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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

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Claus Von Wobeser at Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC is a widely recognised arbitration specialist, acting as both arbitrator and counsel. The team also includes a number highly regarded practitioners such as Marco Venegas, Fernando Moreno and Adrián Magallanes. Recent caseload include a range of multimillion-dollar construction and commercial arbitration proceedings. SOLCARGO handles a steady stream of international arbitration, and recently represented Comisión Federal de Electricidad in two multimillion-dollar claims related to power purchase agreements with independent power producers. Fernando Pérez Correa is the name to note, and regularly sits as both arbitrator and counsel. González de Cossío Abogados, SC's Francisco González De Cossío is a recommended for acting as arbitrator and counsel in a range of domestic and international arbitration cases. Galicia Abogados S.C.'s Rodrigo Zamora is particularly noted for his expertise in infrastructure and construction-related disputes, and acts as both arbitrator and counsel; Cecilla Azar is 'a great expert in arbitration and ADR'. Wöss & PartnersHerfried Wöss regularly acts as counsel, arbitrator and expert witness, and is active in handling infrastructure and energy cases. Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.'s Bernardo Sepúlveda Amor and Carlos Martínez Betanzos are also names to note. Fernando Del Castillo left Santamarina y Steta, and set up his own firm Del Castillo y Castro Abogados.

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Mexico

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

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

Clients rely on the ‘tremendousCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. because of its ‘pro-deal mindset’ and ‘business savvy’, ‘outstanding legal capabilities and customer service’ and understanding of ‘risks and regulators’; the lawyers have ‘an overall vision of the deal’. The 33-strong team boasts an enviable list of clients, including international and domestic lenders, borrowers, guarantors, funds, agents, banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions, which it advises on numerous first-of-its-kind financing structures, complex structured financings, high-level restructurings, cross border, local single-bank and syndicated loan facilities, acquisition financings, ship financings, secured and unsecured financings, project finance and derivatives. In highlight work, practice head and rainmaker Carlos Aiza co-led the team -in conjunction with Giovanni Garrido- acting as special Mexican counsel to Citibanamex on a $50m credit agreement and with negotiating the implementation of a participation between Citibanamex and Citibank. Garrido also led the team that advised BBVA Bancomer -as lender, administrative agent and security agent- on the MXN$2.85bn syndicated loan granted to Omnilife for the indirect refinancing of its existing debt, which was derived from a corporate restructuring. Highly valued by clients (he ‘has the ability to understand the clients’ needs regarding the quality of the work and timings’), Pedro Velasco led the team acting for Vista Oil & Gas on a first stage $260m senior secured loan arranged by Credit Suisse, Citibank and Morgan Stanley. Emilio Aarun, who made partner in January 2019, worked on both this and on the Citibanamex mandate; he has ‘the skills that facilitate the closing of deals, which is always the goal’. Other key practitioners include Rodrigo Castelazo, Mercedes Haddad, and of counsel Victor Gallegos. Other clients include Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole, Commerzbank, Banorte, MetLife, and Bank of America.

Leading individuals

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

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

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

Next generation lawyers

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

Mercedes Haddad - 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.

In line with its work in other finance-related practices, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. primarily advises clients on high-end matters, specifically, on all non-litigious aspects of corporate recovery, insolvency, restructurings and workouts, including those involving complex financial situations and banking and finance structures; and creditors and debtors on complex bankruptcy and out-of-bankruptcy restructuring transactions and regulatory issues in non-judicial aspects of restructurings and workouts. The ‘superb and consistent’ eight-lawyer team is ‘efficient, practical and very focused on execution’, offering ‘the closest parallel in Mexico to a US-style representation’ and ‘the highest standard in quality and ethics’; ‘the key practitioners are in the minutiae of the deal but have a good sense of the big picture’. Banking and finance and capital markets expert Carlos Aiza leads the team; Pedro Velasco  (also a specialist in banking, finance and capital markets), is ‘punctual, professional and constructive’; and Rodrigo Castelazo is valued for his ‘intelligence and eye for detail’, but also knowing what is important and what is merely legal trivia’, as well as for ‘making sure that clients are well protected'. Emilio Aarun, who made partner in January 2019, is also recommended. The group was active on some of the more relevant cases of the recent years, including the restructuring of Banorte’s debt with GEO; representing a Brazilian group of bondholders in all matters relating to the concurso mercantil of Desarrolladora Homex; and Credit Suisse as creditor in the restructuring and reorganisation of Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos. In more recent work, it acted as leading Mexican counsel to Hemen as part of the creditors’ group in the negotiation and implementation of Seadrill’s chapter 11 reorganisation plan (considered the largest in the offshore drilling sector); as Mexican counsel to the holders of Abengoa's corporate bonds, in the negotiation and restructuring of Abengoa’s obligations; and as Mexican special counsel to Coastal Energy Solutions in connection with the insovency of Tecnologías Relacionadas con Energía y Servicios Espcializados (TRESE).

