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‘A boutique with strong expertise in the TMT sector’, Acedo, Santamarina, S.C has long-standing experience of advising national and international telecoms and other tech-providers, as well as state entities, on regulatory and transactional work. The five-strong team is led by Andrés Acedo M, who has ‘an amazing business point of view’ and ‘the legal experience and acumen to help with the hardest issues’. Recent work highlights for the practice included assisting the Ministry of Communications and Transportation with the public bid process that awarded the Public Private Partnership contract to operate the Red Compartida network, with an investment of around $7bn, and in all the legal and procurement issues related to the Mexsat Project; and Gogo on matters concerning its provision of satellite internet services onboard planes flying over Mexican territory, as well as ensuring compliance with regulatory obligations as sole concessionaire to operate a telecommunications network. In other work the team continues to provide ongoing advice to Bose on its products’ compliance with Mexican regulations – such as Mexican Official Norms concerning radio frequency interference; and BBC Worldwide on selling its broadcasting rights. Associate Juan Fernando Espinosa offers important support; his practice focusing primarily on administrative law, public procurement and regulatory work, and he played a key role in the Mexsat project. Other clients include Amazon, QMC Telecomm, IDT Telecomm, Nokia, and GoPro.

According to one client, Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C. is ‘the best TMT firm in Mexico’. The 15-strong team has been building its specialised practice for almost 20 years, having grown together with some of Mexico’s TMT operators, and focusing its activity primarily on regulatory and compliance work. The firm has also been developing an associated data protection and privacy practice; notably, with Hector Guzman, partner of the firm’s data protection and privacy practice being based in Madrid, the firm started advising Mexican subsidiaries of European companies on complying with the international requirements of GDPR a full year before it came into force in May 2018. In one of the year’s highlight cases for the firm, the team provided regulatory advice to Altán Redes, following its successful bid to use 90MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz frequency band for wholesale services to be launched in 2018. In other work, it assisted global telecoms provider CenturyLink with a variety of legal issues, including regulatory compliance matters related to the restructuring of the company’s subsidiaries in the country and which involved transferring several licences and transitioning from a public telecommunication network concession to a sole concession under the recent Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law. ‘Very sharp’ practice head Carlos Bello ‘is recognised by everyone involved in the industry’, says one client, adding that ‘this brings amazing added value to any work performed in Mexico’. Noted for his ‘perfect understanding and knowledge of the market and of his clients’, as well as for his ‘proactivity in finding solutions and working to reach his clients’ goals’, Bello advised Concesionaria Comseg, part of Grupo Seguritech, on the public auction of spectrum for private radio communication services, of which the client won almost 2/3 of the spectrum auctioned. Bello was assisted by new partner Rolando Guevara, one of the practice’s bright young stars, in advice to regular client Echostar regarding concentration accusations related to Dish Mexico, of which the client is a partner; in what was a very high-profile $300m case, the lawyers won a constitutional action on their clients’ behalf. Guevara also assisted Hughes Network Systems, a subsidiary of Echostar, with procedures to obtain VSAT licences in nine Latin American countries of a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) project which is seeking to establish and begin the provisional operation of an International Monitoring System (IMS). In addition to its ‘excellence’, the team also distinguishes itself throught its ‘dynamism’, which, according to one client, can be attributed to its solid second line of younger lawyers. Singled out among these is senior associate Carlos Díaz, who is noted for his ‘broad knowledge of the issues, good communication across all channels and personalised service’. Another key practice figure Federico De Palacio handles telecoms and corporate matters. The practice counts several mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) among its client-base, including ACN, Plintron, and Mobilebandits; other clients include Tele Fácil, Cisco, Kymeta, Bosch, Huawei, Globalstar de Mexico, T-Systems Mexico, Aquto, Lycamobile, Skype and Microsoft.

