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

SMPS Legal

SMPS Legal fields a four-strong international trade team that ‘continually outstrips expectations’ and is lauded for its ‘fine service levels’. Working across the entire sector, it is particularly active in NAFTA rectifications related to verification-of-origin; efficient customs structure consultancy, and foreign trade audits. Past matters include obtaining tax authorisation for tax credits on temporarily imported goods; the development and implementation of defence strategies against foreign trade liabilities; and general foreign trade counselling and due diligence procedures. ‘Brilliant’ practice head Alexis Michel has over twenty years’ experience in the sector and also has a tax qualification; he’s ‘a great person to have at your side in a customs dispute’. Assisting with matters ranging from routine classification matters to complex appeals of administrative opinions, the practice is ‘a first port of call for IT&C work’. Key support comes from senior associates Ana Karen Navarrete who was formerly a consultant at the Customs Brokers Association in Mexico City; and Paloma Armella who focuses on administrative procedures, rules of origin and trade audits. The team can also call on tax partners Christian Solis and Ana Paula Pardo on litigious and international taxation aspects of the practice as required. Clients include Grupo Azucarero Sainz, Grupo Tampico and Grupo Axo.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 4

SMPS Legal

The seven-strong real estate team at SMPS Legal is co-directed by general corporate practitioner Eduardo Pizarro Suárez, who has particular experience in real estate transactions and financings; and Alejandro Ortiz, who has over 20 years’ experience and divides his time between the firm’s Mexico City and Dallas offices. The team undertakes matters throughout the entire sector, with past mandates including the origination of a structure to develop and finance a significant multi-use building (and an associated private trust); acting as local counsel to a hotel group on the development and operation of its Mexican activities; and strategic advice on the construction, development and operation of industrial facilities. Counsel Moises Shehoah brings his experience as general counsel at developer Grupo Danhos to the team, while associate Diana Sologuren has over a decade’s experience in the sector. Numerous other matters include project development and associated administrative requirements; telecom antennae-related real estate matters; the implementation of a corporate, real estate and tax structure on behalf of a real estate developer; advice in relation to mixed-use developments; the leasing and construction of corporate headquarters, and pipeline rights-of-way agreements.

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Tax - ranked: tier 3

SMPS Legal

A unique firm – it has offices in Calgary, Dallas, Mexico City and Bogotá – SMPS Legal has ‘has grown very quickly’ and ‘positioned itself strongly’. While the firm has amicably concluded its alliance with the well-known Manuel Tron, with whom the team continues to share a number of clients, it has not forfeited its visibility in the sector. Tax has been a central pillar of the firm since its founding, with practice head Jorge San Martin (who is both an accountant and a lawyer), described as ‘a very solid and capable practitioner’. He is seconded by Ana Paula Pardo, formerly of Hogan Lovells BSTL, S.C., who has an international tax focus; ‘really effective’ tax-litigation specialist Christian Solis; and senior associate Federico Scheffler, who has a strong focus on advisory work, primarily in relation to M&A transactions and restructuring. The 11-strong team is full service in tax matters (barring transfer pricing) and has a ‘splendid litigation ability’; and the firm’s unique geographical footprint has resulted in a strong engagement with the energy, mining and oil & gas industries, in particular – much of its work stems from these sectors and related corporate activity. In addition to general corporate tax advisory and transactional tax matters, other recent work includes advising Grupo Axo on the tax aspects of its implementation of a joint venture with US-company PVH via merger with its Mexican subsidiary, Baseco; and T69 on the structuring the $133m financing of a multipurpose building on the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City, including the incorporation of a private FIBRA. Other work included advising various clients on the tax aspects of transactional mandates, tax advice and preparation of trust agreements, patrimonial matters, and tax audit and PRODECON resolution processes.

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Further information on SMPS Legal

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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.

    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 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.

    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.

    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.

    By Jose Luis Ramos-Zurita