Santamarina y Steta > Mexico City, Mexico > Firm Profile

Santamarina y Steta
11560 MEXICO, D.F.

Mexico > Labour and employment Tier 1

Santamarina y Steta remains a leading force in labour matters in Mexico, highly regarded by clients as a ‘point of reference or “benchmark” in labour law‘, and whose lawyers ‘give us solid legal advice, with excellent responsiveness and understanding of our business objectives and zeal to defend them’.  The practice is particularly sought out by clients for complex collective bargaining issues and the design of union negotiation strategies, unfair dismissal litigation and high-level terminations, and more recently for corporate reorganisations due to the recent labour subcontracting reform. The team is jointly led by Juan Carlos de la Vega, who is is widely recognised for his expertise in the resolution of union disputes in the mining and automotive industries in Mexico; Francisco Udave, who ‘has the ability to have a very complete vision of the issues – in addition to technical solidity, he perfectly understands the business aspects’; he specialises in employment litigation, representing management in high-profile cases filed by top executives, as well as representing clients in employer/union conflicts; and Andrés Rodríguez, who advises clients on individual and collective litigation, and legal audits focused on labour-obligations compliance. The partners can call on a sizeable and experienced second line comprising: counsel Álvaro Álvarez (contractual labour relations; labour conflicts); Raquel Ortiz (labour disputes representation; personnel transfers and employment relations); Ernesto De La Puente and Djuro Fernández (labour litigation); Victor Coria (mining sector labour and employment matters); and Jaime Vázquez G, who was raised to counsel in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos De La Vega; Andrés Rodríguez R; Francisco Udave


‘The SyS team led by Francisco Udave understands our operation very well and knows how to make the right recommendations at the right time. We have not worked with other lawyers in this area who understand our activities as well as Francisco and his team.

‘Franciso Udave really understands the business and is always ready to offer his suggestions in record time.

‘Andrés Rodríguez and his team are our point of reference or “benchmark” in Labor Law, they give us solid legal advice, with excellent responsiveness and understanding of our business objectives and zeal to defend them. They also tell us what we need to hear (although sometimes it’s not good news). In recent years they have provided us with excellent advice and representation on strategic labor issues, a collective conflict, compliance with regulations related to the pandemic, reorganizations and adaptations to comply with the subcontracting reform and complex social security issues. When we have required it, they have shown flexibility in their fees.

‘High legal knowledge, aimed at achieving the business objectives of the company, reconciling them with integrity. Excellent response times, and flexible and reasonable fees. In addition, they are very friendly people who are a pleasure to work with.

‘The Santamarina work team is our main provider of legal services, their comments and specific solutions have greatly supported the adversities we have encountered due to the particularity of our business. They have extensive knowledge and contacts that have been of great help now with the issue of labor reform and REPSE. They adapt to work in different schemes.

‘They have the availability at all times to continue and finish the cases, no matter how difficult they may be, and close them in the best way. Francisco Udave, Ernesto de la Puente, Axel Gomez and Victor Coria stand out in the team.

‘Exceptional team in labour matters, integrated with capable and reliable lawyers. Very good availability in the use of new communication tools. Great price/quality ratio. Firm committed to diversity.

‘Francisco Udave has the ability to have a very complete vision of the issues. In addition to technical solidity, he perfectly understands business aspects. Alejandara Arizpe, excellent lawyer, very reliable and with a high quality in the deliverables.

Key clients

General Motors de México

Teksid Hierro de Mexico

PKC Group



Grupo Mexico

Endeavour Silver



Home Depot Mexico



Morgan Stanley

Universal Music Group Mexico

Work highlights

  • Advised General Motors Mexico on the rapid response mechanism initiated under the USMCA derived from alleged violations to the principles of freedom of association and collective bargaining occurring at one of its sites as a consequence of a wrongfully handled legitimation process of a collective bargaining agreement by the union; the USTR ruled that the company was in full compliance of such principles and released it from any penalty.
  • Advising Teksid Hierro de México on a claim in which the National Mining Union, is demanding to be recognised as the representative of the majority of employees and party to the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Advising Absormex on a claim in which the National Petrochemical Union is demanding recognition as representative of the majority of employees and a party to the collective bargaining agreement of the company.

