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Undoubtedly ‘one of the best full-service law firms’, the ‘outstandingCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is ‘in its element when it comes to banking work’. Practice head Carlos Aiza has built a team of ‘astonishing quality’; over 30-strong (including six partners), according to clients it ‘always obtains successful results’ – reflecting a broader market consensus that the firm ‘has simply become first choice for complex financing matters–period’; ‘they know the law, they know the market, their responses are solid and swift and they have the capacity to resolve any problems that arise’. The practice handles the full range of sophisticated financing matters, including acquisition-, corporate-, project – and structured-financings, syndicated loans and derivatives, and the firm’s development of a sophisticated and sizeable tax practice over the last four years, has added an additional facet to the capabilities the firm can bring to bear in complex matters. Client favourite Pedro Velascois not only timely and responsive, he’s knowledgeable and always has an upbeat attitude’. His recent stellar caseload saw him lead advice to BNP Paribas and UniCredit Bank on the establishment of a €2bn Euro MTN programme by Saipem; Banorte on an amended and restated $185m loan to Inmobiliaria Hotelera; and act as lead counsel to GE Oil and Gas Products and Services, and Vetco Gray de México, on a $325m factoring agreement with Mitsui Banking Corporation, as buyer, with regard to PEMEX receivables. In what was perhaps his highlight mandate, Velasco also advised Blackrock, as general partner of the 2014 CKD Fund (F/175992), on a MXN$2bn, subscription line backed by the capital calls of a CKD, a first-of-its-kind deal. Giovanni Ramirez advised JP Morgan, as administrative agent and lender, on a $229.5m term loan and a $400m revolving bank loan (both with extended tranches) provided to Navistar; and also advised Credit Suisse (Cayman Islands branch), as administrative agent, on a $150m loan to Softtek Integration Systems. Rodrigo Castelazo advised Credit Suisse (Cayman Islands branch), as lead arranger on a $400m dual-currency senior secured guaranteed term loan facility for Grupo Bio Pappel; and also paired up with Ramirez to handle distinct aspects of FIBRA Macquarie Mexico’s unsecured $685m refinancing programme; with Castelazo handling the unsecured bank credit facility and private notes placement, and Ramirez the repayment of secured loans. A partner since 2015, Mercedes Haddad advised Banorte on an MXN$4bn revolving loan to FHipo for the financing of mortgage loans originated by FOVISSSTE. Key figures in a strong second line include Victor Gallegos and Emilio Aarun, as well as Alejandro Isaac who is currently an international visiting attorney at Dechert LLP. Lenders side clients include Barclays, Banamex, Santander, Banco del Bajío, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING Bank, IDB, Morgan Stanley, Nafin, Scotiabank, UBS; and on the borrower side, Braskem IDESA, Grupo México, Macquarie México Real Estate Management, Mexico Retail Properties, Mira Companies, Planigrupo, Prudential Real Estate Investors and Walton Street Capital.

A mainstay in today’s market, ‘corporate powerhouseGalicia Abogados SC has ‘earned its place at the top table’ on lender side mandates, adding to its already established borrower-side corporate representation in financings. In addition, it has an ‘impressive and up-to-the-minute’ banking regulatory practice that has been extended with the recent development of a litigious regulatory capacity. Recent matters saw banking and project finance specialist Humberto Pérez Rocha advise HSBC on the MXN$1.4bn financing of two vapour-producing power generation projects; and Banobras and Banorte on the MXN$6bn refinancing of the urban toll roads Supervía Poneinte and Segundo Piso Luis Cabrera. The corporate-finance focused José Visoso advised Victory Park Capital on a $25m loan to Kueski for the financing of micro-loans, and also assisted Grupo Azucarero México (GAM) on a $26m credit facility granted by Coöperatieve Rabobank. In a notable transaction in the finance sector – an area in which the team is increasingly active due to its strength in regulatory matters – Arturo Perdomo advised Credomatic on the MXN$900m sale of its credit card business to Banco Invex. A multidisciplinary team also assisted on COPEXA’s MXN$1.4bn notes offering, with Alejandro de la Borbolla advising the issuer; Bernardo Martinez Negrete counselling the syndicate of banks including Banco Santander, Banco Mercantil del Norte, Banorte, Caixabank and Banco Inbursa; and Maurice Berkman acting as capital markets counsel and advising broker Actinver. Other matters saw Eugenio Sepúlveda active in the municipal financing subsector, working within the framework of the New Financial Discipline Law for Municipal Entities, and Guillermo Pérez Santiago undertook a number of major credit and revolving loan facilities. Senior associates Cecilia Díaz de Rivera, Rodrigo Rivera S and Rosemarie McLaren Magnus are all noted for financing matters. Clients include Banco de Sabadell, HSBC, Banamex (Citibank), Bank of America, Monex, Scotiabank and Morgan Stanley.

