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Law Firms in Texas Fighting for Investors in Mexico
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Mexico, DLA Piper, Jones Day, law firm news

Summary: Law firms in the state of Texas are experiencing a major business boom due to the changing energy sector in Mexico.

Tatiana Escribano and Carlos Valencia have been switching law firms quite a bit over the past couple of years.

  
What
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Two years ago they were partners with the Mexico City office of Thompson & Knight. Then, they left to join DLA Piper.

Just one month ago, they left DLA Piper to join Baker & McKenzie, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The biggest law firms in Texas are doing their best to attract corporate clients that want to invest billions of dollars in Mexico.

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The reason for this is that Mexico is changing its energy market. The oil and gas reserves in the country will be open to private foreign investors for the first time in 75 years.

To read more about Mexico, click here.



Luis Gomar is the partner-in-charge of Strasburger & Price’s office in Mexico City. Gomar said, “I think the law changes will absolutely transform the legal market in Mexico, but more importantly, those changes will transform the country, period.”

Clay Scheitzach is the senior vice president and senior corporate counsel at Xerox Business Services. Scheitzach said, “What is happening in Mexico is extraordinary, and our business interests and legal needs in Mexico are going to significantly increase with these energy reforms. Energy companies and nonenergy companies are going to need more lawyers to help us with contracts, dealing with business-to-business and labor disputes, and other legal issues that will surface under Mexican law.”

Haynes and Boone; Thompson & Knight; Strasburger & Price and Gardere Wynne Sewell all have lawyers based in Mexico.

Norton Rose Fulbright has been working to open an office in the country for some time now.

“Being a Texas-based law firm that understands how the U.S. energy industry has operated will give us a very interesting perspective on how things may potentially operate in Mexico,” Gomar said.

Law firms from the United States that want to operate in Mexico have to realize that they will face a difference in how to approach legal services.

To read more about the energy industry, click here.

“Practicing Mexican law in a Mexican law firm is different than practicing Mexican law in a U.S. law firm,” said Alberto de la Peña, the head of Haynes and Boone’s U.S.-Mexico cross border practice in the Dallas office. “The way a U.S. law firm approaches clients and provides service sometimes may be different than the way a Mexican attorney and Mexican law firm will do it.”

The Mexico City office of Jones Day opened back in 2009 with just 31 lawyers. Now, the firm has 74 lawyers in the Mexico City office with a plan to add 10 more in the areas of telecom law, real estate and international arbitration within the next couple of months.

Burleson LLP  is headquartered in Houston. The firm brought in Armando Sañudo-Trueba to join the Latin America practice group of the firm in San Antonio.

The firm’s founder, Rick Burleson, said, “It’s kind of the best of both worlds. You get a Mexican lawyer who is well-known and respected. There’s a lot to opening an office in another country. … We think it’s better that he’s in the San Antonio office.”

How long will the business boom in Mexico last for these firms? Use our poll to share your thoughts.

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Image credit: Jones Day



 

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