Always keeping up with the ‘latest regulations, interpretations and trends in the tax world’, the large practice at Basham, Ringe y Correa, S.C. covers the full array of tax mandates, although it is best known for its top-notch expertise in tax controversy - especially regarding transfer-pricing disputes. A group of six well-rounded practitioners head this notable department, which is valued by clients for its ‘deep knowledge of the effects of reorganisations in Mexico’ as well as for the lawyers' ‘close relationship with local authorities'. Key practice figures include: skilled litigator Gerardo Nieto; seasoned tax expert Gil Zenteno, who is also very prominent on tax controversy mandates; Alejandro Barrera, lauded by clients for his ‘extensive knowledge of his country's taxes’ as well as for his expertise, especially regarding corporate tax and transfer pricing; Francisco Matus, who is specialised in financial taxation; Victor Barajas, who has a particular focus on private wealth matters; and Sergio Barajas, who heads the international trade and customs area. They manage a team of over 20 associates which is regularly sought out by relevant names - particularly from the mining, automotive, retail, and energy industry.
Tax in Mexico
Gerardo Nieto; Gil Zenteno G.; Alejandro Barrera; Víctor Barajas; Sergio Barajas; Francisco Matus
‘The team led by expert Alejandro Barrera is characterised by its extensive experience in the Mexican tax area and its deep knowledge of the effects of reorganisations in Mexico.’
‘They make sure that they are always up to date with the latest regulations, interpretations and trends in the tax world.’
‘Undoubtedly, their tax knowledge and close relationship with local authorities is one of their strengths.’
‘They have enabled us to advise our major clients correctly and to define solid strategies in the most complex transactions at international level.’
‘Alejandro Barrera has extensive knowledge of his country’s taxes, which allows him to always have a quick and accurate response. Gerardo Nieto is a technically brilliant lawyer. He knows the law in detail and has the great ability to always be proactive.’
‘Under Alejandro’s leadership, they display great experience in the tax effects of international reorganisations, being always available and attentive to the needs of our clients. We also highlight the work and experience of partner Víctor Barajas.’
‘Partners Gerardo Nieto, Alejandro Barrera and Victor Barajas are pillars in the tax field who, under any circumstance, demonstrate the experience acquired over the years.’
Ricoh Mexicana and Ricoh Latin America
Jellyfish Digital Group
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation
Infraestructura Energética del Norte
Owens & Minor
Grupo Pozo Blanco and Grupo Prestige Worldwide
- Representing Walmart in the audit processes and inspection by the tax authority derived from its sale of Suburbia to retailer Liverpool.
- Assisted Toyota obtain the authorisations for the start-up of the new automotive plant in Guanajuato, as well as on securing a temporary VAT exemption.
- Assisted British Columbia Investment Management Corporation with restructuring the investment in its five Mexican companies in order to comply with certain tax regulations under Canadian law.
According to peers, Chevez Ruiz Zamarripa is truly “the 800-pound gorilla” in the Mexican tax sphere. The firm is a market authority with a first-class tax department, which houses a large team of lawyers and accountants and demonstrates impressive capability in both tax litigation and tax consulting matters. Operating from offices in Mexico City, Monterrey and Querétaro (along with a representative presence in Houston, New York and Madrid) the firm boasts a robust tax litigation practice, housing experienced and skilled litigators including stand out figure Manuel Sáinz, who heads the area; Ricardo Cervantes, who has high level expertise in tax matters relating to the mining sector; César G Meraz, who heads the Monterrey office; Ramón Orendain, who handles multinationals operating in Mexico’s northern, border region; Eudenio Franzoni in Querétaro; César De la Parra and Daniel De la Parra, who lead the anti-money laundering practice; and younger partners Valentín Ibarra, who has a particular focus on fintech and technology companies, and Alfonso García. On the consultancy front, the firm includes notable transfer pricing specialist Ricardo Rendon; César Fares, who has a focus on audits, especially for clients from the mining sector; Carlos Naime, who covers banking and finance tax; and Pablo Corvera, who is especially known for handling financial matters. Former partner Alejandro Torres left to found his own, eponymous firm in January 2021. Since publication, the firm has raised tax advisory director Elías Kamhagi and Monterrey-based associate Rodrigo Troncoso to the partnership – effective December 2021; and hired Miguel Bastida Peydro -formerly at Uría Menéndez– as a partner in its Madrid office (as of January 2022).
Manuel Sáinz; César Meraz; Eugenio Franzoni; Pere Pons
‘A responsible, committed team that goes above and beyond customer expectations. The quality of their work is extraordinary.’
‘Daniel de la Parra is very committed. The whole team that supports us is excellent, Manuel Sainz, Ricardo Rendón, Guillermo Sanchez Chao and Valentín Ibarra are highly appreciated.’
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. ‘is able to dissect matters methodologically’ and guide clients with a ‘stellar patience and professionalism through the tax landscape’. The department, increasingly innovative, can be characterised as a standalone tax practice within one of the country's corporate powerhouses. The sizable team of around 30 practitioners includes specialists in tax advisory, litigation and controversy, transfer pricing, cross-border transactions, social security and wealth planning. It is led by Alejandro Santoyo, who excels on the non-contentious side of the practice - particularly advisory on financial matters. He is closely supported by key partners Omar Zúñiga, who has a focus on international tax matters and advises multinational companies doing business in Mexico and Mexican companies operating abroad; Jorge Correa is focused on capital markets' transactions and their fiscal ramifications, while Luis Vázquez is a skilled litigator who specialises in cross-border matters, particularly the application of tax treaty benefits. The team can also draw on the expertise of an impressive second line including counsels Luis Salinas (a former head of the PRODECON), who handles tax controversy issues; and Laura Frías, whose practice centres on transfer pricing; and senior associate Eduardo Brandt.
