Five Jones Day Mexico City lawyers, including high-profile partner Luis Rubio Barnetche, have jumped to Holland & Knight’s office in Mexico City, where Rubio will lead the office as executive partner.
Rubio replaces former Holland & Knight executive partner Boris Otto, who opened the office in 2013 and has returned to full-time practice. In the five years since, the office has grown to 25 lawyers. The Jones Day Mexico City office, which is about 10 years old, has about 55 lawyers.
Attorneys at Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office focus primarily on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, real estate investment trusts, telecommunications, energy, environmental, project finance, litigation, international arbitration and real estate.
Holland & Knight managing partner Steven Sonberg called Rubio’s experience in the telecommunications industry there “unparalleled.” Rubio said he had been working with some of the partners at Holland & Knight’s Mexico City office for years, including some who were his partners at his own firm in years past. His clients include Spain’s Telefonica, France’s Eutelsat, and Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry.
Rubio also pioneered the practice of dispute resolution in Mexico under Chapter XIX of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and was a member of the team that negotiated NAFTA on behalf of the Mexican government, particularly as it relates to foreign investment.
The United States is pushing to renegotiate NAFTA this year.
In addition, Rubio has represented foreign public companies and their Mexican subsidiaries in the implementation of policies to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and provided legal counsel for issues related to voting agreements, anti-money laundering, extraterritorial application of foreign laws in Mexico, investment in regulated entities, e-commerce and data protection.
The team Rubio brings to Holland & Knight from Jones Day includes partner Octavio Lecona Morales and senior counsel Selene Espinosa, Blanca Luévano García and Jaime Rodriguez.
Lecona Morales’ practice concentrates on telecommunications, communications media and technology, and mergers and acquisitions. Espinosa focuses on Mexican corporate service, project finance and M&A. Luevano Garcia practices in the areas of telecommunications, antitrust and M&A. Rodriguez focuses his practice on labor, employment and benefits, representing clients in individual and collective labor litigation, as well as social security matters.
This year, lawyers serving the telecom industry in Mexico will be busy with public auctions of bandwidth planned throughout the year. The increased investment is likely to mean better reorganization of bandwidth among players, more competition and better service and price, Rubio said.
“There are a lot of regulatory changes going on right now in the telecom market,” Rubio said. Last year, Rubio was involved in Mexico’s first spectrum swap and lease.
While telecommunications will keep lawyers busy, the Mexican mergers and acquisitions market is uncertain, he said. Mexico will have to deal with NAFTA renegotiations and will hold elections later this year. So any large deals are unlikely to occur until after the July 1 elections, he said.