The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
AV. PEDREGAL NO 24 10TH FLOOR, MOLINA DEL REY, 11000 MEXICO DF, MEXICO
Tel:
Work +52 55 9178 7000
Fax:
Fax +52 55 9178 7095
Email:
Web:
www.ritch.com.mx

Mexico

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

The ‘excellent’ 36-strong banking and finance team at Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. advises mostly lenders, but also borrowers, on high-end transactions, including on energy and infrastructure project finance, real estate and acquisition finance. The lawyers are ‘very strong players’ whom clients value because ‘they build solid ties with their clients, thereby generating confidence’, moreover ‘they are very well versed in how banks in Mexico work’. The practice group’s core is comprised of four key partners (Jean Paul Farah Chajin, Luis A Nicolau, Thomas Heather1, and Pablo Perezalonso Eguía), with an additional 14 partners and 18 associates. In what was a particularly active year, Farah Chajín assisted Banco Nacional de México with a $600m long term loan (and a revolving facility) to Acritus; and HSBC Securities, JP Morgan Securities, Mizuho Securities and Santander Investment Securities in connection to Grupo Bimbo’s $650m acquisition of East Balt Bakeries. Jorge Oria y Anaya assisted The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, BBVA Bancomer, CaixaBank, Mizuho Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation with a $534m senior financing to Carso Gasoducto Norte for the development, construction, and operation of the Samalayuca-Sásabe gas pipeline in north western Mexico; and advised Parque Eólico Mezquite on a $222m senior financing from NadBank, Bancomext and Banobras, and a $46m VAT financing from Bancomext and NAFIN, for the development of a wind-power generating plant in Nuevo León. According to one client, Oria y Anaya ‘has full knowledge of his sector, which he dominates from a technical perspective, as well as being a great negotiator’. Gabriel del Valle advised Morgan Stanley, as arranger, and the lenders in a syndicated financing facility of over MXN$2.3bn to AlphaCredit Capital, secured by pay-roll receivables. Perezalonso Eguía represented HSBC México and Banco Inbursa on the credit granted to Grupo Martí for MXN$800m. Capital markets specialist Nicolau advised JP Morgan Chase Bank on a MXN$25.2bn unsecured bridge credit agreement (under US law) with Grupo Lala, as borrower, for the acquisition of Vigor Alimentos. Heather, who is best known for his bankruptcy work, acted in conjunction with counsel James Ritch to assist Obrascón Huarte Laín Desarrollos with the $142.5m sale of 51% of four Mayakoba-brand hotels and the El Camaleón golf course. The practice also has a very strong aviation finance capability, co-led by Octavio Olivo Villa, who recently advised Airbus on a pre-delivery payment financing relating to a series of aircraft for several airlines. His fellow aviation finance team co-head, Federico Santacruz González, assisted a syndicate of banks led by Santander with the senior financing extended to Parque Eólico Reynosa III for the development of a wind power generating plant in Tamaulipas. Further support comes from Eduardo Triulzi and Ricardo Calderon, as well as from Jose Berrueta Ochoa (who was made partner in January 2018), and senior associate Ana Casasús.

Leading lawyers

Jean Paul Farah Chajin - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Luis A Nicolau - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Thomas Heather - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Bankruptcy and restructuring
Bankruptcy and restructuring - ranked: tier 1

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. continues to stand out in the bankruptcy and restructuring market due to the presence of Thomas Heather, one of two Mexican lawyers (along with Solcargo’s Fernando Pérez Correa) who acts as comptroller, receiver or conciliator (insolvency trustee). A recent and headline grabbing example of this was his role in the MXN$130bn restructuring of Empresas ICA and its subsidiaries (the largest ever insolvency proceeding in Mexico and Latin America). Recent work also involved two insolvency proceedings, with the team completing the additional $400m restructuring of Geo Hogares Ideales; and representing the institutional investors (led by WAMEX Private Equity) in the $40m restructuring of New Water Capital and its subsidiary. Other mandates saw the team represent creditor, JP Morgan, in the $1bn restructuring of Altos Hornos (AHMSA), and International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the $200m restructuring of Abengoa. The 24-strong team is led by Thomas Heather, a reference point in the market who has over 30 years’ experience in the sector. Key support comes from banking and finance specialist Jean Paul Farah Chajín, and associate Adriana Padilla Rivas. Other clients include Gerald Metals Mexico, EMX Capital, Arrium Finance, and AuKing Mining.

