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:
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.
Baker Mckenzie is a strong banking, M&A and project development firm.
In one highlight banking deal, the firm advised Bancomext on granting a loan to finance Grupo IGS’s acquisition of real estate portfolios.
In M&A, the firm advised Knauf International on its acquisition of Plaka, a plasterboard and cement- board business.
In project development the firm is particularly active in the infrastructure sector. In one highlight deal, the firm advised Emerging America on its negotiation to develop a power project.
The firm hired partner Fernando Shelley from Ugalde Shelley & De la Pena Abogados and Rodrigo Montemayor from Owens Corning. The firm lost partner Jair Bravo.
Key clients include The Blackstone Group, The Korea Development Bank, Betterware de Mexico, Shell, EDF Renewable Energy, Axtel, Emerson Electric and FedEx.
"Carlos Sagaón is the partner that works with us. Always available, attentive to detail and business-oriented." - Banking
Basham Ringe & Correa is a strong project development firm. The firm is also active in banking, M&A and capital markets.
In banking, the firm advised Crown Holdings subsidiaries on a restructuring of a public offering.
On the capital markets side, the firm advised FXSpotStream on exchange products.
In M&A, the firm advised Danone on the bidding process for the acquisition of Stonyfield Farm.
In one highlight deal in project development, the firm advised a client on developing a photovoltaic park.
Key clients include Nippon Paint Holdings, VF Corporation, First Solar Energia Mexico and Niagara Bottling.
Basila Abogados is an active capital markets firm.
The firm’s capital markets team frequently advises clients on CKD issues.
Key clients include Stepstone group, Fondo de Fondos and Tierra y Armonía.
“They have been excellent throughout the process.” – Capital markets
Bello Gallardo Bonequi & García has an active banking and M&A practice. The firm has been active on acquisitions and has advised financial institutions on regulatory and compliance matters. In one M&A deal, the firm advised Hela on the acquisition of Manufacturas Meca. In banking, the firm hired Samuel Rivero from Scotiabank and Enrique Mata from SURA. The firm’s corporate team added partner Juan Carlos Morales de Teresa to its practice. The firm advises the likes of Banco Santander and Deutsche Bank Mexico.
"Excellent." - Banking
"This is a boutique law firm with highly-qualified personnel. Partners are very close to clients to verify their needs are satisfied. Partners have gained a very good reputation in several industries for the specialization and effectiveness of their advice." - Regulatory
"Great attitude and knowledge about financial and compliance matters." - Banking
"One of the best banking and finance law firms." - Banking
Miguel Gallardo Guerra
“He is very proactive with a deep understanding of the legal frame in the insurance sector. Perhaps the way he supervises the people in his team more junior to him might be better in order to ensure the [same] quality.”
“Mr. Gallardo is responsible, dedicated and trustworthy. He is focused on clients. He has strong technical skills and the capability to build effective teams.”
“He is capable, very smart, and has strong knowledge of baking and finance law.”
Cervantes Sainz is active in project development and restructuring and insolvency.
In one highlight project development deal, the firm advised Avant Energy on permits and licenses.
In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advised M&G Polimeros Mexico on its restructuring procedure.
Key clients include Isolux de Mexico, Palace Resort, Grupo Edme, Gas Industrial Monterrey, Techgen and Cemex Mexico.
“Deep knowledge of regulation in Mexico.” – Project development
“Their energy practice has great knowledge of the regulatory environment in Mexico.” – Project development
"Without the firm, our restructuring process would not have achieved its goals." - Restructuring
“Alejandro always has input and has a disposition of assertiveness and guidance in all matters consulted.”
“Very knowledgeable regarding Mexico's regulation. Very practical in finding solutions.”
“He is one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in energy regulation in Mexico.”
Creel García-Cuéllar Aiza & Enríquez distinguishes itself through its work on structured finance transactions, but the firm is also a leader in banking and M&A.
The firm’s banking team has advised borrowers and lenders with credit facilities. The firm advised Credit Suisse on a senior secured credit facility to Softek Integration Systems.
Within capital markets the firm has been active on developing FIBRA-Es, CKDs, FIBRAs and CERPIs. One deal saw the firm advise the initial purchasers on the FIBRA-E for Mexico City’s International Airport.
