Santamarina y Steta > Mexico City, Mexico > Firm Profile

Santamarina y Steta
11560 MEXICO, D.F.

Mexico > Labour and employment Tier 1

Santamarina y Steta’s labour and employment team is ‘one of the most recognised in Mexico’ and its ‘excellent lawyers’ are some of the country’s best-regarded advisors for collective bargaining issues and designing union negotiation strategies. Union conflicts are a standout specialism and the team has recently seen plenty of activity assisting companies with rapid response mechanisms. The team is also well-versed in representation before the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the local labour ministries in several Mexican states. On the non-contentious side, the department works closely with transactional teams to support clients with M&A processes. Clients strongly endorse employment litigator Francisco Udave, who is one of four practice heads, along with Juan Carlos de la Vega, the firm’s Monterrey-based managing partner; Andrés Rodríguez, whose expertise includes legal audits focused on labour compliance; and counsel María Elena Abraham, head of the firm’s immigration law department. A further key contact is counsel Jaime Vázquez, who represents clients at all court levels, as well as in investigations.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos de la Vega; Andrés Rodríguez; Francisco Udave; María Elena Abraham


Santamarina y Steta’s labour team is one of the most recognised in Mexico, it has excellent lawyers with very competitive rates compared to other firms of similar quality.

Francisco Udave is capable of clearly and precisely communicating the legal and operational aspects related to his practice. His quality of being bilingual (Spanish-English) is undoubtedly a great differentiator in the matter. Reliable and with a very deep knowledge not only of the letter but also of the operation of the law.

The Santamarina and Steta labour practice team is an expert, collaborative team, with excellent service, both in the quality of their work and their response times. Their practice is recognised inside and outside the office and they have extensive knowledge and experience in collective issues, which is very useful today.

Juan Carlos de la Vega is a reference in the field, an expert in collective issues and with very good handling of complex issues. He anticipates the risks we may have, which makes us feel protected and well advised. Nicolás Acevedo is an expert in the field, he is very creative in solving the problems that arise, and he works on clients’ issues as if they were his own. He is a very reliable lawyer, very focused on giving results, and who shows excellent disposition.

The S&S office provides comprehensive labour advice, not only stopping to see the specific query but always analysing the matter as a whole, and additionally supporting budget management.

The quality of its services is excellent, coupled with the fact that it has a very good relationship with the authorities, always within the framework of legality and ethics; Likewise, being an office with multiple clients provides the opportunity to analyse matters from different perspectives.

Key clients

General Motors de México

Teksid Hierro de Mexico

Martinrea Internacional de México


Morgan Stanley

Grupo Mexico

Endeavour Silver

Pfizer Mexico


Home Depot Mexico

Envoy Global

Holcim Mexico

Editorial Santillana

Diario el País


Work highlights

  • Represented Teksid Hierro de México against claims of violations to the principles of freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • Acting for Martinrea Internacional de México on a claim in which the CTM local union in Sonora demanded recognition as representative of the majority of employees and a party to the collective bargaining agreement of in the company’s Hermosillo plant.
  • Advising Preferred Compounding de Mexico on a claim filed by an alien union demanding the execution of an agreement to manage the mandatory collective bargaining agreement for the rubber industry in Mexico, without including the union with which the company has executed a private ordinate collective bargaining agreement.

Mexico > Banking and finance Tier 2

Santamarina y Steta excels at representing development financing institutions, including local banks, international and multilateral institutions, as both lenders and borrowers; it also has expertise in financial workouts. Its active Monterrey office is regularly instructed by high-profile borrower clients in the northeast of the country and complements the ‘responsive’ team led by Juan Carlos Machorro from Mexico City; he has extensive experience in investment and manufacturing projects. Sergio Chagoya represents lenders, sponsors and borrowers in a range of financial transactions including public offerings, securitisations and privatisations; ‘exceptional lawyerRicardo Orea advises banks and other financiers on energy, transport and asset-backed financing transactions; and Diego Ostos provides counsel on debt issuances and cross-border financial transactions. Of counsel Margarita Casarin - who works on syndicated and structured finance, project finance and infrastructure projects - is an additional name to note.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Machorro


The firm has the capacity and the necessary experts to advise its clients on all legal aspects related to large operations, as well as to offer timely and complete solutions to the challenges that arise in their negotiation.

