Real estate in Mexico

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

For some, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is the ‘best real estate law firm in Mexico’,: its team has ‘great technical abilities in real estate, plus all of the relevant ancillary sectors (environmental, permitting, trust formation, etc.)’, and the lawyers are ‘incredibly thorough and hardworking (they have all studied and worked abroad)’. The large, ‘well-rounded’ team has ‘the capacity to handle big deals’ and advises multinational and domestic developers, promoters, tourism and hospitality companies, and investors (including international real estate funds, Mexican CKDs, CERPIs and FIBRAs), on the legal and regulatory aspects of direct or structured investments in (/or acquisitions of) real estate properties in the industrial, retail, commercial, tourism & leisure, residential and urban segments. In recent highlight work, the group advised CKD Finsa on a $2.9m sale of a land in the state of Querétaro, and CKD Finsa-Walton Street Capital in the $5.8m purchase and subdivision of an industrial building in the state of Nuevo Leon. It also acted for Trinity Investments, Walton Street Capital, and Oaktree Capital Management on their indirect acquisition of the Mexican entities that hold interest in the real estate property known as Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort located in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur; and for W.P. Carey in the $17m acquisition and lease-back of an industrial building located in the state of San Luis Potosi. In the FIBRA area, the team advised FIBRA Macquarie Mexico on the sale of 35 non-strategic industrial assets from the portfolio of FIBRA Macquarie Mexico; and FIBRA Prologis on the $64.5m acquisition of three industrial properties. Carlos de Icaza and Francisco Montalvo lead the team from Mexico City and Monterrey, respectively. De Icaza is highly valued for his leadership, while Montalvo is a ‘solid real estate lawyer: business-oriented and well known in the market as one of the best’. Working alongside him in Monterrey, the very active Badir Treviño-Mohamed is valued for his ‘attention to detail, client involvement, and commercial sensibility’. Mexico City-based Carlos del Río is also recommended. Of the younger lawyers, the names that stand out are senior associate Alfonso Pulido (‘very detailed in his work and always goes the extra mile’), and associates Brenda Elizondo and Rogelio Rueda; additional names to note include senior associates Pilar Orozco and Carlos Yamamoto , and counsel Valentina Villa. Clients include MIRA Companies, Mexico Retail Properties, O’Connor Capital Partners, RLH Properties, Tesla, Dmita, WeWork, Southern Cross, Nucor, FIBRA Terrafina, Trinity Mexican Fund, and GIC.

A&H Haiat y Amezcua

Key practitioner Javier Cortina left Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. in July 2018 to join consultancy firm A&H Haiat y Amezcua; while his departure was much commented on, the firm's practice group continues to be considered one of the ‘go-to’ destinations for real estate matters considering that ‘the lawyers have been involved in so many and such complex deals’. Indeed, recent work  included advising key client, residential property developer BeGrand, as sponsor (and two of its affiliates) on the establishment of its first CKD Fund for a total amount of MXN$4bn, as well as in the public offering and initial issuance of development certificates (CKDs) for an amount of MXN$800m. The team also continued to advise Hoteles Parks Hospitality on the negotiation of several agreements with Hilton and Grupo Posadas for the management of hotels located in different parts of Mexico; and acted as Mexican counsel to a group of lenders managed by Goldman Sachs in a $95.6m financing for the acquisition of the Hilton Los Cabos Hotel by Trinity Investments and various funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management and affiliates of Walton Street Capital. The 13-strong practice group also handles the regulatory, M&A, and environmental aspects of real estate, and -notably- houses an expert real estate tax team and lawyers who specialise in the contracting of rights of way, rights of use and similar structures necessary for infrastructure products such as roads, gas ducts, energy plants and wind farms. 'Exprienced and dedicated' practice head Lorenza Langarica, Eugenio Macouzet de León and Manuel Echave are the key real estate partners; founding partner Pablo Mijares is another name to note, as is Francisco Ibañez. Key support comes from senior associate Carlos Jiménez, associates Fernando Molina Ostos and Armando Elsharkawy, the latter a tax specialist. Clients include Fibra Monterrey, Grupo Presidente, Banco Sabadell, Ball Corporation, Acciona - Parque Reforma, Advance Real Estate, and Lasalle Investment Management.

Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC

The 22 lawyers at Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC ‘handle matters with the commitment and importance as if they were their own’, notes one client. As is the case in the finace sector the core of the sizeable team (which includes nine partners) has been working together for over 20 years. Over that time it has handled the full gamut of real estate finance; the development of residential, business, retail, industrial and hospitality properties; real estate funds; foreign investment trusts and other investment vehicles; time-shares and fractional ownership systems; acquisitions, sales and sale-leasebacks; joint ventures; dispositions; private and public securities offerings; acquisitions of properties through debt-to-equity conversions; security interests; infrastructure projects; due diligence work including environmental and zoning regulations; and leasing. In recent highlights the team assisted FibraHotel with a MXN$1bn secured loan facility granted by Banorte for the acquisition and construction of hotels; advised Banco Sabadell, Banamex, HSBC México, Banco Monex, CAIXA Bank, and SabCapital on the $211m financing for the acquisition of the Hyatt Regency Mexico hotel; and acted for Be Grand, as investor, on the public offering of MXN$800m CKDs in the Mexican market. The practice is lead by ‘very intelligent’ name partner Michell Nader, who is a stalwart of the market, 'very much active' and a reference for his finance expertise; other key practitioners includeprojects and PPP specialist Vanessa Franyutti, Eduardo Villanueva, and Alejandro Rojas . Their fellow partners Javier Arreola, Hans Goebel, Julián Garza , Gunter Schwandt, and Adrián López G. are also active in the sector. Clients include GE Real Estate México, Prudential Real Estate Investors / Prudential Mortgage, Metlife, MSD Capital, Inmobiliaria Helmer, Verde Realty and Vertex.

Ritch, Mueller y Nicolau, S.C.

'Without doubt one of the leading firms for real estate' matters in Mexico, Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. handles prmarily high-end domestic transactions. The group represented Fibra MTY, for example, as purchaser and landlord in the $135m sale-and-lease-back of Whirlpool’s corporate and industrial campus in Monterrey, comprising offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution buildings in an area of 384,451m². Other noteable mandates include advising a joint venture between Walton Street and Copri on land acquisitions and the development of a MXP$2bn high-end housing complex in the area known as Parque la Mexicana; Thor Urbana in connection with the MXP$537m acquisition of Artha Capital’s interest in the development of a mixed-use project in Tijuana; and Thor Urbana Capital on its $75m acquisition of a shopping centre in Cancun. It also advised MREIT, a real estate private equity fund sponsored by Credit Suisse in Mexico, on a $53m loan secured by real estate assets in favour of Grupo Jomer; and Walton Street Capital on its  $183m acquisition of the JW Marriot hotel in Mexico City. Rodrigo Conesa leads the 19-strong team; he is ‘superb’ and ‘definitely a star player’; Javier Domínguez Torrado is the other key name to note; senior associates Gabriel Torres, Santiago Carrillo Cattori  and Héctor Cárdenas Ortega provide 'steady support'. Other clients include CCLA (a joint venture between CIM and Compass), Ivanhoe Cambridge, DD3 Capital and Reichmann International.

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.

A significant team of 37 lawyers handle real estate matters at Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C., working primarily from its offices in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Tijuana. An ‘important practice’ group, its comprehensive offering includes legal due diligence, acquisitions, sales, the leasing and development of all types of properties and projects, legal structuring, investment funds, associated tax strategy, asset financing and securitisation (REITs and CKDs), and project development via public-private partnerships (PPP), as well as infrastructure projects related to power, oil and gas, water, railways, ports, airports, highways and mining. Recent work saw teams from the geographically diversified practice advise: the Mexican subsidiary of pharmaceuticals manufacturer Synthon on the $40m development of a new 20 hectare pharmaceutical facility in Jalisco; Playa del Mango-owner,  Magness Group,on the development of a high-end residential complex in Careyes, also in Jalisco, as well as on a joint venture to build and operate a Polo Club with Barns; Koch Industries subsidiary Molex with the expansion and consolidation of its operations in Guadalajara involving the acquisition of 25 hectares of land in Centro Logístico Jalisco II for the development and construction of a new $200m industrial manufacturing facility; Opin on the $150m development of a mixed-use project including a hotel, offices and commercial units in Guadalajara; and Marriott and Paralelo 19 on the $112.5m sale of 100% of the W Hotel Mexico City to SeRodina and the negotiation of accompanying operating agreements. Monterrey-based, the very active Juan Bernardo Garcia leads the practice in conjunction with Jose Larroque in Tijuana; other key practitioners are Gaspar Gutierrez-Centeno in Mexico City and Fabian Monsalve-Agraz in Guadalajara; key support comes from associates Roberto Cantu-Dessommes and Gabriela Saucedo in Monterrey. Clients include United States Department of State, Lowe’s, Whirlpool, Macquarie, UBER, Twitter, Nexxus/Javer, Magna, ABC Group, Hines, Nidec Americas Holding Corporation, Fujifilm, St. Clair Technologies and McDermott.

