  

•                      Promecap SPAC MSE IPO   

•                      Mexico City Airport FIBRA E IPO

•                      Nidec Corporation $1.08 billion acquisition of Embraco  

•                      Omnilife $153 million refinancing    

Client Feedback

“Strengths include deep knowledge, timely delivery, negotiation skills and ability to manage large deals.” – Banking

“Firm's work has the best quality we are seeking for. Time response and availability of partners and associates are always very good.” – Banking

“The firm provides a full service where customer client is a priority. They have an extraordinary attention to detail and understand the needs of the client and provide excellent advice with regards to the transaction, structuring of the deal and follow-up on the progress of the deal keeping their clients aware of the state of every issue of the transaction.” – M&A

“Completely reliable.”  - M&A

“Best firm I have worked with in Mexico.  The lawyers are smart, responsive, assertive and personable.” – M&A

Emilio Aarun

“Excellent treatment, knowledge, and management of the deal.”

Diego Barrera

“Diego is great. He's extremely responsive, pragmatic, knowledgeable and willing to work within our risk tolerance. Working with Diego has been my best experience in working with foreign counsel.”

Eduardo Gonzalez

“Great manager, reliable client service, trust-worthy, builds outstanding teams.”

Giovanni Ramírez Garrido

“Giovanni is a terrific banking outside counsel. He knows the industry and comes with alternative solutions that are feasible without taking into account possible risks. Even though he has a full agenda, he is always available to discuss.”

Carlos del Rio

“His work is very good. He is very good at understanding the clients’ needs and is available to the client in order to provide information regarding the transaction. He was particularly good at structuring the transaction taking in consideration the request of the client and accepting feedback.”

Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas is an active project development and M&A firm. 

The project development team advised energy companies on contractual and energy matters related to their projects over the research period. 

In M&A the firm has recently advised buyers and sellers. The firm works in a range of sectors but real estate and energy and infrastructure have been active this research period. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Australis Partners acquisition of minority stake in Vitalmex 

•GFI acquisition of Gesfor 

•PRISA €312.5 million acquisition of 25% stake in the Santillana Group 

•Tizimín 84MW wind farm 

Deloitte Legal México

Although Deloitte is better known as one of the big four accounting firms, the firm has developed an active transactional practice in Mexico. 

Recent work from the banking team includes advice to borrowers in education and financial services. 

The M&A group advises buyers, sellers and joint venture parties. Recent deals include work in the manufacturing, automotive and healthcare sectors.  

The firm’s project development team has advised clients on regulatory matters in the energy and oil and gas sectors.  

Client feedback 

 “The firm was very comprehensive in their approach and clear about tasks needing completion.” – M&A  

Dentons López Velarde

Dentons López Velarde is known for its work in the energy space. 

Recent work included advice to borrowers and lenders on loan facilities in the energy (both renewable and traditional), automotive and logistics sectors. 

Over the research period the banking and finance team hired Daniel del Rosal from CI Banco and Jaime Villa from VMGG Abogados. 

Client feedback 

“The firm is agile and efficient in the issuance of legal opinions, thanks to the extensive experience it has in the banking sector.” – Banking  

Galicia Abogados

Galicia Abogados is a leading firm for a range of financial and corporate transactions.

During the research period the firm’s banking team, which advises lenders and borrowers and works in a range of sectors, has seen a few notable deals helping various Mexican states obtain financing.

The firm’s project finance team has been active in the energy sector, both in renewable energy and oil and gas projects, and has advised both banks and borrowers.

In general, the capital markets team works on a range of securities. Recent work focusses on issuer-side work and includes an issuer-side roles on CKD issues, and underwriter-side roles on IPOs. Several recent debt deals saw the firm advise both sponsors and underwriters financing projects through the debt capital markets.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Actis $1.256 billion acquisition of InterGen's Mexican business

•                      Ariston Thermo acquisition of Saltillo’s water heater and pipe fitting business

•                      BlackRock $225 million 5.77% bond issue and $19.4 million refinancing

•                      Eolica Mesa La Paz 300MW wind farm

•                      Inmobilia $162 million CKD issue

•                      Grupo Bimbo $500 million 5.95% bond issue

•                      Promecap SPAC MSE IPO

•                      State of Chihuahua $1.07 billion financing

Client feedback

“It’s very nice working with the Galicia team. Very professional with expertise in all related matters.”  - Banking

“A reliable and dedicated group of legal counsel with a high degree of commitment. Has business-oriented and leading different practices in the market such as M&A, antitrust and capital markets.” – Capital markets: debt, M&A

Arturo Perdomo and Rodrigo Rivera

“Both are excellent lawyers.”

