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Santamarina y Steta

CAMPOS ELISEOS 345, FLOORS 2, 3 AND 11, COL. CHAPULTEPEC POLANCO, 11560 MEXICO, D.F., MEXICO
Tel:
Work +52 55 5279 5400
Email:
Web:
www.s-s.com.mx
Mexico City, Monterrey, Queretaro

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC’s managing partner Claus Von Wobeser is ‘one of Mexico’s leading arbitration specialists, very respected worldwide’. He successfully represented Acqua Mineral San Benedetto in an ICC dispute with a joint venture partner. ‘Excellent lawyerMarco Tulio Venegas is another key contact for international arbitration at the firm. Solcargo’s dispute resolution practice head Fernando Pérez Correa is an experienced lawyer and a key adviser to the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, recently representing it in several ICC arbitrations. Abascal Segovia & Asociados’ José María Abascal is very experienced in international arbitration, and has been a Mexican delegate to UNCITRAL since 1985. He has acted as counsel, arbitrator and expert in major forums including the ICC, the ICDR and the LCIA. Galicia Abogados SC’s new arbitration and dispute resolution head Rodrigo Zamora is highly regarded for his track record as arbitrator and counsel in ICC as well as ICSID cases. Santamarina y Steta’s very active dispute resolution head Fernando Del Castillo is ‘a truly terrific lawyer’, and recently represented Peñafiel Aguas Minerales, a Mexican mineral water company owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, in an ICC dispute with joint venture partner Acqua Minerale San Benedetto. ‘Talented sole practitioner’ Francisco González de Cossío, who founded González de Cossío Abogados, SC, is recommended for his expertise in alternative dispute resolution. He is a member of the LCIA and president of the Centro de Arbitraje de la Industria de la Construcción.

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Mexico

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

A ‘fine firmSantamarina y Steta has a ‘very good, very responsive’ 18-strong practice (including seven partners) dedicated to banking and finance work; its caseload is more-or-less evenly split between borrower and lender-side representations. The group includes ‘highly knowledgeable’ practice head Alberto Saavedra, who focuses on banking, finance and restructuring; Sergio Chagoya, who divides his practice between project finance, banking and capital markets, and also undertakes regulatory matters in relation to derivatives; and Alfonso Castro, who in turn, focuses on financings, refinancing and restructures, and of late has been particularly active on collateral packages and facility agreements. In Mexico City, the ‘approachable and reasonable’ Juan Carlos Machorro is ‘always informed about the status of matters that his team is working on’, while ‘responsive’ senior associate Ricardo Orea ‘gets to the point’ and ‘takes a stance when asked for an opinion’; recent mandates saw the pair advise International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco on loans totalling $65m extended to Proteak Uno (and its subsidiaries), as well as on a complex, associated security structure covering the company’s biological assets; and Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank on a €180m loan to Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. Reflecting the practice group’s long experience of working with multilateral agencies, Machorro and Orea also handled a series of loans on behalf of Germany’s DEG, including $14.5m to CHG Meridian, $25m to Ingenio San Rafael de Pucte and Beta San Miguel; MXN$543.5m to Benteler de Mexico; and $41m to Grupo TMM. Headline work from the firm’s Monterrey office saw Jorge Barrero and recently-appointed partner Carlos Argüelles González counsel Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS) on $326.5m and $76.5m syndicated loan facilities for the acquisitions of automotive-castings manufacturer Infun and Automotive Components Europe, respectively; and Martinrea International on the refinancing of its $550m syndicated credit agreement with a syndicate of nine banks including JP Morgan Chase, BoA, EDC and HSBC Bank Canada. Associates Diego Ostos and Gustavo Mendoza are noted for regulatory matters.

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Bankruptcy and restructuring
Bankruptcy and restructuring - ranked: tier 1

