Energy and natural resources in Mexico
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has 'extensive knowledge of the oil-and-gas sector', and is also noted for its experience in the renewables and power segment. Clients benefit from the team's 'diverse knowledge and skills' and its 'good relationships with key industry stakeholders and related government agencies'. The firm continues to advise the Spanish energy company Repsol on several rounds of auctions for shallow and deepwater exploration rights. EDF Renewable Energy is another major client, which the practice has been advising on the development of renewable projects throughout Mexico. The 'always available, strategic and creative' Benjamin Torres-Barrón leads the team, which is 'ready to work long hours to get things done'. Other key indivudals include highly-regarded infrastructure expert Jorge Guadarrama, and Marco Nieto-Vazquez, who is experienced on the power side.
Dentons López Velarde
Dentons López Velarde has established an excellent reputation for its advice on a wide range of energy and natural resources issues. The practice handles transactional matters, energy infrastructure projects and financing, and regulatory advice across a range of sectors, including power, renewables, nuclear, biofuels, and up-, mid- and downstream oil and gas. Recent mandates include advising Nacional Financiera and Banorte on the $65m financing of two solar power projects in Chihuahua. The team includes Amanda Valdez, who is highly recommended for financings and regulatory work, and the versatile Rogelio López-Velarde, who stands out for his oil-and-gas and power expertise.
Galicia Abogados S.C. has an extremely good track-record for major energy projects, the practice handling work throughout the production chain, from upstream to down, as well as petrochemicals and renewables. The firm regularly advises sponsors and lenders and is also well versed in high-end corporate transactions. A major highlight was representing Actis on its $1.25bn acquisition of InterGen's portfolio of energy assets, including six combined-cycle natural gas power plants. The team also advised Nacional Financiera, Sociedad Nacional de Crédito and Institución de Banca de Desarrollo, as lenders, on the development of three photovoltaic projects. Carlos De Maria y Campos and Francisco Fernández Cueto are extremely well regarded in this area. Since publication, the team has been further consolidated with the January 2020 elevation of Ernesto Partida to the partnership.
Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. has an excellent track-record advising sponsors, lenders and developers on energy infrastructure projects, financings and acquisitions. The seven-partner team is jointly led by Federico Santacruz González and Jorge Oria y Anaya, who is praised for his 'broad sector-knowledge coupled with an invaluable commercial approach'. The practice group has a deep bench of experienced partners and associates, including the 'truly outstanding' Thomas Mueller-Gastell and Gabriel del Valle Mendiola. Recent mandates include advising EVM Energia on the $161m financing for the development of two combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plants in the state of Mexico. The firm also advised NordLB and DBTCA on the $814m refinancing, including a $450m bond issue, of the Fermaca El Encino gas pipeline.
CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow is highly experienced in the power and renewables sector, regularly advising across a broad range of transactional, projects and regulatory issues. In recent work, the team advised EDF Rnewables on its participation in Mexico's long-term electricity auctions, including on several solar and wind projects. The practice also advised Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and CKD Infraestructura México on their $2.6bn acquisition of an 80% stake in Enel Green Power's 1.75GW renewables portfolio comprising solar parks and wind farms. The highly respected Derek Woodhouse leads the team alongside Luis Fernández Lagunas. Other clients include Corporación Inmobiliaria Vesta, Zuma Energía, and Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (CENACE).
González Calvillo, SC's clients benefit from a strong four-partner team that advises on major infrastructure projects, corporate transactions, and joint ventures, in the oil, gas and power sectors. Notable highlights include representing Jaguar Exploración y Producción de Hidrocarburos on agreeing contracts with Pemex Exploración y Producción for six onshore exploration-and-production blocks. The firm also advised Dhamma Energy on the sale of a 37.4MW solar power project in San Luis Potosi. Founding partner Enrique González Calvillo and Jorge Cervantes are both highly recommended, as are Oscar Moreno Silva and Rodrigo Rojas Robleda on the project finance side. Other figures of note in the growing practice group include former Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C. partner, Antonio De Lisi (who joined the firm as of counsel in 2017); and regulatory specialist Diana Pineda, who was raised to the partnership in January 2020.
Goodrich, Riquelme y Asociados has a well regarded two-partner team with a strong background advising on hydrocarbons and renewables-related projects, transactions and regulation. Hydrocarbons specialist David Enriquez leads the team, which also includes the versatile partner Jorge Sandoval . THe team recently advised OMV Exploration and Production on its strategic partnership with Sapura Energy Berhad, which included the acquisition of certain Mexican assets. The practice also advised Letter One Group on its joint venture agreement with Basf to merge their oil-and-gas businesses and co-operate them under the Wintershall banner.