Mexico > Banking and finance Tier 2

Praised for the ‘excellent quality’ of his work, as well as for his ‘unparalleled depth of market knowledge’, practice-head Juan Carlos Machorro steers the banking and finance group at full-service firm Santamarina y Steta, which is well known for its strength in corporate and project finance, regularly representing both financiers and borrowers. Machorro is closely supported by partners Alberto Saavedra, a veteran figure with some 35 years' experience in securities, banking and finance, capital markets, foreign investment and project finance; and Sergio Chagoya, who offers additional expertise advising government entities, and handles a variety of financial transactions, including private equity and venture capital in relation to infrastructure projects, public offerings, securitisations and privatisations. Further expertise is provided by a solid pair of younger partners, namely Diego Ostos (banking and finance, capital markets, project finance and government procurement); and Ricardo Orea, who has particular experience advising on the financing of infrastructure projects in the energy and transport sectors, and on other asset-backed financing transactions. Promoted to counsel in January 2022, Margarita Casarin is another name to note.

Practice head(s):


Extensive knowledge of the subject and good team player. Mastery of banking issues, excellent negotiation skills, and friendliness.’

Juan Carlos Machorro and Alberto Saavedra offer excellent quality and unparalleled depth of market knowledge.’

Great professional ethic, conscientiousness, attention to details, and responsiveness.’

Tailored and bespoke service, versatile and adaptative approach, top-notch problem solving and actionable approach.’

Key clients

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Économique (Proparco)

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)

Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)


Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society

Multibank Panamá

Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB)

Trinity Capital Partners Corporation

Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (Banobras)

Work highlights

  • Advising Banco Santander on the restructuring of a loan originally granted to Trituradora y Procesadora de Materiales Santa Anita as borrower and Elementia as guarantor.
  • Represented IFC and Proparco regarding the refinancing of a credit facility originally granted in 2017 to Proteak Uno and its subsidiaries in Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica, following default by the obligors during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advised Trinity regarding Tranche Three of a credit facility granted in favor of Orla Mining.

Mexico > Capital markets Tier 2

Santamarina y Steta houses a seasoned and reputed capital markets practice, which remains involved in advising clients in debt and equity offerings, including work on FIBRAS and CKDs, as well as on public tender offers in several jurisdictions for clients that have subsidiaries and relevant assets in Mexico. Practice-head Alberto Saavedra brings his extensive experience in this area to the table, with the structuring of debt programmes undoubtedly one of his core strengths. Sergio Chagoya, whose capital markets practice is complemented by a solid knowledge of banking and finance and corporate/M&A; and Diego Ostos, who was welcomed to the partnership in February 2022, are also key departmental contacts.

Practice head(s):

Alberto Saavedra


‘We have always used Santamarina for our corporate issues. The team is always open to negotiating any issue, both billing and business. They have support from various experts within the group.

‘The people who attend us are warm, focused on the business and simple people in their way of speaking and being.

Key clients

ABC Aerolíneas


Banco Mercantil del Norte

Bolsa Mexicana de Valores

Ciudad Maderas

Corporación Geo

Corporación Interamericana de Inversiones



Grupo Carso

Grupo Empresarial del Norte

Grupo Industrial Saltillo

Grupo Lamosa

Grupo Palacio de Hierro

Internacional de Inversiones

Kimberly Clark de México

La Comer


Work highlights

  • Advised INVEX on the amendment of a debt bond (certificados bursátiles) program in the Mexican securities market, so as to include an extension of the debt program.
  • Represented IDEI on the launching of a debt program to issue certificates (Certificados bursátiles fiduciarios inmobiliarios).
  • Advised Alfa on the issuance of Ordinary Participation Certificates (Certificados de Participación Ordinarios) represented by Alfa Series A shares.