Garrigues

Garrigues is a strong transactional firm, across a variety of practice areas. 

The firm’s banking team advises borrowers and lenders and IFC was an active client this research period. Telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and investment funds have recent been active areas for the firm. 

The M&A team advises buyers and sellers and saw recent work in a range of sectors including fintech, healthcare and insurance.  

Over the research period the firm has advised sponsors and developers on the development of hospitals, roads, energy projects and mines. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Alten Europe acquisition of Optimissa Group  

•Amplifon €528 million acquisition of GAES 

•Bahía de Banderas Hospital PPP  

•Enel €150 million acquisition of 21% stake in Ufinet International 

•Ezentis  €90 million financing  

•GFI Informatique acquisition of Gesfor 

•Tabasco Hospital PPP  

•Tapachula Hospital PPP 

González Calvillo

González Calvillo has an impressive transactional record that spans several practice areas.

During the research period the firm’s banking team has worked on some of the most prominent acquisition financings in the market and has been active on real estate financings. The banking team advises both borrowers and lenders.

The firm’s project development team has seen work advising oil companies on terminal service agreements, energy companies on developing both renewable and hydrocarbon projects, and for potential developers on bids for energy and infrastructure projects.

Projects counsel Antonio De Lisi joined the firm from Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Actis $1.256 billion acquisition of InterGen's Mexican business

•                      Balam Fund acquisition of 37MW photovoltaic power plant  

•                      Chevron/ IEnova terminal services agreement  

•                      Gentera $125.5 million acquisition of 36.8% of ConCrédit  

•                      Grupo México $147 million loan facility   

•                      IFM Investors $2.6 billion acquisition of OHL Concesiones

•                      Inmobiliaria Insurgentes $53 million financing

•                      KIO Networks $300 million 7.5% bond issue   

Client feedback

“The legal advice provided is aligned to the business requirements.” – M&A

“Excellent. We were able to perform a very complex transaction that involve a regulated industry and a complex carve out with a challenging schedule.” – M&A

“The firm is great. They have vast expertise in their field and are knowledgeable with international market terms. They do a great job of negotiating in English.” –M&A

“Accurate and timely legal support that helped us to accomplish our legal goals.” – M&A

“Very high quality. Responsive to client and us.” – M&A, Real estate

“They have delivered a product with a high level of quality, which demonstrated the expertise and knowledge of the ones behind the work. They are very good when negotiating and also at hitting the targets in terms of timing and needs.”  - Project development         

“They are client and results oriented.” – Project development

“Highly competent.  Very user-friendly.” – Project finance

Hernando Becerra

“Hernando is an extremely skilled lawyer. He is creative, responsive, and well rounded. He also picks up fast and is attentive to my company's inner workings and needs.” 

Rodrigo Rojas and Oscar Moreno

“Top quality.”

José Víctor Torres

“Excellent. Has deep knowledge of the industry and the issues around all legal aspects of our business. He has a firm commitment to represent our company in the best way, has always been very responsive, prepared in every detail and easy to communicate and coordinate with.”

Erika Olguin Valencia

“Excellent. Competent, responsive.”

Greenberg Traurig

Greenberg Traurig is strong in capital markets and project development.

Within capital markets the firm is particularly active in the issue of CKDs (securities for investment in infrastructure and other projects), advising both underwriters and investors.

Recent project development work included advice to bidders in procurement processes.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Amistad $134.2 million CKD issue   

•                      Elementia $400 million financing  

•                      FIBRA Uno $533 million financing

•                      Grupo Inmobilia $314.5 million CKD issue   

•                      Grupo Traxión acquisition of Autotransportes El Bisonte  

•                      MXT and MIP $196.5 million acquisition of 72 telecommunications towers  

•                      Siervo de la Nación toll road  

•                      Vitro $700 million refinancing   

Client feedback

“Greenberg’s service is excellent, opportune, accurate and personalised. It could improve by involving more women in its projects.” – Capital markets: structured finance and securitisation

“Perfect understanding. Clear and precise information, excellent service, quality deliverables, excellent legal analysis.” – Project finance

Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight has a broadly strong financial and corporate practice.  

The banking team often advises banks on financings to states and municipalities of Mexico. The research period also saw the firm advise borrowers and lenders on deals in the energy, financial services and automotive sectors this research period.  

The firm’s capital markets team is active advising FIBRAs (Mexican Real Estate Investment Trusts) and CKD funds on their issues. 

