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White & Case S.C.

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

The 22-strong practice at White & Case S.C. has ‘proven capability to handle multiple mandates and assignments’ and ‘sound experience in handling complex transactions including cross-border issues’, according to clients. Moreover, its ‘strong relations with regulators’ as well as ‘litigation experience in connection with finance and securities cases, is a key plus’. The group handles the full range of banking and finance matters and is co-led by ‘’heavy weight advisor’ Vicente Corta and ‘authority in the fieldJuan Antonio Martín, who is ‘highly specialized in banking and securities’ and has an ‘in depth understanding of business and legal/regulatory implications of the different questions asked of him’. Recent mandates saw Corta lead advice to FIBRA Shop on a multimillion-dollar syndicated loan from BBVA Bancomer et al; and Martin advise peer-to-peer lending network Afluenta on regulatory compliance and data privacy matters related to its operations in Mexico. In conjunction with Raúl Fernández-Briseño, Martín also advised lenders HSBC, Actinver and CI Banco on a $100m syndicated loan to Omniair for a potential stock purchase; while Fernández-Briseño, in turn, worked with Mexico-resident, New York-qualified Sean Goldstein, to advise Banco Santander, HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia on a $276.5m term loan facility (and a $50m revolving credit facility) extended to Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS) for the acquisition of Grupo Infun. Fernández-Briseño’s expertise also reaches into shipping, aircraft and equipment-financing and financial-services regulatory matters. Other key figures in the team include ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘experienced’ advisors Iker Arriola and Manuel Groenewold, as well as Francisco García Naranjo, who is very active on authorisation matters in the sector. Indeed the team has been particularly active in this sub-sector during the last year, advising a number of Asian finance entities on their entry into the Mexican market. The practice has also seen a notable up-tick in regulatory and compliance work, advising traditional banks, investment managers and new e-platforms on a range of matters including anti-money laundering (AML). Here María Teresa Fernandez is hailed as a ‘remarkable compliance advisor’ who has a ‘very good network with regulators’ and is ‘efficient and effective on assignments’. Also noted is José Ignacio Segura, who brings project finance and experience of sovereigns to the team. Clients include Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, CitiBanamex, KEB Itana Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Paypal, Shinhan Bank and Itaú Unibanco.

Leading lawyers

Vicente Corta - White & Case S.C.

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Bankruptcy and restructuring
Bankruptcy and restructuring - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. fields a ‘truly impressive’ 20-strong bankruptcy team which demonstrates ‘great capability’ across the range of insolvency-related matters, particularly in relation to financial services and financial products’ restructurings. Recent and current matters saw practice head Vicente Corta, in conjunction with Álvaro E Garza-Galván and Manuel Groenewold, advise Mexico’s asset transfer and administration service, SAE (as receiver), in the court-assisted liquidation of oil-services provider Oceanografía; bankruptcy-litigation head, Enrique Espejel, and Maria Teresa Fernandez-Labardini advise Bancomext regarding the bank debt restructuring of Desarrolladora Homex; and Juan Antonio Martín act for Barclays (Mexico) on the derivatives debt restructuring of the same debtor. Martín and Espejel are also advising Morgan Stanley in the bankruptcies of developers Corporación GEO and Fadesamex, while Iker Arriola and Garza-Galván combined to advise a bankrupt Brazilian corporation on the sale of the corporate capital of its Mexican subsidiary. Other ongoing matters include advising Mexico’s Institute for the Protection of Banking Savings (IPAB), in the landmark, court-assisted liquidation of Banco Bicentenario; and, in the wake of advising the commercial banks’ steering committee on Urbi’s bank debt restructuring, advising Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Deutsche Bank on the derivatives debt restructuring of the same developer.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

White & Case S.C.

