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TORRE VIRREYES, PEDREGAL 24, 24TH FLOOR, COL. MOLINO DEL REY, MEXICO CITY, 11040, MEXICO
Tel:
Work +52 55 4748 0600
Fax:
Fax +52 55 4748 0690
Email:
Web:
www.creel.mx
Mexico City, Monterrey

Mexico

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Historically focused on representing lenders, although increasingly active in assisting borrowers, the banking and finance practice at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. gives clients a ‘superlative’ service, with ‘immediate responses and deep specific know-how’. The firm is ‘expensive, but worth it’. The 33-strong team is the first port of call for large-scale, complex financing mandates, including syndicated loans, corporate financing, energy financing, real estate financing and transport financing (shipping and aviation). Carlos Aiza leads the team, acting mainly as a rainmaker; he is valued by clients for being ‘a strong strategist, with a profound knowledge that he is constantly updating’. Client and peer favourite Pedro Velasco had an active year, leading teams that advised Citibank, as agent, on a $284m financing; Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, as administrative and collateral agent, on an $810m multi-jurisdiction secured syndicated financing in favour of McDermott International; and BBVA Bancomer, Goldman Sachs (USA) and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, as arrangers, on a $400m super senior revolving credit facility granted to Atento. Giovanni Ramírez Garrido acted as counsel to Southern Cross Group subsidiary Tars Holding, as borrower, on a MXN$1.25bn syndicated financing for refinancing of existing debt and other corporate purposes; and Santander, as lender, administrative agent and security agent, on a MXN$2.26bn syndicated financing by several banks and other financial institutions in favour of Invercap Service Management. Lauded by clients for his ‘deep expertise and good client service’, Rodrigo Castelazo led a team that counselled Crédit Suisse (Cayman Islands branch) as collateral agent, administrative agent and lead arranger on a $42m credit to International Tug for the acquisition of vessels. Key support comes from Mercedes Haddad A, and associates Victor Gallegos and Emilio Aarun. Associate Andrés Barrosov is also noted. Eduardo Flores Herrera joined the firm as a partner in July 2017, having previously been Vice-President for Securities Oversight at the National Banking and Securities Commission; as did Iker Arriola (a specialist in development and financing of energy and infrastructure projects) and José Ignacio Segura (who has a specialisation in project finance and PPPs) in March 2018 from White & Case S.C.. Lender side clients include Banco Sabadell, Banco del Bajío, Bank of America, Barclays, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Inter-American Development Bank, Scotiabank and UBS; and, on the borrower side, Blackstone, BlackRock, FINSA, Grupo Lala, Grupo Mexico, Mexico Retail Properties, Prudential Real Estate Investors, and Walton Street Capital.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Aiza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Pedro Velasco - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Emilio Aarun - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Mercedes Haddad A - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Victor Gallegos - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Bankruptcy and restructuring
Bankruptcy and restructuring - ranked: tier 3

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

At Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C., the bankruptcy and restructuring practice draws on its leading banking and finance expertise to assist clients (creditors and debtors) on all non-litigious aspects of corporate recovery, insolvency, restructurings and workouts. The team of four partners and five associates has been present on some of the more relevant bankruptcy and restructuring cases of the last years, including those that affected the home ownership sector in Mexico, namely assisting Credit Suisse as creditor in the restructuring of Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos and its subsidiaries; Deutsche Bank in connection with the recognition and workout of its claim against major Mexican mortgage originator, Metrofinanciera; and the IDB regarding the renegotiation of its partial credit guarantee under the pre-pack bankruptcy proceeding initiated by Metrofinanciera. The practice group continues to act as counsel to Banorte and GEO on the restructuring of the housing developer’s debt with the bank, including a potential corporate restructuring of GEO. The case was led by practice head Carlos Aiza and Pedro Velasco; both also handle banking and finance and capital markets matters. Rodrigo Castelazo and senior associate Emilio Aarun continued to advise the bond-holders in the restructuring of $100m-worth of medium term notes issued by Arendal; the case was a cross-border restructuring of NY law-governed notes issued by a Mexican company in the context of a potential bankruptcy of the client. Velasco worked on two of the firm’s other highlight cases (assisted by Aarun in the first instance), one involving the restructuring of a loan in the real estate sector within the context of the bankruptcy of a developer, and another a complex cross-border restructuring of a credit agreement between several entities. Key partner Mercedes Haddad is also part of the team; and Iker Arriola joined the firm from White & Case S.C. in early 2018. His practice covers banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A, restructuring and real estate. Clients include Credit Suisse, Credit Suisse (Cayman Islands Branch), ING Wholesale Banking, Actinver Wealth Management, Invex, CI Banco, Novo Banco, Mercantile Cap Advisors, Apollo Management Singapore, Mexico Retail Properties, and CSE Mortgage LLC/Capital Source (a division of Pacific Western Bank).