In M&A the firm advises buyers and sellers. Recent work involved deals in telecommunications, automotive and healthcare.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•CM Hotel $157 million financing  

•Eólica Mesa La Paz 306 MW wind farm 

•Fibra Educa BMV IPO 

•Fibra Inn $56 million secondary offering 

•Fibra Uno $400 million 4.869% and $600 million 6.39% notes issue 

•Inmobiliaria Rivoli $45 million financing 

•ONCAP acquisition of Walter Surface Technologies  

•State of Chihuahua $60 million financing 

Kuri Breña Sánchez Ugarte & Aznar

Kuri Breña Sánchez Ugarte & Aznar has strong banking and capital markets practices.

Its capital markets team is active advising clients on the issue of certificates backed by receivables.

The firm’s projects team often advises the Secretariat of Communications and Transport and has been active on public tenders for roads PPPs this research period. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Alta Growth Capital acquisition of 32.07% of Docuformas’ capital stock

•                      AN Global acquisition of 4th Source  

•                      Arriaga  – Tapachula road PPP   

•                      Campeche –Mérida road PPP  

•                      Consubanco $54.6 million 9.3% bond issue   

•                      Dentimex $22.8 million financing  

•                      Grupo Axende $23.13 million financing   

•                      ONCAP $370 million acquisition of Walter Surface Technologies

Mijares Angoitia Cortés & Fuentes

Mijares Angoitia Cortés & Fuentes is a leading firm on projects, finance and M&A matters. The firm is particularly active in the energy and infrastructure spaces on a range of transactional matters.

This research period, the capital market team has been active in the CERPI space (often advising the placement agents), though saw recent work advising the underwriters on a FIBRA, underwriters and sponsors on CKDs and acting as deal counsel on bonds.

M&A and real estate partner Javier Cortina left the firm to join A&H Haiat & Amezcua over the research period.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Arauco $160 million acquisition of Masisa industrial assets

•                      Artha Capita acquisition of Proteus and Tampico solar projects   

•                      Bluemex 120MW photovoltaic power project   

•                       General Atlantic $60 million CERPI issue   

•                      ContourGlobal $801 million acquisition of Cosoleacaque and Altamira gas-fired plants   

•                      Eólica Mesa La Paz 306MW wind farm  

•                      HSBC México/ Global Payments joint venture  

•                      New Mazatlán Aquarium PPP

Client feedback

“Expert knowledge of project finance transactions in energy. Has knowledge of key players and regulators. Deliveries were on time, quick turnover on comments abreast in industry trends. Could also use more experience in NY law.” – Project finance

Nader Hayaux & Goebel

Nader Hayaux & Goebel is broadly strong across the board for financial and corporate work, particularly for banking and capital markets matters.

The firm’s capital markets team advises both issuers and underwriters. The firm works on a range of securities, but is particularly strong in the CKD space, advising investors, issuers and placement agents.

The research period has seen the project development team advise clients like local governments and governmental organisations on the bidding processes for projects for a hospital, desalination plant and aquarium. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Artha Capital $104 million CKD issue  

•                      CMIG International $300 million acquisition of Old Mutual's Latin American business  

•                      Fibra Educa BMV IPO  

•                      Grupo O'Donnell $104 million CKD issue   

•                      Guajiro 126.5MW photovoltaic power plant

•                      Guaymas desalination plant  

•                      New Mazatlán Aquarium PPP  

•                      Real Alloy $155 million refinancing  

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is an active project finance firm. 

The firm’s project finance team advises borrowers and lenders and this research period was active in the energy sector (both renewable and traditional). 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Atlas Renewable Energy acquisition of Guajiro solar project  

•CDPQ and CKD IM $1.35 billion acquisition of 80% of Enel’s renewable energy assets  

•El Llano 300MW photovoltaic power plant  

•Potrero 270MW photovoltaic power plant  

•Sonora lithium project 

•Perenco acquisition of 49% of Petrofac

Rico Robles Libenson

Rico Robles Libenson is an active M&A firm. The firm advises buyers, sellers and joint venture parties and over the research period has worked in consumer goods and services, aviation and transport.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Diageo/ Mezcal Unió joint venture 

•RCO acquisition of Zamora-La Piedad 

Client feedback 

“Good experience. They are dedicated, detailed and propose creative solutions to solve the issues.” – Project finance  

Gustavo Robles 

“Great knowledge of the subject, detailed and deep work. Innovative solutions. Good deal.” 

Ritch Mueller Heather & Nicolau

Ritch Mueller Heather & Nicolau is known for its strong relationships with banks and financial intuitions, which cement its position as a leading firm in the banking and capital markets spaces where it generally advises lenders and underwriters.

