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  1. Energy and natural resources
  2. Leading lawyers
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Who Represents Who

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Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. provides its clients with a full-service energy offering, covering oil and gas, power and renewables. Benjamín Torres-Barrón leads the well-regarded team, which benefits from the expertise of infrastructure expert Jorge Guadarrama-Yáñez. Recent highlights include advising Repsol Exploración on the Round 2.1 shallow waters tender process, and the Round 2.4 deep water tender process, where the client was awarded four blocks for exploration. On the renewables side, the team advised Sojitz Corporation on its acquisition of minority interests in two of the Solem photovoltaic projects. Inpex Corporation is another major client, which the firm advised on its bids for Rounds one and two of the Mexican government’s offshore exploration and production public tenders, as well as the Trion farmout procedures.

Few dispute Dentons López Velarde’s position as one of the premier advisers for energy and natural resources matters. It offers the full spectrum of energy advice, including upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas matters, and power, renewables, nuclear, coal and biofuels projects. The firm is well versed in major projects and financings, but really stands out for its regulatory practice, particularly since the country’s energy reforms came into play. Rogelio López-Velarde is a key figure in the industry, and is recommended alongside Amanda Valdez, Jorge Jiménez and Daniela Monroy.

Galicia Abogados SC is ‘among the best in the market’: particularly when it comes to major projects, where it represents sponsors and lenders and is able to draw on the firm’s significant depth of expertise in supporting areas such as environmental and regulatory. Its recent work includes advising Eólica del Sur on the refinancing of the 496MW wind farm in Oaxaca, and advising on the financing of an 874MW Tierra Mojada nature gas-fired power plant that is being developed by Fisterrra Energy near Guadalajara. The well-regarded team is jointly led by Carlos de María y Campos and Francisco Fernández Cueto.

The ‘excellent’ team at Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. includes some ‘very good lawyers’ with a long history advising lenders and sponsors on major acquisitions and energy infrastructure projects. The group, which is headed by the highly rated Federico Santacruz, ‘establishes strong ties with its clients, generates confidence and knows very well how banks operate in Mexico’. Other key individuals include Thomas Mueller-Gastell, Gabriel del Valle Mendiola and Jorge Oria y Anaya, who ‘has full knowledge of the sector, dominates the issues from a technical point of view, and is a great negotiator’. The firm recently advised Ciclo Combinado Tierra Mojade and Fisterra Energy Mexico on the $620m financing for the development, construction and operation of an 874MW gas combined-cycle power plant in Jalisco; and also represented several successful bidders, including Zuma Energy, Infraestructura Energetica Nova and Trina Solar, on the public auction process launched by CENACE for $4bn worth of renewable energy projects.

The team at CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow has long had a strong energy offering, particularly in the power and renewables sectors, with clients benefiting from an added international dimension now that the firm is formally CMS’ Mexico office. The practice’s regulatory expertise is particularly strong, as illustrated by its work advising the National Energy Control Centre (CENACE) on the implementation of the Operational Guide of the Clearing House for long-term auctions, as well as the drafting of the rules for the third round of auctions. The firm is also recommended for its transactional expertise, and recently advised CKD IM and CDPQ on the acquisition of a 1,700MW portfolio from ENEL Green Power, including four wind projects and four solar projects. Founding partner Derek Woodhouse and the newly promoted Luis Fernández Lagunas are both very active in this sphere.

Energy is a core area for González Calvillo, SC, which regularly handles major transactions, joint ventures and development projects within the sector. The firm has a strong track record advising on public bids for oil and gas allocations, and also has extensive experience in the power sector, recently advising Macquarie Capital and Techint as sponsors on the $1.2bn acquisition of the Norte III 907MW combined-cycle power generation facility from Abengoa. Another highlight was advising Schlumberger on its acquisition of the remaining stake in the onshore Panuco oil field from its former contract partner, Petrofac. Jorge Cervantes is a ‘very good’ projects lawyer, and name partner Enrique González Calvillo also enjoys an excellent reputation.