The ‘strong’ Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. TMT team is very present in the sector, according to market commentators, advising clients on transactional and regulatory matters, such as business process outsourcing; IT sourcing and transactions; privacy and data protection (including within the context of social media); IT litigation, advice and regional legislative and business developments; corporate, M&A, finance and governance law relating to media; and corporate, M&A and financing connected to telecommunications. Recent work highlights included assisting American Eagle Outfitters with matters relating to opening an online shopping platform, including consumer protection, advertising, copyright in the digital environment, privacy, and hiring of back-office services; Nintendo in relation to end user licence agreements and terms-of-use regarding the client’s games, products and developments across Latin America; and OpenTable with regard to market penetration in Mexico. The firm also provides ongoing legal and regulatory advice to concert organiser OCESA on all its telecommunication needs, including procedures to update permits and authorisations for the use of radio frequencies in venues for private broadcasting communications; and assisted with a Public Bid by the Federal Institute of Telecommunications on acquiring three local radio frequencies for private broadcasting communications. The 10-strong team is led by Sergio Legorreta, who mostly handles telecommunication regulatory issues. Carlos R Valencia advises clients on TMT-related corporate, M&A and financing matters, as well as on licensing and distribution agreements, and regulatory issues. Up-and-coming lawyer Carlos Vela-Treviño was recently made partner. He has a wide-ranging TMT practice, including telecoms regulation and licensing; technology contracts and procurement; design, implementation and monetisation of e-commerce portals; marketing, consumer protection, and regulatory matters and copyright within the digital arena. Other clients include Nintendo, Groupon, Warber Bros, UBER, SalesForce, Airbnb, Twitter, Sony Interactive, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and NetCracker.

Rated among peers, the three-strong TMT team at Hogan Lovells BSTL draws on its international network to assist clients with regulatory telecoms and media matters (including the regulatory implications of new services and the implementation of technology agreements), as well as in privacy issues. In addition to this, in July 2017 (and within the context of a multidisciplinary consortium), the firm was selected by the IFT to act as an External Auditor (for the period of one year), with the purpose of verifying compliance with the obligations governing the market’s dominant agent in accordance with the Constitutional reform in telecommunications and the Federal Law on Telecommunications and Broadcasting (2014). Other highlights included advising a radio broadcaster on the bidding process to obtain licences to commercially use and exploit public broadcast radio frequencies on the FM and AM bands; American Tower Corporation on its $56.6m acquisition of 142 towers from Axtel in order to expand ATC’s infrastructure; Columbus Networks Mexico on obtaining a telecoms concession, also for the client’s expansion in Mexican territory; and the IFC and China Mexico Fund, as members of the Altán Consortium, regarding the Red Compartida project. The practice is led by Federico Hernandez Arroyo who has 17 years’ experience in the sector across a wide range of regulatory, commercial and procurement transactions. Key support comes from senior associate Rodrigo Méndez Solis who is well regarded for his expertise in the sector, which includes privacy and data protection, cybersecurity and compliance. Other clients include Vodafone, Infineon, AVAYA, and Telefónica on the Spot.

White & Case S.C. is ‘very active in this area’, according to market commentators, with ‘expertise that is higher than most of the law firms in the TMT area’. Focusing particularly on telecoms litigation, regulatory and financing matters, the nine-strong team offers a ‘high level of service, always meeting deadlines’. What differentiates the lawyers, according to one client, is their ‘industry knowledge. When you ask for legal advice, they always answer with sustained arguments. They facilitate communication, forming a good legal team with their client. Their customer service is excellent, and they are always willing to help and adapt to the economic situation of the company’. The team recently assisted Televisa and Telefonica in a dispute before the Supreme Court regarding zero termination rates (fixed and mobile), obtaining a ruling prohibiting the dominant agent from collecting rates for interconnection services rendered from late 2014 to 2017 from other telecom providers, effectively saving the latter $800m; and Altán Redes, as lessee, in negotiating each of its master tower lease agreements with several tower companies for the installation of telecoms equipment, in order for the client to comply with its contractual obligations under the terms of its PPP agreement with the Mexican Government. The team has acted for Grupo Telefónica on several matters, including before the IFT, which wrongly issued several resolutions linked to interconnection tariffs between Telefónica and other telecoms operators. The team also assists Televisa with daily legal and regulatory issues. The practice group is led by administrative litigator and regulatory specialist Ismael Reyes Retana, with key support from Antonio Cárdenas, also considered a strong litigator and a TMT specialist. Both have ‘a deep understanding of the telecommunications law, the industry and the judicial precedents. They deliver their work outstandingly, with fast responses and adapting to new and unexpected situations’. Associate Yuriria Galicia Arizmendi is also noted for these same qualities. Raúl Fernández-Briseño left to join Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C.. Other clients include Cable y Comunicación de Campeche, Cablemás Telecomunicaciones, Cablevisión, Corporación de Radio y Televisión del Norte de México, Corporación Novavisión, Digital Bridge, Goldman Sachs, Innova, MXT Towers, TV Cable de Oriente, and ViaSat.