Although the firm advises clients in a range of industries, many of its M&A deals this research period took place in the banking or investment funds space. The M&A team represented buyers and sellers.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Afirme acquisition of UBS Bank México   

•                      Alpek $710 million financing

•                      Elementia $400 million financing   

•                      Fermaca El Encino gas pipeline

•                      Grupo Bimbo $500 million 5.95% bond issue   

•                      Grupo Lala $290 million financing

•                      Mexico $2 billion 4.5% bond issue  

•                      Potosí 300MW photovoltaic solar plant   

Client feedback

“Top notch partners and associates.” – M&A

“The lawyers at Ritch Mueller are professionals committed to their clients. They are experts on different industries and always provide a good reference.” – Project finance

Carlos F. Obregón Rojo

“Top tier lawyer in all dimensions.”

Jorge Oria

“Jorge is one of the best lawyers for energy and infrastructure in Mexico with sound experience in project financing and deep knowledge of the structures and the players. Considering his expertise, sometimes deadlines become more difficult to meet, but every time he delivers.”

Sánchez DeVanny

Sánchez DeVanny is active on banking, M&A and project development matters. 

The firm’s banking team advises lenders and borrowers. Over the research period the firm saw work in logistics, energy and hospitality sector.  

The research period saw the firm advise joint venture parties, buyers and sellers in the consumer goods and services, automotive and oil and gas sectors. 

The firm’s energy team is active in the power and oil and gas sectors. Work over the research period includes advice to a bidder on a bid for an oil and gas project and advice to offtakers and suppliers in supply agreements.  

Client feedback 

“They were very helpful. Ernest Silvas Medina in particular was an excellent resource and very available, communicative and easy to work with.” – Capital markets: debt 

 “Strengths included promptness of the answers, knowledge of the business of the transaction and deep analysis of the legal issues that arose during the transaction.” – M&A  

“Good thorough knowledge of the subject matters. Thorough analysis and good communication.”  - Private equity  

“They provide excellent legal support. They are always available and have a quite business-oriented focus.” – Project development  

José Antonio Postigo-Uribe  

“Strengths include proximity, knowledge of law.”  

Jimena Robles 

“Very good responsiveness and service-oriented relationship.” 

Santamarina & Steta

Santamarina & Steta is a strong financial and corporate firm.

During this research period the firm’s banking team has advised a mix of borrowers and lenders on acquisition financings, refinancings, corporate financings and project financing. The M&A team advised sellers, joint venture parties and buyers in a range of sectors including chemicals, real estate and energy, among others. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Atlantica Yield $215 million financing

•                      Grupo Axo acquisition of Tennix retail stores

•                      Grupo Azoty acquisition of Goat TopCo 

•                      Grupo Industrial Saltillo $93 million 9.6% bond issue

•                      Grupo Industrial Saltill $300 million financing

•                      Reix/ Orange Gestión de Desarroll joint venture  

•                      Rheem acquisition of Grupo Industrial Saltillo's water heater and pipe fitting business

Client feedback 

“Great support in a difficult case.” – Banking

“Very responsive, pro-active, fast.” – Banking

“Great group of professionals.  Deliver high quality work, always timely. Always generate value added in every interaction.” – Capital markets: debt

“Diligent and business oriented.” – Capital markets: equity

“Very responsive, high quality work product, reasonable rates.” – M&A

Carlos Arguelles

“Highly recommended, well prepared for all topics.”

“Carlos provides top-notch support and communicates well. Very good service.”

Sergio Chagoya

“Very good professional and person.”

Pablo Laresgoiti

“Fast, very responsive, excellent.”

Juan Carlos Machorro

“Excellent.”

SMPS Legal

SMPS Legal is an active banking and M&A firm in Mexico. 

The banking team has advised banks on granting credit facilities this research period. One notable deal took place in the food and beverage sector. 

The M&A team has primarily advised buyers this research period and has seen work in media, real estate and food and beverage.  

Client feedback 

“Pragmatic. Hands on. Efficient. Could improve growing their base of junior lawyers.” – Real estate  

Solórzano Carvajal González Pérez Correa

Solórzano Carvajal González Pérez Correa is a strong project development and active M&A firm. 

The firm’s project development team is active in the energy and oil and gas sectors. Recent work includes advising contractors on distribution and supply agreements and advising energy companies on regulatory matters related to their projects.  

This research period saw the M&A team advise buyers and sellers in energy, food and beverage and real estate. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•BDT Capital Partners acquisition of Casa Dragones 

•UrbanHub acquisition of Tenedora Reyor 

Villarreal García Campuzano Gómez & Fernández

Villarreal García Campuzano Gómez & Fernández was formed in 2016 by former Kuri Breña partners. The firm is active in banking. 

The firm advised borrowers and lenders over the research period and was active in the real estate, automotive and financial services sectors. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

•Exitus Capital $7.8 million financing  

•Grupo Acosta Verde $23.2 million financing  

•Foinbra $56.9 million financing