Over an outstanding 30-year track record, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has successfully built what for some is the ‘the best competition law firm in Mexico and one of the best competition law firms in the world’. The practice, described as ‘particularly ‘responsive’, bright and charming’, handles a broad range of cases before the competition authorities, from pre-merger filings, to investigations, administrative procedures, and constitutional (amparo) proceedings. The group is a regular presence in the investigations conducted by COFECE against monopolistic practices (cartels), abuse of dominance, barriers to entry, essential inputs and illegal concentrations; indeed, recent highlights include advising football Club Monterrey Rayados regarding an investigation that marks the first time COFECE has investigated and penalized an antitrust case in the employment or recruitment sphere, specifically, so-called “no-poaching” agreements. Mauricio Serralde, who handles a variety of cases before the competition authorities; and Carlos Mena, whose experience includes a stint as chief Investigator and Prosecutor (Autoridad Investigadora) at COFECE, co-head the team. Luis Gerardo García, who focuses on merger control matters; Jorge Kargl, who was promoted to partner in January 2022; counsel Sara Gutiérrez, who handles antitrust investigations and litigation; and senior associate Edgar Martín Padilla, are other key names in the practice.
Competition and antitrust in Mexico
Carlos Mena; Luis Gerardo García
‘Creel has the ability to provide a comprehensive service with an excellent response from its partners and associates. The participation of the partners in the issues is visible and adds significant value.’
‘The knowledge and quality of the firm’s lawyers is relevant and makes the difference with its competitors.’
‘The firm has a great background in competition and antitrust law. Their expertise and collaborative team fulfill the practice in an extraordinary way. They propose solutions according to the required need. Customer service, availability and attention exceed expectations.’
‘Knowledge, availability and practical solutions to complex situations. Customer service is a differentiator. Its added value is the deep understanding of the case. Empathy with the client.’
‘Creel is a strong partner dealing with our antitrust matters for Mexico. They interact and understand well the needs and constraints of an international client and have a very smart way of conducting their own process while coordinating with many other countries and law firms involved in an international transaction.’
‘The team under the leadership of Mauricio Serralde is composed of highly professional experts, reactive and available for any contact with the client. Edgar Martin padilla is particularly key both on the substance and on all the very constraining interactions required worldwide for an international deal. Mauricio and Edgar have also the relevant experience with COFECE which enables them to give some visibility to the client for long and difficult processes.’
‘They are the best competition law firm in Mexico and one of the best competition law firms in the world. In addition to the traditional merger control work, they are also leaders in many research and litigation issues. Same with compliance work in general.’
‘Carlos Mena, Luis Gerardo García, Mauricio Serralde, and Jorge Karl stand out. They are particularly ‘responsive’, bright and charming.’
- Advised on the $409m acquisition by Uber of the majority of shares of Cornershop, the first platform-platform merger ever reviewed by Mexican regulators.
- Advised Live Nation Entertainment on its acquisition of 51% of OCESA Entretenimiento, the largest Mexican live music shows promoter, which was recently subject to a long-lasting investigation by COFECE for abuse of dominance.
- Advised Canadian Pacific on its $29bn acquisition of Kansas City Southern (KCS) via merger, with the payment of a mixed consideration of cash and securities.
One of the leading firms in Mexico’s competition and antitrust sector, Galicia Abogados S.C. covers a wide spectrum of mandates, from merger control filings to more complex antitrust matters, including challenged M&A transactions, cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, leniency applications, complaints before the competition authorities seeking relief for anticompetitive behaviour and general advice on antitrust and competition law issues. The group remains particularly active with clients from the energy, financial and retail sectors, and consists of noted practitioners including practice-heads Christian Lippert, co-managing partner of the firm; and Carlos Chávez, who has -of late- led the firm’s efforts to challenge COFECE decisions, representing a renowned railroad industry participant against all said regulator’s investigations in the sector. Other key contacts include Juan Carlos Burgos, who was promoted to partner in January 2022; Gerardo Rodríguez, who was appointed counsel the same month; and senior associate Maite Celorio, who specialises in antitrust matters and regulated industries.
