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With a first-class track record representing clients on the country’s largest transactions, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is a mainstay of Mexico’s corporate advisory scene. The firm is experienced in handling deals for private equity funds and strategic buyers, and its workload includes joint ventures, restructuring, privatisations, mergers and spin-offs. Notable highlights included advising ProActive on its MXN$1.1bn acquisition of a controlling stake in Médica Sur. The firm also advised GE on the sale to Suez of GE Water & Process Technologies Mexico, which had a global deal value of €3.4bn. On the funds side, the firm acted for Bain Capital on the Mexican aspects of its $3.2bn takeover of Sealed Air Corporation’s Diversey Care division, which included Mexican assets worth $40m. Jean Michel Enríquez heads the top-quality team, which includes Carlos del Río, Eduardo González, Jorge Montaño and Humberto Botti.

There are few full-service firms likeGalicia Abogados SC. Regularly involved in Mexico’s largest transactions, its ‘excellent’ corporate lawyers ‘are well worth what they receive in compensation’; they stand out for their ‘high commitment to the client’, provide ‘excellent added value’, and are ‘good partners in the negotiation of agreements’. Highlights included advising Bunge North America on its acquisition of Grupo Minsa; acting for Credomatic de México on the MXN$900m sale of its credit card business to Banco Invex, Institución de Banca Múltiple, and Invex Grupo Financiero; and, in the transport sector, advising Grupo México on its $2.1bn acquisition of Florida East Coast Railway. José Visoso and Ignacio Pesqueira jointly lead the team, which includes Eugenio Sepúlveda and Christian Lippert, both noted for their ‘excellent skills in helping with negotiations’.

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. is another top-quality firm with a market-leading reputation for cutting-edge corporate work. The team is well versed in M&A, joint ventures and privatisations, and regularly represents corporate and private equity clients. It recently advised Bayer de México on the $23.8m sale of its Vagitrol-V brand to Laboratorios Sanfer; acted for Spanish football club Atlético de Madrid on the establishment of the Club Atlético de San Luis team, in Mexico’s Ascenso MX national league; and advised Actis Energy on the Mexican aspects of its $525m acquisition of solar energy company Quinto Sol Energy, from Sun Edison. Esteemed name partners Pablo Mijares and Francisco Fuentes Ostos jointly head the team, which includes key partners such as Ricardo Maldonado, Javier Cortina, Martín Sánchez and Eugenio Macouzet.

Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC is ‘one of the top transactional law firms in Mexico’. Its ‘sophisticated’ team, led by Michell Nader S, ‘sees a lot of the market’ and is noted for its ‘excellent quality of work’. The group includes leading figures such as the ‘detail-oriented and versatile’ Julián Garza, and name partners Hans Goebel and Yves Hayaux-du-Tilly. Major recent transactions include advising MetLife on the $134m sale of MetLife Afore to Principal Financial Group; and advising Henkel on its acquisition of the Guadalajara-headquartered Nattura Group. On the private equity front, the team is advising Banyan Tree Capital on the creation of a fund that will be incorporated as a Mexican trust with the purpose of investing in the hospitality sector.

The ‘excellent’, ‘proactive’, and ‘extremely client-oriented’ team at Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is ‘on top of everything’. It was involved in several major deals, including advising FEMSA on the sale of its €2.5bn stake in Heineken, and has also been active for private equity funds; it advised Northgate Capital on its investment in Natgas Querétaro, and LIV Capital on its investment in Bolsa Institucional de Valores, a new alternative stock exchange. Among the partners, the ‘knowledgeable and extremely hands-on’ Luis A Nicolau provides ‘excellent overall strategic advice’ and is ‘on a par with the best lawyers on M&A, regardless of the jurisdiction’. Rodrigo Conesa, who is very active for real estate funds, is ‘always on top of the issues and always looking for creative options to make the deal happen’. The highly rated Carlos Obregón Rojo leads the team.

