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    • Daniel Ruíz Lares - Garza Tello y Asociados

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Displaying ‘superlative industry knowledge’ according to clients (who ‘would not hesitate to recommend this firm’), Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC is ‘simply outstanding for insurance matters’, in which sector it fields a profoundly experienced, 14-strong team divided between offices in Mexico City and London. Recent domestic matters include advising Pan-American Life Insurance Company on the expansion of its operating license to include life insurance; Cardif México on all regulatory aspects of its operations, including the implementation of Solvency II; Assurant on regulatory matters related to the implementation of the new Insurance and Bonding Companies Law, and Grupo Nacional Provincial on the negotiation and execution of a strategic partnership with Sompo Canopius. On the international front, the ongoing development of the team’s activity at a regional level saw it advising Tokio Marine Global RE on negotiations and a final settlement with the Insurance Superintendence of the Dominican Republic in a matter relating to the intervened company Segna. ‘Probably the best known figure in Mexican insurance matters today’, London-based practice head Yves Hayaux-du-Tilly ‘is not only always available but he always listens so as to truly understand the needs of his clients’; ‘hugely experienced’ his practice covers everything from regulatory matters and dispute resolution to product development and corporate transactional work. His recent headline work includes acting as an expert on international reinsurance in an international arbitration in Bolivia. Mexico City-based partner Luciano Pérez Gómez is a favourite with clients and works across the full range of non-contentious insurance matters, particularly corporate and regulatory matters; he also undertakes claims management, negotiated settlements and policy analysis. A strong second tier is led by senior associate Miguel A de la Fuente who focuses on product development, regulatory matters and contentious issues including claims management, settlement negotiations, policy analysis and coverage options. Moreover, the return of seniors Andre Rivas and Raúl Jasso (from an international LLM and the New York offices of Clifford Chance respectively), is a further boost to practice capacity. Additional support comes from partners Michell Nader S (on complex transactional matters in the sector), and Julián Garza (transactional matters and regulatory advice). Clients include AXA Seguros, MetLife, KOT, Zurich, Pan-American Life Insurance Company, Cardif, Asurion, The Travelers Companies and BUPA Mexico.

A ‘trusted legal advisorCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. continues to grow its insurance practice and the late-2016 arrival of counsel Maria José Pinillos, formerly General Counsel at Pan-American México, has given the team additional senior expertise and capacity. Having also hired an additional junior associate, Mallinalli Tecomahua (formerly in house at Prudential Mexico), practice head Leonel Pereznieto’s core team is now five strong, with senior associate Lilian Fernández (particularly for analysis of structures and products) and intermediate Allan Olmedo (compliance in relation to the new norms in the sector), also noted. On the transactional front, the practice can also call on Eduardo González, Carlos Zamarrón and Jorge Correa regarding – respectively – the corporate, finance and tax aspects of transactional mandates. Recent headline work saw the team complete RSA Insurance’s $617m sale of its Mexican operations to Suramericana; act as co-counsel to MBIA Insurance (and its Mexican subsidiary), on the replacement of its financial guaranty insurance policies, including all relevant administrative authorisations from the National Isurance and Bonding Commission (CNSF); and, in ongoing advice, counsel China Oceanwide regarding CNSF authorizations relating to its proposed acquisition of Genworth Financial and its associated home and life insurance subsidiaries. Clients highlight the practice’s ‘expertise’ and ‘extensive technical know-how’ and good response times. Other matters include advising Axa Seguros on regulatory and compliance matters, and El Aguila Compañía de Seguros on its expansion in to P&C and Specialty lines, and associated corporate governance and Solvency II matters. Clients include Allianz, Zurich, Active Capital Reinsurance, Delcredere/Ducroire, Great American Insurance Company, and MBIA Insurance.