Goodrich, Riquelme y Asociados acts for a range of leading names in the hydrocarbons and renewables sectors, while its expertise in oil and gas ranges from upstream to downstream. In the latter area, it advised Shell on the opening of its first Mexican service station in 2017, the inaugural step in its $1bn downstream expansion plan to improve its retail network and fuel logistics infrastructure. On the upstream side, the firm is advising Fisterra Energy on its negotiation of a long-term agreement for the operation and maintenance of Pemex’s offshore infrastructure. Renewables mandates included representing Grupo Drago on its development of a 64MW wind farm. Group head David Enríquez enjoys a strong reputation in the market.

Hogan Lovells BSTL’s energy credentials are reflected in the quality of the clients it works for, both on the oil and gas and power side. Its relationship with Pemex is generating a significant amount of work, such as advising on the migration of existing allocations into exploration and extraction contracts, as well as farm-outs in other upstream projects. In the electricity sector, the firm assisted Liberty Power in securing a qualified supplier permit. Another highlight was representing Ener AB on the acquisition of a Mexican renewables project. The firm fields several partners with strong reputations, notably Carlos Ramos Miranda for upstream matters, and Miguel Ángel Mateo Simón and managing partner Juan Francisco Torres Landa on the corporate side.

The energy practice at Jones Day provides its clients with ‘a lot of practical and technical depth, and reliable, business-oriented advice’. The Mexican side of the practice forms an integral part of a broader Latin America practice, with lawyers working out of New York, Miami and Mexico City. Mexico head Manuel Romano is ‘business-oriented, practical and precise’, and ‘an exceptional projects lawyer’. The firm advised Andeavor on structuring an agreement with an affiliate of Profuels, for the supply of ARCO-branded and unbranded gasoline and diesel; and advised JinkoSolar on the development and financing of three solar power facilities with a combined 188MW capacity. Other key partners include electricity expert José Estandía, and Alberto de la Parra and Antonio Franck for energy infrastructure projects.

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. has established an excellent reputation for energy-related transactional, projects and regulatory matters; its expertise spans oil and gas, petrochemicals and power, where it acts for several major multinationals. The firm recently advised Energía Eólica del Sur on the complex restructuring of a wind farm project consisting of 132 wind turbines. On the lender side, it acted for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation on the $726m financing for the Norte III power project in the state of Chihuahua. Practice head Horacio de Uriarte is a leading figure in the market, while other key partners include Patricio Trad, Pilar Mata and Lorenza Langarica, who is also experienced in the mining sector.

Clients of Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC benefit from its twin strengths in corporate and projects work, both of which the firm puts to good use in the energy sector. On the renewables side, it advised Fondo Nacional de Infrastructure and Balam Fund on their investment into Energía Eólica del Sur, as part of the restructuring of a major wind farm project in Oaxaca. The firm also has strong experience advising clients on the bidding process for offshore exploration and production allocations. Michell Nader S leads the highly rated team, which will miss José Sifuentes, who recently joined Norton Rose Fulbright.

Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. is well regarded for energy and mining work, with practice head Juan Carlos Serra enjoying a solid reputation. The firm’s size is such that it can offer its sector clients the full spread of ancillary services, in areas ranging from environmental and regulatory to corporate and disputes. The team continues to advise ONGC Videsh and National Oil Company on their tenders for shallow and deepwater exploration and extraction contacts in the Gulf of Mexico. It also advised Matriales y Equipos Petroleros on several equipment lease and supply agreements with international exploration companies. Other key clients include Gransolar and First Solar Energía México.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C. has been a mainstay of the Mexican oil and gas market for many years, with experience across corporate and regulatory matters and also disputes (particularly major international arbitrations). Eloy Barbará de Parres heads the six-partner team, which includes Javier Jiménez, who is experienced in advising state-owned entities such as Pemex. Other key clients include GDF Suez, Petróleos de Venezuela, and the Republic of Venezuela, which the team has been assisting in its investment treaty dispute with ConocoPhillips.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. has an excellent pedigree, with its lawyers ‘distinguished by their professionalism and solid knowledge in energy and oil and gas, including upstream and downstream’. The team is led by Nicolas Borda, who is a leading figure in the market, while senior counsel William H. Buckley and the up-and-coming Eduardo Corzo add another layer of industry knowledge. The firm recently advised Chevron on the opening of its first branded service station in Mexico, and also advised Cotemar on an oil sale and purchase contract with Pemex related to the client’s production in the Paso de Oro oil field.

