Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. > Mexico City, Mexico > Firm Profile
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. Offices
TORRE VIRREYES, PEDREGAL 24, 24TH FLOOR
COL. MOLINO DEL REY
MEXICO CITY, 11040
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Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. > The Legal 500 Rankings
Mexico > Banking and finance Tier 1Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is widely acclaimed as one of the market’s undoubted heavyweights, not least in the field of banking and finance. Renowned rainmaker Carlos Aiza, who has an impeccable track record of activity in this area, heads the department, which boasts a stellar client roster consisting of a mix of international and domestic lenders, borrowers and financing entities, who seek out the practice for its expertise and ability to navigate a broad array of transactions. Of late, the team has handled complex structured financings, restructurings and DIP financings; cross-border, local single-bank and syndicated loan facilities; acquisition, structured and maritime financings (secured and unsecured), and high-level restructurings, project finance and derivatives operations. The sizeable practice counts a number of other prominent practitioners in its ranks, including Giovanni Ramírez Garrido, who has a focus on real estate lending and other asset-based lending transactions and has a particular experience in agro-sector loans; managing partner Pedro Velasco, who advises clients on a wide range of secured and unsecured financings, across several industries; Rodrigo Castelazo (banking, finance, bankruptcy, capital markets and private equity); Mercedes Haddad who handles banking, finance and capital market matters. Up-and-coming figures include younger partner Emilio Aarún (asset-backed, mezzanine and structured finance; real estate, corporate and project finance, payroll loans, workouts and finance regulatory); and Alejandro Isaac, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2022. Former counsel Víctor Gallegos moved to Cervantes Abogados in July 2021, while -since research concluded- Eduardo Flores Herrera has also left the firm (effective July 2022).
‘A professional, fast, committed team with full knowledge of the banking and financing sector. Among their greatest skills are their speed and their interest in completing transactions without unnecessary discussions or ego fights.’
‘They inform the client in a clear way and give them all the options for decision making, helping them to reach agreements that benefit both parties. Pedro Velasco and Alejandro Isaac are two of its prominent members.’
‘The lawyers show a solid preparation in the matters they advise the company on, always with a good disposition. Alejandro Isaac, Pedro Velasco, and Giovanni Ramírez.’
‘The team differentiates itself from other advisors by handling matters efficiently, segmenting matters according to area of expertise and maintaining integrated communication between the teams.’
‘Highly competent in terms of technical skills, negotiation and interpersonal relations.’
‘Extremely diligent team in the execution of syndicated and structured credits. Very good level of coordination with external counterparties for smooth and efficient execution.’
‘Giovanni Ramírez, Pedro Velasco, and Emilio Aarún are excellent lawyers who understand the sector and offer practical and achievable solutions.’
Apollo Global Management
Credit Suisse (Cayman Islands branch)
Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Company
JP Morgan Chase Bank
Wells Fargo Bank
- Advised Apollo Global Management on a secured super-priority multi-tranche debtor-in-possession term loan facility consisting of a senior secured Tranche 1 facility of $200m, and a senior secured Tranche 2 facility of $800m, the latter of which may be converted – at the lenders’ option – into shares of the reorganised borrower.
- Advising Diamond and BCPE Diamond Mexico Holdco in connection with: a $500m 4.625% Senior Notes issue (due 2029) made by the company on September 29, 2021 and fully and unconditionally guaranteed, jointly and severally, on a senior unsecured basis by it’s direct parent, BCPE Diamond Netherlands and subsidiaries, existing and subsequently acquired.
- Advised FIBRA Prologis in connection with a $400m unsecured, committed and sustainable line of credit with a syndicate of eleven banks, led by Citibanamex.
Mexico > Capital markets Tier 1Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.‘s revered practice is a dominant force in the capital markets arena in Mexico. Its sizable and ‘highly-qualified team’ is renowned for its prowess advising issuers and underwriters on both debt and equity transactions, and is lauded for its for its pioneering track record handling transactions such as CKD-listings and the initial operations for mortgage REITs, master limited partnership Fibra-Es, and CERPIs. The sturdy practice houses a number of notable, senior practitioners, first and foremost: senior partner Carlo Aiza, who remains a renowned specialist in this field; Rodrigo Castelazo, who recently led the team which advised Finsa on its first-ever Mexican private fund, which allows Mexican pension funds to invest in a platform that offers access to investments in industrial real estate assets; Carlos Zamarrón, who boasts a wealth of experience in capital markets, structured finance, and asset securitisation transactions; and Mercedes Haddad, who brings additional expertise in structured finance, asset securitisations and derivative transactions. Since research concluded, Eduardo Flores Herrera has left the firm – effective as of July 2022.
‘Highly-qualified team with complete disposition.’
‘Always available with high technical capacity.’
Comisión Federal de Electricidad
Walton Street Capital
Oaktree Capital Management
- Assisted Finsa on its first-ever Mexican private fund, which allows Mexican pension funds to invest in a platform that offers access to investments in industrial real estate assets to continue to take advantage of the industrial growth in Mexico.
- Advised CFE in connection with its issuance and offering of (i) $1,2bn in 3.348% notes (due 2031) and (ii) $800m in 4.677% notes (due 2051), conducted as a private placement under Rule 144A/Reg. S of the US Securities Act of 1933,
- Acted as Mexican counsel to IDB Invest on its seventh and largest bond issuance in Mexico, and its first gender and sustainable issuance in Mexico.
Mexico > Competition and antitrust Tier 1Over an outstanding 30-year track record, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has successfully built what for some is the ‘the best competition law firm in Mexico and one of the best competition law firms in the world’. The practice, described as ‘particularly ‘responsive’, bright and charming’, handles a broad range of cases before the competition authorities, from pre-merger filings, to investigations, administrative procedures, and constitutional (amparo) proceedings. The group is a regular presence in the investigations conducted by COFECE against monopolistic practices (cartels), abuse of dominance, barriers to entry, essential inputs and illegal concentrations; indeed, recent highlights include advising football Club Monterrey Rayados regarding an investigation that marks the first time COFECE has investigated and penalized an antitrust case in the employment or recruitment sphere, specifically, so-called “no-poaching” agreements. Mauricio Serralde, who handles a variety of cases before the competition authorities; and Carlos Mena, whose experience includes a stint as chief Investigator and Prosecutor (Autoridad Investigadora) at COFECE, co-head the team. Luis Gerardo García, who focuses on merger control matters; Jorge Kargl, who was promoted to partner in January 2022; counsel Sara Gutiérrez, who handles antitrust investigations and litigation; and senior associate Edgar Martín Padilla, are other key names in the practice.