Having previously worked together for some 10 years, in early May Garza Tello y Asociados announced its merger into Clyde & Co LLP, which –pending regulatory approval– completes the arrival of the ‘Big 3’ UK insurance law-firms into the Mexican market. While the effects of this move are yet to be seen, insurance has long been a core practice at the 23-strong office, particularly on the contentious-side. ‘Aggressive, specialised, and very capable’, the team undertakes matters ranging from coverage determinations, policy drafting and subrogation, to defence before insurance authority CONDUSEF and both Federal and State courts; it is also known for marine matters and reinsurance work. Insurance and reinsurance practice head, Arturo Arista is a ‘genuine specialist’ and ‘a well-known figure’ in the sector who handles the full range of litigation work (including D&O, E&O, PI, aviation, marine, subrogation recoveries and ‘all-risks’ coverage). Key support comes from name partner Enrique Garza, who (alongside his energy practice), divides his time between the insurance and maritime sectors; contentious practice head Arturo Bello, who litigates on admiralty, general liability and insurance claims of all types, and Fernando Escamilla, who leads on P&I and marine matters. Recent matters include acting as co-counsel to a Mexican insurance company in a multimillion-dollar insurance claim concerning a Mexican policy filed in a US court. Focused on contractual and regulatory insurance issues, along with claims handling matters, specialist associate Daniel Ruíz Lares is also noted; at the firm since 2010, he has niche expertise on finance law in relation to international insurance and reinsurance. The firm also has a satellite office in Ciudad del Carmen.

Clients of international insurance heavyweight DAC Beachcroft Mexico are ‘particularly impressed with its growing footprint in the region’, and late 2016 saw the firm announce associations with Costa Rica’s BLP for coverage in Central America, and Torres Carpio Portocarrero & Richter Abogados in Perú. Present in Mexico since 2004, clients report a team whose ‘attorneys are hands on and pragmatic’ and whose ability to ‘find a balance between legal issues and commercial considerations’ is an ‘optimal combination’ that ‘helps one make informed, confident business decisions’. Recent matters include acting as counsel to BUPA Mexico on corporate and regulatory matters, advising Berkley Latin America & Caribbean on obtaining authorisation to open a (foreign reinsurer) rep-office in Mexico, and acting for a UK reinsurer on potential liabilities arising from a fatal industrial accident in the electricity sector. However, the May 2017 departure of former office managing partner Francisco Fernández Fletes, who has moved to boutique firm ColinVega Abogados is an undoubted loss, leaving Jose Luis Arce, as the senior figure in the office. Primarily a corporate and transactional practitioner, the ‘top flight’ Arce has extensive experience in the insurance sector, having advised Mexico’s treasury (SHCP) and insurance regulator (CNSF) as well as representing numerous insurance companies before relevant administrative bodies. Other key figures include senior associates Salvador Enrique Urbano who heads up the office’s litigation and civil liability claims teams); and Jorge Salgado-Gónzalez who focuses on (re)insurance coverage and claims’ monitoring matters (he divides his time between the firm’s London and Mexico City offices); and Liliana Calvo, newly appointed as director of the insurance practice. Also a senior, IP and data protection specialist Rodrigo Fernandez Guerra (who joined the office in 2015), is developing the firm’s practice in relation to cyber security. The team’s other work includes reviews of D&O coverage and policy coverage in respect of product liability. Clients include Zurich, Axa, Swiss RE, Munich RE, Lloyds Syndicates, QBE, XL Insurance, Liberty, Allianz and AIG.

The Mexico office of international player Hogan Lovells BSTL, S.C. provides a full-service offering in the sector, where it has a growing profile for compliance matters, risk assessment and a particularly strong day-to-day practice – as reflected by its recent appointment as lead counsel for day-to-day issues and regulatory compliance for the Chubb Mexico group, including its guarantee and insurance subsidiaries, ACE Seguros, ACE Fianzas Monterrey and ABA Seguros. The six strong practice group is co-led by senior partner Eduardo Siqueiros T and the ‘efficient and effectiveCarlos Ramos Miranda, a well-known figure in the sector. Both undertake insurance work as part of their broader respective practices. The team can also call on the expertise housed in the firm’s other offices, notably London. Recent matters include advising Insignia Life on corporate and regulatory matters; Marsh and Guy Carpenter on general corporate and compliance issues; and obtaining regulatory authorization for the establishment of two insurance companies. Senior associate Miguel Hernández Sánchez is also noted. Other clients include Solunion México Seguros de Crédito, Lloyds, Liberty Mutual Insurance, New York Life and MetLife.

