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Who Represents Who

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Well known for its representation of state entities in the sector, telecoms work is among the marquee practices at Acedo, Santamarina, S.C where firm co-founder and ‘sector veteran’ Andrés Acedo M (‘highly knowledgeable in telecoms matters’), leads a five-strong team. The practice group has extensive experience advising both international and domestic telecoms companies as well as state bodies (such as the IFT) on transactional and regulatory telecoms matters. Current matters include providing ongoing regulatory advice to satellite internet-service-provider GoGo; counselling Bose regarding frequency interference regulations; advising BBC Worldwide regarding the sale of broadcast rights; and assisting Operbes (‘Bestel’) with the drafting of its interconnection and telecommunication service contracts. The team also has increasing work related to data privacy, particularly in relation to online platforms. Highlighted by clients for transactional matters, associate Juan Fernando Espinosa’s practice includes administrative and contentious administrative matters, particularly in relation to government bidding procedures and telecommunications projects; he also has extensive niche expertise in the satellite sector, having spent eight years involved in the Mexsat Programme. Other clients include Amazon, Izzi (Cablevision) and Davis, Wright, Tremaine / Microsoft. Associate Maite Celorio joined Galicia Abogados SC.

The ‘indubitably top-tier in the TMT sector’, Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C.has an in-depth knowledge of the regional market’ and is ‘a reliable advisor for telecom companies that choose Mexico as the entrance gate to Latin America’. The practice is ‘what you expect from a top-class boutique’, with ‘deep knowledge and service tailored to clients’ requirements’ and it also has ‘useful professional connections with government officers’ that ‘add value’. ‘Trusted telecoms advisor’ and practice head Carlos Bello has ‘vast experience in the area’ and ‘intimate knowledge of the regulatory environment’; he leads a 13-strong team that handles all aspects of TMT work, bolstered by solid capability in regulatory issues and associated areas such as data protection and privacy. The group’s recent caseload includes advising Tele Fácil on regulatory and litigious matters related to an interconnection dispute with Telmex (the case has evolved into a NAFTA arbitration); ACN, Plintron and Lycamobile with various aspects of their respective entries into the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market in Mexico, including investment and licensing issues before the IFT; and global communications provider Level 3 regarding all its legal and regulatory matters in Mexico. On the data protection-side, the team advised a major restaurant group on all its data collection, control and privacy compliance obligations; while in the satellite subsector it has been advising Hughes and Echostar on licenses and landing rights in several countries across Latin America, as well as on telecommunication licensing matters; and MX Space on regulatory matters before the Mexican authorities and ITU so as to obtain the rights for a satellite orbit. Made partner in July 2016, the ‘ever reliable’ Rolando Guevara has ‘an in-depth knowledge of satellite regulation’ and is highly specialised in all aspects of telecom and technology law, from regulatory compliance to contract implementation. Partners Federico De Palacio (telecoms and corporate matters) and Madrid-based Hector Guzman (data protection & privacy) are also active in the sector, and a ‘highly experienced and specialised’ second line includes senior associates Carlos Díaz and Jorge Luis Hernandez, who both focus on TMT and data protection & privacy, and Gustavo Miranda who arrived from the Mexican Data Protection Authority (INAH) in July 2016. New clients include CISCO, Kymeta, Bosch, MVNO’s Telemondo and Mobilebandits, Globalstar de Mexico, T-Systems and Aquto.