Holland & Knight in effect gained a fully-fledged TMT team when a three-strong group joined from Jones Day. Clients who followed the group did so because it is ‘a pretty strong and impressive team of lawyers, that provides great value for my money’. ‘The legal knowledge of the lawyers is outstanding, they have great business acumen and understand our need for business oriented and focused advice’. This expertise covers transactional, regulatory and litigation work for the full range of operators in the telecoms sector, including fibre-optic developers, satellite companies, and mobile facility-based carriers. The group represented Maxcom before the Supreme Court of Justice in a case connected with the legality of the imposition of fines by the IFT; assisted McAllen Data Centre with the submission of a request for a master concession to provide network capacity to domestic operators in Mexico, as well as with other regulatory, employment and data privacy matters; and advised NTT Group-member Arkadin on regulatory matters – including securing initial authorisations from the IFT and the Consumer Protection Agency. Other highlight work included acting for Universal Pictures in negotiating licensing terms with Mexican exhibitors, and on competition and risk assessment matters. Luis Rubio Barnetche co-leads the team; in addition to his extensive TMT experience he can draw on IT&C and corporate law expertise to advise clients on cross-border and transactional work. His fellow practice co-head, Octavio Lecona, is a ‘very knowledgeable lawyer, he has great business acumen, very high attention to detail and he is very responsive’. He is also ‘very well rounded, very easy to deal with and he’s pretty efficient with the time required to complete the tasks at hand’. A former legal counsel at the Federal Telecommunications Commission, Lecona covers transactional and regulatory matters. Support also comes from Blanca Luévano, also formerly at Jones Day, who handles transactional and regulatory work. Other clients include Vace Partners and Eutelsat.

The core TMT group at Jones Day jumped ship to Holland & Knight in 2017, leaving a team of two, led by Bertha Ordaz, and some good clients, although it remains to be seen how the firm will fare in this area. Recent work for the group involved advising on transactional, regulatory and litigation matters connected to media, satellite, e-commerce, and the telecom and internet connections sectors. Specific examples include advising inflight communications provider SITA OnAir on a government procurement project for the sale, operation and technical support of border automation solutions (involving ABC kiosks in four airports in Mexico); Reebok on the implementation and operation of its e-commerce platform in Mexico, including contracting matters, as well as data- and consumer-protection aspects; and Ominspace on all its legal and regulatory matters, including applying for its first licence for satellite provision for mobile services, and an authorisation from the IFT for a complementary ground component (CGC) project. Practice head Ordaz has over 20 years’ experience in the sector, with a practice that includes antitrust, regulatory, licensing, and transactional work in industries such as satellites (including satellite procurement), pay TV, wireless telephony, e-commerce and aviation. She previously worked in-house at Satmex where she was general counsel. Other clients include Maxcom and Universal Pictures.

At Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC, the TMT practice handles sophisticated corporate and finance mandates for high-profile sector clients, as well as undertaking their regulatory and day-to-day work. For example, the team continues to advise Eutelsat on corporate, regulatory and transactional matters, having previously assisted it with corporate reorganisations, capitalisations, licensing matters, capital restructurings, investment compliance requirements in accordance with telecom regulations, filings before the telecom authorities, and data privacy matters. Grupo Salinas’ TV Azteca is another client which the team advised on the creation of a flexible MXN$10bn debt programme that allows the client to issue notes with different features, with the aim of enhancing the client’s telecom and television capabilities; as well as on a $400m senior notes offering under Rule 144A/Reg S listed on the Singapore Exchange. The 8-strong team is co-led by Julián Garza and Michell Nader S, who represent Eutelsat and Grupo Salinas, respectively. The team further includes Gunter Schwandt, who is active on corporate and financial transactions in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors (especially for Grupo Salinas and its companies), and senior associate Gustavo Díaz B, who has expertise in corporate and financial transactions, as well as regulatory matters, in the telecom and broadcasting sectors. Other clients include Telefónica, Telefónica Movistar México, Softlayer Technologies, and the Inter-American Investment Corporation.