Galicia Abogados S.C.

Highly rated by clients and peers, the six-strong practice at Galicia Abogados S.C. is ‘proactive, full of empathy, available, and gives its best to successfully execute transactions’; moreover the lawyers ‘know how to work with internal teams and with counterparts without causing a conflict or power struggle’. The group recently advised key client HSBC on a $336m financing for the acquisition by MREIT (a CKD sponsored by Credit Suisse-sponsored) of Blackstone’s commercial real estate loan portfolio, valued at $621m; and assisted Prudential Global Investment Management (PGIM) with the MXN$1.3bn acquisition of three retail centres through a joint venture with developer Central de Arquitectura. In associate matters, the team advises on due diligence and risk analysis (including environmental and regulatory), leasing, urbanisation, development and operation of properties, the incorporation of condominiums and fractional ownership, public and private investment, procedures before the authorities and legal audits, for clients such as FINSA, Acosta Verde, Macquarie, Promecap, Artha Capital, Acciona Parque Reforma, Walton Street Capital, Alignmex Real Estate Capital, Banamex, Azora Capital, Grupo Sordo Madaleno, BK Partners, Fibra HD, Planigrupo and Santander. Practice head Alejandro Trujillo 'knows the sector intimately', having moved to the firm in October 2015 after ten years as general counsel at GE Capital Real Estate; as one client put it: ‘having worked both in private practice and in-house, he is business-oriented and creative in finding legal structures that address clients’ concerns both in terms of risk management and business objectives’. José Visoso’s ‘best quality is his experience’. Ramiro Sandoval, who made partner in January 2018 and whose expertise includes M&A, is a ‘young partner with the expertise and dynamism of a principal one’; ‘he treats the client’s business as his own and follows up at all times’. Associate José Miguel López González is also noted.

González Calvillo, SC

The ten-strong practice group at González Calvillo, SC gain clients’ trust because ‘they are very honest and results-driven; know that the clients need both quick and great results; and  at the same time they are very technical and aware of all applicable laws’. The group advises on real estate project development and related corporate and financing matters, as well as on transactions in which the underlying asset is real estate, pre-construction and construction projects, Fibras, leasing, management agreements, tax-efficient structuring, planning, land use and related disputes. Recent highlight mandates saw the team assist Regus with its business expansion and development plans, consisting of the opening of new business centre locations throughout Mexico; advise Reichmann International on the management and operation of its diverse portfolio of properties in Mexico City, including Torre Mayor and Torre Diana; and represent US-based cattle-hide processing company, Twin City Hide, in the MXN$24m purchase of industrial real estate in León from Cimsa Industrial Park. Other matters included advising Baker Hughes on the leasing agreements for the installation of operating plants in Tuxpan, Veracruz; Bancomext on a $53m financing granted to Inmobiliaria Insurgentes 421 for the development of a new 415-room hotel in Mexico City; and BanCoppel on the MXN$600m financing (in conjunction with Banco Actinver) to S/K Cabo San Lucas Holdings for the ongoing development of a residential and tourism real estate development at Cabo San Lucas. The very active Alfredo Chávez Goyeneche co-heads the practice with the 'busy, visible' Gonzalo Vargas Ateca and Miguel Valle, who also handles M&A and governance work; key support comes from of counsel Erika Olguín Valencia and senior associate Paulina Sellerier. Other clients include Marriot International, McDonald’s, Avviare Inmobiliaria, InterContinental Hotels Group, Canamex International, and UST Global.

Greenberg Traurig, S.C.

