Paul Hastings expanded its energy and infrastructure team in Houston with the addition of Baker McKenzie corporate and energy transaction partners Luis Fernando Gomar and Rocio Guadalupe Mendoza, who both work extensively in Latin America.
Gomar and Mendoza joined as partners on Monday in the infrastructure and energy practice in the U.S. and Latin America, and the energy transition and infrastructure team.
Seth Zachary, chairman of Paul Hastings, wrote in a press release that Gomar and Mendoza are “valuable additions” to the firm’s global energy practice because of their experience in traditional energy projects and renewables in the U.S. and Latin America.
Gomar said Paul Hastings’ “pedigree” in Latin America, particularly in infrastructure, project development and project finance, attracted him to the firm because it will benefit his existing client relationships.
“Secondly, Paul Hastings’ growth and momentum is very attractive to me. The firm management is doing things well in the practice mix and in the investment it is making across the platform,” Gomar said.
The lateral hire also pointed to Paul Hastings’ launch earlier this year of an interdisciplinary global energy transition and infrastructure team as clients move toward a “low-carbon future.”
“They really get what my practice is like,” he said.
Gomar said he and Mendoza work together closely, and their client mix includes U.S. or international—European or Asian—companies investing in Latin America, particularly in energy or infrastructure, as well as large Latin American conglomerates, family offices or high-net-worth individuals.
Clients include national companies or international oil and gas companies, and project developers or private equity-backed companies investing in energy assets, including hydrocarbons and renewables, he said.
Mendoza said she moved to Paul Hastings because it is a good fit for her practice working in both traditional and renewable energy sectors, and it supports her focus on Latin America.
While the pandemic impacted travel for the two international lawyers, Gomar said that except for April and May 2020, their practice has been busy.
“We have been busier than I remember being in a long time, over the last year, year and a half. That will continue to be the case. Clients are looking to find synergies and opportunities and looking for investment opportunities,” he said.
Mendoza was promoted to partner at the end of last year at Baker McKenzie, and Gomar joined the firm in 2018, coming from Thompson & Knight.
Bobby Albaral, Texas office managing partner for Baker McKenzie, provided this statement on the departures: “We appreciate Luis and Rocio and thank them both for their contributions to Baker McKenzie. It was a pleasure working with them, and we wish them all the best.”