Firm Profile > Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. > Mexico City, Mexico

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.

Energy and natural resources Tier 1

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has 'extensive knowledge of the oil-and-gas sector', and is also noted for its experience in the renewables and power segment. Clients benefit from the team's 'diverse knowledge and skills' and its 'good relationships with key industry stakeholders and related government agencies'. The firm continues to advise the Spanish energy company Repsol on several rounds of auctions for shallow and deepwater exploration rights. EDF Renewable Energy is another major client, which the practice has been advising on the development of renewable projects throughout Mexico. The 'always available, strategic and creativeBenjamin Torres-Barrón leads the team, which is 'ready to work long hours to get things done'. Other key indivudals include highly-regarded infrastructure expert Jorge Guadarrama, and Marco Nieto-Vazquez, who is experienced on the power side.

Environment Tier 1

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has established an excellent reputation, with a 'very professional, knowledgeable' team of 'trusted advisors' led by Tijuana-based partner Federico Ruanova. The 'cost-effective, responsive and committed' group 'understands our business's needs and proposes practical solutions to our legal problems'. Recent highlights include advising Ledvance Manufacturing in securing all the required permits for a new industrial facility it purchased from Osram de Mexico. The team also represented Caterpillar in administrative litigation against the National Water Commission concerning lapsed water rights. Other major clients include Real Alloy, Gas Natural Fenosa, and Unilever. Mexico City-based senior associate Mario Facio is also highly experienced.

International trade and customs Tier 1

Fielding a ‘very well organised, intelligent, proactive and professional’ team, Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. is a force to be reckoned with: operating from  offices in Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey and Tijuana, the 25-strong practice has a nationwide presence and can also call on the firm’s international network. The group handles matters relating to IMMEX (maquiladoras), customs audits, litigation, international trade agreements, relations with the authorities, cross border activities, and export controls. Recent work highlights saw the team assist a company in the pharmaceutical sector follow the correct procedure to add insurance fees and royalties to the customs paperwork covering its imports;  advise a client on a nullity claim to challenge a $3m tax assessment determined by the customs authority; and assist with NAFTA verifications of origin, avoidance or reduction of payment of antidumping duties, and audits. Juarez-based Manuel Padron-Castillo heads the practice; he is an expert in maquiladora matters and is currently legal advisor on customs matter to the National Maquila Industry Association, involving participation in the renegotiation of NAFTA. In Mexico City, Adriana Ibarra-Fernandez focuses on customs and international trade matters, including rules of origin, verifications of origin and related subjects in terms of FTAs, tariff classification, customs valuation, maquila (IMMEX), consumer protection and labelling, as well as other non-tariff import regulations. In Guadalajara, ‘top of the lineAlejandro Martinez-Galindo specialises in customs and foreign trade compliance matters, tariff and non-tariff regulations and classifications, IMMEX programmes, FTAs, customs valuations, and country-of-origin determinations, certifications and marking. Other key contacts include Armando De Lille-Calatayud in Monterrey, Daniel Sanchez-Elizondo in Guadalajara, José Hoyos, Raymundo E Enriquez, and associate Andrea Dieguez-Orozco in Mexico City, as well as Jorge Ambriz-Cuevas in Juarez, also an associate.

Labour and employment Tier 1

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has a deep pool of talented employment lawyers who provide 'really excellent service', and demonstrate 'agility in understanding and analyzing complex labour scenarios'.  Led by Ricardo Castro out of the Monterrey office, the team handles the full array of contentious and non-contentious labour issues, including social security matters. Recently the team advised Bio Pappel on the closure of a manufacturing plant which involved complicated collective negotiations and termination agreements for hundreds of employees. The team also advised the Thai state oil-and-gas company, PTTEP, on managing a union's illegal attempt to strike. Other key partners include Manuel Limón , who 'guides the team with great quality'; and the 'very straightforward and pragmatic' Salvador Pasquel in Mexico City. Monterrey's Alfonso García is praised for his 'outstanding capacity for easily explaining a legal analysis'.

Corporate and M&A Tier 2

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has an exhaustive corporate offering, both in terms of its services and its geographic reach, with offices Mexico City, Juarez, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana. Clients appreciate the 'far superior knowledge and expertise', while noting that the 'personal attention given by the partners really makes a difference'. Recently the 'excellent' team advised Unilever on the local aspects of the sale of its baking, cooking and spreads operation to KKR, as part of a €6.8bn global carve-out. Another highlight was advising Magna Closures on its takeover of the auto components manufacturer Olsa Sistemas de Iluminación Automitriz. Jorge Ruíz co-heads the 14-partner team with Carlos Valencia. Other key partners include Tatiana Escribano, and in Monterrey, Jose Maria Gonzalez-Elizondo.

Dispute resolution Tier 2

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has strong experience across a range of civil, commercial, and bankruptcy-related disputes, and regularly represents its international clients in major domestic litigations. The active team is jointly led out of the firm's Monterrey office by Javier Navarro-Velasco and Alfonso Cortez-Fernandez. The firm recently advised the advertising company, JC Decaux in a dispute linked to stock purchase agreement that wasn't honoured by the defendant.  The practice has been active in energy-related disputes, and represented oil services company, Tesco Corporation, on a disputed lease agreement concerning heavy machinery used for drilling oil fields.

Real estate Tier 2

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.