Sergio Chayoga handles top priority transactions with extraordinary competence; he is the person to choose to close difficult negotiations.

They stand out in the market for the speed and quality of service. The team is solid in terms of knowledge and consolidated in terms of work dynamics. Ricardo Orea is an exceptional lawyer, committed to their work and always available to help their clients.

Very responsive, always there for us.

Ricardo Orea takes the initiative by informing us about new developments without our having to ask him to do so.

Key clients

AT Engine México

Banco Mercantil del Norte (Institución de Banca Múltiple)

Banco Santander (Spain)

Cadari (Cadari)

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

Grupo Industrial Saltillo

Multibank Panama

Savage Enterprises Intermediate / Savage Enterprises (and subsidiaries)

Sistemas Eléctricos Metropolitanos

Atlantica Yield

Work highlights

  • Represented ATEM in the negotiation, drafting and execution of a VAT credit agreement with a consortium of financial institutions.
  • Assisted Banorte with obtaining a MXN$1bn facility agreement.
  • Advised Banco Santander on the restructuring of a loan originally granted to Trituradora y Procesadora de Materiales Santa Anita (as borrower) and Elementia (as guarantor).

Mexico > Capital markets Tier 2

The ‘business-focused’ capital markets practice at Santamarina y Steta combines ‘good industry knowledge’ with a ‘pleasant manner’ and provides counsel on debt and equity offerings, public tender offers and matters involving FIBRAs and CKDs. Sergio Chagoya advises lenders, sponsors, borrowers and rating agencies on private equity and venture capital investment in infrastructure projects, public offerings, securitisations and privatisations; he co-leads the practice alongside securities, capital markets and M&A expert Alberto Saavedra. Diego Ostos, who participates in debt issuances and M&A transactions, is an additional name to note. 2022 saw the departure of associates Esteban Soto and Iñigo García in August and September, respectively; but also the arrival of senior associates Elias Zaga Belzer and Juan Pablo Rodríguez Sada in October. Since publication, Rodríguez Sada has moved to Santos Elizondo - effective as of October 2023.

Practice head(s):

Alberto Saavedra; Sergio Chagoya


The partners and associates have a pleasant manner.

Good industry knowledge and availability.

A team with deep experience in the field, with proven capabilities to meet diverse needs and projects. High customer focus. It has detailed knowledge of the legal and regulatory framework, but also adds value in the definition of plans, processes and strategies to maximize the expected value of the projects.

Highly qualified, experienced partners, knowledgeable about the legal and regulatory framework. With a genuine and authentic approach to service and in constant search for generating value for the client. Featured lawyers: Jorge Barrero Carlos Arguelles Ana Paula Ibarra.

Key clients

ABC Aerolíneas (Interjet Airlines)


Banco Mercantil del Norte (Institución de Banca Múltiple)

Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (Mexican Stock Exchange).

Ciudad Maderas

Corporación Geo

Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento

Corporación Interamericana de Inversiones



Grupo Carso

Grupo Industrial Saltillo

Grupo Lamosa

Grupo Palacio de Hierro

Inmobiliaria Ruba

Internacional de Inversiones

Kimberly-Clark de México

La Comer


Work highlights

  • Assisted Grupo Carso with its tender offer to acquire the outstanding securities of its subsidiary Grupo Sanborns.
  • Advised Ruba on the structuring and implementation of a new debt program on the Mexican Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Invex on its fifth issuance of notes under its debt bond program on the Mexican securities market.

Mexico > Real estate Tier 2

Praised by one client as a ‘firm that inspires confidence from the first moment’, Santamarina y Steta’s real estate group is routinely instructed by international corporations working in the retail, food, luxury goods, energy and logistics sectors. The ‘highly professional and experienced’ team is well-equipped to handle agrarian and urban development matters, land acquisitions, leases and sales, financings and real estate-related due diligence for industrial, residential, tourist, mixed-use and ejidal properties. At the helm of the practice, Vicente Grau regularly advises clients on the acquisition, leasing, development, construction and sale of real estate properties, and is lauded as a ‘specialist’ who offers ‘efficient and comprehensive solutions’. Partner Claudia Rodríguez assists local and international clients with the structuring, planning and implementation of operations for the acquisition, financing, development, leasing and sale of real estate, with a particular focus on the commercial and industrial sectors. Senior associate Ivan Szymanski is active on compliance and real estate matters, while associate Yakov Kobets majors on the structuring and execution of projects related to the acquisition or sale of assets, as well as related due diligence work. Since the conclusion of research, Szymanski has sleft the firm - effective as of September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Vicente Grau


Large firm with a personal touch. All attorneys are very personable. Great bilingual skills.