Santamarina y Steta

Best known for working on the side of the debtor, full-service firm Santamarina y Steta is ‘very complete’ and ‘an important player’ in bankruptcy matters, where it fields a 15-strong team, including four partners. Noted as being ‘very strong on both the transactional and litigation sides of the practice area (something very unusual, if not unique in Mexico)’, peers highlight the team as being ‘particularly good in pre-insolvency stages’. Recent significant matters include representing Abengoa (México) in local restructuring proceedings that began in late 2015, as well as in relation to the group’s global reorganisation; acting as Mexican counsel to the holders of the 2019 senior guaranteed bonds issued by Oro Negro Drilling; and advising the IFC on the recognition of it debt in the insolvency proceedings of developers URBI and Homex. Head of the firm’s litigation practice and ‘a magnificent lawyer’, Fernando del Castillo is ‘an old hand for bankruptcy matters’. Key support comes from the ‘excellent’ Alfonso Castro, with clients noting that both ‘are also very good at out-of-court transactions because of their knowledge of how a bankruptcy proceeding will play out’. Further support comes from ‘very knowledgeable’ senior associate Carlos Montes and Anan Laura Elizalde. Other matters include advising Nicasmex on obtaining its recognition as a creditor in Avalon Marine’s insolvency proceeding; Banco Mercantil del Norte, as the trustee of business trust F/570, in the latters insolvency proceeding; and acting as special Mexican corporate and restructuring counsel in the chapter 11 filing by Maxcom Telecomunicaciones to facilitate its comprehensive recapitalization programme.

Leading lawyers

Fernando del Castillo - Santamarina y Steta

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

Full-service market mainstay Santamarina y Steta remained active in a tough climate for the capital markets due to the breadth of its client base and ‘great knowledge of both debt and equity work’. Headline work saw Alberto Saavedra and practice co-head Alfonso Castro lead advice to Controladora Comercial Mexicana (CCM) on the MXN$39bn sale of a majority holding in its retail business to Soriana, a process facilitated by the creation and spin-off of La Comer and its listing on the Mexican stock exchange via an IPO. Castro also advised Corporación Geo on the restructuring, tender offer and exchange of $160m worth of US bonds as part of the company’s financial restructuring; and also on the restructuring and amendment of a MXN$1.04bn claim derived from the three issuances of Mexican-peso notes by the company. His fellow practice head Sergio Chagoya led advice to Finactiv on the establishment of a MXN$300m bonds programme, and the establishment of a first MXN$100m issuance therein; and to Banco Invex on its MXN5bn bank bonds programme, and a first MXN$2bn issuance. Jorge Barrero is also active in the sector and the partners can also call on a team of seven associates with particular experience in capital markets work, notably seniors Alfonso Monroy Mendoza and Gustavo Mendoza. The practice group also has expertise in sub-sovereign issuances.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Ernesto Duhne leads an active practice at Santamarina y Steta, where he is backed up by Jorge Barrero and Vicente Grau on the corporate side, and Mariano Calderón on contentious matters. The firm is highly experienced in merger clearance, recently handling the Mexican aspects of Marriott International’s takeover of Starwood International Hotels & Resorts, and Schlumberger’s acquisition of Cameron International. The team is also involved in some highly sensitive disputes with the regulators, involving claims of anti-competitive behaviour. It is well-versed in cartel investigations, and provides dawn raid training to clients.

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

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta’s 16-partner corporate team forms a core part of the firm’s full-service offering. It acts for a broad range of major industrial clients, and is an extremely popular choice with mid-market domestic and international companies. Among its recent highlights, it advised OCC Mundial on its acquisition of Empleolisto.com; acted for Wirecard on the acquisition of the Mexican arm of Citigroup’s Prepaid Card Services; and assisted Brussels-based company Euroclear in negotiating with Grupo Bolsa Mexicana de Valores to form a joint venture company, BMV Fondos, operating in the Mexican mutual funds market. The department fields several experienced partners, including Jorge Léon-Orantes, César Gerardo Cruz Ayala, Jorge Barrero Stahl and Juan Carlos Machorro.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta’s well-regarded disputes practice is led by Fernando del Castillo. The group has a strong reputation in the market for insolvency disputes, but is also highly experienced in general commercial litigation and arbitration. The firm was recently successful in defending John Deere against a major damages claim concerning the termination of a distribution agreement. Another highlight was representing Peñafiel Aguas Minerales in a dispute with joint venture partner Acqua Minerale San Bendetto, which went to arbitration. Other major clients include Siemens, which the firm assisted in the successful enforcement of a $400m arbitration award against Pemex. Carlos Olvera is also recommended.