Holland & Knight is a strong choice for energy-related advice, particularly in the power and renewables sectors. Former practice co-head Boris Otto has retired, but in José Antonio Prado and Carlos Ochoa the firm has two highly experienced partners. The group’s disputes capabilities were enhanced by the high-profile arrival of Salvador Fonseca-Gonzalez from Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.. Recent work highlights include advising Elite Energy on the development of a 360MW combined-cycle power plant.

The ‘excellentMCM Abogados attracts glowing reviews from an impressive list of international energy clients; the 11-lawyer firm has ‘deep knowledge of the main topics and regulations applicable to the industry and has a business-partner approach’; ‘entering into a new country comes with a number of challenges, and it is invaluable to find an adviser or team that you can rely on’. Managing partner Manuel Cervantes is ‘one of the best lawyers in the oil and gas industry in Mexico’, and also ‘a highly efficient individual who is deeply committed to his clients’. Clients also rate senior associate Mariana Hernández for her ‘ability to simplify the complex’. The firm recently advised Cheiron Holdings on a bid to partner Pemex on a farmout deal for the Cardenas Mora area, while other clients include Capricorn Energy, Lukoil Upstream, and Citla Energy.

Rodríguez Dávalos Abogados is respected for its ‘industry knowledge and its close relations with the regulatory authorities’ while also ‘being close to the client, preventing possible difficulties and sharing knowledge of market developments, not only in legal terms’. Jesús Rodríguez Dávalos is a leading lawyer in the market, and is recommended along with Carlos Flores, the ‘insightful’ Raúl Romero, and the ‘client-oriented’ Xavier Amaya. Clients include Corporacion G500, Mexico’s largest gas service station group, which the firm assisted in obtaining permits for 300 new service stations. It also advised China’s Risen Energy on its $350m development of two solar power facilities with a 235MW capacity.

Santamarina y Steta has good experience in the oil and gas, power and renewables sectors. The group is often involved in energy infrastructure projects and is also noted for its transactional and regulatory expertise. It has recently been involved in several complex restructurings in the renewables sphere. Juan Carlos Machorro heads the team.

White & Case S.C. comes highly recommended for its ‘excellent level of service’ and is considered a strong partner for hydrocarbons and renewables projects. Key figures include Vicente Corta, Sean Goldstein and Francisco de Rosenzweig, who is noted for his ‘professionalism, human quality, ability to analyse and respond accurately, and high level of commitment’. The firm has recently advised on the financing of several significant solar projects. Major clients include BlackRock Global Investors, the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, and Total.

While Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C. is a relatively recent entry into the Mexican legal market, having only moved into the country in 2015, the pedigree of its lawyers – particularly in the oil and gas market – is unquestioned; Ariel Ramos is a distinguished project finance lawyer who regularly advises energy clients on their infrastructure developments, and Francisco Mendez, who divides his time between Houston and Mexico City, was previously ExxonMobil’s general counsel for Latin America.

Sánchez Devanny’s ‘excellent’ team is praised by clients for its ‘entrepreneurial mindset’. The firm works out of Mexico City and Monterrey, with José Antonio Postigo-Uribe based in the former and Gerardo Prado Hernández in the latter. At the upstream level, the firm represents a mix of exploration companies, seismic providers, and oil and gas producers. It is also heavily involved in the midstream and downstream sectors, regularly advising on gas storage, liquidation and transportation.