At Greenberg Traurig, S.C. the ‘partners and their teams go above and beyond clients’ expectations all the time’. The 11-strong practice can also count on the firm’s pool of 31 real estate counsel worldwide to advise property developers, lenders, investment managers, private equity funds, REITs, operators, joint ventures, sovereign wealth funds, international developers, and private owners on property acquisition and investment, development, management and leasing, financing, restructuring, and disposition of all real estate segments and asset classes, including commercial, recreational, and residential real estate, structured equity, structured debt and hybrid structures. The team represented Hyatt Hotels, recently, on the $400m sale of a subsidiary that owns the Hyatt Regency Mexico City and adjacent land to Sordo Madaleno and Fernando Chico Pardo; and advised key client PGIM Real Estate in the negotiation and implementation of a  MXP$6bn joint venture with Mexican real estate developer Opera Desarrolladora for the acquisition and development of residential projects in Mexico City. Other matters included assisting Great Wolf Resorts with the construction and development of a  MXN$2.8bn water park, its first in Mexico; ICM Immobilien with its U$30m acquisition of three properties for a mixed-use project in Mexico City; and Walton Street Capital in a $107.9m credit facility granted by Metropolitan Life Insurance for the acquisition of the JW Marriott hotel in Mexico City. Practice head Antonio Diez de Bonilla Martinez is 'well known and well positioned'; and is now flanked by ‘outstanding’ practitioner Gerardo Carrillo, who joined the firm from Haynes and Boone, SC in mid-2018. Miguel Moisés is another name to note; while senior associate Roberto Guerrero C is ‘by far the best associate in the industry’, according to one client; he is ‘extremely diligent and time- and cost-sensitive’; Julio Sardina, another senior associate, is also recommended. Clients include Greystar, Grupo Lar, Paladin Realty, Desarrolladora del Parque, Accor Hotels, Metrobuildings, Mira Companies, One Properties, Round Hill Capital, Hard Rock International, SBE Group and RLH Properties.

Hogan Lovells

Twelve lawyers handle real estate at Hogan Lovells, focusing on the hospitality, industrial, commercial, leisure, retail and residential segments, as well as infrastructure and automotive development projects, and covering the full range of real estate matters for developers, investors, investment funds, and other companies. In recent highlight work the team assisted Parks Desarrolladora with the expansion of the number of apartments to be built for the $230m Stampa housing project in Mexico City and with additional leasing matters in the capital; advised AstraZeneca on the $7.25m sale of a section of one of its industrial plants; and Energía Nueva Energía Limpia and EDF Renewables Desarrollo México on drafting sale and purchase agreements and rights of way for the implementation of energy projects, as well as on legal due diligence for the acquisition of other projects. The team is co-lead by Ángel Domínguez De Pedro and Juan Francisco Torres Landa in Mexico City, and Guillermo González Frankenberger in Monterrey; counsel Fernando Medina Luna provides support. Other clients include Abanca and Federal Mogul Group.

Jones Day

In highlight work, Jones Day advised MGM Innova Capital, as seller and lessor, in a structured finance transaction with Promotora Sunset Beach Clubs. Other work saw the six-strong team handle real estate transactions ranging from due diligence processes for the purchase or development of land, houses, buildings, plants, hotels and factories, to operations requiring finance and tax expertise; it also undertakes the development of real estate investment vehicles under Mexican law; agrarian matters (ejido and communal property and series T shares), and land use, zoning and environmental work. Moreover, it can also count on a global real estate team of over 100 lawyers. The ‘very talentedManuel Romano heads the practice; environment specialist Mauricio Llamas is another key practitioner; and Rodrigo Gómez provides tax expertise. Other clients include Procter & Gamble, Mision XII, Lowe’s Companies, and the Holley Group.

Santamarina y Steta

Market stalwart Santamarina y Steta is a longstanding presence in Mexico's real estate sector, and with offices in Mexico City, Monterrey, Querétaro and Tijuana, is well positioned to attend the specificities of local marktets. The team acts for developers, constructors, administrators, trustees and realtors on transactional, financial and development matters, including in relation to industrial warehouses, distribution and shopping centres, offices, housing complexes, tourist developments, mixed-use complexes, airports, and ejidal properties. In recent work, the group advised Mullen Real Estate Holdings on the sale of its equity interests in the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun Hotel. Tijuana-based Aarón Levet is very well regarded; Vicente Grau and César Cruz Ayala are the key contacts in Mexico City and Monterrey, respectively.

CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow

CMS Woodhouse Lorente Ludlow has gained loyalty from its clients by ‘adapting to the changes that there have been in the real estate market in Mexico in a very professional way’. The core team of four is small but the practice -long one of the pillars of the office- is thoroughly integrated with sibling practices including infrastructure and projects. It advises on the purchase and development of commercial, residential, office, industrial and mixed-use real estate projects; on structuring joint ventures for the development of real estate; on the lease of commercial, industrial and logistics real estate properties; land use rights and rights of way for real estate, infrastructure projects and private and agrarian properties; and on day-to-day issues, including the leasing and administration of real estate portfolios. Headline mandates included assisting key client Cinépolis with a joint venture for the development of a MXN$126.7bn shopping centre in Oaxaca; and on a joint venture with Grupo Sordo Madaleno and other institutional investors for the development of a MXN$4bn shopping centre, this one in Mexico City's Paseo de la Reforma. The team also continued to advise Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and CKD Infraestructura México (CKD IM) on the due diligence of more than 300 agrarian plots and private properties located in different states of Mexico where eight different solar and wind power generation projects are being operated or in construction. In other work the group assists Union Investment with day-to-day leasing and administration of the client’s €500m real estate portfolio in Mexico; as well as Deka Immobilien with day-to-day real estate legal management of the Terret, PWC and Torre de los Parques buildings, the day-to-day leasing and administration of the client’s $500m real estate portfolio, and with large asset purchases and general corporate matters, such as corporate real estate structures. The team is co-led by Enrique Lorente Ludlow and César Lechuga; Lorente Ludlow ‘is the backbone of the legal team from day one. One of his biggest strengths is that you can always rely on him to resolve problems without escalating the situation. He is someone you want on your team rather than on the other side’; associate María José Estrada is another active team member. Other clients include Opera Desarrolladora and Solar Century.

Cuesta Campos y Asociados S.C.

Clients rely on Cuesta Campos y Asociados S.C. because of the lawyers’ ‘responsiveness and accessibility’, ’closeness to the client and involvement in each matter. Each one of the lawyers is trustworthy and they all have the same high-level of knowledge’. Domestically, the firm has offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara and El Bajío; internationally it is part of the MERITAS global network. The 6-strong team handles the transactional aspects of real estate and associated tax matters, as well as handling technical and regulatory issues such as urbanisation and environment; recent work has seen the team active primarily in the hospitality, industrial and commercial sectors. The firm assisted new client Decathlon on opening a 4,000m² shop in Guadalajara; Jabil-Nypro with the expansion of its operations in Mexico involving the negotiation and closing of several lease agreements for industrial facilities in the cities of Chihuahua, Monterrey, Tijuana and Guadalajara; Reprocesadora Industrial in relation to the $7.5m lease of one of its property in Jalisco by a subsidiary of Grupo Pochteca and involving environmental law matters given the lessee’s activities in handling raw and therefore potentially hazardous materials; and, in León, the team advised Japanese hotel group Toyoko Inn on the acquisition of a piece of land in a prime part of the city. Based in Guadalajara, practice head Berenice Soto (who made partner in December 2018) is an ‘outstanding professional’: she has ‘a really good attitude and she is always aware of all the topics. Efficiency is one of her strengths’. Her work is supported by that of associate Jesús Bueno, who is also Guadalajara-based. The team works closely with the corporate and M&A practice, with support coming from Azucena Marin, Hugo Cuesta and principal associate Luis Enrique Regil. Other clients include Nike, Quinn Fiduciary Services, Daimler, ZF Sachs, Grupo DMI, Interamerican Development Bank and ABC Polymer.

DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano

Respected by the market, DLA Piper Gallastegui y Lozano represents national and multinational parties in the full spectrum of business real estate transactions, including financing, fund formation, acquisitions and disposals; tax, land use environmental law; planning and development and construction and leasing; the practice can also turn to the firm’s international network on multijurisdictional matters. In recent highlights, the team assisted Four Seasons implement the Costa Palmas hotel and residential project in Los Cabos, including a management agreement with the developer Desarrolladora La Ribera; and Kimpton Hotels with opening two hotels in Mexico City. Marriott International is another hospitality sector client. The practice is jointly led by Roger Meltzer in New York and Mexico City managing partner Eduardo Gallastegui; key local specialists include María Eugenia Ríos Espinosa and Maria Gabriela Alana Castro, both of whom have a good reputation in the market.