Being ‘synonymous with quality’, Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C.does its work very well’, especially in the banking and finance sector where the 15-strong team has ‘the experience and sophistication necessary to bring even the most complex of matters to a successful resolution’. The ‘longstanding’ practice group works across the entirety of sectoral matters and despite the slowing market, recruited two new associates in 2016; moreover, it continues to win mandates in high profile projects – such as the financings of Metrobus Linea 7 and Mexiteleférico – as well as being increasingly active in energy sector financings. ‘Dynamic’ and ‘highly capable’, Francisco Ibáñez has been hugely active of late. In addition to advising Banamex on sub-sovereign loans to states including Guanajuato, Jalisco and Nuevo León, he also advised MetLife on $150m loans to both Vesta Bajío and Terrafina/PGIM, and on a MXN$1.3bn facility to Cabi Culiacán – all for the repayment of outstanding obligations; and teamed up with Patricio Trad to advise Banco de Bajío on a MXN$340m loan to Mexiteleféricos (secured by future operational cash flows), for a cable car public transportation project. Trad, in turn, worked in conjunction with Pilar Mata to advise Santander and Banobras on the restructuring of the MXN$1bn financing of the construction and operation of a federal prison in Guanajuato; and Mata also advised Banobras on loans with an aggregate value of $57.5m to Fermaca de Occidente, as well as working with Ricardo Maldonado to advise Fintech Europe on a $215m secured convertible loan to Controladora de Operaciones de Infraestructura, with Empresas ICA acting as guarantor. In other matters, Maldonado has been acting in a complex financial sector restructuring; Manuel Echave has been active in relation to the aviation sector, and Martín Sánchez advised Red de Carreteras de Occidente (RCO) and its subsidiary, Concesionaria Irapuato La Piedad, on a $266.8m loan from Banco Santander. Associates Ignacio Armida, Carlos Jiménez Cantú and Said Vite Franco are also noted.

Focused purely on sophisticated and complex work in the mid-and-upper market segments, Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC is ‘hugely impressive’ and ‘a fine-tuned machine when it comes to finance work’. The core of the 30-strong practice group has been working together for over 25 years and its responsive lawyers ‘know their business and keep clients in the loop’, resulting in the ‘timely delivery of work of the highest quality’; many clients ‘would go nowhere else’. The practice covers the full array of banking work from credit contracts and structured finance to leasing, project finance and banking regulatory matters; indeed, the team has particular expertise in cases against the banking authorities where it has not lost a case to date. Practice head and senior partner Michell Nader S is ‘in a class of his own’; in conjunction with regulatory specialist Julián Garza C and Adrián López G (who made partner in 2016), he led advice to BBVA Bancomer (as administrative agent to a syndicate comprising Sabadell, Santander and BBVA Bancomer), on a $133.86m secured-term financing and a MXN$130m secured revolving facility related to a complex real estate project involving a multi-layered trust structure. Project and asset-backed finance specialist Javier Arreola E advised MetLife México on a MXN$2.3bn loan to CIM Group to finance the acquisition of a portfolio of multifamily properties; and in conjunction with projects and PPP specialist Vanessa Franyutti J, assisted Banco Multiva with a MXN$685m credit line to Construlita, the concessionaire for the renewal of street lighting in Torreon. With a practice that ranges from capital markets to banking regulation, Hans P Goebel C led advice to Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) on a series of loans including MXN$60m to KUA Group, MXN$52m to Residencial Atlas and MXN60m to CAMESA; and in conjunction with Garza, counselled Prudential (and other insurance companies) on a $250m financing to FIBRA Macquarie Mexico and a $175m financing to Controladora Mabe. Acting as Mexican co-counsel with Linklaters LLP, London-based insurance partner Yves Hayaux-du-Tilly advised UniCredit with regard to the legal due diligence of Gestión Santander (the Mexican subsidiary of Santander Asset Management), part of the merger of the asset management units of Santander and UniCredit; and in conjunction with Luciano Pérez G, assisted ABN Amro, as agent and lender, on the restructuring of an €155m multicurrency term loan and revolving credit facilities to Deep Ocean Group, involving the amendment and ratification of the collateral and Mexican security package. Other relevant figures include real estate and project finance specialists Alejandro Rojas V and Eduardo Villanueva O (who also has expertise in restructurings); and securitization specialists Gunter A Schwandt and Héctor Arangua L. Clients include Barclays, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Banamex, CI Banco and Rabobank. Senior associates Gustavo Díaz B, Mónica Ramos C and Jose H Rocha S are also noted.

Being ‘truly a top law firm’, Ritch Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, SC is ‘calm and assured in its dealings’, has ‘a thorough understanding of local factors’ and is ‘punctual and to the point’; ‘I wish more firms had the value they possess and ownership of their work in assisting their clients’ commented one source. The 31-strong group covers the entire spectrum of banking and finance matters and is made up of ‘excellent lawyers, respectful and mindful of the consequences of each action on the business involved’. ‘A phenomenal attorney’ key practitioner Jean Paul Farah Chajin had a very active 2016, advising Caylon on a $1.5bn revolving credit facility to Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex); Banamex (Citibank) on a MXN$10bn syndicated loan to retailer Liverpool; Citigroup on a $835m syndicated loan to Axtel/Alestra in relation to their merger; BBVA Bancomer on a $150m syndicated, unsecured financing to FIBRA Terrafina; and Citibank on a euro-denominated $2bn syndicated facility to América Móvil. In other work, Gabriel del Valle advised Morgan Stanley and Credit Agricole on a $500m senior credit agreement and a $530.8m notes issue (under Rule 144A/Reg.S) to KKR-vehicle, Poinsettia Finance; Jorge Oria y Anaya advised the lenders on a $278.2m loan to Eólica Coahuila for the development and operation of a 180MW wind power plant; Pablo Perezalonso advised BBVA Bancomer on the establishment of a $5bn structured notes programme (which represents more than 40% of the existing market in such instruments); and Carlos Obregon advised Engenium Capital, as debtor, on an MXN$8.2bn long term syndicated loan to refinance the loan granted for its purchases of GE’s Mexican subsidiaries. Other key figures include Thomas S Heather and Luis Nicolau Gutierrez, who – while probably best known for bankruptcy and capital markets work, respectively – ‘know their way around financial transactions better than most’. The practice group also features a distinct, seven-strong aviation finance capability, co-led by the ‘competent and calmOctavio Olivo Villa and ‘amazing aviation attorneyFederico Santacruz González; the pair ‘understand the aviation business inside and out’, according to clients. Eduardo Triulzi, who made partner in 2016, along with senior associates Gabriel Robles Beistegui and Gabriel García-Peña, are also noted.

