Bankruptcy and restructuring in Mexico
Cervantes Sainz, S.C. stands firmly atop the bankruptcy market, fielding a 14-strong team and specializing in handling restructurings (in-court and out-of-court), reorganizations, bankruptcy proceedings and cross-border insolvency procedures. The practice, which is led by recognized debt restructuring expert Alejandro Sainz, also brings to the table a high level of expertise in litigation matters, mainly handled by co-founding partner Luis Cervantes and partner Manuel Ruiz de Chávez. Other noted practitioners include Santiago Alessio, who made partner in January 2019; and associate Gabriela Avendaño. The department regularly represents clients from a wide range of industries, both nationally and internationally, as well as ad hoc committees of international bondholders and notes issued abroad. Since publication the firm has split into Cervantes Abogados and Sainz Abogados, S.C., effective as of November 2020.
Ad hoc group of bondholders of Oro Negro
H/2 Capital Partners
Isolux de Medley Capital
Hipotecaria Su Casita
Corporation M&G México
- Representing the ad hoc group of bondholders of Oro Negro; declared bankrupt and in liquidation, the case involves approximately $1bn in claims.
- Representing Isolux on out-of-court and in-court commercial bankruptcy proceedings of the client’s debt, involving a restructuring with Mexican governmental dependency of almost $250m.
- Advised M&G Polímeros and and its subsidiaries/affiliates in a cross-border restructuring procedure; deal value approximately $900m.
- Assisted in the restructuring of Empresas ICA and certain relevant subsidiaries by means of concurso proceedings, including legal advice to five companies on obtaining a rescue financing of $215m.
Guerra González y Asociados, S.C.
Affiliated to the International Insolvency Institute, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL), Guerra González y Asociados, S.C. is a deeply experienced litigation boutique with a longstanding role in Mexico's bankruptcy sector. Operating from its offices in Mexico City, Monterrey, Matamoros, Monclova (Coahuila), and San Diego (California), the 40-strong team regularly assists major stakeholder groups in contentious bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings. The 13-partner group includes experienced practitioners such as founding partner Jaime Guerra, a distinguished figure in the sector; Jesús Ángel Guerra; Patricio Hidalgo; and Elias Mendoza Murguía, who made partner in 2019.
Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC has a reputed, stand-alone practice, valued for its high level of experience in all aspects of restructuring and workout proceedings, as well as for its expertise in cross-border insolvency issues. Regularly working on both the side of creditors and debtors, the ten-strong team is co-headed by Michell Nader, a frequent advisor to banking clients on cross-border restructurings; and Javier Arreola, an expert in restructuring and workouts. Other recommended practitioners include partners Hans Goebel; Adrián López, who focuses on high-end insolvency matters; and senior associate Lucía Laganá.
Argentem Creek Partners
Bank of America
PGIM Real Estate
D E Shaw
LandAmerica Financial Group
Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Corporation
Seguros Azteca Daños
- Representing the largest group of creditors in the insolvency and workout of steel manufacturer AHMSA, which was in suspension of payments for 17 years; the debt amounts to $1.7bn.
- Representing a client in $1bn insolvency proceedings that involve several jurisdictions.
- Executed amendments to agreements relating to the restructuring of client PGIM Real Estate’s portfolio –valued at $250m – where GEO, currently in bankruptcy, was involved as the developing partner.
- Representing Seguros Azteca Daños in the liquidation of Istmo México Compañía de Reaseguros for the repayment of amounts due of approximately MX$49m.
Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. has an excellent track record advising on large national and cross-border restructurings and insolvencies that have arisen in Mexico, primarily on the creditor side. The practice, comprised of 11 members, is led by Thomas Heather, a recognized market institution, and one of the few Mexican lawyers to have undertaken the role of conciliator (insolvency trustee) in several insolvency proceedings. Key support comes from senior associate Adriana Padilla, an experienced litigation and restructuring attorney, and a very active part of the team. Since publication, Heather has moved to Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. as of counsel, effective as of mid-January 2021.
Geo Hogares Ideales
Quintana Resources Capital
Arrium Finance Pty
WAMEX Private Equity
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- Thomas Heather acted as independent conciliador or insolvency administrator in the $3.5bn restructuring of Empresas ICA and its subsidiaries.