M&A is another key practice area for the firm. Within M&A the firm maintains key private equity groups as clients, such as Southern Cross Group and Advent International, and advises them on acquisitions. The firm helped Rheem Manufacturing acquire Grupo Industrial Saltillo.
The firm’s projects team has worked on the financing and development of projects, particularly in the hydrocarbons and power sectors.
Over the research period, the firm has made several notable lateral hires to strengthen various practice areas. In finance, the firm recruited Eduardo Flores, previously vice president for securities oversight at the National Banking and Securities Commission. In M&A, the firm hired Iker Arriola as partner from White & Case. José Ignacio Segura also joined the project development practice from White & Case.
Banking clients include Banco Santander, Citibank Europ,e and Merlin Energy. M&A clients include ProActive, Bain Capital and RLH Properties.
Cuatrecasas is a strong M&A firm, and it is also active in project development.
In M&A, the firm advised animal nutrition company Neovia on the acquisition of Apligén and Proservicios Potencial Humano.
The project development team represented Pemex on a contract for providing gas compression services in the Mexican Gulf.
Significant clients include Fondo Capital Infraestructura, Pan American Energy, Faes Farma and Mexico Ventures.
Cuesta Campos is active in banking and M&A.
In banking, the firm advised Bank of America as a lender on providing an asset-based credit facility to Real Alloy.
In M&A, the firm advised AGM Automotive on its acquisition by electronics manufacturing company Flex.
The firm rose to tier 4 in the banking rankings.
Significant clients include Bank of America, HSBC, The RapcoHorizon Company, Daimler and Nike.
“Really good data and attention.” – Banking
“The firm has great response-time and organisation. They do promote meetings with clients.” - Financial and corporate
“Broad-based expertise and understanding of how to engage correct & appropriate resources.”
“Really good communication skills and data driven consultant.”
“Great knowledge and experience on corporate and financial matters.”
Luis Enrique Regil
“He follows up pending matters, great communication skills and he has knowledge about his area.”
Deloitte is active in banking and M&A.
In banking, the firm advised Global Jet Capital on a series of financing transactions.
The M&A team advised Universidad Icel on the acquisition of English schools named Quick Learning.
Significant clients include Bankia, Caixabank and International Finance Corporation.
EY Law’s team has advised clients on acquisitions, but client details were confidential.
Galicia Abogados is recognised as a top firm across the board.
The banking team advises a mix of borrowers and lenders. In banking the firm helped Bank of Nova Scotia as administrative agent in a loan to Gruma.
The capital markets team has advised issuers and underwriters on debt and equity deals. One notable equity deal saw the firm advise GMéxico Transportes on its IPO. The firm also advised the underwriters on the Promecap SPAC IPO.
In M&A the firm helped Grupo México with the acquisition of Florida East Coast Holdings.
Key M&A clients include General Atlantic and Leagold Mining Corporation. Key banking clients include Citibanamex and BBVA Bancomer.
“It is the best office in Mexico and in which we have the best confidence.” – Banking
"Knowledgeable, efficient, customer-focused." - M&A
"Well-integrated firm with professionally sound partners, solid middle level and para-legal support." -M&A
“He is the best external lawyer in the sector.”
“Business oriented, knowledgeable, creative, pragmatic, maximises customer’s money.”
“Well-rounded and seasoned counsellor. While his focus is on anti-trust matters, he is an excellent lawyer on most M&A related topics.”
Garrigues is active in banking, M&A and project development.
In one highlight banking deal, the firm advised Inter-American Investment Corporation on a loan to Hortícola Cimarrón.
In M&A, the firm advised Canada-based CCL Industries on its agreement to acquire Innovia Group.
In project development, the transactional deals are confidential.
The firm rose to tier 4 in the M&A rankings and to tier 3 in the project development rankings.
Significant clients include Acrecent Mexico, International Finance Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, OHL Concesiones and Surteco SE.
“Very thorough corporate work. Remarkable expertise in energy regulatory matters.” - Corporate
“Very thorough. Always available.”
"Deep knowledge of energy regulations. Always available."
González Calvillo is a strong transactional firm and has an impressive record of financing, M&A and projects deals.
The firm’s banking practice has been active, particularly on acquisition financings, debt restructurings and project finance. One deal saw the firm advise the vendors in relation to a financing for the Red Compartida Project, a major telecommunications project in the country.
