Banking and finance in Mexico

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 Ramirez 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.

Galicia Abogados S.C.

Galicia Abogados S.C. stands out for its experience and depth. The 26-strong team is active nationally and internationally representing lenders and borrowers in regulatory and compliance matters; corporate, sub-sovereign, structured, syndicated and bilateral financing transactions; acquisition finance and asset-based finance, among other areas. In what was a busy year with some impressive transactions, highlights included acting as Mexican legal counsel to BBVA Bancomer, Banco Nacional de México, and Scotiabank Inverlat, as lenders, on the combined MXP$10.1bn credit facility to Coca-Cola; to Fermaca, as borrower and issuer, on the $815m hybrid refinancing of the project costs associated with the development and construction of a 420km, 1,670 MMCFD, 42 inch natural-gas pipeline, running through the states of Chihuahua and Durango, and consisting of a $365m bank loan and a Singapore-listed $450m bond issuance; and to several lending parties and institutional investors -including Citi, as administrative agent- on the $740m hybrid financing to Energía del Valle de México Generador for the project costs associated with the development of an 850 MW greenfield combined-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant located in the Axapusco municipality. One of the few teams that handles sub-sovereign financings, the outfit also assisted BBVA Bancomer as structuring and administrative agent, and Banco del Bajío, Banco Interacciones, Banco Mercantil del Norte, Banco Multiva, and Banco Santander, as lenders, on the MXP$20.2bn credit facility to the state of Chihuahua; and the state of Quintana Roo on its MXP$19.2bn refinancing of existing credit facilities, granted by several banks. Very active and highly recommended, Guillermo Pérez Santiago co-heads the practice with Arturo Perdomo; while no longer as active, founding partner Manuel Galicia remains a reference in the market. Other key practitioners include Humberto Pérez Rocha, Maurice Berkman, José Visoso, Eugenio Sepúlveda, and new partner Rodrigo Rivera. Support comes from counsels Cecilia Rojas and Rosemarie McLaren in the firm's Monterrey office, along with associate Lili Abascal. Other clients include Barclays Bank, Grupo Bimbo, HSBC, Inter-American Development Bank, and International Finance Corporation.

Greenberg Traurig, S.C.

Recently appointed co-head of the firm's Latin America practice, the highly recommended José Raz Guzmán leads the practice at Greenberg Traurig, S.C. in conjuntion with Juan Manuel González. The 19-strong team is valued by clients for its ‘great negotiating, analysis, reaching of agreements and implementation of solutions’; the lawyers are ‘very professional, and give individualised attention to each client, generating value to their services through trust and accuracy’. Also able to rely on the firm’s international network, the team represents lenders and borrowers in transactional and regulatory matters, including in project and real estate finance; syndicated and bilateral credit facilities; acquisition and recapitalisation financings; leveraged financings; asset-based credit facilities; cash flow and enterprise value credit facilities; lien loans and facilities; subordinated debt facilities; mezzanine financings; debtor-in-possession and reorganisation exit financings; and cross-border and multi-currency credit facilities. In highlight work it acted for; a syndicate of banks led by Banco Santander and comprising BBVA, Banco Sabadell, Banorte, Monex and Intercam, in the negotiation of a MXN$10bn multi-tranche senior secured credit facility granted to Fibra UNO  to finance the construction of Ciudad Mitikah, one of the largest real estate developments in Mexico; Walton Street Capital in the $107.9m credit facility granted by Metropolitan Life Insurance for the acquisition of the JW Marriott hotel in Mexico City; and Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en América Latina in the MXN$10bn refinancing of two social infrastructure projects employing a senior secured loan to refinance existing debt with the option of a “market take out” via a public offering of bonds under the same structure to repay the senior secured loan, and in the MXN$18bn refinancing of its concession of the Guadalajara-Tepic (Pacifico Sur). Other key practitioners include Miguel Moisés, José Antonio Butrón, and Carlos Garduño, while support comes from associate David Argueta. Clients include HSBC México, Mexico Infrastructure Partners Latin America, Mexico Infrastructure Partners II, Elementia, Banco Mercantil del Norte, Sabcapital, Bancomext, and Red de Carreteras de Occidente.

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C.