‘Alejandro Santoyo: a strong and reliable advisor assisting large international players. Jorge Correa: a tax talent with the ability to analyse and simplify complex matters. Omar Zuñiga: a reputable tax lawyer who advises many multinationals with a strong background due to his in-house tax experience. Luis Vazquez: very active in M&A transactions.’
‘Creel is able to dissect matters methodologically to guide us through the tax landscape and provide workable solutions to said matters. The performance of Jorge Correa and Luis Michel Sánchez is remarkable.’
‘Never ever did they lose their temper, their patience and professionalism in walking us through the tax landscape has been stellar, in addition to crisp and clear English, delivering complex ideas in layman’s terms.’
‘In our major deal-breaking matters, Creel was able to resolve the issue with solutions that are practical and pragmatic.’
‘Their internal communication, specifically between the legal-tax area and the accounting-tax area, is spectacular.’
‘There is no doubt that the team excels in this practice.’
‘I would highlight their ability to analyse a situation from many different angles to solve problems we encounter during the structuring of transactions, as well as the ethics and honesty with which they conduct all cases.’
Apollo Global Management
Vista Oil & Gas
Grupo Nacional Provincial (GNP)
- Represented Apollo Global Management in connection with the $1bn senior secured superpriority multi-tranche debtor-in-possession (DIP) term-loan facility granted to Aeromexico.
- Acted as Mexican counsel and tax advisors to Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en América Latina (IDEAL), and Promotora del Desarrollo de América Latina (PDAL) regarding the structuring of FIBRA-E, the implementation of its establishment and offering.
- Advised Abertis Infraestructuras on tax matters regarding the acquisition of 72% of Red de Carreteras de Occidente and subsidiaries.
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.
Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. boasts one of the largest tax practices in the country, providing national coverage from five offices, and closely backed by the firm’s international network. The practice led by Luis Adrian Jimenez-Robles has a solid track record advising foreign multinationals operating in Mexico on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters, and boasts particular strength and expertise in the oil and gas sector. Other key practitioners include Luis Carbajo and Héctor Reyes, who undertakes tax assessments, tax litigation, tax planning, M&A transactions and corporate tax matters (including tax compliance); ‘tax specialist’ Jorge Narvaez who handles tax controversies, consultancy and transfer pricing; seasoned litigator Ulises Castilla; Ciudad Juarez-based partner Juan Carlos Valles (who heads up the firm's specialist "maquiladora" practice); and Roberto Cardona (fiscal planning, consultancy and litigation; administrative and constitutional law).
Luis Adrián Jiménez
‘This practice stands out for the lawyer’s deep knowledge of the subject matter and thorough analysis and commitments to their clients. Jorge Narvaez-Hasfura is outstanding and has provided us with many years of exceptional service regarding tax audits and international taxation.’
‘Their support went beyond that of a simple advisor; I can safely say we partnered to get the best tax position. Luis Carbajo has an outstanding knowledge of the industry.’
‘We consider Ulises Castilla and Jorge Salazar as true partners rather than advisors.’
‘Jorge Narvaez-Hasfura is excellent tax specialist and is committed to the professional support of clients.’
Air Liquide Mexico
APTIV Contract Services
PKC – Motherson Rolling Stocks
Segunda Mano (Adevinta Group)
- Rerpresented Air Liquide Mexico in a case against the SAT’s refusal to refund a positive VAT balance corresponding to 2012.
- Assisted PKC on the tax and customs aspects of its acquisition of a manufacturing operation of a Mexican subsidiary of Bombardier Transportation in the municipality of Huehuetoca in the state of Mexico.
- Represented Conmexco against the tax assessment derived from its 2009 tax audit.
Consisting of a group of ‘highly qualified professionals in the Mexican tax field’, Galicia Abogados S.C.' young, four-partner tax department (which also incorporates the firm's wealth management area), covers a broad array of tax-related matters, including consulting, planning, controversy and litigation. Lauded for handling matters with the ‘utmost seriousness and professionalism’, practice head Gabriela Pellón demonstrates impressive technical dexterity when handling transactional matters and tax structuring. Other key members of the team include Federico Scheffler, who also specialises in transactional tax mandates; Edson Uribe Guerrero, a former deputy Chair of PRODECON, where he was officer in charge of implementing and supervising the first alternative dispute resolution procedure (tax mediation) in Mexico; and skilled litigator Denise Lester, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2021. Senior associate Alejandra Paniagua, whose practice spans estate planning, corporate law, corporate restructuring, non-governmental organizations, and regulatory tax audits, is another name to note.
‘They are highly qualified professionals in the Mexican tax field, they are undoubtedly at the level of the best law firms in Mexico’
‘Gabriela Pellón, Denise Lester, Fernando Gómez handle matters with the utmost seriousness and professionalism’
‘Galicia’s lawyers are our partners in all tax matters we face and provide us with certainty and support whenever required. They are 100% committed to the company and to our problems’
‘Gabriela Pellón provides a service superior to other lawyers, with a very high quality service’
Sony Pictures Distribution Mexico
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment de México
Evertec México Servicios de Procesamiento
Tata Consultancy Services México
Libertad Servicios Financieros
Waldo’s Dólar Mart de México
KPS Capital Partners
CM del Pacífico
Axalta Coating Systems
New Fortress Energy
Múltiple, Grupo Financiero BBVA Bancomer
Walstead Group Limited
Hilco Real Estate
Inter-American Development Bank
Inmobiliaria Monte Athos
Productores de Vinagre Provisa
Weifang Kitchinet Corporation
Lomelin Administracion de Proyectos
Servicios Administrativos Aluminicaste
Grupo Constructor Legacy
- Assisted in various global due diligence processes in different plants, to determine the optimal way to continue complying with their tax obligations.
- Tax consultancy services to support a subsidiary of the Grupo TMM, which develops various port terminal services, in one of its new projects.
- Tax consultancy service in connection with a loan to finance a residential real estate project.
