Hogan Lovells BSTL, which sprang from the August 2014 merger of Hogan Lovells and Mexico City firm Barrera Siqueiros & Torres Landa, continues to shape its young team with the appointment of a partner and three counsels.

Brenda Rogel will practice in the firm’s environmental group, with a focus on regulatory issues. The new counsels are Miguel Angel Mateo Simon, Luis Adrian Rosas Ortega, and Fernando Medina Luna, who will advise on finance, labor and employment, and corporate issues, respectively.

Simon advises domestic and international entities on oil and gas, power, and renewable energy issues. At an earlier stage of his career, he worked as a foreign associate in the Aberdeen office of CMS Cameron McKenna, where he concentrated on oil and gas upstream projects.

According to Simon, Mexico’s energy reforms do not eliminate the challenges of doing deals in this sector. While the energy reform may imply a thorough overhaul of the country's energy sector, law firms still face a lack of experience with the types of transactions facilitated by these reforms, particularly in upstream oil and gas and the electricity sector, he observed.

“While joint operating agreements, licenses, production sharing contracts, crude oil sales agreements are common in jurisdictions with a mature oil and gas sector, these transactions are not common in Mexico and law firms will need to gear up to cope with the changes," Simon said. "The same situation applies for the electricity reform. Although law firms may have experience in project development and long term PPAs, knowledge and experience related with the new regime, involving instruments such as hedging contracts, clean energy certificates, renewable obligations, and having to deal with a market operator such as CENACE and with a sector that will be divided as it is currently divided, may present challenges.”

Simon told IFLR1000 that he expects 2015 to be a very dynamic year for upstream oil and gas, and to a somewhat lesser degree, for the midstream sector.

“To the extent that the pending regulation of the power sector is issued in the first quarter of the year, we expect that the sector may become more dynamic in the second half of the year,” he said. “We consider that the bulk of the work for law firms will be focused in upstream and midstream oil and gas, and to a lesser degree in electricity. There may be selected downstream projects also, but not as much as in the prior sectors. Take into account that law firms will not only receive work from oil companies, but from the entire value chain of the sector.”