Hogan Lovells has established an excellent reputation for upstream, midstream and downstream oil-and-gas projects, where it represents a broad mix of major international and domestic clients. The firm has also seen plenty of activity in the new electricity market for energy providers and consumers. In the power sector, the team advised Sterlite Power Transmission on its bid, as part of a consortium with RTE International, for the concession of a transmission line project to connect Baja California's electricity network with the National Interconnected System. The team also advised Equinor Upstream on a deep water bidding round organised by the National Hydrocarbons Commission. The highly-rated team includes Carlos Ramos Miranda, Miguel Simón and Juan Francisco Torres Landa .
Jones Day has an extremely strong multidisciplinary practice that combines transactional know-how with excellent expertise in the full range of infrastructure development matters, as well as regulatory and environmental law. Recent mandates include advising Western Refining de Mexico on a joint venture with CFEnergía to develop and operate a 600,000-barrel capacity storage centre. On the renewables side the team advised Parque Industrial de Energía Renovable and Pier IV on the US$180m financing for two wind farms to be constructed in Palmar de Bravo. The highly-respected José Estandía and Alberto de la Parra jointly co-lead the team, which also includes Antonio Franck and administrative law expert Mauricio Llamas.
MCM Abogados is an 'extremely capable and responsive' boutique with the 'deepest knowledge of the industry, considering not only regulatory legal technical knowledge, but also having the pulse of the regulators'. Managing partner Manuel Cervantes is 'one of the best lawyers I have encountered during my career', and he is backed up by 'a strong personalised team who give strong, real-time assistance to clients'. Among them, Mariana Hernandez is praised for her 'high quality work and impressive ability to meet challenging deadlines'. The firm is often first choice for international energy practices without a presence in Mexico. The firm advises Petrofac on its day-to-day issues as well as matters linked to its Santuario Production Sharing Agreement. Other clients include Eni, Lukoil, Vitol and Schlumberger.
Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. is regularly instructed on major oil-and-gas and renewables matters, from infrastructure developments, joint ventures and M&A, through to long-term auctions in the power sector. The practice boasts an array of talent at every level, including partners Horacio De Uriarte, Pilar Mata, Patricio Trad, and Lorenza Langarica. On the transactional side the team recently advised Actis Energy on its $525m acquisition of two photovoltaic companies from Sun Edison, which are developing solar farms with 318MW of generation capacity. In oil-and-gas matters, the firm also advised California Resources Corporation on a tender process to engage in onshore extraction in the state of Tabasco.
Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC is extremely experienced in major energy and natural resources investments, including complex financings for renewable energy projects. The firm also has strong expertise in the water sector, having advised clients such as the Sonora Water Commission on a PPP bid to build and operate a desalination plant in Guaymas. Key energy deals include advising BlackRock on the multimillion-dollar sale of its stake in Sierra Oil & Gas. The firm also represented SIMEPRODE, a decentralised agency of the state of Nuevo Leon, on the PPP structuring of Mexico's first waste-to-energy project. The five-partner team includes name partner Michell Nader, Hector Arangua, Javier Arreola, Vanessa Franyutti, and Alejandro Rojas.
White & Case S.C. has invested considerably in its energy practice over the past five years, an effort that is reflected in the ever-increasing status of the matters it is advising on. Moreover, its bench-depth was further extended in early 2019 with the recruitment of former Pemex general counsel Jorge Kim. The team handles a healthy mix of oil-and-gas, power and renewables work, including financings and infrastructure projects. It recently advised Mexico's state power company, Comisión Federal de Electricidad, on the launch of Fibra E, a publicly-traded energy-and-infrastructure investment trust focused on Mexico's electricity transmission sector. Francisco De Rosenzweig leads the team, which includes key contacts Vicente Corta, Roberto Rios, and the newly-promoted Juan Ruenes.
Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C.'s well regarded four-partner team is co-led out of Mexico City by the experienced Juan Carlos Serra and Daniel Del Rio. The practice group's expertise includes corporate and finance aspects, infrastructure projects, and regulatory, environmental and contentious matters; and given the firm's full service offering, clients also benefit from strong advice in areas such as employment and tax. The firm recently advised Grupo Crown on agreements with Pemex Industrial Transformation for the supply and handling of natural gas. The team also continues to advise ONGC Videsh and National Oil Company on their shallow and deepwater exploration contracts. Other key lawyers include corporate partner Jesus Colunga and administrative law expert Rodolfo Barreda.
