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Mayer Brown

Work +1 713 238 3000
Fax +1 713 238 4888

Jose Valera

Work +1 713 238 2692
Mayer Brown

Work Department

Corporate & Securities


Jose L. Valera is a partner in the Houston office of Mayer Brown and co-head of the firm’s oil and gas practice. He focuses his practice on domestic and international energy transactions and project development, with more than 25 years of legal experience representing oil, gas and electric energy companies throughout the United States, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

He represents oil and gas companies on exploration and production contracts, investment agreements, upstream development projects, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. His practice also includes the representation of electric companies in the development of thermal and renewable generation projects, financing, mergers and acquisitions. Jose’s LNG practice includes liquefaction services, regasification services, development of regasification terminals, and purchase and sale of LNG.

Jose has counseled the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, Peru and Iraq on energy legislative reform matters, development of shared hydrocarbon resources, and privatization transactions related to the electric and oil and gas industries.


English, Spanish and French


Catholic University of Peru, BA 1977; Catholic University of Peru, JD 1982; South Texas College of Law, JD 1986

Latin America: International firms

Corporate and M&A

Within: Corporate and M&A

Mayer Brown’s Houston team has developed an outstanding record in upstream oil and gas, power and renewables transactions. Much of its focus has centred on Mexico where it is at the forefront of the energy sector reform-related work, while Argentina constitutes a growth jurisdiction for the firm. The New York office and Brazilian alliance firm Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown are also key to the firm’s success in Latin America M&A. Financial services, agriculture, mining and infrastructure provide another solid pipeline of deals and the practice groups clients include Mitsui & Co, The Dow Chemical Company, CNOOC Petroleum Brasil, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Taco Bell Brasil, DaVita Brasil, Barzel Properties Gestora de Recursos, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Total. Recent work includes advising Colombian state-owned oil company, Ecopetrol, on its successful bids for production sharing contracts for exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons in two shallow water oil and gas blocks in Mexico. The team also represented Total on its acquisition of upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas assets and thermos power plants from Petrobras in Brazil and other jurisdictions. Houston-based Pablo Ferrante and Jose Valera are noted for oil and gas experience in Latin America, while Kevin Sheridan is a key name in New York.

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Projects and energy

Within: Projects and energy

Mayer Brown continues to cement its position in projects and energy in Latin America. The firm’s now well-established Mexico City office has further enabled it to build market share in energy and infrastructure, particularly in relation to the liberalisation of Mexico’s hydrocarbons sector, and the firm’s notable Houston office is also actively involved with the Mexico market. Its Chicago, New York and Washington DC offices provide further connections to key lenders, including commercial banks, MLAs and development finance institutions (DFIs), and a number of sponsors and borrowers. The firm has a significant market share of high profile renewable energy projects in Latin America and has attracted a consistent pipeline of infrastructure project engagements. In addition to mainstream project finance, the firm is also at the forefront of project and infrastructure bonds. Clients include Panama Canal Authority, Invenergy, Banco de Credito del Peru, Credit Suisse, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Celeo Redes, Grupo Odinsa and Empresas. The firm is praised for its ‘market and legal knowledge, efficient work, proactivity and value for money’. It advised Celeo Redes Operación Chile on the $600m issuance of US dollar and Chilean peso-denominated notes to finance electricity transmission projects; this was the first portfolio project bond in Chile. It also advised Invenergy on the acquisition, development and financing of the Energía del Pacífico Project, a greenfield LNG-to-power project in El Salvado. Other matters include representing the noteholders (private investors) in the private placement of $136m in investment-grade rated project bonds issued by Invenergy to finance the operation of its 70MW Campo Palomoas wind energy project in Uruguay. New York and Washington DC-based Christopher Erckert is the most celebrated partner in the team, having a solid record in mainstream project finance and project bonds, including in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors. Ariel Ramos is a key name in Mexico City, while Houston-located Francisco Mendez (who previously spent 20 years at ExxonMobil as an in-house lawyer for Latin America), is at the heart of the Mexico energy reform-related work. Spending much of his time in the country, Mendez was involved in the formation of the Mexican Hydrocarbons Association and is highly regarded in the upstream oil and gas sector. Also in Houston, Jose Valera and Pablo Ferrante are prominent in upstream oil and gas, power and renewables transactions in Mexico and elsewhere, while Edward Lima at Brazilian affiliate firm Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown is another pivotal practitioner. Chicago-based Barry Machlin has a great deal of experience in Latin America energy, infrastructure and mining projects, while Gabriela Sakamoto in Washington DC is an emerging talent.

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United States: Industry focus

Energy: transactions: oil and gas

Within: Energy: transactions: oil and gas

Mayer Brown advises oil companies, natural gas and liquids pipeline companies, LNG project developers, petrochemical companies and refiners, and lenders and investors on a wide range of industry matters including exploration and production operations, construction contracts, concession agreements, and upstream and midstream project finance and development. Key lawyers include Jose Valera and Thomas Moore, who are based in Houston.

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