Engie

Engie

In a market that fluctuates constantly, the legal team at ENGIE Mexico has become a point of reference to competitors and to its ENGIE Latin America business colleagues. Mechanisms it has used in Mexico, such as its compliance database and legal tracking system, developed in-house, are now being exported to other countries within the ENGIE group. The legal team, in coordination with external counsel, has also secured two landmark cases before the Supreme Court that provides greater certainty to the industry on the limits to the regulatory agency and the issuance of temporary rulings. The team is led by Raúl Félix, general secretary and vice president legal, human resources and ethics officer and includes 17 lawyers in total. All members of the department are well versed on energy law and each has a different background and specialty such as, construction, finance, regulation, M&A and more. Thus, the legal department attends almost all of the issues that arise on a daily basis and seldom engages outside counsel. The legal department has a deputy compliance officer, Ruth Cabrera, and two senior managers, Gregory Odry, who tackles renewables and Jacob Kiriaty, who is involved in M&A, operations, regulation and finance. Kiriaty and Odry each has a team with managers and attorneys assisting the issues they respectively face. For example, Fernando Onofre is a key player in regulatory matters and Raul Lopez in the company’s M&A transactions. The legal department has expanded from a core of team of five members to its current number of 18, drawing from Mexico and other parts of the world such as the West Indies, Peru, the US and Colombia. This increase has been driven by the enormous business expansion and capital investment that ENGIE Mexico has experienced. The legal team deals in-house with five basic issues; transportation and distribution of natural gas, construction and operation of energy generation facilities, supply of energy related services, acquisition of companies, and financing of start-ups. The legal team has assisted and many times led the auction process for renewables tendered by the regulator, CENACE, as well as the construction and financing thereof, with ENGIE Mexico having been awarded close to 700 MW with seven wind and solar projects currently underway. The legal team was intimately involved in the issuance of the first clean energy certificates in Mexico. Similarly, the legal team led the project completion process for the 300 kilometres Los Ramones natural gas pipeline in central Mexico, through which 25% of all natural gas in Mexico flows. Lastly, the legal team has and continues to be a key player in the growth of ENGIE Mexico’s natural gas distribution system, which currently serves over 515,000 households, commercial establishments and industry participants in six different states and have secured the applicable permits to grow in a similar number.