Competition and antitrust in Mexico
Standing strong at the top of the rankings, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. offers a team of 'true experts with a very broad knowledge of the business and operations', praised for genuinely caring about ‘knowing the needs’ of their clients. As befits a firm with a top-tier corporate practice, it provides high-quality guidance on pre-merger filings, and clients can also count on excellent support and advice on contentious dealings with the Mexican Federal Competition Commission (COFECE), including investigations, amparo proceedings and dawn raids (both mock and actual). Respected market player Luis Gerardo García leads the 22-strong team which also includes ‘antitrust expert' Mauricio Serralde, the experienced Iker Arriola and Carlos Mena-Labarthe, the latter considered by some as ‘one of the best competition attorneys in Mexico’. A strong second-line includes counsels Sara Gutiérrez (antitrust investigations and litigation; preventive advice), and Jorge Kargl (competition, antitrust, and TMT).
‘They are true experts with a very broad knowledge of the business and operations. Each of them genuinely cares about knowing the needs and opportunities of their clients and collaborate as much as if they were internal lawyers, very sensitive and knowledgeable of the day-to-day, needs and opportunities of the company‘.
‘Great lawyers and great service. Mauricio Serralde is a leader on antitrust matters.‘
‘Carlos Mena is one of the best competition attorneys in Mexico. Carlos understands the needs of us as clients, is always available and addresses any type of request in a practical way. Also, he is a very comprehensive lawyer who always looks out for the best interests of his client, both in active matters and in potential issues that may affect or benefit us.’
Sotbank (Technology Growth Fund for Latin America)
- Advised CommScope Holding Company on antitrust clearance of its $7.4bn acquisition of Arris International before the IFT; a significant case in so far as it adds an additional precedent regarding IFT and COFECE jurisdiction in cases with both telecom and non-telecom aspects.
- Antitrust counsel to Cornershop on its $225m sale to Walmart; while the merger was ultimately blocked, the case constituted the first in which COFECE analysed a digital merger with multifaceted markets involving both digital and traditional retail.
- Counsel to Uber and its affiliates in litigation against the competition limitations imposed by the Mexico City government, successfully obtaining an injunction suspending the limitations.
- Counsel to Delta in successfully overturning a COFECE decision regarding Mexico City International Airport’s procedures for the allocation of landing and take-off slots.
- Represented both Uber and Cornershop on the merger clearance of the former’s $409m acquisition of the latter, in the first transaction dealing with two digital platforms to come before the competition authorities; a jurisdictional conflict between the IFT and COFECE entities is currently awaiting administrative resolution.
Galicia Abogados S.C. is valued in the market for its ‘impeccable, practical and dynamic work’ that extends beyond merger-filing assistance to cartel and antitrust investigations, leniency applications, and complaints before the competition authorities. The 'excellent' Christian Lippert leads a 'solid and reliable' team of lawyers now 11-strong, which includes fellow partner Carlos Chávez, who has extensive experience advising clients across a range of heavily regulated industries including energy, rail and telecoms. The team is also active in barriers-to-competition investigations, recently advising clients on significant investigations into the barley and rail-freight markets, and is also experienced in antitrust litigation. Key support comes from specialized senior associate Juan Carlos Burgos.
‘That it is a team with vast experience in competition and antitrust law, reliable and constantly updated. Galicia is a very important law firm in Mexico and of course it compares favourably with others. It’s the human quality and treatment they have with their clients: they’re always there to take a call and advise you on any questions you have. Especially Carlos Chavez and Christian Lippert, partners in this practice and two of the best attorneys in this area in all of Mexico – just having them both makes the difference with other law firms.‘
‘They are all professionals and knowledgeable about the subject. They do impeccable, practical and dynamic work. They are purposeful and completely clear on services, ensuring complete communication and transparency with the client. They constantly monitor procedures and issues. They carry out in-depth analysis and proposals on each issue. Christian Lippert (partner), Maite Celorio (associate).’
‘Very solid and reliable. Always available. Very professional: Christian Lippert and Juan Carlos Burgos are both excellent attorneys.‘
‘Competition and antitrust law practice is complex because it involves interdisciplinary work between lawyers and economists on issues of a legal and economic nature. We have always received the best quality services, both from the partner and from the firm’s associates, in particular from Juan Carlos Burgos.’