Carlos Mena; Luis Gerardo García
‘Creel has the ability to provide a comprehensive service with an excellent response from its partners and associates. The participation of the partners in the issues is visible and adds significant value.’
‘The knowledge and quality of the firm’s lawyers is relevant and makes the difference with its competitors.’
‘The firm has a great background in competition and antitrust law. Their expertise and collaborative team fulfill the practice in an extraordinary way. They propose solutions according to the required need. Customer service, availability and attention exceed expectations.’
‘Knowledge, availability and practical solutions to complex situations. Customer service is a differentiator. Its added value is the deep understanding of the case. Empathy with the client.’
‘Creel is a strong partner dealing with our antitrust matters for Mexico. They interact and understand well the needs and constraints of an international client and have a very smart way of conducting their own process while coordinating with many other countries and law firms involved in an international transaction.’
‘The team under the leadership of Mauricio Serralde is composed of highly professional experts, reactive and available for any contact with the client. Edgar Martin Padilla is particularly key both on the substance and on all the very constraining interactions required worldwide for an international deal. Mauricio and Edgar have also the relevant experience with COFECE which enables them to give some visibility to the client for long and difficult processes.’
‘They are the best competition law firm in Mexico and one of the best competition law firms in the world. In addition to the traditional merger control work, they are also leaders in many research and litigation issues. Same with compliance work in general.’
‘Carlos Mena, Luis Gerardo García, Mauricio Serralde, and Jorge Kargl stand out. They are particularly ‘responsive’, bright and charming.’
- Advised on the $409m acquisition by Uber of the majority of shares of Cornershop, the first platform-platform merger ever reviewed by Mexican regulators.
- Advised Live Nation Entertainment on its acquisition of 51% of OCESA Entretenimiento, the largest Mexican live music shows promoter, which was recently subject to a long-lasting investigation by COFECE for abuse of dominance.
- Advised Canadian Pacific on its $29bn acquisition of Kansas City Southern (KCS) via merger, with the payment of a mixed consideration of cash and securities.
Mexico > Corporate and M&A Tier 1Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. draws praise and recognition for its stellar corporate and M&A department, which is an undoubted force to be reckoned with when it comes to handling complex and innovative transactions in Mexico. The ‘very professional, dedicated and experienced’ practice, which is recommended for its ‘excellent service and outstanding quality of the work’, is a recurring ‘go-to option’ for a number of large multi-national corporations, Mexican conglomerates, private equity funds, real estate investment funds, investment banks, foreign and domestic investors and global development institutions. The group boasts specialist knowledge across a variety of industry sectors and is jointly led by the renowned Jean Michel Enríquez, who shows great facility handling private and public M&A; and Iker Arriola, whose expertise encompasses mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and antitrust. The deep bench of expert practitioners also includes Eduardo González, who some consider to be ‘the best M&A lawyer in Mexico’; real estate specialist Carlos del Río; Jorge Montaño, who has a focus on private equity, venture capital and capital markets transactions; Humberto Botti, who handles domestic and cross-border acquisitions and divestitures; and Diego Barrera, who was promoted to partner in January 2022, and garners praise form clients for his ‘great negotiation skills’. Moreover, in a notable move in August 2022, the firm announced the opening of an office in Madrid, Spain; to be led by Arriola, it will only advise on Mexican law and is expected to be fully functional by January 2023.
Jean Michel Enríquez; Iker Arriola
‘They are a very professional, dedicated and experienced team. They offer excellent service and outstanding quality of the work.’
‘Very commercial, experienced and responsive. We regard them as our go-to option in Mexico and would not have executed transactions without their diligence, guidance and expertise.’
‘Jean Michael Enriquez and Diego Barrera Pieck, are sophisticated lawyers with strong commercial awareness, who provide the highest level of client service.’
‘Creel is a highly service-oriented firm with strong commercial awareness and very sophisticated M&A expertise, among the most sophisticated of all the local counsel with whom we work.’
‘Eduardo González, is surely the best M&A lawyer in Mexico. He has solid technical knowledge and great experience.’
‘Diego Barrera: highly commercial, creative and flexible/responsive. Great negotiation skills. Good sense of humour too, and great to work with. Carlos Del Rio: very experienced, giving strategic and wise counsel throughout.’
Global Infrastructure Partners
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Canadian Pacific Railway
Advent International Corporation
Live Nation Entertainment
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)
Black Creek Mexico
- Advised Global Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition from Actis of Saaví Energía, and the refinancing of the company’s existing debt.
- Advised Canadian Pacific Railway in connection with the 100% acquisition of Kansas City Southern in exchange of stock and cash representing an enterprise value of approximately $29bn.
- Advised Live Nation Entertainment on the acquisitions of 51% of the shares representing the capital stock of OCESA Entretenimiento, 40% owned by Grupo Televisa, and 11% owned by CIE.
Mexico > Environment Tier 1With long-standing experience Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has considerable and longstanding experience in the environmental sector, advising clients on the full spectrum of matters -including regulations, compliance, administrative proceedings, litigation and transactional issues- on a nationwide basis. The team handles issues related to forestry and land use, hazardous waste, water concessions, air quality and emissions, and climate change regulations (among other matters), tending to a wide range of industries such as real estate, oil and gas, energy, health care, and food and beverages. The practice is led by Carlos de Icaza, who represents clients on a broad array of regulatory and transactional matters arising under federal, state and municipal environmental laws, regulations and standards. De Icaza is supported by a capable and experienced second line of associates including Alejandro Castelló (who was promoted to counsel in August 2022) who has deep experience in environmental law, particularly in relation to the energy and natural resources and real estate sectors; and senior associates Mariana Westendarp and Jessica Villaverde who both have over 15 years’ experience dealing with environmental matters. The team is also profoundly involved in the firm’s recently relaunched ESG and Sustainable Finance practice.
