Projects and infrastructure in Mexico
CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow is undoubtedly one of the markets heavyweights when it comes to projects and infrastructure, housing solid credentials in the power, oil and gas, mining and infrastructure sectors. The impressive six-strong practice provides 'excellent service' to a broad mix of public and private sector clients, and is led by founding partner Enrique Lorente Ludlow, a 20-year veteran of projects matters from inception and design, through structuring finance, construction and operation; and Marcia Santomé Sánchez who is closely focused on private participation in formerly public sector projects, including via PPPs, and who was made partner in July 2019. Specialised senior Giancarlo Schievenini, who works on all aspects and stages of infrastructure project development, including financing, leads a strong associate group. The team is currently advising the Mexican Federal Government on the legal structuring (design, structuring and implementation) of its flagship 'Tren Maya' project, worth an estimated of $8bn as well as the associated public procurement procedures. Both real estate partner Cesar Lechuga Perezanta and energy specialist Derek Woodhouse also participate in the practice.
Federal Government of Mexico – via different secretaries and public entities, including the Ministry of Public Safety, Ministry of Communications and Transport, Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios S.N.C., Fondo Nacional de Infraestructura, Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo)
Government of Mexico City
Impulsora de Desarrollo Integral (IDINSA)
MOTA Engil Mexico
- Advised APP Arriaga Tapachula, a joint venture formed by three Mexican infrastructure developers and an investor, on the long-term $150m financing of a PPP project for the improvement and maintenance of the Arriaga-Tapachula highway in Chiapas, México.
- Advised a JV formed by Mexican investors and French waste company Veolia, on the structuring, implementation and financing of the first waste-to-energy facility in LATAM with a capacity of 1.6 million metric tons of waste a year, to generate the 965,000MwH required by Mexico City Metro.
- Advised Mexican Investors and Spanish waste management company Urbaser on the structuring and implementation of a waste-to-energy project for two bio-digestion plants in Mexico City in order to process 2000 tonnes/day of organic solid urban waste.
- Advising the client on the rescue, re-design,restructuring and re-launch of the $500m Acueducto El Zapotillo project, which is intended to bring potable water from Guadalajara to the city of León, Guanajuato.
- Advising the Government of Mexico City on a project to develop a public park and 1600 housing units on 900,000sq.m of land.
Fielding a team of over 30-lawyers, including six partners, González Calvillo, SC is increasingly prominent in project development and finance matters, including the regulatory aspects, permits, stakeholder identification, social impact assessments, and negotiation with sponsors, project developers and regulators, among others. Key partners include Jorge Cervantes Trejo (M&A, PE, projects, energy and infrastructure finance transactions); Rodrigo Rojas Robleda (hydrocarbon and power generation projects, financings and PPP); Oscar Moreno Silva (development, financing, construction and operation of capital-intensive projects); Hernando Becerra (M&A, PE and financing transactions, primarily in the infrastructure sector); and Diana Pineda (energy, oil and gas, infrastructure project development, government procurement, arbitration and mediation), who was made partner in January 2020. Key support comes from experienced counsel Antonio De Lisi and partner-elect Daniel Guaida Azar. Founding partner Enrique Gonzalez Calvillo, and senior partner Gonzalo A. Vargas (energy, infrastructure, real estate, hospitality, M&A, strategic alliances), are also both active in the practice. Recent highlights include advising TAG Norte Holding et al on the restructuring of the existing $1.2 billion credit facility for the Los Ramones II Norte gas pipeline project. A strong specialised associate bench includes seniors Rosemarie Harfush (who arrived from White & Case S.C. in February 2020), Alejandro Ruenes Mata, and social-impact specialist Julia González Romero; along with associates Pedro W Buchanan, and Alejandro Amaro, who arrived in late 2019 from Canadian Solar.
‘Understanding social factors as key elements for the success of infrastructure projects, as well as mitigating factors is what makes the practice unique.‘
‘Julia González Romero has not only the skills to give reassurance and explain the key elements of a project at the managerial level or C-suite, but also has an unbeatable management of communities and appreciation of social risks, which makes her the key person in the team to ensure these issues are transversal in the projects. Very fast, accessible and accurate in their advice.‘
‘They get to the point and avoid incurring unnecessary costs. Efficiency when managing resources and costs and knowledge of the market, especially from the prism of the concerns that foreign investors may have regarding the reforms of the Mexican energy sector.’
TAG Norte Holding
- Acted as counsel to IEnova subsidiary TAG Norte Holding (as issuer), and TAG Pipelines Norte (project developer), as well as the sponsors (IEnova and Brookfield Infrastructure controlled companies), on the restructuring of the existing $1.2bn credit facility for the Los Ramones II Norte gas-pipeline project, and the simultaneous issuance and placement of $332m of senior notes.
- Acted as counsel to IEnova in the obtaining of a $200m in green loans from the International Finance Corporation and the North American Development Bank to finance four solar power plants (total capacity 376MW), across Mexico.