In just over four years on the market, the tax practice at Ritch, Mueller y Nicolau, S.C. has grown into a strong multifaceted practice. With a team of around twenty professionals, including a good mix of lawyers and accountants, the practice is notable for its powerful capabilities in transactional tax advice and for its sharp focus on litigation, while also handling day-to-day matters and tax planning. Its client portfolio is mainly composed of major names in the energy sector, but this is increasingly diversifying into sectors including real estate, infrastructure, capital markets and banking. The practice is co-led by Oscar López Velarde, who is highly experienced in handling the full range of contentious procedures, including administrative appeals, mediation procedures, annulment trials and amparo lawsuits; and Santiago Llano Zapatero, who has a focus on transfer pricing and tax planning. They are closely supported by senior associates Juan José Paullada, a skilled litigator and key figure in the controversy segment; and Eduardo García, a January-2020 arrival (from Chevez Ruiz Zamarripa) who is more focused on the tax consulting side of the practice. Since publication, Paullada has been raised to the partnership – effective January 2022.
Oscar Lopez Velarde; Santiago Llano
‘The firm is has a good collaboration between different groups (corporate, legal, tax) which is helping us achieve transactions that span across several fields efficiently and effectively. Oscar Lopez Velarde and Eduardo Garcia Ruiz took the time to learn the tax structure of our company, which is quite unique.’
‘Impeccable, timely and unbeatable work, especially that of Oscar López Velarde.’
‘They are the best law firm in Mexico, not only for the quality of practice but also for their personal treatment and reasonable costs.’
‘Good technical knowledge and quick response, which is why they are always one of the first choices. Also, great knowledge of the sector, not only of its tax treatment but of the business itself. In-depth knowledge of the energy sector and business.’
‘It is a solid team, very responsive and has a very efficient partner-associate work dynamic. Santiago Llano Zapatero and Diego Guerrero Segura were pro-active.’
‘The team are experts on energy issues in Mexico, in particular they have full knowledge of migration contracts.’
Deutsche Bank Mexico
- Advised Fresnillo on the offering of $850m (aggregate principal amount) of its 4.250% senior notes due 2050, and a concurrent cash tender offer of its outstanding 5.500% notes due 2023.
- Represented Fisterra and its affiliates on the refinancing of debts totalling $953m (at 5.750%, due 2040) by FEL Energy VI; and the execution of a credit agreement for an amount of up to $170m.
- Assisted Bocel Private Equity with a $95m placement of CKDs (Certificados de Capital) on the Mexican Stock Exchange.
Turanzas, Bravo & Ambrosi
Housing a top-notch team of over 50 people, including 9 partners, specialist boutique Turanzas, Bravo & Ambrosi is a popular choice for its expertise in both tax advisory and contentious tax matters. Key partners include: Pedro Ramírez (estate planning and corporate tax regarding financial institutions and the securities sector); Mauricio Bravo (tax controversy, estate planning, energy, and international taxation); Angel Turanzas Díaz (corporate tax, taxation on individuals, fringe benefits and non-profit institutions); Mauricio Ambrosi (litigation and consultancy with a focus on transfer pricing); and skilled litigators Jorge Fuentes and Carl E Koller. The firm has recently moved to both strengthen its bench, with the promotion of Pablo Fernández de Ceballos to the partnership in December 2020; and broaden its offering, with the January-2021 hire of accountant Rodrigo Garza del Río (and his team), allowing the firm to offer accountancy services, payroll administration and tax compliance. The practice was further reinforced in July 2021 with the arrival of partner Jorge Jiménez Cañizares from Deloitte Impuestos y Servicios Legales, S.C.; he has over 30 years' experience in tax consulting, controversy and litigation for the Mexican insurance sector.
Mauricio Ambrosi; Mauricio Bravo; Pablo Fernandez; Jorge Fuentes; Rodrigo Garza; Carl Koller; Francisco Ortega; Pedro Ramirez; Angel Turanzas
‘The service is personalised, which provides security and quality in customer service. Their professional ethics are proven.’
‘There are an endless number of firms that offer tax advice; however, the attention, service and communication with the client that Turanzas has is exceptional.’
‘They have very useful experience and knowledge of energy matters and regulations, which allows them to be a great support in the operation of companies in the sector, particularly in litigation matters. Francisco Ortega and Pablo Fernández are lawyers with in-depth tax knowledge and a great understanding of regulation and the energy sector.’
‘They not only offer you the best solution from a legal point of view, but above all from the point of view of what the business needs.’
‘Pedro Ramirez is exceptional. Great technical knowledge with a commercial approach and good with clients.’
‘Mauricio Ambrosi Herrera is a lawyer with extensive knowledge of Mexican tax law, has a service attitude and a prompt resolution of disputes.’
‘Pablo Fernández gets involved in the detail of the problem and proposes focused solutions.’
‘The firm implements novel means of defence in Mexico, such as the exclusive nullity trial on the merits.’
Noble Drilling Services
Avon / Natura
Petrofac / Perenco
Key Energy Services
- Advised Belcorp in connection with a corporate restructuring of the group in Mexico.
- Advising Mexican conglomerate Grupo Hermes for more than 15 years both on ongoing corporate matters as well as in the context of the owner’s family office.
- Tax advisory to Rappi regarding the new taxation regime on digital platforms as well as participated in tailoring new concepts for Rappi’s clients.
Arias y Meurinne, SC
Senior partner and skilled litigator, Pedro Arias, who garners praise for his ‘huge expertise in international tax matters’, co-heads the practice at boutique firm Arias y Meurinne, SC in conjunction with Pamela Orozco, who has a focus on tax, telecoms and administrative law; and Luis Eduardo Meurinne, who handles tax planning and consultancy. Regularly acting for an impressive roster of clients -particularly from the telecommunications, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors- the team is well known for its profile and strength in litigation, including cases related to double-taxation conventions and national provisions with international effect, while also evidencing good capability in transactional mandates, covering the tax aspects of mergers, acquisitions, reorganisations and other relevant operations. Key associate support comes highly active senior, Leah Sánchez.