‘In addition to knowing competition issues very well, Juan Carlos Burgos, Carlos Chávez and Christian Lippert understand the elements of economic analysis that are required to carry out good competition practice. Specifically, they clearly understand the elements necessary for constructing a theory of harm and the importance of empirical evidence to support their legal arguments.’
Sierra Oil & Gas
Takeda (Shire Pharmaceuticals)
New Fortress Energy
- Advised GSK on its pre-merger filing regarding the combination of the consumer healthcare businesses of GSK and Pfizer into a new venture in which GSK will have a controlling equity interest.
- Successfully advised Sierra Oil & Gas in obtaining unconditional clearance for its sale to DEA Deutsche Erdoel, the first time a case involving exploration and production contract assets has come before COFECE.
- Advised Soriana on a successful challenge to a COFECE resolution prohibiting the company from divesting six grocery stores via long-term leases, to Tiendas Chedraui pursuant to divestment obligations imposed upon the company after its acquisition of grocery chain CCM in late 2015.
- Successfully assisted Tokyo Gas in obtaining COFECE authorization with regard to its joint venture with Engie in Mexico, concerning several wind and solar powered projects.
- Counsel to Citibanamex in relation to a COFECE investigation into the misuse of credit information; despite the company being charged with alleged price discrimination, the team successfully proved non-participation in anti-competitive behavior.
González Calvillo, SC houses an impressive standalone practice with a solid track record advising clients on both merger-control proceedings and investigations into cartel behavior and other antitrust and anti-competitive behavior matters. The team is also a regular advisor on major investigations and abuse-of-dominance claims in regulated sectors such as port services, healthcare and telecoms. Former commissioner at the Mexican Antitrust Commission Cristina Massa heads the department and is noted for her deep expertise in complex concentration cases, administrative litigation and amparo procedures. Other key practitioners include counsel Juan Carlos Peraza; and senior associates Gabriel González Aragón, who is praised for his ‘high level of commitment and responsibility towards his clients’, the ‘very competent' Diego González Altamirano and Patricio Cumming. Since publication the firm has further strengthened the practice with the December-hire, as counsel, of former Creel Abogados, SC partner, Patricio Martínez Osorio; additionally announcing the promotion of senior associate Gabriel González Aragón -also to counsel- with effect from January 2021.
‘Compares favourably with other law firms. The team that attends the practice is highly effective and highly trained, and has a very high level of commitment and responsibility towards its clients. The experience of Gabriel González Aragon is a differentiator.’
‘Partner Cristina Massa and her team have extensive experience in this area. Her experience is not only based on helping companies notify concentrations to the authorities, but also on defending companies from suppliers that have relative monopolistic practices. Cristina Massa, having been commissioner of the Federal Commission on Economic Competition (COFECE), is a professional who not only knows the subject, but above all knows the way in which matters are analyzed in COFECE itself.‘
‘I think Cristina Massa and Gabriel González have a good team, stronger in counseling and concentrations. They know the matter and have good clients. Cristina Massa is a former commissioner and knows how Cofece works from the inside. Gabriel is a former Cofece official and shares the same characteristics. Gabriel is an academic and that reinforces his expertise.’
‘Gonzalez Calvillo’s competition and antitrust law team has as its strengths: absolute knowledge of the provisions of their subject; great experience in matters of all kinds of industry; and extraordinary relationships with the authorities.‘
‘I have a very good impression of their work in the case of absolute monopoly practices’ investigations, their lawyers are very knowledgeable and have extensive experience in this material. I consider that something which characterizes them is the exhaustive nature of the internal investigations of their clients when they are subject to investigation by Absolute Monopolistic Practices. In addition, the information they present and the way it is presented in the context of the immunity program are among the most professional, which allows the cooperation between the applicant and COFECE to be very fluid. On the other hand, they also have extensive experience and knowledge in energy issues.’
‘González Calvillo’s antitrust team is characterized by its expertise in the subject. Their involvement in business issues is noted, they always seek to understand the business in detail so as to give better advice. They are up to date with economic competition and make issues known to their clients in a timely manner.‘
‘Cristina Massa is an expert lawyer on the subject. The firm is a benchmark in economic competition in Mexico and a pleasure to work with such professional people. Their interest in understanding the business and giving the best possible advice is noted.’
‘Cristina Massa has a lot of experience in concentrations especially, she is very orderly and studious of the subject. Diego Gonzalez is a very competent lawyer.‘
Fox Corporation (Fox Sports)
Shell Oil Company
Club de Futbol Atlante
- Counsel to Sojitz Corporation in obtaining merger control approval for its acquisition of Auto Financiamiento Automotriz.