The lawyers at Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. ‘are swift in their response and are always pushing to get the deal done in the best possible way for the clients and the other parties involved’. The 15-strong team ‘has the infrastructure to close big transactions’ and its expertise includes regulatory matters; personal loans, syndicated loans and project finance transactions; complex financial  and liabilities restructurings; structured finance; corporate lending and real estate finance; and FinTech. In highlight work, Manuel Echave acted as special Mexican legal counsel to JPMorgan Chase, Natixis, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, BBVA Bancomer, ABN Amro, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mediobanca International, Mizuho Bank and Unicredit, as lenders on the $1bn syndicated loan agreement granted to steel producer Ternium México; Ricardo Maldonado and Pilar Mata represented Fintech Advisory in the $3.5bn restructuring of Empresas ICA and its subsidiaries; and together with energy expert Horacio De Uriarte, Mata also assisted Atlas Renewable Energy Mexico in obtaining an $88.5m loan from Bancomext for the development of a photovoltaic project. Patricio Trad advised Peñón on the refinancing of its MetLife loan agreement for the construction and operation of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel at Mexico City International Airport. Other key practitioners include Martín Sánchez Bretón, Francisco Ibañez and newly appointed partner Ignacio Armida; while support comes from senior associate Patrick Meshoulam. Other clients include Deutsche Bank, Grupo Axo, Banco Sabadell, and Goldman Sachs. Since publication, Meshoulam has been elevated to the partnership, effective April 2020.

Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC

A ‘very sophisticated law firm involved in the most complex deals’, Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC is applauded for its solid practice. The core group of the firm’s 31-strong banking and finance department has been working together for three decades, advising clients on national and international securitisation and structured finance deals, equity placements, equity funds and leveraged buyouts, leasing, corporate lending, real estate finance and project financing, as well as on regulatory matters, workouts, insolvency and restructurings. While mostly acting on the side of lenders, recent borrower-side work included assisting Altán Redes on the $50m cross-border financing for the Red Compartida Project, granted by Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF). The case was led by practice head and 'genuine point of reference' Michell Nader, who also teamed up with Adrián López G to represent Bank of Montreal Capital Markets. as banking syndicate agent, on the second debt restructuring process of Bombardier Recreational Products. In other activity, Julián Garza led the team that assisted Rabobank in connection with the MXN$117.6m acquisition of approximately 15.3% of the capital stock of Banco Finterra; while Hans Goebel acted as lead counsel to Wells Fargo in a cross-border refinancing transaction involving Real Alloy as borrower (combined transaction value of $155m); and Javier Arreola led advice to MetLife on a MXN$1.644bn loan in favour of various CKD trust vehicles formed by Walton and Planigrupo. Eduardo Villanueva assisted Banco Sabadell, Banco Nacional de México, HSBC México, Banco Monex, CAIXA Bank and SabCapital as administrative and collateral agents on the $211m financing for the acquisition of Hyatt Regency Mexico. Key support comes from highly recommended counsel Mónica Ramos. Other key practitioners include Yves Hayaux-Du-Tilly, Gunter Schwandt, Alejandro Rojas, and José Humberto Rocha S, who made partner in January 2019. Clients include Bank of America, CitiBanamex, Prudential, Bancomer, Barclays, BNP Paribas, and Scotiabank.

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

For one source, Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is the ‘gold standard’ for banking and finance work in Mexico. The lawyers are ‘reliable and available’, display an international outlook, and have a ‘particularly unique and effective ability to convey Mexican civil law legal standards and concepts in a manner which is familiar and comforting to banking clients in Canada, the USA and Europe’. The 39-strong team works for national and international banks and underwriters, issuers, private equity firms and multilaterals on matters ranging from Mexico portfolio development to complex structures related to all types of financing transactions. Recent activity having focused on the energy and real estate sectors: the team assisted Reforma 509, for example, as borrower in a $41m Senior Credit from BBVA Bancomer for the financing of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Mexico City. The mandate was led by ‘always available, highly experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic’ practice head Jean Paul Farah Chajín who is valued for his ‘superb manner with business people and lawyers alike’. Luis Nicolau acted for the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Citigroup Global Markets, HSBC Bank USA, and JPMorgan Chase Bank in connection to a credit agreement of $710m granted to Alpek. Less active but still a reference in the market (‘one of the best finance lawyers’ according to a peer), Thomas Heather represented PNC Financial Services Group and PNC Bancorp, as the major shareholders of BlackRock, in the acquisition of Citibanamex's investment management business. In other work, Pablo Perezalonso represented HSBC in connection with a second placement of $100m subordinated obligations. Key support comes from senior associate Gabriel Robles Beistegui: ‘a knowledgeable and eminently pragmatic and effective lawyer, who has flawless English and whose acute awareness of North American and European service standards shines through in his everyday communications and advice’. Other names to note include Eduardo Triulzi Garciadiego, Jorge Oria y Anaya, Gabriel del Valle Mendiola, Octavio Olivo Villa, Federico Santacruz González, Ricardo Calderón Mendoza, Jose Berrueta Ochoa, senior associates Santiago Carrillo Cattori and Ana Casasús, and associates Mariana Padilla and Mariana Campos Clasing. Clients include Obrascón Huarte Laín Desarrollos, SabCapital, Banorte, Santander, Morgan Stanley, Banco Inbursa, Terrafin, and Banco del Bajío.

