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Mexico - Competition News, Features and Reviews

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GCR - Global Competition Review

GCR - Global Competition Review


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  • 1. GCR Analysis Mexico Wednesday, 28 November 2012 (7 months ago) • GCR 100 - 13th Edition Last year, Mexico ushered in substantial reforms to its competition law, criminalising cartel behaviour and increasing potential fines considerably. Mexico’s antitrust bar has been busy adapting to the changes, but continues to carry out impressive work in the meantime. Elite The competition team at Barrera Siqueiros Torres y Landa SC stands out from the crowd. Many of the firm’s litigators have antitrust skills and handle a good deal of competition cases, with several competitors ranking the firm among the best in the country. While administrative litigator Bernardo Ledesma is the name that almost everyone knows at the firm, rivals say the firm’s other two partners who handle competition law, Ricardo Pons and Omar Guerrero, are the ones to watch. “[Guerrero] is handling a lot of competition matters,” one rival lawyer says. In October 2010, Guerrero was appointed chairman of the Mexican Bar Association’s competition committee. Over the past year, the firm has been working for client Mexichem in a joint venture with state-owned oil company Pemex. Also on the merger front, the team advised Cuprum and Affinia, along with other companies involved in deals. Cartel work continues apace for Barrera Siqueiros, as it has been defending clients involved in the poultry, cathode ray tube, liquid crystal display and travel services investigations, among others. The firm is also defending clients involved in vertical restraints investigations. The antitrust boutique at Castañeda y Asociados offers clients both lawyers and economists specialised in Mexican and international antitrust law issues. The three-lawyer practice is led by founding partner Gabriel Castañeda – one of the stars of the Mexican antitrust bar and a nominee to The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists. The team includes an in-house economist to help guide clients through a regulatory system that increasingly focuses on empirical reasoning and economic evidence. Its competitors say that Castañeda y Asociados is counted among the best antitrust firms in the country, particularly on behavioural cases. The firm’s record quickly dispatches what little criticism the firm might receive – particularly that, because of its small size and focus, it doesn’t act on many merger deals that come before the commission. Last year, the firm acted on several major deals, including advising United Technologies and Goodrich in Page 1 of 6Mexico - Competition News, Features and Reviews - GCR - Global Competition Review 08/07/2013http://globalcompetitionreview.com/surveys/article/32668/mexico/
  • 2. their transaction, as well as handling the Mexican review for Google of its purchase of Motorola Mobility. The team also helped guide Temple Inland through the CFC’s review of its deal with International Paper. On the behavioural side, the firm has acted for TRW and Panasonic in CFC investigations. There appears to have been some significant changes with the antitrust team at Larena Trevilla Fernández & de la Torre over the past year. Partner and Who’s Who Legal nominee Martin Moguel Gloria left the firm last year to open his own boutique, De la Torre Rodríguez Leroux & Moguel, with three other partners. Two other partners practising competition law, including Who’s Who Legal nominee Miguel Angel Fabregas Rodriguez, appear to remain at the firm, but Fabregas did not respond to requests for information by the time this publication went to press. As with some other Mexican antitrust teams, the group at Valdés Abascal y Brito Anderson SC – now Valdes Abascal Abogados – went through considerable changes when long-time partner Rafael Brito Anderson separated from co-partner Rafael Valdés Abascal last year. The firm still boasts two ex-enforcers: Valdés-Abascal, former executive secretary of the commission, and economics consultant Alvaro Sánchez González, who was the commission’s director of merger control. The firm declined to specify the size of its antitrust group. The firm has acted for Telefónica Movistar and GTM in lawsuits filed against Telmex and Telcel, challenging the companies’ alleged monopolistic practices. Last year, the commission fined Telmex for refusing to provide interconnection services to GTM and Telcel for squeezing margins of competitors. These cases are now in amparo trials before the federal courts. The firm continues to provide competition