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Editorial

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

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The ‘indispensible’ team at Baker McKenzie S.C. provides a ‘very responsive’ service, and is ‘up to date on the latest industry developments’, with practice head Benjamín Torres-Barróna very gifted and creative lawyer and business-minded thinker’. The firm is experienced in oil and gas, renewables and power projects, and recently advised Inpex on its participation in the public tender for various exploration and production agreements. On the renewables front, the firm advised ENGIE Mexico on the acquisition of three wind power projects with an aggregate 440MW capacity. Other major clients include Shell, Koch Energy and Anadarko. Associate Carlos Maass-Porrasis ‘diligent, organised and thorough’.

Dentons López Velarde has a first-class reputation for energy and natural resources, covering upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas matters as well as power, nuclear, coal, renewables and biofuels projects. It is particularly well regarded for its regulatory expertise, but also handles major projects and financings, and was very much at the vanguard of the recent energy reforms which have transformed the industry. Rogelio López-Velarde has a superb track record and reputation, having previously worked at Pemex. Other key individuals in the practice are Jorge Jiménez, Amanda Valdez and Daniela Monroy.

Galicia Abogados SC has over 20 lawyers, including five partners, with strong expertise in energy matters, working out of its Mexico City and Monterrey offices. Its greatest strength lies in project finance and M&A, across oil and gas, power and renewables, but the team is also highly experienced on the regulatory side. A major highlight was assisting Enel Green Power in its successful bid for 50% of the renewable energy power purchase agreements being auctioned by the Federal Electricity Commission. The firm also advised the lenders, including the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Banco Santander, on the $352m financing for the development of a gas transportation pipeline in northern Mexico. The team is co-led by Carlos de Maria y Campos and Francisco Fernández Cueto.

Ritch Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, SC’s highly rated team ‘offers very good-quality advice’, and is a regular feature on Mexico’s largest energy-related corporate deals, handling a mix of oil and gas, renewables and power projects. A highlight was advising Morgan Stanley, Credit Agricole and BBVA Bancomer on the provision of $1.2bn financing to a special purpose vehicle established by KKR for the acquisition of oil and gas infrastructure assets from Pemex. The firm also acted for the lenders, including BNP Paribas and ING Bank, on the $620m financing for the Fermaca Pipeline Laguna project. Key partners include Thomas Mueller-Gastell, Gabriel del Valle Mendiola and Jorge Oria y Anaya, who is noted for his ‘excellent customer service and extensive knowledge in M&A, project finance and contract negotiation’.

González Calvillo, SC is an increasingly popular choice for high-end energy-related infrastructure projects and M&A, and the team is backed up by strong regulatory and environmental practices. The firm advised Lumex Holding, a joint venture between OAO Lukoil and Marak Capital, on the acquisition of Petrolera de Amatitlan and its related exploration and production agreement; and assisted Gas y Petroquímica de Occidente in relation to the $1.5bn development of a petrochemical plant in the state of Sinaloa. Other major clients include Pemex, BP and The Blackstone Group. Enrique González Calvillo and Jorge Cervantes are the key figures in the practice.

Goodrich, Riquelme y Asociados has a highly focused four-lawyer team led by David Enríquez. It is particularly active in oil and gas, but also offers experience in renewables and power work. Acting for some of the largest clients in the market, it recently advised ExxonMobil on its participation in Mexico’s deepwater ‘Round 1.4’ process, where it was awarded one licence block in consortium with Total. It also advised Statoil on successful bids for deepwater blocks one and three. Other active clients include Fisterra Energy, GE Energy Financial Services, and Petrofac Mexico.

Hogan Lovells BSTL, S.C. covers all corners of the energy market, including oil and gas, and power. Department head Carlos Ramos Miranda is particularly experienced in upstream oil and gas work, and recently represented an international oil giant on its Round 1 bid for the award of exploration and extraction contracts in the Gulf of Mexico. The firm also advised Pemex on the farm-out of a number of existing exploration and production contracts. Midstream matters are typically handled by Miguel Ángel Mateo Simón and Juan Francisco Torres Landa; highlights on this front included advising Energy Transfer on its bid to secure a natural gas transport permit to operate a cross-border natural gas pipeline.

Jones Day has a very active and experienced multidisciplinary practice, jointly led by José Estandía, who typically covers the power side, and Alberto de la Parra, who is responsible for oil and gas matters. Antonio Franck is also recommended, for his expertise in energy infrastructure projects. The firm recently advised Spectra Energy on its bid concerning the submarine pipe to connect to the Nueces-Brownsville pipeline; and acted for Fisterra Energy on the $852m sale of Ventika, a Mexican wind farm, to IEnova. Other major clients are Elecnor Group, Eni, Solairedirect, Iberdrola and Total.

Founding partner Michell Nader S leads an increasingly active team at Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC. Given the firm’s transactional background, the practice is particularly strong in energy-related corporate deals, but also has the requisite regulatory expertise through highly experienced partners such as José Sifuentes. Recent highlights include advising Cobre del Mayo on a $223m bond issue related to its activity in the mining sector. On the oil and gas side, the firm advised PTT Exploration and Production on its participation in the ‘Round 1’ bidding process. Héctor Arangua is also recommended, for his capital markets and corporate expertise.

Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow has extensive expertise in the power sector, having spent the last few years advising the Energy Ministry on the implementation of the Wholesale Electricity Market and the restructuring of the Federal Electricity Commission. The firm is also increasingly active for the private sector, and advised EDF on the implementation of 480MW worth of solar and wind power projects awarded in the second long-term auction. Another major highlight on the energy infrastructure side was advising Energyland on a MX$12bn waste-to-energy project to generate electricity for Mexico City’s subway system. The highly respected Derek Woodhouse heads the team.

Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. has a strong, full-service practice covering corporate, regulatory, disputes and environmental. Juan Carlos Serra heads the team, which mainly acts for developers and sponsors on their energy projects. Recent highlights include advising ONGC Videsh and National Oil Company on tenders for contracts concerning offshore exploration and the extraction of hydrocarbons. Another highlight has been advising ExxonMobil Comercial regarding the new legal framework governing the energy market, in connection with its downstream and midstream activities. Other active clients include Gran Solar, Huaneng Group and Coastal Energy Solutions.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C. has a highly rated, ‘well-positioned’ practice, and is commended for its ‘understanding of the oil and gas framework’. It has recently been very active advising clients involved in bidding processes for offshore exploration and extraction contracts. Eloy Barbará de Parres heads the seven-partner team, which acts for a range of major clients, including Pemex, GDF Suez and Petróleos de Venezuela. Alongside its strengths in transactional, regulatory and infrastructure-related matters, the firm also stands out for its excellent disputes practice. Praised for his ‘vast industry knowledge’ of the oil and gas sector, newly promoted partner Antonio De Lisi is ‘a great lawyer and an outstanding intellect, and is calm in moments of pressure’.

Holland & Knight has a high-quality practice covering energy-related regulatory matters, transactions and projects. It is particularly known for its work in traditional power and renewables, thanks in part to the experience of well-respected group co-head José Antonio Prado, who has spent 17 years working in the energy sector, including two as general counsel for Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). Also recommended are fellow practice head Boris Otto, for his expertise in project finance; and Carlos Ochoa and Alejandro Landa, for their regulatory and finance experience respectively. The firm recently advised Advance Clean Energy in relation to its $160m 80MW solar power project in Sonora. Environmental expert Hector Velasco Perroni joined the team from Greenberg Traurig, S.C..

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. has a strong reputation for major energy projects and transactions. Among the partners, Horacio de Uriarte has an excellent profile for oil and gas and renewables projects, and Patricio Trad and Pilar Mata Fernández are also very active. The firm recently advised TransCanada Pipelines on its successful bid relating to the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline. As well as acting for sponsors and developers, the firm is a popular choice with banks, recently advising Banco Santander and others on the financing for the construction of the Chicoasén II Hydroelectric Power Plant in Chiapas.

Juan Carlos Machorro heads a strong team at Santamarina y Steta which has experience across oil and gas, power and renewables. The firm has been involved in a range of energy infrastructure projects, and energy-related transactional and regulatory matters. Recent highlights including advising on the development of a gasoline and diesel storage and distribution company. The firm also has experience in the areas of Clean Energy Certificates, recently representing a client involved in a major auction, and natural gas supply agreements.

White & Case S.C. has a wide-ranging energy practice, offering a broad mix of transactional, projects and regulatory expertise. One of the firm’s largest clients is Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the Mexican state-owned electricity company, which it recently advised on a natural gas transportation agreement with Trans-Pecos Pipeline for the development of the Waha Header and Presidio pipeline. The firm also advised BlackRock and First Reserve on their acquisition of a 45% stake in TAG Pipelines Sur, and another 45% stake in TAG Norte Holding. Vicente Corta and Sean Goldstein jointly lead the team, which includes José Ignacio Segura and Daniel Sánchez.

In Nicolas Borda, Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. has one of the best – respected practitioners in the market, with considerable pedigree in oil and gas work. The five-partner team has been advising several major US energy companies on their bids for deepwater exploration and extraction contracts; and advised Wagner Oil on its ‘Round One’ bid for the award of an exploration and production licence. The firm also acts for several significant mining companies, including Goldcorp and Carrizal Mining. Jorge Sanchez is also recommended.

MCM Abogados is a highly rated, nine-lawyer energy boutique with a strong track record in the oil and gas sector. It covers matters ranging from project finance to government procurement advice, and has recently been advising several bidders in the ‘Round One’ bid for exploration and production contracts. Managing partner Manuel Cervantes enjoys an excellent reputation in the market.

Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C. opened its doors in late 2015 under the direction of former ExxonMobil general counsel Francisco Mendez: a hydrocarbons lawyer with vast experience in both upstream and downstream matters who was also instrumental in the establishment of the Mexican Hydrocarbons Association. Since then it has hired Ariel Ramos, formerly of Haynes and Boone, L.L.P., who is a finance specialist with a focus on energy and projects; and, at associate level, Sarah Espinoza Ulloa, Jessica Solis Carrillo, Lilia Alonzo and Victor M. Vázquez. Ramos and Chicago-based Débora de Hoyos led advice to Goldman Sachs on $80m financing extended to CYDSA for the development of saline caves into an LPG storage facility; and the team is also working on a number of Pemex-related mandates. The group can also call on Houston-based Jose L Valera, who co-heads the firm’s oil and gas practice.

Rodríguez Dávalos Abogados is a boutique firm with a strong track record advising clients investing in the oil and gas, power and renewables sectors. Managing partner Jesús Rodríguez Dávalos is well known for his excellent market connections, and is supported by a team of lawyers including Carlos Antonio Flores Flores and Guillermo Manning.

Sánchez Devanny provides ‘the highest level’ of service, and achieves ‘an excellent price/benefit ratio’. It has ‘incredible expertise in energy matters’, and an understanding of the ‘fiscal, financial and technical factors that make it possible to provide a solution that fits the bill’. It has been particularly active in renewable energy projects, and has developed a strong practice in midstream gas supply and distribution. The two key partners are José Antonio Postigo-Uribe in Mexico City, and Monterrey-based Gerardo Prado Hernández, who is ‘a thinking strategist and a responsible, powerful influence’.

José Covarrubias and Juan Pedro Machado jointly lead the well-regarded team at Solcargo, which has a strong following among private and public sector clients. The firm is active on the non-contentious side, recently advising Ener-G in relation to a renewable energy project in Aguascalientes, but stands out for its administrative litigation expertise, particularly in areas such as environmental law.

Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC is recommended for its practice in energy-related transactions, regulatory matters and disputes. On the projects side, it advised Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems on the $500m Agua Prieta II combined-cycle power project. It also has a strong track record in renewables, recently advising clients such as Yingly Green Energy Mexico and Scatec Solar on their participation in auctions for Clean Energy Certificates related to solar power projects. Key partners include Edmond Grieger and Luis Burgueño.

Noé Pascacio Montijo heads the three-partner team at Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C., which has a strong standing in the oil and gas market, acting for production, exploration and service companies including Renaissance Oil, Sandvik Mexico and Jaguar Exploración y Producción de Hidrocarburos. The group is also attracting an increasing amount of work in the electricity market.

With a genuine bi-national specialisation, Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton has 11 offices along the US-Mexico border and further south into Mexico, with San Antonio, Queretaro, Mexico City and Monterrey its main offices. It is particularly active in energy matters, covering both hydrocarbons and electricity, and in international trade matters. On the energy side, José María Lujambio, a former General Legal Counsel of the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission, has recently undertaken the negotiation of multiple qualified end-user PPA agreements for the likes of Adient, Amcor, Pactiv and Teleflex; and Mario Melgar is experienced in advising clients on their participation in long-term auctions for electricity, capacity and Clean Energy Certificates, as organised by the National Centre for Energy Control (CENACE). Sergio M Ostos has been active in the structuring of joint ventures for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, including bidding rounds before Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH). Other recent matters include assisting electricity providers in relation to permits and contracts, and advising the Asociación de Comercializadores de Energía.

DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano is increasingly making an impression in the market thanks to the expertise of Marcelo Páramo. The firm has been busy in upstream and midstream oil and gas work, and recently advised Murphy Oil on its successful bid for the award of an exploration and production contract in the Gulf of Mexico. Edgar Romo is also recommended, for his project finance expertise.

Energía e Infraestructura Asesores, S.C. acts for a mix of public and private sector clients. The team, which benefits greatly from the experience of founding partner Miguel de Erice, regularly represents clients working in the production of oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons, and is also a strong choice for advice in electricity and renewables matters.

Greenberg Traurig, S.C. is another major international firm making strong inroads into the local energy market. Juan Manuel González leads the team, which is active in major energy-related infrastructure projects, both in the hydrocarbons and power sectors. The firm recently advised Sempra in relation to several separate pipeline bids, notably its successful tender for the El Empalme natural gas pipeline. Of counsel Pedro Reséndez is recommended.

Ibarra, del Paso, Gallego y Berezowsky, S.C.demonstrates strong legal and energy industry knowledge’ and ‘offers excellent value’. The firm is experienced in infrastructure developments, including LNG terminals, pipelines and renewables projects. The firm ‘understands the client’s business goals and helps to find efficient, effective ways to achieve those goals’. Group head David Berezowsky is praised for his ‘strong legal assistance and client service’, and his ability to ‘point out issues and provide practical solutions’. Key clients include ATCO Gas, Northland Power and GCL Solar Energy.

Thompson & Knight LLP has gained significantly in profile following its hire of Claudio Rodríguez Galán and of counsel Regina Legorreta Palomino from Ramírez, Gutiérrez-Azpe, Rodríguez-Rivero y Hurtado, S.C.. The firm has experience in the oil and gas and power sectors, and recently assisted Fieldwood Energy and Petrobal in securing a production sharing contract from the National Hydrocarbons Commission.

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