González Calvillo, SC

González Calvillo, SC’s 27-strong team represents a varied client roster that includes national and foreign banking and finance institutions, Mexican development banks, investment banks, underwriters, private investment funds, foreign asset management companies, and the agencies and rep-offices of foreign banks, in securities work, secured and asset financing, restructuring, syndicated and commercial lending and regulatory matters. In highlight work the team advised: Citigroup, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Citibank and Banamex, as joint lead arrangers of a $1.256bn credit agreement to finance the acquisition of InterGen’s projects in Mexico (totalling 2,200 MWs) by private equity fund Actis;  major mining player Grupo Mexico on an HSBC-led $147m refinancing of existing loan facilities for several of the client’s subsidiaries; and regular client Bancomext on a $53m financing granted to Inmobiliaria Insurgentes 421 for the development of a new 415-room hotel in Mexico City. The large team is co-led by José Victor Torres, Juan Manuel Sancho Rodrigo, Jaime Cortés, and José Ignacio Rivero Andere; other names to note include Hernando Becerra, Enrique Gonzalez Calvillo, Rodrigo Rojas Robleda and of counsel Antonio De Lisi; key support comes from senior associates Jacinto Avalos and Alberto Bustamante. Other clients include Unicredit Bank, Microsoft, Banco General, and BanCoppel.

Jones Day

The 14-strong team at Jones Day 's Mexico office has the advantage of being able to call on the firm’s international network. Its banking and finance offering includes advice on acquisition and leveraged finance, real estate finance, project and asset finance, and distressed financing, as well as derivatives, structured finance, and securitisations, which it provides to a client-base comprising financial groups, banks, mutual fund companies, and leasing, factoring and non-traditional banks. In highlight work, Alberto de la Parra assisted Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México with its MXN$30bn initial public offering of Fibra E Shares on the Mexican Stock Exchange; and Fuerza Eólica de San Matias, a subsidiary of Sinia Capital (part of Sabadell Energy Investment Branch), with a $45m secured financing granted by Banobras for the development of a 30MW wind-power generation project under development in Baja California. In conjunction with the firm’s Miami office, practice head Antonio Franck advised Itzoil (Invex Infraestructura 4) on the $700m development, project financing, construction and operation of a new port and storage terminal in Tuxpan, a storage terminal in Tula, and a pipeline of approximately 260km connecting the two. While his practice is winding down, Fernando de Ovando advised Banco del Bajío on its $475.2m global offering under Rule 144a/Reg S, IPO and listing on the Mexican Stock Exchange. Other key lawyers include Javier Martínez del Campo, Carlos Sámano, and Manuel Romano, with support from associates Arturo de la Parra, Salvador Gallo, and Diego Noriega. Other clients include BBVA Bancomer, GMéxico Transportes, Credit Suisse Securities, Grupo Kuo, and JinkoSolar Holding.

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C.’s ‘dedicated’ and ‘well-prepared’ team ensures its ‘availability’, brings to the table a ‘great relationship with regulators’ and provides ‘depth of analysis and focus on each deal’. Representing national and international clients on inbound and utbound matters, it frequently teams up with sector specialists from across the firm’s network as required. Recent mandates include advising: Inversionistas en Autotransportes Mexicanos (IAMSA) on a $91.7m refinancing granted by Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior to affiliate Omniair, and involving several other parties as obligors and guarantors; chemical company CYDSA, as borrower, in a $160m term loan credit facility granted by Banco Mercantil del Norte and Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior as lenders, and Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos as lender and guaranty and administrative agent; and Banorte on the  aquisition-by-merger of Grupo Financiero Interacciones, a transaction valued at $1.4bn billion and including all the group’s banking, broker-dealer, insurance and asset manager subsidiaries. The practice also has a strong FinTech capabbility and advises clients such as PayPal. Highly-regarded practitioner Juan Antonio Martin co-leads the team with Vicente Corta; Francisco Garcia-Naranjo González, María Teresa Fernández Labardini, and Manuel Groenewold are also key lawyers, as is NYC-qualified Sean Goldstein -who shuttles between Meixco City and New York. The bench was further strengthened with the arrival of Arcelia Olea Leyva, previously General Counsel of the National Banking & Securities Commission (CNBV). Other clients include EDC, BBVA Bancomer, The Bank of Nova Scotia, PayJoy México, Afluenta, Credit Agricole, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, and JP Morgan.