- Acted as counsel to IEnova in the structuring and negotiation of a 15-year $100m credit facility granted by Japan International Cooperation Agency to finance four solar power plants (total capacity 376MW) across Mexico.
- Acted as counsel to client in a Social Impact Assessment, for a combined cycle facility project in construction, given that an extension capacity was possible for the project. Due to this project modification, we assisted the client with a Social Impact Assessment for the extension needed.
Characterised as having 'deep infrastructure and PPP-concessions market knowledge', Javier Arreola, Vanessa Franyutti and Alejandro Rojas co-lead the six-partner, 15-strong practice at the ‘client-oriented' Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC , which also includes senior partner Michell Nader, Julián Garza and Santiago Medina, who was promoted to partner in January 2020. All have outstanding project finance credentials as well as deep PPP expertise and experience. Indeed, clients suggest they are ‘among the highest-regarded project finance, energy and infrastructure lawyers in the region’. The team has been particularly active of late on a number of municipal and state water and lighting projects, areas in which Rojas has particular expertise; a case in point is ongoing advice to the water operator of Los Cabos, Baja California (OOMSAPAS) on a MXN$900m project, regarding the legal terms of an international PPP bidding process to develop a desalination plant. Nevertheless, the team has lost some associate strength with Fernando Castillo V's mid-2019 departure for Clifford Chance; Alejandro Alfonso's November move to Chévez, Ruiz, Zamarripa y Cía SC; and Andrea Vázquez Torres' March 2020 return to Vega Guerrero Abogados.
‘Deep infrastructure and PPP-concessions market knowledge: Alejandro Rojas, Vanesa Franyuti and Javier Arreola.‘
‘The partners are very responsive and agile and adopt a commercial, pragmatic view. Javier Arreola is smart, proactive and commercial. He thinks outside the box and can tackle complex issues. New partner Santiago Medina follows a similar mould.‘
‘The team at Nader, Hayaux & Goebel, has a lot of experience in public private associations and in administrative law, which is what we as clients look for for our project and that we find in this office. The plus is their experience, since they have successfully participated in various PPA projects. There is a lot of dedication to our project; I’d highlight the work, attention and ability of Andrea Vázquez and Alejandro Rojas.’
‘A client-oriented firm with a highly-regarded team and impressive capabilities. Their attention to detail, deal-friendliness and responsiveness is top notch. Javier Arreola and Santiago Medina (partners) are among the highest regarded project finance, energy and infrastructure lawyers in the region. Their ability to push deals through and find client-oriented solutions is impressive. Their knowledge of the local market is also unique.‘
Fondo Nacional de Infraestructura (FONADIN) (National Infrastructure Fund)
Water Commission of the State of Sonora
Water Commission of the Municipality of Los Cabos
Constructora y Edificadora GIA
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Citibank / Citibanamex
Suez Environnement / Suez Medio Ambiente México / Suez Concesiones Mexico
Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior
Government of the State of Sinaloa
- Currently advising the Water Operator of the City of Los Cabos (OOMSAPAS) on the legal terms of an international PPP bidding process for a 25-year concession to build, operate and maintain a desalination plant in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, and partially funded by FONADIN; value, MXN$900m.
- Advised the Water Commission of the State of Sonora (CEA) on the legal terms of an international PPP bidding process for a 20-year concession to build, operate and maintain a desalination plant in Guaymas, Sonora, partially funded by CONAGUA and FONADIN; value, MXN$1.2bn.
- Advised the Government of the State of Sinaloa on the legal terms of an international PPP bidding process for a 30-year concession to build and maintain an aquarium in Mazatlán.
- Currently advising SIMEPRODE, a decentralized agency of the Government of the State of Nuevo Leon, on the structuring and development of the first waste-to-energy project in Mexico, via a public-private partnership scheme; value, $500m.
- Advised SMBC, as lender and administrative agent, on two facilities (including letter of credit) granted to local subsidiaries of Spanish renewables developer, OPDEnergy; aggregate vaule, $101m.
With over 40 years' project development experience between them, Federico Santacruz González and Jorge Oria co-head the imposing 21-strong practice at Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C., which excels, particularly in hydrocarbons and power-related projects, and acts for a mix of lender, project sponsor and fund/investor clients. The six-partner team also includes Gabriel del Valle, who focuses on cross-border financial transactions (particularly project finance, structured finance and capital markets), and Asaf Jimenez Adorno, who handles electricity sector M&A and finance. In recent highlights, the firm represented Canadian Solar on its sale of Recurrent Energy Mexico Development, the owner of a PPV project located in Aguascalientes that was awarded a PPA in CENACE's first long-term auction, to a Mexican subsidiary of BlackRock; the team had previously undertaken a $63.4m financing for the construction and development of the project. A strong second line is composed of energy and infrastructure-focused senior associates Laura Treviño and Alejandra Echevarría, along with project-finance practitioner Salvador Torres (currently in NYC - he was raised to senior in December 2019); and Santiago Zardain who arrived in early 2019 after four years at the CFE.