Carlos de Icaza
Advent International Corporation
Calizas Industriales del Carmen
Vulcan Materials Company
Terminal KMS de GNL
Cultivo Land PBC
Digital Data Centre Bidco
- Advised Legacy Vulcan -and its Mexican subsidiary Calizas Industriales del Carmen- on various environmental aspects of its operations in Mexico, including an international investor-state claim arbitration under NAFTA against the Mexican Government in relation to its quarrying operations in Playa del Carmen, Solidaridad and Quintana Roo.
- Advised Landec Corporation and its Mexican subsidiary, Procesadora Tanok, on various compliance, environmental and regulatory matters, including the legal strategy related to the rectification of environmental legislation and executing a permitting strategy to achieve compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Advised Grupo Celanese on the federal environmental legal requirements applicable to the definitive shutdown of a gas pipeline built and operated by Grupo Celanese, used to transport natural gas from a PEMEX gas station to Grupo Celanese’s industrial manufacturing complex located in the municipality of Poncitlán, Jalisco.
Mexico > Insurance Tier 1Corporate powerhouse Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. houses a consolidated and ‘highly-specialised’ insurance and reinsurance practice, which earns additional praise for its ‘professionalism, friendliness and efficiency’. Department-head, and regulatory specialist Leonel Pereznieto, boasts extensive experience advising global insurance and broker groups in connection with their local establishment and acquisitions, while also remaining active on contentious insurance and reinsurance mandates, with a focus on the negotiation and settlement of reinsurance claims, and/or their resolution through arbitration. The team is enhanced by the expertise of valued counsel María José Pinillos, who is lauded for her ‘exceptional way of transmitting knowledge’, and who provides additional experience in arbitration-related matters. Drawing on the firm's full-service capabilities, the team has been working closely with the tax department, recently, representing the Mexican insurance subsidiary of a global client in a tax assessment process and litigation.
‘Their work is professional and experienced and is carried out efficiently.’
‘They stand out for their professionalism, friendliness and efficiency, they have professionals with great experience in their legal field.’
‘A highly-specialized team.’
‘Maria Jose Pinillon Montano offers personalized follow-up, availability and an exceptional way of transmitting knowledge.’
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
El Aguila, Compañía de Seguros
Ocean International Reinsurance Company
Aspen Insurance UK
- Advised Active Network -from insurance, consumer protection and data privacy standpoints- on the feasibility of implementing its Active Refund service in Mexico.
- Assessed -from a labour law and insurance regulatory perspective- the possible implementation by MBIA Mexico of directly housing its own employees, as necessary to fulfill their corporate purpose and preponderant economic activity.
- Successfully obtained the registration of 18 reinsurers with the Foreign Reinsurers Limited registry that is kept by the Insurance Commission.
Mexico > Real estate Tier 1Undoubtedly one of Mexico’s predominant forces in real estate practice, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. garners praise for delivering the ‘best services in the industry with the peace of mind that all aspects of the operation have been reviewed and impeccably attended to’. The practice is highly experienced in regulatory aspects of direct and structured investments, strategic property acquisitions in the industrial, retail, commercial, tourism & leisure, residential and urban sectors, as well as in development, management and operation of real estate projects. It advises multinational and domestic developers, promoters, tourism and hospitality companies, and investors – including real estate funds, Mexican CKDs, CERPIs and FIBRAs. The team is co-led by head of the firm’s Monterrey office, Francisco Montalvo, who represents multinational companies and domestic conglomerates on the acquisition and development of tourism, industrial and residential developments, and on the acquisition and divestiture of companies and assets; and Carlos de Icaza in Mexico City, where he leads the real estate and environmental practice group, and has acted or led on numerous innovative real estate transactions, generally representing industrial groups, real estate investment trusts, development companies or private equity funds. Also in Mexico City, Carlos del Río focuses on M&A, private equity and real estate (and also leads the firm’s corporate social responsibility and pro bono program); while in Monterrey, Badir Treviño-Mohamed‘s activity centres on advising real estate developers and investors (including international real estate funds, Mexican CKDs and FIBRAs), on the Mexican legal and regulatory aspects of direct or structured investments in, or strategic acquisitions of, real estate across all asset types and market segments. The quartet of partners can call on a powerful second line comprising counsel Valentina Villa (who is also director of D&I at the firm), whose focus is on real estate, M&A and banking & finance; Alejandro Castelló, who specialises in real estate and environmental law; Carlos Yamamoto, who specialises in real estate and transactional matters; and Alfonso Pulido who advises private and public funds, and FIBRAS, on the acquisition of industrial and commercial real estate portfolios, as well as counselling clients on the structuring of real estate developments and handling the administrative requirements to obtain licenses, permits and authorisations. The latter three were all promoted to counsel in August 2022. Also noted, senior associates Brenda Elizondo and Hugo J García de la Garza.
Francisco Montalvo; Carlos de Icaza
‘Excellent quality of lawyers and response times.’
‘When we retain Creel in a real estate matter, we are certain that we are receiving the best services in the industry with the peace of mind that all aspects of the operation have been reviewed and impeccably attended to.’
‘Carlos del Río, Moises González Arroyo and Alfonso Pulido are exceptional attorneys who provide personalized attention. They have formed a multidisciplinary team that understands the needs of the client and knows the needs of real estate operations in Mexico.’
The Cadillac Fairview Corporation
O’Connor Capital Partners
Apex Tool Group Manufacturing México
- Advised Cadillac Fairview Corporation on the initial public offering of FIBRA Soma and its acquisition of 13 different real estate projects located throughout Mexico’s main cities, with an approximate gross leasable area of 684,392 square meters.
- Advised FIBRA Prologis on the acquisition of 14 industrial properties, 11 of which are located in Tijuana, one in San Luis Potosi, one in Queretaro and one in Silao, from Artha Capital by means of an assignment of beneficiary trust rights for the amount of $160m.