- Advised Corporación GEO on the additional restructuring of Geo Hogares Ideales, which involved indebtedness of over $400m.
- Represented JP Morgan, as a creditor, in the final restructuring of Altos Hornos (AHMSA) and subsidiaries, valued at over $1bn.
- Representing Gerald Metals as a secured creditor in respect to a certain term loan facility of approximately $16m granted to Minerales Libertad.
Del Castillo y Castro Abogados
In less than two years since its launch, boutique firm Del Castillo y Castro Abogados has managed to establish its solid bankruptcy team among top players in Mexico. Acting both for debtors and creditors, the practice boasts significant expertise handling restructurings, workouts, insolvency, general civil litigation and arbitration, and other associated matters. Founding partner Fernando Del Castillo, who is considered an expert in contentious bankruptcy mandates, co-heads the practice with fellow founding partner Alfonso Castro, who adds to his practice a strong corporate and financial background. The 18-strong team, which operates from the firm's offices in Mexico City and Monterrey, includes noted associates José Carlos Vera and Karla Gabriela Silva, with Silva specializing in litigation.
Abengoa Mexico and its subsidiaries
Agricultores Unidos El Valle
Alpek from Grupo Alfa
Banco Mercantil del Norte, Grupo Financiero Banorte
Credit Suisse Mexico
Hipotecaria Su Casita
- Representing Corporación Geo in its $1bn (approximately) liquidation procedure.
- Advised Hipotecaria Su Casita regarding an agreement with its creditors to restructure a $3bn debt.
- Advising creditor Banorte and Grupo Alfa’s subsidiary Alpek, on the insolvency proceedings of M&G Polímeros México.
Martínez, Algaba, de Haro y Curiel houses a nine-strong team of ‘excellent litigators’ with profound experience advising creditors in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, as well as in handling out-of-court corporate restructurings and reorganizations. Among the most prominent members of the team are market veteran Jorge de Haro; Javier Curiel, who has a solid corporate background; Alejandro Legaspi, who focuses primarily on bankruptcy, financial, insurance and banking regulation related disputes; and Mauricio Mendoza, who also manages the sale and purchase of entities' distressed assets. Support comes from senior associates Sergio Cuairán and Sergio Grande.
‘Excellent litigators. They are well known in the courts’
‘They have a great knowledge and handling of bankruptcy proceedings, complicated restructuring cases, or due diligence for portfolio acquisitions’
‘Ability, availability and service attitude’
‘It is a skilled team with a good knowledge base and good relations in the courts’
‘Javier Curiel, Jorge de Haro and Alejandro Legaspi show knowledge, good relationships and good fees’
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext)
Banco Nacional de México (Banamex)
Banco Santander México / Banco Santander
Nacional Financiera (Nafin)
SOLCARGO endured the untimely passing of practice co-head Abimael Hernández in December 2019. The firm has nevertheless continued to represent both creditors and debtors in a wide range of bankruptcy matters. The department also houses standout expertise in the form of Fernando Pérez Correa, who has been appointed by the Federal Institute of Bankruptcy Specialists (IFECOM) as an insolvency trustee in several bankruptcies. He co-heads the department with José Covarrubias, who complements his bankruptcy practice with his dispute resolution and arbitration experience. The litigation side of the 14-strong team is supported by senior associate Zulima González, who is especially skilled in cross-border mandates. Since publication: as of December 2020, SOLCARGO split in three, with the bankruptcy practice moving in its entirety to successor firm Pérez Correa González; González (not the firm's name-partner) has subsequently been raised to the partnership of the new firm, effective as of January 2021.
Perforadora Oro Negro
Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro
Soluciones Integrales Almos
- Advising Turbo Limited on bankruptcy and restructuring procedures.
- Fernando Pérez Correa was appointed as conciliator in the bankruptcy of Perforadora Oro Negro.
- Representing Mexican construction and engineering company TGC Ingeniería on its insolvency proceedings.
International firm White & Case S.C. has a respected Mexican bankruptcy practice, with proven expertise handling in- and out-of-court matters, primarily on the side of banks and other financial institutions. The department, which works seamlessly with other areas such as banking and finance, litigation and real estate, also stands out for its cross-border capabilities. Partners Vicente Corta and Álvaro Garza-Galván, who focus on out-of-court restructuring proceedings, co-lead the practice together with litigation specialist Enrique Espejel. Support comes from recommended practitioners Manuel Groenewold and Juan Antonio Martin.