- Acted as counsel to Google, as a third party, in an investigation of the electronic-commerce-platform services market, and concerning possible abuse of dominance by one of the players in said market.
- Counsel of ADIA and TPG in their joint and indirect acquisition of 22.2% of UPL Corporation shares, including assistance in securing COFECE antitrust clearance.
- Legal advisor to Siemens regarding antitrust matters in Mexico; primarily involving analysis of the company’s position in the Mexican market and identifying potential competition risks.
- Counsel to the Mexican branch of investment advisory firm Evercore, on the sale of its fiduciary (trust) business to CI Banco.
Victor Manuel Frías Garcés and Miguel Flores Bernés (a former commissioner of the Federal Competition Commission) co-head Greenberg Traurig, S.C.'s top-notch practice, which offers strong transactional, regulatory and contentious support, along with training to its domestic and international clients. The ten-strong team plays to its strengths when handling merger filings and investigations, and also demonstrates a high level of expertise in administrative litigation. The practice group , which in recent years has represented Mexico City’s International Airport in a series of landmark antitrust cases, also boasts a strong and specialized second line, including associates José Abel Rivera Pedroza, Valery Dayne García Zavala and Rocío Olea Salgado.
‘The firm has a specialized profile, with experience in the matters they take on, as well as an excellent relationship with related authorities.‘
‘Their knowledge of the subject and the advice they provide is first class and is on par with other transnational law firms. Sometimes personal attention is not as prompt as one would expect. Nevertheless, the firm has a specialized profile, with experience in the matters they take on, as well as an excellent relationship with related authorities.‘
‘Personalized work, especially by Víctor Manuel Frías Garcés. Excellent, personalized attention and deep knowledge of the subject.‘
Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México
Grupo Bio Pappel
BP Products North America
EMX Capital Partners
- Counsel to Mexico City’s International Airport in three antitrust cases concerning ground passenger transportation, taxi service-provision at the main terminal and landing/take-off slot allocation.
- Advised global specialty chemicals company Platform Specialty Products on the $4.2bn sale of its Artsya LifeScience subsidiary to UPL Corporation, including obtaining merger clearance.
- Counsel to holding company FRS Capital Corp on its indirect acquisition by Blackstone subsidiary BIP Mercury I, and all associated clearance matters; in addition the team advised FRS Capital’s subsidiary Carrix and its subsidiary Tuxpan Port Terminal regarding the latter’s joint venture with Monterra Energy.
- Counsel to Lottus Education, including on clearance matters regarding its indirect acquisition of Universidad Latinoamericana, a significant mid-market university in Mexico.
- Representing seven colleges of Public Brokers in an investigation initiated by COFECE into possible monopolistic practices in the brokerage market.
SAI Derecho & Economía S.C
Regarded by some clients as the ‘best firm specialized in economic competition and antitrust law’, boutique firm SAI Derecho & Economía S.C combines lawyers and economists in a 'very dedicated' team that brings a strong mix of technical and legal expertise to the table. Frequently referred merger-clearance matters by international companies and law firms which do not have the capacity to undertake the work, it is also often involved in major cartel and abuse of dominance investigations. The department is co-led by the ‘outstanding’ Lucía Ojeda and the ‘experienced’ José Ángel Santiago, who heads the antitrust and regulatory litigation side of the team. A capable and experienced second line includes knowledgeable seniors Mariana Carrión Valencia and Felipe García Cuevas.
‘The SAI Law & Economics team is very dedicated and has the characteristic of being able to adapt to the client’s needs quickly and precisely. Their response times are high and they are capable of changing the course of action based on the situation analysis of the project. The people in the SAI team provide personalized service and are attentive to the needs of customers, even during hours outside working hours. In particular, José Rodrigo Anaya, Rodrigo Díaz Lozano, Angel Barra and Marisol Aguilar.‘
‘Personalized attention and deep knowledge of the topics. Technical knowledge. Good reputation and solidity. They have credibility with the antitrust authority. José Ángel Santiago is a lawyer with extensive experience, is thorough in his advice and is actively involved in the operation.’
