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White & Case S.C.

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. undertakes an impressive array of banking and finance deals for a broad client-base. The team is led by Juan Antonio Martín and Vicente Corta. Martín has a strong practice in regulatory compliance in the FinTech sector, which he combines with other financing and day-to-day banking work; Corta led on a number of headline transactions, including assisting Banorte in the acquisition of Interacciones’ banking, broker-dealer, insurance and asset manager subsidiaries, through a merger valued at $1.4bn; and Bolsa Institucional de Valores (BIVA), Mexico’s second stock exchange, in obtaining an operating concession title from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. In other work, Francisco García Naranjo acted as counsel for Principal Afore in its full ownership acquisition of MetLife Afore (in conjunction with Corta); and assisted leading Korean bank KEB Hana Bank in obtaining a licence to incorporate a subsidiary multiple banking institution in Mexico (in conjunction with Martín). In the latter case, García Naranjo and Martín were accompanied by María Teresa Fernández, who also worked on the Banorte and BIVA mandates, and who is an expert in regulatory compliance matters. Key support comes from Sean Goldstein and Manuel Groenewold. Goldstein (who is NYC qualified) covers banking and finance, project finance and equipment leasing; while Groenewold handles general banking and finance, and recently advised clients on regulatory compliance and secured loans. However, the practice group has experienced turbulence, with the early 2018 departures of José Ignacio Segura and Iker Arriola to Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C., and Raúl Fernández to Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C.. The practice’s clients include Altán Redes, Banco Santander (México), BBVA Bancomer, Citibank, Codere, HSBC Mexico, Proteak Uno, Credit Suisse, BlackRock, The Vanguard Group, CLS Bank, LaSalle Investment Management, Pay Pal, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Afluenta Afore Sura.

Leading lawyers

Vicente Corta - White & Case S.C.

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Bankruptcy and restructuring
Bankruptcy and restructuring - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C.’s bankruptcy and restructuring team is one of the market’s most impressive and sizeable, totalling 19 lawyers, including six partners. While a standalone practice, the team works in an integrated manner with the office’s other finance departments – banking and finance, capital markets and real estate – and is also able to draw on the firm’s global network, including insolvency lawyers in the US, which is useful for cases involving American assets or bondholders. The lawyers have the expertise to assist clients with both restructurings and in-court bankruptcies and have acted on some of the more important cases of the last years, such as the court-assisted liquidation of Oceanografía (in which the team represented SAE as receiver), and in the court-assisted liquidation of Banco Bicentenario. Recently, the team assisted Banobras with the bankruptcy of infrastructure development company Abengoa México, led by practice head Vicente Corta with partners Álvaro E. Garza-Galván and Enrique Espejel. The team further includes partners Manuel Groenewold, who acted on the Oceanografía mandate and who also has a strong banking and finance and capital markets practice, and Maria Teresa Fernández-Labardini, who covers compliance and acted on the Banco Bicentenario liquidation. Partner Juan Antonio Martín handles banking and finance, capital markets and real estate. Iker Arriola left to join Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C..

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

White & Case S.C.