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

Santamarina y Steta

Juan Carlos Machorro heads a strong team at Santamarina y Steta which has experience across oil and gas, power and renewables. The firm has been involved in a range of energy infrastructure projects, and energy-related transactional and regulatory matters. Recent highlights including advising on the development of a gasoline and diesel storage and distribution company. The firm also has experience in the areas of Clean Energy Certificates, recently representing a client involved in a major auction, and natural gas supply agreements.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta’s environmental team has a strong track record in major renewables projects, and is also experienced in consultations with indigenous communities. Gloria Park leads the practice, which works closely with the firm’s administrative litigation group. Recent highlights include advising IDOM on the implementation of the real estate aspects of the new Law of Special Economic Zones, including feasibility studies for development projects across some of Mexico’s poorest states. The firm also advised Invex Infraestructura on a wind energy project in the state of Puebla and a hydroelectric project in the state of Chiapas. Associate Andrea Cavazzani is also highly experienced in environmental law.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

With offices in Querétaro, Monterrey and Mexico City, Santamarina y Steta is best known for its activity with local insurance companies. The small but well-respected practice is particularly active from the Monterrey office where young partner Francsico Torres G is increasingly the key figure for insurance work. Recent matters include advising investors on the acquisition of a Mexican insurance carrier, including all insurance-regulatory aspects; assisting Neztger Seguros on matters relating to the capital requirement aspects of Solvencia II legislation; and a review of policies issued by foreign insurers, and associated matters, on behalf of Seguros Afirme. In México City, Carlos Olvera is the name to note, while Jorge León-Orantes is active on corporate aspects of the sector. In other work, the practice remains active in consultancy matters, insurance product review, regulatory authorizations, and contractual and policy document review.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

José Pablo Pérez Zea leads a solid team of four associates at Santamarina y Steta. The group is particularly strong on the trade mark front, and regularly advises on IP issues arising from corporate transactions. It represents several significant international clients, including advising Hershey on trade mark, copyright, enforcement and licensing matters. Other clients are Kimberley-Clark, General Motors, Takeda and Deere & Company.

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International trade and customs
International trade and customs - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

With offices in Querétaro and Monterrey as well as Mexico City, full-service firm Santamarina y Steta is well positioned for the NAFTA and IMMEX (maquiladora) issues that generally dominate Mexican international trade and customs practice. The six-strong team acts on all aspects of the sector, from anti-dumping to foreign trade programs, and also undertakes all associated administrative representations, but of late has been most active in specialist customs advisory matters. Recent work involved advising a multinational company on the import and export of raw materials between countries in the region (and on the analysis of potential BIT and FTA benefits); assisting a client with the identification of relevant tariff and non-tariff barriers on certain imports prior to establishing a franchise operation; and advice on environmental and customs regulations and procedures involved in the export of hazardous and non-hazardous industrial waste; on the new customs regime applicable to Special Economic Zones; and on the documentation and recording of import and export transactions. In addition to a strong client roster in the health, pharma, consumer goods and retail sectors, the team is particularly active in the burgeoning automobile construction sector and its related supply-chain (the firm has represented General Motors de México for over 50 years), and has growing involvement in the aerospace area. Practice head Alejandro Luna has over 20 years’ experience in the sector. Key support comes from associate Karina Robledo, who is particularly active on international trade audits and fiscal matters. The Monterrey-based César Cruz adds further weight to the practice. The participation of experienced competition practitioner Ernesto Dunhe (particularly as regards anti-dumping but also on general trade matters and rules of origin), and tax specialist Mariano Calderón (particularly on administrative matters related to trade) is also noted. Customs consultant Manuel del Bosque has left the firm.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta has an extremely active three-partner practice headed by Juan Carlos De La Vega out of its Monterrey office. The firm has recently been involved in several high-profile matters, and is representing automotive parts manufacturer Teksid in a dispute with the National Mining Union over its claim that it represents a majority of employees and should be party to the collective bargaining agreement. Other key clients include PKC Group, ENI Petroleum and Chevron. Andrés Rodríguez and Pedro Velasco are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Juan Carlos De La Vega - Santamarina y Steta

