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Who Represents Who

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CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow is in growth mode and was among the market leaders for projects and infrastructure advice even prior to becoming officially part of the CMS network. The group acts for a mix of private and public-sector clients, and recently advised Proactive Media Ambiente Mexico and Termoenergia CDMX Holding on a major waste-to-energy PPP that will generate electricity for the Mexico City Transport Hub System. It also advised Group Danhos, Inmobiliaria Copri and ZEDEC on a project to redevelop 900,000 sq m of government land into a public park and housing. Enrique Lorente Ludlow is one of the main partners on the infrastructure side, while Derek Woodhouse (‘a star’) is recommended for energy-related projects. Recently promoted partner César Lechuga is also very active.

Galicia Abogados SC is a leading force in project finance, regularly representing both sponsors and lenders on some of the country’s largest energy and infrastructure developments. Its recent work includes advising Banobras and Mexico’s National Infrastructure Fund on the MX$1.1bn financing for the construction of the Hermosillo bypass; and acting for Banobras and Banorte on the MX$6bn refinancing of the Supervia Poniente and Segundo Piso Luis Cabrera toll roads. The firm was also active on the telecoms side, and advised ALTÁN Redes, the developer, on the MX$17.7bn cross-border financing for the Red Compartida project, a major telecoms PPP. The firm also acted on several renewables projects and advised Eloisa del Sur on the refinancing of a 496MW wind farm in Oaxaca. Carlos de María y Campos jointly leads the team with Bernardo Martínez Negrete. Francisco Fernández Cueto is recommended for his energy expertise.

The top-quality projects team at Jones Day brings ‘a lot of practical and technical depth and reliable business-oriented advice’ to the table, advising sponsors and lenders. Among the international firms, it is ‘one of the few with true LatAm experience’. Practice co-head Alberto de la Parra has an impeccable pedigree advising on major infrastructure developments and led the advice to Group Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico on its $3bn New Mexico City Airport project. Other key individuals include co-head José Estandía, Antonio Franck, and the ‘practical and preciseManuel Romano, who is ‘an exceptional projects lawyer’. The firm also advised Invex Infraestructura and Gas Natural del Noreste on the $700m development, financing and operation of a pipeline, port and storage terminal project in Tuxpan.

Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC fields ‘a strong, commercially savvy and pragmatic team delivering sound legal advice and exercising good judgment and knowledge of the market’. Highly respected name partner Michell Nader S heads the team, which includes the ‘proactive and pragmatic’ Javier Arreola, who ‘excels in helping clients become comfortable with an unfamiliar market and legal landscape’. The firm has extensive experience acting for public sector clients, recently advising the Sonora State Water Commission on the legal terms of its PPP bidding process to build, operate and maintain a desalination plant. The firm also represents numerous private sector clients, and has been very active for lenders on projects in the renewables and hydrocarbons sectors. Key partners include Vanessa Franyutti and Alejandro Rojas. Associate Santiago Medina is ‘a pleasure to work with’.

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is a leading choice for energy and infrastructure projects, where it represents sponsors and lenders. On the lender side it advised Banco Santander and others on the multimillion-dollar financing of the 424MW Parque Eólico Reynosa wind farm project, the first financing for a project awarded under the CENACE energy auction. With experience in major gas pipeline projects, it also advised The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and others on the financing for the 630km interconnection between Chihuahua and Sonora. On the sponsor side, it advised Ciclo Combinado Tierra Mojada and Fisterra Energy on the financing for the $620m development and operation of a gas combined-cycle power plant in Jalisco. Thomas Mueller-Gastell heads the first-class team, which includes leading names such as Federico Santacruz, Gabriel del Valle Mendiola and Jorge Oria y Anaya.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.’s well-regarded team ‘delivers on time’ and has ‘great knowledge of the finance industry in Mexico’. Its lawyers are comfortable as both lender’s and sponsor’s counsel and are particularly active in the energy sector. The group recently advised the lenders, including Banorte and Nacional Financiera, on a $100m loan to Emerging America Inmobilaria’s 110MW power project in Chihuahua. The three-partner team is led by Santiago Sepúlveda and also includes Giovanni Ramirez and Pedro Valesco.

González Calvillo, SC has an ‘excellent’ practice commended for its ‘clear and forceful answers’; it ‘looks for the best strategies for its client and takes care that its billing is accurate’. The group advises sponsors and lenders, and recently represented Macquarie Capital and Techint as sponsors on the acquisition, development and project financing of the 907MW Norte III power plant. The firm also had two roles on the landmark Red Compartida telecoms PPP, advising both the Mexican development banks and the vendors (Huawei Technologies and Nokia) on their respective interests in the project. Key partners include Enrique González Calvillo, José Ignacio Rivero Andere and Jorge Cervantes.