- Advised Finsa regarding the negotiation and preparation of multiple documents related to the acquisition of 12 industrial buildings and three plots of land located in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas from Parque Industrial Nuevo Laredo 2000.
Mexico > Tax Tier 1Firmly established among the ‘top-tier of Mexican tax advisors’, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.‘s talented practice is also praised for its ‘very good relationship with the authority’, and for offering ‘clear and practical advice on matters’. The department, which boasts solid expertise regarding M&A, financial services, private equity, projects and debt and equity capital markets, is led by Alejandro Santoyo, who regularly acts for large multinationals, banks and global private equity investors and sponsors on acquisitions and investments in Mexico across multiple industries. Recent work highlights include advising Apollo Global Management as lender on a DIP facility to Grupo Aeromexico in connection with its chapter 11 procedures in the US. Santoyo is closely supported by tax advisory specialist Omar Zúñiga, who is well-versed in international tax matters and advises foreign companies doing business in Mexico as well as domestic players operating abroad; Jorge Correa, whose practice encompasses capital markets and financial products, cross-border structuring, M&A and energy; and Luis Vázquez, who handles tax controversy and tax litigation mandates, representing clients before the tax authority on tax inspections and refund applications. Eduardo Brandt, who was promoted to partner in January 2022, and associate Eduardo Espinosa are other key contacts of the team.
‘Very good relationship with the authority. They provide clear and practical advice on matters of Mexican tax law. I would consider them in the top-tier of Mexican tax advisors.’
‘One of the main advantages of working with Creel is that they are also well informed on international tax developments and are adept at collaborating on solutions to complex cross-border matters. We have worked with Alejandro Santoyo for many years and his depth of knowledge and experience is exceptional.’
‘Capacity for analysis and reaction. Eduardo Brandt and Omar Zúñiga.’
‘They always look for a way to provide a solution that is practical and suits the business without neglecting adherence and compliance with legislation. Thanks to the fact that they understand very well the needs and operation of the business, the type of solutions and advice they provide us are quite grounded.’
‘Alejandro Santoyo and Eduardo Espinosa are always one step ahead, and are very knowledgeable about the reforms and their impact.’
‘Alejandro Santoyo: a strong and reliable adviser assisting large international players. Jorge Correa: a tax talent with the ability to analyze and simplify complex matters. He has a diverse international client base. Omar Zuñiga: a reputable tax lawyer advising many multinationals with a strong background due to his in-house tax experience. Luis Vazquez: very active in M&A transactions. Eduardo Brandt: rising star as newly appointed partner.’
‘In my experiences with Creel, particularly with Alejandro Santoyo, I always receive a proactive response to any situation. He has his client’s needs in mind and gives us options on how the matter can be resolved. A very particular characteristic of Santoyo is that he understands finance and accounting, which has led to very rich discussions that cover all aspects of a solution.’
‘They are technical lawyers who manage to propose creative solutions for the client and who manage to explain technical issues in an easy and practical way for the client. Also, there is always consistency in their recommendations. In a particular way, I would highlight the names of Alejandro Santoyo and Eduardo Espinosa.’
Mexico Infrastructure Partners
Global Infrastructure Partners
Apollo Global Management
Vista Oil & Gas
American Express (Mexico)
Wal Mart Mexico
Grupo Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (Mexican Stock Exchange)
JP Morgan Chase
- Advised Apollo as lender on a $1b DIP (debtor-in-possession) facility to Grupo Aeromexico in connection with AeroMexico’s chapter 11 procedures in the US.
- Advised Cadillac Fairview in connection to the structuring and formation of FIBRA Soma, (a Mexican REIT equivalent), with Grupo Sordo Madaleno as a co-investor.
- Advised Live Nation on its $444m acquisition of a 51% controlling interest in OCESA Entretenimiento from Televisa and CIE (40% from Televisa and 11% from CIE).
Mexico > Bankruptcy and restructuring Tier 2Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.'s practice continues to gain momentum in the bankruptcy and insolvency domain, with a team that has excellent skills and a strong track record of success advising clients on the non-litigious aspects of corporate recovery, insolvency, restructurings and workouts. The group, which counts revered practitioners in the matter -such as of counsel Thomas Heather- in its ranks, is led by senior partner Carlos Aiza. The team is well-versed in advising bondholder banks and companies in financial debt restructuring; the restructuring of existing credit facilities and debt instruments; creditor advisory in connection with workouts and liquidation of distressed companies; the acquisition of distressed loan, companies and assets; and acting as mediators (conciliadores) and receivers. Finance and capital markets specialists Pedro Velasco, Rodrigo Castelazo, and Emilio Aarún; and senior associate Christian Dorantes, are other key names of the practice.
‘They make up compact, specialised teams, seeking to satisfy customer needs, taking care of their interests as well as staying within reasonable costs. They form balanced teams, always well led, open to discussion and reaching agreements. They seek to privilege the business without compromising clients positions.’
‘The quality, delivery and disposition stand out. Its partners Pedro Velasco, and Emilio Aarun are always available for inquiries, changes or customer requirements. Its personalized attention stands out, with a high level and attention to detail.’
Apollo Global Management
- Acted as Mexican counsel to Apollo on securing a multi-tranche debtor-in-possession term loan facility (the DIP facility).
- Counsel to the administrative agent and lenders in the $1.9bn financial restructuring of Cinepolis.
- Counsel to Grupo Posadas in the negotiation and implementation of the restructuring of its 7.85% 2022 unsecured bonds for a principal amount of $393m (plus approximately $45m in interest).
