Gabriel del Valle Mendiola > Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. > Mexico City, Mexico > Lawyer Profile

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Lawyer Rankings

Mexico > Projects and infrastructure

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is ‘a perennial leader in this sector‘, especially for hydrocarbons and power-related projects where the firm represents a mix of lenders, sponsors and other investors. Thomas Mueller-Gastell leads the seven-partner team that has deep bench of highly-rated partners, such as Federico Santacruz, who is ‘a leading light of the Mexican energy bar‘. Other key individuals include Gabriel del Valle Mendiola, Jorge Oria y Anaya and Asaf Jimenez Adorno. On the lender-side, the firm advised NordLB and DBTCA on the $814m refinancing of the Fermaca El Encino gas pipeline. The team also represented Recurrent Energy Mexico Development, a subsidiary of Canada’s Solar International, on the $45m financing for the development and operation of a photovoltaic power plant.

Mexico > Banking and finance

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 > Capital markets

According to one client  Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. ‘has the most solid team across all levels compared to its peers’; the lawyers’ ‘level of detail and their business sense is unparalleled’. Eight partners and 16 associates handle capital markets matters, namely advising issuers and underwriters on both equity and debt offerings, at both a national and an international level, as well as on structured products, including novel financial instruents such as CKDs. In recent work, the practice represented Citigroup Global Markets, HSBC Securities and JP Morgan Securities, as dealer managers and solicitation agents, in the $1.8bn buyback offer launched by issuer Mexico City Airport Trust (MEXCAT),  to the holders of the $6bn of MEXCAT’s international notes; acted as special Mexican counsel to HSBC Securities, JP Morgan Securities, Scotia Capital and UBS Securities on Pemex’s rule 144A/Reg S $2bn debt offering;and advised Mexico Infrastructure Partners América Latina (EXI América Latina) on the establishment of a private equity fund, through a CERPI issuace of up to MXP$3bn of Series A certificates (and up to MXP$7.5bn of optional co-investment Series B Certificates), for investment in energy and infrastructure projects in Peru, Mexico, Chile and Colombia. Other headline mandates included acting as special Mexican counsel to Barclays Capital, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley et al, as underwriters on the United Mexican States $2bn global notes isssue, due 2029. The practice is co-lead by ‘capital markets guruLuis A Nicolau Gutiérrez and Gabriel del Valle Mendiola. Nicolau ‘is the most qualified to provide legal advice in highly complex transactions’; ‘his knowledge of the law and how markets work is beyond comparison’. Del Valle Mendiola has a ‘wide understanding of transactions under the Mexican capital markets regulation’; the very active Carlos Obregón Rojo is also recommended; other notable team members include Pablo Perezalonso, Eduardo Triulzi Garciadiego, José Berrueta, and associates Joshua Párraga Saggiante, Gabriel Robles Beistegui, Javier Barrera, and Roberto Rosas.

Mexico > Energy and natural resources

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. has  an excellent track-record advising sponsors, lenders and developers on energy infrastructure projects, financings and acquisitions. The seven-partner team is jointly led by Federico Santacruz González and Jorge Oria y Anaya, who is praised for his ‘broad sector-knowledge coupled with an invaluable commercial approach‘. The practice group has a deep bench of experienced partners and associates, including the ‘truly outstandingThomas Mueller-Gastell and Gabriel del Valle Mendiola. Recent mandates include advising EVM Energia on the $161m financing for the development of two combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plants in the state of Mexico. The firm also advised NordLB and DBTCA on the $814m refinancing, including a $450m bond issue, of the Fermaca El Encino gas pipeline.