‘I consider SAI the best firm specialized in Economic Competition and Antitrust Law. The knowledge they have of this specialty and the depth with which they approach related subjects make them particularly competent. It compares very favourably with any firm specializing in the same discipline. They approach the topics with creativity and depth. The availability of its lawyers, notably Lucia Ojeda Felipe García Cuevas.’
‘Lucía Ojeda has very good knowledge of the matter and gives a lot of security. They have a quick response capacity and that is something that clients appreciate very much.’
‘Specialized knowledge on the topics being consulted on, good response times and formality in the fulfillment of its commitments. The team keeps us informed of the progress of the issues and has a positive attitude in consultation even outside the contracted area (giving more than expected) Regarding services provided, they are on par with large and specialized competition law firms and provide very punctual follow-up to the entrusted projects. They have provisions for any query or issue, even when they are required in circumstances other than those contracted.‘
‘It is a very dynamic team, with a high response capacity, knowledge and experience, and great empathy for the client’s business – which it demonstrates interest in getting to know and participating in, which generates exceptional understanding and collaboration. Partner Lucia Ojeda and associate Mariana Carrion are attorneys with a high sense of customer service, a great understanding of our business and legitimate concern as to the results that will occur. Great disposition to look for solutions and to adapt to specific cases.‘
TWDC Enterprises 18 Corp
Bayer de México
Volkswagen de México
Supermercados Internacionales H E B
DRB Consultores Legales
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Banco Ve por Mas
Continental Tire De México
Unilever de México
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
Covington & Burling
Abbott Laboratories de México
- Represented Allergan in the merger notification procedure regarding AbbVie’s $63bn acquisition of the company through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Venice Subsidiary.
- Represented Pfizer in the merger notification procedure regarding the combination by Glaxosmithkline and Pfizer of their consumer healthcare businesses into a new joint venture in which GSK has a majority shareholding.
- Currently advising Novartis on the evaluation of collaboration agreements (business, developing and licensing agreements) it intends to undertake with other high-profile pharmaceutical companies.
- Represented TWDC Enterprises 18 (formerly The Walt Disney Company), and Twenty First Century Fox (TWCF) on notification before both COFECE and the IFT of the Mexican aspects of their $71bn global merger.
- Advised Grupo CLC on seeking orientation from COFECE regarding its intended acquisition of the outstanding shares in a number of companies in which it already has a controlling position, from Grupo Jumex, confirming that the transactions fell into the notification exception criteria.
Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC's competition team is 14-strong and 'is always present in the most important topics and research in the country'; moreover, its core members are 'exclusively dedicated to competition matters, which has generated a focused knowledge on delicate and complex issues exclusively related to the material in question.' The group advises companies from across the business spectrum on the full range of competition and antitrust matters; one recent mandate saw profoundly experienced practice head Fernando Carreño ('a connoisseur of the subject of competition in Mexico') assist Scotiabank in demonstrating that it was not party to alleged abuse of dominance (refusal to deal/price discrimination) in the market for credit information. Carreño is also currently dealing with investigations in the sugar, brewing, financial services, professional football, telecoms, healthcare and aviation sectors, among others. Key support comes from senior associates Gerardo Rodríguez, who can draw on experience at both COFECE and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); Paloma Alcántra, whose practice centers on illegal behavior and market investigations; and César Martínez, who advises on both investigations and merger review. Associate Carolina Camacho is also noted.
‘The Von Wobeser economic competition team has its specialization and experience as its strengths. It is a group of lawyers who are exclusively dedicated to competition matters, which has generated a focused knowledge on delicate and complex issues exclusively related to the material in question. Regarding experience, the Von Wobeser competition team is always present in the most important topics and research in the country. This is a first-rate team.‘
‘Fernando Carreño is a connoisseur of the subject of competition in Mexico. He explains very well the concepts of the material, has a strategic vision and knows how to manage the time of investigations.‘
‘Carolina Camacho is a young lawyer with excellent training, a good culture of customer service and a prominent role in the team.‘
Anheuser Busch InBev / Grupo Modelo
JP Morgan Chase
Mexican Banking Association
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR)
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Nissan Motor Co
- Successfully provided legal assistance to Volaris in a COFECE price fixing investigation against four Mexican airlines.
- Advised Grupo Lala in having two investigations – one regarding a possibly illegal merger, the other regarding non-notification – dismissed by demonstrating that neither reached the necessary thresholds for pre-merger control.
- Acted as local counsel to Avon Products on gaining clearance in Mexico for its $2bn merger with Natura.
