Competition and antitrust in Mexico

Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.

An outstanding full-service firm with a ‘tremendous antitrust team’, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. houses a 25-strong practice (comprised of ‘excellent experts’), which demonstrates impressive prowess handling all types of case before the competition authorities (COFECE and IFT), from pre-merger filings, to investigations, administrative procedures and constitutional (amparo) proceedings, as well as leniency applications, advocacy work and dawn raid-related issues. The practice is led by ‘top tier practitionersLuis Gerardo García, who is deeply experienced and specialises in merger control matters; the ‘phenomenalCarlos Mena-Labarthe, who has a solid background working for the competition authority; and Mauricio Serralde. A strong second line of practitioners includes counsels Sara Gutiérrez, who handles antitrust investigations and litigation; and Jorge Kargl, who specialises in competition, antitrust and TMT. Recent work highlights include advising Uber and Cornershop on Uber’s $409m acquisition of the majority of shares in the retailer, which represents the first platform-platform deal ever reviewed by the Mexican regulators. Since publication, Kargl has been promoted to the partnership – effective January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Luis Gerardo García; Carlos Mena-Labarthe

Testimonials

‘The team is composed of excellent experts, they make themselves available and make the difficult link between the Mexican authorities and their requirements with the international firm’s objectives and understanding of the local situation.’

‘Edgar Martin Padilla is a very good expert, remains available even considering different time zones. On the top of that, Mauricio Serralde is key in delicate moment of a merger to have appropriate touchbase with the authority and who clarifies the situation.’

‘A tremendous antitrust team.’

‘Carlos Mena has a lot of experience.’

‘What makes the practice unique is that it combines expertise in international foreign investment protection and international arbitration with antitrust and amparos. In this way, they analyse the effects of regulatory changes in electricity in a comprehensive manner.’

‘One of their great qualities is that they are up to date in energy matters. As soon as changes arise, Creel’s lawyers design a strategy for their client, which is developed or adapted as necessary and as the authorities’ criteria are met.’

‘Sara Gutiérrez Ruiz de Chávez, Luis Jardón and Andoni Garza Austrich combine youth (high performance) and experience very well. They are people who know how to rescue, from the in-house and operational lawyers of the client companies, the valuable arguments to defend the client’s interests.’

‘Partner Carlos Mena Labarthe and counsel Jorge Kargl are phenomenal.’

Key clients

AbbVie

Aeroméxico

Alstom

Amazon

Apollo Global Management

Bain Capital

BlackRock

British Petroleum

Cornershop

Despegar.com

EssilorLuxottica

General Atlantic

KKR & Co

Peugeot

Pfizer

Softbank

Uber

WarnerMedia

Work highlights

  • Advised Uber and Cornershop on Uber’s acquisition of the majority of shares of Cornershop on a fully diluted basis; value: $409m.  
  • Counsel to Alstom on its $5bn acquisition of Bombardier Transportation, formerly owned and co-controlled by Bombardier and CDPQ; the transaction was subject to a six month long, in-depth investigation by COFECE.
  • Successfully represented Amazon in an ex officio investigation into potential relative monopolistic practices in the market of e-commerce platforms in Mexico; COFECE closed the file concluding that it had not found any evidence of anticompetitive behaviour.

Galicia Abogados S.C.

‘A fully competitive team, well above their competition’, says one client of Galicia Abogados S.C.‘s 10-strong practice which, for another, sits comfortably among the ‘top five firms’ of the competition arena. Partners Christian Lippert and Carlos Chávez, who have extensive experience advising clients across a range of heavily-regulated industries including energy, rail and telecoms, co-lead the department, whose caseload extends beyond merger-filing assistance into the full array of cartel and antitrust investigations, leniency applications, and complaints before the competition authorities. With Lippert's election as co-managing partner, the firm has moved to strengthen the practice at partner-level, with both Gerardo Rodríguez (competition) Juan Carlos Burgos (competition, regulation, compliance) raised to the partnership in October 2021; while at associate level, semi-senior Maite Celorio is also active handling barriers-to-competition investigations, recently advising clients on significant investigations into the barley and rail-freight markets. The practice is also experienced in antitrust litigation and recently successfully challenged -via amparo- a COFECE resolution prohibiting Soriana of divesting grocery stores in various locations across Mexico by means of long-term leases.

Practice head(s):

Christian Lippert; Carlos Chávez

Testimonials

‘Well-coordinated multidisciplinary team with extensive transactional and infrastructure knowledge.’

‘The team has in-depth knowledge and long-standing experience in this field of law, as well as sustained recognition, respect and credibility with the relevant Mexican antitrust enforcement bodies. It is clearly one of the top five firms in this area.’

‘Regularly provides accurate information on truly relevant developments in the law and jurisprudence in this area in his country.’