Mexico > Real estate Tier 2

The practice group at Santamarina y Steta is acclaimed as ‘definitely a great team, always attentive to the client, and with wonderful follow-up on the matters they see’. The practice has great expertise in agrarian and urban development matters,  along with acquisitions, transfers, leasing, construction, financing and guarantees, and developmental/operational real estate project issues relating to -among others- industrial parks, distribution centres and malls, offices, housing complexes, tourist developments, mixed-use complexes, airports and “ejido” properties. The team is led by ‘great partnerVicente Grau, who advises clients on the acquisition, leasing, development, construction and sale of real estate properties, as well as on the related structuring of financing and security, the contribution of properties to FIBRAS, and on CKDs and guaranty trusts. Additional partner level expertise is provided by Claudia Rodríguez, who advises Mexican and international clients on the structuring, planning and implementation of operations for the acquisition, financing, development, leasing and sale of real estate projects, as well as on the structuring of real estate guarantees; she specializes in the commercial and industrial sectors. Associate Yakov Kobets who is ‘always on top of matters’ participates in the structuring and execution of projects related to the acquisition and/or sale of assets, including due diligence procedures.

Practice head(s):

Vicente Grau


‘Definitely a great team, always attentive to the client, and with wonderful follow-up on the matters they see. The good communication with them is noticeable and despite the pandemic, the communication was always very fluid and their administrative team is also very good.

‘Vicente Grau is a great partner. He is always attentive and aware of the issues he is carrying. And Yakov Kobets is also a super associate, they are a great team, the two of them always with the best availability, Yakov is always on top of matters and we value that very much.

Mexico > Competition and antitrust Tier 3

Veteran full-service firm Santamarina y Steta boasts a longstanding presence in the competition domain, and garners praise form clients for its ‘great capacity to see beyond what is presented’, as well as for being ‘responsive and proactive’. Following the retirement of Ernesto Duhne  in June 2021, the practice is now solely led by Vicente Grau, and is well known for handling merger-review proceedings, and obtaining authorisations for large multi-jurisdictional and domestic transactions. The group has additional expertise assisting clients implement compliance programs, representing and advising domestic and international clients in antitrust investigations, and challenging resolutions from the competition authority. Other highlighted practitioners include Francisco Torres; senior associate Ivan Szymanski, who according to clients is ‘particularly good’ in this area; and associate Yakov Kobets.

Practice head(s):

Vicente Grau


‘They worry about understanding the problems of the operation in such a way that their recommendations are not only from a regulatory or academic point of view, but also with a practical approach that is appropriate to the needs of the company.’

‘The added value is the genuine concern, that the recommendations are understood and that they are useful to the client, as well as the fact that there is always a great availability and understanding of the operating framework. There is a great capacity to see beyond what is presented.’

‘Ivan Szymanski and the team really know their jurisdictions law and regulators. They are also are very responsive and proactive – great to work with.’

‘Ivan Szymanski is particularly good.’

Key clients

Arthur J Gallagher

Knowlton Development Corporation

El Corte Inglés

GFI Informatique

USG Holdings

Savage Companies

Bartlett Grain (Bartlett & Company)


Marriott International

Cameron International

General Motors

Mazda Motor Manufacturing de México

GM Financial de México

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr

Veolia Environnment

Abbott Laboratories

Lafarge Holcim

Knight Transportation

Glen Raven

Credit Agricole

Work highlights

  • Advised AJG on analysis of whether a notification of concentration before the COFECE was required as a result of the company’s intended purchase of the reinsurance brokerage business in Mexico of Willis Towers Watson.
  • Antitrust training to USG employees and advising the company on the review -under competition law- of contracts and commercial policies.
  • Advising General Motors Company and its financial arm, GMF, on the review -under competition law- of contracts and commercial policies.

Mexico > Corporate and M&A Tier 3

Mexican market stalwart, Santamarina y Steta, houses a sizable practice -which operates from both Mexico City and Monterrey- with extensive experience and activity in the corporate and M&A sphere. The group, co-led by seasoned practitioners Juan Carlos Machorro and Jorge León-Orantes (both based in Mexico City), is known for handling mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, corporate restructurings and joint-ventures, as well as advising private equity and venture capital players on transactions and corporate restructurings. Corporate and finance expert Alberto Saavedra; Guillermo Moreno, who was promoted to partner in January 2022 and garners praise for offering ‘excellent advice, knowledge of the subject and support’; and Monterrey-based César Cruz Ayala, are among the practice’s main contacts. Senior associate Ilse Bolaños is another name to note. The group’s client roster includes notable names from the automotive, pharmaceutical, construction, real estate, retail, hospitality and manufacturing sectors.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Machorro; Jorge León-Orantes


The team is very innovative with the use of technology. They are experts at collaboration among their different areas of expertise and extremely responsive to client demands.’