Capital markets leader White & Case S.C.’s Mexico office enjoys the competitive advantage of being able to rely on its international network. Particularly active in debt-side work, although with expertise in equity and securitisation as well, the 20-strong team is co-led by Juan Antonio Martín, Manuel Groenewold and Vicente Corta. The team has been developing its Fibra practice, recently representing Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), as Mexican and NY counsel, in a MXN$16.387bn issuance – in Mexico and abroad (pursuant to Rule 144A/Reg S) – by the first publicly traded Fibra-E focused on Mexico’s electric transmission sector; and FibraShop on the regulatory procedure to increase the maximum amount of its 2015 short- and long-term dual programme from MXN$5bn to MXN$8bn. The group also continues to assist Bolsa Institucional de Valores (BIVA), Mexico’s second stock exchange, most recently obtaining an operational concession title from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) in August 2017. In other work, it assisted Citigroup Global Markets, BBVA Securities and Scotia Capital, as initial purchasers of the $260m of senior notes issued by Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua; acted for BNP Paribas Personal Finance as issuer (and BNP Paribas as guarantor), on a fourth peso-denominated issuance of debt securities in the form of CBs (certificados bursátiles) worth $107m; and, acting in conjunction with the firm’s New York and Miami offices, advised Cydsa as issuer on a $330m senior notes offering under Rule 144A/Reg S. Additional headline matters saw a team led by Corta and Groenewold advise Banorte on its offering of $350m in 5-year, and $550m in 10-year, capital notes; and BBVA Bancomer as underwriter, and Goldman Sachs and 414 Estructuración as structuring agents, in the issuance of $29m CKDs by CI Banco and SGMX Administradora de Fideicomisos. Groenewold continued to act for Fondo Especial para Financiamientos Agropecuarios (FEFA), on successive simultaneous multi-tranche offerings of MXN$1.15bn and MXN$2.3bn; MXN$1.656bn, MXN$3.22bn, and MXN$2.024bn; and in a second three-tranche debt issuance for MXN$1.03bn, MXN$1.39bn and MXN$2.18bn. Martín continued to work for key client CFE on the first and second debt certificate issuances (aggregate value MXN$8bn) under its recurrent issuer MXN$100bn programme; and on the listing on the International Quotation System (SIC) of the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) of its $750m offering of notes listed on the Taipei Exchange. New partner Carlos Mainero worked on the GCC and FibraShop deals, while María Teresa Fernández (former head of the Mexican FDIC –the IPAB– and general counsel of the CNBV) assisted Corta on the BIVA mandate. Relevant support comes from associates Eric Quiles and Simon Micha Kurc. Iker Arriola left to join Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.. Other clients include Aeromexico, BlackRock, Citibanamex Casa de Bolsa, Fin Útil, Financiera Independencia, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, Morgan Stanley, SGFP México, and Société Générale.

Leading lawyers

Juan Antonio Martín - White & Case S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Carlos Mainero - White & Case S.C.

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Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. will undoubtedly miss highly rated former practice head Iker Arriola, who left in 2018 to join Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.. It does however retain several partners with a strong pedigree in this area, notably Antonio Cárdenas, Vicente Corta and Henri Capin-Gally, offering substantial expertise across a range of areas including cartel investigations and merger clearances. The firm recently advised Group Financiero Banorte on the clearance required for its $1.4bn merger with Group Financiero Interacciones, and has also been advising a major global bank on a COFECE investigation into the treasury bond market.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. provides ‘excellent service and work’ to its clients, who appreciate its status as ‘an international firm with representation in all jurisdictions’. The firm is also noted for its sector-led expertise; it ‘adds value’ thanks to its ‘deep knowledge of the way the pharmaceutical industry operates in Mexico’, and also has ‘vast experience and deep knowledge of the financial sector’. Recent highlights include advising Grupo Financiero Banorte on its $1.4bn acquisition of Group Financiero Interacciones; acting for BlackRock on the acquisition of Citibanamex’s asset management business; and representing pension fund manager Principal Afore on its acquisition of MetLife Afore. The team saw the significant departure of its two highly rated practice heads: Iker Arriola, who left in 2018 to join Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C., and Raúl Fernández-Briseño, who joined Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C.. It nevertheless retains a high-quality bench of partners, including Álvaro Garza-Galván (‘an essential lawyer’), Vicente Corta and Henri Capin. Up-and-coming senior associate Mauricio Valdespino ‘is a young promising lawyer with high potential in M&A and a high sense of responsibility’; he ‘delivers excellent work’.

Leading lawyers

Vicente Corta - White & Case S.C.

Next generation lawyers

Mauricio Valdespino - White & Case S.C.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. provides ‘a first-class service in both client service and legal knowledge’; ‘regardless of their busy agenda, the lawyers are always there when you need them.’ The firm’s partners have a well-balanced mix of experience in arbitration and litigation. The litigation side is jointly led by Ismael Reyes Retana, who is praised for his ‘extensive knowledge and attention to detail’, and Enrique Espejel, ‘an excellent lawyer who knows the legal system perfectly’. Arbitration practice head Rafael Llano meanwhile is ‘the perfect mix of a New York lawyer and a Latin American counsel – he understands the needs of Latin American clients while being able to provide synergies with his experience as a civil and common law trained lawyer’. The firm also stands out for some of the younger lawyers coming through the ranks; these include recently promoted partner Daniel González, who ‘not only delivers high-quality work, but is always looking for better solutions’. Alejandro Martinez de Hoz is ‘an excellent, high-profile associate’. The firm has been particularly active on the telecoms front, recently representing Altán Consortium in a dispute arising from a challenge to its successful public tender bid to develop and deploy the Red Compartida wholesale telecoms services network.