Being ‘strongly recommended for international and domestic companies that need to address complex issues in Mexico’, Baker McKenzie S.C.provides a wide range of services in different areas and counts on real experts, who are incredibly integrated, with strong industry knowledge in these areas’ – a differentiating factor for many clients. In addition, as a genuinely global player, the firm ‘has the ability to offer different points of view and act as the bridge between different jurisdictions’. ‘A top notch lawyer’, practice head Sergio Legorreta is ‘always extremely responsive, clear and precise’, ‘has a deep grasp of technology issues’ and ‘an impressive understanding in IT/Internet and IP’; he also demonstrates ‘the ability to think ahead and anticipate issues and solutions’. Legorreta leads a 10-strong team that works across the sector, including on business process outsourcing, IT sourcing and transactions; privacy and data protection; IT consultancy and litigation; media, social media and telecommunications (and all related marketing). Recent matters saw Legorreta lead advice to Airbnb regarding the regulatory framework pertaining to its services across Latin America, as well as ongoing operational matters in Mexico; and Twitter on advertising law, administrative proceedings and privacy matters, as well as general counsel regarding a legal landscape that barely recognises online social media. Other matters include advising a global telecom provider on regulatory and transactional matters; a social media platform with issues relating to online sales; telecom service reseller authorizations; OTT and SVod services, and portability rights. Corporate transactional partner Carlos R Valencia is also a key practice member, as are ‘suitably specialised’ senior associates Carlos Vela-Treviño and Juan Carlos Tornel who focus on data protection and information security, and IT/C law and cross-border transactions and contracts. New clients include NetCracker, Stubhub! and Dropbox; active key clients include Virgin Mobile, Nintendo, Groupon, UBER and Salesforce.

International player Hogan Lovells BSTL, S.C. brings its multi-jurisdictional reach to bear on TMT matters, as reflected by its recent assistance to an in-flight ISP not only on issues including privacy, data protection and net neutrality, but also on the provision of its services in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. The practice group covers the full range of TMT work, from transactional, commercial, contentious, regulatory and finance-related mandates, to specialist issues such as IT outsourcing, cloud computing, content rights, e-commerce, and spectrum, broadband and satellite matters. Coordinator of the telecoms committee of national in-house counsel association, ANADE, practice head Federico Hernandez Arroyo has over 15 years’ telecoms experience and is ‘a native in the sector’, according to one peer. He has extensive experience in a wide range of regulatory, commercial and procurement transactions. Recent mandates include ongoing advice to multinational telecoms players on matters ranging from bids for licenses to operate public broadcasting radio frequencies to service concessions and telecom-service re-seller authorisations; and ESPN on issues related to its content (as well as tax and contentious matters). The team is also active on competition matters within the telecom sector. Other work involves data protection and privacy matters related to the use of monitoring software and the encrypting of end-to-end voice communication. ‘Very much Federico’s right hand’, up-and-coming senior associate Rodrigo Méndez Solis specializes in telecoms law and regulation, IT, data protection and administrative and commercial law. Clients include Infineon, Telefónica on the Spot Services, Vodafone, ASIYA Comunicaciones (part of Next Communications), Columbus Networks USA, Samsung and American Tower Corporation de México. Counsel Agustín Gutiérrez Ruíz and recent hire Óscar Arias Corona have both left the firm.

Very accurate and careful on issuing advice’, Jones Day’s Mexico office ‘has a team that really can work and advise on any matter’; its ‘organization ensures its efficiency in providing responses in good time’. The practice advises across the full range of telecom matters from transactional to regulatory, and wireless to satellite, and also has the advantage of the firm’s international reach. ‘An old hand in telecom matters’, practice head Luis Rubio Barnetche is ‘hugely knowledgeable about the industry’ and ‘a first class strategic advisor’ who is ‘great at discerning unforeseen contingencies in business scenarios’; he counts major industrial, mobile telephone and satellite operators in Mexico among his clients, but is also well known for his work with trade associations and the Mexican government. Headline mandates saw the team advise Telefonica on a successful first-of-its-kind (for the Mexican market) spectrum swap and lease with AT&T (including all regulatory aspects); and it also attended to the Mexican aspects of CommScope Holding Company’s $3bn acquisition of the telecom, enterprise and wireless business of Switzerland-based TE Connectivity. Key team members include Octavio Lecona Morales (formerly at Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Commission he has extensive experience working with Satmex and Telefónica, among others), whose practice focuses on government regulation, transactional matters and the telecoms sector. Bertha Ordaz-Áviles, who has ‘long had a telecoms aspect to her practice’, and who also handles corporate and transactional matters related to the telecoms and satellite sectors; and of counsel Guillermo Larrea, who has strong niche expertise in cybersecurity, data protection, and e-commerce. In other matters, the team also represents Maxcom, which has a quadruple-play service offering in Mexico, on corporate and regulatory matters, the development of new business lines and contentious administrative issues; is advising a cloud computing service provider on regulatory requirements; and in the satellite sub-sector, is acting for Satélites Mexicanos on issues related to its required capacity reserve. Intermediate associate Blanca Luévano is also noted. Clients include Amazon, Globalstar, Omnisapce, NBC and Universal.