Christian Lippert; Carlos Chávez
Banco Nacional de México
Grupo Sordo Madaleno
Vertex Real Estate
Elanco Animal Health
COFRA Holdings (C&A)
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
BestDay Travel Group
- Successfully challenged -via amparo- the resolution issued by COFECE with which it prohibited Soriana from divesting of single grocery stores (by means of long-term leases to Tiendas Chedraui) in several locations across Mexico.
- Assisted Tokyo Gas obtain a favourable unanimous authorisation from COFECE concerning its joint venture with Engie in Mexico, related to several wind and solar powered projects.
- Advised Abertis Infraestructuras and GIC Special Investments on the acquisition of 72.30% of Red de Carreteras de Occidente.
Earning plaudits for its ‘knowledge of the matters and extensive experience’, Greenberg Traurig, S.C.'s practice handles the competition aspects of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, including multi-jurisdictional merger control filings; it also assists clients with the crafting of antitrust compliance programs, manages the oversight of internal investigations, advises on government antitrust investigations, and undertakes litigation when necessary. The group co-led by Victor Manuel Frías and Miguel Flores Bernés has remained busy, lately, advising clients from the financial, transportation, pharmaceutical, and oil-and-gas industries, in relation to investigations carried out by the COFECE. Flores is particularly well-versed in government merger reviews, the investigation of alleged anticompetitive conduct, and litigation; while Frías has primarily focused on investigations matters, of late. The pair are supported by a solid second line of associates consisting of José Abel Rivera Pedroza, Valery Dayne García Zavala and Rocío Olea.
Víctor Manuel Frías; Miguel Flores Bernés
‘Quite satisfied with the human and technological professionalism of their lawyers.’
‘Miguel Flores Bernés, scholar of the issues and looks for important information for the contractor’s objectives.’
‘There is always an attitude of service and availability from any member of the team. The use of technology is duly exploited for joint work.’
‘Knowledge of the matters, and extensive experience. Almost immediate availability to resolve doubts and queries. Ease of feedback on the issues entrusted to them.’
PGIM Real Estate
Asociación de Productores y Empacadores y Exportadores de Aguacate de México (APEAM)
Mexico Infrastructure Partners
AIGGRE México Puebla
PGIM Real Estate
Asociación de Desarrolladores Inmobiliarios (ADI)
Asociación Mexicana Industria Automotriz (AMIA)
- Representing Nadro in COFECE’s probe into the pharma distribution market.
- Advising Liquid Petroleum Gas distributors and its main association regarding important, recent, competition-related developments in the sector.
- Advised Gill Industries on the merger control process related to acquisition of the company’s Mexican entities by Lear, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of automotive seat structures.
Clients appreciate Hogan Lovells' ‘large presence in Mexico’, as well as its housing the ‘team of very prestigious lawyers’ that make up its prestgious competition team. The Mexican practice of the full-service giant is reputed for its experience in merger control proceedings, as well as in prosecution against horizontal (cartels) and vertical monopolistic practices. Department-heads Ricardo Pons and Omar Guerrero (an expert litigator), have a proven track record advising clients – particularly from the pharmaceutical, aviation, chemical and energy sectors – in investigations, and enjoy a strong presence in merger control process regarding transactional activity. The core group is completed by counsel Alan Ramirez, who brings additional litigation skills to the team; and senior associate Martin Michaus A, whose practice focuses on merger control proceedings, cartel investigations, abuse of dominance, and antitrust litigation. Work highlights include representing Eli Lilly Mexico in the first civil damages procedure in Mexico resulting from a cartel investigation before the judiciary from a claim filed by the Mexican Institute for Social Health (IMSS).
Ricardo Pons; Luis Omar Guerrero
‘It is a comprehensive practice that acts according to the needs of the client with a prompt response.’
‘The people are ethical and professional and provide continuous help in legal challenges with the highest standards of service quality. Special mention to Omar Guerrero, who has addressed each and every one of the concerns in an optimal, ethical and professional manner.’
‘Hogan Lovells Mexico has a large presence in Mexico with a team of very prestigious lawyers. Regarding billing, it seems to me that they are at the level of firms of their type. As far as collaboration is concerned, it seems very good to me, as well as its technology.’
‘Omar Guerrero, Ricardo Pons, Alan Ramírez, are the partners and associates with whom we have usually worked and they all seem to me to be top-level lawyers.’