Ivan Szymanski has been invaluable in assisting with a very difficult situation which involves unusual complications rarely experienced in ordinary leasing matters. He’s always personable and has excellent follow-up. He involves other attorneys and partners when necessary.

It is a firm that inspires confidence from the first moment. The client service is exemplary.

Vicente Grau and the other partners are specialists with extensive knowledge in various areas of law, which translates into efficient and comprehensive solutions.

The team is highly professional and experienced in real estate and corporate governance matters.

Key clients

Home Depot

Work highlights

  • Assisted Home Depot Mexico wih all legal matters related to the opening of its new store in Polanco in Mexico City.

Mexico > Competition and antitrust Tier 3

As one of the oldest full-service firms in the Mexican market, Santamarina y Steta has a longstanding practice in competition and antitrust, and assists a disparate range of clients with both contentious and advisory matters in the area. It regularly handles merger control and pre-merger filings, and is also well-equipped for investigations work, including those addressing cartels and monopolistic practices. Practice head Vicente Grau is an experienced transactional lawyer in various sectors and therefor familiar with navigating companies’ interactions with COFECE, as well as sector specific regulators. Senior associate Ivan Szymanski assists across the full range of competition matters. Since publication, Szymanski has left the firm to open the new competition department at Vázquez Tercero & Zepeda – effective as of December 2023

Practice head(s):

Vicente Grau


Santamarina is a prestigious legal services firm with expert partners in various practices that complement the competition and antitrust practice.

I have worked with various firms on antitrust matters and I cannot find a differentiation that puts the current partners of Santamarina at the most prominent level (in this practice).

An in-house lawyer needs to know that the firm has the knowledge and experience in the field of consultation. In relation to the collaboration, it is of a high level and with adequate organization and understanding in the attention of the affairs of my company in charge of the lawyers of the firm.

They differ in the high level of commitment and attention, adequate knowledge of the business and a level of advice that ensures success in the processes in which we collaborate. Associate Yakov Kovets stands out for attending to every single aspect of the matters under his responsibility, with the ability to raise awareness and direct the teams involved, ensuring the success of the matters in which he is involved.

They know competition law and their regulator very well. They have good judgment and are very responsive.

Ivan Szymanski is an excellent lawyer, very collegial and effective.

Key clients

Ganfeng Lithium

USG Holdings

Bartlett Grain

Grupo Industrial Saltillo

Cameron International

General Motors Company

GM Financial de México

Marriott International

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr

Nixon Peabody

Teacher Stern

Veolia Environnment

Abbott Laboratories

Kimek Cosmocel

Glen Raven

Work highlights

  • Assisted Ganfeng with obtaining the pre-merger clearance of its acquisition of full control over Bacanora Lithium.
  • Advised Kushki Holdings on securing pre-merger authorisation from the Federal Economic Competition Commission, for the acquisition of Mexican fintech Billpocket.
  • Acting for Grupo Industrial Saltillo on the pre-merger filing for its acquisition of Vitromex.

Mexico > Corporate and M&A Tier 3

With offices in Mexico City, Monterrey and Queretaro, Santamarina y Steta coordinates experienced teams to advise private equity firms and national and multinational corporates across the manufacturing, food, insurance, construction, telecoms and automotive industries involved in high-value, cross-border transactions. Co-led from Mexico City by Juan Carlos Machorro and Jorge León Orantes (who between them bring over 60 years' corporate and transactional experience to bear), the practice group (some 50 lawyers' strong) has a broad offering that encompasses the negotiation and execution of M&A and joint ventures, the drafting and negotiation of transaction agreements, legal due diligence and regulatory compliance proceedings. Additional key contacts includee securities expert Alberto Saavedra (also Mexico City); Guillermo Moreno in Querétaro, who, in addition to M&A, advises on government procurement and project finance matters; seasoned transactional specialist César Cruz Ayala in Monterey. Key associate support is provided by seniors Ilse Bolaños (cross-border M&A, joint ventures and corporate restructurings, along with general corporate and commercial matters), and Diego Acosta (corporate, M&A, e-commerce, and privacy and data protection.)

