The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
AV. PEDREGAL NO 24 10TH FLOOR, MOLINA DEL REY, 11000 MEXICO DF, MEXICO
Tel:
Work +52 55 9178 7000
Fax:
Fax +52 55 9178 7095
Email:
Web:
www.ritch.com.mx

Mexico

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Ritch, 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.

Leading individuals

Jean Paul Farah Chajín - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

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

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

[back to top]

Bankruptcy and restructuring
Bankruptcy and restructuring - ranked: tier 1

Ritch, 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.

Leading individuals

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

[back to top]

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

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

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 guru’ Luis 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.

Leading individuals

Carlos Obregón Rojo - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Luis A. Nicolau Gutiérrez - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Next Generation Partners

José Berrueta - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Rising stars

Gabriel Robles Beistegui - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Competition and antitrust
Competition and antitrust - ranked: tier 3

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

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. is commended for its '24/7 availability'; when it comes to the clients interests, the 'ownership mentality they have is unparalleled'. Senior counsel James Ritch and partner Octavio Olivo Villa ('always there to help') lead a practice group which handles a healthy mix of merger-clearance work as well as cases before COFECE and the Federal Institute of Telecommunications. The team has recently been representing a major client in the regulator's investigation into alleged monopolistic practices in the trading of government debt.

[back to top]

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

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

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. has a first class practice that is often selected to advise on the country's largest corporate deals. Lately the firm has been involved in several major transactions in the financial services sector, such as advising Banorte on its US$3bn-plus merger with Interacciones, the largest such merger in the Mexican financial services market. The firm also advised UBS on its sale of Grupo Financiero UBS to Afirmo Grupo Financiero. The team is also active in private equity and represented Linzor Capital on its acquisition of the online Mexican university, UTEL. Carlos Obregón Rojo leads the 24-strong practice group, including seven partners. Luis Nicolau and Rodrigo Conesa (who also has a strong niche advising real estate investment funds), Jean Paul Farah and Eduardo Triulzi are all high profile practitioners.

Leading individuals

Carlos Obregón Rojo - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

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

Rodrigo Conesa - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution: International arbitration - ranked: tier 3

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

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'.

Rising stars

Adriana Padilla - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 1

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

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 outstanding' Thomas 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.

Leading individuals

Federico Santacruz González - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Thomas Mueller-Gastell - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Next Generation Partners

Asaf Jiménez - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Rising stars

Alejandra Echeverría González - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

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

Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. has a strong, multi-disciplinary environmental and social impact practice that provides good support to its energy, infrastructure, real estate and corporate teams. The group, which is led by Hector Garza, has a particularly strong track-record advising on negotiations with indigenous populations and carrying out social impact assessments. A recent highlight was advising Zuma Energia on social impact matters linked to its development of two photovoltaic projects in Chihuahua and a wind farm in Tamaulipas.

[back to top]

Projects and infrastructure
Projects and infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

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

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.

Leading individuals

Federico Santacruz - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Gabriel del Valle Mendiola  - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Rising stars

Alejandra Echeverría - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

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

'Without doubt one of the leading firms for real estate' matters in Mexico, Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. handles prmarily high-end domestic transactions. The group represented Fibra MTY, for example, as purchaser and landlord in the $135m sale-and-lease-back of Whirlpool’s corporate and industrial campus in Monterrey, comprising offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution buildings in an area of 384,451m². Other noteable mandates include advising a joint venture between Walton Street and Copri on land acquisitions and the development of a MXP$2bn high-end housing complex in the area known as Parque la Mexicana; Thor Urbana in connection with the MXP$537m acquisition of Artha Capital’s interest in the development of a mixed-use project in Tijuana; and Thor Urbana Capital on its $75m acquisition of a shopping centre in Cancun. It also advised MREIT, a real estate private equity fund sponsored by Credit Suisse in Mexico, on a $53m loan secured by real estate assets in favour of Grupo Jomer; and Walton Street Capital on its  $183m acquisition of the JW Marriot hotel in Mexico City. Rodrigo Conesa leads the 19-strong team; he is ‘superb’ and ‘definitely a star player’; Javier Domínguez Torrado is the other key name to note; senior associates Gabriel Torres, Santiago Carrillo Cattori  and Héctor Cárdenas Ortega provide 'steady support'. Other clients include CCLA (a joint venture between CIM and Compass), Ivanhoe Cambridge, DD3 Capital and Reichmann International.

Leading individuals

Rodrigo Conesa - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 2

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

According to one source Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. fields a ‘very talented team of tax professionals with practical experience who go above and beyond from a client service perspective’. Like in the other large full-service corporate firms, the 15-strong team of lawyers and accountants is known especially for its transaction-related work (particluarly its strong sectoral focus in energy), although it does also handle day-to-day matters, contentious work and tax planning. Recent mandates saw the practice group advise Equinor (formerly Statoil) on the tax aspects of its investment structure in Mexico as part of its participation in the National Hydrocarbons Commission concession bidding rounds, including on its consortium with BP Exploration Mexico and Total E&P Mexico; and it represented the EVM Energía group in structuring its joint venture with General Electric to develop an 850MW greenfield combined-cycle power plant, involving private placements and loans amounting to $740m. In real estate, another sector in which the practice has been active, it advised Thor Urbana on the acquisition of the Marina Town Center, a 45,000m² marina complex, and the incorporation of a long-term holding structure for the investment that will allow for a tax-efficient divestment in the future; and CCLA, a $300m CIM Gp / Compass Gp joint venture on the structuring and implementation process of investment in Mexico to develop and operate purpose-built, multi-family, rental-residence buildings across Mexico’s largest cities in partnership with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. At the helm of the practice is Oscar López Velarde, ‘a trusted and competent tax advisor who, given his past experience, adds a practical approach to resolutions and planning matters’; working alongside him Santiago Llano Zapatero is also recommended; key support comes from senior associates Juan José Paullada Eguirao and Santiago Díaz Rivera, and associates Alonso Miranda Barceló and Diego Hernández Barrios. Other clients include Glencore, EXI/MIP, Grupo Diavaz, Acciona, Hines HRM Investor, G500 and Amundi Asset Mangement.

Leading individuals

Oscar A. Lopez Velarde - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Next Generation Partners

Santiago Llano Zapatero - Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

[back to top]


Further information on Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C.

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Ritch, Mueller, Heather y Nicolau, S.C. in other jurisdictions.

Mexico

Offices in Mexico City

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.
  • FRANCHISING TRENDS IN MEXICO: A NEW VALUE

    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: COMMENTS UNDER AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW PERSPECTIVE

    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.
  • MEXICAN CUSTOMS. UPDATE ON THE ENFORCEMENT OF TRADEMARK RIGHTS

    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.
  • DEMONSTRATING USE OF TRADEMARKS UNDER MEXICAN LAW AND PRACTICE

    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.
  • ANTI-COUNTERFEITING IN MEXICO

    By Jose Luis Ramos-Zurita