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

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

The 35-strong team at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is a market leader acting on the side of issuers, sponsors, structuring agents, underwriters, pension funds (AFORES), investment funds, rating agencies, arrangers, placement agents and financial guarantors, among others, on sophisticated,  complex and innovative transactions. Recent examples include advising BlackRock on a -first-ever - $500m CERPI with an investment mandate for infrastructure projects in Mexico and Latin America; and KKR on the first-ever international CERPI acting as a feeder fund to allow Mexican pensions funds to make investments in KKR global and regional funds outside Mexico for the first time, also with the value of $500m. Moreover, following its advice to Vista Oil & Gas on the first-ever initial business combination (de-SPAC) by a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), the practice also acted for Promecap on the second-ever SPAC listing in Mexico and Latin America (value of $300m). In other work the team also acted for several high-profile clients, such as Goldman Sachs, Banobras and Credit Suisse as underwriters in FIBRA E offerings; and it assisted the Mexican Government in the first-ever joint multi-country floating rate earthquake-linked capital at risk notes, issued under the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)'s global debt issuance facility (total value $1.36bn). Very active practice head Carlos Aiza handles the full range of capital markets transactions; Carlos Zamarrón is admired for his out-of-the-box thinking; Rodrigo Castelazo worked with Aiza on the  team's SPAC and CERPI caseload, and assisted Capital Índigo in the formation of its first CKD fund, the second listed on the Bolsa Instituconal de Valores (value MXN$1.6bn). Other names to note include Mercedes Haddad, Jorge Montaño, Eduardo Flores, and Jean Michel Enriquez. Clients include Blackstone, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Santander, BBVA, and Lexington Partners.

Leading individuals

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

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

Rodrigo Castelazo - 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 a team of 'true experts' who provide 'pragmatic, business-oriented' advice and are praised for their 'very good antitrust clearance timing'. As befits a firm with a top-tier corporate practice, high-quality guidance on pre-merger filings is a given. Equally, clients can expect 'outstanding' support and advice on contentious dealings with the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (COFECE), including investigations, amparo proceedings, and dawn raids (both mock and actual). The team is led by the highly respected Luis Gerardo García and includes the 'very well organised' Mauricio Serralde, the 'outstanding business lawyer' Iker Arriola, and the 'extremely comprehensive' Carlos Mena-Labarthe, the former Chief Prosecutor at COFECE. The practie has recently represented clients in the energy, internet, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors on major investigations. Highlights on the transactional-side include advising AT&T on issues related to its acquisition of Time Warner's Mexican business. Other clients include Linde, KKR and Takeda.

Leading individuals

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

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

Next generation lawyers

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

Rising stars

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.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. 'excels' in 'understanding the needs of the client, and the level of detail of the lawyers analysis and delivery of documents for M&A transactions is very concise'. Domestic and international blue-chip corporates and private equity funds regularly use the 'solid, agreeable, emphatic and objective' team for their most business-critical matters, including mergers, joint ventures, restructurings, privatisations, and spin-offs.  Jean Michel Enriquez leads the highly-rated six-partner team, which helped close over 40 M&As in 2018 - outstripping its competitors in both volume and value of instructions. The practice is in great demand as Mexican counsel on the most prestigious international and global deals; it recently advised Merck on the Mexican aspects of the €3.4bn  sale of its global consumer health business to Procter & Gamble; Nidec on its $1.08bn acquisition of compressor business Embraco, including its Mexican subsidiaries, from Whirlpool; and Cinven on the $2.3bn sale of the Spanish and Latin American businesses of fibre optics and network infrastructure group Ufinet to Antin Infrastructure Partners and to one of its own controlled funds, Cinven Ltd. Other matters included advising RLH Properties on its $57m acquisition of four luxury hotels and a golf course from OHL, and ACCO Brands Corporation on the $31m acquisition of school and craft products manufacturer GOBA Internacional. Key partners within the team include Eduardo González, Jorge Montaño, Iker Arriola ('gets the best results'), Carlos del Río ('very open with his communication and detailed in his analysis'), and Humberto Botti.