- Advised Merck throughout an investigation into alleged cartel activity in the production, distribution and trading of pharmaceuticals in Mexico.
- Represented Gena Agropecuaria in administrative procedures before the Commission related to an investigation into alleged price fixing by poultry farmers, obtaining a ruling that the company was not responsible for anti-competitive conduct.
Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. houses a very respected competition practice which stands out in the market for its skills regarding merger control and investigations as well as in competition and antitrust-related litigation. The six-strong practice group is led by Amilcar Peredo (who has experience across all aspects of competition and antitrust matters), with key support coming from dedicated senior Rodolfo Barreda; both have considerable experience in the sector with recent matters including representing NASDAQ-listed companies II-VI and Finisar in a pre-merger notification procedure (regarding the $3.2bn acquisition of the latter), before the Federal Telecommunication Institute. The firm's broad client roster spans sectors including pharmaceuticals, aviation and food and beverages.
Saint – Gobain
The Coca-Cola Company
- Represented Nasdaq-listed companies II-VI and Finisar in a pre-merger notification procedure (concerning the $3.2bn acquisition of the latter by II-VI), before the Federal Telecommunications Institute, which oversees competition matters in the telecoms and media sector.
- The team advise BASF with regard to gaining approval of the purchase from Bayer of various assets the latter was required to divest in order to obtain approval to acquire Monsanto.
- Represented Saint-Gobain in a pre-merger notification procedure for the acquisition of the entire capital of plasterboard company Knauf México.
- Advised Gerdau in a concentration notification procedure concerning the $120m acquisition of the control of certain Mexican JVs with activities in the steel market.
The local office of international player Hogan Lovells enjoys a strong pipeline of work handling the local aspects of major global mergers. Its well-known competition and antitrust practice is equally solid handling contentious and non-contentious matters thanks to its experienced department co-heads: Ricardo Pons, who handles merger-clearance work, antitrust and abuse of dominance cases, as well as preventive consultation and training programs for clients; and Omar Guerrero, who is recommended for litigation and investigations, especially in relation to a broad swathe of regulated industries, construction and agro-business. On the transactional front, the department continues to advise 21st Century Fox in Mexico regarding its worldwide merger with Disney, requiring notifications before both the COFECE and IFT. On the contentious side, the team is advising Union Nacional de Avicultores and Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún, among others. Experienced associate-level support comes from Alan Ramírez and Marianne Windirsch.
Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún
21st Century Fox
American Tower Corporation
Procter & Gamble
- Advising 21st Century Fox on the notification filing process in Mexico regarding its $1.3bn worldwide merger with Disney.
- Advised Amcor in Mexico on obtaining clearance of the local aspects of its $6.8bn worldwide acquisition of Bemis.
- Currently representing Bayer in remedy compliance with respect to its $8bn acquisition of Monsanto, requiring its divestiture of assets to BASF.
Clients regard Jones Day's Mexican competition and antitrust team as 'technically powerful' and a 'well-coordinated practice', while peers recognize it as a significant player in the sector. The department, which is well-known for handling high-profile antitrust investigations and merger control and for its support for cross-border and domestic transactions, is co-led by Gabriel Altamirano and Bertha Alicia Ordaz-Avilés; Altamirano is an expert on merger control and investigations, while Ordaz-Avilés has solid expertise across the regulated sectors – notably energy, infrastructure, aviation and telecoms. Formerly América Movil's in-house antitrust counsel, disputes practice partner Antonio González engages in competition-related litigation as necessary.
Other key lawyers:
‘It is a technically-powerful practice; their availability is wonderful.’
‘I’d highlight its ability to execute. The team is well coordinated and they inform each other adequately; customer service, legal strategy and the litigation areas are all strong.’
‘Its knowledge, availability and care; specifically Gabriel Altamirano and Antonio Dominguez.‘
Iberdrola Renovables Mexico
- Currently advising NVIDIA Corporation on its acquisition of Mellanox Technologies, including competition aspects as regards Mexico.
- Advised Eaton Corporation on its sale of Cooper Lighting Solution to Signify, including relevant merger filings.
- Advised Banco Santander on its acquisition of energy company A3T Luxco 2, including Mexican merger notification aspects.
- Advised Iberdrola Renovables Mexico and Iberdrola on their acquisition of the Tamazunchale energy project, including all competition-related aspects.