La Bufa Wind
Ainda Energía e Infraestructura
Blumex Power 1
- Advised EDF subsidiary, Bluemex Power 1, as borrower on the $67m financing of a 90MW photovoltaic power project located in the State of Sonora, Mexico.
- Advised Grupo Techint on the refinancing granted to Techgen of the $640m project finance credit related to its 900MW combined cycle plant located in Pesquería, Nuevo León.
- Represented La Bufa Wind, and its sponsors in the refinancing of their 130MW wind facility located in Zacatecas in Mexico.
- Represented Recurrent Energy Mexico Development in relation with the senior and VAT financing granted by a group of Mexican lenders in relation with the construction, development and operation of the Aguascalientes I solar project, which was awarded a PPA in the first long-term power auction.
- Represented lenders Bancomext, Natixis, Société Générale on the financing of a 375MW photovoltaic power-project located in the State of Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. maintains an active presence in the projects and infrastructure sector, its nine-strong team acting for a broad mix of sponsors, developers, construction companies and lenders. The practice is co-led by Santiago Sepúlveda, who undertakes the structuring, development and financing of infrastructure projects along with M&A and PE investments; and José Ignacio Segura, who focuses on the electricity and natural gas industries from both regulatory and transactional perspectives. Recent matters include acting as counsel to White Summit Capital and Riverstone on the $56.5m acquisition of two Mexican solar photovoltaic projects; Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV on the $92.5m acquisition of two wind-power projects; as well as multiple bank-side representations in project financings and refinancings. Key support comes from counsel, Vanessa Gimenez, who specializes in projects and infrastructure transactions; and senior associate Ana Irma Amado, whose practice centres on energy, project development and government procurement procedures.
GE Energy Financial Services
Trafigura PTE / Trafigura México.
Vista Oil and Gas
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board / Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
- Advise KKR Portfolio company Monterra Energy on the structuring, development and financing of one of the first privately-owned fuel storage facilities in Mexico, currently under construction in the port of Tuxpan.
- Advised EverStream Energy Capital Management on the acquisition of a 230MW wind-powered generation facility in Oaxaca; involving due diligence and the structuring of the acquisition.
- Counsel to BlackRock on the MXN$4.6bn sale of its minority stake in Concesionaria de Autopistas de Michoacán.
Full-service major, Galicia Abogados S.C., houses considerable project finance expertise throughout the energy sector, as well as in petrochemicals, transport infrastructure (roads, rail, ports and airports), telecoms and water, among other areas, handling primarily financings, negotiations and transactional matters. An experienced, seven-partner team includes head of the energy, infrastructure and project finance areas, Carlos De Maria y Campos and infrastructure practice co-head Alejandro De La Borbolla (infrastructure and project finance transactions across all areas of infrastructure development). Other key figures in the partner-heavy team include: Francisco Fernández Cueto, who focuses on the development, structuring, financing and operation of energy projects; Bernardo Martínez Negrete, whose practice centres on project finance, health care and M&A; Antonio Borja (project finance, infrastructure and energy); finance specialist Humberto Pérez Rocha, whose practice encompasses project finance, insurance and M&A; and the project finance, infrastructure and M&A-focused Eduardo García-Travesi. Recent matters saw the project-finance and capital-markets teams pair-up to advise the original investors on the $225m refinancing of a wind-power project via a private notes offering. At associate level, senior German Fernández G and associate José Alejandro Cortés are noted; however, environmental senior Jacquelin Gutíerrez moved in house in October 2019, as did associate Santiago Tinoco in February 2020.
AES and Grupo BAL
- Advised AES and Grupo Bal on the $376m financing of a 300MW wind farm in Tamaulipas.
- Advised Sinia Capital on the $45m financing (granted by Banobras) and acquistion of a 30MW wind farm in Baja California.
‘With a unique knowledge of structured products in Mexico, including CKDs and CERPIs’ the 20-strong practice at Greenberg Traurig, S.C. advises lenders and sponsors at every stage of the project cycle, with a special focus on the real estate and infrastructure sectors. The team is led by managing partner José Raz Guzmán and Juan Manuel González Bernal, who has extensive project finance, public procurement and PPP experience across all relevant industry sectors. Increasingly active as lead partner for the likes of MXT and Mexico Infrastructure Partners, José Antonio Butrón's practice encompasses M&A, banking, project finance, capital markets, structured finance and securitizations. Fernando Orrantia Dworak (infrastructure, real estate, commercial and corporate law); Carlos Garduño (domestic and cross-border transactional and regulatory financial matters, including project finance), who frequently teams up with González, and Miguel Yturbe (Mexican and Latin American infrastructure projects, banking and finance, capital markets, and general corporate matters) also participate in the sector. Key associate Gabriela Palomino focuses on real estate law and infrastructure projects, but former associate Diego Robles Cuevas moved in house in November 2019.