‘Business agility and understanding.’
‘Their knowledge on the subject stands out.’
‘It is a team of experts with a great understanding of the business and business model of our organization, which gives us great insight regarding the current needs and queries to the firm.’
‘They are always willing to collaborate and understand the needs of the organization and therefore to collaborate with their knowledge to find options in compliance.’
Ford Motor Company
General Electric Company
- Represented Hypera on tne Mexican merger control aspects of its cross-border acquisition and sell-off of 18 pharmaceutical products from Takeda and Eurofarma.
- Representing Eli Lilly Mexico in the first civil damages procedure in Mexico resulting from a cartel investigation before the judiciary from a claim filed by the Mexican Institute for Social Health (IMSS).
- Advising Aeropuerto International de Cancún on an abuse of dominance investigation relating to certain terrestrial transportation services ancillary to the airport, and whereby the client was charged with breaking several provisions of the local competition act.
SAI Derecho & Economía S.C
Drawing on more than 25 years’ experience in the sector, SAI Derecho & Economía S.C maintains a consolidated presence among the major full-service firms at the forefront of the competition and antitrust sector. The ‘very complete team’ boasts extensive knowledge regarding merger proceedings and investigations in monopolistic practices, as well as advising clients in relation to the analysis of their commercial practices and their day-to-day matters, and also offering a high-end litigation capability specialised in antitrust matters. Regulated sectors are the core strength of the practice, with the financial and energy sectors recently taking up a large part of the caseload. Co-heading the team are José Ángel Santiago, who gives the group considerable muscle on the litigious front; and the talented Lucía Ojeda, who shows prowess in both investigations conducted by the regulator and merger control mandates – moreover she receives praise from ‘national and foreign authorities for her contributions and knowledge in matters of economic competition’. Senior associates Felipe García Cuevas and Ernesto Alvarez Castillo provide additional support and assistance.
Lucía Ojeda Cárdenas; José Ángel Santiago
‘They have a very complete team specialized in economic competition matters.’
‘Lucia Ojeda has extensive experience in the sector, and extensive knowledge of economic competition.’
‘SAI has an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and economists with extensive experience in the public sector and in private consulting. SAI’s advice and strategies have a precise legal point of view with a clear economic perspective.’
‘Lucía Ojeda is an expert lawyer in economic competition, with an excellent relationship with the authorities and an always precise legal and economic point of view. Her work is clean and forceful. Both she and the lawyers that make up her team are highly professional, prepared and have a great ability to understand complex financial issues. Within the team, Ernesto Álvarez stands out.’
‘Excellent office, highly professional in all aspects, with great staff and outstanding attention.’
‘They are a large, serious office, super specialized in competition, protection and the energy sector that also provides a very personalized service.’
‘José Ángel Santiago Abrego is a very detailed lawyer with excellent client service.’
‘The deep knowledge in matters of economic competition stands out. Lucía Ojeda is a recognized lawyer by third parties and national and foreign authorities for her contributions and knowledge in matters of economic competition.’
Infraestructura Energética Nova
Nestlé de México
Adidas de México
Servicios Electrónicos Globales
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
- Cleared Freedompop and MVS Group in an investigation carried on by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (“IFT”) for the commission of an unlawful concentration in the markets for the provision of restricted television and audio services, fixed and mobile telephony, and fixed and mobile broadband Internet access in the national territory.
- Advised IEnova on several antitrust investigations, favourable opinions and antitrust litigation.
- Representing E-Global during COFECE’s investigation to determine the existence of barriers to competition in the market for payment systems that involve clearinghouses for debit and credit card payments.
For some clients, Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC is ‘the best competition law firm in Mexico’. Its 17-strong practice advises companies from across the business spectrum on the full range of competition and antitrust matters, and garners additional praise for being ‘present in all relevant investigations in Mexico’, as well as for having solid knowledge of ‘the way the IFT and COFECE work’. The team led by the deeply experienced Fernando Carreño maintains an excellent reputation for its work in both antitrust investigations and premerger filings, while it is also regarded as one of the go-to firms regarding competition clearance for entities with constant M&A activity, such as KKR and Blackstone. Work highlights include advising AerCap on obtaining merger clearance in Mexico for the acquisition of 100% of GE Capital Aviation Services (GE’s aircraft leasing services division). César Martínez, who was promoted to counsel in December 2021 and associate Michel Llorens are additional key contacts of the team, which was further reinforced at associate level with the arrival of Diego Hernández from SAI Derecho & Economía S.C, and Monica Cabeza de Vaca from COFECE, in March and April 2021 respectively.