Leading lawyers

Thomas Heather - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Definitely a leader in the market, Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. acts on sophisticated capital market mandates, representing national and international financial institutions as underwriters or initial purchasers and issuers in private and public debt and equity offerings. Recent highlights saw the practice assist several banks (including JP Morgan Casa de Bolsa, Morgan Stanley México, Casa de Bolsa Santander and GBM Grupo Bursátil Mexicano) as initial purchasers of the MXN$18.6bn initial global offering by Becle; HSBC Securities, JP Morgan Securities, Mizuho Securities and Santander Investment Securities, as underwriters on Grupo Bimbo’s $650m offering; and UBS Securities, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse Securities, as initial purchasers on Crédito Real’s $230m subordinated perpetual notes issue. Luis A Nicolau co-heads the team, and led the first and third deals, as well as handling a $750m offering by CFE on the Taiwanese market for HSBC Bank (as lead manager and representative); and representing Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities, as initial purchasers, in connection with the Banorte’s offering (through its Cayman Islands branch) of $350m-worth of 5-year and $550m-worth of 10-year callable subordinated non-preferred non-cumulative Tier 1 capital notes, under Rule 144A/Reg S. Nicolau’s fellow practice co-head, Gabriel del Valle, advised Mexico Infrastructure Partners on its second private equity fund focused on investing in Mexican energy and infrastructure projects, through a public offer of CKDs. The team is made up of eight partners and 16 associates and other key members include Carlos Obregón, who acted with Nicolau on both the Crédito Real mandate and on advice to Goldman Sachs, HSBC Securities and Morgan Stanley with a MXN$1.88bn sovereign offering of global notes by the United Mexican States. Both lawyers have particular expertise in structured debt and quasi-equity products in the domestic market; and Nicolau was one of only three lawyers appointed to the CNBV commission that drafted the current securities law. Other key partners are Pablo Perezalonso, who assisted Banco Santander with the issuance of structured bonds for up to MXN$10bn; José Berrueta, who supported Obregón in representing a group of seven Mexican underwriters led by Morgan Stanley México, and initial purchasers Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities, on Grupo Traxión’s MXN$4.5bn global share offering; and Eduardo Triulzi Garciadiego who acted for Gruma on its MXN$3.28bn tender offer for 14.29% of the issued and outstanding capital stock of Grupo Industrial Maseca, in which Casa de Bolsa Banorte Ixe acted as intermediary.

Leading lawyers

Luis A Nicolau - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

José Berrueta - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

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

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

The ‘excellent’, ‘proactive’, and ‘extremely client-oriented’ team at Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is ‘on top of everything’. It was involved in several major deals, including advising FEMSA on the sale of its €2.5bn stake in Heineken, and has also been active for private equity funds; it advised Northgate Capital on its investment in Natgas Querétaro, and LIV Capital on its investment in Bolsa Institucional de Valores, a new alternative stock exchange. Among the partners, the ‘knowledgeable and extremely hands-on’ Luis A Nicolau provides ‘excellent overall strategic advice’ and is ‘on a par with the best lawyers on M&A, regardless of the jurisdiction’. Rodrigo Conesa, who is very active for real estate funds, is ‘always on top of the issues and always looking for creative options to make the deal happen’. The highly rated Carlos Obregón Rojo leads the team.

Leading lawyers

Carlos Obregón Rojo - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Luis A Nicolau - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Rodrigo Conesa - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Eva Frías - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 1

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

The ‘excellent’ team at Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. includes some ‘very good lawyers’ with a long history advising lenders and sponsors on major acquisitions and energy infrastructure projects. The group, which is headed by the highly rated Federico Santacruz, ‘establishes strong ties with its clients, generates confidence and knows very well how banks operate in Mexico’. Other key individuals include Thomas Mueller-Gastell, Gabriel del Valle Mendiola and Jorge Oria y Anaya, who ‘has full knowledge of the sector, dominates the issues from a technical point of view, and is a great negotiator’. The firm recently advised Ciclo Combinado Tierra Mojade and Fisterra Energy Mexico on the $620m financing for the development, construction and operation of an 874MW gas combined-cycle power plant in Jalisco; and also represented several successful bidders, including Zuma Energy, Infraestructura Energetica Nova and Trina Solar, on the public auction process launched by CENACE for $4bn worth of renewable energy projects.

Leading lawyers

Federico Santacruz - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Jorge Oria y Anaya - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Thomas Mueller-Gastell - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Asaf Jiménez - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.’s environmental practice comes highly recommended by clients and has recently been involved in significant mandates on behalf of clients in the energy, logistics and mining sectors. Under practice head Héctor Garza, it has developed a particularly strong practice in relation to social impact assessments.

[back to top]

Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is a leading choice for energy and infrastructure projects, where it represents sponsors and lenders. On the lender side it advised Banco Santander and others on the multimillion-dollar financing of the 424MW Parque Eólico Reynosa wind farm project, the first financing for a project awarded under the CENACE energy auction. With experience in major gas pipeline projects, it also advised The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and others on the financing for the 630km interconnection between Chihuahua and Sonora. On the sponsor side, it advised Ciclo Combinado Tierra Mojada and Fisterra Energy on the financing for the $620m development and operation of a gas combined-cycle power plant in Jalisco. Thomas Mueller-Gastell heads the first-class team, which includes leading names such as Federico Santacruz, Gabriel del Valle Mendiola and Jorge Oria y Anaya.