The arrival of Kennedys in Latin America has been swift, with the opening of the firm’s (10-lawyer strong) Mexico office in January 2017, following on from those of Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia in the latter half of 2016. In conjunction with associations in Argentina and Brazil, the firm’s regional coverage is completed by a Miami office that also serves as a hub for the Caribbean. Notably, with the firm’s plan to merge with US firm Carroll McNulty & Kull (CMK), announced in May, the evolution of its global platform, and specifically its coverage of the Americas is ‘a market leading proposition’. Mexican-born Michael Hennessy, who relocates from Miami as Mexico-office managing partner heads the complex claims and (re)insurance coverage practice. Frontline support comes from Alberto Torres Martínez, who joined from his own firm; and Gerardo Plata Iturralde, who has both in-house (eg: Bupa Mexico, Seguros Argos) and private practice experience. A certified mediator with the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions, insurance and surety specialist Torres Martínez leads the defence litigation practice; while Plata will focus on medical malpractice and marine matters. ‘At its best on coverage matters’ the office is already ‘gaining profile in the claims sector, particularly for complex and sizeable work’.

With offices in Querétaro, Monterrey and Mexico City, Santamarina y Steta is best known for its activity with local insurance companies. The small but well-respected practice is particularly active from the Monterrey office where young partner Francsico Torres G is increasingly the key figure for insurance work. Recent matters include advising investors on the acquisition of a Mexican insurance carrier, including all insurance-regulatory aspects; assisting Neztger Seguros on matters relating to the capital requirement aspects of Solvencia II legislation; and a review of policies issued by foreign insurers, and associated matters, on behalf of Seguros Afirme. In México City, Carlos Olvera is the name to note, while Jorge León-Orantes is active on corporate aspects of the sector. In other work, the practice remains active in consultancy matters, insurance product review, regulatory authorizations, and contractual and policy document review.

With offices in Madrid as well as Mexico City, Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C. has successfully leveraged its financial-regulatory and data-privacy expertise to develop a growing practice in the sector, Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C. has. The ‘effective’ six-strong team is led by name-partner and practice head Miguel Gallardo; recently appointed an independent board member of Sura Seguros, he is also a National Insurance and Securities Commission (CNSF)-appointed ‘Dictaminador Jurídico de Seguros’. Recent matters include advising Aon, on all insurance and reinsurance regulatory requirements, contract drafting and limited liability clause implementation; as well as the negotiation of a brokers letter of undertaking with Deutsche Bank Trust Company, Banco Davivienda, Energía Cinco Estrellas (Honduras) and Gauss Energía México. Federico de Palacio splits his time between insurance and corporate matters and further support comes from senior associates Javier Pérez Moreno, Patricia Hernández León and recent incorporation Eugenia Cabrera. Other matters include acting as counsel to Seguros Sura on the drafting of insurance products and compliance matters; and Actinver on regulatory, compliance, contractual and corporate matters. Clients include INTERprotección, AIG and Banorte.

Full service powerhouse Galicia Abogados SC is seeking to further develop its presence in the insurance sector, which currently remains active primarily on the corporate side of the practice. Recent matters saw the team act as counsel to the management of broker Cooper Gay, Del Rio y Asociados in the management buyout of the company. It is also active in relation to compliance, particular as regards Solvencia II capitalization issues. Ongoing permanent work includes advising HSBC Seguros, Sura Seguros (México), Cesce Seguros and MetLife Seguros, on regulatory matters and in connection with the analysis and negotiation of claims. Practice head Humberto Pérez Rocha is a frequent participant in transactional work in the sector and can also draw on in-house experience, having previously been seconded to act as general counsel for a major Mexican insurer. The small team has been further boosted by the arrival of associate Francisco Javier Alejo from Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC in mid-2016. The practice has also acted for clients including AIG, British United Provident Association, Colonial Penn, GE Capital Insurance, ING Groep, RSA, Seguros Argos and United Guaranty.