Greenberg Traurig, S.C. offers its sponsor and lender clients a blend of cutting-edge financial and capital markets expertise, with experience in industries such as energy, telecoms and transport. This has led to roles on several major projects, such as acting for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as financial adviser to the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation, in the structuring of the competitive tender process for the development and commercialisation of the country’s privately financed 4G network. The firm also advised the lenders, including Banobras, on the financing for the construction of the Siervo de la Nación toll road project. Juan Manuel González’s well-regarded team includes Miguel Yturbe and Carlos Garduño.

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. is a popular choice with sponsors and lenders for innovative project finance work. It has three partners almost entirely focused on this area: Horacio de Uriarte, Patricio Trad and Pilar Mata Fernández. The firm handles energy and infrastructure projects, and recently advised the creditors of Abengoa on the refinancing of its existing projects, including its cogeneration plant in the state of Tabasco. On the borrower side, it represented Zuma Energy on the $440m financing for the development and operation of a 424MW wind farm in Tamaulipas. Other recent clients include Banco Santander, UK Export Finance, and Alten Renewable Energy Developments.

Santamarina y Steta has a proud history in the infrastructure sphere, where it regularly acts for lenders, sponsors and public-sector bodies, and also has strong experience in major highways, telecoms, and waste-to-energy projects. It has had a significant role advising Abengoa on the refinancing and divestment of several major projects in its portfolio. Juan Carlos Machorro and Sergio Chagoya are key figures in the practice.

White & Case S.C. has a particularly strong track record advising on major projects in heavily regulated industries such as energy and telecoms. It recently advised ALTÁN Redes on its implementation of an industrial partnership agreement with Axtel and Megacable for the development and operation of a nationwide 700MHz LTE wholesale shared network. The team was also involved on the transport front, acting for Operator Lines 7 and Sky Bus Reforma on the financing for new buses needed for the Mexico City Metrobus Line 7. Vicente Corta and Sean Goldstein jointly lead the team.

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has strong experience advising sponsor clients on major energy and infrastructure projects. The team has been advising Sojitz Corporation on its interest in two photovoltaic projects and assisted Emerging America on the $100m financing for the development of a 110MW power plant. The firm is also advising the Mexloop consortium on a proposed plan to connect Mexico City and Guadalajara with a Hyperloop system. Jorge Guadarrama-Yáñez leads the well-regarded team, which benefits from Benjamín Torres-Barrón’s energy expertise.

Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C.’s well-regarded projects team is jointly led by Juan Carlos Serra and Daniel Del Río. It is highly experienced in infrastructure PPPs and energy-related projects, and regularly advises manufacturers on major development projects. It recently advised Niagara Bottling Group on the development of water bottling facilities in the states of Puebla and Nuevo Leon, and also assisted Gransolar in its purchase of a solar generation plant currently being developed by a third party.

Highly rated boutique COMAD, S.C. is ‘excellent in the public procurement area’, and provides ‘very good-quality service’. A key partner is Roberto Hernández García, who is ‘very responsive and thorough in his advice’. The firm recently advised Gilbane Alberici Construcciones on the multimillion-dollar expansion of Constellation Brands’ brewery in Coahuila, and it continues to advise Parsons Corporation as project manager for the New Mexico City International Airport project. The firm is notable for its anti-corruption and compliance expertise, which is particularly important in terms of the procurement of infrastructure projects.

The two-partner team at Chávez Vargas Abogados, S.C., led by name partner José Antonio Chávez Vargas, provides ‘impeccable service’ and is praised for its ‘knowledge and expertise in projects’. It advised a consortium comprising Sacyr Concesiones Mexico and Global Enterprise Corporation on its $300m project to renovate, operate and maintain the Texcoco - Zacatepec toll road, one of many toll road PPPs that the firm is working on. Brian Minutti is praised for his ‘knowledge and understanding of the market’.

Very capable in oil and gas’, Cuatrecasas has invested heavily in its infrastructure practice since it entered the market in 2016, and has attracted significant roles in several major projects in the hydrocarbons and telecoms sectors. Key partners include energy specialist Marco Antonio de la Peña, finance experts Liliana Corzo and León López, and corporate and regulatory partner Santiago Ferrer.

Founded in 2015, boutique firm Energía e Infraestructura Asesores, S.C. has in a short time established itself as a high-quality source of advice on energy and infrastructure projects. It represents a mix of domestic and international companies, as well as public sector clients.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.’s main focus is on the energy sector, where it is praised for its ‘industry knowledge’ particularly when it comes to hydrocarbons and renewables projects. The firm has been active in the solar power sector, advising on the financing, development and acquisition of several significant projects. Nicolas Borda and Jorge Sanchez are key contacts.

Holland & Knight is a strong choice for major energy projects, although its expertise on the infrastructure side was diminished somewhat by the departure of former co-head Antonio Casares, who set up his own practice. Energy and finance expert Alejandro Landa remains, and other key individuals such as Carlos Ochoa and José Antonio Prado are also strong in this area. Recent highlights include advising Advance Clean Energy on the development of an 80MW solar power project in Sonora, and advising Elite Energy on the development of a 360MW combined-cycle power plant.

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