Pedro Arias; Pamela Orozco; Luis E. Meurinne
‘This boutique firm is very capable attending to administrative matters and complex tax analysis. They have great expertise in international law and are always innovating and finding new ways to defend and advise their clients.’
‘Pedro Arias has huge expertise in international tax matters.’
Jáuregui y Del Valle, S.C., which, according to a client, is the ‘best tax law firm in Mexico’, boasts a 10-strong practice (including three partners), and is well-known for its high-level expertise in tax consultancy work, particularly for real estate funds. Fronting the department is managing partner Luis Gerardo Del Valle Torres, who is praised for his ‘high level of knowledge’, and for always bringing ‘creative solutions to the table’. His fellow key partners -all integral to the practice- are: Eduardo Medina Zapata, who has a solid track record structuring venture capital, private equity and commodity funds on behalf of national and international fund sponsors; and Luis Carballo Balvanera, who heads the tax litigation and arbitration sub-practice.
Luis Gerardo Del Valle Torres; Eduardo Medina Zapata; Luis Carballo Balvanera
‘Knowledge of law related to tax strategies. Very open, transparent, knowledgeable about the law and government structure. Excellent network with authorities.’
‘Eduardo Medina: excellent at communicating, proposing, and providing solutions.’
‘Best tax law firm in Mexico. The team is extremely knowledgeable about Mexico’s changing tax laws and ensures that clients have efficient and compliant structures.’
‘Luis Gerardo del Valle sets himself apart from his competitors with his high level of knowledge and gift for explaining complicated matters with great ease and simplicity.’
‘Great skills and creativity from Luis del Valle Torres, who is very knowledgeable about double taxation treaties and always brings creative solutions to the table.’
PGIM Real Estate
Walton Street México
FINSA Real Estate
Advance Real Estate
- Advised PGIM Real Estate on the structuring of a joint venture with a Mexican developer focused on industrial facilities in the northern region of Mexico.
- Advised FINSA CKD I and Walton CKD on the sale of a large portfolio of industrial properties identified as Titan to FIBRA Uno.
- Advised Walton Street México on the structuring of a co-investment with a CERPI formed by Afore Profuturo and managed by Spruceview, with another formed by Afore Sura, to acquire and operate a large portfolio of industrial properties located in Mexico.
Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes S.C. houses a ‘superb tax practice’ co-led by partners Manuel Tamez, a recognised expert in tax advisory matters (particularly regarding tax planning related to day-to-day operations); and two tax-litigation heavyweights - Nora Morales and Enrique Ramírez, who joined from EY in April 2020. Morales focuses on transfer pricing, tax treaty benefits and financial entities; while Ramírez is well-versed in tax planning and audits. The 18-strong department, housing both lawyers and accountants, has a focus on large foreign and Mexican multinationals from the manufacturing, energy and consumer sectors.
Manuel Tamez; Nora Morales Rodríguez; Enrique Ramírez Figueroa
‘They stand out for their pragmatic approach, for being highly knowledgeable and well connected. They are business oriented as well’
‘Partners Enrique Ramírez, Nora Morales and Manuel Tamez are really engaged with client’s needs and highly knowledgeable. Associate Luis Monroy González really stands out in the tax practice’
‘Enrique Ramirez and Nora Morales have a lot of experience in litigation matters, especially tax litigation’
‘They have a superb tax practice. They delve deeply into the requirements and problems of their clients, always proposing possible solutions adapted to the characteristics of their clients’
‘The incorporation of Enrique Ramirez and his team undoubtedly puts them among the best in terms of tax practice in Mexico. He is one of the best tax lawyers and has been able to put together an outstanding team’
- Advised a sginficant business entity regarding a corporate restructure of the group, in which the it’s insourcing and outsourcing schemes were analysed and redefined within the corporate structure, with the purpose of fulfilling the amendments proposed by the Executive.
- Assisted with the creation and implementation of a compliance program for tax and tax criminal matters; using this compliance program the group will validate both its day-to-day and corporate transactions.
Seasoned tax advisor, Adalberto Valadez, heads the department at Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC, which has a solid track record handling the tax aspects of high-end transactions and projects, including M&A and capital markets' matters (particularly CKDs, ETFs and Fibra Es), as well as day-to-day tax matters and those relating to the recent reforms in the Mexican energy sector. The practice also has particular knowledge of the renewable energy segment. The team recently endured the departure of 2019-hire Ángel Escalante who left to re-found his boutique Escalante & Asociados in April 2021. However, the firm has sought to respond rapidly and incorporated Ana Paula Pardo, who primarily focuses on transactional tax matters, from SMPS Legal in July 2021.
‘The degree of specialisation is high and the level of responsiveness is unbeatable.‘
‘The tax team, and especially Adalberto Valadez, know a lot about the energy sector in Mexico. He is a great professional, with a lot of experience and knowledge, very quick to respond to our doubts, always available to clarify doubts. The knowledge of the (renewable) energy sector is a plus compared to other firms.’
CKD Infraestructura México
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Altius Investment Group
- Assisting Grupo Murano on both the securities and tax aspects of the creation and registration of a $9bn CERPI issuance programme.
- Advised BlackRock on all tax-related aspects of the structuring of the (up to) MX$100bn ESGMEX fund, a new exchange traded fund (ETF) placed on a Mexican stock exchange which tracks the ESG MSCI Mexico index.
- Assisted Altius Investment Group regarding all tax aspects of the structuring of a joint venture with Mexican developers that will focus on residential and commercial properties.
A group of five partners with ‘high technical skills' and who provide ‘great service and personal attention’, head the 20-strong tax department at Sánchez Devanny, which demonstrates particular expertise in cross border tax mandates. Managing partner Ricardo Leon-Santacruz maintains a broad-based transactional tax practice that focuses on Mexican inbound and outbound tax planning and transfer pricing. Guillermo Villaseñor-Tadeo leads on the tax litigation front; while Luis Antonio González Flores has broad experience in tax audits, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption compliance strategies, with a special focus on multinational enterprises. Completing the partner group are Mariana Eguiarte-Morett, who has developed a niche practice in consumption taxes, focuses on VAT issues and the Special Goods and Services Tax; and Abel Mejia-Cosenza, who specialises in international tax planning for both individuals and corporations.
