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Baker McKenzie S.C.’s first-rate practice covers the full range of environmental matters, across regulatory compliance, clean-ups, administrative litigation, and health and safety issues. The six-lawyer team has advised on the environmental aspects of several significant infrastructure projects, and recently acted for Iron Horse in relation to a PPP project for the construction of a $1.2bn container port in Baja. It also assisted Ledvance Manufacturing in securing the environmental permits required for a new industrial facility. Other active clients include Unilever, Gas Natural Fenosa, Caterpillar, and Real Alloy. Federico Ruanova Guinea heads the highly rated team.

With offices in Mexico City and Cancun, Celis Aguilar Álvarez y Asociados, SC is a boutique with an outstanding reputation for standalone environmental advice. Name partner Humberto Celis Aguilar Álvarez is very highly regarded in the market, and Roberto Antonio Guzmán Sarti is also highly rated. The firm is regularly called upon to handle cutting-edge contentious and non-contentious matters, particularly for clients in the mining, oil and gas, power, maritime and real estate sectors. Highlights included successfully representing Mexican developer Frisa in constitutional litigation concerning an environmental impact authorisation for land use change in a forestry area. Other recent clients include Fibra Hotel, UCLA, and Transcanada.

Vera y Asociados is an environmental law boutique with a first-class reputation. The four-partner practice is led by senior partner Luis Vera, who is highly recommended for non-contentious matters, and includes experienced litigators Gabriel Bustamante and Gerardo Freyre, as well as Alejandro Aldana, who handles both contentious and advisory work. The firm’s clients also benefit from a cadre of non-legal specialists, including environmental and ecological technicians and biologists. The firm regularly represents clients in the transport, energy, mining and hospitality industries, with key names including Engie, Sempra Energy, Gamesa, Marubeni, GM and Iberostar. The firm has offices in Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara and Leon.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is ‘exceptional in every way’, and its advice is ‘practical, highly insightful, professional, very appropriately given and excellent value for money’, with the team also noted as ‘understanding the US regulations and clients’ expectations on compliance’. The firm recently advised Terminal KMS de GNL on issues surrounding the amendment of a concession title to use federal land administered by the National Water Commission. ‘Extremely talented’ practice head Carlos de Icaza has ‘a broad understanding of policy, and a practical and intelligent approach to business’. Clients include Colgate-Palmolive, Ethos Energy Group, and KST Electric Power Company.

Galicia Abogados SC advises a mix of lenders and sponsors on environmental issues, typically in the context of major projects and M&A deals. Recent highlights include assisting Bunge North America in the environmental due diligence for its investment in Grupo Minsa, one of the main cornflour producers in Mexico. The firm also advised Fermaca Global on the environmental aspects of its successful bid to develop the La Laguna – Aguascalientes pipeline and the Villa de Reyes – Agauscalientes – Guadalajara pipeline. On the renewables side, it assisted EDP Renewables in securing the environmental and regulatory permits to develop a 200MW wind farm in the state of Coahuila. Group head Mariana Herrero is ‘a pleasure to work with’.

Jones Day provides a ‘very professional service’, through lawyers ‘with much experience, a good image, and a willingness to work’. The team has been involved in some significant projects, not least advising The New Mexico City Airport Group on environmental issues related to the development of the new airport. The firm also advised Procter & Gamble on the environmental and operational permits required for seven industrial plants and a Mexican distribution centre. Highly rated lead partner Mauricio Llamas attracts very high praise from clients, and is ‘an excellent consultant and team leader’.

Solcargo handles contentious and non-contentious environmental matters, and is appreciated for its ‘excellent level of service’ and ‘good relations and contacts with the authorities’. The firm’s key partners include Gustavo Carvajal, who has a strong focus on administrative law, energy-related and environmental law matters; and administrative litigation partner Juan Pedro Machado. The bulk of the team’s clients operate in the energy, mining, social infrastructure and industrial sectors, although it also advises on tourism projects. It successfully represented Sistemas de Tratamiento Ambiental, a waste management processor, in a dispute with the General Directorate of Air Quality Management, concerning the development of a new waste management plant. On the non-contentious side, it provided environmental due diligence assistance to the Export-Import Bank of China, concerning a potential investment in a $400m industrial park development.

Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC covers areas such as environmental impact authorisations and audits, liability waste management, air pollutant emissions, and waste water treatment. It has a good reputation for advisory work, but is particularly strong on the litigation side, covering constitutional and other proceedings. The firm acts for an impressive mix of domestic and international clients, and has been advising BMW on day-to-day environmental compliance for the construction of a new manufacturing facility. Other clients include Daimler, Grupo Modelo and Coca-Cola. Edmond Grieger heads the team.

Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. has a strong track record advising on contentious and non-contentious issues arising from national waters and the operation and development of industrial plants in Mexico. It has a large following in the automotive industry, advising names such as Kia Motors, Volkswagen and Peugeot. It recently advised Federal Mogul on environmental due diligence for the acquisition of an industrial facility and distribution centre. Daniel Del Río leads the team, which includes associates Ricardo Evangelista and Mariana Arrieta.

The high quality, five-lawyer team at González Calvillo, SC handles a mix of environmental, climate change and health and safety matters, both in an advisory capacity and in administrative and judicial proceedings. Led by the highly experienced Leopoldo Burguete the practice has a strong client portfolio of major international clients. Its recent mandates include advising IBM in relation to tests and measures which will help prevent potential third-party water contamination claims. The team also advised the Chemours Company on environmental issues concerning its plan to build a sodium cyanide facility. Other clients include 3M, InterContinental Hotels Group, Mitsubishi and DuPont.

Hogan Lovells BSTL, S.C. has a strong standalone environmental law practice, with several full-time lawyers including Brenda Rogel. The firm has been active in the energy sector, representing several drilling companies, and also has strong experience in areas such as site contamination; its recent work includes successfully representing a major multinational in its bid to prove that it had no responsibility for a contaminated soil claim. Major clients include Ford, Vopak, Covestro, Autozone, Schlumberger and International Paper. The team also benefits from the experience of Juan Francisco Torres Landa and Jorge Yañez.

Ibarra, del Paso, Gallego y Berezowsky, S.C. delivers a ‘very good and cost-effective service’. Clients appreciate the level of involvement of partners, as well as ‘the way they coach and empower junior counsel’. Environmental law is a key practice area for the firm, which regularly represents clients in the energy, life sciences and real estate sectors. Name partner Adrián del Paso is ‘very talented, and always complies with due dates, providing solid legal opinions’. Major clients include The Chemours Company, Danone, Arriva Hospitality, and Walmart.

IDEAS Iniciativa para el Desarollo Ambiental y Sustentable, SC is a well-regarded boutique comprised of lawyers and environmental technicians. Led by founding partner Daniel Basurto, it represents a range of clients in the manufacturing and energy sectors. It covers areas such as water law, waste management, environmental impact regulations, environmental protection, and climate change, and regularly advises in relation to inspections, soil remediation, and air and water pollution.

Pontones & Ledesma is a well-respected boutique with a specialist focus on contentious and non-contentious environmental law. Founding partners Luigi Pontones and Arturo Ledesma both enjoy strong reputations in the market, with Ledesma notable for his expertise in environmental crime prosecutions. They are backed up by a strong team, and regularly assist clients in relation to environmental impact and risk assessments, audits, and issues arising from air, water, soil and noise pollution.

Ritch Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, SC is among ‘the best legal advisers in the market at the moment on social issues and indigenous consultation’, areas in which practice head Héctor Garza ‘has a lot of knowledge’. The practice is particularly busy in the real estate and oil and gas sectors; among its recent highlights, it acted for retail group Falabella on environmental and real estate due diligence in relation to the development of stores in both the city and state of Mexico in conjunction with Soriana.

Santamarina y Steta’s environmental team has a strong track record in major renewables projects, and is also experienced in consultations with indigenous communities. Gloria Park leads the practice, which works closely with the firm’s administrative litigation group. Recent highlights include advising IDOM on the implementation of the real estate aspects of the new Law of Special Economic Zones, including feasibility studies for development projects across some of Mexico’s poorest states. The firm also advised Invex Infraestructura on a wind energy project in the state of Puebla and a hydroelectric project in the state of Chiapas. Associate Andrea Cavazzani is also highly experienced in environmental law.

White & Case S.C. has ‘excellent’ industry knowledge, and is ‘always on top of the issues’. It has been very active advising clients in the energy, automotive, mining, hospitality and pharmaceuticals industries. A recent highlight was advising Tesla Motors on environmental issues concerning the installation of its supercharger units throughout Mexico. The team is led by senior associate Pedro Morales, ‘an open and strong professional’ who is ‘very well known, and highly knowledgeable of environmental issues’ and has ‘a realistic, pragmatic attitude’.

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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.

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    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.

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