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Legal market overview
Mexico's legal market has, in the past been characterised by high-profile ‘spin-offs, splits and movements' among firms. 2011 (and into 2012) followed a similar pattern, whether it be a spin-off, partner change, or the entering into the market of another international firm. There is no doubt that Mexico has strong legal expertise spread across its firms, from the international to the dominant domestic firms, and specialised boutiques, with leading individuals being found not only at top tier firms, but also in the mid-market.
DLA Piper Mexico, SC is the most recent firm to enter the Mexican market, having opened its office in February 2012 and in doing so taken Thompson & Knight LLP's Mexico City team including Carlos Valencia, Miguel de Erice, Guillermo Uribe, and Manuel Rajunov. The firm will focus on corporate, banking and finance, infrastructure and tax, as well as looking for growth in energy and alternative dispute resolution. ‘US powerhouse' Greenberg Traurig, SC arrived in late 2011, opening an office in Mexico City. Former managing partner of Rubio Villegas y Asociados, SCLuis Rubio Barnetche heads the office and was recently joined by a number of energy lawyers formerly of Borda y Quintana, SC including leading expert Nicolas Borda. It has also brought on board project finance partner Juan Manuel González Bernal, formerly of Galicia Abogados, SC. A further development saw US labour and employment firm Littler Mendelson, P.C. launch offices at the end of 2011 (Mexico City and Monterrey). The group is led by Oscar De la Vega and a team of lawyers all formerly of Basham, Ringe y Correa, SC, and will operate under the name Littler, De la Vega y Conde SC.
There have also been a number of interesting developments among the market's established firms, inlcuding the departure of four dispute partners from White & Case, SC (Juan Pablo Rico, Iván Libenson, Gustavo Robles and Eugenio Bernal) who plan to establish their own practice. The firm also lost a strong corporate partner in Eugenio Sepúlveda who left to join former colleague Thomas Heather at Heather & Heather, SC. Despite these changes, White & Case, SC remains strong, receiving resounding praise from clients in corporate and finance matters. Baker & McKenzie SC saw the departure of Jaime Gonzlaez-Béndiksen, Alejandro Enriquez-Mariscal, Max Salazar and Victor Yanar who formed Béndiksen Enríquez Salazar Santoyo.
Since its incorpoation of Cortés y Núñez Sarrapy, Gonzalez Calvillo, SC has been making waves, having significantly strengthened its offering in securities transactions, structured finance, M&A work and private equity.