Next generation lawyers

Daniel González - White & Case S.C.

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Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. comes highly recommended for its ‘excellent level of service’ and is considered a strong partner for hydrocarbons and renewables projects. Key figures include Vicente Corta, Sean Goldstein and Francisco de Rosenzweig, who is noted for his ‘professionalism, human quality, ability to analyse and respond accurately, and high level of commitment’. The firm has recently advised on the financing of several significant solar projects. Major clients include BlackRock Global Investors, the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, and Total.

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Environment - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

The ‘great’ team at White & Case S.C. has ‘a very good understanding of the needs of the client’ and handles an impressive mix of work for clients in the energy and manufacturing sectors, including Diageo, the Federal Commission of Electricity, International Textile Group and Group Barramar. Practice head and counsel Pedro Morales is singled out for ‘his very good knowledge of federal regulation, and his availability’.

Next generation lawyers

Pedro Morales - White & Case S.C.

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Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. has a particularly strong track record advising on major projects in heavily regulated industries such as energy and telecoms. It recently advised ALTÁN Redes on its implementation of an industrial partnership agreement with Axtel and Megacable for the development and operation of a nationwide 700MHz LTE wholesale shared network. The team was also involved on the transport front, acting for Operator Lines 7 and Sky Bus Reforma on the financing for new buses needed for the Mexico City Metrobus Line 7. Vicente Corta and Sean Goldstein jointly lead the team.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C.’s ‘excellent’ practice handles all real estate matters, including associated finance, particulary infrastructure projects where the team often calls on support from the firm’s environmental law practice. Working in conjunction with real estate, finance and capital markets specialist Vicente Corta, practice co-head Alvaro Garza Galván advised Fibra Shop on multiple acquisitions, notably the $76m acquisition of shopping centre "La Perla" in Jalisco, the $22m acquisition of shopping centre "Sentura" in Tlanepantla, state of Mexico, and the $145m acquisition of shopping centre "Puerta La Victoria" in Querétaro. The partners assisted the same client with the regulatory procedure required to increase the maximum amount of its 2015-established dual programme from MXN$5bn to MXN$8bn, as well as with the second and third offerings therein. In this case, support came from Carlos Mainero who was also present on the firm’s highlight deal, representing Altán Redes in negotiating each of its master tower lease agreements, allowing the client to comply with its contractual obligations under its PPP agreement with the Mexican Government regarding mobile phone coverage. This case was led by Iker Arriola and Raúl Fernández-Briseno, who have since moved to Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. and Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C., respectively. Key support comes from counsel and practice co-head Pedro Morales, who also heads the firm’s environmental law practice. He (in conjunction with corporate and banking partner Francisco Garcia Naranjo) assisted Sonoco with the leases for its Mexican operations. Other clients include Grupo Barramar Turbana and Kansas City Southern Mexico. Associate Rodrigo Avendaño moved to Cuatrecasas.

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TMT - ranked: tier 2

White & Case S.C.

White & Case S.C. is ‘very active in this area’, according to market commentators, with ‘expertise that is higher than most of the law firms in the TMT area’. Focusing particularly on telecoms litigation, regulatory and financing matters, the nine-strong team offers a ‘high level of service, always meeting deadlines. What differentiates the lawyers, according to one client, is their ‘industry knowledge. When you ask for legal advice, they always answer with sustained arguments. They facilitate communication, forming a good legal team with their client. Their customer service is excellent, and they are always willing to help and adapt to the economic situation of the company’. The team recently assisted Televisa and Telefonica in a dispute before the Supreme Court regarding zero termination rates (fixed and mobile), obtaining a ruling prohibiting the dominant agent from collecting rates for interconnection services rendered from late 2014 to 2017 from other telecom providers, effectively saving the latter $800m; and Altán Redes, as lessee, in negotiating each of its master tower lease agreements with several tower companies for the installation of telecoms equipment, in order for the client to comply with its contractual obligations under the terms of its PPP agreement with the Mexican Government. The team has acted for Grupo Telefónica on several matters, including before the IFT, which wrongly issued several resolutions linked to interconnection tariffs between Telefónica and other telecoms operators. The team also assists Televisa with daily legal and regulatory issues. The practice group is led by administrative litigator and regulatory specialist Ismael Reyes Retana, with key support from Antonio Cárdenas, also considered a strong litigator and a TMT specialist. Both have ‘a deep understanding of the telecommunications law, the industry and the judicial precedents. They deliver their work outstandingly, with fast responses and adapting to new and unexpected situations’. Associate Yuriria Galicia Arizmendi is also noted for these same qualities. Raúl Fernández-Briseño left to join Mayer Brown Mexico, S.C.. Other clients include Cable y Comunicación de Campeche, Cablemás Telecomunicaciones, Cablevisión, Corporación de Radio y Televisión del Norte de México, Corporación Novavisión, Digital Bridge, Goldman Sachs, Innova, MXT Towers, TV Cable de Oriente, and ViaSat.