Gardere, Arena y Asociados S.C. is the Mexican office of a bi-national firm with 250 lawyers and offices in Texas and Colorado. Given its unique ‘footprint’ the firm has a particular (although not exclusive) focus on US-Mexico work and this extends to the insurance sector. Recent matters have seen 12-strong team secure a ruling from local regulator CNSF allowing Allianz Global Assistance (in the US) to offer travel insurance coverage without requiring a local Mexican underwriter; provide ongoing advice to Stewart Title Insurance Group regarding claims, regulation and litigation in cross-border transactions involving Mexico; counsel Brightstar and eSecuritel on regulatory and transactional insurance matters regarding the design and development of its new insurance coverage operations in Mexico (particularly relating to mobile devices); and assist VivaAerobus with regulatory matters related to its travel insurance offering. With a broad transactional and regulatory practice Marco Antonio Najera has ‘strong knowledge’ of the insurance sector, particularly as regards (US-Mexico) cross-border matters. Key support comes from name partner Roberto Arena Reyes, whose corporate practice encompasses regulatory insurance work. Associate Jorge Arturo Perez, who specializes in local and cross border insurance litigation is also noted. However, senior associate Juan Francisco Vázquez, also a litigator, moved to Solcargo. Additional mandates include the defence of insurance claims; representation before relevant administrative and regulatory governmental entities; the design and development of new insurance programmes and multimillion-dollar, cross-border litigation. Other clients include Bupa México, Chubb de Mexico, Dentegra Seguros Dentales, Peugeot Finance and Nissan Mexicana.

Gonzalez Alcocer y Retes y Estrada Sámano, SC has established a notable practice in the insurance sector since its founding in 2001. It offers clients including include Afianzadora Insurgentes, Seguros Tepeyac, Multiasistencia, National Unity Insurance Company and Zurich a full range of advisory services as well as a specialised insurance litigation practice. Founding partner Aurelio González Alcocer is ‘thoroughly recommended’ and ‘an out-and-out insurance lawyer’ who can draw on over 20 years’ in-house experience at Seguros Monterrey New York Life. With a strong academic profile, specialist insurance litigator Oscar Arturo Pérez also has over 20 years in the sector, including six years’ in-house experience at Fianzas Monterrey. On the advisory side, Pablo Retes González Cos is the key figure with particular niche experience in coverage matters in the energy sector, particularly with key client Aseguradora Interacciones.

Probably best known as a litigation firm, the veritable Bufete Ocampo, Salcedo, Alvarez del Castillo y Ocampo S.C. (founded in 1890), is perceived as ‘specialised’, ‘growing’ and ‘increasingly focused on the (insurance) sector’. It works across the regulatory, litigious and corporate aspects on issues ranging from contracts and coverage analysis to risk administration for clients including KOT and Berkeley Insurance. It is also active in surety matters, for example, on behalf of Chubb Fianzas. Senior partner Aldo José Ocampo Castañares is ‘a recognised figure in the sector’ and key support comes from head of litigation Pablo Vizcaino and Jesús Salcedo P who can both draw on extensive in-house experience – from ING Seguros and Swiss RE, and Grupo Nacional Provincial and First American Title, respectively. Associate Laura Camino joined from the former Bufete Torres Martínez & Asociados in September 2016. Clients include: Chubb de México (Compañía de Seguros), La Latinoamericana, Seguros el Potosí, Genworth, Cardif, Assurant, Seguros Azteca, Global Intermediario de Reaseguro and Zurich Santander.

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