The 20-strong local practice group at Jones Day Mexico City office is increasingly integrated into the firm’s regional activity, as reflected by office managing partner Manuel Romano’s recent involvement – along with Gabriel Altamirano, who made partner in 2016 – in the coordination of the Latin American aspects of Newell Rubbermaid’s $10.5bn acquisition of Jarden Corporation. Domestically, headline matters saw Alberto de la Parra complete advice to Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México (GACM) on a $3bn revolving credit facility and a $6.3bn Rule 144A/Reg.S bond issue to finance Mexico City’s new airport, and he continues to assist the client with Mexican-law matters related to corporate governance, and construction and procurement contracts, such as the recent $130m public logistics agreement with Ferrovalle related to the airport’s construction requirements. In conjunction with New York-based Robert Ashley, de la Parra also co-led on advice to Banco Santander et al (a six-bank syndicate) on a $607m debt financing to a subsidiary of First reserve for the acquisition of a gasoline facility from Pemex. Resident infrastructure project-finance specialist José Estandía advised Desarrollos Eólicos Mexicanos on a MXN$3.5bn loan from Banorte, Caixabank and Nafin; while the ‘enormously experienced and competentAntonio Franck led advice to Grupo Elektra on an increase to Intra Mexicana’s asset-backed securitization debt programme to MXN$8bn. Franck also advised Bancomext on the restructuring of a credit agreement to Fermaca New Projects (increasing the amount to $310m and amending it into a syndicated loan), and on a $178.2m loan agreement with borrower Negocios Renovables Inteligentes. Other key figures include finance and securities specialist Javier Martínez del Campo, who frequently advises Mexican borrowers such as Grupo Kuo or Grupo Gigante; former managing partner Fernando de Ovando who brings 40 years’ expertise to the table; and Silvia Malagón, ‘a fantastic lawyer for investment work’ who is also active in the capital markets. An able second line is led by Carlos Sámano and Arturo de la Parra. Other clients include IIC, JIC, MasterCard, Wells Fargo Bank, Crédito Real, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Intesa Sanpaolo, Sabcapital and BBVA Bancomer.

The 22-strong practice at White & Case S.C. has ‘proven capability to handle multiple mandates and assignments’ and ‘sound experience in handling complex transactions including cross-border issues’, according to clients. Moreover, its ‘strong relations with regulators’ as well as ‘litigation experience in connection with finance and securities cases, is a key plus’. The group handles the full range of banking and finance matters and is co-led by ‘’heavy weight advisor’ Vicente Corta and ‘authority in the fieldJuan Antonio Martín, who is ‘highly specialized in banking and securities’ and has an ‘in depth understanding of business and legal/regulatory implications of the different questions asked of him’. Recent mandates saw Corta lead advice to FIBRA Shop on a multimillion-dollar syndicated loan from BBVA Bancomer et al; and Martin advise peer-to-peer lending network Afluenta on regulatory compliance and data privacy matters related to its operations in Mexico. In conjunction with Raúl Fernández-Briseño, Martín also advised lenders HSBC, Actinver and CI Banco on a $100m syndicated loan to Omniair for a potential stock purchase; while Fernández-Briseño, in turn, worked with Mexico-resident, New York-qualified Sean Goldstein, to advise Banco Santander, HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia on a $276.5m term loan facility (and a $50m revolving credit facility) extended to Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS) for the acquisition of Grupo Infun. Fernández-Briseño’s expertise also reaches into shipping, aircraft and equipment-financing and financial-services regulatory matters. Other key figures in the team include ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘experienced’ advisors Iker Arriola and Manuel Groenewold, as well as Francisco García Naranjo, who is very active on authorisation matters in the sector. Indeed the team has been particularly active in this sub-sector during the last year, advising a number of Asian finance entities on their entry into the Mexican market. The practice has also seen a notable up-tick in regulatory and compliance work, advising traditional banks, investment managers and new e-platforms on a range of matters including anti-money laundering (AML). Here María Teresa Fernandez is hailed as a ‘remarkable compliance advisor’ who has a ‘very good network with regulators’ and is ‘efficient and effective on assignments’. Also noted is José Ignacio Segura, who brings project finance and experience of sovereigns to the team. Clients include Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, CitiBanamex, KEB Itana Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Paypal, Shinhan Bank and Itaú Unibanco.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, González Calvillo, SC is ‘an increasingly relevant firm’ according to sources. The banking practice undertakes all aspects of financing work from securities, secured and asset financing, to restructuring, syndicated and commercial lending, regulatory matters and capital markets work for clients including Banco General, First Reserve, Barclays, BBVA Bancomer and Banco Santander. Key partner José Ignacio Rivero has once again been particularly active in finance matters: headline work saw him lead counsel to Wells Fargo Capital Finance and a syndicate of lenders on the refinancing of Ravago Holdings America via a $970m revolving facility and an additional $100m term loan. His other matters include advice to Alsis Funds on a MXN$256m structured financing to Mabucapa I (for the acquisition of mortgage loan portfolios); and on the implementation of collateral packages to HSBC Corporate Trustee (related to a €295m refinancing extended to Stahl Holdings); and Unicredit (on a €245m loan to Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini – FILA). In a key finance sector M&A transaction, name partner Enrique González Calvilllo advised InvestaBank on its acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s banking and securities operations in Mexico; while in the alimentary sector, Jaime Cortés Alvarez advised a 10-bank-strong lending syndicate on the re-documentation and re-financing of a $2bn revolving syndicated credit to Grupo Bimbo. Another key partner, the ‘sharp, capable and engaged’ José Víctor Torres remains active but has re-oriented his practice towards corporate M&A of late. ‘Increasingly experienced’ specialist senior associate Hernando Becerra (who ‘has real structuring know-how’), is also noted; and Eugenio Arnoux Arena returned from a year as a foreign associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in late 2016. Since the close of research, the firm's finance-side capabilities has been further enhanced with the hire of Antonio De Lisi as of counsel.