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has a strong pedigree in advising oil-and-gas, petrochemicals, power and renewables companies, and investment funds, on their corporate, financing, and infrastructure needs. The highly-rated eight-lawyer team is jointly led by Santiago Sepúlveda and José Ignacio Segura. Recent matters include advising InterGen on the $1.2bn sale of its portfolio of Mexican businesses to Actis, including six combined-cycle gas turbine projects and a 155MW wind project. The practice also represented Howard Energy Partners on the $470m private-placement refinancing of the Nueva Era Pipeline Project. Other recent clients include Linde, CFEnergia, BlackRock, and GE Capital.
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C.
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle S.C. has a strong reputation for representing state-owned entities -including national oil companies, such as Pemex- and governmental agencies. The practice group regularly advises on transactional and infrastructure issues, and advised a major international company on the establishment of a franchise business for the retail distribution of petrol in Mexico. The group stands out especially on the dispute resolution front and is currently involved in a significant arbitration in the gas transportation sector. Eloy Barbará de Parres leads the well-regarded team, which also includes Javier Jiménez and Rodrigo Valverde.
Haynes and Boone, SC has a good stable of highly experienced lawyers advising clients on upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas. Nicolas Borda has built up an incredibly strong reputation, and is supported by a 'knowledgeable and capable' team, including experienced senior counsel William H. Buckley and counsel Eduardo Corzo. The firm's expertise runs the gamut of the hydrocarboons sector, from sale-and-purchase contracts and exploration agreements, to the roll out of petrol service stations. Since publication, however, Borda has eft the firm, moving to the Houston office of Reed Smith LLP in January 2020.
Holland & Knight has become a well established presence in the market, recommended for both its hydrocarbons and power sector-related advice. The firm represents clients from all corners of the market, including investors, lenders, sponsors and public sector entities, regularly advising on regulatory, transactional and infrastructure issues. The team is currently advising Advance Clean Energy on the $160m development of an 80MW solar power project in Sonora. Other major clients include Howard Midstream Energy Partners, Elite Energy, and Oak Creek Energy. José Antonio Prado and the 'outstanding' Carlos Ochoa jointly lead the well-regarded team.
Rodríguez Dávalos Abogados
Rodríguez Dávalos Abogados is a leading energy boutique with a strong track-record advising clients in the power and hydrocarbons industries. The firm's expertise covers every stage of the energy production chain, including exploration and production, petrochemicals, renewables projects, as well as related environmental and social impact issues. Name partner Jesús Rodríguez Dávalos leads the five-partner team, which includes Carlos Flores, litigation partner Guillermo Manning, and regulatory expert Raúl Romero.
Sánchez Devanny has a 'deep knowledge of the energy sector' and its lawyers are 'strongly committed to working within client deadlines'. The team is praised for its 'communication and responsiveness' and for being 'extremely helpful when there is a need to liaise with the local authorities'. It recently advised Gas Natural Ganamex on the implementation of various new business schemes to supply CNG and LNG in Mexico. The group also advised Repsol Downstream Mexico on the expansion of its service station network. The active team is led out of Mexico City and Monterrey by Jose Antonio Postigo-Uribe and Gerardo Prado-Hernandez, respectively. Other significant clients include Essity, Caterpillar, and Bioenergía de Nuevo León.
Santamarina y Steta offers a wide range of expertise to clients in the power and hydrocarbons sector, based on its solid track-record in major renewables projects and oil-and-gas related investments. This includes bidding rounds with Pemex, infrastructure developments and power purchase agreements, as well as environmental issues and interractions with the regulator. Juan Carlos Machorro is one of the key partners in this area.
Thompson & Knight LLP
Thompson & Knight LLP is popular with clients thanks to its 'very personalised service' , for 'always answering promptly', and 'understanding the business and not only the legal part'. The team is co-led by 'prominent power specialist' Claudio Rodriguez Galán, the firm's Mexico City managing partner, and the 'exceptional' Gabriel Ruiz who is praised for his 'wide knowledge of the exploration and production business in the country'. The teamm continues to advise BHP Billiton on the award and execution of the Trion Block deepwater license agreement with Pemex. It also advised Spain's CEPSA SAU on the award of three exploration and extraction contracts to develop shallow-water blocks in the Gulf of Mexico.
DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano has good expertise in industry-related corporate advice, contract negotiations, joint ventures, financings, and procuring upstream exploration licenses. In the renewables sphere, the practice recently advised Acciona Energía and Grupo BioFields on the $264m financing for a major photovoltaic project. The team has also been representing Murphy Oil on its deepwater exploration and production contract. Marcelo Paramo is highly specialised in this area, having previously served as General Director of Legal Affairs at the Regulatory Energy Commission. Edgar Romo and Eduardo Gallastegui are also active on the corporate finance side.
Greenberg Traurig, S.C. is taking an increasingly active role in major power and oil-and-gas projects and transactions. Its expertise in downstream oil and gas was demonstrated by its advice to BP on the company's entry into the Mexican petrol station market, including the negotiation of over 450 agreements with station owners and operators. The practice also advised Northland Power on the development of several renewable power projects. Juan Manuel González leads the team, which includes of counsel Pedro Reséndez.
Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C. has made a strong push into the oil-and-gas market, and its impressive workload demonstrates the firm's increasing presence. Notable highlights include advising the Russian oil producer, Lukoil, on three farm-out agreements with Eni for the transfer of participating exploration interests in Mexico's shallow waters, including blocks 10, 12, and 14. The firm also advised Repsol Downstream on securing 750,000 barrels of storage capacity across three terminals in Mexico. Key partners include Ariel Ramos, Pablo Ferrante and Francisco Mendez, who divide their time between Houston and Mexico City.
SOLCARGO has a 'high quality' practice, particularly for regulatory, government procurement, environmental law, and litigation advice. The firm represents a broad range of public and private sector clients in the hydrocarbons, power, and renewable sectors. Recent mandates saw the team advise Biogas Technology Group on terminating an agreement for a biogas project in Tultitlán. Other clients include Seguro Energy Partners, Valeo Sistemas Eléctricos, and Enagas. Among key contats in the practice, José Covarrubias is 'a young partner with excellent skills and knowledge in the energy sector', and Juan Pedro Machado Arias who is noted for his contentious and non-contentious administrative advice.
Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC is a solid choice for regulatory, transactional and projects-related energy advice, and particularly stands out for its top tier international arbitration practice. The team, which is led by Edmond Grieger, is very active in the power sector and advised Invenergy and its Mexican SPV, Compañía de Electricidad Los Ramones, on its successful bid for a 15-year contract to provide 500MWs of power per year to Mexico's power system operator CENACE. Other active clients include Energy Development Partners, Soluz Energía Solar, and Benteler de Mexico.
Bello, Gallardo, Bonequi y García, S.C. has a diverse practice that regularly advises on major upstream and downstream projects and acquisitions, and also supports clients in the power sector. The firm recently advised a major oil-and-gas company on the acquisition of an interest in one of Mexico's shallow-water offshore exploration-and-production blocks. Miguel Gallardo Guerra and Mauricio Cuellar Gamboa are both very active in the sector.
Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton
Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton has a strong network of offices on either side of the US-Mexico border, including practices in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Queretaro. The firm regularly advises international clients on their investments into the country's energy sector, including bids for supply and service contracts with Pemex and Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission, CFE. Key partners in this area include José María Lujambio , who was previously General Legal Counsel at Mexico's Energy Regulatory Commission.
Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C. is ' a very solid firm to go to', thanks to its team of 'very professional and knowledgeable' lawyers. The team is jointly led by Fernando Alonso-de-Florida, L. Alberto Balderas Fernández, and Citlali Perez who is 'very passionate about mining', which reflects on her 'approach to different situations that require a lot of creativity'. The practice recently advised Isthmus Energia Verde on the development and financing of two bioethanol projects. The team also assisted Fibra Verde Holding with a $600m bond issue to finance the acquisition of renewable energy projects.
A relatively new entrant to the market, Norton Rose Fulbright is nevertheless led by experienced figures Hernán González Estrada and Raquel Bierzwinsky, )who divides her time between Mexico and New York). The growing team is also commended for its more junior lawyers, including senior associate Carlos Campuzano who 'has an in-depth understanding of the Mexican electricity sector'. A recent highlight saw the team advise Enel Green Power on the $1.35bn sale of an 80% stake in its renewables assets to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and CKD Infraestructura México.