Holland & Knight

Holland & Knight fields ‘an impressive group of professionals, not only knowledgeable in the legal discipline but also great to work with. Moreover, they have amazing response times’. The eight-strong practice (which can also draw on the support of the firm’s international network) provides national and cross-border advice on real estate transactions related to the hospitality, industrial, commercial, retail, residential, sporting and fractional segments, on the development, financing, construction, and planning of real estate projects; tax structuring and planning; environmental matters; assets securitisation deals, securitisations, FIBRAS, CKDs, and SPACs; and real estate in the energy sector. The Mexico City and New York offices were retained by Marriot International, recently, to advise on its joint venture with Thor Urbana for the  development and operation of a Ritz Carlton hotel in Costa Canuva, Nayarit. In the FIBRA segment, the Mexico team advised regular client Fibra Uno on a MXN$9.2bn debt issuance; and Fibra Educa on its debut on the Mexican Stock Exchange, which raised almost MXN$9.43bn. Luis Moreno and Guillermo Uribe co-lead the team; Roxana Burciaga, Selene Espinosa, senior counsel Adrián Gay, and associate Jorge González Carlini are all active practitioners. Other clients include Bancomext, PB Exhibit, Western Alliance Bank, PETRONAS, Bricks Acquisition Company, Fibra Inn, Fibra HD, Helios – CKD Fund and Victoria CKD Fund (Parks Hospitality Group).

Ibarra, del Paso y Gallego

The 13 lawyers at boutique firm Ibarra del Paso y Gallego combine the hospitality and transactional real estate practice with their sibling capabilities in environment, corporate/M&A, and energy and infrastructure. Specific work includes the development and operation of timeshare regimes, the structuring of acquisitions, financing, development, construction, leasing, rights of way and easements, disposition and regularisation of real properties, and accompaniment of high-net-worth individuals in matters of disposition and development of real properties, together with corresponding tax and estate planning matters. Recent highlight work for the team involved ongoing advice to Grupo IGS on the preparation, negotiation and formalisation of the acquisition of an $85m portfolio of industrial real estate assets from Macquarie Mexico; as well as counsel to ATCO on the development of a $50m natural gas pipeline through the state of Hidalgo, in the context of a contract awarded by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the first of its kind since Mexico's 2013 Energy Reform. The group was also instructed by Hilton Grand Vacations on the acquisition of a hotel and club in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur. The team is co-led by Carlos Pablo Ibarra Fernández and the ‘greatGerardo Gallego Díaz de León; Adrián del Paso handles environmental law matters; Juan Miguel Martínez-Mendieta handles disputes; an support comes from senior associates Alejandra Gutiérrez Pérez-Avena and Sandra Jiménez Huerta. Other clients include JLL, Marriot Vacations, Grupo Radio Fórmula, Grupo CIPSA, WeWork, Grupo Escato and Nexeo Solutions.

Kuri Breña, Sánchez Ugarte y Aznar

Highlight work for Kuri Breña, Sánchez Ugarte y Aznar included advising Prologis on various real estate acquisitions for warehousing and logistics facilities, as well as land sales and long-term leases on behalf of institutional clients. The team counselled longstanding clients Vinte Viviendas Integrales (as part of a joint venture with OHL Mexico), on an extension to the MXP$50m loan granted by Banregio for the development of a residential project in Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen; Nissan Mexicana on long term leases for office space for  the new headquarters of Nissan and Renault in two different locations in Mexico City; and ThyssenKrupp on long term leases for manufacturing facilities in Puebla and Chihuahua, as well as a long term lease and the sale of a building. The six-strong team practice covers leasing and real estate development; financing and securitisation of cash flows originating from real estate properties; joint ventures; and cross-border transactions including acquisition, disposition, leasing and development of industrial, hotels and commercial properties. Practice co-heads Luis Octavio Núñez and Guillermo Garay 'know real estate like few others'.

Romo Paillés, S.C.

The team at Romo Paillés, S.C. ‘has the ability to think outside the box, bringing original, wise and practical solutions to any situation that arises, always within the frame of the law'. Its lawyers 'seek and achieve win-win negotiations' and 'keep us from getting diverted from the core of the business or the deal that is being negotiated, saving precious time and resources’. Real estate is one of the cornerstones of this small corporate firm and all nine of its lawyers handle the full range of real estate matters, with a focus on the residential, retail and hospitality sectors. Recent mandates saw the team assist Hasbro with the due diligence process and negotiation of an $18.2m lease agreement for a distribution centre of approximately 408,000sq. ft in greater metropolitan Mexico City, with Prologis as lessor; acted for key client Walmart on the acquisition of a 166,150m² property located in Sacramento, Chihuahua for the development and operation of a distribution centre; and advised Banobras on the negotiation and preparation of a loan agreement’s fifth restated amendment for the addition of a new credit line of $30.5m to finance the construction of a new tranche of the Lerma-Santiago federal highway. Other finance-side matters included advising the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on a $22.1m construction loan to Promotora Higa for the construction of a 281 apartment real estate project of in the south of Mexico City. María Teresa Paillés is ‘highly experienced, not only in legally structuring the deal but in the real estate industry in general. She is there for doubts, comments and negotiations’. Her fellow practice co-heads  María Esther Rey and with Rafael Romo are also well regarded. Other clients include Grupo Frondoso and Dielsa. Since publication -in March 2020- Paillés and Rey have moved to SMPS Legal.