Next generation lawyers

Antonio Cárdenas - White & Case S.C.

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Tax - ranked: tier 4

White & Case S.C.

Growing in strength’, according to one market commentator, White & Case S.C.’s tax team ‘always shows great knowledge as pertains to the matters we are consulting on, the industry and country environment and tendencies. The lawyers have a sense of urgency, accountability and availability’. A relatively new practice, but one that includes three partners and six associates, the group divides its time mostly between transactional and litigation work. Guillermo Aguayo heads the team (and played a leading role on all mandates); according to clients he’s ‘one of the best tax lawyers, he is useful, efficient and effective, and is able to foresee issues that may generate difficulties in the future’. Key partner-level support comes from Ismael Reyes-Retana whose expertise lies in litigation, administrative and regulatory matters; and Antonio Cárdenas (litigation, administrative, regulatory and constitutional matters); while senior associate Juan Ignacio Lopez handles both litigation and transactional work. In a recent highlight, the Mexico and New York offices teamed up to assist Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) (including tax advice) with its MXN$16.38bn global offering of energy and infrastructure investment trust certificates in Mexico and abroad (pursuant to Rule 144A/Reg S); Aguayo’s team handled all tax aspects of that issuance as well as assisting the same client with its July 2017 offering of MXN$7bn in cebures. The group also acted as Mexican tax counsel to Kansas City Southern in a private ruling case before the SAT related to VAT charged on global transport services that begin outside Mexico and terminate in the country; and on the tax structuring of its joint venture agreement with Bulkmatic Transport Company for the construction and operation of a refined-energy-products fuel terminal in Nuevo León. Other matters included assisting Deutsche Bank with the tax structuring for the sale of its Mexican mortgage portfolio assets to Alsis Funds.

Next generation lawyers

Guillermo Aguayo - White & Case S.C.

Juan Ignacio Lopez - White & Case S.C.

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Legal Developments in Mexico

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Notorious Marks

    Notorious marks or the declaration thereof, has always been an issue widely discussed in Mexico by the IP legal community. This is so because provisions of the Paris Convention dealing with this topic have for a long time been uses as an effort to cancel or nullify trademarks registered by Mexican authorities without really making an extensive evaluation of proposed denominations and without examining in depth if such marks may be potentially affecting rights acquired by third parties elsewhere. So, a specific regulation and legal frame that at least tries to resolve this issue is always a good start in the right direction.

    By Ignacio Dominguez Torrado Uhthoff, Gomez Vega & Uhthoff, S.C. Why a new value? Is Mexico avoiding the economic fallout that the world may be facing? In Mexico franchises are worth more? Is Mexico not a country that the global economic standstill is or will affect? The answer is, not really. Are Franchises in Mexico currently experiencing a boom? Perhaps. Are Franchises becoming an important aspect in Mexican economy? Certainly.

    Advertising in Mexico is governed by multiple bodies of law including for at least seven Federal Laws, five Regulations also of Federal application, a number of the so-called Mexican Official Standards (NOM's) and certain other laws and regulations applicable into specific States within the Republic of Mexico. All of them are focusing to establish the form and manners for producing and communicating advertising of products and services in Mexico.

    It has been well publicized in the Mexican media over the last few months that the General Customs Administration (AGA) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) are planning to launch a customs trademark registry, as a short-term solution to increase protection for trademark owners against the import of infringing and counterfeit products.

    The evolution in the protection and enforcement of IP rights has also reached the Mexican practice. The traditional ways of defending a registered trademark on a non use contentious procedure have developed.

    By Jose Luis Ramos-Zurita