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. provides ‘comprehensive coverage of the Latam area, given that it has offices in the most important countries of the region’, and its lawyers are ‘engaged’, ‘available’, and ‘passionate about their work’. The nine-strong team is especially active in real estate finance but also covers trade finance, financing via receivables, regulatory work, compliance and fintech matters. The practice is co-led by Gaspar Gutierrez-Centeno, Maria Casas-Lopez (now senior counsel), Carlos Sagaón, and Lorenzo Ruiz de Velasco . Gutiérrez-Centeno and Casas-Lopez assisted Unicredit Bank with the negotiation and execution of the fifth amendment and restatement agreement granted to Hella Automotive Group for an aggregate amount of $1.625bn; and acted as Mexican counsel to IKB Deutsche Industriebank in connection with the negotiation of a separation and amendment agreement to syndicated credit facilities granted in favour of the subsidiaries of Group of Tension II Acquico (agregate value, €185m). Ruiz de Velasco (together with Michelle Pfeffer, an associate to watch) assisted Peninsula Wind Holding, through Mexican SPV Energia Renovable de la Peninsula, on the negotiation of a financing facility of up to $116m granted by Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and Natixis for the construction and operation of a 90 MW wind farm located in the state of Yucatan. Sagaón (‘always available, business oriented and with great experience in the market’) advised Banorte on a $31.2m loan facility from Bancomext and Banco Invex, including a new $58.8m line of credit for the Tijuana Cross-Border Facility Project (CBF), a pedestrian cross-border 'air-bridge' directly connecting a new passenger facility in southern San Diego County with Tijuana Airport; and Bancomext on a $65m loan granted to IGS for the acquisition of a real estate industrial portfolio from Macquarie. In both cases Sagaón was supported by Alfonso Martínez-Bejarano, another associate to watch, as is Jimena Maciel Alonso; both 'inspire confidence’ and are ‘highly knowledgeable on the banking and payments scenario in Mexico'. Other clients include Shell Oil Company, Lafise Bancentro, Betterware, Hines, and Tristone Flowtech.

Holland & Knight

Another firm with considerable activity in sub-sovereign financing, Holland & Knight is valued by clients for being a team of ‘young lawyers who provide outstanding service, meet deadlines and deliver high-quality responses’. The team has a strong focus on real estate and infrastructure finance and frequently acts on the Mexican side of cross-border transactions. In sub-sovereign matters, the practice represented key client Banco Multiva on its $1.09bn financing to the state of Chihuahua and its $800m financing to the state of Coahuila. In other highlight work, it advised Santander on the project financing and subsequent syndicated loan granted to Sunwing Group subsidiary CM Hotel for the construction of a hotel licensed by the Planet Hollywood brand; and Global Jet Capital, as borrower, on a $900m cross-border credit facility for the acquisition and refinancing of business assets. Alejandro Landa is a ‘hard-working lawyer with expertise in regulation and extension of credits’; he leads the banking and finance practice and co-heads the financial services practice with Guillermo Uribe, who also handles capital markets; support comes from senior counsels Adrián Gay and Selene Espinosa, and associates Aldo Gonzalez Melo, José Luis Villareal, and Gerardo Rotzinger. Other clients include Banamex, North American Development Bank, Buenavista Renewables, New Island Capital, and Bancomext.

Kuri Breña, Sánchez Ugarte y Aznar

The 12-strong team at Kuri Breña, Sánchez Ugarte y Aznar handles relevant national and international transactions for an impressive array of clients, assisting with securitisation and asset-backed structured finance; corporate finance; real estate, shipping and aviation financing; and debt restructuring plans. Recent highlights included acting for Scotiabank on a MXN$455m loan to Grupo Axende for the construction and operation of a complex in the city of Queretaro; Bancomext on the sale of the Eólica Santa Catarina project to World Wide Renewable Energy; and Vitro on the negotiation of a $700m syndicated loan agreement to refinance existing debt. Daniel Kuri Breña co-heads the practice with Guillermo Garay and Bernardo Luna; key support comes from Álvaro Sarmiento Lapiedra, Rodrigo López Márquez, Alejandro Sobarzo Hadad and senior associate Miguel Vallejo. Former senior associate Héctor González M moved to ONTIER México in mid-2018. Other clients include Altum CP, Monroe Capital Advisers, Sofocade, and Promecap.

Robles Miaja, SC

Robles Miaja, SC is a corporate boutique specialised in banking, finance, and capital markets. At the helm is Rafael Robles, a highly respected figure in the market and one with considerable clout, having held the position of chairman of the board of BBVA Bancomer for 25 years (until September 2018), as well as being a close adviser of Mexican magnate and América Móvil-owner Carlos Slim; he is considered an ‘outstanding’ lawyer, especially for his securities work. Robles is supported by a small team that also includes the 'recommended' María Luisa Petricioli Castellón and three associates. Recent matters saw the team assist a group of investors recover (approx) MXN$34bn invested in Fibra E NAIM, intended to fund the now-cancelled new Mexico City airport; and América Móvil on a $2.25bn senior bond issuance to fund debts.