Solcargo is a popular choice among private and public sector clients, with strong expertise in energy regulation, environmental law, and administrative litigation. José Covarrubias leads the team, which includes Cecilia Curiel and Juan Pedro Machado. The firm has been active in the renewables sector for clients such as the Ylem Energy and Seguro Energy Partners, and recently advised Biogas Technology Group on an agreement for the construction and operation of a biogas system in Tultitlán.

Thompson & Knight LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is praised for its ‘effective and fast service’; it is ‘very much focused on providing practical solutions to the client’. Luis Gomar leads the Mexico City side of the practice alongside Gabriel Ruiz in Monterrey, who is ‘always available’ and ‘capable of understanding very quickly the client’s concerns’. Claudio Rodríguez Galán is another key partner singled out for his ‘ample level of knowledge and excellent customer service’. The firm is recommended for its expertise in oil and gas exploration and production contracts and regulatory matters. A major highlight was advising BHP Billiton on its Trion Block deep-water licence agreement with Pemex. Other clients include Petronas and CNOOC.

Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC’s clients benefit from a full-service energy practice. As well as handling transactional, projects and regulatory matters, the firm is a market leader on the disputes front, with particular strength in international arbitration. On the non-contentious side, the firm advised Anheuser-Busch InBev on its renewable energy commitments, among them a $350m power purchase agreement with Iberdrola that involves the construction of a 220MW wind farm. Edmond Grieger is very active in this area.

Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C. has a strong advisory practice and has recently been very active in the downstream oil and gas sector. It advised Total on its master agreement for the $400m incorporation of over 200 fuel stations under the Total brand, and also advised Iberdrola on National Content regulations required for the construction of two combined-cycle power generation plants. Noé Pascacio Montijo heads the team.

Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton is a unique firm straddling both sides of the Texas border with Mexico. Based in San Antonio, the firm also has offices throughout Mexico, including in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Queretaro and Juarez. Its energy expertise is particularly strong, thanks to the pedigree of José María Lujambio, a former General Legal Counsel of the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission, and Sergio Ostos. The firm has assisted numerous international clients in securing supply and service contracts with Pemex and the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission.

Santiago Sepúlveda leads the highly focused energy team at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C., which is recommended for its transactional and projects expertise in the hydrocarbons and power sectors. The firm acts for a mix of funds, banks and energy companies, including KKR, InterGen, RWE Supply & Trading, Sun Edison, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Its recent work includes advising Howard Energy partners on the $570m financing and development of the 200-mile Nueva Energy pipeline.

DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano has several partners with a strong grounding in the energy market. Marcelo Páramo has a heavy focus on oil, gas and electricity matters, and was previously Director of Legal Affairs at the Regulatory Energy Commission. Edgar Romo and Eduardo Gallástegui also have extensive experience on the corporate side. The team advised Pemex on the $521m sale of its stake in gas distributor Ductos y Energeticos del Norte to IEnova.

Founding partner Miguel de Erice is key to the strong reputation of boutique firm Energía e Infraestructura Asesores, S.C.. It acts for public and private sector clients drawn from many corners of the industry, including oil and gas, electricity and renewables.

Juan Manuel González leads the energy practice at Greenberg Traurig, S.C., which handles projects, regulatory and transactional matters for a diverse mix of clients. The firm’s regulatory and environmental capabilities were demonstrated through its advice to the Mexican National Human Rights Commission regarding changes to the country’s energy legal framework and how they might impact local indigenous communities. The firm also advised KST Electric Power Company on the $350m financing and development of a 433MW power generation project.

Ibarra, del Paso, Gallego y Berezowsky, S.C. is strong in the field of energy and infrastructure projects, where practice head David Berezowsky has a good name. The firm recently represented several international companies buying into local wind farm projects and also advised Northland Power on the development of 1.5GW worth of power generation projects. Other clients include ATCO Gas, Canadian Solar, and The Chemours Company.

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