Ricardo León Santacruz; Guillermo Villaseñor Tadeo; Luis Antonio González Flores; Mariana Eguiarte Morett and Abel Mejía Cosenza
‘I consider them to be a superior firm. They offer great service and personal attention.’
‘They closely follow-up on the processes, they are always available and with the best disposition and attitude. High technical skills, direct attention and availability. They are part of a multi disciplinary team; therefore, it is very useful to have the same support in one firm.’
EQ Capital Partners
Investar Capital Partners
H&M Hennes & Mauritz
- Counselled ZTE Corporation on the reorganisation of stock ownership of Mexican subsidiaries by parent entities located in China and the Netherlands.
- Advised Ganamex on the identification and improvement of its business model, regulatory compliance and tax optimisation of its operations.
- Assisted Neaton Automotive attend to a tax audit that determined a tax credit of over $10m arising from VAT on the import of diverse fixed assets for its Mexican production facilities.
The eight-strong tax practice at White & Case S.C.‘s Mexico office regularly handles matters related to M&A, project finance and capital markets transactions – either on a standalone basis or alongside the Mexico-based and global transactional teams. It also evidences plenty of experience regarding negotiations with the authorities to obtain VAT refunds, and has a solid focus on litigation, transfer pricing, complex audits and financial issues. The team includes partner Jorge Kim, a former general counsel at PEMEX; skilled litigator Ismael Reyes Retana Tello; and associate Juan Ignacio López. Since publication, Aguayo has left for DLA Piper, effective January 2022.
Other key lawyers:
Jorge Kim; Ismael Reyes Retana Tello; Juan Ignacio López
‘A team with technical knowledge of the subject matter and a global understanding of the business as a whole. Genuinely personalised and very frank advice, generating realistic expectations.’
‘I found the team to be professional and very human.’
‘A favourable point of White & Case’s reports is their invoicing system which has a good description of the activities carried out and the times.’
Kansas City Southern de México
Pernod Ricard México
Aerovias de México
The Bank of Nova Scotia
- Represented Kansas City Southern de México in a successful defence of a private tax ruling in Mexico.
- Representing Coeur Mining in its efforts to recover approximately $44M of VAT unduly paid to the Mexican Government.
- Advised Banorte on its $500m, 8.375% notes offering due 2030.
Acedo, Santamarina, S.C
The four-strong tax practice at Acedo, Santamarina, S.C is led by partner Rafael Tena Castro, who garners praise for his ‘deep knowledge’ and ability to see ‘beyond the obvious’ when acting on matters brought to him by clients drawn mainly the food and drink, clean energy, telecommunications, education and services sectors. The department is well-known for its capabilities handling tax advisory, audits and litigation work, and social security matters, along with administrative law and international trade mandates. Intermediate associate Luis Shahid Kanchi is another name to note.
Rafael Tena Castro
‘Market knowledge, availability and responsiveness.’
‘Rafael Tena has deep knowledge and sees beyond the obvious, he analyses and looks for alternative solutions and shows a high level of willingness. They are people who listen, analyse and propose.’
Cinematrográfica Filmex (FILMEX)
Garay Componentes Tubulares
Payan Campos Hmnos
Ventas Joyma del Sur
Vicrila Glass Manufacturing Company
Compañía Mexicana de Radiología
PRGX de México
Desarrollos Inmobiliarios Touvkal
Empacadora Campo Frío
Los Reyes Industrial
- Representing Ventas Joyma del Sur on challenging the legality of new tax assessments issued against the company due to alleged income tax and VAT (as a retainer) non-payments also during tax year 2015.
- Drafted and filed a nullity lawsuit before the Federal Administrative Court, in order to obtain reimbursement of the tax unlawfully levied on cleint Vicrila Glass Manufacturing and paid to the Tax Administration Service (SAT).
- Advised Los Reyes Industrial during a tax audit conducted by the Ministry of Finance of the State of Mexico, in order to verify compliance with several tax provisions.
Calvo Nicolau y Marquez Cristerna-DFK, S.C.
Founded in 2010, Calvo Nicolau y Marquez Cristerna-DFK, S.C. is a specialised tax boutique comprised of three partners with a combined experience of over 100 years in the sector. Market stalwart Enrique Calvo Nicolau has a focus on contentious work and criminal tax litigation; while fellow founding partners Óscar Márquez, who boasts a ‘wealth of experience in the tax field’; and Layda Carcamo who handles the consultancy aspect, covering among other matters, tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, transfer pricing studies and wealth management.
Layda Carcamo; Óscar Márquez; Enrique Calvo
‘It is a very knowledgeable, dedicated and highly professional team. They are absolutely client oriented, providing a very high quality and personalised service.’
‘Layda Carcamo is undoubtedly a great professional and expert in taxation. The quality of her work and her service and client orientation are impeccable. Because of her excellent service and quality of work, I have recommended Layda to others on numerous occasions.’
‘Oscar Marquez has a wealth of experience in the tax field.’
‘Extraordinary practice. Very professional and they follow up on all the topics in a timely manner.’
‘They are always at the forefront, very well documented on current issues and visualising a real future.’
Gate Gourmet & Massa
Grupo Vasconia/Fomento de Capital
- Advising Vista Gold on the sale of one of its Mexican mining projects to Prime Mining.
- Advising Gate Gourmet and its shareholders on the correct tax compliance and reduction of any tax liabilities while working on its strategic tax planning.
- Advising Miniso’s founding owners on the sale of their investment to Grupo Sanborns.