Mexico > Compliance Tier 2Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. offers a ‘well-established and highly experienced investigations and compliance team’, with a focus on anticorruption and white-collar matters from the perspective of investigations, due diligence and compliance program implementation. Leonel Pereznieto, ‘the attorney you want in your circle when facing a serious compliance issue or handling a delicate internal investigation’, heads the practice following the departure of former co-head Narciso Campos, who left the firm to move in-house in November 2021. Pereznieto, who boasts a blend blend of regulatory expertise and proven experience advising risk managers, is sought after by clients in need of assistance in anti-corruption and white-collar investigations, and he also regularly advises in the implementation compliance programs. The practice's clients span industries and sectors, including health, IT, energy, financial services, infrastructure, and automotive. Counsel Eduardo Apáez, who specialises in compliance with an emphasis in anti-money laundering; and ‘secret weapon’ senior associate Santiago Acosta bring additional key expertise to the practice.
‘Creel boasts a well-established and highly experienced investigations and compliance team. They have a detailed knowledge of the local regulatory and operating environment but equally understand the interplay with international structures and institutions, making them particularly adept in cross-border, complex matters.’
‘Leonel Pereznieto has an understandable and justified position as a leader in the Mexican compliance domain. Whether advising on compliance aspects of an M&A transaction or handling a sensitive investigative requirement, his experience shines through. His ability to liaise effectively with international counsel and access a broad network of contacts in adjacent fields are further strings to his bow.’
‘Creel has the best compliance practice in Mexico – it is not even a close call.’
‘They understand the demands of multinational clients, have a keen understanding of the Mexican environment and are responsive, practical and user-friendly.’
‘There is nobody better than Leonel Pereznieto. His practicality, responsiveness and judgment make him the ultimate counselor to clients navigating complex compliance matters.’
‘Santiago Acosta is the firm’s “secret weapon.” His former government experience and sharp legal mind make him a tremendous asset to any client. Although not yet a partner, I would trust him with any compliance-related matter on behalf of any of my clients.’
‘The team practices what they preach with regards to compliance. They take investigations and compliance seriously and are dedicated to ensuring all rules and regulations are followed.’
‘Leonel Pereznieto is the attorney you want in your circle when facing a serious compliance issue or handling a delicate internal investigation. He is brilliant and methodical, with a great deal of experience in navigating difficult situations.’
Canadian Pacific Railways
Westlake Chemical Corporation
Cuenca Tecnología Financiera
D Local Pagamentos
Mexican Investment Funds Operator
- Assisting Landec regarding a compliance issue at its Yucatan Foods production facility in Guanajuato, Mexico, which was reported to US regulators.
- Assisted Sézane in connection with the crisis management and independent investigation into alleged discriminatory and cultural appropriation practices derived from its spring collection photo shoot involving indigenous people.
- Collaborated with Incode on the implementation of its technological solution, complying with the Mexican AML regulation applicable for banks, broker dealers and sofipos.
Mexico > Dispute resolution: arbitration Tier 2With a practice that ‘mixes experience and youth’, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. continues to nurture its presence in the arbitration sphere, most recently hiring Elsa Ortega (arbitration and corporate/M&A) and Sofía Gómez Ruano (arbitration, mediation and data privacy) -the former founders of boutique firm Ortega & Gómez Ruano (OGR Law)- as partners in July 2022, thereby both extending its strategic contentious capabilities and strengthening the group’s leadership structure. Underpinned by the expertise of the firm’s corporate and transactional capabilities, the practice has particular expertise in both commercial and investor-State arbitration, dispute prevention (including negotiation and mediation) and crisis management, and acts across a broad array of sectors, including energy and natural resources, private equity, financial matters, real estate, hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing. The group is helmed by two highly-recognised and seasoned disputes’ practitioners: Bernardo Sepúlveda (a former ICJ vice-president), and Thomas Heather – both of whom are of counsel. Closely supporting them is a second line of accomplished counsels comprising Luis Jardón, who ‘knows mediation and arbitration like few other lawyers in Mexico’; Héctor Anaya Mondragón, who undertakes both commercial and investment arbitration in addition to his litigation activity; and Carlos Martínez Betanzos, a ‘promising future figure in the arbitration scene’, who focuses on domestic and international commercial arbitration, cross-border disputes and international law. Since research concluded, Martínez has left the firm to co-found Fonseca, Rodríguez, Perchemlian & Martínez Abogados
Bernardo Sepúlveda; Thomas Heather
‘Carlos Martinez and Luis Jardón are great lawyers and very familiar with the intricacies of Mexican law. Both of them are fluent in English and familiar with investment and commercial arbitration.’
‘I know Carlos Martinez-Betanzos well. He is a very capable lawyer and a promising future figure in the arbitration scene in Mexico. I also know Luis Jardón.’
‘Young team specialized in controversies related to energy and construction.’
‘We highlight Luis Jardón for his extensive knowledge of arbitration matters.’
‘Luis Jardón is a tremendous lawyer. Always very attentive and helpful. Pays close attention to detail and very willing to help and serve.’
‘Luis Jardón knows mediation and arbitration like few other lawyers in Mexico. His experience is a great tool for any client who needs assistance in alternative dispute resolution.’
‘It is a solid team, which mixes experience and youth. I would highlight Héctor Anaya.’
‘I highlight Bernardo Sepúlveda, who has extensive experience in international litigation; Carlos Martínez Betanzos and Héctor Anaya, who together with Bernardo are experienced and knowledgeable lawyers, and have stood out in an important way in the field.’
Legacy Vulcan (subsidiary of Vulcan Materials Company)
Live Nation Entertainment
Unión Fenosa Gas
Tethyan Copper Company vs Islamic Republic of Pakistan (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/1)
AFC Investment Solutions vs Republic of Colombia (ICSID Case No. ARB/20/16)
Attila Doğan Construction & Installation Co vs Sultanate of Oman (ICSID Case No. ARB/16/7)
- Representing Legacy Vulcan in a $1.2bn investor-State arbitration under NAFTA’s Chapter 11 against Mexico.