Alberto Saavedra and Juan Carlos Machorro are all stand-outs as partners.’

They have as good experience as any top-tier law firm but a personalized service by the partner we work with. Always available.’

The firm offers a personalized service while at the same time always offering at our disposal support areas within their team for specific requests.’

They know and care to understand the particularities of our structure and business. Juan Carlos Machorro and Guillermo Moreno are always available and attentive to follow up.’

‘The Santamarina team has comprehensive and specific solutions to the problems we have faced. They know our company and its particular structure and provide efficient solutions within the legal framework and aligned to our internal policies.’

Excellent advice, knowledge of the subject and support provided in corporate area by Guillermo Moreno.’

Key clients


ARM Energy

Arpa Capital

China Railway Construction Company

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

EQT | Oterra México

Ganfeng Lithium

Grid Dynamics Holdings

International Finance Corporation

Knowlton Development Corporation

Master Builders’ Solutions

Pierson Capital

Sonny’s Enterprises

Grupo Industrial Saltillo

Grupo Lamosa

Work highlights

  • Assisted ARM Energy on the acquisition of a 50% stake in GNG Energy.
  • Assisted Arpa Capital, and other minority shareholders of Sekura Controladora, on carrying out a competitive bidding process for purposes of selling a majority participation in Sekura’s corporate capital.
  • Assisted EQT, one of Europe’s leading PE firm, with the implementation of the Mexican piece of EQT’s acquisition of CHR Hansen’s natural color division.

Mexico > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

A ‘recognised team in Mexico’, full-service firm Santamarina y Steta's practice boasts a solid track record representing international clients on domestic and cross-border disputes. Particularly skilled in cases arising from civil and commercial disputes, the group is co-led by Mexico City-based partners Carlos Olvera, who ‘is always one step ahead’, Roberto Fernández Del Valle, and Carlos Brehm, who operates from Monterrey and also handles ADR, arbitration, reorganisations, internal investigations and anticorruption matters. Associate José Antonio Moreno is another name to note. Recent work highlights include representing BID Invest before the Federal Courts in Mexico City in a commercial claim initiated against Alpha Credit and its subsidiaries in order to collect a debt of approximately $21m.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Olvera; Roberto Fernández del Valle; Carlos Brehm


‘A recognised team in Mexico.’

‘Carlos Olvera is always one step ahead but who also constantly demonstrates ethical conduct, which we highly value in the company.’

Key clients

El Palacio de Hierro

Dell Leasing México

Stewart Title Guaranty de México

Home Depot México

General Motors de México

Kimberly-Clark de México

Daimler Financial Services México

M+W High Tec Proyects México

Jafra Cosmetics International

Best Buy Stores

Abbott Laboratories de México

Inter-American Investment Corporation

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

Haver & Boecker Mexicana

NSC Agua

Merkafon de México (Teleperformance Mexico)

Tesla Automobiles Sales and Service México

Huawei Technologies de México

Nueva Wal Mart de México

Martinrea Honsel México

Master Drilling México

Ellwood Specialty Metals México

Topaz Holding

Sucden Trading México

Inteva Products

Kruger Family Industries

Grupo Industrial Saltillo

Work highlights

  • Representing BID Invest before the Federal Courts in Mexico City in a commercial claim initiated against Alpha Credit and its subsidiaries in order to collect a debt of approximately $21m.
  • Representing Gabriela Miranda López and José Alejandro Castilla in a tort lawsuit against Cabify, whose daughter, Mara Fernanda Castilla Miranda, was murdered on September 2017 by a Cabify driver in Puebla.
  • Representing Mr Salas, Mrs Sierra and their daughter in a civil lawsuit against Aeromexico, claiming payment of civil liability, pain and suffering and punitive damages, as a result of the Aeromexico Flight 2341 accident.