Leading lawyers

Carlos Aiza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Market opinion indicates Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is at the spearhead of capital markets practice. Clients agree that the firm is ‘excellent’ in this sector, and that it brings together experts who are able to cover any concerns that may arise. The practice group stands out for its sheer size (36 lawyers, of whom eight are partners) and for the fact that it consistently acts on innovative and first-of-their-kind deals. In recent examples of this, practice head Carlos Aiza and Carlos Zamarrón assisted Riverstone and Vista Oil and Gas in the first IPO of a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) in Mexico and Latin America, raising $650m; Aiza and Mercedes Haddad assisted FIBRA Terrafina with the first equity shelf registration programme, and the first follow-on public offering under said programme by a Mexican issuer, which raised $290m; and Aiza and Rodrigo Castelazo acted for FIBRAVIA on the first rights offering by a Fibra E, which raised MXN$4.1bn (following advice given to Pinfra on the IPO of FIBRAVIA, Mexico’s first energy and infrastructure investment trust). Moreover, Zamarrón assisted Credit Suisse with structuring the first publicly listed commercial real estate lending platform, which raised MXN$5.76bn and was listed as a CKD; as well as Mexico Tower Partners with the structuring, negotiation and implementation of the first securitisation of cell phone towers in Mexico, valued at $115m; and Castelazo advised the initial purchasers on a global offering of senior unsecured notes by Infraestructura Energética Nova, consisting of a simultaneous public offering in Mexico and private placement under rule 144A/Reg S outside of Mexico and including a Singapore listing; as well as Credit Suisse, Banorte Ixa and BBVA Bancomer, as lead Mexican Underwriters on a private placement and subsequent follow-on public offering in Mexico and international placement of shares by RLH Properties, for a total amount of $318m. Name partner Jean Michel Enríquez, Giovanni Ramirez Garrido, Pedro Velasco and Jorge Montaño are also active in the practice. Iker Arriola joined the firm in early 2018 from White & Case S.C.; his practice covers capital markets, banking and finance, corporate and M&A, restructuring and real estate. Other clients include Bank of America, Barclays, Citibanamex, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, Blackstone, CKD Infraestructura México, Macquarie, Mexico Retail Properties, Prudential Real Estate Investors, and Walton Street Capital.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Aiza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Jean Michel Enríquez - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has consolidated its leading position in competition and antitrust through its recruitment of several high-profile partners. Carlos Mena Labarthe arrived in 2017 from his role as the first ever head of COFECE’s Investigation and Enforcement Authority, adding weight to the firm’s investigations offering. The firm also attracted one of the country’s leading antitrust lawyers, Iker Arriola, from White & Case S.C., although his focus will be more on M&A work. They add to a full-service team already brimming with talent including practice head Luis Gerardo García and Mauricio Serralde. Recent highlights include advising Delta Airlines on the approval of its $1.5bn joint cooperation agreement with Grupo Aeroméxico. Other clients include Qualcomm, AT&T, and Sanofi-Boehringer.

Leading lawyers

Iker Arriola - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Luis Gerardo García - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Jorge Kargl - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

With a first-class track record representing clients on the country’s largest transactions, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is a mainstay of Mexico’s corporate advisory scene. The firm is experienced in handling deals for private equity funds and strategic buyers, and its workload includes joint ventures, restructuring, privatisations, mergers and spin-offs. Notable highlights included advising ProActive on its MXN$1.1bn acquisition of a controlling stake in Médica Sur. The firm also advised GE on the sale to Suez of GE Water & Process Technologies Mexico, which had a global deal value of €3.4bn. On the funds side, the firm acted for Bain Capital on the Mexican aspects of its $3.2bn takeover of Sealed Air Corporation’s Diversey Care division, which included Mexican assets worth $40m. Jean Michel Enríquez heads the top-quality team, which includes Carlos del Río, Eduardo González, Jorge Montaño and Humberto Botti.

Leading lawyers

Eduardo González - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Jean Michel Enríquez - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Humberto Botti - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 5

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Santiago Sepúlveda leads the highly focused energy team at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C., which is recommended for its transactional and projects expertise in the hydrocarbons and power sectors. The firm acts for a mix of funds, banks and energy companies, including KKR, InterGen, RWE Supply & Trading, Sun Edison, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Its recent work includes advising Howard Energy partners on the $570m financing and development of the 200-mile Nueva Energy pipeline.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.’s ‘excellent and very knowledgeable’ environmental team is praised as being ‘familiar with regulations and regulatory agencies, as well as US regulations, which facilitates projects and issues management’. Extremely well-regarded practice head Carlos de Icazalistens carefully, gets on board and is directly involved in material matters, offering business-oriented solutions’. The firm recently advised (and lobbied on behalf of) CALICA, a subsidiary of Vulcan Materials Company, in relation to its participation in the amendment procedure of the Ecological Ordinance of the Municipality of Solidaridad. Other clients include Banamex, RLH Properties, Howard Energy Partners, and Celanese.