Leading individuals

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 3

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

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has a strong pedigree in advising oil-and-gas, petrochemicals, power and renewables companies, and investment funds, on their corporate, financing, and infrastructure needs. The highly-rated eight-lawyer team is jointly led by Santiago Sepúlveda and José Ignacio Segura. Recent matters include advising InterGen on the $1.2bn sale of its portfolio of Mexican businesses to Actis, including six combined-cycle gas turbine projects and a 155MW wind project. The practice also represented Howard Energy Partners on the $470m private-placement refinancing of the Nueva Era Pipeline Project. Other recent clients include Linde, CFEnergia, BlackRock, and GE Capital.

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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.  is praised for its 'deep knowledge of environmental policy and practice, combined with excellent commercial and political sense'. The team's expertise includes advice on major real estate, energy and infrastructure development projects, as well as corporate M&A and administrative litigation. In recent  work, the team advised Trinity Investments, Walton Street Capital and Oaktree Capital Management on the complex environmental aspects of their indirect acquisition of the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort. The firm also advises Butterfly Equity on environmental issues regarding the day-to-day operation of acquaculture farms in a natural protected area of the Pacific Coast. 'Enormously dedicated, sophisticated and thoughtful', practice head Carlos de Icaza has 'exceptional judgment and professional skill'.

Leading individuals

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 1

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

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. fields ‘a solid team of experienced and well-trained lawyers with different backgrounds’; it handles all legal aspects of the insurance and reinsurance sector, namely M&A, finance, corporate governance, regulatory, and day-to-day and contentious matters. With impressive clients and a developing track record, highlights for 2018 included assisting the Mexican subsidiary of Global Insurance Group in a sanction process arising from a regulatory audit concerning anti-money-laundering compliance, which included the establishment of a regularisation plan; Virginia Surety Seguros de México with the registration of automobile and mobile phone insurance products, initially opposed by the regulator; and Aragon Insurance Group with its licensing process as a Mexican insurance broker specialised in aviation and marine risks. An insurace-related capital-markets mandate also saw the firm act for the Mexican Government on the issuance of joint multi-country floating rate earthquake-linked capital-at-risk notes, issued under the World’s Bank IBRD Global Debt Issuance Facility, the largest sovereign risk insurance transaction to date and the second-largest issuance in the history of the catastrophe bond market. A ‘reference in the industry’ according to one client, Leonel Pereznieto co-leads the practice with counsel María José Pinillos, ‘a rising star worth keeping an eye on’. Working in tandem, ‘their experience and knowledge about the industry makes them one of the best options available to solve complex problems’. Other clients include Cardif México, Bupa México, Genworth Financial, AXA, Allianz, Suraramericana /Seguros Sura, Odyssey Reinsurance Company, MBIA Insurance Corporation, Swiss Re, and Great American Insurance /El Aguila Compañía de Seguros.

Leading individuals

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

Next generation lawyers

María José Pinillos - 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.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has a dedicated 12-lawyer team led by the highly experienced partner Francisco Peniche. The practice group undertakes a mix of corporate support and standalone labour matters including advice on collective bargaining agreements, compensation schemes, training and litigation. The team recently advised Alcon on the transfer of approximately 250 employees from Novartis as part of Alcon's spin-off. It also guided Campari Group through a restructuring involving the transfer of over 230 employees to two different legal entities. Other key clients include The Linde Group, Broadcom, El Palacio de Hierro and Technip FMC.

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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.  has an extremely active practice that is 'outstanding at all levels, from the main deal partner to the junior associate'. The practice group, which is jointly led by Santiago Sepúlveda and José Ignacio Segura acts for a broad mix of sponsors, developers, construction companies and lenders. The team recently advised CFEnergia in the design and development of a $150m liquid-fuel storage project in Baja California and also assisted a syndicate of lenders on the $300m-plus financing for the construction of two solar-power plants in Sonora.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

