Mr Thomas Heather > Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. > Mexico City, Mexico > Lawyer Profile

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.
AV. PEDREGAL NO 24 10TH FLOOR
MOLINA DEL REY
11000 MEXICO DF
Mexico

Work Department

banking and finance, international arbitration, insolvency corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions

Position

Mr. Heather has more than 35 years of experience and has earned recognitions and distinctions as a leading lawyer in Mexico and Latin America. For decades, he has been recognized in the top tier rankings of diverse publications, in banking and finance, international arbitration, insolvency corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions.

Career

Thomas S. Heather joined the Firm in 1981 and became a partner in 1982 thru 2005; he rejoined Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau as a partner in 2013. From 2006 to 2010, he was a partner of a major New York based law firm, where he was entrusted with the Latin American Restructuring and Insolvency Group out of Miami; thereafter and immediately prior to merging his law firm with Ritch Mueller, he headed Heather & Heather.

Languages

English and Spanish

Education

Academic Background • LLB Escuela Libre de Derecho (1978) • National Prize on Taxation Studies (1979) • Graduate studies: business and finance, UNAM; maritime law, New York University. • Master of Corporative Jurisprudence, The University of Texas at Austin (1980). Experience as a Foreign Associate • Reid & Priest, New York 1980-1981

Lawyer Rankings

Mexico > Banking and finance

(Leading individuals)

Thomas HeatherRitch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

For one source, Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is the ‘gold standard’ for banking and finance work in Mexico. The lawyers are ‘reliable and available’, display an international outlook, and have a ‘particularly unique and effective ability to convey Mexican civil law legal standards and concepts in a manner which is familiar and comforting to banking clients in Canada, the USA and Europe’. The 39-strong team works for national and international banks and underwriters, issuers, private equity firms and multilaterals on matters ranging from Mexico portfolio development to complex structures related to all types of financing transactions. Recent activity having focused on the energy and real estate sectors: the team assisted Reforma 509, for example, as borrower in a $41m Senior Credit from BBVA Bancomer for the financing of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Mexico City. The mandate was led by ‘always available, highly experienced, knowledgeable and pragmatic’ practice head Jean Paul Farah Chajín who is valued for his ‘superb manner with business people and lawyers alike’. Luis Nicolau acted for the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Citigroup Global Markets, HSBC Bank USA, and JPMorgan Chase Bank in connection to a credit agreement of $710m granted to Alpek. Less active but still a reference in the market (‘one of the best finance lawyers’ according to a peer), Thomas Heather represented PNC Financial Services Group and PNC Bancorp, as the major shareholders of BlackRock, in the acquisition of Citibanamex’s investment management business. In other work, Pablo Perezalonso represented HSBC in connection with a second placement of $100m subordinated obligations. Key support comes from senior associate Gabriel Robles Beistegui: ‘a knowledgeable and eminently pragmatic and effective lawyer, who has flawless English and whose acute awareness of North American and European service standards shines through in his everyday communications and advice’. Other names to note include Eduardo Triulzi Garciadiego, Jorge Oria y Anaya, Gabriel del Valle Mendiola, Octavio Olivo Villa, Federico Santacruz González, Ricardo Calderón Mendoza, Jose Berrueta Ochoa, senior associates Santiago Carrillo Cattori and Ana Casasús, and associates Mariana Padilla and Mariana Campos Clasing. Clients include Obrascón Huarte Laín Desarrollos, SabCapital, Banorte, Santander, Morgan Stanley, Banco Inbursa, Terrafin, and Banco del Bajío.

Mexico > Bankruptcy and restructuring

(Leading individuals)

Thomas HeatherRitch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. acts on national and cross-border restructurings and insolvencies and has been active in the aviation, satellite communications, housing and real estate development, and telecoms sectors, recently. The team’s lawyers have acted as insolvency administrators, foreign representatives and liquidators in recent bankruptcy proceedings, with practice head Thomas Heather being one of two Mexican lawyers (along with SOLCARGO’s Fernando Pérez-Correa Camarena) who acts as comptroller, receiver or conciliator (insolvency trustee) in mandates. Indeed, recent highlights saw Heather take on the role of conciliator in the $3.5bn restructuring of Empresas ICA and its subsidiaries, the largest insolvency proceeding in Mexico and Latin America. In other work, the group is assisting Corporación Geo in the additional restructuring of Geo Hogares Ideales, involving indebtedness of over $400m; represented JP Morgan, as a creditor, in the final restructuring of Altos Hornos and subsidiaries, valued at over $1bn; and Scotiabank Inverlat, also as creditor, in the commercial bankruptcy proceeding of Isolux Mexico. Heather, who was appointed a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy in 2019, heads1 the 22-strong practice group; associate Adriana Padilla is also very active in this area. Other clients include MG Polimeros, International Finance Corporation, Sears and Gerald Metals Mexico.

SOLCARGO stands out for ‘steady handFernando Pérez Correa’s role as comptroller, receiver or conciliator (insolvency trustee); he and Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.’s Thomas Heather are the only lawyers in the Mexican market  to have undertaken such a role. Clients describe the team as ‘balanced, creative, and talented at building consensus’; moreover, its ‘lawyers are also detail-oriented, which can be critical, very competitive and specialised, and very focused on solving problems quickly’. Pérez Correa co-heads the practice with ‘passionate and committedAbimael Hernández who is admired for ‘his ability to deal with complex and abstract matters, even from different areas of the law, and for his high tolerance to long working-hours, excellent concentration and high dedication’. The team is acting as counsel to Turbo Limited in all the civil and commercial lawsuits related to its insolvency proceeding and associated negotiations with creditors, succesfully obtaining a  a debt restructure and reorganisation agreement that achieved an 86% debt reduction. The team is also representing TGC Ingeniería in its insolvency proceeding, and Pérez Correa and his team have been appointed as receivers or conciliators in several insolvency cases, including in those involving ARC Internacional México, Presta-Melo, Stesso, Perforadora Oro Negro, and Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro. In September 2019 the firm also hired experienced finance specialist Jorge Labastida from Thompson & Knight LLP, thereby adding further bench depth. The 15-strong practice group  includes notable associates Zulima González and Patricia Cervantes.

Mexico > Dispute resolution

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is especially recommended for international arbitration where its lawyers are ‘truly world class in their knowledge of procedure, substance, and handling the proceedings‘. Thomas Heather and Jorge Oria are both highly experienced in this area, while senior associate Adriana Padilla is considered ‘an excellent arbitration lawyer‘ and ‘very effective in cross-examination‘.