Demonstrating ‘very high level of service and specialized capital markets expertise’, White & Case S.C.compares favourably to its peers’, according to clients. Headline equity matters saw the team advise brokers Citibanamex, JP Morgan Mexico, Banorte, BBVA Bancomer and Santander, as underwriters on Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua’s secondary global offering of 51.75m ordinary shares, raising some MXN$4.9bn; while in ongoing mandates, it is advising Central de Corretaje on the incorporation and operation of the Bolsa Institucional de Valores (BIVA), which upon receiving regulatory approval will become Mexico’s second stock exchange. Practice co-heads Juan Antonio Martín, Manuel Groenewold and Vicente Corta co-lead the 18-strong practice group, which is particularly active in structured finance, monetization and matters such as share re-acquisitions. ‘A true capital markets specialist’, Martin led advice to longstanding key client Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) on the registration of its new, recurrent-issuer debt programme for up to MXN$100bn ($5.6bn), and subsequently on a $1bn offering under Rule 144A/Reg.S. Martin also teamed up with counsel Romeo Vizzani to advise Más Leasing on a MXN$400m lease agreement securitisation transaction (its second offering under a MXN$2bn programme); and with Carlos Mainero (who made partner in January 2017), to advise Accival and Vector, as lead underwriters, on the MXN$677.7m issue by an affiliate of private equity firm StepStone Partners. Groenewold represented Banco de Mexico (Banxico), as trustee of the Federal Government’s public development trust Fondo Especial para Financiamientos Agropecuarios (FEFA) on the updating of its debt certificates programme to become a recurring issuer; and SGFP México as issuer (and Société Générale as guarantor), on a fifth dollar-denominated bond issue of $75m. In conjunction with Mainero, Groenewold also advised Goldman Sachs, as placement agent, on the MXN$53.2m sale of a stake in Aeroportuario del Centro Norte to qualified institutional buyers outside Mexico. Corta advised Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico on the re-opening, for MXN$1.1bn, of the first issuance under its 2015 dual programme; and on the third issuance, for MXN$1.5bn under the same programme; and BNP Paribas Personal Finance, as issuer (and BNP Paribas as guarantor), on a MSXN$1bn debt securities issuance, its second peso-denominated offering. A former head of the Mexican FDIC (IPAB) and general counsel of the CNBV, María Teresa Fernández is also an integral member of the team; she has been acting with Corta on the BIVA mandate. Other matters saw Iker Arriola advise micro-finance lender Financiera Independencia on its part cash tender offer to purchase up to $85m of its outstanding 2019 senior notes. ‘Responsive and knowledgeable’ associates Eric Quiles and Simon Micha Kurc are also noted. Other clients include Aeromexico, BlackRock México, CitiBanamex, Morgan Stanley and VivaAerobus.

Leading lawyers

Juan Antonio Martín - White & Case S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Carlos Mainero - White & Case S.C.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

Iker Arriola heads the team at White & Case S.C., which delivers ‘exceptional customer service’ and has ‘great industry knowledge’. Arriola, who has ‘a deep understanding, not only of the legal aspects of antitrust but also the economic aspects’, is backed up by key partners such as Antonio Cárdenas (for some, ‘the best antitrust litigator in Mexico’) and Ismael Reyes Retana. The firm was involved in several major cartel investigations, and represented Principal Grupo Financiero, a leading pensions fund manager, on COFECE’s investigation into alleged cartel activity in the pensions sector. On the merger control side, a major highlight was advising the Chinese home appliance manufacturer, Haier, on the clearance for its $5.4bn acquisition of MABE from GE.

Leading lawyers

Iker Arriola - White & Case S.C.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. has good strength in depth, and its practice is backed up by expertise in heavily regulated sectors such as energy, telecoms and financial services. In telecoms, the firm advised on the formation of Altán Consortium – which includes Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, the IFC and Canadian pension fund CDPQ – and its subsequent successful $7bn bid to build and operate a mobile 4G network. Another major highlight was advising the Chinese home appliance manufacturer Haier on its $5.4bn takeover of MABE from GE. The team includes Iker Arriola, who is also highly recommended for competition and antitrust matters; Raúl Fernández-Briseño, particularly for telecoms matters; and Francisco Garcia-Naranjo, who is active on the financial services side. Clients also rate younger partners such as the ‘excellent’ Henri Capin-Gally.

Leading lawyers

Vicente Corta - White & Case S.C.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C.’s ‘top-notch’ practice is praised for its ‘excellent management of budgets, deep level of experience and knowledge in disputes’, and has separate groups focusing on commercial litigation and international arbitration. The litigation side is jointly led by Ismael Reyes Retana and Enrique Espejel. For arbitration, the lead partner is Rafael Llano, who is ‘an excellent disputes attorney’. The firm recently represented AXA Seguros in a multimillion-dollar insurance coverage dispute, and is also acting for Telefónica in contentious regulatory issues. On the arbitration front, the firm is representing the Republic of Peru in an ICSID claim concerning the development of the Port of Callao.

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Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. has a wide-ranging energy practice, offering a broad mix of transactional, projects and regulatory expertise. One of the firm’s largest clients is Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the Mexican state-owned electricity company, which it recently advised on a natural gas transportation agreement with Trans-Pecos Pipeline for the development of the Waha Header and Presidio pipeline. The firm also advised BlackRock and First Reserve on their acquisition of a 45% stake in TAG Pipelines Sur, and another 45% stake in TAG Norte Holding. Vicente Corta and Sean Goldstein jointly lead the team, which includes José Ignacio Segura and Daniel Sánchez.