- Represented Live Nation Entertainment in a $440m ICC commercial arbitration related to the termination of a purchase and sale agreement for the acquisition of a Mexican entertainment company in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mexico > Labour and employment Tier 2Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has impressive expertise in labour and employment matters both in terms of transactional matters, such as due diligence, and on the regulatory front; it also has considerable experience advising on union negotiations, corporate reorganisations, employee transfers, layoffs, labour audits, wrongful dismissals and advice on the recent labour outsourcing reform. Additionally, the firm has significantly grown labour group in its Monterrey office. The overall team is led from Mexico City by Francisco Peniche, an experienced 20-year plus veteran in the sector who undertakes the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements; the development and implementation of effective hiring structures; personnel training workshops, health and safety regulations and manuals, anti-discrimination protocols; consulting on the implications of labour law compliance in commercial transactions; the hiring and termination of personnel; and high-level litigation before local and federal authorities. With the January 2022 promotion of Julio Alvarez to the partnership, the practice now has additional senior-level capability; Alvarez focuses on individual, collective, and social security matters – particularly the labour aspects of M&A operations, reorganisations, and employee and executive compensation. Moreover, with the September 2021 recruitment of Rodrigo Espíritu Santo (a veteran practitioner with extensive in-house labour experience) from Scotiabank, the practice retains a strong second tier; he joins María Fernanda Pariente (conflict prevention and ADR; labour investigations) at senior associate level.
‘For me it is essential that, in addition to being specialists in labour law, they have a commercial and practical approach, in order to help the client to achieve its goals.’
Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en América Latina
Mexican Association of Real Estate Fibras (REITS)
Apollo Global Management
Willis Towers Watson
- Advised Apollo Global Management on the financing of Aeroméxico (with a loan of $1bn divided in several tranches; the employment analysis of the restructuring plans was essential for the approval of the loan granted to Aeroméxico, as it implied securing the labour savings required to achieve long-term, sustainable economic results for the company.
- Advised Colgate-Palmolive on the successful design and implementation of labour reorganisation necessary for the company to be in full compliance with the new reform relating to subcontracting of personnel, with respect to its operations in Mexico and the services it receives from third parties nation-wide.
- Francisco Peniche was summoned by the Mexican Association of Real Estate Fibras (REITS), to appear as an independent expert to clarify the impact of the recently enacted reform to labour, social security and tax legislation regarding subcontracting of personnel, with respect to real estate investment trusts in Mexico.
Mexico > Life sciences Tier 2Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.‘s life sciences practice is focused on providing regulatory and transactional advice in the pharma, medical device, biotechnology, and food and beverage industries on matters such as compliance with sanitary regulations, labelling requirements, and registrations and authorisations, as well as transactional advice and litigation. The team – which is well regarded for ‘knowing the various complex laws around life sciences exceedingly well and applies it in a practical way’ – is co-led by insurance and regulatory specialist Leonel Pereznieto and Iker Arriola, whose input is in terms of corporate, finance, transactional and competition matters . Also, a key player in the practice, specialist counsel Guillermo Govela -whose past experience includes time at both COFEPRIS and the office of the Health Secretary- has a close focus on health regulation and administrative law; clients identify him as ‘smart, timely and extremely responsive on a range of time-sensitive needs’. Since research concluded, the team has been further bolstered with the September-2022 hire of experienced senior associate David Campos, who has considerable litigation experience in relation to life science matters, from Baker McKenzie Abogados, S.C..
Leonel Pereznieto; Iker Arriola
‘Complete service in one place. Few law firms in Mexico have the capacity to deal with all kinds of issues “in the same place”.’
‘Unmatched commitment and response times.’
‘The team knows the various complex law around life sciences exceedingly well and applies it in a practical way that we appreciate and respect. We often bring on the Creel team as co-counsel for matters on behalf of our multinational clients with Mexican business interests.’
‘Guillermo Govela Martínez is smart, timely and extremely responsive on a range of time-sensitive needs. He’s been instrumental in a range of high stakes life sciences matters.’
‘The team demonstrated expertise in challenging digital health matters. Besides, they are very responsive and willing to provide helpful assistance.’
‘I had the opportunity to work with Leonel Pereznieto and Guillermo Martínez in a multi-jurisdictional digital health project. Deliverables and responsiveness were excellent!’
Bristol-Myers Squibb de México
Genomma Lab Internacional
Thor Químicos de México
Meade Johnson Nutricionales de México
Covington and Burling,
Monster Beverage Corporation
Columbus McKinnon de México
- Successfully advised US-based biotechnology company Inovio ion its request for authorisation from COFEPRIS to conduct a Phase 2/3 clinical trial in Mexico for its DNA vaccine candidate for Covid-19, INO-4800.
- Advised Abbott Nutrition as to the applicable legal framework for infant formulas in Mexico, including specific considerations regarding ingredients, additives, and the naming of such ingredients and additives, as well as the applicable regulation to the fortification of infant formulas.
- Advised Genomma Lab International regarding sanitary advertising requirements for cosmetic products, medical devices, and dietary supplements, for preventive purposes, as well as to use this evaluation in a Consumer Protection administrative procedure.
Mexico > Projects and infrastructure Tier 2Co-led by partners Santiago Sepúlveda and José Ignacio Segura, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.‘s nine-strong practice is ‘a cohesive team, with very deep knowledge of all relevant issues‘, and is regularly called upon by a broad mix of sponsors, developers, construction companies and lenders for the development and financing of infrastructure projects in sectors such as oil and gas, power (primarily renewable energy), petrochemicals, telecommunications, transport (including airports, rail and toll-roads) and water and waste management. Sepúlveda handles the structuring, development and financing of infrastructure projects, along with M&A and PE investments; while Segura focuses on the electricity and natural gas industries from both regulatory and transactional perspectives. Key support is provided by energy-and-infrastructure transactions focused counsel Vanessa Gimenez, along with senior associate Ana Irma Amado (energy and infrastructure development, public tenders and permitting), and associate Juan Carlos Luna R (oil and gas, power, infrastructure, project finance and PPPs).
Santiago Sepúlveda; José Ignacio Segura
‘A cohesive team, with very deep knowledge of all relevant issues. Also, with a commercial sense, which is very important when closing deals.’
‘High quality service and response times. Stand out: Ignacio Segura, Jorge Correa, Leonel Pereznieto, Carlos Aiza’
China Power Holding International
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP)
Hanwha General Chemical
Vista Oil & Gas
China Three Gorges
- Advised KKR on the acquisition 20% of Sempra Energy’s non-utility infrastructure business under one self-funding platform.