‘In my opinion the best competition law firm in Mexico. They have a great team with expertise in all types of competition matters. They are present in all relevant investigations in Mexico. They know the way the IFT and COFECE work perfectly.’
‘They have a team that responds immediately, is 100% involved in the matter of study and has many elements that combine experience and youth. Their attention is excellent. The strategic knowledge of Fernando Carreño stands out.’
‘Fernando Carreño is an excellent, highly responsive and commercially aware. My first choice for all Mexico-related projects.’
Anheuser Busch InBev / Grupo Modelo
JP Morgan Chase
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Mexican Banking Association
ICA Ingenieros Civiles Asociados
- Advised AerCap on obtaining merger clearance in Mexico for the acquisition of 100% of GE Capital Aviation Services (GE’s aircraft leasing services division).
- Advised Blackstone, The Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Private Limited on obtaining merger clearance in Mexico related to their acquisition of approximately 80% of the interest in Medline Industries.
- Advised HAL in obtaining merger clearance in Mexico in relation to EssilorLuxottica acquisition of HAL’s 76.72% interest in GrandVision and launch of a mandatory public offer for the remaining shares upon completion of the transaction.
González Calvillo‘s antitrust practice is led by Cristina Massa, who is particularly well-versed in concentration cases, administrative litigation and amparo procedures, while also handling investigations and abuse-of-dominance claims – particularly in the regulated sectors. The team advises some of the largest companies operating in Mexico (as well as small and medium-sized entities), and has considerable breadth of expertise including oil & gas and electricity; telecoms and broadcasting; the automotive and aviation sectors; chemicals, pharmaceuticals, technology entertainment, construction, utilities, health and hygiene and investment. Key support is provided by counsel Patricio Martínez Osorio (a late 2020-hire from Creel Abogados, SC, where he was a partner), who handles antitrust, competition, data privacy and advertising law matters; associate Daniel González Contreras is also noted. However, senior associate Diego González Altamirano left for Conesa & Moreno Abogados in January 2022, and counsel Gabriel González Aragón subsequently departed the following May.
Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
Philip Morris México
- Counsel to Google -as a third party- in the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) investigation concerning the production and distribution markets and marketing of content transmitted via online platforms; this also includes the distribution and marketing of electronic devices for reproduction of online content, as well as paid television and audio services in Mexico.
- Counsel to FMC as regards compliance with remedies stemming from the $130bn multi-jurisdictional merger (in 2017) of Dow Chemical Company and EI DuPont de Nemours in which the firm acted as counsel for the latter; FMC is the COFECE-approved buyer of the divested assets deriving from said merger.
- Antitrust counsel to Chevron, Rappi and Siemens (among others) for the execution of in-depth evaluations of their business’ lines in Mexico, along with the mapping out of antitrust risks to which said companies could be exposed in the country.
An accomplished partner-trio consisting of Francisco Fuentes, Pilar Mata, and Carlos Orci, steers the competition and antitrust practice at Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C., bringing to the table accumulated expertise in merger control and filings before the competition authorities, investigations and high-stake antitrust litigation. The group represents a roster of domestic and international clients, most notably from the telecoms, energy, transport, financial, IT, and food & beverage sectors, and has proven experience in a variety of matters, including cartels, monopolistic practices investigations by COFECE or IFT, illegal concentrations and merger control mandates (both contentious and filing for clearances). The team is also frequently involved in M&A transactions with an antitrust component. Associates Patricio Rivas and Elián Ávila are other key contacts.
Francisco Fuentes; Pilar Mata; Carlos Orcí
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Union Pacific Railroad Company
Willis Towers Watson
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
- Advised Grupo Televisa on the merger of its media, content and production assets with Univision in a landmark transaction, creating the premier global Spanish-language media company in the world.
- Advised Hyatt Hotels Corporation regarding the obtaining of merger control clearance for its acquisition of Apple Leisure Group.