Leading lawyers

Carlos de Icaza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Jessica Villaverde - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 2

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

The insurance and reinsurance practice at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is still a relatively young one, but it draws on the firm’s overall excellence to assist clients in the insurance and reinsurance market with regulatory, corporate, contractual and contentious matters. The team recently advised The Warranty Group on its reverse merger with Assurant, resulting in the former indirectly acquiring a 77% interest in the Mexican subsidiaries of the client; and Suramericana, Sura Asset Management, and Sura Asset Management Mexico on consolidation of ownership of the first over the second via stock purchase agreements, a transaction valued at $20.6m. The ‘fully recommendedLeonel Pereznieto leads the five-strong core team, which includes of counsel Maria José Pinillos (formerly General Counsel at Pan-American México), senior associate Lilian Fernández (who focuses on the analysis of structures and products), intermediate Allan Olmedo (compliance with regard to the new norms in the sector), and junior associate Mallinalli Tecomahua (formerly in-house at Prudential Mexico). Further support comes from Eduardo González, Carlos Zamarrón and Jorge Correa, on the corporate, finance and tax aspects of transactional mandates, respectively. Clients include MBIA Insurance, Willis Group, Genworth Financial, Allianz, Royal Sun and Alliance, Organización Sanitas Internacional, Interprotección Agente de Seguros y Fianzas, El Aguila Compañía de Seguros/Great American Insurance Group, Zurich, AM Trust Europe, Guy Carpenter, Delcredere / Ducroire, Suderland Marine Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe, Great American Insurance Company, Ocean International Reinsurance, and Active Capital Reinsurance.

Leading lawyers

Leonel Pereznieto - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Francisco Peniche heads a high-quality, 12-lawyer team at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C., which is active in transactional support but also has lawyers focused purely on litigation and social security issues. It recently advised Jack Cooper Transport Company on a redundancy program involving 200 employees, and also defended CBRE against a wrongful termination claim brought by the company’s former CFO. Other clients include Bain Capital, Travel Leaders Group, and SPAC Vista Oil and Gas.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.’s well-regarded team ‘delivers on time’ and has ‘great knowledge of the finance industry in Mexico’. Its lawyers are comfortable as both lender’s and sponsor’s counsel and are particularly active in the energy sector. The group recently advised the lenders, including Banorte and Nacional Financiera, on a $100m loan to Emerging America Inmobilaria’s 110MW power project in Chihuahua. The three-partner team is led by Santiago Sepúlveda and also includes Giovanni Ramirez and Pedro Valesco.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Clients are unabashedly effusive about the ‘top class’ real estate team at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.: ‘in my opinion, it is the best real estate law firm in Mexico. This is a law firm that has everything that a client needs and not only professionally speaking but also from a personal point of view’, says one. Another adds that the lawyers ‘know how to get things done and close deals. That’s what they do, and that’s what we need. They are expensive, but totally worth it’. The 32-strong team is solidly integrated, including with other departments in the firm, and it is, therefore, able to handle highly complex deals, from transactional to finance matters, including CKDs, FIBRAs, and CERPIs in all real estate sectors. A ‘strong negotiator, with a great deal of experience in the field’, ‘top notch real estate lawyerFrancisco Montalvo leads the practice from the firm’s Monterrey office. His recent work involved real estate acquisitions, including acting as counsel for Nucor JFE Steel Mexico in the acquisition of approximately 100 hectares of land (once subject to the Mexican agrarian regime) located in Silao, Guanajuato, for the establishment of a steel galvanising plant, a case also involving ejido issues. Key partner Carlos de Icaza, based in Mexico City, assisted the Dutch Embassy with negotiating and executing the lease agreement for its new offices in the capital; and MRP in the MXN$7.8bn sale, to Fibra Uno (FUNO), of a portfolio of 16 stabilised shopping centres across 11 Mexican states, and one plot of land in the greater Mexico City area. In the former mandate he was supported by senior associate Alfonso Pulido whom clients describe as ‘a versatile, hands on lawyer with deep knowledge of real estate transactions. There is a noticeable difference when he participates in a deal. He has a great willingness to work, any time, any day’. Pulido was also present on a deal led by another key partner, Carlos del Río, in which the team – also involving IP and insurance lawyers – advised Tesla on the negotiation of lease agreements for the establishment of its operations in Mexico, including the negotiation of Supercharger Stations in several locations across Mexico, required for the implementation of an electric charging network for all-electric Tesla vehicles. Senior associate Pilar Orozco was also involved in this deal. Del Río teamed up with other key partner Badir Treviño-Mohamed (based in Monterrey) as counsel to RLH Properties in the acquisition of a holding in the companies that own the Rosewood, Fairmont, Banyan Tree and Andaz Mayakoba-brand hotels and the "El Camaleón" golf course, in Quinatana Roo. Treviño-Mohamed was very active in FIBRA work, most notably, (in conjunction with capital markets partner Carlos Aiza) he led the team that assisted Grupo Bafar in the negotiation, implementation, and structuring of FIBRA Nova, including its offering on the Mexican Stock Exchange. Counsel Valentina Villa and associate Rogelio Rueda are also noted, and key support also comes from senior associate Carlos Yamamoto. Iker Arriola joined the firm from White & Case S.C. in early 2018. Clients include Macquarie Mexican REIT, FIBRA Macquarie, Terrafina, Walton Street Capital, Prudential Real Estate, Artha Capital, GE Capital Real Estate, Black Creek Capital, O’Connor Capital Partners, Mexico Retail Properties, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Prologis and Southern Cross.