Co-led by ‘impressive attorney’ Juan Manuel González and the ‘sharp’ and ‘on-point’ José Raz-Guzmán, the 19-strong practice group at Greenberg Traurig, S.C. is gaining increasing traction in the market. One headline mandate saw González represent Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as financial advisor to Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) on the design, structuring, finance-package design and tender offer coordination of the $7bn Red Compartida 4G mobile network project. The rounded team can call on partners in all key aspects of the practice, including ‘highly visible’ Carlos Garduño for both transactional and regulatory finance work; Hugo López-Coll a recognised bankruptcy and restructuring specialist who also undertakes transactional, private equity and capital markets matters; and ‘classic finance lawyer’ Miguel Flores. Other work saw Garduño assist the firm’s Miami office with representation of Bio Pappel on obtaining a multicurrency syndicated credit facility with an aggregate value of approximately $452m; also on the borrower-side, he and González teamed up to advise Empresas ICA (and its subsidiary concessionaire Autovía Querétaro) on the restructuring of a MXN$5.67bn senior credit facility for the construction of the Palmillas-Apaseo El Grande toll road (in addition to a MXN$900m subordinated facility from national infrastructure fund, FONADIN); and Raz-Guzmán advise lenders Banorte on a MXN$964m toll-road project financing (a sub-sector in which the office is particularly active). Other matters saw Garduño advise BTG Pactual Casa de Bolsa (itself established with the firm’s advice), on the incorporation of the first Brazilian mutual fund operator in Mexico, and on the formation of its first mutual fund, Fondo Alfa Concentrado. Fernando Orrantia and Miguel Yturbe are particularly active in real estate and project financing, respectively, and Antonio Robles Hüe has a broad finance practice with particular emphasis in the heavy industry and financial services sectors. Notable senior associates include José Antonio Butrón and Luis Cortés Panameño. Other clients include Banco PagaTodo.

Recent work by Holland & Knight includes advising Banco Multiva on two loans with an aggregate value of MXN$4.3bn to the Mexican state of Nuevo León; the team has now closed four loan transactions for the client during 2017, totalling MXN$8.15bn (approximately $472.5m) as part of the State’s MXN$42.7bn ($2.3bn) reorganization. Sub-sovereign finance work has long been a niche specialization of the practice group and practice head Alejandro Landa Thierry also advised the same client on a MXN$5bn loan to the State of Quintana Roo, and – on the borrower’s side – the State of Sonora on loans of MXN$2.5bn, MXN$1.5bn and MXN$1bn from Banco Interaciones, Banorte and Banco Santander, respectively. Landa also advised standing client Infonacot on a MXN2bn credit line granted by Nacional Financiera. Other headline work saw Landa team up with managing partner Boris Otto to advise Goldman Sachs on a $1bn cross-border, asset-backed bridge and term financing to Linzor Capital for the acquisition of GE’s leasing business in Mexico; and working in conjunction with Antonio Casares as lead counsel to Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex) on project financings of MXN$420m to Credito Real, $50m to UNIFIN Financiera, and MXN$20m to Zucarmex. Casares has also been particularly active in credit restructuring matters, as well as financings in general. Other key figures in the practice group include banking and securities-focused Guillermo Uribe (who is also known for his niche expertise in FIBRA-related matters), and senior associate Adrián Gay. Clients include HSBC México and new clients Scotiabank and Investa Bank.