- Advised Aerodrome Infrastructure on obtaining merger control clearance from the COFECE for purchasing up to 24.9% of the capital stock of Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte, through a tender offer, for an amount up to approximately $668m.
Established as one of the longstanding players in the competition and antitrust domain, specialised boutique firm Valdés Abascal Abogados, S.C. fields a ‘robust team of experts in antitrust matters’ led by market-authority Rafael Valdés, ‘one of the pioneering lawyers in the field’, who has garnered his ‘extensive experience both during his time as a member of the antitrust authority and since he started his independent practice’ over 25 years ago. The firm handles a wide array of matters, with a special prowess handling merger filings and litigation, but also demonstrates strong capabilities in anti-competitive behaviour investigations. Work highlights include obtaining approval for Apollo Global Management of its acquisition of 51% of ABC Technologies. Regulatory specialist Fabiola Quezada; and senior associates Enrique De La Peña, who is particularly experienced in merger control; and experienced litigator Agustín Aguilar; are additional key names.
Rafael Valdés Abascal; Fabiola Quezada
‘They have a team that knows the area in great detail. In addition to effectively getting involved in knowing the industry to which the client belongs.’
‘Their fees are competitive, the team is on the matter comprehensively. They denote research and knowledge of the client’s industry.’
‘The Valdes Abascal team is always close and since they have been working with us for a long time, they have knowledge of the business, which makes the context of some queries easier and this distinguishes them from other firms, since it saves us time in the detailed explanation of the business model.’
‘Rafael Valdes – has highly specialized technical knowledge in economic competition issues, is accessible and responds very quickly to any query. Enrique de la Peña – works very well with us, asks the right questions and follows up on issues. Fabiola Quezada- just like Enrique, she works very well, asks the right questions and her deliverables are quite good.’
‘Very good lawyers. Their work is punctual and of very good quality.’
‘Very efficient. Small team that makes the treatment always personalised.’
‘It is a robust team of experts in antitrust matters, in all its facets (investigations, mergers and acquisitions, as well as litigation), led by one of the best lawyers in the field in Mexico, Rafael Valdés Abascal. They have extensive experience as well as great recognition from their peers, competition authorities and the Federal Judiciary.’
‘Rafael Valdés Abascal is one of the pioneering lawyers in the field of antitrust, with extensive experience both during his time as a member of the antitrust authority and since he started his independent practice. He is also a sharp lawyer who, because of his knowledge of other areas of law, accurately and effectively diagnoses the needs of his clients.’
Afore XXI Banorte
Apollo Global Management
Viking Global Investors
- Obtained a MX$92m reduction of a competition fine on behalf of Afore XXI Banorte via a higher court appeal before the Federal Circuit Courts.
- Representing Marzam in an amparo trial filed against COFECE’s decision to impose a fine for cartel conduct in the market for the production, commercialisation and distribution of medicines.
- Obtained approval for Apollo Global Management funds of the acquisition of 51% of ABC Technologies.
A consistent choice for both international and domestic players, White & Case S.C.‘s Mexican competition practice continues to garner great results for clients in antitrust suits and investigations, as well as securing unconditional merger clearances, and earns praise for the fact that the ‘quality is never compromised despite the difficulties and pressure of time, cost or technical complexity’. Highlight cases -recently- include assisting Kansas City Southern obtain unconditional clearance from COFECE and IFT to undertake its $31bn merger with Canadian Pacific to create the first Mexico-US-Canada freight rail network. Henri Capin-Gally CFA heads the team, and boasts ‘great technical ability and deep knowledge of the subject’. Additional expertise is provided by senior associate Román González, who is experienced in antitrust investigations; and associate Germán Ricardo Macías. The group was further reinforced with the arrival in March 2022 of senior associate Marta Loubet Mezquita, who joined from Ritch, Mueller y Nicolau, S.C..
Henri Capin Gally
‘They are among the law firms that have the most technical knowledge (economic and mathematical) in matters of economic competition.’
‘Henri Capin – Great technical ability and deep knowledge of the subject. Román González – He internalizes himself in the cases to know in detail and in an integral way until the last argument.’
