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Who Represents Who

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Galicia Abogados SC has impeccable credentials in project finance, covering both energy and infrastructure developments, and regularly acts for lenders and sponsors. Its capacity to handle Mexico’s largest projects was demonstrated through its instruction to advise the lenders on the development of the new Mexico City Airport. It also advised Banco Santander and Banobras on the restructuring of a MX$850m loan to a subsidiary of FCC Construcción for the construction of a submerged tunnel under the Coatzacoalcos river; and, on the sponsor side, acted for COPEXA on an $82m bond offering to refinance the construction of a toll road in the state of Veracruz. Carlos de María y Campos heads the team, with other key partners including Bernardo Martínez Negrete and Alejandro de la Borbolla.

The ‘excellent’ team at Jones Day has made a significant impression on the market, acting for sponsors, lenders and the public sector. It ‘analyses projects with extreme care’ and is also noted for its ‘very quick response time’ and the ‘synergies between the firm’s teams in different parts of the world’. It had the lead role on the major New Mexico City Airport project, where it advised Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico on the $3bn financing for the development. Its experience also includes major toll road projects and energy developments. On the lender side, it advised Banobras, Banco Santander, Banamex and other lenders on the $607m debt financing to a subsidiary of First Reserve to acquire an ultra-low sulphur gasoline facility from Pemex. The firm also represented Pier II Quelcholac Felipe Angeles, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, on the $61m financing for a 66MW wind farm project in Puebla. The ‘very comprehensiveAlberto de la Parra heads the team, which includes José Estandía, Manuel Romano and Antonio Franck.

Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC has an excellent reputation for project finance and PPP matters, regularly representing public and private sector clients on the country’s largest infrastructure projects. The firm fields a selection of highly experienced partners, including name partner Michell Nader S, who was involved in the development of the Mexican PPP model. Other key individuals are Vanessa Franyutti, who has recently been very active in major toll road projects; Javier Arreola, who has a strong track record in water projects; and Alejandro Rojas, who is experienced on the healthcare side. Recent highlights include advising the state of Chihuahua, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, and the National Infrastructure Fund, on the establishment of a state public trust for the operation and maintenance of four international bridges in Juárez.

Ritch Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, SC is very well regarded by both clients and peers alike for its work in projects and infrastructure. The opening up of the Mexican energy market has meant that it has been very active on oil and gas, power and renewables projects, but its workload also covers major transport and social infrastructure projects; it recently advised Concesionaria Vía Rápida, as borrower, in relation to a MX$6bn loan to refinance existing facilities, secured against revenues from the Supervia Poetas and Segundo Piso Luis Cabrera highways in Mexico City. On the lender side, the firm acted for Nacional Financiera, among others, on the construction and financing of the 200MW Eólica de Coahuila wind project. The firm boasts an array of highly respected partners, including Thomas Mueller-Gastell, Jorge Oria y Anaya (noted for his ‘excellent customer service and extensive knowledge’), Gabriel del Valle Mendiola and Federico Santacruz.

Appreciated for its ‘personalised attention’, Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow has an extremely active practice advising private and public sector clients on a range of energy and infrastructure projects. It has been involved in several pioneering projects, and recently acted for Energyland on a MXN$12bn waste-to-energy PPP project to generate electricity for the Mexico City subway system. Other highlights included advising the Mexico City government on the public expropriation and development of land for three major transport hubs, to include office, retail and hotel space. ‘Very intelligent’ name partner Enrique Lorente Ludlow is particularly active on the infrastructure side, and is noted for his ability to find ‘innovative solutions’. Derek Woodhouse is very experienced in energy matters.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. acts for a mix of sponsors and investors, covering energy and transport infrastructure projects, and is particularly experienced advising investors from the private equity and pension funds sectors. Recent highlights include acting for Howard Midstream Energy Partners on the $353m development and financing of the 200-mile Nueva Era pipeline; and advising the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on their MX$19bn investment in a 49% stake in the concessionaire of the Arco Norte toll road. Santiago Sepúlveda heads the well-regarded team, which includes Giovanni Ramirez and Pedro Valesco.

Greenberg Traurig, S.C. enjoys a good reputation in the market for its work for sponsors and lenders, and is backed up by experienced banking and capital markets lawyers. It can regularly be found acting on the country’s more complex projects, covering the energy, telecoms and transport sectors. A recent highlight was advising Mexico Infrastructure Partners on an infrastructure bond issue to finance its participation in the Tabasco to Yucatan pipeline. The firm also represented Bank of America Merrill Lynch as financial adviser to the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation in relation to a competitive tender process for the privately financed nationwide 4G mobile telecoms network. Juan Manuel González heads the team, which includes Fernando Orrantia, Miguel Yturbe and Carlos Garduño.

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. has an active three-partner team which is particularly strong in major oil and gas, renewables and power projects. The firm is best known for representing sponsors, although it also has experience assisting clients on the other side of the table; its recent work includes advising Banco Santander and other lenders on the financing for the Chicoasén II hydroelectric plant in the state of Chiapas. On the developer side, the firm advised TransCanada Pipelines on its joint venture with Infrasestructura Energética Nova and bid for the $2.1bn Texas-Tuxpan pipeline project. Another highlight was acting for Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund on its acquisition of Parque Solar Coahuila, a 22.5MW solar power project in Coahuila. The practice is led by Pilar Mata Fernández, Horacio de Uriarte and Patricio Trad.