Clients have ‘no hesitation in highly recommendingKuri Breña, Sánchez Ugarte y Aznar which ‘compares very favourably with the best in the market for corporate finance, banking, and bonds and commercial paper issues’. The 12-strong team can now draw on five partners, all of them very experienced, following the 2016 return of Rodrigo López Márquez after a year in house at Itaú Unibanco, where he was head of legal for the bank’s Mexican operations. Despite this increase in capacity, all have been highly active. Recent matters have seen ‘“go-to” financing figure’, the ‘veteran’ Daniel Kuri Breña working in conjunction with Alvaro Sarmiento to advise Vitro on a $230m loan from BBVA to complete the acquisition of Pittsburgh Glass Works; the pair also advised Banco Santander on a series of three loans, totalling $44m, to subsidiaries of Tecnología Intercontinental. Guillermo Garay advised investment fund manager Promecap Capital de Desarrollo on the structuring and selling of a distressed mortgage loan portfolio originated by BBVA Bancomer; and Alejandro Sobarzo led counsel to Docuformas on the complex restructuring and extension of a MXN$1.1bn financing from Credit Suisse, and Scotiabank Inverlat on a $44m loan for the construction of a business campus in Jalisco. In a headline energy financing mandate, Bernardo Luna advised national development bank Bancomext on a $7.5bn loan to Avant Energías Renovables I for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Chihuahua Photovoltaic Solar Plant; he also advised Banorte, Banobras and Fonadin on the $350m financing to Autovan for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Toluca-Naucalpan toll road. Other matters saw Luis Octavio Núñez, in conjunction with López, advise Vinte Viviendas Integrales (VINTE) on MXN$300m and MXN$350m revolving credits from IFC.

The ‘highly regarded’ boutique Robles Miaja, SC has appeared more active in capital markets matters than pure banking and finance but founding partner Rafael Robles nevertheless handled one of the largest deals of the year: advising long-standing key client América Móvil on a euro-denominated $2bn revolving credit facility. Robles has an impressive reputation (he’s ‘a great lawyer at whatever he turns his hand to’) and is flanked by the ‘extremely capable’ María Luisa Petricoli and former JP Morgan vice-president, Ximena Robles. Petricoli assisted with the representation of Aeromexico on Delta Airlines $620m acquisition of a 32% stake in the Mexican aviation group. However, Edgar Romo Reynosa left the firm to join DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano in October 2016.

A ‘fine firmSantamarina y Steta has a ‘very good, very responsive’ 18-strong practice (including seven partners) dedicated to banking and finance work; its caseload is more-or-less evenly split between borrower and lender-side representations. The group includes ‘highly knowledgeable’ practice head Alberto Saavedra, who focuses on banking, finance and restructuring; Sergio Chagoya, who divides his practice between project finance, banking and capital markets, and also undertakes regulatory matters in relation to derivatives; and Alfonso Castro, who in turn, focuses on financings, refinancing and restructures, and of late has been particularly active on collateral packages and facility agreements. In Mexico City, the ‘approachable and reasonable’ Juan Carlos Machorro is ‘always informed about the status of matters that his team is working on’, while ‘responsive’ senior associate Ricardo Orea ‘gets to the point’ and ‘takes a stance when asked for an opinion’; recent mandates saw the pair advise International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco on loans totalling $65m extended to Proteak Uno (and its subsidiaries), as well as on a complex, associated security structure covering the company’s biological assets; and Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank on a €180m loan to Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. Reflecting the practice group’s long experience of working with multilateral agencies, Machorro and Orea also handled a series of loans on behalf of Germany’s DEG, including $14.5m to CHG Meridian, $25m to Ingenio San Rafael de Pucte and Beta San Miguel; MXN$543.5m to Benteler de Mexico; and $41m to Grupo TMM. Headline work from the firm’s Monterrey office saw Jorge Barrero and recently-appointed partner Carlos Argüelles González counsel Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS) on $326.5m and $76.5m syndicated loan facilities for the acquisitions of automotive-castings manufacturer Infun and Automotive Components Europe, respectively; and Martinrea International on the refinancing of its $550m syndicated credit agreement with a syndicate of nine banks including JP Morgan Chase, BoA, EDC and HSBC Bank Canada. Associates Diego Ostos and Gustavo Mendoza are noted for regulatory matters.

Clients suggest that the 13-strong practice group at Baker McKenzie S.C. leaves an ‘extraordinary impression’ with its ‘magnificent professionalism, great cordiality and huge capacity for work’. The team (‘at all times proactive, agile, creative and resolved’) predominantly advises on trade finance, financing via receivables and real estate finance work, but is increasingly active in project-related financings, regulatory and compliance issues, fintech and the non-bank SOFOM sub-sector. Practice head Gaspar Gutiérrez-Centeno stands out for his ‘extraordinary professional experience’ and ‘extremely high knowledge of the juridico-financial area’; his recent mandates include advising Korea Development Bank on a $183m term loan facility to Kia Motors and a $40m syndicated loan to Seohan Auto Mexico for the construction of their respective new facilities. Key partner Carlos Sagaón-Garza has also been highly active, most notably working with Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (BANCOMEXT) on the release of collateral related to a 45-property real estate portfolio acquired by Terrafina, and on a $100m revolving credit facility to Goodyear Mexico. Other work included the establishing of security packages, the release of stock pledge agreements, advising on re-financing matters, and acting as special Mexican counsel on certain receivables purchase agreements. Also recommended, María Casas-López works extensively with Gutiérrez; her practice focuses on general banking, cross border financial transactions, acquisition, project and infrastructure finance, and banking, securities and insurance regulatory issues. Senior associate Alfonso Martínez-Bejarano is also noted, particularly in relation to compliance matters. Clients include Macquarie Capital, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank, along with new clients Export Import Bank of India, BNP Paribas Investment Partners and United Overseas Bank.

Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C. has ‘consolidated its position as a relevant firm for compliance matters in the banking and finance’ sector, according to clients who appreciate ‘good fee flexibility’, response times that are ‘certainly above average’ and service quality that is ‘simply excellent’. Indeed, the team is increasingly becoming a key point of reference in the market when it comes to regulatory, compliance, anti-money laundering and data-protection matters in particular, especially in the banking and finance, insurance and telecom sectors. The 18-strong team is led by ‘banking area expert’ Miguel Gallardo, who is praised for his ‘availability and responsiveness’ and ‘detail-oriented, high quality work’. Recent headline mandates saw Gallardo lead advice to Banco Santander (which the team assists with banking contracts on an ongoing basis), with a co-branded credit card programme agreement with a leading Mexican airline. Other recent matters include an AML review for UBS; compliance services to more than 15 non-banking financial institutions (“SOFOMs”); operational authorizations on behalf of US security broker TrueEX; and a range of other legal and compliance services to Credit Suisse, Braskem-Idesa, Morgan Stanley, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Banco Actinver, Banco Multiva, Banamex-Citibank, Banorte and Deutsche Bank, where the firm currently has seven lawyers on secondment including the heads of both legal and compliance. Practice capacity has expanded since the 2016 arrival of Juan Carlos Tejado (from PI-fund REALES), as a second partner in the team; which also counts on a ‘very solid and capable’ second line including senior associates Marco López, who has a strong regulatory aspect to his practice; Patricia Hernandez and David Durán (banking & finance) and Javier Pérez (financing & insurance). Senior counsel Adolfo Hegewisch is currently on secondment to Deutsche Bank as legal director. Junior associate Yoselin Fragoso left to become a compliance counsel at Banco Santander.

A small finance boutique originally spun out of Chadbourne & Parke’s Mexico office back in 2010, Chávez Vargas Abogados, S.C. has firmly established itself in the finance and capital markets sectors, where it consistently outperforms many of its larger competitors. ‘Studious, knowledgeable and hardworking’, name partner José Antonio Chávez Vargasleads from the front’ and ‘knows his way around Mexican financing matters’. Made partner in 2015, Brian Minutti is ‘increasingly experienced and specialist in all things financial’. Recent mandates saw the team continue its activity in public sector financing matters (which has become an area of niche expertise), counselling both Banorte and Banco Santander on distinct $250m secured credit lines to state mortgage entity FOVISSSTE, as well as the agency itself on a $150m credit to state-owned bank, Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal; and advising the state of Yucatan on a $75m financing and the State of Baja California on a guarantee trust backed by receivables. Other matters include advising Banco Invex on its $70m acquisition of BAC Credomatic’s credit card business in Mexico; Banco Multiva and Bancoppel on a $60m syndicated financing for the completion of the Torre Santa Fé in Mexico City; and Banco Multiva on the structuring of a $65m credit facility to Arkansas State University to fund its Queretaro campus. Chávez and Minutti co-led on all matters and also have recourse to a strong second tier including senior associates Oscar Martínez Soto and Alejandro Carreño who both have a distinct projects and infrastructure aspect to their finance practices; and Miguel Martínez, whose areas of focus also include corporate governance structures and compliance matters. The team also provides legal opinions to the Mexican branches of credit agencies HR Ratings, Moody’s, Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and Verum Calificadora de Valores. Other clients include Banco Interacciones, FHipo and Scotiabank.

Financing has long been a core practice at DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano where the team was strengthened substantially in October 2016 with the hire of Edgar Romo from highly regarded corporate-finance boutique Robles Miaja, SC; a move also regarded as reflecting the office’s intention to grow. The practice is led by ‘experienced-hand’ Gerardo Lozano and primarily undertakes traditional financings, restructurings, structured and project finance (especially in the energy sector) and ship and aircraft finance (an area where the office is particularly strong). The team – and in particular Marcelo Páramo – also has experience of regulatory and financing matters concerning financial entities (and their establishment), as well as fintech, and private equity. Recent matters in the asset-finance sub-sector saw Maria Ríos lead advice to Mantenimiento Express Marítimo on a tax-planning derived restructuring of loans and guarantees and the acquisition of two new vessels; and Arrendadora Aeronautica, again in relation to loan and guarantee restructuring work. Other mandates for the team included major real estate divestments on behalf of a bank-led development group, the establishment of an e-payment platform, and the financing and development of a first-of-its-kind hydrocarbons project. Jorge Benejam is also a member of the finance team.

Having opened in late 2014, Garrigues’ Mexico City office is ‘a healthy work in progress’. The eight-strong banking practice endured movement with the departure of practice head Eduardo Tovar, who moved in house in August 2016, and his replacement by Mario Juárez, brought over from Ritch Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, SC, the following month. Juárez has hit the ground running since his arrival, among other work advising IFC on loans of MXN$435m, MXN$350m, MXN$420m and $10m to Mexico Mezzanine Uno (a subsidiary of Stock brokerage Vector Casa de Bolsa), Vinte Viviendas Integrales (Vinte), Grupo Calidra and Bioparques de Occidente, respectively. Also a key figure, Gabriela Perez Sierra was made a local partner last year; her recent mandates include advising Grupo Antolín on the amendment and restatement of a €400m syndicated senior facility agreement. Key support comes from senior associates Daniel González Delgado, who recently spent time as an international associate at the firm’s Madrid office; Miguel Angel Rocha; and Miguel Angel de la Fuente, who arrived from Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC in April. Other matters include advising both borrowers and lender entities on the financing of projects, particularly in the energy sector; financial restructuring; and advising finance entities on matters ranging from ongoing regulatory concerns – particularly related to credit cards issuance, payment networks, electronic transactions, personal data, rewards programmes, interest and fees – to the implications of the recently announced legal restructuring of state power company Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). Clients include Bancomext, Bankia, CAF, DEG, Société Générale and UniCredit Bank.