Santamarina y Steta

As one of the oldest firms in the country, Santamarina y Steta is something of an institution in the banking and finance legal sector. Operating from offices in Mexico City, Monterrey, and Querétaro, the 16-strong practice handles a wide variety of finance projects, including loan agreements and restructurings, financial structures for international finance projects, and regulatory and day-to-day matters; it also advises on privatisations, incorporations, mergers, dissolutions, winding-up processes, sales and restructurings, and legal audits conducted for brokerage firms and credit institutions. On the borrower side, it assists in secured and unsecured loans, syndicated loans, assets financing, debt exchange, private banking, corporate finance and refinancing. Recent mandates saw the team assist Grupo Industrial Saltillo with a syndicated loan facility of up to $300m, subject to New York laws with corporate guarantees in Mexico and pledges over stock of subsidiaries in Spain; and Atlantica Yield with a $215m revolving loan from Banco Santander, Barclays Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, JP Morgan Chase Bank, and Merrill Lynch. On the lender side it represented key client Banobras in an approximately MXN$1.37bn loan granted to Promotora y Desarrolladora Mexicana (Prodemex) for the development of a public hospital in Bahia de Banderas, Nayarit, under a PPP with the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS). The department is co-led by five partners, with Alberto Saavedra (banking and finance, restructuring, capital markets and corporate governance), Sergio Chagoya (project finance, banking, capital markets and regulatory matters in relation to derivatives), and Juan Carlos Machorro (project finance) being the most active, along with Heriberto Garza and Carlos Argüelles. Key support comes from associates Ricardo Orea Montaño, Margarita Casarin, Arturo Rosette, Elíaz Zaga, Juan Pablo Rodríguez, and Lisa Carral.  Experienced partner Alfonso Castro left  in December 2018 to found his own firm, Del Castillo y Castro Abogados. Other clients include IndusInd Bank, CitiBanamex, Grupo ProHabitación, Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior, Corporación Interamericana de Inversión, Inter-American Investment Corporation, and Promotora Empresarial del Norte.

Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C.

The 19-strong team at Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C. continues to focus on regulatory and compliance matters but also counts on an impressive fintech law practice; clients such as Deutsche Bank, Citibanamex, MUFG Bank México, and Credit Suisse often request the departments lawyers on secondment, such is their expertise in these sub-sectors. Recent work saw the team assist Citibanamex with credit agreements executed with the banks clients; Banco Santander and Banco Multiva with corporate audits of clients; and Banorte in banking, insurance and litigation matters. Morgan Stanley is also a client. Compliance and AML expert Miguel Gallardo Guerra leads the practice, which includes Juan Carlos Morales and Federico de Palacio (who also handle corporate matters), Juan Carlos Tejado (who also covers capital markets), senior counsel Adolfo Hegewisch, and senior associates David Durán, Javier Pérez, and Enrique Mata.

Chávez Vargas Minutti Abogados

The lawyers at Chávez Vargas Minutti Abogados are ‘committed to their clients’, says one of the latter. By all accounts the firm has carved out a respectable niche for itself in banking and finance, more specifically in sub-soveriegn lending, credit lines, public finance transactions, matters pursuant to the new public finance law, project finance, FIBRAs, and CKDs. It also works extensively with a number of rating agencies. In recent work, the seven-strong team assisted FOVISSSTE with the structuring of four public bidding processes to secure the funding of a warehousing transaction for a total amount of MXP$12bn; and the state of Mexico on obtaining $60m public debt from Banobras for infrastructure relief after the September 2017 earthquakes that hit Mexico City. The practice also had an active year in real estate finance, having assisted AM Resorts/MM Desarrollos with a $144m credit facility granted by Banco Santander and Bancomext for the construction of a hotel and resort in Playa del Carmen; Banco Santander with the $80m financing of a hotel in Tulum; and Centro Comercial Punto Sur/Grupo Tierra y Armonia on the $144m financing by Banco Santander, Banco Monex and Banco Sabadell for a lifestyle shopping centre in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Recommended by peers, name partner Brian Minutti co-heads the team with founding partner José Antonio Chávez; strong support comes from senior associates Alejandro Carreño and Miguel Martínez. Other clients include Municipality of Carmen, Investments & Properties M2, the state of Coahuila, Renewable Resources Group, Banco Multiva, HR Ratings, S&P Mexico, Fitch Ratings Mexico, and Moody’s Mexico.

Cuesta Campos y Asociados S.C.