Leading lawyers

Carlos de Icaza - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Francisco Montalvo - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation

Alfonso Pulido - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Badir Treviño-Mohamed - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 4

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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.

Next generation lawyers

Jorge Kargl - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

A ‘very strong’ one-stop-shop practice that includes lawyers and some accountants and which provides tax planning, transactional tax advice (including on M&A, private equity, capital markets and financial products), and representation in tax disputes to national and international companies, as well as consultancy and estate-planning services to individuals, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. continued its run of impressive mandates. The team acted as counsel to GE Power on the Mexican aspects of the global $3.4bn sale of its water business to Suez, and in another high-value transaction, acted as tax counsel on Banorte’s $1.3bn acquisition of Interacciones. In the context of Magenta Infraestructura’s tender offer for OHL Mexico, in which Santander acted as underwriter, the team advised the latter on developing a structure through which the client could conduct the offer without significant adverse tax consequences in Mexico, advice which involved tax treaty analysis given the cross-border aspects of the transaction. In another deal, a team, led by Alejandro Santoyo assisted Vista Oil and Riverstone with the innovative tax structure required for the efficient functioning of a SPAC investment-vehicle (valued at $650m) upon placement in the Latin American market. The team also worked on two CKD issuances, for Black Creek and Thermion, respectively. In addition to establishing a transfer pricing capability with the May 2017 hire of a number of new team members, including accountant and counsel Laura Frias (a former head of transfer pricing at General Electric and manager of tax planning at Televisa), the firm added another string to its fiscal bow – this time in the social security segment, with the incorporation of Alicia Abundez, formerly a senior associate at Chévez, Ruiz, Zamarripa y Cía SC, allowing the practice to provide (in conjunction with the firm’s employment and labour department) integrated advice regarding payroll structures. Moreover, following the amnesty and repatriation programme launched by the Mexican tax administration in 2017, the firm has strengthened the wealth-management side of the practice, which is led by Santoyo (whose experience includes working with private banking groups in New York and Miami). Other key team members include Jorge Correa, who works closely with Santoyo and led the Black Creek and Thermion CKDs, as well as assisting Grupo Bafar with the $195m issuance by Fibra Nova; and Omar Zúñiga, who represented GE Power on the sale of its water business to Suez as well as advising Rheem Manufacturing on its MXN$3.9bn acquisition of Grupo Industrial Saltillo subsidiary, Calorex. Zúñiga also worked in conjunction with counsel Eduardo Michán (whose practice has an oil-and-gas focus) on Endo International’s $125m sale of Grupo Farmacéutico SOMAR; while young partner Luis Vázquez, who works closely with Santoyo, led advice to Financiera Independencia on a tax inquiry questioning the deductibility of non-performing loans, financial derivatives and unwinding of financial derivatives entered into by the client. Clients include First Reserve, KKR, Cadillac Fairview, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Banco Interacciones, American Express, Honeywell, Union Investment Real Estate, Luxottica, The Abraaj Group, Iberdrola, Prudential, Logoplaste, Vista Oil and Gas, ThyssenKrupp, Fibra UNO, RLH Properties, Arroyo Energy, and Nomura Securities.

Leading lawyers

Alejandro Santoyo - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Jorge Correa - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Omar Zúñiga - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Eduardo Michán - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

Luis Vázquez - Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

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Mexico

Offices in Mexico City and Monterrey

Legal Developments in Mexico

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