Demonstrating ‘knowledge and security in all matters related to competition and antitrust law’, Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.'s practice handles a mix of merger-clearance work and administrative cases before COFECE and IFETEL, as well as representing major clients in antitrust investigations and undertaking antitrust audits. Octavio Olivo Villa, an ‘impressive leader with a high level of professionalism’ according to some clients, heads the department which includes senior associates Marta Loubet, a rising star who is ‘always clear about the whole picture and the strategy'; and José Miguel Ortiz Otero. Also noted, former name partner and – since 2016 – senior counsel James E Ritch remains highly active as regards merger mandates. Recent matters include numerous merger control notifications, as well as administrative proceedings before COFECE, antitrust audits and representation in the investigation of alleged absolute monopolistic practices, among other matters.
‘Throughout the process of reviewing our corporate policy, originally adequate for Brazilian legislation, for the Mexican situation, it was very productive to be accompanied by Ritch Mueller’s lawyers. Lawyers who understand what we would like to change in a document since – even with the Mexican legislation – we could not be too far from Brazilian laws so as to not create precedents within our group. The team always demonstrated knowledge and security for all matters related to competition and antitrust. After reviewing the policy, the training presentation was excellent, with accessible examples and an ease in answering questions asked by our officials.‘
‘We consider Octavio Olivo a lawyer who knows his subject very well. Marta Loubert is always in contact with us and keeps us informed of everything that is happening. We truly appreciate her availability and attention to her clients. In our case, the issue with COFECE is complicated since it involves bringing our JV partners and their offices into agreement – and one of the JV partners in particular has a number of “problems” with COFECE which impact us. Octavio has known how to be a great mediator, he gives us great peace of mind given his good relationship with COFECE and his strategy to resolve the issue.’
‘Their professionalism and customer service as well as their spirit of service. They always listen to our doubts and suggestions, and have proposals according to our interests. The day we arrived at the office we felt them to be part of the team. Apart from being extremely satisfied with the leadership and professionalism of Octavio Olivo, I would like to congratulate Marta Loubert who is always clear about the whole picture and the strategy, I congratulate her ability to communicate.‘
Comprising a group of ‘excellent lawyers’, the practice at Santamarina y Steta has extensive experience advising clients on merger authorizations and antitrust investigations, regularly representing clients in confrontations with the regulators, including claims of anti-competitive behavior, cartel investigations and dawn raids (for which the firm provides regular training). The practice group includes the ‘outstanding’ Ernesto Duhne, along with fellow co-heads Vicente Grau and skilled litigator Mariano Calderón; in accordance with the firm's strong transactional practice, the group is particularly active in M&A clearance matters. A strong second line includes senior associate Jair Vaca, along with associates Bárbara Asiain and Yakov Kobets.
‘They have high expertise in the subject. Excellent communication between partners which facilitates the monitoring of projects. Carlos Arguelles and Barbara Asiain have excellent availability and are very agile in their responses to inquiries.‘
‘Excellent lawyers and a good team that complement each other well, very knowledgeable, up-to-date and “user friendly”. Partners are actively involved and client feels well cared for and advised. Focused on details. Cesar Cruz, Carlos Arguelles, Barbara Asiain and Diego Acosta in different transactions and team combinations have always distinguished themselves by their perseverance, excellence and willingness to face all kinds of challenges; they also always maintain a friendly and pleasant relationship with clients and advisers. Very reliable and efficient. Much more involved relative to other competitors.‘
‘They are very knowledgeable of Mexican competition law. They think strategically. And they are very responsive and collegial. Ernesto Duhne and Ivan Szymanksi are both outstanding lawyers, very knowledgeable, strategic, responsive, and collegial.‘
Cameron International Corporation
GM Financial de México
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr
Winston & Strawn
Grupo Industrial Saltillo
Palacio de Hierro
El Puerto de Liverpool
- Advised Grupo Industrial Saltillo on the sale of its water heating and pipe-laying businesses to Ariston Thermo, including the pre-merger filing before the Mexican FECC; the transaction was challenging since the antitrust authority had already blocked the sale of this business division of GIS to another buyer previously.
- Acting as a non-governmental advisor to the FECC, the practice provided critical commentary as part of the public consultation process regarding the treatment of confidential and privileged information obtained during its investigations.