- Advised Global Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition from Actis of Saaví Energía, a 2.2 net GW portfolio of 9 energy facilities (including 6 CCGTs, 3 compression stations and 65 km of associated natural gas pipelines), and the refinancing of the existing debt in Saavi Energía.
- Advised Blackstone Infrastructure Partners on its acquisition of an interest in FRS Capital Corp from 82FRS Holdings, which included the legal due diligence of the Mexican subsidiaries of FRS Capital, preparation of the acquisition documents and antitrust clearance from the Mexican antitrust regulator.
Mexico > Energy and natural resources Tier 3Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. remains a capable presence in the energy and natural resources market, with clients noting that ‘the team, apart from its specialty, comprehensively understands the transactions and the challenges that arise to provide complete advice‘. The practice group undertakes the full range of M&A, financing, regulatory and infrastructure work for domestic and international clients across the power (including renewables), oil-and-gas, and petrochemicals sectors, as well as working extensively with investment funds. Santiago Sepúlveda, who specializes in M&A transactions and private equity investments involving large oil, gas, power, telecom and transport infrastructure projects in Mexico; and José Ignacio Segura, whos pracitce focuses on project finance and energy and infrastructure in the electricity and natural gas industries, co-lead the nine strong team. Younger partner Vanessa Gimenez advises energy companies, project developers, engineering and construction companies, as well as lenders and investors on energy and infrastructure transactions and also has experience of all phases of project development. Ana Irma Amado (energy, infrastructure, compliance), and Juan Carlos Luna (energy, infrastructure and project finance) are the associates to note.
Santiago Sepúlveda; José Ignacio Segura
‘The team, apart from its specialty, comprehensively understands the transactions and the challenges that arise to provide complete advice. They have a close and permanent relationship with the client to meet the requirements and needs in a timely manner, also using technological means to get closer to the client.’
‘They deeply understand the client’s needs and concerns, engage with the client’s internal teams to understand procedures and provide clear and timely responses and solutions to obtain board decisions. Their availability and willingness to serve the client are fundamental in the development of consultancies.’
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Global Infrastructure Partners
China Power Holding International
Vista Oil & Gas
Hanwha General Chemical
China Three Gorges
- Advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts on the acquisition 20% of Sempra Energy’s non-utility infrastructure business.
- Advised Global Infrastructure Partners on the acquisition from Actis of Saaví Energía, a 2.2 net GW portfolio consisting of 9 energy facilities, including 6 CCGTs, 3 compression stations and 65 km of associated natural gas pipelines, as well as the refinancing of existing debt in Saavi Energía.
- acted as lead Mexican counsel to China Power Holding International, on the acquisition of a 100% interest in the renewable portfolio owned by Zuma Energía, which consists of onshore wind farms, solar power plants and three greenfield projects.
Mexico > TMT Tier 3Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C.‘s powerful transactional DNA is also reflected in its TMT practice, which has an impressive track record in this sense, although the team also offers strong regulatory mandates capabilities; all of which translates into a more than capable practice in this sector, that acts for clients such as Amazon, AT&T, Audi, Avaya, Blackstone, DAZN, Equinix and Facebook. The practice is co-led by antitrust and competition expert Luis Gerardo García; senior partner Jean Michel Enríquez, who is a well known corporate/finance all-rounder; and Jorge Kargl, who was promoted to partner in January 2022, and regularly assists clients in the telecom, broadcasting, satellite, entertainment, automotive, e-commerce and OTT industries regarding Mexican law, regulations and authorisations. IP partner Begoña Cancino left the practice in July 2021.
Luis Gerardo García; Jean Michel Enríquez; Jorge Kargl
‘Technically flawless, business oriented and good communication with clients.’
‘Responsiveness and good knowledge of the industry. Advice is concrete and business oriented.’
Atos IT Solutions and Services
Canadian Pacific Railway
Live Nation Entertainment
Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners
- Assisting Stonepeak with the Mexican aspects of its acquisition of the Latin American business of Lumen Technologies.
- Assisting Equinix with obtaining the required telecommunications authorisations to act as a reseller of telecommunications services in Mexico
- Assisting Volkswagen with analysis of, and compliance with, several technical provisions issued by the Federal Institute of Telecommunications and product standards (NOMs) issued by the Ministry of Economy related to the import of certain radio equipment.
Mexico > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 4Endorsed by its ‘prestige and national and international recognition’, Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. has built up a solid dispute resolution practice, which centers mainly on administrative and cross-border litigation, the protection of foreign investment, and arbitration. The firm's profile as a transactional giant gives the team a leading role in disputes arising from large cross-border and domestic transactions. Key contacts of the group include tax litigation specialist, Luis Vázquez, and senior counsel Héctor Anaya Mondragón who, in addition to his arbitration practice, represents clients in disputes across the electricity, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, real estate, and insurance and reinsurance industries.
‘The professionalism and capacity of its members stands out. In recent times my contact has been with Héctor Anaya for issues of dispute resolution.’
‘Prestige and national and international recognition.’
Asociación Mexicana de FIBRAs Inmobiliarias (AMEFIBRA)
Calizas industriales del Carmen
Columbus McKinnon de México
Reckitt Benckiser (México)
Servicios y Terminales de Tuxpan
Thor Quimicos de México (subsidiary of Thor Chemicals)
Un Techo para mi País
- Representing the local SPV of a North American investor that has been subject of multiple actions and harassment by the Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission.
- Represented an international pharmaceutical company in a dispute arising out of a public bid called by the the United Nations Office for Project Services (“UNOPS”).
- Representing Legacy Vulcan in administrative litigations related to a $1.2bn investor-State arbitration under NAFTA’s Chapter 11 against Mexico.