Juan Carlos Machorro and Sergio Chagoya are the key contacts in Santamarina y Steta’s active infrastructure practice. The versatile group acts for a range of sponsors, banks, and government organisations at local and federal level. Recent highlights include advising Abengoa on the refinancing, amendment and potential divestment of its portfolio of Mexican projects, including a number of major highway projects, as part of the client’s global restructuring. The firm also advised the lenders on a multimillion-dollar telecoms network project, and acted for the sponsor company on a significant waste-to-energy development.

White & Case S.C. has a strong focus on energy-related projects, regularly representing major state-owned entities such as Pemex and Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), as well as major international strategic and private equity investors. Recent highlights include advising CFE on its natural gas transportation service agreement with Trans-Pecos Pipeline for the development and operation of the Waha Header and Presidio Pipeline, and on a similar agreement with Comanche Trail Pipeline regarding the San Elizario Pipeline. The firm also has a strong track record in telecoms projects. Vicente Corta and Sean Goldstein co-head the team, which was boosted by the arrival of partner Francisco de Rosenzweig, previously Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade.

Baker McKenzie S.C. is praised for its ‘very professional and efficient’ service, and its ‘breadth of knowledge and international experience’. Jorge Guadarrama-Yáñez leads the ‘very customer-oriented and legally rigorous’ two-partner team, which primarily advises sponsors and construction companies. Recent highlights on the PPP side include advising Arendal on its joint venture with IBT Group to design, finance, construct and operate a hospital in the state of Nayarit. Benjamín Torres-Barrón is noted for his energy-related expertise.

Juan Carlos Serra and Daniel Del Río jointly lead the team at Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C., which has a wide-ranging practice covering projects in the infrastructure, energy and natural resources arenas. On the energy side, it recently advised First Solar Energia Mexico on the development of a photovoltaic park. The team has also been advising clients such as ONGC Videsh in relation to bids for shallow – and deep-water hydrocarbon exploration and extraction agreements; and advised Kia Motors on a $2.5bn investment in developing a car manufacturing facility in Mexico.

Chávez Vargas Abogados, S.C. has a focused, two-partner projects team led by name partner José Antonio Chávez Vargas. He is backed up by the expertise of fellow partner Brian Minutti, and in 2016 the firm’s offering was strengthened by of counsel Juan Carlos Elizalde’s arrival from PEMEX. Recent highlights include advising Promotora y Operadora de Infraestructura on a public tender for the operation, construction, modernisation and maintenance of the Viaducto Elevado Santa Clara – Indios Verdes – La Raza highway. The firm is also assisting the state of Campeche in obtaining a federal concession to build, maintain and operate a new toll road.

COMAD, S.C. is a boutique with a strong track record advising on the full life cycle of major private and public sector infrastructure projects, and its practice includes compliance and anti-corruption advice, particularly in relation to procurement issues. Recent highlights include advising Parsons Corporation as project manager for the New International Airport of Mexico City, and acting for Gilbane Alberici Construcciones on the $1bn expansion of the Constellation Brands brewery in Coahuila. Roberto Hernández García and Maria Isabel Rodriguez have active roles, while founding partner Eulalio Hernández Ávalos continues to work part time.

Developed in part as a result of a longstanding relationship with state hydrocarbons entity Pemex, Cuatrecasas’ Mexico City office opened its doors in early 2016, and has grown steadily since then, notably with the hire of corporate and competition specialist Santiago Ferrer from Hogan Lovells BSTL, S.C., who is now office managing partner. A former deputy head of legal at state-owned development bank Banobras, Liliana Corzo joined from Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC in November 2016, as did associate Carolina Pérez Rendón a couple of months later; and the firm also hired energy specialist and former Pemex legal director Marco Antonio de la Peña in early 2017. In addition to its activity in the hydrocarbons sector, the team advised Multitel, as lead partner in the Grupo Atlán consortium, on its successful bid to develop the Red Compartida de México, a PPP telecoms network project with initial funding of $2bn.

Energía e Infraestructura Asesores, S.C. is a relatively new firm, founded in 2015, but lead partner Miguel de Erice has a strong pedigree in projects work. The firm acts for an impressive mix of clients, including federal and local government bodies and domestic and international companies, and covers major energy projects and transport infrastructure developments such as roads, ports and airports. It is experienced across the full range of project finance and PPP structures.

Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. is focused on energy projects, representing an impressive list of oil production and exploration companies, and has several significant clients in the mining sector. It has been advising Wagner Oil on public bids for exploration and production licence contracts, and also acts for Fortuna Silver, Goldcorp and Silverbull Resources. Nicolas Borda and Jorge Sanchez are both well regarded.

Holland & Knight has a versatile team which handles a variety of infrastructure and energy projects, acting for banks, sponsors, and national and local government bodies. Joint practice head Alejandro Landa is strong on the finance and energy side, while co-head Antonio Casares is recommended for major social, transport and telecoms infrastructure projects. The firm recently advised Buenavista Renewables on the $31m financing for a 13.6MW solar park in Chihuahua. The firm also advised the government of the state of Puebla on the structuring of a new operating model for a public transportation system in its capital city.

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