The Mexican member of the MERITAS alliance network, Cuesta Campos y Asociados S.C. has ‘fantastic knowledge of Mexican finance and law, combined with the ability to explain it simply and efficiently to foreign counsel and clients’; clients also note ‘reasonable fees’.  With a slightly unusual footprint -the firm has offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara and León- the team acts primarily for international banks involved in asset-based lending, as well as handling corporate finance, restructuring, syndicated loans, project finance, secured credit transactions, industrial mortgages, guaranty trusts, bridge loans, letters of credit, fintech, and public and private debt securities offerings. The nine-strong team recently represented key client Bank of America, as lender, in the restructuring of a $100m debtor-in-possession financing involving a new revolving credit agreement granted in conjunction with Wells Fargo Bank, as agent and lender, to Real Alloy Holding; Cerberus in terminating and releasing the security package of a $117m loan granted to a group of Mexican corporate borrowers; and Bank of Montreal in the termination and release of a $118m security package relating to a paid-off loan granted to a group of companies in the rubber manufacturing sector. The practice is co-led by firm-founder Hugo Cuesta and Azucena Marin, a ‘fantastic lawyer and a trusted advisor’. Associate Romina Fernández is ‘quick and business-focused in her communication’; and further support comes from Luis Enrique Regil, also an associate. Other clients include HSBC, Citibank, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.


Garrigues has a ‘very well-functioning team, that demonstrates above-average flexibility and responsiveness’. The relatively new Mexico office (established in 2014) has a banking and finance practice that handles real estate and infrastructure finance, syndicated and secured loans, and fintech, acting for both borrowers and lenders. In highlight work the team advised Banco Sabadell and BanCoppel on the structuring and negotiation of a syndicated secured loan facility of upto MXP$420m granted to Nemesis Capital (as settlor of FIBRA Avalon, a future Mexican REIT) to finance its debt restructuring; Spanish Grupo Ezentis and its Mexican subsidiaries (operating in the technology, infrastructure and telecommunications sector) on the facilities agreement for a €90m syndicated loan from Santander; and Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) on a $50m loan granted to Altán Redes to finance the Red Compartida project. Key client International Finance Corporation also instructed the team on several mandates, including:  a credit facility of upto MXP$2bn granted to Fideicomiso Hipotecario (FHipo) to finance the acquisition of certain pools of eligible mortgage loans from Mexican Housing Institute Infonavit; and on a MXP$1.9bn secured loan granted to a CKD established and managed by Credit Suisse Mexico. Mario Juárez leads the practice; Gabriela Pérez Sierra is 'easy to communicate with’ and a ‘great transaction manager'; other standout names include David Jiménez Romero, Daniel Gonzalez Delgado, and principal associate Miguel Ángel de la Fuente. Clients include Inter-American Investment Corporation, Swedbank, Nordea Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Unicredit Bank, CaixaBank, and Deutsche Bank.

Hogan Lovells

The ‘professional and conciseHogan Lovells impresses with ‘the care the lawyers show the case they have been entrusted with, following each step closely and delivering results in a timely manner’. Split between Monterrey and Mexico City offices, the 14-lawyer team represent borrowers and lenders on all manner of transactional and regulatory work, with a particular emphasis on sub-sovereign finance, Monterrey-based René Arce Lozano (‘speedy, honest and frank’) being one on the national specialists in this area. The practice  also has strong bankruptcy and restructuring expertise, including litigious aspects; and has the additional resource of being able to call on the firm’s international network. Arce Lozano represented construction group Aldesa in a $135m project finance deal with Natixis, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BBVA Bancomer, Intesa Sanpaolo, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Société Générale for the construction of a 130MW solar plant; and Banorte in the MXN$2.7bn financing granted to Fibra Uno for the acquisition of a real estate portfolio from Mexico Retail Properties. Arce Lozano co-leads the team with Federico de Noriega Olea who has ‘very good communications skills' and the ability to 'explain in a clear and straightforward way the paths to follow’. De Noriega worked with firm’s New York and Washington DC offices to advise the MexCAT ad hoc Bondholder Group (that held in excess of $1bn of the $6bn of aggregate principal of the bond issued by MexCAT) on an initial -and subsequently amended- tender offer to repurchase 30% of MexCAT's bonds across four bond series. Carlos Ramos Miranda and Miguel Ángel Mateo Simón are the two other practice co-heads; senior associate Aldonza Sakar and Monterrey-based associate Luis Dávalos are other names to note. Counsel Mayuca Salazar Canales left the firm in December 2018. Clients include Banco Santander, Alloy Merchant Finance, and Bayern LB.

CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow

Clients value the CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow banking and finance team for its specialisation in public-private partnerships, ‘knowledge of public institutions and ever-changing regulation, and its dedication to be the most informed, helpful and aware of the regulatory environment’, as well as its breadth of expertise in this area. Moreover, the lawyers are ‘mindful of clients' budget and objectives' and are 'approachable, available and hands-on’. The compact team of seven lawyers advises lenders and borrowers, including federal and local governments, private developers, national and international banks and other financial institutions, on obtaining all types of loans necessary to implement projects, especially infrastructure ones. Increasingly, following recent expansion, it is also benefitting from the firm’s international network. Working for a small roster of key clients, recent work highlights included advising Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and CKD Infraestructura México (CKD IM) on obtaining project-risk financing for solar projects, including Villanueva Solar and Parque Solar Villanueva Tres in Coahuila, Parque Solar Don José in Guanajuato and Project Kino (a portfolio of four wind and four solar projects) - all part of the 1.75GW renewables portfolio acquired from Enel Green Power. The team also assisted Concesionaria Cua with the financing of the Cuapiaxtla Cuacnopalan highway concession granted by the state of Puebla through decentralised public entity Carreteras de Cuota Puebla. Enrique Lorente Ludlow and Cesar Lechuga Perezanta co-head the practice. According to one client, Lechuga Perezanta ‘demonstrates ample experience in financial law - namely concerning infrastructure projects. He shows great skills in structuring the development of projects, with leadership and order’. Senior associate Giancarlo Schievenini is also a key contact while associate Ernesto Castañeda has a ‘breadth of experience in financing infrastructure projects’.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C. is ‘adaptable and flexible in a way that is not detrimental to its professionalism’. The seven-strong practice is best known for assisting state-owned entities in oil-and-gas project financings, while also acting for commercial borrowers, issuers, lenders and investors in corporate, structured, trade, export and project finance; public-private partnership transactions for infrastructure development; equipment leasing and finance; securitisation transactions (and other asset-based financing structures); private placements; restructurings and regulatory advice. The practice represented key client PNC Bank, as administrative agent and lead arranger, in the prepayment and lien releases of a $135m secured revolving credit facility granted to C&D Technologies; and Grupo Posadas, as seller and lessee, in a Mexican peso sale-and-leaseback transaction equivalent to $154m through which Grupo Posadas sold its hotel Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancún to FibraHotel and leased it back for a period of 15 years with a 5-year renewal option. Other highlights include advising Banobras, Nafin, and Bancomext, as  senior lenders in the restructuring of a $1.7bn credit facility granted to Altán Redes which included the addition of Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) to the banking syndicate, providing Altán with a $50m credit facility. Practice head Rodrigo Valverde is the stand out figure; he ‘completely understands clients’ necessities’. Other names to note are Mexico City managing partner Eloy Barbará de Parres, Javier Jiménez, and Santiago Corcuera.

Deloitte Legal Mexico

Clients regard Deloitte Legal Mexico as ‘trustworthy and very experienced', and as having'large resources’, while key practice figure Luis Lavalle is an 'outstanding and experienced lawyer, who also has a knack for defusing tense situations and for coming up with good solutions’. Relying on its international network and acting on both the lender and borrower side, the pratice covers all financing matters, including: corporate, acquisition and structured finance; restructuring procedures and leveraged buyouts, regulatroy work and  project finance in the oil-and-gas sector. The team recently acted as legal counsel to Escuela Europea de Dirección y Empresa (and its shareholder Universidad Univer Milenium) on a financing structure with Credit Suisse and on the acquisition of assets and shares in a new business entity based in Spain, as well as on several regulatory matters related to the service structure of the company’s operations in Mexico. It also assisted new mining company PM Distribuidora de México on the negotiation of investment and escrow agreements with investors, a mandate valued at MNX$16.7m. Lavalle co-heads the practice with Ramon Bravo H; support comes from associate Hector Cuevas González. Other clients include Banco Mercantil del Norte, Banco Regional de Monterrey, and HSBC Mexico. The team is split between Mexico City and Monterrey.

DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano

Boosted by its growing its international network, DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano acts for lenders, underwriters, issuers and investors on inbound, outbound and domestic matters involving Latin America, including syndicated lending facilities and Rule 144A/ Reg S bond offerings, complex structured financing and securitisation transactions; as well as for companies, creditors (including banks, other institutional creditors and bondholder committees) and financial advisors in debt restructuring and liability management transactions, including consent solicitations, exit consents, project bond offerings, recapitalisation financings, bond repurchase programs and exchange offers. Highlight work included acting for Alsea (in conjunction with the firm’s New York City office) on a €635m senior secured dual currency syndicated term loan facility granted by lenders including Bank of America, BBVA Bancomer and Banco Santander; and Acciona Energía and Grupo BioFields on the $264m financing granted by North American Development Bank, Banobras, Instituto de Crédito Oficial de España and Banco SABADELL for the development of a large  photovoltaic project. Edgar Romo led both mandates; other notable lawyers include María Eugenia Ríos Espinosa, Gerardo Lozano Alarcón, Jorge Benejam, and practice head Eduardo Gallastegui. Diego Martinez joined the firm from Cervantes Sainz, S.C. in March 2018, and Xavier Mangino Dueñas from Diaz de Rivera & Mangino in August 2018. Other clients include Mantenimiento Express Marítimo and Arrendadora Aeronautica.