The nine-strong telecoms group at White & Case S.C.’s Mexico office is co-led by administrative litigator and regulatory specialist Ismael Reyes Retana, and M&A and finance lawyer Raúl Fernández-Briseño. In an undoubted headline mandate, the pair led advice to Altán –a consortium of 10 companies led by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, IFC and Grupo Multitel– on its successful tender-process bid to develop Mexico’s shared telecoms service network (“Red Compartida”), a MXN$7bn project which will see the consortium enter into a PPP with specialised state telecoms agency PROMITEL. Other matters include advising standing client Telefónica on incorrect resolutions regarding interconnection tariffs pertaining to the client issued by regulator IFETEL; major broadcaster, Televisa, on a range of regulatory and legal matters in Mexico, including the repercussions of recent legislation in the sector and on-going contentious and constitutional matters involving issues including market dominance, and both fixed and mobile zero termination rates. Made partner in January 2017, administrative specialist Antonio Cárdenas has extensive experience of both contentious and regulatory matters in the telecoms and information technology sector; he played a key role in Altán Consortium’s successful concession bid. Intermediate associates Fernando García Gómez and Salomón Zonana are also noted. Clients include Altán, ViaSat, MXT Capital Partners, Telefónica, Televisa.

Primarily handling sophisticated corporate and finance mandates in the sector (where it has a significant track record), Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC’s eight-strong telecoms practice also has considerable regulatory capability, such as obtaining authorisations from IFETEL, an issue upon which it recently advised major clients Telefónica and Liberty Global. The practice is co-led by Julián Garza C, who frequently works with both Telefónica Movistar México and Satélites Mexicanos (Eutelsat); and senior partner Michell Nader S who represents Grupo Salinas on much of its activity in the sector. Recent mandates saw Garza lead advice to Eutelsat on corporate, regulatory and transactional matters relating to its corporate reorganisation, as well as on data privacy and licensing matters. Other current matters include advising on the implementation of mobile financial services, the assignment of telecom concessions, and transactional matters (and related competition issues). Gunter Schwandt is also active on corporate and finance matters in the sector; and intermediate associate Gustavo Diaz has considerable expertise in regulatory telecom matters, as well as corporate-finance experience in both the mobile telephony and satellite sectors. Other clients include TV Azteca, Softlayer Technologies and Inter-American Investment Corporation.

Full service firm Santamarina y Steta has long participated in telecom-related work. Recent mandates include handling data protection and e-commerce matters on behalf of The Hershey Company; advising EMC Computer Systems Mexico on compliance with data protection and privacy, e-signature and e-data retention obligations; and Blue Buffalo, also on compliance with Mexican data protection requirements – a sub-sector where the team is particularly active. ‘A well-known figure’, transactional specialist and practice head Jorge León Orantes advises across the TMT sector, and in particular on data protection and privacy matters where he ‘knows the ropes’. Key support comes from senior associate Paola Morales Vargas, who has considerable expertise in e-commerce, telecoms, media & technology, and satellite matters. Other mandates included acting before IFETEL regarding telecom-service re-seller authorisations; telematics’ analysis to ensure compliance with Mexican norms; and licensing agreements. Pablo Laresgoiti in Mexico City, and Monterrey-based César Cruz, lean-in to the practice to advise on e-commerce and data privacy, respectively; both areas being particular niche strengths of the firm.

Corporate powerhouse Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. enters the telecom rankings on the strength of a growing client base (including Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, Ginmbal and Rivada Networks), and a slew of significant transactional activity. Foremost here was acting as local counsel to AT&T on its global $85.4m acquisition of Time Warner. The group also advised Rivada Networks on its ultimately unsuccessful participation in the Red Compartida bidding process, and acted as Mexican counsel to Nokia on its €15.6bn acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. Other mandates saw key partner Luis Gerardo Garcia, who led on the above transactional matters, counsel AT&T on the analysis and response to a public consultation regarding the effectiveness of the asymmetric regulations imposed upon América Móvil by regulator IFETEL. IP and administrative litigation partner Begoña Cancino brings niche strength in data privacy matters to the team and has led on mandates concerning the regulation of ‘simulcasting’, ‘infotainment’ systems and internet advertising. Key senior associate Jorge Kargl is involved in almost all firm’s activity in this sector and is regarded as ‘a star in the making’. Other clients include Take Two Interactive Software, Audi and Riot Games.

