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Paul Hastings LLP

Work +1 212 318 6000
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Atlanta, Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Frankfurt and 15 more

Michael Fitzgerald

Work 1(212) 318-6988
Paul Hastings LLP

Work Department

Latin America Practice Group


Michael Fitzgerald heads the Latin America Practice Group at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s New York office. Mr. Fitzgerald has represented a wide range of international and domestic underwriter and issuer clients in debt and equity financing transactions and merger and acquisition activities. He has been especially active in Latin American financial markets, and was one of the first US corporate lawyers to focus on capital markets work in the region. He is recognized as a leading lawyer (band 1) by Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and Chambers Latin America; named in the International Who's Who of Capital Markets Lawyers and Business Lawyers; recognized by Legal 500 US as one of the four leading lawyers in the US for Global Offerings; named one of the world's best capital markets lawyers in PLC Cross Border Handbook; and included among the "500 Best Lawyers in the US" by Lawdragon. Mr. Fitzgerald has written articles and presented seminars on a variety of issues involving international capital markets.


Committee member of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice Initiatives Member of the American Bar Association Committee on Securities Laws, American Bar


Fordham University School of Law, J.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A.

Latin America: International firms

Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Overall service is outstanding’ at Paul Hastings LLP and ‘stands up to the level of any top firm’. ‘Response times are excellent’, ‘language skills are a plus’, and it provides ‘a pragmatic approach to issues’ and ‘thorough involvement in transactions’. The firm has an impressive array of creditor and borrower clients and works on transactions ranging from leveraged and acquisition finance, syndicated loans and restructurings, to highly structured project financings and project bonds. A large number of the team’s deals are connected to projects, although they are not necessarily mainstream project finance transactions. It also benefits from a market leading Mexico-focused practice that has earned the team a wealth of corporate borrower clients including Alfa, Grupo Senda, Odebrecht, Sigma Alimentos and Tenedora Nemak. In one headline deal it advised Gasoducto Sur Peruano, as borrower, and its sponsors (Odebrecht and Enagás) in the long-term senior secured financing of the $5bn Gasoducto Sur Peruano (GSP) pipeline in Peru, which included the restructuring of its $600m corporate bridge loan with five commercial banks. Robert Kartheiser is ‘even tempered’, ‘practical and transactional’, offers ‘reasonable approaches’ and is widely recognised for his project finance expertise. Head of the Latin America practice Michael Fitzgerald is noted for financings involving capital markets components and has an unrivalled reputation in Mexico. Taisa Markus is ‘exceptional’ thanks to her ‘level of knowledge and the way she approaches the transaction’. Joy Gallup is another Mexico expert with a great deal of finance expertise, including syndicated loans and structured loan transactions.Roberta Bassegio has made an impression in energy finance since launching the firm’s São Paulo office in 2016. Cathleen McLaughlin is hugely experienced in Latin America and has extensive expertise in capital markets linked financings. Counsel Elicia Ling is also making an impression. Lender-side clients include BBVA Banco Continental, Citigroup, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and HSBC.