‘Unique knowledge of structured products in Mexico including CKDs, CERPIs and real estate FIBRAs. The level of attention paid by partners to transactions is far above that of rival firms.‘
‘The quality of the work presented by partner José Antonio Butron, as well as by associate Gabriela Palomino has been of the highest level. They not only present work with relentless quality, but also with great speed.’
Ministry of Finance of Mexico City’s Government
Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México (GACM)
Mexico Infrastructure Partners II
Red de Carreteras de Occidente (RCO)
- Represented Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México on the negotiation, structuring and execustion of the early repayment of MXN$34bn in equity trust cretificates issued via FIbra-E for the financing of the cancelled NAIM project.
- Advised the potential investors on the acquisition of $560m CERPIs to be issued by Mexico Infrastructure Partners Latin America.
- Counsel to MXT Capital Partners on its acquisition of 90+ telecoms towers and 10 distributed antenna systems from one of the main players in the telecoms infrastructure sector in Mexico.
- Counsel to MXT Fiber on the acquisition of a portfolio of 180+ telecom towers and a 450km of fiber optic network located in southern Mexico.
- Represented Banco Santander as lender, lead arranger, administrative and collateral agent in the negotiation of a credit facility granted under a project finance structure, to refinancing the MXN$800m debt of a major water treatment plant in Sonora.
- Represented Autopistas de Vanguardia on a mezzanine credit agreement to serve current debt and finalize the construction and initiate operations of the Naucalpan-Toluca toll road.
Jones Day's Mexico office fields an 11-strong projects-and-infrastructure practice that impresses with its ‘level of knowledge and experience in the sector and ... level of commitment to the project’. The core group includes key practitioners Alberto de la Parra (project structuring, corporate and project finance, corporate counselling, restructuring, and M&A), and José Estandía (whose M&A and project finance practice focuses on power, renewable energy, natural gas, and oil terminals), who have some 50 years' experience between them; along with office managing partner Manuel Romano and of counsel Antonio Franck. Recent matters have seen the team active in downstream hydrocarbons matters, and in the aviation infrastructure and renewables segments; mandates in the latter include advising Jinko Solar on a $31m financing for the completion of its San Ignacio solar project; and Sinia Energy on the $45m financing of the San Matías wind project in Baja California. A solid second line includes experienced associates Arturo de la Parra (project finance), the dual-qualified (Mexico and New York) Salvador Gallo (downstream oil and gas), and Diego Noriega (energy and infrastructure finance; M&A).
‘If it compares favourably with other firms, then its performance is due to the level of knowledge and experience in the infrastructure sector, which has been fundamental in negotiating with authorities and clients. The level of commitment to the project by being pending in the negotiations, accompanying the client, advising and looking for the different angles that may result in the negotiation process for the acceptance of the proposal by the counterpart, considering a win-win position with us as clients and with the counterparty.‘
‘Antonio Frank, Salvador Gallo and Diego Noriega: the team has extensive experience, and while i won’t make comparisons, they are unique in the capacity they have shown. As I mentioned, the team has extensive experience. It is their experience and availability (since they have always attended to the client’s needs), that makes them different from competitors. Their qualities are many, but the agile response stands out among others, looking for the best solution for the benefit of the project. I’d mention Antonio Franck, Bertha Ordaz, Salvador Gallo and Diego Noriega.‘
Andeavor (formerly Tesoro Corporation)
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior
Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México
Iberdrola Renovables Mexico
Itzoil (Invex Infraestructura 4)
- Advising Itzoil (Invex Infraestructura 4) on the development, project financing, construction and operation of a port and storage terminal in Tuxpan and a storage terminal in Tula with a combined total (expandable) storage capacity of 1.2 MMbbls; as well as a 260km pipeline connecting the two facilities.
- Acted as special Mexican counsel to Banco Santander México and BBVA Bancomer (as administrative and sustainability agents, repsectively), and other lender parties, regarding a sustainability linked revolving credit agreement granted to Banco Actinver.
- Represented the private trust MEXCAT and the Ministry of Finance on the issue of four series of Rule 144A/Reg S. bonds totalling $6bn in a tender offer to repurchase the $1.8bn in stock issued for the NAIM project.
An experienced trio comprising Horacio De Uriarte (a leading project counsel for renewables matters), Pilar Mata (bidding processes; project, structured and corporate finance across the energy, infrastructure and other sectors), and well-known corporate finance heavyweight Patricio Trad, leads the ‘excellent’, 13-strong projects and infrastructure team at Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. The practice advises financial institutions, public sector bodies, developers and sponsors on a wide array of projects, financings (including non-recourse finance) and PPPs across the oil, gas, power, transportation, water and waste segment. Recent mandates include advising Concesionaria AT-AT (Aleatica), with several dsputes related to the EPC contract for the development of the Atizapán-Atlacomulco highway; and Red de Carreteras de Occidente on the negotiation and execution of a MXN$2bn senior-term loan agreement. A strong group of transactional and finance associates includes Francisco Glennie; Carlos Jiménez and Anacandy Perusquía, along with Aisha Calderón who is noted for her specialisation in power and envrionmental matters.