Deloitte Legal Mexico
Benefiting from the firm's wide presence across the country, as well as from its enormous international network, Deloitte Legal Mexico enjoys a good reputation for handling contentious matters, particularly for its expertise in tax litigation. The department houses a renowned group of practitioners including the head of the tax controversy practice, Mauricio Martínez; and skilled litigators Carlos Alberto Ramirez and Ricardo Santoyo - who work from Monterrey and Mexico City respectively. Beyond the contentious segment, double taxation expert Eduardo Revilla; and Jorge Antonio Jimenez, who focuses on general corporate taxation, VAT, international taxation, double-taxation treaty application, customs law, and tax audits; are also key practitioners.
Mauricio Martinez D’Meza
‘It is an experienced team in the sector, which always generates alternatives and options so that clients can make the best decision.’
‘Carlos Valenzuela offers great attention to matters, always explaining the pros and cons.’
Operating from the firm's six offices across the country, EC Rubio's tax practice has a solid reputation for its expertise in the maquiladora industry, the interpretation and application of tax treaties (including the analysis of permanent establishment), and the taxation of residents and expatriates to avoid double taxation. The 10-strong department, which is also very comfortable handling litigious mandates, is led by partners Arturo Bañuelos (tax and administrative law), and Felipe Mendoza, who has a focus on tax planning, with a high specialisation in the maquiladora industry. Partner Fernando Holguín, who concentrates his practice in taxation, customs and international trade, provides key support to the team.
Arturo Bañuelos; Felipe Mendoza
Ernst & Young
Boasting a notable presence in Mexico thanks to the firm's 12 offices across the country, Ernst & Young assists clients with a broad range of compliance and tax planning matters, and is also known for its expertise handling federal audit investigations, administrative procedures and resulting litigation. Despite recent departures, the group retains impressive contentious-side capabilities, most notably in Manuel González and Antonio del Campo - that latter a former head of contentious matters for major contributors at the SAT. Dual-qualified (Mexico / New York) head of tax and legal services Manuel Solano is the key contact on the tax consultancy side. The practice, co-led by Oscar Ortiz and Jorge Libreros Calderon, also remains strong on international taxation.
Oscar Ortiz; Jorge Libreros Calderon
Spanish full-service firm, Garrigues, houses a solid, nine-strong Mexican tax team led by partner Manual Llaca, which is hailed for offering ‘exceptional legal services at a reasonable cost’. Llaca, who is known for his skilful handling of litigious tax matters, specialises in transfer pricing matters, litigation regarding federal taxes and dispute resolution. At associate level, key support is provided by principal Francisco Barajas, whose practice is centred on domestic taxation (both advisory and contentious); and senior Diego López, who has a focus on tax advice for foreign companies expanding into Mexico, tax planning for corporate restructurings and M&A. The group also has recourse to the firm's broader network in this, its signature practice.
‘They respond quickly and accurately to queries made, and are very focused on the business.’
‘Great attention to detail; I feel very protected with them. They are available around the clock, give personal attention and have exceptional legal judgment.’
‘They are very experienced and reputable lawyers. Francisco Barajas and Manuel Llaca provide exceptional legal services at a reasonable cost and with great transparency.’
‘Manuel Llaca, Francisco Barajas, and Carlos Fernandez all understood the needs of the business and the urgency of getting clear and accurate answers.’
Cerealto Siro Foods
Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)
Kids & US English
Talma Servicios Aeroportuarios
Corporación Hijos de Rivera (Cervezas Estrella Galicia)
Informática El Corte Inglés
- Assisted Cerealto Siro Foods on tax planning for the merger of subsidiaries Cerealto Servicios Mexico and Cerealto Tepeji.
- Advised DEG on tax planning for the issuance of certain bonds by VINTE.
- Representing Veolia as plaintiff against the Local Ministry of Finance in Guanajuato before the Tax Court to challenge a fine for alleged failure to comply with environment and technical requirements on waste management.
Hogan Lovells boasts a 12-strong Mexican tax department, best-known for its capabilities assisting clients with cross-border transactions, as well representing them before the tax authority regarding tax audit procedures and tax reimbursements. Mexico City-based partners Arturo Tiburcio, and Jaime Espinosa (who also operates from the Monterrey office), constitute an impressive combination with significant expertise in income tax and double tax conventions (transactional and cross border operations), VAT in the exportation of services, and indirect taxes, as well as disputes, social security and wealth management. Francisco Palmero, who was promoted to counsel in January 2021, provides key support in a team that has proved a popular choice among clients from the transportation, food and service sectors.
Arturo Tiburcio; Jaime Espinosa
‘They are well prepared to deal with the company’s matters. The dedication and analysis they give to each case, as well as the timely follow-up, are of high quality.’
‘The collaboration with David Esquivel and Jaime Espinosa de los Monteros has been very good. Rocio Sanchez has a great availability to always attend to the client’s needs, highly professional and friendly and with full knowledge of her area.’
AT Solar y Tuto Energy
Alloy Merchant Partners
Chubb Seguros México
Tecniflex Ansorge de México y Compañía
Aeropuerto de Acapulco
- Representing Red Bull before the tax authority in relation with a new business to be conducted in Mexico, as well as assistance with amendments related to Excise Tax.
- Advised Damco Logistics México on new cross-border business in the logistics of international transportation.
- Advised Schaeffer Stevedoring on obtaining a refund of the amounts unduly paid to the Tax Administration Service for income tax withheld by its Mexican subsidiary over the course of four fiscal years.
Partner Rodrigo Gómez who, according to a client, is one of the few lawyers in México who can simultaneously ‘offer tax services in transactional, consulting and litigation matters’, heads the boutique-like department at international firm Jones Day. The practice boasts a solid skill set in both contentious and transactional matters, advising on a wide range of matters from complex transactions (particularly cross-border) and restructurings, to audits, planning and litigation. The team is particularly renowned for its long-established experience advising regulated industries -mainly oil and gas, telecoms and transportation- on tax matters.