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

For some, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is the ‘best real estate law firm in Mexico’,: its team has ‘great technical abilities in real estate, plus all of the relevant ancillary sectors (environmental, permitting, trust formation, etc.)’, and the lawyers are ‘incredibly thorough and hardworking (they have all studied and worked abroad)’. The large, ‘well-rounded’ team has ‘the capacity to handle big deals’ and advises multinational and domestic developers, promoters, tourism and hospitality companies, and investors (including international real estate funds, Mexican CKDs, CERPIs and FIBRAs), on the legal and regulatory aspects of direct or structured investments in (/or acquisitions of) real estate properties in the industrial, retail, commercial, tourism & leisure, residential and urban segments. In recent highlight work, the group advised CKD Finsa on a $2.9m sale of a land in the state of Querétaro, and CKD Finsa-Walton Street Capital in the $5.8m purchase and subdivision of an industrial building in the state of Nuevo Leon. It also acted for Trinity Investments, Walton Street Capital, and Oaktree Capital Management on their indirect acquisition of the Mexican entities that hold interest in the real estate property known as Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort located in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur; and for W.P. Carey in the $17m acquisition and lease-back of an industrial building located in the state of San Luis Potosi. In the FIBRA area, the team advised FIBRA Macquarie Mexico on the sale of 35 non-strategic industrial assets from the portfolio of FIBRA Macquarie Mexico; and FIBRA Prologis on the $64.5m acquisition of three industrial properties. Carlos de Icaza and Francisco Montalvo lead the team from Mexico City and Monterrey, respectively. De Icaza is highly valued for his leadership, while Montalvo is a ‘solid real estate lawyer: business-oriented and well known in the market as one of the best’. Working alongside him in Monterrey, the very active Badir Treviño-Mohamed is valued for his ‘attention to detail, client involvement, and commercial sensibility’. Mexico City-based Carlos del Río is also recommended. Of the younger lawyers, the names that stand out are senior associate Alfonso Pulido (‘very detailed in his work and always goes the extra mile’), and associates Brenda Elizondo and Rogelio Rueda; additional names to note include senior associates Pilar Orozco and Carlos Yamamoto , and counsel Valentina Villa. Clients include MIRA Companies, Mexico Retail Properties, O’Connor Capital Partners, RLH Properties, Tesla, Dmita, WeWork, Southern Cross, Nucor, FIBRA Terrafina, Trinity Mexican Fund, and GIC.

Leading individuals

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

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

Next generation lawyers

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

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

Rising stars

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

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 3

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

Corporate powerhouse Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has branched out into TMT and is now retained by an  increasingly impressive client list. The 12-strong practice is primarily involved with the regulatory aspects of high-end transactions which have a TMT aspect, although it does also cover transactions as a whole in the TMT sector, as well as corporate matters, disputes, and representation before regulators. In highlight work, the team acted as local counsel to Comcast in its attempted hostile takeover of 21st Century Fox, handling the antitrust filing, the regulatory assessment and advice on the telecommunications aspects of the parties’ activities in Mexico; advised LogMeIn on the Mexican telecommunications law and consumer protection regulatory aspects, along with due diligence, of its $342m acquisition of over-the-top (OTT) VoIP and IP conferencing service provider Jive Communications’ Mexican business; and assisted Wirecard with the regulatory aspects of the establishment in Mexico of its global payment solutions system (including processing platforms, payments technologies, mobile card acceptance services and point of sale innovation services), as well as telecom regulations for hardware and devices connected to public networks. The practice is co-lead by Luis Gerardo García (who also specialises in antitrust and competition) and Jean Michel Enriquez (whose practice also includes M&A, private equity and capital markets); other team members are Begoña Cancino (who specialises in intellectual property, data privacy, and regulatory and administrative litigation), Iker Arriola (corporate and M&A, banking and finance, capital markets and competition), and the very active senior associate Jorge Kargl (who also handles competition and antitrust). Other clients include AT&T, Warner Bros., Ufinet, HBO, CommScope, PayPal, Navitime, ARRIS Group, Blackstone, DAZN, and Macquarie.

Rising stars

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.

At Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. the 24-strong standalone tax practice follows the firm’s overall line, handling high-end matters, mostly dedicated to tax within the realm of M&A, financial services, projects and debt and equity capital markets, working for publicly traded and private funds engaged in private equity, real estate, infrastructure and energy, also handling transfer pricing (focused on transactional and high-value work), social security, and wealth planning, as well as representation before tax authorities. The individual lawyers are unanimously praised for the quality of their work: practice head Alejandro Santoyo assisted RLH Properties in the tax structuring of the $500m acquisition of all the shares and interests that OHL holds in the companies that own the Rosewood Mayakoba Hotel, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba Hotel, the Fairmont Mayakoba Hotel, the Andaz Mayakoba Hotel and the Golf Course “El Camaleón” Mayakoba, following an initial acquisition; Jorge Correa advised Howard Energy Partners on the tax matters related to the refinancing of the Nueva Era pipeline project through the issuance of 6.05% senior notes, valued at $470m; Omar Zúñiga acted for KKR on tax matters in connection to the $385m acquisition of Quadion / Minnesota Rubber and Plastics, a global leader in the manufacturing of rubber and thermoplastic components and assemblies; and Luis Vázquez successfully represented an international client operating in the mining and minerals sector in a case before the administrative court, relating to a corporate tax assessment. Counsel Eduardo Michán is also recommended. Other clients include Cornershop, Promecap Acquisition Company, Lexington Partners, Trinity Investments, Oaktree, and Walton Street.

