Benjamin Aguilera

After a decade managing his own international law boutique practice, former Greenberg Traurig corporate and transactions partner Benjamin Aguilera is heading back to the firm as a corporate and securities partner in Phoenix.

Aguilera, who specializes in corporate, finance, M&A and venture capital matters with a particular focus on transactional work in Mexico, Central and South America, first joined Greenberg Traurig in 2001 from the Border Trade Alliance, a nonprofit network that promotes cross-border trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, where he was a member of the organization’s board of directors.

In 2007, Aguilera left Greenberg Traurig to start his own shop, Aguilera International Counsel, which focused on cross-border corporate work. From time to time, he would partner with his old firm on various matters, but as Aguilera’s client base grew, their needs expanded beyond his boutique practice.

“My clients need other services in the space,” said Aguilera, who was born in Mexico, about his decision to return to his former home.

Over the past few years, Mexico has seen massive industry growth due in large part to the deregulation of its energy sector, which has, in turn, created a boom for legal services. Many large firms, including Greenberg Traurig, have expanded their practices across the border.

Late last year, the firm landed roles working on two major deals in Mexico: The $409 million currency credit facility for the country’s leading paper producer, Bio Pappel S.A.B. de C.V., as well as a joint venture between global wire manufacturer Rea Magnet Wire Co. and Viakable S.A. de C.V. Greenberg Traurig currently has more than 40 lawyers working out of an office in Mexico City that it opened in 2011.

In January, Holland & Knight hired Greenberg Traurig’s Hector Velasco Perroni, head of the firm’s environmental practice in Mexico City, as senior counsel for its office in the city. Aguilera, a former associate at Snell & Wilmer, hopes to use Greenberg Traurig’s infrastructure south of the border to expand his practice. A native of the border town of Ciudad Juárez, Aguilera said he travels between Mexico and the U.S. about 20 times a year for his work.

“One of the advantages that Greenberg has right now is the fact that it has a very sizable and successful office in Mexico and they’re able to lure very good talent,” Aguilera said. “Now I can use Greenberg’s resources locally here to serve my clients.”

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