Thompson & Knight LLP

Despite enduring the loss of key practitioner Jorge Labastida to Thompson & Knight LLP in early 2018, Haynes and Boone, SC  operates a small but capable team of five practitioners who handle all manner of transactional and regulatory matters. Recent mandates include assisting Mizuho Bank with accounts receivable purchase agreements to fund supply chain finance to different Mexican companies through a factoring programme; representing a syndicate comprising Nacional Financiera (as agent), Bancomext, Banobras, and North American Development Bank, in the review of several waiver requests from debtor Fisterra Energy; and Bancomext in a $20m financing to the company Latam Fund Ejercito Nacional 843 to finance 80% of the purchase price of office real estate in Mexico City. Counsels Rafael Carmona and Eduardo Corzo head the practice. Banco Santander is also a client.

Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C.

Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C. ‘provides excellent client service: the lawyers keep us up-to-date in terms of legislative and regulatory changes, and they take the time to build relationships with us and support our business’. The team has been active in the fintech segment, including assisting PayU Latam with all its regulatory matters regarding payment networks. In other highlights, it represented key client Bank of Montreal in a financing granted to Jonathan Manufacturing. The practice group also handles securitisation; secured and project finance, real estate finance, leasing and structurally enhanced products, corporate lending, distressed financial assets, derivatives and trading, and regulatory matters. The 10-strong team is co-led by L. Alberto Balderas Fernández and Fernando Alonso-de-Florida. Other clients include Aseguradora Patrimonial Vida, Procesa and Stenn International.

Sánchez Devanny

The nine-strong team at Sánchez Devanny operates out of Monterrey and Mexico City offices, advising banks, borrowers, and investors -including international clients- on cross-border loans, securities, syndicated multi-jurisdictional loans and bonds issuance, and fund formation; it also attends private equity clients on financing acquisitions with debt. The practice also handles infrastructure projects and project finance; PPPs; energy sector projects; corporate and acquisition financing; intra-group financing; vendor and supplier financing; commercial banking and credit facilities; bond issue restructuring; capital and debt placements; and work-outs and debt restructuring transactions. Clients include Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and KeyBank National Bank. In Monterrey Ernesto Silvas-Medina and Francisco Andres Gamez-Garza co-head the practice with Mexico City-based Diego Gómez-Haro Katznelson, who joined the firm from the Blackstone Group in June 2018; support comes from senior associates Jaime Moreno-Treviño and Debby McKey, both in Monterrey.

Vázquez Aldana, Hernández Gómez & Asociados

The lawyers at Vázquez Aldana, Hernández Gómez & Asociados ‘engage with the clients to give them the best possible options’. An institution in its own right, having been around for over seven decades, the firm operates primarily out of Guadalajara although it also has an office in Mexico City. The 10-strong regional practice advises clients such as Banregio, Citibanamex, Bansi, and Banco Santander, and handles a range of loan and financial transactions, including securitised credits involving mortgages and trust securities, and has particular profile in the construction, real estate, industrial, automotive, and commercial sectors. Name partner Fernando Hernández Gómez heads the practice; key support comes from senior associate Guadalupe Llamas López; Ana Elena Ibargüengoitia Vázquez Aldana and Cristina Vázquez Aldana Urrutia are other names to note.

Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC

As one commentator stated, Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC ‘has developed technical capabilities in the banking industry’; ‘the lawyers’ responsibility is remarkable’. The firm's fledgling -but nevertheless solid- practice attracts  some impressive clients which it advises on matters including banking and finance transactional and regulatory work, banking corporate and M&A work, and administrative procedures. The team assists BAC Florida Bank with all matters related to its activities in Mexico, including legal assessments regarding loans, guarantees, and all issues related to the client’s regulatory status. It also advised Unicredit on an export credit facility agreement with Inmobiliaria y Arrendadora Cuadro, its first in Mexico; and key client Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in several transactions including two loan agreements for the acquisition of machinery extended to Cajas de Carton Sultana. Andrés Nieto heads the practice: ‘he is efficient and gives clients confidence’; Luis Burgueño is another key practitioner; support comes from associates Alberto Córdoba, Alejandro Stamoglou, Gloria Martínez, Laura Maldonado, and Santiago Barraza, who is ‘very talented and understands clients’ business needs’. Other clients include JPMorgan Chase, BBVA, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Banorte, Scotiabank, Banco Sabadell, BMW Financial Services, BMW Leasing, Evo Payments Mexico and Bank of Scotland.