‘They are unique in their level of specialisation in cross-border transactions, as they have tremendous coordination between their offices around the world and Mexico, and offer comprehensive tax solutions in several jurisdictions at the same time.’
‘Rodrigo Gómez is the only (or one of the few) lawyers who can offer tax services in transactional, consulting and litigation matters at the same time.’
Lixil Group / American Standard
The Haskell Company
- Acted as special tax counsel on the divestiture of Laureate Education’s operations in Chile through the transfer of control of its not-for-profit institutions to Fundación Educación y Cultura and the sale of its for-profit operations.
- Advised Grupo Gigante with a new MX$1.8bn syndicated credit facility.
- Advised Opdenergy on the divestment of a majority stake in two solar photovoltaic plants in Mexico
Ortiz Abogados Tributarios S.C.
Experienced tax boutique Ortiz Abogados Tributarios S.C. retains its role as a notable market player - particularly for its litigation practice. Seasoned partner Gabriel Ortíz, a reference within the tax arena for his controversy expertise, heads the department. Experienced partners Carlos Yáñez Alegría and Carlos Monarrez have been working alongside Ortiz for some 20 years; both handle tax litigation and advisory. Pablo Ramirez Morales, who made partner in 2019, handles tax consultancy, controversies and litigation. The team was further strengthened in September 2021 with the hire of senior associate Ana Karen Aguiñaga from Deloitte Legal, replacing Jorge Cumplido Aguirre who left the firm in September 2020.
‘Big four’ giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, SC, SC is an important player in the Mexican tax realm thanks to its broad offering of diversified tax consultancy and representation. Operating from 10 offices across the country, the practice includes: managing director Jesus Francisco Morales; former head of the international taxation unit at the SAT, 30-year veteran Fernando Lorenzo (tax controversy and dispute resolution); Sandro Castañeda (tax advisory and litigation); Luciano Scandolari (head of deals, Mexico); and senior manager José Ricardo Soto (litigation and regulatory compliance). Former head of tax José Antonio Garduño left in December 2019.
Jesús Francisco Morales
With experienced partner Mariano Calderón at the helm, full-service firm Santamarina y Steta garners praise in the tax arena for its significant litigation capabilities, while having also built a solid track record handling tax consulting and structuring matters. Calderón specialises in tax, constitutional and administrative litigation, taxation, foreign trade and anti-money laundering matters; while noteworthy practitioner Karina Robledo, appointed counsel as of January 2021, focuses on domestic and international tax matters - mainly acquisitions (due diligence), transfers, mergers, spin-offs and all types of corporate reorganisation. Senior associate Jair Vaca, well-versed and active in litigation, is another name to note.
Mariano Calderón; Agustín Gutiérrez
‘High availability, professionalism, up-to-date, prompt response. Versatile, friendly and empathic team.’
General Motors Mexico
Controladora General Motors
PayPal de México
- Advising General Motors on its ongoing day-to-day transactions as well as on its strategic projects.
- Advised Abengoa and A3T on certain aspects disputed by Santander’s tax advisors, in relation to a reorganisation process.
- Advised PayPal in connection with a restructure implemented to gain efficiency from a financial standpoint, as well as the preparation of several corporate documents with commentary from a tax perspective.
SMPS Legal houses a well-integrated tax consulting and litigation practice which covers a broad array of matters, including estate planning, acquisitions, mergers, corporate restructuring, and corporate and international taxation. On the non-contentious side of the practice Jorge San Martín is the key figure – he is particularly reputed for his work on tax efficient structures. Although the team was reinforced in June 2021 with the arrival of tax litigator Luis Curiel Piña, former practice-head at Ortiz, Sosa Y Asociados, S.C., who joined with a team of four associates, the practice endured a substantial and sustained blow during the course of 2021 with the departures of Alexis Michel and Christian Solis in April and June, respectively (both leaving to establish their own, eponymous boutiques); and subsequently the exit of Ana Paula Pardo, who moved to Nader, Hayaux y Goebel, SC in July 2021. The firm has since responded with the hire of former Cuatrecasas (Mexico) partner Francisco Carbajal in October 2021; he focuses primarily on consultancy work across the real estate, energy, telecoms, hospitality and financial sectors, among others.
Jorge San Martin
‘In our case, we consider them to be a law firm that extends the legal team to deal with internal tax and fiscal matters that arise, as well as to handle litigation in said matters.’
‘They are always attentive to the client, generally the partner is the one who attends you and gives a prompt response along with his team. They are very objective in tax matters, seeking to ensure that companies are not affected in the event of any decision regarding tax matters.’
Marcas de Renombre
Fideicomiso Torre Chapultepec Uno
- Advised Grupo Axo on the execution of several agreements with Nike to acquire its operation in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.
- Advising Maritimex on multiple tax matters which involve numerous jurisdictions such as Netherlands, Singapore, United States of America, Marsh Island, Liberia, etc.
- Assisting ATCO with corporate and tax advice in connection with the supply agreement executed with United Nations Office for Project Services to build two hospital units in Guatemala.
Anaya, Díaz e Ibáñez, S.C. is the result of the merger between Anaya Abogados and Ibáñez Abogados. The eight-strong practice is led by partners Edgar Anaya, who according to a client is ‘one of the most experienced lawyers in international tax matters; and the ‘young and energetic’ Fabiola Díaz, who has a focus on tax advisory work, primarily international planning, and wealth management. Meanwhile, Anaya has extensive experience in corporate tax and social security matters, as well as high level expertise regarding the energy sector. Associates Jocelyn Jiménez and Agustín Meixueiro are also noted.
Edgar M. Anaya; Fabiola Díaz Prad
‘I believe that the technical excellence, the differentiated attention to each case and the agility of the answers are what make them different from most Mexican law firms.’
‘I really enjoy working with Edgar Anaya and Fabiola Diaz. Edgar is one of the most respected lawyers in Mexico, and one of the most experienced in international tax matters.’