Leading individuals

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

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

Rising stars

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

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Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Claus Von Wobeser at Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC is a widely recognised arbitration specialist, acting as both arbitrator and counsel. The team also includes a number highly regarded practitioners such as Marco Venegas, Fernando Moreno and Adrián Magallanes. Recent caseload include a range of multimillion-dollar construction and commercial arbitration proceedings. SOLCARGO handles a steady stream of international arbitration, and recently represented Comisión Federal de Electricidad in two multimillion-dollar claims related to power purchase agreements with independent power producers. Fernando Pérez Correa is the name to note, and regularly sits as both arbitrator and counsel. González de Cossío Abogados, SC's Francisco González De Cossío is a recommended for acting as arbitrator and counsel in a range of domestic and international arbitration cases. Galicia Abogados S.C.'s Rodrigo Zamora is particularly noted for his expertise in infrastructure and construction-related disputes, and acts as both arbitrator and counsel; Cecilla Azar is 'a great expert in arbitration and ADR'. Wöss & PartnersHerfried Wöss regularly acts as counsel, arbitrator and expert witness, and is active in handling infrastructure and energy cases. Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.'s Bernardo Sepúlveda Amor and Carlos Martínez Betanzos are also names to note. Fernando Del Castillo left Santamarina y Steta, and set up his own firm Del Castillo y Castro Abogados.

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Mexico

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

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

Clients rely on the ‘tremendousCreel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. because of its ‘pro-deal mindset’ and ‘business savvy’, ‘outstanding legal capabilities and customer service’ and understanding of ‘risks and regulators’; the lawyers have ‘an overall vision of the deal’. The 33-strong team boasts an enviable list of clients, including international and domestic lenders, borrowers, guarantors, funds, agents, banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions, which it advises on numerous first-of-its-kind financing structures, complex structured financings, high-level restructurings, cross border, local single-bank and syndicated loan facilities, acquisition financings, ship financings, secured and unsecured financings, project finance and derivatives. In highlight work, practice head and rainmaker Carlos Aiza co-led the team -in conjunction with Giovanni Garrido- acting as special Mexican counsel to Citibanamex on a $50m credit agreement and with negotiating the implementation of a participation between Citibanamex and Citibank. Garrido also led the team that advised BBVA Bancomer -as lender, administrative agent and security agent- on the MXN$2.85bn syndicated loan granted to Omnilife for the indirect refinancing of its existing debt, which was derived from a corporate restructuring. Highly valued by clients (he ‘has the ability to understand the clients’ needs regarding the quality of the work and timings’), Pedro Velasco led the team acting for Vista Oil & Gas on a first stage $260m senior secured loan arranged by Credit Suisse, Citibank and Morgan Stanley. Emilio Aarun, who made partner in January 2019, worked on both this and on the Citibanamex mandate; he has ‘the skills that facilitate the closing of deals, which is always the goal’. Other key practitioners include Rodrigo Castelazo, Mercedes Haddad, and of counsel Victor Gallegos. Other clients include Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole, Commerzbank, Banorte, MetLife, and Bank of America.

Leading individuals

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

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

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

Next generation lawyers

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

Mercedes Haddad - 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.

In line with its work in other finance-related practices, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. primarily advises clients on high-end matters, specifically, on all non-litigious aspects of corporate recovery, insolvency, restructurings and workouts, including those involving complex financial situations and banking and finance structures; and creditors and debtors on complex bankruptcy and out-of-bankruptcy restructuring transactions and regulatory issues in non-judicial aspects of restructurings and workouts. The ‘superb and consistent’ eight-lawyer team is ‘efficient, practical and very focused on execution’, offering ‘the closest parallel in Mexico to a US-style representation’ and ‘the highest standard in quality and ethics’; ‘the key practitioners are in the minutiae of the deal but have a good sense of the big picture’. Banking and finance and capital markets expert Carlos Aiza leads the team; Pedro Velasco  (also a specialist in banking, finance and capital markets), is ‘punctual, professional and constructive’; and Rodrigo Castelazo is valued for his ‘intelligence and eye for detail’, but also knowing what is important and what is merely legal trivia’, as well as for ‘making sure that clients are well protected'. Emilio Aarun, who made partner in January 2019, is also recommended. The group was active on some of the more relevant cases of the recent years, including the restructuring of Banorte’s debt with GEO; representing a Brazilian group of bondholders in all matters relating to the concurso mercantil of Desarrolladora Homex; and Credit Suisse as creditor in the restructuring and reorganisation of Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos. In more recent work, it acted as leading Mexican counsel to Hemen as part of the creditors’ group in the negotiation and implementation of Seadrill’s chapter 11 reorganisation plan (considered the largest in the offshore drilling sector); as Mexican counsel to the holders of Abengoa's corporate bonds, in the negotiation and restructuring of Abengoa’s obligations; and as Mexican special counsel to Coastal Energy Solutions in connection with the insovency of Tecnologías Relacionadas con Energía y Servicios Espcializados (TRESE).