Banco Mercantil del Norte
Banco Nacional de México
Capital I Reserva
York Credit Opportunities Fund
- Advised IPAB, Mexico’s Federal Deposit Insurance Agency, on the court-assisted liquidation of Banco Bicentenario.
- Advising Bancomext, as creditor, in connection with the bankruptcy proceedings of developer Desarrolladora Homex.
Both creditors and debtors turn to Hogan Lovells looking for expert advice on restructuring transactions, voluntary and involuntary bankruptcy proceedings, and on judicial and out-of-court reorganization plans and separation of assets claims. The 14-strong department, which has combined expertise in finance and litigation, fields noted partners Federico de Noriega and René Arce along with skilled litigators Omar Guerrero and Jorge Francisco Valdés. Luis Ernesto Peón, who also acts on the dispute side of matters, is another key partner of the team.
Banco de Chile
Sony Corporation of America
- Represented Banco Bradesco as creditor in the $27m bankruptcy proceedings of Desarrolladora Homex.
- Retained by Sony Corporation to represent its Mexican subsidiary in the bankruptcy proceedings of Quality Films; matter value $10.7m.
Quijano, Cortina y de la Torre Abogados
Boutique firm Quijano, Cortina y de la Torre Abogados has been a presence in the bankruptcy sector for over 30 years, offering a leading practice in insolvency matters. Particularly well-known for its litigation capabilities, the department handles civil and commercial disputes as well as out-of-court settlements. Key practitioners of the team include partners Javier Quijano and Xavier Cortina, who stand out for their expertise in contentious mandates.
Regarded by some clients as a ‘reference firm’, Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC has a seven-strong ‘diverse team with extensive knowledge’, and is recognized for its expertise in domestic and cross-border bankruptcy litigation, as well as out-of-court restructurings. Acting for debtors and lenders, the team is led by partner Diego Sierra, a ‘very thorough lawyer’ with ‘excellent legal knowledge and experience’, who also heads the firm's anti-corruption and compliance practices, and remains active in arbitration and complex commercial litigation.
‘The qualities of the team make them a reference firm. Their size allows them to deal with the most complex bankruptcy and restructuring matters, and they have specialists in all corporate, administrative and litigation areas’
‘A diverse team with extensive knowledge’
‘Diego Sierra is a very thorough lawyer. He has excellent legal knowledge, experience and staff to resolve the most complex matters. He stands out for his closeness. He is well known in the sector and knows how to relate well with the legal authorities’
‘I would emphasize their honourable manner, their interest in providing services with high professionalism, their responsibility, and their commitment’
‘They know how to work as a team. With them we have managed, in serious and respectful negotiations, to avoid the disastrous consequences of the bankrupt’s financial stress in the commercial and social fields, and to ensure that the creditors and debtor obtain the best possible result’
‘Diego Sierra has an excellent team. In very challenging surroundings, they do the utmost which can be done’
‘They leave nothing to improvisation’
‘Diego Sierra is precise in his advice, and convincing in his presentations’
Daimler Financial Services
BAC Florida Bank
Burger King Corporation
DF Deutsche Forfait
Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba)
- Advising Navistar on the bankruptcy proceedings of Grupo Senda; the value of Navistar’s stake is around MX$263m.
- Acting on behalf of DF Deutsche Forfait regarding the recognition of $59.4m of debt in Oceanografía’s bankruptcy proceedings.
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has an active presence in the restructuring area, providing advice – particularly on high-end matters – regarding all non-litigious issues related to corporate restructurings, financial restructurings, and bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, including those involving complex financial situations and banking and finance structures. It also advises creditors and debtors on complex bankruptcy and out-of-bankruptcy restructuring transactions and regulatory issues in non-judicial aspects of restructurings and workouts. The practice is led by the distinguished Carlos Aiza, who is supported by a well-rounded group of finance and capital markets experts, including Pedro Velasco, Rodrigo Castelazo and Emilio Aarun.
The practice at Galicia Abogados S.C. tackles insolvency issues from an all-round perspective, providing advice that covers tax, contracts, international law and other areas, both in out-of-court workouts and bankruptcy litigation. Acting primarily on the creditor side, practice head Eugenio Sepúlveda has participated in large-scale bankruptcy proceedings in the aviation, real estate and manufacturing industries.