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Machorro; Jorge León-Orantes


‘Santamarina is not only a prestigious law firm, but also a very effective, serious one that selects, trains, and educates its partners and associates under a high standard of service and dedication.’

Key clients

ACON Equity Management

Arkema Group

Arthur J. Gallagher Co.

Casas Krea

Cornell Capital

DaVinci Capital

Galileo Global Education

Gava Capital

Grupo Industrial Saltillo

Hunter Manufactura

Inverness Graham

Kimek Cosmocel

Kushki Group Holdings

MTV Networks Latin America

Neogen Corporation and Neogen Latinoamerica


The Gores Group

Worthington Industries


Work highlights

  • Advised Arkema México, subsidiary of Arkema Group, with the acquisition of Polímeros Especiales, a regional company focused on the manufacture and commercialisation of emulsion polymers.
  • Advised Cornell Capital in the acquisition of Advancing Eyecare Holdings, a provider of ophthalmic instruments and equipment in North America.
  • Advised and assisted Grupo Industrial Saltillo in the sale of its ceramic tile business, operated by its subsidiaries Manufacturas Vitromex and Vitromex USA, in favour of Dal-Tile Mexico.

Mexico > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

Supported by specialists from other practice areas of the firm, the litigation team at the full-service Santamarina y Steta is focused primarily on lawsuits involving Mexican and foreign entities that raise civil or commercial law issues. The department regularly counsels on cross-border matters and is strong in disputes against government entities across a range of industries. Practitioners are experienced at every level of court in the country. The group is led by a trio of lawyers: Carlos Olvera, a well-regarded figure in the market with three decades' experience in civil and commercial litigation, restructuring, bankruptcy, and insurance; Roberto Fernández del Valle, who has broad dispute resolution experience and is especially strong in the real estate sector; and Carlos Brehm, who is the firm’s go-to person for contentious matters arriving at the Monterrey office. José Antonio Moreno and Michelle Grayeb stand out from a strong associate pool.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Olvera; Roberto Fernández del Valle; Carlos Brehm

Key clients

El Palacio de Hierro

Dell Leasing México

Stewart Title Guaranty de 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

Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft

Haver & Boecker Mexicana

NSC Agua

Merkafon de México

Huawei Technologies 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

Tractel Secalt

Navistar Financial

Work highlights

  • Representing Kimberley Clarke Mexico in a civil lawsuit filed by Fundación Ve por México regarding illegal use of a logo.
  • Advising Best Buy on two lawsuits against Glider Guadalajara, as a consequence of an early termination of a lease agreement related to a Best Buy store in Guadalajara.
  • Representing the Inter-American Investment Corporation in a mortgage foreclosure claim filed against Nixte and others.

Mexico > Intellectual property Tier 3

A very modern team’ at Santamarina y Steta assists its the clients with registration of sizeable IP portfolios, as well as ongoing protection, prosecution and IP litigation. As a full-service firm, multi-practice teams can coordinate on transactional matters, with the IP team available to support on associate IP and intangible-asset issues. José Pablo Pérez Zea is well-versed in advising national and international companies on franchising and licensing, and also has specialisms in both patent and trade mark prosecution, copyright, unfair competition and plant variety matters, among other areas. Pérez Zea co-heads the practice with Daniel Legaspi, a partner since January 2022, who has drawn in a number of new clients since his appointment to the promotion, and works across the trade marks, patents, plant varieties, appellation of origin, copyright, industrial secrets, licensing and litigation areas. Counsel Efraín Olmedo is admired by clients as ‘a great litigation lawyer’ and acts on all contentious IP matters.

Practice head(s):

José Pablo Pérez Zea; Daniel Legaspi


Santamarina, being a law firm with several areas of law, generates harmony in the development of the actions and the implementation of the cases.

Efraín Olmedo, apart from being a great litigation lawyer, is someone who is always available for clients, he takes the exact time to explain in detail each of the actions to be carried out in order to establish the path to follow. Likewise, it has developed in a short time, a great team, which is always willing to provide an excellent service, and above all, it shows that each one of them is truly committed to the work to be developed and above all, to being part of this team, this is sometimes unusual.