Mexico > Intellectual property Tier 3

Santamarina y Steta's intellectual property practice has significant bench strength and strong transactional experience as well as providing efficient legal structures to protect its clients’ intangible assets and facilitate their exploitation. The team is highly knowledgeable regarding patents, utility models, industrial designs, trade marks, slogans, copyright, plant varieties and litigation, for national and international clients who recognize the practice as being ‘very efficient both in solving problems and in planning strategies in trademarks and patent related matters’. The group is co-led by Jose Pablo Pérez Zea who specialises in franchising and licensing and has experience in patent and trade mark prosecution, copyright, and unfair competition, among other areas; and Daniel Legaspi, who was promoted to partner in January 2022 and focuses primarily on trade marks, licensing and franchising. similarly raised to counsel, Efraín Olmedo is head of the department's litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

José Pablo Pérez ZeaM; Daniel Legaspi


‘The firm is very efficient both in solving problems and in planning strategies in trademarks and patent related matters.

Key clients

Bown-Forman Corporation

Grupo Posadas

Walmart De México

Kimberly Clark Worldwide/Kimberly Clark De México



Servicios Condumex

Mexalit Industrial

Wollef Venture Capital

Mondelez De México

Work highlights

  • Advised Nazca (formerly Mountain Nazca) on negotiation with Mountain Partners rgarding the transfer of trade mark rights of “NAZCA VENTURES” and “MOUNTAIN NAZCA” to Mr Hector Sepulveda Reyes Retana, founder of Mountain Nazca (Mexico).
  • Successfully represented Brown Forman Corporation before the Mexican Trademark Office on the defense of its famous trademark El Jimador, against a claim of cultural appropriation.
  • Successfully represented S-MART against an infringement action for the use of a package that the plaintiff claimed reproduced its industrial design.

Mexico > Life sciences Tier 3

Santamarina y Steta combines transactional and regulatory experience to provide a strong offering in life science matters to companies in the food and beverage, chemicals, pharma, healthcare and tobacco industries, handling the verification of  compliance with applicable Mexican laws, regulations and standards – primarily in relation to the manufacture and distribution of products. The practice is led by Alejandro Luna, who has experience advising national and international clients on foreign trade and customs, health and life sciences, and consumer protection. Key support is provided by associate Mariana Larrea who focuses on the life science and healthcare areas, particularly regarding the analysis, research and advertisement of products and services. Since the end of research, Larrea has moved in house - effective as of September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Luna


‘Specialists in the area of healthcare and regulatory issues.

‘Good follow-up, expert advice on the subject, the lawyers who assisted us were Mariana Larrea and Alejandro Luna.

‘They were quick in their attention and very professional. The answers they provided were well substantiated.

Key clients

Agilent Technologies Mexico

Kimberly Clark de México

Grupo Industrial Monclova

DXN Holdings

Upjohn Pharma Mexico


Innophos Fosfatados de México

Martinrea Developments de México


BioMarin Pharmaceutical

Christus Muguerza Servicios Hospitalarios

Hellman & Friedman

MGP Ingredients

Work highlights

  • Advised Agilent, a service-solutions provider for the pharmaceutical industry, on matters regarding the importation of lab tests and other regulatory sanitary matters, including sanitary registrations.
  • Advised  Kimberly-Clark on regulatory matters regarding cleaning and personal care hygiene products, as well on advertising, labelling and in a recall order issued by the FDA.

Mexico > Projects and infrastructure Tier 3

Santamarina y Steta is particularly well known for its experience advising public and private sector entities in the planning, development, execution, and financing of urban infrastructure projects in the power, oil and gas, telecoms, transport (including roads, railroads, ports and airports), social infrastructure, and water treatment/waste management industries. The team is led by the deeply experienced Juan Carlos Machorro, who focuses on the development and implementation of investment and manufacturing projects in Mexico. Sergio Chagoya also has considerable experience with some 25 years advising lenders, sponsors, borrowers and state-entities on financial transactions (including private equity and venture capital) on infrastructure projects, public offerings and securitisations. Younger partners Ricardo Orea (financing for energy, transport and social infrastructure projects, as well as aircraft, vessel and other asset-backed financing transactions) and Diego Ostos (banking and finance, capital markets, project finance, infrastructure, M&A, PPPs and government procurement), complete the senior team. Experienced senior associate Margarita Casarin (corporate and financial law, including syndicated, structured and project finance, and infrastructure projects) provides key support.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Machorro


‘Very responsive and pro-active.