Boutique firm Valdés Abascal Abogados, S.C. is a longstanding player in the competition and antitrust arena, which is often praised for its ‘personalized attention and punctual support’. With founding partner Rafael Valdés Abascal (one of the top names in the market) at the helm, the department stands out for its prowess in litigation matters, regularly handling cases before COFECE and the Federal Telecommunications Institute, as well as before the Supreme Court. The team, which is also highly experienced in non-contentious matters, also includes associates Enrique De La Peña, who focuses on merger control and defending economic agents before the regulators, and Agustín Aguilar López. The firm has an impressive client roster which includes major corporates from a range of sectors including Telefónica, Weatherford, PepsiCo and Toyota. The team was further strengthened with the 2019 hire of regulatory specialist Fabiola Quezada (formerly in-house in the pharma sector).
‘Personalized attention and punctual support during the process.‘
Afore XXI Banorte
- The firm represented Weatherford in a pre-merger control procedure derived from its $6.2bn chapter 11 financial restructuring.
- Advised Grupo Herdez on the acquisition of coffee shops business Cielito Querido, and all associated competition matters.
- Advising and representing Marzam in a cartel conduct investigation concerning the production, commercialization and distribution of medicines.
- Representing Afore XXI Banorte before the Federal Courts in a trial contesting the size of a fine imposed by COFECE related to the retirement funds market.
White & Case S.C.'s respected practice has a solid track record advising an impressive portfolio of national and international clients from various industries on contentious and non-contentious matters. The department is led by Henri Capin Gally, who is praised by clients for his ‘excellent understanding of the legal and economic aspects applicable to matters of economic competition'; partner-level support comes from the multi-faceted Vicente Corta, administrative litigator and TMT specialist Ismael Reyes Retana, and skilled litigator Antonio Cárdenas. Recent matters include advising Kansas City Southern de México subsidiary Nafta Rail in gun-jumping proceedings before COFECE, after the regulator initiated proceedings against the company and its two partners for allegedly failing to obtain prior merger control authorization, only for the team to prove that relevant thresholds had not been breached when the case was brought.
Other key lawyers:
‘Henri Capin: very concrete and precise and has an excellent understanding of the legal and economic aspects applicable to matters of economic competition. In-depth knowledge of administrative litigation, expertise and technical knowledge.‘
‘Personalized attention and punctual support during the process. Ismael Reyes Retana is a lawyer with extensive experience. Antonio Cardenas, likewise, has extensive experience and good judgment in matters related to economic competition.‘
‘It is a practice that requires a lot of specialization, as well as in-depth analysis for the understanding of each case. The W&C team fully complies with it. The level of each lawyer is extraordinary. They have an excellent capacity for understanding, as well as communication with the authorities. Among others, partner Henri Capin, Germán Macías and Román González stand out.‘
Grupo Financiero Banorte
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)
- Advising Saudi Aramco on the Mexican competition aspects of a $69.1bn acquisition of a 70% interest in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
- Advised Newmont on the merger proceedings associated with its $10bn acquisition of Canada’s Goldcorp.
- Advising KCSM on an investigation into effective competition in the railway transportation of chemicals and petrochemicals to and from the central-eastern state of Veracruz.
- Representing Grupo Aeroméxico in different proceedings before COFECE, including the regulator’s investigation into the assigning of landing slots at Mexico City international airport and amparo proceedings filed to challenge the fine imposed for participation in horizontal practices with other air carriers to fix ticket prices.
Aziz & Kaye Abogados
Founding partner Luis Aziz, a seasoned practitioner with over 20 years' experience, heads the practice at Aziz & Kaye Abogados, which is held in high regard by many clients for its offering and services in this sector. Indeed, it has a strong track record, with past matters including involvement in major cases such as advising Monsanto on its merger with Bayer, Grupo Financiero on its merger with Banorte, and Bardahl on its acquisition by Repsol Downstream. Former senior associate Ismael Henestrosa's election to the partnership in January 2020 will allow the firm to further grow its capacity in the sector; he is particularly strong in the antitrust segment, especially on investigations, and is praised for his ‘focus on business and excellent customer service’.