counsel to Henkel, PepsiCo, Sempra Energy, 7-Eleven and Visa, among other clients. Highly recommended Amilcar Peredo Rivera leads a capable and improving competition practice at Basham Ringe y Correa SC. While he is the only partner at the firm working on competition matters full-time, his rivals say the Who’s Who Legal nominee is a true rising star on the Mexican antitrust scene. Four associates assist Peredo, splitting their time between litigation, merger control and other duties, while 30 -year Basham veteran Ignacio Orendain also handles litigation duties. FIRM HEAD OF COMPETITION SIZE CLIENTS Elite Barrera Siqueiros Torres y Landa SC Bernardo Ledesma, Omar Guerrero, Ricardo Pons 3eq p, 3sa, 4a Mexichem, KKR, Smith, Cadbury, Bachoco, Union Nacional de Avicultores, Cuprum Page 2 of 6Mexico - Competition News, Features and Reviews - GCR - Global Competition Review 08/07/2013http://globalcompetitionreview.com/surveys/article/32668/mexico/
  • 3. Castañeda y Asociados Gabriel Castañeda 2p, 1a, 1e Nycomed, Panasonic, United Technologies, Goodrich, Google, TRW Larena Trevilla Fernández & de la Torre N/A N/A N/A Valdés Abascal Abogados Rafael Valdés-Abascal N/A Telefónica Movistar, GTM, Henkel, PepsiCo, Sempra Energy, Visa Highly recommended Basham Ringe y Correa Amilcar Peredo 1p, 4a Iochpe-Maxion, Minefinders Corp, Getronics, BASF, Motorola Mobility, Nalco, PKC Group Oyj, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation Creel García Cuéllar Aiza y Enríquez SC Luis Gerardo García Santos Coy and José Ruiz López 2p, 4a International Paper, Amcor, Outokumpu Oyj, ThyssenKrupp López Velarde Heftye y Soria Jorge Jiménez 3p, 2sa, 1oc Mitsui, Oceanografia, Pinfra Mijares Angoitia Cortés y Fuentes SC Francisco Fuentes-Ostos N/A Grupo Televisa, Mitsubishi Corporation, Banco Nacional de México, Grupo Casa Saba, British Petroleum SAI Law & Economics Jaime Serra, Lucia Ojeda Cárdenas, Luis Alberto Aziz Checa, Enrique Espinosa, Gonzalo Robles Tapia 4p, 3sa Nestlé, Axtel, Daimler Mexico, Walmart, Cemex Mexico, Bimbo, Home Depot, Aeromexico, Sony Santos & Partners Luis Santos 1p, 2a Valeant Pharmaceuticals White & Case Iker Arriola 1p, 5a Aeromexico, Comex, Kansas City Southern, Mattel, Pfizer, Principal Financial Group Key: p = partner, eq p = equity partner, sa = senior associate, a = associate, e = economist, oc = of counsel The Basham Ringe team last year advised Motorola Mobility in its tie-up with Google, and assisted Iochpe-Maxion in its purchase of Hayes Lemmerz International. Elsewhere, the firm helped guide Minefinders Corp in its acquisition by Pan American Silver. Other major matters include advising BASF in a joint venture with Ineos Industries, and Nalco in a merger with Ecolab. On the litigation front, the team advised The Coca-Cola Export Corporation in an investigation by the commission, and a company embroiled in the commission’s LCD cartel probe. The competition team at Creel, García-Cuéllar, Aiza y Enríquez SC had an impressive 2011 that has led to a similarly solid 2012. The team advised on Page 3 of 6Mexico - Competition News, Features and Reviews - GCR - Global Competition Review 08/07/2013http://globalcompetitionreview.com/surveys/article/32668/mexico/
  • 4. more than 16 per cent of all filed mergers in 2011 and a fair number over the past year as well. In a country that prizes individuals above firms, Creel partner and Who’s Who Legal nominee Luis Gerardo García Santos Coy commands the respect of his peers – as does this two-partner, four-associate practice. Monopolisation cases are also a consistent source of work. The past year’s activity includes advising International Paper in its merger with Temple-Inland, and Amcor in its purchase of Aluprint Tabaco from GPC Holdings. Still pending merger reviews include advising Outokumpu Oyj and ThyssenKrupp in a deal involving ThyssenKrupp’s stainless steel business, along with Marubeni Corporation’s purchase of Gavilon Holdings from investors. The team is also acting for companies involved in the cathode-ray tube and LCD investigations. Since its inception, López Velarde Heftye y Soria has been organised around strong expertise in a group of highly specialised industries. This includes Mexico’s energy sector – an industry that has been a cornerstone of the firm since its beginnings – as well as impressive expertise in the telecommunications, mining, ports and automotive industries. The group’s industrial focuses have also shaped its competition and mergers practices, which continues to serve clients active in these industries in need of antitrust advice. Recent work at López Velarde includes advising a ports consortium formed by Oceanografia and Pinfra in a potential joint venture in Mazatlán, along with