‘The W&C team has quickly adapted to sophisticated technical and technological challenges, with an industry and company where everything always goes very fast and everything is new and changing. Its quality is never compromised despite the difficulties and pressure of time, cost or technical complexity.’
‘The members of W&C Mexico stand out for their unwavering commitment to handling matters despite being technically challenging and complex. Being on the legal frontier, where strategies are decided on issues that have never been seen before, they manage to stand out by adapting to new and challenging realities.’
Kansas City Southern de México / Kansas City Southern
Grupo Financiero Banorte
I Squared Capital
Grupo Viva Aerobús
China Communications Construction Company
Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company
- Advised Kansas City Southern on obtaining merger control clearance from both COFECE and IFT to close its sale to Canadian Pacific Railway Limited.
- Advising Grupo Viva Aerobús and its operating subsidiary, Aeroenlaces Nacionales (Viva), before COFECE to obtain authorisation to close a commercial alliance agreement and joint venture with Allegiant Air.
- Assisted Konfío obtain unconditional clearance from COFECE to acquire card payment processor Sr Pago, thereby also establishing it as Mexico’s fourth ‘unicorn’.
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.
According to clients, Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.’s competition team has ‘proved to be extremely knowledgeable and always in control of the situation’; sources also praise the ‘unique level of preparation and attention of each of its members’. Managing partner Raymundo Enríquez helms the practice, bringing to bear his extensive knowledge in a range of matters, most notably merger control, cartel investigations, antitrust compliance and competition litigation. Luis Amado, who was promoted to partner in January 2022, offers additional expertise in investigations of monopolistic practices. The practice was reinforced in September 2021 with the arrival of associate Alina de la Luz, who spent the previous eight years at COFECE focusing on monopolistic practices and barriers to entry in many different markets. Former senior associate Gerardo Calderon left the firm in August 2021.
‘They have a unique level of preparation and attention of each of its members to their clients. During our work together, they proved to be extremely knowledgeable and always in control of the situation with a clear direction always focused on the success of our project.’
‘The firm knows how to right-size a project, assigning the necessary lawyers to meet the client’s needs. In addition to that, the level of internal communication they have with each other makes them coordinate their efforts in the most productive way possible.’
Platinum Equity Group
- Represented Sika during a merger control process before the Mexican Competition Commission regarding its business combination with MBCC Group.
- Represented Nielsen in a merger control process before the Mexican Competition Commission regarding the divestment of Nielsen’s Global Connect Business to Advent International.
- Represented Platinum Equity Group and Solenis UK International in Platinum’s acquisition -through Olympus Water Holdings- of Solenis’ water treatment business.
The competition practice at full-service firm Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. is well known for its prowess in a variety of areas of antitrust, namely merger control, single firm conduct, cartel behaviour, competition and antitrust-related litigation, compliance and general advice. The seven-strong practice is directed by Amilcar Peredo, who boasts a steady track record representing both national and international clients in pre-merger filings, investigations for cartel activity and abuse of dominance cases, leniency applications, and compliance programs. Other key practitioners include counsel Fernanda Garza, whose previous experience encompasses a position as director of proceedings at the legal affairs general directorate of COFECE; and senior associate León Jiménez, who adds additional expertise regarding the financial, pharma, and energy sectors.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Tate & Lyle
- Represented IQVIA in the a COFECE investigation regarding collusive conduct in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Assisted Tiffany in a pre-merger filing procedure for the acquisition of Tiffany by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
- Assisting Volkswagen with the concentration notification procedure for the implementation of a joint purchasing collaboration agreement with Ford.
Well known for its prowess handling high-profile antitrust investigations and merger control, and for its support on cross-border and domestic transactions, Jones Day's practice also appeals to both domestic and international clients for its deep sector expertise and knowledge of regulated industries in Mexico, such as telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. Key contacts of the practice - both of whom are praised for their ‘knowledge and availability’ - include of counsel Gabriel Altamirano, who has extensive experience advising on compliance matters, merger control filings, and cartel investigations, mainly in the energy, infrastructure, aviation, and technology sectors; and Antonio González, a who engages in competition-related litigation work as necessary. Former practice co-head, of counsel Bertha Ordaz, left the firm in June 2021.
‘Competent lawyers, practice and innovation.’
‘Gabriel Altamirano and Antonio Gonzalez are lawyers with knowledge and availability .’