The firm’s capital markets team has been active on debt and equity transactions. The team advised the initial purchasers on Actis’s 6.375% notes issue.
M&A is also a strong practice area from the firm. The firm helped IFM Investors with its tender offer to acquire OHL México, through an SPV (the SPV successfully acquired a 28.34% stake in the target company).
The firm’s projects team has been active on the development of projects, particularly in the hydrocarbons, power and social infrastructure sectors. In one deal the firm advised Chevron with an agreement for the storage of gasolines and diesel in connection to the development of a new refined products terminal.
The firm hired M&A and project finance lawyer Antonio De Lisi as of counsel from Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle.
The firm has moved up to tier two in several rankings categories due to its innovative transactional record and now ranks tier two across the board.
Key banking clients include BanCoppel and Olympus Capital Asia Credit. Key M&A clients include Take-Two Interactive Software and Acon Investments.
"In-depth experience in the areas of real estate and private equity." - Private equity, Real estate
"Experienced on project finance." - Project finance
"Very committed to the projects." - Project development
Enrique A. Ávila
“Excellent lawyer with all the knowledge of the industry.”
“Talented, professional, knowledgeable and solutions-seeker.”
Antonio de Lisi
“Strengths: ability to deliver on short notice, experience structuring complex infrastructure projects, industry sector knowledge.”
Greenberg Traurig is most highly ranked in capital markets and projects development.
The firm’s banking team has been active on acquisition finance, refinancings and project finance. One deal saw the firm advise HSBC México in a loan to an infrastructure developer.
Within capital markets, the firm is active in CKDs.
Most project development deals are confidential but active sectors include telecommunications and transportation.
The firm rises to tier three in banking this year.
The firm advises the likes of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Amistad Global Development and BBVA Bancomer.
"They understand the client's needs. They comply with the timetable of the transaction." - Banking
"Very satisfied with the services and advice provided." - Banking
"Very strong market and regulatory knowledge. Well-recognised. Highly efficient." - Banking
Holland & Knight is especially strong in capital markets. In addition, the firm is also active in banking, M&A and project development.
In banking, the firm advised Banco Interacciones on refinancing a loan to the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
On the capital markets side, the firm advised Fibra INN on its debt issuance.
In M&A, the firm advised American Tower Corporation on the acquisition of a telecom entity in Mexico.
The project development group advised Puma Eolico on a wind farm.
The banking group hired partner Salvador Fonseca from Baker McKenzie, executive partner Luis Rubio from Jones Day and Octavio Lecona from Jones Day. The firm saw the departure of executive partner Boris Otto and partner Antonio Casares.
Significant clients include Banco Santander, Banco Interacciones, Banco Multiva, Helios CKD Fund, Advance Clean Energy, Eutelsat and Universal Pictures Mexico.
"Top three firm in the public and private real estate industry in Mexico. Excellent technical ability and innovation." - Real estate
“After almost 20 years of knowing and working with him in different companies, I can emphasise his closeness to the client, business knowledge, flexibility of collection, flexibility and transparency in communication.”
“Excellent industry knowledge, top three lawyer in public real estate in Mexico.”
Jáuregui & Del Valle is an active M&A and banking firm.
In banking, the firm advised Bank of Montreal on the financing granted to Balboa Water Group.
In one highlight M&A deal, the firm advised Alta Growth Capital on the acquisition of 49% of the equity of Maskota, a pets and pet product retailer.
Significant clients include Pumping Team, Waste Generated Power, Alden, Benamex and Parmalat.
Kuri Breña Sánchez Ugarte & Aznar is a strong banking firm and capital markets firm. The firm also has an active M&A practice.
The banking team has advised both borrowers and lenders. One deal saw the firm advise on the financing for the Toluca-Naucalpan Toll Road.
In capital markets the firm has worked on bond issues and the securitisation of account receivables.
One M&A deal saw the firm advise Levine Leichtman Capital Partners on the acquisition of Capsa Healthcare.
The firm advises the likes of Citibanamex and Itaú Unibanco.