Sánchez Devanny

The eight-lawyer, Sánchez Devanny real estate team punches above its weight servicing an impressive roster of clients. The group deals with private and public investment vehicles, acquisition and sale of assets, leasing, development and construction of projects, due diligence and financing; title searches, surveys, appraisals and environmental studies; insurance; regulatory and compliance matters; land use and zoning matters; permits and licenses; incorporations; joint ventures; timeshare and fractional property facilities; trusts; and ejidos. Recent work includes advisng longstanding client Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) on leases for six new flagship stores and the construction and opening of eight other premises, bringing the client’s total in Mexico to 40. In similar work, it represented Sally Beauty Supply on leases for ten new stores; the client now has 240 nationwide. 'Very active', Monterrey-based Rafael Villamar-Ramos is lauded for his ‘very strong negotiation skills; he is a facilitator of deals’. He co-leads the team with the similarly busy, Mexico City-based Diego Gómez-Haro Katznelson, who joined the firm in June 2018 from Blackstone Group; Monterrey-based Alfredo Villarreal Hansmann, who recently made partner, is also an integral part of the growing practice group. Other clients incude include Airbnb, IKEA, Ikano Industries, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Under Armour, IMPRO Industries and Bendix.

SMPS Legal

The eight-lawyer team at SMPS Legal represent clients in all types of real estate and asset transactions, including sales and purchases, leasing, financing, development and construction, and liens on real estate assets, as well as handling audits, and regulatory, tax and environmental matters. Uniquely, the firm has offices in Mexico City, Dallas, Calgary, and Bogotá. Recent matters include assisting T69 with a corporate restructuring which involved establishing a condominium regime, the development and commercialisation of a landmark 58-story building located on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City; ATCO-Ranman Energia, a co-investment, on the acquisition of land and rights of way from an industrial park property owner  for the construction and development of a $2.6m power cogeneration plant;  Vidarq on the legal tax structure, development and sale of a $40m commercial and residential development in Insurgentes-San Angel, Mexico City; and the Rincon Gallardo Family on the structuring and pre-development of a 120 hectare solar power generation park in the state of Hidalgo. Dividing his time between Mexico City and Dallas, Eduardo Pizarro co-heads the practice in conjunction with Alejandro Ortiz; other team members include Andres Pizarro Suarez, who made partner in January 2019. Clients include O’Donnell Group, Cimbra Capital, Centauro Capital, Museum of Abstract Art Manuel Felguerez and Pesorama. Since publication the practice has been boosted significantly with the March 2020 arrival of María Teresa Paillés and María Esther Rey, formerly of Romo Paillés, S.C.


Luis Gonzalez and Fernando Eraña co-head the seven-strong team at SOLCARGO, which offers a broad range of commercial real estate expertise integrated with adjacent areas -such as regulatory, environmental and administrative law and litigation- to clients primarily from the financial, energy, technology and infrastructure sectors. Recent highlight work for the team included advising Akivinta on the negotiation and documentation for the brokerage services for the sale of Hotel One, Hotel Villa Mexicana Club de Golf Balvanera and hotel Green Tower Mexico for a total of $80m; the Export and Import Bank of China on a facility agreement provided to a Chinese company for the purchase of land in Nuevo León for the development of an industrial park; Bertram on the due diligence process of the Mexican subsidiary of Perennials; and Mediamonks on the establishment of its Mexico City office in Polanco, as well as on its subsequent expansion to the La Condesa neighbourhood. González and Eraña are supported by associates Juan Carlos Izaza Avila, Rodrigo Muñoz D, and Carlos Ugalde. Other clients include A-Live and Compañia Casa Dragones de México.

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. advised longstanding client Kansas City Southern Mexico on real estate and environmental issues regarding the development of a major oil-products terminal in the state of San Luis Potosi, undertaken as a joint venture with Valoran and Watco. It also provides regular real estate and environmental advice to Grupo Barramar, including with regard to the Isla , comprising a 500-hectare Isla Navidad project and the Punta Vela development, which includes a hotel, residences and a marina; and continued to assist Fibra Shop on multiple acquisitions, notably those of shopping centres "La Perla" in Jalisco ($76m), "Sentura" in Tlanepantla $22m), and "Puerta La Victoria" in Querétaro ($145m). Other matters included advising Sonoco regarding the leases for its Mexican operations. The 10-lawyer team is co-lead by Álvaro Garza-Galván and counsel Pedro Morales; Vicente Corta, Carlos Mainero and Francisco García-Naranjo are other names to note.

Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C.

Thirteen lawyers cover real estate at full service firm Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C., handling both stand-alone real estate matters and with those that form part of wider corporate mandates. The practice group undertakes negotiations; the buying, selling, leasing and financing of commercial, industrial, hospitality and residential developments; land use and zoning issues; rights-of-way and other easements; ejido matters; constitutional restrictions on the ownership of land by non-Mexicans; investigating and registering property in public property registries, including preparing reports on title; acquiring water supply and wastewater discharge authorisations; expropriations; representation before relevant agencies; and regulatory and compliance. Recent mandates saw the team advise CM Hotel regarding a $157m loan from Banco Santander México to finance the development of a five-star Planet Hollywood hotel in Quintana Roo; and assist PE-group Blue Equity with the sale of a luxury resort located in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, near Tulum, also in Quintana Roo. The team’s five partners -Juan José López de Silanes, Jesús Colunga, Daniel Del Rio, Juan Carlos Serra and Amilcar García- all co-lead; associates Gerson Vaca and environmental specialist Ricardo Evangelista provide key support. Other clients include PPG Industries, Vichisa and Exxon Mobil.

Sainz Abogados

The team at Cervantes Sainz, S.C. handles transactional work, leasing, developments, regulatory issues, and land use and zoning matters, among others. Recent caseload highlights included assisting major client PGIM with the due diligence and the acquisition of approximately 250,000m² of land in the states of Mexico, Guanajuato and Chihuahua, as well as on the leasing of several industrial properties located in the states of Mexico and Querétaro; advisng BayWare on the due diligence of 988 hectares spread across the country as well as with the acquisition of 488 hectares located in Guanajuato; and acting for Riberalta on the negotiation, structuring and development of a 31-unit condominium building in the Polanco district of Mexico City. Other clients include TERRAFINA, Alignmex Real Estate Capital, and Prologis. Daniel Saltzberg, Manuel Corona, and Luis Cervantes are key practitioners; specialised associate Ximena Hernández is also noted.

Creel Abogados, SC

Creel Abogados, SC provides advice on a wide variety of real estate transactions, including in the residential, industrial, commercial and tourism segments, handling the purchase, sale and lease of real estate assets; the design and structuring of condominium property and time-sharing regimes; the development, construction, management and operation of real estate projects; permits and authorisations; private and public real estate funds; and joint ventures. Clients of the practice have included Edgewell, Exclusive Resorts, Grupo Desarrolla, Kerzner International, Groupe Danone, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company and Westmont Hospitality Group. Practice head Jorge Torres is a reference in the market; Gustavo Struck Creel, Alfonso Razú and Patricio Martinez Osorio are also key practitioners.

EC Rubio

Fielding a total of 65 lawyers across offices in Mexico City, Querétaro, Irapuato, and Ciudad Juárez, EC Legal Rubio Villegas has a strong focus on industrial investment. In March 2019 it merged with Chihuahuan firm BGM Consultores Legales, while in July 2019 it opened its sixth office in Puebla. The team handles acquisitions, due diligence, financing, construction projects, leases and management agreements, resolution of title deficiencies, zoning, planning and land-use issues, and real estate property tax and property recording issues. Carlos Enríquez and Renato Martínez co-head the practice, with both working between Mexico City and Ciudad Juárez as necessary. Other noted team members include Jaime O’Reilly in Ciudad Juárez, Sergio de la Rocha  in Querétaro, and César Ochoa, who also works between Mexico City and Ciudad Juárez. Clients have included Corporación Inmobiliaria Vesta, Artha Capital, Fibra Nova, Grupo Bafar and Promotora y Urbanizadora Cever.

Goodrich, Riquelme y Asociados

Goodrich, Riquelme y Asociados advises on the full range of real estate matters, including finance, REITs, debt and equity financing, development, construction, regeneration, leasing and asset management, tenant and occupier-related matters  and cross-border investments. Past clients include Walmart, Sarrel, The Cabaña and Novus Nutrition. Luis Uriel Pérez leads the team - his practice is a broad-ranging corporate one; José Luis Vega made partner in January 2019; and associate Astrid Galaviz is another name to note.