Baker & McKenzie’s Mexico City office has bolstered its corporate, mergers and acquisitions, infrastructure, and telecommunications practices with the hiring of seven former DLA Piper attorneys. Carlos Valencia and Tatiana Escribano join Baker & McKenzie as partners in the corporate/M&A practice, while Miguel de Erice joins as a partner in the real estate and infrastructure practice. Luis Álvarez, Javier Zenteno, Gabriel Salinas, and Karina Duyich round out the team.
Valencia’s niche lies in cross-border M&A, restructuring and reorganizations, and public and private project financing. He has advised clients on antitrust law, as well as on foreign investment projects in such sectors as tech, media, and telecommunications.
“In banking and finance, restructuring, energy and telecommunication, we have seen an upsurge in interest and actual transactions are happening,” Valencia noted. “Our clients have been on the sidelines waiting for things to happen and now it seems that based on the reforms, they are now ready to begin acting in Mexico. The surge and interest spell out confidence in Mexico and the reforms that were carried out by the current administration.”
Valencia pointed out that while some regulations are still being clarified and finalized, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together.
“The overall map of the legal and regulatory framework is much more complete now,” he said. “We have seen that there is a clear focus of the current administration on being very receptive to market trends, [acknowledging] that there is competition from other jurisdictions and that in order to attract business in Mexico, the rules of the game and the regulatory framework need to be in place.”
Energy, according to Valencia, is at the forefront of the current administration’s agenda and on the minds of many investors in Mexico. In August, more than a year after Mexican President Peña Nieto introduced an overhaul of the nation’s energy market, the Mexican Congress approved bills that reformed the sector.
“The energy reform will require that many of the other sectors of the economy grow,” Valencia said. “2015 is going to be a milestone because by then, we are going to have in place the rest of the regulations and the draft agreements of the different sectors. This will bring together a single set of rules that will spell out the policy of the Mexican government regarding the reform. Everything will be detailed so that investors know what to expect.”
Escribano has advised foreign and domestic companies on the negotiation and drafting of local and international agreements and contracts. She has gone to bat for major corporations in cross-border M&A, restructuring and reorganizations, and public and private project financing, and has also addressed regulations in the areas of antitrust, foreign investment, and telecommunications projects.
De Erice is a veteran in infrastructure projects and privatization processes, involving toll highways, cross-border bridges, railroads, airports, satellites, BRTs, ports, and water treatment plants. He has advised the Mexican federal government and major international companies on infrastructure, energy, administrative law, communications, project finance, and tech-related matters, including participation in legislation drafting.