Mexico > Intellectual property Tier 4Full service powerhouse Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. is gradually establishing the relevance of its the intellectual property practice, which has already built a fine reputation not only for its experience in protecting client’s intangible assets and trade mark, patent and copyright applications, prosecution and registration, but especially for its advice in the context of M&As, joint ventures and other transactional scenarios for both local and international clients; indeed some go as far as to suggest that ‘working with Creel is a guarantee in obtaining favourable results for companies‘. The practice is led by counsel Gaby Finkel who has experience drafting licensing, merchandising, distribution, franchise and service agreements (among others), as well as entertainment rights, trade marks and copy right, and who is heralded as ‘extremely knowledgeable, professional … level-headed and thoughtful‘. Key support comes from associates Dafne Méndez (‘prompt and accurate attention‘) and Sofía Castañón (a ‘great attorney‘).
‘Lawyers are updated on current issues, their response being accurate and timely.’
‘What makes them stand out is their prompt attention and responses, which reflects that organization and coordination are very well managed.’
‘We turn to Creel for advice and execution of certain procedures related to Intellectual Property issues the team is experienced and up to date, knowledgable on the applicable legislation in Mexico and internationally. Working with Creel is a guarantee in obtaining favourable results for companies.’
‘In the case of Intellectual Property, we have always received prompt and accurate attention from Gaby Finkel’s team, specifically from Dafne Méndez Pérez in projects that we have in progress today.’
‘The team at Creel is always prepared and very knowledgeable. They have helped us navigate through some very challenging times in Mexico, whether that is with the government’s processes or other companies. They are extremely professional and present different alternatives when strategizing. The way they approach matters, small and large, is better than most firms I have dealt with, globally.’
‘Some of the great people in this department are Gabry Finkel Singer and Sofía Castañón Rivera, they are extremely knowledgeable, professional and have managed my company through some tough negotiations. They are level-headed and thoughtful while also knowing how to prevail over others. Overall, two great attorneys.’
‘The team is attentive, responsible and with fast and assertive communication. With each question, they have provided us with practical solutions as well as advice and support to carry them out. In terms of technology, they are at the forefront with resources that have worked very well for us and have helped us meet our goals. They also have very diverse teams, with different profiles that have helped us with inclusive perspectives.’
‘Attention to the project and attention to detail. Their response is always punctual and favorable. Gaby Finkel and Sofía Castañon have been very helpful and understanding. They have guided us through complex processes with great patience. Also, they get very deeply involved with our work, giving us constant recommendations on how to improve.’
Vista Oil & Gas
Gaia Pop Up Design
- Advised Riot Games on the planning, development and implementation of new strategies for the expansion of its business and that of its most relevant brand, “League of Legends”, to allow the client to venture into new industries such as clothing and accessories, consumer products and entertainment content.
- Advised Grupo Sezáne during a controversy alleging cultural misappropriation which trended in social media, since the relevant authority for Indigenous Communities -the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI)- issued an official warning letter condemning any disrespectful or cultural misappropriation practices.
- Advised Vista Oil & Gas on legal strategy to prepare and submit 85 trade mark registration applications of which 61 have been granted.
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez, S.C. > Firm Profile
Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez is widely recognized as one of the premier law firms in Mexico. Its leading practices are recognized in the market as dominating the mergers and acquisitions, finance, and capital markets legal fields, and its wide array of other practice areas, with specialized expertise, work closely together in a true partnership to provide clients with a unique team of attorneys with extensive knowledge to anticipate and resolve issues and efficiently achieve clients’ legal and business goals.
An award-winning, full-service corporate law firm which has over 85 years of experience in providing international and domestic clients with technical excellence, knowledge of the market and unparalleled client service. The firm is a strategic service provider to clients with the most complex and demanding transactions and projects, affording them certainty and peace of mind. The firm provides innovative solutions to many of the largest, most intricate, first-ever market-leading deals in Mexico.
It has been influential in the development of cutting-edge legal products and financial instruments in Mexico. The deep understanding of clients’ business goals and the dynamics of multifaceted cross-border and domestic transactions, by internationally trained, bilingual attorneys, has long established a reputation for client satisfaction and the firm’s responsiveness and expertise. Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez is the firm of choice of prominent multinational and domestic financial institutions, industrial corporations, commercial enterprises, investors, international multilateral institutions, and rating agencies.
The firm’s practice areas include administrative litigation and claims, arbitration and dispute resolution, banking and finance, bankruptcy and restructurings, capital markets, corporate and commercial, employment and labor, energy and natural resources, environmental, ESG, infrastructure, insurance and reinsurance, intellectual property, investigations and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, pro bono, project development and finance, real estate, social security, tax, telecommunications, transportation.
|TORRE VIRREYES, PEDREGAL 24, 24TH FLOOR, COL. MOLINO DEL REY, MEXICO CITY, 11040, MEXICO||+52 55 4748 0600|
|CORPORATIVO EQUUS, RICARDO MARGAIN ZOZAYA 335 TOWER 2, 22ND FLOOR, COL VALLE DEL CAMPESTRE, SAN PEDRO GARZA GARCÍA NL, 66265, MEXICO||+52 81 8363 4221|
|Carlos Aiza||Firm´s Senior Partner and Chairman of the Board||View Profile|
|Rodrigo Castelazo||Partner||View Profile|
|Jean Michel Enríquez||Partner & Member of the Firm´s Board of Directors||View Profile|
|Luis Gerardo García Santos Coy||Partner & Member of the Firm´s Board of Directors||View Profile|
|Francisco Montalvo||Partner||View Profile|
|Jorge Montaño||Partner||View Profile|
|Francisco Peniche||Partner||View Profile|
|Leonel Pereznieto||Partner||View Profile|
|Giovanni Ramírez Garrido||Partner||View Profile|
|Santiago Sepúlveda||Partner||View Profile|
|Pedro Velasco||Member of the Firm´s Board of Directos and Managing Partner||View Profile|
|Carlos Zamarrón||Partner||View Profile|
|Carlos de Icaza||Partner||View Profile|
|Carlos del Río||Partner||View Profile|
Staff FiguresPartners : 34 Other fee-earners : 200+
- Banking and finance
- Capital markets
- Competition and antitrust
- Corporate and M&A
- Real estate
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Bankruptcy and restructuring
- Dispute resolution: arbitration
- Labour and employment
- Life sciences
- Projects and infrastructure