‘Proactivity, legal knowledge, quick and effective understanding of the issues, initiative and diligence in proposing strategies and solving problems.’

‘Galicia’s team has solid experience in competition matters and has lawyers with great knowledge in the field, which allows them to provide timely and appropriate advice.’

‘They have had the flexibility to adapt to the client’s needs for the definition of their fees, which has allowed them to have access to legal services with the best quality and at a fair price.’

‘A fully competitive team, well above their competition.’

‘They are always up to date with new cases and authoritative criteria.’

‘Maite Celorio is experienced, direct, clear and precise. Christian Lippert, is a great expert of this sector.’

Key clients

Organización Soriana

Tokyo Gas

Abertis Infraestructuras

Elanco Animal Health Incorporated

Contourglobal

Best Day Travel Group

Cofra Group

BayWa r.e.

Iké Asistencia

Grupo México Transportes

Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy

Work highlights

  • Successfully challenged, through an amparo, the resolution issued by COFECE by means of which it prohibited Soriana to divest of a single grocery store by means of long-term leases to Tiendas Chedraui in several locations in Mexico.
  • Assisted Tokyo Gas in obtaining 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.

González Calvillo, SC

González Calvillo, SC's antitrust practice comprises a solid group of ‘efficient and competent lawyers’, who garner praise for their ‘ability to conduct an exceptional volume of work’, and has a proven track record advising on merger-control proceedings, investigations into cartel behaviour and other antitrust and anti-competitive behaviour matters. With partner Cristina Massa, (who shows prowess in complex concentration cases, administrative litigation and amparo procedures), at the helm, the practice group is also regularly involved in major investigations and abuse-of-dominance claims in regulated sectors such as port services, healthcare and telecoms. The team is currently acting as counsel to Google, as third party, in an investigation performed by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT). The practice was bolstered, recently, with the December-2020 hire of counsel Patricio Martinez Osorio (from Creel Abogados, SC) and the January-2021 promotion of Gabriel González Aragón – also to counsel. Senior associate Diego González Altamirano is an additional name to note. Since publication, González Aragón has left the firm - effective as of May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Cristina Massa

Testimonials

‘The Gonzalez Calvillo team demonstrated at all times a thorough knowledge of the particular issues and regulatory processes to be navigated.’

‘Apart from their evident professionalism and expertise, GC’s lawyers have demonstrated their ability to conduct an exceptional volume of work.’

‘They go to the last detail in the consultations and provide a comprehensive view of the problem raised. They are very complete and are undoubtedly leaders in their field.’

‘They are a firm with a young spirit dedicated to customer service, they adapt to the needs of the client and give a personalised service, giving importance to each matter.’

‘Cristina Massa Sánchez and Gabriel González Aragón are two lawyers who follow up on their cases and defend their clients’ interests with vehemence.’

‘The antitrust practice is composed of efficient and competent lawyers.’

‘Cristina Massa is a very good lawyer. Diego González handles matters very well, competently and efficiently, and maintains a high level of communication with the other lawyers involved.’

‘Cristina Massa the two main associates have experience working in the Mexican competition authority, so they know very well how all the procedures of the authority are carried out.’

Key clients

Google Mexico

DuPont de Nemours

Marathon Petroleum Corporation

Smurfit Kappa

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics

FMC Corporation

Gentera

Atlas Holding

Bunzl

Chevron Corporation

Royal Dutch Shell

Work highlights

  • Currently acting as counsel to Google, as a third party in an investigation undertaken by the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT).
  • Advised Cementos Chihuahua on the sale of its cast/plaster business to a non-identified purchaser from a competition standpoint.
  • Acted as counsel to Smurfit Kappa on the development and implementation of a compliance program and training materials for its operations in Mexico.

Greenberg Traurig, S.C.

Greenberg Traurig, S.C. houses a ‘highly knowledgeable’  10-strong department, which advises on the competition and antitrust aspects of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, including handling complex,  multi-jurisdictional merger-control filings, for both national and international clients. It is a regular advisor, in particular, to clients from the transportation industry, including the railways sector, airport-related matters, taxi services, private transportation applications and maritime transportation, and has recently represented Mexico City’s International Airport in a series of landmark antitrust cases, including the first-ever investigation conducted by COFECE under its power to investigate and regulate essential facilities. The team, which can also call on an impressive contentious capability, is co-led by partners Victor Manuel Frías and Miguel Flores Bernés (the latter a former commissioner of the Federal Competition Commission).

Practice head(s):

Víctor Manuel Frías; Miguel Flores Bernés

Testimonials

‘They are highly knowledgeable about the sector and its issues.’

‘They keep us informed of the changes and risks in communication due to the pandemic through platforms and social networks.’