‘They are an excellent law firm, they know the market very well – the transactions and counterparties, and the details of how they have been structured. They always meet deadlines and always have staff available (even if someone has gone on vacation, or is not on a call), there is always someone else from the team to cover it. They have very good knowledge of the sector, the authorities, etc. They have an excellent team, starting with Horacio de Uriarte and Pilar Mata, also Aisha Calderón for regulatory matters and Elian Avila; as associates, I would mention Francisco Romero and Fernando Molina.‘
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets
Red de Carreteras de Occidente
Fondo Capital Infraestructura CKD
- Represented Banco Sabadell on a $67m financing extended to EDF Renewable Energy subsidiary, Bluemex Power 1, for the construction, development, installation, equipment, commissioning, operation and maintenance of a 90MW photovoltaic project in Empalme, Sonora.
- FRV Potrero Solar as local counsel in a project finance transaction consisting of the obtainment of a loan an amount of approximately USD 110 million granted by the International Finance Corporation and Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior.
- Acted as local counsel to FRV Potrero Solar on a $110m project financing granted by IFC and Bancomext.
- Advising a group of investors on the process of developing an aquarium project in the city of Mazatlán under a public private partnership.
- Advised a syndicate of banks on the financing of six renewable energy projects being developed by Helios EnTG (a joint venture between Engie and Tokyo Gas) under PPAs obtained at CENACE’s second and third Long-Term Auctions.
The sizeable team at White & Case S.C. was reinforced during the course of 2019 with the hire of former Pemex general counsel, Jorge Kim and the raising of Juan Ruenes (himself a former GC of Braskem Idesa), to the partnership. Highlight mandates saw the team participate in the first ever reserve-based lending transaction regarding upstream oil-and-gas assets in Mexico, involving Petrolera Cárdenas Mora. Other matters include primarily project financings, a midstream petroleum products project and transactional activty in the renewables segment. The practice is led by Francisco De Rosenzweig, one of the foremost electricity regulatory specialists in the market; other key practitioners include Roberto Rios (energy & natural resources project finance, infrastructure and public-private partnerships); and 'great professional', banking, finance and insolvency partner Vicente Corta Fernández. Associates Juan Carlos Llorens (project finance, government procurement, regulation and banking; energy project development), and Carlos Estrada Lopez (oil, gas and electricity matters, project finance), are both noted. However, Daniel E Sánchez left in March 2019, subsequently joining Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C., as did senior associate Rosemarie Harfush, who moved to González Calvillo, SC in February 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘Among its strengths is the experience that supports its members – the partners, associates and other lawyers that comprise it; their ability to propose practical solutions to complex problems; the quality of their work, whatever it may be, an agreement of wills, an objective opinion on a particular case, among others; the quality of the personal attention of its members to the matters entrusted to them, which stands out compared to other firms; the openness they show, many times you can even feel part of the office, like at home; the ability to work under pressure obtaining favorable results; their experience in negotiations, which will undoubtedly aid the obtaining of favourable results.‘
‘Among the law firms with which I have collaborated, White & Case stands out in all aspects that a contracting area requires and values, especially in the case of public entities. I would also like to highlight the value for money, not only stands out compared to other firms, but it is the best option. It is made up of people with excellent treatment, with extensive experience in their respective areas, technical capacity, management and communication, transparency, kindness, negotiation, among many others; For this reason, White & Case stands out unlike other firms.’
‘Vicente Corta is always willing to listen and be interested in the issues that arise, whatever their size, for him all issues are important and it is appreciated that he gets involved by contributing. A great professional.’
‘There is enough experience in every relevant transactions involving the complexities of severely regulated government entities, such is the case of Vicente Corta and Jorge Kim. They have a comprehensive vision of the operation, which allows them to adequately focus on the legal aspects that are most relevant to the client.‘
‘The level of expertise and attention to detail is a differentiator when working with the White & Case team. Skills to provide solutions in reduced response times. Market knowledge. Roberto Ríos is an excellent lawyer. He goes deep into the analysis of the issues and takes care of the details of each document that leaves his office. 100% reliable. In the same way, Francisco de Rosenzweig is a lawyer with extensive experience in public affairs, with a high capacity to intervene in infrastructure and transactional issues, among others. His experience in negotiation matters, without a doubt, is necessary for the resolution of each matter. Both represent a high value for White & Case.‘
Korean Development Bank
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext)
Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (Banobras)
- Advised Bancomext et al, as lenders, on a $55m project financing of a 115.5MW solar project in Durango, Mexico, sponsored by EOSOL Energy de México.
- Advised a syndicate of lenders on the first-ever reserve-based lending transaction in respect of upstream oil & gas assets located in Mexico.
- Acted as administrative agent to Natixis and other lead banks on the $640m project financing of a 900MW combined cycle power plant in Pesquería, Nuevo León.