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Capital markets

Within: Leading lawyers

Michael Fitzgerald - Paul Hastings LLP

Within: Capital markets

Knowledgeable, practical and very efficient’, Paul Hastings LLP is a dominant force in corporate issuances in Mexico where it has a ‘great market share’; Michael Fitzgerald, who heads the Latin America department, has been involved with Mexico for some 25 years. In early 2017, he and the team advised the Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan (as global coordinators and initial purchasers) on Jose Cuervo’s $912m IPO through its parent company Becle. The firm also represented global aluminum components supplier to the automotive industry, Nemak, on its €500m Eurobond offering, which constituted the first high-yield debt issuance by a Mexican corporate in 2017. In yet another headline deal, the team advised the global coordinators and initial purchasers in a dual-tranche $2bn bond offering by the Mexico City Airport Trust as part of the financing for the new international airport; it was the largest bond financing for an airport and the largest green bond offering out of Latin America. The firm ‘is the best in the market’, ‘provides remarkable value’, ‘always looks for alternatives’ and ‘is very sensitive to cross border issues’. Clients suggest ‘there are very few firms that compare’ and that it has ‘the kind of lawyers you want to have on your side’. The Latin American team is developing its presence beyond Mexico, particularly in Peru and Colombia, and the opening of a São Paulo office in 2016 is giving the firm greater exposure to deals originating from Brazil. Other clients include Alfa, BBVA Banco Continental, BTG Pactual, Banco Itaú, Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Santander, Cemig, TAESA and UBS. Additional key partners include the ‘very efficient, knowledgeable and resourceful’ Cathleen McLaughlin, who is a prominent name in project bonds; the experienced Taisa Markus, who has a fine record in Mexico, Brazil and Peru; Joy Gallup, who is noted for structured debt offerings, high-yield debt, project bond offerings and liability management transactions; and Arturo Carrillo, who provides additional expertise in Mexican real estate work, notably offerings by FIBRAs, the Mexican equivalent of real estate investment trusts (REITs). Steven Sandretto provides additional expertise from São Paulo. All partners are New York located unless stated otherwise.

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United States: Finance

Capital markets: debt offerings

Within: Capital markets: debt offerings

Consistently good’, Paul Hastings LLP is lauded for its ‘knowledgeable and confident lawyers’ and its ‘strong experience across a wide variety of capital markets matters’. The group’s Latin America expertise is also a notable strength and Michael Fitzgerald and Joy Gallup acted for the global coordinators and initial purchasers in a landmark dual-tranche $2bn bond offering by Mexico City Airport Trust. The same team also advised underwriters Goldman Sachs, HSBC Securities and Morgan Stanley on Televisa’s $1.2bn senior notes offering. Cathleen McLaughlin is ‘very efficient, knowledgeable and resourceful’ and acted for the government of Jamaica in its $743.2m bond offering. Michael Zuppone chairs the largely New York-based department.

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Capital markets: equity offerings

Within: Capital markets: equity offerings

Paul Hastings LLP’s ‘excellent’ capital markets practice comprises ‘very responsive lawyers’. Among the names to note in New York, Latin America group lead Michael Fitzgerald impresses in Mexico-related matters and recently acted with Joy Gallup to advise Fideicomiso Hipotecario on its $170m follow-on offering. Fitzgerald also teamed up with Arturo Carrillo to advise Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank as the lead underwriters on a $175m follow-on offering by Mexican airline Controladora Vuela Compañía de Aviación. Yariv Katz acted for Citigroup and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as joint book-running managers, in Sun Communities’ $284m follow-on offering. Jeff Hartlin, who splits his time between Palo Alto and San Diego, and San Diego-based Teri O’Brien are also recommended.

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Capital markets: global offerings

Within: Capital markets: global offerings

Led by Michael Zuppone in New York, the ‘excellent and very responsive team’ at Paul Hastings LLP regularly acts for issuers and underwriters. The firm is especially noted for its strong Latin America practice, which goes beyond Mexico - where Michael Fitzgerald is virtually unrivalled - into other key jurisdictions such as Brazil, Colombia and Peru. This reach was strengthened through the opening of a new office in Sao Paulo, where local partner Roberta Bassegio is considered ‘very good’, as well as the recruitment of highly rated Latin America experts Robert Kartheiser and Cathleen McLaughlin from Allen & Overy LLP’s New York office. The firm recently advised Citigroup, HSBC and JP Morgan, as global coordinators and initial purchasers, on the dual-tranche $2bn bond offering by the Mexico City Airport Trust. On the issuer side, the firm acted for Mexican refrigerated food company Sigma in its $1bn bond offering.

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Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings

Within: Capital markets: high-yield debt offerings

Paul Hastings LLP’s renowned Latin America expertise is a significant draw and it regularly secures key roles on some of the region’s most high-profile capital markets deals, particularly for issuers. In a recent headline example, Michael Fitzgerald and Joy Gallup advised Crédito Real on its $625m international bond offering, which was the largest high-yield debt placement by any Mexico-based issuer in 2016. Michael Zuppone chairs a New York-based group that also includes Cathleen McLaughlin, who focuses on cross-border financings in Latin America and Europe.

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