‘Our contact is Miguel Flores Bernés, from whom we have always received timely and efficient attention.’

‘They are a very experienced and solid team.’

‘They know how to take advantage of technology, which is very valuable in this time of pandemic. Very good with people.’

‘One of the partners, Miguel Flores Bernés, was a Commissioner at COFECO, now COFECE, so he knows the inner workings very well. He is a very solid expert and has a very good rapport with his team.’

Key clients

Aceros en Barras al Carbono

Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México

Asociación de Desarrolladores Inmobiliarios (ADI)

Asociación de Productores y Empacadores y Exportadores de Aguacate de México (APEAM)

Asociación Mexicana de Instituciones Bursátiles (AMIB)

Asociación Mexicana de la Industria Automotriz (AMIA)

Cargill de México

Colegios de Corredores Públicos

ConMexico

Gill Industries

Golfo Transportación

Grupo Gepp

Nadro

Softbank Innovation Fund

Work highlights

  • Represented Mexico City’s International Airport in a series of landmark antitrust cases.
  • Advised the Asociación de Desarrolladores Inmobiliarios in the implementation of the necessary measures regarding the real estate leasing of shopping centers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in strict adherence to the Antitrust Law.
  • Advised the Mexican association of Avocado packers and exporters, APAEM, regarding an investigation triggered by the Competition Commission in the avocado industry in Mexico.

SAI Derecho & Economía S.C

More than a few consider boutique specialists SAI Derecho & Economía S.C to be ‘the best antitrust firm in the industry’. With over 25 years in the market, the firm boasts a sizeable team of around 20 practitioners (comprised of lawyers and economists), that brings a strong mix of technical and legal expertise to the table and garners additional praise for its ‘absolute mastery of the subject’. Sector heavyweights Lucía Ojeda and José Ángel Santiago are in charge of steering the department. The latter heads the antitrust and regulatory-litigation side of the team, while Ojeda, whose ‘technical knowledge is unparalleled in the country’, handles everything related to administrative procedures with the COFECE and IFT. The team, which frequently receives merger-clearance matters referred by international companies or law firms that do not have the capacity to undertake the work themselves, and which is also often involved in major cartel and/or abuse-of-dominance investigations, includes a very capable and experienced second line of senior associates, among whom Mariana Carrión Valencia and Felipe García Cuevas standout.

Practice head(s):

Lucía Ojeda Cárdenas; José Ángel Santiago

Testimonials

‘We worked with Lucía Ojeda and Felipe García, and the attention to detail shown by both is truly remarkable.’

‘Having worked with several firms on antitrust matters, SAI is definitely the best antitrust firm in the industry.’

‘Absolute mastery of the subject matter. They are recognized in the professional field, are opinion leaders when reforms or new laws are published, and enjoy an unmatched reputation.’

‘José Angel Santiago expresses a remarkable mastery of the subject, he has no problem sharing his knowledge in detail, which generates a great deal of confidence. Felipe García stands out for the gentleness of his manner and the security of his advice.’

‘Lucia Ojeda has a great business vision and great knowledge of economic competition, which translates into solutions that do not interrupt the continuity of the business. Mariana Carrión is a very knowledgeable associate who is always ready to intervene and help, the quality of her work is impeccable.’

‘The firm is very attentive to what the authorities in other countries resolve, and they manage to transfer it to Mexico and exploit it in the same way, achieving good progress in Mexican resolutions.’

‘SAI is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious and knowledgeable law firms in the field.’

‘It is the team of lawyers with the best knowledge on the subject in all of Mexico. Lucia Ojeda is exceptional, her technical knowledge is unparalleled in the country.’

Key clients

Novartis Farmacéutica

Unilever de México

Coppel

Pernod Ricard

Contecon Manzanillo

Internacional de Contenedores Asociados de Veracruz

Ares Management Corporation, Morgan Stanley and Merced Capital

Banco Ve por Más

Adidas de México

Ternium México

Grupo Collado

Bayer de México

Nestlé de México

La Costeña

BBVA

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended BBVA in a1 COFECE cartel investigation over the last few years; as a result, the bank was fined with a minimum amount which represented less than 1% of the maximum potential fine.
  • Representing several permit holders on  challenging the strategy and policy implemented by the Government regarding renewable energies development.  
  • Represented AMS in the merger notification procedure for the global acquisition of the majority of OSRAM’s shares before the Mexican Antitrust agency; transaction value:  €2.7bn, approx.

Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC

Operating one of the most comprehensive antitrust practices in Mexico, Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC‘s 17-strong practice is a ‘veritable powerhouse in the field’, and a regular presence in ‘the vast majority of the relevant investigations conducted by COFECE’. Partner Fernando Carreño, ‘one of the most respected and recognised practitioners, nationally’, heads the department and demonstrates high-level expertise in monopolistic-practice investigations. The group advises companies from across the business spectrum on the full range of competition and antitrust matters; including merger clearance, investigations (cartel, abuse of dominance, and market investigations), litigation, and compliance work. Senior associates Paloma Alcántara, whose practice focuses on illegal behaviour and market investigations; and César Martínez, who advises on both investigations and merger reviews, are other key assets of the practice. Since publication, Martínez has been raised to counsel, effective December 2021.

Practice head(s):

Fernando Carreño

Testimonials

‘Von Wobeser y Sierra participates in the vast majority of the relevant investigations conducted by COFECE and does so with great professionalism.’

‘This area of expertise is a veritable powerhouse in the field. At its head is Fernando Carreño, one of the most respected and nationally recognised practitioners.’

‘Fernando Carreño is a great leader with tremendous experience in the field and above all with a very definite corporate sense. He knows exactly how to deal with the authorities.’

‘VW is always at the forefront.’

‘Luis Burgueño, Fernando Carreño and Edmond Grieger have a personal and professional approach that meets the highest standards, their follow-up on issues is perfect and they do not let go of your hand until the issue is resolved’.

‘Fernando Carreño’s experience and knowledge is one of the strengths of the practice.’

‘The team was renewed with the presence of Carolina Camacho, a young and hard-working lawyer. The office is diverse.’

‘We were attended by Diego Sierra, Fernando Carreño, Gerardo Rodríguez, Pablo Fautsch and Irving Flores and all of them stand out for their service attitude, professionalism and knowledge of the subject matter. In invoicing they also adapted to our requirements.’

Key clients

Anheuser Busch InBev / Grupo Modelo

JP Morgan Chase

Avon Products

Blackstone

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

Merck

Mexican Banking Association

Nissan Motor Co

Volaris

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Mylan

Work highlights

  • Advised both Ingersoll Rand and Gardner Denver on a pre-merger filing concerning a global $15bn deal involving a spin-off and merger; the clearance was granted in two months in Mexico.
  • Acted as local counsel to Oaktree Capital Management in a pre-merger filing before the Commission, obtaining the clearance in a short time frame; deal value: $4.8bn.
  • Acted as Avon’s local counsel on obtaining clearance for a complex transaction that involved relevant competitors in the beauty and personal care industry at global level; deal value: $2bn.

Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C.

Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C.'s robust seven-strong practice is well-regarded in the market for its expertise when handling merger control and investigations, as well as in competition and antitrust-related litigation. Standout partner Amilcar Peredo, who is well-versed in pre-merger filings, investigations related to price fixing and bid rigging, heads the department, closely supported by noted practitioners Rodolfo Barreda and Fernanda Garza. Recent work highlights include assisting Tiffany & Co with a pre-merger filing procedure for its acquisition by luxury brand Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). The team's broad client roster also spans other sectors including pharmaceuticals, aviation, and food and beverages.

Practice head(s):

Amílcar Peredo; Rodofo Barreda; Jesús Colunga

Key clients

WESCO International

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

SAAM

Tiffany & Co

Japan Industrial Solutions

Lear Corporation

BASF SE

Panasonic

Coca-Cola

Tetrapak

Mattel de México

Peugeot

Work highlights

  • Assisted WESCO with a pre-merger filing procedure for the acquisition of its competitor, Anixter International.
  • Assisted SAAM in connection with a positive opinion request procedure for the acquisition of control of its competitor, Intertug México.
  • Assisted MHI and Hitachi in a pre-merger filing procedure for the acquisition of control of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System, a JV company that carries out multinational operations focused on thermal power generation systems.

Hogan Lovells

Offering the sturdy combination of a strong local team and a large international platform, Hogan Lovells' seven-strong antitrust practice acts throughout Mexico on matters ranging from high-profile merger control proceedings to complex litigation; having become a solid presence in obtaining cartel prosecutions and abuse of dominance inquires. Heading the department are partners 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 agribusiness. Recently appointed counsel Alan Ramirez, who has noteworthy litigation skills, and senior associate Martin Michaus, are other highlighted practitioners of the team.

Practice head(s):

Ricardo Pons-Mestre; Omar Guerrero-Rodríguez

Key clients

Hypera

Argonaut Gold

Industrias Bachoco

21st Century Fox

Procter & Gamble

Enel

Standard Life Investments /Aberdeen Funds

Grupo BAL / Profuturo Afore

Alpura

Walmart

Work highlights

  • Represented Hypera before the Mexican competition authorities over merger control proceedings regarding the acquisition of pharma assets from Takeda, as well as a divestment strategy with Eurofarma.
  • Represented Aberdeen Funds before the Mexican competition authorities regarding the merger control proceedings for its first-ever investment in oil assets in Mexico, acquired from BlackRock.
  • Represented Bachoco before the Mexican competition authorities in merger control proceedings regarding its investment in competitor Sonora Agropecuaria, a pork processor.