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Environment - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. has ‘excellent’ industry knowledge, and is ‘always on top of the issues’. It has been very active advising clients in the energy, automotive, mining, hospitality and pharmaceuticals industries. A recent highlight was advising Tesla Motors on environmental issues concerning the installation of its supercharger units throughout Mexico. The team is led by senior associate Pedro Morales, ‘an open and strong professional’ who is ‘very well known, and highly knowledgeable of environmental issues’ and has ‘a realistic, pragmatic attitude’.

Next generation lawyers

Pedro Morales - White & Case S.C.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

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.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

Handling the full spectrum of real estate matters, from site analysis and sales agreements to entitlements and zoning, the five-strong team at White & Case S.C. is nevertheless most prominent in the real estate finance subsector. Recent mandates, for example, saw Juan Antonio Martin and newly-appointed local partner Carlos Mainero advise Miami-based investment fund Alsis on mezzanine financing facilities to local real estate developers JOM, Comdesi, Grupo Promotor Pordesa and Desarrolladora Elements. In other matters, practice head Raúl Fernández-Briseno – who covers all aspects of the commercial, industrial and hospitality real estate sub-sectors, as well as contractual matters, negotiation and construction issues – advised MXT Capital Partners on the first of a series of telecom-tower real estate portfolio acquisitions; and Vicente Corta and Álvaro Garza-Galván advised repeat client Fibra Shop on obtaining an MXN$3.2bn syndicated loan from a group of banks led by BBVA Bancomer. Senior associate Pedro Morales brings environmental know-how to the practice as necessary. Other clients include Scotiabank Inverlat and the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

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TMT - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

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.

Next generation lawyers

Antonio Cárdenas - White & Case S.C.

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Tax - ranked: tier 5

White & Case S.C.

In the face of changing market requirements, White & Case S.C. has moved quickly to develop its tax capability over the last two years and today boasts an eight-strong team. Recent matters saw practice head Guillermo Aguayo lead tax advice to Treofan Mexico on its corporate reorganisation (as part of a global debt refinancing); and, in conjunction with former sub-procurador fiscal, Ismael Reyes-Retana, advise Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) on a range of tax issues, including defence against SAT tax audits and the tax aspects associated with a $2.1bn notes issue. Other work include advising clients on alleged tax shortfalls resulting from tax audits; the negotiation of conclusive agreements with the Federal Taxpayer Protection Agency (Prodecon); ongoing advice in relation to investigations by the federal tax authority, SAT; transactional tax matters and the tax aspects of corporate restructurings. The practice also has considerable experience on tax matters concerning financial institutions, their transactional operations and intercompany ISDA Agreements; and in the litigation of contentious tax matters with a constitutional aspect. Key associate Juan Ignacio Lopez is also noted.

Next generation lawyers

Juan Ignacio Lopez - White & Case S.C.

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Further information on White & Case LLP

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Legal Developments in Mexico

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Notorious Marks

    Notorious marks or the declaration thereof, has always been an issue widely discussed in Mexico by the IP legal community. This is so because provisions of the Paris Convention dealing with this topic have for a long time been uses as an effort to cancel or nullify trademarks registered by Mexican authorities without really making an extensive evaluation of proposed denominations and without examining in depth if such marks may be potentially affecting rights acquired by third parties elsewhere. So, a specific regulation and legal frame that at least tries to resolve this issue is always a good start in the right direction.

    By Ignacio Dominguez Torrado Uhthoff, Gomez Vega & Uhthoff, S.C. Why a new value? Is Mexico avoiding the economic fallout that the world may be facing? In Mexico franchises are worth more? Is Mexico not a country that the global economic standstill is or will affect? The answer is, not really. Are Franchises in Mexico currently experiencing a boom? Perhaps. Are Franchises becoming an important aspect in Mexican economy? Certainly.

    Advertising in Mexico is governed by multiple bodies of law including for at least seven Federal Laws, five Regulations also of Federal application, a number of the so-called Mexican Official Standards (NOM's) and certain other laws and regulations applicable into specific States within the Republic of Mexico. All of them are focusing to establish the form and manners for producing and communicating advertising of products and services in Mexico.

    It has been well publicized in the Mexican media over the last few months that the General Customs Administration (AGA) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) are planning to launch a customs trademark registry, as a short-term solution to increase protection for trademark owners against the import of infringing and counterfeit products.

    The evolution in the protection and enforcement of IP rights has also reached the Mexican practice. The traditional ways of defending a registered trademark on a non use contentious procedure have developed.

    By Jose Luis Ramos-Zurita