Leading lawyers

Federico Santacruz - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Gabriel del Valle Mendiola - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Andrés Alcántara - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

For one client Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is ‘by far the best firm’ for real estate matters, an area in which it has over 40 years’ involvement. Noted qualities include the team being ‘extremely client oriented’: ‘the lawyers are always following up and on top of everything’ and ‘proactive, seeking to facilitate business’. One of two partners in the 19-strong practice, Rodrigo Conesa leads the team; covering the full range of real estate matters, ‘he is always on top of things and is always looking for creative options to make the deal happen’, according to clients. He continued to assist Thor Urbana Capital with the development of mixed use, hotel and retail projects in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Merida, Playa del Carmen, Los Cabos, San Luis Potosi, and Metepec; he represented Grupo Hotelero Santa Fe in the $30m acquisition of a 50% interest in the Bel Air Hotels in Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, and in the formation of a joint venture between the parties; and Vertex Real Estate in the $125m purchase and sale of "The Cape" hotel in Los Cabos to Operadora Hotelera BPBI Hotels and Resorts and Stingray Hotels and Resorts. Javier Domínguez Torrado advised Walton Street Capital on several matters, including a due diligence and MXN$1bn acquisition of assets including land and a hotel in Riviera Nayarit; a $90m sale of assets involving a hotel in Mexico City; and a joint venture with COPRI for the acquisition and development of a mixed use (residential and offices) project in Querétaro. Both Domínguez Torrado and Conesa are noted for their ‘very high technical skills and extraordinary negotiating capabilities’. In other work, Jean Paul Farah Chajín, whose financial practice also covers real estate work, assisted Banorte with a MXN$1.7bn financing to Thor Urbana for the construction of a shopping centre in Metepec. The firm’s recent development of an impressive tax team will also complement the strengths of the real estate practice. Gabriel Torres left the firm. Other clients include PGIM Real Estate México, Investment Trust in Industrial Real Estate (FIBRA) Terrafina, and Abilia.

Leading lawyers

Rodrigo Conesa - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 3

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Admired and recommended, corporate powerhouse Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.’s tax team provides ‘high quality, objective tax services, with timely responses; well oriented, it shows consistent knowledge of the industry and applicable regulations, both tax and non-tax’. The now 13-strong practice, which combines lawyers and accountants, has developed rapidly since the January 2017 arrival of two energy-focused tax partners (and their seven-strong team, which includes accountants) from Ernst & Young. While it does represent clients in controversy and litigation issues, its core practice is decidedly transactional and it has demonstrated strong activity not only in the oil, gas and energy sector, but also in capital markets, banking and finance and real estate. Oscar Lopez Velarde Pérez leads the team; his recent mandates include acting as special Mexican counsel to Credit Suisse Mexico and Citibanamex Casa de Bolsa, as Mexican lead underwriters, and Credit Suisse and Citi, as initial purchasers, on Vista Oil & Gas’ $650m IPO (the first IPO of a Special Purpose Acquisition Company -or SPAC- in Latin America, and the first listing of an oil and gas exploration company in the Mexican Stock Exchange); assisting HSBC Taiwan, as joint managers, on CFE’s 750m notes offering on the Taipei Exchange; and Blackrock México Infraestructura II in a Rule 144A/Reg S private placement of Senior Secured Notes. Key practitioner Santiago Llano Zapatero is recommended for his ‘solid background, experience and results-oriented advice. He is able to understand and deliver good quality services and to go beyond his scope of work to add value via a holistic view of the company’s activity and agenda’. Llano assisted Sabadell Bank on determining the principles under which it should finance the so-called "Value Added Tax Loans" in light of reforms made to the country’s VAT Law; Sunedison in a group restructuring; and Pattern Energy with the tax aspects of the structuring of its investments into Mexico as part of its participation in awarded long-term PPAs for wind energy production. In other work the team advised Hess México Oil and Gas on obtaining one of the first ever VAT refunds related to seismic operations in Mexico. Key support comes from associate and accountant Santiago Díaz Rivera. Other clients include Thor Urbana, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs International, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Morgan Stanley, Banorte-Ixe Securities International, Artha Capital, IFC Corporation, Mizuho, Santander, UBS AG, Abraaj, Atlas Renewable Energies, Canadian Solar, Ecoplexus, EVM Energía del Valle de México, Pattern Energy, Voltalia, Baker Huges, BHP Billiton, CENAGAS, Citla, Cotemar, Diavaz, Enagas, Glencore, Hess, Roma Energy, Sanchez Oil & Gas, and Tidewater.

Leading lawyers

Oscar Lopez Velarde Pérez - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Santiago Llano Zapatero - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]


Further information on Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. in other jurisdictions.

Mexico

Offices in Mexico City

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.
  • FRANCHISING TRENDS IN MEXICO: A NEW VALUE

    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: COMMENTS UNDER AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW PERSPECTIVE

    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.
  • MEXICAN CUSTOMS. UPDATE ON THE ENFORCEMENT OF TRADEMARK RIGHTS

    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.
  • DEMONSTRATING USE OF TRADEMARKS UNDER MEXICAN LAW AND PRACTICE

    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.
  • ANTI-COUNTERFEITING IN MEXICO

    By Jose Luis Ramos-Zurita