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Juan Carlos Machorro and Sergio Chagoya are the key contacts in Santamarina y Steta’s active infrastructure practice. The versatile group acts for a range of sponsors, banks, and government organisations at local and federal level. Recent highlights include advising Abengoa on the refinancing, amendment and potential divestment of its portfolio of Mexican projects, including a number of major highway projects, as part of the client’s global restructuring. The firm also advised the lenders on a multimillion-dollar telecoms network project, and acted for the sponsor company on a significant waste-to-energy development.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Full service player Santamarina y Steta’s offices in Monterrey, Querétaro and Tijuana, as well as Mexico City, position it strongly to attend real estate matters throughout the Republic. The ‘capable’ 10-strong practice group includes three partners, including Gloria Park, whose practice gives the team considerable penetration into the energy sector (particularly renewables) as well as participation in mandates with a significant or complex environmental aspect. Aarón Levet has over 25 years’ experience and, based in Tijuana, his practice has a strong (US-related) tourism and hospitality component; he acted as counsel to BMO Harris Bank on the acquisition of condominium units in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora; acted for a referred client on the drafting and negotiation of documentation relating to the acquisition of properties in Tulum, Quintana Roo; and advised Intrawest Resort Ownership on the sale of its trust beneficiary rights concerning several units and villas located in its resort in Zihuatanejo. In Mexico City, the ‘highly active’ and ‘strongly recommended’, Vicente Grau advised Prologis Property México on the refinancing of a loan and an associated guarantee restructuring, involving both the release and acquisition of properties; auto components manufacturer, Fukoku, with the selection and acquisition of properties, and the subsequent construction and development of said premises; and Haitian Huayuan Mexico on the lease of its premises in the State of Mexico and associated due diligence. Park’s ‘multifaceted practice’ saw her lead advice to IDOM on the feasibility assessment of potential project zones (from the legal real estate and environmental perspectives) according to the real estate provisions of the Law of Economic Special Zones; and Invex Infraestructura on the environmental and technical matters associated with a major Mexican wind energy project in Puebla. She also assisted Ellwood Specialty Metals establish its business in Queretaro, including the land purchase, construction and operation of the industrial facilities. Associates Claudia Rodríguez C, Isaac Zatarain, Andrea Cavazzani S and Miguel Ernesto Beltrán are all key team members. The practice also works on an ongoing basis with Home Depot Mexico on all real estate matters related to its expansion in Mexico; other mandates included the sale-and-lease-back of a corporate headquarters; real estate feasibility studies for public projects; and investment strategy review on behalf of developers.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

Full service firm Santamarina y Steta has long participated in telecom-related work. Recent mandates include handling data protection and e-commerce matters on behalf of The Hershey Company; advising EMC Computer Systems Mexico on compliance with data protection and privacy, e-signature and e-data retention obligations; and Blue Buffalo, also on compliance with Mexican data protection requirements – a sub-sector where the team is particularly active. ‘A well-known figure’, transactional specialist and practice head Jorge León Orantes advises across the TMT sector, and in particular on data protection and privacy matters where he ‘knows the ropes’. Key support comes from senior associate Paola Morales Vargas, who has considerable expertise in e-commerce, telecoms, media & technology, and satellite matters. Other mandates included acting before IFETEL regarding telecom-service re-seller authorisations; telematics’ analysis to ensure compliance with Mexican norms; and licensing agreements. Pablo Laresgoiti in Mexico City, and Monterrey-based César Cruz, lean-in to the practice to advise on e-commerce and data privacy, respectively; both areas being particular niche strengths of the firm.

Next generation lawyers

Paola Morales Vargas - Santamarina y Steta

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

Santamarina y Steta

The small, five-strong practice at the full-service Santamarina y Steta benefits not only from the firm’s corporate and transactional departments, but in particular from the strength of its top-flight bankruptcy practice, from which the tax team derives considerable advisory and (re-)structuring work. The core of the team is comprised of the ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ Mariano Calderón, who has over 20 years at the firm; senior tax counsel Agustín Gutiérrez, who can draw on three decades’ experience in the sector; and senior associate Karina Robledo who has 15 years exclusively focused on the sector, including five at PricewaterhouseCoopers, SC. Recent matters saw Calderón and Gutiérrez, in conjunction with bankruptcy partner Fernando del Castillo, counsel Abengoa on the tax implications (in Mexico) of its global restructuring plan; advise Hipotecaria Su Casita on the assessment of tax credits by the SAT within the context of the company’s bankruptcy procedure; and assist General Motors de México on various tax matters including advisory regarding transfer-pricing compliance and tax audits, and representation in tax litigation. Other matters include the filing of nullity claims and “amparos”; advisory on the tax consequences of the execution of collateral; the design, planning and implementation of tax structures; tax-led restructuring matters, and counsel on the new obligations related to electronic accountancy and transfer pricing operations.

