Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico 2019 – GC Powerlist

Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico 2019

Adam Brenneman

Partner | Cleary Gottlieb

Number of years practice: 13 Principal practice areas: Bankruptcy and Restructuring, Capital Markets, Leveraged and Acquisition Finance, Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures, Project Finance, and Infrastructure Bar admissions: New York...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico 2019

Adrian Talamantes

Partner | Holland & Knight LLP

Number of years practice: 30 Principal practice areas: Corporate, M&A, Joint Ventures, Business Transactions Bar admissions: Texas, Mexico Languages spoken: English, Spanish What differentiates your Mexico-facing practice from those of...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico 2019

Alan Sakar Azuara

Senior associate | Clifford Chance US LLP

Number of years practice: 8 Principal practice areas: Banking and Finance, Energy and Infrastructure Bar admissions: New York, Mexico Languages spoken: English, Spanish Alan Sakar Azuara is a dual Mexican-US...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico 2019

Alberto Haito

Senior Associate | Clifford Chance US LLP

Number of years practice: 12 Principal practice areas: Project Finance Bar admissions: New York, Washington D.C., Peru Languages spoken: English, Spanish Alberto Haito has an outstanding record advising various financial...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico 2019

Alejandro González Lazzeri

Partner | Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Number of years practice: 20+ Principal practice areas: Banking and Capital Markets Bar admissions: New York, Mexico Languages spoken: English, Spanish Alejandro González Lazzeri plays a major role in the...

#GCPowerlist Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico 2019

Editor Message

For over 30 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms around the world. Over the last five, we have expanded our legal analysis to include corporate counsel, again, on a global scale. This has been reflected in our GC Powerlist series, recognising the leading corporate counsel in a number of markets. We have also launched GC and fivehundred magazine, which focus on the in-house and private practice markets, respectively. Most recently, we have begun the development of the Private Practice Powerlist, in which The Legal 500 has sought to focus upon key individual practitioners with outstanding expertise in, and knowledge of, particular jurisdictions.

With this new edition of the Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico we highlight the leading US-based counsel active in the Mexican market today, consolidating our engagement with a critical market that, given that the broader political context, has only grown more uncertain over the last 12 months.

The ‘asymmetric interdependence’ of US-Mexico relations, long given stability by NAFTA, is arguably now more complex than ever. If the most abrupt re-calibration of the bi-national relationship appears to have been avoided, it remains the case that the nascent USMCA agreement – NAFTA’s replacement – has (to date) only been ratified by Mexico. In the interim, with the election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) in Mexico, both countries feature presidential administrations that share a populist posture (if little else), with a consequent decline in policy predictability and – certainly to the South – a knock-on effect on economic confidence that is reflected in a declining business environment. Certainly the role of private practice specialists is only likely to increase further, given the recent exodus of talent and expertise from Mexico’s bureaucracy (a result of AMLO’s cutting of public sector wages) and the consequent increase in the difficulties of seeing transactions and projects through to a successful conclusion.

Research of the Private Practice Powerlist has involved the canvassing of opinion from law firm partners and in-house counsel alike, as well as analysis of the career trajectories of the candidates considered for inclusion. Examining both current practice and historical data, we have sought throughout to identify practitioners with an engagement that goes beyond occasional participation. In the complex process of bilateral re-accommodation currently in process, it is to this group of lawyers that we can look for the expertise to ensure that the impact of this transformation is ameliorated. As such, they will be crucial in ensuring the continuity of bi-national business integration developed over the 25 years of NAFTA, as well as the identification and exploitation of the opportunities this period of change will undoubtedly generate.

With thanks to sponsors González Calvillo; and our congratulations to all those who have been selected for inclusion in this year’s Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico.

Tim Girven
Editor, The Legal 500 Latin America

Editor |

Sponsor Message

Gonzalez Calvillo

Gonzalez Calvillo logo

This will mark the third consecutive anniversary in which González Calvillo has partnered with The Legal 500 in sponsoring this Private Practice Powerlist: US-Mexico. However, 2019 has been an entirely different year from the two prior exercises. While in 2018 our message on this issue reported record-breaking headcount, revenue and profit levels for major law firms in our country, 2019 has not been as kind.

After being in office for nearly a year, and as a consequence of what has been widely seen as a series of erratic decisions by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his administration, a slowdown (to the level of stagnation) of Mexico’s economy is well underway as we write these words. These decisions have generated market uncertainty and increasing concerns for investors from abroad, and especially domestic investors. The cancelation of key infrastructure projects including the long-awaited and much needed new Mexico City airport, pending rounds for oil blocks in the Gulf of Mexico, and of international bids for renewable energy projects, jointly with a replacement of these projects with some that, at best, have questionable technical, social, and economic feasibility (e.g. Santa Lucia airport, the Dos Bocas Refinery, and the so-called Maya train), have caused local and international investors to become concerned about our government´s ability to generate the economic growth levels vowed during the 2018 presidential campaign. Furthermore, significant reductions in government salaries and coordinated attacks on independent government agencies, have instigated lifetime public servants with relevant career expertise to leave key governmental positions, undermining the administration’s capacity to properly manage the country’s public affairs.

In an attempt to counter the foregoing, some strategies by the administration include seeking to reform the Mexican pension system by providing greater flexibility to allow for the investment of pension fund flows in different financial instruments. AMLO (as the President is popularly known in Mexico) has also issued a number of tax incentives for certain transactions carried out in Mexican stock exchanges, a measure that seeks to incentivize corporations toward the use the securities markets in Mexico. Finally, AMLO very recently heralded a government-spending program that some expect will generate important economic activity.

On the international front, a strong US economy trend has continued to benefit Mexico with, among others, all-time highs in remittance payments from Mexican immigrants into our country, and a growing demand for Mexican products, services and tourism. Also, Mexico has profited from trade wars between the US, China and Europe, generating a positive forecast due to the successful renegotiation of NAFTA in the form of the USMCA/ T-MEC/ CUSMA (pending to be ratified by the US Congress).

So, the nature of the legal work in our country has rapidly evolved. New laws and new more aggressive political strategies defy the traditional approach to lawyering. It is in this context that the list of US lawyers and law firms recognized by The Legal 500 this year is likely to reflect these different trends by including new names and faces, who in turn bring new experiences and greatly needed expertise along with them.

González Calvillo, S.C. has once again the privilege of congratulating all lawyers that have been selected for due and merited recognition after the usual and expected level of research made by The Legal 500 during many months of work.