It is a very modern team, with initiatives to explore new trends such as blockchain, protection of secrets, metaverse, etc.

Punctual attention with updated knowledge.

Efraín Olmedo, has been empathetic with our needs and has shown himself prepared and updated in the advice he provides us.

The team is highly available to deal with queries that are sent promptly and accurately. Compared to other work teams, they are characterized by giving quick and customer-oriented responses.

We work a lot with Daniel Legaspi, who responds quite quickly and is always attentive to our requests.

Efficient and accurate in IP practice.

Key clients

Servicios Condumex



Camara Nacional de Comercio de la Ciudad de México

Alan Estrada

Recreativos Franco

Mondelez de México


Work highlights

  • Assisted Servicios Condumex with a strategy to protect its IP in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia, through the filing of new trade mark applications and maintenance of its intangible assets.
  • Advising Merama on several due diligence processes in different countries of Latin and North America in order to determine the status of its pre-existent assets or companies.
  • Assisting Modec with all its IP matters in Mexico.

Mexico > TMT Tier 3

Local and international clients in the TMT space, as well as related government entities, look to Paola Morales and her team at Santamarina y Steta for advice on navigating the regulatory landscape in Mexico. The practice is well-known for its strength in assisting foreign investors with their entries into Mexico’s telecoms, IT and broadcasting markets, and the firm regularly wins new clients in this respect. Morales, one of the leading figures in this area, is supported by experienced Monterrey-based partner César Cruz, and corporate and M&A lawyer (and firm chairman), Jorge León Orantes. Marcela Flores in Monterrey is the associate level contact to note.

Practice head(s):

Paola Morales


We use Stantamarina y Steta as outside counsel for advice in corporate and contracts law areas. Our partner is Paola Morales and she is amazing. We love working with the firm and feel that we receive very high quality legal advice and support with a very quick turn around on our requests. Paola and her colleague, Juan Pablo Rodriguez, are fluent in English and understand the legal concepts and business priorities we raise to them. They are able to take our challenges and provide clear, concise and actionable advice. I would recommend the firm to anyone doing business in Mexico.

We receive high quality advice at a reasonable rate with quick turn around times and understanding of business priorities for a US based company.’

They understand the business (how it works, what the needs are, the problems that arise) and they take this into account when advising. Their practical knowledge is a great advantage.

Key clients

ICOM America

Grupo CIE

New Balance Athletics


Morning Brew

The Ford Foundation

RTB House

Paramount Pictures International

Work highlights

  • Assisted ICOM with the obtaining of its Telecommunications Reseller Authorisation so as to be able to commercialize radiocommunication services from Iridium and Telefónica.
  • Assisting Grupo CIE with the analysis, drafting and amendments of documentation for complying with a new media regulation.
  • Advised New Balance Athletics on structuring and implementing its internet distribution agreement with Brandarrays México for the commercialisation as exclusive representative of the New Balance trade mark in Mexico.

Mexico > Environment Tier 4

The practice at Santamarina y Steta has considerable experience across environmental project management (including obtaining environmental permits, authorisations and licenses), the implementation of compliance systems and environmental audits; the monitoring and evaluation of environmental legal obligations; and the development of strategies for environmental, social and corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. Primarily active on behalf of clients in the tourism, infrastructure, energy, mining, automotive and chemical industries, the team is co-led by Claudia Rodríguez C - 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, among other areas. While the team lost former senior associate Juan Carlos Aguirre - who moved to Bustamante & Freyre in March 2022- the firm moved quickly to replaced him with experienced environmental practitioner David González Vega -who arrived as a senior associate from Fonatur (where he was legal director with regards to the Tren Maya project)- the same month. Recent matters for the practice include environmental audit procedures, impact studies, remediation proposals and the accompaniment of industrial clients during environmental prosecutors' inspection visits.

Practice head(s):

Heriberto Garza; Claudia Rodríguez C


It is an office that has managed to give us a 360 vision of the issue we are handling.

Claudia Rodriguez conveys a lot of confidence.