Next generation lawyers

Karina Robledo - Santamarina y Steta

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Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC’s managing partner Claus Von Wobeser is ‘one of Mexico’s leading arbitration specialists, very respected worldwide’. He successfully represented Acqua Mineral San Benedetto in an ICC dispute with a joint venture partner. ‘Excellent lawyerMarco Tulio Venegas is another key contact for international arbitration at the firm. Solcargo’s dispute resolution practice head Fernando Pérez Correa is an experienced lawyer and a key adviser to the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, recently representing it in several ICC arbitrations. Abascal Segovia & Asociados’ José María Abascal is very experienced in international arbitration, and has been a Mexican delegate to UNCITRAL since 1985. He has acted as counsel, arbitrator and expert in major forums including the ICC, the ICDR and the LCIA. Galicia Abogados SC’s new arbitration and dispute resolution head Rodrigo Zamora is highly regarded for his track record as arbitrator and counsel in ICC as well as ICSID cases. Santamarina y Steta’s very active dispute resolution head Fernando Del Castillo is ‘a truly terrific lawyer’, and recently represented Peñafiel Aguas Minerales, a Mexican mineral water company owned by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, in an ICC dispute with joint venture partner Acqua Minerale San Benedetto. ‘Talented sole practitioner’ Francisco González de Cossío, who founded González de Cossío Abogados, SC, is recommended for his expertise in alternative dispute resolution. He is a member of the LCIA and president of the Centro de Arbitraje de la Industria de la Construcción.

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Mexico

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

A ‘fine firmSantamarina y Steta has a ‘very good, very responsive’ 18-strong practice (including seven partners) dedicated to banking and finance work; its caseload is more-or-less evenly split between borrower and lender-side representations. The group includes ‘highly knowledgeable’ practice head Alberto Saavedra, who focuses on banking, finance and restructuring; Sergio Chagoya, who divides his practice between project finance, banking and capital markets, and also undertakes regulatory matters in relation to derivatives; and Alfonso Castro, who in turn, focuses on financings, refinancing and restructures, and of late has been particularly active on collateral packages and facility agreements. In Mexico City, the ‘approachable and reasonable’ Juan Carlos Machorro is ‘always informed about the status of matters that his team is working on’, while ‘responsive’ senior associate Ricardo Orea ‘gets to the point’ and ‘takes a stance when asked for an opinion’; recent mandates saw the pair advise International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Proparco on loans totalling $65m extended to Proteak Uno (and its subsidiaries), as well as on a complex, associated security structure covering the company’s biological assets; and Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank on a €180m loan to Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. Reflecting the practice group’s long experience of working with multilateral agencies, Machorro and Orea also handled a series of loans on behalf of Germany’s DEG, including $14.5m to CHG Meridian, $25m to Ingenio San Rafael de Pucte and Beta San Miguel; MXN$543.5m to Benteler de Mexico; and $41m to Grupo TMM. Headline work from the firm’s Monterrey office saw Jorge Barrero and recently-appointed partner Carlos Argüelles González counsel Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS) on $326.5m and $76.5m syndicated loan facilities for the acquisitions of automotive-castings manufacturer Infun and Automotive Components Europe, respectively; and Martinrea International on the refinancing of its $550m syndicated credit agreement with a syndicate of nine banks including JP Morgan Chase, BoA, EDC and HSBC Bank Canada. Associates Diego Ostos and Gustavo Mendoza are noted for regulatory matters.

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Bankruptcy and restructuring
Bankruptcy and restructuring - ranked: tier 1

Santamarina y Steta

Best known for working on the side of the debtor, full-service firm Santamarina y Steta is ‘very complete’ and ‘an important player’ in bankruptcy matters, where it fields a 15-strong team, including four partners. Noted as being ‘very strong on both the transactional and litigation sides of the practice area (something very unusual, if not unique in Mexico)’, peers highlight the team as being ‘particularly good in pre-insolvency stages’. Recent significant matters include representing Abengoa (México) in local restructuring proceedings that began in late 2015, as well as in relation to the group’s global reorganisation; acting as Mexican counsel to the holders of the 2019 senior guaranteed bonds issued by Oro Negro Drilling; and advising the IFC on the recognition of it debt in the insolvency proceedings of developers URBI and Homex. Head of the firm’s litigation practice and ‘a magnificent lawyer’, Fernando del Castillo is ‘an old hand for bankruptcy matters’. Key support comes from the ‘excellent’ Alfonso Castro, with clients noting that both ‘are also very good at out-of-court transactions because of their knowledge of how a bankruptcy proceeding will play out’. Further support comes from ‘very knowledgeable’ senior associate Carlos Montes and Anan Laura Elizalde. Other matters include advising Nicasmex on obtaining its recognition as a creditor in Avalon Marine’s insolvency proceeding; Banco Mercantil del Norte, as the trustee of business trust F/570, in the latters insolvency proceeding; and acting as special Mexican corporate and restructuring counsel in the chapter 11 filing by Maxcom Telecomunicaciones to facilitate its comprehensive recapitalization programme.