"Good management of the project, wide knowledge of the market, good costs transparency." - Capital markets
"One of the best firms in the country for securitisations." - Structured finance
"Great firm. They do a great job, the documents are always very organised and easy to follow. Great team." - Capital markets
"In-depth knowledge of workings of securities law and securitisation processes in Mexico. They have developed a practice in these spaces that exceeds their competitors in quality and service." - Structured finance
"It is always a pleasure working with them. They have solutions for every issue and are very effective. In our company they have made a difference." - Structured finance
"Professional and business-oriented. Finds ways to get things done." - Banking
Daniel Kuri Breña
“He is the best lawyer in Mexico or Latin America, for securitisation and structured finance. Great track record.”
“He is always available for us and has a lot of experience. We rely on his opinions and advice.”
“Pretty easy to work with, good communication skills, trustworthy.”
“[Strengths include] diligence and attention to detail. He is business focused.”
Mijares Angoitia Cortés & Fuentes is a leading firm in M&A, financing and projects maters.
The firm’s financing team has advised both borrowers and creditors and has been active in the real estate, manufacturing and energy sectors. One deal saw the firm advise the banks on a loan to FIBRA Prologis.
The firm’s capital markets team has been active on equity and debt issues and CKDs. Many deals involve advising FIBRAs with the follow-on offers of shares. The firm worked on the IPO of Jose Cuervo.
M&A continues to be a strong practice area where the firm often works on high value acquisitions and sales.
The firm’s projects team has a stronghold in the energy sector, advising on the financing and development of projects related to hydrocarbons, renewable energy and power. One example of a key project that the firm was involved in was the 342MW Potosí Solar Farm.
The firm rises to tier one in the project finance and development rankings.
Key clients include Banco Santander, Zurich Insurance Company, and Atlas Renewable Energy.
"Excellent balance between rigorous legal practice and commercial views. Very responsive. Trustworthy and flexible." - M&A
"Good quality of work and outstanding management in key risks regarding project development. Provided advice when performing financial close as well. I've worked with two partners and both of them were very good." - Project finance, Project development
"The lawyers of Mijares Angotia Cortes & Fuentes are always responsive and always comply with the deadlines." - M&A
Horacio de Uriarte
“Very flexible and with brilliant ideas to solve risks.”
Ricardo Maldonado and José Pellón
“They are very responsive and always provide sound legal advice.”
Nader Hayaux & Goebel is a strong finance, projects and M&A firm.
In banking the firm advised both borrowers and lenders. Several of the firm’s transactions involved secured credit facilities. One deal involved advice to Barnorte on a secured credit facility to LMF Frisa Comercial.
The firm’s capital markets team has been very active in CKDs. The firm has also advised FIBRAs and helped CKD IM register a FIBRA E securities programme. While the firm stands out for its structured finance work, it also has worked regularly on debt securities issues.
The firm also has a robust M&A practice. In one deal the firm advised American Industrial Partners on the acquisition of Moly-Cop México and Servicios Moly-Cop.
Many of the firm’s projects deals include PPPs in the healthcare sector, although other sectors, including energy and transport have been active as well.
The firm rises to tier one in the banking ranking.
Key clients include Wells Fargo, MetLife México and Prudential Capital Partners.
Norton Rose Fulbright is active in project finance.
The frim advised IIC, IFC, The bank of Tokyo, Mitsubishi UFJ, Banobras and Bancomext on the financing of two energy projects in Mexico.
The firm hired José Sifuentes as international partner from Nader Hayaux & Gobel.
Key clients include Enel Green Power, North American Development Bank and Darby Fund III.
Rico Robles is active in M&A and banking.
In one highlight M&A deal, the firm advised Walmex on the sale of Suburbia.
In banking, the firm advised the Government of Veracruz on refinancing its public debt.
The firm rose to tier 4 in the M&A rankings.
Rico Robles lost partner Eugenio Bernal.
Key clients include GE Capital and Well Fargo, Lala, Grupo Tampico and Miller Infrastructure.
Ritch Mueller Heather & Nicolau has strong relationship with banks and financial intuitions, which it advises on banking and capital markets deals. Due to its relationship with banks, the firm tends to advise the underwriters on capital markets deals and lenders on banking deals.
The energy and infrastructure sectors have been active for the financing practice. In one banking deal the firm advised a bank on a credit facility to Acritus to finance its acquisition of Moda Holding.