Selecciones Médicas de Centro
- Advised Cooper Tire on its $2.5bn sale to Goodyear.
- Advised Ravago on its acquisition of Indurkem.
- Advised IAC Holdco on the acquisition of warrants and equity issued by the company by Gamut.
Ritch, Mueller y Nicolau, S.C.'s competition practice houses a group of ‘excellent professionals’ who are recommended by clients for being ‘very close to the COFECE’, which makes matters ‘proceed in a timely manner and in accordance with the requirements of the authority’. The group benefits from a strong track record undertaking antitrust audits and antitrust investigations, as well as a mix of merger-clearance work and administrative cases before COFECE. Octavio Olivo Villa heads the practice and actively participates in merger clearances before the COFECE concerning mergers, acquisitions and joint-venture transactions; he has been involved in cases related to the food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, real estate, and retail sectors. On the investigations side, the practice has a focus on oil and gas and renewable energies. Key support comes from senior counsel James Ritch, who is particularly well-versed in merger control. However, the team endured the departures of senior associates José Miguel Ortiz Otero, who moved to Sánchez Devanny in June 2021; and Marta Loubet, who joined White & Case S.C. in March 2022.
Octavio Olivo Villa; James Ritch
‘Excellent professionals, very close to the COFECE, which makes the procedures proceed in a timely manner and in accordance with the requirements of the authority.’
- Represented EMX Capital in connection with a transaction in the private equity secondary market under the scheme known as general partner (GP)-led secondary fund restructuring.
- Represented Macquarie in the pre-merger notice to COFECE of the acquisition by Orión and Fibra E of 100% of the shares representing the capital stock of Decarred.
- Represented Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo in the pre-merger notice to COFECE concerning Orión’s acquisition of toll-road concessionaire Autopistas de Guerrero.
Veteran full-service firm Santamarina y Steta boasts a longstanding presence in the competition domain, and garners praise form clients for its ‘great capacity to see beyond what is presented’, as well as for being ‘responsive and proactive’. Following the retirement of Ernesto Duhne in June 2021, the practice is now solely led by Vicente Grau, and is well known for handling merger-review proceedings, and obtaining authorisations for large multi-jurisdictional and domestic transactions. The group has additional expertise assisting clients implement compliance programs, representing and advising domestic and international clients in antitrust investigations, and challenging resolutions from the competition authority. Other highlighted practitioners include Francisco Torres; senior associate Ivan Szymanski, who according to clients is ‘particularly good’ in this area; and associate Yakov Kobets.
‘They worry about understanding the problems of the operation in such a way that their recommendations are not only from a regulatory or academic point of view, but also with a practical approach that is appropriate to the needs of the company.’
‘The added value is the genuine concern, that the recommendations are understood and that they are useful to the client, as well as the fact that there is always a great availability and understanding of the operating framework. There is a great capacity to see beyond what is presented.’
‘Ivan Szymanski and the team really know their jurisdictions law and regulators. They are also are very responsive and proactive – great to work with.’
‘Ivan Szymanski is particularly good.’
Arthur J Gallagher
Knowlton Development Corporation
El Corte Inglés
Bartlett Grain (Bartlett & Company)
Mazda Motor Manufacturing de México
GM Financial de México
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr
- Advised AJG on analysis of whether a notification of concentration before the COFECE was required as a result of the company’s intended purchase of the reinsurance brokerage business in Mexico of Willis Towers Watson.
- Antitrust training to USG employees and advising the company on the review -under competition law- of contracts and commercial policies.
- Advising General Motors Company and its financial arm, GMF, on the review -under competition law- of contracts and commercial policies.
Aziz & Kaye Business Law has an established track record in competition and antitrust matters. Founding partner Luis Alberto Aziz, a seasoned practitioner with over 20 years' experience, heads a practice that has been involved in numerous significant merger notifications and investigations carried out by the COFECE; it also has a solid track record designing and implementing legal audits and compliance programs. The expertise of Ismael Henestrosa (promoted to the partnership in 2020) has allowed the practice to further bolster its capacity in the sector; he is particularly strong in the antitrust segment, primarily regarding investigations. Moreover, the practice was further strengthened with the arrival of senior associate Mauricio Marín -a former deputy director general of contentious affairs at COFECE- who specialises in antitrust litigation.