The banking practice at Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. ’s Mexico City office numbers nine lawyers (with four partners) and is increasingly developing an important role in commodities-related financings to add to its strength in cross-border matters with the US where it can call on the firm’s broader resources – notably in New York. ‘A finance lawyer through-and-through’, key partner Jorge Labastida is respected by peers and clients alike for his work throughout the sector, particularly in relation to asset-backed and structured cross-border finance, and project and real estate finance – primarily on the lender-side; he also handles securitizations, multi-jurisdictional tax-advantaged finance and structured leasing. Recent matters include representing Hyatt on an MXN$110m loan from Bancomext, Credit Suisse in a $50m standby letter-of-credit facility for Azteca Comunicaciones Perú, and Haitong Bank on the negotiation of terms for the renewal of MXN$300m standby letter-of-credit for a distressed toll-road project in Queretaro. The team is also active in receivables-related work, and advised Halliburton Mexico, as seller, on an up-to-$200m uncommitted receivables purchase facility (with HSBC as purchaser); and on the other side, advised Société Générale (as buyer) in an uncommitted mutli-seller, multi-jurisdictional receivables purchase facility with various Faurecia group companies as sellers, including up to US$85 million of Mexican-law governed purchases of receivables. Other matters include project finance and financial structuring. Other key figures in the practice include: Antonio Diez de Bonilla, particularly in relation to real estate and project financings; Jorge Sanchez, who has a strong focus on commodity-finance work and also has expertise in mining-related matters; and securities, banking and finance-specialist of counsel Rafael Carmona. Strong inter-office support comes – particularly – from, Ricardo Martínez in New York and chair of the Americas practice Larry Pascal in Dallas. However, after 20 years with the firm, former office managing partner Luis Moreno left in 2016. Additional clients include Mizuho Bank.

Clients report Hogan Lovells BSTL, S.C.’s finance practice to be ‘excellent’ and its lawyers to be ‘leaders in the industry’ as regards financial structuring and project finance in particular. Recent mandates include representing the State of Nuevo León on an MXN$2.15bn secured credit line from Banorte and Banco Bansí (sub-sovereign finance is a traditional niche-specialism of the team); and in commercial borrower-side work, advising CYDSA on a $30m loan facility from BBVA Bancomer and Banorte in what was the first off-balance securitization by a corporate group in Mexico. Other matters included advising borrowers on cross-border credit facilities; establishing corporate and trade finance facilities, and public sector debt-restructuring matters. The 14-strong practice group is co-lead by the ‘reliable and trustworthy’ Federico De Noriega in Mexico City and the ‘remarkably innovative’ Rene Arce Lozano (who has ‘a perfect grasp of legislation’), in Monterrey. Other key practitioners include counsel Mayuca Salazar, who has ‘strong knowledge of both financial and regulatory norms’ and provides key support to Arce; and Mexico City-based energy-side specialists Carlos Ramos Miranda, and Miguel Ángel Mateo (the latter recently appointed partner) who are noted particularly in relation to project finance and other energy sector finance matters. Clients include Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, Smurfit Kappa, Rabobank, Banca Afirme, Credit Agricole, Emerging Energy Fund, Export Development Canada and Ford Credit.

The MERITAS alliance-member for Mexico, mid-sized firm Cuesta Campos y Asociados S.C. is best known in the finance sector for its representation of foreign lenders in asset-based matters. However, with the hire of ‘deeply-experienced finance practitioner’ Miguel Irurita as of counsel, the practice is seeking to diversify into more complex work including bankruptcy and restructuring, “fintech”, and investment banking. The now eight-strong practice operates from offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara and El Bajío, and is led by firm founding partner Hugo Cuesta and key partner Azucena Marin; as noted, it is particularly active with foreign lenders including Wells Fargo Bank, BoA, Bank of Montreal, RBC and JP Morgan. Recent matters include the drafting, structuring and amendment of credit agreements, stock pledge agreements, and non-possessory pledge and security interest agreements; factoring matters and the restructuring of a liquidity facility. ‘Increasingly specialised’ associate Miguel Romero is also noted. Other clients include Financial Software Systems, Cerberus Business Finance, Madison Capital, National Bank of Canada, and Citibank.

The nine-strong practice at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C.’s Mexico office represents borrowers, issuers, lenders and investors on a full range of domestic and cross-border banking and finance matters. The team is perhaps best known for corporate, trade, export and project finance, along with securitization transactions and other assed-based financing structures. Rodrigo Valverde is the key practitioner, but Javier Jiménez (structured and corporate finance), Eloy Barbará de Parres (project finance) and Santiago Corcuera (securitizations; debt & equity placements), are all active in financing matters, as is Antonio De Lisi (corporate, trade, structured and project finance) who was promoted to partner in January 2017. Recent matters saw Valverde lead advice to PNC Bank on revolving credit facilities to Motorcar Parts of America (for $145m), Aclara International et al ($100m), National Label ($47m), Traffic Tech ($35m), and SMTC MEX Holdings ($30m); he is also regular outside counsel to Moody’s on regulatory and compliance matters before the CNBV. Other matters saw new partner De Lisi working in conjunction with the firm’s New York office to advise Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext) on the structuring, negotiation and development of a $300m master trade finance programme with Worldbusiness Capital’ and on a $50m revolving trade finance facility for the support and guarantee of import-export transactions with the Saudi Fund for Development. Other clients include Ally Bank National Association, Huntington National Bank, Alta Ventures Mexico, Franklin Templeton Investments and Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios (Banobras). Since the close of research, De Lisi has joined González Calvillo SC as of counsel.