Santamarina y Steta is a full-service firm with institutionalised clients that it advises on transactional and regulatory TMT-related work. Leading the team is Jorge León Orantes, who specialises in telecommunications, media and technology, e-commerce and privacy and data protection, as well as in corporate governance; he is supported by senior associate Paola Morales Vargas, who is active in the same areas but also has expertise in aerospace and satellite matters. Other lawyers who handle work in this sector are Pablo Laresgoiti in Mexico City (e-commerce) and César Cruz in Monterrey (e-commerce and privacy and data protection). Clients include The Hershey Company, EMC Computer Systems Mexico, and Blue Buffalo.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. continues its strategy of drawing on its privileged position in advising clients on high-end transactional work to move its TMT practice forward. Following on from the firm’s work on the AT&T-Time Warner merger, and within the context of the pre-merger filing, the team assisted key-sector client AT&T in relation to a jurisdictional conflict between the IFT and COFECE, making this the second case ever in which a Court ruled on the jurisdiction of antitrust authorities and the first case in which a Court ruled in favour of both authorities having jurisdiction over different markets of a single transaction, in line with the jurisdictional assessment proposed by the firm. Moreover, this transaction also involved the analysis of the first relevant vertical integration between a content provider and a telecommunications service provider. Other highlight work involved the team acting as counsel to both Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors on the pre-merger filing procedure (before the Mexican Federal Competition Commission) for Qualcomm’s $47bn acquisition of NXP; and advising Cinven Capital Management and The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in another pre-merger filing, this time for their acquisition of TUI’s Hotelbeds Group, the owner of OTT services Bedbank and Bedsonline, booking engines used by retail travel agencies worldwide. Additional matters included assisting Navitime Japan regarding the regulatory framework applicable to the launch of its mobile-app services in Mexico. Practice head Luis Gerardo García – an antitrust and competition lawyer – led the AT&T case. Begoña Cancino handles intellectual property, data privacy, regulatory and administrative litigation, and she (in conjunction with García) advised Navitime Japan. Up-and-coming senior associate Jorge Kargl was involved in almost all the firm’s cases. Other clients include Facebook, Nokia, Riot Games, The Blackstone Group, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, Intel Corporation, Siemens and Snapchat.

The TMT practice at full-service Galicia Abogados SC is part of the wider regulatory group, although it draws on the firm’s capability to offer multidisciplinary assistance, including banking, tax, privacy, and venture capital, and especially on the firm’s prominence in competition and antitrust. Six lawyers – three partners and three associates – advise clients on day-to-day and transactional matters, as well as providing representation in administrative disputes (something that distinguishes the outfit in the market). The team’s most high-profile client in this area continues to be AT&T, which consolidated its position in the Mexican market in 2015 with the acquisitions of Iusacell and Nextel México. Recent assistance included representing the client and some of its subsidiaries in data protection cases before the Mexican privacy regulator and federal courts, as well as advice on compliance and permits relating to network operations in Mexico. In addition to providing support to telecoms operators, the team counts a number of infrastructure owners among its clients. In an unusual case, the team advised Cementos Apasco on the regularisation before the IFT of the radio-electrical spectrum used internally by the company. Other work included advising on leasing, acquisitions and sales of supporting telecoms infrastructure; on a tender bid; on the design, implementation and operation of a project; and on a due diligence. ‘Rising star’ Carlos Chávez – who in addition to telecoms undertakes competition and antitrust matters, a practice he co-directs – played a key role in AT&T’s consolidation in the Mexican market. He works closely with Christian Lippert, who co-heads the antitrust and competition practice and who also handles TMT work; the pair are considered ‘extremely good lawyers’. Key support comes from senior associate Gerardo Rodríguez A, who also covers abuse of dominant position and mergers, and Maite Celorio, who joined the team in 2016 and has a focused practice on telecoms and regulated markets, as well as antitrust and competition.