‘HIgh ethical standards; about 20 years’ experience in the field; and a top three team. Also, full time availability, and the immediate identification of issues and solutions. I note Luis Aziz and Ismael Henestrosa.‘
‘Experience and focus on business. Despite handling one of the most complex and strict matters (competition and antitrust), the firm always maintains a business focus. I have worked with other renowned firms on these types of matters and Aziz & Kaye is the best firm in Mexico for these types of matters.‘
‘A business focus and excellent customer service: Luiz Aziz and Ismael Henestrosa.‘
Telcel/Telmex – América Móvil
Bristol Myers Squibb de México
Grupo Financiero Santander México
GBM Administradora de Activos
Grupo Financiero Interacciones
Bosch – Robert Bosch México
Bardahl de México
Avícola Glez Glez
- Successfully advised and represented Banco Santander in a COFECE investigation regarding the generation, processing and commercialization of credit information.
- Advised and represented major Mexican dairy company Grupo Lala in an antitrust investigation into both the raw and pasteurised milk production market in Mexico.
- Permanent advisor to Grupo Aeroméxico regarding competition and antitrust compliance in the ongoing course of the company’s activity.
- Ongoing advisor to América Móvil regarding regulatory, competition and antitrust compliance.
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.
While Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.'s local team is small, it nevertheless covers all aspects of the market, including merger control and investigations, and can of course call on its wider regional (and indeed global) network as required. Principal partner Raymundo Enríquez leads the practice, which also includes highly experienced senior associate Gerardo Calderon, practice coordinator and noted for his healthcare and energy sector expertise; and associate Luis Amado, who has over a decade's experience and a sharp focus on telecoms and financial services-related competition issues. Recent matters include advising DEA Deutsche Erdoel on clearance for its acquisition of Sierra Oil & Gas; and acting as co-counsel to Knauf, firstly on its $7bn acquisition of the outstanding shares of USG Corporation, and subsequently – in a divestiture required by that operation – on notification in regard of the sale of Knauf Mexico to Saint-Gobain.
Seasoned practitioner David Hurtado heads the active competition and antitrust practice at Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C., which is recommended for its expertise in antitrust, litigation and clearance work. Hurtado's broad practice takes in consulting and litigation across international trade and customs, competition and antitrust, and administrative law. Partner-level support comes from Citlali Perez, who handles M&A, commercial arbitration, public procurement and competition matters, among others, and who is highlighted for her ‘ability to understand the company in detail, its processes and even its history’. The small team, which also includes associate Julia García de Acevedo, provides regular day-to-day advice and training to a client roster that includes Philips Mexicana, Colgate-Palmolive, Saint Gobain and General Motors.
‘Experience, knowledge and agile support.’
‘I note David Hurtado, his long career and experience in matters of economic competition.‘
‘Citlali Perez Rentería stands out for their ability to understand the company in detail, its processes and even its history.‘
‘Julia García is an excellent lawyer with a great capacity for synthesis and logical reasoning.‘
Saint-Gobain de México
Lixil Water Technology Americas
General Motors de México
Suzuki Motor Corporation
- Advises Philips Mexicana on an ongoing basis regarding review of the competition aspects arising from distribution contracts with clients and distributors.
- Advises Colgate-Palmolive on an ongoing basis in Mexico, the US and Europe in antitrust matters regarding distribution, sales, joint venture agreements, and occasionally competition and antitrust issues arising from M&A activity.
- Advises General Motors in Mexico and the US on antitrust matters regarding distribution, sales and joint venture agreements, as well as public bidding contracts.
Enjoying a steady flow of work derived from the firm's leading transactional practice, Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C.'s competition and antitrust practice is well versed in complex investigations, merger control and general compliance matters. The team, which advises a variety of international and domestic clients, is co-led by partners Francisco Fuentes Ostos and Pilar Mata Fernández, who are both very experienced in merger control and antitrust work, contentious and advisory. Recent mandates saw the team advise longstanding client Grupo Televisa on an investigation initiated by IFETEL to determine the existence of exclusive anti-competitive agreements related to the advertising-space market in free-to-air and pay-tv. A strong second line includes associates Carlos Orcí (particularly in relation to investigations), and Elian Avila Zataray, who focuses on antitrust litigation.
Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova)
Grupo TelevisaUnion Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ)
American Industrial Partners
Advance Real Estate
Macquarie Mexico Infrastructure Management
TransUnion de México
Dun & Bradstreet Mexico
- Representing two Mexican credit report entities in relation to an investigation and statement of objection issued by COFECE.
- Advised American Industrial Partners in the merger control proceedings for its acquisition of General Electric Company (Mexico)’s ‘Current, powered by GE’ business division.
- Advised Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) in the merger control proceedings associated with its acquisition of a 6.68% strategic minority interest in Sura Asset Management.