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C.

Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. houses a seven-strong practice that stands out for its capabilities in merger control and filings before the competition authorities, investigations, antitrust litigation, and general compliance matters. The team is well known for challenging rulings and resolutions before the COFECE, FTI, and the Mexican Federal Courts. Three partners are at the helm of the department: Francisco Fuentes Ostos and Pilar Mata Fernández, who are both very experienced in merger control and antitrust work, both contentious and advisory; and the recently appointed Carlos Orcí, who is praised for being ‘extremely reliable’, and as a ‘go to partner for COFECE matters in Mexico’. Orcí is particularly strong in investigations work.

Practice head(s):

Francisco Fuentes Ostos; Pilar Mata Fernandez; Carlos Orcí Berea

Testimonials

‘Very responsive, detail oriented, and excellent risk-reward analysis’

‘Carlos Orci Berea is excellent and extremely reliable. He provides very commercial advice that balances strategic and economic objectives with clear-eyed assessments of antitrust risk’

‘They have always given us a very professional service’

‘We trust Carlos Orci with all of our competition matters in Mexico. He is our go to partner for COFECE matters in Mexico. He is extremely capable, responsive, client-oriented and friendly to work with’

Key clients

Alfa / Alpek

Union Pacific Railroad

Grupo Televisa

Softbank

Atlas Renewable Energy

Riverstone

Brookfield Asset Management

Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA)

Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund (MMIF)

Citi Group

Barclays Bank

Actis Energy

AXA

Fibra MTY

Nippon Steel Corporation

Arauco

Ball Corporation

Cardif

Inova / Sempra

G500 Networks

Buro de Credito

Aleatica

ICA Tenedora

Cablevision

Work highlights

  • Represented Sempra LNG, IEnova and Total in the procedure to obtain COFECE antitrust clearance for the acquisition by Total of a 16.6% equity stake in ECA LNG.
  • Advised Softabank on obtaining antitrust clearance from COFECE for its acquisition, through a subsidiary, of Latin American-focused fintech platform Alpha Credit, which undertakes consumer lending and financial solutions for SMEs.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad Company in challenging -via an amparo lawsuit- COFECE’s determination of the lack of effective competition on certain routes with a point of origin or destination in southern Veracruz State.

Ritch, Mueller y Nicolau, S.C.

Partner Octavio Olivo Villa, who is considered a ‘great lawyer in competition’, and who knows how to ‘deal and conciliate with the authority’, heads the practice at Ritch, Mueller y Nicolau, S.C., which handles a mix of merger-clearance work and administrative cases before COFECE, as well as undertaking antitrust audits and representing major clients in antitrust investigations. Olivo, who regularly provides counsel to clients on antitrust issues related to pricing, distribution and licensing agreements, as well as on competition compliance programs, is closely supported by a senior associate Marta Loubet. Together they comprise a very ‘conciliatory team’, which garners praise for always seeking ‘solutions and agreements between the parties’. Olivo can also call on senior counsel James E Ritch who leads on a considerable percentage of merger mandates. Former senior associate José Miguel Ortiz Otero moved to Sánchez Devanny in June 2021. Since publication, Loubet has also left the firm - effective as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Octavio Olivo Villa

Testimonials

‘We feel very comfortable working with Octavio Olivo and Marta Loubert, as they are a very conciliatory team and always look for solutions and agreements between the parties. They have been successful in all matters with us.’

‘The diversity of the practice in terms of gender and nationalities also stands out.’

‘The greatest asset of this practice is undoubtedly the people who are part of it. Personally, Octavio Olivo is a great lawyer in competition and knows how to deal and conciliate with the authority.’

‘Marta Laubert is always in contact and available and is very clear in her explanations and expectations.’

Valdés Abascal Abogados, S.C.

Boutique firm Valdés Abascal Abogados, S.C. can draw on 25 years’ experience covering the full spectrum of competition and antitrust mandates, with particular brilliance in litigation matters. It is praised for offering work of ‘the highest quality’, that ensures even competitors ‘recognise their high level of expertise in the field’. With leading market figure Rafael Valdés Abascal at the helm, the practice is no stranger to handling cases before COFECE and the Federal Telecommunications Institute, as well as the Supreme Court. Valdés, who served as Executive Secretary of the Federal Competition Commission for many years, has been involved in some of the most emblematic cases in Mexico’s competition and antitrust arena throughout his career. The team, which also has a solid track record managing non-contentious mandates, includes regulatory expert Fabiola Quezada, whose 2019 arrival (from a regional in-house position), has ‘enriched the team’s services’; senior associate Enrique De La Peña, who focuses on merger control and defending economic agents before the regulators; and skilled litigator Agustin Aguilar López.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Valdés Abascal and Fabiola Quezada