The service is very good’ at Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C., whose clients appreciate the firm’s ‘willingness to work, even right after the devastating Mexico City earthquake’. The practice benefits from the firm’s strong network of domestic offices, including Guadalajara, Juarez, Monterrey and Tijuana, and covers the full gamut of advice from day-to-day matters to more bespoke M&A work. Recent highlights include advising Sojitz Corporation on its acquisition of a 66.7% stake in solar power developer Alten RE Developments America from Alten Renewable Energy Developments. The firm also advised Spirax-Sarco Engineering on the Mexican aspects of its $425m acquisition of Chromalox. Juarez-based partner Jorge Ruiz jointly leads the team with Carlos Valencia, whom clients ‘enjoy working with’. Tatiana Escribano is praised for her ‘good industry knowledge and appropriate advice’.

Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. has long been one of the leading full-service commercial firms in Mexico, with well-established relationships with a range of impressive domestic and international clients. As well as providing day-to-day advice, the corporate group is regularly involved in major cross-border M&A deals, with notable recent examples including advising WestRock MWV on its sale of a $30m stake in its subsidiaries to Silgan Holdings. The firm also acted for PVH on its merger with Grupo Axo, and advised VF Corporation on a $50m power purchase agreement with Invenergy to source wind power for its manufacturing facilities in Mexico. Daniel Del Río leads the corporate team, which includes managing partner Juan José López de Silanes, Juan Carlos Serra, Amilcar García and Jesús Colunga.

DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano is praised for its ‘hands-on mentality’ and ‘understanding of the real needs of the deal to have the most cost-effective service without compromising the quality’. The firm continues to push ahead with its investment in its corporate practice, with former Cervantes Sainz, S.C. partner Diego Martínez being the most recent addition to the team. He joins a strong practice led by highly rated managing partner Eduardo Gallástegui and including Gerardo Lozano, oil and gas expert Marcelo Páramo, and Maria Eugenia Rios. Edgar Romo is singled out as ‘an outstanding corporate lawyer with solid experience in cross-border transactions, and the ability to think outside the box and propose simple and effective solutions to complex problems’. The firm has recently advised on significant transactions in the media, consumer goods, transport and energy sectors. Major clients include Nexus Capital, Koch Industries and General Mills.

A popular referral choice with international firms, González Calvillo, SC’s ‘excellent’ team is ‘very responsive and knowledgeable about the market’ and is regularly involved in major cross-border deals. It acted for IFM Global Infrastructure Fund and OHL Concessions, through their SPV company Magenta Infraestructura, on their $1bn bid to takeover OHL Mexico. Another highlight was advising Take-Two Interactive Software, the owner of Rockstar Games, on its purchase of all the rights to the computer game Kerbal Space Program from Uruguayan company Altamil. Founding partner Enrique González Calvillo is a key adviser along with Gonzalo Vargas Ateca, Jorge Cervantes Trejo, Miguel Valle, Jaime Cortés and the ‘excellentJose Victor Torres.

Hogan Lovells BSTL enjoys a very strong reputation in the market and its clients benefit from access to the firm’s impressive international network, as well as a strong office in Monterrey. The Mexican practice acts for an impressive range of international clients, and has a strong edge when it comes to cross-border deals. Recent highlights include advising Jaguar Land Rover on the $10m acquisition of its Mexican importer and distributor, GDV Imports and GDV Servicios. The firm also represented Sealed Air Corporation and its Mexican subsidiary on the sale of its Diversey Care division to Bain Capital. Among the firm’s partners, Juan Francisco Torres Landa comes ‘highly recommended’, with Eduardo Siqueiros, Jorge Yañez, Carlos Ramos and Ricardo Pons also very active in this area.

The ‘very professional, well-prepared’ team at Jones Day is praised for its ‘quick responses and full availability’ and ‘total focus’ on the client. The practice is an increasingly active presence in the market and is held in high regard by peers and clients. The team is jointly led by Javier Martínez del Campo and Mauricio Castilla, and while it will miss Luis Rubio, who left for Holland & Knight, it still boasts several other high-calibre partners, including Antonio Franck and Manuel Romano. Among a number of significant recent transactions, it advised Patrón Spirits International on its $5.1bn takeover by Bacardi, one of the largest Mexican deals of the past year. The firm also advised Methode Electronics on its $114m acquisition of Pacific Insight Electronics.