Many of the firm’s capital markets deals involve the issue of notes or bonds but the firm also has also been active on CKDs. In one deal, the firm advised a bank on CFE’s 5.15% notes issue.
M&A is also a key practice area for the firm. The firm has a healthy private equity practice, advising clients like Linzor Capital Partners and Northgate Capital. One deal saw the firm advise Obrascón Huarte Laín Desarrollos in the sale of a 51% stake of four hotels and a golf course.
The firm has a notable project development practice. One deal saw the firm advise Fisterra Energy México on a novel hedge contract and gas supply contract for an 850MW combined cycle power plant.
The firm advises the likes of JP Morgan, HSBC Mexico, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
"Extraordinary knowledge of legal system in Mexico and outstanding attention to detail and responsiveness."
"Ritch Mueller has extensive experience in project finance in Mexico. They are able to provide expertise related to project documents as well as financing documents. Their team of attorneys is responsive and thorough in analyzing issues and providing responses." - Project finance
"Law firm has a high caliber of partners and lawyers. The legal knowledge and expertise is consistent across all legal professionals. Likewise, the law firm shares legal opinions and prior experiences among lawyers and/or transactions, which makes the process more efficient for the clients." - Banking, M&A
"Extraordinary knowledge of legal system in Mexico and outstanding attention to detail and responsiveness." - Banking
“Jorge is very experienced in providing legal advice for energy projects in Mexico. He is an expert in relation to the complex regulatory framework for the energy sector in Mexico. He provides very clear counsel regarding how large, governmental entities such as CFE will interpret specific language. Jorge is an expert in what is market practice in Mexico for energy projects.”
Rodríguez Dávalos Abogados is an active project development firm. The firm is particularly active in the energy and infrastructure sectors.
The project development team advised gas service station group Corporación G500 on its expansion.
Key clients include Risen Energy, Pempcorp Energy and Pemex Logistica.
Sánchez DeVanny is strong in banking and M&A. The firm is also active in project development.
In banking, the firm advised Constantia Flexibles with a €375 million credit facility.
The M&A team advised Norican Group on its acquisition of German LMCS Group and its subsidiaries.
The project development group advised Gas Natural Ganamex on the implementation of several projects in Mexico.
Significant clients include Constantia Flexibles International GmbH, Key Bank National Bank, Tiempo Development, Poten Environment Group and SCA America.
Santamarina & Steta has a strong banking, M&A and project development practices.
The firm’s banking team has advised both lenders and borrowers on refinancings, debt restructuring and financing for the development of projects, among other deals. One deal saw the firm advise Abengoa on the restructuring of Abengoa’s debt.
One M&A deal saw the firm advise WSP Latin America Holdings on the acquisition of Poch, a professional services firm.
Project development continues to be a key area for the firm. The firm has advised on projects related to a hospital, manufacturing plant and hydrocarbons, among others.
The firm advises the likes of Kimberly-Clark de México, CitiBanamex, and ProHabitación.
"Their participation in this project was excellent, it was an unusual issuance (private with certain variables). They were very flexible and business-oriented." - Capital markets
"Extremely reasonable fees, very responsive, competent, easy to work with." - M&A
"Generally excellent work, always available. Jorge Orantes is a commercially experienced senior lawyer. Pablo Laresgoiti is certainly a rising star." - Project finance
"They do excellent work." - M&A
"[A strength is] his participation and leadership towards his team inside the law firm.”
“Solid work, very competent and responsive.”
Solórzano Carvajal González & Pérez-Correa is a strong project development firm. It is also active in M&A.
In project development, the firm advised Ylem Group on a renewable energy project in Mexico.
In M&A, the firm advised Newell on the sale of its tool business to the Mexican subsidiary Stanley Black and Decker.
Significant client include Accurate Industries, Seguro Energy Partners, Moddy’s Investor Service and Zuffa.
Von Wobeser & Sierra is a strong M&A and project development firm. In addition, the firm is also active in banking and capital markets.
In banking, the firm advised Unicredit Bank Austria on its export credit facility agreement with Immobiliaria y Arrendadora.
On the capital markets side, the firm advised Motherson Sumi on a €300 million notes issue.
In M&A, the firm advised Kohlberg & Company on the acquisition of Pexco.
Key clients include BAC Florida Bank, New Gold, Project Prodigy, Securitas and Motherson Sumi.