Galicia Abogados SC is ‘fast gaining visibility in the sector’ and enters the ranking as key corporate and telecoms advisor to major player AT&T, which consolidated its position in Mexico with the 2015 acquisitions of Iusacell and Nextel México. More recent headline mandates saw practice head Carlos Chávez lead advice to AT&T on its swapping of 10MHz of spectrum holdings with Telefónica and associated – and novel – frequency leaseback arrangement; this was followed by reciprocal national roaming agreements between the two parties. The team obviously draws on the corporate, finance, administrative and particularly competition practices at the firm as required; but on regulatory matters, in addition to Chávez, has recourse to senior associate Gerardo Rodríguez A. The team’s sector expertise, particularly in relation to telecom infrastructure matters, was further enhanced with the arrival of associate Maite Celorio from Acedo, Santamarina, S.C. However, Alejandro Perera left for Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C.. Other clients include Grupo México and Hispasat.

Focusing primarily on the transactional and competition aspects of the sector, the 14-strong telecoms group at Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. has ‘a strong track record’ in telecoms and TV matters. Its key client is Televisa, for which past matters include counsel on the sale of its stake in GSF Telecom Holdings to Grupo Salinas. On the antitrust side, it represented the same client in an investigation initiated by the IFT following a complaint by Maxcom about alleged monopolistic practices. Ricardo Maldonado, Patricio Trad, Eugenio Macouzet and Francisco Fuentes Ostos co-lead the department. Economic competition and regulatory specialist Fuentes Ostos is ‘practical, smart, and grounded’, but also ‘business oriented and a creative thinker’; ‘we bring in Francisco for the most important matters and for the most difficult problems’, commented one client. Senior associate Carlos Orcí ‘has a wonderful manner, is a great listener, and is a well-rounded lawyer who can handle any problem – he is a pleasure to work with’; in addition, associate Alejandro Perera arrived from Galicia Abogados SC.

With very strong sector-expertise, Robles Miaja, SC’s founding partner Rafael Robles has long been extensively involved in both regulatory and transactional activity in the telecoms industry. The boutique firm covers corporate, M&A, finance and antitrust matters, as well as contentious work and acts principally for the telecom’s operations of Carlos Slim’s Grupo Carso empire, fixed-line operator Telmex and regional giant América Móvil.

Of counsel Luis Mancera is the key figure at González Calvillo, SC’s telecoms tax practice; his experience immediately prior to his arrival at the firm in 2015 consisting of a five year period as VP for legal and regulatory telecom matters at major Mexican corporate, Televisa. He also brought with him associate Juan Carlos Peraza, a former regulatory director at the broadcaster who in addition also spent a decade in a similar position at Avantel. Recent matters include representing Telefónica México before IFETEL with regard to the asymmetric regulations imposed upon América Móvil as the market’s dominant economic player; and ATT/Iusacel on the design and execution of a regulatory strategy before the same entity and again related to the preponderant market agent. In a specialist niche derived from his public sector experience at the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), where he was general counsel and chief tax prosecutor, Mancera also represents telecoms entities in constitutional (amparo) and administrative proceedings before specialised IFETEL tribunals, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), Supreme Court of Justice and Mexico’s tax authority, SAT. Other clients include DirecTV.

Active on projects in the TMT sector, Ibáñez Parkman y Asociados SC has expertise in the areas of satellites, telecoms networks, and data and telephone transmission services. Past matters saw the team assist OnStar de México with its negotiation of a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services agreement with Telefónica Movistar Mexico. Associate Orlando Cabrera Colorado handles significant infrastructure and administrative matters as well as regulatory and contentious work in the TMT sector; and Clara Luz Álvarez González de Castilla gained notable experience as commissioner of the Federal Commission of Telecommunications (COFETEL).

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