Thompson & Knight LLP's traditional strength across the energy sector necessarily involves it not only in project finance mandates but also full project-support, from public tendering to the day-to-day operation of public works contracts. A former GC of Iberdrola and legal manager at EDF, Claudio Rodríguez Galán is a well-known figure on the power-side of the energy sector, and has extensive experience in all types of electricity-generation (including nuclear), along with pipeline, transmission and downstream projects. He co-leads the practice with Monterrey office-head Gabriel Ruiz, who focuses on the corporate and operational design for the development of oil, gas, and energy projects, as well as project advisory, administrative representation, contracts, M&A and financings. Recent matters include representing ENGIE on a loan agreement with NADBank for a legacy 100MW photovoltaic project in northern Mexico; and on the hydrocarbons-side, advisory regarding service contracts with Pemex and possible E&P projects in Mexico, as well as assistance with tender calls, pipeline and petrochemicals, and downstream distribution and retail matters. The team was strengthened further in mid-2019 with the hire of former secretary to the board-of-directors of Iberdrola, senior counsel Rodolfo Rueda, whose practice covers the entire lifecycle of energy projects (including bidding applications, construction, licensing, compliance, and environmental and regulatory matters). Counsel Regina Legorreta is also a key member of the practice and specializes in structuring all types of energy and natural resources infrastructure projects.
‘In terms of infrastructure, it is important that the team has financial and technical knowledge to strengthen legal and structuring strategies to carry out infrastructure projects. The T&K team has shown itself to have the financial and technical knowledge that allows us to have more comprehensive communication, to carry out infrastructure projects mainly under PPP and concession schemes.‘
‘In this area we have worked with Rodolfo Rueda and Claudio, studying the financial legal structures of concessions and APPS in terms of energy performance as well as their financing, where we have had a great contribution of value from them, considering the legal, financial and technical aspects, that have allowed us to improve our projects.‘
‘They demonstrate innovation and inventiveness, as well as extensive knowledge and global vision of the project.‘
Atco de Mexico
Clarios (formerly Johnson Controls)
Opus Energy Group
- Represented BHP in the award and execution of the Trion Block deep-water license agreement in association with PEMEX – the first-ever farm-out with PEMEX in history.
- Representing Kalos Desarrollos Eólicos on the development of a 200mw wind farm in Parras, Coahuila, Mexico; value, $500m.
- Advised Fenix Generación on the definition and structure of a joint-development agreement with Siemens for the construction of a 1,000MW combined cycle project in Mexico City; value, $100m.
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.
With a sizeable 25-strong practice group -including six partners- Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has a growing profile in the sector, representing both sponsors and investors, particularly in relation to the transportation segment. The team is led by Gaspar Gutierrez-Centeno, Benjamin Torres-Barrón and October-2019 partner hire, Daniel E Sánchez, who arrived from White & Case. Indeed, the team had already been boosted, notably, by the hire of former undersecretary at the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, Yuriria Mascott, in mid-2019 - although it did suffer the loss of longstanding energy and infrastructure partner Jorge Guadarrama-Yañez who left the firm in August 2019. In addition to extensive work for key client Inversionistas en Autotransportes Mexicanos (Grupo IAMSA), the team has also been active advising Engie on debt finance for four solar and two wind projects with an aggregate capacity of 721MWs; as well as on matters involving pipelines, procurement processes, service agreements and PPAs. Associate level support comes from seniors Eduardo Bravo Senderos (real estate and infrastructure) and Carlos José Muskus (corporate and energy law); and associate Carlos Maass-Porras.
Inversionistas en Autotransportes Mexicanos (Grupo IAMSA)
Baja California Railroad
- Acted for Inversionistas en Autotransportes Mexicanos (Grupo IAMSA) on regulatory and performance legal due diligence related to the concession granted by the Mexico City Government for the construction, modernization, operation and maintenance of the Tasqueña Transport hub, in southern Mexico City.
- Advised Baja California Railroad in connection with the legal due diligence to evaluate the legal feasibility of a potential transaction involving the financing for the rehabilitation of the ‘Línea del Desierto’ project.
- Legal and regulatory advice to ATCO on all matters related to the Tula pipeline project; including assistance on permitting matters, regulatory analysis, and an arbitral issue.
Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C.'s 10-strong practice is led by experienced corporate partners Juan Carlos Serra and Daniel Del Rio and handles project finance, bidding procedures and construction; environmental and regulatory compliance, and administrative litigation; permitting and authorisations, and strategy and consulting regarding labour, tax and customs matters. While active in the energy and mining sectors, it is perhaps better known, in the transport and social infrastructure areas, and in particular in manufacturing and industry-related developments. It is currently assisting ExxonMobil's downstream expansion, establishing gasoline and diesel imports as part of its branded retail project in México's Bajío region; and has also been acting for SNAM regarding participation in a CENAGAS tender process for an underground natural gas storage project. Head of the firm's administrative practice, Rodolfo Barreda, and corporate and transactional partner Jesus Colunga, are also active in projects matters. Key support comes seniors, Ricardo Evangelista, who focuses on environmental law and sustainability consulting; and Jorge Escobedo, who has administrative and regulatory compliance expertise.