Tax Tier 2

Clients and peers alike value Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.’s ‘strong, solid and experienced’ tax team, which, with over 70 lawyers, is one of the largest in the country, providing national coverage from five offices across the country and backed by the firm’s international network. With a focus on the oil-and-gas, automotive, manufacturing and financial sectors, the practice has been busy handling the direct and indirect tax issues affecting companies operating in Mexico, such as the tax authorities’ new approach to BEPS in auditing taxpayers; permanent establishment and transfer pricing adjustments for foreign companies; maquila programmes; the tax implications of the energy reform legislation; and tax disputes. A highlight was its advice to Syneos Health on the aspects of merging several of its Mexican subsidiaries, including the application of tax treaties to avoid double taxation. The ‘very capable, experienced and resourcefulLuis Carbajo heads the practice and handles tax assessments and tax litigation; Jorge Narváez acts on tax controversy, consultancy and transfer pricing; and Héctor Reyes undertakes tax planning, M&A transactions and corporate tax matters, including tax compliance issues. Ulises Castilla is also recommended and specialises in financial-sector matters and litigation. Other names to note include Roberto Cardona and Ciudad Juárez-based Juan Valles.

TMT Tier 2

Fourteen lawyers deal with TMT matters at Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C., advising an impressive roster of clients on business process outsourcing; IT sourcing and transactions, litigation and regulation; privacy and data protection; social and other media; and telecommunications. In highlight work, the firm was instructed by Airbnb on legal and regulatory matters regarding its expansion throughout Latin America, with the Mexico City office coordinating teams in the Caribbean, Central and South America; Estée Lauder instructed the team on numerous privacy aspects related to the deployment of artificial intelligence solutions in the personal beauty products industry, principally from the privacy and healthcare law standpoints; and the practice advised events organiser Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE) on all telecommunications regulatory aspects for the Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship races in Mexico. Other clients include DiDi Chuxing, Facebook, Twitter, and AT&T Services. Following the departure of former practice co-head Sergio Legorreta, Carlos Vela-Treviño, and Carlos Valencia jointly lead the team; Christian Lopez (who heads the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industry group), and Tatiana Escribano (who handles corporate and M&A matters), are additional key practitioners. Further support comes from associates and IP specialists Daniel Villanueva and Juan Carlos Tornel, in Guadalajara and Mexico City, respectively. However, in a surprise move, Sergio Legorreta moved to Dentons López Velarde to head up the firm's regional IP, TMT and venture-tech groups in December 2019.

Banking and finance Tier 3

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. provides ‘comprehensive coverage of the Latam area, given that it has offices in the most important countries of the region’, and its lawyers are ‘engaged’, ‘available’, and ‘passionate about their work’. The nine-strong team is especially active in real estate finance but also covers trade finance, financing via receivables, regulatory work, compliance and fintech matters. The practice is co-led by Gaspar Gutierrez-Centeno, Maria Casas-Lopez (now senior counsel), Carlos Sagaón, and Lorenzo Ruiz de Velasco . Gutiérrez-Centeno and Casas-Lopez assisted Unicredit Bank with the negotiation and execution of the fifth amendment and restatement agreement granted to Hella Automotive Group for an aggregate amount of $1.625bn; and acted as Mexican counsel to IKB Deutsche Industriebank in connection with the negotiation of a separation and amendment agreement to syndicated credit facilities granted in favour of the subsidiaries of Group of Tension II Acquico (agregate value, €185m). Ruiz de Velasco (together with Michelle Pfeffer, an associate to watch) assisted Peninsula Wind Holding, through Mexican SPV Energia Renovable de la Peninsula, on the negotiation of a financing facility of up to $116m granted by Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and Natixis for the construction and operation of a 90 MW wind farm located in the state of Yucatan. Sagaón (‘always available, business oriented and with great experience in the market’) advised Banorte on a $31.2m loan facility from Bancomext and Banco Invex, including a new $58.8m line of credit for the Tijuana Cross-Border Facility Project (CBF), a pedestrian cross-border 'air-bridge' directly connecting a new passenger facility in southern San Diego County with Tijuana Airport; and Bancomext on a $65m loan granted to IGS for the acquisition of a real estate industrial portfolio from Macquarie. In both cases Sagaón was supported by Alfonso Martínez-Bejarano, another associate to watch, as is Jimena Maciel Alonso; both 'inspire confidence’ and are ‘highly knowledgeable on the banking and payments scenario in Mexico'. Other clients include Shell Oil Company, Lafise Bancentro, Betterware, Hines, and Tristone Flowtech.

Competition and antitrust Tier 3

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C.'s three-lawyer team covers all aspects of the market, including merger control and investigations. Raymundo Enriquez leads the practice which also includes the highly experienced associates Gerardo Calderon, who is noted for his healthcare and energy sector expertise, and Luis Amado, who has a strong focus on telecoms and financial services-related competition issues. The team recently represented Ergon in a merger control process linked to its acquisition of SemGroup's Mexican liquid asphalt cement business. Other clients include Unilever, Air Liquide, and Marriott International.

Intellectual property Tier 3

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has a strong practice group dispersed throughout its network of Mexican offices. The team -which demonstrates strength across all areas of IP- works out of the firm's offices nationwide, with Guadalajara-based IP partner, Fernando Robles-Pesqueira particularly well-regarded. The team has recently handled several significant trade mark actions for the tequila producer Brown Forman, as well as representing publisher Scholastic in the successful defence of a trade mark claim. Other active clients include Tommy Hilfiger, Lucha Libre, Symantec, Marriott, and Netflix. Former practice head Dentons López Velarde left to head the venture technology practice at Dentons López Velarde in December 2019.

Projects and infrastructure Tier 3

Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C. has a diverse practice that is popular with a wide range of project sponsors and investors, with expertise that includes major social and transport infrastructure projects. The practice has been especially active in the energy and utilities sphere for a range of clients including Sojitz Corporation, Intertek, Emerging America, and Repsol Exploracion. The 'knowledgeableJorge Guadarrama and Benjamin Torres co-lead the team, which was further strengthened in October 2019 with the hire of Daniel E Sánchez, who joins as a partner of the firm's banking, finance and projects practice group.

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