‘Ricardo Orea (partner) is very reliable and often takes the initiative to make suggestions for action. Margarita Casarín is also excellent.

‘Sergio has a large team with a depth of knowledge in the project space, particularly governmental projects.

‘Sergio Chagoya. Depth of knowledge and expertise.

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Inter-American Investment Corporation

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

PROPARCO – Groupe Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)

OeEB – the Development Bank of Austria

Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (Banobras)

Banco Multiva


Work highlights

  • Advised Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation , DEG and MUFG Bank  regarding two loans to be granted to Operadora de Terminales Marítimas,  for the design, development, construction, operation and maintenance of a refined products terminal with capacity of 1.1m barrels in Altamira, Mexico.
  • Advised Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure regarding the execution of a Note Issuance Facility Agreement entered into with Lucid Agency Services , as agent, and a group of funds managed by Westbourne Capital as purchasers of the notes to be issued thereunder.

Mexico > TMT Tier 3

Santamarina y Steta‘s TMT practice’s good capabilities stem from the expertise of its skilled leading duo, composed of Jorge León-Orantes, whose practice focuses on M&A transactions, financing and TMT, and who is particularly experienced automotive, technological and entertainment sectors; and counsel Paola Morales, who specialises in telecommunications, media and technology, satellite-related matters, e-commerce, privacy & data protection. Regarding the latter two areas of work, Morales is well-versed in reviewing, negotiating and preparing terms and conditions for electronic commerce for national and international clients with operations in Mexico, including their e-commerce platforms and privacy notices. Of late, the group has been approached by Tesla on this matter. Since publication, Morales has been promoted to the partnership - effective as of 2023.

Practice head(s):

Jorge León Orantes; Paola Morales

Key clients

Advance Intelligence Group

Tesla Group

Mondelez International


New Balance Athletics

Kering Group

Sunningdale Tech

Universal Music Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted AIG, as local legal counsel for Mexico, regarding the best manner in which to structure its operations in Mexico, particularly with respect to the applicable legal framework for data protection matters and financial regulation applicable to e-KYC products and its potential clients in Mexico.
  • Prepared, structured and drafted the e-commerce terms and conditions and the privacy notice for Tesla’s e-commerce platform in Mexico.
  • Assisted Mondelēz with the auditing, structuring and restructuring all of its data privacy practices.

Mexico > Environment Tier 4

Santamarina y Steta has substantial experience in environmental project management, including obtaining environmental permits, authorisations and licenses; implementing compliance systems, auditing, and the monitoring and evaluation of environmental legal obligations; and originiating strategies for environmental, social and corporate governance and corpproate social responsibility. The team acts for clients in the tourism, infrastructure, energy, mining, automotive and chemical industries, among others, and is co-led by Claudia Rodríguez who specialises in real estate, environmental and agrarian law, and indigenous consulting; and Monterrey-based Heriberto Garza whose broad practice takes in real estate, environmental matters, estate and wealth planning, family offices, regulatory banking and cyber security, among other areas. Also a key player in the team, Juan Carlos Aguirre‘s practice is centred on environmental and climate change matters, traditional and renewable energy, agrarian law, indigenous consultation/socio-environmental impact assessment, tourism, mining and real estate. The practice was further strengthened in March 2022 with the hire of David González Vega as a senior associate; an experienced environmental practitioner, he arrived from Fonatur, where he was legal director with regards to the Tren Maya project.

Practice head(s):

Heriberto Garza; Claudia Rodríguez


‘The training, competence and experience of the team in environmental legal issues is highlighted.

‘Juan Carlos Aguirre and Regina Martínez, professionals with outstanding training, evidencing their competence in environmental legal consulting and with experience in the field that supports them.