Materiales y Equipos Petroleros (Matyep)
First Solar Energía México
Centrica Business Solutions Mexico
Grupo Gran Solar
Shanghai Electric Group
Servicios Múltiples de Burgos
Asset Risk Management LLC
Sices Brasil y Sices México
Wind Point Partners
Niagara de México
- Advising Grupo Gondi on the development, construction and operation of a paper manufacturing facility to be located in State of Nuevo León, Mexico; value $300m.
- Advising sustainable energy development and generation company First Solar on its Mexican projects including real estate and rights of way, and participation in CENACE long-term energy auctions, among other matters.
Specialist boutique COMAD, S.C., stands apart from other firms ranked here insofar as it is closely focused on construction matters, rather than project finance. Indeed, in the construction segment it ‘demonstrates a level of experience that stands out from the rest’. Led by managing partner Roberto Hernández Garcia (‘huge experience’), with frontline support from María Isabel Rodriguez (‘high technical level and integrity’), the team has an unequalled record advising contractors and construction companies on major infrastructure projects: a case in point being its ongoing representation of joint venture Gilbane Alberici in its role as construction manager of Constellation Brands' $1.5bn and $900m brewing complexes in Mexicali (BC) and Obregón (Sonora), respectively. The practice was also counsel to Parsons International in its capacity as project manager on the now cancelled NAIM project, and continues to advise the client in relation to the wind-up and settlement issues - including arbitration. Beyond the construction sphere, recent mandates include advising T-Systems on a major government technology contract for Mexico's tax authority, SAT; and advising pharma company Grupo Laboratorios Imperiales on administrative litigation in relation to public procurement procedures.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm demonstrates a level of experience that stands out from the rest. Lawyer Roberto Hernandez and his team provide a personalized service tailored to the client’s needs. They’re lawyers with an incomparable ethical level. His experience in government procurement matters is enormous.‘
‘Roberto Hernández: huge experience, integrity.’
‘Isabel Rodríguez: technical level in the procedure. Integrity.’
Grupo Laboratorios Imperiales Pharma
- Advised Turner Construction on the contract for construction of new facilities at the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM).
- Advising significant US building company, Gray Construction, on establishing itself in the Mexican market.
- Advised Turner Construction on the evaluation of a contract for services in connection to the construction of a new mega-residential ‘B Grand’ building property.
Holland & Knight's Mexican projects and infrastructure team has a solid trajectory advising clients mainly from the energy and financial sectors. Experienced practice head Alejandro Landa is a qualified engineer as well as a lawyer, giving him particular insight into project development and infrastructure matters; while Carlos Ochoa has experience across the energy sector, regarding government procurement and public bids, and on contracts, regulatory matters and project finance. Recent matters include advising Bancomext on a loan agreement for a mining project in Sinaloa and a VAT loan agreement for the development of a 306MW power plant; and Banco Multiva on a $22m project financing for the drilling, interconnection and distribution works of seven oil-and-gas wells. Senior counsel Selene Espinosa focuses on corporate and securities law, with an emphasis on infrastructure projects (including mining, aviation and airport sectors), while associate Aldo Gonzalez Melo undertakes banking and finance work in relation to the renewables, infrastructure and technology sectors. However, partner José Antonio Prado left the firm in mid-2020.
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext)
Banco Santander México
Buenavista Renewables México
Oak Creek Energy Systems
- Advised Banco Santander México on distinct project financings for the construction of two luxury residential towers, and a luxury hotel and a commercial mall.
- Advised Buenavista Renewables México on the negotiation of a long-term PPA with Zodiac Aerospace for the supply of 100% of its electricity, capacity and Clean Energy Certificates.
- Advised Oak Creek Energy Systems on obtaining the interconnection agreement for a 306MW wind farm energy project; value, $400m.
With its historical profile in the energy sector, it is unsurprising that international firm Norton Rose Fulbright's Mexico office has a steady participation in project and infrastructure matters, primarily in relation to financings. Managing partner Hernán González Estrada is a project finance and energy specialist whose practice takes in public procurement, regulatory and antitrust matters, as well as the full implementation and development of infrastructure projects (including PPPs), and general corporate advisory. He co-leads the practice with February-2019 hire César Fernández, who was formerly legal vice-president for projects and business at Pemex. The team has been most active, of late, handling solar power financings -on both borrower and lender sides- for the likes of IDB, IFC, Bancomext and Neoen. In the oil-and-gas sector, the team advised on the $870m loan to a Netherlands-incorporated SPC as the debt component of the financing of a 15-year FPSO chartering service for Eni Mexico. Additional partner level participation comes from Raquel Bierzwinsky , who splits her time between Mexico City and New York; and on the transactional front, Leopoldo Olavarria . Associate Carlos Campuzano , who has over a decade's experience in the energy and projects sector, is also noted.