‘Fabiola Diaz is young and energetic not only in client work, but also very active in academia, leading in an exemplary way the Women of IFA Network initiative.’
‘Edgar Anaya, Fabiola Diaz, Jocelyne Jimenez, and Agustin Meuxueiro are warm, attentive to detail and transparent.’
ViacomCBS Networks Americas
Électricité de France
Harbor Capital Group
- Advised Lincoln Electric Manufactura on tax planning for the corporate restructure of the group.
- Counseling Geodis on tax deductions of multimillion uncollectible payments.
- Representing ViacomCBS in VAT refund requests as a consequence of the regular export of services.
Creel Abogados, SC houses a six-strong tax practice with a proven track record advising on sizeable and complex corporate transactions on the M&A and private equity fronts, as well as acting in significant tax controversy cases. Under the leadership of the experienced Javier Portas, who is closely supported by partner Carlos Martínez, the department has been particularly active advising on the tax aspects of local and multinational corporate reorganisations, M&A transactions and the establishment of maquiladoras, as well as litigating before federal and local courts.
National Oilwell Varco
Edgewell Personal Care
Promotora y Desarrolladora Mexicana (Prodemex) and Fibra Infraex
The tie-up of Texan firms Thompson & Knight (TK) and Holland & Knight, completed in August 2021, was definitely a win-win scenario for the firms' Mexican operations, where the merger's synergies have resulted in a broader overall offering. The firm's ‘unbeatable’ tax practice attracts praise for its unfailing proposal of innovative solutions and for its ability to ‘foresee future actions of the tax authorities’. The practice has a strong focus on the energy sector, although it also frequently handles matters related to the mining, real estate and pharmaceutical industries, among others. The small team is led by Mario Barrera (formerly of TK), who regularly represents clients before the tax authorities in audits, settlements, rulings, and mutual agreement procedures. He is also experienced handling transfer pricing, tax litigation, and corporate reorganisations. Concurrent with the firms' merger, former senior counsel Eugenio Grageda was promoted, giving the merged practice two partners; he focuses on international tax and estate and patrimonial tax planning for major businesses. Associates Catalina Mandujano and Maria Teresa Quintero are noted.
Mario Barrera Vázquez
‘Their tax team is unbeatable. They complement each other perfectly and their communication is constant. Mario Barrera has a great ability to resolve conflicts. Their knowledge and handling of the issues makes them better than any other firm.’
‘Catalina Mandujano offers excellent service, and is very committed to helping us solve our problems.’
‘Mario Barrera, always looking for the best and fastest solution to our problems.’
‘The solutions they propose are always innovative and foresee future actions of the tax authorities.’
‘Very efficient lawyers with a lot of international knowledge. They provide excellent advice with fast and comprehensive solutions.‘
‘Eugenio Grageda is an attorney of excellent qualities with the ability to solve problems in an ingenious way.‘
‘Good availability and better ideas and solutions. They understand our problems and are creative in approaching the alternatives.‘
‘Eugenio Grajeda is a thoughtful, thorough and very well organised attorney.’
‘They have good technological tools to allow the client to monitor the progress of a project with various people involved in the case.‘
AIG Seguros Mexico
Japan Tobacco International
FMC Technologies de Mexico
Parques Logísticos del Centro
Ford Motor Company Mexico
Exeter (Global Asset Manager)
- Assisted a global insurance company with a tax examination and follow-on procedure to settle issues associated with a transfer of international taxation issues, successfully obtaining a 95% reduction in the contingency.
- Currently advising a global insurance company on a bilateral advanced pricing agreement (subject to several tax treaties) concerning its inter-company insurance operations.
- Advising LNG Ltd on establishing a gas plant able to process gas in Mexico, and distributing it in the United States in a tax efficient matter.
Ortiz, Sosa Y Asociados, S.C.
A tax and accountancy boutique that primarily undertakes advisory work, Ortiz, Sosa Y Asociados, S.C. is recommended for the impressive breadth of its tax expertise, handling tax consultancy, transactional tax advice, valuations and optimisation, legislative guidance and dispute resolution. The practice, led by Miguel Ortiz, is currently undergoing a reorganisation following the significant setback endured in mid-2021 with the departure of Luis Curiel, who had led the area since 2016, and a team of four associates, who moved to SMPS Legal.
Miguel Ortiz Aguilar
‘They are experts in tax law and provide immediate attention, knowledge and professionalism’
‘The specialisation and personalised treatment of the client’
Boasting over ‘30 years of experience in tax matters’, partner Fernando Moreno heads the small practice at Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC, which has a notable skill set and niche-expertise handling double taxation and other negative fiscal implications for foreign and national companies, as well as advising on the development of tax legal strategies for the restructuring and expanding of their clients’ businesses via subsidiaries in Mexico and Latin America. The team, which according to a client ‘complements the corporate practice very efficiently’, includes senior associate Jorge Díaz Carvajal, who also brings to bear his expertise in international trade & customs as required. Since publication, Díaz Carvajal has been raised to counsel - effective December 2021.
‘Their approach to the client is good. Jorge Diaz, Fernando Moreno and Diego Benitez are good lawyers.’
‘I highlight their consistent professionalism; timeliness in client service, and their unbeatable professional quality.’
‘The tax practice complements the corporate practice very efficiently. Fernando Moreno has more than 30 years of experience in tax matters and has combined it with the firm’s other areas of specialisation.’
William Prym Holding
Procter & Gamble
Nu Skin Mexico
Fuxin Dare Automotive Part Co
Invenesa Servicios Administrativos
- Advised Takata Corporation regarding the legal restructure of its Mexican operations, involving the sale of assets and stock of diverse Mexican entities.
- Advised Procter & Gamble on the development of an internal structure, processes and training in order to comply with its tax obligations at a local and federal level.
- Advised Booking.com International on the compliance of its tax obligations at the local and federal levels, which involved a thorough analysis of the company’s current business model.