Well-established full-service firm Santamarina y Steta advises an impressive range of domestic and international clients on their day-to-day and transactional needs. The group has experience in a broad cross-section of industries and is particularly active in mid-market M&A. Jorge Barrero, Juan Carlos Machorro, César Cruz and Jorge Léon-Orantes are all highly experienced and active partners.

Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC’s multi-faceted corporate team is popular with major international and domestic clients. It is particularly active in the consumer goods industry, where it has longstanding relationships with leading names such as Anheuser-Busch InBev/Grupo Modelo, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Mars, and Procter & Gamble. As well as handling day-to-day matters, the firm is active on the transactional front, and is also strong in areas such as regulatory, antitrust and compliance. Notable deals in the past year include advising private equity firm Kohlberg & Company on its acquisition of Pexco and the subsequent merger of the business with PPC Industries. The firm also advised Gualapack Group on a multimillion-dollar joint venture with a Mexican packaging company. Group head Luis Burgueño is ‘highly recommended’, while other key partners are Andrés Nieto, Javier Lizardi, and Rupert Hüttler, who is dual qualified in Austria and Mexico.

White & Case S.C. provides ‘excellent service and work’ to its clients, who appreciate its status as ‘an international firm with representation in all jurisdictions’. The firm is also noted for its sector-led expertise; it ‘adds value’ thanks to its ‘deep knowledge of the way the pharmaceutical industry operates in Mexico’, and also has ‘vast experience and deep knowledge of the financial sector’. Recent highlights include advising Grupo Financiero Banorte on its $1.4bn acquisition of Group Financiero Interacciones; acting for BlackRock on the acquisition of Citibanamex’s asset management business; and representing pension fund manager Principal Afore on its acquisition of MetLife Afore. The team saw the significant departure of its two highly rated practice heads: Iker Arriola, who left in 2018 to join Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C., and Raúl Fernández-Briseño, who joined Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C.. It nevertheless retains a high-quality bench of partners, including Álvaro Garza-Galván (‘an essential lawyer’), Vicente Corta and Henri Capin. Up-and-coming senior associate Mauricio Valdespino ‘is a young promising lawyer with high potential in M&A and a high sense of responsibility’; he ‘delivers excellent work’.

Creel Abogados, SC enjoys a strong reputation for corporate and private equity work, providing a mix of transactional and day-to-day advice to its domestic and international clientsclients including the likes of Kerzner Group, Montagu Private Equity, Sony Pictures, and PepsiCo. It advised BIVA, the recently authorised ‘second’ Mexican Stock Exchange, on the design and structuring of its corporate governance; acted for Groupe Danone on the corporate restructuring of its Bonafont-branded bottled water delivery joint venture with Group AGA; and, on the transactional side, advised The Capital Partnership on the Mexican aspects of its takeover of US investment fund Northgate Capital. Carlos Creel is a leading figure in the market, and Alfonso Razú also has a very active presence. However, the firm lost corporate and transactional specialist Alfonso García Mingo who departed along with fellow-partners Juan Tejedo and Carlos Acle Aquique to establish boutique firm GarciaMingo & Tejedo Abogados, which will focus on corporate (including transactional matters), commercial, and labour and employment work across multiple industry sectors.

Clients ‘could not ask for more’ from the lawyers at Cuesta Campos y Asociados S.C., whose ‘response times and availability are excellent’. The expanding firm, which has three offices across Mexico (in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and El Bajio), is popular with an impressive range of international companies; among them is major client Daimler, which the firm advised on its $1bn joint venture project with Nissan to develop a significant auto plant in Aguascalientes. The firm also advised traffic management company Kapsch TrafficCom on its takeover of SIMEX, a Mexican systems integration company. Other key clients include Nike, Loto System and Flextronics. Hugo Cuesta leads the highly rated team. Azucena Marindevelops trust and confidence’ and is praised for her ‘level of engagement’, while other key partners include Elena Robles and Fernando Cuesta.