Mexico > International trade and customs Tier 4

Santamarina y Steta regularly advises multinationals operating in Mexico on their compliance with international trade and customs regulations. The team is a reliable choice for Immex programme matters, and obtaining temporary VAT certification and other authorisations to allow companies to temporarily import or export certain goods and equipment. The manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical device, food and retail industries are particular areas of strength for practice co-head Alejandro Luna; while fellow department head Mariano Calderón is an expert in administrative proceedings related to customs' matters and government procurement dispute resolution. Associate Michel Zelaya supports across the range of trade matters, particularly on anti-dumping cases.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Luna; Mariano Calderón


They have a diverse and highly specialised team, which allows them to interpret legal changes and address complex issues in the field.

Excellent understanding of the legal aspect and how it should be incorporated into the operational and execution part. Likewise, they have good communication with the different authorities, this being of great value in different processes, whether certifications, audits or any other procedure with said agencies.

Key clients

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies

General Motors

ITW Food Equipment Group

General Motors de Mexico

Wabtec Manufacturing Mexico

Siemens Energy

Wabtec de Mexico

EMC Computer Systems México

Dell México

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics

Kruger Family Industries

Locomotive Manufacturing and Services

Inteva Prodcuts

Work highlights

  • Assisted EMC Computers Systems México with obtaining authorisation to participate in a bidding process to provide support to the IT operations of Mexico’s tax authority.
  • Advised Siemens Energy on obtaining admittance to the Immex program.
  • Assisted Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies with compliance with Mexico’s new laws on subcontracting.

Mexico > Life sciences Tier 4

The departure of specialist associate Mariana Larrea in September 2022 was an undoubted loss for the life sciences group at Santamarina y Steta; nevertheless, practice head Alejandro Luna has undoubted life science and consumer protection expertise (particularly in relation to manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and the food and retail industries), as part of a broader practice that also takes in foreign trade and customs, anti-corruption and immigration law. Indeed, his foreign trade experience has proven invaluable in relation to import and supply chain strategies, product import/export strategies and customs consultations. A member of the Asociación Mexicana de Derecho y Regulación Sanitaria (AMDERSA), Luna also advises on the life science aspects of M&A transactions, with peers considering him 'a relevant player' for advisory matters in the sector.

Work highlights

Mexico > Projects and infrastructure Tier 4

The ‘extraordinarily skilled’ practice at Santamarina y Steta is regularly instructed by local and international banks and developers, and energy, construction and telecoms companies for its assistance with the planning, development, execution, and financing of urban infrastructure projects. The group is directed by a trio of partners, comprising: Juan Carlos Machorro, who focuses on the development and implementation of investment and manufacturing projects in Mexico; Sergio Chagoya  (described by one client as ‘the lawyer you want in your legal team … the go-to person for closing difficult negotiations’), who advises lenders, sponsors and borrowers on infrastructure projects, public offerings and securitisations; and Ricardo Orea, who focuses on financing for energy, transport and social infrastructure projects, as well as asset-backed financing transactions. Diego Ostos is an additional key partner-level contact, and specialises in banking and finance, capital markets, project finance, infrastructure, M&A, PPPs and government procurement. Senior associate Margarita Casarin (corporate and financial law, including syndicated, structured and project finance) is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Machorro; Sergio Chagoya D; Ricardo Orea


The firm has the capacity and the necessary experts to advise its clients on all legal aspects related to large operations, as well as to offer timely and complete solutions to any challenges that may arise.

Sergio Chayoga is the lawyer you want in your legal team. He handles top priority transactions with an extraordinarily skilled team and is the go-to person for closing difficult negotiations.

Key clients

International Finance Corporation

Inter-American Investment Corporation


Groupe Agence Française de Développement (Proparco)

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Development Bank of Austria

Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos

Banco Multiva

Institución de Banca Múltiple

Grupo Financiero Multiva


Walter P Moore & Associates

Mexico > Tax Tier 4

Santamarina y Steta fields a tax litigation department that has recent experience in challenging local environmental taxes, amendments to federal VAT credit provisions, advertising expenses, and real estate tax credits. The practice’s client base has a broad sector coverage and General Motors stands out recently as a multinational instructing the team on the gamut of its tax issues. The department is led by Mariano Calderón, an experienced advisor, particularly as regards amparo, administrative and contentious judicial proceedings. Counsel Karina Robledo focuses her practice on tax advisory matters (as well as money laundering), and associate Jair Vaca supports on the majority of matters.