Key clients

Tesla Automobiles Sales and Service Mexico

Aero Transporte de Carga Unión

Work highlights

  • Advised Tesla on environmental matters relating to the company’s showrooms, administrative offices and service centers throughout Mexico, including a review of the feasibility for establishing and operating Tesla Facilities from an environmental standpoint.
  • Advised Aerounión’s operations in Mexico to identify potential environmental risks and establish action plans to mitigate them.

Mexico > International trade and customs Tier 4

Very knowledgeable about foreign trade matters’ is how a client describes Santamarina y Steta's practice, which offers a comprehensive advisory service which combines foreign trade and tax advice. Following the retirement of Ernesto Duhne , the practice is now solely headed by Alejandro Luna, who has a particular focus on the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical device, food and retail industries, advising primarily on import and supply chain strategies, customs consultations, and import and export strategies of products. Associate Michel Zelaya, who specialises in international trade and anti-dumping matters, is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Luna; Mariano Calderón


‘They are very knowledgeable about foreign trade matters. The attention of their staff is very friendly and very good, the attitude of service is something that characterises them.

‘Their knowledge and customer service stand out, so does the willingness to always support the client and provide solutions.

Key clients

General Motors

General Motors México

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation

Siemens Energy

ITW Food Equipment

ACH Foods México

TWB de México

New Balance Athletics

Precision Pulley & Idler

Sucden Americas Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisting Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation comply with the subcontracting reform by merging two of the group’s Mexican entities.
  • Mexican Customs authority required Moldex’s distributors to comply with a NOM that was not considered for the 4200 N95 Air Wave Series Particulate Respirators that were imported into Mexico; the team assisted Moldex so its distributors did not have  to comply with the NOM.
  • Advised TWB de Mexico regarding the automotive labour content requirement that a vehicle producer would need to comply for a passenger vehicle to be considered as having originated from the North America region under the USMCA agreement.

Mexico > Tax Tier 4

Santamarina y Steta's tax department is well known for its capabilities when challenging determinations from the tax authorities. The group led by Mariano Calderón (whom clients place among the ‘most experienced tax legal experts in Mexico’), works for a wide range of multinational clients from an array of sectors, with a particular focus on the automotive industry. Counsel Karina Robledo, who handles domestic and foreign corporate reorganisations, contract review, and the design and implementation of tax structures for M&As and project financing transactions; and senior associate Jair Vaca, a promising tax litigator, are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Mariano Calderón; Karina Robledo; Jair Vaca


‘Santamarina y Steta is one of the most important and prestigious law firms in Mexico. All its practice areas, including tax, hold several decades of experience managing high-profile cases and clients. Despite being a very traditional firm, it is up to date with all the trends in the sector (e.g.: diversity and inclusion, technology, flexible billing schemes, among others).’

‘Santamarina y Steta’s tax leader and partner, Mariano Calderón, is probably one of the most experienced tax legal experts in Mexico. His professional background is tax litigation in relevant cases, which, in my opinion, gives a unique profile to his capacities as tax advisor. An effective lawyer has balance between theory and practice, specially in Mexico.’

Key clients

General Motors



Controladora General Motors

Work highlights

  • Advised General Motors on the reorganisation of its in-vehicle security system and the homologation of OnStar.
  • Representing Coty in a case in which the Mexican tax authorities are challenging certain deductions made to a third party for alleged tax non-compliance.
  • Provided legal advisory to Tesla regarding the reorganisation of its Mexican transactions.

Mexico > Energy and natural resources Tier 5

Santamarina y Steta houses a sizable team of energy transactional and advisory lawyers who can , in addition, call on other practice areas to cover clients’ needs including corporate/contractual and financing work, real estate matters, and environmental, social impact, tax, foreign trade, restructuring, arbitration and litigation requirements. In energy and natural resources, the team advises on project finance, the migration of clients in the electricity market, supply and power purchase agreements, and regulatory and compliance matters. The team is led by partner Juan Carlos Machorro who focuses on transactional mandates and financing, and provides advice to various local and international entities on the development and implementation of investment and manufacturing projects in Mexico. Key support is provided by associate practice director María Ximena Gonzalez.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Machorro

Key clients

Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Company Mexico

Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company Chevron Petroleum Company

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Alkhorayef Petroleum Company

Verdad Exploration Mexico


Cabot Specialty Chemicals Mexico

ARM Energy

Kimberly Clark de México

Mondelez México

Work highlights

  • Advised Verdad Exploration Mexico on day-to-day legal matters derived from its successful participation of the National Hydrocarbons’ Commission (CNH), public bid, for the award and execution process of two license contracts for exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons.
  • Advised Absormex CMPC Tissue regarding the negotiation and execution of a power purchase agreement under the Electricity Industry Law for one its plants as off-taker, with Beetmann Energy as qualified supplier.