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

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

The 35-strong team at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is a market leader acting on the side of issuers, sponsors, structuring agents, underwriters, pension funds (AFORES), investment funds, rating agencies, arrangers, placement agents and financial guarantors, among others, on sophisticated,  complex and innovative transactions. Recent examples include advising BlackRock on a -first-ever - $500m CERPI with an investment mandate for infrastructure projects in Mexico and Latin America; and KKR on the first-ever international CERPI acting as a feeder fund to allow Mexican pensions funds to make investments in KKR global and regional funds outside Mexico for the first time, also with the value of $500m. Moreover, following its advice to Vista Oil & Gas on the first-ever initial business combination (de-SPAC) by a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), the practice also acted for Promecap on the second-ever SPAC listing in Mexico and Latin America (value of $300m). In other work the team also acted for several high-profile clients, such as Goldman Sachs, Banobras and Credit Suisse as underwriters in FIBRA E offerings; and it assisted the Mexican Government in the first-ever joint multi-country floating rate earthquake-linked capital at risk notes, issued under the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)'s global debt issuance facility (total value $1.36bn). Very active practice head Carlos Aiza handles the full range of capital markets transactions; Carlos Zamarrón is admired for his out-of-the-box thinking; Rodrigo Castelazo worked with Aiza on the  team's SPAC and CERPI caseload, and assisted Capital Índigo in the formation of its first CKD fund, the second listed on the Bolsa Instituconal de Valores (value MXN$1.6bn). Other names to note include Mercedes Haddad, Jorge Montaño, Eduardo Flores, and Jean Michel Enriquez. Clients include Blackstone, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Santander, BBVA, and Lexington Partners.

Leading individuals

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

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

Rodrigo Castelazo - 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 a team of 'true experts' who provide 'pragmatic, business-oriented' advice and are praised for their 'very good antitrust clearance timing'. As befits a firm with a top-tier corporate practice, high-quality guidance on pre-merger filings is a given. Equally, clients can expect 'outstanding' support and advice on contentious dealings with the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (COFECE), including investigations, amparo proceedings, and dawn raids (both mock and actual). The team is led by the highly respected Luis Gerardo García and includes the 'very well organised' Mauricio Serralde, the 'outstanding business lawyer' Iker Arriola, and the 'extremely comprehensive' Carlos Mena-Labarthe, the former Chief Prosecutor at COFECE. The practie has recently represented clients in the energy, internet, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors on major investigations. Highlights on the transactional-side include advising AT&T on issues related to its acquisition of Time Warner's Mexican business. Other clients include Linde, KKR and Takeda.

Leading individuals

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

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

Next generation lawyers

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

Rising stars

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.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. 'excels' in 'understanding the needs of the client, and the level of detail of the lawyers analysis and delivery of documents for M&A transactions is very concise'. Domestic and international blue-chip corporates and private equity funds regularly use the 'solid, agreeable, emphatic and objective' team for their most business-critical matters, including mergers, joint ventures, restructurings, privatisations, and spin-offs.  Jean Michel Enriquez leads the highly-rated six-partner team, which helped close over 40 M&As in 2018 - outstripping its competitors in both volume and value of instructions. The practice is in great demand as Mexican counsel on the most prestigious international and global deals; it recently advised Merck on the Mexican aspects of the €3.4bn  sale of its global consumer health business to Procter & Gamble; Nidec on its $1.08bn acquisition of compressor business Embraco, including its Mexican subsidiaries, from Whirlpool; and Cinven on the $2.3bn sale of the Spanish and Latin American businesses of fibre optics and network infrastructure group Ufinet to Antin Infrastructure Partners and to one of its own controlled funds, Cinven Ltd. Other matters included advising RLH Properties on its $57m acquisition of four luxury hotels and a golf course from OHL, and ACCO Brands Corporation on the $31m acquisition of school and craft products manufacturer GOBA Internacional. Key partners within the team include Eduardo González, Jorge Montaño, Iker Arriola ('gets the best results'), Carlos del Río ('very open with his communication and detailed in his analysis'), and Humberto Botti.

