The Legal 500

Share this page


Legal market overview

The overall mood in Mexico in 2015 is best characterised as ‘cautiously optimistic’; however, the market is not in exuberant spirits. Even though the country has the second largest economic output in Latin America, performance remains sluggish – despite the much-heralded ‘Mexican moment’. At only 2.1%, economic growth in 2014 fell far short of expectations that had been heightened with the reforms initiated by President Peña Nieto since his inauguration in late 2012. According to World Bank statistics, manufacturing exports account for a large portion of the country’s current economic performance, mainly resulting from a double-digit increase in the automobile sector. To date, the reforms’ costs have outweighed their benefits, with consumption and investment largely stagnant due to higher taxes, regulatory uncertainty, limited wage growth and overall low consumer confidence. On the positive side, private investment has more recently been on the upswing.

The opening of the energy industry to private sector participation, triggered by the government’s reforms, prompted many to speak of a Mexican energy revolution, and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the mid-stream oil-and-gas segment. A case in point is the Los Ramones gas pipeline project, which will connect Mexico with the US gas pipeline network and is expected to form the spine of a planned 10,000km, bi-national natural gas transport network. As a consequence of the reforms an ever-growing number of law firms are increasingly involved in energy-related work: to name just a couple of examples, young boutique firm Ibarra, Del Paso, Gallego y Berezowsky S.C. has built a notable energy and environment practice in recent years; and one-stop energy shop Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow is acting for the government on the implementation of the reform. Apart from US companies, Chinese, Spanish and Canadian firms are also pushing into the Mexican energy market.

Reforms implemented in 2013 also impacted upon competition regulations, remodelling the regulation of the sector with the formation of two autonomous agencies: the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece), and the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFETEL), the latter now being in charge of all antitrust issues involving the telecoms sector. This development has kept many competition and TMT practices busy in recent months.

The tumult that has affected the Mexican tax sector shows little sign of abating with inter-firm recruitment continuing apace. Arguably the most notable new trend is the decision of full service firms to invest in significant transactional tax practices. If Jones Day and Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. are at the forefront of this curve, then it is also notable that Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC (with the hire of Adalberto Valadez Hernández from Chévez, Ruiz, Zamarripa y Cía SC) , White & Case S.C. (with the hire of Guillermo Aguayo from Santamarina y Steta) and Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. (with the recruitment of Edgar Klee from Turanzas, Bravo & Ambrosi) have all embarked on similar strategic investments. Bucking the trend towards more sizeable service offerings, Manuel Tron has left Ernst & Young (although he retains a role as Counsel) to return to a boutique set up, Manuel Tron SC, where he frequently works in conjunction with firms including Arias, Meurinne y Rodríguez, S.C., SMPS Legal and Cuevas y Pueblita Abogados. (Since research concluded, Manuel E Tron has  joined SMPS Legal.)

International trade and customs practices, like those in the associated tax sector, have been affected by increased competition for staff: cases in point have seen Baker & McKenzie S.A.S. lose regional practice head Edmundo Elías, and Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. see retiring practice head Gerardo Hernández, along with former head of tax Luis Ortiz, take a number of staff with them to establish new boutique firm Ortiz, Hernández y Orendain, S.C..

Foreign (primarily US) firms continue to play an increasing role in the Mexican market, the most prominent example being Hogan Lovells BSTL, which was formed when long-established full-service firm Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa (BSTL) merged into Hogan Lovells in 2014, a move that gave the new firm a considerable boost. Greenberg Traurig, SC, which opened offices in Mexico City in 2011, benefitted from the dissolution of now-defunct Raz Guzmán Abogados but also saw five partners depart to Jones Day. Market leviathan Baker & McKenzie S.A.S. welcomed an entire team of corporate experts from DLA Piper Mexico (Carlos R Valencia being the most high-profile figure) – whose team was revamped in turn with its local merger with longstanding Gallastegui y Lozano to form DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano. Other notable international firms include Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. and Holland & Knight, which have both steadily built their local market share; leading corporate player White & Case S.C.; and labour specialists Littler, De la Vega y Conde SC. Spanish heavyweight, Garrigues opened a Mexico office in 2013.

Local players with a small but increasing participation in the market include firms such as Chávez Vargas Abogados, COMAD, S.C., Cuesta, Llaca y Esquivel, as well as traditional name Noriega y Escobedo, A.C..


Firms in the spotlight

Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C.

Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C. was founded in 1975. It is the result of the merger between Jáuregui y Navarrete, S.C. and Del Valle Torres, S.C., one of Mexico’s foremost multidisciplinary law firms specialized in international business transactions.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Mexico

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Notorious Marks

    Notorious marks or the declaration thereof, has always been an issue widely discussed in Mexico by the IP legal community. This is so because provisions of the Paris Convention dealing with this topic have for a long time been uses as an effort to cancel or nullify trademarks registered by Mexican authorities without really making an extensive evaluation of proposed denominations and without examining in depth if such marks may be potentially affecting rights acquired by third parties elsewhere. So, a specific regulation and legal frame that at least tries to resolve this issue is always a good start in the right direction.

    By Ignacio Dominguez Torrado Uhthoff, Gomez Vega & Uhthoff, S.C. Why a new value? Is Mexico avoiding the economic fallout that the world may be facing? In Mexico franchises are worth more? Is Mexico not a country that the global economic standstill is or will affect? The answer is, not really. Are Franchises in Mexico currently experiencing a boom? Perhaps. Are Franchises becoming an important aspect in Mexican economy? Certainly.

    Advertising in Mexico is governed by multiple bodies of law including for at least seven Federal Laws, five Regulations also of Federal application, a number of the so-called Mexican Official Standards (NOM's) and certain other laws and regulations applicable into specific States within the Republic of Mexico. All of them are focusing to establish the form and manners for producing and communicating advertising of products and services in Mexico.

    It has been well publicized in the Mexican media over the last few months that the General Customs Administration (AGA) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) are planning to launch a customs trademark registry, as a short-term solution to increase protection for trademark owners against the import of infringing and counterfeit products.

    The evolution in the protection and enforcement of IP rights has also reached the Mexican practice. The traditional ways of defending a registered trademark on a non use contentious procedure have developed.

    By Jose Luis Ramos-Zurita

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to