Practice head(s):

Mariano Calderón


Speed and efficiency.

Individual, specialised, detail-oriented attention and concern for customer satisfaction.

Key clients

General Motors

Controladora General Motors

Durakón México



Work highlights

  • Advised General Motors de México on transfer pricing trials.
  • Advising Controladora General Motors on tax litigation against a tax assessment of its corporate income tax for the total amount of MXN$1.1bn, regarding the deduction of losses in the sale of certain corporate shares during the 2008 world crisis.
  • Assisted Durakón Mexicana with filing a nullity claim against a tax audit order.

Mexico > Energy and natural resources Tier 5

The energy department at Santamarina y Steta has become increasingly collaborative as a cross-practice offering from the firm in recent years, adapting to changes in the market that have necessitated a broadening of services to include foreign trade, dispute resolution, environmental, and restructuring expertise. Juan Carlos Machorro is a corporate, M&A and finance lawyer with 25 years of experience acting for energy sector clients in Mexico. He heads the department with primary support provided by associate Norma Álvarez.

Practice head(s):

Juan Carlos Machorro

Key clients

Arm Energy

Clisa Energy Development

Atlantica Yield

Kimberly Clark de México


Lorean Energy Group

PA Energy Specialists

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)

Verdad Exploration Mexico/Magna Operating

Work highlights

  • Finalised a legal due diligence on behalf of Atlantica Yield, regarding the proposed acquisition by Pemcorp of a cogeneration power plant located in the State of Nuevo León.
  • Advising Arm Energy on a Mexico-United States business venture encompassing wholesale marketing and trading activities and transactions associated with a natural gas pipeline running on both sides of the border.
  • Advised Kimberly Clark on its existing contracts with Grupo Iberdrola.

Mexico > Bankruptcy and restructuring

The team at Santamarina y Steta advises both debtors and creditors on local and cross-border debt restructurings, and has particular strength representing clients in the aviation, infrastructure and finance sectors. At the helm in Mexico City are Carlos Olvera, an expert in civil and commercial litigation, restructuring, workouts and insolvency; and Ricardo Orea, who has experience in both insolvency and restructuring matters. Civil and commercial litigator Carlos Brehm co-leads the practice from the Monterrey office.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Olvera F; Carlos Brehm T.; Ricardo Orea


The capacity and knowledge of the subject in the Santamarina and Steta team is excellent. The level of attention and professionalism is first class and the management and flow of information between advisors and client is very good. Excellent training and experience, compared to other offices it is outstanding.

Key clients

Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery (Hong Kong)

United States International Development Finance Corporation

Sociedad Financiera Equípate

US Department of Justice (US Transportation Security Administration; Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Customs and Border Protection)

BID Invest (Corporación Interamericana de Inversiones)

Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Grupo Aeroméxico

Work highlights

  • Represented Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery in an insolvency proceeding involving Tecnologias Relacionadas con Energia y Servicios Especializados, in order to obtain a $5m debt payment.
  • Advised the United States International Development Finance Corporation regarding the insolvency proceedings of Crédito Real.
  • Assisted the official committee of unsecured creditors of Grupo Aeroméxico (and its affiliated debtors), with the airline’s Chapter 11 proceedings in the United States.

Mexico > Compliance

The young compliance practice at Santamarina y Steta handles anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, ethics, data privacy and antitrust compliance matters; associate Ivan Szymanski is the key contact. Since publication, Szymanski has moved to Vázquez Tercero & Zepeda - effective as of December 2023.

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
  • 25 partners
  • 6 counsels
  • 79 lawyers
  • 34 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
Department Name Email Telephone
Labor and employment Juan Carlos De la Vega +52 81 8133 6000
Aviation, M&A, Energy Juan Carlos Machorro +52 55 5279 5400
Arbitration, Litigation Roberto Fernández del Valle +52 55 5279 5400
Tax, Litigation Mariano Calderón +52 55 5279 5400
Competition/Antitrust Vicente Grau +52 55 5279 5400
Real estate, environment Claudia Rodríguez +52 55 5279 5400
Number of partners : 25
Number of counsels : 6
Number of associates : 79
Number of Law Clerk : 34
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