GeoMaq bondholders ad hoc committee
20th Century Fox
Local State Government in Mexico
- Advised Natixis, as creditor, on the bankruptcy of Isolux de Mexico (the Mexican subsidiary of a Spanish energy and construction company).
Resulting from the merger between Garza Tello and Clyde & Co, the practice at Garza Tello-Clyde & Co Mexico has absorbed the high expertise of both firms in the bankruptcy (both domestic and international), litigation and arbitration arenas. The department is led by Vicente Bañuelos, former partner of Bufete Davalos y Asociados, who is very experienced in complex commercial, banking, financial, corporate and business litigation. In recent highlight-work, the firm was hired by Erkal Uluslararasi Naklitay Ve Tic and Eon Offshore to file a lawsuit against TRESE, with the objective of obtaining a bankruptcy declaration against the company, so as to recover sums owed to their clients.
Erkal Uluslararasi Naklitay
Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank
- Represented Nordic Trustee in the bankruptcy procedure of Oro Negro.
López Melih y Estrada S.C.
Boutique firm López Melih y Estrada S.C. has been a presence on some big bankruptcy procedures over the past few years, both domestic and cross-border, and is particularly well known for its litigation skills. Department co-heads Alfonso López Melih and Alfonso González are active names within the insolvency and restructuring realm, regularly participating in complex dispute resolution and bankruptcy litigation.
- Appointed as a witness by Perforadora Oro Negro in its bankruptcy procedure.
Mañón Quintana Abogados houses a four-strong team that handles a wide range of insolvency proceedings. Founding partners Antonio Mañón and Gerardo Quintana head the practice, which has a focus on companies from the automobile, real estate, textile, retail and tech-solutions sectors, among others, as well as working with banks, financial institutions and listed companies. Founded in 2013, the firm has offices in Mexico City and Tijuana.
Monex Casa de Bolsa
CHG Meridian Mexico
NR Finance México
Almacenadora Inter Americana
- Representing Banco Monex and Deutsche Bank México in bankruptcy proceedings for a credit of over £14m.
Drawing upon the firm's expertise in banking, tax, litigation and securities, the practice at Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. offers advisory and litigation services to creditors, insolvency practitioners, corporate debtors and their directors, in insolvency proceedings, financial restructurings, workouts and related contentious work. Expert litigator Everardo Espino, who has a solid track record in complex and cross-border insolvency proceedings and financial restructurings, leads the department. Support comes from noted practitioner Ramiro Cota.
‘High level of knowledge and availability. Everardo Espino and Ramiro Cota always offer quick solutions to any problem’
‘They have a lot of experience in bankruptcy and restructuring of companies, knowledge of the subject and knowledge of the authorities’ criteria. Their excellent work has no point of comparison’
‘Everardo Espino, Ramiro Cota and Fernando Cubillo are excellent lawyers’
Ramirez Ornelas Abogados
Operating from its offices in Mexico City and Monterrey, litigation boutique Rivera Gaxiola, Carrasco y Kálloi, S.C. has a specific focus on mandates related to the finance sector, representing both creditors and government entities on the contentious side of bankruptcy and restructuring. Managing partner Alonso Rivera Gaxiola, who is widely known in the market for his expertise in bankruptcy disputes, heads the practice. Support comes from key partners José Luis Carrasco, who handles a broad range of corporate conflicts including asset recovery, bankruptcy proceedings and shareholder conflicts; Pedro Iván Quevedo; Alejandro Del Castillo; and Ramón Fernández Vigil.
Acting for debtors and creditors, Santamarina y Steta's capable bankruptcy practice is well-known for providing integrated advice on an array of insolvency matters, ranging from government relations to corporate, securities and labor matters, and for assisting in litigation associated with the insolvency and bankruptcy process itself. The department is co-led by co-managing partner Roberto Fernández del Valle and partner Carlos Olvera; Olvera is very experienced in commercial litigation and bankruptcy proceedings, particularly regarding the oil and gas industry. Carlos Brehm, who made partner in January 2020, is another key member of the practice group.
Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery (Hong Kong)
Grupo Metropolitano de Agua y Saneamiento
- Represented Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery in insolvency proceedings involving Tecnologias Relacionadas con Energia y Servicios Especializados.