The 10-strong finance practice at Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C. advises on securitizations, secured and project finance, real estate finance, and leasing and structured products, as well as on general corporate lending. It also handles distressed financial assets, derivatives and bank treasury and trading floor products, and regulatory work. Practice head Luis Alberto Balderas Fernández is supported by founding partner Miguel Jáuregui Rojas and key senior associates: José Manuel Carrillo Méndez and Diego Hernández Schmidt-Tophoff, who focus on securities and financings, respectively. Recent mandates include substantial activity with key institutional client Grupo Marhnos, including representation before the CNBV regarding the second amendment of the terms of its CKDs; Banco Base on the drafting of a Pledge Agreement to guarantee all its derivatives transactions; and PayU Latam on all regulatory matters relating to payment networks. Other matters include advising on financings, loan restructuring, guarantees and the structuring of investment project-backed certificate (CerPI) and CKD issuances, along with regulatory matters. Clients include Punto Casa de Bolsa, Fibra Verde Holding, Grupo Elektra, TV Azteca, Parmalat, Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana and Bank of Montreal.

Highly active in the automotive sector, Sánchez Devanny’s finance practice predominantly advises banks, borrowers and investors on the structuring of finance transactions – including cross-border loans, securities matters and fund formation. It also advises private equity funds on acquisitions with a debt component and is particularly known for its extensive work on complex and sizeable securitization packages. With close support from ‘capable’ senior associate Luis Orlando Pérez-Gutiérrez, Monterrey-based key partner Ernesto Silvas-Medina has been very active of late. The pair advised Barclays Bank (and an associated syndicate of lenders) on a $1.44bn credit agreement and security package; Goldman Sachs, as arranger and underwriter, on a $125m bridge facility; and a French investment fund with a €1.34bn security package. Also active on the capital markets front, the two also represented initial purchasers JP Morgan Securities (et al) on a $425m senior notes issue by Barclays Bank. The seven-strong team also includes Jose Antonio Postigo and Daniel Maldonado-Alcántara in Mexico City, and Francisco Andrés Gámez-Garza in Monterrey. Other clients include JP Morgan Chase Bank and Constantia Flexibles Holding.

Providing ‘very good service’, Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow acts for borrowers and lenders, primarily on project financing matters – particularly in the infrastructure and real estate sectors. Name partner Enrique Lorente Ludlow frequently works in close conjunction with senior associate César Lechuga, and both are highlighted for their ‘knowledge, availability and empathy’ with clients pointing to their ‘accessibility and follow-up’ as key distinguishing factors. Recent matters saw the pair advise a consortium comprising Grupo INDI, Grupo Hermes and IDINSA on both a new MXN$544m long-term loan and the restructuring of an existing MXN$1.8bn loan; a consortia made up of Troy T&D, Construcciones Electromecánicas Milenio (CEM), and Acciona Instalaciones México, on a $100m loan agreement, associated factoring agreement and applicable financial guarantees; and Dexia Credit on due diligence and the assignment of rights and obligations in relation to a MXN2bn acquisition of a hospital in Tamaulipas by an infrastructure investment trust. Other matters included advising the Mexico City government on obtaining the financing for the definitive closure of the Bordo Poniente stage IV landfill, and day-to-day advice to Banco del Bajío and Dexia Credit on specific loan matters.

Clients are highly enthusiastic about impressive provincial firm Vazquez Aldana, Hernandez Gomez Asociados (VAHG): ‘it’s the best firm I’ve worked with in over 15 years in the corporate banking sector – its price/quality relation is excllent’, commented one. Based in Guadalajara, the firm is best known for serving clients with interests in western Mexico. Name partner Felipe Ignacio Vázquez Aldana leads a seven-strong finance team lauded for its ‘proactivity in terms of business’ and ‘always seeking the best way to undertaken an operation’; moreover, ‘it delivers on its commitments – both in terms of time and the level of excellence’. Recent matters include advising Banamex (Citibank) on all aspects of a MXN$750m loan to a client in the automotive sector; and on $35m and $30m loans to clients in the footwear and packaging sub-sectors; Banregio on an MXN$120m loan for the financing of a retail project; and Banco Santander on an MXN$200m loan for a new hotel development. Other matters include advising HSBC’s corporate banking area on the preparation of loans and guarantee agreements and providing Banamex (Citibank) with legal opinions for the structuring of finance facilities involving foreign investors. Senior associates Cristina Vázquez Aldana, Ana Elena Ibargüengoitia and Guadalupe Llamas provide strong support and Fernando Hernández Gómez also undertakes some work in the sector and is noted for his ‘strong legal knowledge and analytic capabilities in the structuring process’. The firm also has a branch office in Mexico City.

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  • 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

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