Garrigues is starting to make a sizeable impression on the market following several high-profile hires in recent years. It is also investing internally, as illustrated by the promotion of Gabriela Pérez Sierra to the partnership. The firm acts for a mix of Mexican, Spanish and US clients. It recently advised Irelandia Aviation on the sale of a 49% stake in low-cost Mexican air carrier VivaAerobus to majority stakeholder IAMSA. Other highlights were advising specialty packaging company CCL Industries on the Mexican aspects of its takeover of Innovia Group; and representing OHL Concesiones in a joint bid, with IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, to take over OHL Mexico for over €600m. The highly experienced Gerardo Lemus leads the team, which includes the well-regarded Mario Juárez.

Greenberg Traurig, S.C. has established a strong reputation for corporate M&A and private equity work. The firm is particularly strong in the infrastructure sphere, and has been active in deals in the utilities, transport and telecoms sectors. It is also recommended for its compliance expertise and is currently advising Wal-Mart Stores on the implementation of its global anti-corruption compliance program in Mexico and Latin America. Another highlight was advising Operación y Logística Carretera on the sale of two concessions to operate bridges in the state of Veracruz, to Mexican infrastructure company Promotora y Operadora de Infraestructura. Managing partner José Raz Guzmán jointly leads the team with Juan Manuel González. Víctor Manuel Frías and Hugo López Coll are also recommended.

Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C. has a strong corporate practice led by the highly regarded Miguel Ishii Yokoyama. It has a following of clients in the manufacturing, energy, retail and real estate sectors, and also acts for several investment funds. Recent highlights include advising the owner of the pet retailer Maskota on its acquisition of certain assets from its competitor Petsy; and acting for Waste Generated Power on the formation of a joint venture company for the generation of electricity and fuel from waste. María del Pilar Labastida is recommended for her commercial expertise. The firm will miss former practice head Miguel Jáuregui Rojas, who announced his retirement in 2018.

Kuri Breña, Sánchez Ugarte y Aznar’s expertise in sophisticated corporate finance and capital markets work has earned it a strong following among investors, including corporations and funds. The team was involved in several major cross-border transactions, with notable highlights including advising Levine Leichtman Capital Partners on the Mexican aspects of its acquisition of Capsa Healthcare. It also acted for Plastic Omnium on its Mexican restructuring and a subsequent sale of assets to STS Group, a portfolio company of Mutares. Daniel Kuri Breña leads the well-regarded team, which includes Jesús Sánchez Ugarte and the very active Luis Octavio Núñez Orellana.

Robles Miaja, SC is an extremely well-regarded corporate boutique with an enviable following among some of Mexico’s largest corporates. The firm is more than comfortable advising on major domestic and cross-border M&A deals and is also recommended for its expertise in capital markets and telecoms regulation. Founding partner Rafael Robles is a leading figure in the market, having built enduring relationships with companies such as América Móvil and Telmex. Other key partners include Maria Luisa Petricioli and Ximena Robles.

The ‘excellent’ corporate group at Sánchez Devanny is praised as ‘flexible, with an entrepreneurial mindset’. The firm, which has offices in Mexico City, Monterrey and Queretaro, acts for a range of Mexican corporations and multinationals, and has strong expertise in the industrial and automotive sectors. It recently advised Casanova Vallejo on its $500m sale through a private bidding process, while other clients include Sumitomo Corporation, Oshkosh, Nissan, Bombardier Aerospace, and Linamar. Managing partner Humberto Morales Barrón is recommended along with the highly rated José Antonio Postigo-Uribe and Ernesto Silvas Medina.

Solcargo is praised for its ‘personalised service’ and ‘extraordinary follow-up to the cases assigned to it’. ‘Extremely professional’ founding partner Luis Gonzalez and associate Lydia Solis are ‘especially competent’ on corporate matters and have a strong network of clients in the private equity and venture capital sectors. Recent highlights include advising Nautic Partners on its multimillion takeover of distribution company Endries Mexico. The firm also acted on the establishment of Dux Capital, a $15m fund for high-impact seed investments in Mexico, and the launch of Demeter Capital, a $60m venture capital fund investing in Mexico’s agribusiness sector.