Testimonials

‘Valdés Abascal is one of our most essential advisors. Their work is of the highest quality and they have a great knowledge and understanding of our business’

‘There are more and more women in their team. Access to partners is very easy’

‘They have excellent technical knowledge and years of experience in the field. Their follow-up and availability are excellent, and being a boutique firm allows them to always be close to the issues and the clients, so we receive personalised attention’

The arrival of Fabiola Quezada a few years ago has clearly enriched the team’s services, due to her great knowledge in the area of economic competition’

‘Rafael Valdés’ experience and track record has allowed us to find practical solutions to complex problems with very good results. Enrique de la Peña and Agustín Aguilar are young lawyers with a deep knowledge of the subject matter and excellent client service’

‘Their competitors recognise their high level of expertise in the field’

‘It is a very specialised antitrust practice and has a lot of legal and economic know-how’

‘Rafael Valdez and Enrique De la Peña are excellent lawyers and bring innovative ideas to transactions. They always make us a tailor-made suit’

Key clients

Telefónica Movistar

Afore XXI Banorte

Apollo

Grupo Herdez

Ford

Marzam

Grupo Kuo

PepsiCo

Work highlights

  • Advised Apollo on the Mexican premerger control procedure for the acquisition of Tech Data Corporation.
  • Currently advising and representing Marzam in the cartel-conduct investigation into the market for the production, commercialisation and distribution of medicines.
  • Currently advising an investigated agent in the maritime-diesel cartel-conduct investigation.

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. fields a respected 10-strong practice, which garners praise for providing ‘solid and innovative solutions’ when advising clients from various industries on contentious and non-contentious matters. Led by partner Henri Capin Gally, the department has remained busy handling merger control mandates related to international transactions, as well as monopolistic practices investigations. Further partner presence in the team comes from Vicente Corta and TMT specialist and litigator Ismael Reyes Retana. Senior associate Román González brings in key support. Recent work highlights include representing AeroMexico in an amparo trial against a resolution issued by the Federal Antitrust Commission which ruled that the airline’s scheduling of take-offs and landings at Mexico City’s International Airport caused inefficiencies and had anticompetitive effects. Since publication, the team has been further strengthened with the hire of former Ritch, Mueller y Nicolau, S.C. senior associate, Marta Loubet – effective as of March 2022.

Practice head(s):

Henri Capin-Gally

Testimonials

‘The team has a very high profile in the field and provides solid and innovative solutions.’

‘When technology is required to exchange information securely, they deliver.’

‘Ismael Reyes and Fernando García, are characterised by their great availability to attend directly to the client when a problem arises that requires their intervention. This gives confidence to the company knowing that all activities are endorsed by them.’

‘The level of service provided by the WC team is excellent. They collaborate closely with the company at all times and have a great sense of urgency in attending to its requirements.’

‘The team’s ability to adapt to new work dynamics derived from the Covid-19 health contingency was excellent, without affecting in any way the quality or speed of the work carried out.’

‘Very prepared, excellent negotiators, they know the client and exceed expectations.’

Key clients

KCSM

AeroMexico

Metso

Grupo Viva Aerobús

Saudi Aramco

Takeda Pharmaceuticals International

Izzi Telecom

Newmont

Consubanco

Work highlights

  • Representated Aeromexico in an amparo trial against a resolution issued by the Federal Antitrust Commission which determined that the airline’s scheduling of take-offs and landings at Mexico City’s International Airport caused inefficiencies and anticompetitive effects.
  • Advised Metso and Outotec on a complete in-depth pre-merger control proceeding (phases I and II) in Mexico, regarding the combination of Metso’s mining division (Metso Minerals) with Finland-based company, Outotec.
  • Advised Consubanco on obtaining the first pre-transaction authorisation in Mexico (issued by COFECE) following the special expedited procedure under of the Ley de Instituciones de Créditos, to acquire a loan portfolio from Banco Ahorro Famsa.

Aziz & Kaye Business Law

For some, Aziz & Kaye Business Law, sits among the ‘best antitrust law firms in Mexico’. Founding partner Luis 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, and 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.

Practice head(s):

Luis Alberto Aziz Checa

Testimonials

‘It is a very capable team that mixes extensive technical expertise from the view of the competent authority and outstanding negotiation skills.’

‘They always maintain a close relationship with the client.’

‘They are very willing and knowledgeable lawyers, dedicated to the work entrusted to them and always willing to collaborate.’

‘They are among the best antitrust law firms in Mexico. Not only do they have solid knowledge and experience, but they care about understanding their clients’ business/industry.’