Leading lawyers

Fernando del Castillo - Santamarina y Steta

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

Full-service market mainstay Santamarina y Steta remained active in a tough climate for the capital markets due to the breadth of its client base and ‘great knowledge of both debt and equity work’. Headline work saw Alberto Saavedra and practice co-head Alfonso Castro lead advice to Controladora Comercial Mexicana (CCM) on the MXN$39bn sale of a majority holding in its retail business to Soriana, a process facilitated by the creation and spin-off of La Comer and its listing on the Mexican stock exchange via an IPO. Castro also advised Corporación Geo on the restructuring, tender offer and exchange of $160m worth of US bonds as part of the company’s financial restructuring; and also on the restructuring and amendment of a MXN$1.04bn claim derived from the three issuances of Mexican-peso notes by the company. His fellow practice head Sergio Chagoya led advice to Finactiv on the establishment of a MXN$300m bonds programme, and the establishment of a first MXN$100m issuance therein; and to Banco Invex on its MXN5bn bank bonds programme, and a first MXN$2bn issuance. Jorge Barrero is also active in the sector and the partners can also call on a team of seven associates with particular experience in capital markets work, notably seniors Alfonso Monroy Mendoza and Gustavo Mendoza. The practice group also has expertise in sub-sovereign issuances.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Ernesto Duhne leads an active practice at Santamarina y Steta, where he is backed up by Jorge Barrero and Vicente Grau on the corporate side, and Mariano Calderón on contentious matters. The firm is highly experienced in merger clearance, recently handling the Mexican aspects of Marriott International’s takeover of Starwood International Hotels & Resorts, and Schlumberger’s acquisition of Cameron International. The team is also involved in some highly sensitive disputes with the regulators, involving claims of anti-competitive behaviour. It is well-versed in cartel investigations, and provides dawn raid training to clients.

[back to top]

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

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta’s 16-partner corporate team forms a core part of the firm’s full-service offering. It acts for a broad range of major industrial clients, and is an extremely popular choice with mid-market domestic and international companies. Among its recent highlights, it advised OCC Mundial on its acquisition of Empleolisto.com; acted for Wirecard on the acquisition of the Mexican arm of Citigroup’s Prepaid Card Services; and assisted Brussels-based company Euroclear in negotiating with Grupo Bolsa Mexicana de Valores to form a joint venture company, BMV Fondos, operating in the Mexican mutual funds market. The department fields several experienced partners, including Jorge Léon-Orantes, César Gerardo Cruz Ayala, Jorge Barrero Stahl and Juan Carlos Machorro.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta’s well-regarded disputes practice is led by Fernando del Castillo. The group has a strong reputation in the market for insolvency disputes, but is also highly experienced in general commercial litigation and arbitration. The firm was recently successful in defending John Deere against a major damages claim concerning the termination of a distribution agreement. Another highlight was representing Peñafiel Aguas Minerales in a dispute with joint venture partner Acqua Minerale San Bendetto, which went to arbitration. Other major clients include Siemens, which the firm assisted in the successful enforcement of a $400m arbitration award against Pemex. Carlos Olvera is also recommended.

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

Santamarina y Steta

Juan Carlos Machorro heads a strong team at Santamarina y Steta which has experience across oil and gas, power and renewables. The firm has been involved in a range of energy infrastructure projects, and energy-related transactional and regulatory matters. Recent highlights including advising on the development of a gasoline and diesel storage and distribution company. The firm also has experience in the areas of Clean Energy Certificates, recently representing a client involved in a major auction, and natural gas supply agreements.

