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Santamarina y Steta

Work +52 55 5279 5400
Mexico City, Monterrey, Queretaro

Fernando Del Castillo

Work +52 55 5279.5426
Santamarina y Steta

Work Department

Insolvency, civil and mercantile litigation, as well as commercial arbitration law




Fernando del Castillo joined Santamarina y Steta in 1993 and became a partner in 2002. With more than 20 years, Fernando has broad experience in counseling major domestic and foreign companies in arbitration proceedings held in Mexico and abroad in matters that involved civil, commercial, construction, and insurance law, among other areas.


Spanish and English


He is a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Mexico City Chamber of Commerce (CANACO).


He has a law degree from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Latin America: International firms

Local practitioners of note (by country)

Within: 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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Bankruptcy and restructuring

Within: Leading lawyers

Fernando del Castillo - Santamarina y Steta

Within: Bankruptcy and restructuring

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.

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Dispute resolution

Within: Dispute resolution

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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Within: Tax

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.

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