‘Luis Aziz and Ismael Henestrosa are always willing to understand before issuing any opinion.’

‘Very dynamic team, they always respond efficiently.’

‘Ismael Henestrosa always gives excellent service and is very knowledgeable. He is a person with an excellent attitude and kindness.’

Key clients

Aeromexico

Telcel/Telmex

Bristol

Santander

GBM

Interacciones

Bosch

Bardahl de México

Avícola Glez Glez

Grupo Modelo

Claroshop Holding.com

Elavon

Avícola y Porcícola los Altos

Work highlights

  • Advised Santander México on a COFECE investigation related to cartel activities in the market for debt-securities issued by the Mexican government.
  • Advised and represented Controladora Prosa in an investigation aimed at determining the existence of barriers to competition or essential facilities that could generate anticompetitive effects in the payment-systems sector.
  • Advised and represented Mexico City-based healthcare provider, Dicipa, in a COFECE investigation regarding cartel activity in the integrated medical services market.

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.

Fully backed by the firm’s international network, and able to draw on resources from across its national offices, Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.‘s Mexican competition team covers all aspects of the antitrust arena, including merger control and investigations. The four-strong practice is led by the ‘very smart’ and experienced Raymundo Enríquez.  The other key practice contacts are experienced senior associates Gerardo Calderon, the office’s practice coordinator who is noted for his healthcare and energy sector expertise; and Luis Amado, who has particular focus on telecoms and financial services-related competition issues. Recent matters include representing Bayer on the sale of its animal health business to Elanco for $7.6bn. Since publication, Amado has been promoted to national partner – effective January 2022

Practice head(s):

Raymundo Enriquez

Testimonials

‘Experience, expertise, and availability. Raymundo Enriquez is very smart, understands the issues very quickly and is a good communicator.’

‘Raymundo Enriquez and Luis Amado-Cordova – a lot of experience, and provide very practical advices. Always available.’

Key clients

Air Liquide

Bayer

Brookfield

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)

Constellation Brands

Ergon

Faurecia

Gebr. Knauf

Hitachi Automotive Systems

Industrias Acros Whirlpool

Johnson Controls

Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH)

Marriott International

Nielsen

Platinum Equity Advisors

Sumitomo Corporation

Transat AT

Unilever

Valero Energy

Wintershall DEA

Work highlights

  • Represented Bayer AG on its sale of its animal health business to Elanco. The $7.6bn deal was reported in diverse jurisdictions, including the European Union and the United States.
  • Represented Hitachi in its acquisition of ABB’s power grids business for $11bn, which is the largest ever acquisition by a Japanese industrial company.
  • Representing Transat AT in a $11bn merger control regarding its business combination with Air Canada.

Jones Day

Working as an integral part of the firm's global antitrust and competition area, Jones Day 's Mexican practice is renowned for handling high-profile antitrust investigations and merger control mandates, and for its support on cross-border and domestic transactions. Three partners co-head the team: Gabriel Altamirano, an expert in merger control and investigations who also handles compliance issues; Bertha Ordaz, who boasts a notable expertise across regulated sectors – notably energy, infrastructure, aviation and telecoms; and skilled litigator Antonio González, who engages in competition-related contentious work as necessary. Recent work highlights include advising the buyers, P&G, on the acquisition of Merck’s health care business; and the acquisition of AK Steel by Cleveland-Cliffs.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Altamirano; Bertha Alicia Ordaz Avilés; Antonio González

Testimonials

‘They are highly trained and make themselves available as often as required for clarification.’

‘They make good use of technology and rely on it to operate quickly and clearly with clients.’

‘Gabriel Altamirano makes himself available, is informed and trained to attend to our needs, and works as a team to establish the strategy to be followed. Antonio Gonzalez has shown management skills in litigating and setting strategies and executing them.’

‘The antitrust team is involved in merger analysis, antitrust defence and general compliance activities. It also provides litigation defence services before the judiciary.’

‘Notably, it has a broad base of partners who offer services in a variety of areas that are complementary to competition issues.’

‘They are dedicated professionals. They are very careful in their argumentation and are quite responsive about the economic arguments that are presented to them.’

Work highlights

  • Advising Banco Santander on the acquisition of energy company A3T Luxco 2; the team coordinated the merger notification and review in Mexico.
  • Advised Eaton Corporation on its sale of Cooper Lighting Solutions to Signify; the team coordinated the merger notification and review in multiple jurisdictions
  • Advised NVIDIA Corporation on its acquisition of Mellanox Technologies, including all associated competition matters.  