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta’s environmental team has a strong track record in major renewables projects, and is also experienced in consultations with indigenous communities. Gloria Park leads the practice, which works closely with the firm’s administrative litigation group. Recent highlights include advising IDOM on the implementation of the real estate aspects of the new Law of Special Economic Zones, including feasibility studies for development projects across some of Mexico’s poorest states. The firm also advised Invex Infraestructura on a wind energy project in the state of Puebla and a hydroelectric project in the state of Chiapas. Associate Andrea Cavazzani is also highly experienced in environmental law.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

With offices in Querétaro, Monterrey and Mexico City, Santamarina y Steta is best known for its activity with local insurance companies. The small but well-respected practice is particularly active from the Monterrey office where young partner Francsico Torres G is increasingly the key figure for insurance work. Recent matters include advising investors on the acquisition of a Mexican insurance carrier, including all insurance-regulatory aspects; assisting Neztger Seguros on matters relating to the capital requirement aspects of Solvencia II legislation; and a review of policies issued by foreign insurers, and associated matters, on behalf of Seguros Afirme. In México City, Carlos Olvera is the name to note, while Jorge León-Orantes is active on corporate aspects of the sector. In other work, the practice remains active in consultancy matters, insurance product review, regulatory authorizations, and contractual and policy document review.

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

José Pablo Pérez Zea leads a solid team of four associates at Santamarina y Steta. The group is particularly strong on the trade mark front, and regularly advises on IP issues arising from corporate transactions. It represents several significant international clients, including advising Hershey on trade mark, copyright, enforcement and licensing matters. Other clients are Kimberley-Clark, General Motors, Takeda and Deere & Company.

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International trade and customs
International trade and customs - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

With offices in Querétaro and Monterrey as well as Mexico City, full-service firm Santamarina y Steta is well positioned for the NAFTA and IMMEX (maquiladora) issues that generally dominate Mexican international trade and customs practice. The six-strong team acts on all aspects of the sector, from anti-dumping to foreign trade programs, and also undertakes all associated administrative representations, but of late has been most active in specialist customs advisory matters. Recent work involved advising a multinational company on the import and export of raw materials between countries in the region (and on the analysis of potential BIT and FTA benefits); assisting a client with the identification of relevant tariff and non-tariff barriers on certain imports prior to establishing a franchise operation; and advice on environmental and customs regulations and procedures involved in the export of hazardous and non-hazardous industrial waste; on the new customs regime applicable to Special Economic Zones; and on the documentation and recording of import and export transactions. In addition to a strong client roster in the health, pharma, consumer goods and retail sectors, the team is particularly active in the burgeoning automobile construction sector and its related supply-chain (the firm has represented General Motors de México for over 50 years), and has growing involvement in the aerospace area. Practice head Alejandro Luna has over 20 years’ experience in the sector. Key support comes from associate Karina Robledo, who is particularly active on international trade audits and fiscal matters. The Monterrey-based César Cruz adds further weight to the practice. The participation of experienced competition practitioner Ernesto Dunhe (particularly as regards anti-dumping but also on general trade matters and rules of origin), and tax specialist Mariano Calderón (particularly on administrative matters related to trade) is also noted. Customs consultant Manuel del Bosque has left the firm.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta has an extremely active three-partner practice headed by Juan Carlos De La Vega out of its Monterrey office. The firm has recently been involved in several high-profile matters, and is representing automotive parts manufacturer Teksid in a dispute with the National Mining Union over its claim that it represents a majority of employees and should be party to the collective bargaining agreement. Other key clients include PKC Group, ENI Petroleum and Chevron. Andrés Rodríguez and Pedro Velasco are also recommended.

Leading lawyers

Juan Carlos De La Vega - Santamarina y Steta

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Juan Carlos Machorro and Sergio Chagoya are the key contacts in Santamarina y Steta’s active infrastructure practice. The versatile group acts for a range of sponsors, banks, and government organisations at local and federal level. Recent highlights include advising Abengoa on the refinancing, amendment and potential divestment of its portfolio of Mexican projects, including a number of major highway projects, as part of the client’s global restructuring. The firm also advised the lenders on a multimillion-dollar telecoms network project, and acted for the sponsor company on a significant waste-to-energy development.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Santamarina y Steta