Leading individuals

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 3

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

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has a strong pedigree in advising oil-and-gas, petrochemicals, power and renewables companies, and investment funds, on their corporate, financing, and infrastructure needs. The highly-rated eight-lawyer team is jointly led by Santiago Sepúlveda and José Ignacio Segura. Recent matters include advising InterGen on the $1.2bn sale of its portfolio of Mexican businesses to Actis, including six combined-cycle gas turbine projects and a 155MW wind project. The practice also represented Howard Energy Partners on the $470m private-placement refinancing of the Nueva Era Pipeline Project. Other recent clients include Linde, CFEnergia, BlackRock, and GE Capital.

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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.  is praised for its 'deep knowledge of environmental policy and practice, combined with excellent commercial and political sense'. The team's expertise includes advice on major real estate, energy and infrastructure development projects, as well as corporate M&A and administrative litigation. In recent  work, the team advised Trinity Investments, Walton Street Capital and Oaktree Capital Management on the complex environmental aspects of their indirect acquisition of the Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort. The firm also advises Butterfly Equity on environmental issues regarding the day-to-day operation of acquaculture farms in a natural protected area of the Pacific Coast. 'Enormously dedicated, sophisticated and thoughtful', practice head Carlos de Icaza has 'exceptional judgment and professional skill'.

Leading individuals

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 1

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

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. fields ‘a solid team of experienced and well-trained lawyers with different backgrounds’; it handles all legal aspects of the insurance and reinsurance sector, namely M&A, finance, corporate governance, regulatory, and day-to-day and contentious matters. With impressive clients and a developing track record, highlights for 2018 included assisting the Mexican subsidiary of Global Insurance Group in a sanction process arising from a regulatory audit concerning anti-money-laundering compliance, which included the establishment of a regularisation plan; Virginia Surety Seguros de México with the registration of automobile and mobile phone insurance products, initially opposed by the regulator; and Aragon Insurance Group with its licensing process as a Mexican insurance broker specialised in aviation and marine risks. An insurace-related capital-markets mandate also saw the firm act for the Mexican Government on the issuance of joint multi-country floating rate earthquake-linked capital-at-risk notes, issued under the World’s Bank IBRD Global Debt Issuance Facility, the largest sovereign risk insurance transaction to date and the second-largest issuance in the history of the catastrophe bond market. A ‘reference in the industry’ according to one client, Leonel Pereznieto co-leads the practice with counsel María José Pinillos, ‘a rising star worth keeping an eye on’. Working in tandem, ‘their experience and knowledge about the industry makes them one of the best options available to solve complex problems’. Other clients include Cardif México, Bupa México, Genworth Financial, AXA, Allianz, Suraramericana /Seguros Sura, Odyssey Reinsurance Company, MBIA Insurance Corporation, Swiss Re, and Great American Insurance /El Aguila Compañía de Seguros.

Leading individuals

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

Next generation lawyers

María José Pinillos - 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.

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has a dedicated 12-lawyer team led by the highly experienced partner Francisco Peniche. The practice group undertakes a mix of corporate support and standalone labour matters including advice on collective bargaining agreements, compensation schemes, training and litigation. The team recently advised Alcon on the transfer of approximately 250 employees from Novartis as part of Alcon's spin-off. It also guided Campari Group through a restructuring involving the transfer of over 230 employees to two different legal entities. Other key clients include The Linde Group, Broadcom, El Palacio de Hierro and Technip FMC.

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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.  has an extremely active practice that is 'outstanding at all levels, from the main deal partner to the junior associate'. The practice group, which is jointly led by Santiago Sepúlveda and José Ignacio Segura acts for a broad mix of sponsors, developers, construction companies and lenders. The team recently advised CFEnergia in the design and development of a $150m liquid-fuel storage project in Baja California and also assisted a syndicate of lenders on the $300m-plus financing for the construction of two solar-power plants in Sonora.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