Twelve lawyers (including four partners) handle TMT issues at González Calvillo, SC. The practice’s expertise is as broad as the specialisation of the lawyers, ranging from M&A, projects, procurement and infrastructure, to financing, regulatory, and constitutional and administrative litigation; according to one client, the group is ‘developing high-quality work in telecommunications law’. The firm has an impressive roster of TMT clients and has acted on some very relevant mandates, but really began developing the sector in earnest with the 2014 arrival of Luis Mancera as of counsel, following a five-year stint as VP for legal and regulatory telecom matters at Televisa. As key practice figure, Mancera – who was made partner in December 2017 – successfully represented Telefónica de México and AT&T in a constitutional proceeding (amparo) before the Supreme Court of Justice determining that the companies did not have to pay interconnection tariffs to dominant operator América Móvil (Telcel) for use of the latter’s network from January 2014 to December 2018; a ground-breaking decision, it saved his telecom-operator clients millions of dollars. In other headline work, Mancera led the team that assisted Huawei and Nokia, as vendors, as well as the Mexican Development Banks (Banobras, Bancomext, and Nafin) with all the telecoms and regulatory aspects related to the Red Compartida Project – specifically with the analysis of the scope of the public bid and the project’s PPP agreement, ultimately awarded to Altán Redes. The firm also assisted the vendors and the development banks in relation to the two-tranche initial project financings of $850m and MXN$17.75bn, respectively. Mancera also assisted Telefónica with the renewal of the titles of certain spectrum concessions. Other members of the team include Jorge Cervantes (M&A, private equity, projects, and infrastructure finance), Rodrigo Rojas (banking, project finance and M&A), senior associate Juan Carlos Peraza (who joined the firm with Mancera, having previously worked as regulatory director at Televisa and Avantel), and associate Rafael Fuentes Cataño (regulatory, administrative litigation and constitutional proceedings). The team’s client roster also includes DirecTV and HBO.

At Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C., the TMT practice is primarily focused on transactional and competition matters. Twelve lawyers handle these issues at the firm, which counts Televisa amongst its key clients. Headline work included assisting Radiopolis (a division of Televisa focused on AM and FM radio broadcasting) in an administrative proceeding initiated by the IFT to verify (client subsidiary) Radio Melodia’s compliance with its broadcasting concession title. Pilar Mata, Patricio Trad, Francisco Fuentes and Eugenio Macouzet are the partners who handle TMT cases, while senior associate Carlos Orcí also has broad experience in the sector, assisting clients in proceedings before the IFT and the Transport and Communications Ministry. He and Fuentes handled the Radiopolis case. Other clients of the department include Izzi, DiDi Chuxing, Gogo Air, Eutelsat, and RGG Capital Partners.

Robles Miaja, SC’s founding partner Rafael Robles stands out in the TMT market for having an extensive track record in handling high-end, sophisticated transactional, contentious and regulatory work for some very relevant telecoms clients, including Carlos Slim’s Grupo Carso, the holdings of which include Telmex, Telcel and América Móvil.

Ibáñez Parkman y Asociados SC handles projects relating to communications and telecoms, including satellites, telecoms networks, and data and telephone transmission, as well as TMT within the context of aeronautical law, including in terms of obtaining permits and licences, and the representation of clients before the relevant regulators and state and federal authorities. It also advises clients on general legal and regulatory matters within the sector, and on contentious cases. Orlando Cabrera Colorado handles telecoms infrastructure projects, as well as administrative disputes, and regulatory matters.

Tech-specialist boutique firm Soria Abogados, S.C. was spun out of the former Lopez Velarde, Heftye y Soria (LVHS) when the latter decided to merge with Dentons in 2016. Four-strong, and tightly focused on the technology and transportation sectors and associated litigation, the team is led by regulated-sector specialist Gerardo Soria. The current President of the Telecoms Law Institute (IDET - Instituto del Derecho de las Telecomunicaciones), he is ‘a genuine expert in the area’ according to peers, and ‘knows the regulations inside-out’.

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