Full service player Santamarina y Steta’s offices in Monterrey, Querétaro and Tijuana, as well as Mexico City, position it strongly to attend real estate matters throughout the Republic. The ‘capable’ 10-strong practice group includes three partners, including Gloria Park, whose practice gives the team considerable penetration into the energy sector (particularly renewables) as well as participation in mandates with a significant or complex environmental aspect. Aarón Levet has over 25 years’ experience and, based in Tijuana, his practice has a strong (US-related) tourism and hospitality component; he acted as counsel to BMO Harris Bank on the acquisition of condominium units in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora; acted for a referred client on the drafting and negotiation of documentation relating to the acquisition of properties in Tulum, Quintana Roo; and advised Intrawest Resort Ownership on the sale of its trust beneficiary rights concerning several units and villas located in its resort in Zihuatanejo. In Mexico City, the ‘highly active’ and ‘strongly recommended’, Vicente Grau advised Prologis Property México on the refinancing of a loan and an associated guarantee restructuring, involving both the release and acquisition of properties; auto components manufacturer, Fukoku, with the selection and acquisition of properties, and the subsequent construction and development of said premises; and Haitian Huayuan Mexico on the lease of its premises in the State of Mexico and associated due diligence. Park’s ‘multifaceted practice’ saw her lead advice to IDOM on the feasibility assessment of potential project zones (from the legal real estate and environmental perspectives) according to the real estate provisions of the Law of Economic Special Zones; and Invex Infraestructura on the environmental and technical matters associated with a major Mexican wind energy project in Puebla. She also assisted Ellwood Specialty Metals establish its business in Queretaro, including the land purchase, construction and operation of the industrial facilities. Associates Claudia Rodríguez C, Isaac Zatarain, Andrea Cavazzani S and Miguel Ernesto Beltrán are all key team members. The practice also works on an ongoing basis with Home Depot Mexico on all real estate matters related to its expansion in Mexico; other mandates included the sale-and-lease-back of a corporate headquarters; real estate feasibility studies for public projects; and investment strategy review on behalf of developers.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 3

Santamarina y Steta

Full service firm Santamarina y Steta has long participated in telecom-related work. Recent mandates include handling data protection and e-commerce matters on behalf of The Hershey Company; advising EMC Computer Systems Mexico on compliance with data protection and privacy, e-signature and e-data retention obligations; and Blue Buffalo, also on compliance with Mexican data protection requirements – a sub-sector where the team is particularly active. ‘A well-known figure’, transactional specialist and practice head Jorge León Orantes advises across the TMT sector, and in particular on data protection and privacy matters where he ‘knows the ropes’. Key support comes from senior associate Paola Morales Vargas, who has considerable expertise in e-commerce, telecoms, media & technology, and satellite matters. Other mandates included acting before IFETEL regarding telecom-service re-seller authorisations; telematics’ analysis to ensure compliance with Mexican norms; and licensing agreements. Pablo Laresgoiti in Mexico City, and Monterrey-based César Cruz, lean-in to the practice to advise on e-commerce and data privacy, respectively; both areas being particular niche strengths of the firm.

Next generation lawyers

Paola Morales Vargas - Santamarina y Steta

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 4

Santamarina y Steta

The small, five-strong practice at the full-service Santamarina y Steta benefits not only from the firm’s corporate and transactional departments, but in particular from the strength of its top-flight bankruptcy practice, from which the tax team derives considerable advisory and (re-)structuring work. The core of the team is comprised of the ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ Mariano Calderón, who has over 20 years at the firm; senior tax counsel Agustín Gutiérrez, who can draw on three decades’ experience in the sector; and senior associate Karina Robledo who has 15 years exclusively focused on the sector, including five at PricewaterhouseCoopers, SC. Recent matters saw Calderón and Gutiérrez, in conjunction with bankruptcy partner Fernando del Castillo, counsel Abengoa on the tax implications (in Mexico) of its global restructuring plan; advise Hipotecaria Su Casita on the assessment of tax credits by the SAT within the context of the company’s bankruptcy procedure; and assist General Motors de México on various tax matters including advisory regarding transfer-pricing compliance and tax audits, and representation in tax litigation. Other matters include the filing of nullity claims and “amparos”; advisory on the tax consequences of the execution of collateral; the design, planning and implementation of tax structures; tax-led restructuring matters, and counsel on the new obligations related to electronic accountancy and transfer pricing operations.

Next generation lawyers

Karina Robledo - Santamarina y Steta

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Legal Developments in Mexico

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

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