other maritime projects. The team also continues to act for client Mitsui, although it declined to identify which transaction it was involved in, citing confidentiality issues. Francisco Fuentes leads the competition team at Mijares Angoitia Cortés y Fuentes SC. Fuentes handles most work before the commission, while a team of litigators, including two partners, assists with antitrust cases and litigations. Much of the firm’s work has been fuelled by Mexican television heavyweight Grupo Televisa, which, along with telecoms company Telmex, is one of the companies targeted most frequently by supporters of a more competitive Mexican market – and is a major client for a competition team. Last year the team helped negotiate remedies that allowed the company to buy a 50 per cent stake in Grupo Iusacell, the third-largest mobile carrier in Mexico. Other clients include Banco Nacional de México, Mitsubishi, pharmaceutical distributor Grupo Casa Saba and British Petroleum. Now more than 15 years old, SAI Law & Economics continues to offer clients a one-stop shop for legal, economic and consulting services. Seven lawyers, including Luis Alberto Aziz, Enrique Espinosa Velasco, Gonzalo Robles Tapia and Lucia Ojeda Cárdenas, lead the antitrust team. Aziz is steeped in Mexican antitrust law, both through his advisory work for clients in the soft Page 4 of 6Mexico - Competition News, Features and Reviews - GCR - Global Competition Review 08/07/2013http://globalcompetitionreview.com/surveys/article/32668/mexico/
  • 5. drink, beer, cement and hotel sectors, and his consultations for the government. Meanwhile, Ojeda has acted for major international clients for more than 10 years, and was a part of the senior antitrust lawyer group that advised the commission on its initiative to update the country’s competition law. SAI has been advising Nestlé on the worldwide acquisition of Pfizer’s nutrition business, and it is assisting Daimler Mexico with its competition compliance programme. The team is assisting Axtel in relation to Telcel’s appeal of an CFC fine for price squeezing. The SAI group is also busy advising Home Depot and Aeromexico with CFC investigations. Santos y Ríos is another Mexican practice that went through at least one major change over the past year – officially changing its name to Santos & Partners. The relatively small team at the firm, led by Who’s Who Legal nominee and firm co-founder Luis Santos, punches above its weight, handling several cases involving major Mexican and international clients larger teams would be lucky to get. The team’s major merger case last year involved advising Valeant Pharmaceuticals in its purchase of Mexico’s Atlantis – a major deal that was cleared without conditions. Previously, the team advised Ferrosur, the Mexican rail company caught in a lengthy merger case involving two rivals, as well as a related cartel case; and Southern Copper Corporation in a stock offer for Frontera Copper. Competition lawyers in Mexico say that international firm White & Case has expanded its footprint in the market in recent years, and has become a major player when companies look for competition counsel. The team’s partnership shrunk noticeably last year from three partners to only one, Iker Arriola, while five associates assist in antitrust matters. Over the past year, the firm has been busy advising clients in several antitrust investigations in various industries, including cases built around a leniency application. The team acted as antitrust counsel to Pfizer in the sale of its Capsugel division to private equity firm KKR, and is also global coordinating counsel to Pfizer in the sale of its infant nutrition business to Nestlé. The team is also leading DuPont through its purchase of Danisco, and it is working for the Principal Financial Group in its takeover of a Mexican pension fund from HSBC. Other firms deserve consideration for inclusion in our Mexico listing. Mexican firm Von Wobeser & Sierra has a considerable antitrust practice, as does Galicia Abogados, led by noted practitioner Christian Lippert. Noriega y Escobedo Abogados is also active in the antitrust bar. Page 5 of 6Mexico - Competition News, Features and Reviews - GCR - Global Competition Review 08/07/2013http://globalcompetitionreview.com/surveys/article/32668/mexico/
  • 6. Copyright © 2013 Law Business Research Ltd. All rights reserved. | http://www.lbresearch.com 87 Lancaster Road, London, W11 1QQ, UK | Tel: +44 207 908 1188 / Fax: +44 207 229 6910 http://www.globcompetitionreview.com | editorial@globalcompetitionreview.com Page 6 of 6Mexico - Competition News, Features and Reviews - GCR - Global Competition Review 08/07/2013http://globalcompetitionreview.com/surveys/article/32668/mexico/