Luis Alberto Aziz Checa
For some time now, DLA Piper Mexico has been developing its credentials and establishing itself as a relevant player in the competition and antitrust field, and its latest reinforcements attest to this commitment. Of counsel Gabriel Contreras Saldívar, who is particularly experienced in in IT and competition, and has served as chairman of the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT), joined in 2021, while Antonio Cárdenas joined from White & Case S.C. in January 2022, bringing with him considerable expertise in contentious matters relating to antitrust resolutions issued and remedies imposed by COFECE. They join a the practice fronted by seasoned partners Eduardo Gallastegui and Jorge Benejam, and which boasts particular knowledge of the telecommunications and pharma industries. Associate Isabel Gallastegui provides additional support to the practice.
Eduardo Gallastegui; Jorge Benejam; Antonio Cardenas
‘They are clearly an experienced antitrust team, who have a good working relationship with the national competition authority. They also clearly also understand the dynamics of a major global transaction and are able to offer pragmatic solutions.’
‘Jorge Benejam is excellent, very responsive and able to navigate the local requirements while understanding where the local law differs from the approach in other jurisdictions and how to manage those issues so as to quickly resolves those issues.’
‘The very competitive environment and restrictive legislation precises full knowledge and a wide spectrum of solution proposals. The challenges are great and this law firm meets more than expectations. Billings are transparent, honest and competitive.’
‘Lawyers know the relevant law, rules and relevant cases by heart. The treatment is personalised and friendly. They make you feel safe on top decisions or procedures. In special, Eduardo Gallastegui and Jorge Benejam are great lawyers and understand perfectly the business. You always feel accompanied along the way.’
Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C.'s competition and antitrust practice is best known for representing and advising national and international clients on matters of economic competition, mainly regarding antitrust, litigation, clearance and advice on mergers and acquisitions. The pharmaceutical, automotive, consumer care and banking industries are among the group's mainstays. The team is led by long-experienced exponent David Hurtado, whose broad practice encompasses consulting and litigation across international trade and customs, competition and antitrust, and administrative law. Senior associate Julia García De Acevedo, is also noted.
David Hurtado Badiola
Corporate Properties of the Americas
Herman Miller México
LIXIL Water Technology Americas (formerly American Standard Brands)
Online Latin American Payments Mexico (PayU)
- Advising Colgate-Palmoive in Mexico, US and Europe on antitrust matters regarding distribution, sales, joint venture agreements, and -occasionally- competition matters related to mergers and acquisitions.
- Advising Signify on a review of the competition aspects related to distribution contracts with clients and distributors.
- Advising Saint Gobain in Mexico and the US on antitrust matters related to distribution, sales, joint venture agreements, and occasionally antitrust matters related to mergers and acquisitions.
Well into the fourth year since its launch, Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC's practice continues to strengthen its presence in the competition and antitrust sphere, building on a good track record of work in both investigations and merger control. Recent work highlights include representing Bank of America in a cartel investigation, both in terms of the investigation by the antitrust commission and in subsequent litigation to challenge the fine imposed. Alejandro Mendiola, who focuses on merger-control clearances and investigations into abuse of dominance and cartels, as well as developing antitrust compliance programs, is head of the practice; he is closely supported by senior associate Daniella Ramírez, a former director at the FTI. The team was further reinforced with the May 2022 arrival of Gabriel González Aragón –formerly at González Calvillo, SC– as of counsel, but also endured the loss of senior associate Cecilia Serrano Hernández the same month.
Alejandro Mendiola Díaz
‘The practice’s offering is personalised, no client is ever considered too small, and the attention is always the same by partner Alejandro Mendiola and his team. His experience and personality make one feel in a safe environment and in good hands.’
‘That is precisely what makes the office different, the personality and treatment of the partners, their technical explanatory capacity but very grounded to those who do not speak legal issues.’
Bank of America
- Representing Bank of America in a cartel investigation, both in terms of the investigation by the Antitrust Commission and the litigation to challenge the fine imposed.
- Represented Chrysaor in relation to a potential reverse takeover of Premier Oil; the deal involved the indirect acquisition of an equity interest in a Mexican company with a very significant turnover.