Santamarina y Steta

Santamarina y Steta is a well-established presence within the competition arena, with an established track record assisting with merger reviews, litigation, compliance, cartel investigations related to monopolistic practices, leniency protection, and advisory mattes (such as the evaluation of commercial policies and commercial agreements). In accordance with the firm's strong transactional practice, the eight-strong group is particularly active in M&A clearance matters, and is co-led by the ‘excellentErnesto Duhne, who excels in merger control mandates as well as general advisory work; and Vicente Grau. A strong second line of associates includes Ivan Szymanski, who is already garnering the praise from clients.

Practice head(s):

Ernesto Duhne; Vicente Grau

Testimonials

‘They really know their subject matter, have excellent judgment, and are very responsive’

‘Excellent collaboration with global counsel’

‘Ernesto Duhne and Ivan Szymanski are excellent’

Key clients

Mazda

Martinrea International

Knowlton Development Corporation

El Corte Inglés

GFI Informatique

USG Holdings

Savage Companies

Bartlett Grain

Schlumberger

Marriott International

Cameron International Corporation

General Motors Company

GM Financial de México

Work highlights

  • Represented all parties involved in GFI Informatique’s acquisition of Informática El Corte Inglés from El Corte Inglés during the procedure to obtain pre-merger authorisation to complete the transaction from the FECC.
  • Represented CASA regarding the pre-merger clearance procedure before the FECC for its CACEIS joint venture with Banco Santander.
  • Representing Mexican producer of gypsum and concrete dry wall panels, USG, in its capacity as a user of the Federal Cargo Railway Transportation System (FCRTS),  in a public consultation regarding lack of competition in the system and its effects.

Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C.

Partner David Hurtado, who has ‘extensive experience in antitrust matters’ as well as good relationships ‘with other firms and authorities’, heads the ‘solvent and proactive’ practice at Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C., which is hailed for offering ‘top-notch advice’ when handling antitrust, litigation and clearance work. Key support comes from fellow partner Citlali Perez, who focuses on M&A, commercial arbitration, public procurement and competition matters, among others; and senior associate Julia García de Acevedo, who provides regular day-to-day advice and training to clients including Colgate-Palmolive, Saint Gobain and General Motors.

Practice head(s):

David Hurtado Badiola

Testimonials

‘Jauregui y del Valle’s team is solvent and proactive, with the necessary expertise to provide top-notch advice.’

‘David Hurtado has extensive experience in antitrust matters, as well as good relationships with other firms and authorities in the field that help to implement productive synergies.’

Key clients

Signify México

Colgate-Palmolive

Saint-Gobain México

Lixil Water Technology Americas

General Motors de México

Suzuki Motor de México

Berwind Corporation

Desarrollos Altabrisa

HBO Olé

Online Latin American Payments Mexico (PayU)

Work highlights

  • Advising Colgate in Mexico, US and Europe on antitrust matters regarding distribution, sales, joint venture agreements, and -occasionally- competition matters related to mergers and acquisitions.
  • Advising General Motors in both Mexico and the USA on antitrust matters regarding distribution, sales, joint venture agreements and public-bidding processes.
  • Advising Suzuki Motor de México on antitrust matters regarding distribution agreements and commercial policies with its distributors.

Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC

Established in mid-2018 with the arrival of former officer of the Mexican Antitrust Commission, Alejandro Mendiola, Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC‘s young antitrust practice has maintained a steady growth across a broad range of sectors, including those in which the firm is historically strong, such as banking, insurance, real estate, energy and telecoms. Mendiola regularly advises clients involved in merger control clearances and investigations into abuse of dominance and cartels, and has developed antitrust compliance programs for numerous companies. The practice group – which includes key senior associates Daniella Ramírez and Cecilia Serrano Hernández (who arrived in November 2020 following her LLM) – also supports the firm’s prestigious M&A practice as regards merger-control matters. Since publication, the firm has further strengthened the practice with the hire of Gabriel González Aragón -formerly at González Calvillo, SC- as of counsel; effective as of May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Mendiola Díaz

Testimonials

‘Alejandro Mendiola takes his work very seriously.’

‘It is a firm with great strength in the analysis of the financial sector’.

‘The distinctive element is the specialisation in financial matters, in which they provide comprehensive services. They also have the capacity to deal with other sectors.’

‘The firm’s lawyers are experienced and reliable in their field, such as antitrust.’

‘Alejandro Mendiola is a good lawyer with a lot of experience and knowledge of the sector. He is very capable and reliable.’

Key clients

Aeromar

Assurant

CI Banco

Pantaleón

AXA

Rodina

Finterra

EXI

Work highlights

  • Advised Mexican airline Aeromar in relation to its acquisition by Mexico’s second largest airline, Interjet.
  • Advised international insurance company Assurant in relation to the sale of its stake in Iké to the founding shareholders of the latter and other third parties.
  • Advised Mexican financial institution CI Banco with respect to its purchase of the trust services business unit of Deutsche Bank México, obtaining unconditional clearance from the Mexican Competition Agency.