Boutique firm Chávez Vargas Minutti Abogados, S.C. has a good reputation for high-quality corporate advice. It is well known for its track record advising clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors, although its expertise extends to areas such as financial services. It recently advised Wishbird Experiences on structuring a sale and purchase agreement in preparation for a takeover by an Argentinian company. The firm also has strong experience in the structuring of a wide variety of trusts. José Antonio Chávez Vargas and Brian Minutti are both recommended.

Deloitte Legal Mexico is praised for its ‘superb level of service and deep industry knowledge and understanding’. Practice head Diego Valdes Abuadili is ‘definitely a dealmaker and a very business-oriented legal counsel’, with the ability to ‘apply quantitative, qualitative and analytical abilities to his legal work’. The firm has a team of corporate lawyers spread across its Mexico City, Monterrey and Tijuana offices, and enjoys a strong reputation for cross-border work; its recent deals have involved clients and counterparties from the US, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Other key partners include Ramon Bravó, Luis Lavalle Moreno and César Morales Galán.

Holland & Knight’s corporate practice has undergone substantial change in the past year, with Boris Otto’s retirement more than offset by the arrival of the highly rated Luis Rubio from Jones Day. Other key individuals include Alejandro Landa, who has ‘great experience and knowledge’, particularly in the energy and infrastructure sectors. The firm advised American Tower Corporation on its $500m acquisition of a telecoms entity which owns a 4,000km fibre optic network in key Mexican cities. The team ‘generates great value’, particularly when ‘it helps the client to solve complex issues with creative ideas’.

Müggenburg, Gorches y Peñalosa, S.C. (MGPS) has a solid corporate practice with a strong track record advising international and domestic clients on cross-border transactions, and a large client base in the pharmaceutical and automotive sectors. Its recent work includes several deals in the media sphere, such as advising Contend Alternative on its sale of $2.2m worth of shares to Cine y Color International. It also advised Visual Data Media Services on the incorporation of its Mexican subsidiary, involving an association with a Mexican distributor of media content. Founding partner Carlos Müggenburg leads the team, which includes Pablo Gómez Sainz, Juan Cortiñas Barajas and Luis Felipe Ortiz Cervantes, the latter in the firm’s Guadalajara office.

Corporate finance boutique Romo Paillés, S.C. is a popular choice for complex transactions, including M&A and capital markets deals. The flexible team has been involved in notable transactions for a variety of clients, including Eleczion, Group Devlyn, and Vidrio Formas. It also advised Biobest, a pollination solutions and biological pest control company, on its $9.5m takeover of Distribuciones Imex. The highly rated Rafael Romo leads the corporate team, which includes fellow name partner Maria-Teresa Paillés, who is recommended for corporate-related real estate work, and Maria-Esther Ray.

SMPS Legal enters the ranking on the back of a strong year, and a solid reputation for day-to-day and transactional corporate advice. Among its recent work, it guided Olympus Tours through its $20m takeover by Flight Centre and advised Canada-based ATCO Group on establishing a joint venture with Ranman Energy Holding to operate cogeneration facilities in industrial parks. The three-partner team includes Eduardo Pizarro Suarez, Alejandro Ortiz Prieto and Iván Pérez Correa.

Vázquez Aldana, Hernández Gómez & Asociados has carved out an excellent position as a firm of choice in Mexico’s second city, Guadalajara. The practice has a significant following among clients in the manufacturing, hi-tech, food, and industrial sectors. On the transactional front, it recently advised Paradise Spirits on its $6m acquisition of shares in tequila producers Jorge Salles Cuervo y Sucesores and Destiladoras La Guarreña y La Regional. The firm also advised Able Dairies on a joint venture with Mexican investors to establish a new facility for the production of dairy products. Fernando Hernández Gómez is recommended.

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