Enel Green Power
Red Kite Finance
International Finance Corporation
Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext)
Inter-American Investment Corporation
BayWa Solar Re
- Represented French renewable energy developer, Neoen, on the financing of the 375MW El Llano solar farm in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
- Represented the senior lenders in connection with the financing of the 296 MWAC Potrero solar farm in Jalisco, Mexico, which is sponsored by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.
- Represented IDB Invest, ING and Bancomext in the $180m financing extended to Kenergreen for the design, construction, commissioning and operation of the 250MWp Navojoa solar plant in Sonora, Mexico.
Ramos, Ripoll & Schuster
The Guadalajara-based Ramos, Ripoll & Schuster, which also has offices in Mexico City and Veracruz, is a 40-strong firm with a particular focus on the projects and energy sectors. On the projects side, the 14-strong practice group focuses on power generation, and pipeline and gas transportation projects, as well as infrastructure more broadly and asscoiated dispute resolution matters (primarily arbitration where Ruben Darío Gómez is the senior figure of note). The team also handles environmental law, mining and petrochemicals matters. Name partner and practice co-head Alejandro Ripoll Gonzalez focuses on bidding and concession processes, and the structuring, financing and development of energy and infrastructure projects. Fellow co-head, senior associate Guadalupe Esparza Sanchez, specializes in energy, infrastructure and project finance - including contractual matters for the construction, operation and maintenance of ports, roads and highways. Additional support comes from former practice head (now of counsel) Enrique Uruñuela López, who has extensive in-house projects experience; and associate Diego Alvarez Ampudia, whose practice also takes in arbitral matters.
‘The team is very knowledgeable in all areas relevant to our [infrastructure] business. Not only energy, environmental and construction regulations, but also law areas directly involved with our industry. For example, public contracts, project finance, labor, social security, immigration, foreign trade, tax, corporate, real estate, among others. This allows us to have one complete solution on a cost and time efficient basis. Additionally they understand in practice our industry. They are not only at the desk, but also at the project site learning our challenges and proposing positive solutions. This helps us move faster in our risk analysis and project development. RRS has helped us, as international company, adapt faster to the Mexican market.‘
‘We have worked with Alejandro Ripoll since 2011. He has helped the company merge our culture and way of doing business with industry practices and regulations in Mexico and other latin American countries. In addition to his knowledge in the legal field, what we value most is his involvement in achieving the company’s goals, and helping us as executives to deliver results to our shareholders. He cares about us and this makes us feel he is part of our team. Alejandro Ripoll and his team deliver 24/7. We have taken Alejandro and his team to help us in projects outside Mexico, like Honduras, Cuba, Costa Rica and Perú. In addition to his legal expertise that allows us to understand and mitigate industry and country risks, Alejandro brings to our table project opportunities to consider. Senior Associate Lupita Esparza makes a good match with Alejandro. Together they align interests and complement each othere very well to deliver results.‘
China Communications Construction Company (and subsidiaries)
China Harbour Engineering Company
Gobierno del Estado de Aguascalientes
Rengen Energy Solutions
DM Solar / Grupo Ecológico RGK
Mexico Power Group
Goldbeck Solar Mexico
Black Creek Helios
Terminales Portuarias del Pacifico
- Advised China Communications Construction on its successful participation in the bid to undertake the construction of the new $135m Veracruz port terminal and all related contracts and agreements.
- Advised Terminales Portuarias del Pacífico (TPP) on all legal matters associated with the modification of its $70m concession as the only operator of a pubic-service port terminal specialised in minerals and steel derivatives to allow a variation in permissable minimum volumes.
- Represented a consortium comprising Egismex, EgisRail and Transconsuly on its successful bid for the $25m contract for the supervision of rail stock materials and specialized machinery for Metro Line 3 in Guadalajara.
- Represented Grupo Lauman on its successful bid to win the PPP contract for the construction of new prison facilities in Papantla and in the process of procuring the necessary financing. Value, $200m-plus.
Traditional full-service firm Santamarina y Steta is a constant presence, primarily on the finance side of project and infrastructure development. Both well-reputed international corporate finance lawyers, transactional practice head Juan Carlos Machorro and Sergio Chagoya co-lead the projects group; the pair have some 50 years' experience -including project finance and infrastructure matters- between them. Past years have seen them particularly active advising state-owned development bank Banobras. More recent mandates include advising Abengoa subsidiary Abent 3T on the execution of a $381m credit facility with Banco Santander, as well acquisitions in the renewables sector, mid-stream hydrocarbons matters, and a particular niche strength in relation to port developments and financings. It is also active in various municipal public-lighting PPPs. Additional key figures in the small group include Ricardo Orea Montaño, who was appointed partner in Janaury 2020 and associate Margarita Casarin, who both have broad experience across both project development and financing; while senior Gustavo Mendoza, and associate Diego Ostos, are more strictly finance focused.
‘Responsiveness: Juan Carlos Machorro, Ricardo Orea and Margarita Casarin.‘
Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (Banobras)
DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
Sabcapital (a subsidiary of Banco Sabadell)
- Advised Abengoa subsidiary, Abent 3T, on the execution of a $381m credit facility with Banco Santander,