Mexico > Bankruptcy and restructuring

Santamarina y Steta's experience encompasses extrajudicial and judicial insolvency and bankruptcy procedures, advising clients with operations on both sides of the Mexico/US border; Carlos Olvera, Carlos Brehm, and Ricardo Orea are the key contacts.

Mexico > Compliance

The young compliance practice at Santamarina y Steta handles anticorruption, anti-money laundering, ethics, data privacy, and antitrust compliance matters; associate Ivan Szymanski is the key contact.

Who we are
Our identity hallmark is being the most effective and committed partner for our clients’ projects.

As legal experts in Mexico, we understand our clients’ circumstances from a local and global perspective.

We develop strategic solutions that translate into successful results for our clients.

We have alliances with independent firms in more than 60 countries with a strong portfolio of national and international clients.

Get to know us
Experience: For 75 years, we have achieved recognition in the legal sector and the business and corporate field of Mexico.

Talent: Our team of highly-qualified partners and associates closely collaborate to achieve our client’s goals.

Innovation: New intelligence and technology tools with a customer-centric mindset enable us to design tailored strategies for each client’s project and needs.

Commitment: At the center of our projects, we place environmental, social, and corporate responsibility.

Our team
We are a talented team of experts committed to different practice areas throughout Mexico. Our efforts focus on human quality, social conscience, responsibility, justice, tolerance, and respect.

We are supported by –

  • 75 years of experience
  • 40 practice areas
  • 26 partners
  • 6 counsels
  • 70 lawyers
  • 39 law clerks

Multidisciplinary focus
Through a strategic network of contacts, we provide legal advice to national and international clients in different practice areas in their trajectories both inside and outside Mexico.

Our sensitivity allows us to identify the working style and philosophies of investors and professionals worldwide, shaping efforts to customize successful solutions.

Insertion into the global economy has led us to develop strong alliances with independent firms in more than 60 countries. These alliances are distinguished by the high-quality standards of their members, who are experts in their business community and have a thorough knowledge of local authorities, practices, and laws.

Our clients
We represent and advise a diverse group of individuals, corporations, companies, banks, financial institutions, and governmental and non-profit organizations with domestic and international interests. Our business partners include Fortune 500 companies.

Our experience is focused on advising multinational companies that work in a coordinated and efficient manner with their Mexican subsidiaries and their headquarters or regional offices. In such a way, they can have a strategic vision focused on Mexico without losing sight of the client’s global or international interests.

Value of our solutions

  • Business partner relationship
  • Extensive knowledge and analysis of the legal market
  • Diversified team of advisors
  • Constructive synergies to reduce legal risks
  • Tailored and practical advice
  • Timely and cost-efficient response
  • Constant evolution of our service
Labor and employment Juan Carlos De la 81 8133 6000
Aviation, M&A, Energy Juan Carlos 55 5279 5400
Arbitration, Litigation Roberto Fernández del 55 5279 5400
Tax, Litigation Mariano Calderó 55 5279 5400
Competition/Antitrust Vicente 55 5279 5400
M&A Carlos Argü 81 8133 6000
Real estate, environment Claudia Rodrí 55 5279 5400
Number of partners : 26
Number of counsels : 6
Number of associates : 70
Number of Law Clerk : 39
American Chamber of Commerce
Cámara de Comercio del Canadá en México
British Chamber of Commerce
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
Asociación Mexicana de Capital Privado
Cámara Mexicano-Alemana de Comercio e Industria
Cámara Franco-Mexicana de Comercio e Industria
International Bar Association
Employment Law Alliance
American Immigration Lawyers Association
American Bar Association
Number of special counsel : 3
Number of fee-earners worldwide : 236