Fernando is a partner at Von Wobeser y Sierra, with more than 36 years of experience in tax, international trade and customs, and dispute resolution.
Fernando has guaranteed the commercial success of hundreds of clients, providing preventive advice and solutions, primarily in the tax area and in the application of the tax treaties signed by Mexico, such as those governing double taxation and exchange of information. The strategies he has developed allow multinational and Mexican companies to pay taxes efficiently, applying the tax laws correctly. He has also assisted companies in restructuring and expansion through subsidiaries in Mexico and Latin America. He has extensive experience in the application of international treaties, group restructuring and complex cross-border transactions. His expertise includes various industries: automotive, consumer goods, energy and natural resources, financial services and telecommunications,
Fernando's trajectory in tax matters includes the development and implementation of preventive tax strategies and structures that help companies in their tax responsibilities. In tax litigation, he covers amparos, taxes and audits and administrative procedures before Mexican authorities, both local and federal, among other areas. In addition, Fernando has extensive experience in international commercial arbitrations.
He has been recognised by Chambers and Partners Latin America, International Tax Review, The Legal 500, Latin Lawyer 250, Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders, and Who’s Who Legal Mexico, among other publications.
Questions & Answers
Thought Leaders 2023 - Interview with Fernando Moreno
Can you briefly describe your career to date?
My first job in the tax practice area was in 1985 in a boutique firm of accountants and lawyers that had top-tier clients in the tax area. Later, in 1988, I joined Von Wobeser y Sierra, SC where I started as an attorney at law and then in 1993 I became the partner in charge of the firm's tax practice area. Additionally, from 1989 to 1990, I worked in the tax practice area, in the USA, in a programme for foreign lawyers at Holme, Roberts & Owen, LLC. My work experience in tax litigation includes nullity procedures, amparos, tax audits and administrative proceedings before Mexican authorities, both local and federal, among others. I also have broad experience in national and international commercial arbitration.
What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer in your practice area?
That I have guaranteed the commercial success of hundreds of multinational and Mexican clients through strategic and preventive advice, especially in the tax area, and particularly in relation to the application of the tax treaties signed by Mexico such as treaties to avoid double taxation and for exchange of information in order to apply the tax laws correctly and, therefore, achieve an efficient payment of taxes. My experience in tax consulting includes development and implementation of preventive tax structures and assisting companies in their tax responsibilities.
What was the most challenging case or transaction you have ever worked on and why?
There are several, but I consider that the acquisition of Cervecería Modelo was one of the most complex and challenging transactions, since many parties resident abroad were involved and the application of double taxation treaties accordingly. Additionally, there were important Mexican tax matters (including federal and local taxes) within Cervecería Modelo that needed to be resolved and in which we participated for the benefit of our client.
What are the greatest challenges for lawyers in your practice area in your country this year?
Apply the tax laws correctly and, therefore, achieve an efficient payment of taxes. Preventing clients from violating the regulations imposed by the Mexican government for the prevention of tax avoidance and evasion, as well to ensure that the clients accurately identify their ultimate beneficial owner (taking into account the consequences of not complying with such regulations), an obligation that was incorporated in the Mexican laws this fiscal year to comply with international commitments.
How do you expect your practice to evolve over the next five years?
Having greater control over taxpayers by the public treasury, seeking greater level of collection and modifying the provisions that allow tax evasion.
What three recommendations or notes would you share with younger lawyers stepping into your practice area?
That young lawyers behave and do things as if they were the partners of their firms, putting themselves in the shoes of their clients and understanding their needs, seeking on their behalf the efficient payment of taxes and due compliance with their tax obligations.
What do clients look for when selecting you as a lawyer?
My national and international expertise in the tax practice area, the cases and transactions in which I have been involved and the skills I have developed as a result, but also since I show them that they can trust our firm and that I understand their needs.
How would you like to see your law firm develop in the coming years?
Continue to be one of the best firms in tax law in Mexico and get involved on a daily basis in increasingly relevant matters.
You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?
I want to publish one or several books on tax law and successfully complete my doctorate degree.