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

For some, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is the ‘best real estate law firm in Mexico’,: its team has ‘great technical abilities in real estate, plus all of the relevant ancillary sectors (environmental, permitting, trust formation, etc.)’, and the lawyers are ‘incredibly thorough and hardworking (they have all studied and worked abroad)’. The large, ‘well-rounded’ team has ‘the capacity to handle big deals’ and advises multinational and domestic developers, promoters, tourism and hospitality companies, and investors (including international real estate funds, Mexican CKDs, CERPIs and FIBRAs), on the legal and regulatory aspects of direct or structured investments in (/or acquisitions of) real estate properties in the industrial, retail, commercial, tourism & leisure, residential and urban segments. In recent highlight work, the group advised CKD Finsa on a $2.9m sale of a land in the state of Querétaro, and CKD Finsa-Walton Street Capital in the $5.8m purchase and subdivision of an industrial building in the state of Nuevo Leon. It also acted for Trinity Investments, Walton Street Capital, and Oaktree Capital Management on their indirect acquisition of the Mexican entities that hold interest in the real estate property known as Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort located in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur; and for W.P. Carey in the $17m acquisition and lease-back of an industrial building located in the state of San Luis Potosi. In the FIBRA area, the team advised FIBRA Macquarie Mexico on the sale of 35 non-strategic industrial assets from the portfolio of FIBRA Macquarie Mexico; and FIBRA Prologis on the $64.5m acquisition of three industrial properties. Carlos de Icaza and Francisco Montalvo lead the team from Mexico City and Monterrey, respectively. De Icaza is highly valued for his leadership, while Montalvo is a ‘solid real estate lawyer: business-oriented and well known in the market as one of the best’. Working alongside him in Monterrey, the very active Badir Treviño-Mohamed is valued for his ‘attention to detail, client involvement, and commercial sensibility’. Mexico City-based Carlos del Río is also recommended. Of the younger lawyers, the names that stand out are senior associate Alfonso Pulido (‘very detailed in his work and always goes the extra mile’), and associates Brenda Elizondo and Rogelio Rueda; additional names to note include senior associates Pilar Orozco and Carlos Yamamoto , and counsel Valentina Villa. Clients include MIRA Companies, Mexico Retail Properties, O’Connor Capital Partners, RLH Properties, Tesla, Dmita, WeWork, Southern Cross, Nucor, FIBRA Terrafina, Trinity Mexican Fund, and GIC.

Leading individuals

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

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

Next generation lawyers

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

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

Rising stars

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

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 3

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

Corporate powerhouse Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has branched out into TMT and is now retained by an  increasingly impressive client list. The 12-strong practice is primarily involved with the regulatory aspects of high-end transactions which have a TMT aspect, although it does also cover transactions as a whole in the TMT sector, as well as corporate matters, disputes, and representation before regulators. In highlight work, the team acted as local counsel to Comcast in its attempted hostile takeover of 21st Century Fox, handling the antitrust filing, the regulatory assessment and advice on the telecommunications aspects of the parties’ activities in Mexico; advised LogMeIn on the Mexican telecommunications law and consumer protection regulatory aspects, along with due diligence, of its $342m acquisition of over-the-top (OTT) VoIP and IP conferencing service provider Jive Communications’ Mexican business; and assisted Wirecard with the regulatory aspects of the establishment in Mexico of its global payment solutions system (including processing platforms, payments technologies, mobile card acceptance services and point of sale innovation services), as well as telecom regulations for hardware and devices connected to public networks. The practice is co-lead by Luis Gerardo García (who also specialises in antitrust and competition) and Jean Michel Enriquez (whose practice also includes M&A, private equity and capital markets); other team members are Begoña Cancino (who specialises in intellectual property, data privacy, and regulatory and administrative litigation), Iker Arriola (corporate and M&A, banking and finance, capital markets and competition), and the very active senior associate Jorge Kargl (who also handles competition and antitrust). Other clients include AT&T, Warner Bros., Ufinet, HBO, CommScope, PayPal, Navitime, ARRIS Group, Blackstone, DAZN, and Macquarie.

Rising stars

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.

At Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. the 24-strong standalone tax practice follows the firm’s overall line, handling high-end matters, mostly dedicated to tax within the realm of M&A, financial services, projects and debt and equity capital markets, working for publicly traded and private funds engaged in private equity, real estate, infrastructure and energy, also handling transfer pricing (focused on transactional and high-value work), social security, and wealth planning, as well as representation before tax authorities. The individual lawyers are unanimously praised for the quality of their work: practice head Alejandro Santoyo assisted RLH Properties in the tax structuring of the $500m acquisition of all the shares and interests that OHL holds in the companies that own the Rosewood Mayakoba Hotel, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba Hotel, the Fairmont Mayakoba Hotel, the Andaz Mayakoba Hotel and the Golf Course “El Camaleón” Mayakoba, following an initial acquisition; Jorge Correa advised Howard Energy Partners on the tax matters related to the refinancing of the Nueva Era pipeline project through the issuance of 6.05% senior notes, valued at $470m; Omar Zúñiga acted for KKR on tax matters in connection to the $385m acquisition of Quadion / Minnesota Rubber and Plastics, a global leader in the manufacturing of rubber and thermoplastic components and assemblies; and Luis Vázquez successfully represented an international client operating in the mining and minerals sector in a case before the administrative court, relating to a corporate tax assessment. Counsel Eduardo Michán is also recommended. Other clients include Cornershop, Promecap Acquisition Company, Lexington Partners, Trinity Investments, Oaktree, and Walton Street.

Leading individuals

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

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

Rising stars

Eduardo Michán - 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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